AikiWeb Aikido Forums

AikiWeb Aikido Forums (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/index.php)
-   General (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=1)
-   -   quickness & accuracy (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8728)

Pdella 08-15-2005 10:02 PM

quickness & accuracy
 
Hey everybody. I watched this video today:

http://media.skoopy.com/vids/vid_00456.wmv

and it got me thinking about how real attacks often come in flurries, very quickly closing distance between the two parties and even when the attacker's technique is sloppy at best, it can be so quick and aggressive that it may be difficult to pull off a technique. I think the best preparation one can have is to have realistic-type training in the dojo, where (at least every now and then) uke goes a little nuts and attacks in flurries like that with full energy and aggression. I could see myself, however, missing an attackers arm and ending up getting socked in the pressure of the situation.

Any tips other than train, train, and train some more?

In thinking about it more, perhaps mental training is the most important preparation for this attack--or any other. If you stay calm and focused and ignore the hits you do receive, you should be able to complete a technique or two.

peace
Peter

senshincenter 08-15-2005 11:16 PM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
We do something you might find relevant:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...eflection.html

still, the answer remains, "train, train, train."

Hang in there,
dmv

Roy 08-15-2005 11:54 PM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Peter,
That altercation could easily be controlled with Aikido. And you should not believe otherwise, not for a second. There were dozens of opportunities for the blond guy to control the situation, if only he had skill, just have faith in your training of Aikido. Heavens knows I have doubts about Aikidokas taken down bigger guys, or multiple attackers, but that guy would have been a walk in the park, for he was handling himself quite haphazardly. Like David said, "train, train, train."

Sanshouaikikai 08-16-2005 12:08 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
It's funny you have doubts about aikidokas taking out bigger guys and multiple opponents when that's what aikido was made for. However, I think I know what you meant. ; )

Amir Krause 08-16-2005 07:28 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
That altercation was a show of fury with no skill. Both sides missed so many obvious points to finish, it is amazing. Making a list would be too long, but the number of possibilities for anyone trained, in any M.A., was astounding.

If it does show anything, it is the importance of practicing the mind. Some people, when under attack, lose their functionality, and then the fight degenerates to this level.

Amir

Amir Krause 08-16-2005 08:27 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

David Valadez wrote:
We do something you might find relevant:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...eflection.html

still, the answer remains, "train, train, train."

Hang in there,
dmv

If I may ask a question:
I watched the practice, and loved the flow of the attacks, but the defender movement seemed disappointing to me. Looking at the video the defender rarely moves out of the line of attack, and almost never moves forward. I don't see any Irimi or Tenkan, not to speak of other tai-Sabaki.

I only glanced over the explanation, perhaps this type of movement backwards is an intentional limitation on the practice, if so, please explain the reasons for it.

Thanks for your clarifications.
Amir

Lyle Bogin 08-16-2005 09:25 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
10 lbs of extra muscle could have helped.

senshincenter 08-16-2005 10:29 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

Amir Krause wrote:
If I may ask a question:
I watched the practice, and loved the flow of the attacks, but the defender movement seemed disappointing to me. Looking at the video the defender rarely moves out of the line of attack, and almost never moves forward. I don't see any Irimi or Tenkan, not to speak of other tai-Sabaki.

I only glanced over the explanation, perhaps this type of movement backwards is an intentional limitation on the practice, if so, please explain the reasons for it.

Thanks for your clarifications.
Amir

Hi Amir,

This is also in the explanation... You are right, it is one of the limitations we set up for the drills - limiting the amount of movement one can do as "defender." The point of limiting the movement - either not moving and/or only opening certain angles to which one can move, etc. - is to increase the stress and tension of the ballistic attack. The point of increasing the stress and tension of the ballistic attack is to further cultivate one's mental and technical composure, particularly regarding metsuke and Angle of Deflection (i.e. blocking, parrying, checking, etc.) - which, as you say earlier, can often break down under such pressure.

The drills are trying to cultivate greater skills under a higher scenario of duress. You can have folks punching faster, harder, etc., to do this, but once you've figured out how to move reasonably well not everyone in the dojo is going to stress your metsuke and/or your Angle of Deflection, etc. So we opt to make it harder on the "defender" by restricting him/her from relying on their body movement to relieve pressure. Under this perspective, for example, the drills are attempting to duplicate those times when your opponent is so skilled it feels like you have no Angle of Deviation because he/she is so well versed in closing off such things. However, the drills are very much aimed at telling us something about the state and/or quality of our body/mind.

