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Old 03-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #1
seank
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The speed of a technique

Hi Everyone,
After a good sessions training and gradings on the weekend at our head dojo, we returned to our home dojo at the start of this week and continued with our usual training.

We were running through some kihon in suwari waza, and my uke had been instructed by sensei to resist the technique more and not just flow with me.

We ran through the shomen uchi nikkyo a few times at what I would suggest was a relaxed pace, during which time my uke (being about 15cm taller and prob. 20-odd kgs in weight on me) was able to effectively resist.

During one iteration my uke turned quickly and attacked at a much faster pace, which didn't really phase me, but suddenly I found that there was no chance for resistance.

I can reliably duplicate the technique whether fast or slow, so I was left wondering if it was something to do with the speed/flow of the technique, or whether I really should be able to do the technique at any speed? In a sense it felt very much that attacking slower and responding in kind probably left more of an opening to resist.

It was good to feel the connection at speed, the moving of my centre and my uke's, and of course it was satisfying to do the technique in a smooth flowing manner. I just feel that the speed issue left me a little wonting at the slower end of the scale.

Thoughts appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:08 PM   #2
wideawakedreamer
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

I dunno... maybe he had more time to resist when you were both moving slowly?

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:34 PM   #3
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

I am assuming when your uke attacked quicker and suddenly you didn't think about what had to be done you simply did it thus giving your defense the edge you needed. You didn't hesitate.

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:36 PM   #4
Abasan
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Re: The speed of a technique

My thoughts are that its always harder to do it from Static>low speed>high speed.

But mastery of aikido requires you to train this way Static>low speed>high speed> low speed>static>before intent.

Since you're doing well in high speed, I suppose you're to progress on low speed next.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 03-11-2009, 04:01 AM   #5
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

It's very hard to resist "honestly" when you go slow. I say "honestly" because your uke can have the best of intentions and still cheat if they don't quite realize this. When you go slow uke can resist by moving in ways that aren't actually in the direction of their attack, or they can slightly speed up ahead you for example. When you do the technique faster there's less of this kind of thing happening. But also at a faster speed uke might lose some of the focus of their attack which in turn might also make the technique easier. I think if both tori and uke really know what their doing, speed shouldn't make a huge difference.

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Old 03-11-2009, 05:51 AM   #6
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Re: The speed of a technique

IMHO, its not usually about speed. Its about doing the technique correctly.

Remember: slow and smooth, smooth and fast. Okay, just slow and smooth.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:38 AM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

When you start off, speed is an important aspect of what you are trying to develop. Most Aikido folks are very slow, especially on their attacks (even more so in their weapons work). This is due incorrect posture and too much tension.

As people begin to take care of those issues, everything gets faster. Then you start to hit the limits imposed by physics. I am 330 pounds. I can't move as fast as someone who is 150 pounds. So there is no way I can be "fast" enough if that is how I am dealing with my technique.

Once you've maximized the speed at which you are capable of moving, the real training begins. It is far more important to move at the correct time than to be merely fast. Also, most people introduce tension in to their movement by trying to "out speed" their partner. Understanding how to perceive another's attempts at speed as slow (we call this time shifting) is the mark of more advanced skill.

Changing how one projects ones attention and finding out how that can completely change ones sense of time to the point at which "reaction time" more less ceases to exist is one of the goals of advanced training.

If you want to really see someone who understands "speed". Look at Kuroda Sensei's clips on You Tube. Of course video simply doesn't due justice because it make Sverdlovsk look slower. But Kuroda is by far the fastest swordsman I have ever seen; if you blink you've missed the move. He talks about movement always being at "one speed". He is always completely relaxed... when it is time to move he simply moves, in an instant. Watching him one can learn a lot about what we are shooting for.

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 03-11-2009 at 09:41 AM.

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Old 03-11-2009, 02:31 PM   #8
Young-In Park
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Slow Speed Sparring

http://www.dojoofthefourwinds.com/sparring.html
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:48 PM   #9
Dan Rubin
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Re: The speed of a technique

A few years ago I watched a student practice suwariwaza shomenichi ikkyo with Saotome Sensei. Each time, the student began moving before Saotome did and the student moved faster than Saotome did, yet Saotome Sensei's hand arrived at the perfect meeting point before the student's hand arrived there.

