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kaz5209 10-06-2010 06:34 AM

Training .... when you are not training
 
hi guys,

just started with aikido 2 months ago, we train 3 days a week for 90 minutes. i was wondering if there are any exercises that i can do while i am at the office or at home that can make me better at aikido

thank you

lbb 10-06-2010 08:27 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
You can train outside the dojo in various ways (tai sabaki probably being most appropriate for your experience level); however, don't make the mistake of thinking that you're "training when you're not training". Karate Kid fantasies aside, when you're painting a fence, you're painting a fence -- you're not "training". When you walk down the street, you're walking down the street; when you're eating lunch, you're eating lunch; when you're training, you're training.

kaz5209 10-06-2010 08:52 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
thanks, of course i didn't mean to "wax on...wax off" my way to Aikido. what i thought of is more like the Kamae stances in yoshinkan, something like that .... the tai sabaki idea is a good one

WilliB 10-06-2010 08:56 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Khaldoun Abouzainah wrote: (Post 265784)
thanks, of course i didn't mean to "wax on...wax off" my way to Aikido. what i thought of is more like the Kamae stances in yoshinkan, something like that .... the tai sabaki idea is a good one

If you have a broomstick and the ceiling is high enough, you might want to practise some of the stick kata. They contain a lot of the body memory which you are trying to develop.

MM 10-06-2010 09:18 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
There's an article in one of the Aiki News issues (somewhere between 001 and 060), where Ueshiba supposedly feels bad when a visitor shows up. Ueshiba excuses himself. Someone (I think Doshu) goes to check on him and finds him doing some training with visitor. They stop training and are talking. Ueshiba states something to the effect of, "Look, I'm training right now."

He wasn't on the mat, he wasn't physically doing techniques - he was talking ... and yet, still training aiki. Isn't that an interesting thing? Training outside the dojo.

In 1942, Ueshiba goes to Iwama which is, at times, called aiki-en, or aiki farm. So, he's doing "farming" with "aiki". In other words, he's using the physical activity of farming to train his aiki body skills and he's outright calling it that. Training outside the dojo.

Somewhere Ellis Amdur calls Ueshiba's jo movements (I think from a video of Ueshiba in Hawaii) hidden in plain sight. Training outside the dojo.

The transformation from Ueshiba's training that he did personally to today's Modern Aikido is one of the major changes that Kisshomaru and Tohei made. IMO, if you want to train Modern Aikido, train in the dojo. If you want Ueshiba's training model, it is fairly specific but can be done anywhere and everywhere.

IMO anyway,
Mark

chillzATL 10-06-2010 09:29 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Mark Murray wrote: (Post 265788)
The transformation from Ueshiba's training that he did personally to today's Modern Aikido is one of the major changes that Kisshomaru and Tohei made. IMO, if you want to train Modern Aikido, train in the dojo. If you want Ueshiba's training model, it is fairly specific but can be done anywhere and everywhere.

IMO anyway,
Mark

Tohei had the taiso, which were distilled from what Ueshiba was doing, and can be done anywhere. Doesn't mean they'll be done properly, but he clearly had something for outside the dojo training and something that, if done properly, will help everything inside the dojo.

MM 10-06-2010 09:43 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=94 (AJ #112)

AJ: People who have now become teachers themselves often mention teachers like Koichi Tohei and Seigo Yamaguchi. What were your impressions of them?

Seiichi Sugano Sensei: Yamaguchi Sensei had a very strong personality. It was difficult to grasp his techniques they had quite a different feeling from those of the other teachers or to capture the essence of what he was doing. Tohei Sensei's teaching was influenced by the Tempukai, and it was easier to follow, probably because much of the Tempukai curriculum originated in yoga.

===

Black Belt Magazine Vol 1 No. 2.

In an article about Tohei -- "His contributions to the art of Aikido are legend. He has devised many of the exercises and throws which are now standard and taught in all Aikido schools both in Japan and the United States."

===

Black Belt 1973 Vol 11 No 11

Article by Jon Shirota about Tohei and Ki

Quotes Tohei in the article. "Everyone thinks that I learned ki from Morihei Uyeshiba. That's not true. The Master taught me aikido; he did not teach me ki. I studied and learned it myself."

===

Black Belt 1978 Vol 12 No 16
Article by Karen Payne about Akira Tohei.
With his first teacher, Koichi Tohei, Akira Tohei made a pilgrimage to the aikido shrine at Iwama, Uyeshiba's home.

"It would be ideal to preserve what o-sensei did without change, but change cannot be stopped," Akira Tohei said. "Since Doshu is not o-sensei, his ways are different."

