Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 05-19-2016, 03:19 PM   #26
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 316
Germany
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
At the risk of starting world war, I am gonna clarify that in my experience resistance can thwart technique; resistance cannot thwart aiki. There is a difference. As I put my hands on good people, I find that not only is my action unsuccessful, it does not affect my partner.

On some level, we have all heard the, "I'd just do something else," response to resistant uke. And I think that is true. But there is another level where what you do does not matter. For people who move with aiki, your participation is not required. I think we sometimes ignore this level of training because it is difficult to achieve.
Not sure who is "we", I do not :-) Also not sure what the war would be about? I at least am with you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2016, 03:17 AM   #27
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 622
Australia
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
At the risk of starting world war, I am gonna clarify that in my experience resistance can thwart technique; resistance cannot thwart aiki. There is a difference. As I put my hands on good people, I find that not only is my action unsuccessful, it does not affect my partner.

On some level, we have all heard the, "I'd just do something else," response to resistant uke. And I think that is true. But there is another level where what you do does not matter. For people who move with aiki, your participation is not required. I think we sometimes ignore this level of training because it is difficult to achieve.
Not going to disagree with you on this, but I'm interested in whether you feel that resistance is a useful thing to develop aiki. If so, how much and when?

FWIW, I think the answer is yes, and that it is up to instructors and senior students to decide in the circumstances, but as a rule, always apply just a little bit more than the student can currently handle (assuming the student has a basic understanding of the mechanics of the technique already).
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2016, 07:42 AM   #28
Mark Raugas
Location: Baltimore, MD
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 21
United_States
Offline
Smile Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
At the risk of starting world war, I am gonna clarify that in my experience resistance can thwart technique; resistance cannot thwart aiki. There is a difference. As I put my hands on good people, I find that not only is my action unsuccessful, it does not affect my partner.

On some level, we have all heard the, "I'd just do something else," response to resistant uke. And I think that is true. But there is another level where what you do does not matter. For people who move with aiki, your participation is not required. I think we sometimes ignore this level of training because it is difficult to achieve.
Actually, I am grateful for your provocative post. It has prompted me to wrestle a bit with what you are trying to get at. Thank you.

A question that comes to mind is what happens when two people with aiki get into conflict?

Is Aiki atomic (in the philosophical sense) or can it be sub-divided?

For example, in Taijiquan, we have the notions of zhan (stick), nian (adhere), lian (continue), and sui (follow). These are four principles that, when all are present in your relationship with an opponent, and you off-balance or throw or lock or hit them, you can say you have done Taijiquan. Without one of the four, you might be successful, but you are not doing Taijiquan correctly or in its full expression of potential.

It would be similar to saying you threw someone, but did not use aiki.

Are there doka or other subcomponents to a successful application of aiki? I am thinking of the writings Chris Li has found on Daito-ryu or translations of Ueshiba Morihei's early writings.

The reason I ask is there may be many reasons someone is unbeatable -- from aiki to taiji to other qigong from other styles to extremely strong body conditioning to the end of the spectrum where drug use or psychosis makes someone difficult to resist.

The reason your comment raised my interest is in the way you describe it, it seems like tori does not care what uke is doing, is just so powerful that it does not matter, and that would make aiki very different from taiji, which is focused on sensitivity (sensitivity permeates the four concepts above -- without it, you can't do something like sui correctly).

Anyway, back to your first paragraph, third sentence, I would assume if your skill increased, then things would get more interesting -- you would apply technique with aiki, the opponent would have aiki of his own, and it would depend on relative level of skill. So, doesn't your statement boil down to relative level of skill?

What is aiki, then (rhetorical)? Is it something that is immovable/immutable? Does it just mean your level of skill is sublime? Did Mifune have aiki, not having practiced Aikido? If he did randori with Mochizuku, who was 10th dan in Aikido, who would win?

Just idle thoughts on the first sunny day in some time.

Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2016, 09:47 AM   #29
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
United_States
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Not going to disagree with you on this, but I'm interested in whether you feel that resistance is a useful thing to develop aiki. If so, how much and when?

