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Old 09-09-2009, 08:18 AM   #15
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
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Re: 052) Aikido Waza IS Kata: Week of September 7, 2009

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Hi Marc,

Regarding aikido waza as kata, specifically with bokken and jo, how do you view them as compared to what you recently learned at the seminar? For example, turning from the waist versus hips (as most aikido schools do)? Does it not seem that the "kata" is flawed when looked at in that light? Where would the profound depth be if turning from the hips is used instead of turning from the waist?
The hip does turn, but it starts with and is connected to the rotation in the waist. You are making a global assumption that is not necessarily true. Are you so certain that "Aikido Waza" is flawed and does not have profound depth? What if part of the discovery of kata is in that realization. Attending the seminar with Dan was not a "black and white" experience, but part of a path of discovery of the understanding of Aikido waza/kata. All of the stuff that I am working on is integrated into my overall budo experience. Maybe when I feel more comfortable about where I am in the journey, I can provide a more detailed answer. Knowing me, do not hold your breath.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Regarding quite a lot of the aikido warm-ups. Where do you see them in regards to the overall training in aikido? From the seminar, do you see them as a type of "solo training" such as the shiko that was done? If these are "solo training", then how does that build into the kata of aikido? Was not sanchin kata supposedly done to build a "strong" body such that the rest of training was done with "power"? ("strong" and "power" are not of the purely muscular kind.) How do you see the warm-ups in relation to sanchin kata and then related to aikido kata?
I have always used my "warm-ups" that I teach my students as a critical part of training-> solo training. The solo training "stuff" I use to develop awareness and skill in executing particular principles of movement. these principles are chained together to create Aikido waza-> kata. Your understanding of sanchin kata is not the understanding that I have. I would refer you to Ushiro Kenji's books "Karate and Ki" & "Kata: The essence of Bujutsu Karate" for an excellent source of information on this subject matter. Better yet, the Ushiro Sensei seminar will be on 10/24 & 10/25. Dan is planning on attending, please join the party. Details on my website at www.aasbk.com/events.php

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Regarding techniques. If most of the emphasis of a technique is placed upon moving the body, timing the move to take advantage of leading uke, and using "holes" to drop uke into, then how do you see that as comparable to what you learned at the seminar? If what I described as the emphasis of the technique is the principles, how does that build aiki? Where are the principles of internal skills being shown such that one can explore the kata for depth? As a related tangent, how does the overall aikido waza work as kata to help build aiki?
The emphasis that you place your technique is not the same emphasis that I place. What I learned at Dan's seminar fills a critical gap in body structure and body movement that I have been struggling with. That is why I will continue to focus time and attention in this area (not the only area). I view waza as a chain of enacted principles (aka- kata). If I am beginning to get it (and I think that I am, subject to revisions later!) then the practice reveals profound depths. So far, they have. That is why the more that I train, the more that I realize how much there is for me to learn.

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
IF the waza is flawed fundamentally, can one still explore the depths to find correct principles? If you look at specific people who are very martially capable, do the move the same as most other martial artists? Do they feel the same? IF not, then looking at the martial curriculum (aikido waza) and looking at all those people who have studied and trained it for many long years, what would you say is the disconnect in not creating more martially capable people? By martially capable, I believe you've experienced at least a couple. Ushiro comes to mind as one example.
I do not look at this process as an all or none process. When I owned up that MY waza was fundamentally flawed, I had specific questions to my teacher, who has been awesome at enabling me to address and fix my own inadequate waza practice. As to why some "skilled" martial artists cannot be and/or create martially capable people, stay tuned-> next weeks blog was already planned to continue this week's topic and will explore that subject matter. For now, issues of effective teaching and appropriately framing what we do are two good headings.

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Finally, in the questions above, replace the concepts of internal and aiki with the concept of spirituality. In a nutshell, does aikido kata with exploring its depths build a spirituality as Ueshiba had built? Something similar?
Another DEEP question that I also plan to address in several weeks in my blog section (WHAT ARE YOU, AN AIKI MIND READER!). I think that the concept of "replacing" terms misdirects the issue. I will leave a biblical teaser: GOD provided the "fruit of knowing right from wrong" to Adam and Eve. GOD did not direct them in what choices they should make.

Marc Abrams
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