Later drills, when greater and more subtle Angles of Deviations are permitted, seek to capitalize upon the higher cultivated skills of metsuke and Angle of Deviation, etc. In these drills, the restrictions limiting the attacker to only ballistic strikes are also lifted.

If you got a chance, I would recommend reading the explanation, it goes into some detail on how to perform these drills, what is being done in these drills, etc.


Hope that makes sense, if not, please feel free to ask more questions/make more comments.

thanks,
dmv

Ron Tisdale 08-16-2005 10:40 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

10 lbs of extra muscle could have helped.
Interesting...at a certain level, 10 lbs of extra strength seems to hurt my technique.

Yoshinkan stresses forward movement, forward focus. But for the purpose of these drills, I think the backward movement at angles without crossing the feet works well. It allows you to not get set on your heels, to not get 'mobbed', to keep moving and sucsessfully entering on uke when under a lot of pressure. Looks like a good drill to me. I need to do more work like that.

Best,
Ron

senshincenter 08-16-2005 10:49 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
I think one way of seeing what these drills do is to just stand there and let someone go "ballistic" on you. Have a friend stick some gloves on and tell him/her to just go for it - making sure they are striking from within hand-weapon range. Then note of how we tend to duck with our head down, close our eyes, look away, just stick our hands up with no rhyme or reason, etc. The guy in the video is doing this all over the place. It's the pressure of the barrage that does this - in combination with our lack of skill in facing such things. To respond in an educated way to such tension, one, in my opinion, has to be "pressure tested." In pressure testing ourselves, we should realize that there are folks out there (e.g. boxers, wing chun practitioners, karateka, kick boxers, etc.) that possess many skills to make it seems as if we are standing still. If we are skilled under such pressures, when we do add our movement to the fray, we can actually use their tendency to cut off angles against them (via irimi and tenkan) - as an example of what one might do.

The drills are also a great way of understanding te-sabaki at a whole other level. That's always a plus as well.

Ron Tisdale 08-16-2005 10:52 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Nice stuff David. Working waza against people who cut off angles is one of the tougher aspects of training. We've spoken in other threads about boxers, karateka, etc...one thing they do well is cut off angles of entry.

Best,
Ron

Adam Alexander 08-16-2005 12:36 PM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Regarding the film:

I think Aikido technique would come through in the shoes of either of those guys.

I don't know if the issue of training against "those types" of attacks is the issue here--I don't know either way. I view the main problem in that altercation to be a total lack of balance of both participants which result in both having a lack of mobility and a lack of power behind the attacks.

To me, we do train against those attacks--hay-makers=side strikes. Further, I see a category within Aikido for all the attacks that were launched in that situation.

Just my thoughts.

By the way, very nice film. One of the first ones that I've seen that look somewhat like serious fights I've seen.

senshincenter 08-16-2005 02:07 PM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

Jean de Rochefort wrote:
I view the main problem in that altercation to be a total lack of balance of both participants which result in both having a lack of mobility and a lack of power behind the attacks.


I would agree, only I think one has to keep penetrating these issues in his/her training, such that one asks, "What makes me lose my balance?" "What makes me have a lack of mobility?" "What makes me have a lack of power?" Etc. When you ask these kinds of questions, and when you bring these types of reflections into your practice, you very quickly realize that the mind plays as big a role as the body in what you can and cannot do under duress.

The following video in particular demonstrates what I am talking about in regards to things like metsuke and Angle of Deflection, as they are related to the mind (and the connection the mind has to the body).

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...ningstage.html

The two deshi in the video seem to be affected in a very similar way. Yet, the woman has never trained in any art before Aikido, and she has only trained for about six months. The man in the video has rank in Karate and came from a type of Karate that practices full-contact kumite. Still, you can see them both over-reacting in their Angle of Deflection, being fettered by fakes and feints, falling victim to timing changes, closing their eyes, turning their heads, etc. This all pertains to the level of training their mind has received up to this point. In a real fight, with either weapons or with someone capable of generating real ballistic power (unlike the "victor" in the amateur video) these failings of the mind are the "events" at which one would lose his/her balance, mobility, and the capacity for powerful counter-attacks.