It was fascinating to watch.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:54 PM   #10
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
A few years ago I watched a student practice suwariwaza shomenichi ikkyo with Saotome Sensei. Each time, the student began moving before Saotome did and the student moved faster than Saotome did, yet Saotome Sensei's hand arrived at the perfect meeting point before the student's hand arrived there.
Reminds me of a passage from Karl Friday's Legacies of the Sword:
Quote:
[w]hat matters most is not which opponent is faster or more powerful, but which is faster or more powerful at the critical moment in which a blow is delivered.
This passage along with more thoughts on the topic (including a nice little figure/graph) is luckily included in Google Books here: http://books.google.com/books?id=JXfVINMfbx8C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_summary_r&cad=0#PPA71,M1 . The rest of the book is worth reading as well, of course.

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Old 03-12-2009, 11:07 AM   #11
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
A few years ago I watched a student practice suwariwaza shomenichi ikkyo with Saotome Sensei. Each time, the student began moving before Saotome did and the student moved faster than Saotome did, yet Saotome Sensei's hand arrived at the perfect meeting point before the student's hand arrived there.

It was fascinating to watch.
This actually ties in with the whole Aikido is not about fighting issue... Saotome Sensei doesn't "fight" with you. He does not "contend", he does not "defend".

He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.

The whole concept of "fighting" is essentially dualistic. In fighting I need to "beat you". If I am completely connected in my mind, there is no need to be faster, that is dualistic. Your attack literally creates my technique. It is not contentious, it is automatic. This all takes place on the psychic level before physical action commences. That's why Sensei never looks like he is hurrying. He was ALREADY where he needed to be in his mind, he just hadn't actualized it yet with his movement. When you start being able to do this in your parctice, it completely shifts your sense of time.

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Old 03-12-2009, 11:34 AM   #12
Mark Freeman
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This actually ties in with the whole Aikido is not about fighting issue... Saotome Sensei doesn't "fight" with you. He does not "contend", he does not "defend".

He accepts an attack. He joins with it. This takes place before the attacker even starts moving. On a psychic level, Sensei is ALREADY in before the physical attack commences. This is precisely what Ushiro Sensei talked about at length.

The whole concept of "fighting" is essentially dualistic. In fighting I need to "beat you". If I am completely connected in my mind, there is no need to be faster, that is dualistic. Your attack literally creates my technique. It is not contentious, it is automatic. This all takes place on the psychic level before physical action commences. That's why Sensei never looks like he is hurrying. He was ALREADY where he needed to be in his mind, he just hadn't actualized it yet with his movement. When you start being able to do this in your parctice, it completely shifts your sense of time.
I have discovered this to be true in my own practice after seeing (and feeling ) it with my own teacher for a number of years.

You have a gift for explaining these concepts in text George, I strive to convey these ideas to my own students where at least I have the added extra media of the kinesthetic experience.

regards,

Mark

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Old 03-12-2009, 11:58 AM   #13
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
I have discovered this to be true in my own practice after seeing (and feeling ) it with my own teacher for a number of years.

You have a gift for explaining these concepts in text George, I strive to convey these ideas to my own students where at least I have the added extra media of the kinesthetic experience.

regards,

Mark
Hi Mark,
Ushiro Kenji's new book Karate and Ki might be of interest. This is the level on which he functions and he has a lot to say about it. Quite a bit of the book was very difficult, a reflection that I am not quite "there" yet. But there's an awful lot that made sense to me and I think would be of assistance in developing a vocabulary to describe this stuff.

My good friends Josh Drachman and Marc Abrams are Aikido folks who also train with Ushiro Sensei and the did the translation into English along with one of Ushiro Sensei's Japanese students. It was very difficult as we in America do not have a good set of terminology for talking about the "energetics" of this stuff. (The Russians are much better as they have been much more open to this kind of thing and do energy work in their martial arts and healing, etc.)

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #14
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The whole concept of "fighting" is essentially dualistic.
Don't create what you don't want.
How you conceptualize the problem is how you conceptualize the solution.
Where the head goes the body follows.
Ki follows intent.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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 03-12-2009, 07:34 PM   #15
Mark Freeman
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,
Ushiro Kenji's new book Karate and Ki might be of interest. This is the level on which he functions and he has a lot to say about it. Quite a bit of the book was very difficult, a reflection that I am not quite "there" yet. But there's an awful lot that made sense to me and I think would be of assistance in developing a vocabulary to describe this stuff.