===

Black Belt 1988 Vol 26 No 4
Article about Virginia Mayhew by Chuck Bush
She became an uchideshi (live-in student) under the tutelage of Koichi Tohei, then chief instructor at aikido's Tokyo-based world headquarters, and also devoted one week a month to rigorous Zen meditation and training at a local Buddhist monastery. Despite an arduous routine which included outside studies with several aikido masters, Mayhew's first priority was to attend Uyeshiba's early morning classes.

"O-Sensei taught entirely differently from any of the other teachers," Mayhew relates. "He had no set form when he taught."

"He used to demonstrate with his little iron fan, standing in the middle of the mat as three or four of his strongest instructors attacked him with wooden staffs."

"He also used a technique which many people experienced - coming around and putting his finger on you very lightly, hardly touching you - and you couldn't move, no matter how hard you tried. There was no terminology to explain this phenomenon, nor did I try to learn terminology so much as to try to understand. This was a manifestation of energy which, according to various instructors, can be reached by a variety of techniques. But it isn't in the techniques; it is within oneself."

===

Aiki News Issue 028
Letter by Bruce Klickstein
During the "taisai" the best teachers in the world talked about how so much of what is called Aikido barely even resembles the Aikido O-Sensei taught.

===

Black Belt 1977 Vol 15 No 11
Article about Tohei. Quotes Tohei saying, "So he said that aikido
developed out of the sword movement. Only he said that! When I
studied aikido it did not appear to be the case. I learned from the
universe itself not only from sword movements."

The separation from Ueshiba's school evolved from a dispute over the relevance of the basic principles of ki and the methods of instructing students. Tohei said he had to break with Ueshiba's son, who inherited the leadership of the aikido headquarters, because of the man's inability to understand the principles of ki. Under the leadership of the young Ueshiba, aikido was unable to change. Tohei wanted to teach ki and the basic principle to every student.

"When I taught these principles in the headquarters," he said,
"many instructors talked behind my back and said, 'This is not the way O'Sensei taught aikido. Ki is nothing. Don't follow Tohei!' But this is not true. I found four basic principles of ki. But according to
Japanese custom whenever I discovered some principle I always
presented it to my teacher.

"So I said, 'I learned from my teacher and I teach you.' But they would not listen. They replied, 'Then why does Master Ueshiba's son say his father never teach like that?'

"Ueshiba's son would have none of it. Ki was not relevant to aikido, at least in the way that Tohei taught it. He would say, 'That is Tohei's way. Don't follow! My father never teach us like that.' He said that all over Japan. So I had no choice. I said, 'Okay, if you say that, then I will not say I learned ki principle from my teacher. I will say that I founded basic principles.'

===

chillzATL 10-06-2010 02:37 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
a nice collection of quotes, but I'd like to hear YOUR point behind them.

Jeremy Hulley 10-06-2010 03:23 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Work on having good posture.

Learn to relax your lower back

Stand with all of your weight on one foot and switch back and forth

Practice some structured breathing

Visulaize your aikido practice

Do suburi

Anthony Loeppert 10-07-2010 06:54 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Khaldoun Abouzainah wrote: (Post 265784)
what i thought of is more like the Kamae stances in yoshinkan, something like that .... the tai sabaki idea is a good one

One suggestion I remember which was told to me when I asked my instructor a similar question:

1) Stand in Kamae (when feet are spaced properly, you're ready for seiza without moving feet).
2) Begin seiza but do the movement much slower (say 1/4 speed) than normal and stop (don't continue seiza) when your first knee (ever so lightly) touches the ground.
3) At the same speed you went down, come back up to kamae.
4) repeat 5-10 times then switch sides.

Control of posture and balance (roughly equal pressure in both feet at all times) should always be in mind and your quads get quite a work out.

MM 10-07-2010 09:45 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Jason Casteel wrote: (Post 265801)
a nice collection of quotes, but I'd like to hear YOUR point behind them.

If someone is asking about Modern aikido, then train in the dojo under those methods. If it's Tohei's aikido, you have his exercises. If it's Kisshomaru's aikido, there are any number of dojos that have different methods. But, don't fool yourself into believing that you are doing Morihei Ueshiba's aikido if you're training in most Modern aikido.

If anyone wants to argue that point, then they are not only arguing with the people from my previous post but with Stan Pranin and a host of others.

Quote:

Stan Pranin wrote:
While Doshu is indeed the "Leader of the Way," I consider his role primarily organizational and symbolic rather than technical.

