AikiWeb Aikido Forums

AikiWeb Aikido Forums (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/index.php)
-   Techniques (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Techniques in themselves don't work (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20811)

Mario Tobias 02-04-2012 04:31 PM

Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. It looked so trivial and obvious when the thought came up but I guess it depends greatly on the person how fast or slow his grasp is on the art (which then means I am a slow learner :D ). Aikido is such a challenging and daunting art.

If techniques don't work, then what does?

sorokod 02-04-2012 04:42 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Do you mean to say that techniques don't work in the same way that food recepies don't provide norishment?

gates 02-04-2012 07:18 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Better situational awareness
Mental composure
Avoidance and preemption

Principles that make techniques work - work
(when applied in a suitable moment)

kewms 02-04-2012 10:35 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Techniques work fine if you create the appropriate situation.

Which means that you will already have connection, already have kuzushi, and already have taken control of the attacker's space ... then you can do whatever technique presents itself.

Katherine

phitruong 02-04-2012 11:10 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Mario Tobias wrote: (Post 302436)
J
If techniques don't work, then what does?

of course techniques alone don't work. you must have good look and style. some of us just look good naturally in skirts, without even shaving our legs. :D

Carsten Möllering 02-05-2012 03:07 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Mario Tobias wrote: (Post 302436)
Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. ...

What do mean with "technique in itself"?

The more I practice (it's not even 20 years) the more I experience that technique teaches me, teaches my body, i.e. it's structure, it's skill to perceive and to be - what we call her - permeable ... It is not the outer shape of technique, but the millions and millions of details lying under the surface of a technique, that teach the practioner and "transform" him over time.

(Just to take an example: Standing hanmi. You can stand in hanmi and nothing happens. It might look "correct", but it doesn't "do" anythink. It doesn't "work".
And you can learn to stand "correct" in hanmi and suddenly you are doing "sort of qi gong" without even understanding it at first. The differences are very, very small. I sometimes don't see the corrections of my teacher with my eyes, but only feel them with my body. And this has enourmous effects you come to notice. So isnt't this the technique in itself, that works?)

So in my understanding it is just and "only" technique that works. But I think we may call different "things" technique?

Mario Tobias 02-05-2012 03:34 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 302444)
What do mean with "technique in itself"?

So in my understanding it is just and "only" technique that works. But I think we may call different "things" technique?

It is difficult to explain but what I am trying to get across is that a person's aikido only works if it applies to ALL body morphologies he encounters: small, tall, stout, skinny, strong, limpy, hunched, straight, muscled, etc. But the thing is we don't have the opportunity to train with every kind of body shape, size and strength such that we can only wonder how good (or bad) our aikido is.

The more years or decades you train in the art, the higher the probability you can make the techniques work on a large number of people but that does not mean you understand the art. There must be more fundamental than "technique" that needs to be understood if ever one is to progress significantly.

sakumeikan 02-05-2012 03:35 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Mario Tobias wrote: (Post 302436)
Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. It looked so trivial and obvious when the thought came up but I guess it depends greatly on the person how fast or slow his grasp is on the art (which then means I am a slow learner :D ). Aikido is such a challenging and daunting art.

If techniques don't work, then what does?

Dear Mario,
I would like to know how you arrive at your conclusion here. I find your statement to be for me somewhat confusing.A technique either works or it does not.A technique is just like a menu for baking a cake.Get the right ingredients, the right quantities , mix them up in the prescribed manner, cook the stuff at the right temp.and the result should be a cake.No magic or some mystical process.Just a matter of taking basic aikido principles , putting them into practice correctly.Result-the waza works!!If not go back to the drawing board.To answer your last point, if Aikido doesnt work use a baseball bat[Joking of course].
Cheers, Joe

Mario Tobias 02-05-2012 05:09 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Joe Curran wrote: (Post 302448)
Dear Mario,
I would like to know how you arrive at your conclusion here. I find your statement to be for me somewhat confusing.A technique either works or it does not.A technique is just like a menu for baking a cake.Get the right ingredients, the right quantities , mix them up in the prescribed manner, cook the stuff at the right temp.and the result should be a cake.No magic or some mystical process.Just a matter of taking basic aikido principles , putting them into practice correctly.Result-the waza works!!If not go back to the drawing board.To answer your last point, if Aikido doesnt work use a baseball bat[Joking of course].
Cheers, Joe

I am not saying aikido techniques don' t work. They do, but there's much more than a technique in itself for it to work effectively.

For me, in my training now, I don't focus on the technique itself but rather the underlying fundamentals that make up that technique. The pursuit for me now is not how techniques will work but rather seeking those fundamentals that work that make a technique work. I only know a handful that are tried and proven.

A technique's external form maybe similar when done by different people but its effectiveness varies.

