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-   -   Yoshinkan basics within the ASU (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2105)

Steven 06-28-2002 04:43 PM

Yoshinkan basics within the ASU
 
Jacques Payet Sensei of the Yoshinkan stated in his Aiki-Expo reflections on the Aikido Journal BB the following:

Quote:

I was also surprised to hear Ikeda Sensei encouraging his students to study the "basics of Yoshinkan Aikido.

I'm courious as to what the ASU members on this board think of this and if this is encouraged.

Payet Sensei also said:

Quote:

In addition to discussing the merits and differences of Aikido as a whole, I was informed of how in Japan the Aikikai Honbu dojo and the Yoshinkan Headquarters are now exchanging their technical textbooks. This is very encouraging. It is clear that no one school can claim that they understand all of the founder's teachings. This book exchange may help to fill in the blanks where each style is lacking in the other's knowledge. We all need everybody's help to become better.
I wonder what folks think about this. I for one have learned a lot from my ASU brothers/sisiters at Pikes Peak Aikikai, my dojo away from home, so I agree with this statement and think it is a great thing.

Anyone know who may have encouraged this exchange?

Kami 06-30-2002 01:01 PM

Re: STEVEN'S QUESTION
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Steven
I for one have learned a lot from my ASU brothers/sisiters at Pikes Peak Aikikai, my dojo away from home, so I agree with this statement and think it is a great thing.
Anyone know who may have encouraged this exchange?

KAMI : I also think that anything that brings us together is a good thing.
Anyway, it seems this comes from quite a long time. There always was good feelings between the Aikikai and the Yoshinkai and I think it was Peter Goldsbury Sensei that once pointed out that Aikikai's Doshu was a member of some administrative body of the Yoshinkai. I'm sure Goldsbury Sama may throw some light on that.
Best regards from a 5 times World Soccer Champion ;)

George S. Ledyard 07-01-2002 06:53 AM

Re: Yoshinkan basics within the ASU
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Steven
Jacques Payet Sensei of the Yoshinkan stated in his Aiki-Expo reflections on the Aikido Journal BB the following:



I'm courious as to what the ASU members on this board think of this and if this is encouraged.

Payet Sensei also said:



I wonder what folks think about this. I for one have learned a lot from my ASU brothers/sisiters at Pikes Peak Aikikai, my dojo away from home, so I agree with this statement and think it is a great thing.

Anyone know who may have encouraged this exchange?

Saotome Sensei, our teacher in the ASU, is not a teacher who presents things in a sequential and organized fashion. ASU folks often have sloppy basics at a given early rank on the other hand they tend to know more variations and have the ability to move between techniques if one technique is stopped by a partner.

I think that Ikeda Sensei's comment reflects his undertsanding that the Yoishinkan system is quite organized and helps students develop very solid basics. We could all benefir from that.

Steven 07-01-2002 09:16 AM

Hi George,

Help me out here partner. When you speak or basics, what to you mean? Are you speaking of the balance, hip and elbow power that is generated from the way we teach basic motion?
(Tai no henko and hiriki no yosei). Or more of a syllabus type of thing?

As you may know, we start with our basic posture which is foreign to a lot of Aikidoist, however everything we do flows from that. Being able to move in and out of this posture without balance checks is extremely important.

Or ... is this more of how we use our kihon dosa to teach body movement? Meaning, our kihon dosa uses the same posture as our stance, however the distance between the feet our greater and the hand position is different. However, the centerline and focused engergy remains the same.

Anyway, if you could elaborate on this, this would help me understand a bit more why Ikeda Sensei along with yourself, would be open to studying our basics.

Kind regards ...

ScottyC 07-01-2002 11:49 AM

Hi Steven,

I may be able to provide a reasonable guess in response to you. Specifically, the part regarding Ikeda Sensei and the Yoshinkan.

Back in October 2000, the Aikido-L Mailing List held a multi-style seminar that we asked Ikeda Sensei to host.

(We've been doing this every year since 1998, and rotating them around the country. Typically, we'll have 5 instructors from 5 different styles of aikido each teach one class over a 2-day weekend. See http://www.aikido-l.org/seminars/ for details.)

