Here Sean, believe it or not, is studying Irimi:
Here I am studying Irimi:
After a while, things related to Irimi themselves start to be influenced by the new questions and the new contexts and the new answers. So, for example, kaiten and tenken start to be understood differently, and, in turn, these things come to change Irimi, ad infinitum. You then get new angles and new timings, new axis points, etc., and maybe it these stuff was there all along, but not for you it wasn't, and not until now. Thus, I can say, this is not how my teachers did Kaiten Nage, but it is, but it isn't, but it is, but it isn't, etc.:
After that, your kaiten nage, for example, doesn't look like others', don't feel like theirs, etc. Why? Cause it's yours. You've made the art yours. That's not a bad thing - that's supposed to happen.
I watched your videos and think that they are good training exercises. What struck me, though, about them and about your comments, is that my impression is that the goal is to throw one's partner. I don't see the basic skills that are learned in fundamental practice being explored and applied to this more intense context.
Again, I'm working off my impressions of what things appear to be in the videos, so please don't take anything personally, these are just some thoughts, but I have been teaching Aikido for 25 years and used to spar standup with my BJJ teacher, as well as some pretty mean boxers and other arts, so I have some sense of this stuff. Making Aikido "your own" is a "worthy" goal, and all well and good - but when does it cease to become AIkido and become just what a person feels may work for them in an attack? I do not subscribe to the notion that "anything is Aikido." To me, the danger here is that goals, intentions, basics, and the essential things that make Aikido Aikido, can easily get lost in the service of - I need to know how to deal with a more intense attack.
In the years that I have seen other styles, I have not seen too much in the way of training that I would consider more than just "dojo Aikido" which to me is more about performing techniques than actually doing and applying AIkido. What I have seen beyond that mostly disappointed me, because it tended to go in directions that to me were not Aikido, just attempts to "fight back" or "beat the attacker" - not the application of Aikido skills in the new context.
For me, there are many other "levels of attack and learning" involving the intent to:
- fight (untrained)
- fight (trained fighter - fakes, non-committal, set-ups etc.)
- create Chaos
I believe that it is imperative (for me at least) to explore and understand how what is contained in kihon waza applies to these other levels of intention and attack. There are things that have to be adapted, yes, but for me, there is a fundamental criteria for what I will "accept" as "the right direction" and what I will not.
Dealing with a good kick/puncher with just "dojo Aikido" is not easy at all, generally speaking. But where one finds the "solutions" that one comes up with to do so, to me, is very important. To a large degree, that means understanding all the skills that are applied in the encounter leading up to a technique, particularly how apply Aikido to cover the main strike zones, not just - take hits, get there, and throw. BJJ has very good ways of entering and taking the person down - some of which I would say are akin to Aikido, many of which, to me, are not. Other arts have ways of entering and concluding a boxing attack as well.The difference, for me, is what's important.
I'm not trying to be critical for the tsake of criticizing, just expressing some thoughts about how one goes about exploring shu-ha-ri.