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Old 12-19-2007, 05:28 AM   #126
Amir Krause
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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Amir Krause wrote: View Post

I have one suggestion regarding the first for a more efficient way of teaching I have been taught. At the first video, the success ratio is around 5-10%, most people do not learn this way, at least not efficiently. The way I am taught, you should have lowered the requirements at that point (best solution -- both move slower).
As for the second video, the success rate is around the efficient area. Yet, a teacher would have probably pointed out to you, you are still late in your Irimi, even though the technique is working (I can say this with ease since I have the same problem).
Surprise, surprise
Only yesterday we did a similar practice, with Tori learning to blend and Uke attacking freely (for us veterans this included all kicks too). And, Sensei has instructed my Uke to slow down, since as our speed grew I became "jumpy", "too on edge", lost the smoothness of the movement, and mot importantly, Sensei could see I was stopping to learn and starting to "fight".

As I said earlier, I find nothing wrong with the ideas behind the exercises in the videos. These ideas with similar exercises actually exist as in integral part of our curriculum. Because of the that, we do those things as part of a well defined methodical approach, and the teacher is not experimenting, and knows the exact purpose of each exercise he gives, which exercises we should do in order to improve specific traits, and what changes and comments are relevant to each.

Amir
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:14 PM   #127
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
The term "bunkai" can be interpreted in many ways. Could you please clarify?

You characterize my statement accurately. I began by saying, "Aikido is clearly not good for empty-handed grappling, so what else might it have been designed for?" You then suggested that I take a step back in that logical chain: "Actually, aikido is good for empty-handed grappling." This is an intriguing possibility. However, without using a very liberal definition of "bunkai" (e.g. "The bunkai of iriminage is a double-leg takedown! Aikidoka are great at grappling."), I'm not seeing any of these "answers to any attack, art, [or] situation" that you describe.

Which aikido techniques work well for you in empty-handed grappling? What do the other grapplers think about this? Are they surprised when you reliably throw them or tap them out with techniques they have never imagined? Do they ask you to teach them, and then go on to employ these techniques successfully themselves? (As my tone suggests, yes, I am skeptical.)

An excellent response would be to post up video of technique "just happening" for you in empty-handed grappling (with a competent grappler). This would be truly fascinating to observe.

Alternately, could you just let us know with whom you practice, and what their training background is?
Okay Paul you're right. I'm skeptical too.
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:01 PM   #128
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
Surprise, surprise
Only yesterday we did a similar practice, with Tori learning to blend and Uke attacking freely (for us veterans this included all kicks too). And, Sensei has instructed my Uke to slow down, since as our speed grew I became "jumpy", "too on edge", lost the smoothness of the movement, and mot importantly, Sensei could see I was stopping to learn and starting to "fight".

As I said earlier, I find nothing wrong with the ideas behind the exercises in the videos. These ideas with similar exercises actually exist as in integral part of our curriculum. Because of the that, we do those things as part of a well defined methodical approach, and the teacher is not experimenting, and knows the exact purpose of each exercise he gives, which exercises we should do in order to improve specific traits, and what changes and comments are relevant to each.

Amir
You should have filmed it and shared it here though. That would have been a really nice thing to add to this conversation. Again, everyone, anyone, that is chiming in here could, if they wanted to, jump in on this with video in hand. That would be really cool. It's not that hard to put together. Or, some of you that have video (e.g. Larry, I saw some irimi video of you a while ago - care to share it here again?), even of other drills, techniques, etc., could opt to share them - particularly where you believe it to be relative. Heck, even just get video of other folks doing what you think you are doing. Something, so we could try and actually talk about the same thing here.

As for what you experienced, Amir, please let me ask: Why do you think you were jumpy, requiring the drill to slow down? Are you normally jumpy when doing Kihon Waza? If not, why not? Or, was it something about the drill that made you jumpy? If so, what was it, and how was that solved by slowing down? Did you get less jumpy when things slowed down? If you did, do you feel you got less jumpy because the slower speed of the drill? If you are not normally jumpy in kihon waza, and you were less jumpy (or not jumpy at all) when the drill was slowed down, do you think you would be jumpy again when the drill speeds up? If not, why not?

I'm asking these questions because these questions, or ones like them, are part of the beginning of these pursuits you are seeing in these alternative types of training. On a related note, I just had to qualify for my agency again - handgun and AR-15 A2. We already qualified at the Academy, but we had to do it again. Why? This is what the agency rangemaster told us. "At the academy you get to miss shots, you get to stand still and aim, and take your time. That is not the job. That is not how you are going to be the hero, save a life, save my life, save your partner's. In real life, at the least, you got your shot, and it's only a small window of opportunity, and you have to make it, and you have to run to get it done, and you have to be out of balance when you are in this gunfight, and your weapon's going to malfunction, and you are going to have to reload, and folks are going to be yelling all over the place, and rounds are going to be whizzing by your head, and your fellow officer's weapons are going to be going off right by your face, and folks that should not be shot are going to be crossing your line of sight. That's about as easy as it will get, about as easy as I can qualify you in good conscience. If you don't want to do it, the drills and qualifications we are going to do now, you can quit now and just go home."

So, we did it: a qualification course that included all that he said. During the first round, one of my fellow deputies, while off balance, reloading, folks yelling, shots going off, flying by his head (from his back-up), etc., lost track of parters' line of sight and ended up crossing in front. I thought he was a dead man. Nope, they all just adjusted - clearing, moving, reloading, putting steel on target. The Rangemaster came over to me - cause we are both instructors. He said, "Did you see that?" I said, "I sure did. I don't think he knew where his partners were when he lost his balance." He said, "No he didn't, but he made it - they made it. They kept firing. The bad guy is dead. He figured it out. He did the job. They did the job. They figured it out. Now they are not just Academy recruits. They are deputies."

I bring this up here because, on the one hand, the basics are the same (e.g. breath control, grip, trigger control, sight picture, sight alignment, etc. etc.) for both this qualification and for what recruits do, but on the other hand, these drills are working on different things - things so different that one well-renowned firearms instructor won't even count them as being relative to the same job. I will suggest the obvious here that he was looking to test for different things. When we look to do these alternative types of training, we too are looking to test for different things - sure the basics are the basics, but they are being utilized under such a different situation that it is not that far off from saying, the basics are not the basics. In the drills you have seen on Chris' video and on my video, and even in the drill described by Amir, speed, for example, is one thing that makes the basics not the basics. I am sure, you will want to say something like speed is irrelevant - the basics are always the basics, etc. - especially if you have not ever experienced how basics take on new meanings/additional meanings under more dynamic conditions, by my experience is that speed is very relative to what one is trying to accomplish and/or cultivate. So much so, that if you take out speed, slowing things down, you are not doing the drill anymore. Look at it this way, if a person does kihon waza all the time, and they are never jumpy when they do kihon waza, and they aren't jumpy when they do any of the above mentioned drills slowly, but they are jumpy when they does these drills fast, going slow is not going to do anything regarding the jumpiness. You already know how not to be jumpy when not faced with speed and the unknown. Sure, if you go slower, you will be able to get your waza off, just like you could when you do kihon waza, but if slow reps, or if more controlled conditions, are what you need to go from jumpy to non-jumpy when going fast, it should have already happened when you were doing kihon waza, which we can now note, speaking abstractly here, that that didn't work - since all the kihon waza training previously done didn't stop you from getting jumpy in the first place. My point is that you were looking at a different beast when the drill was fast (a "different" set of basics). By going slow, you simply made the training more akin to what you already know you can do. For me, that is not really training, or, better said, that's not what we are after in the drills we do. We are not after in doing what we already know we can do. We are after we we cannot yet do.