We generally draw from the members of the list for instructors, with the exception of the host dojo, who is always invited to teach. So, Ikeda Sensei, as host, was there for the entire weekend.

As it happened, one of the other instructors that year was Yoshinkan's own Philip Akin. I expect you know (or know of) Philip, yes? Fifth dan, trains under Kimeda Sensei in Toronto.

From my own observation, Ikeda Sensei not only taught his class, but made a point of training in every other class, as well. Not as "host" or as "most senior person there", but as student -- trying new things, learning different approaches, experimenting with everyone's methods. He was an absolute joy to train with!

During his class, he talked at some length about the benefits of trying new things. He encouraged us all to sample everyone's different interpretations of aikido.

The things we liked, we should make a part of our own aikido, and for the parts that didn't suit us, well, there was no harm in trying.

He was extremely open to trying new things and encouraging to us to do the same.

I don't know if this was the most contact he'd had with the Yoshinkan, or even if it was the most recent. Nonetheless, he and Philip seemed to hit it off rather well, and both very much enjoyed the spirit and joy that each other trained with.

That may have been the seed for his comments regarding Yoshinkan.

Or, I could be wrong. :) Maybe Jun has a viewpoint on this.


Best,

Scott

Don_Modesto 07-01-2002 02:25 PM

Re: Re: Yoshinkan basics within the ASU
 
Quote:

Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
I think that Ikeda Sensei's comment reflects his undertsanding that the Yoishinkan system is quite organized and helps students develop very solid basics. We could all benefir from that.
When I was young and foolish, I eschewed static basics, as you see in Yoshinkan and Iwama. I was spoiled on the freedom of Saotome's style of training. I visited Iwama once and was bored with the "stand still and work from this" approach. The Yoshinkan was a four minute walk from my apartment in Tokyo and I couldn't bring myself to train there after watching three times, no less.

Now I train with Peter Bernath, a Yamada student, and unlike Saotome's instruction, we are told to put this foot here and this hand here. I find it refreshing. Moreover, the more I train, the more I want to slow down and get my basics right. I wish I had joined the Yoshinkan way back when and I fear that I, in turn now, am boring my partners who want to get out on the mat and rock and roll. I understood Ikeda's point immediately.

Steven 07-01-2002 05:43 PM

Hi Scotty,

Thanks for the post. I have never met Phil Akin but have heard many wonderful things about him. Thanks for the post as it does clarify things. It's great to here that Ikeda Sensei has such a great attitude about trying different ideas. I believe in this too, as long as it doesn't interfere with your training.

As I stated, my dojo away from home, as I call it, is an ASU school. I've also had the priviledge to meet and train with George Ledyard Sensei, so I am familiar with the ASU practices.

Thanks again ...


Quote:

Originally posted by ScottyC
Hi Steven,

I may be able to provide a reasonable guess in response to you. Specifically, the part regarding Ikeda Sensei and the Yoshinkan.

Back in October 2000, the Aikido-L Mailing List held a multi-style seminar that we asked Ikeda Sensei to host.

(We've been doing this every year since 1998, and rotating them around the country. Typically, we'll have 5 instructors from 5 different styles of aikido each teach one class over a 2-day weekend. See http://www.aikido-l.org/seminars/ for details.)

We generally draw from the members of the list for instructors, with the exception of the host dojo, who is always invited to teach. So, Ikeda Sensei, as host, was there for the entire weekend.

As it happened, one of the other instructors that year was Yoshinkan's own Philip Akin. I expect you know (or know of) Philip, yes? Fifth dan, trains under Kimeda Sensei in Toronto.

From my own observation, Ikeda Sensei not only taught his class, but made a point of training in every other class, as well. Not as "host" or as "most senior person there", but as student -- trying new things, learning different approaches, experimenting with everyone's methods. He was an absolute joy to train with!

During his class, he talked at some length about the benefits of trying new things. He encouraged us all to sample everyone's different interpretations of aikido.

The things we liked, we should make a part of our own aikido, and for the parts that didn't suit us, well, there was no harm in trying.

