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Old 12-13-2010, 11:36 PM   #351
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

So I am visiting another dojo. As a guest I am on my best behavior. I got paired with this person and I grabbed his wrist in the "I am visiting someone else's dojo" manner, certainly not how I would normally have grabbed someone if I was training seriously. This person was completely unable to do tenkan... couldn't move at all, in fact.

The person in question then looked at and said "You are very resistant... your energy body is not very sensitive..."

Now, at that time, my energy body wasn't very sensitive... but the person in question had no idea how to do a tenkan when grabbed either. When it's the other guy's fault you can't do your technique, things have gotten seriously mucked up.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:01 AM   #352
Keith Larman
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Guy comes to our main dojo. Yudansha rank and asks if he can train with us and join in with our instructors classes. He is given permission.

My first time paired with the guy and we're supposed to go practice a simple munetsuki kotegaeshi. I outrank the fella so he strikes first. I sidestep and simply get my hands up because, well, the dude is dancing in with the weirdest striking floating whatever I'd ever seen. He leaves his arm outstretched and floats on by turning and starting to get into a fall. I (rather uncharacteristically) ask "what the hell was that?". He tells me he is giving me a good aiki attack.

What? He's supposed to bloody well try to hit me and my job is to blend with him.

Sheesh.

Sometimes you might do a blending exercise knowing full well it isn't something that would be relevant to a "real" confrontation. But munetsuki kotegaeshi? Hit me, this isn't dance class!

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Old 12-14-2010, 08:38 AM   #353
tlk52
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

[QUOTE=Matthew Gano;
Is your Aikido dying? I don't get this notion that good practice at one school is lessened by poor practice at another. Maybe there's more bad Aikido (never mind the broad differences in personal goals which might be used to define "good practice"), but the "good" Aikido is probably still out there. "

I was thinking about this quote from Mr. Gano.

maybe I live in a bubble around the NY Aikikai world because i hear about this kind of extreme aikibunny" Aikido (ribbons/music/ridicules attacks, uke's throwing themselves etc...) but I don't see it at the dojo's that I'm familiar with (NY Aikikai, Aikido of Park slope, etc...)

perhaps it's becoming like the Tai Chi world, where most of the people studying don't even know that it's a martial art and are being taught by generations of teachers who didn't study as a martial art. But, never the less, within this much larger group there are plenty of individuals and schools who are indeed pursuing it as a martial art while the others do it for health, or relaxation or whatever.

maybe this is inevitable... It does seem to me that people tend to remake Aikido in their own image ie: what they're comfortable with is "good" and what they're uncomfortable with "is not aikido"
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:46 AM   #354
tlk52
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Keith Larmen wrote
"He leaves his arm outstretched and floats on by turning and starting to get into a fall. I (rather uncharacteristically) ask "what the hell was that?". He tells me he is giving me a good aiki attack. "

did this evolve from Tohei's "Taigi" exercises? (where, as I understand it, the "attacks" are done like that)

Last edited by tlk52 : 12-14-2010 at 08:48 AM. Reason: trying to be more clear
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:31 AM   #355
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So I am visiting another dojo. As a guest I am on my best behavior. I got paired with this person and I grabbed his wrist in the "I am visiting someone else's dojo" manner, certainly not how I would normally have grabbed someone if I was training seriously. This person was completely unable to do tenkan... couldn't move at all, in fact.

The person in question then looked at and said "You are very resistant... your energy body is not very sensitive..."

Now, at that time, my energy body wasn't very sensitive... but the person in question had no idea how to do a tenkan when grabbed either. When it's the other guy's fault you can't do your technique, things have gotten seriously mucked up.
This reminds me of an experience I had last spring at a seminar. I'm just 5th kyu and still working out how to be when visiting a different dojo. So trying to be very polite I thought I recalled working with a particular yundasha the night before and that she had an injured wrist. Not wanting to cause further injury I grabbed her more lightly than is my norm. Still trying to give a committed attack but without the strong grip I usually have. So we were doing the excercise that sensei had given us and it seemed to be going well.

Anyway after a moment, this person decides to offer some advice and says to me, " you need to work on your strength. It's ok I used to have the same problem, you will get there. Just be aware that you need to work on it."