My good friends Josh Drachman and Marc Abrams are Aikido folks who also train with Ushiro Sensei and the did the translation into English along with one of Ushiro Sensei's Japanese students. It was very difficult as we in America do not have a good set of terminology for talking about the "energetics" of this stuff. (The Russians are much better as they have been much more open to this kind of thing and do energy work in their martial arts and healing, etc.)
Thanks for the book recommendation George, I will certainly search it out. I am also interested to search out more about the Russian/systema approach, as from what I have seen via video, they seem to be closer to the aikido I am involved with than some of the aikido I have seen (again mostly via video). I hope one day to get some hands on to know how true this is.

My own practice at the moment is centred right at the heart of some of the concepts that you are conveying on the forums here at the moment. Particularly regarding the connection that is made and maintained before an attack is initiated. This is above and beyond simple mechanics (although they have to be all in place and correct of course) and belong in the realm of mind/spirit/ki.

I feel that I am just starting to really 'get' what I have been patiently taught for so long I feel very fortunate to have such a good teacher (Sensei Williams) - 54 years in aikido and still going strong. His own instruction came from the likes of Sensei's Kenshiro Abbe (who introduced aikido to the UK in the mid 1950's), Tohei, Nakazono and Noro, so I feel I am in 'good hands'

I love this journey, not an easy one, but one that keeps me constantly amazed at how 'deep' it goes. Some of the treasures held within the art, can't even be imagined when you begin.

Thanks for your continuing, thought provoking posts.

regards,

Mark

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Old 03-15-2009, 06:12 AM   #16
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Mark,
Ushiro Kenji's new book Karate and Ki might be of interest. This is the level on which he functions and he has a lot to say about it. Quite a bit of the book was very difficult, a reflection that I am not quite "there" yet. But there's an awful lot that made sense to me and I think would be of assistance in developing a vocabulary to describe this stuff.

My good friends Josh Drachman and Marc Abrams are Aikido folks who also train with Ushiro Sensei and the did the translation into English along with one of Ushiro Sensei's Japanese students. It was very difficult as we in America do not have a good set of terminology for talking about the "energetics" of this stuff. (The Russians are much better as they have been much more open to this kind of thing and do energy work in their martial arts and healing, etc.)
Hello
Well we could argue that it is described in old European fencing/wrestling manuals. In occident we tend to present thing with either how we mentally feel or describing the net result. That is usually described with timing and distance and “fuellen” (feeling).

For example when you deflect a strike with your own sword all you need to do is really get you sword there by cutting downward (ie just throwing the poing not a typicical tashi chop-slice) and then you will have all the time in the world to move. You have cut all his direct line of attack. He will have to move his body if he wants to hit you and you have at least one direct line of attack. That line of attack will depend of the pressure he gives us.

You do not fight, you do not defend, and you just put your sword there almost cutting an empty space. because you are there already, You can move forward or back.
If you move back he will have to follow you because you can still extend or change through.
If you go forward he will have to defend or get hit

If we translate that to open hand, it is the use ki-no-nogare you are leading him, if you move back. And it you go forward it is the use of atemi.

Because for training purposed we are too far to fight against an organised opponent we have that notion of people over committing, or trying to grab our wrist for no real reason. But it is really the same as if we were fighting with sword, just from a distance that is not really “realistic” but convenient pedagogically.

Now call it vor, narch fullen, true time, true place, extending your ki or your intent
I really believe that it is two ways to describe the same thing, just from a different angle.

Phil

Last edited by philippe willaume : 03-15-2009 at 06:17 AM.

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:45 AM   #17
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
Philippe Willaume wrote: View Post
Hello
Well we could argue that it is described in old European fencing/wrestling manuals. In occident we tend to present thing with either how we mentally feel or describing the net result. That is usually described with timing and distance and “fuellen” (feeling).

