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Old 06-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #26
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Mark -

You're at the same juncture that I was at 12 years ago. I realized that my Aikido was missing something and after 25 years with the same teacher I didn't think I was going to discover the missing component by continuing as before. I chose to pursue an independent course (a painful and scary decision) and discovered that what was missing was my ability to explore the ideas that were occurring within me that fell outside the accepted doctrine of my former organization.

That decision spurred a growth spurt in my Aikido that continues today. Good luck, there's a steep but worthwhile drop off the cliff you're standing on the edge of...

Ron
My experience exactly, Ron!
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:02 PM   #27
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote: View Post
I met a student at Corky's place who had not experienced 'normal' aikido and she seemed to be progressing really well. In fact her non exposure to technique based practice was probably working in her favour.

In the end I may well end up doing both as you suggest and see where that takes me. Until I do I will not know the answer. I guess that some dojo heads are more open to incorporating new ideas.regards,

Mark
A little bit about Joyce, Mark, a middle-aged woman with no martial arts experience, she is capable of manifesting exquisitely performed aikido - like the rest of us - when she is extending beneficent intention no matter how obnoxiously I grip her!

Another student, a boy of eight when he started and was never shown a single technique at the age of ten flawlessly manifested a shihonage with an adult attacker. We yudansha all gasped in unison and said "He did shihonage!" He said "What?!? What did I do???"

Beginners in our dojo never learn techniques per se, but learn all the movements incorporated in aikido in a series of kata which I refer to as "stretches" and "spots" rather than attacks and techniques. It's not unusual to see aikido techniques executed without an attacker. Imagine the attack following the path of the technique without nage there. That would be a stretch (pun NOT intended, lol). Accompanying that is training in "spotting," incorporating the word in its use in gymnastics or weightlifting, that is to be involved with what your partner is doing without interferring.

Labeling and treating the attacks as stretches instead of attacks has a limbic effect. The body reacts much differently when someone moving at you is attacking versus stretching in your direction. Where you respond to attack reflexively constricting flows of ki, when you view what you do as supporting someone else, the flood gates of ki open and the "stretcher" gets a non-defensive response. Here is a chart of fundamental stretches and spots with vid clips linked to the names of the movement set.

http://www.westlosangelesaikido.com/...n%20Chart.html

The vernacular is a little different to much of what aikidoka label various things, but the naming has been an attempt (and a work in progress) to organize the teaching into a structure that can accomplish the goals of teaching beginners aikido outside of a technique emulation practice.

In this method, beginners never get the idea that aikido is to throw, they only get that it is to support, starting from the first lesson.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:05 PM   #28
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mark, good to see you luved it with Corky.
Hope it will be you and I one day soon, Graham!! thanks again for sending Mark my way... lol, despite his currently manifesting dilemma... ha!
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #29
James Sawers
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Corky, thank you for your posts and links. I already see ways to integrate some of your methods into my standard aikido practice......just took a shift in perspective (provided by you)......thanks, again.

Jim......
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:05 AM   #30
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
James Sawers wrote: View Post
Corky, thank you for your posts and links. I already see ways to integrate some of your methods into my standard aikido practice......just took a shift in perspective (provided by you)......thanks, again.

Jim......
That's awesome Jim. I'd love to hear how it goes! Thank you for taking a look.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:56 AM   #31
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Mark -

You're at the same juncture that I was at 12 years ago. I realized that my Aikido was missing something and after 25 years with the same teacher I didn't think I was going to discover the missing component by continuing as before. I chose to pursue an independent course (a painful and scary decision) and discovered that what was missing was my ability to explore the ideas that were occurring within me that fell outside the accepted doctrine of my former organization.

That decision spurred a growth spurt in my Aikido that continues today. Good luck, there's a steep but worthwhile drop off the cliff you're standing on the edge of...

Ron
Hi Ron,

thanks for the encouragement by sharing your own experience. It does feel like I'm teetering on a cliff edge. I do not fear the drop, I guess my hesitation is in the style of dive I take as I throw myself over the edge.... ah metaphors where would we be without them?

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #32
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Mark, good to see you luved it with Corky.

Regarding your partial dilemma as to how you personally move forward I would say you'll no doubt find your own personal answer.

As I see it you could well carry on under the umbrella of Ki Aikido and at the same time do a separate thing elsewhere and name it as you see fit. That would be an interesting experience for you all in itself.

Otherwise like many before you you could form your own style which no doubt would draw on all your experience plus the new view. New scene too for you will be 'independent' so to speak.

For me and Bob it has been this way for many a year. So I have encountered much of what you describe and more and yet found it all, every bit of it, enjoyable and opening to more learning.

There are those who come who have never done a martial art and were always put off by the mechanical structured approach. Then those who are used to such an approach. Then those who are very experienced in a martial art or aikido. Bottom line is just to know exactly what you are teaching and forward that to the student and all is then fine in my experience.