Now I have never had anyone say such a thing to me before. I'm not exactly a weak person as I trim horses hooves for part of my living and I never get accused of giving it away. I had to stifle a laugh to stay polite, so I asked her, " do you mean physical strength as in you would like a stronger grip?" She says yes. So I'm like ok you asked for it. Grabbed her with my usual style and got very heavy. She got a very strange look on her face when she suddenly could not move me.

Last edited by Shadowfax : 12-14-2010 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:28 AM   #356
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
This reminds me of an experience I had last spring at a seminar. I'm just 5th kyu and still working out how to be when visiting a different dojo. So trying to be very polite I thought I recalled working with a particular yundasha the night before and that she had an injured wrist. Not wanting to cause further injury I grabbed her more lightly than is my norm. Still trying to give a committed attack but without the strong grip I usually have. So we were doing the excercise that sensei had given us and it seemed to be going well.

Anyway after a moment, this person decides to offer some advice and says to me, " you need to work on your strength. It's ok I used to have the same problem, you will get there. Just be aware that you need to work on it."

Now I have never had anyone say such a thing to me before. I'm not exactly a weak person as I trim horses hooves for part of my living and I never get accused of giving it away. I had to stifle a laugh to stay polite, so I asked her, " do you mean physical strength as in you would like a stronger grip?" She says yes. So I'm like ok you asked for it. Grabbed her with my usual style and got very heavy. She got a very strange look on her face when she suddenly could not move me.
Find another playmate or change your dojo.......
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:41 PM   #357
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Find another playmate or change your dojo.......
Actually, I would say that depends on two things. One would be the reaction of the person who just got shut down. Did she realize that a) she had just asked for it and b) it represented an opportunity for growth? Or did she simply walk away pissed off that some newbie had disrespected her.

The other would be the attitude of the teacher at the dojo. These kind of interactions happen all the time. If the training properly, when a technique fails to work, the proper response is "thank you". As long as no one is doing anything that is martially stupid like hunkering down and doing that constipated, you can't move me ridiculousness, I don't ever want to see seniors getting pissed off at juniors because their stuff didn't work nor do I expect to see my seniors adjusting the ukemi of the juniors so that their own technique starts to work, which is, I am afraid, quite common.

A little damage to the ego in training is a fine thing. I don't think the poster should necessarily look for a new dojo just because of some interaction which he or she felt was insulting on some level. I definitely think that the senior in this case should be working on maintaining his or her equilibrium and fixing whatever technical issues led to getting shut down.

These kinds of interactions are inevitable in a dojo because practice is done between human beings. In a lot of the dojos I have seen, the ones that think they are doing serious martial training, this kind of interaction would have led to the senior trying to hurt the junior in order to demonstrate his superiority. That's unacceptable and is a reason to leave the dojo if that type of behavior was tolerated or modeled by the teacher.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:20 PM   #358
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In Defense of the Aiki Bunny

I feel moved to put in some defense of the "aiki bunny". Since this thread so far simply represents "bunny bashing" I will step in and point out some things.

First of all, the folks who we might call "aiki bunnies" are quite often very serious about attempting to make Aikido something more than bashing, smashing, and torquing another human being to the ground. As misguided as they seem to be much of the time, I think they are often much closer in intention to what the Founder wished his art to be then the hard ass Budo boys.

Despite the fact that these folks are often technically deficient, they are often far more thoughtful about what they are doing than the technicians. O-Sensei specifically warned against focusing too much on technique. The technique was always intended to be a means to another end that had nothing whatever to do with throwing people or even fighting at all.

My experience with the "martial boys" in general is that they are often quite unthoughtful about what they do. Many are almost totally unreflective about the art. This is the reason one has to look far and wide for a real teacher. To my mind, the teacher I would be looking for would be one who was technically very advanced but would also be able to speak to my heart about what we are doing and why we do it.

We make fun of the "aiki bunnies". But very often they are far better adjusted as people, more fun to be around, less aggressive, precisely the kind of folks we'd like for neighbors. On the other hand, many of the true hard core practitioners I know are totally fearful in their personal interactions, insecure as people, often somewhat isolated, have terrible interpersonal skills, and are trying to make up for the fact that they are terrified all the time by becoming more and more powerful.

