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Old 07-16-2010, 02:24 AM   #51
sakumeikan
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

Quote:
Larry Novick wrote: View Post
The answer is that if the technique is being done correctly, both physically and kinesthetically, which we do not separate, it will Not cause pain. It's not about Uke responding to what Nage is doing in that sense. The pain only comes from incorrect execution (in my dojo.) Proper Kuzushi occurs, without pain, and Uke, in essence, has no choice about it.

In that sense, the onus is indeed on Nage.

If someone really continues to consciously hurt people, which has never happened, they would not be allowed to practice at my dojo.

I just have to say again, there is no way that Uke would screech if Nage does a good waza correctly. Without "understanding that" there's no real way to explain this way of practicing/learning Aikido. Pain is not a factor in our Aikido waza. Now, this isn't to say that we don't all make mistakes. In that sense, in that situation, Uke is responsible for his own safety, and because the possibility for this is always present, Uke is therefore "always responsible" for his own safety.

I don't know how to answer this exactly, we have different experiences. Have you ever trained in a good, solid Ki Society dojo where this stuff was taught? Maybe so, I don't know. That being said, Sankyo may be the "most difficult" to "counter" with Ki, but by no means impossible. Nikkyo, Yonkyo, Kotegaeshi…. all "not too dificult." This was one of Tohei's points early on about Aikido practice - "Attack with Ki" and maintain "one's integrity" which is what he experienced from O Sensei, and "regular execution of technique" does not work. I'm paraphrasing. Read his early writings about his experiences with O Sensei, other instructors and deshi, and how he formulated his approach to Aikido. Some of the answers are there.

I don't teach any technique that goes against a joint. As far as I know most "Ki-oriented" dojo don't, but I really don't know anymore. They may very well still do chin stuff, as Tohei seemed to like that in his early days (you can see him taking Terry Dobson down that way), but again, I don't really know now. I don't do it for a few reasons…. partly because, again, with a certain "use of Ki" it isn't necessarily effective per se.

I'm always interested as well.

By the way, I am independant for a reason.
Dear Larry [hope you do not mind the informality here]
By the way I am also independent [at least from the mental aspect].While I am a member of a particular group I am not a person with a closed mind.I like to challenge and explore methods of Aikido
other than my own.I am a great admirer of Tohei Sensei and I truly feel that like most splits within the Aikido fraternity a lot was lost to
students of Aikido when Tohei Sensei left the the Aikikai.
Unfortunately there are no Ki based groups anywhere near me[as far as I am aware ].By the way have you posted any of your waza on You Tube? Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-16-2010, 05:46 AM   #52
SeiserL
 
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

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Larry Novick wrote: View Post
I do agree Lynn (how's it going by the way) but again, that's more of a general thing in life, not necessarily, for some, specifically applicable to Aikido technique....
Osu,

Things are well. No complaints. Thanks for asking. And you?

I have to also agree with you that the correct structural alignment, taking the center, and aimed at a kuzushi point allows control without pain (some discomfort). But to get to that level of finesse,one will probably experience some pain (not damage or injury).

Those who haven't experienced Sensei Novick, I would recommend it. I spent a morning training with him years ago and found that he can walk his talk.

IMHO, to get to the painless perhaps we need to accept and work with the pain rather than trying to avoid it. So let's walk through the pain towards the painless.

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 07-16-2010, 06:54 AM   #53
Buck
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

For those who subscribe to painless techniques what is the advantage? By doing so what does it represent? Is it a benchmark of skill? Why is it favored over techniques with pain? And how does painless techniques enhance and benefit the learning of Aikido?

Understanding why those who favor painless technique would enrich the discussion further.

Last edited by Buck : 07-16-2010 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:05 AM   #54
Buck
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

For me, I would suspect that painless techniques don't provide feedback that provides information to the uke about he technique. I am thinking pain is a means of communication. That communication helps in the learning processes where verbal explanations fail. In the learning process of Aikido we often find direct non verbal communication advantageous. Whole concepts and principles are learned almost instantly communicating non verbally. Pain teaches us limits and boundaries. It provides a framework for learning principles and concepts. We can feel what is happening to the body more accurately and more readily, transference of information, than described verbally. Pain can be an instrument that enhances the learning process, it tell us what is happening as a result of a waza is effective, or isn't.

