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Old 07-03-2014, 08:28 AM   #126
PeterR
 
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Don't you just hate that guy who comes to dinner and, without even trying the cuisine you lovingly slaved over (including the recipe tried and tested over generations, handed down by your great grandma), grabs the salt, the pepper, the Tabasco sauce or whatever, rather than just give it a go as intended?

I'm not adverse to Tabasco myself, but wouldn't you like to know what your aikido tastes like without Tabasco, just for reference? They say there are all kinds of flavours of aikido, some stronger than others. You could still mix them with Tabasco, but, informed by how they taste without. Maybe you would find other more exciting combinations. Maybe you'd end up adding a particular vintage of aikido neat to everything, instead of Tabasco? Or even adding a unique combination of aikido and Tabasco to everything.

Just my half a Euro.

Carl
Sure - except that back in the day Tabasco was added by the chef.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:04 PM   #127
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Two problems with this.
Certainly it doesn't hurt to be strong. But saying that strength is the answer to whatever might be wrong with your aikido is simply missing the point of how aikido techniques are supposed to work.
This is true.

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Which brings us to problem number two, which is that training like a powerlifter is not really compatible with the flexibility and sensitivity that aikido requires.
But this is not, and I'd really like to see this myth go away. There's a lot to be learned from strength training. The benefits of strength training on general health are well studied and very well documented.

When it comes to Aikido, my experience with powerlifting is that it enhanced my body's resilience, enhanced my ability to recover from injuries, taught me about leverage and body structure, taught me about intense mental focus, showed me how hard human beings can push themselves, and all sorts of other good stuff. There's nothing like exerting such a maximal effort that you fry your nervous system.

The flexibility thing is just another misconception. There are plenty of strong and flexible people, it goes hand in hand. Go to youtube and check out how sumo wrestlers, power lifters, olympic lifters, and the old school circus strength guys train. You'll be amazed. I doubt most people here have the flexibility to do a legal power squat without any weight, let alone any of the olympic lifts or sumo warm ups.

Strength training has never had a negative effect on my Aikido training, it's only enhanced it. A lot of Aikido students would do well to pick up something heavy and actually learn what physical power is, how it works, and why they can't rely on it in a martial art. They might even stop missing classes or taking half-assed ukemi because their (insert body part here) hurts.
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:13 PM   #128
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Floyd Hagen wrote: View Post
The flexibility thing is just another misconception. There are plenty of strong and flexible people, it goes hand in hand. Go to youtube and check out how sumo wrestlers, power lifters, olympic lifters, and the old school circus strength guys train. You'll be amazed. I doubt most people here have the flexibility to do a legal power squat without any weight, let alone any of the olympic lifts or sumo warm ups.

Strength training has never had a negative effect on my Aikido training, it's only enhanced it. A lot of Aikido students would do well to pick up something heavy and actually learn what physical power is, how it works, and why they can't rely on it in a martial art. They might even stop missing classes or taking half-assed ukemi because their (insert body part here) hurts.
A friend of mine is a massage therapist who works on powerlifters. I think she might disagree with you. While it's *possible* to be both strong and flexible, it requires paying extra attention to mobility and flexibility and a lot of people simply don't bother.

I actually agree with you that strength training can be valuable for aikidoka. Having a strong, stable squat makes a world of difference in koshinage, for instance. I just disagree with the claim I was responding to, that getting stronger is the way to "fix" your aikido.

Katherine
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Old 07-03-2014, 12:57 PM   #129
Dan Rubin
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Quote:
Carl Thompson wrote: View Post
Don't you just hate that guy who comes to dinner and, without even trying the cuisine you lovingly slaved over (including the recipe tried and tested over generations, handed down by your great grandma), grabs the salt, the pepper, the Tabasco sauce or whatever, rather than just give it a go as intended?
A great analogy. Thanks.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:52 PM   #130
Michael Neal
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Being strong makes a world of difference in any martial art, including Aikido. I never argued it was a substitute for technique, when combined with technique it is a force multiplier, so to speak.

