Alex Lawrence wrote:
Just a train of thought here to check my current (and ever evolving) understanding of Aikido, would appreciate comments.
There seems to be a lot of talk about Aikido techniques not working against resistance but I thought the entire point of Aikido was to harmonise with and so use any resistance to throw uke.
Judo: Push when pulled. Pull when pushed. Aikido: Push when pulled. Turn when pushed. Resistance = uke pushing or pulling in order to stop technique; should provoke appropriate response in tori.
*SO* The point is not to execute a technique despite resistance; so if you are attempting a technique against resistance, you're not doing Aikido (failure to adopt correct solution to ukes push/pull so failure to harmonise, thus no use of the way of harmony).
So in an Aikido context any *improper* (i.e. not taken into account by Aikido thinking) resistance is executed by tori on uke by tori attempting to over power resistance by uke because no force from uke = no force to harmonise with = no technique.
So in an Aikido context there can never be any resistance because all energy expended by opponent should be used to throw uke, hence uke is at all times effectively non-resistant and complicit (albeit unconsciously) in throwing themselves.
So training to effect technique against resistance is not Aikido training. Training to use resistance is Aikido training.
Kata training should be done with no resistance thus simulating tori's use of uke's resistance to previous technique (i.e. full scenario would be, for example, Ikkyo attempted and resisted provoking use of irime nage ura but to get to the point we go straight to irime nage, zero resistance because of assumption of resistance of previously failed technique being used to execute irime nage ura) , introducing resistance simulates uke resisting their own resistance.
I'll post my opinion.
To borrow a phrase, resistance is futile.
But, really, resistance shouldn't mean a whole lot, whether it is there or it "isn't". So, let me explain ...
No matter what, whenever tori physically touches uke, there are two entities/energies/whatever meeting. That's pretty much a given. Also pretty much a given is that everyone's entity/energy/whatever is never stopped. If it is, then you are dead.
Now, think about that and you'll find that this idea of "because no force from uke = no force to harmonise with = no technique" is really smoke in the wind. There isn't anything substantial behind that idea. There will always, (and I really don't like to use that term) or 99.9999999% of the time, be some force from uke.
And this is where Aikido diverges. In most schools, the way to "harmonize" with that force is to somehow *affect* uke. Tori is an active participant in bringing an *affect* to uke's force. At higher levels, no, you don't need an attacking uke to achieve this.
The break from this is in using the internal "stuff". Using that, you *effect* uke rather than having an *affect* on them. Tori's internal centering is done completely by tori and has no need of an uke to accomplish. However, once uke physically touches tori and that internal "center" for lack of a better word, then uke receives an effect. Re-read Ellis Amdur's post about Tomiki to understand this. Tomiki just stood there and there wasn't a thing that the ukes could do about it. Yet, Tomiki easily threw them. It wasn't that Tomiki *affected* them. No, the uke's being thrown were from an *effect*. In other words, Tomiki's internal "centering" was the cause and uke's grabbing created the effect of being thrown.
Two distinct ways of using Aikido. The most common is the *affect* version. And that's where all this talk of "resistance" is coming from.
It's my understanding that if you are doing the internal "stuff" and using the *effect* version, that this resistance talk goes away because it isn't relevant. Hmm ... let me see if I can describe this better. I'm sure Rob, Mike, or Dan will correct me if I get it wrong since I'm a beginner at this stuff.
Using internal "stuff", when encountering an uke, the uke has very little options other than to "harmonize" with tori. As a very basic example ... a scaled down version of a windmill. Let's say that the fans are turning fairly quickly. If you grabbed one of those blades, you're going to get an effect. Just a very, very basic description and don't break it down and critique it. It's just an example of how someone can get an *effect* in a situation without the other side "doing" something to them. The windmill didn't move and didn't use itself to accomplish some off balance on you. But you did find yourself going in the direction of the fans, either just your arm or depending on circumstances, your whole body.
In sort of that manner, "resistance" becomes irrelevent when using internal arts.
Anyway, if you really want to understand, find someone who can do the internal stuff and get some hands on time/training.