Re: Seiseki Abe Sensei video....whats going on here?
I am reserving my comments on the video and both what people think they are seeing in the video (irregardless of what Abe Sensei is saying in the video - think rocket science simplified for kindergarteners) and what is actually going on there. I will say this though...
As many of you know, I am about as far from Aiki-bunny as one could get, both as uke and nage. However, for many years I tried to be the "sensitive" uke for Abe Sensei because I wanted to feel what he was doing on many levels, including physically, with his breath and even his intention. Abe Sensei pointed out that I should be looking for these things, and I was. But I want to be very clear - If I ever even bent my knee to take ukemi and it was in any way disproportionate to exactly what he was doing or how he was throwing me, he would stop me mid-stride and have me correct my posture and start over. Abe Sensei is 5 feet tall and probably weighs less than a 100 pounds. Until I had been training with him for more than 10 years I could never move him, break his posture and certainly never throw him irregardless of anything I tried to do - and I tried it all. That is not to say what would have happened had I walked up behind him and hit him over the head with a chair... that is a story for another day.
I used to think all kinds of things about the sensitivity of the uke, and the importance of training with that in mind. I still feel that most focus way too much on throwing, and way to little on ukemi. I see it every day at every dojo. However, one thing is certain now, as it has been made clear to me by my own specific martial influences - it should really never matter what the uke is doing, how much he outweighs me, nor what skills he has as a martial artist or as an uke. If I can not control them completely and lift their feet off the ground in less than a split second and complete control where they go, how they land and with how much force, then I am only fooling myself into thinking that I have merely but introduced myself to what martial arts are really about. Me...? I have tested my teachers completely. I have tried to expose their weaknesses, knock them down, knock them out, catch them by surprise and resist their techniques at every level - all to no avail. This includes Abe Sensei, in his 90's. Had the results been different, I would have other teachers. Wouldn't you?
You are free to form whatever opinion you want of some made for TV special video clip on the internet. One thing is for sure though and that is when Abe Sensei wants to throw you, and I mean outside of the introductory level waza that 99% of the students receive 99% of the time, you will hit the ground and not be sure at all as to how you got there. It will most definitely not be because you threw yourself, either. On the rarest of occasions when Abe Sensei had me truly attack him, he threw me in a manner that, short of when I broke my car into four pieces, was more physical than anything I have ever experienced before or since.
If you do nothing other than read this thread and be open to the fact that there are people out there, Abe Sensei being one of them, the gentleman in the video that Rob John posted being another, who are at a level that is beyond what most people even understand as higher martial abilities and understandings, and it moves you in some fashion to even consider that there may be other ideas to embrace, then you will be one giant step closer to where it is that you are saying you are trying to get.
Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 07-14-2008 at 05:56 PM.