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Old 06-30-2012, 12:24 AM   #3
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: It happens to the best of them

Lukas Stark wrote: View Post
I won't disagree with Mr. Lowry's observation. I don't think anyone isn't susceptible to failure no matter who they are.
There's an old Japanese saying, "Saru mo ki kara ochiru": "even monkeys fall from trees."

I think it's a general saying, along with "Inu mo arukeba bo ni ataru," meaning "even dogs run into sticks when they go out walking."

So monkeys are great climbers but they still fall from trees and dogs are masters of the natural environment, but they still run right into a stick from time to time.

That certainly was a great video of aikido, though. That's real believable power. That guy led bunches of really powerful people and they all remembered him as a special master.

Not only does he stumble once in this clip, but I noticed that he was slightly struck on the back when he did the "aiki drop" in front of the shomen uchi attack. And I noticed for the first time a few instances where he seems to be very conscious of how he appears before the camera. That's interesting.

But I also notice many places where he shows that old daito ryu thing that we never see in modern aikido: the zanshin moment directly after a throw, with one arm up and one arm down, a posture assumed separately after the throw and not resulting from the action of the throw. And it's not in preparation to follow up with a downward strike, either, because the opponent has been thrown ten feet away.

We might say that it is preparation for the next technique, and I see now that it is just that. But in modern aikido, we don't see that kamae in nage very much as the attack comes, do we? How is that posture a preparation for the next technique? It was clearly a practice for O Sensei. Why is it not for the generations that followed?

If we see that posture at all in these later days, it's usually a set-up for a downward strike and it's usually done only with the upper arm and only for an instant. It seems that O Sensei's use of that posture is generally understood to "show the potential" of following up with a downward strike, so to show "understanding," people do the downward strike.

Even Morihei does it more quickly at some times and holds it longer at others, but it is clearly the raising of the arm that is important and the intent is not for striking down. So what is he doing with that raised arm?

And with that in mind, what is happening with the down arm? What is he dong that for? What are his feet doing? What are his head and eyes doing? How is he breathing? You can see all that in many moments when he assumes that posture in this clip. Very interesting and well worth repeated watching.

Best wishes.

{{And thanks, Dan!}}


Last edited by David Orange : 06-30-2012 at 12:28 AM.

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