On another note: On the Tohei video. He looks just like someone that is fighting someone that is fighting you back and no weapons or strikes are allowed by either party. I don't see his performance at all related to him not trying to hurt someone or him trying not joint-lock him, etc. That's what the art looks like under these conditions: a mess, more muscle than you want or should use, more yin tactics than you want or should use, attackers losing balance and gravity working on their line of gravity more than them flying through the air head-over-heels, etc.

And, on a another different note: I have to say that there is just a tad too much unchecked egocentricism regarding the self-righteous crusades to save someone else's students. I see so much of that here, on this site, and even in this thread. It is so ridiculous a campaign, so silly a position to adopt. It's full of too much ignorance, misguided nerve, foolish pride, to point to someone and say, "I think your students are in danger - I need to point that out! I'm Super Aikidoka, and if I didn't point it out here, only God knows what will happen to them! (Play hero theme music here.)" Ridiculous. Think about it, or take my case directly...

The gentleman in the video is named Sean. I've trained with Sean for over a decade now, with the last five years under my direct tutelage. Prior to that, he has trained directly under three different shihan. In seminars, he's trained under too many shihan for me to count. Through all that, for reasons that make our school our school, that make my training emphasis my training emphasis, he's opted to train with me. The man trains daily, most often multiple times daily. Over his time with me, his Aikido, at every level of what anyone might think Aikido is, has become both profound and powerful. (Please take note those videos of Sean are something like 5 to 7 years old.) Through his training, through our journey together, he has cultivated himself into a wonderful father, an admired and supportive husband, and a pillar to countless souls. So, you see, the Super Aikidoka hero-talk is just so out of place. But not just in my case, it's out of place always - I mean, I have to ask: Where does one get off feeling they are in such a position to make such comments? Are we, for example, hearing this from folks that have trained decades plus? Or, are they five or six years into their first martial art? Do they train daily? Or, is this a few nights a week kind of deal? Are they in shape? Or, are they 98 lbs when wet, or over-weight with high-blood pressure? Do they require spiritual maturity and the presence of Aiki principles and objectives in every aspect of their life (however they want to interpret that)? Or is the dojo their man-cave, where they go to detox, get away from it all, relax with the guys, etc.? Are they even Aikido teachers? Do they run a dojo? Or, are they just deshi? Do they share the running of their dojo with someone? Are they under someone when it comes to the running of their dojo? Have they done real mentorships under practitioners-teachers that meet the above questions in the way you would expect them to be answered? You know, the bare minimum stuff one would think would be necessary for even making such comments (if one just felt so compelled to do so). It might sound like I'm angry. I'm not. I just wish these kind of comments would inspire deeper self-reflections, the way I wish the "your Aikido sucks" comments and the "is segal for real" or the "can you use Aikido for real" discussions should (vs. actually participating in them directly). Or, at least tell us how many students have actually been saved by this type of hero-action (and, also, what theme music you listen to while you type). Lots of sarcasm here, but, seriously, I remember pointing out a while ago how silly it was to suggest that someone else's practice, way over on the other side of the world, or on the other side of your country, is at all relative to one's own (such that one was compelled to stop what they were doing so that you could continue to do your own training). I feel the same way here with the "you're ruining your students" polemics - so silly.

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 12-20-2007, 08:44 PM   #129
Aiki1
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

You make some good points, David. And I admire your ability to articulate things that you have obviously thought about for a long time.

Videos were put forth here and people's opinions were solicited, so that's a risk, for sure. I don't have anything shot that is relevant to this discussion, or I'd put it up - I don't get the opportunity to shoot much. But under these circumstances, I think it's fair to discuss opinions etc. I do like it better when it's civil though.... which most everyone is....

I've been in the martial arts since I was 12, 40 years ago, with a break in some of my teen years, and I've been teaching Aikido for 25 years. I've thought about it a lot, and have come to some conclusions for myself, about how I want to train and teach, and what I want out of the art, and what my responsibilities to others are. I've trained with many people, and seen or trained with several top well-known instructors, knew and worked with Seagal before he got his movie deal, when he was teaching every night (I say that only because he was mentioned... ) so I have seen a lot and done the entire spectrum, from very hard to very soft (mine) Aikido - and for many reasons, I chose very clearly not to follow these teachers I have seen or worked with. I studied under an unknown who had a very deep knowledge of some deep things. I also took other arts, including BJJ, Hapkido, Judo, etc. - and I've been accosted etc. many times, - so I worked my way to how I see things now, as some others have....

Because of all that, part of our training is called Chaos Aikido - where you are put in a dynamic position such that you have lost your center, you are about to be overwhelmed, you're freaked out, good ma-ai has gone out the window, you're backing up without control etc.... in short, you are making all the "mistakes" in regard to kihon waza, basic principles, etc. The object is to specifically teach people that they can recover themselves and still do Aikido. I think that is really important.

I see something somewhat similar in some of the videos presented here.... which I think is great - I just didn't always see the process of "solving that 'problem'" as necessarily going in the "right direction" - in my personal opinion. In fact, to me, often I think it goes in the "opposite direction" and that does bother me, if I think it's not necessarily safe to teach to people under any other guise than "an experiment." That's all, just my personal opinion and perspective.

As I said, I like many of your points, but I disagree with your characterization if someone shows concern about another's teaching, that makes them "Super Aikidoka" and that it's super hero talk etc. etc. I don't think I'm perfect, by any means, but I've taught this stuff for a long time, as well as street self-defense, and there are definitely things that I see all the time that I think are really not good to be teaching. That's just my opinion, but I know why I feel the way I do, in detail.

Enjoy talking with you - LN

Last edited by Aiki1 : 12-20-2007 at 08:53 PM.

Larry Novick
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:23 AM   #130
senshincenter
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Hi Larry,

Thanks for the reply.

Well, I went myself to your site to check out your videos... I think you are being too generous in discussing commonalities with differences here or there - important, major, or not - when it comes to what we each are doing. I would say we are not doing the same thing at all. We may use the same words to describe what we do, but that's about it. I, of course, have no problem with you saying what you do is the same thing that I say I do, but we do not do the same art form. I wouldn't expect a banker or a ship builder to jump in here and understand what I'm training in or for or by any more than I would a TKD player, than I would an Olympic Boxer, than I would you. We just are doing something too different, and the sameness of our nomenclature only makes that contrast more unbridgeable than anything else. Other readers of this thread can look at the two types of training and decide for themselves on whether we are looking at unsurmountable differences or not (i.e. contexts that will never be shared - making reasonable discussion very unlikely). For me, in my opinion, our discussions should probably be about things other than technical/training matters - which still leaves plenty to discuss, especially since I do enjoy your posts.

I'm not sure, but I imagine our differences in arts also allows you to pass over (what I consider to be a contradiction) the pairing of "for me" statements with "let me speak on the behalf of your students" (my paraphrasing), while mixing it all with a denial of "Super Aikidoka" persona, while mine (i.e. my art) does not.

