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Old 01-24-2007, 11:43 AM   #151
Keith R Lee
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Yeah, I saw that vid over on the UG at mma.tv awhile ago.

I think the old guy should have spent a little more time sparring and less time waving his hands around theatrically.

Keith Lee
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:10 PM   #152
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Sorry guys...i love ya...but I think I am going to scream if I see that video posted one more time! It is all over the place!

Keith, ya know the thread I am waiting for! I check every day hoping it will once again rise from the dead!
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:18 PM   #153
DonMagee
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Its a funny video, what is not to love. Something inside me love reality checks. I don't care if its politics, martial arts, work, etc.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:53 PM   #154
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Ah, the thread that may not be named...lest it reappear and drag us all down screaming and thrashing into the void...

Best,
Ron (said in my best Yul Brenner voice)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:25 PM   #155
mwible
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

in my dojo, u kind of go with the technique while judging your nage's level, so i go with it most of the time, unless my nage tells me not to fall unless he REALLY makes me fall. so i dont if that helps but THERE YOU GO!!!
in aiki
-morgan
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:30 PM   #156
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Sorry guys...i love ya...but I think I am going to scream if I see that video posted one more time! It is all over the place!
Okay, maybe you need to see this video instead.
http://www.sweeptheleg.com/
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Old 01-25-2007, 09:43 AM   #157
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote:
I think it is a mistake to quote something from Saotome Sensei in order to refute other quotes from him. I did not "make up" the narration in his videos nor my experiences with him. Those who question what I am saying should buy and watch the Oyo Henka video. He does not contradict himself. English is simply not his native language. You have to listen carefully.
People should pay attention to this issue. It's not just the language barrier with Sensei. Often what he describing are two almost antagonistic aspects of a given principle. It is quite possible, at different times, to get quite different messages about the same topic. Its a tension of opposites which creates a balance. People need to be careful not to take one or the other position as valid but to see that its the balance of the two that Sensei is trying to get his stufdents to understand.

Quote:
I've spent a lot of time at Saotome's seminars, trained since 1993 with two of his senior students, and have attended his teaching oriented training at his private dojo (where he told us to teach flowing and cooperative Ukemi, but to change techniques when confronted with resistance). People like to do what they are used to doing, but that doesn't mean that what they are doing will ever get them to his level of Aikido.
You have to be very careful with Sensei. You can look at what he says, you can see how he teaches, but you also need to look at the result. Has he been able to pass on what he knows? Ikeda Sensei is the only one of his students who is functioning at a similar high level. There are a very small number of Rokudan level folks who are starting to get it. But there are many folks who have been and are currently traiing in ways that will not, in my own opinion, result in an understanding of what Sensei is doing.

I think that Sensei was so worried about his students not falling into the trap of what he saw Aikido becoming that he let us train too physically for too long. He used to go out to the West Coast for a week or two to teach and would come back abolustely incensed by what he saw. he'd say "Aikido is not Flamingo Dancing... they are destroying the spirit of Aikido". For weeks after his return our classes were apt to look a lot like karate classes; hard and with lots of atemi.

One thing you can say about Sensei's students, you can't get any of them to back off from an attack. They don't collapse their energy field just because an attack is strong. But in my opinion Sensei let us train that way for too long. The folks who are stuck trying to be strong never get what he is doing. Twenty years of training in a rigid and resistant manner will not result in an understanding of aiki.

Quote:
If you watch Saotome's videos you can see his Aikido for yourself. If you go to a seminar you will never see him tell the students present to grab in a resistant manner.
This isn't, strictly speaking, true and I think that is the source of a lot of misunderstanding... Sensei has frequently asked his uke to try to stop him. Being the largest of his students, I was frequently that uke. Since he has already mastered the principles, he likes to "show off" for the students that my resistance is pretty much irrelevant. But too many folks took those demos as a sign that they should be training with each other that way. The absolute last thing you want to do in your training is to imprint tension into the interaction. 50% of your training time is in the role of uke. If you spend half your time being rigid and immoveable and then think that your body will make the jump to fluid, relaxed, and sensitive when you do the nage role, you will be sadly disappointed. Your body will simply be confused.