For example when you deflect a strike with your own sword all you need to do is really get you sword there by cutting downward (ie just throwing the poing not a typicical tashi chop-slice) and then you will have all the time in the world to move. You have cut all his direct line of attack. He will have to move his body if he wants to hit you and you have at least one direct line of attack. That line of attack will depend of the pressure he gives us.

You do not fight, you do not defend, and you just put your sword there almost cutting an empty space. because you are there already, You can move forward or back.
If you move back he will have to follow you because you can still extend or change through.
If you go forward he will have to defend or get hit

If we translate that to open hand, it is the use ki-no-nogare you are leading him, if you move back. And it you go forward it is the use of atemi.

Because for training purposed we are too far to fight against an organised opponent we have that notion of people over committing, or trying to grab our wrist for no real reason. But it is really the same as if we were fighting with sword, just from a distance that is not really “realistic” but convenient pedagogically.

Now call it vor, narch fullen, true time, true place, extending your ki or your intent
I really believe that it is two ways to describe the same thing, just from a different angle.

Phil
Hi Phil,
Western fencing, in its past, had a lot of theory; massive volumes were written by European fencing masters. I am not sure what happened but at some point most of that disappeared from modern fencing which is quite non-cerebral these days.

My wife and I met on-line and our initial e-mail exchanges were about the relationship between the two opponents in the martial interaction. She is a former national champion fencer. She started Aikido with Kimberly Richardson Sensei specifically to try to develop a vocabulary to describe what she did in her fencing. Western fencing has terminology to describe basic things like timing. They have terminology that equates to sen no sen, go no sen, sen sen no sen, etc. But they have little or no descriptive terminology for the "intuitive" or psychic aspect of the art, which means it can't be taught. Genie is convinced that the great fencers all do some version of what she does but they just don't talk about it at all. Her ex, who was her coach, told her that "It works for you, but it won't work for anyone else." I think she feels somewhat vindicated by her exposure to Aikido and Systema in which this stuff is an integral part of the practice.
- George

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Old 03-15-2009, 05:28 PM   #18
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
. . .they have little or no descriptive terminology for the "intuitive" or psychic aspect of the art, which means it can't be taught.
Sad news for Zen lineages! I suppose it could be argued that "it" CAN'T be "taught" only recognized. But then again, some how it is supposedly passed along . . .

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think she feels somewhat vindicated by her exposure to Aikido and Systema in which this stuff is an integral part of the practice.
What if it isn't so much the descriptive terminology that most readily leads one to this stuff, but the instructive circumstances created, and informative experiences shared, by talented and willing teachers that "can do" and "can teach" that are then coupled with (perhaps even previously known) descriptive vocabulary that best engenders understanding, learning, and the transference of knowledge and ability of this sort.

If this were the case, one might write pages and pages of both poetry and/or prose without fear of the "un-initiated" walking away with the "crown jewels," and, after all, those already "in the know" . . already know.

Allen

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Old 03-15-2009, 10:38 PM   #19
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Re: The speed of a technique

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Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
Sad news for Zen lineages! I suppose it could be argued that "it" CAN'T be "taught" only recognized. But then again, some how it is supposedly passed along . . .

What if it isn't so much the descriptive terminology that most readily leads one to this stuff, but the instructive circumstances created, and informative experiences shared, by talented and willing teachers that "can do" and "can teach" that are then coupled with (perhaps even previously known) descriptive vocabulary that best engenders understanding, learning, and the transference of knowledge and ability of this sort.

If this were the case, one might write pages and pages of both poetry and/or prose without fear of the "un-initiated" walking away with the "crown jewels," and, after all, those already "in the know" . . already know.

Allen
Hi Allen,
The only reason I feel descriptive terminology is important is that the brain tends to ignore information it can't categorize...

For example, I was working with a student at a seminar I taught. I was doing a slow Ikkyo and wanted him to feel the difference between when I had my attention "on the inside" and when it was "on the outside". As I held his arm I made the shift inside and then asked him if he'd felt it? He said, no he was sorry but he didn't. The funny thing was, his whole body moved slightly when I shifted. His body felt it but he didn't know what to call it so he didn't register consciously what I had done.

I did it again and told him to simply feel if anything felt different when I shifted, it didn't have to feel like anything he understood or could describe. At that point when I shifted he said yes, he could feel it that time. But I had to verbally prep him so that he could put his attention on it and register what was happening.