The view that aikido techniques are preserved just as the founder created them at the Hombu Dojo is completely untenable. Vast differences can even be seen in the curriculum today compared with that of thirty years ago in the books published by Doshu and Koichi Tohei Sensei. The number of techniques taught has been greatly reduced and big, flowing movements have been introduced. Did anyone ever see O-Sensei perform iriminage the way it is commonly executed today? This is not to say that any one way of practicing or one type of technique is better than another. But it is clear that both the practice and techniques have undergone great transformations over the years.


Walter Martindale 10-08-2010 06:15 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Training... minimum 90 min/day, 6 days/week.
Can comprise 3-4 "specific" sessions - say - practicing Aikido and other 'non-specific' sessions - say - running for added fitness, strength training (I know most Aikido folks say it's not good to be overly strong, but there are other threads here about O-Sensei's grip strength - most of us are not doing physical labour in the fields for 8 hours/day any more, so we need other forms of work to even approach that kind of toughening), swimming, commuting to and from work/dojo by bicycle - but only if it's more than about 15 km - has to be worth while, and at a high enough effort level to be called "training"...

Most of the athletes you see competing at Olympic and World Championships in various sports "train" - by putting in 4-6 hours a day, 6 days a week (or 13/14 days, for some) preparing both in sport specific and non-sport-specific training.

I know my aikido "training" doesn't come anywhere close to that, and I consider gym sessions where I do some weights, some treadmill or rowing machine work and/or a swim to be training for Aikido - so that I can be better able to maintain posture, form, alertness, and pace at the end of a long Aikido session.

One of the things those "elite" athletes also do is mental training - visualisation or mental rehearsal - among other techniques - this could also be part of Aikido preparation...

W

lbb 10-08-2010 06:44 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Mark Murray wrote: (Post 265849)
If anyone wants to argue that point, then they are not only arguing with the people from my previous post but with Stan Pranin and a host of others.

...and your big brother, too!

chillzATL 10-08-2010 06:55 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Mark Murray wrote: (Post 265849)
If someone is asking about Modern aikido, then train in the dojo under those methods. If it's Tohei's aikido, you have his exercises. If it's Kisshomaru's aikido, there are any number of dojos that have different methods. But, don't fool yourself into believing that you are doing Morihei Ueshiba's aikido if you're training in most Modern aikido.

If anyone wants to argue that point, then they are not only arguing with the people from my previous post but with Stan Pranin and a host of others.

Who is fooling themselves otherwise? Nobody is doing Ueshiba's aikido. The point of the thread was things one can do to train, outside the dojo. Tohei's taiso accomplish that. Say what you will about his ability or willingness to explain things clearly enough, but there is plenty of depth in them for those who dig.

carina reinhardt 10-09-2010 02:18 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Hi Khaldoun Abouzainah
Probably the only training outside dojo is tai sabaki as Mary wrote, Aikido is a martial art for min. two persons, you always will need an uke. But after some years practising you will realize that you always are doing aikido the whole day, for ex. if you are driving you will become much calmer, seeing the problems from more distance, in a discussion not explode, but react calm, the same as in aikido if uke attaks, waiting for him... Maybe you will not understand me now, but in many years perhaps:)

RED 10-09-2010 06:22 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Sometimes, people mistaken the things they do outside the dojo for training. There is a difference between an exercise in Aikido, and training, IMO.

I train under a Sensei. Anything I do outside the gaze of my instructor is an exercise in what my instructor has already taught me.

Anthony Loeppert 10-09-2010 09:37 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Maggie Schill wrote: (Post 265970)
Sometimes, people mistaken the things they do outside the dojo for training. There is a difference between an exercise in Aikido, and training, IMO.

I train under a Sensei. Anything I do outside the gaze of my instructor is an exercise in what my instructor has already taught me.

Sometimes, people get really uppity for no reason then put their own limitations on others.

Sometimes. IMO.

Peter Goldsbury 10-09-2010 11:01 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Mark,

Have you read Tada Shihan's remarks about training?

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=88

Best wishes,

PAG

MM 10-10-2010 11:52 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: (Post 265979)
Mark,

Have you read Tada Shihan's remarks about training?

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=88

Best wishes,

PAG

Hello Peter,

Yes, I'd read it a little while ago but forgot about it until you pointed it out. I have been rereading the back issues if Aiki News/Aikido Journal just recently. Unfortunately I'm only up to Issue 72. It takes a bit of time to reread through and pull relevant info.

