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peter martin-browning 03-09-2006 11:43 AM

Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Hello everyone

Having recently read a flood of interesting replies to my thread about ki, I would now like to see if I can find anyone who witnessed Saito Sensei demonstrating a throw without raising his hands, for which I can find no better explanation than that he was able to extend ki to an exceptional degree.
In an earlier thread, I unsuccessfully asked if anyone had a copy of tv footage from Scottish television, probably from the 1980's, in which Saito Sensei threw someone without raising his hands from his sides. My new question is, - were you there? It was a demonstration for one of the Scottish tv stations, possibly around the time Saito Sensei came to lead a seminar at Largs. I am unsure of the detail, and I am unable to ask the owner of the video copy I saw.
The throw happened as follows. Saito Sensei standing. Assailant attacks from right front quarter, reaching out to grab or strike; I am unsure. Saito Sensei does something with his hips, does not appear to change his footing, and does not take hold of the assailant, or even raise his hands. The assailant's feet rise into the air behind him. He passes Saito Sensei's right shoulder on his way round Saito Sensei's back, and passes through about 340 degrees, landing on the floor at Saito Sensei's left front quarter, moving forwards past Saito Sensei's left shoulder and thus away from Saito Sensei's front. In other words he passes almost all the way round the back of Saito Sensei, in the horizontal plane, except for take-off and landing.
Were you there? Have you ever seen any such phenomenon? Is there a name for this throw?
I dare to say I cannot conceive such a throw being possible through simple mechanics. I am aware that "simple mechanics" is woefully inadequate for you scientists, - I merely hope you will understand the sense that I intend, - Best Mechanical Advantage as opposed to ki. Of course this statement is question-begging.
I should add that I do not think either that there is anything mysterious about ki. It is not my claim that it is a magical, spiritual or otherwise spooky thing. Merely that my experiences and observations have led me to the conclusion that it is possible to exert a force without using the media that our science has so far identified as necessary for force to be exerted.
I believe that I have witnessed its use, and experienced it first-hand.

I hope you find this interesting


At your service



Peter Martin-Browning

bkedelen 03-09-2006 05:02 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Perhaps the uke was having a bad day and was being a bit indulgent. I have done it. Perhaps Saito used subtle movements to trick his uke into finding himself in a place where he could not continue to stand. Aiki seems to be a common tool used to disrupt an attack before it reaches you. Sometimes a throw works just because of the reputation of the teacher. I have been "thrown" by scary people because I did not want to get annihilated, not because person threw me perfectly.

James Kelly 03-09-2006 06:45 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Wasn't there, but have been thrown in a similar manor and in my experience, there was nothing extra-mechanical involved.

ccain85 03-09-2006 09:38 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
i dont know anything about the video at question, but i have experienced similar throws(as uke that is), when i just kinda hit the ground and catch myself sayin, what the hell just happened?

peter martin-browning 03-10-2006 03:31 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

James Kelly wrote:
Wasn't there, but have been thrown in a similar manor and in my experience, there was nothing extra-mechanical involved.

Many thanks for your reply, James. I wonder, - when thrown in this way, were you gripping, say, the lapel of the keikogi, or was there some other point of contact between you and nage? The part that interests me is how it is possible for uke, making an attack in a straight line, to be thrown through a circular, horizontal trajectory, especially if nage does not take hold of uke with his hands. Of course some throws do make a body describe an arc through the air, but in this case the arc was 340 dgrees of a horizontal circle. One can see how a body can move in a vertical circle, as the feet leave the ground, pivoting round the centre. The weight is distributed above and below the centre. In the example I cite, however, the body starts in a vertical position, with weight above and below the centre, then rises into a horizontal position before describing a horizontal circle. All this is achieved by nage without taking hold of uke.
Do you or does anyone else have thoughts on this?


At your service




Peter Martin-Browning

Dirk Hanss 03-10-2006 07:33 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Just my 2 cts:

A good aikido technique is rather psychological than physical. That is why they look so simple and feel so smooth.

