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Nafis Zahir 03-10-2004 01:31 AM

Variations of Technique
 
I went to a dojo that taught the Iwama Style. The whole time I was there, we were always taught that our way was the right way and we always shown why techniques done in others ways were wrong, ineffective, and most of all, not traditional. Now I am in the Aikikai and learning that there are many different variations to techniques and they all have their advantages. I'm never told that the way I used to do a technique was wrong, but that it was just different. I've also found that I sometime have to do a technique differently, depending on who I'm doing it to. (i.e. someone bigger, stronger, or real flexible) But is this okay? Should we vary our techniques, or should learn to do the technique where as we can do it to whomever without having to vary them? Chiba Sensei once said at a seminar, that we shouldn't get locked in to doing a technique one way. We should always search for a better way. However, Chiba Sensei can do nikkyo to anyone and alot of aikidoka can't, even though they've been training for a long time. I would like to get everyone's opinion on this one. Train hard!

Yann Golanski 03-10-2004 03:17 AM

"My style is better than your style because my sensei is so hard he chews small rocks for breakfast..."

*sigh* There is no wrong or right in techniques just things that work for you and don't work for you. For some people, Aikido really works and they thrive on it for others they find it ineffective and stupid. If one form was magical and worked 100% for all nage on all uke whatever their resistence, we'll all be learning that one true magical path and ignoring the rest!

I would say that Aikido consists of about 20 basic techniques which can be applied in hundreds of ways depending on nage and uke. If nage is 7 feet tall and uke is 4, I can hardly go getdan ate, but once the roles are swaped it's a different story.

Of course, that's a very Shodokan view...

happysod 03-10-2004 06:01 AM

Quote:

There is no wrong or right in techniques just things that work for you and don't work for you
Going to nit-pick here yann, there are some technique variations that will never work unless the uke is so compliant you may as well breath on them to make them fall over (ok, after a good night out, this may be possible...)

Greg Jennings 03-10-2004 06:32 AM

Re: Variations of Technique
 
Quote:

Nafis Zahir wrote:
I went to a dojo that taught the Iwama Style.

As we've discussed, that's debatable.
Quote:

Nafis Zahir wrote:
The whole time I was there, we were always taught that our way was the right way and we always shown why techniques done in others ways were wrong, ineffective, and most of all, not traditional.

Ego and marketing.

That said, there is a sort of *right* way to do the Iwama basic forms. That doesn't mean that there is one right way, ultimately, to do the technique.

The kotai/katai (rigid) form is only the first step. Then there is the yawara-tai, ryu-tai and, finally the kitai or "takemusu aiki" level.

It's in the final stage that one liberates the form. Shu-ha-ri.

If anyone doesn't understand that it's a four-step evoluntionarly process, they don't understand diddly about the Iwama pedagogical method.
Quote:

Nafis Zahir wrote:
Now I am in the Aikikai and learning that there are many different variations to techniques and they all have their advantages. I'm never told that the way I used to do a technique was wrong, but that it was just different.

You now train in a school that doesn't have a structured, 4-step learning process. It's a more unstructured, holistic method based on individual discovery. There's nothing better or worse about it. It's just a different path up the mountain.
Quote:

Nafis Zahir wrote:
I've also found that I sometime have to do a technique differently, depending on who I'm doing it to. (i.e. someone bigger, stronger, or real flexible) But is this okay? Should we vary our techniques, or should learn to do the technique where as we can do it to whomever without having to vary them?

I can always create a situation where you will have to vary or that the technique won't work at all. It's just that in early training, students don't have any foundation for what they need to vary for what dimension of change.

In most aikido schools, one learns the foundation and the freedom all at the same time.

In other schools, Iwama, Yoshinkan, Shodokan, etc. One has a basic form that one learns to give one the foundation. The freedom comes later. OK, there are little parts of it along the way, but I'm talking about the big area under the curve, not the tails.

