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Old 04-06-2006, 03:58 PM   #51
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Put simply, Aikido works very well against a true attack. It doesn't work against a wussy or inconsistent attack. So I think we do ourselves a great disservice as tori when we don't train our uke to attack properly.

Hhmmm....Actually I think the definition of true attack in your example above should more properly be defined as a true (albeit limited) "Aikido" type attack... It is simply not realistic to think any other way. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The same would apply to many other single arts.

In my small way I was suggesting thinking outside the box to a broader view, one that would function within the Aikido paradigm and without. And in so doing, both train, strengthen and preserve the body-dynamic to a use that would not need to "take" ukemi as a means to remain safe. There are better ways to accomplish that goal of safety all while attacking the source or simply stopping it .....as a choice.
Honestly, I think what I am pointing to is beyond what many who toil away in an art have the ability to "see." I mean no disrespect nor a suggested elitism-but rather a superior way to function in our own bodies.

Further, it is my contention that what I am saying leads to the very heart of Ueshiba's "true Aikido" as an ideal- more than all the Aikido Ukemi ever "taken" in the world.... ever did.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-06-2006 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 04-06-2006, 04:35 PM   #52
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Edit timed out

I also meant to address your comment about Aikido not working against a wusy attack.
Aikido should just be.
It is not dependant upon the intent of others.
It should not be dependant upon what is offered -then you can be played.
Nor something dedicated -then you can be feinted and set-up.
Nor on a direct attack-what if you need to come to the aid of another being attacked.
But to be able to defend and stop or to sieze, control, counter, or stop irrespective of any energy or lack thereof.
My "Aikido" is not to be locked, nor thrown, nor choked, nor grabbed. But to lock, and throw and choke or grabb.
No man and no thing is unstoppable or immovable. But there is an incredible "gap" in the different approaches we may choose to express our intent and ability to stand.

Dan
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Old 04-06-2006, 07:45 PM   #53
Perry Bell
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Quote:
Dan Botari wrote:
Hi Boon,

As a fellow yoshinkan practitioner I find your comments quite appropriate to the situation in many dojos. In particular, the dojo at which I practice has only a few people able and willing to give committed attacks. The reason, as mentioned by a few in this thread, is that most people as uke don't want to take hard falls or difficult ukemi. They would rather go through the motions and do a nice roll or flip out of a non-committed attack. The problem as I see it is that without a committed attack from uke as shite I find it difficult to work on proper ma, maai, and kushushi. If uke won't give a committed attack then there s often times no energy to capture and redirect leaving shite the only option to muscle the technique.

In summary I believe the lack of committed attacks from uke in large part are a result of uke's inability or unwillingness to do proper and necessary breakfalls.

I'm sure i will be flamed so I am not putting on my flame retardant suit.

Thanks for the post. I've been thinking about this for a while now.

Dan Botari
Hey Dan,

Here comes the flame, got your suit on, only kidding buddy don't stress your point of view is yours, we can either agree or dis agree not criticize.

Would it not be good if we can learn from the weaker attacks, because the attacks we might get on the street so to speak might not be as good as we might get in the dojo, in that way our defense can work either way with out throwing off our own balance. As the teacher in my class sometimes with the higher students I purposely do poor quality technique to throw the student off and see the reaction, so they can learn not all will be as we expect it to be.

Take care, suit off now

Perry
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:13 AM   #54
ruthmc
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Aikido should just be.
It is not dependant upon the intent of others.
It should not be dependant upon what is offered -then you can be played.
Nor something dedicated -then you can be feinted and set-up.
Nor on a direct attack-what if you need to come to the aid of another being attacked.
But to be able to defend and stop or to sieze, control, counter, or stop irrespective of any energy or lack thereof.
My "Aikido" is not to be locked, nor thrown, nor choked, nor grabbed. But to lock, and throw and choke or grabb.
No man and no thing is unstoppable or immovable. But there is an incredible "gap" in the different approaches we may choose to express our intent and ability to stand.
Hi Dan,

I've been thinking about this and have concluded that I need to revise my earlier post somewhat

I would say that the Aikido I have been taught up to now does not work against wussy or inconsistent attacks. I believe this is a major flaw in my training so far, which I am now addressing.

How to add power to a wussy attack without muscling?

How to blend with an inconsistent attack without fighting?