Quote:
But more than this, as a matter of martial application, when and how does one's hand get grabbed in the first place? It just makes no sense. It's an exercise. I don't stand around waiting for people to grab my wrist. If they do manage to grab my wrist, it would be because they were charging in toward me and therefore would have too much momentum to be resistant. In the hypothetical, if an attacker grabbed my wrist, I'd break his nose. (As an aside, raising the arm will not stop a real strike either, which will only drive your own hand into your nose). It just makes no sense all this grabbing and resisting. If you grab my wrist and do not follow, you make it easy for me to break my hand free, and strike you with a back fist. Following is your protection.
While I don't actually disagree with what your point is, I think that this description needs a bit of clarification. As I have pointed out before, I do not believe that Aikido is an empty hand martial art. It is primarily about weapons. The grabbing attacks we do are largely about a) trying to take a weapon from the opponent, usually a sword from his obi; b) restricting his ability to access the weapon or c) restraining an armed opponent while another cuts or stabs him. No one grabs an opponent's wrists the way we do in empty hand fighting.

So these grabs are essentially connection exercises. We do every type of grab imaginable to practice connection with the partner. One you have an understanding of how to take that grab and use the energy of the grab to move the partner, you can actually use the identical principles in the attack. The grab is not some attempt to show the opponent that he cannot move you... whoever heard of anything that stupid in a fight. The grab is a way to take the other's center.

Once you understand this, you start to realize why it is absolutely crucial to understand that the technique starts before the grab (or strike) happens. Kuroiwa Sensei once said to me that people do not understand what the grab is. It is an offensive technique. If the attacker really gets that grab, he has you.

Quote:
Aikido is about capturing the attacker's energy, blending, and redirecting.
Actually, it goes both ways. The skilled attack is about capturing the opponent's energy and giving it direction and the skilled defense is doing the same thing to him before he can do it to you. The whole uke nage dichotomy is artificial so folks can train. No one goes into a fight thinking he's the uke.

Quote:
You get good at that by creating a situation where you can practice it. Think of Irimi Nage. The first ura and blend brings Uke down. The second ura and throw happens only because and if Uke continues her attack. Saotome's style of Irimi Nage really emphasizes blending because he turns and turns rather than stepping back and stepping in. If you practice trying to resist as Uke after the initial attack, you are merely asking Nage to kick or hit you, and taking advantage of the fact that you have not fully attacked nor Nage fully thrown, and in general are wasting your time and your partner's time as well.
It's ok to practice that way... you just have to have the proper arrangement with the partner. In a real martial interaction, an opponent will seldom totally commit unless he is sure he has a finishing blow. Hence feints or uncommitted attacks like a jab. If you are striving for martial competence in your Aikido, you need to have some experience practicing with partners who try to do this to you. You need to develop the sensitivity to react instantly to resistance on the part of the partner with the proper atemi rather than by tightening up and putting more force into the technique. If you do that, the partner will be forced to stay fluid as well because he must protect his openings. Not every body wants to train this way. Many folks take offense at being bopped by their partner. So you have to have a partner that wants to train in this manner. But it is ok to do so. In the sense of Aikido as self defense, you might be called on to defend oneself against an attacker who has no training whatever. This attacker may do all of the things we teach our students NOT to do. You have to practice against that type of attack as well as against an opponent who is highly trained and reacts more intelligently if you can be said to be functional from a self defense standpoint.

