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Old 06-16-2006, 09:31 AM   #13
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
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Re: What do you think?

I enjoyed the clip. I thought there was a lot of grace and power, that the participants had trained hard, and that the throws demonstrated a wide variety of aikido waza. Iriminage, shihonage, kotegaeshi nage, hijiate kokyunage, kaiten nage, koshinage, some nice kokyu nage duck under and entering throws, ushiro waza...Pretty much the entire basic syllabus of aikido waza. There was also a good combination of aikido variations displayed in the clip. Kaeshiwaza, oyo waza, and pretty good basics through out were displayed. No suwari waza...but audiences tend not to really get suwari waza...so for a demonstration of aikido I thought it was very complete.

Overall, I thought the participants were a little light on their feet at some points, and that the kuzushi on some throws was not there. The opening shihonage kuzushi was dependant on a complete lock of the arm, which did not seem to be there...uke was taking a fall (and that happens for all of us occasionally at least). The next sumi otoshi was begun well, but shite turned so quickly for the next uke, it seemed as though there was no real zanshin or completion to the throw. But I have to contrast that with some of the kokyu nage done as entering throws, where you could see the power of the throws clearly. The uke in these throws were clearly being thrown in a direction where they could not provide the power or distance. The same for the koshinage and the duck under throws.

A few of the attacks were not on target, and at times I wondered about the close ma ai. But these seemed to be rather small women in the demonstration, so their ma ai would of necessity be smaller to what I might find comfortable if I were doing jiyu waza with say, Mr. S. Zanshin is extremely hard to demonstrate in a 3 person jiyu waza where kaeshi waza is taking place. To keep the speed reasonable, you are forced to move quickly to the next uke, especially since the waza seemed to be chosen to be representative of a wide corpus of aikido. In a more "realistic" portrayal of a 3 person randori, I would personally never have time for many of the throws if the uke were 'out to get me'. But I don't think that was the purpose of this demonstration as shown by my comments above, so I didn't really expect to see that.

Overall, I personally would like to see a lower center, better attacks, more zanshin, less bounciness. But I'm not sure I could do as well in portraying a picture of the aikido corpus under the same conditions. And if these ladies were between 1st and 3rd dan, I'm not sure we should expect any more from such a demonstration. Frankly, if I were a teacher, I'd be pretty darn proud of them and the efforts they displayed. I believe there is room in aikido for just this sort of demonstration...it is rewarding to the onlookers from outside of aikido, the dojo, and the participants. There are times for different types of demonstrations as well.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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