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Old 01-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #26
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
It's amazing how modern aikido has created a mindset that taking control of another person and making things happen is somehow not good aikido or not aikido at all. I'd rather be stiff and muscly, but know that I was really getting something done, than just go through the motions in the name of enlightenment.
Yup. Not the least of which is considering Ueshiba saying that one of the results of aiki was exerting your will on your opponent making them do what you want.
Though I don't assign that to just aikido.
Budo is definitive. If you cannot control the outcome, you are simply not doing a budo...but someting else. Which is fine-have fun.
But again, that's why I talked about clarity in our choices. We can't dream and imagine our way into being a part of a bigger picture we really have no place in when we did not do the work required or suffer the process to gain a deeper understanding and true competency without doing the work. It goes back to me saying not everyone gets an "A." Outcome matters. Trying to make everyone equal lifts the ones not qualified and who cannot perform (and who never seem to object) and unfairly reduces the superior work of those who have.
Sort of like saying everyone's efforts are equal to Musashi just because they do Iai and bought an outfit.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-20-2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:53 PM   #27
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I think it is best understood on the mat.

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Old 01-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #28
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
It's amazing how modern aikido has created a mindset that taking control of another person and making things happen is somehow not good aikido or not aikido at all. I'd rather be stiff and muscly, but know that I was really getting something done, than just go through the motions in the name of enlightenment.
Do you think this has to do with a misapplication of zanshin? I might be misremembering the meaning, but when I've been told I shouldn't think of throwing aite so much it was to get me thinking about how to move with a strong structure (establishing proper vertical and horizontal musubi): instead of looking only at moving aite, to feel the space around me in all directions while having strong vertical connection ("8" directional intent, possibly?).
In short: to gather up "all" rather than focus on "some," if that makes sense.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:57 PM   #29
Maarten De Queecker
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Interesting
  • I have never once seen a judo guy voluntarily over extend and leave his other hand behind and half launch himself at someone. Everyone I have met had to be thrown.
  • Ueshiba went to the Kodokan in his old age, post war, fully developed Aikido days and he had to throw people.
  • He built his reputation on uncooperative non-participating opponents during the post war years who had to be thrown.
  • Shirata, Shioda, Tomiki, Mochizuki, and many many others were incredibly damning of it. To the point of saying cooperative aikido was not aikido in the first place.
  • Apparently many in aikido are totally un-impressed by cooperative Aikido.
  • Come to think of it...other than a certain sub-group within aikido that most other people in aikido call dive bunnies... I have never met anyone in aikido who was overly impressed by cooperative training.
  • If someone can't throw a non co-operative person intent on keeping his center or effectively stop a motivated attacker how and why and by what standard should that be considered a budo?
Dan
I'm in this camp. Most aikido seems to consist of a single, generally overextended attack followed by Uke gracefully following Tori's lead instead of doing what an Uke is supposed to be doing: trying to regain his balance in order to attack again and again until he is on the floor. Working like that creates a way more interesting dynamic, in which tori can never be ahead of uke but has to be aware of and respond to uke's every move and improvise accordingly. Trying to regain balance (and thus potentially breaking free of a technique) also allows uke to find holes in a technique which he can then try to avoid when he's Tori. I find being a good uke way more difficult than being a good tori.

Last edited by Maarten De Queecker : 01-20-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:30 PM   #30
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Well, the difference I suppose is that I don't think "connection" is at all a mystical concept. It is a function of proper body structure, movement and mechanics. Nothing complicated, confusing, or even remotely magical. Shrug.
Sure it's mystical. You know what you mean by connection, but surely you don't believe that everyone shares your understanding of it. Do you really feel that someone with no prior experience, walking into the dojo, has your understanding of the word "connection" to mean "a function of proper body structure, movement and mechanics"? To that person, simply talking about "connection" without explaining what you mean by that term (using the words of a common language together with demonstration and practice), is absolutely mystical.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:21 PM   #31
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Sure it's mystical. You know what you mean by connection, but surely you don't believe that everyone shares your understanding of it. Do you really feel that someone with no prior experience, walking into the dojo, has your understanding of the word "connection" to mean "a function of proper body structure, movement and mechanics"? To that person, simply talking about "connection" without explaining what you mean by that term (using the words of a common language together with demonstration and practice), is absolutely mystical.
No, that's why when I teach I spend the time trying to explain the notion in detail as part of what I'm getting at rather than just leaving it at the word. That's why I will often start with so-called "ki exercises" then try to explain what I think is going on in terms that they might be able to understand. And not just settle for "let your ki flow". Then I will move on to a technique that I think instantiates that particular skill and hopefully get them to better understand what I'm getting at. Connection is a common underlying theme in most of the classes I've taught lately. I'm a little baffled as to how you can tell me how I've been using the word in my classes.

