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Old 08-23-2011, 08:05 AM   #51
Richard Stevens
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
I was very impressed with these demonstrations! How the uke could hold their uncomfortable positions for so long without moving was testimony to their discipline in spite of having full bladders from drinking the Kool Aid. Fabulous.
That made me literally laugh out loud...
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #52
chillzATL
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
If uke harmonizes with nage then he will be doing good Aikido. Thus comes about the ukemi from projections. Not modern Aikido but true Aikido.

He who resists nage gets hurt and blames nage unless he is responsible and then sees it was his own departure that got him hurt.

Modern Aikido? What a stupid term. It implies the past is always better.

Such terminology merely serves to undermine.

Regards.G.
meh...
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:21 AM   #53
graham christian
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Graham, have you ever heard the saying, "The winner of a knife fight goes to the hospital"?
No Mary. Never heard that one. Care to explain?
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:46 AM   #54
lbb
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
No Mary. Never heard that one. Care to explain?
The full saying is, "In a knife fight, the winner goes to the hospital -- the loser goes to the morgue." You seem unshakeable in your belief that it's possible to get into a real fight and never get hit, not sustain any damage. I can only hope that you never have occasion to be proven wrong.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:01 AM   #55
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The full saying is, "In a knife fight, the winner goes to the hospital -- the loser goes to the morgue." You seem unshakeable in your belief that it's possible to get into a real fight and never get hit, not sustain any damage. I can only hope that you never have occasion to be proven wrong.
Ah, yes, I remember being cured from all the knife fighting fantasies I may have held as a kyu grade by W., the forensic pathologist on Aikido-L in the late nineties (Hi there!). One description of the state of a victim who went ot the morgue, posted by her, was sufficient... but I guess I am going OT.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:43 AM   #56
Cady Goldfield
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Ah, yes, I remember being cured from all the knife fighting fantasies I may have held as a kyu grade by W., the forensic pathologist on Aikido-L in the late nineties (Hi there!). One description of the state of a victim who went ot the morgue, posted by her, was sufficient... but I guess I am going OT.
I remember that knife-victim description by (if memory serves me) Wendy Baker, forensic pathologist. It must have made an impact for us to remember it for well over a decade.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #57
Gerardo Torres
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post

He who resists nage gets hurt
Yes, Uke usually gets hurt when Nage has poor or non-existent aiki skills and can only deliver stylized force-on-force when under pressure. A Nage with actual aiki skills can deal with a lot more pressure and still be able to neutralize or lead a resisting Uke without hurting him or her.
Quote:
Modern Aikido? What a stupid term.
Stupidity implies a lack of understanding or reason. I believe those calling it "Modern Aikido" do so based on historical research as well as experience with different training methods.

Quote:
It implies the past is always better.
Not always, but sometimes it is. Non-stop rhetoric won't help you get closer to any truth in Budo, btw.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #58
Janet Rosen
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
I remember that knife-victim description by (if memory serves me) Wendy Baker, forensic pathologist. It must have made an impact for us to remember it for well over a decade.
Dr. Wendy Gunther, partner of Jim Baker. She who literally brought half a brain to the first aikido-l seminar (encased in lucite) prompting me to carry it to somebody saying "I've half a mind to attack you..."

Janet Rosen
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:37 AM   #59
Belt_Up
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Because when you put two people in front of each other and say "You, try your hardest to throw him" and "you, try your hardest to keep from being thrown", then it is going to become a competition. I see no problem with that on its own, but in the context of aikido as we know it, I'm not so sure. IMO Ueshiba condemned competition for safety reasons.
Peter Goldsbury covered this in one of his posts somewhere on aikiweb.

There are two Japanese words for competiiton (can't remember them either, sorry)., one means organised competition like sports, the other means personal competition between individuals. Ueshiba spoke out against the former, not the latter.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:40 AM   #60
graham christian
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
The full saying is, "In a knife fight, the winner goes to the hospital -- the loser goes to the morgue." You seem unshakeable in your belief that it's possible to get into a real fight and never get hit, not sustain any damage. I can only hope that you never have occasion to be proven wrong.
Glad you explained as I was thinking the winner goes to jail. Where you get the idea of this unshakable belief of mine I don't know. It's certainly not from me so I can only suggest it's a miasunderstanding of yours.

