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Old 07-09-2012, 12:46 PM   #26
chubbycubbysmash
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
How would you tell if the 1st dan's are mediocre and the 1st kyu blows them out of the water? What would be the criteria for judgment?
I think it would probably depend on how well the 1st kyu looks/feels as both nage and uke. Physically and visually aesthetically pleasing to both the partners, the teachers, and those who are watching. This is all IMHO of course. I know different people have different ways of judging, but I think that which is beautiful can be observed and appreciated across people.

I guess a bigger question would be how does a teacher judge if he/she would like to use someone often as an uke for demonstration? There has to be something about them they enjoyed, unless they're correcting them.

Although... how exactly does one judge whether or not a technique is done even correctly.



Now my brain hurts.

I'm not brave or smart or particularly generous, but I'll take my values and live by them--and that is my standard measurement of strength.

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Old 07-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #27
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
That is very interesting! Makes you wonder why they would put it in hours to begin with?
I do remember though, that on the Aikikai Hombu website, it's all listed in days, not hours. Though I wonder, if they bother enough to keep track of things like this, why not keep track of lessons, instead of days? Surely that would be a more valid marker for, whether or not someone has had sufficient training or not?
Well...Everyone's motivations are different. I know why I put in the hours and it isn't to gain rank faster. It has been over a year since I have not been in attendance at every class available where I train and that was only because my car was in the shop and I could not fond a way to get there. Very frustrating.

My point was more along the lines of it really is not that important how many hours/days/months/years you train. A good instructor should know when you are ready and when you are not and either promote or hold back a student appropriately.

I didn't choose my teacher based on the color of his belt or his rank. I had the choice of several dojo in the area. Instructors in the other two choices at that time hold higher ranks. I chose him because I felt that this person was teaching what I want to learn and doing it in a way that would make a good learning environment for me and my particular needs. After three years training there I am quite sure I made the right choice.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #28
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
[b]
That's my little rant here, take from it what you want, or disregard it completely, but I hope you keep it in mind next time.
I think you don't really understand what for Founder created aikido. He didn't create aikido so people can reach a shodan in 1 year of very intense practice or in 7 years of medium effort practice. In fact he didn't care at all about ranks and was giving them as candies, to whoever asked him for. Ranks in aikido are used to motivate the will of practice. Particularly to those people who have a weak spirit.

Aikido practice is about to purify and polish your body/spirit, so it can reflect the reality in more and more perfect way and the techniques are the tools used in this process. With perfected mind you take more accurate decisions and actions. When you progress on this path, your life become happier, as well as everybody's life around you. Looking from that perspective, the speed of reaching the ranks is irrelevant.

Of course as you are not practicing aikido, this explanation may look like nonsense for the moment.

Nagababa

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Old 07-09-2012, 02:24 PM   #29
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Josephine Fan wrote: View Post
Physically and visually aesthetically pleasing to both the partners, the teachers, and those who are watching.
this might be a problem for some of us who are not that physically and/or visually pleasing; not that i am worry, since i am naturally sexy in my cross dressing skirt.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #30
Janet Rosen
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Josephine Fan wrote: View Post
Physically and visually aesthetically pleasing to both the partners, the teachers, and those who are watching.
I am sure I and many of my middle aged cohorts do very little that is "visually aesthetically pleasing."
But I trust my skilled partners to reflect honestly what I am/not doing and my instructors to know by watching whether or not I am meeting their criteria.

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:14 PM   #31
ken king
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
That said, I would if I could my man! Sadly, the Yoshinkan dojo (well... only Yoshinkan dojo within 1 hour distance from me) I plan on starting in, is closed for the summer, and starts again September. I'm looking forward to bouncing around looking at different styles and Dojo's in Tokyo, when I head there again in August, which I suppose in the end will end up deciding which is for me.
Hey Philip,

Doesn't matter, get on the mat at any dojo. If you only have that small amount of time you can start learning ukemi at the very least. That way you will be able to skip the awkward crappy rolling phase once you find a dojo you want to train at in Tokyo! Take care and good luck to you.