Koshinage is absolutely dependent on strength if you want to throw someone who is not an uke and weighs a lot. Go try to throw around a 250lb judoka who is not playing a nice uke without having much strength. They are not going to charge at you and give your the momentum you need as a smaller person, you have to generate that momentum through strength/force. The same with any heavy attacker, they are just not going to give you much momentum.
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:57 PM   #131
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Michael Neal wrote: View Post
Being strong makes a world of difference in any martial art, including Aikido. I never argued it was a substitute for technique, when combined with technique it is a force multiplier, so to speak.

Koshinage is absolutely dependent on strength if you want to throw someone who is not an uke and weighs a lot. Go try to throw around a 250lb judoka who is not playing a nice uke without having much strength. They are not going to charge at you and give your the momentum you need as a smaller person, you have to generate that momentum through strength/force. The same with any heavy attacker, they are just not going to give you much momentum.
I think the point you are trying to make is that without strength it will be difficult to throw a 250lb person who is actually trying to let you throw him.

Strength is not going to be what gives you the ability to throw a 250lb judoka who is resisting, unless you suck at judo.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:19 PM   #132
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Strength is absolutely one of the factors that gives you that ability, again I never said it replaced technique. Just about every competitive judoka lifts weights for that reason.

In Judo you often need to generate movement through force with pushing and pulling, people don't charge at you. In order to effectively push and pull big people you need to be strong.

Last edited by Michael Neal : 07-18-2014 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:37 PM   #133
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

the same goes for 300+lb people going on rampages, the more strength you have to go along with your technique the better your odds
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:21 PM   #134
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

As a 125# woman, getting into contests of strength with people twice my size is never going to be a winning strategy, no matter how much time I spend in the gym.

Which takes me back to my original point. It never hurts to be strong, but good technique is not about strength.

Katherine
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Old 07-18-2014, 08:21 PM   #135
Janet Rosen
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
As a 125# woman, getting into contests of strength with people twice my size is never going to be a winning strategy, no matter how much time I spend in the gym.

Which takes me back to my original point. It never hurts to be strong, but good technique is not about strength.

Katherine
Seconded by another woman in that weight class

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:30 PM   #136
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Michael Neal wrote: View Post
In Judo you often need to generate movement through force with pushing and pulling, people don't charge at you. In order to effectively push and pull big people you need to be strong.
you mean like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfWXEuEgYI ? you think Ikeda sensei strong compare to the two big guys? or even out muscle them?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:05 AM   #137
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

I never suggested that getting in a battle of strength with someone is a good strategy, I wouldn't either even if I was stronger than my opponent. But I would use it to apply more force to my technique at the right moment. If my opponent is bigger and stronger than me, me being as strong as I possibly can would mitigate his advantage.

This woman is stronger than most average guys, she would be pretty fierce if she added martial arts to her training

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85fAMHWa530
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:50 AM   #138
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

All of this stuff is percentages. Improving your physical fitness lifts you above number of potential adversaries. Improving your technical skill lifts you above some number of potential adversaries. Improving your ability to project your relative abilities places you above some number of potential adversaries. Improving your proficiency using weapons (and carrying them) lifts you above some number of potential adversaries. Ultimately, (from a "fighting" perspective) we are working to elevate our entire collection of advantages above the largest percentage of potential adversaries. Aikido is just one set of skills among a larger collection.

Fidelity to a system means that you allow the training methodology to run its course. One of the odd things about O Sensei's early teaching is that he wold often cut students loose. He would teach a student for a period of time, then say, "Okay, you've got it. Bye. Stay in touch." Stepping back to O Sensei's relationship with Takeda, it seems that he would have intense periods of training followed by lapses, where O Sensei presumably continued to train. It does give the impression that his aiki instruction was a limited instruction followed by commitment to training.

First, I think we become distracted with other arts. Not that this is a bad thing because we want to be able to work with other groups and I believe a working knowledge of those groups is important. It is very difficult to work with people who train in other arts - aikido is not judo (for example). Give credit where credit is due and don't assume our cross-training partner is doing anything but playing nice with our aikido rules. We tease one of our judo players because I swear if you go to South America, he is what's in the cage that wrestles all-comers in the seedy bar.

