View Single Post
Old 06-09-2005, 03:08 PM   #102
L. Camejo
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Re: Culture of Martial Mediocrity?

Michael Gallagher wrote:
Sometimes when my partner jabbed, say with his left hand, I parried by brining my hand in from the outside and then hooked down, so that the "blade" edge of my left bag glove was resting on his veins. At the time, I thought it had felt like kote gaeshi postion, just getting there more directly. But then I remember Fook Sao from Wing Chun and a block from Kali that are also similar; Kali alos has a version of kote gaeshi; we just call it the wrist lock. So that's why I backed away from saying it was an Aikido techique.
Right, well the human body can only be twisted in so many ways, a wristlock is a wrist lock, any differences are found in the "how" of achieveing it imo. I've found nothing totally unique in "Aikido waza" as yet.

Michael Gallagher wrote:
Ok, this is where you and Andy might part company. His goal is to have us develop "presence of mind" while we spar, so we can play with particular techniques in that random forum. Othwerise, you dumb down to gross body motions and don't use those nice techniques. "Well, if I can't do them while sparring," he says, "how can I do them on the street?"

This is why the sparring is starting off at quarter speed: to take the flight or fight reflex out of it so we can play with more detailed techniques. First, though, you have to kick out your ego, your pride, and your desire to win. I have a lot of work to do there.
Not so sure if we'd part company. There are many goals to be achieved in doing randori and playing with the techinques at lower speeds and resistance so that one starts to internalise the basic movements that require one to adapt and apply the "nice techniques", as well as the not so nice ones, is only one aspect of the freeplay paradigm. The ones I outlined are others and do apply to what you were speaking of earlier. From my experience the more one trains in freeplay at lower speed and resistance levels and then slowly builds to the higher speed and resistance levels one slowly develops a means of not "dumb (ing) down and using gross body motions". It's all in what you focus on while practicing this way imo.

Michael Gallagher wrote:
Actually, I'm no stranger to sparring. What's new is the "quarter speed" regime Guro Andy is starting, but it's not like I've never sparred. I was just never good at it.
I didn't think that you were a stranger to sparring actually. The training history you gave sort of indicated that.

Michael Gallagher wrote:
Well, first off, this is an Aikikai-affiliated dojo. So that should tell you what sort of randori there is.
Right. That could be a challenge to spontaneous training with full resistance then, but may still be of assistance at the lower resistance, slower levels.

Michael Gallagher wrote:
If your response is to argue that randori will help get me there quicker, let me remind you of that although we did some soft stick sparring a couple of years ago, I did my first quarter speed session EVER last night, and I've known Andy since 1997. (Everything else to date has been drills and practicing techniques.) So, eight years with one instructor, seven years of continuous Kali training, and first quarter speed sparring about 24 hours ago. And my biggest issue in sparring, as I mentioned, seems to be my ego.
I'm not arguing anything actually. My initial post was more of a rant than anything else. Our methods serve me very well in what I want to achieve regarding spontaneity and exploring the depth of Aiki strategy, tactics and concepts.

Everyone learns best at their own pace and with different stimuli and methods. I tend to do a lot of non-martial things as well that tends to help me to understanding my weaknesses in Aikido from a different perspective. Imo one needs to understand the ways in which one learns things best and try to use those methods to aid in understanding a concept, even if the required methods may not exist within the teaching paradigms of the school one belongs to.

Michael Gallagher wrote:
So maybe if I stay with Kali and Aikido for a few more years, I might see something of what you're talking about. But not right now, I don't think. And even then, one of my projects is to keep the arts separate, do Kali in Kali and Aikido in Aikido. That's another influence of Guro Andy's. So even if I develop presence of mind in Kali, the next thing is to apply Kali in that format. Whether that rubs off on Aikido, I don't know, but it's not because I'll be consciously integrating them.
Well as one who Instructs Aikido and Jujutsu and regularly practices in Judo, Kali and Wing Chun/JKD concepts, I think keeping things separate is important for developing each one independently and allowing things to "gel" on their own when the time is right. However I have also seen that when necessary they integrate on a subconscious level and blend quite nicely if the situation ever arises and a spontaneous reaction is required. But this is just my experience.

In the end I don't think that one's devlopment of spontaneous reactions is totally limited to or by any style and has more to do with the individual's natural responses to conflict. Spontaneity training builds on this natural response (or way of responding) to conflict. So it is very likely that one may learn body movement and trapping/flowing drills in one art (like Kali) and be able to apply it to Aikido randori in some form (of course it depends on the person to discover this link and explore themselves). In my case, Aikido tai sabaki and tsukuri drills have helped in both my kali and jujutsu training in different ways. The Aikido tanto randori drills help the kali and the toshu randori drills help the Jujutsu - fascinating.
But this is only in my experience however.

Happy training.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
  Reply With Quote