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Old 11-30-2006, 08:41 PM   #1
Ketsan
Dojo: Zanshin Kai
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Train of thought

Just a train of thought here to check my current (and ever evolving) understanding of Aikido, would appreciate comments.

There seems to be a lot of talk about Aikido techniques not working against resistance but I thought the entire point of Aikido was to harmonise with and so use any resistance to throw uke.
Judo: Push when pulled. Pull when pushed. Aikido: Push when pulled. Turn when pushed. Resistance = uke pushing or pulling in order to stop technique; should provoke appropriate response in tori.

*SO* The point is not to execute a technique despite resistance; so if you are attempting a technique against resistance, you're not doing Aikido (failure to adopt correct solution to ukes push/pull so failure to harmonise, thus no use of the way of harmony).

So in an Aikido context any *improper* (i.e. not taken into account by Aikido thinking) resistance is executed by tori on uke by tori attempting to over power resistance by uke because no force from uke = no force to harmonise with = no technique.

So in an Aikido context there can never be any resistance because all energy expended by opponent should be used to throw uke, hence uke is at all times effectively non-resistant and complicit (albeit unconsciously) in throwing themselves.

So training to effect technique against resistance is not Aikido training. Training to use resistance is Aikido training.

Kata training should be done with no resistance thus simulating tori's use of uke's resistance to previous technique (i.e. full scenario would be, for example, Ikkyo attempted and resisted provoking use of irime nage ura but to get to the point we go straight to irime nage, zero resistance because of assumption of resistance of previously failed technique being used to execute irime nage ura) , introducing resistance simulates uke resisting their own resistance.
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:25 PM   #2
DonMagee
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Re: Train of thought

It's an argument over semantics you are making. When someone says training against resistance, they do not mean fighting the resistance. They mean learning how to use your techniques against a non-compliant uke. One who is not just throwing a single committed strike, but rather tries to accomplish a goal and does not stop trying to accomplish that goal until he is thrown/pinned/submitted.

I'd suggest reading some Matt Thornton to get a good idea of what I'm talking about. Obviously you would want to use proper aikido movements and techniques. The difference is that the uke is trying to stop you by any means allowed by the drill. This could mean something as simple as, keep trying to grab me, and throw me down until I throw you. Or it could be something as complex as come at me any way you want and don't stop until I pin you or you pin me (sparing).

So you can call it working with resistance, or against resitance, or whatever. The point people are trying to make is that if you are not training beyond kata training, with 'aliveness' as Matt Thornton calls it, then you are going to have problems using these same techniques outside of the dojo.

For more info on aliveness and matt thornton, try google, aliveness101.blogspot.com or bullshido articles.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:19 PM   #3
DH
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
Just a train of thought here to check my current (and ever evolving) understanding of Aikido, would appreciate comments.

There seems to be a lot of talk about Aikido techniques not working against resistance but I thought the entire point of Aikido was to harmonise with and so use any resistance to throw uke.

So in an Aikido context there can never be any resistance because all energy expended by opponent should be used to throw uke, hence uke is at all times effectively non-resistant and complicit (albeit unconsciously) in throwing themselves.

So training to effect technique against resistance is not Aikido training. Training to use resistance is Aikido training.
Alex
If you think you can use the resistance of your techniques to harmonize and subdue people other than Aikidoka do it.
Don't question it or talk about it…go do it.
And idea is to get someone you trust who does not do Aikido. Perhaps an MMA trained fellow. Ask him to start fighting you in a pick-a-part style. Ask him to stand out of your range and pick you apart with kicks and strikes. Try to "use" his energy against him to defend yourself and bring his attacking energy against him while you do…..only.…..the Aikido techniques you do every week in class.
If you get someone decent- when and if you do successfully enter- ask him to fight your every move. You may find his intent/ then instant lack of intent and unwillingness to take ukemi to be a different feel to try and use. Have fun and try it. You may find things beneficial to the way you approach a martial art. It may help you when you go back to doing your aikido.
On another level try to get some help with a CMA fellow. It may prove difficult to get someone with skill but ask around and keep trying. You may find them even more difficult to "find" anything to use to throw them with. It will come and go on you and you may find them controlling your center, even your access to it.