Uke needs to have two goals: to perform his attack and to protect himself. So if he tries to grab or push and he never reaches the point he aims for - but he must be always so close, tha he thinks, he would get it in an instance - , he would follow his target. If uke is facing a response (atemi or anything else), he would try to either stop it or evade.

So the trick is sensoring and timing. Uke must always have the illusion that his (re)action is the best possible and all the little changes lead to fall. You do not need hands an even no direct contact. If uke and nage know each other very well, it often looks like fake and at demonstrations you never know. But if uke has to take some hard atemi before, because he did not react correctly and timely, he might do the right move without playing.

Usually those great no-hand techniques are not the first in a series, but the demonstrating shihan just waits, until his uke is attacking fast enough and seems to expect something else. Then there are the right conditions for an extraordinary throw.

Dirk

James Kelly 03-10-2006 11:34 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
I was holding on. Can't think of a specific instance where I was thrown in a horizontal arch without touching nage but I don't see how it's not possible using simple mechanics. I expect with enough practice someone could throw themselves as described without a nage at all. It might look funky, but not impossible.

In capoeira I've seen people fly in what look like impossible directions -- sometimes with a partner, sometimes solo -- and there is certainly no discussion of ki or any extra natural forces (well, it is a very spiritual art, but no talk of extra natural phisical forces). Also, look at video of Michael Jordan in the air. At times it looks like he's changing direction mid flight. I don't think ki is involved, but you'd have to ask him.

I've taken a closer look at your description and here's the thing. If uke wasn't holding on and moved as you say and it's your contention that some extra mechanical force has to be involved, it sounds like it would not be an extension of ki but a contraction of ki. Is that even possible (in the ki lore) to contract your ki to keep uke's upper body close to you while letting his legs go wide (as happens often when uke is holding on)?

When I first started aikido I had read a lot about ki and thought that that was what I was going to learn: magical (read extra natural) physical powers. And at my first dojo, there was a lot of talk about such. But even with all the incredible people I've trained with, and all the spectacular things I've see and felt, I have no direct experience of anything that can't be explained by physics and psychology.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it (until, of course, I experience something that can't be explained).

James

Dirk Hanss 03-10-2006 12:35 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Hi James,

I don't think there is something supranatural in ki, but to though someone without touching is beyond simple mechanics. One thing is to make extraordinary moves, which you told us of. But to make someone move like this who does not want to, you need more. Sometimes simple mechanics does help. There is just very little power, but high leverage. But beyond this you have to find a way to make him move unwillingly voluntarily. I hope I got the right expression/picture.

That is simple or more complex psychology.

Dirk

NagaBaba 03-13-2006 08:43 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Dirk Hanss wrote:
That is simple or more complex psychology.

Dirk

yes, I think if you condition uke well enough, so soon, he will throw himself right when you look at him. :D

All these no-hands/touch throws are working really good ........only on aikido uke. There are very many ppl that progressively enter in such illusory world, some shihans included. One important part of this picture is a fact, that these days we teach how to receive technique and how to take falls safely. So often, the beauty of fall/ukemi becomes more important then actual efficient technique.

Some ppl seriously think that if they are able to make high flying break falls they become very good aikidoka. :eek: :eek:
Others think, they must do beautiful ukemi to make looks good their teacher's technique. :dead:

That how was born McAikido. :rolleyes:

Dirk Hanss 03-14-2006 06:01 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Szczepan!
You turned my post by 180 degrees :grr: and thus you spoiled it :mad:

I agree, that there is a good chance, that - especially in demonstrations - a supportive uke or even a pre-arranged choreography make it a farce. And from outside - at least for me as an amateur aikidoka - it is hard to detect.

I have not seen or even those wonderful great techniques, but in videos and one of them was definitely a fake - the one when uke had to lay down and went even unconcious, just because the "big sensei" looked at him.

However I have experienced simplier experiments, e.g. I tried to hit nage with yokomen uchi and nage did not move but put an atemi just in front of my nose without touching me - and I promise, at least the third time, I really tried to hit him, but I was not able to touch him. I have seen similar things on a seminar, where the sensei had to use an uke even of another organisation.

