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Old 09-05-2009, 12:44 PM   #65
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Good points Erick. Reminds me of the old adage "you can't have all three, cheap, fast, and good." any two are okay, but not all three.
I love that one. I have to tell my seventeen year old that about three times a week

"Good, fast or cheap. Choose two."

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
One thing I have been thinking deeply about lately revolving around OODA is that essentially you cannot have O, O, D, and A all at the same time either. you can have O and O, and D and A...but not all together.

I equate this to MA...not sure if I have it entirely correct as of course this is a generalization. ...

However, I think we tend to stay in the Observe and Orient phase of training in Aikido...Clinically speaking.

I think ideally, a well rounded martial practice attempts to balance this equation out some what. It looks holistically at the OODA loop.
I actually think you are right in your assumption -- but wrong in your conclusion. I have made the point before about Col. Boyd's marvelous flowchart, but it bears frequent repeating -- precisely because OODA is VERY important.

The explicit OODA loop is linear. But look at the top. There are two boxes called "implicit guidance and control" They are independent subloops -- Orient-Observe-Orient and Orient-Action-Observe.

The dominant process of this often ignored part of Boyd's original conception is Orient. Explicit or conscious decision is skipped entirely -- and this makes its efficiency in strategic terms far less dependent on linear tempo. Because in every iteration it can take either the action or observation path, depending, this is a non-linear part of the OODA concept. One could conceive of a Lorenz attractor illustrating the operation of these sub loops. [spoiler][/spoiler]

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
This kind of practice definitely allows us to increase our Skill and understanding of what we are observing...but it does not really do much in the way teaching us to rapidily Decide and Act.
Minimizing the OO phases provides for a lower level of choices to be made as the DA crowd manages from a position of efficiency and "What works".
The UFC is not the place for "OO' ers. It is the place for "DAers".
.. and if someone ignores the explicit D part -- he is already inside that loop -- or as O Sensei said, quite appropriately in this context -- "I am already behind him."

But what does that really mean? I'll tell you. If the two subloops represent an attractor (like the Lorenz, or, as I suggest, the structural dynamics of aiki resemble something like the Julia, or Mandebrot sets) it has a VERY well defined meaning. Any progression along the attractor is, in energy terms, "downhill." Any progression occurring off the attractor or trying to regain it is all "uphill." This is the reason why the Orient function does and should dominate, and defines the difference in what Aikido and MMA are oriented in regard to.

MMA has an a explicit linear goal -- achieve the defined criteria of a win. Aiki has no such criteria -- it is oriented to its own attractor, which has no "win" defined on it - which is not a moral observation but a purely physical one -- and the would-be spiritualists/moralists make far too much of that fact, IMO, (cart before horse) though it is highly congenial to a perspective of that type - (if the horse is pulling the wagon).

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
My personal opinion on inefficiency in AIkido is that we tend to not recognize the OODA loop thing much and we get stuck in OO, OO, OO land. We cease to be able to really make mistakes, bring in new data and experiences and innovate and grow...we simply are coloring within the lines with the same crayons and same page over and over and over.
I tend to agree with this, but as Inigo Montoya once said: "I do not think it means what you think it means." I have an image of a very particular crayon scrawl in mind: [spoiler][/spoiler]

Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Recognizing that in application, that indeed you can't have it all, but must ultimately "Decide and Act" eventually and that in that phase what you choose may not be optimal, but what is important is that you recognize that Deciding and Acting is what is what you need to be doing at that time. (No Mind, Mushin etc.)
It is the conclusion that one must "Decide" that I challenge. If one does not yet sense the correct shape of the dynamic he is not operating on the attractor. If you do, and you no longer have to think or decode what comes next because it just sort of occurs, like sliding down hill -- you are on the attractor. I routinely have to correct students who decide to try to short circuit the nature of movement to hurry up "the technique" only find it cannot be done, or that now they are wrestling. That is one example.

Aikido trains "divine technique" in O Sensei's conception -- which, if I am right, and in these terms may be nothing other than O Sensei's way of trying to describing this very difficult to envision sense of an attractor in a phase space that makes certain lines of action virtually effortless.

I do know it when I feel it and regularly find myself operating on that part of the map -- but making it explicit in objective terms is not trivial -- and he did not have anything close to these tools. There are few who are looking at it explicitly these terms. I submit, however, there are many who seem to be doing so implicitly, using other terms to found their own Orientation to these implicit guidance loops.


Erick Mead
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