In short what I'm saying is if you truly believe and actually think you can access and use a fighter's energy against them and pull off clean Aikido syllabus locks and pins.. then go for it and do it and keep doing it. If you run into someone who pretty much just stands there taking you apart and your throw or lock attempts are neutralized- ask them to slow down and show you what they are doing. You may discover a different body dynamic in response to your technique attempts with little attention being made to a receiving ukemi that you are used to. It may make your Aikido and your use of your Aikido ….sharper.

Let your answers be --your- answers. Earned and learned. If you're lucky you may find sme great friends to train with in a more intense setting. It's the best way to grow. Make your own opinions about this stuff.
Have fun and try it all
Dan

Last edited by DH : 11-30-2006 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:08 AM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: Train of thought

IMHO, uke must give some level of resistance/aliveness/energy for tori to harmonize with.

Just try to make sure your train has an engine, stays on track, and isn't that light at the end of the tunnel.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:31 AM   #5
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Train of thought

Dan harden wrote....Ask him to start fighting you in a pick-a-part style. Ask him to stand out of your range and pick you apart with kicks and strikes. Try to "use" his energy against him to defend yourself and bring his attacking energy against him while you do…..only.…..the Aikido techniques you do every week in class.

Why Dan....?????
Wy must it all be about fighing and winning??

Why can't it be for the reasons I train.

It seems like this has turned into a Mike Harden and Dan Sigman forum (I know I got the names wrong...I think they are the same person)
....all about developing Ki by not training but douing some of Mike's tricks or about real fighting using Dan's ideas about MMA.
I don't think there is any thing wrong with either of those agendas other than I think they are using this forum to market themselves.
This is an aikido forum.....fighting????/

Does anyone train to creat peace in their own life.......to effect a change in themselves that might help others???

I do..( go ahead tell me I am new age ...Mike...I guess I am).

I have no interest in fighing or learning tricks that don't come from weekly training.

It seems like everyone has been shut up and this is all that in on aikiweb.....maybe it needs a new name..like Hardmanweb.


There. Now I feel better
Mary
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:42 AM   #6
Gernot Hassenpflug
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Re: Train of thought

You have great fighting spirit Mary :-)
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:50 AM   #7
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
Just a train of thought here to check my current (and ever evolving) understanding of Aikido, would appreciate comments.

There seems to be a lot of talk about Aikido techniques not working against resistance but I thought the entire point of Aikido was to harmonise with and so use any resistance to throw uke.
their own resistance.

The problem arises Alex when people try to use resistance to overcome resistance. Some folks get caught up in technique and believe it is the means to the end when it is simply a tool for control. Where a person to attack me they would seek to establish conflict in my body or mind and then exploit that conflict to cause me pain or worse. As an Aikidoka it is my job to make sure that conflict never happens or to resolve the conflict within me before I attempt to resolve the conflict between me and the other person. That is one reason why it is so important for Aikido students to lean as many counters to techniques as they can. In the course of regular training one would not neutralize the technique of their partner but sometimes it may be necessary if one feels threatened or something feels out of place. For most of the basic techniques there are standard counters although you may not seem then taught very often and most of the time they can be successful if there is the slightest bobble in your partners center.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 12-01-2006, 07:55 AM   #8
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Re: Train of thought

Mary
I don't meant to offend. On one level if one is asking quesitons of their Aikido -and many are-there are answers. If you are not thats fine. But Aikido today and Aikido Journal addressed these ever growing concerns of their readership ten years ago. It has grown, not diminished. To the point of many in Aikido now corss training in Judo and BJJ and Dait oryu.

One answer-for them Mary, not you- is first seeing the short comings in an art-they all have them. Fighting or if that offends ...say full resistance -training- amplifies the shortcomings and offers fixed for them.

The best answer ...is internal training.. which was thr foundation of the art to begin with. It is THE SOURCE of Ueshibas not fighting fighting. A means for controlling every effort that comes your way without causing harm in return. great stuff, and great potential.

Some dont like it, others are actively searching. Those searching the internal skills will come out ahead. They...are merely discovering the vision-through these skills...that UEshiba had in the first place.
It isn't about technique....never was.
I have shown these things to Aikido folks (I just don't talk about it)and I am training with some Aikido folks here to try and start to change what I see is missing. I don't want to travel and do seminars but I am offering to help the best I can.

Dan
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Old 12-01-2006, 08:20 AM   #9
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Mary
I don't want to travel and do seminars but I am offering to help the best I can.