Every day, life is training, every day, budo is life
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:15 PM   #32
chubbycubbysmash
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

LOL! Crossdressing! Oh my goodness, I'd pay to see everyone cross dressed on the mat!

When I say beauty I don't mean... pretty in the sense of the physical appearance of the person, but that their movements and what they do are beautiful--which also incorporates their passion and their love for the art as well as how fast or flowy their movements are. I find some of our older members, with their wonderfully soft but firm style to be very beautiful to me. Just as I find some of our younger members hard, technical, fast styles to also be beautiful, and vice versa for the age thing. Even the beginners who are trying their best are pretty to me.

Precision maybe? Sincerity? What is most pleasing to the eye in terms of how a body naturally moves and is positioned? How much respect one has for their partner? How much love and respect they have for the art and themselves? (For example, slouching is not pretty to me.)

Ack, the more I think about it the more it confuses me. I just KNOW it looks pretty, like something in my head says: ooh, watch that one. Or warms my heart. Or something. v___v

I'm not brave or smart or particularly generous, but I'll take my values and live by them--and that is my standard measurement of strength.

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Old 07-09-2012, 03:34 PM   #33
TokyoZeplin
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Kenneth King wrote: View Post
Hey Philip,

Doesn't matter, get on the mat at any dojo. If you only have that small amount of time you can start learning ukemi at the very least. That way you will be able to skip the awkward crappy rolling phase once you find a dojo you want to train at in Tokyo! Take care and good luck to you.
Solid advice all around!
But in Denmark, at least for the dojos around me, you have to pay an registration fee and 1-3 months tuition when starting, so I'm afraid it's an economic plunge I'm not quite willing to take, for less than a months training (I'm heading off to Tokyo in just less than a month).
That said, I already started practising ukemi! From the get-go, I wanted to eliminate some of the "non-essential" tasks (things that aren't really "special" to the art, or require personal teaching to get: I've also started having a look at kamae, to have a rough idea of how I should stand, just to prepare), and I already learned how to roll when I did Jujutsu many years back, so it's just a matter of re-training myself - though I might add that a hard dry garden is not a comfortable place to practice! :P

Quote:
Josephine Fan wrote: View Post
LOL! Crossdressing! Oh my goodness, I'd pay to see everyone cross dressed on the mat!

When I say beauty I don't mean... pretty in the sense of the physical appearance of the person, but that their movements and what they do are beautiful--which also incorporates their passion and their love for the art as well as how fast or flowy their movements are. I find some of our older members, with their wonderfully soft but firm style to be very beautiful to me. Just as I find some of our younger members hard, technical, fast styles to also be beautiful, and vice versa for the age thing. Even the beginners who are trying their best are pretty to me.

Precision maybe? Sincerity? What is most pleasing to the eye in terms of how a body naturally moves and is positioned? How much respect one has for their partner? How much love and respect they have for the art and themselves? (For example, slouching is not pretty to me.)

Ack, the more I think about it the more it confuses me. I just KNOW it looks pretty, like something in my head says: ooh, watch that one. Or warms my heart. Or something. v___v
Wouldn't that change drastically between styles though? I can see Iwama and Ki being beautiful, but from all I've seen, Tomiki and Yoshinkan is considerably less wavey, smaller, and more to the point. In all demonstrations I've seen, I would never describe Tomiki as "beautiful", especially not during competitions!
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:23 PM   #34
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

Quote:
Josephine Fan wrote: View Post
I think it would probably depend on how well the 1st kyu looks/feels as both nage and uke. Physically and visually aesthetically pleasing to both the partners, the teachers, and those who are watching. This is all IMHO of course. I know different people have different ways of judging, but I think that which is beautiful can be observed and appreciated across people.

I guess a bigger question would be how does a teacher judge if he/she would like to use someone often as an uke for demonstration? There has to be something about them they enjoyed, unless they're correcting them.

Although... how exactly does one judge whether or not a technique is done even correctly.



