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DH 08-27-2012 10:49 AM

Ki and power and cooperation
 
From another thread (starting a new one as suggested).
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 314948)
Could you envision the shared goal being that each is doing her best to connect with the other person's center?

What happens if one persons center is extremely more developed?
Can you see a huge differential?
At what point does the word "power" enter into an agreement of movement when person "a" simply has no choice against person "b" moving in whatever manner they want?
Why develop center?
Why develop ki?
At a point in time there is power differential similar to an adult doing aikido with a child. The child cannot throw the adult despite his best efforts. The adult "cooperates" and throws himself so the child can practice to his best ability. The child is then successful within his potential.
At what point does the adult get to practice?
What if the adult cannot be thrown by other adults?

By most accounts
1. Tohei could not be thrown
2. Ueshiba could not be thrown
3. Were they doing aikido when despite their best efforts.... no one could throw them?

Ueshiba thought he was doing aikido. He was listening to Uke and blending-thus uke could do nothing. At what point does the mere presence of two people mean one is excerting his will...even just by agreeing? At what point is denying you are exerting your will in a physical interaction...just simply *denial*?
What do you think?
Dan

Chris Li 08-27-2012 10:59 AM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Add in that every connection works both ways - and that everytime you connect to someone's center they also become connected to yours.

"If you kick a tiger in the ass, you'd better have a plan to deal with his teeth"
-Tom Clancy (maybe somebody else, too, I can't remember)


Best,

Chris

Rob Watson 08-27-2012 11:02 AM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314953)
From another thread (starting a new one as suggested).

What happens if one persons center is extremely more developed?
Can you see a huge differential?
At what point does the word "power" enter into an agreement of movement when person "a" simply has no choice against person "b" moving in whatever manner they want?
Why develop center?
Why develop ki?
At a point in time there is power differential similar to an adult doing aikido with a child. The child cannot throw the adult despite his best efforts. The adult "cooperates" and throws himself so the child can practice to his best ability. The child is then successful within his potential.
At what point does the adult get to practice?
What if the adult cannot be thrown by other adults?

By most accounts
1. Tohei could not be thrown
2. Ueshiba could not be thrown
3. Were they doing aikido when despite their best efforts.... no one could throw them?

Ueshiba thought he was doing aikido. He was listening to Uke and blending-thus uke could do nothing. At what point does the mere presence of two people mean one is excerting his will...even just by agreeing? At what point is denying you are exerting your will in a physical interaction...just simply *denial*?
What do you think?
Dan

Recently it was remarked that I was resisting ... I was just standing there and nage was unable to move me - or himself (much). I was not intending to resist but was just keeping myself balanced and maintaining my hold on nage. Even if ones center is only margianlly developed things get complicated very quickly without overt cooperation.

RonRagusa 08-27-2012 11:07 AM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314953)
By most accounts
1. Tohei could not be thrown
2. Ueshiba could not be thrown
3. Were they doing aikido when despite their best efforts.... no one could throw them?

Could Tohei throw Ueshiba?
Could Ueshiba throw Tohei?
What if neither could throw the other?
Who then would be doing Aikido?
And do you see Aikido as being only about developing the ability to throw people; or becoming unthrowable; or both; or neither?
Is the acquisition of power that ultimately becomes simultaneously irresistible and unyielding the goal of your training?
And how will you know if you ever get there?

Ron

DH 08-27-2012 11:10 AM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Robert M Watson Jr wrote: (Post 314957)
Recently it was remarked that I was resisting ... I was just standing there and nage was unable to move me - or himself (much). I was not intending to resist but was just keeping myself balanced and maintaining my hold on nage. Even if ones center is only margianlly developed things get complicated very quickly without overt cooperation.

If that is only marginally developed...what happens next?
What is the goal in Aikido?
Is it to develop centered movement?
If it is- at what point is your center better than someone elses?
What happens then?