So getting back to my original comment, I try to avoid saying "don't try to throw" because I think it is often misunderstood. I will instead talk about trying to use the entire body as a whole and work on their basics of movement. Then if it does come down to that I already have a context within which to explain what I mean.

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Old 01-21-2012, 01:01 AM   #32
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
Ms. Eastman provides a link to her dojo's web site with a link to a collection of videos on YouTube

http://www.miron-enterprises.com/ber...deo_clips.html also http://www.youtube.com/user/thermopile85/videos

Picture worth a thousand words and all that...
Can you do it like that?

Regards.G,
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:41 AM   #33
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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I am on the fence about this one, mostly because [I think] the way this is explained by seniors and the way it is interpreted by juniors is sometimes not the same. This is one of those concepts that is generally introduced too early and the result is... different than the intent.

The goal should be to throw until you know how to throw and can do it with competency. Dan is spot on in saying throwing someone who is not cooperating is a different experience than throwing someone who is actively participating in their own compromise. For those who can competently throw tori with or without tori's participation, talk all you want about the mundane of focusing on throwing our partners. As a competent practitioner, ideally your movement transitions such that you do not focus on moving your partner; you focus on moving yourself after assimilating your partner onto your center.

I'd also add a few observations:

1. Aikido is about control. The fact that you are trying to alter your partner's response to your own design inherently defines your actions as "controlling". That said, I do not think there is anything wrong asserting control over your partner; the magic lies in why you are asserting control...
2. Aikido in many respects seeks to accelerate the experience of throwing by generally repressing uke's natural responses to preserve his center. I think we call those who do not willfully fall for us "jerks with bad energy"...

My instructor used to describe this transition as analogous to when we learned to drive. Both hands on the wheel, full stops, no radio, turn signals when we think we are changing lanes and absolute terror merging onto the highway. 10 years later... listening to the radio, driving with one hand while (gulp) texting and absolute terror merging onto the highway. We need to let our bodies absorb the movements before we are ready to decide what we do and don't need. And we certainly should be questioning anyone who has decided to tell us what we don't need or won't teach...
Hi Jon.
I know it's the norm to think Aikido is about control and that may be so for a while but in truth it's about quite the opposite of such. A very hard concept to understand and as I observe even those here 'certain' of their 'expertise' still hold on to this concept of control.

Ueshiba actually pointed this out but others find that hard to believe. When you watch someone and the ukes are flying about, or crumpling on the mat then it seems 'obvious' they are being controlled to the observer and the observer then wants to learn how to do that.

However, when he is told by the 'master' that he himself is not trying to control at all then the observer would find that hard to accept.

Anyway, that was just to let you know so that if you ever feel like that in Aikido, that you weren't 'trying to do anything' then you will remember what has been said and not get too confused.

Being somewhat 'controversial' in my views when comparing them to the 'norm' I will add something on the second point, throwing. Look at it as receiving, taking, projecting. This I would say is the first differentiation needed rather than the lazy use of the word throw.

Now, center? Nothing to do once again with anyone extending center or not really. If we use center as the point to focus on regarding projections then it would be connecting, receiving, taking and projecting. As you can see from this breakdown that takes quite an amount of skill.

Add to that the fact that you could take someones center and project, direct them straight into the wall.....smash!!! (or pavement for that matter) but then to see why that wouldn't be Aikido for Aikido is Harmony. Thus the practiced of projecting them into a circle, for their own safety....harmony.

It's a useful exercise, just like learning the sword is a useful exercise and both take great discipline and study and practice. Therefore it boils down to have you learned to do it yet? or can you do it? That's all really. Not whether it should or shouldn't be done.