In the final analysis, who gives a rip? My first instructor summed it up nicely "Just shut up and train". He meant that it was tha we were training that mattered, not what we were training in.
Quote:

Nafis Zahir wrote:
Chiba Sensei once said at a seminar, that we shouldn't get locked in to doing a technique one way. We should always search for a better way. However, Chiba Sensei can do nikkyo to anyone and alot of aikidoka can't, even though they've been training for a long time.

None of us are Chiba Sensei...

Regards,

crand32100 03-10-2004 07:22 AM

Just be glad that you practice aikido. In my experience aikido people are more liberal with people that have practiced in different places. I did wing chun for a little while and my experience is that different teachers of this are rediculous about criticizing all your former teachers. They couldn't even agree about how they want to spell wing chun.

Martial arts are like little religions. Everyone has an epiphany and wants to become an evangelist of their truth. I'm quite guilty of this myself. We all are. My advise, and this is just me preaching, is to make whatever you want to learn your own. Don't worry about everyone else. If someone someday really likes what you do, maybe they'll ask you. Until then, keep working on you.

Fausto 03-10-2004 12:05 PM

There is no wrong or right way to do a technique there are just differents ways of doing it, some may be more effective than others depending on nage's and uke's body.

Usually when a Sensei tells me that the way I do something is dead wrong but the way they do it is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT I leave and never go back to that dojo because nothing and nobody posses the absolut truth.

DarkShodan 03-10-2004 12:54 PM

I hear you talkin' brother! I travel several times a year and try to practice wherever I may roam. (insert Metalica song here) Anyway, I visited a dojo a few years ago in California that was Iwama style. Myself being Aikikai I said to myself who cares, it's all good. Being a rather large school in the SF area, there were many top rank instructors there. They could tell immediately I was Aikikai style. This would be one of the few times I actually felt 'snubbed' by other students. I was embarrassed. After class one of the students gave me an article about how Iwama style is superior to Aikikai, how Aikido evolved from the barbaric Aikikai to the civilized Iwama style we have today. I was truly offended and never to return to that dojo. I have practiced many styles of Aikido; Aikikai, Iwama, Ki, Yoshinkan, they all have something to teach and I will always be willing to learn. We teach variations in techniques at our own dojo. The exact same technique may not work all the time even on the same person. Nage might not be where he intended and may need to adjust. I have many screw drivers in my tool box. Functionally they are all the same, but I have different sizes and colors depending on what I am doing. You're Aikido tool box should be the same. Same technique with many styles and colors depending on the circumstance.

Martial arts are indeed a lot like religion. I have chosen my path but I don't mind sharing in yours if I feel I can learn something from it. Especially if it involves holidays, gift giving, parties, and feasts with lots of food and alcohol!

:D

mantis 03-10-2004 04:25 PM

There are wrong ways to do a technique if that technique doesn't follow your styles basic principles.

Kote gaeshi is a perfect example. I learned it one way when i studies jujitsu (jujitsu was based on pain), and another at my aikido school (based on kuzushi with no pain).

to do it the jujitsu way will work, but it is "WRONG" to do it that way in my aikido school where pain is frowned upon.

notice i said "in my school". if i am attacked, and I do kote-gaeshi and it works, well then whatever way i did it wasn't wrong at all.

different schools emphasize different underlying principles. so if other ways are said to be wrong, then find out why. it might conflict with your schools methods.

that being said, Ego and marketing can also come into play like Greg mentioned.

what reason did your 'Iwama" style instructor give for your technique to be wrong?

DCP 03-10-2004 04:49 PM

Yes, there are incorrect ways of doing techniques. When uke can take your head off or put his fist through your rib cage, I think these are inappropriate variations (yes, I'm being difficult, but there is truth in it . . .)

PeterR 03-10-2004 05:47 PM

Quote:

Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
Going to nit-pick here yann, there are some technique variations that will never work unless the uke is so compliant you may as well breath on them to make them fall over (ok, after a good night out, this may be possible...)

Quote:

Yann Golanski wrote:
There is no wrong or right in techniques just things that work for you and don't work for you

As Yann pointed out its a Shodokan way of thinking and our randori form keeps us honest. When he is talking about working for you he is not talking about compliantukes.