Not at all easy. But hopefully one day it will be my Aikido

Ruth
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:17 PM   #55
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

I think with wussy attacks (at least my experiences) in the dojo, we want so hard to replicate what the instructor or sensei is doing that we really end up ignoring the attack as presented and move as we see sensei move. I get frustrated when it does not work and things go wrong!

What I think is happening is that we don't respond appropriately to the attack and then convey on uke that is is "his problem" for having a wussy attack. Ego working at it's finest!

The problem is our problem. we really should be workng to respond apprporiately to what is presented regardless of what sensei wanted to see, not willing it to be what we want it to be.

We simply need to accept that this happens and "let go" and move on. Hopefully sensei comes around and fixes the situation. I bet though many times he just lets it be, knowing that you have bigger things you need to work on without saying anything!

Aikido does work against wussy attacks, it just may not work the way our limited minds think that it should!
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Old 04-07-2006, 03:45 PM   #56
MaryKaye
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

One of my teachers, in response to many complaints "uke isn't giving me anything to work with," has started to take such situations and analyze them. Often uke is convinced he's going to be thrown in a particular direction and is trying not to give that opportunity to nage. Nage can then try to feel what other direction would be better, and go with the flow.

I've been demo uke for some of this. Whoah, that's one way to keep uke on her toes! I was thinking smug thoughts about my ability to resist one moment, and the next I was upside down in midair....

The problem is, as my teachers have also been saying, that if nage is told to work on technique X and uke gives an attack for which X is not a sensible reply, nage is stuck. So uke has a responsibility to give an attack appropriate for the technique to be trained, and save off-kilter attacks for practice where nage has permission to improvise.

I remember watching a couple of black-belt students at a dojo I was visiting. The rest of the pairs were doing kaitenage, turn and about, trying to get it right. The two yudansha were too, at a slightly higher speed, except that about one throw in ten would be something completely different--the attack didn't quite recommend kaitenage to them, so they improvised. Looked like fun! I think that kind of training is where "aikido versus a wussy attack" can really be learned.

Mary Kaye
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:43 PM   #57
James Davis
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Quote:
Mary Kuhner wrote:
One of my teachers, in response to many complaints "uke isn't giving me anything to work with," has started to take such situations and analyze them. Often uke is convinced he's going to be thrown in a particular direction and is trying not to give that opportunity to nage. Nage can then try to feel what other direction would be better, and go with the flow.

I've been demo uke for some of this. Whoah, that's one way to keep uke on her toes! I was thinking smug thoughts about my ability to resist one moment, and the next I was upside down in midair....

The problem is, as my teachers have also been saying, that if nage is told to work on technique X and uke gives an attack for which X is not a sensible reply, nage is stuck. So uke has a responsibility to give an attack appropriate for the technique to be trained, and save off-kilter attacks for practice where nage has permission to improvise.

I remember watching a couple of black-belt students at a dojo I was visiting. The rest of the pairs were doing kaitenage, turn and about, trying to get it right. The two yudansha were too, at a slightly higher speed, except that about one throw in ten would be something completely different--the attack didn't quite recommend kaitenage to them, so they improvised. Looked like fun! I think that kind of training is where "aikido versus a wussy attack" can really be learned.

Mary Kaye
In my dojo, we have some pretty tricky uke too. Our sensei allows us to flow wherever we need to as long as the requested technique is the end result. (performing nikyo to lower uke before performing ikyo, for example.) When Sensei told us that this was allowed, it made our aikido more imaginative and fun. (not to mention improved our ukemi!)

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 04-07-2006, 07:05 PM   #58
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Here you will find some fairly typcial jujutsu. Although it looks like randori it isn't. Notice all the "throw" moments. At the instant of Kuzushi the Uke "takes" ukemi. Watch his body essentially give up and go....into..... the throw position-even to the point of "taking" the arm bar. No one.....no one.... fights this way. They just cooperatively train this way. Unless and untill you do otherwise you are actually training to lose

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2YcAlpFs1E&search=judo

Now compare that to all of the MMA bouts you may find in various other venues where the one thrown is constantly re-vectoring and maneuvering for a new position. You will quickly note that in this maneauvering or change-their bodies remain protected due to the re-attack postioning instead of the giving up and "taking" the throw position. The change -changes their body lines and brings them into a greater opportunity for a cohesive power return postion.