Or is the goal...to fall down when someone less developed tries to throw you?
Does that only apply when they are learning?
If so, how does their center get better?
Do you test them again pressure?
What pressure?
Against who?
What is acceptable testing?
Is the goal testing aiki power?
Or testing fighting skill?
What if a sword cut can be cut right through and totally dominate the person cutting?
Is that bad?
Is it bad to win?
Is it bad to stop their violence by dominating them and creating a peaceful outcome?
Is it a good thing to develop center driven power to a level where few can stop you?
Is this not what Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Tohei were doing and known for, looked up to...and created followers because of it?
Are they bad Aikido examples?
Why were we taught to always cooperate?
Dan

DH 08-27-2012 11:20 AM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Ron Ragusa wrote: (Post 314958)
Could Tohei throw Ueshiba?
Could Ueshiba throw Tohei?
What if neither could throw the other?
Who then would be doing Aikido?
And do you see Aikido as being only about developing the ability to throw people; or becoming unthrowable; or both; or neither?
Is the acquisition of power that ultimately becomes simultaneously irresistible and unyielding the goal of your training?
And how will you know if you ever get there?

Ron

Why did Ueshiba and Tohei continue to demonstrate being unthrowable....as a laudable skill?
Why were we told to cooperate when they...did not?

How does one know ones skill level?
Uhmmm...Shugyo
Leave your dojo, go meet BJJ and Judo and MMA guys and let them try and throw you. Find big Somoans and tested sport winners.
Then...try experts in the Martial arts. The latter being far easier than the former.

When does cooperation...as a physical skill...mean people can only function with cooperation in physical interaction? If we change that, what are parameters? When does Ueshiba style testing to develop ki become aikido?
When does the testing become increasingly stressed?
How?
Against who?
Dan

graham christian 08-27-2012 11:38 AM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
I would guarantee Tohei was 'thrown' and that Ueshiba was too. Don't see it as a measure at all of anything really.

Cooperation has degrees and thus all training and practice has degrees of such so to me has nothing to do with resistance ie: seeing resistance as the opposite to cooperation.

The only power I know as basic is the power of truth and thus the unmoving power of universal principles which everything follows. The result of which is harmony.

Ki follows those principles and is in itself non resistive to everything else and it is up to the individual to discover these things bit by bit.

So in conclusion you must learn to cooperate with the universal principles and Ki to realize true power.

Quite a path, quite a challenge, divine.

Peace.G.

Janet Rosen 08-27-2012 12:35 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314959)
What is the goal in Aikido?
Dan

Everybody or every school will have a different one.

Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314959)
to fall down when someone less developed tries to throw you?
Does that only apply when they are learning?
If so, how does their center get better?
Do you test them again pressure?
Dan

We are always learning along a continuum - in any dojo there will be people who cannot throw me and people I cannot throw. So yeah, with a newbie, I actually keep my idealized ukemi a step ahead of their nagewaza and not only fall for them, but guide them through my body. Past that, my willingness to allow myself to be moved is based on starting the first time as uke with total cooperation, attacking to their center and then essentially allowing nage to lead as long as she has found some kind of connection to me (the kind being related to a sense of her skill level) and letting myself follow where her leading is taking me. If she disconnects I let her know and let her refind it rather than start over. With peers and seniors of course I expect more and don't simply follow nor do I resist statically if they mess up, but gently ramp up my own attack on their center to give feedback that can be used to self-correct.

Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314959)
Or testing fighting skill?
Is it bad to win?
Is it bad to stop their violence by dominating them and creating a peaceful outcome?
Is it a good thing to develop center driven power to a level where few can stop you?
Is this not what Ueshiba, Shirata, Shioda, Tohei were doing and known for, looked up to...and created followers because of it?
Are they bad Aikido examples?
Why were we taught to always cooperate?
Dan

I don't see my interactions at the dojo as "winning."

FWIW, there were a couple of dojos I was a member of that were not paragons of cooperation. They also were nothing about what you would call "aiki" - they were purely into the mechanics of imposing the asked for technique with lots of muscle power regardless of the form of uke's attack. So I don't have a very high opinion of non-cooperative training.
However my view is that within cooperation there can be, and should be, the contract between partners to test one's limits.

I believe it is Chuck Clark whose teaching is based on the principle that one should succeed 90% of the time in order to learn. I think this is true, whether the partner practice is slow and aiming for feeling connection or faster and working on the form of a specific technique - it is in the 10% failure that one learns what is needed in order to progress and in the 90% success that one starts building the incremental muscle memory (for lack of a better term) that drills the skill in.