Dan

Dan the Aikiweb is sponsoring a little thing with Chuck Clark, Ellis Andur and some old fossil named Dennis Hooker here in Orlando in Feb. It is the second such event. What if we could persuade Jun and folks to do another in a couple of years in your neck of the woods? Would you be willing to take part in a four way give and take session that we love so much? We ask folks to leave bad attitudes at the door and enter with an open mind and friendly demeanor.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
https://www.createspace.com/238049

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Old 12-01-2006, 08:35 AM   #10
MM
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
Just a train of thought here to check my current (and ever evolving) understanding of Aikido, would appreciate comments.

There seems to be a lot of talk about Aikido techniques not working against resistance but I thought the entire point of Aikido was to harmonise with and so use any resistance to throw uke.
Judo: Push when pulled. Pull when pushed. Aikido: Push when pulled. Turn when pushed. Resistance = uke pushing or pulling in order to stop technique; should provoke appropriate response in tori.

*SO* The point is not to execute a technique despite resistance; so if you are attempting a technique against resistance, you're not doing Aikido (failure to adopt correct solution to ukes push/pull so failure to harmonise, thus no use of the way of harmony).

So in an Aikido context any *improper* (i.e. not taken into account by Aikido thinking) resistance is executed by tori on uke by tori attempting to over power resistance by uke because no force from uke = no force to harmonise with = no technique.

So in an Aikido context there can never be any resistance because all energy expended by opponent should be used to throw uke, hence uke is at all times effectively non-resistant and complicit (albeit unconsciously) in throwing themselves.

So training to effect technique against resistance is not Aikido training. Training to use resistance is Aikido training.

Kata training should be done with no resistance thus simulating tori's use of uke's resistance to previous technique (i.e. full scenario would be, for example, Ikkyo attempted and resisted provoking use of irime nage ura but to get to the point we go straight to irime nage, zero resistance because of assumption of resistance of previously failed technique being used to execute irime nage ura) , introducing resistance simulates uke resisting their own resistance.
Hello Alex,
I'll post my opinion.

To borrow a phrase, resistance is futile.

But, really, resistance shouldn't mean a whole lot, whether it is there or it "isn't". So, let me explain ...

No matter what, whenever tori physically touches uke, there are two entities/energies/whatever meeting. That's pretty much a given. Also pretty much a given is that everyone's entity/energy/whatever is never stopped. If it is, then you are dead.

Now, think about that and you'll find that this idea of "because no force from uke = no force to harmonise with = no technique" is really smoke in the wind. There isn't anything substantial behind that idea. There will always, (and I really don't like to use that term) or 99.9999999% of the time, be some force from uke.

And this is where Aikido diverges. In most schools, the way to "harmonize" with that force is to somehow *affect* uke. Tori is an active participant in bringing an *affect* to uke's force. At higher levels, no, you don't need an attacking uke to achieve this.

The break from this is in using the internal "stuff". Using that, you *effect* uke rather than having an *affect* on them. Tori's internal centering is done completely by tori and has no need of an uke to accomplish. However, once uke physically touches tori and that internal "center" for lack of a better word, then uke receives an effect. Re-read Ellis Amdur's post about Tomiki to understand this. Tomiki just stood there and there wasn't a thing that the ukes could do about it. Yet, Tomiki easily threw them. It wasn't that Tomiki *affected* them. No, the uke's being thrown were from an *effect*. In other words, Tomiki's internal "centering" was the cause and uke's grabbing created the effect of being thrown.

Two distinct ways of using Aikido. The most common is the *affect* version. And that's where all this talk of "resistance" is coming from.

It's my understanding that if you are doing the internal "stuff" and using the *effect* version, that this resistance talk goes away because it isn't relevant. Hmm ... let me see if I can describe this better. I'm sure Rob, Mike, or Dan will correct me if I get it wrong since I'm a beginner at this stuff.

Using internal "stuff", when encountering an uke, the uke has very little options other than to "harmonize" with tori. As a very basic example ... a scaled down version of a windmill. Let's say that the fans are turning fairly quickly. If you grabbed one of those blades, you're going to get an effect. Just a very, very basic description and don't break it down and critique it. It's just an example of how someone can get an *effect* in a situation without the other side "doing" something to them. The windmill didn't move and didn't use itself to accomplish some off balance on you. But you did find yourself going in the direction of the fans, either just your arm or depending on circumstances, your whole body.

