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-   -   Weapons training and developing perception of intent... (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20862)

Tyson Walters 02-14-2012 04:28 AM

Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
I've come to notice more and more when I'm training partnered weapons kata that some interesting things are occurring... but I'm at a bit of a loss of how to understand it. I was hoping I might seek some assistance and clarification on this from the community here.

Quite often if I have an engaged and present training partner I'm starting to get a feeling or perception of when they are going to begin their attack, prior to any physical movement or engagement. Its hard to explain exactly whats going on, but when it does occur I tend to begin my movement/waza and if the timing is good I have a slight lead or advantage... if its bad I tend be way far ahead and catch the other person off guard.

Recently I've been attempting to work through John Thomas Reads book... Aikido, Aikibojitsu, and the Structure of Natural Law. In that work he speaks about things such as pre formal intent, and the phase lead of Aiki. I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps this is the same thing I'm experiencing.... albeit in a very limited fashion.

So I was hoping to ask the following...
  • Is there a term used in Aikido for this type of dynamic?
  • Is the book by Read Sensei a good resource for me to explore this further, or am I a bit off the mark?

I'd be interested to hear your experiences and perspectives.

TW

Michael Varin 02-14-2012 05:46 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Hello Tyson,

Sounds exciting!

Is there a term used?

How about aiki.

I have also felt this intention from my partner, and like you, it first became noticeable in weapons training, but through the years it always seemed hit or miss; as if I had no "control" over it. I began heavily focusing on it about 8 months ago after attending a James Williams seminar, and have become much more sensitive to it. Subsequent insights I had totally redefined ki no nagare practice for me.

Really it made me laugh, because I had always thought of myself as a fast learner, but it struck me that I only learned the easy stuff fast! That's ok...

If you think about it, it is quite obvious that the intent to act must precede any act. And that this intent is much different from just thinking about acting. It is what actually makes the body move. If you further realize that it is not a one time occurance but a continuing event, you can watch it become commitment (or not).

I also currently feel it is important to define ki as spirit... the life in the body.

I see aiki as a principle of relating or interacting, which allows one to still follow the opponent, so as to be appropriate, and yet does not require waiting for the physical act before responding, so as to avoid being late.

If you place yourself in the context of a sword fight, where the first contact will almost surely decide the outcome, What are your other options for a successful interaction? Luck? Overwhelming speed?

I can't speak on the ideas in book you mentioned, but you'd probably be best off just intensely focusing on this yourself.

You might also find this video inspirational. Feel free to watch the whole thing, but most pertinent to this topic is from 16:15 on. It is not aikido, but Anderson Silva is doing some interesting things.

I'm no master, but hopefully this helps a bit. I'd be happy to discuss this further.

Great topic, great post!

Let us know what else you discover.

phitruong 02-14-2012 08:03 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
when you work with weapons, your senses usually heightened. that meant you discerned various minutes body language of your partner that signaled his/her/it intention to attack. you would be surprised to see how much folks giving off their intention to attack before the attack materialized. also, you would see how much tension the other person had as well. the other side of the coin, is how to not giving off the intention to attack so the other person won't know when/what coming. for me, at the moment in my practice, i usually smile and let my body relax; not noodle but fill with energy like an inflated balloon (for those IS folks, you know this reference, right?). in my mind, my weapon already connected to my partner body, but i have not released my body yet. i would let my gaze goes soft and encompassed my partner and the spherical area the radius of his/her/its weapon. if you watch some of Kuroda sensei video, you will see that he goes from 0 to 60 in split second. i would love to face him. the experience would be very educational on my part; if i don't soiled my short first. :)