Last edited by Buck : 07-16-2010 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:19 AM   #55
Buck
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

The last thing is, what are the thoughts on which is more effective in the learning process, painful waza's or painless wazas. That is those who learn under the painless waza philosophy is their performance greater or less than those who learn under painful wazas? What are the measurable results from each?


It is my hope that by asking these questions and providing my opinion we can explore other areas of this topic.
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:14 AM   #56
ruthmc
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
The last thing is, what are the thoughts on which is more effective in the learning process, painful waza's or painless wazas?
Personally I like to experience both I also love to train in different styles under different instructors, and have done a lot previously!

I think it's unavoidable when one first begins to learn about Aikido that pain will happen - my first dojo was a University club where there were a lot of new students compared with experienced students, the instructors were shodan and 1st kyu, and we were often pretty rough with each other due to inadequate supervsion by the instructors. I ended up with very painful wrists which forced me to take time off training, then I eventually switched to another dojo where there were more experienced students than newbies. After that my wrists got better, but I sustained a bad shoulder injury from an overenthusiastic 3rd kyu who pulled me down almost through the floor

I like to think that these days supervision is better, and that people are taking more care with their ukes, but injuries are still occurring

This is a more extreme example of pain (pain from injury) than say feeling the nerve point during the application of yonkyo. Feeling pain from an application which is not causing injury does teach you something (whether that is Aiki or not I can't say) - it teaches you that you can cope with pain, toughens you up, and in the case of nikyo and sankyo will actually strengthen your wrists if applied enough (not enough to damage!). I consider it part of my own training to allow myself to receive nikyo and sankyo to a level where it is strengthening my wrists. OTOH if tori whacks it on at a million miles per hour I will move quickly to avoid injury, as I can't use it to condition my wrists at speed! So from a body conditioning perspective I'd say yes, some pain (but not the injurious sort) is good

However, it is also very useful to learn the application without pain. A good example is when training with juniors (under 18s) who we do not apply wrist or arm locks to in order to protect their growing joints If you learn to apply by attacking their centre (rather than the joint) then that to me is Aiki, and is also useful against adults who do not respond to joint locks

I'm also thinking that perhaps we need to emphasise the duty of care tori has towards uke a bit more - newbies are often under the impression that they can do anything to you at any speed and you'll be able to 'take it'. This is simply not true - the posession of a black belt does not make you immune to injury from an overenthusiastically applied joint lock The same applies to everybody else as well. I like the idea that people are taught control primarily and how to cause pain later. I feel more pain and less control from our 5th kyu and under students, and less pain and more control from our senior students. Is this due to my ukemi or to their application?

Ruth
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:43 AM   #57
SeiserL
 
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

IMHO, I can easily produce pain and compliance without the application of the underlying principles of Aikido. I cannot produce a painless application without also applying the principles.

Its not better/worse (comparative and judgmental), its just what part of the Aikido waza I am paying attention to in my training.

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 07-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #58
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
For me, I would suspect that painless techniques don't provide feedback that provides information to the uke about he technique. I am thinking pain is a means of communication. That communication helps in the learning processes where verbal explanations fail. In the learning process of Aikido we often find direct non verbal communication advantageous. Whole concepts and principles are learned almost instantly communicating non verbally. Pain teaches us limits and boundaries. It provides a framework for learning principles and concepts. We can feel what is happening to the body more accurately and more readily, transference of information, than described verbally. Pain can be an instrument that enhances the learning process, it tell us what is happening as a result of a waza is effective, or isn't.
I agree completely about the difference between verbal and non-verbal cues. Physical sensation IN the body is the most direct route. Learning physical behavior is essentially a physical practice. Words can guide but when it comes to manifesting a behavior at will or on demand, it's the awareness of our body which allows for it, and that awareness is not verbal. Words are an abstraction of the thing itself we seek to be aware of...and perhaps that's why so many approaches include some form of the Silent Method.
That said, I disagree with the first sentence I quoted. Painless techniques provide feedback about the technique, it just takes more focus and attention to make sense of it. Pain gives a strong signal, which is fairly clear most of the time. The ideal of long-term serious aikido training, I think, is to learn how to read "weak" signals clearly.
...If I'm making much sense. I'm a little tired at the moment.
FWIW.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-16-2010 at 02:25 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:36 PM   #59
Janet Rosen
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Painless techniques provide feedback about the technique, it just takes more focus and attention to make sense of it. Pain gives a strong signal, which is fairly clear most of the time. The ideal of long-term serious aikido training, I think, is to learn how to read "weak" signals clearly.
...If I'm making much sense. I'm a little tired at the moment.
FWIW.
Makes a LOT of sense, Matthew. Learning to maintain connection as either nage or uke means having to feel the most subtle changes both in one's own self and in other person.