Second, I think our current methodology is having difficulty showing results. I think part of problem one is that our current methodology does not produce the results we want within the time frame we want. I think arguing whether its the process or the expectations that are at fault is another thread. In either case, there is a lure of success through other arts that many creates a sense of insecurity of aikido's success as a martial education.

As a bit o' heresay... In Phi's clip, Ikeda sensei is stronger than his partners... stronger through ki/aiki. It may not be the "strength" that we typically consider, but it is a skill that is elevating sensei above his partners... That is the strength sensei trains, not the kind that looks good on the beach.

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Old 10-07-2014, 04:28 AM   #139
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Train many arts and have many teacher.

I agree with your thoughts!
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Old 09-01-2016, 06:37 PM   #140
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

I would say that Aikido in its essence is pure. Anyone can teach principles of Aikido, techniques of Aikido, and/or the philosophy of Aikido. However, unless the complete system is practiced as O'Sensei intended it to be practiced, whatever it is that you are doing is not Aikido. One can see many videos or hear discussions about Aikido vs "fill in the blank". That by O'Sensei's definition is no longer Aikido. Period.
One can easily read what O'Sensei said on the subject. Argue it out with him. In the mean time have fun with what you are doing, whatever that might be. To quote Bangor Maine Police Dept.'s Facebook page, "In the meantime, keep your hands to yourself, leave other people's things alone and be kind to one another."
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Old 09-01-2016, 07:49 PM   #141
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

From the Art Of Peace, translated by John Stevens:
"Even though our path is completely different from the warrior paths of the past, it is not necessary to abandon totally the old ways. Absorb venerable traditions into this new art by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better forms."

Pete, I don't know what this rigid definition of O Sensei's way is. I suspect most students probably don't - I think that is why so many dojo are so different from each other. We know our teachers.
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Old 09-02-2016, 05:52 AM   #142
Alex Megann
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Pete Breeland wrote: View Post
I would say that Aikido in its essence is pure. Anyone can teach principles of Aikido, techniques of Aikido, and/or the philosophy of Aikido. However, unless the complete system is practiced as O'Sensei intended it to be practiced, whatever it is that you are doing is not Aikido. One can see many videos or hear discussions about Aikido vs "fill in the blank". That by O'Sensei's definition is no longer Aikido. Period.
One can easily read what O'Sensei said on the subject. Argue it out with him. In the mean time have fun with what you are doing, whatever that might be. To quote Bangor Maine Police Dept.'s Facebook page, "In the meantime, keep your hands to yourself, leave other people's things alone and be kind to one another."
Some would say this is a can of worms...

How many people these days are really practising the "complete system ... as O'Sensei intended it to be practiced"? Do you do daily solo training as he did? Misogi? Kotodama?

The researches of Stanley Pranin and Chris Li (see Chris's excellent set of interviews here) have shown that the message of O'Sensei's teaching is not quite what is generally assumed, particularly in the mainstream Aikikai tradition. He was fond of using esoteric code words referring back to the Shinto Classics that can be unambiguously linked to themes in Chinese internal martial arts, but most of his direct students disregarded this as the crazy talk of a cranky old man. Also, "what O-Sensei said on the subject" is heavily dependent on the biases of the translator.

As an example, it seems that O-Sensei used the phrase "standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven" more frequently than "Aiki is love", but how often do you hear your teacher use the former phrase?

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 09-02-2016 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:26 AM   #143
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Ah yes, the thread that will never die as long as there's an academician who insists that any human endeavor can be "pure".

Quote:
As an example, it seems that O-Sensei used the phrase "standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven" more frequently than "Aiki is love", but how often do you hear your teacher use the former phrase?
Honestly? I've never heard any sensei say either of these. They say things like "Top of the HEAD, dammit, this isn't the Three Stooges!"
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:09 AM   #144
Alex Megann
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Honestly? I've never heard any sensei say either of these. They say things like "Top of the HEAD, dammit, this isn't the Three Stooges!"
Yeah, I don't expect you come across many teachers in the Chiba lineage talking about "Aiki is Love"...