In sort of that manner, "resistance" becomes irrelevent when using internal arts.

Anyway, if you really want to understand, find someone who can do the internal stuff and get some hands on time/training.

Mark
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:04 AM   #11
MM
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Why Dan....?????
Wy must it all be about fighing and winning??

Why can't it be for the reasons I train.
Hello Mary,
I see that Dan replied. But I thought I'd give you my take on things since I am learning Aikido.

It isn't about fighting, although at times, the conversations seem to drift that way. What it is about is exactly the reason you just posted. It's about the reasons people train. People come to Aikido because it does have a higher ideal than just defend myself by hurting my attacker. But, in that ideal, there are various ways of accomplishing it. Some of us think that originally, Ueshiba used this internal art aspect and it didn't get passed along to all schools. Maybe some do have it, I don't know.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
....all about developing Ki by not training but douing some of Mike's tricks or about real fighting using Dan's ideas about MMA.
I don't think there is any thing wrong with either of those agendas other than I think they are using this forum to market themselves.
This is an aikido forum.....fighting????/
Not entirely. Train to build internal, but IMO, they aren't saying that you have to do "fighting". Dan uses MMA as examples for applying the internal training. If he did kali, he'd probably use that for examples.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Does anyone train to creat peace in their own life.......to effect a change in themselves that might help others???

I do..( go ahead tell me I am new age ...Mike...I guess I am).
But, at its core, that's really what this is about. To create within yourself, a centered being. Someone who doesn't have to "do something" to an attacker to create a harmony. The attacker is harmonized as a result of you being centered internally. Can you see the "aiki" in being able to do that? The peace and centering that comes from it? That you don't have to "do something" to someone to achieve a harmony?

Let me try a different approach ... in Aikido, we are centered, yes. But when an "attack" comes, we move to affect the attacker. We actively harmonize with both attacker and attack. We actively do something to find a "peaceful" solution.

Using internal stuff, we find that the attacker is harmonized with us and there is no need to actively "do something" to accomplish this.

Now, apply those theories to real world. You have a friend who is in a frenzied mess for whatever reason. Hysteria, loss, whatever. As tori, do you

A: Somehow try to actively *affect* their mind and soul and try to alter their energy in some manner (I mean, just how do you even do that?) so that you can "harmonize" with them?

or

B: You are completely serene and centered and your internal self is calm and open. You are there for them. When they touch you, they feel that open, calm, centered presence. You have an *effect* on them that causes them to harmonize with you.

Most people try to do B. I don' know of any that can do A. Yet, in most Aikido practices, we use the A approach. Why?


IMO,
Mark
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:26 AM   #12
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Train of thought

What the heck. To throw in my two cents, on top of some really wonderful replies. Consider music. Let's say you decide to learn to play the piano, and the only thing that is around is the edited versions of classical pieces that are used to teach kids. The intricacies of harmony, of counterpoint, etc., are all pared off so that the child can learn the melody of something classical - rather than a simple, unlovely piece. Even very simplified Bach is quite fine compared to pedagogical pieces composed by hacks. Now let's say you are walking down a street (let's make it an alley in Venice just for fun) and from a window - somewhere - you hear someone playing the Goldberg Variations in all their glory. You don't even heard it all, but you realize that somewhere, there is something more - that includes all you thought that music was up to this time - but it is so much bigger. That's my position, at least - and I believe some others as well. I do not believe trying to find out all that Ueshiba et al could do - and learn to do it myself - in any way conflicts with Mary's goals. It's just a desire to play the music on the entire keyboard.

Best

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Old 12-01-2006, 09:49 AM   #13
Mike Sigman
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
It seems like this has turned into a Mike Harden and Dan Sigman forum (I know I got the names wrong...I think they are the same person)
....all about developing Ki by not training but douing some of Mike's tricks or about real fighting using Dan's ideas about MMA.
I don't think there is any thing wrong with either of those agendas other than I think they are using this forum to market themselves.
This is an aikido forum.....fighting????/

Does anyone train to creat peace in their own life.......to effect a change in themselves that might help others???

I do..( go ahead tell me I am new age ...Mike...I guess I am).

I have no interest in fighing or learning tricks that don't come from weekly training.

It seems like everyone has been shut up and this is all that in on aikiweb.....maybe it needs a new name..like Hardmanweb.


There. Now I feel better
Mary
Hi Mary: So how would we be able to spot the person who has "created peace in their own life"? Maybe in their posts?

