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Old 09-19-2005, 11:59 AM   #1
akiy
 
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Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Hi folks,

What sort of "vicious cycles" have you encountered in your aikido training/teaching? How have you worked yourself or others out of such?

I'll start out with one example of people learning how to do breakfalls. Most people whom I've witnessed to have trouble with breakfalls seem to never been taught the landing position very well. Due to this, they'll try a breakfall and land incorrectly which usually hurts. Since the last breakfall hurt, they'll usually tense up before or during the fall the next time which usually causes their fall to mess up again, causing more pain. This, of course, makes them tense up even more the next time, which causes more problems. And so on. This is why I usually provide a lot of work "on the ground" on the landing position when I do breakfall clinics.

(If you wish to discuss breakfalls or any single topic specifically, please start another thread accordingly. Thanks.)

-- Jun

Last edited by akiy : 09-19-2005 at 01:23 PM.

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Old 09-19-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
markwalsh
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

RELAX!!!!!


Senseis who scream at you to relax. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
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Old 09-19-2005, 01:18 PM   #3
SeiserL
 
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

IMHO,
"relax,
breathe,
not grab,
not hit (and don't use the knife on them as you take it away),
hands in front,
and get lower" (I'm 6'4").

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 09-19-2005, 01:25 PM   #4
akiy
 
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Hi folks,

Just thought I'd clarify. By "vicious cycle," I mean a situation wherein one trouble leads to another that aggravates the first. I'm curious as to see exactly what kind of cycles you've encountered and how you've worked yourself (or others) out of it.

Thanks,

-- Jun

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Old 09-19-2005, 03:06 PM   #5
John Boswell
 
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Jun,

Breakfalls is a good subject, and as a person with difficulty with them... I'll chime in.

Breakfalls I have done have either been on a crash mat or were done on accident and startled the hell out of me. When practicing on the crash mat (6" to 8" mat pad) I can do them with confidence but can see that I'm still making errors. Though I try to correct these mistakes, with other students waiting in line to practice... I don't have a lot of time to do that. SO... the vicious cycle here is: no or lack of confidence, need to practice, no time to practice, pressure to hurry up and take ukemi... so I roll out or crash and those are my two options.

The handling for this would be individual time spent on problem cases like mine. I need to go in on the weekend and just take high falls for 30 minutes a day after practicing for 30 years.

1) If time is not a factor... then don't rush. Whether you have several students or one: get them to take their time.

2) Encourage students to practice outside of class. Not sure if your dojo would allow that, but students who need a nudge to get something down should be encouraged to come in early to practice before class and then if possible, stay later and practice that "thing" more.

That's my 2 cents. And Lynn... I'm still working on that "breathing" thing. I'll keep you posted if I ever figure out how to breath.

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Old 09-19-2005, 08:58 PM   #6
CNYMike
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi folks,

Just thought I'd clarify. By "vicious cycle," I mean a situation wherein one trouble leads to another that aggravates the first. I'm curious as to see exactly what kind of cycles you've encountered and how you've worked yourself (or others) out of it.

Thanks,

-- Jun
Well, I was breathing incorrectly on ukemi waza, exhaling on impact, which resulted in me being tense when I hit and caused a lot of pain in my lower back. One of the local senseis gave me advice on breathing which has helped a great deal; no more back pain! And hopefully my ukemi are a little better.

Most other areas where I have problems are ongoing.
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Old 09-19-2005, 09:16 PM   #7
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Back to the thread...

I see this cycle a lot - did it myself there for a time...

Body not flexible or supple, injury, get more stiff, body less flexible/less supple, another/more injury, get more stiff...

David M. Valadez
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Old 09-20-2005, 01:17 AM   #8
Charles Hill
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

I think this fits here...

I have noticed in myself and others that even when one advances in skill, when that person works with a senior student that he/she trained with as a beginner, they revert back to a lower level of skill. A kind of three steps forward, two steps back. It is as if that particular senior equals an early level of development.

Charles
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Old 09-20-2005, 01:46 AM   #9
sullivanw
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

injury....fear....tension....

