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Old 10-01-2010, 07:01 PM   #26
dps
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
You're right David. It didn't work very well with my laptop.
LOL

David
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:29 PM   #27
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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You're right David. It didn't work very well with my laptop.
As Shibata sensei used to say to me "more conditioning".

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Old 10-02-2010, 02:34 AM   #28
Michael Hackett
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

Shibata Sensei was right of course. Tomorrow I will try folding my Nook, or maybe my old Palm Pilot and work up from there.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:25 PM   #29
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Maybe yea, or maybe he'd throw you on yours if he was that strong.
Maybe, but I haven't met anyone strong enough to throw me with strength in many years, but I'm sure it's possible, especially if the person can combine strength with skill. However it's been my experience that what makes aikido (and good judo) technique work isn't strength.

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But you have made my point, Ueshiba's strength and formidable grip were part of his legendary characteristics, and they are discouraged in most modern Aikido practice.
I suppose that's one way to look at it. Honestly, I'd be very curious to know what is historically meant by Ueshiba's "Power Grip" because I reckon that a formidable (painful) grip and muscular strength aren't really central to what makes aikido work. If it really was his acknowledged muscular strength, then I suspect that he wasn't as good at aikido as he could have been if many of his students were mainly trying to escape the pain instead of raise the level of both of their practice, even if he was the founder.

Although I had a very powerful grip when I was healthy, it certainly never helped me succeed at getting good at what interests me in aikido. I'm no stunning specimen, but I can do a lot with strength if I want to, and NONE of it works on people who understand how to move.

When someone grabs me enough to hurt, if I resist and struggle, it hurts worse, when I relax and maintain my own structural integrity and move, the harder they grab, these more shit they get into. I now have painful, arthritic hands and I can hold many people I've laid hands on so that they cannot make me let go.. and it isn't muscular strength at all.

So to sum up, I'm not very impressed with muscular strength.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:49 PM   #30
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Michael Neal wrote: View Post
Maybe yea, or maybe he'd throw you on yours if he was that strong. But you have made my point, Ueshiba's strength and formidable grip were part of his legendary characteristics, and they are discouraged in most modern Aikido practice.
Why would ANYONE complain about being grabbed too hard. I just had this mental image of someone in hakama saying; "Here grab my wrist. Ouch! Stop grabbing my wrist! Ok...grab my wrist, but not so hard so I can do the technique!"

Last edited by Stormcrow34 : 10-02-2010 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:04 AM   #31
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I suppose that's one way to look at it. Honestly, I'd be very curious to know what is historically meant by Ueshiba's "Power Grip" because I reckon that a formidable (painful) grip and muscular strength aren't really central to what makes aikido work. If it really was his acknowledged muscular strength, then I suspect that he wasn't as good at aikido as he could have been if many of his students were mainly trying to escape the pain instead of raise the level of both of their practice, even if he was the founder.

So to sum up, I'm not very impressed with muscular strength.

Best,
I think if anyone could tell if it was muscular grip, it would have been Mochizuki. Remember, he studied under both Kano and Mifune in judo. He studied judo before it was a sport. I'm sure he trained with all manner of men, both physically strong and weak. He also trained karate with Funakoshi. I'm sure he trained with some very physically strong men. This is the man who, at times, stopped Ueshiba in his techniques (except sumo).

Yet, among everyone he trained with, he thinks it worth mentioning that Ueshiba could break your wrist with his grip.

Personally, I don't think it was muscular strength at all. Whatever it was, none of his students seem to have developed it -- even Mochizuki, if we take him for his word.

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Michael Crowell wrote: View Post
Why would ANYONE complain about being grabbed too hard. I just had this mental image of someone in hakama saying; "Here grab my wrist. Ouch! Stop grabbing my wrist! Ok...grab my wrist, but not so hard so I can do the technique!"
Perhaps complain isn't the right word. I'm sure the students of Ueshiba didn't "complain". One, it wouldn't have done any good, two they would have never been called to uke for Ueshiba, and three they probably would have been thrown out. Instead, they all talked about how powerful Ueshiba's grip was. So powerful, it left bruises and some thought he could break the wrist in that grip. So powerful, they'd rather not be grabbed by Ueshiba.

Can anyone imagine power on that scale that you throw yourself out of that kind of grip?
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:40 AM   #32
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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I think if anyone could tell if it was muscular grip, it would have been Mochizuki. Remember, he studied under both Kano and Mifune in judo. He studied judo before it was a sport. I'm sure he trained with all manner of men, both physically strong and weak. He also trained karate with Funakoshi. I'm sure he trained with some very physically strong men. This is the man who, at times, stopped Ueshiba in his techniques (except sumo).

