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Old 05-16-2012, 09:00 PM   #1
Noreaster
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On viewing technique

When my Sensei demonstrates a technique he will do it three times from different angles and class students will then pair off to practice the technique. My question is when viewing the demonstration of a technique that is ‘new' for you what do you the more experienced aikidoka watch for? Do you watch the footwork? The position of arms, etc. etc. To a newer student such as me with no prior martial arts experience it can be a lot to absorb. Thank you……..peace.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:16 PM   #2
robin_jet_alt
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Re: On viewing technique

It really depends on the technique and whether I have seen something similar before. If I have seen something similar, I will be looking at points of difference so that I'm not just repeating what I have done before. On the whole though, I look at body alignment and footwork. By body alignment I mean which way is uke's and tori's centre pointed at any point during the technique.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
Michael Varin
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Re: On viewing technique

Chris,

I believe this is a very important point for beginners to consider.

It has been sometime, but I would actually focus on different things on different occasions.

Sometimes I would watch the feet, sometimes the hands, sometimes the relative body positions, sometimes the quality that uke was diplaying, sometimes the quality that nage was displaying, and sometimes I would just try to get a general "feel" for the technique. . . almost watching with blurred vision.

This worked very well for me. But, I would add that you should train with the best students as much as you can and be fully alert as uke. You learn a lot from recieving the technique.

-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 05-17-2012, 01:02 AM   #4
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
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Re: On viewing technique

My short answer is to watch the footwork first, then the body movement and lastly what is being done with the hands and arms. At least that's what works for me when viewing a technique I've never seen. I echo what Michael Varin suggests about training with the best students as often as you can because you can learn a lot from feeling what is being done.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:45 AM   #5
Mario Tobias
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Re: On viewing technique

First, understand what the aikido basic steps are. There are 5 (or more depending on dojo). I assume you already know them. But take note, memorizing them is not sufficient. It needs to be like second nature to you. Mastering the basic steps is a prerequisite to start understanding techniques IMO.

Every technique's footwork can be broken down to the basic steps as the video below shows.

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

For beginners, worry and be self-aware about the footwork first as well as being in hanmi for every footwork transition. Footwork determines correctness of the distance and position of nage to uke while performing technique. If done incorrectly, you can either be too near or too far uke and therefore struggle with technique. Another common mistake is that the footwork sequence maybe correct but it's still sloppy since nage is not in hanmi all the time.

The hands and upper body movement will follow correctly (most likely) if you are doing correct footwork because they will flow naturally as your training develops. Actually, in some techniques you don't need hands (or minimal use of them) to throw uke, just good entry, timing and footwork.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 05-17-2012 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #6
hughrbeyer
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Re: On viewing technique

Here's an answer from the back of the short schoolbus:

1. What's the attack?

2. What's the first foot movement--same side as attack or other side? Into the attack or back? On line or off line, and if off to the outside of the attack or inside?

3. What's the first hand movement, which creates technique? Cross-hand, or same side? Block, brush, or grab?

If you don't have at least that much you can't even get out there and practice, so get those down first. Everything after that is gravy.

But it pays to look as much at uke as at nage. See why uke is moving the way he/she does, and what nage did to create that result.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:04 AM   #7
Abasan
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Re: On viewing technique

Look for how it works.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:12 AM   #8
Shadowfax
 
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Re: On viewing technique

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
Here's an answer from the back of the short schoolbus:

1. What's the attack?

2. What's the first foot movement--same side as attack or other side? Into the attack or back? On line or off line, and if off to the outside of the attack or inside?

3. What's the first hand movement, which creates technique? Cross-hand, or same side? Block, brush, or grab?

If you don't have at least that much you can't even get out there and practice, so get those down first. Everything after that is gravy.

But it pays to look as much at uke as at nage. See why uke is moving the way he/she does, and what nage did to create that result.
This would be my suggestion as well for a beginner. Later on... a lot later on you can start to pick those things out quickly enough to start focusing on other aspects of what sensei is trying to teach.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:46 AM   #9
lbb
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Re: On viewing technique

My keep-it-simple method:

- Watch the whole thing through a time or two, just to get a general sense of what's going on.
- Next look at the footwork and get that part down:
- Next look at whatever the hands are doing.

That's the nuts and bolts of it, but I find that in doing this, I also pick up the timing, relative body positions, etc.
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Old 08-10-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
miso
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Re: On viewing technique

The Olympics are on, I've been watching them with my daughter. We've quickly become experts on gymnastics, diving, handball, velodrome cycling and many other things by viewing them. Trying them would be a different story, I'm sure.

If you are relatively new to an art (or not,) don't worry about what you see when you're looking, just turn up and train and after a while you'll find something you want to look at, something you want to check or work on... when he's doing those 3 angles. Until then don't watch it, just let the light come into your eyes.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:24 AM   #11
amoeba
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Re: On viewing technique

As some people have already written:

When I first started, I tried to watch out for a different thing each time the technique was shown. First time maybe just the attack, then the feet (also: which foot ends up in front?), then the hands and so on. Sometimes I didn't get it all but that's what the senior students were there for...

But it gets much easier pretty fast, anyway, once you know the "framework" of teh basic techniques. It's nice to just think "then do shiho nage" instead of "move opposite arm there, grip this and that..."
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
dps
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Re: On viewing technique

Posture and body movement for maintaining balance.

If as nage you are not maintaining your balance throughout the whole movement then nothing will work.

If your uke is maintaining their balance throughout the whole movement then nothing will work.

dps
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:20 AM   #13
Mark Greenwood
 
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Re: On viewing technique

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote: View Post
The Olympics are on, I've been watching them with my daughter. We've quickly become experts on gymnastics, diving, handball, velodrome cycling and many other things by viewing them. Trying them would be a different story, I'm sure.

If you are relatively new to an art (or not,) don't worry about what you see when you're looking, just turn up and train and after a while you'll find something you want to look at, something you want to check or work on... when he's doing those 3 angles. Until then don't watch it, just let the light come into your eyes.
That is excellent advice Mark.

Masagatsu Agatsu. Ueshiba.M
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:07 PM   #14
Don_Modesto
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Re: On viewing technique

If you watch the old Friendship Demos from Stanley Pranin, time after time the SHIHAN emphasize that the engagement is over at first touch.

How has NAGE taken UKE's balance before UKE can offbalance him/her?

This can be very difficult to see, especially when it's not happening (most aikido.)

Don J. Modesto
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:29 AM   #15
Adam Huss
 
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Re: On viewing technique

I don't have secret. When I watch a technique for the first time I pull in all that I can on the first demonstration, then focus on whatever part I don't understand in follow-on demonstrations (legs, hands, hips, or whatever it is). I find the more I understand aikido, the less I have to focus on 'main body' items like the feet or hips (which is what many will say is the more important parts) and simply just focus on the minor details like hand placement and stepping order, etc.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 08-19-2012, 07:06 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Re: On viewing technique

IMHO as an older boxer, I watch the feet first.

As an advocate for posture and body alignment (head over shoulders over hips over knee over feet - moving through the center), the way the feet move is the way the body moves.

I also try to do it from an associated/participatory position (as if I were actually doing it) instead of disocciated/spectator position).

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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