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  #26  
Old 10-13-2010, 12:45 PM
Stefan Stenudd
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What's With All the Pushing?

Honestly, there's a lot of pushing going on in aikido. Tori enters into a superior position, where uke has very little balance left, and then makes a push to complete the pinning or throwing technique. Sometimes it's even quite a rude push, as if getting rid of unwanted visitors and making sure...
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Last edited by akiy : 10-13-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:30 AM   #25
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: What's With All the Pushing?

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
More than anything, in my opinion, the pushing stuff one is seeing in the latest "big" shihan out of Japan seems to be related to the fact that it is more often than not staying clear of training environments that include 250 lbs aikidoka/uke.
Certainly, that's a factor, to say the least. On the other hand, the last few decades there have been many big westerners practicing at Hombu Dojo, so they have their share of big uke to deal with.

So, when it still gets to pushing and pulling, I believe it has a lot to do with the traditional authoritarian system prevailing at Hombu. A teacher is not to be questioned, his (yes, unfortunately it's still an exclusively male thing there) techniques not to be tested. So, they see the aikido world from inside an ivory tower, developing their techniques accordingly.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 11-04-2010, 08:35 AM   #26
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: What's With All the Pushing?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Shoji Nishio and his senior Yudansha were not big....He was rather modest in stature even for a Japanese person. He handled me and everything I could throw at him with ease and I am 6'2" 250.
That was my experience too, with Nishio shihan. It goes for most of the Osensei students I practiced for. Tamura shihan, just to name one, was doing the same, in no need of any pushing or pulling. It is sad that they are passing away. What to do now?
We have to make it a collective quest to develop our own aikido towards that level. It takes some time...

Stefan Stenudd
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:57 AM   #27
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: What's With All the Pushing?

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
More than anything, in my opinion, the pushing stuff one is seeing in the latest "big" shihan out of Japan seems to be related to the fact that it is more often than not staying clear of training environments that include 250 lbs aikidoka/uke.
Hi David,
It's not just the size issue... they simply don't train with anyone who reverses them. Once you introduce kaeshiwaza into the mix, the need to maintain ones vertical becomes central. Just a little over extension and the partner has you.

All proper "connection" is a balance between the outflow and the inflow. "Pushing" would, by definition, be when there is an instant of outflow only. That's why I tell my students that there is no "pushing" as they understand the term. If the partner / opponent is well trained, the instant you "push" he can redirect that energy and take your center.

If the nage already has kazushi, then the reversal will have to be in the form of sutemi waza because once you are off balance that way, you can of course be pushed over with only moderate effort. But the guy overextending is open the moment he leaves his vertical. I agree with Bill H in that sword work constantly reminds yo of how you should be using you body.

I liked your clips, by the way...
- George

George S. Ledyard
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Old 11-04-2010, 02:51 PM   #28
senshincenter
 
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Re: What's With All the Pushing?

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
There's some truth to that David but again as Stefan pointed out Shoji Nishio and his senior Yudansha were not big....He was rather modest in stature even for a Japanese person. He handled me and everything I could throw at him with ease and I am 6'2" 250. So I had to be at least 70 or 80 pounds heavier.

When I share the mat with anyone big or small I show them how to "cut" and "lead" Uke never "push" just the way my Sensei does it.

I do agree that pushing in most cases is the lazy Nage's way to make a technique look "good/real".

William Hazen
Yes, I can't think of one example I've ever seen where Nishio Sensei looked similar to what we see in the other video or even where what he was doing might have been considered a historical source for what we are seeing in the other video. Yes, I totally agree with you - with Nishio Sensei, we are looking at something else.

To be more clear, and not referring to the skill set of the practitioner at all, I do believe that Aikido architectures are constructed to handle folks bigger than nage. My comment about lighter/thinner attacker training environments regards ONLY what I'm referring to as a "current trend" to push. When you look at that current trend to push structurally, again not referring to the skill set of the practitioner, it's obvious that it is assuming that nage's mass is either greater or equal to that of uke's - regardless of how much uke's center was already taken. If one would follow my logic out, you'd find that, yes, I do not see that pushing as Aikido.

