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Brion Toss 08-26-2003 09:14 PM

Stepping back when moving to shomen posture
 
Hello all,
One of the students in my weapons class is a longtime student of several ancient ryu's. He notes that in Saito's kumitachi, one always leaves the right foot forward when raising the bokken to a shomen position, whereas in other styles one draws the right foot back behind the left foot as the bokken goes up. He maintains that the latter version leaves more options for movement, and just doesn't get why Saito (and therefore O Sensei) chooses to leave that right foot forward.
I have tried both ways, but not enough to come to any conclusions. Does anyone have any perspective on the two approaches?
Brion Toss

Kent Enfield 08-27-2003 03:20 PM

Re: Stepping back when moving to jodan
 
Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
One of the students in my weapons class is a longtime student of several ancient ryu's. He notes that in Saito's kumitachi, one always leaves the right foot forward when raising the bokken to a shomen position, whereas in other styles one draws the right foot back behind the left foot as the bokken goes up. He maintains that the latter version leaves more options for movement, and just doesn't get why Saito (and therefore O Sensei) chooses to leave that right foot forward.

I have tried both ways, but not enough to come to any conclusions. Does anyone have any perspective on the two approaches?

What the heck is "shomen position?" Do you mean jodan no kamae (sword held above the head)?

I'm also a little dubious of someone being "a longtime student of several ancient ryu's (sic)." First, access to koryu is pretty limited outside of Japan, though the Puget Sound area is pretty lucky in that regard. Second, having time and ability to be a serious student of more than one of them, let alone "several," is uncommon as well. That doesn't mean it can't happen, though.

In my sword experience (kendo and iaido), jodan can be either migi (right foot forward) or hidari (left foot forward). I havn't found one to be more restrictive than the other, though the footwork is often reversed. What would be okuri-ashi (shuffle step) from one version would be ayumi-ashi (stepping through) from the other variation. Whether you want hidari jodan or migi jodan depends on what else is going on.

As to not moving, moving forward, or moving backward when assuming jodan no kamae, that too depends on what else is going on. It is primarily an issue of whether you want to maintain, close, or stretch the distance.

Also, what's done in one sword school doesn't mean it's done that way in other schools. For example, some schools don't ever use kesa-giri, whereas others rely on it and never strike shomen.

So basically it's a case by case thing.

Now, are Saito sensei's weapons kata actually meant to teach effective weapons usage, or are they meant to enhance empty-hand training? If it's the latter, one shouldn't be surprised if what's taught conflicts with "real" sword training. Not that real sword training is consistent between ryuha anyway.

PeterR 08-27-2003 07:32 PM

I also would like to know what the shomen posture is - even within a purely Aikido context.

"Front face posture" ?

Brion Toss 08-29-2003 07:31 PM

Hello,

First, pardon my execrable terminology; I meant to say jodan, and shomen just came out. Next, this fellow has credentials, including multiple trips to Japan. But like many of us,including me, he can also be opinionated past apparent abilities.

As for the intent of Saito's weapon kata's we certainly use them with the clear intent of enhancing empty hand training, but they don't seem to comprise ineffective sword work.

I realize that different schools do things different ways, for different reasons, and that it might be impossible to judge one style as more effective than another. But I would hope that Saito's style could be considered effective strictly as a weapons style. Is it? Any opinions? This might best be a new thread, but the question is an extension of my previous one.

Yours,

Brion Toss

Kent Enfield 08-30-2003 06:26 PM

Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
Next, this fellow has credentials, including multiple trips to Japan. But like many of us,including me, he can also be opinionated past apparent abilities.

Like I said, I was dubious, not nay-saying. In my kendo club, we've had more than one person come in and complain that we're not doing it the way they do in nani-nani-ryu. When questioned where they've studied, it turns out they've seen a video or read a book.
Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
As for the intent of Saito's weapon kata's we certainly use them with the clear intent of enhancing empty hand training, but they don't seem to comprise ineffective sword work.

...But I would hope that Saito's style could be considered effective strictly as a weapons style. Is it? Any opinions?

I'm not very familiar with Saito sensei's weapons stuff, so bear that in mind. I'm more familiar with Saotome sensei's stuff, though I have done a bit of Saito sensei's as well.

While most aikido weapons work is better than no training or making it up in your backyard, it often is just plain lacking when compared to real sword or staff styles. It's not that aikido weapons work is bad. It's more like it's incomplete. It's just, well, off.

