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Old 02-11-2013, 08:42 AM   #2
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 452
Re: Aikido IP/IS: Advanced Expositions in Centripetal Force

Hi Mert, great post. I think that you'll find that it's actually easier to move people - move them a lot - all over the place - than it is to stop them dead in their tracks. I think much of what we have/had in mind in terms of martial arts come from, initially, only what you can see with our limited perception. But there's also the other matter of the objective of many of the other arts you might be referring to. Especially the Japanese variations.

Karate (I know there are many kinds, and I'm primarily talking about the Japanese and American styles), for example, employs blocks - blocks intended to stop and break. And punches - punches intended to stop and crush. They built their bodies into armor. But even Oyama - who could punch bulls out - had calcified his fingers and most of his hands together from banging on all kinds of stuff in his training. And in his book - that came out years ago - he told people not to do it anymore. It just wasn't worth it. We live in a different kind of society now.

Anyone who studies any kind of "self defense" needs to seriously read this. It's an excellent article on the kind of legal "defense" people are going to need if they use "self defense."

I'm not saying that a lot of these types of karates are not effective for knocking the living daylights out of someone. And that's the problem. Many people who study, even for years and years, have those types of actions so wired into their systems, that their options are severely limited.

Keep in mind that karate was born in Okinawa - where they had all their stuff confiscated - so that had to use what they had. And it's brutal. Effective, yes. Brutally effective.

The Chinese arts, in many cases, focus more on blending and redirecting. Aikido is so Chinese-based it's not even funny.

The Chinese arts, and many originating in India, came from more of the classes of priests and monks. Karate originated for the scrappy common people. Let's take this rice grinder and figure out some ways to waste people. Hey, who'd blame them. It was a tough spot.

So, back to IP/IS that you were addressing. So, you get these guys in China, called Taoists, and they were the scientists of the day. In fact, they still are. They have a map they use - the I Ching. And it allows them to have an overview into a lot of stuff, like change, and dynamics, and motion, etc.. And they're able to apply all that on many different level and in many different disciplines. Any commoner can get a bunch of wood and knock out a hut, but it takes some serious engineering and an understanding of physics on a very different level to put together more advanced structures and undertakings.

Come to find, that with more of a cosmological overview, it turns out, that it's actually a lot easier to decouple a body in motion, and then change its direction, than it is to - boom - stop it cold. So, this is where you begin to find a much more elegant architecture and approach to, among other things, martial arts.

I can tell you, that especially on the American level, I've seen a lot of karate pollute aikido. And by that, I mean that many who training aikido - and even high-level senseis - didn't really get enough of the right stuff, and as people trained aikido in the US, they also had exposure to karate - which influenced their movements. I can see it all the time, in the opening angles, the wide (and dangerous - to themselves) irimi movements. You'll often see people in aikido - especially in the US - stepping at an angle to uke that's on the order of 30-degrees or so. That's fine if it's karate, and you're going to waste the uke (who still has their balance, by the way.) But for aikido, it's very bad. Worse than bad. It's just -- can we say stupid. At least if they were karateka they've have the training to punch uke out. But they don't. And then they think their going to apply some shihonage or gote-keishi. Please. They'd already be KO'ed.

Karate very often works from a more medium distance. And that's the problem mixing karate's movements into aikido. Now, aikido - with aiki - is up close and personal. And it's works in more dimensions than just 3D. In 3D, there's only so much room, and only so many things, and people fight themselves and each other competing for it. Aiki introduces other dimensions. 4D...5D... Ueshiba basically said you've got to be able to move in and out of these dimensions at will. From known places, to hidden places, to divine places, and back...and forth...

One of the "hidden" doors is at about 10-degrees off the line of attack. And if you see anyone doing good aikido, they'll use that one all the time. And it's also not a whole step in - it's a half step. Aiki irimi is in between uke's steps, in between uke's breath, and in between the space where uke thinks you are as he commits his attack.

I've spent a lot of time going pretty full on with lots of players from lots of arts. Here's a little story: I was hanging out with a very high level karate renshi. Now, if I was in a real battle, I'd want this guy with me. He's the kind of person who could clear out a whole bar room full of people, leaving them all dead and maimed. But, this is the 21st century and we live in a different kind of society. So, we'd been drinking and had on a nice buzz. We'd even trained like that before. One time he just clocked me in the chest, and my feet went straight in the air, and I ukemi'ed right on to the concrete driveway before I even knew what had happened. I was totally fine. It verified my training.

So, we've got our drunk on, and I'm sitting in a chair. He comes over and puts his hands around my neck and says,"Whatchoo gonna' do?" I knew if I did anything at all, I'd escalate something. And he clearly had an advantage at that point. My body and intuition decided I wasn't going to do anything at all. Complete non-resistance. He started leaning more into me, and I gave him nothing. All of the sudden, he starts falling, and then trying to catch his balance, he falls backwards into a chair. Then he starts moaning. I asked him if he was alright. He said, "No, I'm not alright." He'd fallen and broken a chair and part of the chair was sticking in his butt. Anyway, he ended up OK, but a nice bruise on his ass. He's never messed with me after that.

The point being. This is a guy who could totally kick my ass - if I fought him. But I didn't. And what I did through total non-resistance - was allow him to kick his own ass. On my end, when he grabbed me, my spirit and intent just went to a higher more divine level. I did it out it was the safe place to go. Next thing I know, he's on his ass and hurt.

One of the aspects of IS is spending enough time in the storm to know and trust - through first-hand experience - that it's safer to be in the eye - where there's stillness and power and peace.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 02-11-2013 at 08:53 AM.
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