Been in plenty of real situations, that's why I know the truth of the principles in action. Therefore I fail to see your point.

Those sayings are not usually true actually. The loser may end up in the morgue but usually hospital and the winner prison. Therefore they only serve fear and thus lead to wrong decisions and the person who acted in such a manner saying 'Yes your honour but I thought......'

Regards.G.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:55 AM   #61
graham christian
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
Yes, Uke usually gets hurt when Nage has poor or non-existent aiki skills and can only deliver stylized force-on-force when under pressure. A Nage with actual aiki skills can deal with a lot more pressure and still be able to neutralize or lead a resisting Uke without hurting him or her.

Stupidity implies a lack of understanding or reason. I believe those calling it "Modern Aikido" do so based on historical research as well as experience with different training methods.

Not always, but sometimes it is. Non-stop rhetoric won't help you get closer to any truth in Budo, btw.
Ah so you agree with me that the responsibility of nage is to protect the uke. Well done.

Modern Aikido is a stupid term because anything in the whole world happening or being done now is modern. Talking on the internet for example. For all those who use the term in a derogatory way I suggest they go back and learn in the old way. But no, the same people talk of the past yet invent new ways. Trying to have it both ways?

Yes they have experience of different training methods, so what? The question is were they a good student of such?

The amount of times I've heard people say they've done that and done that and yet on closer inspection I find they dipped their toes in the water didn't like it and left with the cheek to say they've done that. As I say......bad students.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:26 PM   #62
Gerardo Torres
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Ah so you agree with me that the responsibility of nage is to protect the uke.
The moral inclination "to protect the Uke" was not under discussion, but the physical ability to do so. You responded to a comment on resisting (non-harmonizing) Uke with:

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote:
He who resists nage gets hurt
To which I replied stating that the above is mostly caused by a lack of ability (of Nage). In my view, wishing not to harm a resisting Uke but being unable to do so in practice does not fulfill the promise of Ueshiba's aikido.

Quote:
But no, the same people talk of the past yet invent new ways. Trying to have it both ways?
I believe those who "talk of the past" are saying that the methods they favor are in fact old, not new.

Quote:
Yes they have experience of different training methods, so what? The question is were they a good student of such?
Well, I'm aware of some of them who researched, trained, tested, compared, got out and met different people, demonstrated what they know and talk about… Good students (of Budo)? I'd say yes.

Quote:
The amount of times I've heard people say they've done that and done that and yet on closer inspection I find they dipped their toes in the water didn't like it and left with the cheek to say they've done that. As I say......bad students.
This assumes you have the knowledge and experience to measure that they just "dipped their toes in the water". Have you met them or even engaged them in an objective (non-rhetorical) discussion to conclude that they are just "bad students" who didn't get it? Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea. A "good student" would be inclined to look for the best training that can help realize the original promise of their art (e.g. Ueshiba's aikido), imo.

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 08-23-2011 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:46 PM   #63
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
The moral inclination "to protect the Uke" was not under discussion, but the physical ability to do so. You responded to a comment on resisting (non-harmonizing) Uke with:

To which I replied stating that the above is mostly caused by a lack of ability (of Nage). In my view, wishing not to harm a resisting Uke but being unable to do so in practice does not fulfill the promise of Ueshiba's aikido.

I believe those who "talk of the past" are saying that the methods they favor are in fact old, not new.

Well, I'm aware of some of them who researched, trained, tested, compared, got out and met different people, demonstrated what they know and talk about… Good students (of Budo)? I'd say yes.

This assumes you have the knowledge and experience to measure that they just "dipped their toes in the water". Have you met them or even engaged them in an objective (non-rhetorical) discussion to conclude that they are just "bad students" who didn't get it? Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea. A "good student" would be inclined to look for the best training that can help realize the original promise of their art (e.g. Ueshiba's aikido), imo.
No point arguing dude. Just ignore. Jason, I'll be back with a response soon.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:50 PM   #64
Gary David
 
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Just to add a possibility here...during a long conversation with a good friend of mine yesterday with me lamenting what I see as the sad state of discussion between folks here on what is and what isn't Aiki or Aikido he passed along the following.........paraphrasing....