It is like this. You have these beautiful Aikido tactics, but in order to get in a place where they would be applicable, in the way they were designed to be applicable, you need a whole other set of skills that are very hard to attain through Kihon Waza training alone. However, it is not that I am suggesting that we should seek to train against "types" of attackers. Rather, we should be interested in the cultivation of a mind that in its maturity is capable of addressing more situations than just that which is mimicked in Kihon Waza (when it is being understood as a combative dynamic). Here, in these beginner drills, composure, balance, grace, awareness, etc., - these are the things that are being pressured. To pressure these things, we have taken on the ballistic architecture of certain arts. It is the pressure that is important, not the architectures of whatever arts we are using. I think this point is made in the first video where the "defender" is limited in both Angle of Deflection and Angle of Deviation -- where he/she must simply learn to look at the strikes that are hitting them.

Once we understand the value of pressure, on what it tells us about our mind, and thus what it reveals in regards to what is mechanically available to us and what is not, we start to see that we have options other than the usual "just irimi." This is important, because it will allow us to actually perform irimi in a way that is consistent with the art's strategic considerations. That means we can irimi without muscle and along the path of least resistance, etc. That means we will not just move forward and jam our opponent up, hoping we are stronger than them or that they do not know how to utilize our yang energies against us, etc. After all, the goal is to bring as much as possible, nay, to bring all of what we see in Kihon Waza into spontaneous conditions of any kind. The goal is not to just take bits and pieces of Aikido (e.g. irimi, arm bar, etc.) and "work" them as best we can. Though that is what we often do, it is not what we should strive for. In looking toward what we should be striving for, I feel, we have to learn to depart from Kihon Waza training. Of course, we must do this in a way and at a time that is appropriate.

Thanks for the replies,

dmv

xuzen 08-17-2005 12:05 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

David Valadez wrote:
The following video in particular demonstrates what I am talking about in regards to things like metsuke and Angle of Deflection, as they are related to the mind (and the connection the mind has to the body). http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...ningstage.html

Hi David,

I have just watched your video; and I like your drill. Some question… is the shite allowed to execute a technique in response to your feint and attacks? Or rather in this drill, are they only allowed to block and evade? It is just that I see many opportunity to apply technique as the uke comes in to attack.

Just curious… why does the shite keep moving back? This could just be my training, but I am drilled to irimi, irimi or more irimi into uke's zone; sort of tying up uke's ability to strike. If uke is coming fast and furious at me, then it is tenkan tenkan and more tenkan. We do not move backwards, as it allows more continuous attacks to follow.

Nonetheless, it is a good method of training. Gambatte!

Boon.

Amir Krause 08-17-2005 06:38 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
David

Thanks for your reply, very interesting.

How would you compare the exercise you show in the video with Randori, multiple attackers exercises, or armed attacker free exercises (Tanto/wakizashi//Boken attacking i non-cooperative manner) ?
I think these exercises can have the pressure element (if one wishes to) yet remove the limitation on Tai-Sabaki. Since one wishes to respond with Tai-Sabaki to pressure, the limitation on it is problematic from the point of view of instilling bad habits. Any other alternatives you would suggest?

Amir

Charlie 08-17-2005 08:14 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
It seems that people tend to miss the point that David is addressing within the parameters of these videos. That is:
Quote:

David Valadez wrote:
...It is like this. You have these beautiful Aikido tactics, but in order to get in a place where they would be applicable, in the way they were designed to be applicable, you need a whole other set of skills that are very hard to attain through Kihon Waza training alone. However, it is not that I am suggesting that we should seek to train against "types" of attackers. Rather, we should be interested in the cultivation of a mind that in its maturity is capable of addressing more situations than just that which is mimicked in Kihon Waza (when it is being understood as a combative dynamic)...

To ask the question what would you do in this or that situation is to miss the point.

Restrictions are put in place to force the person to "deal" with the "attacker". As they progress then the restrictions are removed.

To allow shite/nage to end with a technique would just be a continuation of training for specific scenerios and would not neccessarily bring one to a level of being able to apply spontaneous Aiki in a realistic manner.

(or have I missed your point David?)

Ron Tisdale 08-17-2005 08:34 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
I agree Charles. I know us yoshin orgres (or is that orcs?) like to move forward, but against someone cutting off angles, larger, stronger, with good striking skills, it's not always possible. Learning to deal with that is an important addition to the arsenal.

