Expanding Aikido pillars/ more Jujitsu
Have any of you experienced Wally Jay Jujitsu, and how do you rate it for expanding the pillars of Aikido?
If you have seen John Stevens, author and Aikido practitioner, in a seminar, you have been introduced to the pillars of Aikido in terms of the basic techniques we modify or trace variations to. This method is a very clear way to define the levels of learning techniques as they progress in difficulty and levels.
If you have ever been part of a Wally Jay Jujitsu class, you seen almost all of the basic movements of Aikido, mixed with many techniques that are turned into small circles. If you have trained in Aikido, these small circle jujitsu techniques are even more effective with correct body movements found in aikido practice.
If you haven't experienced these two classes, please don't waste your time, or mine responding.
I see the future of Aikido being widened into using many more pressure point techniques, finger manipulations causing imbalance for Aikido techniques, and embracing many more openings from Jujitsu such as Wally Jay's group has been teaching.
Of course, Grandmaster Wally Jay's credits include adapting many of Aikido techniques to work with his particular style of Jujitsu, so if you cross train, as I have tried to do, you too might get in trouble when listing other techniques for jujitsu when a teacher demonstates. I always seem to bite my tongue lately when a teacher asks what he/she is doing? That is the price of trying to see more of what the world is made of, I guess.
Anyway, if you have seen Jujitsu by Wally Jay, tell me what you think about adding this to present Aikido techniques for those who wish to advance their study of Aikido with Jujitsu?
I have Wally Jay's tapes. Watched them, actually many time. They are very good. Only praise. IMHO, yes his technqiue shows some nice variation to Aikido moves. If he does a local seminar I would attend. But, IMHO, I don't think he is a pillar of Aikido or would want to be.
Here's some info on small circle that I read elsewhere. Hope it helps you out:
Gee Bruce, I guess I'm wasting your time... :rolleyes:
I've had the pleasure of working with a very competent small circle jujitsu yudansha during my hapkido days, over the course of several years. Those small circle, pain compliance techniques do work, and indeed our hapkido was much colored by emphasis on small circles. And yes, I've sometimes added bits and pieces of small circle to the aikido I learned.
My take on this is that it is more worthwhile to learn aikido movement first, since (at least for me) aikido movement does not require fine motor skills to the extent small circle jujitsu does. To make it short, you blow a small circle kotegaeshi, you might be in a bit of trouble. You blow a typical aikido (at least Aikikai) kotegaeshi that includes big circular tenkan movement and kuzushi, you end up for the most part in a less dangerous position. You WILL mess up techniques, but if your fundamental movement gets you the hell out of the way, that's a very good thing. IMHO, you should get your gross motor skill movements down first, before you mess around with fiddly stuff...YMMV, of course. :)
In case you're interested, his name is Chris Peterson, and he works out at the Island Judo/Jujitsu Club in Alameda, CA.
What is meant by small circles?
Does this mean taking the larger circular movements in aikido and making them very small and quick?
Or is there more to it than that?
I'm no official voice of small-circle jujitsu, but one of the things you run across is an emphasis on wrist rotation on the part of nage when performing a technique. I guess that's where the term "small circle" comes from. That seemed to be one of the concepts emphasized in my hapkido practice, at least where joint locks are concerned. This stuff works, but the problem may lie in how it's practiced...I find that when you concentrate too much on making that small circle work, there might not be enough attention paid to tai sabaki, kuzushi, etc. Of course, a compentent small-circle jujitsuka will not ignore such things, but hey...
I guess one way of illustrating it might be in the way a reversed-grip kotegaeshi is performed. If you look at the typical Aikikai way of performing it, you could very well classify it as "big circle." With the small circle (in katatedori gyakuhanmi) version, it becomes a rather quick forearm/wrist rotation on the part of nage, augmented by some hip rotation/torque; foot movement may not be necessary at times. Uke often ends up dancing on his toes (instead of doing an aerial flip breakfall to make you look good), but that's no problem since it makes a great entry for shihonage. What the hell, you'll probably find this in aikido too...