'If the a complete understanding of any of these Japanese Aiki arts could be passed along in a set of 10 pictures all anyone ever got were 7 of these pictures. 3 out of these were withheld. Of the remaining 7 some of there may have had the order changed. What was received was something less than the whole. The 7 were presented in such a way that they appear to be complete, may be enough from most, but are not the whole. Folks have to dig around, research, test, try, work at it and figure out what is missing. Each person doing may well find the three missing pictures and when looking at them find that each found 3 differing from each of the other found 3 in some ways'

To me the 7 picture set is modern Aikido. Anything else folks discover about the missing pictures just adds to their art.

Gary
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:58 PM   #65
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
No point arguing dude. Just ignore. Jason, I'll be back with a response soon.
Thank you sir, I thought I had lost you!
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #66
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea.
...and with one word you redeem the entire thread. Never encountered that one before.
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:34 PM   #67
Andrew Prochnow
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
If uke harmonizes with nage then he will be doing good Aikido. Thus comes about the ukemi from projections. Not modern Aikido but true Aikido.

He who resists nage gets hurt and blames nage unless he is responsible and then sees it was his own departure that got him hurt.

Modern Aikido? What a stupid term. It implies the past is always better.

Such terminology merely serves to undermine.

Regards.G.
Uke harmonizing with Nage is "NOT" good Aikido.
When Nage establishes an Aiki relationship to Uke Ukemi is then taken to protect yourself from becoming hurt. If Nage cant generate an Aiki relationship to harmonize with Uke what do you have? I would say bad Aikido. Their is no Aiki relationship.

If Uke automatically harmonizes his attack to whatever Nage offers, I also think that is bad Aikido. Reason being that its baised on a false relationship. If you dont know how to generate Aiki because someone always falsly took Ukeme what happens when you come up against someone who is willing to resist you? You learn the truth about who you are and what it is you have been doing. Why do you think so many have been looking outside the art for Aiki? They learned the truth about
"Modern Aikido". Look at the video posted earlier. All of the relationships between Uke and Nage look to be baised on a false relationship where Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nage. Is this what you want your Aikido to look like?

For what its worth
-Andrew Prochnow
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:25 PM   #68
graham christian
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
The moral inclination "to protect the Uke" was not under discussion, but the physical ability to do so. You responded to a comment on resisting (non-harmonizing) Uke with:

To which I replied stating that the above is mostly caused by a lack of ability (of Nage). In my view, wishing not to harm a resisting Uke but being unable to do so in practice does not fulfill the promise of Ueshiba's aikido.

I believe those who "talk of the past" are saying that the methods they favor are in fact old, not new.

Well, I'm aware of some of them who researched, trained, tested, compared, got out and met different people, demonstrated what they know and talk about… Good students (of Budo)? I'd say yes.

This assumes you have the knowledge and experience to measure that they just "dipped their toes in the water". Have you met them or even engaged them in an objective (non-rhetorical) discussion to conclude that they are just "bad students" who didn't get it? Then there's the possibility that "that" which they claim to have tried and left might be lacking or be a tergiversation of an original idea. A "good student" would be inclined to look for the best training that can help realize the original promise of their art (e.g. Ueshiba's aikido), imo.
It is very simple really. Show me a student who blames his teacher or whatever and I'll show you a bad student.

Yes I have the knowledge and experience to measure.

You are missing the point. Firstly, if the teacher could do what they were after then all that they want is there if they are a good student. If it wasn't there in the first place then they were stupid staying there looking for it. Once again a bad student. It's not the teachers fault.

Do you have an Aikido teacher? If so you are learning his Aikido. Very simple.

If you want to learn O'Senseis Aikido then you would have to understand what he said and how to apply that. It's a journey not a five minute exercise where if you don't get it you blame.

That's the first truth you would have to accept. Then you would see that if you don't want to do it as a lifelong exercise then it is not O'Senseis Aikido you are after but don't worry because there is plenty of Aikido that will suit your needs. (when I say you it's general)

He who does this doesn't blame he learns and if necessary moves on. I'm afraid it is that simple.