Yet, among everyone he trained with, he thinks it worth mentioning that Ueshiba could break your wrist with his grip.

Personally, I don't think it was muscular strength at all. Whatever it was, none of his students seem to have developed it -- even Mochizuki, if we take him for his word.
I agree with you. Mochizuki Sensei started training in Kendo at the age of five at his grandfathers dojo and trained in weapons his whole life and is said to have hands like a vise. I'm pretty sure he was a good judge of grip strength. I've heard these same stories about Ueshiba from my sensei who trained at the Yoseikan, and only once has there been a hint that it was attributed to normal muscular strength.

I should have been more clear. I was not referring to Ueshiba's students, I was referring to some modern day aikido students who seem to complain when anything is difficult.

Wasn't Ueshiba a lotus farmer?
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Old 10-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #33
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Michael Crowell wrote: View Post
Why would ANYONE complain about being grabbed too hard. I just had this mental image of someone in hakama saying; "Here grab my wrist. Ouch! Stop grabbing my wrist! Ok...grab my wrist, but not so hard so I can do the technique!"
Frankly, speaking from real experience, with few exceptions, anyone grabbing that hard is easier to throw, not more difficult. Generally, if I don't know them and they're not actually bruising me, I don't even mention it until they either get tired or finally ask me about what's going on. If they're actually bruising me, yeah, I going to ask them to stop.

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Can anyone imagine power on that scale that you throw yourself out of that kind of grip?
Sure, it doesn't take much imagination, but again, I'm not impressed by or interested in power that makes your partner throw themselves. I'm much more interested in the kind of power that causes your partner to fall while actively trying not to and without understanding exactly how it happened.

As Mr. Neal said, it's all in what you're looking for, isn't it?

You state earlier:
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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
If not placement, position, physical strength, then what?
Really, there's no way of knowing what kind of power Ueshiba was generating and using in his grip. You have no idea of Mochizuki's intent in mentioning that grip. How do you know it wasn't simply physical strength other than projections of your own hopes and desires for something more?

You're already solidly on your own path to getting your own results. I doubt you'll get much that's very useful by parsing third (or more) hand accounts of Ueshiba's abilities and looking for hidden meanings.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:03 PM   #34
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

Quote:
Michael Crowell wrote:
Why would ANYONE complain about being grabbed too hard. I just had this mental image of someone in hakama saying; "Here grab my wrist. Ouch! Stop grabbing my wrist! Ok...grab my wrist, but not so hard so I can do the technique!"

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Frankly, speaking from real experience, with few exceptions, anyone grabbing that hard is easier to throw, not more difficult....
It's not his attacking grip in question, Tarik. It's like when you put your hand on his shoulder from the rear and as he leads you off balance with his body, he reaches across his chestwith his opposite hand and grips your attacking hand and twists it. Or when you grab his extended wrist and while stepping outside your stance and turning, he reaches across with his other hand to apply kote gaeshi.

The powerful grip only came if his movement weren't already leading you off balance enough for your own movement to throw you and he had to actually grab you for a technique. A lot of guys would take the fall rather than let it go far enough for him to actually grab them.

Is what they're saying.

I do remember Mochizuki Sensei's saying that O Sensei could crush a section of bamboo with his bare grip, which Mochizuki Sensei was never able to do. Of course, he grew up experiencing O Sensei's grip and that may have been why, rather than teaching people how to lead a grip, he first taught how to cleanly escape a grip. His students knew what it felt like to be gripped very hard and they all learned how to get the heck out of that first.

So we always did a lot of powerful grabbing and escaping from established powerful grabs. So most of us developed pretty strong grips, but I figured if Mochizuki Sensei couldn't match O Sensei's grip, I could forget about it. I have a pretty good grip, but I can't crush a section of bamboo.

Best to all.

David

Last edited by David Orange : 10-03-2010 at 08:10 PM.

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Old 10-04-2010, 08:00 AM   #35
Michael Neal
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Maybe, but I haven't met anyone strong enough to throw me with strength in many years, but I'm sure it's possible, especially if the person can combine strength with skill. However it's been my experience that what makes aikido (and good judo) technique work isn't strength.

I suppose that's one way to look at it. Honestly, I'd be very curious to know what is historically meant by Ueshiba's "Power Grip" because I reckon that a formidable (painful) grip and muscular strength aren't really central to what makes aikido work. If it really was his acknowledged muscular strength, then I suspect that he wasn't as good at aikido as he could have been if many of his students were mainly trying to escape the pain instead of raise the level of both of their practice, even if he was the founder.

Although I had a very powerful grip when I was healthy, it certainly never helped me succeed at getting good at what interests me in aikido. I'm no stunning specimen, but I can do a lot with strength if I want to, and NONE of it works on people who understand how to move.