If folks want to push, they should push that trend and its associated champions out of that part of their imagination that they use to inspire and motivate themselves - i.e. they should find new models, new examples (like a Nishio Sensei, etc.). They should guide their training by different stars. Folks should be critical of the pushing, and not so fast to defend it or it's champions. That's my take on things.

Last edited by senshincenter : 11-04-2010 at 02:54 PM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 11-04-2010, 03:35 PM   #29
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Re: What's With All the Pushing?

Yes, I would also agree with Stefan and George: The training context that makes a taboo at exposing the structural inferiority of said pushing is definitely playing a role here in its continuing acceptance.

All kinds of things, however, can still show to the keen eye that the "emperor is not wearing any clothes" outside of the taboo. These things all being related to size is why I chose to focus on size, and and because I don't see that aforementioned taboo leaving Japan any time soon. Let's face it, Hombu Dojo has seduced too many folks into buying into their cultural capital. There are too many investors not ready to begin a new economy for fear of losing all the capital they have amassed or are trying to amass.

For my point, for example, if you were to train in an environment where the majority of the time you are the smallest person on the mat by 50-100 lbs, regardless of the taboo not to challenge/expose, and you as nage pushed like we are seeing, you would get those "awkward" moments when the new 6'4", 280 lbs, uncoordinated, and totally stiff newbie, would cause such a pushing nage to be the one that goes flying backwards - even if it's just a little. This would all happen "innocently," and thus that uke would not be open to the charge of "you're just being a jerk."

The more of these behemoths you face, the more and more it would happen. All occurrences remaining innocent. You have a class filled with them, and you got it happening several times a class! The majority of your lecture portions of class then take the shape of, "You are too stiff! You need to blend with Nage! You need to let your balance go. Nage and Uke are supposed to work together. Listen, this is where you fall down." Yikes! Talk about regression and de-evolution.

When you combine that with the fact that a lot of these gentle giants are there on the mat NOT to practice a cultural art but rather to learn how to throw folks out of bars when they need to be thrown out or how to place a pair of cuffs on folks that are drunk and resisting or that are trying to take their duty weapon from them, well... Regardless of the taboo, which again has no chance of diminishing in Japan until an overall political and social revolution occurs (yeah right!), were one to pile up enough of these awkward innocent moments, nage with integrity would start looking for new architectures, and students of nage's that wouldn't start looking for new architectures would start looking for new teachers as a result of their own integrity.

Please note, I'm not at all saying that bigger folks can't learn Aikido. They can, and as a smaller person, I have to say I love watching good big nage practice good Aikido. It's absolutely beautiful to me! But as they will tell you themselves, it sure takes a lot of discipline and self-integrity for them to relearn how to use their body the Aikido way. They are to be totally admired in that accomplishment.

I'm referring solely to the subtle pressures that given training environments apply to the art as it shapes a given expression of the art. In that sense, I think seeing a smaller nage throw and/or NEVER bounce off of a bigger uke, or a bigger nage throw a smaller nage without utilizing their size in gross and/or mundane ways, is where folks should be looking toward regarding what they choose to emulate.

David M. Valadez
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Old 11-20-2010, 10:04 PM   #30
kewms
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Re: What's With All the Pushing?

Quote:
David Valadez wrote: View Post
For my point, for example, if you were to train in an environment where the majority of the time you are the smallest person on the mat by 50-100 lbs, regardless of the taboo not to challenge/expose, and you as nage pushed like we are seeing, you would get those "awkward" moments when the new 6'4", 280 lbs, uncoordinated, and totally stiff newbie, would cause such a pushing nage to be the one that goes flying backwards - even if it's just a little. This would all happen "innocently," and thus that uke would not be open to the charge of "you're just being a jerk."
This is a common experience for women, and I see it as a tremendous learning advantage. It's much easier to believe that "muscle doesn't work" when you don't have much of it, much more difficult when you're big and strong enough to make it work much of the time.

Katherine
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