Now my brain hurts.
Thank you. I understand what you mean.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:53 PM   #35
chubbycubbysmash
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Wouldn't that change drastically between styles though? I can see Iwama and Ki being beautiful, but from all I've seen, Tomiki and Yoshinkan is considerably less wavey, smaller, and more to the point. In all demonstrations I've seen, I would never describe Tomiki as "beautiful", especially not during competitions!
I guess it would also depend on your ideals of what beauty is? I'm not so familiar with Tomiki or Yoshinkan, but they do seem to have more of the practical and competitive nature. Some of the practitioners are still beautiful to me. When you see someone with that look of concentration, doing what they love, and on top of that, doing it well, sincerely, and as someone said before, honestly, I think that's quite beautiful too. Of course, it they can do it with cold cut precision, there's admiration for that too.

There is beauty in a lion taking down an antelope, IMHO. It can be messy, and sometimes awkward, but it is life--it does take lots of skill and practice but the movements are like... a part of nature... and now I sound like a hippie. But, I think my point is if you're always looking to improve--your stance, your technique, how you look and feel, and how much you give when you're doing it, you'll not only look beautiful, but you'll excel too.

To me... it's sort of like... the amount beauty is parallel to your mental and physical improvement, not just an optional incidental benefit to getting better in Aikido. Which is why I use it to "judge" whether someone is really good or not. I don't know who said it, but the most beautiful things in nature are often the deadliest and most efficient... although beauty seems to be a sole human concept.

Can a person who doesn't have an artistic bone in their body still appreciate beautiful art? Can a person who does sumi-e professionally still appreciate the technique of someone who does watercolor professionally? That's sort of what I see when I look at other styles.

Or something like that. o_o;;;

I'm not brave or smart or particularly generous, but I'll take my values and live by them--and that is my standard measurement of strength.

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Old 07-09-2012, 05:58 PM   #36
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. A perfect gedan-ate in shiai is gorgeous to watch.

Time in grade is only a mechanism to control the hour counters. No matter what is put in place there still will be people not ready and those more than ready.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:38 PM   #37
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
That said, I already started practising ukemi! From the get-go, I wanted to eliminate some of the "non-essential" tasks (things that aren't really "special" to the art, or require personal teaching to get
Ukemi? Non-essential?
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:47 PM   #38
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Ukemi? Non-essential?
I think he means not essential in the sense that they don't form the essence of aikido, and therefore can be learned on his own.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #39
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Ukemi? Non-essential?
I don't think he said that.

I would take more exception to the

Quote:
Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote wrote:
From the get-go, I wanted to eliminate some of the "non-essential" tasks (things that aren't really "special" to the art, or require personal teaching to get.
Both Kamae and Ukemi can be very specific to dogo/teacher. One of the most difficult parts of dojo hoping (or just visiting local dojos during your travels) is Kamae.

Tomiki famously does not have it, Yoshinkan can be very specific and very different from Aikikai. In my opinion is not something you pick up from looking at the pictures.

Ukemi also varies tremendously. With slapping and without, backwards ukemi or no backwards ukemi. Same hand as foot leading, different, etc.

In Japan the best training I found was always physically exhausting. I felt it (during my returns, especially in summer) and I saw it with every visitor even with those who already train in Aikido. Legs are the worst.

What I would do is take the month and start running. Run at least 1 hour mixing in sprinting, backwards running, sideways running, frog hopping at particular points. Then when you get to Japan look at everything fresh. Empty glass on all that.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-10-2012, 02:33 AM   #40
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

what Mary just said...

Philip: I have a 3rd kyu in Shotokan as well - also many years back. No regrets though for stopping.. it wasn't the right budo for me, and it took me a few years to realize. I enjoyed the kata and the kihon, but the sparring wasn't what I was looking for.

Now I have found Aikido - and a style that I enjoy very much. I also spend quite a bit of time pondering when I would get that black belt that i had my eyes on during both karate, kendo, iaido and aikido. I made (as I guess you also do) excel sheets with possible grading dates, and did the math on how long time it would take me to gather enough hours etc etc.. once I stopped doing that things became more fun though..

When do I get a hakama - when will I have a black belt - when will i be able to fall like him/her...It is all very valid questions. But.. as Mary said... there is no way to answer them that will truly satisfy the both of us.