Mario Tobias 02-05-2012 05:57 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
continuing from my post above, consider a very simple example

Tai no henko is the most basic exercise we have yet it is the most often unused and misunderstood IMHO. Tai no henko is one of the underlying principles to initiate connection, break uke's kuzushi, initiate wrist escapes or draw uke towards nage. Not only is it an exercise but it is also used for techniques but this is not known to many I practiced with. I think not many people know how tai no henko is properly used. We only think of it as the first exercise we do after completing warm-up yet it is one of the most important fundamentals when doing a lot of techniques. Leave out this aspect and you won't be able to do the technique properly.

Carsten Möllering 02-05-2012 09:33 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Mario Tobias wrote: (Post 302447)
... a person's aikido only works if it applies to ALL body morphologies he encounters: ...

I have to admit I don't understand. Because, what I call "technique" is exactly the tool one needs to deal with this: The details of every technique are "designed" to provide the skills to use it against any given body.
In my understanding and also my experience this is just, what technique is about. That's why learning technique is so very difficult and has to be so precise.
It is due to "correct" technique that you can handle people who are stronger or bigger. And that you can rely on the technique whoever is your partner.

This video points in the direction I am thinking of.

Quote:

...the higher the probability you can make the techniques work on a large number of people but that does not mean you understand the art. There must be more fundamental than "technique" that needs to be understood if ever one is to progress significantly.
In my undersanding Technique is not only the outer movement. That outer movement just is a sort of the shape of the technique, that part of the technique you can see. And that shape has a lot of very specific small details you nearly don't see. Finally: Most of what I call technique happens within your own body and can not be seen from the outside. And enables you to deal with alls sorts of other bodies.
Technique means to organize one's own body in a certain way, I think.

This are just my thoughts. With not having decades of practice in me, but only few years.

Abasan 02-05-2012 10:09 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Agreed. Techniques on its own doesn't work. Generally it does of course, but it's not the end you are looking for.

I would hazard... You seek power of Aikido. Behind it is the principles that operate in and out of a technique. Understanding that and applying it is what works... Until of course you reach another level.

Of course my decade to your several means little...

Kevin Leavitt 02-05-2012 10:40 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
I agree with you that techniques in and of themselves don't work. Controlling the body and core of the person is what allows techniques to work. I think that you are also correct in your observations that different body shapes, sizes, age, abilities plays into things. The more we practice the more we gain in our intuitive understanding of how these things affect the situation. How I deal with a small person differs from how I deal with a large person.

Keith Larman 02-05-2012 10:49 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
The best analogy I've ever been able to come up with is to compare it to learning to dance. You can put the little cut-out footprint things on the floor and work out the choreography. And you can train and train on those particular steps and movements. But at some point the choreography needs to "go away" leaving behind someone who is "dancing" and not just doing the movements.

Same for me in playing music. I have a classical piano background. And there is a difference between playing the notes to the third movement of the Moonlight Sonata, and *really* playing the third movement... One is a performance of the notes Beethoven wrote. The latter is creating music through the notes Beethoven wrote.

So I see techniques as being like choreography or notes on a piece of paper. They are ways to get ourselves in to a place where we can begin to really express the art. The technique itself as a teaching device that hopefully allows us to periodically glimpse that which transcends the choreography.

Chris Li 02-05-2012 11:03 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Basically speaking, nothing works well without Aiki.
-Yukiyoshi Sagawa


Which makes sense to me, you can do a paint by the numbers picture (are those around anymore?), but that doesn't make you a painter - not even a good one. And painting by the numbers seems unlikely, IMO, to ever teach you much of anything about painting.

Shioda would say that even if you do a technique perfectly once, if you do it the same way a second time it won't work.

So what needs to link the first and the second time?

Best,

Chris

graham christian 02-05-2012 01:02 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 302463)
Basically speaking, nothing works well without Aiki.
-Yukiyoshi Sagawa


Which makes sense to me, you can do a paint by the numbers picture (are those around anymore?), but that doesn't make you a painter - not even a good one. And painting by the numbers seems unlikely, IMO, to ever teach you much of anything about painting.

Shioda would say that even if you do a technique perfectly once, if you do it the same way a second time it won't work.

So what needs to link the first and the second time?

Best,

Chris

I like this one. Whenever someone does a 'great' technique and thereafter get's stuck I tell them to take a break and enjoy the good one.

If duruing a drill, and I want them to carry on then I point out they are stuck in the past and have them carry on. Fear can take you out of now but so can 'that perfect one'. Hence every moment is new.

Regards.G.

Mario Tobias 02-05-2012 01:05 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 302463)

So what needs to link the first and the second time?

Best,

Chris

Exactly.

Endo shihan also said "From chaos, we deal with each individual shape. Then return to chaos. If not, then you are trapped in the forms."