Alex
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Old 09-03-2016, 01:16 AM   #145
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Alex,

You have surely heard of 愛の鞭 [ai no muchi]. Muchi is a whip, rod, or cane.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 09-03-2016, 03:25 AM   #146
Alex Megann
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Alex,

You have surely heard of 愛の鞭 [ai no muchi]. Muchi is a whip, rod, or cane.

Best wishes,
Is this what we call "tough love", or is it something more intimate?

Alex
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:07 PM   #147
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Is this what we call "tough love", or is it something more intimate?

Alex
Probably both. You would need to read some other stuff if you want to study these aspects. I would recommend Gregory Plugfelder's Cartographies of Desire, Mikiso Hane's Peasants, Rebels, Women and Outcasts, The Love of the Samurai, by Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun'ichi Iwata, and a collection of essays with the title of Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Japan.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 09-03-2016, 07:12 PM   #148
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

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Alex Megann wrote: View Post
Is this what we call "tough love", or is it something more intimate?

Alex
Incidentally, K Chiba was the only deshi I know who returned home from the country he had been sent to before he was supposed to, and the reasons he gave to me had some relevance to the title of this thread. He felt that the Aikikai were losing theiir mission to keep aikido 'pure' and I think he meant something like how he learned the art from Morihei Ueshiba himself.

PAG

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Old 09-04-2016, 05:33 AM   #149
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

One of my close students from Malaysia, who had grown up training martial arts, once made a very good point. He said "It's not that the technique doesn't work, it's just that I can't get it to work yet."
This is of course based on the fundamental martial soundness of the given technique. The techniques you are training need to be applicable in martial situations: your tai sabaki needs to bring you not only off the line of attack, but also to the safest place in a given situation. Tai sabaki, kuzushi, atemi - all these aspects must be there. In the Iwama lineage the practitioners in the old days had actual experience in .. how should I say this nicely.. non-dojo based applications of the waza :-) Others from other lineages have also tried their techniques in aforementioned environments. It's not that Iwama has a patent on this type of extracurricular training. It's just that it seems that there was a strong tradition for this kind of experimentation in the Iwama dojo back in the day. The techniques and principles we are training in this lineage are the same. But the deciding factor, in my opinion, is what you actually do in a given situation. What are you ready to unleash? Can you unleash it? Are you mentally prepared to go there? In my opinion it is very individual, whether you can or can't. In actuality you really don't know until you've been there. But you can mentally prepare yourself to a certain extent.
The dojo training gives you some very strong basic body programming - but when push comes to shove it's really a question of how the individual can and is willing to respond that will be a strong influence on the outcome of a given defence situation. IMHO.

In aiki,
Ethan
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Old 09-04-2016, 01:46 PM   #150
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Thumbs up Re: Why bother keeping Aikido 'pure'?

Quote:
Ethan Weisgard wrote: View Post
One of my close students from Malaysia, who had grown up training martial arts, once made a very good point. He said "It's not that the technique doesn't work, it's just that I can't get it to work yet."
This is of course based on the fundamental martial soundness of the given technique. The techniques you are training need to be applicable in martial situations: your tai sabaki needs to bring you not only off the line of attack, but also to the safest place in a given situation. Tai sabaki, kuzushi, atemi - all these aspects must be there. In the Iwama lineage the practitioners in the old days had actual experience in .. how should I say this nicely.. non-dojo based applications of the waza :-) Others from other lineages have also tried their techniques in aforementioned environments. It's not that Iwama has a patent on this type of extracurricular training. It's just that it seems that there was a strong tradition for this kind of experimentation in the Iwama dojo back in the day. The techniques and principles we are training in this lineage are the same. But the deciding factor, in my opinion, is what you actually do in a given situation. What are you ready to unleash? Can you unleash it? Are you mentally prepared to go there? In my opinion it is very individual, whether you can or can't. In actuality you really don't know until you've been there. But you can mentally prepare yourself to a certain extent.
The dojo training gives you some very strong basic body programming - but when push comes to shove it's really a question of how the individual can and is willing to respond that will be a strong influence on the outcome of a given defence situation. IMHO.

In aiki,
Ethan
Amen
dps
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