I train with these guys and find their work is totally misguided. The physical and mental tension in what they do virtually destroys any real ability to do technique with real "aiki". It's all just muscle coupled with some speedy and fluid movement. You can tell when that is is what is going on because it's only the really big strong guys who can do it... and then, only on folks weaker than themselves. Women can't really do this kind of Aikido. Men of smaller stature cannot. Older folks can't do it. It's an Aikido that revolves around very strong, young men.

Being a large man myself, I find it amusing to have some person half my size trying to hurl me or crank a lock on me. But they are only imitating their teacher, who might actually be strong and mean enough to do it on me. Sure there are folks who are quite capable of cranking the shit out of me, especially when I am offering myself up to them as uke. But that doesn't make it good Aikido. Good Aikido can be done by on old man or a small woman because it relies on "aiki".

Most of what I see billing itself as "martially effective" Aikido is just Aikido with a lot of physical power. It's nothing more than jiu jutsu with more movement than other systems. Daito Ryu has three levels. Jiu Jutsu, aiki no jutsu, and aiki. What passes for martial Aikido, the stuff the hard boys are so proud of, is nothing more than entry level Daito Ryu. It won't work for anyone not able to generate vast amounts of physicality.

I know that there are various interpretations about what O-Sensei meant when he stated that "no one was doing his Aikido". Personally, I am convinced it had to do with two things... one was the lack of aiki in technique and the other was the disconnection between technique and the spiritual that he observed.

The three teachers who seemed to most completely reflect O-Sensei's take on Aikido were Sunadomari Sensei (an Omotokyo follower), Hikitsuchi Sensei out at Shingu, and Abe Sensei. The Aikido of each of these men is a mix of deep technical understanding with a very sophisticated spiritual and philosophical underpinning.

So, unless ones Aikido is at the point at which it represents that kind of balance, I suspect it misses the mark by just as much as the wishful thinking Aikido being done by the so-called "aiki bunnies".

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 12-14-2010 at 01:29 PM.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #359
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Actually, I would say that depends on two things. One would be the reaction of the person who just got shut down. Did she realize that a) she had just asked for it and b) it represented an opportunity for growth? Or did she simply walk away pissed off that some newbie had disrespected her.

The other would be the attitude of the teacher at the dojo. These kind of interactions happen all the time. If the training properly, when a technique fails to work, the proper response is "thank you". As long as no one is doing anything that is martially stupid like hunkering down and doing that constipated, you can't move me ridiculousness, I don't ever want to see seniors getting pissed off at juniors because their stuff didn't work nor do I expect to see my seniors adjusting the ukemi of the juniors so that their own technique starts to work, which is, I am afraid, quite common.

A little damage to the ego in training is a fine thing. I don't think the poster should necessarily look for a new dojo just because of some interaction which he or she felt was insulting on some level. I definitely think that the senior in this case should be working on maintaining his or her equilibrium and fixing whatever technical issues led to getting shut down.

These kinds of interactions are inevitable in a dojo because practice is done between human beings. In a lot of the dojos I have seen, the ones that think they are doing serious martial training, this kind of interaction would have led to the senior trying to hurt the junior in order to demonstrate his superiority. That's unacceptable and is a reason to leave the dojo if that type of behavior was tolerated or modeled by the teacher.
Hello George,
Yes granted that could be, but what she could have done is accepted that she also had limits, offered the other wrist, looked at her own shortcomings before unwittingly belittling a low kyu grade, who is trying to conform to her wishes..... It's not necessary to do that and I hope would never happen in a practice I was conducting... I have met on several occasions people who are and more physically stronger than myself and just say " Hmmm.... my you are a strong chappy.... and just applied the waza carefully...... the usual reaction is, "Yeah see what you mean!!" I tend to help those having this difficulty by adjusting their posture and tegatana and hey presto they understand immediately, but forget it on the next attempt.... but that's the process in learning.....
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:45 PM   #360
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: In Defense of the Aiki Bunny

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I feel moved to put in some defense of the "aiki bunny". Since this thread so far simply represents "bunny bashing" I will step in and point out some things.