This is how I see it, if you see it differently then that's fine by me.

Oh one last thing. Modern versus old. What old method of teaching? Does that mean some methods are outdated? As far as I know the 'old' in fact 'standard' way of teaching in the martial arts for the serious student was the uchideshi method. Is that what the people you refer to do?

Regards.G.
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Old 08-23-2011, 05:53 PM   #69
graham christian
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

Quote:
Andrew Prochnow wrote: View Post
Uke harmonizing with Nage is "NOT" good Aikido.
When Nage establishes an Aiki relationship to Uke Ukemi is then taken to protect yourself from becoming hurt. If Nage cant generate an Aiki relationship to harmonize with Uke what do you have? I would say bad Aikido. Their is no Aiki relationship.

If Uke automatically harmonizes his attack to whatever Nage offers, I also think that is bad Aikido. Reason being that its baised on a false relationship. If you dont know how to generate Aiki because someone always falsly took Ukeme what happens when you come up against someone who is willing to resist you? You learn the truth about who you are and what it is you have been doing. Why do you think so many have been looking outside the art for Aiki? They learned the truth about
"Modern Aikido". Look at the video posted earlier. All of the relationships between Uke and Nage look to be baised on a false relationship where Uke automatically harmonizes himself to Nage. Is this what you want your Aikido to look like?

For what its worth
-Andrew Prochnow
Hi Andrew. Opinions always welcome. However I think you misunderstand harmony, as do many others.

Those uke in the video are not harmonizing, that is their problem.

Regards.G.
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Old 08-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #70
Lorel Latorilla
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
There's just nothing to support that it was even a regular thing that was considered part of their art. If it happened with any sort of regularity it would have made the travels with some of the students. We do have vids of Ueshiba in his DR days (Asahi video) and what's on display looks no different than what you'd see in most Aikido dojo's today. While the students may not have been simply going through the motions, the ukemi models seems in full effect there.

First, I wasn't saying anything bad about Rob specifically, I understand his point. You didn't say that it was because he wasn't taking a dive for htem. You said that "they couldn't move him". There's a huge difference there. I've only been at this a short time, but I find it rather easy to shut someone down if I choose too. It's just not all that surprising to me and hearing someone say "you're not being a good uke" because you're using something that you know, which they don't know, to keep them from moving you, just doesn't set off any alarms for me.

Basically yes. I just don't see that behavior as being "the model". Hell, to be honest, that type of going through the motions is what I was brought up calling bad aikido. You fix it by conditioning people to give good, honest attacks. To feel for when their balance is being taken and when it's being given back. Feel for when there is a conneciton and when there is none. If your skill level is higher than theirs, you give them just enough so that they can push themselves just a little, but succeed and continue to improve. If they've done all of those things through the course of the kata/technique, you should fall as a result. There is none of this falling just to fall nonsense. IS or not, that alone makes aikido better, something that can be used. When you add in the IS training skills and imiproved focus and understanding, then I believe it can be a perfectly fine "way" for training those skills. Which is what I think Ueshiba wanted. What he did not want was all the going through the motions.

Because when you put two people in front of each other and say "You, try your hardest to throw him" and "you, try your hardest to keep from being thrown", then it is going to become a competition. I see no problem with that on its own, but in the context of aikido as we know it, I'm not so sure. IMO Ueshiba condemned competition for safety reasons. You put people of varying skill levels together, some with real skills, some with a hint of them and some with none at all and tell them to work on these techniques, some of which can very easily cause injury, you're setting the stage for problems when you also tell them to resist at all costs. The first time a semi-noob goes to shihonage a full-noob and full-noob just doesn't know enough to know that he's in no position to keep resisisting, POP, shoulder/elbow = gone.