For me, for my Aikido, when a person starts commenting on the welfare of folks they know nothing about, have nothing in common with, bother not to discover more, and/or don't know any real details that are related to them, etc., one is adopting a kind of "I don't need to know" attitude, one that suggests, "I know nonetheless," one that rests itself in a unfounded self-righteousness - which I, humorously call, "Super Aikidoka." For you, I understand, it's not that way. Good. For me, for my art, it's all related - hence my comments, and why they might seem strange to you and your art.

Apologies for dragging you into this.
d

David M. Valadez
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:22 AM   #131
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
Hi Larry,

Thanks for the reply.

Well, I went myself to your site to check out your videos... I think you are being too generous in discussing commonalities with differences here or there - important, major, or not - when it comes to what we each are doing. I would say we are not doing the same thing at all. We may use the same words to describe what we do, but that's about it. I, of course, have no problem with you saying what you do is the same thing that I say I do, but we do not do the same art form. I wouldn't expect a banker or a ship builder to jump in here and understand what I'm training in or for or by any more than I would a TKD player, than I would an Olympic Boxer, than I would you. We just are doing something too different, and the sameness of our nomenclature only makes that contrast more unbridgeable than anything else. Other readers of this thread can look at the two types of training and decide for themselves on whether we are looking at unsurmountable differences or not (i.e. contexts that will never be shared - making reasonable discussion very unlikely). For me, in my opinion, our discussions should probably be about things other than technical/training matters - which still leaves plenty to discuss, especially since I do enjoy your posts.

I'm not sure, but I imagine our differences in arts also allows you to pass over (what I consider to be a contradiction) the pairing of "for me" statements with "let me speak on the behalf of your students" (my paraphrasing), while mixing it all with a denial of "Super Aikidoka" persona, while mine (i.e. my art) does not.

For me, for my Aikido, when a person starts commenting on the welfare of folks they know nothing about, have nothing in common with, bother not to discover more, and/or don't know any real details that are related to them, etc., one is adopting a kind of "I don't need to know" attitude, one that suggests, "I know nonetheless," one that rests itself in a unfounded self-righteousness - which I, humorously call, "Super Aikidoka." For you, I understand, it's not that way. Good. For me, for my art, it's all related - hence my comments, and why they might seem strange to you and your art.

Apologies for dragging you into this.
d
I find several things about your post disturbing.

You have responded at length to things that I have supposedly said, that I have not said at all.

I have not discussed commonalities, certainly not beyond a broad superficial reference that you seem to assume was about you directly, which it wasn't.

You have characterized things I have stated as my opinions, in a way that portrays them in a completely false light.

You have put words in my mouth, and then used false paraphrasing and veiled innuendo to be frankly insulting.

Your art, or as little as I have seen of it online at least, does not seem strange to me at all, nor do your comments, which have become very condescending.

Nowhere did I say that I do the same thing you do, in fact I clearly stated that I come from a very different place.

I never in any way said or implied anything like "let me speak on the behalf of your students." To characterize what I have said that way, is completely dishonest.

I haven't talked about your style per se. I don't know what your style is really like, I never assumed nor claimed that I did, and I can assure you, you have No idea what mine is like.

I find you to be doing exactly what you are ascribing to me as supposedly doing.

Frankly, I find all that, and more, disingenuous and dishonest. I bow out of this thread, as I am not interested in that kind of "discussion."

Larry Novick
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Old 12-21-2007, 05:22 AM   #132
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

David,
your posts are pretty sound, I wish I didn't get so frustrated and could articulate better.
Nice job.

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Old 12-21-2007, 11:59 AM   #133
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Larry,

I'm sorry. I did not mean to condescend or to insult. I honestly have no problem with folks doing different things, such that I do not feel inclined to judge them one way or another - other than to be able to say, "That's not what I do." Or, "I do this, and here's why..." There's nothing beyond that for me. So, when I point out difference, it's, for me, just a matter of pure description (e.g. "Today is Friday." "That car is red." "It's 0900 hours." Just description.) You are doing something completely different, even if we talk about "aiki" "irimi" "Aikido" etc. - phrases and terms that I have said in my posts, phrases and terms that you in your posts used to go on to talk about things, things like being late, being important, being valuable, etc. These are the commonalities I was referring too - shared words that were used to describe things via comparison.

To compare something, things have to be similar at some point - that is the assumption I'm going on (e.g. being late or on time is a comparison, being good for someone or being bad for someone is a comparison, etc.). My point is that one can't compare what is not similar at all. My point is that, from my point of view, there is no more similarity between our two experiences of "Aikido" than there is between my experience of Aikido and, for example, banking or ship building. Sure, some things overlap, but not enough to compare. We are just doing different things - meant to be purely descriptive, not insulting.

For example, I think my students, were they to go to your dojo, would feel as if they started an entirely different art. I'm sure your students would feel the same thing were they to come to mine. This is not to say that there are not things to learn, as there are things to learn if our students mentored under a master ship builder, even things that they can take back to our respective dojo and put to good use, but ship building is not what we teach at our dojo.

It is true I did paraphrase your comments regarding the ones you made on the welfare of students and the responsibilities of instruction, etc., that are relevant to that issue. I did say that. I thought the jump in logic would not be such an issue, since my only point was that under my experience of Aikido, unlike yours, one does not go around talking on the welfare of students, for example, when one knows or shares little to nothing regarding such matters. Meaning, as different as your practice is from mine, I would not presume to even guess what you are trying to do with your students and therefore what you are leaving out or not addressing, etc. I would, on good faith, which I always try to have, assume that you know more about what you are doing than I do (because I am not doing it), that your students are not idiots for choosing to train in what you are doing (i.e. that they are intelligent folks), that you all are mature enough to have a sound and healthy relationship with each other - one that is constructive and nurturing and that affects other aspects of your lives in positive ways. For example, I wouldn't go to the ship builder and tell him, "I'm an Aikido instructor, and, regarding the welfare of your students, I can see that you are teaching ship building improperly (or leaving this out, or risking this, or they'd be better off if you did this, etc.)!" If I did, which I wouldn't, but if I did, I wouldn't expect the master ship builder to say, "Oh, since you are an Aikido instructor, let me do it like you said." All that, for me, in my practice, would be too much egocentrism.

From your last posts, I think you are sort of saying what I'm saying: we do different things. There's nothing wrong with that - not at all. The part I'm adding is that comparison and contrast (which all opinions are based upon) requires common experience and shared knowledge/information - that it's next to impossible, perhaps futile, to compare/contrast when things are so different. I'm not telling you to have no opinions, especially here. But I'm pointing out that I have no sense at all of what you might mean, for example, by "being late" "Irimi" "Aikido" etc. Your Aikido, as perfectly valid as it is, for you, for anyone, is not comparable to what I'm doing or trying to do. That's not a bad thing, and that still leaves, as I said in the last post, other topics for, I'm sure, very meaningful conversations, etc. I respect your difference, and I can do that better by noting it than by pretending it's not there.