First of all, the folks who we might call "aiki bunnies" are quite often very serious about attempting to make Aikido something more than bashing, smashing, and torquing another human being to the ground. As misguided as they seem to be much of the time, I think they are often much closer in intention to what the Founder wished his art to be then the hard ass Budo boys.

Despite the fact that these folks are often technically deficient, they are often far more thoughtful about what they are doing than the technicians. O-Sensei specifically warned against focusing too much on technique. The technique was always intended to be a means to another end that had nothing whatever to do with throwing people or even fighting at all.

My experience with the "martial boys" in general is that they are often quite unthoughtful about what they do. Many are almost totally unreflective about the art. This is the reason one has to look far and wide for a real teacher. To my mind, the teacher I would be looking for would be one who was technically very advanced but would also be able to speak to my heart about what we are doing and why we do it.

We make fun of the "aiki bunnies". But very often they are far better adjusted as people, more fun to be around, less aggressive, precisely the kind of folks we'd like for neighbors. On the other hand, many of the true hard core practitioners I know are totally fearful in their personal interactions, insecure as people, often somewhat isolated, have terrible interpersonal skills, and are trying to make up for the fact that they are terrified all the time by becoming more and more powerful.

I train with these guys and find their work is totally misguided. The physical and mental tension in what they do virtually destroys any real ability to do technique with real "aiki". It's all just muscle coupled with some speedy and fluid movement. You can tell when that is is what is going on because it's only the really big strong guys who can do it... and then, only on folks weaker than themselves. Women can't really do this kind of Aikido. Men of smaller stature cannot. Older folks can't do it. It's an Aikido that revolves around very strong, young men.

Being a large man myself, I find it amusing to have some person half my size trying to hurl me or crank a lock on me. But they are only imitating their teacher, who might actually be strong and mean enough to do it on me. Sure there are folks who are quite capable of cranking the shit out of me, especially when I am offering myself up to them as uke. But that doesn't make it good Aikido. Good Aikido can be done by on old man or a small woman because it relies on "aiki".

Most of what I see billing itself as "martially effective" Aikido is just Aikido with a lot of physical power. It's nothing more than jiu jutsu with more movement than other systems. Daito Ryu has three levels. Jiu Jutsu, aiki no jutsu, and aiki. What passes for martial Aikido, the stuff the hard boys are so proud of, is nothing more than entry level Daito Ryu. It won't work for anyone not able to generate vast amounts of physicality.

I know that there are various interpretations about what O-Sensei meant when he stated that "no one was doing his Aikido". Personally, I am convinced it had to do with two things... one was the lack of aiki in technique and the other was the disconnection between technique and the spiritual that he observed.

The three teachers who seemed to most completely reflect O-Sensei's take on Aikido were Sunadomari Sensei (an Omotokyo follower), Hikitsuchi Sensei out at Shingu, and Abe Sensei. The Aikido of each of these men is a mix of deep technical understanding with a very sophisticated spiritual and philosophical underpinning.

So, unless ones Aikido is at the point at which it represents that kind of balance, I suspect it misses the mark by just as much as the wishful thinking Aikido being done by the so-called "aiki bunnies".
Hello again George,

Why not bunny revealing? As opposed to bunny bashing?

I like bunnies who change from bunnies into aikidoka, then they become ex bunnies.....?
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Old 12-14-2010, 03:24 PM   #361
Marc Abrams
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

George raises a good point. My nuanced take on this is as follows....

O'Sensei was able to talk about the high goals and ideals of his budo, BASED upon his real abilities as a martial artist. It is very easy to talk about peace, love,.... when you live a relatively safe life, without any real dangers and/or challenges to your well-being. This tends to be the realm of the Aiki-bunnies. They can talk the talk and act nice and "fuzzy." They tend to handle conflicts in a passive-aggressive manner and tend to do very poorly in physical conflicts. They do tend to make nice neighbors, but as serious martial artists.....? Moving toward and representing the ideals of the budo that O'Sensei envisioned should (in my opinion) come from serious training that tests one's ability to remain centered, focused and capable of moving and acting safely. Some of the greatest peacemakers were warriors in their younger years. They intimately knew conflict and could then use that knowledge to work toward peace.