To quote my former sensei: "It helps to practice".

Jørgen Jakob (with two names in my first name)

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Old 07-10-2012, 04:46 AM   #41
Malicat
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I am sure I and many of my middle aged cohorts do very little that is "visually aesthetically pleasing."
I seriously doubt that Janet. But my view of aesthetically pleasing is a well executed technique particularly in response to a surprise move by the uke. I had the opportunity to watch dan testing in our organization a few weeks ago, and some of the most beautiful things I witnessed were some very exhausted yudansha pulling off some incredible waza in randori while being physically and emotionally exhausted. That being said, I'm not entirely certain my dojo cho agreed with the "gorgeous" compliment I gave him after his test.

--Ashley
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #42
TokyoZeplin
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

Maybe I explained myself badly, when I said "non-essential" (though I do think I explained what I meant by that, right after?).
Obviously Ukemi is quite essential to the practice of Aikido, I mean that it's not something special just to Aikido, or something that can only be explained by your Sensei. Of course, once I start, there will likely be changes that have to be made, variations that has to be learned, and so forth, but I see no reason why I can't start the basic practice myself
With Kamae, again, I do not expect to "perfect" that by myself, in any way, but again, it can't hurt to get the basics down. I do plan on practising Yoshinkan, which is lucky in this case, since (as far as I've been able to see) the style is very strict on posture, so chances are there won't be too much of a difference in what I can learn from watching/reading, and what I'll learn in the dojo.

On fitness, I'm currently working out 4-5 days a week as it is, mainly cardiovascular exercises with Kettlebells, but also some resistance training

People focus a lot on the fact that I plan to "dojo hop", but seem to have missed why I said I was going to. The reason is that I plan on taking (another) year in Tokyo, once I finish my Masters degree. Naturally, I will have to find a different dojo there, than the one I train at in Denmark. Not much of a choice, unless I don't go. It's not like I plan on jumping between dojo's just for the heck of it!
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:30 AM   #43
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Obviously Ukemi is quite essential to the practice of Aikido, I mean that it's not something special just to Aikido, or something that can only be explained by your Sensei. Of course, once I start, there will likely be changes that have to be made, variations that has to be learned, and so forth, but I see no reason why I can't start the basic practice myself
Of course you can -- you might find it counterproductive, is all. Ukemi and kamae are foundational skills, and there are differences in how they're done in different aikido dojos, let alone between aikido and other martial arts (we had a fella come to train with us with a background in jujutsu, so he said, and not only was his ukemi different, for our purposes it was almost nonexistent). It can be very, very hard to change the way you do a basic skill once you've learned it one way, which is a good argument for waiting to learn it from your Sensei rather than trying to teach yourself. Rather than trying to teach yourself any aikido skill (only to learn on day one, most likely, that you have to change it), I'd work on the conditioning that will make acquisition of such skills easier. But that doesn't seem to be what you want, so suit yourself.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:06 AM   #44
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post
Maybe I explained myself badly, when I said "non-essential" (though I do think I explained what I meant by that, right after?).
Obviously Ukemi is quite essential to the practice of Aikido, I mean that it's not something special just to Aikido, or something that can only be explained by your Sensei. Of course, once I start, there will likely be changes that have to be made, variations that has to be learned, and so forth, but I see no reason why I can't start the basic practice myself
With Kamae, again, I do not expect to "perfect" that by myself, in any way, but again, it can't hurt to get the basics down.
Kamae is not just basic it is essential to executing proper technique. Kamae or posture is not just about which foot is forward or not, it is about proper body alignment and maintaining balance not just at the beginning or ending or a movement but also during the movement. It is probably the hardest thing for a beginner to understand or learn to do. A good sensei spends a lot of time showing, testing and correcting your posture. You may be able to practice standing with one foot forward and arms extended but you need a partner to test if you are maintaining your alignment and balance throughout your movement.

dps
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:31 AM   #45
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Philip Zeplin-Frederiksen wrote: View Post