First, there's the starting distance. Most aiki-weapons start already at what is called issoku itto no ma in kendo. That is the distance at which you can cut the enemy with one step, and the enemy can do the same. In all the other weapons work I've done or seen, how you get to that distance is very important.

Second, suki that would be seized upon by trained weapon people are often missed. Many times a parry of some kind is used when a cut or thrust is available. It seems to me, that for some reason aiki-weapons loves ukenagashi. The next time you have an opportunity and are practicing a kata that uses ukenagashi, see if you couldn't have cut the opponent instead, probably with a rising cut to the hands or arms.

Third, there are all the physicals details of manipulating the weapon, and they are myriad. The details vary from ryu to ryu, but things like the tension in the fingers, the alignment of the wrists, the space between the hands, how the elbows move relative to how the shoulders move, what the lower legs do, etc. all make a difference. Now these details change from style to style, but it is not like the special at a Chinese restaurant. You can not have one from column A and two from column B. Those myriad details interact, and how they do so is important. Kashima Shin-ryu and Ono-ha Itto-ryu are both powerful, respected schools, but you can't combine details from one with the other and get anything that makes sense. In the aiki-stuff I've learned, many of these details get either glossed over or omitted entirely. On the other hand, there's a reason that in kendo one isn't expected to demonstrate any techniques other than basic strikes until testing for ni- or sandan. There's a whole lot to work on just in those basic strikes.

Fourth, there's usually also a certain kill-or-be-killed attitude, which informs the physical curriculum, missing. The best description of the principles of Japanese swordsmanship I've seen was simply that the sharp part goes in the other guy and all else is secondary. It's hard to describe, but when that attitude is in place, it's just different.

There's some other stuff, but those are the main ones.

opherdonchin 08-31-2003 12:03 PM

What's ukenagashi?

Very interesting post, by the way. Thanks for the thoughts.

Aikilove 08-31-2003 04:52 PM

I train based on Saito pedagogics including bukiwaza. I don't claim to know it mind you ;)

First of - 80 to 90 % of bukiwaza training should be in suburi (7 bokken and 20 jo) -just keep cutting and thrusting in other words.

Sedondly - I can't think of any of the katas or exercises where the bokken is raised into a kamae leaving the right foot front i.e jodan gamae (in 2nd kumitachi the bokken is raised but straight into a cut not into a gamae etc etc). Instead if it's a static pose then the right foot go back (e.g 2nd, 3rd suburi and ki musubi no tachi comes to mind) more close to hasso gamae. So I really don't understand where the question came from unless information is based on looking on still frames in books!

Brion Toss 09-01-2003 10:23 AM

Hello,

First, thanks to Mr. Enfield for an enlightening response; if nothing else, it tells me that I had better learn more Japanese terminology. What, for example, is ukenagashi? And where might I find an illustrated description of it and other terms?

Next, I have also noted that Saito's forms regularly pass up on striking opportunities, but would prefer to believe that this is partly because of the (happy) absence of kill-or-be-killed intent, and partly because many of those opportunities leave one open to further counters from one's opponent, or because the path in the forms results in an even better position a move or two down the line.

Given the minor role that weapons occupy in most Aikido dojo's, it isn't surprising that many details of stance, approach, grip, etc. tend to get glossed over. But this does not speak to the validity of the style itself. Perhaps I need to work with someone with extensive experience in some other style as well as Saito's.

And Mr. Blomquist, though I do study stills whenever I can find them, most of my training has been at Iwama dojo's, heavily supplemented by videos of Saito Sensei, and moving that right foot back is not familiar. Sounds like this thread has revealed, once again, the appalling depth of my ignorance.

Yours,

Brion Toss

Aikilove 09-01-2003 01:40 PM

Brian, do you know of the kata kimusubi no tachi and the second and third ken suburi? That's examples of where the foot go back when the jo is raised. Can you give me an example of when it isn't like you stated? I might then be able to understand better your question and explain the movement for you.

Yours,

Kent Enfield 09-01-2003 03:46 PM

Quote:

Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
What's ukenagashi?

It's the waza in which one receives a downward cut on one's own sword with the tip down and and the hilt up. I couldn't find any images that I liked of it being done with a two handed grip on a long sword, but there's a picture of it being done with a shoto on the cover of Paul Budden's "Looking at a Far Mountain." If that link doesn't work, just search for the book on Amazon.com.

