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Old 12-27-2005, 09:47 PM   #26
Derukugi
Location: Tokyo
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Re: Slow Aikido

The better you get at doing things slowly, the easier you`ll find it to add speed later as need be.
The absolutely worst you can do is try to practise speed while moving incorrectly.
(Same applies for Ju-Jutsu and Judo, btw)
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Old 01-03-2006, 08:34 AM   #27
jxa127
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
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Re: Slow Aikido

What I've been noticing a lot more is that moving sooner is better than moving more quickly. My tendancy has been to move quickly in response to an attack that has nearly connected. Because of that, I've been working on responding sooner and being more sensitive to the attack. I've found that moving sooner allows me to more at a more relaxed pace and my technique is crisper; not so hurried.

Regards,

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #28
jester
 
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Re: Slow Aikido

Our Instructor used to say that "Slow is Fast and Fast is Slow".

It sounds funny and contradicting until you really understand what it means.

Let's assume we are already at MAI-AI.

For the average person, being fast means jumping forward or lunging. You want to get there really fast right. But what happens when you lunge or spring forward to attack?

First thing you have to do is a weight shift to your rear foot, then you sink down slightly to get your legs ready to spring forward, then you spring forward. So there is 2 parts to your movement.

To me this is really a slow process. While the end result is a fast spring, the compression phase of this movement is rather slow and is telegraphed from a mile away.

Now lets move slowly. All you have to do in fall forward by lifting for knee. Fall with whatever foot is forward. Don't do the weight shift, just let your body fall forward and then slide your back foot up to complete the movement like Sugi-Ashi.

It's a slow relaxed movement, but you actually close the distance faster without a pre-movement shift of your body.

I don't know if other people do this, but I've tested it with other styles of MA and I am almost 100% of the time faster than they are. Not because I'm fast, but because I know how to move more efficiently.

Another thing to think about is moving to fast or to early. By being nervous or excited, you can often move to fast or take Uke's balance and not wait for his recovery.

By being to fast and applying the technique to early, you close the window of opportunity on that technique. You have to slow down and wait for Uke to catch up. This is faster because you are in time with Uke and you don't stop the technique and let Uke figure out what you are doing.

Practicing slowly will also increase your muscle memory. It's like learning scales on the guitar. If you try to speed through them you will sound sloppy and your timing will usually be off. If you practice slowly while learning and practicing your timing will be more precise and your finger positioning will be more accurate.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:08 PM   #29
roosvelt
Location: Ontario
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Re: Slow Aikido

Quote:
Tim Jester wrote:

It's a slow relaxed movement, but you actually close the distance faster without a pre-movement shift of your body.
I don't know if we're doing the same thing or not. If we do, it has nothing to do with slow movement.

I think basically it's the same unweighting to move or change direction in skiing/skating. You can do the normal jump up and move/change direction. Or you can jump down and move/change direction.

You reflect your knee and drop your centre quickly downward to move forward more quicly than drop your centre downward only.

In either case, internally you move very fast. Because you can't defy the gravity for too long.

I don't think slow aikido is a good goal, you need to learn move your centre very fast and faster.
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:29 PM   #30
jester
 
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Re: Slow Aikido

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
I think basically it's the same unweighting to move or change direction in skiing/skating. You can do the normal jump up and move/change direction. Or you can jump down and move/change direction.
While Skiing and Skating, your already in motion and all your doing is channelling the motion so it's not the same.

Stand there in from of a mirror and take a step towards it. If your head telegraphs your movement, then your shifting your weight to move which is natural, but really isn't that efficient.

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
I don't think slow aikido is a good goal, you need to learn move your centre very fast and faster.
I'm glad that works for you, but I have to disagree 100%. In my opinion, efficient movement isn't dependent on speed. It's has more to do with timing.
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Old 01-03-2006, 10:56 PM   #31
roosvelt
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Re: Slow Aikido

Quote:
Tim Jester wrote:
While Skiing and Skating, your already in motion and all your doing is channelling the motion so it's not the same.
I'm confused.

Let's start from beginning, your weight is on both of your legs. To move your front foot forward, you have to somehow lift your front foot off the ground, i.e. no weight on the front foot. There are three ways to do that.

1. shift your weight from your front leg to your back leg.

2. push off ground with your front foot.

3. drop your centre/front leg, so your front body is in a free fall.

I was thinking of the number 3 method.Its the same mechanism in skating/skiing.

If you're not using the 3 method, how do you lift your front knee?
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:16 PM   #32
jester
 
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Re: Slow Aikido

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
I'm confused.
3. drop your centre/front leg, so your front body is in a free fall.

