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Old 04-26-2008, 05:46 PM   #12
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 434
Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

Whoa! Thanks for taking the time to write a reply, Ellis. I've been fascinated by your other books and articles, so I'll be sure to give the new one a look. Good luck with the finishing process.

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Paul - the techniques were/are the best one could ever come up with regarding empty-hand vs. weapon. Nothing absurd about them. (...) one still did what one could. They would still be applicable today in similar situations.
So to attempt to paraphrase: aikido techniques at their jujutsu core are weapon-taking methods. Then to really get aikido, it seems like you'd want to do a ton of serious weapons-taking practice. The problem that hits me about that is that...well. As you say, it's extremely hard to take a knife out of someone's hand. I don't think I've ever seen it done in person with a truly hellbent uke. (Then again, I have to say that most of the kokyu-nage-style throws that I've seen work were in the context of tantodori. Increased intensity -- I'm going to grab you and stab you -- and increased focus on one point -- the knife arm -- might be the cause? But this is all anecdotal.)

I saw this recently:

So perhaps aikidoka should start doing these kinds of exercises, but with a keikogi? (To simulate the attire of the techniques' developers.) Perhaps this is what ikkyo, kotegaeshi, iriminage, and other such techniques are really optimal for? (Not that it'd necessarily be textbook; but by practicing ikkyo kata, you'd get better at taking knives.)

What about atemi in this context? I remember Ellis' suggestion about tracing through techniques looking for atemi points. This seems trickier to practice without bashing each other up quite a bit; although perhaps partial-force blows could work. (Not in a competition, but in a randori-style practice.) Soft knives don't seem like a bad idea; as has been discussed before, people tend to hold back quite a lot with an object in their hands in practice, for fear of injuring their partner. ("Here, just catch my arm and pin me, it's going to be safer." -- on a subconscious level.)

Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Jujutsu was an amalgam of those techniques, retrofitted, so to speak, + sumo + sophisticated body alignment/organization/ki-kokyu type training - each ryu emphasizing one or the other of these, and further researching them.
As for aikido and body organization type principles, it sounds like older ryu definitely believed in the value of these things. Why is it that modern competitive martial artists don't find these give them an edge? Or perhaps they do ... maybe all that conditioning also has a body organization element to it, instead of just building strength and endurance?

Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
We are definitely principle based. Essentially we have about 160 techniques. But if you train only a handfull (40) with a focus on principles, you find yourself not really thinking of technique anymore. (...) Ikkyo in this respect, has a multitude of expressions. So does Kota Gaeshi. Kota is primarily a study of throwing through the forearm. Ikkyo- through an outstretched arm.

I am a pretty practical guy with 20 years of Jujitsu as well. A bodyguard by trade, if I did not trust the value of my training, I would move on in a heartbeat.
So it sounds like this ryu is an example of a school that believes in principle-based training: the techniques may or may not have direct application, but by moving arms and such around in different ways, general grappling ability improves. Is that a fair characterization?
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