Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-01-2011, 06:40 AM   #1
Chris Knight
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 138
England
Offline
O Sensei observation

This may have been discussed before but as I'm a newbie, gonna ask anyway

In the vast majority of videos of O Sensei that I've watched, he is constantly throwing and even performing a lot of techniques with one arm in the air and one down to earth. I know this is part of tenchi nage etc, but he seems to incorparate this into the vast majority of body movements, and applications.

Is this part of the yin-yang element in aikido, and does this form part of in yo-ho or is this element more internally based...
I watched a lot of practitioners recently and a lot don't perform techniques like this , especially kokyu nages etc..

Another observation is that he constantly forms a spherical shape with his arms, not down by his sides like a lot of practitioners... I know there are clips like this of him, but I'm on about the vast majority of times

Is this to do with keeping the body like a sphere/ six direction training or am I completely off target??

Regards
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 08:15 AM   #2
ryback
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 198
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Hi Chris! O-sensei used to say "enter form,exit form" and what he meant by that in my opinion is that as a beginer and for a lot of your first years in aikido training you should follow a form in order to learn the techniques and the basic principles of aikido.Once aikido has become a second nature through this process,you then become "free" of the form and you just execute the techniques without thinking. I believe that at the latest of his videos O-sensei is in such an advanced stage in his technique,that being absolutelly free of any form he is just using his Ki and aikido principles without any visible, obvious and clear "technique". Everything in aikido is internaly based,there is no separation between "technique" and "philosophy". Aikido is a non-resisting martial art.That is its philosophy and application simultaneously! It's a way to avoid any conflict and fighting but also a way to remain calm, peaceful and in harmony with the attacker even during a fighting situation. All of the above reflect my opinion through my experience in the years i am training in aikido which is the most important aspect of my life.But we must always remember that O-sensei is not an easy person to explain, so i just hope that my post helped you in some way...
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
genin
Location: southwest
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 103
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Perhaps that was just his style, sort of like a signature move. Or maybe he used his arms as reference points in order to more efficiently define his sphere of strength.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 10:26 AM   #4
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 959
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Is this to do with keeping the body like a sphere/ six direction training or am I completely off target??
Yes. And yes, the "tenchi nage" style movement has to do with balancing in yo ho. Both movements/positions also have internal implications.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
Chris Knight
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 138
England
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Im presuming this pose has something to do with opposing spirals. however i thought this is common knowledge within aikido in general but not many practioners replicate it?? or i could just be presuming wrong? any thoughts
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 03:34 PM   #6
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

For every video screen shot of O Sensei with one hand dangling, I can show you a screen shot of both hands engaged. O Sensei liked to throw people with fans. He liked to throw people while standing on the toe of only one foot. There's footage of him throwing kokyu nage hamni handachi and if you slow the video down enough you can see him move both hands up, back to seiza, then up again before Uke could grab. It's almost invisible to the naked eye. He was showing off. Not demonstrating the forgotten secret of Aikido.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 03:52 PM   #7
Chris Knight
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 138
England
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Do all those examples require exact timimg though ken. If so, what would happen if he was to fast or slow in reacting?
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 191
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Im presuming this pose has something to do with opposing spirals. however i thought this is common knowledge within aikido in general but not many practioners replicate it?? or i could just be presuming wrong? any thoughts
Hi Chris,

There's some recent discussion here about translations, spirals, kamae, etc., starting halfway on page 3:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...t=19947&page=3

-Gerardo
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 11:54 AM   #9
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Do all those examples require exact timimg though ken. If so, what would happen if he was to fast or slow in reacting?
Chris,

I'm not sure I understand the question.

But I would say this. Take Musu Aiki is related to the ability to spontaneously change in a manner appropriate to the situation. I have never said that there is one right way to do Aikido. You need as many possible responses in your skill set as possible. In general, however, timing, distance, stance are always important. Even preferable. It's much better if Uke falls down largely from his own attack energy. If that doesn't happen then plan b. Then plan C. Etc. The problem is that once Uke's momentum has stopped he is therefore able to regain balance. Balance allows him to make new attacks and change. Thus the danger becomes less predictable and multiplies. It is always a good idea, then, to assume that he is hiding a knife in a real attack situation.

