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Old 11-29-2011, 04:15 AM   #51
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
... However my opinion is that this approach is an illusion and dead end.
I am used to this opinion. I very often hear it.
I started this way of practice some six years ago. It attracted me so much, and I committed myself to it because it was the first time, someone showed me a way of aikido which didn't depend on ukes cooperation.

Three thoughts:

1) You are right: uke is expected to be "answering", to be responsive, to become very flexible and soft. So tori can experience and explore his own body and the connection to uke.

2) You are wrong: uke is not made to please tori and make his waza work. On the contrary he is expected to clearly show tori his faults. And the more advanced uke and nage are, the more "heavy" uke will be.

3) I am used to practice with experienced judoka. I experienced this certain way of aikido to work on them. I could take balance, I could control them, I could throw them when I had started to change my aikido This was mostly not possible, with what I had learned and done for the first twelve years of my practice.

In conclusion:
Yes, you are right insofar as this way of practicing involves the danger to lead to a totally harmless way of aikido. But isn't this a danger in every style which works with kata practice?

No, you are wrong insofar as you call this way a dead end. ...
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:25 AM   #52
Mario Tobias
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
Hi Mario,

I'm not sure I can agree with the above statement, on any level. Why is it the most important? why is it the most difficult? Why does it rely purely on timing?

It is difficult for us all to comprehend aikido and as such, we can discuss it endlessly here on this site. Personally I like ikkyo, I find it really easy, of course timing is important, depending on the dynamics of the attack, but purely? surely not, there is so much more that has to be in place for the timing to be effective (distance, balance, structure, relaxation, mind, intent etc)

I don't see any of the aikido techniques/exercises as having a hierarchy of importance, they are all useful tools for practicing the principles of aikido, which I see as the raison d'etre of aikido.

I am not saying that you are wrong, as I would be interested in why you say what you say.

regards

Mark
I don't fully understand ikkyo myself but just from experience and teachings of high ranking aikidoka, it is not the technique itself that is important with ikkyo but how to read intent of your partner and act on it accordingly. The principle being you are already there even before the attack has begun, but not too early. It is more the mental aspect that you are trying to hone much more than the physical. ikkyo from suwari waza is a good example of this. You dont wait for the attack to start. Looking it at this perspective, ikkyo is not that easy...It maybe easy for you but not for me.

I imagine if you are faced with an accomplished swordsman and we try ikkyo as a defense, you will get cut down. Forget about the youtube videos where a lot of aikidoka successfully use ikkyo for defense. Some of them might be legit but some not so imo. Remember you only need the farthest 3rd of the sword to kill. Only by being "ahead" of the opponent can you successfully defend. This I think can only be done by reading the person's intent. By saying that timing is not an important factor for ikkyo I disagree because ikkyo is counterintuitive...you do strong irimi directly to an attacking opponent. Be too early, you will get cut, Hesitate with the irimi and you will also get cut.

I would think Osensei put ikkyo (first teaching) as first since it is important enough to warrant it being the first to be taught?

This is just my understanding though.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 11-29-2011 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:02 AM   #53
Michael Varin
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Nice post, Mario.

I believe the point you made above is critical.

The only way to move as you describe, and be non-random, is aiki.

When facing a weapon as devastating as a sword, this skill/ability is so much more important than the "IP/IT/IS" skills that we see discussed so often on these forums (which, of course, are not unimportant in and of themselves).

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:20 AM   #54
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Agree, the concept of ma-ai is very important and primary focuses on timing and the ability to read subtle clues and shifts. This is a very important aspect of Aikido for sure and one that I think gets marginalized a great deal. There are many instances in which this would come into play and is important, but it also has to be backed up with stuff of alot more substance if whoever you are "reading" and "communicating with decides your "conversation" is one he wishes to change or doesn't speak your "language".

