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Old 10-17-2012, 09:09 PM   #1
Andrew Macdonald
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How small is your aikido

it is practiced in many martial arts that the most basic form is large and open (by other martial arts, i mean mainly chinese ones, but you can see the same ideas practiced in karate and TKD) as we become better and our skills become more applicable/useful our movements should naturally become smaller.

this progress, i believe is natural and very effective way of learning, afterall if we really want ot understand details of something we can put it under a microscope to study, if we want ot understand the details of the movments make them bigger until you understand them then make them smaller.

I alot of aikido i have seen the movments remian quite large, i mimagine that this is becasue it was a class or a demonstartion where movements have to to large by the very nature of the environment. i have seen some teacher howvere beable to do throws or locks with tiny movements. someof these i look at and think that the uke is being way to kind to the teacher but other times have have sene something i really want ot learn. of course you can only get so much form watching a technique but that doesn;t mean we should watch and form an opinion.

so anyway

how small do you or can you make your movements. is it something that you are working towards or do you thin that aikido should always be large and open?
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:28 AM   #2
phitruong
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Re: How small is your aikido

my aikido is kinda small since it encompassed the universe, mine really.

or my aikido technique is small because my circle is large. it went the whole way around the galaxy which looked almost like a straight line.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:38 AM   #3
Millsy
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Re: How small is your aikido

Reminds me of when I was training with a youngish 2nd kyu, men tsuki, I stepped in and did ushiro kiri otoshi. He got up and looked at me and said how do you get so fast. I laughed, a real laugh, I'm on the other side of 40 and not what you'd call built for speed. I pointed out I'm old and slow, but in the 3 feet his fist has to travel to my face, I just need to move 3 inches (at the right time) for it to miss, with the committed strike its not a big step into ushiro, small movements give the illusion of speed. But I also find once I I'm off the line nice big movements are fun.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
aikishihan
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Re: How small is your aikido

Despite the attempt by a certain party to de(Phi) logic, the smaller circle is one which has successively and successfully removed almost all extraneous and excessive parts to its completion.
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:39 PM   #5
jbarros
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Re: How small is your aikido

I find small Aikido to be where it becomes magic, but also where it is most brutal.

I am a beginner, as of yet unranked, (should be taking my 6/5th test in December =) ) but every time i try to do Kotogashi, I want to bring it up, I want to twist at their elbow, which completely eliminates the power of the technique, and the pressure on them. Doing the small circle forces them to have good ukemi or hit the ground unpleasantly.

Especially for someone like me who came to Aikido after decades (wow... now I feel old) of other martial arts, looking for a less violent means of blending and dealing with an attacker, it seems like every bit of my humanity screams at me to do the larger, prettier big circles, but every time I make myself use the small, subtle movements, I fall deeper in love with the efficacy and beauty of Aikido, even when it's not as visible from the outside.

respectfully,

-- James
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:45 AM   #6
lbb
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Re: How small is your aikido

Yamada Sensei is an example of someone that seems to have very "big" aikido. Is it therefore full of extraneous stuff?
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Old 10-30-2012, 09:13 AM   #7
aikishihan
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Re: How small is your aikido

Mary. If you have any inkling of who I am, you should realize that this is not a question you want to ask of me.

Better check with Mr. Yamada before going any further.

Respectfully,

Francis Takahashi
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:09 AM   #8
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: How small is your aikido

the majority of Aiki-Jujutsu is small circle techniques. Kote-Gaeshi, Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan the circles of motion tend to be smaller than Aikido.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
lbb
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Re: How small is your aikido

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Mary. If you have any inkling of who I am, you should realize that this is not a question you want to ask of me.

Better check with Mr. Yamada before going any further.