When someone grabs me enough to hurt, if I resist and struggle, it hurts worse, when I relax and maintain my own structural integrity and move, the harder they grab, these more shit they get into. I now have painful, arthritic hands and I can hold many people I've laid hands on so that they cannot make me let go.. and it isn't muscular strength at all.

So to sum up, I'm not very impressed with muscular strength.

Best,
With pure strength and no technique it is hard to throw anyone except those much smaller so I agree there. However I think strength is vital in combination with technique. I have rarely been thrown by someone much weaker than myself other than through cooperative practice, I am speaking more of Judo since almost all Aikido is cooperative practice.
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:12 AM   #36
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

Well, it's all "muscular" strength - but, I think one would make a mistake to assume that Ueshiba's "power grip" was based on his merely clamping down as hard as he could, clenching all his muscles together in a constipated spasm. Consider this grip: Slim Farnam started out in a granite quarry. Holds the world record for the hammer curl. To be sure, when working at peak weights, Farnam had to effectively use ever muscle at peak integration and power. Consider, however, him grabbing you with a relaxed grip - still able to respond to your movements, still able to react, lead, etc. Say, the power necessary to hammer curl a 16 lb sledge (beyond all but a small fraction of human beings, but far below his record of 28 lb in each hand).

The idea that a person who is very powerful and who expresses that physical power cannot, at the same time, use a coordinated body, internal skills, etc., is, I think, a mistake.

Then again, one wonders about the phrase, "he hurt him because he didn't know his own strength." Does one "accidentally" snap another person's arm with one's grip? Did Osensei get "lost in the moment" when grabbing his aite?

When I was a mere child, I discovered Superman, (who could stop a speeding locomotive!) at the same time my parents explained the sex act. Which caused me, at the age of six, to worry a lot about Lois Lane.
Best

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Old 10-04-2010, 09:03 AM   #37
Michael Hackett
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

Ellis, all these years I thought I was a perv because I had that same question in my mind. Wait, just because you did too doesn't excuse me does it? LOL!

Michael
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:28 AM   #38
Michael Neal
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

Yes at least from my own limited experience I can say that using strength at the right moment if even for a split second is vital for most techniques to work. If you are applying superhuman strength for this microsecond then it will just add to the effectiveness. There is a difference from this and just muscling through technique.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:47 AM   #39
Keith Larman
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

WRT grip, and having a pretty strong one available to me when I need it... I find it is rarely all that useful apart from circus tricks. The reality is that (in my practice at least) grabbing is more about controlling something, not crushing. So if I grab a wrist I'm trying to control the hand/wrist/arm or even more *through* the grab. The grab is the connection point of a much larger thing and not the end point.

I do find that having a powerful grasp means I can inflict pain if I want to, but that's generally not an issue as there are a lot of ways to do that. And given we're on an aikido forum I would think the larger issue would be creating a sort of connection that gives you some degree of control and "input" as to what's going on in uke's structure. And personally I find that vastly easier to do with a grab that is soft but connected. At that point I can feel what's happening and I can clamp down if need be or ideally blend and work with what I'm feeling.

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Old 10-04-2010, 11:16 AM   #40
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

So you are saying Ueshiba was not using real Aikido when he put people in vice like grip?

He must have had a reason for it.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 10-04-2010 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 11:40 AM   #41
Keith Larman
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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So you are saying Ueshiba was not using real Aikido
Nope. I was talking about my experiences, nothing more, nothing less.

I will note that Ueshiba also allegedly broke an uke's arm in anger. That's would be some "real aikido" I'm just not interested in.

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Old 10-04-2010, 11:50 AM   #42
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

well I will agree with that, I am not interested in the arm breaking, at least during training. It would be good to have that capability for defense

I also remember a story that could be true or false, that an uke did not comply to one of his techniques so he gave him an uppercut and knocked him out? Although I can see the point he was trying to make, this is why you take the ukemi because otherwise you would have been in danger.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 10-04-2010 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:50 PM   #43
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Well, it's all "muscular" strength - but, I think one would make a mistake to assume that Ueshiba's "power grip" was based on his merely clamping down as hard as he could, clenching all his muscles together in a constipated spasm.

The idea that a person who is very powerful and who expresses that physical power cannot, at the same time, use a coordinated body, internal skills, etc., is, I think, a mistake.
Agreed.. and yet the discussion certainly appeared to be heading down that path. A connected, coordinated grip can certainly be described as powerful, but that wasn't the description that appeared to be offered and discussed by most of the people that I replied to.

