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Old 02-10-2010, 09:03 PM   #1
Eric in Denver
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The aiki hop

In watching video clips of O-Sensei in his later days, and also those of Tohei Sensei, I noticed they both have this hop they sometimes do with their entries. I have been trying to figure out what the reasoning is behind it but have not yet arrived at an answer that satisfies me.

The best I can come up with is that if you have someone who is massively taller that you, then reaching up to grab their collar/neck might actually lead you to break your own posture, while if you do the hop, you can still maintain good alignment, although you are no longer firmly planted on the ground.

Any other ideas?
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:13 AM   #2
gregstec
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
In watching video clips of O-Sensei in his later days, and also those of Tohei Sensei, I noticed they both have this hop they sometimes do with their entries. I have been trying to figure out what the reasoning is behind it but have not yet arrived at an answer that satisfies me.

The best I can come up with is that if you have someone who is massively taller that you, then reaching up to grab their collar/neck might actually lead you to break your own posture, while if you do the hop, you can still maintain good alignment, although you are no longer firmly planted on the ground.

Any other ideas?
Keep in mind that all up energy is coming from the ground and all down energy is coming from gravity. With that in mind, the hop allows for an easier way to add the down energy - it also can place you in a bad position if someone catches you with up energy while you are doing it. However, if done effectively, it can add a lot of power to your down force on Uke.

One other aspect is that it also can add to your up energy if timed correctly. Look at Tohie's movements - he always drops down first before coming up. Essentially, he is taking uke's energy and dropping it to the ground then he comes up with it as well as his own energy back into Uke - a coarse form of IS with larger than needed movements; but effective at times.

Greg
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:56 AM   #3
Eric in Denver
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Re: The aiki hop

Greg, that is a way that I haven't thought about it before. That makes sense to me. Thank you.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:27 AM   #4
gregstec
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
Greg, that is a way that I haven't thought about it before. That makes sense to me. Thank you.
Or it could have been caused by something on the mat that they stepped on at the time of the video - you just never really know unless you were there
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:15 PM   #5
Aikibu
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Re: The aiki hop

Now I know where the phrase Aikibunnies came from...

Hop Hop Hop.

William Hazen
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:36 PM   #6
Eric in Denver
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Re: The aiki hop

Mine is more of an aiki trip. . .as I trip over my hakama.
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Old 02-11-2010, 05:13 PM   #7
Ketsan
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Re: The aiki hop

I've tried this out and found it rather devestating; the momentum with which you hit uke pretty much flattens them. I think it's basically Aikido's fumikomi.
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Old 02-12-2010, 02:00 AM   #8
David Yap
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
I've tried this out and found it rather devestating; the momentum with which you hit uke pretty much flattens them. I think it's basically Aikido's fumikomi.
If you have done karate "Bassai-dai" kata before, try a sokumen irimi-nage with the first stepping in movement of the kata and watch how your partner flies especially when he is coming at you with a tsuki.

Best training,

David Y
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:10 AM   #9
Eric in Denver
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
If you have done karate "Bassai-dai" kata before, try a sokumen irimi-nage with the first stepping in movement of the kata and watch how your partner flies especially when he is coming at you with a tsuki.

Best training,

David Y
It is interesting you say that, as it was in a discussion with a former karateka that I started to think about the utility of the "hop." She felt very uncomfortable with it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 06:06 PM   #10
James Edwards
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
David Yap wrote: View Post
If you have done karate "Bassai-dai" kata before, try a sokumen irimi-nage with the first stepping in movement of the kata and watch how your partner flies especially when he is coming at you with a tsuki.
The two-handed thrust in bassai dai would make a deadly irimi-nage too.

As with the hop, doesn't Gozo Shioda do that a lot as well? Especially in randori.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
danielajames
 
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Re: The aiki hop

Doing the math, by dropping your centre/ tanden/ one point just a few centimetres gives you the equivalent power of a lawnmower at that instant and in a pretty relaxed way. If you are connected to uke and apply that to where they are biomechanically weak (like good aiki technique teaches us) its pretty effective

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:56 AM   #12
Ketsan
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
James Edwards wrote: View Post
The two-handed thrust in bassai dai would make a deadly irimi-nage too.

As with the hop, doesn't Gozo Shioda do that a lot as well? Especially in randori.
Maybe that's one of the bunkai.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:45 PM   #13
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Re: The aiki hop

In my opinion. every time you break contact with the ground you are vulnerable. Most of what we do is to try and break uke's connection with the ground.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:00 PM   #14
Larry Feldman
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Re: The aiki hop

When used properly it can help close the distance to your uke. It gives you a dynamic way to blend with a moving attack, with the ability to adjust mid-hop. In moving attacks you have a chance to blend.

I asked my former Sensei, a Shihan who was a direct student of Tohei why/how the hop came about. He relayed that it originally happenned to demonstrate footwork in a large room with a lot of students - the ones in the back couldn't see without it.

If you are shorter than your uke and need to stretch them out - by using horizontal movement the hop gives you a way to get a longer movement than just a slide or step does in a single movement. To me it is all about the horizontal, and little to do with vertical.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:00 AM   #15
statisticool
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Re: The aiki hop

Maybe analogus to the "sine wave" movement in some style of taekwondo, where they have a little up movement prior to, say, a punch, and then deliver that punch on the down movement.

Justin

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:46 AM   #16
David Yap
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Maybe that's one of the bunkai.
Indeed it is, Alex. Beside irimi nage, there is a nikkyu and a few kokyu nage in the kata.

Happy training

David Y
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Old 03-22-2010, 09:55 AM   #17
David Yap
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Re: The aiki hop

Quote:
Larry Feldman wrote: View Post
If you are shorter than your uke and need to stretch them out - by using horizontal movement the hop gives you a way to get a longer movement than just a slide or step does in a single movement. To me it is all about the horizontal, and little to do with vertical.
It makes more sense that way. You can't stretch them much vertically and uke can always regain balance on the return.

David Y
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Old 05-02-2010, 02:20 AM   #18
Jon Marshall
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Re: The aiki hop

I did lots of hopping when I did ki aikido. I do less now. As mentioned, Tohei did it lots, and Shioda seemed to bounce around like a puppy pit bull - interesting that these 2 hoppers are generally considered to be at opposite ends of the aikido hard/soft spectrum.

My teacher used to do it to make his movements more dynamic, which was very effective - there's something unexpected about it, even when you know it's coming. I often do it when I feel in danger of being overrun, using it to put me ahead of the movement again and in a position to lead. It's pretty natural when you get used to it - if you want to move the leg that's weighted, just hop.

It feels like grounding upwards to me (heavening?) so that instead of being suddenly solid like a good tai chi person, you just move whilst maintaining your vertical structure. It's much easier, which is why I'm inclined to agree with Greg's suggestion that it's like "a coarse form of IS". Maybe it's not as good as true IS, but if it was good enough for O-Sensei...

Regards,
Jon
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