Nevertheless there are good reasons to use only experienced uke for high quality techniques.
1) You have to be very good to predetermine the reaction of a person, you have never seen before. So you better take an aikidoka, whom you have at least watched on a seminar and/or tested with some simplier techniques.
2) Even if the technique works, it might not look good, if uke does not know to roll, when he looses balance.
3) If uke does not react well, he might get hurt by an atemi, he did not avoid (only second level quality, as obviously you touched), or by a fall, he was not used to and could not manage.

But again, I agree, we should not care too much about it. When we feel, we are good enough to do those techniques, it is early enough to check details. I am just still a day dreamer.

For the next time, you choose me as uke, I can promise you: I will not be so stupid and resist to hitting a sensei, while he is still talking. I will just do, what I am told. At least I try my best not t make you look good, but to make me the king of the day :grr: :disgust: :crazy: :mad: evileyes

Have much fun - until then :D :p ;)

Dirk

Yann Golanski 03-14-2006 09:39 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
I know a no-hand throw... It does not require any hands -- in fact, it's so you can keep a pint of warm ale in your hands. Uke grabs tori's front shirt with right hand. Tori steps so that tori's left shoulder is under uke's right elbow... need I continue or can everyone work it out from there?

No ki, just body movement and mechanics.

bratzo_barrena 03-14-2006 02:38 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Throws without touching are real, and have nothing to do with mystical powers property of aikido, or some mysterious force. It's just timming.

And I maybe most of us have done it at least once. For example, when we were kids, and you grab the ball for a friend who is going to kick it real hard, to score a goal. your friend runs towards the ball... kicks with all his might, but just before he actually hits the ball, you pull it, so he kicks air and lands on his back.
Well you throw him without toching him. Magic... NO...special power...NO, timing form your part, becasu if you take away the ball too soon your friend is going to stop, and if you take it away too late, then he's just going to kick the ball... and your hand probably. :)
So you have timing, and what happens with the kicker? well he was co confident taht he was going to kick the ball, that when it didn't happen, his mind was wondering "whta the hell happend? where's the ball?, whit his foot was still kicking. So descoordination between mind and body, and he falls.
Same in aikido

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral FL

NagaBaba 03-14-2006 08:44 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Dirk Hanss wrote:
Have much fun - until then :D :p ;)

Dirk

So all these years you have been resisting to execute correct attack? :D Bad Dirk, bad boy....you don't trust your sensei, do you? You think he is not able to do a technique if you attack him for real? that's what you call respect......hmhmh........ :p

bratzo_barrena, you said timimg? I have a friend, he is 4th dan TKD. his kicks are faster then the speed of sound. And he will never give you even one milimeter of his balance. I'd like to see you throw him without touchig him :rolleyes: :D
remember, without a special conditionning, nobody will fall down just because you put your fist right to his nose. Only aikidoka do such horrors.

Michael O'Brien 03-14-2006 09:26 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I have a friend, he is 4th dan TKD. his kicks are faster then the speed of sound. And he will never give you even one milimeter of his balance. I'd like to see you throw him without touching him.

remember, without a special conditionning, nobody will fall down just because you put your fist right to his nose. Only aikidoka do such horrors.

Speed of sound is 761 miles per hour. Can I get a video with something that shows his kicks going faster than that? Having studied TKD personally to 1st Dan and trained and competed for many years in the 80's and 90's I've never seen a kick that fast.

Also, the horror of this particular aikidoka falling down when my Sensei puts his fist to my nose is the fact that if I don't fall down then I get hit in the nose.

Dirk Hanss 03-15-2006 03:26 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
So all these years you have been resisting to execute correct attack? :D Bad Dirk, bad boy....you don't trust your sensei, do you? You think he is not able to do a technique if you attack him for real? that's what you call respect......hmhmh........ :p

Last time was a fine tenkan, this one is a pure irimi attack. :yuck:

I can take them all. There is so much I have not learned in all these years. But not to blame my sensei I have to reply a few words. I rarely do full impact attacks, - I trust that my sensei can do the technique, but I do not trust my ukemi too far beyond, what I am used to. In other words - I really reduce the impact of the attack to the impact, I think, I can take from the responding technique.

