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Old 08-31-2008, 06:34 PM   #1
rob_liberti
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aikido waza that best train aiki...do

I really like ushiro tekubitori kokyu nage where you step (I step twice), pivot, and step backwards (I step twice backwards too) making the big windmill motion. That works the standing structure and the upper cross (eventhough it is tilted a bit).

I can wrap my arms forward and work ikkyo. Or cycle my hands up my centerplane to work ikkyo more freely. I think kokyu ho works of course.

But I'm looking for more inspiration in what other techniques lend themselves well to beginner level aiki...do in really obvious ways. Any ideas welcome.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 08-31-2008 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 08-31-2008, 07:57 PM   #2
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Far be it from me, a nobody, to tell an aikido yondan which aikido techniques are "best" for training aiki...

I would assume ALL and ANY technique would do, as long as the central elements of what makes it "aiki" are being trained???

The problem, as I see it, is that aikido waza are part jujitsu technique/part "aiki exercise". It wouldn't be a problem if it were simply treated as exercise, and not some bastardized jujitsu waza. So, perhaps the focus should be less on what "technique", and more on what is being exercised (or meant to be exercised!) in aikido waza.

Or looking at it another way... if one moved according to the principles of what makes it "aiki", then any technique becomes aikido waza, would it not?

To throw another spanner into the works... what is uke doing as part of the "aiki" interaction? Is uke simply a throwing dummy? Or is uke actively working those same principles - standing structure, upper and lower crosses, central pivot/equilibrium, all the while providing nage with an input force, with the view to taking advantage of a breach of those same principles in nage?

Ignatius
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:28 AM   #3
rob_liberti
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Yeah, funny thing, there wasn't much windings, central pivot, upper cross, etc. going on during my yondan test. I probably had slightly better central equilibrium -which was not much to speak of- than the attackers in general (because they were attacking in that aikido way). I'm confident that by godan that will all change.

Of course I will see the relationship to what I am focusing my personal practice on to what I am teaching even if it is hidden a bit. I am just looking for inspiration on really obvious ones for teaching purposes. I want to try to make the aiki to waza relationship so obvious to my students that I don't have to explain much verbally.

So in the example I provided, if I start the class off working the a solo exercise with the upper cross highlighted in it, and then do that kokyu nage with your arms sticking out to the sides, you'd have to be pretty thick to not get the connection. I can't think of too many other techniques/waza where I hold my arms out to the sides most of the time, for instance.

Tenchi nage can demonstrate central pivot very well. I think I need to just teach kokyunages for a while and look for the connection in reverse, and then hightlight them in the subsequent classes.

As far as live vrs dummy - this may not be too popular, but I don't think it matters too much in general for this point. I'm thinking that typical aikido waza works as an expression of aiki if uke attacks with external power and the nage role is really someone with internal power receiving (being uke himself). My opinion - dummy attacker or alive - the power differential should be sufficient for that to not matter too much. (If someone wants to debate this, can we do it in a different thread? I'm sick to death of aliveness debates.)
When uke has aiki too, the whole ball game changes and I don't think anyone really knows what aikido will look like at that point. (But it will be fun to find out.)

Thanks,
Rob
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Far be it from me, a nobody, to tell an aikido yondan which aikido techniques are "best" for training aiki...

I would assume ALL and ANY technique would do, as long as the central elements of what makes it "aiki" are being trained???

The problem, as I see it, is that aikido waza are part jujitsu technique/part "aiki exercise". It wouldn't be a problem if it were simply treated as exercise, and not some bastardized jujitsu waza. So, perhaps the focus should be less on what "technique", and more on what is being exercised (or meant to be exercised!) in aikido waza.

Or looking at it another way... if one moved according to the principles of what makes it "aiki", then any technique becomes aikido waza, would it not?

To throw another spanner into the works... what is uke doing as part of the "aiki" interaction? Is uke simply a throwing dummy? Or is uke actively working those same principles - standing structure, upper and lower crosses, central pivot/equilibrium, all the while providing nage with an input force, with the view to taking advantage of a breach of those same principles in nage?
That would depend on how experienced your nage is.....after nage has an understanding of correct feeling uke can resist appropriately so the emphais is on developing a strong relaxed feeling instead of muscling uke.

What we call katate tori irimi nage (looks like sayu undo) is a very good technique to start with...start by teaching the principle of unbendable arm, then practice the technique with no resistance. Next demonstrate the technique with uke resisting logically so if nage loses correct feeling their outer stucture fails. As nage learns to depend on a low centered feeling instead of her arms....ki is developed.
Mary
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Old 09-01-2008, 06:44 AM   #5
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Smile Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote: View Post
When uke has aiki too, the whole ball game changes and I don't think anyone really knows what aikido will look like at that point. (But it will be fun to find out.)
I think it will looks like this kata, but with "matter meets antimatter" results, you know: the ultimate ai uchi.

