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Old 07-05-2011, 04:30 PM   #151
mathewjgano
 
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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"....
I think this is pretty much what I think of when I think of connection. I should be clear I can't claim to represent a very adequate understanding of my own style of Aikido, let alone Aikido in general (I just don't train enough), so I'm speaking purely about my personal sense of the term, but to me connection isn't so much a thing to find as it is a thing to better understand. In other words, I already have connection, but it's not very good, so to my mind, taking the slack out has always been a quality of connection. Since it might also be described as creating a more "pure" connection, I think I can also see why some folks would describe a body with too much slack as having "no" connection.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 07-05-2011, 08:47 PM   #152
matty_mojo911
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Someone earlier in this thread said "aikido is analysed too much."

Anaylsis is good, developmental, and is what creates an art.

However, over anaylsis is time wasting, un-productive, and self deluding in that a thing is broken down to its tiniest components or meaning, to the point that it becomes meaningless.

So to assist with this self indulgence I offer the following:
Connection = "being linked together" - from the Dictionary.

Thankyou and goodnight.
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Old 07-05-2011, 09:29 PM   #153
JW
 
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Although I'm struggling to "stay connected" to the thread.... some thoughts:

1. The meaning and usage of "connection" is central to my own answer to the question in the OP. But... it is such a rich topic it may be a great separate thread.

2. I would like to tell everyone that I am mentally treating this blog post as a very strong response to the original question. I think it is worth the read. I think it refers to something important that is slightly outside of what I perceive as the basics.. but it is a great answer.

3. Hugh, I forgot to point out that I have no idea what you meant about spirals and elbow power being related to letting force go around you as opposed to connecting to uke's center. I guess I'm too much of a neophyte. I don't even have a good definition for elbow power. I'm sure the term was coined to refer to something specific, probably having to do with "IS." Maybe another good thread idea?
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:22 PM   #154
hughrbeyer
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I sorta wondered if your thread was being hijacked. It's okay, irimi and give up the illusion of control...

I think "connection" is ultimately as useful and useless a concept as "ki"--clearly important but used in so many different ways it's hard to know what someone else might mean by the term.

So we have connection == physical connection, a tautology but generally those who bother to use the term at all mean something more, and are often willing to use it when no physical connection exists.

connection == kuzushi, clearly you can't attain and maintain kuzushi without a working connection of some sort.

connection == taking the slack out--certainly you can't be connected in a martially relevant sense if you don't take the slack out--because slack means uke can move in ways you can't control. But you can take the slack out physically through joint locks or you can take the slack out through, for lack of a better description, ki connection.

connection == ki musubi, which in my limited interpretation doesn't require physical connection at all. If, when uke attacks, I "attack the attack" and affect uke before making physical contact, or if I draw out the attack by moving first, or move uke where I want him by leading his ki, I've got connection, and we may be touching, but touching is the least important part.

connection == hara-to-hara, in which the arms and hands are just relaxed vehicles for communicating connection from the hara, so that uke in, say, ryotedori doesn't just run into arm strength but into your hara. Key is arms and shoulders relaxed, not stiff and not limp.

connection == some structural IS weirdness that I don't have a good vocabulary for. As I said earlier it differs from the hara-to-hara connection in that it leads uke's power around the body rather than into the hara. Here, Gleason Sensei provides an exaggerated illustration of how the spiral from hand/forearm/elbow to opposite knee works. Somewhere I've got a video of him talking about elbow power, I'll see if I can get it posted.

@David and over-analyzing, when you're on the mat, train. When you're writing in a verbal forum such as AIkiweb, what are you gonna write about? The weather?
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Old 07-05-2011, 11:40 PM   #155
jester
 
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
When you're writing in a verbal forum such as AIkiweb, what are you gonna write about? The weather?
Rocks maybe??

