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graham christian 02-03-2012 07:41 PM

Examples
 
Carrying on from Davids question on the 'how not to throw thread' he asked how do I teach and get realities across regarding drills.

I have mentioned aiki taiso but I would do other exercises before that to give reality to a student as to the way and what I teach.

It all depends on the person to a great degree as to where I start with them. I inform them that Aikido is all about Harmony and how to do so and thus includes principles they are probably not used to.

That's about how I start basically. Informal, no big sell, no history lesson, no martial this or that, just the assertion that it's a way of self improvement where martial is a side effect.

Mind:
Reality on the mind and what it does and more importantly how it get's in the way. A number of exercises demonstrating that and thus showing some principles I use.

For instance, holding the wrist. I will hold their wrist tightly and ask them to move or escape. They will do so. They will either be stuck or they will escape, it makes no difference.

I will then hold them again and ask them to try to do what they did before but don't complete it but rather explain what's happening. Then ask them to do it fully and this time I move them and they wonder how.

I ask them why would they want to escape? I get them looking at that rather than just thinking it's obvious.

I show how them trying to escape is resistance and thus I can feel their resistance going against my hold. I then show how due to this wanting to escape using resistance takes them into a fight, they are fighting being held, being trapped. By holding them so that they can't escape or at least very difficult I also ask them where their mind is. I point out it is now in my hand so as I move them easily I am in fact just moving their mind.

I explain how I am accepting their resistance, their energy and letting it go to my center and now I am left holding their mind.

So thus they are introduced to the principle of acceptance, center, and meanwhile recognising how the mind is all part of resistance and most important of all the fact that thus they were trapping theirself rather than me trapping them.

Part two of this same demo would be them holding my wrist. I get them to squeeze, then say come on harder. Then, as they are getting nowhere I tell them to use two hands and really try to squeeze and then to do it so hard that it could break my bones. They give up. I ask what they felt. They felt the harder they tried the less energy they had. I tell that that is the effect of non-resistance.

Then I get them to do it again and this time don't let me move. I move them easily. I then explain what I am doing. Two principles. 'Letting go' and 'giving' I do not fight the hold. The wrist is held. I explain what that equals to me. It doesn't equal 'I am held'. As soon as I equate it with I am held then I am trapping myself. No, the wrist is held.

I let go of the wrist completely. It is no longer my wrist. I show how the fingers are still mine, the hand is still mine and I move them freely and as I do this it moves them. I explain how I am still extending energy out of my hand or fingers but the wrist is not mine, I have let go of it. Then I accentuate it by giving the wrist to them. They obviously want it so I let go of it and in so doing give it to them. All part of non-resistance. Letting go and giving. As it is now not mine then nothing is trapped, there is nothing to resist and thus I can move freely wherever I want to move.

I can move my elbow, that's not trapped, I can move my feet, theyre not trapped, in fact no other part of the body is trapped so there is no reason for me not to be able to move freely.

Thus they learn letting go is fundamental to relaxing and thus non-resistance as well.

Just one example of introducing to principles and the effect and use of them. Just one example of the type of principles I use and a feel for the type of Aikido.

Not even any japanese words..lol.

Regards.G.

graham christian 02-04-2012 08:39 AM

Re: Examples
 
To add to the above a quick additional guide: Principles (with associated principles)

Center: acceptance, perception, recognition, understanding.(Stillness and Ki)

Koshi: unconditional reception, giving and completion.(universal love and faith)

Center line: Non-control, non-opposition, non-disturbance.(spirit and Ki)

Hara: Compassion, humility, stillness, one point.(heart and soul )

Kokyu: Be with, share, in communication, oneness.(own love and universal love)

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Geometric principles of energy motion and movement: Circles, spirals, lines, curves, triangles.

8 direction paths of non-resistance, 5 'three dimentional' circles, space,

relationship of all the above to techniques and motions.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Operational principles: Be with, let it be, invite, welcome, give to, cut through, complete, accept, perceive (feel), keep 'distance', stay with, keep center, keep one point, zanshin ( extend Ki always), keep own space, let go, flow, harmonize.

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Relationship of weapons to techniques and motions: Which principles apply to which weapons.

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Ki atsu healing and principles thereof.

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Shin Shin Toitsu: Sen no sen etc. Purely spiritual.

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Small steps, long journey, principles all the way.

Regards.G.