I've been thinking a bit how unarmed aikido is at something of a disadvantage...without some type of weapon/skill for enforcing ma ai, aikido becomes very difficult in certain situations. I think the discussions around generating power from the use of kokyu ryoku can help here. That power might function as one of the methods of enforcing ma ai. Weapons are an obvious one as well. Striking ability might be another. Mental composure and the ability to work going backwards at angles to the attack is another. But without those, enforcing ma ai where movement alone is insufficient is an interesting problem.

Best,
Ron

Lyle Bogin 08-17-2005 09:18 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
"Interesting...at a certain level, 10 lbs of extra strength seems to hurt my technique."

But did it decrease your chances of dominating in a brawl?

Ron Tisdale 08-17-2005 09:56 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

"Interesting...at a certain level, 10 lbs of extra strength seems to hurt my technique."

But did it decrease your chances of dominating in a brawl?
That would depend on who I am brawling with. :) In other words, against a single, weaker, less skilled opponant, 10 lbs of extra strength would be a plus.

Against multiple, stronger, more skilled opponants, bent on serious injury or death, as opposed to general rough housing, I would rather sacrifice 10 lbs of strength for X amount of skill and technique. I've tended not to get into "brawls" since about 22 years of age (I'm 44 now). While I do not view myself as intimidating, some others obviously consider me intimidating enough to think twice about "brawling" with me. In a serious attack, strength is always a consideration, but my own brawn is not my top consideration. If it was, I'd be lifting weights on some more than occational basis. Not training aikido.

Also, since I do train in aikido, I tend not to focus on 'dominating' so much as 'surviving'...I don't want to struggle to win. I want to step outside of winning and losing if possible. If that means getting roughed up a bit to survive...I hope my ego can stand that. On the other hand, I try not to let myself be weak, either. :)

Best,
Ron (best of all possible worlds is, obviously, best... :))

NixNa 08-17-2005 10:28 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
I dunno if anyone noticed, the black guy looked like he knew abit of throwing n grappling, but still its pure brawling. Its a shame how people make use of the martial arts for such crap.

Ron Tisdale 08-17-2005 10:38 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
It was interesting how it seemed he was going for an armbar at one point...like he had seen it in the UFC or something. It's also interesting that he seemed to have no clue how to really make use of it, or apply it, or finish with it. Arm chair jujutsu expert.

Best,
Ron

NixNa 08-17-2005 10:49 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Right, he did tis sloppy armbar which he cldnt do anything with it. Also, he threw the white guy on the ground at least twice, perhaps hes juz being lucky or the other guy already had weak knees.. heh

senshincenter 08-17-2005 01:18 PM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
(This is long, but I wanted to address what others were asking and also to better formulate my own position for my own sake. Long as it is, I would greatly appreciate it if some would read it since I would dearly love to hear comments after these attempts to answer some of the issues raised above.)

First:

Charles, you have said exactly what I was trying to say, only perfectly. Thank you.

Second:

Amir, Boon, and others kind enough to participate in this thread,

As way of analogy, it is kind of like doing Chi Sao (sticking hands) while blindfolded or with your eyes shut. Taking the sense of sight away "pressures" other aspects of the overall skill set that are developed through Chi Sao into greater and greater levels of maturity. The point of such training is not to say, "I usually fight with my eyes open" or "This is how you would fight at night or when you get sand kicked in your eyes." The point is to hone certain aspects of a certain skill set by taking away those options that are related but that we are most likely to become over-dependent upon via habit and/or ignorance.

That said, I would still like to address some of the issues raised above. I think I can tie them in a bit in an attempt to keep discussion going and to better explain the drills in question so that folks might be able to try them out themselves.




So let us say irimi is your thing -- is your tactical solution to addressing things like a barrage of ballistic attacks. The question remains, "How do you irimi?" It is not enough to say, "You just do it." How do you irimi? This question has to be understood as both a theoretical one and as a practical one. That means we have to ask, "What does it mean to irimi?" "What allows for irimi?" etc., AND we have to ask, "What prevents me from doing what I mean by ‘irimi'?"

