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Old 06-01-2007, 08:08 AM   #9
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Awase (from Meaning of Competitive)

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Let me be a bit more clear...
Before we get too clear, -- a bit more questioning mud perhaps... ?

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Awase, at least as I understand it, is quite literally about "matching" your partner. This is the basic principle at work when you do Kata practice. In Kata work, ones goal is to give the partner exactly the type of response which, in turn, allows his next movement and so on. ...Aikido kihon waza practice is generally about awase. The practice is about a mutual connection. There may be tempo changes etc. but the purpose is to challenge and thereby develop the ability of the uke to stay connected (awase) through out the whole movement.
So far, OK, although I do not necessarily agree with what I feel is implied in this description -- that there is a fundamental inversion in how we practice (whether kihon or ki no nagare) from how we apply the art in a combat situation. I see a continuum of practice into the area of potentially destructive energy where it is nage relenting in the full final motion (the reversing portion of the wave) that saves uke and permits ukemi.

I am fully prepared to be corrected. However, as I see it, both the kihon and the combat techniques let the practitioner find the inflection points I described earlier, where uke's predicament begins, and kihon or ki no nagare practice merely stops where injury would begin to be realized from the compromised dynamic structure he has been led into.

George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
In combat, one is not striving for awase. Rather, one strives to put the other opponent "out of phase" or "out of sync" with ones movements.
I understand what I think you are saying. But is this really true in the way you are saying it? It may simply be that I look at this as a tighter analog to the actual "phase" relationship of waves than you intended in your use of it as a descriptive model. But I think that aspects of the tighter parallel are worth seriously considering.

I interpret what I am doing as placing uke's structure slightly out of synch with his own movements, which disconnect progressively diverges. Since I place my structure in connection to his and my movements in synchrony with his altered structure, he is unable to restore his structure to his movement, or have the stability necessary to alter mine. He therefore moves as I move, because his structure is shaped to my movement, not his, and with a compromised structure he is unable to do much to alter his or the combined movement until my connection is lost.

In your oscilloscope model, kihon would be allowing that reversal potion of the movement (top or bottom of the wave) simply to go "flat" at "completion" in the practice setting -- at the top (or bottom of a wave) thus locating the cusp of the critical reversal point where the region of potentially serious damage begins, and where you know you have "got" him. The flattening means that his energy, still approaching ours makes the potential energy difference lessen.

In ki no nagare we begin to explore the shallower reaches of the reversed slope past that point but, in practice, progressively releasing our connection as we do it, bleeding just enough energy out of the movement to allow ukemi to occur, and allowing our ukemi to improve. Nage's change of sign has occurred, but his is still on the increasing trend the opposite way -- and thus the potential energy in the interacting is rising.

The "full" combat expression continues into full the reversal of sign portio of the wave at same energy level, which risks serious damage. The energy of uke comes into opposition (opposite sign) with that of nage in an uncontrolled manner (from uke's perspsective), and the potential energy difference is then at its largest.

The point of maximum difference in potential energy occurs just before his energy changes sign at the top or bottom, and I bring my own energy to the midline or zero. While my energy becomes literally nothing -- I maximize the energy that can be released in our interaction and the damage it can do through my connection.

Like a circuit -- if I maintain a complete connection past that point in the cycle, the potential energy difference is realized into actual flow from high energy to low energy (relative to zero) and the circuit fries if the energy is large enough to overload its capacity.

But that happens, it seems to me because we initially match (awase) in a "locked" phase step, but then increasingly diverge from one another in actual energy, while staying in the same phase lock relationship. It works because of the fundamental nature of the dynamic that is established in doing it in that particular way, and the structural advantage gained in doing it. I do not perceive the entry into this dynamic position different whether I am working kihon or ki no nagare, although the endgame is very different in sensibility.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-01-2007 at 08:22 AM.


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