Gary David 02-05-2012 09:23 AM

Re: Examples
 
Graham
Thanks for responding, it helps me associate you with selected paths and approaches. What you are describing in your first post is much the same approach taken in my training back in the early 70's when I started and they are good tools. The idea of not contending over the point of conflict, here the grabbed wrist, is basic and central, though seeming very hard to learn and retain.

An addition to the wrist grab exercises you are describing above that you might try flexing your wrist and forearm prior to them grabbing you tightly...so both of you are tense. Repeat this a couple of times. On the next round once they have a tight grip relax your wrist and forearm and check the response and reaction of the person grabbing as well as yours....what does your elbow do or how does it move and from how does your should react? You can then follow this by relaxing all the way back to your center and from your center outward to the ground. Releasing your wrist (as the nage), releasing the elbow, the shoulder and so on. It is relax, relax again, relax again.........and relax again. This of course leads to releasing before you get grabbed.

To me this is the start of practice that leads to all the other things you want to do with your Aikido. Relaxing is one the elements of arriving at an active spirit, active intent, active mind, fluid one body that leads to the levels of blending, leading and harmony that is your approach to Aikido.

Just a comment about Tohei Sensei. There was a connection between our instructor and Tohei Sensei from the 50's in Hawaii so back in the 70's he was in our dojo several times teaching an evening class...maybe 25 individuals on the mat. It was a regular Wednesday night advanced class. Tohei Sensei's techniques were fast, precise, and right on. I could feel the potential power and knew I had to get out the the way. He was also hard as a rock wall and grabbing his wrist was like hanging on to a 4" diameter pipe you could not stop from moving in any direction he wanted.

keep having fun
Gary

Keith Larman 02-05-2012 09:30 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 302456)
I could feel the potential power and knew I had to get out the the way. He was also hard as a rock wall and grabbing his wrist was like hanging on to a 4" diameter pipe you could not stop from moving in any direction he wanted.

keep having fun
Gary

Gary:

I've enjoyed many a conversation with folk from that era in So Cal and Hawaii. The one comment I'll never forget was when I was at an event and sitting with a number of people who similarly had smaller sized class mat time with Tohei. One fella said his kotegaeshi was like someone laying a pallet of bricks on your hand. He just did it very gently... All those present who had the opportunity to experience it directly from Tohei agreed. They said they didn't feel like he was "forcing" them, but they were going down and nothing was going to stop it. So the power was undeniably there, but... being applied somehow very differently.

I always thought that was a great way to explain how it felt.

Gary David 02-05-2012 09:51 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Keith Larman wrote: (Post 302457)
Gary:

One fella said his kotegaeshi was like someone laying a pallet of bricks on your hand. He just did it very gently... All those present who had the opportunity to experience it directly from Tohei agreed. They said they didn't feel like he was "forcing" them, but they were going down and nothing was going to stop it. So the power was undeniably there, but... being applied somehow very differently.

I always thought that was a great way to explain how it felt.

Keith
In those days we were taught to apply kotegaeshi without turning the wrist to the outside...which requires that the uke take a hard fall over the arm.....rather hand was wrapped into the wrist on the thumb side and slightly to the outside....and a drop and down. I have gone back to this as it is to me much more effective and causes not direct injury to the uke while getting them on the mat. You destabilize them, drop (slight) and imbalance...they are on the mat without an opportunity to recover.....the connection is through the wrist..elbow..shoulder and center.

Gary

graham christian 02-05-2012 11:44 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 302456)
Graham
Thanks for responding, it helps me associate you with selected paths and approaches. What you are describing in your first post is much the same approach taken in my training back in the early 70's when I started and they are good tools. The idea of not contending over the point of conflict, here the grabbed wrist, is basic and central, though seeming very hard to learn and retain.

An addition to the wrist grab exercises you are describing above that you might try flexing your wrist and forearm prior to them grabbing you tightly...so both of you are tense. Repeat this a couple of times. On the next round once they have a tight grip relax your wrist and forearm and check the response and reaction of the person grabbing as well as yours....what does your elbow do or how does it move and from how does your should react? You can then follow this by relaxing all the way back to your center and from your center outward to the ground. Releasing your wrist (as the nage), releasing the elbow, the shoulder and so on. It is relax, relax again, relax again.........and relax again. This of course leads to releasing before you get grabbed.

To me this is the start of practice that leads to all the other things you want to do with your Aikido. Relaxing is one the elements of arriving at an active spirit, active intent, active mind, fluid one body that leads to the levels of blending, leading and harmony that is your approach to Aikido.

