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Old 09-26-2006, 04:14 PM   #56
aikidoc
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
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Re: Video of Seichiro Endo Shihan

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
As someone who clearly prefers the "force of nature" style of Aikido I can see why you wouldn't like this. I am sorry but you are wrong about this. The surprise is defintely there when you deal with someone like Endo. It's not in the timing changes or some violent assault on the partner's structure, which is what you are used to. Endo, Yamaguchi, Takeda, Saotome Senseis all focused on "absorbing" the power of the attacker. You grab them and you feel nothing. Your balance breaks and you are not sure why, you can't figure out where your power went..
I have experienced this with Kato Sensei as well and to my understanding he was a pretty tough guy in the early days. When it has happened to me all I could do was laugh because I felt the power being drawn totally away. He gets upset with you if you don't grab hard. One of my students is a big guy-he about breaks your arm when he grabs you. Sensei just lifted his energy up and tossed him with no problem and he's a whole lot smaller.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
People think that power represents the expression of the martial side of Aikido. Having trained with some folks who come from older classical aiki backgrounds, I can tell you that the truth is exactly the opposite. They will set you up and dump you and you won't even feel it coming. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but since Mr Sczepan consistently maintains the opposite poistion on this, I think someone has to hold up this end.
I also think than many equate power with strength and force rather than relaxation and connection. To me the hardest power to deal with is one that takes your power and gives it back to you in a fashion where you don't feel it coming. It is much harder to respond to whereas the strength kind is easier since the tenseness is always there-there is no disguise.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
All this got changed in Aikido when the spirals got larger and the movements became very open and flowing. There were reasons for that but they had absolutely nothing to do with being more martial. Kuzushi isn't about throwing someone, although the technique might be a throw if one chooses. It's about placing the attacker in an off balance position in which you can strike him and he cannot respond. A throw is simply a strike you are choosing not to do..
Great comment!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Endo Sensei's interest is largely about how one uses the principles of aiki to absorb the attacker's energy at the instant of physical contact. He isn't interested in smashing people or torquing their joints. He is studying how to completely join with the attacker. I have taken ukemi from him and I can tell you that it's like grabbing air. I equal more than two of him in body mass and he moves me effortlessly..
Ah, the aiki in aikido. Perhaps that is something sorely missing in those who want to rely on strength or force to make a technique happen.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
This whole focus on getting to the point at which no one can throw you... what a lot of BS! Anyone can cut his outward energy flow and hunker down and get immoveable. Once you collapse your energy field like that, you might as well be a rock. I had a guy at camp do that to me... he was quite pleased that I "couldn't" move him. But why would I? The moment I felt him ground out, I slid behind him and had both my hands on his face with my fingers on his eyes. When you ground out and make yourself immoveable like that you are simply making yourself a non-moving target. If you are tense you cannot protect your suki (openings). That has nothing to do with good martial arts..
Another great comment. Those who "hunker" down and become immoveable simply do not understand the martial implications of the situation and leave themselves open for additional educational opportunities to be applied at will.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
People with limited understanding think that the "hard stuff" is the martial stuff. It's really the soft stuff that has the "goods". If you understand the soft stuff, power comes easily and effortlessly.

I realize that no amount of talking about this will change Szepan's mind. There are plenty of folks he can train with who will fulfill his greatest desires to be smashed and torqued. It is clearly his nature to do things this way and he has found his teachers. But others should not fall into this trap of thinking that this stuff is the highest level of Aikido..
It may be the highest level of ju jitsu.


Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
If anyone gets a chance to train with Endo Sensei, Takeda Sensei, Saotome Sensei, Gleason Sensei or any of the other decendents of the Yamaguchi influence, please do so. It will open your eyes (if you are open to it, anyway) to what is possible.
I don't know if Kato Sensei's influence was Yamaguchi or not but I would also suggest the same of him as well.

Last edited by aikidoc : 09-26-2006 at 04:18 PM.
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