It is only now that I began to understand this. Aikido is a challenging and daunting art in the sense that when you deal with different shapes and sizes, your technique doesn't work all the time. How do you make it work all the time?

In training, you basically deal with chaos. But underneath all this seemingly chaotic environment, there are basic underlying systematic and common principles that apply to every individual. Over time they will get revealed to us one by one. You may have understood the external form of the technique but you really havn't understood the principles that govern the technique as to why it works. These common threads in techniques are what we should be searching for IMO, much more important than how to make the technique work. But the challenge is the search for these and how to prove them. Focusing just on technique, you will get trapped in the forms.

Carsten Möllering 02-05-2012 01:07 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 302463)
Basically speaking, nothing works well without Aiki.
-Yukiyoshi Sagawa

And he states that aiki is a technique ... ;)

It is my experience that every technique, every waza has an essence, a certain substance. If you find this essence of a waza and adapt it to your own body, feelings, character, you can bring the waza to life. But still the waza is independent of you. It still exists without you.

I don't like the term "principle". Because I think what waza teaches is much more concrete and detailed than what I think, a principle is.

DH 02-05-2012 01:38 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 302468)
And he states that aiki is a technique ... ;)

He states that aiki is both body conditioning and applied application. He is discussing a rather deep subject. He is correct. Unfortunately I have never seen this demonstrated "in its fullness" much less taught or discussed by anyone in Aikido or Daito ryu.

Quote:

..every waza has an essence, a certain substance. If you find this essence of a waza and adapt it to your own body, feelings, character, you can bring the waza to life. But still the waza is independent of you. It still exists without you.
I think this is foundational error. It is the essence of what is happening in the body that makes all waza happen and is universal. The rest is window dressing. Your entire art is based on being techniqueless.
Dan

Carsten Möllering 02-05-2012 03:40 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 302469)
... the essence of what is happening in the body ...

If this is can not be called "technique" what is it?
I'm just starting to search, to look for it. But I am deeply convinced that this can be learned, can be taught, can be explained? It is not arbitrary, it's not magic, it's not fake. It must be something down to earth.
Even it is something very deep.

Thank you for answering. While I'm trying to find words to answer you, I note that I contradict myself.

You are right: A waza like shiho nage or something like that doesn't exist in itself. Question: Are those waza more "typical situations" than "techniques"?
You are right: The essence is what is happening in the body. Question: Isn't this also "technique"?

Ah, and there are not some different techniques in the body, but only one? And this one thing does it all?

questions questions

Rupert Atkinson 02-11-2012 04:44 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
I just posted my thoughts here - post #5:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20839

kewms 02-11-2012 06:41 PM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
How much time did Ueshiba Sensei spend teaching waza?

For that matter, how much time do most shihan-level instructors spend on it?

Waza is not aikido any more than memorizing the dictionary is English.

Katherine

Carsten Möllering 02-12-2012 05:20 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Katherine Derbyshire wrote: (Post 302843)
For that matter, how much time do most shihan-level instructors spend on it?

As I said in the other thread: When we practice with Endo sensei we usually practice very few waza. This exactly was the reason I at first didn't like his seminars, actually. Was so different to what I knew until then.

And even when we practice a certain waza, it's not the waza itself, we focus on, but allways some detail that can be found everywhere and doesn't point in the direction of this certain waza, but is important universally. Not easy to describe. But the nameable waza are more kind of "occasion" to study something deeper, than the aim of the study.

SeiserL 02-12-2012 07:36 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Yes agreed.

People and principles work.

The technique is only their expression.

Mario Tobias 02-12-2012 11:48 AM

Re: Techniques in themselves don't work
 
Quote:

Carsten Möllering wrote: (Post 302863)
As I said in the other thread: When we practice with Endo sensei we usually practice very few waza. This exactly was the reason I at first didn't like his seminars, actually. Was so different to what I knew until then.

And even when we practice a certain waza, it's not the waza itself, we focus on, but allways some detail that can be found everywhere and doesn't point in the direction of this certain waza, but is important universally. Not easy to describe. But the nameable waza are more kind of "occasion" to study something deeper, than the aim of the study.

Principles behind waza are rarely or not taught in my observation. It is for the student to discover themselves. Even if you teach it this way, the students will not understand if they are not ready to receive. It may also be that the teacher doesn't know how to teach it properly for the students to understand.

Also, the teacher maybe teaching the principles in class, but the student is focusing on something else. It is for the student to discern what the teacher is ACTUALLY teaching. There's always this type of "miscommunication" happening during classes that the gist of the lesson is entirely missed. So you always have to ask yourself "What is he actually teaching?" It's easy to get distracted trying to mimic the technique or criticizing it, like I do myself.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:39 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.