But I thought this was a discussion about O Sensei allegedly always showing the principle of in yo ho as evidenced by him leaving one hand dangling. I would suggest that from close examination of the videos of O Sensei that he does so the minority of the time and he does so basically to show off. As if he was saying, look my timing is so perfect that I can throw with a fan, while standing on one foot, with my other hand not even used.

Let me be clear, the spiral style tenchinage is fine, so long as you protect yourself from kicks, Uke changing the attack, or multiple attackers. It's a very nice exercise. But could get you killed if you are too invested in doing it just this one way.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 12-02-2011 at 11:56 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 12:59 PM   #10
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 959
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
But I thought this was a discussion about O Sensei allegedly always showing the principle of in yo ho as evidenced by him leaving one hand dangling. I would suggest that from close examination of the videos of O Sensei that he does so the minority of the time and he does so basically to show off. As if he was saying, look my timing is so perfect that I can throw with a fan, while standing on one foot, with my other hand not even used.
So. What was it that allowed him to get away with "showing off" in that manner? Just excellent timing? Or was there more going on?

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 01:00 PM   #11
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 959
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Do all those examples require exact timimg though ken. If so, what would happen if he was to fast or slow in reacting?
Uke would have established a more secure grip, and would therefore have been more challenging -- but certainly not impossible -- to move.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 01:02 PM   #12
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 959
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Im presuming this pose has something to do with opposing spirals. however i thought this is common knowledge within aikido in general but not many practioners replicate it?? or i could just be presuming wrong? any thoughts
Yes, opposing spirals are definitely involved.

I'm not going to speculate about what other aikidoka are or are not doing, but I've found thinking in terms of opposing spirals to be enormously helpful in my own practice.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 01:20 PM   #13
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 191
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Change the guy attacking O Sensei from a trained "uke" to say Tenryu the top wrestler or some of the Kodokan judoka he used to play with. Was O Sensei able to deal with these guys using "blending", "leading", etc.? Read the interviews and direct accounts, which describe O Sensei not being moved by active judo guys, or Tenryu feeling as if old Ueshiba's arm was made of iron. What was O Sensei doing to them? Why didn't he just blended, "showed off" waiving his fan, and let them fall by themselves?
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #14
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
Change the guy attacking O Sensei from a trained "uke" to say Tenryu the top wrestler or some of the Kodokan judoka he used to play with. Was O Sensei able to deal with these guys using "blending", "leading", etc.? Read the interviews and direct accounts, which describe O Sensei not being moved by active judo guys, or Tenryu feeling as if old Ueshiba's arm was made of iron. What was O Sensei doing to them? Why didn't he just blended, "showed off" waiving his fan, and let them fall by themselves?
I dont understand what part of simple English that people find so difficult to follow.

1) O Sensei did a variety of things in different circumstances.
2) Sensei's ability to ground out significant force was one thing he could do. Tae Chi masters do things like this too.
3) the fact that O Sensei did what you describe some of the time does not mean it was the end all be all Aiki or that what most of us take Aiki to be is wrong.
4) if these guys were trying to stab him he would have done something different.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 06:45 PM   #15
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Interesting thread. I would say it does show his preference for kokyu myself.

As for correct timing then obviously yes for that's all part and parcel of good Aikido. If timing was out it would have the same effect as when any principle is out----trouble.

As for yin and yang, the basics of, well then that's obviously there too but it's there in every movement and technique in Aikido so it's not a particular sign of said videos.

Regards.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 06:50 PM   #16
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,075
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Interesting thread. I would say it does show his preference for kokyu myself.
Not so much - here's part of an interview with Yasuo Kobayashi (the original is in Japanese only):

Quote:
Q: Is that so - did that have the freestyle (jiyu-waza) demonstrations so common in Aikido at that time?
A: No, that began after the examination system was established. When the membership began to increase a system of kyu and dan examinations was instituted, and the uchi-deshi would take ukemi. However there were never more than around 5 uchi-deshi, so they could not partner up with the expanding number of students, so the students were made to partner with each other for ukemi. At that time freestyle was added as an item on the examination. We held demonstrations from the time that I started, but since basic techniques alone were thought to be boring it was decided to show kokyu-nage as well. Until that time kokyu-nage was not done often in the dojo.