So much of what we do is mental yet my teacher never talked about it at all. He did things and I could feel he was doing something but I had no idea how to process what I felt. It's difficult to direct ones training towards acquiring certain specific skills if you don't know what they are.

No question, words alone are useless. That's why I don't worry when people tell me I should make the students figure it out on their own, that I am making it too easy on them. It doesn't matter how much explanation they get from me, if they don't train, they won't get it. They have to feel it from me and our other teachers frequently until it starts to become their own default setting. So there are no shortcuts. On the other hand I see no reason to let them get lost and wander in the wilderness either.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:14 AM   #20
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Hi Allen,
The only reason I feel descriptive terminology is important is that the brain tends to ignore information it can't categorize...

For example, I was working with a student at a seminar I taught. I was doing a slow Ikkyo and wanted him to feel the difference between when I had my attention "on the inside" and when it was "on the outside". As I held his arm I made the shift inside and then asked him if he'd felt it? He said, no he was sorry but he didn't. The funny thing was, his whole body moved slightly when I shifted. His body felt it but he didn't know what to call it so he didn't register consciously what I had done.
Hello George,

Did he understand your question? Was the description enough to show him what to look for? I notice that you have put "on the inside" and "on the outside" in double quotes. There is obviously a reason for this, but if you have to do this here, in this forum, how did you signal the unusual nature of the phrase when you were teaching him?

Years ago, Fred Newcomb, a senior yudansha of the New England Aikikai, used precisely the same phrases to make his point, when describing something else. He then added, "It is all the same anyway," and no one had a clue what he meant, least of all the white-belted students he was teaching.

Best,

PAG

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Old 03-16-2009, 09:31 AM   #21
Allen Beebe
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Re: The speed of a technique

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I did it again and told him to simply feel if anything felt different when I shifted, it didn't have to feel like anything he understood or could describe. At that point when I shifted he said yes, he could feel it that time. But I had to verbally prep him so that he could put his attention on it and register what was happening.
Hi George,

That is a good example of how un-referenced vocabulary meant nothing to the "un-initiated" but when you and your vocabulary met him "where he was at" and directed him to simply pay attention any change he felt, at that point he reportedly felt something new and you more than likely then associated his experience with the vocabulary you wanted to associate with that experience.

Matters would have been greatly complicated if he had taken your original instruction and either used previously associated experience to create a referent or instantaneously created a new referent based on *past* experience thereby insulating himself from the experience you were trying to relate. He probably would have given you the same reaction but would have been much less able to be re-directed to experience the new sensations and therefore make a new association. Hence, "There are none so blind as those that *will* not see."

I too don't wish to let folks bumble around in the dark, especially myself. As you pointed out though, words alone, when it is assumed that one can derive shared experience from them, often only help promote bumbling.

Allen

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 03-16-2009, 09:33 AM   #22
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello George,

Did he understand your question? Was the description enough to show him what to look for? I notice that you have put "on the inside" and "on the outside" in double quotes. There is obviously a reason for this, but if you have to do this here, in this forum, how did you signal the unusual nature of the phrase when you were teaching him?

Years ago, Fred Newcomb, a senior yudansha of the New England Aikikai, used precisely the same phrases to make his point, when describing something else. He then added, "It is all the same anyway," and no one had a clue what he meant, least of all the white-belted students he was teaching.

Best,

PAG
Hi Peter,
In the instance I referred to, the student didn't know what I was asking initially. What I was attempting to do was get him to recognize a feeling or sensation and connect it with the concept of "inside" and "outside". Once I accomplished that he then knew, at least on some level, what I was referring to when I did it. The trick was then to design a training exercise which would allow him to do it himself.

I am a big exponent of "body centered" terminology. If one can develop a set of terms that students understand by "feeling" what they mean, then they can be useful. You need to use the terms consistently as well, so that over time the students develop an increasingly precise understanding of what was meant.

This is one of the reasons that, when one finds a teacher whom one wishes to learn from, one needs to get as much exposure to them as possible yo their instruction. My students have internalized my descriptive terminology to the point at which I use it merely to remind them (the seniors anyway) of what they already know they should be doing.