Kensai 03-11-2004 09:08 AM

In my foolishness I do 2 styles of Aikido...

Mainly Ki Aikido but also BAB Aikido (which I think is more Aikikai).

Anyway, bottom line is that they are the same and different. When I am on one mat I do one thing and when I'm on another I do their thing. When in Rome and all that.

I dont think there's a right way, just a different way.

I just like getting thrown, the hows and the whys just aint important to me.

Regards,

happysod 03-11-2004 09:23 AM

Quote:

Shodokan way of thinking and our randori form keeps us honest
Peter, you're gonna have to stop these shodokan commercials or I'll just have to use my unusually large ki blast on ya :D

On a more serious note, I agree randori is a very good test, but I've still seen rather iffy techniques in randori which did, dare I say it, intimate an element of compliance on uke's part... That is why I wanted the qualification (anyway, hadn't managed to disagree with Yann yet and felt it was time)

L. Camejo 03-11-2004 01:06 PM

Quote:

Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
On a more serious note, I agree randori is a very good test, but I've still seen rather iffy techniques in randori which did, dare I say it, intimate an element of compliance on uke's part... That is why I wanted the qualification (anyway, hadn't managed to disagree with Yann yet and felt it was time)

To risk another Shodokan commercial:cool:. Iffy techniques of any form tend not to survive in "Shodokan Randori":) simply because your partner is intent on shutting down or countering your technique at every available opportunity from Kuzushi to Kake.

I guess this may be part of why techs like shi ho nage are rarely seen when I do randori.:p The counter is just too easy imo so I don't risk it most times, unless it's practically given to me.

I think there are "correct" and "incorrect" ways of doing technique, but this may have more to do with the situation/environment etc. in which the technique is done rather than which style/shihan says that "this is the one true way." Much of the techs I teach in self defence classes are often quicker, sharper, less movement involved variations of their Aikido kata counterparts.

Just my thoughts.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR 03-11-2004 05:59 PM

Quote:

Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
I guess this may be part of why techs like shi ho nage are rarely seen when I do randori.:p The counter is just too easy imo so I don't risk it most times, unless it's practically given to me.

You just haven't seen Nishi sensei - one of Nariyama Shihas's best deshi ever. It's not exactly kata form but he has a wicked tenkai kotegaishi ( shihonage) in randori.

ikkitosennomusha 03-11-2004 08:42 PM

Hi unto all!

To change from one technique to another is called "Henka-waza", changing technique. From my experience this is not excouraged until around 4th kyu until some great absorbtion of kihon waza has undertaken. Henka waza is a semi-advanced concept. Mastering henka waza takes experience and time. But like some things, it will happend. An example may be that you find it necessary to go from a sankyo to a kokyunage.

I may dissapoint some if not all by saying that I do not favor the shodokan style from which, I believe, is based on the Kenji Tomiki teachings. I have my opinions about Tomiki-ryu and I will keep them to myself.

I do not like to categorize aikido as being "hard" or "soft" but if I had to say, I came from an extremely hard background in aikido. Toyoda-shihan and Kobayashi-shihan and their top students and particularly hard in flavor. I could tell stories about this, but why?

Brad Medling

L. Camejo 03-12-2004 08:20 AM

Quote:

Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
You just haven't seen Nishi sensei - one of Nariyama Shihas's best deshi ever. It's not exactly kata form but he has a wicked tenkai kotegaishi ( shihonage) in randori.

Hehe, I'd bet Peter,

My post just indicated how lacking MY tenkai kotegaeshi is:). Also being the tallest person in the dojo most times does not help when your shorter partner is just waiting for that Ushiro Ate opening :). More practice for me as usual.:p I do get off a nice shi ho nage that "does not exactly conform to kata specifications" when practicing with my more experienced ppl though, y'know the ones who can do the kotegaeshi ukemi from shi ho nage cuz they have no other choice.:dead:

Brad: Everyone is privy to his/her own opinions, but I think saying that one does not approve of something and then decide to not give a reason defeats the purpose of making the statement to begin with. If your feelings are such that you don't want to explain them, then how does stating your disapproval alone aid in the learning process of those viewing and participating in the thread?