Ah, the perfect intuitive example just hit me: You know when you are talking to one person, and someone one else is standing there and is listening to the conversation, and that third person speaks a different language, or maybe they have a thick accent, and they say something right in the middle of your sentence, saying it where it is proper to place an interjection, and you heard them, but you couldn't catch what they said, and you then start wondering if they spoke your language or their native language, wondering if you heard them correctly, and then you start wondering how to interpret their accent, knowing you are assuming they would not speak their native language to you, guessing they probably knew you can't speak their language, and then you start comparing what you thought you may have heard to what you think they might have said at that point in the conversation, as the conversation is continuing, and then you realize, "Damn, I didn't get what he said! I have no idea what he said or wanted to say! Does he want me to respond?!" But then you realize, or it seems, the conversation can continue if you just look at him and nod your head "yes" and say "Ah hah, Ok." Either way you feel like an ass and you hope you don't blow it, because you don't want them to feel left out or to think you are rude. So, you do the nod thingy, wanting to kick yourself all the while for not understanding them in the first place, and you then just go on talking to the other person you were already talking to... You know what that is like - that lack of shared context and meaning? That need for one? That's what this felt like to me after I saw your Aikido. Whether I'm the foreigner or you are, matters not. Nothing is being judged here - difference is being pointed out. Here, in this silly, stupid example, I'm just referring to that point where one realizes he/she has no shared meaning or context.

Now when I face that kind of situation, I don't avoid that third person, I don't ask them to never talk again, etc. I try to have more exposure to them, I've even tried to learn a foreign language or two along the way, etc. I try not to do the nod yes thingy. I try to tell them, "I'm sorry, I did not understand you." I try to build up a translation capacity, as I build up a common or shared context. Right now, I have no idea what, for example "being late" or "being on time" might mean when you say it. I only know it's not what I mean or could ever mean - that we are speaking different languages here. With more exposure, with more time together, I'm sure I'll be better able to understand what you might mean, translating what you say into what I say, and also how to make myself better understandable to you. Right now, that's not going to happen - not on this topic. So, again, please excuse me if you felt I was being rude. I need more time to develop a shared context.

d

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Old 12-21-2007, 12:12 PM   #134
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

/thread drift...

This is one of the things that drives me *CRAZY* about Aikido. Here you see *one* art that's only 60-80 years old (heck, we can't even agree on that!) and we can't even have a discussion about it using terms that we all understand. Yet in the past when I've tried to elicit a discussion about what it actually is, everyone poo-poos it like some absurd question because anyone who actually studies the art would know it immediately. Honestly, in the JSA communities, you just don't see this. I've had conversations with people from dozens of different ryu-ha ranging from 20-400 years in age and we all manage to understand what the other is talking about. Sure you get lots of, "Ah, I see what you're doing, we don't do that." or "Aha, we call that X not Y." But here in Aikido, this amazing unifying art, we can't even agree on what the @#$% word Aikido means.

/rant off

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Old 12-21-2007, 12:15 PM   #135
Amir Krause
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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David Valadez wrote: View Post
You should have filmed it and shared it here though.
The last time I tried to take pictures and videos in our class, most people did not wish to be in it, and almost all rejected the idea of being on the netů Chris and you might be interested and willing, but many people do not have this position.
Further, I do not make the rules, Sensei does, and I prefer to study and not to keep myself cornered to the camera.

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As for what you experienced, Amir, please let me ask: Why do you think you were jumpy, requiring the drill to slow down? Are you normally jumpy when doing Kihon Waza? If not, why not? Or, was it something about the drill that made you jumpy? If so, what was it, and how was that solved by slowing down? Did you get less jumpy when things slowed down? If you did, do you feel you got less jumpy because the slower speed of the drill? If you are not normally jumpy in kihon waza, and you were less jumpy (or not jumpy at all) when the drill was slowed down, do you think you would be jumpy again when the drill speeds up? If not, why not?
I was jumpy, because the drill was at the edge of my ability and concentration, at least for that day, and I was working with someone who was able to press me hard, to the point of making mistakes. Reducing the speed, reduces the pressure, and thus makes me less jumpy. Our purpose in such drills is to instill correct behavior, not to attempt to fight and win through (I was doing that last one, but with incorrect behavior). And as for the future, experience shows me that as time progresses, the speed at which I normally feel comfortable increases (If this was not clear, this exercise and others of it's type are not new to us).

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I'm asking these questions because these questions, or ones like them, are part of the beginning of these pursuits you are seeing in these alternative types of training.
As I already wrote more then once. David, the way you are exploring is an inherent part of our learning method, from the very beginning. The Korindo Aikido Randori I have practiced since the first year, was mostly with both sides free to attack and defend in the chaotic approach, and grabs are rare in that exercise. The difference is we consider it as a gradual learning exercise, and slowly increase the level of pressure, keeping in mind we wish people to systematically learn correct behavior and integrate it into their movement. The idea is not to be satisfied with good improvisations, the practice is not a fight

[quote=David Valadez;196174]
In the drills you have seen on Chris' video and on my video, and even in the drill described by Amir, speed, for example, is one thing that makes the basics not the basics. I am sure, you will want to say something like speed is irrelevant - the basics are always the basics, etc. - especially if you have not ever experienced how basics take on new meanings/additional meanings under more dynamic conditions, by my experience is that speed is very relative to what one is trying to accomplish and/or cultivate. So much so, that if you take out speed, slowing things down, you are not doing the drill anymore. Look at it this way, if a person does kihon waza all the time, and they are never jumpy when they do kihon waza, and they aren't jumpy when they do any of the above mentioned drills slowly, but they are jumpy when they does these drills fast, going slow is not going to do anything regarding the jumpiness. You already know how not to be jumpy when not faced with speed and the unknown. Sure, if you go slower, you will be able to get your waza off, just like you could when you do kihon waza, but if slow reps, or if more controlled conditions, are what you need to go from jumpy to non-jumpy when going fast, it should have already happened when you were doing kihon waza, which we can now note, speaking abstractly here, that that didn't work - since all the kihon waza training previously done didn't stop you from getting jumpy in the first place. My point is that you were looking at a different beast when the drill was fast (a "different" set of basics). By going slow, you simply made the training more akin to what you already know you can do. For me, that is not really training, or, better said, that's not what we are after in the drills we do. We are not after in doing what we already know we can do. We are after we we cannot yet do.
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David, replace slow with slower and you may realize the difference in methodical approaches.
If I have a problem doing the waza (or in my case, moving around the attacker) at a certain fast speed, and wish to do it correctly, then I lower the speed to the point at which I do it correctly most of the time, not to slow speed, instead to a medium speed at the edge of my ablity, practicing at that speed increases my range of comfort, and then I practice at faster speed. At this way, I have already significantly increased the comfort range of speeds at which I practice Randori and such exercises. This approach is working.
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And, on a another different note: I have to say that there is just a tad too much unchecked egocentricism regarding the self-righteous crusades to save someone else's students. I see so much of that here, on this site, and even in this thread. It is so ridiculous a campaign, so silly a position to adopt. It's full of too much ignorance, misguided nerve, foolish pride, to point to someone and say, "I think your students are in danger - I need to point that out! I'm Super Aikidoka, and if I didn't point it out here, only God knows what will happen to them! (Play hero theme music here.)" Ridiculous. Think about it, or take my case directly...
I seem to recall Chris asking us to comment, and you joining your videos to the same thread as another example, implying you would welcome comments. Had you not wanted comments or identification, you could have refrained from placing the vids here.
As for my credentials, I think they are rather clear to most reading this forum. I am not a teacher, I have been practicing for over 15 yrs, as an amateur (2-3 times a week, over two hours sessions). I think this is sufficient experience to give comments based on my POV when asked for it.