He was extremely open to trying new things and encouraging to us to do the same.

I don't know if this was the most contact he'd had with the Yoshinkan, or even if it was the most recent. Nonetheless, he and Philip seemed to hit it off rather well, and both very much enjoyed the spirit and joy that each other trained with.

That may have been the seed for his comments regarding Yoshinkan.

Or, I could be wrong. :) Maybe Jun has a viewpoint on this.


Best,

Scott


Chocolateuke 07-01-2002 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by ScottyC

During his class, he talked at some length about the benefits of trying new things. He encouraged us all to sample everyone's different interpretations of aikido.


I agree some of my best moments in studing Aikido is training in a seminar with a different style of Aikido or another MA for that matter!

Peter Goldsbury 07-02-2002 01:56 AM

A few points about this topic.

1. I understand the Moriteru Ueshiba, the present Doshu, is a member of one of the governing bodies of the Yoshinkai in Japan. Kisshomaru Ueshiba always kept a close friendship with Gozo Shioda, who supported the Aikikai in many ways immediately after the war. Kyoichi Inoue, the present Dojo-cho of the Yoshinkan Hombu, always attends the Aikikai's main events here.

2. Before I came to Japan, I trained intensively (i.e., up to five hours per day, five days a week, plus weekend seminars) with a teacher who was a student at Takushoku University, where Gozo Shioda Sensei used to teach. (In fact, because of this, it took me many years to get my Ph.D.) For various reasons he joined the Aikikai, but has never lost his Yoshinkan roots. Those five years gave me a structure of solid, basic movements and techniques, which have proved to be a sound foundation and a good basis for developing my own aikido. So my own training has has been Yoshinkan-influenced, even though it is 'Aikikai'.

3. It is interesting that since the Aiki Expo, I have been in correspondence about future projects with two instructors who also attended the Expo. They were both Yoshinkan instructors and one of them was the same Inoue Sensei whom I mentioned earlier.

4. Finally, I would sound a note of caution. In principle, I think that cross-training and experiencing other ways of practising aikido is a very good thing. But I think it depends on the student (and to a lesser extent his/her instructor). It should not be done too early. At present it would be very unwise for some of my own beginning students here to train elsewhere yet, because they have not yet internalised the basic movements and principles I am teaching them.

Best regards to all,

Kami 07-02-2002 04:12 AM

DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Peter Goldsbury
The present Doshu, is a member of one of the governing bodies of the Yoshinkai in Japan. Kisshomaru Ueshiba always kept a close friendship with Gozo Shioda, who supported the Aikikai in many ways immediately after the war. Kyoichi Inoue, the present Dojo-cho of the Yoshinkan Hombu, always attends the Aikikai's main events her
...........................................
4. Finally, I would sound a note of caution. In principle, I think that cross-training and experiencing other ways of practising aikido is a very good thing. But I think it depends on the student (and to a lesser extent his/her instructor). It should not be done too early. At present it would be very unwise for some of my own beginning students here to train elsewhere yet, because they have not yet internalised the basic movements and principles I am teaching them.
Best regards to all,

KAMI : Thank you very much, Goldsbury Sama, for enlightening us with another very good post.
And, by the way, when shall we get the third part of your wonderful essay "TOUCHING THE ABSOLUTE"?
Best regards

George S. Ledyard 07-02-2002 05:34 PM

Kihon Waza
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Steven
Hi George,

Help me out here partner. When you speak or basics, what to you mean? Are you speaking of the balance, hip and elbow power that is generated from the way we teach basic motion?
(Tai no henko and hiriki no yosei). Or more of a syllabus type of thing?

As you may know, we start with our basic posture which is foreign to a lot of Aikidoist, however everything we do flows from that. Being able to move in and out of this posture without balance checks is extremely important.

Or ... is this more of how we use our kihon dosa to teach body movement? Meaning, our kihon dosa uses the same posture as our stance, however the distance between the feet our greater and the hand position is different. However, the centerline and focused engergy remains the same.

Anyway, if you could elaborate on this, this would help me understand a bit more why Ikeda Sensei along with yourself, would be open to studying our basics.