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Old 11-29-2011, 06:33 AM   #55
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Agree, the concept of ma-ai is very important and primary focuses on timing and the ability to read subtle clues and shifts. This is a very important aspect of Aikido for sure and one that I think gets marginalized a great deal. There are many instances in which this would come into play and is important, but it also has to be backed up with stuff of alot more substance if whoever you are "reading" and "communicating with decides your "conversation" is one he wishes to change or doesn't speak your "language".
Great point!

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:33 AM   #56
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
... The principle being you are already there even before the attack has begun, but not too early.
This is a timing of ikkyo I am not familiar with. Why do try to be "already there even before the attack has begun"? What is the purpose?
And to you try to have this same timing also when executing other techniques?

Quote:
You dont wait for the attack to start.
When it is tori who iniates ukes attack this is not the same as being already there" inmy eyes?

Looking it at this perspective, ikkyo is not that easy...It maybe easy for you but not for me.

Quote:
Only by being "ahead" of the opponent can you successfully defend.
I agree about tachi doir being more or less a training tool. But here also: Why do you have to be ahaed of the opponent? We don't practice this timing in tachi dori ikkyo.

Quote:
I would think Osensei put ikkyo (first teaching) as first since it is important enough to warrant it being the first to be taught?
Wasn't this simply due to the Daito ryu curriculum (ippon dori being part of ikkajo)?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
The only way to move as you describe, and be non-random, is aiki.
If I see it right, you understand timing as an aspect of aiki?
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:43 AM   #57
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote:
Quote:
Michael Varin wrote:
The only way to move as you describe, and be non-random, is aiki.
If I see it right, you understand timing as an aspect of aiki?
It really depends on your perspective. I can easily see why Morihei would have said timing was not a factor.

It has nothing to do with anticipating or strategizing, but there is a certain time in which you must be moving.

I think it is more of a question about what moves you.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #58
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Well, as far as I learned it, taking the balance is not an issue of timing or atemi or combine ones own movement with that of the attacker. But I learned that creating kuzushi is a matter of using what is called " atari" at us.
Ok, but doesn't atari basically equate to Atteru, which means "match" or "win", with the idea being, by the time he gets there, you've won already? Kinda like that diagram and video I cited?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
You guys know the kanji: 合ってる.

It seems like the word is being treated as a noun, like "ki" or "kokyu". But actually it is a verb, in a progressive conjugation.

合う - au "to match, to meet"
合って(い)る - atte-(i)ru "matching, meeting"

It seems like Endo-sensei was using it particularly idiomatically to indicate a certain kind of matching, perhaps an interaction with the opponent's ki, the ki "matching".

This reminds me of something I heard and saw demonstrated by an Iwama instructor in Nagoya (Takumo Sensei of Saito Hirohito's Iwama Shinshin Aiki Shurenkai). He told a student that he was doing great, but he would really improve when he grasped "awase".

Now, "awase" is written with the same kanji as "aiki", and the same kanji as "atteru": 合わせ. But while 合う is intransitive, 合わせ is transitive (in this case in a gerund form). The instructor went on to explain "awase" as (he said) Saito Morihiro used to demonstrate it.

He had the student grab his hand in morotetori, as hard as he could (as we are wont in Iwama style). With the student holding on hard, he said, "With awase, you should be able to scratch your head, and your butt." Then with a slight movement, vaguely similar to morotetori kokyuho, he reached up and scratched his head, despite the students efforts to hold his arm down. Then he brought his hand down on the same track, slightly turned his body, and scratched his rear-end. There was no straining, or muscling up; he moved his hand up as if the student wasn't there, and then back down the same way.

Working out with this exercise, it definitely reminded me of my work out with Rob John. I don't actually think Takumo-sensei is a master of internal power (though I may be wrong!), but I think what he was teaching was certainly a fundamental aspect of aikido, and if nothing else the very beginnings of internal training.

Essentially, IMO, Endo-sensei and Takumo-sensei were talking about the "ai" of aikido, what exactly it means.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:54 AM   #59
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post

I would think Osensei put ikkyo (first teaching) as first since it is important enough to warrant it being the first to be taught?

This is just my understanding though.
Not to pick nits, but he didn't put it first - it was already there, as the first technique in the Ikajo series of Daito-ryu.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-29-2011, 11:28 AM   #60
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I disagree. It is easy to experience by yourself. Practice unbalancing with first time beginner, and put him on the tatami. Nobody will regain 'naturally' his balance. They are collapsing and crashing on the mat.
And if your technique doesn't cause them to fall down, what do they do if you say nothing?

Even if it does cause them to fall down, what do they do next, without being prompted?

Would it be fair to describe that, if not injured, 100% of them will return to whatever perception of appropriate posture and balance that they have?

When you simply push an untrained person, even with a skillful vector that might result in a fall, after receiving the initial push (ukemi), what happens in their body, whether they fall or manage to remain upright? How do their muscles react? Is there variation? Is it predictable? Is it natural or unnatural?

Quote:
In fact there is no universal definition of 'doing natural movement'. So it is useless to use it here.
I agree, without a shared definition it's difficult to have a discussion. But without an understanding of how human beings naturally (in their variations) interact with gravity all you have is some pretty dancing wherein both partners are required to do their part.

Start with a child learning to walk and observe their neuro-muscular behavior and how they deal with balance and movement in their learning process and you have a good starting place. Extend

A child can learn a lot of bad habits from the beginning, but it is clearly a natural process for a human being to attempt to recover their balance and posture (even a poor one) immediately upon losing it.

The model of ukemi that does not include that process as uke receives force is flawed, IME. Too many models teach uke to give up their posture (and often balance) in order to maintain their connection a 'look' a certain way.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 11-29-2011, 11:57 AM   #61
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Lyle Laizure wrote: View Post
Nothing takes balance like atemi.
Word...The Trick is... to get Uke to fully commit to their attack first before applying it. Lots of folks saying that exact same thing in so many different ways and it's easy to talk the talk... but walking the walk in this regard is still the nexus of my practice after 20 years.

William Hazen
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:58 PM   #62
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I also saw old video of O sensei and it is true that his ukes are attacking from very far. May be for demo purpose only, who knows.
attack from far away? that's too easy to deal with. i guess his aikido must not be very good.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:53 AM   #63
Mario Tobias
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
This is a timing of ikkyo I am not familiar with. Why do try to be "already there even before the attack has begun"? What is the purpose?
And to you try to have this same timing also when executing other techniques?

When it is tori who iniates ukes attack this is not the same as being already there" inmy eyes?

Looking it at this perspective, ikkyo is not that easy...It maybe easy for you but not for me.

I agree about tachi doir being more or less a training tool. But here also: Why do you have to be ahaed of the opponent? We don't practice this timing in tachi dori ikkyo.

Wasn't this simply due to the Daito ryu curriculum (ippon dori being part of ikkajo)?

If I see it right, you understand timing as an aspect of aiki?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaVEm_Nonuw

This is a video of Hikitsuchi sensei, 10th dan, explaining the attack initiation for the ikkyo series as well as other principles discussed.
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Old 11-30-2011, 02:56 AM   #64
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Bob Strahinjevich wrote: View Post
Ok, but doesn't atari basically equate to Atteru, which means "match" or "win", ...
The word Endo sensei uses is 当たり (from 当てる - a te ru). It is related to 当て身 (a te mi).So his is different from what Josua Reyer suggested.
When sensei talks in english he uses the words "engagement" and "connection" to translate what atari means: "... the atari of ki and ki and of body and body, the connection between ki and ki, the connection at the point of contact between body and body".

Quote:
... with the idea being, by the time he gets there, you've won already?
This is not the idea of atari as it is understood in our practice. atari as far as I understand it, means that tori touches aite or is touched by aite and now uses this touch, this connection of the two bodies, to guide aite.
It's a little bit like to "chime in" the steering of aites body by touching him or by being touched by him. And we practice this beginning with static exercises. So there is no anticipating or being before.

Quote:
Kinda like that diagram and video I cited?
What I see in your video is different from what I know as atari. And also your Diagram doesn't fit to my understanding of atari.
Guiding by atari can use big movements. Or can use very small or just not to be seen or felt movements.
But atari can also be used to send the energy or power of aite directly back on just the same way it came to you. This would be the above on the left side of your diagram. This feels like runnig into cotton wool. But it has an effect like walking into a wall made of granite. Both feelings at the same time.
This is because the atari is "created from inside out" and not only by the touched part of the body. It is more about on struture affecting another structure.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:47 PM   #65
Ken McGrew
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Good post Ken.
I also saw old video of O sensei and it is true that his ukes are attacking from very far. May be for demo purpose only, who knows.

You can't go back forever. And you can't limit your techniques only to kicking - we are not doing kickboxing LOL

Yes, such attack I'm interested to talk about unbalancing. Most experiences attackers do it that way. How will you structure a training to get your students familiar and what kind of training solution you can see?
My comments were in response to your concerns as posted. My general point is that attacks come fast and hard. Otherwise run away. If you can't run away for some reason and the attacker wades in on you, kick him or strike him. If you don't know how to do that then Aikido (meaning unbalancing him with his own attack energy) is still quite possible... but will require a higher level of skill/experience. Not something you'll get overnight. Aikido is not an easy art to learn to do at the higher levels.

There is a difference between how to train beginners, how to train senior students, and how to respond in a self defense situation on the street. They are related by not always in an obvious or straightforward manner.

Beginning students should, in my view which I inherit from O Sensei via Saotome Sensei, should practice in a highly cooperative manner. This can be too cooperative. It's a thin line. But basically in a highly cooperative manner. By training this idealized way Uke helps Nage to learn to draw out of a real attacker the desired responses. It cannot be taught directly. The unity of opposites of Uke and Nage when training in a cooperative manner teaches both partners things that can't be directly taught and are hard even to put into words. This is what Saotome Sensei calls the seventh sense. Cooperative waza does not preclude the use of exercises that may be static, Etc. Beginning students need to trust the system that O Sensei developed.

Advanced students should engage in a variety of training approaches to develop different skills. They can give each other feedback about when there are weaknesses in the movement/technique. This should not take the form of resistance that leaves Uke vulnerable. Eventually students must understand weapons defense, take musu aiki, Oyo henka, reversals, and randori. All Aikido training should be leading students to handle multiple armed and unarmed attackers. Otherwise it is of very limited self defense value.

A new student in a dojo may give their balance too freely and not recover it. Or the new student may fail to follow all together. These are not the behaviors of dangerous attackers in self defense situations. If we want our bodies to respond correctly when attacked by experienced attackers, we must train with the assumption that the attacker will not make such mistakes as these which leave him completely vulnerable to counter attacks. When a real attacker fails to recover his balance, run away. When he fails to follow, stands there like a statue after attacking, either strike, throw (harder to do without energy from the attacker), or run away. If the attacker keeps or regains his balance then initiates a new attack blend and unbalance with this new attack energy, strike, or run away. There are higher levels of Aikido, which one strives towards, and then there is survival. Much of Aikido is about, as Saotome Sensei says, risk management. Or as the character Mr. Miyagi said, "best defense no be there." Aikido, generally speaking, replacing the counter strike by guiding the attacker off balance, but a failure to understand the option to strike leaves you vulnerable. At the very least it forces you to perform high level Aikido. In case of mistakes it's good to have plan b, c, and d.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:53 AM   #66
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

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May be you didn't read my first post - please refrain in this topic from IS\IP discussion.
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Old 12-01-2011, 05:47 AM   #67
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Daniel James wrote: View Post
"ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS"
"Four legs good, two legs bad"

That Orwellian quote in itself strays into forbidden IS/IP territory

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:39 PM   #68
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

There is a great article on irrimi from Amdur Sensei in the forums right now that I think cuts to the heart of this question. Kuzushi is achieved through irrimi. That is to say the I must always enter to connect to my parter's balance structure before I can perform waza. Kuriowa Sensei called this action "kihon" because it referred to the basic interaction of every aikido technique, "aiki". So "kihon waza" referred to the spontaneous technique resulting after a stated of aiki was established. Specify the technique and you have kata no kihon waza. I really liked the approach Kuriowa Sensei had in this regard because I think we often put the cart before the horse when we try to do technique before we are connected to our partner's balance. If we lose aiki, then we need to establish it again... with another entering move.

While not aikido, it is often easy to spot the entering movement in a good judo match - you can almost see tori's balance go out the window. If somehow tori moves his center and restructures his balance you see another entering movement (and so on). Sometimes its easier to see this transition in judo because the moves are larger and less subtle than in aikido. Eventually, I think the good judo players are simply doing aiki and you're back to having difficulty seeing what is going on.

Timing and distance are components of the entering move. However, both are based upon the attack, not the attacker. I tend to agree with Kevin on this... I would be careful to distinguish between the timing of my partner's action and the timing of the attack. Anyone who has ever heard a 5th grade musical can attest to the fact there is music on a sheet and there is music that is being played, they are not necessarily the same. I should be able to make the same technique work whether I am 3 feet away or 3 inches away (sorry, I don't know the conversions for all your metric freaks).
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:28 AM   #69
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Jon wrote:

Quote:
Kuzushi is achieved through irrimi. That is to say the I must always enter to connect to my parter's balance structure before I can perform waza
and to put this in a "western" context...this also is in line with the whole OODA process that I so love to bring up every other post.

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Old 12-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #70
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

I just had an excellent practice with somebody, he is 6th dan. He can deliver very powerful full speed attack and still controls well his balance. Sensei called hanmi handachi yokomenuchi kotegaeshi and he was attacking me. I had to deploy all my capacities and I used my full experience, yet, I could him unbalance may be twice during 10 minutes. Of course, even in those cases, he recovered his balance immediately I couldn’t even start kotegaeshi.

I was so happy (finally I had something to work on!!), but in the same time, couldn’t find even theoretical solution. I’ve been trying irimi outside of his attacking leg – that actually was twice successful, but couldn’t maintain unbalancing. Other entry was what we call tenchi (pivot on the back foot, front foot goes back behind back foot, 45 degree out of attack line). Most of the time reception of his attack was not soft enough to ‘invite’ him to my space so he bounced back.

As we were hanmi handachi, I couldn’t enter rimi inside of his attacking leg to cut his head/center as it is possible when two ppl are standing. Being on my knees and he standing, he was much more mobile than me and I couldn’t play successfully with distance to ambush him.
Very obviously you can’t catch attacking hand neither to use vertical dimension to put him on my level….
Nice experience.

Nagababa

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Old 12-03-2011, 02:04 AM   #71
Ken McGrew
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Szeczepan,

I'm not sure how long you've been training, but I think maybe you should be more patient with yourself. A senior student could not be thrown by you if he didn't want to be when he knew what the technique was.

Give yourself time.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:15 AM   #72
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

I believe Szeczepan holds a 5th dan. What does that tell you?
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:26 AM   #73
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Patrick Hutchinson wrote: View Post
I believe Szeczepan holds a 5th dan. What does that tell you?
Old, very old... not much time left...

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Old 12-03-2011, 11:10 AM   #74
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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Re: Controlling balance of attacker

Quote:
Patrick Hutchinson wrote: View Post
I believe Szeczepan holds a 5th dan. What does that tell you?
That it's hard to throw an equally experienced Aikido artist.
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