What has amazed me is how quickly an injury can happen. At the beginning of the summer I got my foot caught in a hakama during a breakfall, and boy howdy did that hurt! Pulled my hamstring bad and a lot of other stuff all along the back of my leg.
So now, months later I am still not right but able to train frequently. But there's this... almost anticipation of injury sometimes, which produces tension, which makes everything a lot harder (ie more crashing, bumps, bruises, etc). Like a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Just trying to warm up and stretch a lot more, breathe out the tension, let go of the fear and enjoy the ride.

To Michael Gallagher:

What you wrote about exhaling on impact was really confusing. I thought that was the idea. I remember when I was getting used to backward ukemi I would think, "breathe out" but would instinctively hold my breath when I hit. And then exhale as I was lying on the mat! Not very fun!
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Old 09-20-2005, 04:26 AM   #10
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Brute force techniques

If I have a strong uke, I still tend to (try to) break his power simply by force. If it works, it does not feel any longer as brute force - and step by step I am getting stronger. So while also uke gets stronger or I find a stronger uke and it goes on. Weaker or co-operative uke do not help. Then the force feels like natural move.

If force does not work, I still try to use even more of it, maybe with a little better angle or more speed.

Now I am at the point where I more often see, that I am using pure power (more than I should). In the past I needed sensei to correct me ( shouting relax :?: ).

It is not easy to feel the power, and if you are not very careful, you just move in the wrong direction. I've seen this also at other aikidoka and the stronger they are the harder it is not to be hard

Does it sound like a vicious circle? I think it is, but maybe my description is a little bit complicated

Dirk
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Old 09-20-2005, 08:32 AM   #11
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Quote:
William Sullivan wrote:
injury....fear....tension....
Gotta support here with a slight modification;
injury, protection, tension, reinjury, etc., etc., ...

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 09-20-2005, 09:22 AM   #12
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

A vicous cycle for me has been periods of negativity. Aikido allows me to look at myself. Sometimes I come to an awareness of negitive judgement during class. I watch this and then continue to train. It generally goes away.
It seems like there is a voice in my head that hates what is good for me.
Mary
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Old 09-20-2005, 11:55 AM   #13
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

I see/do this one:
Nage applies a joint technique but it doesn't work so he/she tries with more force, but not better technique. Applying the technique harder reinforces resistance from uke. The end result is either injury or in-effective technique. Unfortunately, I think I wasn't quick enough and that has already been posted.

Here's another:
Nage enters timidly with an irrimi movement but the intent is not sufficient to achieve kuzushi. The failure of the movement reinforces the desire to protect, encouraging timid movement. The result is a cycle that abandons the principle or committed [direct] entry.
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Old 09-20-2005, 02:39 PM   #14
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Break Falls is a superb example as I suffered from the syndrome myself for different reasons. Another vicious cycle is one of the ego. I am not saying this is generally the case but it seemed in some instances that when a student has a small victory and breaks through a plateau or, gains a higher rank that a certain level of cockiness sometimes followed. When this happened, which was only a couple of times, I would have to take that ego down a notch or two in a subtle way. I suppose we are all human and need to be reminded of our humble beginings.
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Old 09-20-2005, 02:42 PM   #15
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Vicious Cycles in Aikido

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
I see/do this one:
Nage applies a joint technique but it doesn't work so he/she tries with more force, but not better technique. Applying the technique harder reinforces resistance from uke. The end result is either injury or in-effective technique. Unfortunately, I think I wasn't quick enough and that has already been posted.

Here's another:
Nage enters timidly with an irrimi movement but the intent is not sufficient to achieve kuzushi. The failure of the movement reinforces the desire to protect, encouraging timid movement. The result is a cycle that abandons the principle or committed [direct] entry.
This is another great example. I would say we have all done ukemi for a nage like this! Nothing worse is there? Then that same uke will be more timid next time because they do not want to be maimed from nage trying to complete a technique. I always remind that aikido is not a contest of strength!
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