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Old 07-03-2011, 11:08 AM   #126
Keith Larman
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
...And then you've got the IS folks, who are not in any way to be confused with the connection folks. It seems to me, tho still a neophyte, the IS approach is very different. It avoids connection--instead of receiving the attack into your hara you direct the intention of the attack around you. Rather than being a wall, you're invisible. Rather than extend ki out in any one direction, you are complete and stable in yourself. I don't know how much the various shihans have been in this group, but Gleason Sensei says the IS perspective has allowed him to recognize and understand things about Yamaguchi's waza that he'd never seen before.
I would most strongly disagree with this. I would also hesitate to separate out Tohei even in "bouncy" mode. How do you suppose that bounce effected such a profound result in the uke? Connection at a fundamental level. And watch other videos where he does the same without the bouncing (as compared to his students who tend to be more bouncy). The connection is the key in that. How it is made, how it is managed, how it is distributed, how it can be "hidden", how it can be made very obvious, etc. They're simply able to do more with it, hide it, use it, feedback through it, bounce off it, whatever. As a result it functions on many levels including many of the things you put in to your other groups.

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Old 07-03-2011, 03:06 PM   #127
hughrbeyer
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Truth is, any categorization is going to be too pat. You can't really take something that's an integrated whole and divide it into parts, even if trying to do so does aid understanding.

I don't have anything like a satisfactory understanding of Tohei Sensei's approach. See the "Strength vs. Ki" thread for a better exploration of that. That's in part why I put him in two places.

For this thread, just to throw fuel on the fire , seems to me that people who adopt approaches further down the list incorporate the approaches earlier in the list, but not vice versa. So if you care about connection or IS, it doesn't mean you can't work with momentum, or joint locks, or positioning. Of course you do--but from your point of view none of those things work well without the internal skills, as you said.

But if I've understood the posts people have written here, there are plenty of people who are willing to say that positioning, or joint locks, or maybe using momentum, is all there is--and that any of the internal stuff is hooey if it can't be explained in terms of mechanical principles.

Anyway, even if you like the list, it's not exclusive. In fact, in my view Aikido encompasses all these things in the context of a practice that allows them to be tested and refined. Which is what makes it fun.

Last edited by hughrbeyer : 07-03-2011 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:39 PM   #128
Cyril Landise
 
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I' d be careful about my definition of Superior Strength.
The Aikido instruction, "Don't use strength" more closely means to me something
like, "Don't rely solely on that one muscle group that you are in the habit of using because it
is preventing you from attaining your personal best. You need to subordinate that set of
muscles for a while in your training so that you can learn to bring in other muscles and other
skills as well. After you have developed that new skill set, of course you want to use all of
your muscle strength in a coordinated and balanced fashion."
The above would be quite a mouthful to recite at every training session, so
understandably, many have come to rely on the shorthand phrase, "Don't use strength."

PS - This is taken from Aikido for Recovering Engineers

(http://archive.usafaikidonews.com/ar..._engineers.pdf)

which is an attempt to talk about all this from an engineer's standpoint...but that Ki stuff just keeps sneaking in.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:40 PM   #129
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Robin is 16 and and an orange belt. She was on a train with 1 man in Germany. He grabbed her wrists. She relaxed and in her own words " gathered herself". She let him have her arms and pushed him in the stomach with her foot. He fell back. She hopped off the train and got on another one.
I would say that is a wonderful example of overcoming an agressive attack without superior strength.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:41 PM   #130
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Ohhh now I get it, Hugh! In terms of progressive inclusion of ideas, I like that list a lot now. But not just because you have IS at the end of the list! I agree with the progression of increasing inclusion, and even think we could add items to the end of it-- in other words there are people who like everything you listed, and more. And, there are people who stop specifically where your list stopped.

But I think most of what I am getting at there is off topic--I am thinking of those who infer metaphysical understanding based on budo studies. I place O-sensei squarely in that camp, and I am entertained by those ideas myself.

Hi Mary- thanks for the anecdote, yup that is the kind of thing I am thinking about. If it was arms vs arms, the guy would "win" absolutely. Of course he probably had pretty weak budo skills himself, which helped Robin. But the point is, she didn't engage in the arm contest, and proceded to do something else. How was she able to do so, considering she was supposed to be actively restrained at that time? That is the key. I think there is some of the "disappear" trick involved there, which has been mentioned previously. Anyway I hope that guy is incarcerated.