But when I teach outside at other dojos, I need to spend time simply teaching these principles and that can include working with people to get them to recognize that certain things are going on of which they might have previously been unaware. If I get regular exposure to the students, over time I see them start to redirect their practice and make a jump. If I don't see them more than once every few years, this really doesn't happen because, terminology has to be included alongside the hands-on so that they can "feel' what I am doing.

But it's still important I think to have the terminology... it points the attention towards what you are teaching. The whole train and you will get it idea is bogus, I think. If that were true, there would be a lot more excellent people out there. Some folks do learn that way but most, in my experience do not. So the development of descriptive terminology is important.

I got the "inside" and "outside" terminology from Ushiro Sensei at the first Expo. Once I had worked out what he meant, it changed my Aikido entirely.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 03-16-2009, 10:59 AM   #23
Dan Rubin
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Re: The speed of a technique

I recall a bokken class at my dojo, taught by Tres Hofmeister. He tried to tell me that my posture was poor, but I wasn't getting it. Finally, recalling that I had studied for several years at the Ki Society, he said, "Dan, weight underside." Immediately my shoulders dropped, my hips came forward and I stood up straight. "That's it," he said.

(Of course, my posture still stinks, but Tres was able to correct it for a moment, at least.)
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:27 PM   #24
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The speed of a technique

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post

Matters would have been greatly complicated if he had taken your original instruction and either used previously associated experience to create a referent or instantaneously created a new referent based on *past* experience thereby insulating himself from the experience you were trying to relate. He probably would have given you the same reaction but would have been much less able to be re-directed to experience the new sensations and therefore make a new association. Hence, "There are none so blind as those that *will* not see."
Hi Allen,
Yes, for sure about the "past experience" filtering ones ability to perceive. I think that this is why one must really strive to direct ones training. Train only with teachers that seem to be operating at the same level and seem to share a common principle base.

Traditionally, this was always the reason teachers gave for not wanting you to train with other teachers... you would get "confused". While legitimate in some circumstances, I think that this restriction was misused by mediocrities to keep theit students from seeing better teachers.

I am a big believer in training with multiple teachers. I have a certain idea about the kind of Aikido I want to do and a good idea of what things should look like when I see it in others. So I have no problem moving from Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei to Howard Popkin and Ushiro Senseis, and even Vladimir Vasiliev. The more I train with them, the more I realize that the underlying principles they are using are the same.

Having trained with a wide variety of teachers who share a common principle foundation yet have widely differing training methodology and descriptive terminology, I find that when I train with someone totally new, I have the ability to pick up new information quickly. I do not think that this would have been true had I simply trained with Saotome Sensei for the last thirty years. In fact, I understand him far better because I trained with all these others.

On the other hand, I do not think that all teachers within Aikido operate on a common principle base. There is plenty of Aikido that is pretty much devoid of "aiki". At best some is just a decent jiu jutsu and at worst it is a lot of torquing and muscling of the partner. Where one falls into these categories seems to have little or no relation to rank or experience level.

So, if you try to train across the Aikido spectrum, I think that your body and mind will get confused. There is enough of range of sophistication that I personally wouldn't consider what some teachers are doing to be even the same art as what I am doing. So I think it is best to stick with teachers that seem to be on the same page so to speak. Then the experience with one seems to compliment rather than interfere with your experience of another. That's my take and I'm sticking to it...
Hope all is well,
George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-16-2009, 04:36 PM   #25
Allen Beebe
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Re: The speed of a technique

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I got the "inside" and "outside" terminology from Ushiro Sensei at the first Expo. Once I had worked out what he meant, it changed my Aikido entirely.
If repeated experience facilitated (with the goal of teaching) by a teacher that "can do" and "will do,"* coupled with some form of standardized terminology and verification of the experience seems to be a formula that works. (Perhaps this is the only formula that works well for the more nebulous areas of instruction.)

And if, conversely, random experience leaves progress to chance. Terminology without relevant experience produces pedantry not performance. And, assuming one truly ascertains either of these without being able to reproduce their implied outcome is delusion.

What are the implications for the Transmission and/or Inheritance of Aikido?

*Perhaps there is some wiggle room here for the coach that "can't do" but can teach others "to do." (And then there's me that can't teach "doo doo!"

~ Allen Beebe
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