-It seems to be all about semantics!
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:10 PM   #156
graham christian
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Funny how things just happen. Today I was getting a student to do Nikkyo on me and he was getting 'flummoxed'

He said he didn't get it as it worked on everyone else but with me it was like he's hitting a wall. I was trying to get him to cut through no matter what was there.

Now, analytically he knew what to do but reality.....mmmm. On trying to stop me doing it on him, the more he tried the more it hurt and the harder he hit the floor.

He realized he was getting more and more aggressive and that was somehow turning back on him and hurting him. This he admitted and found hard to understand but then out came this statement from me- 'to overcome aggression you must first overcome it in yourself'

It was one of those truths that just appear when teaching in the moment in order to explain a point.

Afterwards I was chuckling to myself as I thought of this thread.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #157
Richard Stevens
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Funny how things just happen. Today I was getting a student to do Nikkyo on me and he was getting 'flummoxed'

He said he didn't get it as it worked on everyone else but with me it was like he's hitting a wall. I was trying to get him to cut through no matter what was there.

Now, analytically he knew what to do but reality.....mmmm. On trying to stop me doing it on him, the more he tried the more it hurt and the harder he hit the floor.

He realized he was getting more and more aggressive and that was somehow turning back on him and hurting him. This he admitted and found hard to understand but then out came this statement from me- 'to overcome aggression you must first overcome it in yourself'

It was one of those truths that just appear when teaching in the moment in order to explain a point.

Afterwards I was chuckling to myself as I thought of this thread.

Regards.G.
I have found myself continually amazed at the effects relaxation has on the effectiveness of techniques in aiki-type arts.
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Old 07-07-2011, 05:39 PM   #158
graham christian
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Richard Stevens wrote: View Post
I have found myself continually amazed at the effects relaxation has on the effectiveness of techniques in aiki-type arts.
Hi Richard.

Not just Aiki-type arts. If you really study carefully be it boxing or kick boxing etc. etc. You will find that 'sweet punch' that knock out punch or kick was relaxed, it was committed, it went through.

Even when I hear about the 'special' ways of doing this and that to release some explosive power the fact is that the release is through a relaxed arm at that point.

Muscles and tendons etc just give structural support for when you are giving or receiving that power.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:31 PM   #159
hughrbeyer
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Not just Aiki-type arts. If you really study carefully be it boxing or kick boxing etc. etc. You will find that 'sweet punch' that knock out punch or kick was relaxed, it was committed, it went through.
Yes. When I was studying boxing, what I mostly heard from my instructors was to relax and stop muscling the punch.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:53 AM   #160
Abasan
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Attitude. If your mindset is set on overcoming an aggressive attack, it'll be that from the get go.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:29 AM   #161
Richard Stevens
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Richard.

Not just Aiki-type arts. If you really study carefully be it boxing or kick boxing etc. etc. You will find that 'sweet punch' that knock out punch or kick was relaxed, it was committed, it went through.

Even when I hear about the 'special' ways of doing this and that to release some explosive power the fact is that the release is through a relaxed arm at that point.

Muscles and tendons etc just give structural support for when you are giving or receiving that power.

Regards.G.
It reminds me of trying to learn to develop a decent drive in golf. Slow is steady and steady is fast.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:01 PM   #162
JW
 
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Ahmad Abas wrote: View Post
Attitude. If your mindset is set on overcoming an aggressive attack, it'll be that from the get go.
Hi Ahmad, this sounds somewhat like what what Graham was saying regarding one's mental/emotional state causing success/safety in the case of receiving an attack. But I have the same question, what do you think regarding the mechanism by which this could happen? I'vee seen your videos on Vimeo-- if someone were to say, "wow that looks unbelievable, how does it work?" would you simply say it was simply because of attitude, or is there a physical reason that uke would be at a loss?
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:54 AM   #163
Don Nordin
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I saw this guy on the internet who could bench press like 700 lbs. I thought, I hope one day my Aikido is good enough to be able to throw him. In my opinion regardless of style, the goal is to be overcome an aggressive attack without needing superior strength.
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