Q: Why was that?
A: O-Sensei did not like kokyu-nage very much. "What good is simply throwing around people like that?" was his thinking. However it was good for training, so it was added to the normal practice. Aiki-nage was much the same - behind the scenes of how freestyle became introduced these kinds of things happened. While we're discussing this, as far as I know koshi-nage was not practiced much in the beginning. After Nishio and Kuroiwa researched it independently other instructors began to steal their techniques.
Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 07:07 PM   #17
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Not so much - here's part of an interview with Yasuo Kobayashi (the original is in Japanese only):

Best,

Chris
Hold on. So Kobayashi knew what Ueshiba was thinking? That's quite a skill.

Now let's investigate this further.1) Ueshiba didn't like it and said what's the point 2) But it was good for training. 3) So it was added anyway. Mmmmmm. Sounds like another who didn't quite understand something. (or maybe a mistranslation)

Plus Kokyu was emphasized by Ueshiba and as time progressed more and more so. Let's not confuse this with technique though and set kokyunage.

Lastly and more importantly I am giving an answer to Chris from my observations and I see the priciples of Kokyu at play. So who said what when means nothing to me. However if others see other things or principles in play then that is also interesting.

Regards.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 07:16 PM   #18
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,075
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hold on. So Kobayashi knew what Ueshiba was thinking? That's quite a skill.

Now let's investigate this further.1) Ueshiba didn't like it and said what's the point 2) But it was good for training. 3) So it was added anyway. Mmmmmm. Sounds like another who didn't quite understand something. (or maybe a mistranslation)

Plus Kokyu was emphasized by Ueshiba and as time progressed more and more so. Let's not confuse this with technique though and set kokyunage.

Lastly and more importantly I am giving an answer to Chris from my observations and I see the priciples of Kokyu at play. So who said what when means nothing to me. However if others see other things or principles in play then that is also interesting.

Regards.G.
Well, he was talking about a public demonstration that Ueshiba had no part in planning. That it was added anyway says more about who was doing the planning than about Kobayashi's correctness. You might also think about why someone steeped in Takeda type paranoia would be showing something that he thought wasn't all that valuable (Saito talked about it too, it's not just Kobayashi).

Anyway, wouldn't Kobayashi seems to have a better chance of reading his mind then you?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I would say it does show his preference for kokyu myself.
Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 07:25 PM   #19
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
Im presuming this pose has something to do with opposing spirals. however i thought this is common knowledge within aikido in general but not many practioners replicate it?? or i could just be presuming wrong? any thoughts
It's not common knowledge at all in the wider aikido world. It's been discussed a lot on Aikiweb, but even here when the idea was first introduced it was not understood or accepted.

Calling the lower hand "dangling" suggests complete ignorance of what's really going on there.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 07:39 PM   #20
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Well, he was talking about a public demonstration that Ueshiba had no part in planning. That it was added anyway says more about who was doing the planning than about Kobayashi's correctness. You might also think about why someone steeped in Takeda type paranoia would be showing something that he thought wasn't all that valuable (Saito talked about it too, it's not just Kobayashi).

Anyway, wouldn't Kobayashi seems to have a better chance of reading his mind then you?

Best,

Chris
No, Chris said he'd seen it in parts of many videos. Mind reading? Kobayashi? Depends how spiritual he is.

Once again you miss the point. Kokyu. Can you see it?

Regards.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 08:05 PM   #21
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,075
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
No, Chris said he'd seen it in parts of many videos. Mind reading? Kobayashi? Depends how spiritual he is.

Once again you miss the point. Kokyu. Can you see it?

Regards.G.
I was referring to Kobayashi, and he was talking about 1956 - nary a video in sight. See all you like, I'm out of this one, too.

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 08:43 PM   #22
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 191
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
I dont understand what part of simple English that people find so difficult to follow.
Disagreeing with you does not equal a lack of English comprehension.

Quote:
1) O Sensei did a variety of things in different circumstances.
That's your theory. Some think that O Sensei's aiki was based on one single, fundamental idea, and that it informed everything he did (all external manifestations).