It's often used when using a shorter weapon against a longer one, such as shoto against daito or daito against naginata. However, when used when facing a similar length weapon, it's often silly. If you have time to pull your sword back to cover your head, you probably had time to cut up at the opponent's arms. With a shorter weapon you can't reach the opponent's arms, so you use ukenagashi to get through their striking range into your own.

It's also used in iaido, but while you're drawing the sword and don't have time to do anything else.
Quote:

Jakob Blomquist (Aikilove) wrote:
80 to 90 % of bukiwaza training should be in suburi (7 bokken and 20 jo) -just keep cutting and thrusting in other words.

I agree with this in the beginning stages of training, but just like aikido taijutsu, interaction with another person is a very important part of training, and should become the dominant form of training. Things like distance and timing, and reading an opponent just don't get learned in single person drill. And then there's the mental effects of having to deal with someone who will strike you if you screw up. However, suburi remains an important part training.
Quote:

Brian Toss wrote:
I have also noted that Saito's forms regularly pass up on striking opportunities, but would prefer to believe that this is partly because of the (happy) absence of kill-or-be-killed intent, and partly because many of those opportunities leave one open to further counters from one's opponent, or because the path in the forms results in an even better position a move or two down the line.

Since this part of the discussion was spawned by the question of effectiveness, what do you think is going to happen when one person is passing up opportunities because they think they can set something better up, and the other person isn't? You apply pressure and the opponent reacts. You then move into the opening they've given you. This is one of the main differences between beginners and advanced. Beginners try to create a specific opening and, hence, miss others that arise. The advanced people just try to create an opening.

Now, the kill-or-be-killed intent is part of that pressure that creates openings. I think most aikidoka have had the experience of training with someone, usually of high level, and having the feeling that there is no opportunity to attack, that this person is like a wall. With the weapons people, my experience has been a bit different. Rather than feeling like you can't attack, it feels like if you do, you're just going to impale yourself.

And if you don't intend to kill your opponent, why do you have a weapon out?
Quote:

Brian Toss wrote:
Given the minor role that weapons occupy in most Aikido dojo's, it isn't surprising that many details of stance, approach, grip, etc. tend to get glossed over. But this does not speak to the validity of the style itself.

Ah, but I consider those details to be a large part of the style, and hence part of what determines its effectiveness. The style's mechanics and its tactics are intimately linked. If the mechanics are changed, using the same tactics becomes nonsensical. Also, the teaching methodology is part of the style's effectiveness. If you have good mechanics and good tactics, but can't impart those to the next generation, do you have an effective style?
Quote:

Brian Toss wrote:
Perhaps I need to work with someone with extensive experience in some other style as well as Saito's.

Cross-training is a good thing.

You're pretty lucky given your location. There's a lot of kendo and iaido around as well as koryu jojutsu, kenjutsu, and other weapons.

Aikilove 09-02-2003 02:47 AM

Quote:

Kent Enfield wrote:
I agree with this in the beginning stages of training, but just like aikido taijutsu, interaction with another person is a very important part of training, and should become the dominant form of training. Things like distance and timing, and reading an opponent just don't get learned in single person drill. And then there's the mental effects of having to deal with someone who will strike you if you screw up. However, suburi remains an important part training.

Agreed! The paired katas (e.g. kumitachi and kumijo) are what it's all about, but the tool to properly execute these are the suburi.

Brion Toss 09-02-2003 09:07 PM

Hello,

This discussion might be on the verge of swallowing its own tail, but here's a series of suppositions to play with.

Saito's weapons style is Osensei's weapons style. Osensei repeatedly stressed the cross-applicability of weapons training and empty-hand training. The empty hand techniques are effective at least in part because the weapons techniques are effective. And finally, if Saito's style differs from other styles, it might be for reasons that the longtime practitioners of said styles don't understand (you all know how easy it is to look at anything you're not an expert in and say,'why do they do it that way?').

So I am going to proceed on the assumption that there is value in Saito's/Osensei's work, and do my best to figure out why they do it that way. So for instance, what I now know as ukenagashi has usually been shown to me in working against a jo or other long instrument, so maybe we are in agreement there.

Regarding passing up opportunities, that is precisely what we do when we deliver a non-bruising atemi (we call the bruising kind "hematemis"), in the interests of finding a technique instead. It really isn't so much that an opportunity has been passed up, as that the structure of the response is different.

Likewise, giving the attacker something to attack, sometimes a lot to attack, is a very aiki thing; I like the idea of directing the attacker's force, without their necessarily being aware of it. And this seems to apply to many arts, with and without weapons. Leaving no opening can be a lovely thing, but it doesn't resolve anything.