Respectfully,

Francis Takahashi
I have an inkling of who you are, but I'm afraid no more than that, nor do I know of any personal history you may have with Yamada Sensei. I apologize if I stepped on your toes or stumbled into some sort of personal disagreement. My question was actually a very simple one and without any agendas which you may be perceiving, so I'll try just asking in a different way: given my limited powers of observation, it looks to me like Yamada Sensei's aikido is quite "large", but it also looks good to me. Am I wrong about either or both of these? If not, is this an exception to the rule of "small is better" that seems to be the intent of this thread?
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #10
Chris Knight
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Re: How small is your aikido

my long term aim in aikido is to have no external circles at all present

Chris
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Old 10-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
aikishihan
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Re: How small is your aikido

Thank you Mary, for your candor and your interest. I will attempt to respond in the spirit of your curiosity regarding large movements in general. I believe that any history I may have with anyone over the decades of my involvement in aikido are immaterial and irrelevant to our conversation.

The Aikikai, or Hombu style of Aikido has always favored large, even exaggerated movements, to allow its members to observe the demonstrated technique in detail, while, hopefully, allowing the uke to follow nage's lead safely and without mishap to either party. Yet, even within the Aikikai family, there have always been differences in substance as well as style, and perhaps this is where our talk may lead us. Martial integrity has always been directly linked to speed, efficiency, and judicious economy of movement. The idea has always been to execute the technique, and not the uke, although as you are well aware, lines are quite often blurred. I like to use the equation of NH/SH. NH refers to the commitment for No Harm to be visited on anyone practicing honestly and diligently on the mat. It means that each instructor and student are accountable to maintain the highest standards of protocol possible. Yet, all of this occurs in SH, where Shit Happens. It is our collective responsibility to minimize the deleterious impact of SH, which focusing on the welcome benefits of NH.

Back to my initial comment. It is my opinion that, with all safety and genuineness issues being appropriately addressed, ultimate skill and proficiency will be best demonstrated with a minimum of movement, and a maximum of correct posture, ma ai, tai sabaki and zanshin principles being applied. For me, Misunari Kanai came quite close to such a standard.

As far as Yoshimitsu Yamada's style of Aikido is concerned, I have always admired the fact that his movements were easy to follow, comprehend, and, at some level, to incorporate. His track record of developing excellent instructors and aiki athletes is second to none. As far as how he wants to proceed from here, that is strictly up to him, his goals, and his health. I wish him the best.

Again, thank you for allowing me to respond to your kind and thoughtful explanation.

in oneness,

francis takahashi
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:00 PM   #12
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: How small is your aikido

just found this interesting article comparing the difference in approach to circular techniques by Daito-Ryu AJJ & Aikido.

See if you think it makes a valid point or whether it just generalizes...

http://www.blackbeltmag.com/daily/tr...tsu-vs-aikido/
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
Cliff Judge
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Re: How small is your aikido

Quote:
Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
See if you think it makes a valid point or whether it just generalizes...
]
I read the article and it Lovret.
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:42 AM   #14
SeiserL
 
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Re: How small is your aikido

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
It is my opinion that, with all safety and genuineness issues being appropriately addressed, ultimate skill and proficiency will be best demonstrated with a minimum of movement, and a maximum of correct posture, ma ai, tai sabaki and zanshin principles being applied.
Osu Sensei,

I have more than an inkling to who you are and therefore listen when your share your thoughts.

IMHO, and in agreement, I see a lot of teaching demonstration as big physical movement. Easier to see and imitate.

When I look at most of us hobbyist, I see mostly the big external movements, the outside circumference of the circle.

When I look at the skilled practitioner, I see the small inner center of circle even if its contained within the bigger outside circle.

Perhaps, the small center could always be there no matter how big the context requires the waza execution?

Any thoughts anyone?

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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Old 10-31-2012, 09:19 AM   #15
Janet Rosen
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Re: How small is your aikido

Quote:
Francis Takahashi wrote: View Post
Despite the attempt by a certain party to de(Phi) logic, the smaller circle is one which has successively and successfully removed almost all extraneous and excessive parts to its completion.
I like that.