Just a comment about Tohei Sensei. There was a connection between our instructor and Tohei Sensei from the 50's in Hawaii so back in the 70's he was in our dojo several times teaching an evening class...maybe 25 individuals on the mat. It was a regular Wednesday night advanced class. Tohei Sensei's techniques were fast, precise, and right on. I could feel the potential power and knew I had to get out the the way. He was also hard as a rock wall and grabbing his wrist was like hanging on to a 4" diameter pipe you could not stop from moving in any direction he wanted.

keep having fun
Gary

Hi Gary.
Glad you understood the gist of what I do. Thanks for taking the time to so do and your considered response.

On the releasing, tensing, releasing exercise, yes I agree. When the wrist is tensed and then relaxed the effect on uke is quite dramatic for them for their energy 'dissappears'. On this side, when doing it I get others to do versions of what you describe in as much as feel what the elbow can now do and awareness of other parts of the body and what they can do and the changes that happen in them due to this relaxation.

For example the hand, the fingers, tegatana, elbow, foot and knee, can all now lead freely. Another thing is that if you flow through the hand, especially tegatana then the uke feels the wrist as 'going solid' even though it is not tensed in the normal sense of tensed. I remember when I first posted a video how only one person seemed to realize what I was doing and commented on how I stayed relaxed no matter what, hence shoulders always down as they 'dissappear' for me. (mary Eastland was the one who noticed although she also advised me it would be good to have some commentary or more explanation, she was right)

When you say how the relaxing, relaxing, relaxing, leads to all all going to center and then from there releasing to the ground I fully agree with once again. This I do.

The fact of releasing to ground is the interesting point here. I found and indeed was introduced to this by my teacher many years ago. This led to what I called Koshi. He pointed out that as you let the energies go through center to the ground you will eventually become aware of a point at the base of the spine and that this point would also start to relax. It's also by the way where people tense up from and carry stress(apart from the shoulders and kneck) and thus so many back problems.

Anyway, as I developed this it turned from a relaxed point do what felt like an open door leading to a relaxed 'space' below me. This I call Koshi. It relates to gravity, it relates to advanced weight underside, it relates to tegatana and the feeling of a 'ton weight' in your hand or tegatana or even whole body yet from this end, the nage end, it feels like 'nothing'. Once again all to do with the taking of relaxation further and further.

There are many facets where the effect on uke is quite surprising from the viewpoint of nage, in fact quite opposite to what I expected at first. For example when I first turned and from ny view gave koshi TO my uke he bounced away with a woah!!! Now to me it was a 'nothing', a soft space , a soft 'low' space. Yet to him he said he felt like he ran into a solid brick wall.

These type of things give me a perspective when hearing others say how this person said so and so's wrist or body was 'hard as iron' when the person themself said they are using non resistance and soft. So when others translate this as dynamic tensions or this or that I see they are missing the point from my perspective.

I do take this one stage further however and say that when used to this kind of relaxation ability you can then learn how to do it in such a way that it makes the other relax and thus with all fight gone and only good feeling left they return to self and harmony. That's the goal for me and my Aikido.

With regards to your reply to Keith and the mention of Kotegaeshi once again I agree. I teach the hand should be turned back on itself rather than to the side. Ther is a good demonstration you can do her to show why. Hold something. Yes, hold a knife or a bottle or a small stick or something. Have someone apply a kotegaeshi to your hand in a skewed way, a twisting way, a to the side way. If you let their energy go into what you are holding you can 'cut' out or draw out or even pull out or the attempted action quite easily. If they do it as a circle, as a roll, turning the hand back on itself then you cannot and it works as you describe.

Nowadays I take that principle of the circle and when it comes to Kotegaeshi I just put the circle there and that's all. They run or move forward then their energy just goes round the circle and they fold. They try to do anything else then I bounce or drop the circle ie: drop the ball. That's the simplicity to me at this point in time.

Keep up the good work.

Regards.G.

Keith Larman 02-05-2012 08:28 PM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 302461)
Keith
In those days we were taught to apply kotegaeshi without turning the wrist to the outside...which requires that the uke take a hard fall over the arm.....rather hand was wrapped into the wrist on the thumb side and slightly to the outside....and a drop and down. I have gone back to this as it is to me much more effective and causes not direct injury to the uke while getting them on the mat. You destabilize them, drop (slight) and imbalance...they are on the mat without an opportunity to recover.....the connection is through the wrist..elbow..shoulder and center.