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Old 09-01-2008, 07:12 AM   #6
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

IMHO, all techniques lend themselves to training aiki if you focus on the subtleties of connecting, blending, and taking balance. All waza can become kokyu-nage (breath/timing).

Lynn Seiser PhD
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We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-01-2008, 07:46 AM   #7
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I think it will looks like this kata, but with "matter meets antimatter" results, you know: the ultimate ai uchi.
I disagree. I don't think it'd look anything like that. The people in that vid are giving up a portion of their structure to make the kata flow from one technique to another. It's a demo and I can understand why they'd do that. But, if uke and nage actually have aiki going, then it'll be pretty much a stalemate. No one will go anywhere and when they do, it'll be checked by the other person. It'd probably be fairly boring until one of them loses structure in some manner and the other is able to take advantage of it.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:00 AM   #8
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, all techniques lend themselves to training aiki if you focus on the subtleties of connecting, blending, and taking balance. All waza can become kokyu-nage (breath/timing).
I disagree, Lynn. If all techniques trained aiki, then there wouldn't be such a commentary going on by all of us who have gone to meet Dan, Mike, Rob, or Ark. You can't get aiki by focusing on the subtleties of connecting, blending, or taking balance. You can't get aiki by training techniques. Being soft and being relaxed isn't going to get you aiki.
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:09 AM   #9
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Hey - hold on a sec. I don't want to discuss who has it and who doesn't and why. No need to escalate into another death match challenge in a Thunderdome. (While I find that halarious, we can make a new thread to discuss that.)

Sorry folks, I wasn't clear enough.

I am looking for typical aikido waza that best demonstrates/excercies the following: windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium, the big energy "C" - basically all of the things I am working on in my "aiki...do" persuit.

I agree that is should be in all kokyu nages (and that all techniques should be kokyu nages). There are many many kokyu nages. Which ones clearly demonostrate any of the things I'm developing in aiki...do (windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium, the big energy "C",etc.)

Thanks,
Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 09-01-2008 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:14 AM   #10
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

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I disagree.
Mark, I was joking.

(note to self: more smilies next time).

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Old 09-01-2008, 09:47 AM   #11
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I disagree. I don't think it'd look anything like that. The people in that vid are giving up a portion of their structure to make the kata flow from one technique to another. It's a demo and I can understand why they'd do that. But, if uke and nage actually have aiki going, then it'll be pretty much a stalemate. No one will go anywhere and when they do, it'll be checked by the other person. It'd probably be fairly boring until one of them loses structure in some manner and the other is able to take advantage of it.
This is clearly a jujutsu kata. Nothing bad in it. At all.
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:52 AM   #12
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Hi Rob,

You started using the term:

"the big energy "C""

I haven't seen that one before and may, or may not, be familiar with it accept I don't know what the term "the big energy "C" indicates.

It would be hard to answer your question for every aspect if I'm (we are) not familiar with all of your referents.

When you mention "windings," I am assuming you are referring to the windings that coil around the legs and arms? (Not to mention the windings around the thorax, back to front, front to back, through the hip structure, etc. . . at least I think of that as part of windings as well.)

One other complicating factor is when you describe, for example, your ushiro Kokyu nage I'm not definitely sure what you are talking about. Even some what "universal" techniques can be done quite differently school to school, individual to individual. So the technique could be described, the attribute applied, and communication assumed, and misconception ensues.

Not that I think what you are doing here is wrong. I think it is great actually!

One last complicating factor, as Dan, Mark and I were discussing on another thread. A technique could be done with Aiki with completely different results (out vs in Aiki [not just a description of uke]) depending upon the choice of Nage if they are equipped to make that choice.

To start with, as I was taught, suwari waza shomen uchi (nage initiating) ikkyo has windings, central pivot, upper cross, central equilibrium,etc. (I couldn't speak to "big energy "C"" for the reasons mentioned already.) Uke can be neutralized, exploded, or imploded.

Do you think of the body as opening and closing as well? Along the juji cross (the cross of Aiki)? Techniques can be explored that way as well.

How about comparing the "narrative" of waza in terms of breath (kokyu), and intent, and ki? Or kiai (harmonization of kokyu, intent, and ki). Or kime? (Kind of like a seismograph.)

On the other hand, how do these things figure in *before* and/or after physical contact?

Sorry for spewing my brain started to dump.