Kind regards ...

When I first moved to Seattle after training with Saotome Sensei I was a Nidan. When Bookman Sensei came back from Japan and settled in Seattle I trained half time with him and half time with Mary Heiny Sensei. I found that Bookman Sensei had extremely clean and precise kihon waza. I got a chance to train with other students of Chiba Sensei and I drew the following conclusion: At an equivalent level their students tended to be more precise and cleaner in their execution of the kihon waza. They were very good at doing the same technique the same way each time with power and precision. But what we had in the ASU was the ability to link techniques together. When one technique didn't work we immediately moved into another. Also, when a partner tried to change the energy of his attack we had been taught that there were many variations and were capable of running a technique in any of four or five ways depending on what was appropriate. The Chiba students at the same level weren't as good at that.

So I found that I needed to go back and clean up the details on my basics which I spent about a year doing. I think Saotome Sensei expects that anyone seriously training will find out what areas aren't working as well as others and will fix the problems. He didn't teach in the step by step progession that Chiba Sensei did.

So when you see the Yoshinkan folks do their Aikido you will always see very solid foundational basics. They have a very specific training methoid to accomplish this and I think that Ikeda sensei was recommending that we in the ASU could use a bit of exposure to that method simply to balance off those things that we aren't as strong at as other styles. That doesn't mean that what we are doing isn't good.

We hosted a jo seminar at one point with Nishioka Sensei from Japan. He was teaching us how to do the basic strikes of jodo. There was a student visiting who was quite experienced at aikijo. This person had been trained in a dojo where every detail was drilled and little variation between students was acceptable. Our students were able to make a creditable effort to get what the teacher was doing even though it was quite different from what they usually did. But the guest was unable to make the shift from the technqiue as he had been taught in their dojo. Nishioka Sensei demonstrated over and over for this student but they literally could not see what the differences were between what they already new and what he was teaching. That was when I saw the benefit of training the way we did. Our students were never told there was only one way to do a technique. They were quite used to seeing several variations whenever we did any technique. So they were pretty good at seeing new things without filtereing through their preconceptions.

So each methodology has its advantages and disadvantages. Too much structure and you can get great basics without broad application and flexibility in technique. Too much emphasis on spontaneous application and free variation can lead to lack of precision and sloppy or weak technique. So Ikeda Sensei was saying we can learnb from each other so that none of us end up with areas in which we are deficient.

Steven 07-02-2002 06:16 PM

Hi George,

Thanks for the reply. At my home dojo, we were taught to be able to switch from one technique to the other in a similar fashion as you. However our kihon dosa was still very much the guiding principles of our motion. Yet at the same time, like you, I've seen those who have gotten trapped in their way and not able to do something different.

We too like to try different approaches. I was never one who believed that THIS WAY is the ONLY WAY. In fact, I've had a couple of unfortunate situations because of this attitude.

I, like you and many others, like to learn new things. Hence my visit to your dojo not so long ago. A trip I hope I can make again.

Thanks again for the reply ...

Chocolateuke 07-02-2002 11:06 PM

Re: Kihon Waza
 
Quote:

Originally posted by George S. Ledyard

When I first moved to Seattle after training with Saotome Sensei I was a Nidan. When Bookman Sensei came back from Japan and settled in Seattle I trained half time with him and half time with Mary Heiny Sensei. I found that Bookman Sensei had extremely clean and precise kihon waza. I got a chance to train with other students of Chiba Sensei and I drew the following conclusion: At an equivalent level their students tended to be more precise and cleaner in their execution of the kihon waza. They were very good at doing the same technique the same way each time with power and precision. But what we had in the ASU was the ability to link techniques together. When one technique didn't work we immediately moved into another. Also, when a partner tried to change the energy of his attack we had been taught that there were many variations and were capable of running a technique in any of four or five ways depending on what was appropriate. The Chiba students at the same level weren't as good at that.