Next, having a weapon out does not necessarily mean that homicide must follow, and certainly not in Aikido.

Finally, I completely agree that any functional art must have a valid marriage of tactics, strategy, mechanics, and methodology. And it was the pursuit of that which prompted the original question.

Oh, and Mr. Blomquist, the kumitachi's I know are numbered one through five; in #'s 1 and 2, one or both of the partners assumes a jodan position, without moving the right foot back.

And everyone, how do you get the "so-and-so wrote" quote segments inserted?

Yours,

Brion Toss

Aikilove 09-03-2003 04:23 AM

Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
Oh, and Mr. Blomquist, the kumitachi's I know are numbered one through five; in #'s 1 and 2, one or both of the partners assumes a jodan position, without moving the right foot back.

You don't move into a gamae... It's mot a static pose at all, it's a cut usually trained slow. In kumitachi # 1 shitachi (the winner) for some reason (uchitachi usually doesn't invite) strikes shomen, but as the bokken goes up uchitachi goes in, cut across shitachis chest and steps out. To avoid being sliced in half shitachi steps back as he finish the shomen cut. So you see it's lightning fast shomen strike not a "waiting-for-something-to-come" gamae.

In kumitachi #2 uchitachi raises his sword (possibly into a future hasso no gamae) making shitachi mirrow the movement, but before any gamae has been reached uchitachi tries to trick shitachi by cutting lightning fast at shitachi knee. So again it's not a question of going up to a jodan gamae waiting a second or two and then cutting. It's a dynamic interaction where uchitachi sees an opening half way (in that shitachi moves the sword up perhaps preparing to receive an high attack). But we all know shitachi wins in the end :) In any case, when being taught the kata are usually taught stop-start breaking it up in segments so that it's easier to do the movements correctly without injuries.
Quote:

And everyone, how do you get the "so-and-so wrote" quote segments inserted?
Brion Toss
At the top right of everyones post you'll see a quotation mark... click on it. You can delete the parts you don't wan't to quote.

Yours in aiki

Kent Enfield 09-03-2003 02:07 PM

Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
Saito's weapons style is Osensei's weapons style.

That's a pretty big assumption. Did other students of Ueshiba sensei who do different weapons systems or no weapons just decide, "Ah, screw it. I'm making up something different?"
Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
So I am going to proceed on the assumption that there is value in Saito's/Osensei's work, and do my best to figure out why they do it that way.

I havn't said there isn't any value in aikido weapons work. What I have said is that the value lies more in improving the empty handed stuff, rather than in learning to use the weapons effectively in their own right.
Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
Regarding passing up opportunities, that is precisely what we do when we deliver a non-bruising atemi (we call the bruising kind "hematemis"), in the interests of finding a technique instead. It really isn't so much that an opportunity has been passed up, as that the structure of the response is different.

I always was under the impression that "non-bruising atemi" was a concession for the durability of our training partners, just like not actually striking people in the head with our bokuto.

The discussion of whether atemi are techniques or not deserves its own thread, and I'm sure it's gotten it.
Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
Likewise, giving the attacker something to attack, sometimes a lot to attack, is a very aiki thing; I like the idea of directing the attacker's force, without their necessarily being aware of it. And this seems to apply to many arts, with and without weapons. Leaving no opening can be a lovely thing, but it doesn't resolve anything.

I'm not sure what you mean by "giving the attacker something to attack." I think you mean providing an opening in order to draw out a specific attack with the intention of countering it. That's not unique to aikido by any stretch of the imagination. It's just another way of creating an opening to attack. However, at least the way I've been taught, you still want to be applying pressure to force the opponent to take the opening.
Quote:

Brion Toss wrote:
Next, having a weapon out does not necessarily mean that homicide must follow, and certainly not in Aikido.

No, there doesn't have to be a killing. A severe maiming will often suffice. Since I'm not very familiar with Saito sensei's weapons work, how do the kumitachi end? Do they end with the "loser" side just giving up, or do they end with the "winner" side striking a decisive blow? If it's the latter, which I suspect, what are you practicing, and what are you practicing for? Are you only training for friendly training matches? If you're not training to kill using the sword, are you actually training to use the sword?

This was my original question in different words.