I do not believe that training until your body has fallen apart prematurely in the only path toward that goal. I do not believe that you have to be in the middle of a war to move toward that goal. I do believe that we do have to move beyond the comforts of fuzzy words and surreal training in order to move toward that goal.

Marc Abrams

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Old 12-14-2010, 03:58 PM   #362
valjean
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Smile Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
There's no need to recycle when something is already perfectly good...or, rather, as good as it ever was. What's to stop people from reading the old thread, saying to themselves, "Hmm, well, I have an opinion on this subject, but it looks like others have already said everything I was going to say. I don't really have anything to add, and a year-after-the-fact 'what he said' is kind of pointless, so I'll just skip it"?
Oh, I don't know. Some people engage in conversation because the act of conversing leads them to feel a part of a broader community. Others engage in conversation because the act of articulating a position and expressing a viewpoint itself can be learning experience. The notion that old conversations on aikido, or about the bible, or about anything else are "perfect," and that any new discussion reflects a dilution of what came before, seems kind of self-centered to me.

Obviously, recycling old threads is unpopular to many, and perhaps to most here. And I wouldn't presume to say I know enough about aikido to judge whether new comments do, or do not, have any particular merit in themselves. On the other hand, this is supposed to be a community bulletin board. If the response to revisiting old threads is: (1) this is pointless and a waste of time; and (2) how dare newbies or "bunnies" waste the collective bandwidth; and (3) the spirit of aikido is somehow degraded by such exchanges, then:

(1) it makes one sound like a crotchety 80-year-old; and
(2) it promotes a logical fallacy that greater life experience (or aikido experience) necessarily equates to greater wisdom; and
(3) it discourages conversation and self-expression in favor of silence.

Me personally, I have little wisdom and even less aikido skill -- but none of the above sounds very aiki to me.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:28 PM   #363
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
Attilio Anthony John Wagstaffe wrote: View Post
Find another playmate or change your dojo.......
LOL it wasn't my dojo and of course I found lots more play mates since it was a fair sized seminar.

I love my dojo. It would take something pretty major to get me to leave it for another.

Quote:
Actually, I would say that depends on two things. One would be the reaction of the person who just got shut down. Did she realize that a) she had just asked for it and b) it represented an opportunity for growth? Or did she simply walk away pissed off that some newbie had disrespected her.
Honestly I was not trying to be disrespectful. Just trying to give her what she wanted. My teachers have no trouble moving me when I give them a strong grab like that.

Anyway right about then sensei clapped and we broke it off. She pretty much steered clear of me the rest of the weekend.

Last edited by Shadowfax : 12-14-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 04:31 PM   #364
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Re: In Defense of the Aiki Bunny

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The three teachers who seemed to most completely reflect O-Sensei's take on Aikido were Sunadomari Sensei (an Omotokyo follower), Hikitsuchi Sensei out at Shingu, and Abe Sensei. The Aikido of each of these men is a mix of deep technical understanding with a very sophisticated spiritual and philosophical underpinning.
Abe Seiseki sensei of Osaka, to be precise and avoid confusion.

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Old 12-14-2010, 05:45 PM   #365
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Ai symbol Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
So I am visiting another dojo. As a guest I am on my best behavior. I got paired with this person and I grabbed his wrist in the "I am visiting someone else's dojo" manner, certainly not how I would normally have grabbed someone if I was training seriously. This person was completely unable to do tenkan... couldn't move at all, in fact.

The person in question then looked at and said "You are very resistant... your energy body is not very sensitive..."

Now, at that time, my energy body wasn't very sensitive... but the person in question had no idea how to do a tenkan when grabbed either. When it's the other guy's fault you can't do your technique, things have gotten seriously mucked up.
At the dojo that I train at I constantly remind newer students not to fall into the "Goldilocks Syndrome" where one has to have the attack just right, in just a certain way---and if you do it for them then boy, they can really do that technique. Life does not work that way, attackers who bear you serious ill will don't work that way and healthy relationships do not work that way. It is in my opinion, crap and a weak way of training that is harmful not only to the individual in the long run, but to the other members of the dojo as well.