I aggree with a lot of your post and veiws, but two things that are really confusing me right now. I train in Yoshinkan Aikido and your post was really good and informative. But when Payet teaches us we have a lot of variation ( IE shomen, yokomen, swariwaza, ursiro waza, two hand grab, ect..) , chaining between tech is used , its not really taught persay. and we change partners. not training with 1 person is stressed at times in our dojo. It seems in yoshinkan we stress the importance of having strong techniqe so you dont let uke get the chance to redirect energy or get you off balance thats the point of the Kinho dosa to have a strong base so you are stable throuout the entire tech. While I agree that doing it the same over and over is done repetivily does cause preconception this helps build a strong base when you do randori you need a strong base or else uke can escape between the tech, and randori is NEVER exactly the same, Payet stresses big pivoting and not using muscle. I agree tho that we have week areas and I know that each dojo is different and I am really thrilled that two different variations of Aikido are trying to help each other out. Because if we have fences in AIkido then it is no longer AIkido.. Just my 2 cents.. Great post George S. Ledyard and Hope this doesnt feel like an attack I Know I have trouble learning new stuff even in my own orginization!! happy training :)

akiy 07-02-2002 11:34 PM

Re: Re: Kihon Waza
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Chocolateuke
But when Payet teaches us we have a lot of variation ( IE shomen, yokomen, swariwaza, ursiro waza, two hand grab, ect..) ,
I think I understand George's point, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...

My teacher tells his experienced students that, during training at his dojo, they shouldn't try to do the same technique four times in a row as nage but four different ways -- variations, if you would.

The way we describe "variations" in a technique isn't what the attack is, but something a lot more subtle that's contained within the technique. Even for a "simple" exercise like tenkan (tai no henko) when being grabbed on the right side, I may opt to change the initial movement (the "deai") slightly -- it may go into uke's center, away from uke's center, to the right, to the left, up, down, and anywhere in between.

Quote:

chaining between tech is used , its not really taught persay.
Very often when I'm doing a technique, uke may behave differently than that in which the technique we're doing may not be the "best fit." In that case, I very often change it to be a different technique. We frequently study these kinds of henkawaza. (In fact, I just led a class on henkawaza from ikkyo (eg iriminage, jyujigaramenage, shihonage) the other day -- imagine that...)

I, too, believe very much that I could use a good dose of kihon waza training, though. The few classes I have had training with Yoshinkan instructors (including with Inoue sensei at the Aiki Expo) have been very enjoyable. But, to be honest, I don't know if I could do it for long! I guess I've gotten too used to drawing outside the lines...

-- Jun

Chris Li 07-03-2002 12:10 AM

Re: Re: Kihon Waza
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Chocolateuke
I train in Yoshinkan Aikido and your post was really good and informative. But when Payet teaches us we have a lot of variation ( IE shomen, yokomen, swariwaza, ursiro waza, two hand grab, ect..) , chaining between tech is used , its not really taught persay.
I've often watched Saotome demonstrate a a single technique (for example) ten times and have it look like ten really very different techniques. The trick is to try to pick out the common thread. It's quite different from the Yoshinkan pedagogical method, although I enjoy both.

In a side note, I have practiced in a number of dojo that specifically teach changing between techniques - say from kote-gaeshi to irimi-nage and back again, but that's a little bit different (I think) than what George was talking about.

Best,

Chris

Bruce Baker 07-03-2002 05:16 AM

Fluidity or robotics
 
I took some time to think about the different ways that Aikido is presented in Yoshinkan and in the general USAF exposure I have been training in.

Most of the advanced students or teachers, show a quick fluidity of motion while insisting that the students use the sharp stacato motion of what we use to call robotic motion. This type of motion is also found in military training and drills, sharp crisp, well defined, never varying motions.

On the other hand, most of the USAF teachers group their motions and actions within a set area while asking the students to follow and maximize their efforts with practice within this range of motion.

Both are supposed to lead to fluidity to transitional flow.

Yoshinkan reminds me of many karate schools where the separation of each motion is practiced again and again until it is learned in military precision.

The only problem with that is ... it creates a terible mindset to finish the motion even if it is overcome by a superior force? Or training in military fashion will later make transitional flow more difficult.

There are positive aspects also, as it does help the student, early on, to practice with good habits of balance, movement, and execution of technique, but on the other hand it does make a victim of the student once their balance is taken as they have a hard time recovering either physically or mentally.