I want to problematize the notion that "we can just move forward (any ol' way) against someone throwing a barrage of ballistic attacks." Why should that notion be problematized? Two reasons: A) Irimi as it is demonstrated in Kihon Waza is not the same thing as "just move forward." Irimi requires the presence of certain things that make it a tactical element capable of remaining viable as an aspect of non-resistance and thus as something you can use against bigger adversaries, etc. -- things central to Aikido praxis. For example, irimi, being mostly a yang move, requires the presence of an energy that is mostly yin in our adversary. To be able to capitalize upon this yin energy, we need to be capable of "sensing" this energy. So already, we are talking about a matching of yang to yin energy (theory) and we are talking about a capacity to both sense and correspond these energies (practice). B) If we cannot grasp at the level of theory and at the level of practice what is going in (A) we are either going to jam our opponent, losing the maai (i.e. the harmonious correspondence of yin and yang energies) that is relative to all of Aikido waza, and/or we are going to require that we be heavier, stronger, and more powerful than our opponent (such that our energy level is always yang in relation to whatever energy level our adversary is able to demonstrate). This means, in short, we will not be doing Aikido. However, it means more as well…

Aside from not being too successful against heavier, stronger, more powerful opponents, it also means that we will probably not be as successful against a weapon-wielding adversary and/or against multiple attackers. This is because moving forward in a way contrary to Aikido irimi changes time and space (i.e. the maai). It does this in such a manner that we become vulnerable to weapons (i.e. objects capable of piercing -- of penetrating yang forces regardless of the factors involved), and/or of being tied up -- being held, grabbed, and/or forced into an in-fighting or a ground-fighting situation. You can see all of these openings taking place in the video offered in the first post. The blonde gentlemen is smaller than his adversary, so his attempts to move forward do not work; he gets grabbed, dragged to the ground, and is vulnerable from someone else coming in from the crowd.

On top of that, and here is the clincher, you better hope your adversary is not the least bit skilled in capitalizing upon misplaced or forced yang energies -- see video below of what that might look like:

http://www.fightvids.net/content/mar...siantech1.html


So you see, you want to irimi. You do not just want to move forward -- whether that is to the inside or the outside of the opponent's outer rim and/or his attack. You want to match Yang energy to Yin energy, harmoniously. This is what you see, or should see in Kihon Waza. However, everything is so perfectly matched by design in most Kihon Waza that we are very likely to develop little in terms of skill - since everything is already in a full state of development by design. Thus, at times, you have to use that design not only to repeat such routines, the way a dancer might go over some choreographed steps repeatedly, you will also have to use that design to inspire adopting its elements at a personal level -- the way a dancer maintains his/her own sense of feeling and expression of mood in a piece of choreography or the way he/she may give experience to the rhythm of a piece of arranged music, etc. When you are trying to do the latter, attachment to the form, or the form itself (as it is subjectively experienced) can actually be your biggest hindrance -- that thing which you must overcome. This is the "Ha" of Shu-Ha-Ri.

When this is your objective, you soon realize that there is a lot to irimi that the forms just assume to be present and that you have to go after by different means if you truly want them to be yours at a personal level. This is how I understood the first post actually -- as asking, "How do you get these things?!" As an example, let us ask, "What are two of these things?" They are: an awareness that remains oriented upward and outward (as opposed to one that is oriented downward and inward -- which the uncultivated practitioner adopts under pressure, and which you can see the blonde guy in the first video adopting); and an Angle of Deflection (one that first capitalizes upon the aforementioned awareness and that can then go on to create a redundant defense that can attach itself to your irimi).

You want to "know" what is coming, and you want to "know" what you can do (i.e. you want to be sensitive to yin energies, you want to be sensitive to when and where you can place yang energies). You also want to move/deviate one way with your body while using your hands to keep your adversaries weapons moving the other way and/or to prevent them from tracking you. You want a redundancy between your Angle of Deflection and your Angle of Deviation (this is seen in the forms in all of the te-sabaki from all of the "grab escapes" of Kihon Waza). The forms just assume these things by design, but that design, through our fear, our pride, and our ignorance, can often prevent us from assuming these skills for ourselves.

For example, the forms allow us to repeat such a sought after awareness over and over. However, since part of the form is not getting hit (a fact made worse by the tendency for uke to miss nage at all costs and/or by the tendency for nage to react more to the choreography than to uke's actual movements) there is a very good chance that our so-called awareness has more to do with this element of the form (i.e. not getting hit, not being pressured) than with any real cultivation of proper martial awareness. Sure, under prime conditions (e.g. one mid-level punch that goes flying by you as long as you step to the side slightly and move forward slightly), we can stand there with our nostrils flared, our mouths closed, our eyes slightly squinted, and our gaze penetrating the environment to the great beyond. However, one little pop (which we never really experience in the forms), and our mind goes in and down -- awareness becomes egocentric. Hence, the drill in the first video, where the "defender" spends time conditioning themselves to maintain awareness while actually being struck -- again offered here:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/metsuke.html