I would also point out I did not say it is dangerous for your students, I did object to the idea of experimenting ideas on beginner students. You should experiment with your coherts.

Have a nice day.
Amir
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Old 12-21-2007, 12:33 PM   #136
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Still mulling through some of the really excellent points brought up in some of these recent posts. Two issues I see:

a) I certainly would not want to impose my view on how someone teaches their students unfairly. I do not see a problem, however, with simply posing how I might do something, note the differences, and leave it at that. The other party may take it or leave it as desired, and I will not be offended either way.

b) I do not understand yet David's perspective on speed not affecting kihon. In all the keiko I have done, I have found that speed does affect how I perform at the edge of my competence and ability. I think that success at using aikido under pressure often means moving in a relaxed and somewhat unussual way, and doing that quickly under pressure (for me) is more difficult than doing it slowly. I see that hold true for many of the people I have trained with (in my eyes in any case).

I think this has been a very interesting thread BECAUSE OF the vastly different perspectives, and I would hate to see valued participants bow out just because of the obvious difficulty of different paradigms.

And yes, Chris Moses, isn't it strange that in aikido these things are so bloody difficult?!?!?!

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-21-2007, 12:51 PM   #137
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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/thread drift...

This is one of the things that drives me *CRAZY* about Aikido. Here you see *one* art that's only 60-80 years old (heck, we can't even agree on that!) and we can't even have a discussion about it using terms that we all understand. Yet in the past when I've tried to elicit a discussion about what it actually is, everyone poo-poos it like some absurd question because anyone who actually studies the art would know it immediately. Honestly, in the JSA communities, you just don't see this. I've had conversations with people from dozens of different ryu-ha ranging from 20-400 years in age and we all manage to understand what the other is talking about. Sure you get lots of, "Ah, I see what you're doing, we don't do that." or "Aha, we call that X not Y." But here in Aikido, this amazing unifying art, we can't even agree on what the @#$% word Aikido means.

/rant off
Hi Chris,
There's no agreement on terms and definitions because if one were to define what the terms mean, it would automatically point out that some portion of the community wasn't actually doing what some other portion of the community is. As long as everything remains amorphous and ill defined we can all claim that these differences are simply stylistic, alternative methods.

The plain fact is, much if not most Aikido out there is not being done with any amount of what the other "aiki" arts would agree to call "aiki". Most Aikido practitioners can't define what "aiki" means from the standpoint of waza. They're great on the Cosmic balance stuff but most can't tell you what makes a technique "aiki" and what doesn't. I often ask people to tell me what they think "aiki" is when I teach seminars and almost no one can actually clearly describe what is going on.

You can see this in the discussions about the definition of "aiki" on the language thread. Most Aikido folks have some idea that "aiki" is about avoiding the energy of an attack but their idea of waza is some sort of physical manipulation which is really what I would call a sort of jiu jutsu and not really "aiki" at all.

For this reason I don't see the community arriving at better and more precise definitions. It would make the inconsistencies too apparent...
- George

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Old 12-21-2007, 01:05 PM   #138
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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You can see this in the discussions about the definition of "aiki" on the language thread. Most Aikido folks have some idea that "aiki" is about avoiding the energy of an attack but their idea of waza is some sort of physical manipulation which is really what I would call a sort of jiu jutsu and not really "aiki" at all.
Couldn't agree more.

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Old 12-21-2007, 06:09 PM   #139
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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b) I do not understand yet David's perspective on speed not affecting kihon. In all the keiko I have done, I have found that speed does affect how I perform at the edge of my competence and ability. I think that success at using aikido under pressure often means moving in a relaxed and somewhat unussual way, and doing that quickly under pressure (for me) is more difficult than doing it slowly. I see that hold true for many of the people I have trained with (in my eyes in any case).
Hi Ron, and others,

I must not have been clear with what I meant to say. My experience is the same as yours Ron, especially when dealing with force-on-force training (whatever the criteria may be). Speed changes everything, makes things more difficult, etc. My point, for raising the issue of speed, particularly when dealing with more spontaneous training environments (i.e. not scripted environments like kihon waza), was that it doesn't do anyone all that much good to slow said training down, since it was the rate of how things changed that was making one need or want to slow things down in the first place.

Speed was the problem, but it's also the answer. Slowness was no longer the problem - it's holding no more answers. Why? Because, as you already said, speed was/is the pressing factor. Slowing down, I was trying to say, wasn't just slowing down, it is a decision to no longer work on one what was lacking, or no longer working toward one's continuous growth - i.e. the capacity to deal with dynamically adapting situations at the speed of life (vs. doing kihon waza, which one already knew one could do, which is why one knew slowing down would remedy things).

On a related topic, my experience is this: After a certain point in one's training, let's just use a rough guideline of at least 10 years of regular bi or tri-weekly practice (less, maybe even half, if you are training every day - like I feel one should) you should start emphasizing the "software" (e.g. Not freaking when things are moving at the speed of life) of the art over the "hardware" (e.g. Irimi Nage) of the art. So, after a while, you aren't so interested on when or how to do Irimi Nage, for example. You are or should be, in my opinion, more interested in why you can not do Irimi Nage under "x" conditions - realizing, the answer to that question is hardly ever, "Because your right hand was too low," realizing the answer is almost always, because fear and fetteredness got the best of me. Ken Murray explains this distinction quite well. Murray is the inventor of simmunitions:

"John Steinbeck wrote:

'This is the law: The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental.'

Steinbeck recognized the necessity for tools to provide a decisive edge in battle, but he also accepted that physical training without the psychological conditioning to enter the fray would not win the day.

Despite the fact that we now know the importance of that psychological conditioning, it is surprising that the vast majority of training in the fighting arts is still directed toward skill enhancement, with the primary goal being the demonstration of "proficiency" or "qualification." This is the easy path because it doesn't require teaching people how to think. Our society seems to opt for a lowering of the bar, where those in authority would prefer to tell us what to do than to invest the time in teaching us the process of solving problems for ourselves. Our education system begins the process with the very young, often grinding away at their creativity until it is sufficiently atrophied and obedience is the norm.

When learning how to fight with a pistol or a rifle, teaching a man how to shoot is vastly easier than teaching him how to think his way through a gunfight. Having a high level of technical proficiency, while essential to winning a lethal force confrontation, is just one aspect of ensuring that win. Psychological proficiency is much more important since without the psychological preparation for an encounter, no weapon will reliably save the day."

When I looked at Chris' video, when I do my stuff at our dojo, this is how I understand things: This is training meant to work on the software - what makes the hardware actually function at the speed of life. That type of training, in my experience, is not being done at the Shihan level, and/or in or at the majority level either (i.e. Aikidoka that have invested in the shihan paradigm - for the simple reason that shihan are not doing it). Every shihan I have ever met, and/or seen, and that's quite a large number of them, has opted to dedicate themselves to studying hardware, opening themselves up to Murray's criticism of working the easier path of telling folks what to do and expecting more obedience than creativity, etc. This point relates back to earlier comments made to Chris, to find a teacher, and his response being a very honest and heart-felt, "Where?"

