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Old 02-02-2012, 07:44 AM   #369
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: "The goal is not to throw"

David Orange wrote: View Post
In yoseikan, we had shite randori, with set attacks and defenses, jiyu randori, with completely free attacks, and chikara randori, meaning free attacks and defenses, with uke giving continuous, strong follow up attacks if nage does not effect a decisive response in the first instant of the attack. If the attacker doesn't have to fall, he does not and continues the attack. This often went to the ground and newaza, frequently ending in a choke or strangulation. And remember that the yoseikan randori was full of sutemi waza, multiple opponents, bokken, padded pvc swords, knives, bo, etc. I never saw anyone use throwing stars or the claw hands, but most everything else.

It was cooperative, yet when two people were grappling on the ground, they were cooperating by giving the partner a tough opponent intent on choking him out or submitting him. It was basically the same as UFC but without bloodying each other up too much. We placed atemi but generally didn't strike each other heavily. And if you didn't throw someone who punched at you, he might follow up with a foot sweep and attempt to apply a joint lock of a wide variety.

What we cooperated in was a universal commitment to a powerful, meaningful attack allowing nage to develop first-instant throwing or joint-locking--not meaning that the joint is locked in the first instant, but the lead into the lock is established in the first instant, creating kuzushi and control for nage. It was intense and dangerous. And it took cooperative commitment to that danger, courage and calmness to move in it at high speed with lots of people and weapons, and commitment to the well-being of your partner, with the rule of never doing more than necessary to stop a violent person--but stopping him decisively.

Cooperative or uncooperative, whatever you would call it, that was real aikido and, as far as I'm concerned, the only meaningful progression to develop true technique. The internal power considerations are another matter.
Here is a very recent set of clips from the old yoseikan budo hombu. It's hard to believe I'm looking at a place that was my literal home for 21 months of the five years I trained there. I'm not sure what the place is called now, but these clips show two of the guys I used to get out there with all the time: Terumi Washizu and Kenmotsu Sensei. Washizu was senior and Kenmotsu was always right behing him and Tezuka, who recently passed away. Here, they are training in gyokushin ryu aikido, which Washizu created based on his receipt of menkyo kaiden from Minoru Mochizuki, which included "yoseikan gyokushin ryu jujutsu." In short, this is pretty much what we used to do and you can see white belts to low-level black belt, to mid-level black belt to two guys who were 5th and 6th dan 20 years ago and who both got menkyo from Minoru Mochizuki. Washizu wears the red/white belt and Kenmotsu is the bald fellow with the plain white dogi and black belt. I think they're both about 70 years old, now--mid-to-late 60s for sure. They're looking pretty good.

There are a lot of clips on this page and it takes them a bit to load, so be patient. You can see a variety of people each doing a round of free randori. You can see the level and method of resistance when techniques don't work, occasional follow-up attacks if the aikido does not work in the first instant.

I don't know anything about weapons in gyokushin ryu aikido, but both Washizu and Kenmotsu are very good with the sword, having trained directly with Minoru Mochizuki and Kyoichi Murai in Mochizuki's version of TSKSR for many years (decades). So I'm pretty sure they must do that practice sometimes, even if not part of the gyokushin aikido classes. I'm pretty sure they also have rather more intense workouts than what is shown here.

Looks like a very good training atmosphere. Not overly formal, but very solid and dignified.

Glad to see it.


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