Of course these same individuals can be overheard giving instruction to even new students reinforcing this disfunction and one knows that they will want to get promoted and even formally teach at some point. One can only hope that such behavior can be weeded out or there might be a very rude awakening somewhere down the path either on the mat or on the street.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:02 PM   #366
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

Well, who knows however all this came about? But I have noticed some things.

I have a little varied martial arts experience, I go up against a very competent Aikidoka, he evades my technique and comes back with a strike (palm heel) to the side of my jaw. I see it coming and turn my head and try to pull away to decrease the impact. He follows and pushes my head over. I can feel that in this position, to resist is dangerous and could cause injury to me so I go with it and curve over. He follows staying right on me so I go with it and roll out. He can move in mid roll and get me if I'm not quick enough or just stand there and see if I want to try attacking again.

Now if none of that is explained it looks like I took a dive. So some students think that is the way to receive the technique, and it may be from a competent aikidoka. But not against a sloppy attack that is open to counter everywhere. [ Thats why interclub visits are great eg. I was told to attack yokomanuchi in a very specific (crazy to me) way. So I had to abandon what I would normally do from karate practice. These dudes visit from another club, their yokoman is like mine used to be and if you did it the way I was now told, to them, youd just get slapped in the face with the other hand ... "keep your guard up!" ]

But 3 weeks later people are still attacking in this dangerous manner? As thats they way we do it here.

And here is something else that probably pays a BIG part in it all. I have noticed that training seems geared towards grading. People are very interested in practicing a 'performance' duo for each technique that is required for next training ... "Dont worry, I'll do it good for you so you will get your kyu' ????

You know .... its possible to get a black belt before too long

MY problem is I live in an area with VAST distance between dojos, in the old days, in Sydney, I guess I got spoilt, I could choose my night (or not show) and choose where, all within a bus or train ride and the best dojo was 4 mins walk down the street. Ah - happy days!

Here is another one, I grab a wrist the person turns so I just let go ... now they havent a clue what to do and say to me "You didnt do the technique properly." or "You have a weak grip."

In the past if I let go, or couldnt hold on that wrist instantly came back to wack me just under the nose (in a slightly upward direction)
it was a great way of teaching WHY and developing strength.
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:43 PM   #367
Anjisan
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Confused Re: In Defense of the Aiki Bunny

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Abe Seiseki sensei of Osaka, to be precise and avoid confusion.
The Abe sensei that promoted Seagal sensei to 6th Dan???
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Old 12-14-2010, 08:58 PM   #368
Randall Lim
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
This reminds me of an experience I had last spring at a seminar. I'm just 5th kyu and still working out how to be when visiting a different dojo. So trying to be very polite I thought I recalled working with a particular yundasha the night before and that she had an injured wrist. Not wanting to cause further injury I grabbed her more lightly than is my norm. Still trying to give a committed attack but without the strong grip I usually have. So we were doing the excercise that sensei had given us and it seemed to be going well.

Anyway after a moment, this person decides to offer some advice and says to me, " you need to work on your strength. It's ok I used to have the same problem, you will get there. Just be aware that you need to work on it."

Now I have never had anyone say such a thing to me before. I'm not exactly a weak person as I trim horses hooves for part of my living and I never get accused of giving it away. I had to stifle a laugh to stay polite, so I asked her, " do you mean physical strength as in you would like a stronger grip?" She says yes. So I'm like ok you asked for it. Grabbed her with my usual style and got very heavy. She got a very strange look on her face when she suddenly could not move me.
Maybe what she meant was that she could not feel the "connection" of the contact. "Connection" to link both your centres.

I believe the intensity of an Uke's grab has an optimum level. Not too loose that no "connection" is felt that can link both centres. Not too tight that leaves Uke too rigid to move accordingly to protect himself.

Just my 2-cents worth...
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:16 PM   #369
Randall Lim
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Actually, I would say that depends on two things. One would be the reaction of the person who just got shut down. Did she realize that a) she had just asked for it and b) it represented an opportunity for growth? Or did she simply walk away pissed off that some newbie had disrespected her.

