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Old 01-22-2008, 08:59 PM   #71
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: Is Aikido effective for police?

Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
I believe I fully understand your position.
my use of the words kata and technique came more from pugilism, I.e. Traditions that focus less on the connection between two centers. Kata being a string of techniques.

Renshi Clodig teaches few techniques and teaches them quite slowly so that you fully understand the principles involved. When tested, you must be able to perform under any conditions( no matter what form of energy is given to you).

It doesn't take studying many techniques before you evolve beyond technique. In the videos where I irimi while I take a punch to the jaw and where I smother a boxer's flurry, I envisioned no specific ending or technique. In the third video, my uke moved faster than I was talking and I had to move quite instinctively. In one instance I threw him with my chin. The principles make the technique happen. Often you can barely name the waza according by a traditional name, only by the principles you applied to topple uke.
Actually, Angier Sensei was one of the people I credit with changing my perception of proper training. He would take a very simple movement, not a whole technique, but just the crucial element and do that slowly until you felt it in your body. The level of relaxation he exhibits is phenomenal. We once spent one day and a half at a seminar in which we did one simple movement. At the end of that time, the only ones who were still with him, not sitting around talking or messing about with other stuff, were the three Aikido guys, which I thought was funny... where else are you going to find folks who think that how you turn your wrist over when grabbed is interesting enough to spend almost two days doing it?

Anyway, it really struck me how he wouldn't go on to something more complex until you had the component piece correct. There's simply no point. I think we could learn a lot from that. If we spent quite a bit more time at the beginning of our training developing a sense of how correct technique should actually feel, precisely what your body is doing when executing technique, practice of waza would be far more productive. We spend years repeating technique wrong and then have to re-program ourselves when we finally figure it out.

Anyway, I have never met Clodig Sensei but Don Angier is one of the very finest martial artists I have ever seen. The first time I trained with him back in the 80's was when I first realized that an American Caucasian could actually be every bit as good as the best of the Japanese teachers. I had never seen anyone functioning at that level and it inspired me. I wish more people could have the chance to feel what that level of skill is like... and then realize that it can be explained and taught in a systematic fashion.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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