Janet Rosen
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"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 11-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #16
Jorge Garcia
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Re: How small is your aikido

For us, large motions and small motions are opposite sides of the same coin. We call the large motions "outside Aiki". This is when the large motion leads uke and captures his body in the motion by using the tip of his extremities which are normally hands or fingers (or the place he has grabbed you). "Inside Aiki" is when the vital connection is between the wrist and elbow or between the elbow and the shoulder, then smaller motions are employed and body connection is emphasized more. We teach that "outside aiki" requires little or no strength and is relatively simple to execute. "Inside Aiki" is more difficult in that the defender must be able to lock his own body thus joining the two units into one. Then the defender must find the ground path and lead uke there. Inside Aiki particularly, requires lots of practice and previous training. Our teaching is that for self defense, in all cases, the nage has anywhere from 1/2 of a second up to 2 seconds (maybe 3 seconds max) to completely execute the movement. For us, anything in a time frame longer than that is not a technique but rather, it becomes a learning exercise.

Regarding "inside Aiki and "outside Aiki", if nage is working with circular motions, it is most aikido-like. If nage starts attacking joints, it is less aikido-like but those are distinctions for our teaching purposes and all are allowed for use in self defense.

For us, Aikido has certain defining principles for maintaining the purity of the art. All techniques can be gauged inside of a sliding range of "outside Aiki" (large motions gradually getting smaller) and "inside Aiki" (which are small motions gradually getting larger). Attacking the joints or using crank and torc techniques are outside of these two ranges and can be employed but with the understanding that these are not Aikido. Aikido is the harmony of Ki. Thus, Aikido involves the joining of two bodies as being more Aikido-like. Trying to influence specific points in the body for us would be less Aikido-like.

I shared these perspectives (which are really definitions) that can be applied to any movement we are taught in Aikido in order to point out that the issue is not between small motions and large motions but rather the issue may be in the relationship between the two. While some instructors may favor large motions and others may favor smaller motions, even in the execution of a technique, they sometimes have a large motion emphasis along with component parts of the technique being smaller motions within the same technique. The reverse of this principle is also true. This is when a technique has both inside and outside Aiki present. Simple techniques usually only have one aspect present. When both principles are in play, then we call that an advanced technique because advanced motor skills are then in play.

If you understand the breakdown though, it may clear up the confusion as to what we are doing and help the student to distinguish between things that are similar thus improving the students learning curve and helping to specifically address all the component parts of the training in Aikido.

Best wishes,
Jorge

Last edited by Jorge Garcia : 11-01-2012 at 07:29 AM.

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:02 AM   #17
Dan Richards
 
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Re: How small is your aikido

This small ---> •

Dan Richards - Aiki Research

"Budo must always reflect its surroundings. If it isn't newer and stronger, it isn't valid." - Shoji Nishio
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Old 02-15-2013, 06:41 AM   #18
AsimHanif
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Re: How small is your aikido

Thank you Takahashi Sensei. Good stuff.
Space = time. So controlling the space is crucial to efficiency. I've found that when nage utilizes big movements, I (as uke) have a lot of time (to regain balance, & possibly counter). And this has been the case with Shihans X, Y, and Z.
For the same reasons as uke I don't like taking big ukemi. I prefer to be very close to nage to again put myself in the best possible position.
My experiences with my own teacher (Takeguchi Sensei) have definitely solidified my goal of constantly striving to ‘get smaller', more subtle. Takeguchi Sensei is very close up and does not give you an inch, meaning very little space or time to counter.
That said I think a lot of people simply like big movements. Things are easier to see and you can get good cardio in. It can be fun and that's fine as well.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:18 PM   #19
Jonathan
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Re: How small is your aikido

Quote:
so anyway

how small do you or can you make your movements. is it something that you are working towards or do you thin that aikido should always be large and open?
My movements are much smaller than when I first learned them, which suggests that as I move forward in training they will grow smaller still. I don't think Aikido technique should remain very large and open as one develops in one's skill in Aikido. Especially if one's purpose is developing greater martial effectiveness, smaller and quicker is, in my view, better. Having said this, though, I do enjoy practicing with big, open movements. It just feels good to move this way. So, I practice both kinds of movement regularly.

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