On fitness, I'm currently working out 4-5 days a week as it is, mainly cardiovascular exercises with Kettlebells, but also some resistance training
The best fundamental exercise to do for Aikido is from a standing position, sitting down in seiza and standing up from seiza.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIQO7y1rEqc

Do this for 15 minutes or longer 4-5 days a week.

dps
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:56 AM   #46
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I think you don't really understand what for Founder created aikido. He didn't create aikido so people can reach a shodan in 1 year of very intense practice or in 7 years of medium effort practice. In fact he didn't care at all about ranks and was giving them as candies, to whoever asked him for. Ranks in aikido are used to motivate the will of practice. Particularly to those people who have a weak spirit.

Aikido practice is about to purify and polish your body/spirit, so it can reflect the reality in more and more perfect way and the techniques are the tools used in this process. With perfected mind you take more accurate decisions and actions. When you progress on this path, your life become happier, as well as everybody's life around you. Looking from that perspective, the speed of reaching the ranks is irrelevant.

Of course as you are not practicing aikido, this explanation may look like nonsense for the moment.
I agree with the wise words from the sage of The Wild, deep, deadly North.

dps
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:57 AM   #47
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Kamae is not just basic it is essential to executing proper technique. Kamae or posture is not just about which foot is forward or not, it is about proper body alignment and maintaining balance not just at the beginning or ending or a movement but also during the movement. It is probably the hardest thing for a beginner to understand or learn to do. A good sensei spends a lot of time showing, testing and correcting your posture. You may be able to practice standing with one foot forward and arms extended but you need a partner to test if you are maintaining your alignment and balance throughout your movement.

dps
I feel compelled to underline the fact that posture and Kamae is not - as far i see it - the same thing. Actually the first can exist without the second, Also it is not all Aikido senseis that put much emphasize on Kamae.

Also it is maybe necessary to point out that ukemi is - at least - two different things. The way we fall - and the way we give an attack for the person executing the technique. The first you can practice by yourself. The latter is not something I believe can be trained solo.

Just my thoughts on the matter

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

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Old 07-10-2012, 09:59 AM   #48
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Josephine Fan wrote: View Post

Although... how exactly does one judge whether or not a technique is done even correctly.

.
By increasing the speed and intensity of the attack.

dps
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:21 AM   #49
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

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Jørgen Jakob Friis wrote: View Post
I feel compelled to underline the fact that posture and Kamae is not - as far i see it - the same thing. Actually the first can exist without the second, Also it is not all Aikido senseis that put much emphasize on Kamae.
http://shindai.com/japanese-terms/
Kamae: A posture or stance of readiness. In each kamae there are different positions for the hands or weapon. Jodan – high position; Chudan – middle position; Gedan – lower position.

http://www.west.net/~aikido/aikido/vocab.html
Kamae
A posture or stance either with or without a weapon. kamae may also connote proper distance (ma ai) with respect to one's partner. Although ``kamae'' generally refers to a physical stance, there is an important parallel in aikido between one's physical and one's psychological bearing. Adopting a strong physical stance helps to promote the correlative adoption of a strong psychological attitude. It is important to try so far as possible to maintain a positive and strong mental bearing in aikido.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamae
Kamae
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Kamae
Japanese name
Kanji: 構え
Hiragana: かまえ
[show]Transliterations

Kamae (構え?) is a Japanese term used in martial arts and traditional theater. It translates approximately to "posture". The Kanji of this word means "base".

Kamae is to be differentiated from the word tachi (立ち?), used in Japanese martial arts to mean stance. While tachi (pronounced dachi when used in a compound) refers to the position of the body from the waist down, kamae refers to the posture of the entire body, as well as encompassing one's mental posture (i.e., one's attitude). These connected mental and physical aspects of readiness may be referred to individually as kokoro-gamae (心構え?) and mi-gamae (身構え?), respectively.

dps

Last edited by dps : 07-10-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:18 AM   #50
lbb
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Re: A word on Time Trained and Ranking

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
By increasing the speed and intensity of the attack.
Indeed. As my sensei says, "You can speed up a good thing."
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