Actually my sensei sometimes forgot to explain something and started again, while I was attacking. Then he just stopped my attack by protecting himself with a long arm, open hand targeting to my face. In the beginning my hit just missied him, and I had to take that - quite soft - hand in my face. Now my reaction is faster and usually I can stop the attack. That is how I am conditioned. You were the first one, I have experienced on my own, who did not only talk when showing specifics of the techniques, but already in the mid of the attack and still expects a real attack. Yes that why I did perform badly.

Probably next time I can switch. Good luck ;)


Dirk

bratzo_barrena 03-15-2006 08:31 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
bratzo_barrena, you said timimg? I have a friend, he is 4th dan TKD. his kicks are faster then the speed of sound. And he will never give you even one milimeter of his balance. I'd like to see you throw him without touchig him :rolleyes: :D
remember, without a special conditionning, nobody will fall down just because you put your fist right to his nose. Only aikidoka do such horrors.



MR. Szczepan,
I guess you don't understand Aikido. Timing is not about who is faster, is about the relationship between attacker and defender. This relationship implies distance, direction of movement, intention/determination of attacker, speed, etc. BUT NOT ONLY SPEED.
You said your friend kicks very fast. Which means I wouldn't be able to avoid his kick? If that is what you meant, maybe you're right, maybe you're not. He would need to kick me to know. But as I said before, is not only speed is not the only thing to take into consideration. By the way, I never said I was invencible, did I?
You also said that your friend wouldn't give me one milimeter of his balance. I would expect that. It's not his job to 'give me' his balance; it's MY JOB to take his balance.
And about throwing him without touching, If I get it right would be possible (even easier from a kick than from a punch, because one foot is already in the air). But just if I get it right. ;)

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral ,FL

happysod 03-15-2006 08:48 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

You also said that your friend wouldn't give me one milimeter of his balance. I would expect that. It's not his job to 'give me' his balance; it's MY JOB to take his balance.
Don't get this one - assuming a decent kicker and assuming you're not playing touchy, can't see how this would work other than the kicker allowing his balance to fail (the fabled holy grail of leading your uke into imbalance with no touch). With a decent kicker who refused to be led...

I have no real axe to grind with no-touch throws, I just personally would never rely on them - give me a bit of the anatomy to grab or strike and I'm happy

bratzo_barrena 03-15-2006 08:49 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Mr. Szczepan Janczuk
I forgot to clarify,
I don't belive no-touch throws are the result of energy extention, or ki, or some magical Aikido power. It's just mechanics.
Taking again your example of your friend kicking fast and strong.
If I get to move out of his line of attack, thus avoiding the kick, and at the same time make for example I make an atemi to his face (while his kick is still developing, this is very important) and your friend tries to avoid my atemi by taking his head back very fast, it's possible he would fall without I touching him. Why? because part of his body (foot) is moving forwardm and the other part is moving backwards. So balance is broken.
But is very important that he tries to avoid my counter attack. Now what happens if he doesn't try to avoid my attemi?, then I should land a strong atemi on his face. Maybe that would throw him, but in this case is a touch throw and usually with a broken nose.
As I said no magic powers, no mystical KI, just mechanics. And it's not possible only with Aikido either.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL

bratzo_barrena 03-15-2006 08:58 AM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:
Don't get this one - assuming a decent kicker and assuming you're not playing touchy, can't see how this would work other than the kicker allowing his balance to fail (the fabled holy grail of leading your uke into imbalance with no touch). With a decent kicker who refused to be led...

I have no real axe to grind with no-touch throws, I just personally would never rely on them - give me a bit of the anatomy to grab or strike and I'm happy

Mr. Ian,
I agree with you, no-touch throws is not what you aim for, I's not that one should TRY to throw anyone without touching, that would be stupid.
when you counter an attack, you should aim to strike your opponent if you make an attemi for example.
What throws him without touching is that he tries to avoid your attemi while still his own attack is developing. That breaks his balance.
If he doesn't try to avoid your atemi, then it just must land hard.
So no-touch throws are not (and should not be) your goal, they're are just a consecuense.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL

tedehara 03-15-2006 12:13 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
People are able to do no touch throws because they understand how to take up slack. The mechanics may look like small movements, but to the uke, the feeling is big. Unlike a beginner, who uses big movement, but has a small feeling to the technique.