Sure you can separate classes by experience or something, but it just becomes a stream of workarounds to get around the fact that this wasn't meant to be a fighting system. A martial system, martial skills, budo, sure, but fighting? Nah, I don't buy it. IMO I think Ueshiba wanted a system to develop the body skills in a safe and fun way. Once you had them, if you wanted to go test yourself, go for it, but that's not what his art was about so I see no need to go full bore into changing the art into something it was never intended to be. Fixing it to make it what it was supposed to be though, I'm all for that.
Sorry for the delay Jason, here I go:

1) If Ueshiba had skill, and Im sure he did, him throwing his students the way he did was a result of an aiki connection. Sure, some take dramatic falls, so as to make their teacher look better, but that's a different story. Ueshiba was known to go to the Kodokan and take on the Judo players. I wouldn't rule out the occurence of freestyle grappling on the basis that you just saw Ueshiba perform in a way in line with the "modern ukemi model" in some old videos.

2) That's exactly the failure of the modern ukemi model, Jason. If you failed to throw a resisting partner, in reality, your aikido sucks because you've failed to make an aiki connection with the uke. But the modern ukemi model allows us to say "oh he's a bad uke because he's resisting". You're basically denying the reality of your lack of skill.

3) Good honest attacks means that the uke must know how to attack while in balance. From what I see in videos, those who attack essentially bleed out power and unbalance themselves. Do they mean it? Who knows. I reckon it's because their body is unconnected that they cannot maintain connection/balance while they are delivering attacks. I see what you're saying, but figuring out aiki connection in the technique paradigm is the slowboat to China, especially for a nage and an uke who are both unconnected. It's better to build up the body that expresses aiki, and then have your uke attack you as well with a connected body and to stay connected. Depending on who has stronger connection, one will overcome the other. But two people sustaining a connected body while delivering an attack or receiving will necessitate non-cooperation.

4) Like I said, before, competition is a very loaded word and it is related to the notion of Budo. We all think Budo is a path we take to cultivate character and virtue, but that's because we're understanding that from a Western hermeneutic. Budo was meant to cultivate and virtue, but in the context of an imperialistic and militaristic Japan. Budo was a mechanism to make its adherents fully loyal to Japan and the emperor and also to help them be good soldiers in Japan's mission to rule Asia. In a sense, competition was not really embraced because perhaps it represented the Western notion of an "individual" coming out on top--which imperial, ultranationalistic Japan resented because they wanted to go back to an old Japan untouched by foreign influences--and it was never really the purpose of Budo to prepare free-thinking, ambitious individuals. That's why Ueshiba did not embrace competition. The old man himself was known to break his students arms during demonstrations. As for the noob resisting a shihonage when he is already being unbalanced, then his shoulder getting popped is what he deserves. In other words if you are already unbalanced, you can't resist a technique that's in motion (and this bespeaks the power of aiki, because people don't really realize aiki is being applied on them and they can't figure out why they are being thrown, locked, stopped, etc.). Nobody would do such a stupid ass thing. But the set up for a shihonage? Im gonna resist that. The nage will have to figure out and be smart on how to take my balance. I used to do aikido and I had to quit aikido to figure out and how to take people's balance for me to then apply technique. I'm still on that journey, but don't think I will ever go back to aikido. If the training culture involves peeps playing with dynamic, internal energies, then there will be an understanding on the nage part to build up his body so that he can cleanly use those energies to properly take in the force, get under the guy, take his balance, and apply the technique which the uke won't be able to resist because he doesn't have his balance. However, in most aikido dojos, you don't have this kind of practise. Most people have inherited the current ukemi model to the point where they don't question why people take falls for each other and so when you resist, you're thought of as an asshole or too stiff or whatever.

5) Personally I think teaching bodyskills through techniques is flawed. The core of aikido should of course be solo training, but as far as paired practise goes, it should be aiki age. And everything else is a permutation of aiki-age in which we explore principles in aiki-age.

Im lacking sleep here so forgive me if I am not making any sense.

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Old 08-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #71
robin_jet_alt
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

When did this thread morph into a discussion of safe ukemi, resistance, and the responsibility of nage to protect uke?

Anyway, I'm going to jump on my soapbox for a minute, and do a little comparison of 2 dojos that I am familiar with.

Dojo 1:
This sensei is very careful to instruct nage to be careful with uke and not to put the technique on too hard or beyond uke's ability to handle. He would lecture the students on a daily basis and his students followed his advice conscientiously.