As far as Henka waza goes, I have had a couple beginners who have shocked some of my more experienced members in how quickly they naturally find counters to some techniques, without having been taught them previously.

Adaptation to a quickly and constantly changing position is basically what it's about, and there are those that may just have a talent for it from doing things that increase body and situational awareness, such as dance for example. I specifically remember a latin dancer who turned a shi ho nage around on someone by "dancing" out of it and then copying the technique after only a couple classes. Of course, a perfect techinque leaves no openings, so it's all a learning process.

I wil agree however, that to "master" it, there must be a sound grounding in kihon, but this does not mean that one may not be able to do it at a very basic level.

Just my 1/2 cent.

L.C.:ai::ki:

aikidocapecod 03-12-2004 09:15 AM

I remember reading something O'Sensei said once....though this is not a direct quote as I do not have the reading material in front of me.....

He said, "Do not try to exactly copy what I do. Take what you learn here and make it your own".

To me that means a technique can be done many ways. As was said earlier....some will work and some will not. But I have found that when I do a technique poorly it will never work...no matter how compliant Uke is!!

Also....Aikido would be very very boring if all Aikidoka the world over did each technique exactly the same way....

Yann Golanski 03-12-2004 09:19 AM

Ian, we didn't disagree: you just clarified what I was thinking. *grin*

Shihonage is one of my favorite techniques and I _do_ pull it off with some ease during randori. Sure, it does not work all the time and I've ended on my back as uke ushiro ate me but most of the time, uke falls.

Irimi nage is one of those technique I love but cannot manage in randori for the life of me. Probably because I don't understand it as well as I should. Any idea from as to how to improve it on resisting targets?

William Westdyke 03-12-2004 10:24 AM

Try the direct Irimi Nage. I'm bad with Japanese words so I will just describe it. Get to uke's back. (IE. any irimi nage) and without spinning preform it by stepping through and to the back of uke. Taught correctly this technique works on just about anyone who commits to a strike or wrist grab. I also has 2 particularly nice benefits. It's hard to counter because adjustment is so easy and its fast leaving uke little time to react before he/she hits the ground.

William

Fausto 03-12-2004 11:22 AM

What I was trying to say is that sometimes even if your technique is done in a correct way because you have control under uke some Senseis tell you that it is wrong and they show you how they do it and tell you "the only way to do it is this"....

mantis 03-12-2004 11:34 AM

Quote:

Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
I may dissapoint some if not all by saying that I do not favor the shodokan style from which, I believe, is based on the Kenji Tomiki teachings. I have my opinions about Tomiki-ryu and I will keep them to myself.

Why put the bait in the water if you don't want to catch any fish?

L. Camejo 03-12-2004 11:40 AM

Quote:

Yann Golanski wrote:
Irimi nage is one of those technique I love but cannot manage in randori for the life of me. Probably because I don't understand it as well as I should. Any idea from as to how to improve it on resisting targets?

Yann, I've got 2 words for you - body mechanics :).

Aigamae ate works very well for me in randori, probably for the same reasons that tenkai kotegaeshi does not work so well:).

The easiest form of it to get off in randori is with sen timing imo (iow let em run into the technique as they enter to attack), but if you can't get that here's a general rule I follow -

1) After avoiding don't do too deep of a kuuzushi by leveraging the arm, as this may cause Uke to over extend forward, causing you to do more work to carry him backward with the technique, a light reactive posture break tends to work better, using Uke's natural desire to regain balance against him. Iow, engage the lead hand lightly and only slightly break posture forwards. This is shown in the randori no kata videos by Nariyama pretty much.

2) Apply sho tei to the chin or forearm along the line of the jaw to leverage the head backwards to the point where the spine starts to lock out. Iow Uke's head should be extended so far back that he almost looks like a letter "C" in profile. Keeping this backward posture break, do a strong irimi with the leg that is nearer to Uke (normally this is done tsugi ashi). This technique should throw Uke backwards.