Regards,

Mike
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:52 AM   #14
Dennis Hooker
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Smile Re: Train of thought

Then of course there is the possibility that Ueshiba created something new. Something that transcends the traditional or conventional. He was not a Japanese conformist in the usual sense after all. So many people suppose he lost something after the war. They conjecture his Aikido was by some means or measure less than it was in his earlier years. I believe he was an innovator and a creative genius not a shadow of some crusty old badger that liked to hurt people as some would have us believe. Some people seem to say we don't know what he did so he must not have done it, or we are so good he and you could not possibly fathom our greatness. To that I say bullshit. I like that word, it covers so much ground. I believe his Aikido before and after the war was different but I believe his art was different by design that he transcended what he and it was and became something more that his/its parts. I have no desire to look to the past to find the true meaning of Aikido. I believe it is before me and I believe it is obtainable. No some folks are going to stomp there feet, ball the fists, jump up and down and hold their breath and holler NO you got to do it my way because you can't possibly understand if you don't. To them I say calm down it will be all right if we are right too. Can't we all just get along?




Insert big smiley face here

Last edited by Dennis Hooker : 12-01-2006 at 09:56 AM.

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Old 12-01-2006, 10:04 AM   #15
Mark Freeman
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Re: Train of thought

Good post Dennis, I couldn't agree more

regards,

Mark
p.s. check the other thread (Myk?) I think I know the guy you are looking for.

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:28 AM   #16
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Train of thought

Geez, Ellis, you just made me remember all of the John Thompson piano stuff I had to hack through as a kid. I would rather have struggled with Bach's fugues and etudes, or even the "Maple Leaf Rag" back then.
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Old 12-01-2006, 11:35 AM   #17
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Train of thought

Dennis - Honestly, (without assumption that your last note was directed at me) - I don't think that Ueshiba lost something after the war - or that he was a mean guy before and a saint after. If fact, I think I've established that his weapons work, clearly and unambiguously, was at it's peak after the war. Just today, I saw some video of him doing jo as a very old man - material I've never seen before - that was just astonishing. If that's so, I would bet it's true for his taijutsu as well. I think the difference was that, per-war, he clearly instructed his leading students on how to do much/all of what he did. After the war, his attitude was more - "find out yourself." (And people like Tohei, for example, went off the reservation to the Tempu-kai, for better or worse). If there was a spiritual change, I think it was reflected in his attitude towards his own role - as a kind of avatar to unite the realms (yes, that is a typical shorthand for chi/jin, etc. training, but he also used it in the macrocosmic sense). And he said, explicitly, that the students' role was to provide energy for him to accomplish this divine work. Nonetheless, he also seemed to say that the information was there if you paid attention, that, for example, if one looked carefully, as I think I did, at his jo work in Hawaii, you could see him repeatedly show, with his body, how to train to create enormous power. So personally, I think he was at his peak after the war, not only as a spiritual exemplar, but technically as well. I just think people had to work much harder to get the information he had - and few were inclined to do so. They got really really good at a lot of stuff - but not, I think, at the "magical" ability to exert power that drew the best martial artists in Japan to Ueshiba in the first place.
And personally, the stronger I've gotten, the better human being I can afford to be. Or as John L. Sullivan said in reply to a friend who was outraged he didn't knock out a young tough who bumped him on a street car, "I am the heavyweight champion of the world. I can afford to be polite."
Best

Last edited by Ellis Amdur : 12-01-2006 at 11:37 AM.

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Old 12-01-2006, 12:29 PM   #18
DonMagee
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Dan harden wrote....Ask him to start fighting you in a pick-a-part style. Ask him to stand out of your range and pick you apart with kicks and strikes. Try to "use" his energy against him to defend yourself and bring his attacking energy against him while you do…..only.…..the Aikido techniques you do every week in class.

Why Dan....?????
Wy must it all be about fighing and winning??

Why can't it be for the reasons I train.

It seems like this has turned into a Mike Harden and Dan Sigman forum (I know I got the names wrong...I think they are the same person)
....all about developing Ki by not training but douing some of Mike's tricks or about real fighting using Dan's ideas about MMA.
I don't think there is any thing wrong with either of those agendas other than I think they are using this forum to market themselves.
This is an aikido forum.....fighting????/

Does anyone train to creat peace in their own life.......to effect a change in themselves that might help others???