Quote:
It's good to have these conversations. In the end people can think and do what they want. Students under Saotome, however, in my opinion, have an obligation to try to do what he wants them to do. He is famous for getting angry at seminars when students aren't training the way he wants. Given language barriers I think many students never understand what he is looking for. I'm trying to articulate this to the best of my ability.
Ken McGrew
You are right that many folks do not understand what he is asking for. They latch on what they hear him say that fits their own predisposition. Normally, in training what one most needs to do is work on the aspect of the art which fits your predisposition the least. The strong ferocious folks need to relax and try being mellow and the timid, not so physical folks need to hit someone. Whatever it is that makes one uncomfortable, that should be what one works on hardest.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 01-25-2007 at 09:46 AM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:23 AM   #158
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

I'd go into a rant about how aikido shouldn't be about training to fall down, but Dan Harden is a lot better at that than I am.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:39 AM   #159
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

The best thing about this resurrected thread is the video "Sweep the leg"
thanks , Cady!

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:55 AM   #160
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

My pleasure. Isn't it amazing that Ralph Macchio (cameo appearance at the end) still looks 16 -- and he's 45!!! Billy Zabka looks pretty good at 41, too. He was 19 when the first Karate Kid movie was made. Macchio was 23 at that time (1984-85). They got most of the main/supporting cast to appear in the music video, though, unfortunately, Pat Morita (Miyagi) died in 2005.
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:39 PM   #161
Eddie Heinzelman
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Maybe we're all being very good aikidoka by not actually beating this horse to it's death (ha,ha)
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:03 PM   #162
Jane
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Smile Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

In my first weeks at the dojo, I'd get to work with a sempai who's always so contracted: he hardens his body all the time. When I'd be supposed to move forward, he'd be pushing me away, saying something like I should "force the technique in".
I was really frustrated. My sensei told me that when a partner did that, I shoud change the technique to take him off-guard.
What I've learned from these experiences is that a good uke shouldn't try to humiliate his partner by preventing him from studying the technique, nor be too obedient: I've been kicked by sensei's wife for "falling without obligation"!
Aikido is about ki flow, not brute force so, at least during pratice, none should have to use strenght to complete the techniques.
And as for, what's the yudansha's technique's worth on the street, there are some things to remember: the attaquant won't know what nage is about to do and unless nage makes a mistake, well, he should be able to handle the situation.
ciao!
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #163
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

I agree with the comments made by Lynn and David Yapp. Sticking to the original problem, I too have faced this on numerous occasions.

When I first began the study of aikido, I knew nothing, as all of us. I quickly learned that aikido is not a strength contest. The techniques do not require a great deal of strength and the use of it is a measure of error. However, I also knew that the principle only went so far. I knew I could, if I wanted, force my way out of some things if I wanted but from previous martial experience, I also knew that the purpose of taking ukemi is to learn how the technique works and how to fall out of it safely. So, fighting the technique of nage to a point is not product and can be considered as horse play.

How I view and handle this situation in practice is, when sensei is giving demonstration, he is trying to teach, NOT PERFORM. So, be cooperative in getting the instruction across. There is a difference is instructing and performing. When in group practice, you have to gauge the skill of the partner. If you know someone is not as skilled as you, the don't resist as if it were you being nage. Let down your guard a bit and assit in making the technique smooth. Resisting with prejudice against someone inexperienced will not help the nage learn and could lead to an accident or injurry.