Please keep up the nice posts Rob,

Allen
(Please note I never claimed to have any level of mastery over either the conception or mastery of any of the stuff I talked about. Each practice serves to highlight how much I DON'T know and CAN'T do! )

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Old 09-01-2008, 09:52 AM   #13
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I disagree, Lynn.
Disagreement is always expected and always good for discussion.

Lynn Seiser PhD
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:56 AM   #14
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, all techniques lend themselves to training aiki if you focus on the subtleties of connecting, blending, and taking balance. All waza can become kokyu-nage (breath/timing).
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...

theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place?
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Old 09-01-2008, 09:58 AM   #15
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Disagreement is always expected and always good for discussion.
Nope, you're wrong!

Just trying to help facilitate discussion!

(Sorry Lynn, I couldn't help myself. Character weakness! )

Allen

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Old 09-01-2008, 09:59 AM   #16
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I disagree, Lynn. If all techniques trained aiki, then there wouldn't be such a commentary going on by all of us who have gone to meet Dan, Mike, Rob, or Ark. You can't get aiki by focusing on the subtleties of connecting, blending, or taking balance. You can't get aiki by training techniques. Being soft and being relaxed isn't going to get you aiki.
This perspective is such a fishbowl. I do not demean what the gentlemen mentioned do ( whatever other differences I may have) -- but it is not necessary to discuss the distinctions to have to"one-up" or demean very traditional aikido training. Aikido has a far wider and deeper range than you, or they give it credit for having. Relying on those with a vested interest in promoting other training, while not necessarily making their points irrelevant, seriously taints the weight of their perspectives -- on aikido -- which none of them have trained widely in.

I am not at all surprised that some very able people in the surface aspects of aikido, found training in aikido to lack depth FOR THEM. Not all methods and perspectives, even to similar goals, are fitting to all persons. But that is no more damning a comment than it would be to note some people are colorblind or lack perfect pitch. The differences that they see - and they can see differences -- are not the same as differences that other people see. It is pointless to argue that the green is not green or red or an off shade of umber. But their frustration would not be shared by those for whom the green and red are quite plain. To take their perspective on traditional forms of aikido training as being unhelpful is simply a self-selected and biased sample. One should take such evidence with the chunk of salt it deserves -- whatever the value of the training paradigm that may lead them to.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-01-2008, 10:16 AM   #17
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...

theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place?
Rob,

Maybe that is why Aikido originally contained Kokyu Dosa both solo and partner practice to be trained (Dosa) *outside* of waza. Of course both of these may no longer be existent in peoples practice and/or they me no longer be substantive/productive for developing Kokyu Ryoku, etc. (One needs to understand the exercise properly in order to profit from it properly. This, I think, is manifested via a process of conception, practice and correction/enhancement by a teacher that already can manifest (therefore has walked the path) Kokyu Ryoku.)

It makes sense to me that if one doesn't have all of the above, if they want it, they should go out and find it. If they do have it they should be able to demonstrate it to some degree. Still, that doesn't mean there isn't more to learn. Don't most Aikidoshi train under guest sensei because they find it additive to their practice? By the same logic, why wouldn't/couldn't they do the same with Kokyu/Ki stuff?

Either way there is no breaking of precedent as far as I can see. No big deal.

But me thinks I detect the deadly thread drift tide arising!!

Rob,

How/when did Ark have you transition from development to application?

(And when will you be back in Seattle?)

Allen

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:20 AM   #18
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Rob,

(Of course you are still developing too.) ["The changes you are experiencing in your body are completely natural and nothing to worry about . . . ~ 5th grade teacher ]

Just to be clear.

Allen

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Old 09-01-2008, 10:38 AM   #19
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place?
I think that is the single most compelling question out there. Rarely have I seen so much said in so few words.
Hands clapping
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:06 AM   #20
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
Well, I think if someone is smart, they might be able to make inroads to other modes of movement using only waza...

theoretically...

over a loooooong period of time.

But why the hell would you do that if there's a direct way to train it, and the whole point of training the waza is to get the skill in the first place?
Good example? Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883 and spent most of his adult life in various forms of budo, beginning as a teenager at this father's behest. He claimed revelation -- sudden recognition after long effort at the age of 42. Then at critical points where he was faced with deep disappointment over the failures of "power" his realization progressively flowered from that that root experience at the ages of 57 and 59.

Aikido is primarily about growth and sudden discovery of something that comes forth on its own -- not skill by the production of conscious effort. Natural skill comes with mindful growth -- but not necessarily the other way around. No one teaches the tree to stand against the wind -- the wind taught it that.