Last edited by JW : 07-03-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:42 PM   #131
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Tim,
On what basis do you consider Katori Shinto ryu is more difficult to learn than Aikiken?Is this your own opinion or can you substantiate this claim?
Like you said everybody has his own view on the matter. I just shared mine.

To my understanding O Sensei used tanto, jo and boken as means to study particular aspects of aiki(do). I have never understood he taught how to fight with a sword, as you would in katori. Katori shinto ryu is a complete system in which you (learn) to master the sword. To compare the two is apples and oranges.
But...there could be Aikido styles where this difference is not so big and mastering the sword is integral part of that Aikido.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:53 PM   #132
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Anyway, even if you like the list, it's not exclusive. In fact, in my view Aikido encompasses all these things in the context of a practice that allows them to be tested and refined. Which is what makes it fun.[quote]

Hugh.
I like it. Well said.

Here's something you may think strange coming from me. Would you believe that in 30 years of training, prior to visiting Aikiweb I have never used the word connection. When I came on here and saw everyone talking about it I wondered what they were talking about.

We were taught to align with, share, give to etc. The difference being I suppose from a kind of buddhist or spiritual view is that we are all one, oneness is natural, co-existence is natural and so to us Aikido was getting back to the truth which we deny.

Thus connecting centre seemed strange to me as it was only one aspect for we trained in 'connecting' all.

Just thought you may find that interesting as I admire your curiosity.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:10 PM   #133
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Like you said everybody has his own view on the matter. I just shared mine.

To my understanding O Sensei used tanto, jo and boken as means to study particular aspects of aiki(do). I have never understood he taught how to fight with a sword, as you would in katori. Katori shinto ryu is a complete system in which you (learn) to master the sword. To compare the two is apples and oranges.
But...there could be Aikido styles where this difference is not so big and mastering the sword is integral part of that Aikido.
Dear Tim,
May I point out that you compared the apples to the oranges? I stated that both systems are good and useful for any aikidoka. There are groups such as Birankai International who train in Aikiken/Aikijo /Tanto. They also include Batto Ho . To be precise Shindo Munen Ryu/omori ryu in the study of the sword.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:55 AM   #134
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Dear Tim,
May I point out that you compared the apples to the oranges?
That was not my point. I meant if one were to compare them; not that you actually did
And I would say katori is much harder to learn than the sword work we (I?) do in Aikido. Years ago I practised with someone who also picked up katori (with Eric Lauw, Amsterdam). The things he had to master in a short period of time exceeded the amount of sword work what we did Aikido by large. He combined Aikido and katori for a long time (several years), but in the end settled for katori.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-04-2011, 04:52 AM   #135
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Robin is 16 and and an orange belt. She was on a train with 1 man in Germany. He grabbed her wrists. She relaxed and in her own words " gathered herself". She let him have her arms and pushed him in the stomach with her foot. He fell back. She hopped off the train and got on another one.
I would say that is a wonderful example of overcoming an agressive attack without superior strength.
Great example on how to use to use parts of your body that can still move opposed to forcefully try to move that which cannot move.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:08 AM   #136
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Would you believe that in 30 years of training, prior to visiting Aikiweb I have never used the word connection.
Acutally, I'm not sure how widely "connection" is used in the Aikido world. It's a common term in Saotmote Shihan's ASU, but I don't recall it being used in Tomiki style at all, and as you say it doesn't seem to be an explicit concept in the Ki Society. I'm not sure I heard it at the AIkikai, either.

It's implicit in "ki musubi", but ki musubi is not the same as the kind of hara-to-hara connection that I'm familiar with; and the way IS uses connection is, I claim, entirely different again.

How widespread is "connection" as a concept? Anyone outside of the ASU use the term?
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Old 07-04-2011, 09:29 AM   #137
Keith Larman
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

In Seidokan I hear it all the time. Explicit. Aiki, oneness, connection...

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:30 AM   #138
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
How widespread is "connection" as a concept? Anyone outside of the ASU use the term?
We use kino nagare and ki musubi/ ma ai. I do sometimes use the term connection(e.g. stay connected: focus/intention) to indicate that tori/uke must follow through during the technique. On many occasions aite runs into trouble simply because uke is no longer committed (I believe this is also referred to 'checks out'?).

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-04-2011, 01:36 PM   #139
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I've heard it a lot *I think.* The reason I can't remember is that, although "connection" can mean many things, to me it sounds like a translation of "musubi" when used in aikido contexts. I know I've heard "musubi" a lot.
For instance I have heard zanshin explained as the partners being "still connected."
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:30 PM   #140
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I don't think you can really do anything without "connection".

