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Old 10-20-2009, 12:08 PM   #13
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 931
Re: Measuring IP within kata

Thomas Campbell wrote: View Post
In addition to aikido kata . . . how about the issue of moving from stand-up to groundwork? There are a similar set of challenges, I think.
I need to loan you Kevin Secours "Primal Power" DVD when I get it back. He's a Systema guy, so while he doesn't play up the IMA aspect of what he's doing, his video does a great job talking about how structure and breath can work into newaza/grappling. I spent most of the video nodding and thinking, "I should have thought of that..."

Going back to Ernesto's question, I think the "how" is slowing down and working with folks who are also studying these skills. It's so easy to hide behind timing and pure speed (both important skills!) that you might think you're doing better than you are.

I'm at an interesting place with my teaching because I'm not in a position to dictate wholesale curriculum change. I teach Aikido about two times a week, but I'm doing my best to teach Aikido, not AikiBudo. That means that I need to help students who will be going to other teachers Aikido classes who will certainly want to focus on a more tradition approach to Aikido. In my sword school I can point out where I think we can use some of the Aunkai dynamics, but the curriculum is not mine to change there either. With the TNBBC I get to put in my carrots but Neil is The Fluffy Bunny™ and has the final say over what is and isn't in class.

What Neil did with TNBBC was basically put waza on hold for about three years to work the structure stuff. Then he started bringing in teaching versions of jujutsu and aiki waza to work what we were doing with the body structure stuff. These are considered "teaching" waza because they are often more difficult than they need to be in order to force a certain mechanic/movement. If you do that mechanic right, the waza works with resistance. If you don't, basically nothing happens at all. Now that kind of thing doesn't make for very good practical waza, but that's OK. It's a training tool. We can do that because we're a small group of weirdos and we're not trying to make a profit. It would be very hard to pull new students in if you made them do three years of miserable postures and silly walks, particularly if you're calling what you do Aikido (which we don't).

At some point I'll need to spend more time working on a plan for developing new students. One of my training partners has been working on that for a while and I think he's on the right path. Basically new people work on some structure work with jujutsu/judo as the kihon. Leave the aiki until people have some structure developed and the ukemi skills. This is similar to what Neil did with us to re-wire our brains from the Aikido (or Hapkido!!!) backgrounds that most of us came in with, but training rank beginners is a different challenge.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Budo Tanren at Seattle School of Aikido
Shinto Ryu Iai-Battojutsu
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