FWIW, I think the answer is yes, and that it is up to instructors and senior students to decide in the circumstances, but as a rule, always apply just a little bit more than the student can currently handle (assuming the student has a basic understanding of the mechanics of the technique already).
I see aiki as a perishable skill that requires training. For me, aiki is a way to move the body. I see resistance like most athletic endeavors, part of strengthening and stretching the body. Later, is is also a good tool that let's me find weakness in my body that has been stressed by [too much] resistance. Posture training, for example. When my partner applies pressure against my body, how do I manage that force? If I can't manage the force, how can I expect to manipulate it? I can't, this is a problem of evasion.

We do this stuff all the time, we just don't like to admit it. For example, we are admonished to "relax,"which is really just another way of saying, "your body is not properly managing the stress load, change." When we move correctly, we often express a feeling, "like I wasn't doing anything," which is a description of resistance (or lack thereof).

A classic aikido parlor trick, unbendable arm, is a resistance exercise. We relax our arm, think about fairies and magic, "extend" to the wall and our partner becomes unable to bend our arms. What makes it a parlor trick is that our training limits unbendable arm... to my arm. Why not unbendable leg? Unbendable body? Why not use unbendable arm to stop people from pushing against your arm? If my arm is in the same position as unbendable arm (a demonstration of my partner's inability to bend my arm), how can my partner successfully apply ikkyo without my participation? If should be pretty difficult. I am resisting? No more than if I was showing a parlor trick...

All of this is to say that I see resistance as a useful metric in a number of aspects in my training. My perspective also transcends the argument that my partner is behaving antagonistically - that is, my partner is acting in a way to negatively affect my training or education. If you are hurting my training, I don't care whether your fall or not, I will work with someone else. Sometimes I am wrong and I need to learn from those instances.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2016, 11:44 AM   #30
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
United_States
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Since I somewhat evaded the two questions...

How much is a simple answer - as much as needed to illustrate success. Resistance can be a positive feedback and a negative one. For example, I can use resistance to see if I am balanced. Or, I can use resistance to test the quality of my movement.

When is during resistance training. Not during learning. If you don't know what you're doing, not knowing what you're doing with resistance does not change that equation.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2016, 11:14 PM   #31
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,316
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
On some level, we have all heard the, "I'd just do something else," response to resistant uke. And I think that is true. But there is another level where what you do does not matter. For people who move with aiki, your participation is not required. I think we sometimes ignore this level of training because it is difficult to achieve.
Well, applying aiki in the wrong place/direction is just as useless as applying force in the wrong place/direction, too. It's a lot easier to talk about "moving with aiki" in the presence of a resistant partner than it is to actually do it.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2016, 03:16 AM   #32
robin_jet_alt
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 622
Australia
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Since I somewhat evaded the two questions...

How much is a simple answer - as much as needed to illustrate success. Resistance can be a positive feedback and a negative one. For example, I can use resistance to see if I am balanced. Or, I can use resistance to test the quality of my movement.

When is during resistance training. Not during learning. If you don't know what you're doing, not knowing what you're doing with resistance does not change that equation.
100% agree with you. Just wanted to bring you on track a bit
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 01:37 AM   #33
Rupert Atkinson
 
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 892
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
A classic aikido parlor trick, unbendable arm, is a resistance exercise. If my arm is in the same position as unbendable arm, how can my partner successfully apply ikkyo without my participation?
Ikkyo should be exactly that. And resistance should be exactly that. Why is everyone barking up the wrong tree ... I always wonder ...

