David Valadez wrote:
If you suspend this notion (i.e. that which worked works), even if just temporarily, and you then go beyond to investigate the whys and hows that supported such a working, you are going to realize real quick that having something that "worked" is just the beginning of one's investigation into what works (what is good/what is practical).
In this example, you see a technique that worked. Why? How? If one is truly interested in seeing what works, one is going to ask these questions -- moving beyond the fact that it worked.
I think you have hit upon a great point here.
Often when things work for folks they don't try to understand the whys and hows of what happened to fully learn and evolve from the experience, but go off beating their chest assuming that because something worked once that it will always work.
For the true Budoka, this sort of blind acceptance of what "worked" is simply unacceptable. It is imperative imho to analyze, deconstruct, reverse-engineer, pressure test etc. the factors, theories, and concepts that underly the application of an effective technique in a particular scenario so one understands fully why something works (or worked) and is thereby fully capable of repeating the result given the same or similar conditions. This method also assists the Budoka in developing what "worked" to a higher level where it "works" on a regular basis in a variety of situations because of a thorough understanding of the underlying factors involved in having it work.
This concept returns somewhat to something we spoke of in another thread with form training and randori training. An actual SD situation can be seen as a very high or challenging form of randori where one may learn certain lessons that (assuming one survives) can be addressed later by returning to one's study of form and the theories of Aiki tactics and applications to find better ways to deal with the particular situation in future.
This is the approach used by folks in competitive Aikido as well, one does not assume that the technique that works at one instant will work on the same person again 5 mins later. The Aikidoka who uses competition as a learning and development tool does not stop evolving one's approach to combat because a technique worked once on a particular person in a particular scenario, since these folks know too well that what works once does not work all the time, as one's partner will tend not to give the same openings and fall for the same technique repeatedly, not to mention use your own responses against you.
Rob Liberti wrote:
You need to back off on the competition enough to learn how to be even less forceful and remain effective.
Seeing the above I need to ask - How much experience do you have in using/training in Aikido competitively Rob? And at what level?
The reason why I ask is because those who seriously compete in Aikido actually realise that being "forceful" does not mean a technique will work in competition (in fact quite the opposite). The use of the technical paradigm is much more involved than that simple, low level of upper body muscle driven application. As in other combat sport (e.g. Judo), the tense or forceful individual in competitive Aikido is easily dealt with since they often cannot feel subtle, soft changes that takes one's balance and exploits the use of force, so this approach to training does not improve one's competitive Aikido at all imo. As a result, most seek to apply the waza in a relaxed manner as this is most times more effective and successful against a skilled opponent who is well trained to use your force very effectively to his own ends.
Where did you get the idea that competitive practice=forceful practice or application of waza? One can be powerful without being "forceful" and sensitive without collapsing. Imho true power is found in relaxation and is a central aspect in Aikido kata, randori, competition and self defence applications.
One uses the force given to them . 3+7=10 and 9+1=10. It depends on the situation.
Just a few thoughts.