There is always feedback and there are always folk who turn up purely out of interest just to see or feel what it is. That's all good too. Feedback comes eventually from those you teach as they travel and encounter various scenes and people from different styles. So in a way I never feel away from what others are doing for I encourage anyone who wants to to go try any style. One guy I should be seeing next month at a yearly party went to an Iwama school. It will be good to see how he is getting on. He has returned a few times with his 'new skills' and it's interesting to me watch his progress.

On the other hand there have been those who had done aikido for years and yet finally found what they were looking for here. So when in the past I have said 'it's all good' I meant it for each person has their own path to follow and those whose path will be helped by my approach will turn up. That's how I see it.

So bottom line is to know your own approach and not be afraid to present it to those who would like to learn it.

Technique-less Aikido eventually leads also to understanding technique so it itself is a fascinating thing to experience. Transcend technique and finally understand technique.....quite zen really.

So basically I am saying that after the mental dilemma comes the decision and after the decision comes for you I am sure a fascinating next part of your journey. Embrace it.

Peace.G.
Hi Graham,

My current dilemma is all your fault! If you hadn't pointed me in Corky's direction I wouldn't be in this predicament right now, so you have a lot to answer for. But I will happily buy you a drink the next time I am in the smoke.

In many ways it was what I was hoping for when I left to go on my travels. I wanted meet someone who would literally stop me in my tracks, which Corky certainly did.

You are right about the two choices that I face and I am not rushing to make any decisions quite yet. Part of the reason I started this thread was to engage with other aikidoka and talk openly about things. Up until now I have been sitting alone with this in my head, not getting very far. Ultimately my choice will not be separate from the bigger picture of my move to Bristol and the other aspects of my life that I am trying to engineer to fit my vision of how I want to live and what I do to make a living. Currently things are all moving in the right direction and I am really happy about my choice of city, Bristol is a good place to be.

That video link you sent me, changed the course of my life, for that I thank you

regards,

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:30 PM   #33
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
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England
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Hope it will be you and I one day soon, Graham!! thanks again for sending Mark my way... lol, despite his currently manifesting dilemma... ha!
I hope so too. Do I see an Aikilab Mark 2 in Bristol? Mmmmmm.

Liked your story of the youngster. Kids can be so natural.There are always some people who appear and amaze you. We used to have a lady come and watch as her boyfriend was quite good and was thus given more responsibility for teaching.

I never interfered or said anything but noticed when the guy was having a hard time getting through to a student she would slip off her shoes, step on the mat, take the student and put them down and then say "that's what he's asking you to do" then go back a resume watching.

Oh, and liked your description of your experience with Mary Heiny too. Nice.

Peace.G.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:35 PM   #34
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 94
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
I hope so too. Do I see an Aikilab Mark 2 in Bristol? Mmmmmm.

Liked your story of the youngster. Kids can be so natural.There are always some people who appear and amaze you. We used to have a lady come and watch as her boyfriend was quite good and was thus given more responsibility for teaching.

I never interfered or said anything but noticed when the guy was having a hard time getting through to a student she would slip off her shoes, step on the mat, take the student and put them down and then say "that's what he's asking you to do" then go back a resume watching.

Oh, and liked your description of your experience with Mary Heiny too. Nice.

Peace.G.
I know that Mark will always find his way to sharing his knowledge, and hopefully his dilemma will direct him to an even greater understanding of aikido that he can then share with us to enrich our experiences!

Can you imagine the aikido between the woman you described and her teacher boyfriend at home? Lol...
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #35
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
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England
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
I know that Mark will always find his way to sharing his knowledge, and hopefully his dilemma will direct him to an even greater understanding of aikido that he can then share with us to enrich our experiences!

Can you imagine the aikido between the woman you described and her teacher boyfriend at home? Lol...
They're a great couple actually. He was a karate man prior to Aikido. She was and still is an estate agent but she wasn't one for arguments or drama or even being dominant, she just had no time for nonsense. If she had done Aikido I would say she would have been great with the sword, that kind of demeanor.

And there's more......they wanted a baby but couldn't. After tests found that she couldn't. We advised go for second opinion and still it was given as unfortunately no. She wouldn't have it. She was sure we could help. We all 'felt' she could. So my friend Bob took over and gave Kiatsu and put her on a vitamin and change diet regime. Lo and behold of course she did. He saw her recently and the boy who is now 12 years old.......wow, time flies. So there you are, one of the people I've been impressed by in Aikido who didn't even do Aikido. (Techniques, anyway)

Peace.G.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:45 PM   #36
CorkyQ
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Awesome story, G. ... thanks for sharing it...
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:21 PM   #37
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Post Modern Aikido?

Great thread here. Just reading along and nodding...yup, yup, yup.

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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