I do..( go ahead tell me I am new age ...Mike...I guess I am).

I have no interest in fighing or learning tricks that don't come from weekly training.

It seems like everyone has been shut up and this is all that in on aikiweb.....maybe it needs a new name..like Hardmanweb.


There. Now I feel better
Mary
I don't think it has to be all about fighting. But when people ask about fighting, or talk about fighting, then it is time to discuss what fighting/resistance is about. It is important that people have a realistic view of what they can and can not do. I have no problems with someone training aikido to make them a better person, get in better shape, find people to drink beer with, or whatever other reason you can come up with. However, the moment someone starts to talk about using aikido to deal with resistance, that is where I like to butt in. I train martial arts not for self defense, not for inner peace, or ki development (although if any of that happens, I wouldn't mind). I train to learn how to deal with resistance, stress, and conflict, for pure enjoyment, and for the adrenaline rush of competition. I train aikido now and again because I find valuable skills that I hope I can one day leverage in my sport.

I post on posts that deal with fighting, resistance, or training methods to develop these abilities. You will notice I do not post on posts very often that do not deal with these ideas. It's not because I do not think other reasons for training are worthless, it is because I simply do not have much to say on other subjects. I do however think it is important to point out that aikidoka call what they do martial arts. It is going to be hard to get away from actually dealing with fighting/resistance and still be a martial art. You can call it blending, flowing, etc. But we are still talking about dealing with someone bent on hurting you. That is fighting/resistance. So at its core, I belive martial arts are about dealing with resistance/fighting.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-01-2006, 12:48 PM   #19
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Train of thought

Good post Don.

I have another view to some of this though...

If someone is posting to the site, and you don't like their posts, then don't read them.

If you would like to discuss something else, start a post on it.

Personal attacks on those whose views differ from your own are...

[spoiler]Personal attacks. Not very "aiki" in new age speak.[/spoiler]

Not very polite, in plain english.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:06 PM   #20
Jim Sorrentino
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Re: Train of thought

Hi Ellis,
Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote:
I don't think that Ueshiba lost something after the war - or that he was a mean guy before and a saint after. If fact, I think I've established that his weapons work, clearly and unambiguously, was at it's peak after the war. Just today, I saw some video of him doing jo as a very old man - material I've never seen before - that was just astonishing.
More details on this video, please!

Thanks!

Jim
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:50 PM   #21
Michael Neal
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Re: Train of thought

I think one of the biggest conflicts I have seen here on aikiweb over the years (myself being a participant for better or worse) is between those who practice Aikido as a martial art and those who practice Aikido for internal happiness, exercise, socializing, etc. I think you can be in all of these categories but most seem to favor one aside over another.

There is certainly nothing wrong with either of these groups but during training as well as online discussions people are constantly trying to convert the other to their way of thinking. Someone who is more into the esoteric aspect is often going to get annoyed practicing with someone who wants to train hard and realistically and vice versa.

My advice, and this certainly applies to me as well, is to stop trying to make converts and practice your own Aikido. Train Aikido for your goals and stop worrying about the people around you, if there aren't many people who want to train like you try to find another place to train or try to avoid those who are polar opposite.

I used to get angry in Aikido as well as in Judo practicing with people who did not share the same goals. I am one who falls more into the train aggressively and realistically category. However I learned recently to just use the opportunity to slow down and go through motions to develop various aspects of the technique and to save the resistance training for those who also enjoyed training that way. And if someone has very different goals than me I just tend to avoid partnering with them.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 12-01-2006 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 12-01-2006, 10:00 PM   #22
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
Then of course there is the possibility that Ueshiba created something new. Something that transcends the traditional or conventional. He was not a Japanese conformist in the usual sense after all. So many people suppose he lost something after the war. They conjecture his Aikido was by some means or measure less than it was in his earlier years. I believe he was an innovator and a creative genius not a shadow of some crusty old badger that liked to hurt people as some would have us believe.
Dennis, I'm very much in agreement with you on that, but as a martial art, his later form "taught" much less than the earlier form. He was able to do amazing things with grace and skill, but I don't think he continued to teach what enabled him to attain that grace and skill. Of course, there really was no way to recreate the environment that he knew when he was creating aikido and without that environment of real fighting masters with fighting attitudes all over the place--real sharp samurai by the thousands--you could no longer develop the kind of art he had developed.