I have just built an addition on my house originally built in 1911. I can cut through the new, replanted lumber like butter with a sawz-all, while I have regularly burnt up blades in the old-growth heart timber. Natural skill through growth brings things that are hard to define in purely structural "strength" terms -- old and new timber are "equal" in nominal strength, but the 1911 timber toenailed together makes better more durable connections and has withstood a half dozen major hurricanes, whereas the new growth (even sheathed in plywood) requires all sort of framing strap and steel reinforcement to give the engineers a conscious comfort in its performance Growth brings toughness, chiefly, a real and unmistakeable thing.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-01-2008 at 11:12 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:26 AM   #21
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
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This perspective is such a fishbowl.
If you'd like, Erick, please open another thread elsewhere to discuss such things as you'd like. I didn't offer more in my post because it starts into thread drift. You're more than welcome to open a thread elsewhere.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:28 AM   #22
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Good example? Morihei Ueshiba was born in 1883 and spent most of his adult life in various forms of budo, beginning as a teenager at this father's behest. He claimed revelation -- sudden recognition after long effort at the age of 42. Then at critical points where he was faced with deep disappointment over the failures of "power" his realization progressively flowered from that that root experience at the ages of 57 and 59.

Aikido is primarily about growth and sudden discovery of something that comes forth on its own -- not skill by the production of conscious effort. Natural skill comes with mindful growth -- but not necessarily the other way around. No one teaches the tree to stand against the wind -- the wind taught it that.
Please provide detailed historical basis for your post. And please, put them in another thread of your own. This thread isn't about what you're posting. Personally, I don't think you have a clue, but if you'd care to provide detailed analysis in another thread, that's your choice.
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Old 09-01-2008, 12:03 PM   #23
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Rob,

Maybe that is why Aikido originally contained Kokyu Dosa both solo and partner practice to be trained (Dosa) *outside* of waza. Of course both of these may no longer be existent in peoples practice and/or they me no longer be substantive/productive for developing Kokyu Ryoku, etc. (One needs to understand the exercise properly in order to profit from it properly. This, I think, is manifested via a process of conception, practice and correction/enhancement by a teacher that already can manifest (therefore has walked the path) Kokyu Ryoku.)
<snip>
How/when did Ark have you transition from development to application?
No argument from me there.
Kokyu dosa is "agete", or whatever DRAJJ called it, and was a fundamental tool for developing this skill. The fact that it's practiced now in a lot of Aikido schools with a million one variations, speaks to the fact that most people missed the intent of that basic exercise, or that Ueshiba purposely covered it up.
That's just me musing though, and by the by, when I say "a lot of xxx" that's not saying "everyone." (lest I shoot myself in the foot)

Anyways, Ark had us move to "application"...huh
I dunno when he did.
Basically he just keeps tossing us on our ass, and occasionally shows techniques. Generally if you keep up the conditioning you figure out how he did the movement he did. So it's almost like a constant reverse engineer process.
It's slower, but honestly, I find I can use most of the movement I pick up with him because by the time I figure it out, it feels natural...or rather the movement happens naturally.
The way the body is conditioned...there's only so many ways you can move.
Everything else is just henka.
And henka is easy.

Seattle....
good question, I'll keep everyone posted as soon as Ark makes up his mind as to what he wants to do for the rest of this year, much lest next year
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:02 PM   #24
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I disagree, Lynn. If all techniques trained aiki, then there wouldn't be such a commentary going on by all of us who have gone to meet Dan, Mike, Rob, or Ark. You can't get aiki by focusing on the subtleties of connecting, blending, or taking balance. You can't get aiki by training techniques. Being soft and being relaxed isn't going to get you aiki.
In your opinion.... Mark.
My opinion would be "of course you can."
I explained how to begin...with a very simple excercise.
Most people understand unbendable arm...though it is often overlooked for more complicated ways of doing the same thing.
Mary
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Old 09-01-2008, 02:26 PM   #25
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Re: aikido waza that best train aiki...do

Hi Mary
Opinion is how many, if not most, of the people in budo found their teacher or art. Opinion is how Ueshiba's fame spread so quickly. What does it say that aikidoka from an incredibly diverse background, both geographically and in pedagogy go out to research a method and come back home with a 100% consistent view?
Since it's become evident that those opinions are consistent, that being, that in their "opinion" it is not only superior to anything they have felt in aikido, the training method to attain it is as well, that they might be on to something. It bears looking at the pedagogy, since it includes so many different styles of aikido, active today, and stuents and teachers up to forty years in the art-which cumulatively is incorporating the equivalent of up to possibly a thousand years worth of diverse training experiences, that it suggests they are discussing some things, which are beyond your experience-and not theirs.

I hope we can get together sometime to compare notes, laugh, and have some good food.

Last edited by DH : 09-01-2008 at 02:31 PM.
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