There are many ways to be safe and attacking back is at the top of the list. It changes your body dynamic. Think it through, then try it. There is something valuable to be seen in training this way when you get the chance. You don't have to do it in the Dojo. Get some friends.....get private mat time and get ....better.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-07-2006 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:00 PM   #59
Qatana
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

[quote=. No one.....no one.... fights this way. They just cooperatively train this way.[/QUOTE]

That's right, no one fights this way. But I thought we were talking about aikido. This IS how you do aikido.

Q
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Old 04-08-2006, 09:20 AM   #60
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
That's right, no one fights this way.
Hhmmm.....To your first admission and agreement with me- "That no one fights this way."
Since you now acknowledge what you would face were you to have to use it against trained aggression, your next statement .........
Quote:
Jo Adell wrote:
But I thought we were talking about aikido.
This IS how you do aikido.
is that of a self damming admission-whether it is realized or not. And I suspect to the great sadness of the one who started it all.

It is not the heart of Aikido. Not what it was nor what it was meant to be. At its very heart Aikido was not to lose; to be immovable, to thwart every attempt and control without causing harm. This type of ..practice is a corruption of that goal.

No sooner did he leave the main dojo did the corruption begin. What was going on that caused Ueshiba to enter the dojo of Kissomaru and Tohei and say "This is not my Aikido."

In the fullness of time what Aikido is now ..........is Kissamaru's


Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-08-2006 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:37 AM   #61
Qatana
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

This implies an assumption that My motives for training are the same as yours.
Your aikido is not my aikido.

Q
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:31 PM   #62
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Deleted see below

Last edited by DH : 04-09-2006 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 04-09-2006, 06:34 PM   #63
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Agreed

Though I think it is fair to say we are both here discussing issues greater than us as individuals.

To the greater topic- both views apply..though I reluctantly add that mine was the more clearly defined, and if understood, can be expressed and thus -practiced-in a myriad of ways.

Thanks for the reply all the same.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-09-2006 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 04-10-2006, 03:08 AM   #64
Bridge
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Something occured to me during a karate class last Thursday.

We were doing some paired work for the first time in ages. I attacked (chudan tsuki) my partner with the usual commitment (possibly less than) I have in aikido practice. Only for my partner to be taken aback by the intent of the attack, enough to make him stop and make some comment (and get hit).

So...

Karate types do DO wussy attacks sometimes. And Aikido people don't always.

Karate people do DO the ukemi (as in let their arm be blocked). And I've received more bruises in aikido from messed up "blending".

What do you make of that????
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:44 AM   #65
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Quote:
Bridget Chung wrote:
Karate types do DO wussy attacks sometimes. And Aikido people don't always.

Karate people do DO the ukemi (as in let their arm be blocked). And I've received more bruises in aikido from messed up "blending".

What do you make of that????
Well, I'm hardly an expert (having never done karate & being quite marginal at aikido), but...

From what I imagine (and please correct me if I'm wrong), karate requires less blending & leading for its techniques. Therefore, a relatively weak attack in karate wouldn't create the same kind of frustration as we see in this thread. A lot of this thread's complaints about a wussy attack seem to be based on the idea that if there's no momentum, its harder to 'do aikido' because there's nothing to work with and turn back against uke.



Now, with that being said, I have some problems with the term 'wussy attack,' the way its being used here. I'm still trying to decide what I think about a lot of what Dan Harden has said, but I definitely agree with him that 'good' aikido should not require someone else to make the attack first and in a strongly committed way. There have been threads here that have talked about the value of being pre-emptive, for example. Now, that being said, making a strong, committed attack IMHO is a good thing to practice with, because (at least for me) its helpful to 'feel' what a technique tries to do.

Secondly, I think we need to spend some time differentiating between a wussy attack, a committed attack, and an attack with all of uke's momentum & weight behind it. The first is a wet noodle, and the last is what we as aikidoka just love to play with. But the second one is interesting, and something we dont (at least in my dojo) play around with that much. A boxer can throw a real jab, but they are very careful to not over-extend him or herself, for example. I have little idea how to deal with #2 in an effective way, though I think it'd be a good thing for me to figure out eventually.

Last edited by Nick Pagnucco : 04-10-2006 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:03 PM   #66
eyrie
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

I think the level of intensity of an attack should be commensurate with (and slightly above) the other person's ability to respond appropriately. Uke is learning how to control their attack accuracy and intensity appropriately.

I share Dan's point of view, but I'm of the opinion that taking ukemi is primarily a learning tool for tori, only insofar as to allow tori to learn how to effect a throw. As tori becomes more proficient, then the role of uke is to step up the attack level of intensity and variety such that they are not taking ukemi for ukemi's sake, but to provide tori with an appropriate learning experience.

