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Old 01-23-2011, 11:08 AM   #55
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Budo - NY, MD
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 932
Re: bad technique vs. resistance

George, I hope you forgive both the familiarity and that this doesn't come across as condescending . . since I've been away from what I consider mainstream aikido for a number of years and from formal practice of any Japanese martial art for a year or so . . it's from an admittedly outsider lens that I comment . . but I'm really pulling for you to figure all this stuff out . . or at the very least, lay the groundwork for future generations to run with the torch and blaze trails to follow higher up the mountain of mainstream aikido.

And for what its worth . . I think you're doing an admirable job of walking the walk and talking the talk (you've made me question some of my basic assumptions regarding aikido and "this stuff"), and I think it is a hornet's nest to start offering too much "insight" into internal strength until you've had a number of years to condition (rewire - in many cases) just the very basic things. I think quite a few of the initial round of folks that got hands on with people looked at it as an add-on skill (and therefore infinitely slowed their progress) and it's only really recently that I feel like enough people are starting to get on board that this is a foundational practice that requires some years of conditioning and correct practice to change the body - nevermind really apply it through a martial art (which doesn't mean it won't change your aikido practice or make it better, immediately, but the longer-term more beneficial changes would require that everybody be on board with the goals of the practice, I think, too).

But with that ramble aside - where it actually fits within the aikido training syllabus? I dunno . . because my "Aikido" never got to near a mastery level - and once I realized it wouldn't until I rethought how I fundamentally moved and carried myself . . I detoured off course from actually practicing budo and started looking at these things more as weird hybrid of mental/physical Way/Do/Tao and avocation. A very personal one that doesn't seem to have much in common with what I see happening in most dojos.

But maybe years from now when (hopeless optimist side speaking here) "this stuff" has become again the core of a martial arts study . . I'd like to think that I would walk into that kind of place and feel at home. Lots of pressures and risks, there, George, but I count on teachers like you to figure out how that's going to work and function within a mainstream activity like modern aikido.

Anyways, to come back on topic of the thread . . one of the foundational practices is the ability of the uke to offer a dumb force for nage to receive, return with their ground/gravity intent and learn how that creates off-balancing in uke. If both partners aren't committed to that type of exercise/training .. then it's one of many potential roadblocks to the foundational layer of body skill that's needed to do a martial art with "this stuff".

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