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:48 PM   #60
Mark Gibbons
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
For me, I would suspect that painless techniques don't provide feedback that provides information to the uke about he technique. I am thinking pain is a means of communication. That communication helps in the learning processes where verbal explanations fail. In the learning process of Aikido we often find direct non verbal communication advantageous. Whole concepts and principles are learned almost instantly communicating non verbally. Pain teaches us limits and boundaries. It provides a framework for learning principles and concepts. We can feel what is happening to the body more accurately and more readily, transference of information, than described verbally. Pain can be an instrument that enhances the learning process, it tell us what is happening as a result of a waza is effective, or isn't.
Techniques that deliberately inflict pain tell me I'm training with someone I'd rather have little to do with. I'm sort of an activist about being maltreated and rarely cooperate with being abused by anyone ranked over 5th kyu. I highly doubt that because a waza is painful it tells me anything about its effectiveness.

I'll agree with a paraphrase of your statement that we get better feedback from feeling many things than if those things are described verbally. But I believe actual pain doesn't have to be part of that process.

Mark
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:42 PM   #61
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I am still very much a novice, so you can take my words with a grain of salt if you like, but I think pain is an essential element of the martial arts. The unique spiritual benefits offered to us by the martial arts are rooted in the opportunities they give us to face our own fear, insecurity, and pain. If we discard these opportunities, we might as well be practicing yoga.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:03 PM   #62
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I....
I doubt we disagree very much. I don't expect aikido practice to be painless. Most of the people I know practice very hard and the wear and tear adds up. But generally its pretty obvious when someone is adding in an unneeded crank or slam or ignoring a tap out.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:20 PM   #63
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I am still very much a novice, so you can take my words with a grain of salt if you like, but I think pain is an essential element of the martial arts. The unique spiritual benefits offered to us by the martial arts are rooted in the opportunities they give us to face our own fear, insecurity, and pain. If we discard these opportunities, we might as well be practicing yoga.
Aikido techniques shouldn't cause pain... Aikido practice does cause pain. There is a reason it is called "practice", not "I got it right the first time".

MM
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:34 PM   #64
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

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Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.

I am still very much a novice, so you can take my words with a grain of salt if you like, but I think pain is an essential element of the martial arts. The unique spiritual benefits offered to us by the martial arts are rooted in the opportunities they give us to face our own fear, insecurity, and pain. If we discard these opportunities, we might as well be practicing yoga.
Well, after 28 years of teaching Aikido and experiencing Many different styles, from Ki Society to working with Seagal and just about everything in between, I continue to practice and teach painless Aikido - but that being said, I have always said to each his own.

Aikido is much more than "just" a martial art, with unique and deep qualities behind the experience of both practicing it and "receiving it." To me, facing one's own fear etc. aren't necessarily spiritual benefits, but personal ones. The spiritual benefits and experiences, to me, are far beyond that level.

And yes, I agree, Aikido -practice- often isn't painless - because people tend to do it wrong for a while....

Larry Novick
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ACE Aikido
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:32 PM   #65
raul rodrigo
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Re: Painless Techniques and Learning Aikido

Quote:
Matthew Story wrote: View Post
I'm going to disagree with a lot of people in this thread. A lot of aikido techniques, even when done properly, do inflict pain on the uke. That is not to say that goal of the nage ought to be to inflict pain, but I would think there is something wrong if I spent half-an-hour practicing sankyo and felt no pain at the end of it.
Matthew, I have a teacher, a seventh dan Japanese, who has a sankyo that will put you on the mat every single time, no matter how I resist. But it doesn't hurt, it just breaks your posture and you go down. If we did it for half an hour, the result would still be the same—Raul on the mat, no pain. There is the potential for pain—you know that if you do not move with his movement properly, then it will hurt. But it never actually does; he moves just a tiny sliver ahead of your capacity to follow the waza, so that the sharp edge of the technique is always present, even if it never actually cuts you.

One day, my friends and I hope to have a sankyo that's half as good as his.

Last edited by akiy : 07-20-2010 at 11:25 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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