Over a 4 year period this dojo experienced 1 dislocated collar bone, 1 severely damaged ankle, and 1 guy who broke his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metacarpals in a horrific injury. Apart from this, there were a number of smaller injuries.

Dojo 2:
This dojo has a bit of a reputation for being rough. Sensei rarely talks about nage's responsibility to protect uke. At a seminar, a student from Dojo 1 paired with a student of Dojo 2 and genuinely thought that this person was trying to seriously injure him. However, the sensei at dojo 1 focuses on teaching good safe ukemi, and drills it in to his students at every practice.

At this dojo, there were no injuries greater than a stubbed toe and mat burn over the same period.

So, which of the 2 is a safer place to train? Which has done more to fulfill their duty of care to Uke?
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:22 PM   #72
chillzATL
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Sorry for the delay Jason, here I go:

1) If Ueshiba had skill, and Im sure he did, him throwing his students the way he did was a result of an aiki connection. Sure, some take dramatic falls, so as to make their teacher look better, but that's a different story. Ueshiba was known to go to the Kodokan and take on the Judo players. I wouldn't rule out the occurence of freestyle grappling on the basis that you just saw Ueshiba perform in a way in line with the "modern ukemi model" in some old videos.
I don't really disagree with anything you're saying, except that you have this collection of students, going back to Inoue even, who all are highly regarded as having skills yet nobody brings something that important forward? They all brought forward essentially the same system. Most of them had some sort of solo exercises as well, which we know are important, yet no need for some freestyle grappling apart from one? Which in that case even the freestyle doesn't seem to have produced anything after him. Shioda even talks about going out on the town "to test himself". If it was frequent enough wouldn't there be some stories about the guys nobody could beat? It's a hard sell that these seemingly intelligent budo men were doing something with any regularity and didn't feel the need to include it in what they taught. The bouncing ball of logic indicates that what they were doing was very similar to what we're doing now, only with a lot more honesty and a hell of a lot better understanding of what's going on under the hood.

Oh and the stories of Ueshiba at the kodokan. I've never heard one of these that made it sound like this was training for him. This was play time, a result of the training, but even for him, it didn't exist "in house" in that form. It's like me spending years obsessively perfecting a unique golf swing that allows me an insane level of power and ball control and for kicks I show up at the local country club and shred everyone there, then go home and continue working on this swing in private.

Quote:
2) That's exactly the failure of the modern ukemi model, Jason. If you failed to throw a resisting partner, in reality, your aikido sucks because you've failed to make an aiki connection with the uke. But the modern ukemi model allows us to say "oh he's a bad uke because he's resisting". You're basically denying the reality of your lack of skill.
My only point was that it doesnt' surprise me. You are talking about the uninitiated. IMO a smart person with even a small amount of skill could do some interesting things to someone who, IS skills apart, lacks good technique and enough strength to apply it. As an example, and I know this will sound...odd to some people.. but anyway. I will often grab my wife by the wrist and tell her to pull her hand away, break my grip. I don't tense up, clamp down or really attempt to hold her, I just relax, connect my body and focus on connecting to her center and either pushing or pulling her to keep her always a little off balance with my center. Considering the amount of "force" that i'm using to hold her wrist, she could easily wrench her wrist free, but that connection and constant nudging of her center keeps her unable to apply that strength. It drives her crazy, but fortunately she doesn't mind entertaining my weirdness... anyway, Someone with more strength could simply overpower my current skill level. That I know. Those Tomiki guys simply lack the skill and strength to overpower what Rob has, but I don't really care about that. I want to fix that, but again, I think that fix is in improved understanding of what's going on under the hood.