At some point I think you have to establish a "feedback" system of some sort in order to be able to "make decisions" about what you are doing and it's success or failure.

I think you need to be able to connect, index, feel, construct a feedback loop in order to actually do something of value in a physical sense.

of course, you could just blindly throw a frag into the room and ignore it all together too and maybe accomplish the same desired endstate!

For most of us though, I think we are looking at situations in which we must use the right amount of force etc...to control the situation or...better yet...make the appropriate and right decisions.

can't be done without connection of some sort either physically, mentally, or spiritually.

In training in CQB I tell the guys I am training that once they get a hand on the bad guy to maintain contact until the person in no longer a threat. In dark confusing environments this is the only way you can sometime keep the communication channel open and read what he is doing.

connection is necessary in order for any of this to work IMO.

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Old 07-04-2011, 11:02 PM   #141
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Acutally, I'm not sure how widely "connection" is used in the Aikido world. It's a common term in Saotmote Shihan's ASU, but I don't recall it being used in Tomiki style at all, and as you say it doesn't seem to be an explicit concept in the Ki Society. I'm not sure I heard it at the AIkikai, either.
Maybe because it is so obvious that you need a connection before you can do any Aikido.

I think Aikido is analyzed way too much.

dps
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Old 07-05-2011, 01:47 AM   #142
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
... It's implicit in "ki musubi", but ki musubi is not the same as the kind of hara-to-hara connection that I'm familiar with; ...
A connection hara to hara is a conecpt I am not really familiar with. (aikikai: Endo, Tissier) True: We sometimes speak of affecting the hara of aite. But this is about kuzushi. We (Me) don't aim to have a connection between hara and hara.
I think I couldn't use this term to describe, how the aikido which I practice works. (Or should work.)

Quote:
How widespread is "connection" as a concept?
There are different concepts of connection I think. I don't know the concept of a hara to hara connection you are familiar with.
But connection in the sense of atari is central in the aikido I learn. It's all about getting connected to aite through "atari" - which is like "touching, feeling" - and using this atari to move aite, to disrupt his ballance, to control him.
True: This is a connection but can connect all parts of the body and doesn't aim to connect to the hara but just to the "structure" of aite. And is used to affect this structure.
This is my (our?) way of understanding and "doing" ki musubi or aiki.

So "connection" is a central concept in our aikido. But it is very different from what you call "hara to hara connection".

I didn't experience neither this form of connection nor what you understand as connection nor even heard the term "connection" when I visitid a dojo of ki-aikido (Yoshigasaki sensei).
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:00 AM   #143
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Acutally, I'm not sure how widely "connection" is used in the Aikido world. It's a common term in Saotmote Shihan's ASU, but I don't recall it being used in Tomiki style at all, and as you say it doesn't seem to be an explicit concept in the Ki Society. I'm not sure I heard it at the AIkikai, either.

It's implicit in "ki musubi", but ki musubi is not the same as the kind of hara-to-hara connection that I'm familiar with; and the way IS uses connection is, I claim, entirely different again.

How widespread is "connection" as a concept? Anyone outside of the ASU use the term?
Rather than "connection" we use "take the slack out of the body". Same thing. I'm not sure if that's a ki society thing specifically or not though. I like the term connection though and have started using it over everything else as it's very easy to demonstrate what you mean.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:33 AM   #144
Janet Rosen
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Rather than "connection" we use "take the slack out of the body". Same thing.
I think our semantics are different: the way I and some other folks I know and have trained with, do not mean "take the slack out of the body" when we say "connection."
I can mechanically apply leverage or change my body position or posture or do other things essentially peripheral to what I consider my center that have the effect of what I/others term "taking the slack out" in order to better have an affect on uke (like to make a final pin work) but this can still be done via combination of, say, proper posture and pure application of strength without centers connected.
As I'm thinking about it, typing this, it strikes me that an affect of being connected includes taking the slack out...but one can also take the slack out without being what I consider connected. Because I can teach a newbie how to do a minor postural tweak in order to take the slack out of my arm/shoulder to apply a pin properly to me...but he is still not really using his center to make a connection to me.
Its early here and my brain may not be firing well enough to explain this cogently...apologies if this is "clear as mud"....

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:42 AM   #145
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

More on connection.for me it is important that I connect to UK. I am not really concerned that UK share in that process or understand necessarily what I am doing. .....most of the time.

There are situations though in which I do want uke to understand that resistance or action will mean bad things for him. I think this is alot of what we conecnetrate on in Aikido

I think however that the latter comes with some risk and we need to understand that risk and make sure it is warranted and acceptable. I think that first we must establish our own connection and control before we worry about our opponent.