However, when you are uke for a capable nage, by all means make it real. In times past, even for sensei, I would roll out of things and allow the technique to progress when obviously I could have resisted. Knowing, that I am unusually strong, I was aware that resisting to the point of showing up sensei was both unfair and disrespectful. So, I resisted enough to give him a good work out but I did not go overboard and appear that we were in a cock-fighting contest. Also, strength works if you know what is comming and know how to deal with it. The average strong person on the street will not know what hit them. So bear in mind, when performing uke responsibilities, attack with the mind of someone on the street that has no knowledge of aikido but fall out of the technique as an aikidoka. Did I sound confusing?
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:31 AM   #164
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Nice post Brad, sensible and simple. Pretty much covers my attitude when training and when teaching. If people don't get this they don't understand how to practice. Even thai boxers can spar gently, (read carefully, not soft) saving themselves for the real fights. I have kick boxers and bouncers in my dojo, if they attack full out whilst I'm trying to explain, with half my mind on the students, I'd get creamed, or at best, have to resort to something un "aiki" ;-) to handle it.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:10 AM   #165
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Go to another dojo where they don't expect you to fall down just to make them feel and look good.... Gives you some idea as to their true level and ability does is not?........ In my mind you did right!!
Tony
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:26 AM   #166
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Actually Tony, I don't think it gives a measure of ability,all instructors techniques are off sometimes, we are all human, but if an instructor gets mad because you didn't fall, it gives a measure of their immaturity and the size of their ego. I have never found much correlation in aikido between these two. I have trained with some shihans that would definitely punish you for not falling when they were demonstrating. I, personally, won't lend my body to someone elses ego trip of how tough and skilled they are. In the staged dynamic in which most aikido is practiced (including most of what passes as aikido randori) the give and take of changing partners tends to take the edge off the risk of incurring enmity from an instructor. I don't take falls if not necessary, but, equally, bracing yourself against kotaegaeshi with your body twisted and your head 6 inches from the mat is not all that martial either.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:59 PM   #167
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Well Alec... I beg to differ, I dont expect my uke's to take a fall if my waza are not effective.... I really don't hold much with people that insist that you have to do that.... to me it's not neccessary if you have good control over his/her balance, they will fall anyway! To me the problem with most aikido that I see today seems to lack any real attempt at balance breaking..... But then coming from a Shodokan/Tomiki background we tend to see it in another way....
Tony
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:55 PM   #168
Alec Corper
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Nah Tony, coming from a Shodokan background you just think you think differently;-)

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:46 PM   #169
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Think whatever way you wish old son..... Those that know me know me... those that don't doesn't really matter does it.
Take care Alec
Tony
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:05 PM   #170
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
As I have pointed out before, I do not believe that Aikido is an empty hand martial art. It is primarily about weapons.
Interestingly, that is not what I was taught.
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:22 PM   #171
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Perhaps I shouldn't comment on this but, the statement made by George that "Aikido is primarily about weapons" or some such (not in those words), is true and not true.

It is true in the sense that alot of aikido techniques were derived from weapons training/techniques. Aikdo also deals with weapons on a variety of platforms.

It is not true in the sense weapons are the main study of aikido. In general it would be erronrous to categorize the study of aikido as one thing in particular and if one had to, it would not be weapons training but more alond the lines achieving harmony through aiki.

So, take what I say as a grain of salt because I am really not sure what was meant. It would be best to have more clarification on what was meant before we speculate any further.
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:18 AM   #172
Pierre Kewcharoen
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

What are we in? Kindegarten or something? If the technique doesnt work, then it doesn't work which means there is something wrong. Have your sensei look at the technique being performed and from there he or she can make the assumption of who right. Sounds like to me, that black belt wants to give you the fingerpoke of doom.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:19 PM   #173
MM
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Quote:
Pierre Kewcharoen wrote: View Post
What are we in? Kindegarten or something? If the technique doesnt work, then it doesn't work which means there is something wrong. Have your sensei look at the technique being performed and from there he or she can make the assumption of who right. Sounds like to me, that black belt wants to give you the fingerpoke of doom.
You do realize this thread started a year and a half ago?
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:38 PM   #174
Pierre Kewcharoen
 
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Yep but Im bored at work so there
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:57 AM   #175
Lonin
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Re: Instructor got mad because I didnt fall

Hi,
you are luckier than I am, I got kicked out of the dojo cos I fell in the wrong direction ( maybe 20 degrees off) after nage tried the second time.
The chief instructor went ballistic and would not even listen to my explaination.
Quite a few "my way or the highway" instructors around.
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