I think part of the problem may be semantic. Bear w/ me for a moment on this: I have felt/seen two very different kinds of aikido, as have many of us: the "wow that was a strong throw that sent me across the dojo" and the "wow how the heck did I end up here". I think for many of us the goal is the more elusive, harder to find latter feeling.
So when you write of "center driven power to a level where few can stop you?" I have a feeling that however you may mean it, for many on Aikiweb this smacks of the style of aikido they have experienced (as I did in dojos like the couple I used to train at a long time ago) and are not interested in doing.

chillzATL 08-27-2012 12:50 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 314956)
Add in that every connection works both ways - and that everytime you connect to someone's center they also become connected to yours.

"If you kick a tiger in the ass, you'd better have a plan to deal with his teeth"
-Tom Clancy (maybe somebody else, too, I can't remember)


Best,

Chris

but not always, it's a skill both ways

Jim Sorrentino 08-27-2012 12:52 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314960)
Why did Ueshiba and Tohei continue to demonstrate being unthrowable....as a laudable skill?
Why were we told to cooperate when they...did not?

I've told this story before, and I believe it's relevant here. I first heard it in a class taught by Dan Messisco (formerly of Aikido of Modesto). Messisco is fluent in Japanese, and at the time of this story, he lived in Hawaii and spent every other month in Tokyo training at Aikikai Hombu. One day, his training partner was a young, strong sandan or yondan on the Hombu "instructor track". As Messisco described their interaction, every time that Messisco was nage, the Japanese fellow stopped Messisco's technique cold. Messisco was getting frustrated, but then he had a realization: by trying to "do a technique" to his partner, he was attacking his partner; but because he was attacking, then he, Messisco, must have become the uke.

So every time the Japanese fellow stopped Messisco's technique, Messisco would take ukemi! After a few minutes of this, the Japanese fellow became quite angry, and sputtered, "Stop doing that! I want to take ukemi!"

Messisco replied in the most elegant Japanese he could muster, "Who is preventing you from doing so?"

chillzATL 08-27-2012 01:16 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Dan Harden wrote: (Post 314960)
Why did Ueshiba and Tohei continue to demonstrate being unthrowable....as a laudable skill?
Why were we told to cooperate when they...did not?

It was just a demonstration, like the jo trick and unbendable arm. Something neat that you can show people and have them feel something, where you're showing them everything and nothing all at once.

Ueshiba took ukemi for kids and women, we have vids of that. I have little doubt he took at lot of it and I'm sure Tohei did as well. They were unthrowable when they needed to be and gave what they had to give to help guide people to whatever skill level they were after.

Quote:

How does one know ones skill level?
Uhmmm...Shugyo
Leave your dojo, go meet BJJ and Judo and MMA guys and let them try and throw you. Find big Somoans and tested sport winners.
Then...try experts in the Martial arts. The latter being far easier than the former.
Sure no doubt, but that was never an ideal that was written into aikido, IMO. It is the beauty of the art and its biggest wart all at once.

Quote:

When does cooperation...as a physical skill...mean people can only function with cooperation in physical interaction? If we change that, what are parameters? When does Ueshiba style testing to develop ki become aikido?
When does the testing become increasingly stressed?
How?
Against who?
Dan
That style testing, IMO, can't happen until you've got a few people with some level of the skills involved and it's basically what Rob described on both sides.

Mary Eastland 08-27-2012 01:26 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Robert M Watson Jr wrote: (Post 314957)
Recently it was remarked that I was resisting ... I was just standing there and nage was unable to move me - or himself (much). I was not intending to resist but was just keeping myself balanced and maintaining my hold on nage. Even if ones center is only margianlly developed things get complicated very quickly without overt cooperation.

I wonder if your hold was logical or were you just standing there holding on in front of your nage? Did they try to break your nose or kick you in the groin? Then your resistance was probably logical otherwise it was just about you standing there hold a sack of mostly water dressed in a gi.

Chris Li 08-27-2012 01:30 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Mary Eastland wrote: (Post 314972)
I wonder if your hold was logical or were you just standing there holding on in front of your nage? Did they try to break your nose or kick you in the groin? Then your resistance was probably logical otherwise it was just about you standing there hold a sack of mostly water dressed in a gi.