You'll find finger locks, pressure points, and other things that rely on pain compliance in small-circle (or should I call it Danzan ryu?) jujitsu. It's all good, but I am not 100% confident of my ability to use things that rely on pain compliance on a crazed, hopped-up assailant. A finger/thumb lock works great in horseplay though, when somebody confronts you with an "unbendable arm"... :p
I welcome corrections to the above, since I've been known to be full of s**t on occasion...
Stop Separating/Create Harmony
I wonder ... are any of you going to get the point of bringing up different styles of MA?
It is our responsibility to bring our martial arts knowledge in a harmony that encompasses all our knowledge.
When you stop concentrating, when you stop trying, it just happens ... naturally.
Haven't you ever gone into techniques in randori without thinking about what was to come next, and had your instructor say,"Please use use only Aikido, big circles ..."
Although we study many different arts in our lifetime, eventually the lines blurr and best of what we have learned is blended into a new art, or a better version of the old art. It does not ignore what we have learned but is added to it in harmony.
So, don't go telling Bruce what he should change to, the lines become blurred the more you train in other arts, and the longer you train in any one art.
Example: Seminars, teachers who have trained in other arts showing new techniques, or practice showing neutralizing techniques to other styles.
Point of this thread being, you are going to see more and more small circles as you advance in Aikido and do it without concentrating.
It is a natural evolution, but only after you are capable of using large circles.
So, don't get hung up with trying to be like Wally Jay, it will happen when it happens. Be aware it is there, and of the many good points he has taken from Aikido and that he has even improved some of them through trial by fire in his application.
Keep your eyes open at seminars and see if many of the things you see in small circle don't appear? They will.
As for struggling with the small circle techniques ... practice, practice, practice ... same old-same old solution, but it does increase your sensitivity for Aikido practice to sense where submission connects to pain then to injury. (At least practice in small circle did for me)
You're trying to make some point about crosstraining, a point that your obtuse writing style obscures...crosstraining in other arts is fine, but not everything can be called aikido. Quit obsessing about it.
Nope. As long as the action was flowing and not "pre-planned", sensei doesn't seem to care. I and others have done techniques in randori that have been absolutely outside of the way our style teaches it. But as long as it was because that's were the technique needed to go and not because we tried to make it look that way it's ok.
Re: Stop Separating/Create Harmony
Whether pressure points or small circles I don't think its a matter expanding pillars but examining what's already there. If there are systems that concentrate faster on what you are interested in that is where you should train.
Thin slice? No kidding?
By the same token of those who wonder how much Aikido I am explosed to, by the same token that O'Sensei would investigate and research other schools of martial arts, so do I.
I am not the horse with blinders who travels the same road everyday, but I am the traveler who has traveled many roads and now retires to his home learning Aikido, seeing the comparisons of other things that are in Aikido or could make learning Aikido even more interesting.
Thin slice, huh? Maybe the fact that I can see the simularities to other MA's and variations from other MA's allows me to look from a mountain top rather than from a rooftop? Then again, once you have been to the mountaintop, the view from the rooftop looks just about as good, and isn't as far to travel, is it?
Let us reflect upon the view of looking at the world from one view, verses looking at the one view from around the world? The first one should be the old mans reflection of later years, while the latter should be the young mans reflection of the early years. Of course, finding how martial arts connect, disconnect or how they compliment one another is up to you to find in your own search.
If you are stuck in one particular school of thought, then indeed I am not a thick slice of your type of life. I see reasons for defense, for movements, for offensive movements in practice, and reasons for distractions or pain before executing techniques. When I see higher dan ranks teaching many of the basic techniques I have found in other types of practice and modifying them to become Aikido techniques, guess what? I tend to speak up.
So, although my slice of life is different from yours, and it incorporates different priorities, I do believe too many of you are blinded by your goal oriented rise in the dan ranks of Aikido to actually take a look at the big wide world.
Sure, we bring many different things into the sphere of harmony of Aikido, but what they were or where they came from are just as important as changing them into a safer practice or widening the pillars of Aikido.
Why do you think O'Sensei changed the direction of practice after WWII?