Quote:
2) Sensei's ability to ground out significant force was one thing he could do. Tae Chi masters do things like this too.
These skill are the result of a trained martial body. Ask Tai Chi masters if they turn off these skills under "different circustances". Ask anybody who has these skills if they default to "normal" movement or blending/leading under any circumstance. By their own admissions, once they have these skills they are expressed in all their movements.

Quote:
3) the fact that O Sensei did what you describe some of the time does not mean it was the end all be all Aiki or that what most of us take Aiki to be is wrong.
Perhaps what you perceive O Sensei doing "some of the time" is actually something that informs everything he did. I think it's a notion worth exploring... if we want to do his art.

Quote:
4) if these guys were trying to stab him he would have done something different.
You seem to be under the impression that the internal skills that O Sensei used to "ground significant force" are only useful for static drills and tricks. They're not; they will give you greater speed, stability, power and more sophisticated ability to manipualte forces -- in movement. Anyway when it comes to weapons, it's better to ask especialists what would work or not under a weapon attack. (By the way, did O Sensei teach tanto-dori, or was that a modern addition?)
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 10:08 PM   #23
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Hugh and Gerardo,

You are engaging in Textbook circular reasoning. You believe that everything O Sensei did was based on this notion of in yo ho. Therefore you see Sensei throwing with the fan in one hand and the other dangling as evidence of in yo ho because your approach also calls for the hand to be down to balance the forces in the body. You ignore all the examples when his arms are not as you desire. I understand what is being claimed. I call it dangling to make a point. Beginners always leave an arm dead. I guess you'd say they know the secret of in yo ho.

Much of the time O Sensei threw without touching. The principles on display on those occasions were entering, timing, blending, and taking the mind.

That O Sensei did a variety of things to fit the situation is not an opinion. You can see this on the videos. He described what he was doing to his students. He gave interviews. He wrote. It's called take Musu aiki.

Last edited by Ken McGrew : 12-02-2011 at 10:12 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 10:16 PM   #24
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 959
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Ken McGrew wrote: View Post
Hugh and Gerardo,

You are engaging in Textbook circular reasoning. You believe that everything O Sensei did was based on this notion of in yo ho. Therefore you see Sensei throwing with the fan in one hand and the other dangling as evidence of in yo ho because your approach also calls for the hand to be down to balance the forces in the body. You ignore all the examples when his arms are not as you desire. I understand what is being claimed. I call it dangling to make a point. Beginners always leave an arm dead. I guess you'd say they know the secret of in yo ho.

That O Sensei did a variety of things to fit the situation is not an opinion. You can see this on the videos. He described what he was doing to his students. He gave interviews. He wrote. It's called take Musu aiki.
And you are creating a contradiction where there is none.

Yes, of course O Sensei did different things to fit the situation. But all of those things were driven by the same fundamental principles.

I never had the opportunity to train with O Sensei, but I'll bet the people who did would say that his off-side arm, "dangling" or not, was about as "dead" as a lightning bolt.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 11:05 PM   #25
Ken McGrew
Dojo: Aikido at UAB
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 202
United_States
Offline
Re: O Sensei observation

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
And you are creating a contradiction where there is none.

Yes, of course O Sensei did different things to fit the situation. But all of those things were driven by the same fundamental principles.

I never had the opportunity to train with O Sensei, but I'll bet the people who did would say that his off-side arm, "dangling" or not, was about as "dead" as a lightning bolt.

Katherine
The principle of Aiki which means absolute non-resistance, manifested in timing, body positioning, leading, blending, Etc.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Aikido DVDs and Video Downloads - by George Ledyard Sensei & other great teachers from AikidoDVDS.Com



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ueshiba's Aiki Chris Knight General 624 11-20-2011 07:35 PM
Yoshinkai - Beyond the "Hard Style" Label Susan Dalton Columns 8 11-16-2011 06:53 AM
Doka and thoughts on Love Allen Beebe General 10 09-11-2011 10:48 PM
How to address a Shihan, Sempai, or Sensei? Linda Eskin Language 32 12-12-2009 03:31 PM
Ueshiba vs. Gun Squad aikido_fudoshin General 126 02-04-2009 05:54 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:18 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate