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Old 06-23-2008, 09:28 AM   #39
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Aikido™ and Aiki…do. Where are we at?

Dan Harden wrote: View Post
You have already stated that you can see some crossover in what Gleason sensei does (Saotome line) in some of his movements. Has your training helped in your aikido™? Can you see a way to help others students?
Training aiki has help my aikido in that I really didn't totally buy into putting my mind on the person in different areas while I moved. It seemed to be easily explained by something like mass hypnosis - or overly wanting to please the teacher or something. Aiki training sold me on the idea and my aikido has dramatically changed for the better.

Some of the things Gleason sensei describes in terms of aikido waza are remarkably clearer now. The basic rules he explained like no pushing (think ikkyo), no pulling (think iriminage), and no lifting (think shihonage) make a lot more sense.

His tenchi nage and kokyu tanden ho is remarkably more accessible now that I have a lot more faith in where to put my intention. Kotegaeshi and the rest of the kansetsu waza are all clearer because I'm doing things much more like the way he does them.

I also notice that Gleason sensei doesn't stand where he dumps his weight down his front like so many in aikido. He stands much more like Dan stands. Aiki training has convinced me to really look at this, explore it, and make it my own.

Well, if anything I ever wrote was going to get me in trouble - this will be it: Gleason sensei has aiki in his aikido much more well defined than most I've encountered. I've seen so many people (no not all but MANY) in aikido get confronted by his aikido and RUN away from it as fast as possible. People do not want to deal with how far away they are from what he's got. George Ledyard sensei has remarked something about this like -if you like your aikido you probably won't like Gleason's sensei's aikido. You get the idea. Basically my impression is that many people in aikido don't even tend to want to be challenged by something beyond them in their OWN art. Kevin was talking about the 80/20 rule and it seems to be more like 95/5.

Anyway, there is little chance that *I* was going to QUICKLY develop aiki from Gleason sensei's aikido because I believe I would need him to be my training partner 8 hours a day for several years. You can certainly get a bit of it through touch. My typical experience is that I'll already have much more stability than my average training partner, so they grow more quickly and I grow MUCH more slowly in those situations.

I don't even know if the Dan Harden approach is "better" for any other reason other than I get a lot more one on one time with a major aiki-sempai working with me and not allowing me to get so much in the way of myself. The rest of the approach MAY be better, but who knows. It is what it is. I take the good with the _possibly_ not as good (maybe better). It has the added bonus of teaching me very direct things I can practice myself, AS WELL AS teach me MMA skills that I'm interested in.

On to the question more directly. I don't see MANY students getting too helped by this UNLESS I can make the personal connection with them such that they do not feel the need to run and hide to protect their "training belief system" that they have an ego investment in. The only way is charismatic power with passionate students open martial truth - with them then YES this training will help them tremendously. I know some - not many.

The main thing is to get it myself and be available as a resource to those people in aikido (or elsewhere).

This is not in the discussion, but I see myself also putting the time into this, into the supporting yoga, into MMA for fun, and also probably on my knees begging Shaun Raven's to share his misogi exercises with me (maybe even a trade when I get better enough to have something worth trading). I think there is something important to that training. I just have to prioritize where I put my time based on my own personal realities.

Very distracted today, sorry if I missed anything.


Last edited by rob_liberti : 06-23-2008 at 09:30 AM.
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