Of course, if anyone here knows of Shihan, ones that are still training and actively teaching, that are working on the software of the art, let me know. If he or she is, however, I guarantee you their training is going to look like just what one saw in the videos thus far posted (even the Tohei video), and what it looks like is going to be totally different from what one is used to seeing Aikido look like (because folks are used to only seeing hardware training in Aikido). If it doesn't look like what I described, it's only because it's got a lot of hardware emphasis still embedded within it.

On another related note... On the teacher/student dynamics, folks talking about welfare, and Murray talking about how it is easier to teach a man how to shoot than how to think his way through a gunfight, etc., let me point out that there is way more teacher investment on the latter than in the former. In my dojo, we have limits on how many folks can start training at a time, for example. We do this because everyone, myself, my family, my fellow students, have to invest big time in the newbie. And, they have to invest equally big as well - meaning, they can never just show up and work up a sweat and go home, or doing a little mental strain over why they have two left feet or how tenkan is related to irimi, etc. Oh no, they are going to have to expose themselves and invest as much of themselves as everyone else is doing. Meaning, since fear and fetteredness are seated in a lack of virtues that Budo has valued (e.g. honor, integrity, courage, etc.), a person is going to have to go through what is almost more akin to psychoanalysis than exercise, but at a very practical level, one with martial consequences of the obvious kind.

All of this has things operating at a level of intimacy, nurturing, caring, support, that is simply impossible in what one sees in hardware training and the shihan paradigm as it is today (it's also totally unnecessary there). This is why a Shihan can go anywhere in the world and teach what he teaches no matter how many folks are on the mat. If a person comes to me, or if I go to him, the best I can do with the normal seminar schedule, after hugely limiting the number of participants, is simply point out the issues and the problems to be worked through - sometimes not even the latter - in regards to the fettered mind.

Again, my point: This type of training is aimed at something other than what is usually aimed at in normal/common Aikido (hardware) training. It is based upon a simple truth, one that anyone can prove to him/herself, that hardware training doesn't address these issues. In many ways, the two are so different that a failure in one type of training can mean success in the other. For example, being punched right on the nose is a bad thing in Irimi Nage Kihon Waza - as the point is not to be struck. In "software" training, sometimes, being punched in the nose is exactly the point of the training. In other words, we should not expect these types of training to look the same, and so we should not condemn one by the other's standards when they do not.

d

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Old 12-21-2007, 07:44 PM   #140
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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I do not understand yet David's perspective on speed not affecting kihon. In all the keiko I have done, I have found that speed does affect how I perform at the edge of my competence and ability. I think that success at using aikido under pressure often means moving in a relaxed and somewhat unussual way, and doing that quickly under pressure (for me) is more difficult than doing it slowly. I see that hold true for many of the people I have trained with (in my eyes in any case).
Speed is a very interesting issue... Much of the issue of speed has to do with perception rather than some hard reality. When you perceive the attacker's actions as "fast" you feel as if you need to move faster yourself. If you are "in reaction" to the partner / attacker, this produces a perception that one doesn't have sufficient time to execute ones technique and this causes mental and physical tension which then tends to degrade performance.

We do an exercise which we call "time shifting". You take a person who is having trouble during a three person randori, usually because they are too excited to execute technique properly. The nage is instructed to do the randori slowly, almost in slow motion. he is asked to chant to himself while doing the randori "I have all the time in the world. No reason to get excited..." He should do this the whole time he is doing the randori. The ukes are told to go full speed, which would seem to be a contradiction...

We have been doing this during our randori intensives for over 15 years. In 100% of the cases performance increased rather than decreased. the nage was far better able to execute the movement required, they stayed calmer, and their sense of time "shifted". They stopped feeling as if they had to out speed the ukes. instead, they saw things much slower. This allows them to make better movement decisions and be more precise, therefore successful, in the techniques they did.

Eventually, you can access this way of looking at things by developing a relaxed and calm emotional state. You see things as happening at a far slower speed than you once did. It's very interesting. That's why the training needs to be structured to develop this proper attitude and perception. if the training isn't constructed properly yo0u simply imprint an excited state of mind and this type of perception never develops.

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Old 12-21-2007, 08:54 PM   #141
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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The plain fact is, much if not most Aikido out there is not being done with any amount of what the other "aiki" arts would agree to call "aiki". Most Aikido practitioners can't define what "aiki" means from the standpoint of waza. They're great on the Cosmic balance stuff but most can't tell you what makes a technique "aiki" and what doesn't. I often ask people to tell me what they think "aiki" is when I teach seminars and almost no one can actually clearly describe what is going on.

You can see this in the discussions about the definition of "aiki" on the language thread. Most Aikido folks have some idea that "aiki" is about avoiding the energy of an attack but their idea of waza is some sort of physical manipulation which is really what I would call a sort of jiu jutsu and not really "aiki" at all.

For this reason I don't see the community arriving at better and more precise definitions. It would make the inconsistencies too apparent...
- George
E-Budo is currently discussing "aiki" in regards to Daito ryu. It's now split into two threads:

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38747

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38411

Mark
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Old 12-22-2007, 04:57 AM   #142
Michael Varin
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

I haven't looked at Aikiweb in awhile. Good to see you back, David.

I always enjoy watching you and your guys train, and, agree or disagree, I appreciate reading your posts. In this case I happen to agree!

-Michael
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:03 AM   #143
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
/thread drift...

This is one of the things that drives me *CRAZY* about Aikido. Here you see *one* art that's only 60-80 years old (heck, we can't even agree on that!) and we can't even have a discussion about it using terms that we all understand. Yet in the past when I've tried to elicit a discussion about what it actually is, everyone poo-poos it like some absurd question because anyone who actually studies the art would know it immediately. Honestly, in the JSA communities, you just don't see this. I've had conversations with people from dozens of different ryu-ha ranging from 20-400 years in age and we all manage to understand what the other is talking about. Sure you get lots of, "Ah, I see what you're doing, we don't do that." or "Aha, we call that X not Y." But here in Aikido, this amazing unifying art, we can't even agree on what the @#$% word Aikido means.

/rant off
Chris, I've come to the conclusion that this is a pedagogical issue, going back to Ueshiba Morihei, and perhaps even to Takeda Sokaku.

In JSA, whether it's kendo or koryu, there's a progression. You learn A, then you learn B, and then C. And your progress is monitored by someone who has gone through all these steps, and most likely, all of the steps there are in the particular art. Through this guidance everyone develops roughly the same foundational knowledge, which is then built on and developed to express each particular art's over-encompassing philosophy of interaction.

But what did Takeda do? He simply showed waza, and the students were expected to "steal" the technique. Ueshiba just showed waza, and the students were expected to steal the technique. Certainly there's "stealing" and self-exploration in JSA, but it's still within the structure of the progessive curricula.