I guess the answer is to take a bit of both types depending on how the student progresses or takes in the lessons.

I have seen the student who has been trained in the Yoshinkan style be dynamic and structuraly sound, but when taken into someone's else's circle of power become helpless.

I have seen USAF students who practice for years, but they never understand rooting, or the individual movements of simple stances or footwork?

My studies conclude that although Gozo Shioda taught his students in a military precision fashion, he was of the old school of martial arts that gave him fluidity and transitional flow, not the robotic mechanical action seen by breaking down movements.

I think we should have that option for the clarity of what we are working toward, but not lock training into absolutes. The hard and the soft movements are the transitional flow of change, not just the magic of students who have practiced for many years.

Maybe it is the combination of seeing different styles, differnent martial arts being taught different ways, but I must say that the curriculum of all Aikido should be broadened to include hard and soft styles of training, along with a few insights as to why certain physical movements in Aikido are located near particular soft spots (pressure point area) that allow for easier manipulation.


If you do Ikkyo, first movement, by rolling along the pressure points of the wrist and elbow, the opponent is much less able to resist than if you use physical force.

As for the training curriculum, that is merely a matter of beginning with hard style, verses soft style training. In the end, the students will train in both versions if they wish to advance in training.

Ron Tisdale 07-03-2002 08:39 AM

Bruce Baker said:

"I have seen the student who has been trained in the Yoshinkan style be dynamic and structuraly sound, but when taken into someone's else's circle of power become helpless. "

Hi Bruce,

You should have a chance to test this real soon.... :)

I think that once you are in someone's circle of power, sutemi waza and reversals come into play. The people I know that are good at Yoshinkan aikido don't have any problems in these areas...

Ron Tisdale

George S. Ledyard 07-03-2002 09:03 AM

No Perfect Training Method
 
There is no perfect training method. Every training method will require that at some point you go beyond its limitations and address the aspects of your training which did not develop to the fullest under that system.

Chiba Sensei once called Saotome Sensei a creative genius in Aikido. That would not be 100% complimentary in his mind although it contains respect. Training with Saotome Sensei is like cross training without leaving the dojo. He can manifest technique which feels like a variant on T'ai Chi and then turn around and do a class that some would say was close to Karate.

I heard Chiba Sensei say once that a particular technique should be done a certain way for fifteen years before the element of personal variation should be introduced. To my mind if you spend fifteen years pushing a square peg into a round hole it becomes round.

Saotome Sensei was precisely the opposite. I remember him telling a Shodan at the dojo "Don't do it the way I do it!" I was a white belt at the time but now I understand. Right from the start he wanted you to find what worked for you, what fit your body, what fit your personality.

At the Expo you saw four direct students of Saotome Sensei demo. Ikeda Sensei, John Messores sensei, Dennis Hooker Sensei, and myself. None of us looks like Saotome Sensei and we don't look like each other. That was intentional on the part of Saotome Sensei.

When I trained with Chiba sensei I found that there was almost no variation on the part of the senior students. They each did the techniques the same way, just as they had been taught by Chiba sensei. I am sure that that was also intentional.

Right from the start of our training Saotome Sensei wanted us to be exposed to the widest possible range of Aikido. We would do a class in which no one got what he was doing. Even the Black Belts were lost. At the end of the class he would say "This was a class that I taught to the Shihan at Hombu dojo." No wonder we didn't get it. But that training sure stretched us. It planted seeds that for those of us who perervered in our training have bourne fruit twenty years or more later. I wouldn't have traded that experience for anything. I have never met a teacher with whom I would rather haver trained. Saotome sensei and I were a perfect match.

But I do enjoy getting on the mat with a teacher like Goldsbury Sensei and getting a new take on a technique that I have been doing for twenty five years. I loved his precision and I appreciated the work that has gone in to developing the ability he has to teach his Aikido in such an organized and comprehensible way. His students are very lucky.

