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Old 03-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
Re: Freeform Bokken Drills to Develop Aiki Flow

Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
I do want to make an important point (I haven't read anyone else state this). There is a big difference between extremely developed internal aiki skills Dan has shown me so far and some of the other aiki skills (or maybe I should say aikido skills) I have not seen anyone else do other than Gleason and Saotome senseis. I personally want to train all of them in a way that best works for me. For instance:

- Dan teaches in the best way FOR ME how to do internal training.

- Gleason sensei teaches in the best way FOR ME how to protect my agressor, drop my ego, manifest my true self. I just couldn't learn his internal skills from him as well as I can learn internal skills from Dan Harden. However, I will note that Gleason sensei and Dan are BOTH telling me extremely similar things. I just jive with Dan's approach better on the topic of directly training internal skills - and I love how he applies them to MMA.
In one sense I would love to see some big name UFC guy come to Dan's barn and fight him and have a video of it. On the other hand, I'd rather no one blieve that Dan has any ability what-so-ever so I can keep him focused on teaching me. Then some day some UFC champion in his 20s can challenge me and I can be the big hero of internal arts meets MMA for all the world to see on you-tube! But probably, I'll just continue to learn and not worry to much about what anyone else thinks.

Here's my opinion on the whole thing. When my 4 year old attacks me, I am SO much more powerful than he is, that I can stop him from hurting me without hurting him at all. I truly believe that training what Dan (and probably what Mike and Akuzawa) train can make an adult SO much more powerfull than another fairly well trained ADULT that I should be able to stop him from hurting me without hurting him. To me that is what aikido as a martial art should be about and that's where I plan to take it.
Rob Liberti
Hi Rob
I snipped some, but I think you made some interesting points regarding this method of training and a separate compelling argument for how they may be used in or out of Aikido. You expressed your opinion well in a public post-so, here's mine.

Training this way will change your body. Once that happens, everything else starts to change...forever. And the more you change, the more centered and powerful you get. As There are different ways to train that build on things gained The more powerful you get, the more your expressions of power are manifest in *all* your movements-regardless of style. So, the more powerful and precise you get-the more your waza changes. It never ends.
At this point in my life I can no more think of Aikido then I can think of Daito ryu or Koryu jujutsu, judo or MMA. Names and waza have become more or less meaningless and all blend together. Over time the power morphs the waza into something new, that is every bit a personal expression of you and your mindset. For some they may cease to care about peacefully ending things when their short in-close strike has the power to break bones or knock someone out and end it fast? When hitting, kicking, or controlling, become equal options of a far more viable sort than they previously knew or were capable of. It really becomes a matter of personal choice as you yourself change.
As George Ledyard clearly states, the totality of the expression in and for aikido has to be learned from within aikido to BE aikido. Anything else...just isn't aikido. These side trips to learn these skills will be nothing more than that.

Your questions about applicable use from Aikido to MMA and back again as a possible personal quest was posted publicly but I chose to wait to "discuss" it with you in person. The proverbial picture meaning more than words.
What I was attempting to show you Saturday in the short time we had is-I believe- beneficial to address here in your post. I was attempting to demonstrate the potentials that can be expressed and perhaps more clearly define an answer to your previous post about direction and choice.
For folks here it was a demonstration that performed a wide ranging tactical approach in attacks- to a common resolution with not only internal power being used in response, but a limited in scope limited use throughout the range of attacks. In other words handling attacks of varied types with the outcome being expressed as applicable and identifiable "art specific" waza. Driven with internal power
We did.
Aikido; tenchi nage with two hands throwing you in a roll...away
Daito ryu's Aik-no-jutsu; one hand dropping you over your own center to land at my feet in a breakfall
Judo style throw resistance with no counter offered. Then the same with dumping you at my feet
Koryu jujutsu neck breaks and sacrifice throws with the same body-winding as the basis for the throw
To BJJ's in the mount, with exhibiting the same crossline body work with peng from the knee to hand to the crucifix, jujigatame and single hand chokes,
On to the one Rob asked about two years ago;
You mounting me and me hitting and throwing from me on my back.
On to boxing and the power and speed enhancement that are expressed with unified movement making the strikes and counters both hard to see yet expressing power without wind-up and retraction, thus garnering more openings.

Where will it take you or anyone who pursues this training
All of those examples were things done with simple and demonstrable commonality of movement expressing power. So where or how you end up using these skills are really your personal choice, and proclivities. Remaining in Aikido is great, though anyone will, in the end seriously, and permanently, change both the way you see the art and the way you perform it.
I hope what I am about to say doesn't anger George.
It is my view that your body will create waza you were never capable of exploring, and directions of use you would never have even *seen* without training this way. Further, it will inexorably alter the way you interact with anyone who tries to "do" a thing to you. In time, any waza folks attempt won't matter much either; locks, throws, and entries will start to seem rather insipid and amateurish to you. In the fullness of time your Aikido, will be something completely different than what you are doing now.
If you train this way and take it seriously, it will teach you and change you. The change is unavoidable.

I think you saw a very clear and renewed look at yet another far more profound question to be answered for a career in Aikido. One which will be revealed to all the new guys in time. That is
What will you do when you gain enhanced skills, in measure, and you can no longer BE thrown by just about anyone you will meet without tremendous effort?
How will the well-accepted aikido doctrine of cooperation that makes aiki-do's version of aiki be dealt with- when the vast majority have little to no ability to do much of anything to you at all?

And in the end, who will be judged as actually the one doing Ai-ki-do? Will the better abled be judged the heretic and marginalized? Will the other a less connected guy shouldering and muscling through waza with nary a clue or "blending" with everything be considered the truer model of Aikido?
As more men and teachers get stumped and then intrigued, will it change *just* them? or change the face of Ai-ki-do as it is being disseminated in the future? Again George Ledyard many posts address that.
Only those in Aikido can make that decision for Aikido.

That said I simply cannot see things remaining the same, stagnated like they are. this power is simply undeniably true and will present -in time-irresovable issues in the art. Issues it hasn't faced since Tohai walked away. Then, it could be ignored as Kissomaru did many times with its gloosed over history regarding Daito ryu and his recreation of modern aikido waza then Tohei's rise to power more similar to his dad.
Now the art is assailed on multiple fronts.
1. Global communication after people seeing and feeling and failing.
2. People gaining more real world approached to personal combatives {MMA)
3. Facing real aiki, real power and learning to express it from within the art of Aikido.
Should be an interesting and revolutionary ten years.
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