Of course, if they're close enough to break your nose or kick you in the groin then you're close enough to do the same to them, so what's your point?

Best,

Chris

Chris Li 08-27-2012 01:31 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Jason Casteel wrote: (Post 314969)
but not always, it's a skill both ways

Of course it's a skill - I think that's part of what Dan's saying.

Suppose you have a connection (and they, you) - then what? What comes into play, and why?

Best,

Chris

Rob Watson 08-27-2012 01:33 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Mary Eastland wrote: (Post 314972)
I wonder if your hold was logical or were you just standing there holding on in front of your nage? Did they try to break your nose or kick you in the groin? Then your resistance was probably logical otherwise it was just about you standing there hold a sack of mostly water dressed in a gi.

That would be "ugly giant bags of mostly water" thank you very much.

Basia Halliop 08-27-2012 01:42 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Those sound like two different abilities, to me -- to be unthrowable vs to be able to throw anyone. Or is it that the two are closely related?

The second I can see clearly the benefit of, the first I must say a lot less so. If someone can't throw me, they can still hit me or choke me or stab me or injure me in so many other ways -- and really I'm far more concerned about those things than someone throwing me. Those things all seem (to me) much more likely and more dangerous besides.

And to be honest, I'm a bit confused at the parameters of what is meant by being 'unthrowable' - what situation or conditions are meant to be implied. I weigh about 130 lbs -- I can see making it much more difficult for someone to throw me, but if my friend who is about 220 lbs simply grabs me in a bear hug or whatever -- I guess I am skeptical that anything I do would be that relevant to the situation other than evading him and either running away or throwing or pinning him before he throws me (all of which, while they may be very difficult and and require a lot of skill and perhaps luck, are at least theoretically doable). I can use my weight in different ways, but ultimately I still weigh 130 lbs and that just isn't a lot for my larger friend there (nor for most of my medium sized friends).

OTOH, to be able to be thrown and to not get hurt in the process and to be able to quickly get up again is something I can see and understand and have felt many many times. To be thrown doesn't always need to mean a catastrophe, and it offers the potential for escape. So for me if someone does try to throw me and I pass the point of being able to evade it, it feels more doable and ultimately useful to me to try to learn to go with the throw and improve my chances of landing safely and popping back up.

Is there something I'm missing in the concept of 'being unthrowable"? Does it correlate with other skills that are more, for lack of a better word, 'useful'? Am I underestimating its usefulness? Or is it more a training idea, i.e., that one should learn so our partners can then learn to move people who are extremely difficult to move?

lars beyer 08-27-2012 01:43 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Mary Eastland wrote: (Post 314972)
I wonder if your hold was logical or were you just standing there holding on in front of your nage? Did they try to break your nose or kick you in the groin? Then your resistance was probably logical otherwise it was just about you standing there hold a sack of mostly water dressed in a gi.

IMHO
Resistance training have two basic goals, the first is to learn to apply technique with the least amount of effort, the second is to (learn how to) exclude ego from the training situation.
With resistance training uke and nage have to agree on what is being resisted othervise it devolves into a useless battle of strength and will.
When two practitoners from different schools meet, they often disagree or donīt understand the other persons angle on the concept of cooperation in training.
Beginners should not to be resisted. All they need to know is how to do the technique step by step and the senior show them by leading them through the technique as their uke.
Later on the idea is to refine technique by showing your partner his weaknesses by resisting his technique at itīs weak points, by all means not to resist his learning.
It takes sensibility and putting ego aside- from both uke and nage.

chillzATL 08-27-2012 01:47 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Christopher Li wrote: (Post 314975)
Of course it's a skill - I think that's part of what Dan's saying.

Suppose you have a connection (and they, you) - then what? What comes into play, and why?

Best,

Chris

Well, that play back and forth is a big part of what it's all about, IMO. I mean if someone grabs me, my goal is to connect, control and/or throw. If I connect to them and start applying my strength to take control and they're able to connect back to me, then chances are they're going to find a spot to push me off my center at some point, if they can. They may not be able to though, even if they can connect back to me. There are so many potential layers to that back and forth based on the skill levels or disparity of skill levels.

Chris Li 08-27-2012 01:47 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 314977)
Those sound like two different abilities, to me -- to be unthrowable vs to be able to throw anyone. Or is it that the two are closely related?

I would say that you can't really throw someone if you're unstable (well, you can, but not very well) - so by "unthrowable" I'm talking about a kind of stability training (in a sense).

If I am stable, unthrowable, and I occupy the center - the center of the movement is exactly in me, then everything else is on the outside, almost by definition. When you're throwing, being on the inside with things moving around you is generally where you want to be. Ueshiba actually said this, repeatedly.

Best,

Chris

Chris Li 08-27-2012 01:50 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Jason Casteel wrote: (Post 314979)
Well, that play back and forth is a big part of what it's all about, IMO. I mean if someone grabs me, my goal is to connect, control and/or throw. If I connect to them and start applying my strength to take control and they're able to connect back to me, then chances are they're going to find a spot to push me off my center at some point, if they can. They may not be able to though, even if they can connect back to me. There are so many potential layers to that back and forth based on the skill levels or disparity of skill levels.

I would say that the attempt to form the connection in the first place will tend to get you into trouble. Connections form - but it's almost (or entirely) a function of what you're doing inside yourself.

Yeah, it's a little bit of a head twister...

Best,

Chris

Gary David 08-27-2012 01:53 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Mary Eastland wrote: (Post 314972)
I wonder .

By the way...Happy Birthday Mary

Everyone.....Let us take a different approach....... Let me ask a question and have everyone answer.....

Question: Where would you want to have the ability to be stable in all directions when moving and essentially not be throw-able? What circumstances could exist where this ability could be useful?

Let's think of it from that perspective..

Gary

Chris Li 08-27-2012 01:57 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Gary Welborn wrote: (Post 314982)
By the way...Happy Birthday Mary

Everyone.....Let us take a different approach....... Let me ask a question and have everyone answer.....

Question: Where would you want to have the ability to be stable in all directions when moving and essentially not be throw-able? What circumstances could exist where this ability could be useful?

Let's think of it from that perspective..

Gary

The Hawaii answer - surfing! :D

Best,

Chris

Basia Halliop 08-27-2012 02:01 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Ueshiba thought he was doing aikido. He was listening to Uke and blending-thus uke could do nothing. At what point does the mere presence of two people mean one is excerting his will...even just by agreeing? At what point is denying you are exerting your will in a physical interaction...just simply *denial*?
What do you think?
I don't think you need to go as far as O-Sensei to come across situations where one person is so much more skilled/powerful in whatever way that the terms of the interaction are decided pretty much unilaterally by them whether they even consciously mean to be that way or not -- they can cooperate, but then that's them choosing to cooperate. The other person can be successful, but it's because they're being allowed to be. I think many of us have encountered people who were enough above our own personal skill/power/everything else level that we felt this way, like we were being 'allowed' to succeed.

Basia Halliop 08-27-2012 02:05 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

I would say that you can't really throw someone if you're unstable (well, you can, but not very well) - so by "unthrowable" I'm talking about a kind of stability training (in a sense).
Thanks, that does make sense. Although to me it doesn't sound like being 'unthrowable' per se, so much as being un-unbalanceable. Which I can certainly see the utility of. (Though I still imagine it's not literally infinite. I mean if you get hit by a car you'll fall down :) ).

No matter how stable I am if someone strong enough bends their knees, wraps their arms around me, and unbends their knees, they can lift me. (and therefore throw me if they want)

Chris Li 08-27-2012 02:09 PM

Re: Ki and power and cooperation
 
Quote:

Basia Halliop wrote: (Post 314985)
Thanks, that does make sense. Although to me it doesn't sound like being 'unthrowable' per se, so much as being un-unbalanceable. Which I can certainly see the utility of.

No matter how stable I am if someone strong enough bends their knees, wraps their arms around me, and unbends their knees, they can lift me. (and therefore throw me if they want)

That's why I said "stability training (in a sense)" - stability alone doesn't really cover it, although that gives you the general idea.

Best,

Chris


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