It seems like there was some change in Kisshomaru Ueshiba sometime after the war ended to shortly after the Tohei split. Can't really put my finger on exactly what ... Perhaps the weight of the war, his father's death, and Tohei's actions caused him to alter the way he viewed how he wanted Aikido to proceed? Seems like some shift in direction occurred ... but I could be wrong.

Hope you are doing well,
Mark

RED 10-10-2010 12:53 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Anthony Loeppert wrote: (Post 265977)
Sometimes, people get really uppity for no reason then put their own limitations on others.

Sometimes. IMO.

Whatever, in my experience a lot people are delusional about "the seriousness" of their own training...or they are flat out LARPing. Either way, there is a clear difference between training and exercising.

Peter Goldsbury 10-10-2010 06:02 PM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Mark Murray wrote: (Post 265999)
Hello Peter,

Yes, I'd read it a little while ago but forgot about it until you pointed it out. I have been rereading the back issues if Aiki News/Aikido Journal just recently. Unfortunately I'm only up to Issue 72. It takes a bit of time to reread through and pull relevant info.

It seems like there was some change in Kisshomaru Ueshiba sometime after the war ended to shortly after the Tohei split. Can't really put my finger on exactly what ... Perhaps the weight of the war, his father's death, and Tohei's actions caused him to alter the way he viewed how he wanted Aikido to proceed? Seems like some shift in direction occurred ... but I could be wrong.

Hope you are doing well,
Mark

Hello Mark,

I think you will need to look at the evidence, such as it is, very carefully and I will do this in my columns when the time comes. However, Tada Shihan was a disciple of Nakamura Tempu, along with Tohei Sensei, and was also a student at Waseda (and doing aikido training), when the issues with Tomiki Kenjio arose. So I think he would be well-placed to detect any change in Kisshomaru's attitudes. He also states that he was trying to replicate O Sensei's training methods and this is why I think Tada Shihan is relevant to Ellis's concerns in HIPS. An additional advantage is that he is still alive and healthy--prodigiously healthy for an 82 year old. Kei Izawa and I plan to interview him as soon as we can find a mutually acceptable time and place.

Best wishes,

PAG

MM 10-12-2010 07:06 AM

Re: Training .... when you are not training
 
Quote:

Peter A Goldsbury wrote: (Post 266008)
Hello Mark,

I think you will need to look at the evidence, such as it is, very carefully and I will do this in my columns when the time comes. However, Tada Shihan was a disciple of Nakamura Tempu, along with Tohei Sensei, and was also a student at Waseda (and doing aikido training), when the issues with Tomiki Kenjio arose. So I think he would be well-placed to detect any change in Kisshomaru's attitudes. He also states that he was trying to replicate O Sensei's training methods and this is why I think Tada Shihan is relevant to Ellis's concerns in HIPS. An additional advantage is that he is still alive and healthy--prodigiously healthy for an 82 year old. Kei Izawa and I plan to interview him as soon as we can find a mutually acceptable time and place.

Best wishes,

PAG

Thank you, Peter. Evidence does not usually come openly and easily understood. Having to sift through what is out there is a very tedious and time consuming process, which I'm sure you're more than aware. I always look forward to your columns.

As for Kisshomaru Ueshiba ... I don't know much about him. One one hand, I think he's very much an overlooked giant in modern aikido as his efforts truly spread aikido worldwide. Having to deal with his father, his father's fame, etc ... again, not something I think would have been easy. But, there were changes made to make aikido appeal to a worlwide audience. In that, a lot of what makes aikido powerful was lost. And in losing the power, a lot of the spiritual was lost.

Tohei ... I don't really know how to say this without offending a lot of people. In my small, limited, beginner's opinion, I don't think Tohei was doing the same thing that Morihei Ueshiba was doing.

Don't get me wrong, I think Tohei was very skilled, very good, and was doing great things. In the aikido world, his abilities and skill were nothing to look down on. He was a teacher to a lot of people, which certainly says quite a bit about him. I'm not disparaging him in any manner. In modern aikido, I think he was exemplary. Certainly one of the giants of modern aikido.

But I have my own personal doubts as to whether he was actually doing the full complement of aiki as done by Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba. So, in those doubts, I look to where Tohei learned his skills, Nakamura Tempu -- but, that's something for future research. These are all just my opinions and theories which are mostly unsupported at this time.

Will you be able to print your interview with Tada shihan? That could certainly be a very interesting discussion. He has the experience with Ueshiba, Tohei, and Nakamura. It would be worthwhile to hear his comparisons between those three.

Seishiro Endo shihan will be in DC the end of this month. I've been debating going to the seminar since it's so close and there are so few left who have trained under Ueshiba.

Mark


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