While the delineation between tori and uke are necessary for learning purposes, in training and practice reality, the delineation needs to be blurred, with roles reversed as the situation dictates, and as much as the level of player's abilities allows.

Ignatius
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:08 PM   #67
DH
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

hmmm...
I just spent 4 hours training with 3 CMA guys. Countless attempts to throw, countless punches thrown many attempts at locks. No throw worked -not one. No lock was even marginally successful. Thus...no one had to "take" Ukemi of any kind.
So...following the thinking I am openly challenging or questioning here....... was nothing learned?

Honestly I think that this "idea" many have is so ingrained that they are missing a fundamental core concept of where their training can go and ideally what it can mean.

Since I am questioning I have to say I applaud the civility and the open exchange with everyone.

Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-10-2006 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 04-11-2006, 04:40 AM   #68
eyrie
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Sorry, Dan, I was in a hurry before and neglected to mention that I actually agree with you from the point of view of not "taking" ukemi. The ultimate in ukemi - literally receiving with the body - is "fudo-myo" - being unmovable, unthrowable and unlockable - in which you're still "taking" ukemi, just not "doing" the ukemi.

The point of "doing" ukemi of course is merely learning to do "something" - which I think would be "th3 r34l" aikido... eventually. And since there are various stages of learning, I'm sure you would agree that it would be rather inappropriate, not to mention frustrating, for a "beginner" to engage in a stalemate (or losing) encounter with someone more advanced who doesn't need to "do" ukemi.

Otherwise, we might as well just be doing....um... "karate"... to achieve the same goal, quicker.

Ignatius
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Old 04-11-2006, 08:33 PM   #69
Perry Bell
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
Well, I'm hardly an expert (having never done karate & being quite marginal at aikido), but...

From what I imagine (and please correct me if I'm wrong), karate requires less blending & leading for its techniques. Therefore, a relatively weak attack in karate wouldn't create the same kind of frustration as we see in this thread. A lot of this thread's complaints about a wussy attack seem to be based on the idea that if there's no momentum, its harder to 'do aikido' because there's nothing to work with and turn back against uke.



Now, with that being said, I have some problems with the term 'wussy attack,' the way its being used here. I'm still trying to decide what I think about a lot of what Dan Harden has said, but I definitely agree with him that 'good' aikido should not require someone else to make the attack first and in a strongly committed way. There have been threads here that have talked about the value of being pre-emptive, for example. Now, that being said, making a strong, committed attack IMHO is a good thing to practice with, because (at least for me) its helpful to 'feel' what a technique tries to do.

Secondly, I think we need to spend some time differentiating between a wussy attack, a committed attack, and an attack with all of uke's momentum & weight behind it. The first is a wet noodle, and the last is what we as aikidoka just love to play with. But the second one is interesting, and something we don't (at least in my dojo) play around with that much. A boxer can throw a real jab, but they are very careful to not over-extend him or herself, for example. I have little idea how to deal with #2 in an effective way, though I think it'd be a good thing for me to figure out eventually.


Hi Nicholas,

I am a Karate instructor, and have been training for 30 years, just so you know I am coming from a point of knowledge.

In karate there is plenty of blending, there might be schools around the world where the instructors do not understand enough about what they teach and the bio mechanics of movement, that they only teach the hardness of karate where you just block and punch or kick, I practice a style called Shitoryu in Australia, and it combines both hard and soft techniques, hard ones where you can stop someone in their tracks, and softer ones where you can blend with the attack and take control of the fight, much in the same way we do in Aikido.

So really it all comes back to the understanding of the teacher ( instructor ) .

Take care

Perry

Last edited by Perry Bell : 04-11-2006 at 08:44 PM.

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Old 07-16-2006, 11:45 PM   #70
xuzen
 
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Re: Are we not aggressive enough?

Hi all,

Some thoughts about this issue...

Now that I also do judo, there is something I would like to share with all, with regards to aggresiveness:

The females judokas that are in my dojo can really teach me a thing or two about being aggresive. NB: My judo dojo is a competitive centric dojo.

Teenage girls who normally are so demure suddenly becomes like a tigress in randori. They grab, push, they wring your dogi and you can actually feel there aggression and their competitive nature.

It is a far cry from how my aikido dojo girls react, who are usually demure and just as demure even on the mats.

It is just interesting to observe another aspect of human emotion so closely.

Boon.

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