Of course it can generate the whole "chicken or the egg" discussion. Because you can argue that you must first understand or connect with uke before you know what to do. I think this is true.

What concerns me is when we misunderstand when and where this relationship takes place and we try and reason with uke when we really have not grasped the entirety of the situation. We think we are doing a good thing but in reality we are putting ourselves at risk that in unreasonable without really knowing it.

Sometimes the time we have to listen and understand uke occurs in milisecomds and we can brely precieve our listening or understanding and it occurs at a primal level. Regardless I think we still establish a connection at a basic and primal level.

I really honestly think this is the whole point of musubi. Not that we can reason or resolve the situation with a predetermined peaceful result but that we are able to do it at many levels and use what is necessarily and appropriate.

I have seen too many times that we in Aikido place an attachment on the whole connection and harmony thing that is not realistic and that predisposes us to "how we feel" or "how uke feels"

Yes this might be a connec tion and certainly is warranted in peaceful and loving relationships, but in one where we are dealing with bad intentions I think we need to consider connection in a different manner.

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:43 AM   #146
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

UK = uke sorry for the misspellings doing this from my tablet and it does not always do what I want it to.

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Old 07-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #147
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I think our semantics are different: the way I and some other folks I know and have trained with, do not mean "take the slack out of the body" when we say "connection."
I can mechanically apply leverage or change my body position or posture or do other things essentially peripheral to what I consider my center that have the effect of what I/others term "taking the slack out" in order to better have an affect on uke (like to make a final pin work) but this can still be done via combination of, say, proper posture and pure application of strength without centers connected.
As I'm thinking about it, typing this, it strikes me that an affect of being connected includes taking the slack out...but one can also take the slack out without being what I consider connected. Because I can teach a newbie how to do a minor postural tweak in order to take the slack out of my arm/shoulder to apply a pin properly to me...but he is still not really using his center to make a connection to me.
Its early here and my brain may not be firing well enough to explain this cogently...apologies if this is "clear as mud"....
Janet,

same same. There's taking the slack out of uke's body and there's taking the slack out of your body. You can't connect to someones center unless you do both. Many of the exercises people out there will show you are designed to condition the slack out of your body and connect it. You use that relaxed, connected body to take the slack out of someone elses body and connect to their center and then move them. Early on it is a very muscular driven thing, but the same process and effect can become much more subtle, as you have experienced. The subtle part and the body conditioning needed to make it happen are a big part of what has been lost or simply not passed on these days.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:06 AM   #148
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I think our semantics are different: the way I and some other folks I know and have trained with, do not mean "take the slack out of the body" when we say "connection."
I can mechanically apply leverage or change my body position or posture or do other things essentially peripheral to what I consider my center that have the effect of what I/others term "taking the slack out" in order to better have an affect on uke (like to make a final pin work) but this can still be done via combination of, say, proper posture and pure application of strength without centers connected.
As I'm thinking about it, typing this, it strikes me that an affect of being connected includes taking the slack out...but one can also take the slack out without being what I consider connected. Because I can teach a newbie how to do a minor postural tweak in order to take the slack out of my arm/shoulder to apply a pin properly to me...but he is still not really using his center to make a connection to me.
Its early here and my brain may not be firing well enough to explain this cogently...apologies if this is "clear as mud"....
also keep in mind that this muscular connection is still "connecting to someones center", just not as aikido attempts to study it. Wrestlers, judoka, etc, all still connect to another persons center to move them, it's just not called that or done the way we would hope to do it. It's a very muscular, strength on strength (and technique, leverage, etc) kind of connection, but it is still the same thing, connecting and moving.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:56 AM   #149
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
also keep in mind that this muscular connection is still "connecting to someones center", just not as aikido attempts to study it. Wrestlers, judoka, etc, all still connect to another persons center to move them, it's just not called that or done the way we would hope to do it. It's a very muscular, strength on strength (and technique, leverage, etc) kind of connection, but it is still the same thing, connecting and moving.
you can connect to the other's center, without taking the slack out. however, when you start to channel force through the connection, it would surely break the connection, so the taking the slack out is to create a better channel to apply/receive force.
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Old 07-05-2011, 12:14 PM   #150
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
How widespread is "connection" as a concept? Anyone outside of the ASU use the term?
Hi Hugh,

I do... A lot... But then I've been training with Ikeda sensei for a while now, so, at least one dojo in the UK is using the term in the same way.

Best Regards,
John

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