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Old 01-01-2007, 12:54 AM   #8
Don
Dojo: aikido of charlotte
Location: Charlotte
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 112
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Re: Crazy Ki demonstration by Barrish Sensei

If one wants to take a charitable position, it would seem to me that at least in some of the video, the uke's are reacting to movements made by nage but in a very stylized manner. For instance when he makes a motion toward their head in preparation for irimi nage, uke's head snaps back, but at least in the slow mo of the video it appears very overstylized. One might even extend that explanation to the no touch stuff where uke(s) are advancing toward nage and nage moves toward them. One might explain this as uke's reaction to nage's movement.....however it is a real stretch. For instance if you as uke are moving in toward me and I feint atemi at your head, if you are aware you may stop and draw your head back. Further if you as uke are spooked by that and I advance toward you, you could conceivably step back and I could then take balance and throw or project.

Much of what we see as apparently miraculous throws have a component of this leading I think, but also have a component of "stylized reaction". I think some of this is trained by the particular sensei/school and some of it comes culturally from Japan.

That is not to say that someone who daily trains many hours per day for many years would not be able to so read a person's intent/attitude and body mechanics that they would not be able to pull off some pretty interesting throws. I saw Tamura sensei a few years a go at the 40th anniversary USAF summer camp and had a few chances to watch him up close. He would walk around (now this is a shihan in his late 70's) and offer his wrist to some young strapping blackbelt and they would be unable to do the technique unless they had used considerable muscle power. He would stand there and have himself well coodinated in position AND he would subtlely move to put uke at a disadvantage. Then he would switch roles and do the technique on them. It took me quite a while to see this but he would always present for instance a wrist and as uke was attacking he would very subtlely change position or move so that uke was in a disadvantaged position. That was much more interesting and tangible than no touch throws. It was real, it was something IF you saw it you could practice, and there was no stylized falling or reacting.
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