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Old 01-22-2012, 05:01 PM   #29
Ellis Amdur
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Location: Seattle
Join Date: May 2003
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Re: Koshi Nage - Open Stance or Feet Together

Peter Zalinski wrote:
When we practice to learn koshinage, we need to "stop time" to ensure both partners are in approximately the proper alignment during the execution of the technique -- which is why we "load up", I think -- but this is not a practical application of the martial art, just a training tool to acquire the skills to execute it and take the resulting ukemi.
But earlier, you wrote:
I think Jon has a limited experience of Aikido's koshi nage. There's no practical difference between the Judo and the Aikido version of it when it's executed properly. I've experienced the propulsion he refers to in both arts -- and I think it comes easier to Judoka because they practice it as a core of their art.
And this is the crux of the difference. The judoka does NOT need to stop time, does NOT need any agreement from uke. Through proper kuzushi, uke is placed/led into a position that koshi-nage (properly "koshi-kake(ru)" - in other words, s/he trips over the hips) occurs. Tori is able to do this because they are grabbing/wrapping the keikko-gi or the hips (depending on the koshi variant).

The difficulty with the classic aikido koshinage is that it requires you to function at a "separation ma-ai" - and IF uke is over-balanced, tori steps in, with the perpendicular hips and uke trips. If one has not truly impeccable kuzushi, (or total control of uke - re aiki), uke will be able to escape, because it takes so much time to enter from arms-length ma-ai, that uke, even unbalanced, can recover.

If you look at the roots of aikido koshinage (see film clip of YSR earlier), you'll see a particular kuzushi is set up by smashing the enemy backwards, and they lunge forward in response. I think about now, I can hear O-sensei saying, "in aiki, we do it this way." Without some kind of total body control of the other - from kuzushi to it's more subtle manifestation, aiki or (kokyu, if you prefer) - the aikido koshinage will unfortunately be relegated to a "training tool" for ukemi, as you put it, rather than a real practical method - as judo's technique is. Let me quote, again, what I linked to earlier:

The founder once said jokingly that there were no better techniques than koshinage (hip throws) and that he never got tired even if he practiced them from morning to night. Kokyunage and koshinage, which were once regarded as basic aikido techniques, are now being taught instead as applied or advanced techniques. I think it is unfortunate that this may have become necessary in order to preserve the techniques of aikido.
That last statement is awful intriguing - that largely eliminating what Osensei thought was a) his favorite b) basic, was "necessary in order to preserve the techniques of aikido." Oh yes, who was it who said, "that's not my aikido." In addition to the flogged to near death subject of aiki, could Osensei have been also lamenting a weak-hipped, unstable-based type of practice, because of the de-emphasis of koshi techniques? Hmmmm

Ellis Amdur

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