The other would be the attitude of the teacher at the dojo. These kind of interactions happen all the time. If the training properly, when a technique fails to work, the proper response is "thank you". As long as no one is doing anything that is martially stupid like hunkering down and doing that constipated, you can't move me ridiculousness, I don't ever want to see seniors getting pissed off at juniors because their stuff didn't work nor do I expect to see my seniors adjusting the ukemi of the juniors so that their own technique starts to work, which is, I am afraid, quite common.

A little damage to the ego in training is a fine thing. I don't think the poster should necessarily look for a new dojo just because of some interaction which he or she felt was insulting on some level. I definitely think that the senior in this case should be working on maintaining his or her equilibrium and fixing whatever technical issues led to getting shut down.

These kinds of interactions are inevitable in a dojo because practice is done between human beings. In a lot of the dojos I have seen, the ones that think they are doing serious martial training, this kind of interaction would have led to the senior trying to hurt the junior in order to demonstrate his superiority. That's unacceptable and is a reason to leave the dojo if that type of behavior was tolerated or modeled by the teacher.
In my opinion, different Aikido ryus & styles have different training approaches & learning expectations of their students.

For example, some schools focus on mechanical techniques only for their kyu grades, ignoring the concepts of Ki extension, connection, the flow & centredness until the dan grades.
While other schools focus on the concepts of Ki extension, connection, the flow & centredness, ignoring the wide variety of techniques until the dan grades.

As such, knowing these differences in the training approaches of different schools, we will begin to understand the different levels of expectations even between Aikidokas of the same rank/grade.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:37 PM   #370
Keith Larman
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

I'll also raise a small nit here. If you grab hard and also "sink your center" I would wonder if you're also being a bit difficult as well. Of course a person with skill should be able to deal with it regardless, but it would also depend on the technique being taught, whether atemi was allowed, etc. Often for katatetori to be an "attack" there has to be something more than the feel you've just been grabbed by a 800 pound sack of cement. That grab poses zero threat and frankly you might as well just cold cock them or peel back a finger breaking it and walking away. If the person grabbing, however, grabs strongly and begins something or another then nage has something to concrete to work with.

Of course it all depends on the scenario. I've got enough experience where I can frustrate most people by being a complete jerk and completely negating whatever they try. But at that point I'm not attacking, just negating. If I grab and think I'm grabbing this one hand to control it while I"m about to chamber a punch with the other, or pull the person, or push in and intimidate, etc. then they certainly have something to work with.

Anyway, I don't know what the real deal was as a larger context would be needed to really say. But sometimes the attack a newbie gives isn't an attack at all. And with a complete newb I'll often toss them anyway (usually in a way slightly different than what we're doing). Then I'll usually talk a bit about how sometimes a particular technique is what you'd do under certain attacking conditions. And grabbing hard and sinking into the ground like a stalled Buick isn't often a viable attack.

It does remind me of something I saw years ago. I was visiting a customer of mine one day where the visiting instructor was from some koryu I didn't know. He was demonstrating something where the attacker grabbed his hand holding a tanto. A big dude volunteered. He was covered in tattoos, wearing a pair of shorts with MMA graphics, and was a visiting with some degree of skepticism about these traditional art things. Anyway, he grabbed his arm really hard and sank into the ground, obviously grounding out and just locking things up. The sensei was going to show a freeing movement which the big fella knew going in. This little Japanese guy just looked at him a second with a glare then tagged him in the throat with his fingers with one of the fastest shots I'd ever seen. Big fella lets go of his hand holding the tanto. The sensei then proceeded to basically disembowel the guy with the wooden tanto (well, what would have been a complete disemboweling had it been real). Started at the fella's left side of his neck, went around the front to the right side, somehow changed his grip mid-technique then diagonally down his body then through the main artery in the left leg with a reverse grip. The impact at the start of the diagonal down cut actually knocked the guy backwards and he crumpled as he cut down to the leg. The fella would have probably would have been unconscious before he would have hit the ground from blood loss and shock. And dead within a minute. Had it been real, of course.

He then excused the fella trying to relearn how to breath and called someone else up who grabbed the wrist strongly, but with intent to control but also prepared to protect himself from the other arm, feet, etc. Then the sensei went into his demo about freeing the held wrist the way he originally intended. Because there was not a snowball's chance in hell the attacker could just focus everything on that one wrist and ground everything out.

That made an impression on me.