sakumeikan 02-14-2012 09:45 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Hi,
When you train in body art your waza does not have to be exact.For example , your timing might be out , perhaps your contact , maai might be suspect.In this situation you may receive a glancing blow with a tegatana[not that this is something one wants to receive if Uke knows how to make a good shomenuchi] but here you do not normally get too damaged.In a weapons mode if the intent is serious and uke is experienced, you can get seriously damaged if you as Uke get it wrong.You can of course resort to usage of gauntlets, these help to avoid serious damage to the thumb, fingers.I know guys who have had broken/bruised thumbs after kiri otoshi ken movements.
You definitely cannot be 'asleep when working with weapons.Correct attitude, good timing , good maai and most of all you need to know how to absorb Toris attack.Flexible mind plus flexible body is the ideal scenario.Working with weapons brings a hint of danger and edge which personally I like.A good makiotoshi cheers me up better than half a dozen doughnuts.I also think that if you do not keep your mind alert you can do self damage [cuts ] to your own fingers while doing Batto Ho. cheers, Joe.

sakumeikan 02-14-2012 09:47 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Quote:

Joe Curran wrote: (Post 303053)
Hi,
When you train in body art your waza does not have to be exact.For example , your timing might be out , perhaps your contact , maai might be suspect.In this situation you may receive a glancing blow with a tegatana[not that this is something one wants to receive if Uke knows how to make a good shomenuchi] but here you do not normally get too damaged.In a weapons mode if the intent is serious and uke is experienced, you can get seriously damaged if you as Uke get it wrong.You can of course resort to usage of gauntlets, these help to avoid serious damage to the thumb, fingers.I know guys who have had broken/bruised thumbs after kiri otoshi ken movements.
You definitely cannot be 'asleep when working with weapons.Correct attitude, good timing , good maai and most of all you need to know how to absorb Toris attack.Flexible mind plus flexible body is the ideal scenario.Working with weapons brings a hint of danger and edge which personally I like.A good makiotoshi cheers me up better than half a dozen doughnuts.I also think that if you do not keep your mind alert you can do self damage [cuts ] to your own fingers while doing Batto Ho. cheers, Joe.

Note Please substitute Tori for Uke line five.

Janet Rosen 02-14-2012 10:42 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
One of the lovely things with weapons is not just how we tend to become more "alive"/alert, but also how everything does get magnified - Most folks do some kind of weight shift, eye change, breath change as they are about to attack and in my experience it is easier to work on learning to read that in weapons training and then start carrying it over to empty hand training.

graham christian 02-14-2012 02:04 PM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Hi Tyson.
In answer to your first question yes, sen no sen. (This term also used in Kendo and maybe elsewhere)

Regards.G.

Tyson Walters 02-14-2012 02:44 PM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Thanks for that Graham. I did a little searching and came across this. Its an article speaking about go no sen, sen no sen, and sen sen no sen from the Aikido perspective.

What I found particularly interesting was the part about "yamabiko no michi" or path of a mountain echo. In my original post I made the clarification that a precursor to this was having a connected and present partner. Weapons work certainly seems to bring this out in a more magnified way than empty handed training. I've often experienced during training in Aikido empty handed techniques a lack of intent or martial focus from my training partner. This often results in just going through the motions of waza so to speak. This isn't so bad to explore the waza... but sometimes it lacks feeling.

Perhaps the idea presented is a way of overcoming a lack of intent from your training partner.

Now as I reflect on my training experiences in Canada... I begin to see an aspect of what my Sensei was chipping away at. Often we would talk about engagement between Uke and Nage... and he always stressed that you had to be "in".

http://www.aiki-shuren-dojo.com/pdf/Go%20no%20sen.pdf

I'm going to post more when I get a chance to compose my thoughts.

Thanks everyone for your contributions.

TW

George S. Ledyard 02-15-2012 12:28 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Weapons work on perception and initiative...

Graham Farquhar 02-15-2012 07:50 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote: (Post 303118)

Thank you for the Clip George - gives me lots to think about. Now how do I get back to Seattle...................?

Graham

Tyson Walters 02-15-2012 03:53 PM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote: (Post 303118)

Thank you for posting that... very informative!

Would it be accurate to understand that what you were presenting in the material was an example of sen no sen as described in the above article, or is there a different way to relate to this?