Then of course there is doing the same thing, projections, where the focus is not on center and for instance on leading or even taking and leading the mind. Just as effective, looks exactly the same, however, different skill. Different study.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:33 AM   #34
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Can you do it like that?
I probably could if I put in the training hours but why would I want to?
All martial arts have in common the ability to stop physical violence directed at you. There are different meanings to "stop" and different strategies to achieve that, but this is the base to everything else a martial art may have to offer. Without this base, everything else has a quality of a fake town in a western movie; buildings tend to collapse if you lean on them since nothing supports the walls.

The physical practice demonstrated in those videos lacks that basic quality and as such doesnt justify the " martial" adjective.

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Old 01-21-2012, 04:50 AM   #35
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I probably could if I put in the training hours but why would I want to?
All martial arts have in common the ability to stop physical violence directed at you. There are different meanings to "stop" and different strategies to achieve that, but this is the base to everything else a martial art may have to offer. Without this base, everything else has a quality of a fake town in a western movie; buildings tend to collapse if you lean on them since nothing supports the walls.

The physical practice demonstrated in those videos lacks that basic quality and as such doesnt justify the " martial" adjective.
Such is your view but alas it is based on what? If you cannot do as on the video then you cannot understand what it involves and therefore you will be totally oblivious to the fact that it handles violence and probably even more effectively than you may think.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:58 AM   #36
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Such is your view but alas it is based on what? If you cannot do as on the video then you cannot understand what it involves and therefore you will be totally oblivious to the fact that it handles violence and probably even more effectively than you may think.

Regards.G.
I'd say you can't tell an opinion from a fact.

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Old 01-21-2012, 07:12 AM   #37
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
I have my own personal interpretation about this statement but just want to "throw" it out there to see what others think.

cheers,
There has been a lot of talk about control in this thread - this is not a complicated topic - in all martial interactions, the goal is to control in some fashion - after all, why would someone attack you without the intention of controlling you; or if attacked, why would you not want to control your attacker so they stop attacking you.

So logically the goal is to control - and how you do that can vary from the purely overt physical overpowering to the covert and subtle taking of the other's center while you keep yours - bottom line is you are in control, and once you are in control, it is your choice as to throw, drop, or disengage.

All very simple really.

Greg
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:05 AM   #38
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Hi Greg
I agree, but the issue is only brought home when you have a real attacker. None of the bliss bunnies and have ever demonstrated their effectiveness a) outside their own dojo b) up against real trained resistance and will not accept requests to do so.

It is incredible that the people who continue to display these highly cooperative movements have never been challenged within their own communities to display a standard of credibility and show them with real attackers. Within Aikido, when the discussion is narrowed down to them having to defend against a boxer or jujutsu-ka, they all of sudden default to..."That isn't aikido. You don't understand aikido."
I am the first one to say that those who love the energy exchange (I call it catching air) should be left alone to enjoy themselves and not be criticized for it. There is no requirement that they have to be able to fight. The only time issues arise are when they become deluded into thinking any portion of that is real and will work under stress with trained people.

None of this is new or peculiar to Aikido. All martial arts have been plagued by bliss bunnies trying to equate their meager unearned efforts to truly capable men and women-without having to have suffered the same injuries and sweat to actually become capable yourself. It's a twice told tale, going on for ages. It's a cheap, weasely way to try and equate yourself without the cost. Worse when your own delusion now gets passed down and taught to others. Suffice to say, that in the era and culture where you had to put your body where your mouth was, we had endless stories of these people showing up and either getting killed, maimed or just put in their place.

It is to their benefit that modern budo-ka now think that challenges are rude, and testing of people's theories are an affront to the sensibilities of good people. Remove that modern governor of everyone is qual and everyone gets and "A" and you would be right back to people getting killed, maimed, and/or put in their place for some pretty whacky theories of what actually works. In fact today, trying to define traditional budo with a parameter of it working or not...is actually an insult to many people in budo.

To me that mindset, a modern invention in our generations hands, is responsible for the gutting and eventual death, of the traditional arts-and rightly so. And we... are the generation who is doing it.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-21-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:42 AM   #39
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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David Soroko wrote: View Post
I probably could if I put in the training hours but why would I want to?
All martial arts have in common the ability to stop physical violence directed at you. There are different meanings to "stop" and different strategies to achieve that, but this is the base to everything else a martial art may have to offer. Without this base, everything else has a quality of a fake town in a western movie; buildings tend to collapse if you lean on them since nothing supports the walls.