I think it's interesting that just about every student of Ueshiba felt that they couldn't teach their students the way Ueshiba taught his. And they all created their own, diverse pedagogies for teaching aikido, each colored by their own experiences and understanding. And their students, in turn, experiment and explore, and create their own methods of teaching, some at a relatively low level. You have in aikido many, many teachers who haven't reached an understanding of "aiki", who are still seeking that understanding, rather than refining it. Yet, they have their own dojos and are teaching. And all this gets furthered colored by how "martial" they expect their aikido to be, how philosophical, how much it conditions "ki", and so on. Ueshiba made the statement that atemi is a vital part of aikido, and yet everyone in aikido has to explore on their own how to integrate atemi into their aikido. There's no foundational knowledge for that found in the Ueshiba line of aikido.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:16 AM   #144
Amir Krause
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Speed is a very interesting issue... Much of the issue of speed has to do with perception rather than some hard reality. When you perceive the attacker's actions as "fast" you feel as if you need to move faster yourself. If you are "in reaction" to the partner / attacker, this produces a perception that one doesn't have sufficient time to execute ones technique and this causes mental and physical tension which then tends to degrade performance.

We do an exercise which we call "time shifting". You take a person who is having trouble during a three person randori, usually because they are too excited to execute technique properly. The nage is instructed to do the randori slowly, almost in slow motion. he is asked to chant to himself while doing the randori "I have all the time in the world. No reason to get excited..." He should do this the whole time he is doing the randori. The ukes are told to go full speed, which would seem to be a contradiction...

We have been doing this during our randori intensives for over 15 years. In 100% of the cases performance increased rather than decreased. the nage was far better able to execute the movement required, they stayed calmer, and their sense of time "shifted". They stopped feeling as if they had to out speed the ukes. instead, they saw things much slower. This allows them to make better movement decisions and be more precise, therefore successful, in the techniques they did.

Eventually, you can access this way of looking at things by developing a relaxed and calm emotional state. You see things as happening at a far slower speed than you once did. It's very interesting. That's why the training needs to be structured to develop this proper attitude and perception. if the training isn't constructed properly yo0u simply imprint an excited state of mind and this type of perception never develops.
These are the elements we work on, only our way often inclues actually telling "Uke" to slow down a little so "Tori" would get to the edge of his comfort zone, thus improving and extending it.

The idea is that is is not enough to succeed in an excersize. Our purpose is to imprint the right way of doing it. Thus, if during some day you are doing it the wrong way, slow down a bit and do it correctly,
regardless of the actual reasons for your poor performance (the speed might be to high for you, or you may have done fine last time but had drank too much coffee, or hd not selpt enough).
Our concept is to learn how to perform correctly in chaotic enviroement, not just to survivie them.
I will admit it has taken me quite a few years to realize this.

Amir
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:02 PM   #145
senshincenter
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

My experience lends itself to the position that one cannot correct architectural matters within force-on-force, spontaneous, unscripted training environments. Hence, why we do not try to do that. In my experience, you are what you are in this type of training, as this type of training is about facing the unknown at the speed of life (vs. trying to do Ikkyo, for example). At that point, you don't want to get preoccupied with how to place your right foot; you just want to move.

In this type of training, we are looking for a union of subject and object, such that art and being are seeking union. We don't want to study the art at that moment, keeping subject and object apart. Thus, at the most, under the rare occasions when someone is getting pounded for technical reasons more than psychological reasons, I might say, "That's the same mistake you make on that move in your Kihon Waza training - NOW you perfectly know why you should stop making it." Or, I might say, "You haven't paid enough attention on how that technique goes, but at least you NOW know why we don't do it like you just did."

At the end of every such training session, that's when we might cover technical issues, but if we don't, we always make sure that one connects such training back to their kihon waza (which is done at a different hour or on a different day), looking always toward refining our moves and making are own individual expressions as close to the ideal version as we can get it - this time better armed with a very practical answer to "Why that way and not this way?"

I realize that conventional wisdom might have us concerned with the downside of repeating bad form (i.e. imprinting), but there are two things to consider with this type of training. First, again, in this type of training, you are who you are. One is not imprinting in this type of training, one is only "printing" - one is simply expressing themselves. Meaning, in regards to technical ability, you are not going to become anything or anyone new by placing yourself within a spontaneous training environment. You are not going to develop habits, you are simply going to express habits as they already are in you. For example, if you are used to fighting with your hands down, you are not all of a sudden going to fight with your hands up from within these training environments. Meaning, you are not going to stumble across tactical viable applications when things are moving faster, more powerfully, and in unknown and unpredictable ways.

In the same way then, you are not going to imprint poor form in you either; you are not all of a sudden going to fight with your hands down inside of these training environments when you always fight with them up when outside of these training environments. At most, habits are amplified or magnified - they are not created here.

This amplification/magnification allows us to see more clearly what was there all along. (This is one very important reason why this type of training is so relevant to forms training!) So, using this example of hands up or down, sure, you might have someone that puts their hands up in kihon waza and then down in these types of drills, but if you look more closely at their kihon waza, you will be able to see the telltale signs of how they are using the scripted format to make up for what the hands are supposed to be doing - which means that while the hands are up, they are not really up doing what they are supposed to be doing. With the script gone, as in these more live training environments, you see that more clearly: the hands are not doing what they are supposed to be doing (which could have this habit represented in the hands being down, but also in the hands being too far out to the side, or chasing the opponent or his attacks, etc.).

When someone slows these types of training down, what one is doing is simply reducing the the amount of amplification/magnification made possible by the drill in regards to habits that already exist. Meaning, with the drill slower, you are not now seeing hands doing what they are supposed to be doing, you are just not seeing as clearly how the hands still don't know what to do. Or, another example, if when the drill slows down, and a person gets less jumpy, more grounded with their feet, more unfettered with their mind, it's not really these things that are occurring. It's just that you have reduced the amplification/magnification and so you can't as readily see the jumpiness/fetteredness. This is not to say that there is no value in slowing things down or even in allowing some script back into these types of training environments. There are lost of reasons for doing exactly that (e.g. what George described). My point is that one needs to be aware of why and what one is seeing or not seeing whenever one is going to slow things down, allow more script in, etc., because these types of things inevitably reduce the amount of amplification/magnification regarding states of being/habits.

What is important to remember here is that one is not out to work on form, on the hardware of the art, with these drills. Hardware training is extremely important, but not here - not here because one is not trying to work on hardware here (only software) and not here because one cannot work on hardware here (as it can only be worked on in kihon waza training - where past and future exist and where then repetition is possible). For that reason, what is more important than whether or not a technique is smooth, for example, is why a practitioner is being plagued by fear, pride, or ignorance (these things being antithetical to takemusu aiki) - that which is behind the need or the habit to make a tactical application jerky, rushed, forced, etc., when faced with the speed and unpredictability of life.