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Then again, one wonders about the phrase, "he hurt him because he didn't know his own strength." Does one "accidentally" snap another person's arm with one's grip? Did Osensei get "lost in the moment" when grabbing his aite?
I think immense strength has it's very useful place, but I think it can also get in the way of learning subtler applications of force, especially when that strength can be used in an overwhelming manner. I'm not sure that is wrong, per se, but I surely don't want my everyday practice to be about application of overwhelming strength.

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
When I was a mere child, I discovered Superman, (who could stop a speeding locomotive!) at the same time my parents explained the sex act. Which caused me, at the age of six, to worry a lot about Lois Lane.
You and Harlan Ellison. This topic was frequent entertainment amongst my friends and I.

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Michael Neal wrote: View Post
With pure strength and no technique it is hard to throw anyone except those much smaller so I agree there. However I think strength is vital in combination with technique. I have rarely been thrown by someone much weaker than myself other than through cooperative practice, I am speaking more of Judo since almost all Aikido is cooperative practice.
Yes, Michael, I agree that strength has it's place, but overwhelming application of strength so that people are afraid to let you grab them doesn't strike me as very conducive to learning for either party.

I think competitive judo would be much more interesting if, instead of all the muscling I see, the competitors learned how to work with their partners efforts to throw them. It happens sometimes, certainly, but the overwhelming aspect of that practice that I've seen is more about winning at all costs rather than an application of of the principles of judo. It's more like using the same techniques with an application of speed and strength. It would be great if speed and strength were utilized in conjunction with the principles, and competitive judo would look a lot different than it does today.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
It's not his attacking grip in question, Tarik.
Perhaps we did not read the same posts, because it was his powerful grip that the entire thread is named after and descriptions of how it might injure people.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
The powerful grip only came if his movement weren't already leading you off balance enough for your own movement to throw you and he had to actually grab you for a technique. A lot of guys would take the fall rather than let it go far enough for him to actually grab them.

Is what they're saying.
Yes, I read that clearly from their posts. I guess that my comment simply is.. if you always avoid the grab, you'll never have much opportunity to learn how to deal with the grab when it does get you. Of course, if the grab is so overwhelming as to cause injury, then neither party really gets to learn and play with what can be done in that space.

Thanks all, for an intriguing conversation.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

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Old 10-04-2010, 03:00 PM   #44
Michael Neal
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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Yes, Michael, I agree that strength has it's place, but overwhelming application of strength so that people are afraid to let you grab them doesn't strike me as very conducive to learning for either party.

I think competitive judo would be much more interesting if, instead of all the muscling I see, the competitors learned how to work with their partners efforts to throw them. It happens sometimes, certainly, but the overwhelming aspect of that practice that I've seen is more about winning at all costs rather than an application of of the principles of judo. It's more like using the same techniques with an application of speed and strength. It would be great if speed and strength were utilized in conjunction with the principles, and competitive judo would look a lot different than it does today.
I agree, and doing Judo with only strength and speed is very exhausting. I find that not having the endurance I used to is very helpful since it is forcing me to rely more on technique and fight less.

It also confuses the hell out of people when they are hunched over ready for combat and I calmly walk towards them and take grips, it unnerves some people actually and they become apprehensive.

In competition when I do throw I use all the power I can generate and I usually get solid ippons rather than the light rolly polly throws you see so much by people gaming the match for points. it is about using strength at the right moment.

I have to keep reminding myself of the phrase Kano used "Be like an empty jacket"

Last edited by Michael Neal : 10-04-2010 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:48 PM   #45
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

Hi Mark,This's likely out in left-field; but as per how the body can change and adapt..and how it links with the fascia stuff; ; and a link into 'the grip strength' you bring up..check out this old link that FL posted a long while ago: here<. maybe its interesting.. this too...(maybe not though!) o.O
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #46
David Orange
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

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David Orange wrote:
It's not his attacking grip in question, Tarik.

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
Perhaps we did not read the same posts, because it was his powerful grip that the entire thread is named after and descriptions of how it might injure people.
No, I'm saying, the grip in question is not where he comes to grab you, but where you are trying to grab him or strike him in some way. The grab in question is what he did to any body part you thrust toward him.

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Tarik Ghbeish wrote: View Post
I guess that my comment simply is.. if you always avoid the grab, you'll never have much opportunity to learn how to deal with the grab when it does get you. Of course, if the grab is so overwhelming as to cause injury, then neither party really gets to learn and play with what can be done in that space.
Well, all the old greats learned a lot under those conditions and they all look back on that time with great nostalgia. I remember O Sensei is quoted somewhere as telling a prospective student, "Aikido is very tough. Can you take it?"

It's a passed generation, I'm afraid.

Best to you.

David

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Old 10-10-2010, 06:56 PM   #47
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Power Grip

There's another account of Ueshiba's powerful grip by Shirata Rinjiro Sensei in 'Aikido: The Way of Harmony', pag 16.
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