The physical practice demonstrated in those videos lacks that basic quality and as such doesn't justify the " martial" adjective.
Hi David:

Thank you for posting the link to our website and videos. My name is Eastland not Eastman.

The training it takes to do what we do is fun. We have a good group of people that train together regularly.

I feel safer than I used to before I started training 24 years ago. That is what matters to me.

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Old 01-21-2012, 08:47 AM   #40
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I am currently reading a series of stories of duals and battles with noted sword and spear adepts that highlight some of the same issues of people with "theories" showing up and actually being deluded enough to challenge men with serious experience and acknowledged skills. It is interesting to take it out of the context of simple issues of whether you need to actualy throw someone who is sustaining their balance or think you can actually move and they will fall down, and bring it into a question of life or death. The men in these stories would not face experts, without experience and skill. They would not even consider it. I wonder what they would think of some of us today.

Imagine if you will, some person in the mid 1600's never having fought a real duel, never having faced an acknowledged expert who has, never having faced your own death, and some how, some way, being so deluded that they actually dismissed the cost of all of the knowledge and experience of their accomplished foe and convincing themself that they...had a deeper understanding, of something they themsevles had never done or faced...and marched out to face him.
It sounds almost insane doesn't it?
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-21-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:56 AM   #41
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Such is your view but alas it is based on what?
Based on the videos (I watched those with "randori" in the title) the nages consistently creates openings which the ukes consistently no taking advantage. That is not martial, as a matter of fact. As a matter of opinion that teaches sloppy waza and unrealistic movements, but this is a reasonable opinion.

As to not being able to that, I am not able to waltz as well, this down not reflect on my ability to do martial arts in any way.

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Old 01-21-2012, 09:00 AM   #42
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hi David:

Thank you for posting the link to our website and videos. My name is Eastland not Eastman.

The training it takes to do what we do is fun. We have a good group of people that train together regularly.

I feel safer than I used to before I started training 24 years ago. That is what matters to me.
That's all that needs to matter, Mary. What's wrong with that?
Most people are rational and up front about what they do and see it in a greater context. That is what defines our practice. Sometimes we can't, and that is where others step in and define it for us. It is only those who fool themselves and others and demonstrate no ability to see their practice as part of a larger picture that draws fire from those in and outside their art. It isn't just Aikido. It's all over the place.
Dan
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:04 AM   #43
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hi David:

Thank you for posting the link to our website and videos. My name is Eastland not Eastman.

The training it takes to do what we do is fun. We have a good group of people that train together regularly.

I feel safer than I used to before I started training 24 years ago. That is what matters to me.
Very sorry for mangling your name. Its excellent that you enjoy the physical activity and the like minded people who come along. On your website you write that Aikido is "a journey" but not mention the martial aspect which is fair enough but then, why Aikido?

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Old 01-21-2012, 09:18 AM   #44
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Based on the videos (I watched those with "randori" in the title) the nages consistently creates openings which the ukes consistently no taking advantage. That is not martial, as a matter of fact. As a matter of opinion that teaches sloppy waza and unrealistic movements, but this is a reasonable opinion.

As to not being able to that, I am not able to waltz as well, this down not reflect on my ability to do martial arts in any way.
That is a critical component. You would have to have the experience to see your many failures... in order to see your many failures. Usually you needed to have those pointed out to you by a good teacher...otherwise they will be clearly shown to you...by a worthy opponent.