In this video, you can see, after the first fade out/in (after the start of the video), my deshi allows his awareness to go egocentric -- he thus turns his back and cannot sense what I am doing. I show him that he has done this by capitalizing upon the opening. Etc. What one is trying to develop here is a capacity to prevent his/her awareness from going egocentric -- which the forms just assume will be yours. Strikes are used here not as a way of "toughening up the body," but rather they are being utilized because the fear of being struck and the pain from being struck have a strong tendency to drive our awareness inward and downward. We do not want our awareness to go egocentric -- our forms assume we will not do this in combat. However, we cannot and should not assume it for ourselves. Therefore, you make up this drill and you measure yourself by how much awareness you can maintain throughout the barrage. You give the students a very simply physical attribute to focus in upon -- their gaze. Why? Because of the intimate ties that the gaze has with awareness. To understand more of what is involved, you simply have to try the drill. It is very easy to practice and it is very easy to see how our awareness can be affected egocentrically by being struck and by the fear of being struck. This would seem important -- I feel -- since being struck is such a likely part of combat but plays almost zero part in actual Kihon Waza training.

Nevertheless, you have to realize you are not just learning to be hit. Rather, you are measuring, cultivating, and properly orienting your awareness. You are just using being hit to do that. Therefore, you want to move beyond being struck and come to address some other element of irimi ashi. However, when you do this, you do not want to ignore these awareness factors. Thus, you say, "Let's work on Angle of Deflection. If you are aware, if you are able to sense what is happening, you should be able to deflect nearly anything and everything, especially at this pace. If you are not aware, you are going to get struck and you are going to reveal that you were not all that aware in the first drill and that you were just practicing getting hit (which was not the point)." This last point is important because if you get hit repeatedly in the second drill you are going to go back to the first drill and try and do it differently -- making more sure you are not just getting hit and that you are actually working to prevent your awareness from going egocentric.

However, because the training still revolves around maintaining proper awareness, such that we can now deflect (and later irimi with -- see below in drill three), we have to realize that folks are going to find ways of responding habitually to the pressures contained in the drill. That is to say, folks are going to find ways of not cultivating awareness AND not having that fact exposed to them -- due to fear, pride, or ignorance. What does that mean? You are going to see many folks trying to use their body movement more to not be hit, rather than using their awareness of what is happening to deflect. So what do you do? You restrict movement and ask folks to stand as still as possible, to attempt to remain as engaged to the Line of Attack as they were in the first drill when they had to work on maintaining awareness while being struck.

What are you looking for in drill two then? You are looking for not being hit, for deflecting what is thrown at you, and for sensing what is coming in before it is even actually thrown. However, as the last drill was not about being hit, this drill is not about blocking. Moreover, you do not want to deviate all over the place and/or prevent the attacker from throwing strikes at you because this would prevent you from cultivating the awareness you are seeking -- as it would alleviate the pressure to have your awareness go egocentric. Moreover, while deviating all over the place may prevent you from being struck -- though one should not imagine that you will not be struck at all -- such deviation will do nothing for actually using irimi ashi in combat. Why? Because while irimi ashi capitalizes upon the presence of a yin energy in the opponent, it always penetrates fully to the source of his action. Thus, irimi is like an arrow that pierces another arrow the full length of its shaft by following the grain in the wood. It does not seek to go around the arrow. There is nothing "cowardly" in irimi ashi. Therefore, in order to perform it in combat you will have to learn how to stay close, how to stay near the heart of the matter, you cannot be dancing all over the place trying not to get hit. Here is drill two -- offered here again:

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...eflection.html

So, you got awareness going, you have pressured it first with being struck and then second with the task of preventing you from being struck, and now you want to put it into something that more closely resembles what you find in Aikido Kihon Waza. Why? Because, as I said, you are trying to learn Aikido -- trying to bring what you see in the forms into real life. You are not out to, for example, practice kickboxing and/or to learn how to fight against a kick-boxer. However, you do not want to forget about the awareness factors you are using to bring the assumptions of the forms to your own personal art. So you say, "You got to do irimi. However, you have to get all the way to the back -- not just up the arm a little or to the front shoulder because that crap does not work in real life and is not consistent with Aikido. Moreover, you again cannot dance all over the place, you must pressure your awareness of the situation by staying as engaged to the Line of Attack as much as possible."

This last point is important to drill two as the last point of drill two was to drill one. Meaning, in drill two you were told that if you were aware, you could deflect everything -- even sensing it before it was thrown. If you could not, it said something about how much awareness you actually had in drill one. It says you are probably just being hit in drill one -- which was not the point of that drill. In drill three, you are told, "If you are truly aware of what is happening, if you are truly sensitive to what is occurring, you will not only not be struck, but you will be able to sense when you can irimi in this exact way (i.e. all the way to the back with both hands on both hips of the attacker) and from this exact place (e.g. from on the Line of Attack). If you cannot, then most likely you were just blocking into drill two and not practicing the proper awareness." Thus, if you cannot perform irimi ashi under these conditions, you will go back to drill two and try not just to cover up but to become more attune to what is occurring, even sensing it before it happens.

What are you looking for in drill three then? You are looking for an arriving at the back of the attacker in natural and smooth way -- as if it almost happens by itself. You are looking for how you get there just in Kihon Waza, only now you are doing it under the most extreme of conditions (e.g. against a barrage of ballistic strikes, from on the line of attack).

http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/vids/shikaku.html

Anyways, I would love others to try these drills out and to let me know what they discover for themselves. It would be great if they could film it as well. Of course, everyone is welcome to join us in these drills as guests of our dojo here in Santa Barbara.

Thanks,
david

senshincenter 08-18-2005 08:30 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Hi All,

I was granted permission to share this private message I received yesterday - we both thought it relevant to the thread so we are posting it here as well.
dmv

Quote:

Quote:

David, we did try drill one a few times, but I wasn't sure how to progress from there. This post made the point of the drills much more clear, thank you!

The experience was rather difficult for me, leading the class, because I was constantly surprised with the different ways people found of dealing with the pressure and I wasn't sure how to lead the whole practice in a good direction. Generally people did say they liked the drill, but the feel of the whole group was rather ...stressed afterwards and I also found it difficult to deal with that.
The most noticeable change right after was that people were attacking less timidly.

Are these drills something you do very regularly? I felt we should have been doing the drill more often, and with less time between, to have real progress.

Pauliina
Hello Pauliina,

Thank you for writing me - I appreciate it very much. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was interested in receiving. So, I am VERY grateful. :)

I think I can understand you perfectly when you mention how surprising it is to see how folks try and deal with the pressure - it truly is amazing to see how differently we all try and cope with it. Yet, and I think you would agree, some major patterns emerge nevertheless. This, I feel, occurs because we are all human and all subject to our own humanity - our human qualities (e.g. states of virtue, emotional content, personal histories, our psychology, etc.) That is a huge part of the drill - what it reveals about our mind and thus about our state of awareness and thus our capacity at embodying Aikido's principles and bringing such principles into a martial setting physically.

I have always felt that drills like this take training to a completely deeper level - because they more directly touch upon the deeper aspects of our inner self. As a result, we can often feel pretty "weird" after such training - "odd" in a way. So, as a teacher, I just try and be aware of that and make sure that folks have some sort of positive context from which they can interpret what it is they may be feeling. Thus, such drills, in my opinion, have to be part of larger training perspective that not only works to bring more depth to one's training but that can also actually work to support such efforts.

Again, I am so grateful for your email. If you'd like, please feel free to ask any questions that you might have concerning the drill and/or that might arise next time you try it. I would be happy to share what we are experiencing with you as well. Moreover, if you can film one of your sessions, and pass that along to me with some questions, I would be most willing to assist you as specifically as possible given this medium of communication. I am at your service.

Also - I would very much like to share this message with the thread since I think it is highly relevant. However, if you wanted to keep this more private, I would be most appreciative if you would allow me to quote you anonymously or to paraphrase you (please, you decide which one you would prefer) as a lean-in to my reply here. I will wait for a reply from you before I attempt anything in regards to the thread.

Again - thanks so much for writing,
david

j0nharris 08-18-2005 09:05 AM

Re: quickness & accuracy
 
Quote:

Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Regarding the film:

OT, I know, but I am continually amazed when these videos make their way around the web, that absolutely no one there seems to be thinking about stepping in and stopping something that shouldn't be going on in the first place!
Would any of them feel the slightest twinge of guilt if one participant ends up dead from injuries sustained in a fight that could have been stopped?
Is it just me?


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:07 PM.

Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.