It wasn't just because of the restrictions of the Allied Nations in Japan, but it had to do with the very focus of his countrymen who needed to save the old ways but find the peace within themselves to make a better nation that would not fight and kill in the old ways.
Besides, Aikido was not the single minded practice of one single style, it was a synthesis of more than one style of MA.
So ... how can the continued existence of Aikido be a static single minded purity?
It can not. It must change and grow.
To change and grow, we must introduce new things, try new ways, and test these things with time and trial.
So, excuse me if I become miffed at having to respond for a different slice of Aikido, I am just following my instinct to change and grow.
Enough ranting ... consider how to expand or understand other things we can yet expand Aikido to ...
I look forward to your thoughts.
Taken the wrong way
Should you take my previous post the wrong way...
I guess the inversion of moral outrage is to have responders take the highground with childish taunts of " ... you don't know what you are talking about and I do" which I shouldn't fall for, but then again we do give into our weak moments upon becoming writers to some Aikiweb threads ... so if taken the wrong way, I apologize now.
I would have thought that experience would be more widespread thoughout the Aikido Community, but I was wrong to assume that all of us are adults that have experienced many of the things we all write about. I was wrong.
I guess that is why O'Sensei let many things passwhen his students wondered about morality verses training as related in stories, and writings. We each find our own experiences the learning platform for how we understand Aikido, and how we expand its boundarys.
I probably don't need to, but all the same, when most of you get fired up, I apologize now for getting you worked up ... just let it be.
Go back to your hum-drum normal everyday practice. I just came back from practice, and we had to play outside because of some craft show taking over the Community Center, so I was kind of worked up from an outside weapons class in the parking lot.
Maybe more of you should try that ... just get out of your cars and have practice in the parking lot sometime, it really starts to connect the abstract practice with your everyday life.
Sorry for the previous rant.
I don't know much of anything about small circle jujitsu, but I have incorporated some Chin Na into my Aikido very easily and to good effect. There is an especially excellent counter to nikyo that I have learned from Chin Na that I have taught to all my Aikido students. In any case, if small circle jujitsu can benefit one's training as Chin Na has mine then I say include it in training (though in moderation, of course).
Sorry if I am wasting your time.
I have never had formal Jujitsu training.
My teacher's teacher, however, told a
group of us at a seminar that Aikido
is Judo is Jujitsu, etc. and we proceeded
to do some throws and joint manipulations
that seemed to me, at least, to be usefull
regardless of orientation.
I also have some experience with Sombo, high school wrestling, and Tae Kwon Do, so I
appreciate your interest in cross training.
What I am trying to say is that I appreciate
your interest in what is practical and I also appreciate the focus of the masters who will dedicate their lives to one particular art, while, almost without question, experiment with other arts to various degrees.
Thank you for all your posts here.
Can you recommend a JuJitsu forum?
Most of your interest seems to be in JuJitsu.
The thin slice comment was in direct response to your constant referals to what Aikido isn't. Sorry but I will say it again - you need to see a lot more Aikido before you can start making that sort of generalization.
Cross-training - I do it by choice, circumstance and at this moment under strong suggestion by certain of my teachers. The key for me is to refer what I learn back to my chosen art and therefore it has never been a waste of my time. Besides I always meet good people who like beer.
When I see higher dan ranks teaching many of the basic techniques I have found in other types of practice and modifying them to become Aikido techniques, guess what? I tend to speak up.
Maybe just maybe - they were part of Aikido all along. Aikido is a form of jujutsu and you will see many similar techniques. For us it is quite common to learn of several Koryu that have a particular technique.
I see reasons for defense, for movements, for offensive movements in practice, and reasons for distractions or pain before executing techniques.
Ummm - once again. Aikido doesn't have this??????
allows me to look from a mountain top rather than from a rooftop
Now Bruce this says it all. You are right I am far from the mountain top.
I do believe too many of you are blinded by your goal oriented rise in the dan ranks of Aikido to actually take a look at the big wide world.
It's been years since I've asked to grade. I've lived and worked all over the world, seen and done things that most people would not believe. In the process been exposed to a whole range of MA. One of the reasons I moved back to Japan is for the training - the best I've ever experienced. My goal is the mountain top but when I see 40+ year veterans of the journey still applying themselves I know the point is the journey not the goal even if I could see it.