This is yet another example of why when we read people talking about moving from center, saying they understand Ueshiba, writing books and being teachers (including top Japanese shihan) and you watch their videos and they sway to and fro and disconnect from Uke, disconnect in themselves, use their shoulders etc., you just dismiss their opinions on the subject entirely. As one Bagua guy wrote after twenty years of practice "I didn't know...that I didn't know."
For many of us who do know it's a constant struggle to be polite knowing that in one minute of actual contact, all their presupposed understanding comes crashing down as they finally get to meet someone who actually does move from center, and understands connection and what that feels like in the real world.
Now, just imagine, experiencing that with a host of teachers in the JMA and ICMA....for over a decade.....with no exceptions. It's very peculiar and odd for all parties concerned and sort of changes your view of Budo and what people thought they knew and where we all fit. It's sort of like turning it all on its head for some of us.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-21-2012 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:46 AM   #45
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Very sorry for mangling your name. Its excellent that you enjoy the physical activity and the like minded people who come along. On your website you write that Aikido is "a journey" but not mention the martial aspect which is fair enough but then, why Aikido?
Aikido doesn't have to be martial. I know some otherwse very capable people who were drawn to the type of aikido that was cooperative and less stressful in nature. They will look you right in the eye and tell you they don't give a rip about effective anymore. They wanted that feeling of the ride and having to give in and give up to fit, because it was changing them on the inside in ways they enjoyed. That is a portion of Aikido (and Daito ryu) that is not written about enough in my view. Yet there it is-a strength that isn't stressed because people think they will be dismissed if it isn't always about the martial attributes. Even koryu isn't all about the martial attributes.
Once again, you can have discussion about a bigger picture that includes everyone.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-21-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #46
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post

I am the first one to say that those who love the energy exchange (I call it catching air) should be left alone to enjoy themselves and not be criticized for it. There is no requirement that they have to be able to fight. The only time issues arise are when they become deluded into thinking any portion of that is real and will work under stress with trained people........

Dan
Agreed, IMO, I believe there is some good stuff going on at the subconscious, and even atomic level, with those cooperative types of interactions; it can really make you feel good afterwards (think along qigong lines here ) We do that with certain Aikido techniques simply as an exercise to help with awareness of movement and timing in the interaction - we do not consider it training of a martial skill; it is simply an exercise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of activity as long as everyone is aware of what it really is and does not consider it martially effective.

However, for those that would like to test the effectiveness of their skills and techniques, it is fairly easy (and safe as long as uke has good ukemi and knows when to stop) to actually attack with real intentional grabs and continue the attack until either uke stops nage or nage stops uke - of course, this approach can be tricky with striking attacks. Anyway, the only way to actually know if your skills are martially effective is to take on a real attack - any other type of test, regardless of your style, is simply delusion.

Greg

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Old 01-21-2012, 12:26 PM   #47
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I can be regularly quoted as saying "who cares if I do kotegaeshi". When I read "the goal is not to throw", it struck the same chord with me. When "using" Aikido; that is to say when an Aikidoka is forced to defend himself. He shouldn't care about throwing, or applying any technique. He should only worry himself with returning the situation to a calm state, that is to say bringing the conflict back into accord. Maybe one could use a throw to do this, or a kotegaeshi, but that's not the goal. The goal is to make the conflict come back to a harmonious state.

When training, don't work to master throws, work to resolve conflict. Strong awareness, and a calm mind do this much better than any throw (or kotegaeshi), ever could.

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Old 01-21-2012, 12:55 PM   #48
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
I'd say you can't tell an opinion from a fact.
Nice opinion.
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:01 PM   #49
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
There has been a lot of talk about control in this thread - this is not a complicated topic - in all martial interactions, the goal is to control in some fashion - after all, why would someone attack you without the intention of controlling you; or if attacked, why would you not want to control your attacker so they stop attacking you.

So logically the goal is to control - and how you do that can vary from the purely overt physical overpowering to the covert and subtle taking of the other's center while you keep yours - bottom line is you are in control, and once you are in control, it is your choice as to throw, drop, or disengage.

All very simple really.

Greg
Yo. We've been here before. Beyond control grasshopper. You are right though, it is logical. That's why most couldn't understand O'Sensei.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-21-2012, 01:08 PM   #50
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
Based on the videos (I watched those with "randori" in the title) the nages consistently creates openings which the ukes consistently no taking advantage. That is not martial, as a matter of fact. As a matter of opinion that teaches sloppy waza and unrealistic movements, but this is a reasonable opinion.

As to not being able to that, I am not able to waltz as well, this down not reflect on my ability to do martial arts in any way.
Not talking 'martial arts' I'm talking Aikido as shown. What is 'martial' in your opinion?

If you knew how to do it you wouldn't call it sloppy or unrealistic.

If you can't waltz by the way maybe you need more iriminage...

Regards.G.
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