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-   -   this weeks polls (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=353)

shadow 10-29-2000 11:58 PM

hi all,

Just wondering about this weeks polls, my instructor is a 4th dan and occassionally (me being a 6th kyu beginner) will join my partner and I on particular techniques. So the highest ranked I have ever been thrown by is hence 4th dan, without him ever needing to put much effort in or throw me very hard the technique still feels very powerful and I would love the chance to really test him on it (although I highly doubt it would even phase him). Just wondering what kind of extension the upper dans have and what kind of feeling it is to be REALLY thrown by them. Also if you've ever had a chance to really test them, by either resisting strongly or attacking strongly. I'm just looking for general experiences by anyone willing to share.

Thanks

peace

damien bohler

jxa127 10-30-2000 08:49 AM

Trown by and 8th Dan
 
Damien,

One of the things that I enjoyed most about the AAA Summer Camp I attended this past August was getting thrown by very high ranking folks.

For background, I've only been studying Aikido for a little over a year, and my sensei is a nidan. The camp I mentioned was my first one.

I was thrown a couple of times by Yasuo Kobayashi Shihan (8th dan). Kobayashi Shihan is a small man in his 60s who almost always has a smile on his face and who exemplifies the attitude of training joyfully. He threw me a couple of times from an irimi nage that started from a double arm lock. The most notable thing about that experience was that I felt that he was just out of reach the entire time he was leading me around -- that is until I fell. :-) In fact, the first time he did it, he moved so fast that I momentarily froze and wondered where the heck he was.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Kobayshi Shihan was that he took a lot of ukemi. Having an 8th dan take ukemi for you means that you cannot make any mistakes or the guy just won't move. It was very instructional.

I also spent a lot of time at that camp working with Mr. Steve Rehrauer, whom I believe is a 5th dan. Steve sensei was exceptionally helpful and very encouraging. He struck me as a very centered individual, and that centeredness was manifest in both his technique and in the interactions I had with him. In retrospect, I feel it was important for me to see that there's more to having a higher rank/more experience than just better technique.

-Drew

P.S. Isn't it funny that we talk about the privilege and wonderful experiences of being thrown? :-)

BC 10-30-2000 01:37 PM

The most impressive things I remember about being thrown by the late Akira Tohei Sensei was the combination of precision, effortlessness and control was such that I basically felt like I had no choice to do anything other than to go exactly where he was putting me. Even though his technique seemed effortless, it was indescribably powerful.

By the way Drew, how'd you like Parkside this summer? I was at the Midwest Aikido Federation Summer Camp there the week before the AAA event. Great food, huh?

-BC

jxa127 10-31-2000 01:36 PM

BC asked:
Quote:

By the way Drew, how'd you like Parkside this summer? I was at the Midwest Aikido Federation Summer Camp there the week before the AAA event. Great food, huh?
Oh yeah! The campus was pretty, the weather was fine (with a nice breeze around 1 p.m. when we finished our morning session), the dorms were comfortable, and (*gasp*) air-conditioned! All in all, it was well worth the 12 hour car ride from Pennsylvania.

-Drew A.

akiy 10-31-2000 07:30 PM

Quote:

shadow wrote:
Just wondering what kind of extension the upper dans have and what kind of feeling it is to be REALLY thrown by them. Also if you've ever had a chance to really test them, by either resisting strongly or attacking strongly. I'm just looking for general experiences by anyone willing to share.
My current teacher is a 7th dan and I guess I can say that I've been thrown pretty hard by him in the past. I was just at a seminar with his teacher who is an 8th dan and I got the opportunity to be thrown around by him a couple of dozen times, too. I've also had the opportunity of being uke for a number of other 7th and 8th dan as well as a bunch of 6th dan.

Overall, these people are very, very effective in what they do. All of them have at least 20 years of experience with some over 40 years. Some of them have a wonderfully soft touch that's like being swept up in a wave at the beach. Others have an incredibly strong aikido that feels like I'm grabbing a live firehose. Some are as precise as a shinken is sharp. Others are as organic as my taking a breath.

When I've had the opportunity to grab these people with the strongest intent of not letting them throw me, some of them were able to throw me and others have a hard time. But, when it works, it's always pretty amazing. However, there's no doubt that all of them have had the ability to throw me and put me on my butt in one way or another.

As an aside, I did get thrown by the current Doshu (Moriteru Ueshiba sensei) about a year after I started when he was in the area for a seminar. Can't say it was much, really, since he was being really "nice" to me...

-- Jun

andrew 11-01-2000 04:19 AM

[quote]akiy wrote:
[b]
Quote:

shadow wrote:

Overall, these people are very, very effective in what they do. All of them have at least 20 years of experience

Surely it takes much longer than that to reach 7th Dan...
andrew

ian 11-01-2000 07:18 AM

I was thrown by Yamada sensei (8th Dan) and the thing that struck me most was that he had absolute and complete control over every part of my body. He is a very powerful man. I am sure he could have thrown someone off the street with as much control as he threw me (I only had around 2 years exp. at the time, and I was thrown quickly and powerfully into a beautiful break-fall; a real rush, even as uke).

If your wondering whether it was just a flowing movement - well it was more than that, 'cos we did it from static with a very strong grip from me.

akiy 11-01-2000 08:41 AM

Quote:

andrew wrote:
Quote:

akiy wrote:

Overall, these people are very, very effective in what they do. All of them have at least 20 years of experience

Surely it takes much longer than that to reach 7th Dan...
andrew

Yes, that's why I said at least...

-- Jun

jxa127 11-01-2000 12:50 PM

Oh man, I can't hit 7th dan in three years? I'm quitting! ;)

*just kidding*

-Drew

P.S. Has anyone else been thrown by a high ranking sensei or shihan?

shadow 11-02-2000 12:12 AM

thanks for your replies

it has been very interesting for me reading your replies.

I like the way you describe the different styles also Jun.....I remember reading somewhere about every individual having their own style....I'm just wondering if you train under the one instructor for a long period of time do you think your style will mimick his in some kind of fashion?
Also....is it vain to wonder what my own particular style is and will be? I'm sure I'm not very far progressed along this line......but I'm still loving every minute of it hehe

damien

crystalwizard 11-02-2000 12:32 AM

may i ask
 
what the big deal is about how high a rank someone's been tossed by? I've been Uke for just about everyone in our dojo except sensei for a technique demo. Some of the higher ranking people are clumsier than the lower ranking people and those that aren't, if they go at full speed all i'm left with is a memory of a blur. I certainly dont get any insight into how to do the technique myself when it's done that fast.

I'm begining to wonder how many people around here are studying Aikido simply because they get a thrill from being hurled through the air. The roller coaster is that way folks. (*points off toward the state fair*).

Maybe we should use that for a poll question.

AikiBiker 11-02-2000 01:08 AM

*************************************

Crystalwizard wrote:

I'm begining to wonder how many people around here are studying Aikido simply because they get a thrill from being hurled through the air. The roller coaster is that way folks. (*points off toward the state fair*).

*************************************


I have many reasons for practicing Aikido. The above is certainly one of them, I love ukemi. Heck I even like taking the breakfall from koshinage. :)

Oh well, which way that fair?

Later

akiy 11-02-2000 08:04 AM

Re: may i ask
 
Quote:

crystalwizard wrote:
what the big deal is about how high a rank someone's been tossed by
I think there's something to be felt in getting thrown by the really experienced people in aikido. At times, there's quite a different feeling that you can get by being thrown by someone who has been doing this for decades and decades.

However, I do understand your point that just because someone is highly ranked doesn't make their aikido any more "special." I've felt aikido from people who have been in the art for over 20 years but seem to have just been repeating their first five years of practice over and over...

-- Jun

Nick 11-04-2000 07:14 PM

personally, I think ukemi's a blast... plus the lines at the rollercoaster are too long :).

Just remember that aikido, besides being a spiritual endeavor, martial art, whatever, should be FUN!!

Peace,

Nick

Guest5678 11-06-2000 12:52 PM

Quote:

shadow wrote:
hi all,

Just wondering about this weeks polls, my instructor is a 4th dan and occassionally (me being a 6th kyu beginner) will join my partner and I on particular techniques. So the highest ranked I have ever been thrown by is hence 4th dan, without him ever needing to put much effort in or throw me very hard the technique still feels very powerful and I would love the chance to really test him on it (although I highly doubt it would even phase him). Just wondering what kind of extension the upper dans have and what kind of feeling it is to be REALLY thrown by them. Also if you've ever had a chance to really test them, by either resisting strongly or attacking strongly. I'm just looking for general experiences by anyone willing to share.

Thanks

peace

damien bohler

Damien,

If the person is REALLY good they don't throw you, they simply take away your ability to stand up. You get that "floating" feeling. Second, before you jump these talented people at full speed, you may want to ensure you can handle that kind of ukemi. Remember, they will use your energy so what you give is what you get..........

Dan P. -Mongo

George S. Ledyard 11-06-2000 02:50 PM

Re: may i ask
 
Quote:

crystalwizard wrote:
what the big deal is about how high a rank someone's been tossed by? I've been Uke for just about everyone in our dojo except sensei for a technique demo. Some of the higher ranking people are clumsier than the lower ranking people and those that aren't, if they go at full speed all i'm left with is a memory of a blur. I certainly dont get any insight into how to do the technique myself when it's done that fast.

I'm begining to wonder how many people around here are studying Aikido simply because they get a thrill from being hurled through the air. The roller coaster is that way folks. (*points off toward the state fair*).

Maybe we should use that for a poll question.

If you had the chance to take ukemi from one of the greats you wouldn't have to ask that question. I have had the great fortune to take ukemi from many of the finest instructors in the world over the years.

Saotome Sensei and Ikeda sensei have been my teachers for over twenty years and my experience with them is extensive. But I have also taken ukemi for Chiba Sensei, both the older and younger Osawa Senseis, the Former Doshu, Watanabe Sensei, Koroiwa Sensei, Kobayashi Sensei, Mary Heiny Sensei, William Gleason sensei, and Tom Read Sensei. There are probably others that i am forgetting.

Each of these teachers was unlike any other. Each had an effortless precision that made resistance impossible. Osawa Sensei and the former Doshu were elegant, their Aikido was that of the gentleman. Saotome Sensei and Ikeda are like lightening in their explosive power. One instant of inattention and you 've been struck. Chiba sensei on the other hand is like a tornado or a hurricane in his irresistible power. Mary Heinyt is illusive while Tom Read is absoultely unpredictable.

There is so much taking place in Aikido that can't be seen ether by observers or on video. If you are lucky enough to get to take ukemi from a real "master" you recieve instruction on a whole different level. It is direct and intuitive, not to be comrehended totally with the conscious mind but rather felt in the body. That is why there is so much emphasis on the senior students taking ukemi from the shihan and why you are very lucky when and if you get a chance to take ukemi from someone who is really high ranked. It's a great gift!

crystalwizard 11-06-2000 10:10 PM

Re: Re: may i ask
 
Quote:

George S. Ledyard wrote:
If you had the chance to take ukemi from one of the greats you wouldn't have to ask that question. I have had the great fortune to take ukemi from many of the finest instructors in the world over the years.[/b]
go back and re-read what I said. I didn't say 'what's the big deal with if you've taken ukemi with the masters of this art or not' I said 'what's the big deal with how high a rank you've been tossed by.' High rank doesn't necessarily mean skilled. Just means you managed to pass a test.

Example from my own dojo, there are several brown belts. 2 of them are very skilled, very good at this art and 2 of them are about as clumsy as the beginners. However they're all the same rank so based on the logic that the higher the rank the bigger the deal to have been thrown by them, they ALL should do about the same job of tossing Uke.





BC 11-07-2000 11:11 AM

may i ask
 
Quote:

crystalwizard wrote:
go back and re-read what I said. I didn't say 'what's the big deal with if you've taken ukemi with the masters of this art or not' I said 'what's the big deal with how high a rank you've been tossed by.' High rank doesn't necessarily mean skilled. Just means you managed to pass a test.

Example from my own dojo, there are several brown belts. 2 of them are very skilled, very good at this art and 2 of them are about as clumsy as the beginners. However they're all the same rank so based on the logic that the higher the rank the bigger the deal to have been thrown by them, they ALL should do about the same job of tossing Uke.

[/b]
I don't know your experience with higher ranked aikido practitioners, and I'm not questioning that, but I sincerely believe you would be hard pressed to not see and feel a difference between the way a very experienced aikido practitioner (such as a shihan) throws someone and one of their students (however experienced) does. All I can say is that I have felt and seen a difference between them. You are right that in most cases rank isn't as meaningful between kyu and lower dan ranks amongst various schools, but the difference between those ranks and , say, shihan can be remarkable.


crystalwizard 11-07-2000 12:39 PM

sigh. for the last time...my question was NOT what's the big deal with if someone was thrown by a REALLY GOOD REALLY EXPERIENCED practicioner...it was 'what's the big deal on rank'

and if you think rank has anything to do with experience or skill, you're in for a shock some where down the line.

BC 11-07-2000 01:38 PM

I guess I have to apologize for not being clearer. The point of my last post was that in most cases, anyone ranked highly in a recognized association is going to have significantly more experience than most yudansha - basically that at the really higher dan rankings, there is (in most cases) a definite relationship between rank and abilities and experience. For instance, in the dojo where I practice, there are a large number of yudansha who have been practicing more than twenty years and whom are ranked either nidan or sandan. And in terms of experience and abilities, these individuals are extremely impressive. However, even they will admit to being more than a little awed by visiting shihan when they come to instruct.

andrew 11-07-2000 02:33 PM

Quote:

crystalwizard wrote:
it was 'what's the big deal on rank'

Rank is great. Rank is a REALLY BIG CLUE. Rank helps us so much and only occasionally lets us down. Without rank, we'd be at the mercy of incompetent blowhards and self-aggrandising halfwits. So it's not a perfect system. So what? Even if somebodys a sh*tty shodan, they can still teach a lot to others.
andrew

crystalwizard 11-07-2000 02:58 PM

Quote:

andrew wrote:

Rank is great. Rank is a REALLY BIG CLUE. Rank helps us so much and only occasionally lets us down. Without rank, we'd be at the mercy of incompetent blowhards and self-aggrandising halfwits. So it's not a perfect system. So what? Even if somebodys a sh*tty shodan, they can still teach a lot to others.
andrew

RANK (rangk) - Verb - Slang a. putrid. As in:
The dead fish were really rank after laying in the sun all day.

(now how about you go back a page and read my orignal post since you responded to it and see what it was I actualy posted that I was refering to)



[Edited by crystalwizard on November 7, 2000 at 03:03pm]

shadow 11-07-2000 09:52 PM

crystalwizard, why are you getting so frustrated?

I understood what you were saying, but when I introduced the idea of being uke for someone of a high rank, I am talking 4th dan and up....at that level I am pretty certain the technique must be good, my instructor is, and he doesn't need to go at full speed, he can go very slowly yet every step of the way there is nothing I can do, and I'm aware of it.
You are talking about brown belts, a brown belt is only the prelude to aikido I think, you become a beginner when you reach shodan.

Anways, lets all be happy huh? hehe

damien


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