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Old 10-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #31
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
No one said that Ueshiba and Takeda (or Sagawa, for that matter) were beyond technique, or that they didn't use technique. What was said is that they were able to spontaneously and instantaneously spew out endless martial combinations. I believe that the internal skills allowed them to be much more adaptable to changes in their opponents' movements, hence the applications could be more rapid-fire than they would have been had they relied on "external" power, as the latter would compromise their balance and structural stability and also require chambering and gross physical movement of the body, which slows things down.

They were doing the equivalent of jazz jamming, Takeda's followers seem to have mistaken those spontaneous combinations to be formal etudes to be memorized and written down, because if you look at the Daito-ryu and Aikido curriculums, they're full of combos. And some of the combos are not terribly practical or realistic.
You don't need internal power for spontaneous technique. There is no "A implies B" relationship there. I don't think the two have anything to do with each other at all, though there is plenty of room to quibble.

I tend to think if you want to develop Takemusu Aiki, the long and arduous quest for internal power will set your timeframe back a lot, particularly the intent-driven way you guys advocate training. After years of being in your heads you are somehow supposed to let it all flow? Good luck.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
For some years I was exposed to a Daito-ryu curriculum, presumably descended from tablets graven on the Mount, and while there was some very good stuff there, a lot of the stuff was convoluted "kata," overly involved affairs that I just can't imagine were the product of careful research. My guess is that they are more examples of some of the stuff that Sokaku rattled off because.... "Hey, let's see if I can pull this one off... Hey, I can!" and someone scrabbled to write it down.

Memorizing "one-step and three-step" kata ingrains habit. Habit is something you don't want when you're in a real conflict, IMO. What you want, is the ability to act spontaneously and to be able to rapidly change with any changes in the situation.
You don't seem to have a very good understanding of what kata training is and what it is supposed to give you. It also doesn't sound like you had very good Daito ryu training.

I think Takeda was very much a showman and when he was on the road teaching Daito ryu he was in part, selling amazement, wonder, and mystery to the bulk of his students. So it may well be that the syllabus of Daito ryu is inflated.

But I don't think his career would have lasted long if he was teaching an empty vessel. Regardless of whether there was a simple secret that he taught only his closest students and cautioned them to never show them in public because they were so easy to pick up on (though I think this only comes out of accounts from Sagawa and Horikawa?) if the hundreds of other kata were not useful for getting to these principals, then word would get out and people wouldn't sign up for 10-day seminars with the guy.

A kata, particularly a koryu jujutsu kata, is a training tool. It is designed to instill techniques and principals. I think you could actually term them habits, and they are ABSOLUTELY what you want to have in a combat situation. A kata may or may not be applicable to a common situation, or even a real situation, depends on the system. But it will set up open-ended systems of response in the nervous system and the practitioner will react in a way that is intended by the system's founder and instructors.

A well-designed kata delivers feedback as it is executed - if your posture is incorrect the throw will not work, if you use too much muscle uke will land over there instead of right here - but you cannot begin to know what is going on without an experienced instructor who can correct your form, and/or an experienced sempai who will stand there and not move unless you do the right thing.

I have lately been using the term "external" and "internal" in terms of training methodology - an internal system would be one that uses imaging and a mental process to find the proper form and build skill, whereas an external system relies on the instructor teaching and reinforcing an external form, which the practitioner internalizes and builds skill from there.

Either way, what you DO in a live situation is act spontaneously. Whether you like it or not. No one who has ever written on the subject of combat skills or self defense tactics has ever had much positive to say about how useful the conscious mind is in a life or death situation.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
In my own training, many moons ago I learned some basic DR jujutsu waza, including some of that convoluted, complicated stuff. A few koryu jujutsu waza to round it out. We learned specific applications of aiki to power the jujutsu waza, and we worked on aiki-no-jutsu. Occasionally, when one of us would start to whimper that we didn't know if what we had was martially effective, out came the randori. Simple randori, certainly not anything that I'd proudly place on YouTube (there was no YouTube yet). But it was still free-form and we didn't know what to expect. We did not rattle off step-by-step convoluted waza. What came out were the rock-bottom foundation basics -- throws, take-downs, grabs-into-chokes, etc. -- spontaneously generated, and powered by aiki. It didn't feel like techniques being executed, but more like "stuff happening." And this, with students who had not been training long enough to have "transcended technique." It was just the manifestation of an aiki body.
You did some Aiki training (no offense but it sounds like either you weren't into it or it wasn't very good), you did some free training. You were able to react spontaneously in the free training, and you responded with Aiki. I'll take your word for that because I don't think Aiki is something that "powers" anything. Regardless, this is no reason to believe that you were able to respond spontaneously because of your aiki training.

Last edited by Cliff Judge : 10-18-2013 at 10:22 AM.
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