TW

lbb 03-08-2012 08:27 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
I'm with Phi and Janet. The more you practice anything, the more you become aware of the details, whether you're consciously aware of them or not. You don't need to come up with magical, mystical or esoteric explanations for it -- physical cues explain it well enough. It comes with practice, it does not come through any way other than practice (no chemicals, no book-reading, no "crosstraining"), and it's really "data-driven". By that I mean that you really can't theorize your way into understanding it; you need the "data" of the practice. A little theory is not harmful and may be helpful once you've accumulated a lot of data, but as with other aspects of martial arts training, I really think that the theory-to-practice ratio should be kept low, low, low. That's why I don't read a lot of books about aikido. It's not a "scriptural" practice.

Chicko Xerri 03-08-2012 11:43 PM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 304949)
I'm with Phi and Janet. The more you practice anything, the more you become aware of the details, whether you're consciously aware of them or not. You don't need to come up with magical, mystical or esoteric explanations for it -- physical cues explain it well enough. It comes with practice, it does not come through any way other than practice (no chemicals, no book-reading, no "crosstraining"), and it's really "data-driven". By that I mean that you really can't theorize your way into understanding it; you need the "data" of the practice. A little theory is not harmful and may be helpful once you've accumulated a lot of data, but as with other aspects of martial arts training, I really think that the theory-to-practice ratio should be kept low, low, low. That's why I don't read a lot of books about aikido. It's not a "scriptural" practice.

. I believe You are very correct.;)

Demetrio Cereijo 03-09-2012 05:29 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Paraphrasing founder's words, we do not need to speak about difficult subjects. If you only continue to pray without asking questions, Sensei will take responsibility for you.

bothhandsclapping 04-18-2012 12:05 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Want to develop perception from weapons? Training partners need to fully embrace teacher and student roles ... Until the teacher role can accept responsibility for pushing the student role to a greater understanding (a loving attack) there will be little gained. And until the student role can empty him/herself, embracing the moment whatever the teacher role brings, the time will be mostly wasted.

Doing and not doing and not choosing ... this is proper weapons practice.

Aikibu 04-18-2012 02:11 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Good posts and vids...Having practiced a weapons based form of Aikido for many years I would like to add that maai and irimi are essential in learning 'intention"...The only thing I noticed with Sensei Ledyard's video is that We never wait for Uke to strike 'first" The intention is practiced so that as the second Uke opens (for example attempts to enter by stepping forward) Nage strikes..We invite Nage to strike by opening up in other words using the "stance of no stance" (ie no Aggressive/Defensive postures) giving Uke no position to judge and or counter...I understand the video was to just show the basics of "intention" and I am not too good at articulating our view... but Shoji Nishio believed that showing any kind of defensive stance weakens your response to any attack by Uke. Here's an excellent clip of Kenji Yoshida Sensei one of Nishio Shihan's senior students controlling Uke's "intention" through the use of a non-aggressive stance. This is more in line with Nishio Shihan's view of Yurusu Budo (The Budo of Acceptance) for Aikido We always accept and indeed invite Uke's intention/attack. By doing so Uke doesn't even realize they've lost control of the encounter... so the fight is over even before he strikes. And yes it does take allot of practice and learning how to transcend your own fear but I'll be damned if I am going to telegraph my intention by taking any kind of aggressive or defensive posture. With all due respect...That is conflict personified. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIMtgW71eZY

William Hazen

Aikibu 04-18-2012 02:28 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
Here's an old clip of Shoji Nishio Shihan explaining exactly what I tried to say in my previous post regarding intention...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG9fPQeZY_8

William Hazen

I really miss him...

Aikibu 04-18-2012 02:39 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
One More... An explanation of Irimi and the "stance of no stance"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsfgg...endscreen&NR=1

William Hazen

philipsmith 04-18-2012 03:53 AM

Re: Weapons training and developing perception of intent...
 
From my point of view sen-no-sen should carry over into empty hand practise not just be used during weapons training.

Weapons training is, however, an ideal way to appreciate this aspect of budo.


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