Aikilove 09-04-2003 03:34 AM

Quote:

Kent Enfield wrote:
Since I'm not very familiar with Saito sensei's weapons work, how do the kumitachi end? Do they end with the "loser" side just giving up, or do they end with the "winner" side striking a decisive blow? If it's the latter, which I suspect, what are you practicing, and what are you practicing for? Are you only training for friendly training matches? If you're not training to kill using the sword, are you actually training to use the sword?

If you look at the two first kumitachi of kashima shinto ryu and compared with the two first kumitachi of O-sensei the katas are practically identical (see Aikido Journal for reference). One major difference is that in KSR shitachi final cut ends uchitachis life, and in Aikido shitachi cuts down uchitachis swordcut and adopts hitoemi (one line, or no opening attitude) preventing further action from uchitachi.

Brion Toss 09-04-2003 05:13 PM

Quote:

Kent Enfield wrote: That's a pretty big assumption. Did other students of Ueshiba sensei who do different weapons systems or no weapons just decide, "Ah, screw it. I'm making up something different?"
As I understand it, Ueshiba decreed that only Saito was to teach his weapons style, even at Hombu. One senior teacher, who asked to remain nameless, told me that Osensei also arranged for at least two senior instructors from other ryus to teach at Hombu. This would account for the variety of styles, strategies, and tactics that are labelled Aiki weapons (for instance, compare Saotome's with Saito's).
Quote:

Kent Enfield wrote: I always was under the impression that "non-bruising atemi" was a concession for the durability of our training partners, just like not actually striking people in the head with our bokuto.

The discussion of whether atemi are techniques or not deserves its own thread, and I'm sure it's gotten it.
Yup, but for what it's worth, I believe that the most effective atemis are usually the ones that don't -- quite -- land.
Quote:

Kent Enfield wrote: No, there doesn't have to be a killing. A severe maiming will often suffice. Since I'm not very familiar with Saito sensei's weapons work, how do the kumitachi end? Do they end with the "loser" side just giving up, or do they end with the "winner" side striking a decisive blow? If it's the latter, which I suspect, what are you practicing, and what are you practicing for? Are you only training for friendly training matches? If you're not training to kill using the sword, are you actually training to use the sword?
Every kumitachi of Saito's that I know of ends with the attacker unable to strike, but unharmed. Every kumitachi of Saito's that I know of tells a story of recovering one's center, without destroying the aggressor. It would seem that Osensei meant to transform the sword, without beating it into something as mundane as a plowshare. The kumijos, by contrast, end either with a decisive strike throw, or pin, perhaps because it's a bit harder to kill someone with a jo, and harder to immobilize them, as you can with a sword in their face.

As for why I'm training with the sword, it's to practice embodying Aiki principles and techniques. And it's a dangerous practice, as swords are seductive; they tempt one to kill, instead of to draw a distinction, or to extend one's energy. What I'm after at this point is to find the logic behind the exercises, so that I might know them more fully, and your responses have helped wonderfully in this. Thanks for the persistent pressure.

Yours,

Brion Toss

Abasan 09-04-2003 10:55 PM

Kent Enfield,

Ukenagashi= barai? At least that's how my sensei calls this move that you describe... i hope that its the same one.

Maybe we like it cause it effectively unbalances uke and we're suppose to be learning the blending motion of receiving/guiding the strike at the same time manouvering ourselves into a superior position.

Of course you could say that any skilled swordsman would not be unbalanced from a barai... maybe you're right. I guess it's just taught to show certain principles...

PeterR 09-05-2003 12:19 AM

Stepping into waters I know nothing about but... is that a Pirahna nibbling at my toes?

I remember being at a small New England dojo a few years ago where Chiba sensei was giving a seminar. During one of the breaks a pair of senior students were doing kumitachi. I remember thinking (and this was after I had already read all the comments regarding aiki-ken - nothing new has been said) that it looked vey much like the Shodokan kumitachi which does not come from Ueshiba M. but from Tomiki's (and Ohba's) ken background. Both these men were 8th Dan in Kendo and over here that means much more than heat frustration.

I spent a short time learning TSKR kata and am now spending quite a bit of time on the Shodokan kumitachi. My initial impression is reinforced - I don't see that much of a difference. I haven't seen the Iwama stuff performed by anyone I knew that knew their stuff so I can't comment.

PeterR 09-05-2003 05:25 AM

That was a bit of a waffle and too late to delete.

What I am trying to say is that the weakness attributed to sword work in Aikido is often overblown in my not so experienced opinion. Within Aikido I have seen some seriously tight sword work with no attempt to moderate it for "Aikido philosophy".