Gary

Gary:

Actually that way of doing kotegaeshi (without the wrist turn to the outside and more dangerous ukemi) became our "standard form" of kotegaeshi when Kobayashi broke from Tohei and formed Seidokan. I haven't had to take that hard fall in a very long time. I appreciate this more and more as I get older... :)

Gary David 02-05-2012 08:46 PM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Keith Larman wrote: (Post 302485)
Gary:

Actually that way of doing kotegaeshi (without the wrist turn to the outside and more dangerous ukemi) became our "standard form" of kotegaeshi when Kobayashi broke from Tohei and formed Seidokan. I haven't had to take that hard fall in a very long time. I appreciate this more and more as I get older... :)

Keith
I didn't take any break falls until after I left OCAK in the early 80's..... Going up into the Bay Area were everyone was pushing that envelop .......after my 10,000th break fall my body ask me, no told me to knock it off and drop the impacts on the mat.
Gary

Mark Freeman 02-06-2012 02:32 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 302461)
Keith
In those days we were taught to apply kotegaeshi without turning the wrist to the outside...which requires that the uke take a hard fall over the arm.....rather hand was wrapped into the wrist on the thumb side and slightly to the outside....and a drop and down. I have gone back to this as it is to me much more effective and causes not direct injury to the uke while getting them on the mat. You destabilize them, drop (slight) and imbalance...they are on the mat without an opportunity to recover.....the connection is through the wrist..elbow..shoulder and center.

Gary

Hi Gary,

We also apply kotegaeshi this way. The 'over the top' version is more spectacular for those watching, but in my view, I agree not as effective. It is possible for uke to escape the hard fall version, if they can keep up with the technique and 'follow' any undue force being applied, this can be reversed into a nice kokyunage.

From the point of view of the impact the different versions have on uke, the Tohei method is more respectful of uke's body. I question the need for multiple high breakfalls in aikido, there is a greater chance of injury, doing it this way, paricularly with inexperienced uke's.

If one was ever required to apply kotekaeshi in a real world scenario, an attacker is unlikely to have practiced ukemi, so all sorts of problems could arise.

regards,

Mark

graham christian 02-06-2012 02:56 AM

Re: Examples
 
Hi Mark.
I have a similar type of question for you to do with shihonage. The shihonage done away from or to the side of the shoulder which results in a breakfall. Do you do this?

I ask because I do not. I ruled that one out years ago. My rule is that the hand of the opponent is returned to the shoulder, in fact to the top of the shoulder. This I find far more effective also, similar to the kotegaeshi return not being away from the wrist.

Just wondering.

Regards.G.

Mark Freeman 02-06-2012 05:41 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 302493)
Hi Mark.
I have a similar type of question for you to do with shihonage. The shihonage done away from or to the side of the shoulder which results in a breakfall. Do you do this?

I ask because I do not. I ruled that one out years ago. My rule is that the hand of the opponent is returned to the shoulder, in fact to the top of the shoulder. This I find far more effective also, similar to the kotegaeshi return not being away from the wrist.

Just wondering.

Regards.G.

Hi Graham,

no, we do it in a similar way to you, ukemi is taken by sliding/sinking into the mat. I have practiced the over the top ukemi, but we don't as a rule do it anymore.

I can see the older more jujitsu flavoured shiohnage being a very effective battlefield joint breaker, when done with intent. Good ukemi is the only way to avoid injury with that one....
regards,

Mark

graham christian 02-06-2012 06:59 AM

Re: Examples
 
That's for sure. Kind of like the segal movie style complete with bone crunching sound effects......

Regards.G.

Gary David 02-06-2012 07:57 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Quote:

Hi Mark.
I have a similar type of question for you to do with shihonage. The shihonage done away from or to the side of the shoulder which results in a breakfall. Do you do this?

I ask because I do not. I ruled that one out years ago. My rule is that the hand of the opponent is returned to the shoulder, in fact to the top of the shoulder. This I find far more effective also, similar to the kotegaeshi return not being away from the wrist.

Just wondering.

Regards.G.

Quote:

Mark Freeman wrote: (Post 302495)
Hi Graham,

no, we do it in a similar way to you, ukemi is taken by sliding/sinking into the mat. I have practiced the over the top ukemi, but we don't as a rule do it anymore.