One reason he did make such a huge change in his teaching was that he recognized the futility of fighting the atomic bomb. Many aikidoists get discouraged at the recognition of BJJ. Others get depressed at thinking they might have to face a soldier in body armor and helmet, carrying a knife, pistol and rifle as well as RPGs, night vision and laser sights.

Recognizing that even the strongest man will encounter something much stronger than himself must force a reevaluation of the purpose for training. We have to realize that no one and no method is undefeatable, yet we mustn't lose the value of practicality in training. So we must never cease to question what we're doing and why.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 12-01-2006, 10:08 PM   #23
David Orange
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
There seems to be a lot of talk about Aikido techniques not working against resistance but I thought the entire point of Aikido was to harmonise with and so use any resistance to throw uke.
Judo: Push when pulled. Pull when pushed. Aikido: Push when pulled. Turn when pushed. Resistance = uke pushing or pulling in order to stop technique; should provoke appropriate response in tori.
Alex, your post pretty well describes aikido according to my way of thinking. And that is that "tori" does not resist. The antithesis of that idea is that "uke" never resists anything tori does, so that, whatever tori does, uke will fall. And I think that idea has done more harm to aikido than anything else since the beginning.

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 12-02-2006, 02:34 PM   #24
DH
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Re: Train of thought

Quote:
Dennis Hooker wrote:
Dan the Aikiweb is sponsoring a little thing with Chuck Clark, Ellis Andur and some old fossil named Dennis Hooker here in Orlando in Feb. It is the second such event. What if we could persuade Jun and folks to do another in a couple of years in your neck of the woods? Would you be willing to take part in a four way give and take session that we love so much? We ask folks to leave bad attitudes at the door and enter with an open mind and friendly demeanor.
Bleck!!...thats a technical term.... Dennis.. from reviewing traffic studies.

I dunno. First blush would be "No thanks."
I'd rather work with men one-on-one in very small groups and monitor their progress, then to "demonstrate" anything to a large group.
Second thoughts..... A better impact would be to work with guys who are teaching others. I don't want to teach.
If you help them- they will, in turn, fix others. Even with something as simple as Aikido's hanmi- It can take a few hours to work on just that.. Most guys bodies won't open and they recieve the load on their quads and they have to retrain the wast/hip.knees to open on their own. I'd need a whole weekend to really get somewhere for a decent start with someone on a simple set of exercises and training goals.

And last I'd have to consider the pressure of it all. My hats off to you guys who like doing those things.

My best option
I'd have more fun getting together with you four guys after hours (for three hours or so) for a couple of days and training together. That way we'd avoid all the technique stuff and do some simple testing and then get to work. You'll be farther ahead then students to begin with. I'm fairly sure you'd encounter some things you'd want to take home and work on. Who knows maybe I would to. Then you could decide how to incorporate anything I'd be showing you into "your Aikido" and teach them over the years. And -you- can answer all the questions from the guys who don't advance because they won't do the solo work anyway.

Again I have three AIkido guys coming Tues. they teach as well, so its a way I can help and not feel pressured.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 12-02-2006 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 12-03-2006, 02:25 AM   #25
Mike Collins
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Re: Train of thought

Call me stupid, cause I often am and more lately, but have doubts recently that anyone can be much of a teacher, beyond a good foundation of movement of what is functional (in a dojo practice event) and could show much beyond basics (the really cool stuff that makes one say stuff like "I held him hard and got launched and as I looked for muscle, I didn't feel any"), that level of development is a combination of feeling it strong enough, often enough and thinking this or that and working on it until you start to get it. I feel like it's largely about the idea of personal work where the teacher comes from the hard work they've done themselves. Mostly, of the people I see and feel are my idea of greatness, do teaching beyond showing the basics. They go around and letting the stuff they have gotten scary and fun at, almost priorities or something major for people to develop what they can do themselves, not make everyone exactly look like the teachers, he helps people develop themselves along with principles . People who are called as great teachers are folks who do their bests and work on helping folks attitudes get to the understanding where they get it that it's their job to learn the truth about how it feels when a new technique or aspect of on is useful and Aikido including that personal asset they have. (I think).

Under learning a basic in kata, probably resistance would be a bad thing to learning a basic, but never getting resistance disallows you to understand how YOU, work for yourselves, I think.

Last edited by Mike Collins : 12-03-2006 at 02:34 AM.
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