Aikido may look like dancing
But it isn't dancing ...
Aikido is drawn from sword, jujitsu, hand to hand, and other martial arts that make it into a fighting art if explored, but a safe training medium if practiced in its given form.
The more I do Aikido, which is now five years, compare it to other martial arts, including Wally Jay jujitsu/ new studies in chin-na and pressure points, along with my previous studies, I find the more simularities than dissimualities to old style fighting arts.
Maybe it is time to write a book about the basic techniques of Aikido, simularities to other styles of martial arts, and how they use simular motion/ movement/ with pressure points to execute techniques? A veritable cross reference night mare for teachers or students claiming certain styles are more effective than other styles of MA's.
If you have the Wally Jay series, take a look at the warm up movements he uses and tell me they aren't the same movements we use for bokken practice?
As for small circle ... we simply take the movements that would be made with the big circle and make them tighter and tighter, so they are quicker, more effective, using less motion, energy, taking less time.
The circle is not different from Aikido big circles, but smaller.
Make a mental note the next time you are at a seminar, and an instructor does a quick than normal technique ... see if it is a small circle?
We take into our style what works without compromising the style and we make it our own.
That is the way of all evolving martial arts, even Aikido.
(short note for Peter R.)
Don't take my little stories so seriously, they are just visual perspectives, not jabs, or platitudes, or meant to insult your lifestyle or training. The point of the mountain top story was that once you have been to the mountain top your minds eye see's the world from both perspectives, not just the valley ... even when you are sitting on your roof looking at the mountain.
But when you step back, separate yourself from your present training, and compare the different styles, the techniques ... the lines become blurred.
It will be as I have descibed, and you will see how O'Sensei combined the different elements to make his style of practice.
You will also see how there is room to add and improve our present Aikido into something even better.
If we can't do that, then it will be like watching Tai Chi in the park ... very pretty, but what does it mean?
turn, turn turn
By understanding the basic principles of aikido, such as not doing things that injure your partner's body, specifically the joints, many jujitsu techniques can be adopted, with minor or major adjustments, to fit into your aikido repertoire.
Generally speaking, when altering jujitsu techniques to make them into aikido waza, one will inititally need to turn more.
I don't think there's anything wrong with adopting such techniques in the aikido dojo as long as (1) you have a solid understanding of what aikido is, (2) you can make to proper adjustments so that the technique is safe and follows aikido principles, and (3) most importantly, your instructor condones such adventures.
Small circle, big circle, same circle
Doesn't the size, speed and direction of the circle (or irimi) you use in any Aikido application really dependent upon the situation at hand, vis a vis - the attack, the terrain/environment in which the aggression takes place and the desired outcome when applying the technique to begin with?
I think the size of the circle and a lot of other things are dependent upon the situation, and would emerge naturally once one has some degree of understanding of aiki principles.
In training my Aikido has looked like everything from Judo and Jujitsu to Chin na and Hapkido, depending on what point I'm trying to get across or the size, speed and skill level of the attack/attacker.
It all depends-in the end all the paths lead to the same place, some may just take longer than others.
So why quibble? Train hard and consciously, head for the light and heat, stare death right in the face and illuminate the path etc. etc. etc.:D
Just my take on the thing. The true path is really no path. Shu Ha Ri says it all.
remember how you got here
I must say, that you should reflect on the the beginner's difficulty in learning, opposed to the ease of executing movements or techniques after years of practice?
Don't you use less and less effort, less movement, and apply less physical force the more you train?
I certainly do.
If you remember your first classes as a beginner, you will remember those struggling days opposed to the lessening difficulty as training goes on. It is unbelievable the simplicity it takes to do your modern Aikido compared to those early days.
So too, many of the big circles can be made smaller, not all ... but most, and openings for other distractions and pain submissions will present themselves as you increase your knowledge of human anatomy, learn to use intuitive guess work to lesson your physical force, and train your responses so they are not hampered by complex thoughts that get in the way of transitional flow.