FWIW the MMA guy was fine. Just a bruised throat and ego.

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Old 12-15-2010, 04:08 AM   #371
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

"This little Japanese guy just looked at him a second with a glare then tagged him in the throat with his fingers with one of the fastest shots I'd ever seen."

Ta Taaaaaaa!!
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:24 AM   #372
Shadowfax
 
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Randall Lim wrote: View Post
Maybe what she meant was that she could not feel the "connection" of the contact. "Connection" to link both your centres.

I believe the intensity of an Uke's grab has an optimum level. Not too loose that no "connection" is felt that can link both centres. Not too tight that leaves Uke too rigid to move accordingly to protect himself.

Just my 2-cents worth...
It's possible but not too likely. While I do sometimes tend to forget to put energy behind my attacks that's kind of rare for me. I am very sensitive to feel (equestrians need to be) and I do know what connection feels like. But I did specifically ask her to clarify as she was my senior and I am always open to learning from other people. She was very specific in addressing the need for me to gain more physical strength not strength of connection and again I know the difference. Of course it is just possible that she just used the wrong terminology to express herself.

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I'll also raise a small nit here. If you grab hard and also "sink your center" I would wonder if you're also being a bit difficult as well. Of course a person with skill should be able to deal with it regardless, but it would also depend on the technique being taught, whether atemi was allowed, etc. Often for katatetori to be an "attack" there has to be something more than the feel you've just been grabbed by a 800 pound sack of cement. That grab poses zero threat and frankly you might as well just cold cock them or peel back a finger breaking it and walking away. If the person grabbing, however, grabs strongly and begins something or another then nage has something to concrete to work with.
LOL my teachers have taught me better than to ever attack with such an attitude.

If someone truly gets me they have me. I don't play games. But I also don't give it away for free.

I gave the very same attack to Ikeda sensei several times that weekend. He certainly did not seem displeased.
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:39 AM   #373
Anjisan
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Ki Symbol Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Randall Lim wrote: View Post
Maybe what she meant was that she could not feel the "connection" of the contact. "Connection" to link both your centres.

I believe the intensity of an Uke's grab has an optimum level. Not too loose that no "connection" is felt that can link both centres. Not too tight that leaves Uke too rigid to move accordingly to protect himself.

Just my 2-cents worth...
It seems to me that the static grab attack while perhaps unfortunately necessary for beginners, is not in an aiki direction. In other words, while it certainly is necessary to be able to deal with such an attack, it seems better to practice "leading" and not let the uke grab you how they want. As a Nage, he or she is-in my opinion,........... late. Perhaps there was not the latitude with who was teaching that particular class.

However, if there was, then the yudansha should be less concerned about the strength of the grab and be more concerned with why she let herself be grabbed (and threatened through implication of the other had and weapons the Uke has at that range) in the manner the Uke desired. Who is dictating the interaction-the Uke or is the Nage-just be reactive?

I have seen it with plenty of seniors as well including myself-either because they never learned to break the the often inevitable habit or had a mind gaff because one forgets how dangerous the attack has the potential to be.
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Old 12-15-2010, 09:01 AM   #374
Keith Larman
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
LOL my teachers have taught me better than to ever attack with such an attitude.
Good. Like I said, wasn't there and I was keying off the comment about sinking. There is one guy I train with who for whatever reason has never gotten the idea that you don't just grab like a bag of rocks. And he wonders why every now and then someone will dump his butt in some odd way. Well, usually because his attack is sometimes stupidly dead.

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Old 12-15-2010, 09:08 AM   #375
phitruong
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Re: Why do some people hate Aikido?

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Jason Rudolph wrote: View Post
It seems to me that the static grab attack while perhaps unfortunately necessary for beginners, is not in an aiki direction. In other words, while it certainly is necessary to be able to deal with such an attack, it seems better to practice "leading" and not let the uke grab you how they want. As a Nage, he or she is-in my opinion,........... late. Perhaps there was not the latitude with who was teaching that particular class.
.
leading is the normal, as in current, aikido approach which most folks do today (my, was that a lot of redundant). ever heard of "motion in stillness"? just because i am not physically moving, doesn't mean that i am not moving in some other way; thus the term "internal power".
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