I should say here, since I'm sure someone will raise the issue later: No, in my opinion, you do not within these drills reconcile fear, pride, and ignorance either. Like tactical habits, habits of the heart/mind are simply expressed within these training environments. They are not cultivated here. A person that is plagued by fear will not all of a sudden reconcile it; a person that has reconciled pride will not all of a sudden adopt an egocentric expression of the art. Like one has to go to kihon waza, to measure themselves against an ideal form, to correct and refine tactical architectures, one has to look to spiritual kihon as well (e.g. prayer, sacrifice, servitude, ritual, etc.), to measure themselves against an ideal form, to correct and refine the heart/mind. This is why, when I see a deshi that is having their tactical expressions plagued by egocentrism (e.g. They refuse to yield space when it is obvious they no longer hold it or can hold it), I don't tell them to practice this technique or that technique more, instead I may ask them to pray for their enemies, and to forgive them in their hearts. BUT, now, after this training, when they do that, when they returns back to their spiritual kihon, they are now armed with that very practical answer to "Why this way and not that way?"

dmv

Last edited by senshincenter : 12-22-2007 at 06:04 PM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 12-23-2007, 12:37 PM   #146
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

This is from Tomiki - from the article posted on the thread to the Tohei video:

"What are the distinctive features of Japanese Budo? They are surely matters of spirit and philosophy. It has come to be said quite often that if we diligently develop our waza, our minds and spirits (kokoro) will be improved. Since ancient times, this budo shugyo, or martial arts training and apprenticeship, has proceeded from "techniques" (waza) to the "Way" (michi). The aphorism, "The act of perfecting our waza is equal to and achieves that act of perfecting our minds," applies in its entirety to modern competition, as competition rightly engaged in helps us to perfect our waza, and so our minds. But a more thorough consideration of the distinctive features of budo and its philosophy is necessary here.

It has been handed down to this generation that the secret principle of martial arts techniques in kenjutsu (cf, The Book of the Five Rings) or in jujutsu (cf, The Heavenly Scroll of Kito Ryu Jujutsu) is to study thoroughly the principles of the arts so that we will ultimately arrive at "no posture" (mugamae)--that is, we will develop true natural posture (shizen hontai). In the same way that thoroughly mastering the principles of the arts leads the body to mugamae, such mastery leads the soul to mushin, which is often termed "no heart," or "the quietude of spirit". Although there are various terms for mushin, such as the unmoving heart, the non-living heart, the soft and pliable heart, and the every-day heart, they all mean exactly the same thing. And arriving at this state of mushin is congruent with the goals of the religious and moral systems that have existed in all eras and in all places.

The deep secret of ancient jujutsu is embodied in the saying, "True natural posture is the manifestation of mushin. Control strength through gentleness. These are the principles of jujutsu." Master Jigoro Kano (1860-1938), the founder of Kodokan Judo, well explained the subtleties behind this principle when he formulated his Principles of Judo--judo meaning gentleness--so that the original jujutsu principle would be understandable to the people of the current day. He did this by analyzing this single jujutsu principle quoted above, and dividing it into three subsidiary principles.

1. The principle of natural body (shizentai no ri), which concerns posture. This is a natural, unrestricted posture from which it is possible to attack and defend, adapting to any kind of assault.
2. The principle of gentleness (ju no ri), which concerns the position of defense. It says, do not oppose the offensive power of any kind of antagonist with force. Rather, render that force ineffective by moving your body out of the way (taisabaki).
3. The principle of breaking balance (kuzushi no ri), which concerns the position of attack. This says to go and build a chance of winning by taking advantage of the breaking of your opponent's balance or by adhering to his body.

I have taught both the kata and randori training methods together, as a unified system of practice which can help the student to understand each technique in light of the three principles listed above. I have also pointed out in my teaching that the nage-waza and katame-waza belong to randori training, while the atemi-waza and kansetsu-waza for the most part belong to kata training.

Jujutsu, which had techniques for hand to hand combat, studied "true power." In order for each us to experience personally the "core principles of the martial arts," we must not stop at the mere, repetitious practice of kata. Randori and sparing help to lead us closer to both the core principles of the martial arts and the true power that they generate by letting us experience the techniques studied in kata as they were meant to be performed: against a smart, resisting, and aggressive opponent. [...]

It is the case, though, that the method of training used in aikido today is not only based upon the practices of long ago, but is indeed just about unchanged from what was done back then. If we consider the matter from the standpoint of an up-to-date education in budo, however, a system of randori practice ought to be added and should be based upon a method of training that incorporates both kata and randori. When one is young it is important for one's budo training to pass through rigorous bodily and spiritual ordeals in randori and, further, tournaments. And as for the vast array of techniques that cannot be incorporated into randori training, the profound martial arts principles embodied in those techniques can be--must be--mastered thoroughly through the practice of kata. In this way, one may develop one's body to the wonderful state known as mugamae or shizentai, and thence through further exertions reach the ascetic practice of mushin. This is "the Way" for the practitioner of austerities. [...]

The method of practise traditionally used to ensure the safety of dangerous techniques was the kata system of practise. In ancient bujutsu, 99% of a practise was completed by kata alone. That is to say, in order to cope with an opponent's unlimited attacks, each response was practised by means of kata. That is the reason for the extreme number of kata in ancient jujutsu. For example in Tenjin Shinyo Ryu jujutsu there were 124 kata techniques, and there were over 10 ranho (literally unstructured captures). To become masterful in the practical applications of the techniques required innumerable months. Then someone would be challenged to go from kata to a violent shiai (literally street fight ) called tsujinage or tsujigiri. This gave life to kata and was the place to try to fit together objectively one's own real ability.

A martial art that has no rules is nothing but violence. Along with the perception of being prepared for death, one must participate in shiai. In the traditional writings there is a prohibition against shiai. Novices entering into shiai unpreparedly were admonished about losing their lives.

Times changed after the middle of the Edo period and shiai that caused injuries costing a life were rigidly proscribed. It was then decided that bujutsu training would be done from first to last only by kata. The bujutsu that lost the opportunity for shiai training showed signs of degeneration because it was impossible to experience personally the true power of the martial arts and the core of the principles of the arts. [...]

Kata practise is performed to avoid the ultimate power of the techniques...Randori practise is something that is done to give life to the real power of those techniques that were learned through kata. That is to say, randori provides the power to complete a painted dragon by filling in the eyes."

Okay, that's all I got through with my limited time - but it looks to be a very well-thought out and fascinating article - one, I feel, is relevant to this discussion here (i.e. Should spontaneous training sessions be incorporated into everyday practice? If so, why and how? And, what should or will it look like, and why?)

d

David M. Valadez
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:56 PM   #147
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Good stuff David, thanks for taking the time.

Quote:
Of course, if anyone here knows of Shihan, ones that are still training and actively teaching, that are working on the software of the art, let me know. If he or she is, however, I guarantee you their training is going to look like just what one saw in the videos thus far posted (even the Tohei video), and what it looks like is going to be totally different from what one is used to seeing Aikido look like (because folks are used to only seeing hardware training in Aikido). If it doesn't look like what I described, it's only because it's got a lot of hardware emphasis still embedded within it.
I certainly cannot comment on what various shihan are and aren't doing.

I can tell you that alot of this is going on out there in the MMA community.

I have gotten much more out of getting a couple of guys together and poolling our resources and "hiring" on of the good pros to come in and teach us a "private" for a couple of ours vice going to classes and large seminars....for many of the reasons you mention! (Large groups and lose architecture).

Anyway, I agree with what you are saying.

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Old 03-18-2008, 03:20 AM   #148
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i02Mkq0yrsE

Once more around the block...

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Old 03-18-2008, 04:35 AM   #149
roman naly
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Hi Chris

What is the purpose of the tanto? It still seems that it has no significant use in your training.

Or am I missing something?
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:03 AM   #150
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Love to hear your oppinions on this video.

Interesting.

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