I was thinking of the number 3 method.Its the same mechanism in skating/skiing.
#3 seems correct. It's not a very fast movement, but the results seem fast to someone with inefficient movement.
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Old 01-04-2006, 12:28 PM   #33
roosvelt
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Re: Slow Aikido

Quote:
Tim Jester wrote:
#3 seems correct. It's not a very fast movement, but the results seem fast to someone with inefficient movement.
Just for fun. I tried defferent "unweighting" on a scale.

1. Jump up.

It's easy to do, no matter how "fast" or "slow" I jump, the scale reading reduced momentarily.

2. free falling/reflex down.

a. Just think/mind/willl my centre down. No change in reading. Proof my internal work isn't good.

b. squat down slowly and in moderate speed. No change in scale reading.

c. reflex/bend knees quickly. the scale reading reduced momentarily.


In skiing, the pushing down/relexing knees to unweighting is common. Though caving is in fad due to introduction of fat caving ski. I'm not a good skier. I won't elaborate on this.

Being in Canada, I have to skate a bit. The hockey stop is a good example of unweighting.

Your feet point forward. You have to somehow make your feet pepenticular to the direction of your traveling. To change direction you have to unweight first. Since both of your feet have to change direction at same time in hockey stop, you can't shift weight. It leaves you only two options: jump up or push down (free falling).

If you jump up to change direction. Your centre goes up first, then you have to lower your centre to use your body weight to apply pressure to stop. The up and down motion is time cosuming and unstable.

If you push down (free falling to lower your center), it's one step technique. Your body weight is already on your skate after chaning direction.

It's only a small time window that you can change your direction. The faster you drop down your weight, the quicker you can stop.
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Old 01-04-2006, 09:25 PM   #34
Leon Aman
 
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Re: Slow Aikido

Quote:
James Kelly wrote:
So, I've had something of an epiphany recently. It seems to me that the better people get at aikido, the _slower_ they move. You'd think it would be the other way around, but when I look at the Shihan, the faster the attack comes, the slower they seem to go.

I thought this might be particular to aikido, where the emphasis is not on speed and strength, but I've recently started cross training in capoeira, a very fast martial art, in a school where speed is emphasized over just about everything, and when the high levels play, they go slower and slower, even if their opponent is zipping around. They just put themselves in a place where the opponent can't attack. The better they are, the less they have to move to get into that place. It really is amazing to see one guy spinning and twirling like a top and the other, calmly stepping in and out of the way.

This came as a shock to me. For years I've been trying to speed up my techniques. My dojo has a reputation for teaching very slow aikido so when I go to other dojos or a seminar I would try to see if I could play at their speed. By this I thought it meant doing the techniques as fast as they attack. But now I'm trying something different. I'm trying to go as slow as I can, no matter how fast they attack. It's not easy, but I'm kind of grooving on it.

Anyone else make this observation? Have any thoughts on the speed of aikido training? Am I totally off base here? I saw a t-shirt once (from Boulder Aikikai I think), ‘Slow is ok' on the front, ‘but fast is better' on the back (or something like that). Now I'm thinking maybe I should make one just, ‘slow is better'.

Discuss
As I study the topic being discussed I'm quite confused to the relevance of Slow and Relax, that's why I'm reluctant to share my opinion but for the purpose of sharing Id like to express mine.

As I understand Slow is distinct from Relax and likewise Quick is also distinct from Relax. You can neither be slow nor quick but that does not a guaranty that you are relaxed. But if you are relax you can either be quick and slow. If I may add relax doesn't mean weak or weak doesn't definitely mean relax. so the point here is that if you are relaxed you can either be slow or quick depending on where you are comfortable with to move to a certain situation .

There are some instances that you have to move a little bit ahead(Quick) to your uke and sometimes a little bit delayed (but that doesn't mean slow). But,,, SLOW?,,,,, I don't think so…. We can only possibly do that on the mat with the collaboration of uke to the tori, but in the actual training or rather combat , I doubt it really…Slow as I view it is appropriate only for tai chi.. I guess.

You can observe that on shomenuchi attack you can move quickly even before your uke completely raise his hand so that you can break his balance or you can block his attack in a weak point of convergence and then you can proceed to the technique.

On a similar attack shomenuchi you can allow the uke to move a little bit ahead of you till he raise his hands, and on the act of delivering his blow to your head, you can extend your hand to make contact on his and quickly make an irimi tenkan (while your hand slidely grasping his sleeve) and then kneel down while whipping him on the mat by using the centrifugal motion and leading his force of attack in a circuit of projection and the uke will surely somersault infront of you. But of course this technik requires excellent timing and accuracy in order to execute it properly. I observed that marvelous style to Robert Mustard, maybe some of you know him well.

leon
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