Just as the students trained by Saotome Sensei have always had to keep addressing the details of their basics (something he fully expected us to do) people trained in the more organized detail oriented systems at some point have to let go of what they were taught and expand their horizons. Otherwise they get stuck and can't grow. If you look at the senior teachers of the Yoshinkan they do not look like the junior folks. They have moved beyond the details in to spontaneous expression of Aikido movement. The junior folks may seem a bit stiff but if you look at the senior practitioners there is none of that. Failure to acheive that would leave one stuck at Fourth Dan level.

I would like to say that every student finds the perfect method and teacher to fit his personality and abilities. But I know that is actually rare. Most folks find their teacher simply because he had the closest dojo when they looked in the Yellow Pages. Or your friend took you to see his class and you simply signed up, not even knowing that there were different styles or differences between teachers.

The fact is that I have seen exeptional students turned out by virtually every top ranked teacher of whom I am aware. Every method has produced some folks who are truly excellent and every method has some folks for whom that style of training led to their getting stuck with some limitation or other.

Steven 07-03-2002 10:42 AM

Re: No Perfect Training Method
 
Quote:

Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
we don't look like each other.
Your the better looking of the group. But then, that's a subject for another thread all together. :D

There are a lot of Yoshinkan schools that spend time training with other Aikido instructors. The one thing I loved most about my first teacher, Yamashita Sensei, is he believes like most here, at some point we as students need to move beyond what we are taught and make Aikido our own. I was fortunate enough to have a good understanding of the Yoshinkan basics, because we were drilled in it, and was also able to experience the techniques of such senseis as our very own George Ledyard, Jack Wada, John Nadeu (sp?), Chiba Sensei, Bernice Tom , Lou Perilleo (sp?), John Thompson, the folks at Pikes Peak Aikikai, Aikido of Reno as well as Toni Anassi, Don Angier and a host of others. With each visit, I always try to take a least one new thing home with me and make it a part of my own Aikido.

I've also been fortunate enough to train with Yoshinkan's Chida Sensei, Parker Sensei, Shioda Yasushia Sensei, Chino Sensei, Morita Masatoshi Sensei as well as Sensei's Sam Combes, Fred Haynes, Allister Thompson, Jacques Payet, John Fox and David Dye, as well others, and each of them are dynamic and fluid in there own way yet display a strong basic foundation.

None of this has muttled my brain and I find that having experienced this has helped me understand Aikido better. However, I am a "COMPANY" man and still make sure that I stick to the Yoshinkan principles of basic movement as it has bailed me out on many ocassions. Case in point ... I had a Aikikai visitor one time and I purposely deferred from doing our normal class so he would have a good time. Low and behold, he managed to turn out of my shiho-nage. Once he did that, I went back to my basics and darn near broke his arm because he resisted as before. He was very excited to learn this so I first started by teaching our kihon dosa. Afterwards, he shared his understanding of the technique with me and we experimented for a while and both walked away with a new view on life ... This is a great attitude to have.

However, I agree with Peter Goldsbury that this type of training should not occur until you as a student has grasp the basic concepts as taught by your teacher. I had a student training with me and a USAF dojo and it was definitely hindering his progress. With my support, he chose to stick with the USAF dojo and still visits us from time to time. His basics are very good now and the last time he trained with us, he did very well.

Anyway .. this has been a great thread thus far and I appreciate everyones good manners and great posts. Thanks for sharing.

Heiwa ...

Don_Modesto 07-03-2002 03:36 PM

Re: No Perfect Training Method
 
Quote:

Originally posted by George S. Ledyard
At the Expo you saw four direct students of Saotome Sensei demo. Ikeda Sensei, John Messores sensei, Dennis Hooker Sensei, and myself. None of us looks like Saotome Sensei and we don't look like each other. That was intentional on the part of Saotome Sensei.
I feel the same way, but when the Messores group sat down after their demonstration, a senior instructor from another organization leaned forward and whispered into the ear of one of the UKE (me), "Geez, does that guy have Saotome written all over him or what?!"

(Could it have been the ATEMI?)

Chris Li 07-03-2002 03:48 PM

Re: Re: No Perfect Training Method
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Don_Modesto


I feel the same way, but when the Messores group sat down after their demonstration, a senior instructor from another organization leaned forward and whispered into the ear of one of the UKE (me), "Geez, does that guy have Saotome written all over him or what?!"