I was at Barnes and Noble, wandering about, and found a very interesting book that has the advice of many master fighters ... believe it or not ... much of what they say is comparitive to what O'Sensei says throughout his life?
If you find a copy of "The Bible of Karate: Bubishi" put together by Patrick McCarthy, pick it up and read it. It will open you eyes to many things you think you are learning in Aikido, and bring new light to some of your simple practice techniques ... that is if you aren't already amazed at the depth of Aikido for being a much more deadly fighting art?
I don't advocate violence, but being aware of what is out there, what capabilities Aikido has ... well ... beter to know than not know.
As for the pillars of Aikido .... If you have tried to find out what the hell I am talking about, then in merely looking, you have begun to expand the pillars of Aikido.
Continue ... and may you find even more.
I have to watch wrestling with my kids. Its one of the few things we still have in common as they evolve into young adults.
Catch ya, later.
Re: Aikido may look like dancing
Larry - we really got to get togeather. When you going to make the trip?
Re: Re: Aikido may look like dancing
Peter: Not sure when I'll be able to make a trip to Japan, may be in 2003. Hoping to visit the UK to train soon though. Until then, the net may be the best bet for hooking up.
Bruce: I may be extremely mistaken, but it appears to me that you are trying to qualify the martial effectiveness of Aikido thru the lens of other martial arts, as if some of the less popular elements of Aikido are actually part of these arts and not Aikido. I think anyone who plumbs the depths of Aikido will find that the principles or "pillars" that you call them actually extend into areas covered by a host of other MA.
I guess it depends on how you look at it. I often see karateka applying grappling techniques in their training and say "Hey that's Aikido", but I think from their eyes it would appear as a part of Karate, that being their point of view as Karateka.
As long as one decides to search into the deeper meaning of Aikido's principles I think they will inevitably see the similarities with many other MA, but they may also realise that these were elements of Aikido from the beginning. Because we can't see something doesn't say that it isn't there.
Are we really expanding the pillars of aikido by looking at similarities elsewhere, or are we rediscovering what was there all along?
Just my 2 cents. Still searching myself. Finding Aikido under every stone I turn :)
Not qualifiying but observing
Yep. I am doing what any good scientist, or martail artist would do, observing.
Even though I have chosen to practice Aikido, even though I go to seminars in other arts, and even though I mainly use Aikido to initiate intervention, I am not above changing to something else more serious should the need arise.
O'Sensei did not have Aikido to learn when he was wandering about learning all the different arts of his native land that interested him, he had to pick and choose what worked best in applications, or what worked best for him.
It is terribly near sighted to absolutely quantify this or that as aikido, when it is the not devised from one single source but taken from a variety of practices then redesigned to be effective without injury?
Aikido's purpose, it's training method, and its possibility of polishing spirit with physical practice are not unique, but they are easily identifiable because of the proven effectiveness, and spiritual goals for its students to make themselves/society a better place.
Maybe, that is the main difference of learning more devastating techniques in Aikido, as it is our central core not to be the baddest fighter in all the land, but to make our lives and our society into a better place to live.
Many of the underlying principles of other martial arts espouse these things, but quickly break down into a dog eat dog environment when the training begins.
So, although I may wander into the other fields of study, they are coming into focus from similarity of technique, history of transmissions of technique, and variation of movements taken into practice as they are proven effective, the natural progression of most living fighting arts ... even Aikido.
With the complication of our modern society, maybe we are too caught up in the simplicity of another era to see that we must evolve, but evolve we will as the original students of O'Sensei pass on into heaven, and we must interpret from their students, or from books/videos what the hell they were trying to tell us.
No, I am not observing Aikido from other arts, but I am observing all arts from a both a personal learning perspective, and a scientific curiosty of connecting martial arts in a way that works for me.
Hopefully, many of you are not only finding more depth to you Aikido from observing other options to variations as you train, but how to bring about an understanding to all arts that would have people to cause you harm, while you smile as your Aikido brings you safety and harmony out of violence.
That's enough of that, my head is starting to hurt from all that thinking.
Maybe we should all think like we didn't have Aikido, and try to find something better, then it could only make Aikido better.
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