I can see the older more jujitsu flavoured shiohnage being a very effective battlefield joint breaker, when done with intent. Good ukemi is the only way to avoid injury with that one....
regards,

Mark

Mark
The shihonage that I worked myself into has me drop center as I enter under the use's arm, as I turn to the outside I stay down, keeping the held wrist/hand circling out and around, with the arm brushing the top of my head as I pivot through. I keep the arm out and extended to keep uke on the edges of their feet and destabilized.... If I dropped further anytime during this motion or just pulled down it would likely result in damage. I take use's wrist/hand right back into their shoulder.....once that is reached I do what some might call a scissors cut.....stand up and bring my hands to my waist as if cutting with a boken. My center rises up as my hands/arms come down to meet. If uke has been destabilized this motion drops them right at my feet with no injuries and without giving them back their center.

Gary

Mark Freeman 02-06-2012 10:06 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 302499)
Mark
The shihonage that I worked myself into has me drop center as I enter under the use's arm, as I turn to the outside I stay down, keeping the held wrist/hand circling out and around, with the arm brushing the top of my head as I pivot through. I keep the arm out and extended to keep uke on the edges of their feet and destabilized.... If I dropped further anytime during this motion or just pulled down it would likely result in damage. I take use's wrist/hand right back into their shoulder.....once that is reached I do what some might call a scissors cut.....stand up and bring my hands to my waist as if cutting with a boken. My center rises up as my hands/arms come down to meet. If uke has been destabilized this motion drops them right at my feet with no injuries and without giving them back their center.

Gary

Hi Gary,

from nage's side, I recognise your description as very similar to the way I approach things.

Where things may differ is in uke's part. As I described in the 'following' thread, as uke, I would follow all of nage's movement and their attempt to stretch and turn me. I do see, via video, that many uke's stand pretty stationary and 'let' the technique be applied to them. Either way, shihonage is a technique that is effective if applied correctly, as well as easy to get quite spactacularly wrong.

regards,

Mark

Gary David 02-06-2012 10:36 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Mark Freeman wrote: (Post 302506)

............ many uke's stand pretty stationary and 'let' the technique be applied to them.

Mark
As I see it the continuous effort is to put uke on the edges of the feet as you move, making them unstable though not out of balance. It is hard for them to move from this and they don;'t really get a sense of being out of balance. The out of balance comes with the completing movement...one they can't resist and have no time to move to get back in balance.
Gary

Keith Larman 02-06-2012 10:40 AM

Re: Examples
 
FWIW we were trained to do shihonage the same way as well. No big breakfalls there. Kobayashi-sensei apparently felt that it was more dangerous than it had to be given alternatives and that an attacker not trained in ukemi wouldn't take that fall anyway. And from what I understand (and have seen in videos) when Tohei was demonstrating especially in more jiyu waza-like settings you'd see his kotegaeshi and shihonage done without the big fall. Things got much smaller, compact and efficient. Which is the direction we went all those years ago.

And for those lurking I'm in no way saying I feel any particular way is superior. It's just how I have been trained. It seems to me that any number of approaches make sense given their larger contexts. Give and take, pros and cons... They all balance out in their own way (ideally).

Keith Larman 02-06-2012 10:42 AM

Re: Examples
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 302508)
As I see it the continuous effort is to put uke on the edges of the feet as you move, making them unstable though not out of balance. It is hard for them to move from this and they don;'t really get a sense of being out of balance. The out of balance comes with the completing movement...one they can't resist and have no time to move to get back in balance.
Gary

Yes, in my experience it's either getting them on their toes or getting them subtly relying on me for their balance. That tiny shift of kuzushi can be almost imperceptible to uke right up to the point when you "let" them fall or lead them in to the fall. It's kind of like dropping them in to that third leg they wish they had right underneath them in that hole they didn't realize was there... :D

Abasan 02-06-2012 07:14 PM

Re: Examples
 
You could do kotegaeshi to the outside but the emphasis is on the uke's center not his hand.

I understand returning the power to uke and dropping and we do that pretty much standard. But having understood the principle of that, you can then apply dynamic kotegaeshi but without cranking in the pain. Absolutely needless and uke is powerless but to continue in that direction of the throw.

The fall whilst it looks like a break fall is altogether different. It isn't the whoomph bam you are over and down, more like oh crap what's going on I have no breaks now I'm airborn, over and sliding across the mat, wishing it didn't have that much friction...


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