(Could it have been the ATEMI?)

I actually had a similar thought when I saw the demo. I hadn't seen John for almost 20 years, but he looks a whole lot more like Saotome now then he did then (from what I remember). Saotome's students tend to have a lot of variation in what they do, but there's a definite and disctinctive flavor, I think.

Best,

Chris

Peter Goldsbury 07-03-2002 05:40 PM

Somewhere in this discussion lies the importance of training in awareness, though perhaps it has not been stated in these terms. One of the reasons why I am reluctant to expose beginners to too many variations in the same techniques too early, is that they have not yet learned to perceive the 'essence' of the technique. For example, in irimi-nage, there is always a 'creative tension' between the 'irimi' entry and the circular taisabaki, leading up to the throw. Thus, all the instructors I have had, Tao, Chiba, Kanai, Kanetsuka, Kitahira, Yamaguchi, Tada, Arikawa, have done the technique differently, even though the 'essence' always comes through.

I often see that yudansha in my classes will sometimes do the technique quite differently from the way I showed it and one reason is that they have not 'seen' how I did it: their particular perception of the 'essence' and mine differ. If yudansha cannot perceive, then it is unlikely that beginners will be able to do so either. Thus, I sometimes insist that the technique is done exacty in the way shown, with no variations. This type of training is quite different from, for example, presenting thre or four variations of the same technique, all done from ryote-dori, in the same class. I think this type of 'precision training' is essential for acquiring the other flexibility of approach and I myself learned it from having four different techers in succession, before I reached shodan. The techniques had to be done exactly as the instructors wanted, but in four different ways, as I actually discovered.

This was brought home to me, again, last night. In my new dojo three of us, with three different aikido backgrounds, but all Aikikai, share the instruction. So, once a week we train together, without any students, and look at the basic techniques in very fine detail. It was very interesting to find that we each had slightly differing perceptions of what was basic about irimi nage. We have a total of about 80 years of training, so we could immediately see the differences.

So, for us, the emphasis on precision for beginners lies in its importance as a learning tool. Beginners need to learn how to see the wood through the trees, but they must also learn the crucial importance of the 'creative tension' I referred to earlier. Otherwise, they are learning only rote imitation.

Best regards,

Steven 07-03-2002 11:13 PM

Hi Peter,

When Parker Sensei visits our dojo, I always make a point to instruct my students to watch what he is doing and try to do as he does. His techniques are somewhat different than our honbu dojo, but the basics are the same. However it is these minor differences that makes his Aikido his own and very dynamic.
One thing that drives Parker Sensei crazy are yudansha who start assisting with his teaching without his asking. They almost always show something completely different than what he showed. I've seen this happen at other clinics as well and it is very frustrating to say the least.

I had the opportunity last year to attend a yudansha only clinic done by Parker Sensei and this too was the theme. When I recently visited Aikido of Reno, I was told I had nice technique. My reply was "thank you, but it is not the technique you taught". I always try to do the techniques in the manner in which I saw them taught. Otherwise, why bother visiting another school.

BTW - Vince Salvatore and his group there in Reno are a great bunch of folks. I highly recommend his dojo should you be passing through the Reno area.

Heiwa ...

Chocolateuke 07-04-2002 12:59 PM

Sorry
 
I just wanna say Im sorry for being so Pushy in my thread... Sorry if I sounded aggressive and Teenage know it all :), good post all! happy training:).

George S. Ledyard 07-04-2002 01:31 PM

Re: Sorry
 
Quote:

Originally posted by Chocolateuke
I just wanna say Im sorry for being so Pushy in my thread... Sorry if I sounded aggressive and Teenage know it all :), good post all! happy training:).
There are times when we see pushy teenage know-it all posts (especially from some who aren't teenagers)but yours was not one of them. There was absolutely nothing wrong with how you posted. You said what you thought, described what your teacher has said, and nicely asked for feedback about how those things related to what the other posters were saying. If that's not the purpose of the forum I don't know what is.


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