Quote:
3) Good honest attacks means that the uke must know how to attack while in balance. From what I see in videos, those who attack essentially bleed out power and unbalance themselves. Do they mean it? Who knows. I reckon it's because their body is unconnected that they cannot maintain connection/balance while they are delivering attacks. I see what you're saying, but figuring out aiki connection in the technique paradigm is the slowboat to China, especially for a nage and an uke who are both unconnected. It's better to build up the body that expresses aiki, and then have your uke attack you as well with a connected body and to stay connected. Depending on who has stronger connection, one will overcome the other. But two people sustaining a connected body while delivering an attack or receiving will necessitate non-cooperation.
I agree completely! I just don't see the techniques that way any more. They're just various shapes of force exchange, which interestingly enough closely mimic the way humans often engage each other, but essentially just forces. When our local IS group gets together we'll do some grappling type exercises, where the object is to catch the other persons center and take their balance. It's a two way, back and forth exchange and it's an honest game if you want to call it that, but it only goes so far. Nobody is getting taken down all the way, though in some cases I'm sure they could have been, but it isn't needed, the point was proven. You keep going and continue to use that as an opportunity to both test and improve yourself. I believe all the various IS systems these days have similar drills. Why can't aikido be just like that? What makes the force exchanges in aikido any less potentially honest than any of these sorts of drills or paired exercises? Again, it seems to be how it (and DR) was transmitted, only with the real understanding and focus being reserved for a select few.

Quote:
4) Like I said, before, competition is a very loaded word and it is related to the notion of Budo. We all think Budo is a path we take to cultivate character and virtue, but that's because we're understanding that from a Western hermeneutic. Budo was meant to cultivate and virtue, but in the context of an imperialistic and militaristic Japan. Budo was a mechanism to make its adherents fully loyal to Japan and the emperor and also to help them be good soldiers in Japan's mission to rule Asia. In a sense, competition was not really embraced because perhaps it represented the Western notion of an "individual" coming out on top--which imperial, ultranationalistic Japan resented because they wanted to go back to an old Japan untouched by foreign influences--and it was never really the purpose of Budo to prepare free-thinking, ambitious individuals. That's why Ueshiba did not embrace competition. The old man himself was known to break his students arms during demonstrations. As for the noob resisting a shihonage when he is already being unbalanced, then his shoulder getting popped is what he deserves. In other words if you are already unbalanced, you can't resist a technique that's in motion (and this bespeaks the power of aiki, because people don't really realize aiki is being applied on them and they can't figure out why they are being thrown, locked, stopped, etc.). Nobody would do such a stupid ass thing. But the set up for a shihonage? Im gonna resist that. The nage will have to figure out and be smart on how to take my balance. I used to do aikido and I had to quit aikido to figure out and how to take people's balance for me to then apply technique. I'm still on that journey, but don't think I will ever go back to aikido. If the training culture involves peeps playing with dynamic, internal energies, then there will be an understanding on the nage part to build up his body so that he can cleanly use those energies to properly take in the force, get under the guy, take his balance, and apply the technique which the uke won't be able to resist because he doesn't have his balance. However, in most aikido dojos, you don't have this kind of practise. Most people have inherited the current ukemi model to the point where they don't question why people take falls for each other and so when you resist, you're thought of as an asshole or too stiff or whatever.
see I honestly don't think we're disagreeing on anything here. I really don't. I mean on some level I think that what you want simply is not what aikido is or was intended to be, period. which is perfectly cool and something I understand completely. I personally like aikido for what I think it was supposed to be and that is more movement practice than fighting practice. I like it even more knowing that the skills being trained are real and that anyone who devlops them in aikido should be able to go outside of it and start figuring out how to apply them, but if they don't care to do that, that's cool too, but at the end of the day you still know the skills are real, true budo if you will.

I could really go on about this, more than I already have, which probably seems crazy. My interest in aikido as IS training system only increases as I put in more time and continue to work on developing the skills. Thanks for the discussion so far, I've enjoyed it.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:25 PM   #73
chillzATL
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
When did this thread morph into a discussion of safe ukemi, resistance, and the responsibility of nage to protect uke?

Anyway, I'm going to jump on my soapbox for a minute, and do a little comparison of 2 dojos that I am familiar with.

Dojo 1:
This sensei is very careful to instruct nage to be careful with uke and not to put the technique on too hard or beyond uke's ability to handle. He would lecture the students on a daily basis and his students followed his advice conscientiously.

Over a 4 year period this dojo experienced 1 dislocated collar bone, 1 severely damaged ankle, and 1 guy who broke his 2nd, 3rd, and 4th metacarpals in a horrific injury. Apart from this, there were a number of smaller injuries.