What probably does make a difference is the amount of time practiced, who is doing the teaching, and who is being taught.

Aikilove 09-05-2003 08:26 AM

Agreed!

ian 09-05-2003 09:46 AM

I'm not sure where these impressions of Saito's weapon work come from. Looking at the video footage and his traditional aikido books (now out of print) jodan no kamae is done both stepping back and without stepping back - depending on which kumitachi you're doing. I've seen on some US sites that Saito's kumitachi also appear to differ to what I've seen in these books (maybe it was ammended after 1974) - this could be the cause of some confusion. In addition, I am always amazed at the similarities between sword school styles rather than the differences (from what I have seen anyway).

Apart from this I tell all my students that aikiken won't teach them how to fight with a sword, but it's purpose is for improving aikido; partly because it's not done regularly enough, also because they are fixed kumitachi and the fact that a steel sword feels quite different from a wooden one. Despite the limited amount of weapons training in aikido, I am constantly suprised by the strong sword/aikido linkages. What I've never understood is why the jo (i.e. jo vs jo) is used in aikido.

Ian

ian 09-05-2003 09:51 AM

P.S. Saito's kumitachi end with the attacker being killed (although a step back rather than step forwards is sometimes used for safety). An exception to this is the 5th kumitachi where the roles of attacker and defender type of 'swap over' midway. With the kumijo this is also the case for the first few, although the last ones do involve 'opportunities to strike the attacker which aren't used'. Don't forget also there are 2 sword variations (and 2 taijutsu variations) for each kumitachi form under saito.

Ian

Aikilove 09-05-2003 11:18 AM

Quote:

Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
I'm not sure where these impressions of Saito's weapon work come from.

In my case from being a student of his long time students.
Quote:

Looking at the video footage and his traditional aikido books (now out of print) jodan no kamae is done both stepping back and without stepping back - depending on which kumitachi you're doing. I've seen on some US sites that Saito's kumitachi also appear to differ to what I've seen in these books (maybe it was ammended after 1974) - this could be the cause of some confusion.
I understand, that by looking in books and watching video clips one could get that impression, but again, there are no gamae in any of the kumitachi (unless you possibly count the initial and final stance, chudan no gamae). It's only because of the pedagogic of breaking up the kata that it looks that way. The pedagogic may have changed over the years into even more staticness (not a word I know)or not but the sword kata, the kumitachi, done at real speed (dangerous if you don't have total control) does not have any gamae in them. The only exception is the sword kata, ki musubi no tachi, there one goes from the initial stance up to hasso no gamae and down to the low gamae (waki no gamae?).
Quote:

Apart from this I tell all my students that aikiken won't teach them how to fight with a sword, but it's purpose is for improving aikido; partly because it's not done regularly enough, also because they are fixed kumitachi and the fact that a steel sword feels quite different from a wooden one.
We practice bukiwasa as regular as taijutsu and so did Saito and according to him O-sensei in Iwama. And all the kenjutsu schools I know of practice paired kata with bokken not with steel swords.
Quote:

What I've never understood is why the jo (i.e. jo vs jo) is used in aikido.
Same reason that we train the rest, because O-sensei taught it (at least in Iwama according to interviews with Saito, see Aikido Journal for references).

Kent Enfield 09-05-2003 03:07 PM

Quote:

ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
Ukenagashi= barai? At least that's how my sensei calls this move that you describe... i hope that its the same one.

At least in my experience, ukenagashi and harai waza are not at all alike. And I'm not sure how something like ukengashi could be described as sweeping.

In ukenagashi, the opponent attacks with some sort of downward cut. You step forward diagonally while bringing the tsuke up above your head and lower the tip down to your side with the edge backward to receive the strike and cover your side. You continue around into a cut of your own.

In harai waza, you initiate by sweeping the the opponent's sword diagonally up or down to create an opening while moving into attack.

Mechanically related to harai waza are suriage waza in which you slide up against the opponents downward cut on your upswing. This deflects it away from its intended target and allows you to attack on your own downswing.

But if your instructor calls it harai, call it harai.

Ron Tisdale 09-05-2003 03:48 PM

My experience (ukenagashi/harai) is more in line with Kent's.

I should also say that pulling off ukenagashi against someone committed to cutting you is both easier (with most aikidoka that I have experience with) and harder (against the few classically trained people I've dealt with).

At the same time, Peter is correct...there are some pretty awesome aikido weapons folk out there.

RT


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