3)In the event that there is resistance to the backward posture break in 2, immediately turn Uke's head so that it moves straight down your centre line, or even across the front of your body (almost over your hip). What this does is increase the amount of energy that is applied toward the ground on Uke's weak line, causing him to fall across your front instead of backwards as happens most time.

Hope these help. Of course if Uke is still resisting, a switch to Ushiro Ate always works :).

L.C.:ai::ki:

ikkitosennomusha 03-12-2004 01:12 PM

Quote:

Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
Brad: Everyone is privy to his/her own opinions, but I think saying that one does not approve of something and then decide to not give a reason defeats the purpose of making the statement to begin with. If your feelings are such that you don't want to explain them, then how does stating your disapproval alone aid in the learning process of those viewing and participating in the thread?

As far as Henka waza goes, I have had a couple beginners who have shocked some of my more experienced members in how quickly they naturally find counters to some techniques, without having been taught them previously.

Adaptation to a quickly and constantly changing position is basically what it's about, and there are those that may just have a talent for it from doing things that increase body and situational awareness, such as dance for example. I specifically remember a latin dancer who turned a shi ho nage around on someone by "dancing" out of it and then copying the technique after only a couple classes. Of course, a perfect techinque leaves no openings, so it's all a learning process.

I wil agree however, that to "master" it, there must be a sound grounding in kihon, but this does not mean that one may not be able to do it at a very basic level.

Just my 1/2 cent.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Hi Larry!

Excellent comments. Excuse me for not being thorough. I didn't realize anyone would care for my opinion. So here it is.

Yes, I have seen beginners attempt henka waza but with no mastery. I don't consider one really doing it until it is obvious that the technique flows with the concept. But in general, yes there have been beginners to do it.

Why I am not in favor of Tomiki-yru? Well, I guess to each his own but for me, I don't like it. I guess it is preference as I was born in an aikikai-type system where the atmosphere is serious and severe in flavor.

We approach aikido as each moment is a life or death situation. It is my humble opinion that aikido was not meant to be a sport. It was meant for real life aspects. I have delt with a little Tomiki-ryu in my life and it just was not for me. I seemed to be a brut in comparison.

I guess this gets down to the nitty gritty of what we want out of aikido. For me, it is a life lesson to cultivate the inner self. I want it to be as effective on the street as it is in the dojo and for this, you have to maintain that life or death atmosphere I talked about.

Most dojos I travel to check do not have this attitude. Therefore it is no wonder I hear comments like "That technique is practical in dojo but not on the street". Why are they saying that? Because the manner in which they practice them will not make it happen on the street. Things like ryotetori kokyunage seems to be for aesthetic purposes only to some. But if you practice with sincereity and severity, it has its place and time in the realm of practicality. Granted it may not be the first instant response but under the right conditions could be perfect.

There are other minor subtlties not worth mentioning but basically I just like the ideology where I was molded. Don't get me wrong, I broke that mold and tried new things. I am only interested in focusing on aiki-principles and training where it is taught to live by these for life purposes and in the event you might have to use it, as I have had to do.

Best reagards,

Brad Medling

Ron Tisdale 03-12-2004 02:20 PM

Quote:

"That technique is practical in dojo but not on the street".
Interesting. Some would say that resistant randori is the only way to know whether or not the above is true. Resistant randori being a hallmark of shodokan aikido, and all. Not so much sport...at least from what I've heard and read.

Ron

ikkitosennomusha 03-12-2004 04:55 PM

Quote:

Ron Tisdale wrote:
Interesting. Some would say that resistant randori is the only way to know whether or not the above is true. Resistant randori being a hallmark of shodokan aikido, and all. Not so much sport...at least from what I've heard and read.

Ron

Hi Ron!

Well, there should be no concept of "resistant randori". Why? It shoud be randori which means to "seize chaos". Therefore it is implied that resistance already exists. In other words, randori should be real with honest attacks, period!

In Tomiki-ryu, the sport is to see how clean one's technique is during a predetermined attack and also with their katas. I could be wrong as this aspect might have changed since I last came into contact with it but this is what I observed during my very brief stint with this art.

Brad Medling


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