Dojo 2:
This dojo has a bit of a reputation for being rough. Sensei rarely talks about nage's responsibility to protect uke. At a seminar, a student from Dojo 1 paired with a student of Dojo 2 and genuinely thought that this person was trying to seriously injure him. However, the sensei at dojo 1 focuses on teaching good safe ukemi, and drills it in to his students at every practice.

At this dojo, there were no injuries greater than a stubbed toe and mat burn over the same period.

So, which of the 2 is a safer place to train? Which has done more to fulfill their duty of care to Uke?
Sorry I think we hijacked the thread a little.

Dojo #2 by far. It's uke's responsiblity to protect uke, though control on nage's part is still demanded.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:17 AM   #74
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Dojo #2 by far. It's uke's responsiblity to protect uke, though control on nage's part is still demanded.
It's true that it's uke's responsibility to protect themselves, but I think it's also sensei's responsibility to give uke the tools to protect themselves.
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Old 08-24-2011, 04:32 PM   #75
Gerardo Torres
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Re: grandmaster Nobuo Maekawa

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Show me a student who blames his teacher or whatever and I'll show you a bad student.
"Blame the teacher"? You're introducing a false dilemma here. Many of the problems some people see with modern aikido stem right from when Ueshiba was alive (he saw it and proclaimed it himself), so he'd be the one to blame if that were the goal (but what's the point of doing that now?). Some problems in aikido are endemic. The current revisionist efforts have little or nothing to do with blaming a person or group, or quitting. It's about improving and correcting the current body of knowledge so the next generation of aikidoka grows stronger, not weaker. The whole "bad student" guilt trip, "it's all there", "we already do that", etc., might be an effective strategy to preserve a cult, but given enough time it's an approach that would kill any form of Budo as each generation of "good students (blind followers)" grows weaker than the last. Even some koryu bujutsu need to continuously go back and review the source material to make sure nothing gets lost or watered down, and is not uncommon to help grow stronger practitioners through adaptation (new methods).

Quote:
Yes I have the knowledge and experience to measure.
That would imply you know about things like 6-directions, elbow power, etc. The record shows that you don't have enough understanding of those things. Therefore you can't make a value judgement on the educated ones who understand and train those things and can link them to Ueshiba's aikido.

Quote:
Firstly, if the teacher could do what they were after then all that they want is there if they are a good student.
What if I wanted something in addition to what my teacher does? Can I stay and enrich my home dojo experience with training done outside? Does that make me a "bad student"? Then every single art founder and exceptional exponent was a "bad student" according to you.
Quote:
If it wasn't there in the first place then they were stupid staying there looking for it. Once again a bad student. It's not the teachers fault.
Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy. Logical fallacy.

Quote:
If you want to learn O'Senseis Aikido then you would have to understand what he said and how to apply that. It's a journey not a five minute exercise where if you don't get it you blame.

That's the first truth you would have to accept. Then you would see that if you don't want to do it as a lifelong exercise then it is not O'Senseis Aikido you are after but don't worry because there is plenty of Aikido that will suit your needs. (when I say you it's general)

He who does this doesn't blame he learns and if necessary moves on. I'm afraid it is that simple.

This is how I see it, if you see it differently then that's fine by me.
You keep making the same false claims (sprinkled with the usual condescending "lecturing" tone): that people are not trying hard enough ("bad students"), that they are leaving their arts, etc., based on nothing but speculation since you lack exposure to these practitioners and the material they are studying, as well as ignore direct statements to the contrary. Furthermore, you're unwilling and/or unable to discuss the possibility that the current aikido body of knowledge (all of it, all styles) is due for a revision to bring it back to its roots. I see the written and physical evidence, that's fine by me.

Quote:
Oh one last thing. Modern versus old. What old method of teaching? Does that mean some methods are outdated? As far as I know the 'old' in fact 'standard' way of teaching in the martial arts for the serious student was the uchideshi method. Is that what the people you refer to do?
It has nothing to do with being uchideshi or sotodeshi. Perhaps lecture less, study more is in order?
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