Not everyone gets into the psychology of conflict, but it's safe to assume an opponent will have both a mind and body. And since the mind leads the body, it's easier to led their mind than struggle with their body.

Mark Freeman 03-15-2006 01:19 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Ian Hurst wrote:
give me a bit of the anatomy to grab or strike and I'm happy

Ian, if this was on another forum not far from here I could have some fun with that set up :D

Mark

Mark Freeman 03-15-2006 01:53 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara wrote:
People are able to do no touch throws because they understand how to take up slack. The mechanics may look like small movements, but to the uke, the feeling is big. Unlike a beginner, who uses big movement, but has a small feeling to the technique.

Not everyone gets into the psychology of conflict, but it's safe to assume an opponent will have both a mind and body. And since the mind leads the body, it's easier to led their mind than struggle with their body.

Thanks for that post Ted, this aspect doesn't seem to be explored greatly here. I don't see ki as something mystical, but neither do I believe it is purely a function of good body mechanics and timing. Although these must be present for ki to be utilised.
The mind is for me where the aikido takes place, the body just follows the mind. When the 'mental aikido' takes place if the body is co-ordinated, then if the mental aikido is effortless, the body will create it in the physical world.

No touch throws exist for those on the recieving end of them.
If you've never been on the recieving end of one, you can only doubt their validity not their existance.
I am sure there are people out there who do 'fall over' for their teacher ( no one hear of course ;) ). I am not one of them. As a student, when asked to attack my teacher, I do so with as much commitment as I can, I want to know what the 'truth' of that action is. Why would I want otherwise? Sometimes what follows is difficult to put into words. When you have given your mind fully to an attack and the thrower knows how to throw the attackers mind, then this is where the throw takes place, and of course the body has no choice but to follow. The overall feeling I have from being thrown in this way is one of 'joy' I seem to roll up off the mat with more enery than I started with. This does not happen all of the time of course, but enough for me to know what is real.
For me ki / mind are possibly one and the same thing for the purposes of utilisation.
I'm sure there are some questionable no touch throws going on out there, hopefully few.
I'm sure that there are no touch throws that are the result of good body mechanics, sharp timing and uke's art of self preservation, probably most.
I'm also sure there are no touch throws going on that happen on the pure ki / mind level. Some.

regards,
Mark

NagaBaba 03-15-2006 05:49 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Bratzo Barrena wrote:
I guess you don't understand Aikido.

Yes, only you alone in the whole world understand aikido, those with different opinions know nothing at all.
Quote:

Bratzo Barrena wrote:
But is very important that he tries to avoid my counter attack.

That's why I'm telling you, that only aikidoka will avoid your counter by throwing themselves.
In REAL world (outside of aikido set up and NOT on the street) there are infinite possibilities of reactions, very different from preprogrammed aikido uke response.
For example he may go out of line and make counter or simply redirecting your counter. It is physically possible, because our exemplary TKD friend firmly keeps his balance so he has a lot of choices what to do.

In aikido set up, uke does his attack once, and then must endure tori's technique, even if it is lousy atemi. After his attack done, he becomes not only neutral, but participates in tori's technique not by necessity, but because of his role.

And you take his role by natural reaction, or the only one reaction that is possible in this situation. That is of course pure illusion.

If you don't understand this mechanism, you will not only live in illusion until the end of you life, but you will transmit this illusion to your students. And that is a catastrophe.

NagaBaba 03-15-2006 05:53 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Dirk Hanss wrote:
Last time was a fine tenkan, this one is a pure irimi attack. :yuck:
Dirk

irimi??? non, only friendly kidding :D :p

NagaBaba 03-15-2006 05:55 PM

Re: Saito Sensei & the no-hands throw
 
Quote:

Ted Ehara wrote:
People are able to do no touch throws because they understand how to take up slack. The mechanics may look like small movements, but to the uke, the feeling is big.

I'm very interested by these small movements that don't touch attacker, but make big feelings. Would you like to provide an exemple?


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