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 01:39 AM   #34
Rupert Atkinson
 
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 892
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Here is my take on it: http://discovering-aikido.com/resistance.htm

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2016, 08:16 AM   #35
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 326
United_States
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Well put Rupert.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2016, 01:36 AM   #36
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,316
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
A classic aikido parlor trick, unbendable arm, is a resistance exercise. We relax our arm, think about fairies and magic, "extend" to the wall and our partner becomes unable to bend our arms. What makes it a parlor trick is that our training limits unbendable arm... to my arm. Why not unbendable leg? Unbendable body? Why not use unbendable arm to stop people from pushing against your arm? If my arm is in the same position as unbendable arm (a demonstration of my partner's inability to bend my arm), how can my partner successfully apply ikkyo without my participation? If should be pretty difficult. I am resisting? No more than if I was showing a parlor trick...
There are plenty of "straight arm" variations of ikkyo. I would say that someone who is prevented from doing ikkyo by an unbendable arm probably doesn't understand ikkyo very well. Which I suspect was exactly your point.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2016, 12:58 PM   #37
jurasketu
Dojo: Roswell Budokan
Location: Roswell GA
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 105
United_States
Online
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Resistance takes many forms.. Adding my comments...

If you work with children, they will resist in bizarre ways - limp, stiff, active, passive, kicking and striking inappropriately. But since you are trying to use technique on a child that you must not hurt even marginally, it requires interesting skills to make a technique "work". Occasionally, you even get whacked because children don't understand defense at all and intuitively know that you cannot strike them preemptively.

Then there is stupidly non-martial resistance. The "I will break your technique" by being stiff and/or unmoving. Never mind that an unmoving or stiff target is wide open for all sorts of punches, breaks kicks and stomps resulting in serious injury. How is that martial defense? That is not useful training for either nage or uke.

Active resistance created by an uke moving with martial intent throughout the technique is much better training for both the nage AND the uke. An active uke can show nage's openings by using a love tap at the opening. The active uke learns how to move with control and can look/find the exit points/openings while defending themselves from the same. The key here - is moving resistance. Do boxers or wrestlers or judoka just "stand there" in a sparring match? Nope. Not ever. That is a recipe for losing.

The problem is that sometimes the nage will compensate with speed against an active uke instead of position and control. Speed can hide weak position and technique and also create unnecessary injury, so I think it is important to concentrate on position and control points in a technique rather than how fast it can be done. At slow speed, a good uke can show without directly blocking whether or not the nage's technique is really working or not. In training, speed like strength can limit learning. As skill increases, the uke and nage can speed things up to understand how things work at full speed - especially the initial tai-sabaki.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
AWA - Nidan - Started Aikido training in 2008
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2016, 11:38 PM   #38
RonRagusa
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
United_States
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
A classic aikido parlor trick, unbendable arm, is a resistance exercise. We relax our arm, think about fairies and magic, "extend" to the wall and our partner becomes unable to bend our arms.
I'm not sure where you got all that fairies and magic nonsense, but putting that aside; we don't focus on any particular image. Instead we use unbendable arm as a vehicle for developing a specific feeling within the body. Once the correct feeling is attained it can be applied at will whenever the situation calls for it. Increased loads are gradually introduced in order to strengthen and reinforce the feeling. I'd also like to note that the unbendable arm exercise has variations that go beyond the static exercise you are familiar with, involving different forms of motion making the exercise more dynamic in nature.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
What makes it a parlor trick is that our training limits unbendable arm... to my arm. Why not unbendable leg? Unbendable body?
All of the things you note are already being done and have been for all of my almost 40 years of training. Maruyama sensei used to say that Ki exercises can be performed regardless of the body part being worked or the position nage assumes for the exercise. Over the years I have come up with many variations on the classic Ki exercises in order to enable students to train and succeed without regard to body parts and positions.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Why not use unbendable arm to stop people from pushing against your arm?
In fact, at a workshop conducted by George Ledyard a few years ago he had us perform an exercise where nage used unbendable arm to stop uke in his tracks when uke came in with a push from a wrist grab.

Ron

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2016, 08:58 AM   #39
jonreading
 
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
United_States
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Not to spark a debate. But kinda...

Yes, my point was that looking at a aikido trick that we all know, you get some interesting observations, some of which conflict with each other. Ultimately, the exercise builds up your partner's ability to stress your system and your ability to manage that stress. It's a great exercise on both sides of the ball. As you strip away rules you are left with a great exercise of push hands.

First, in my experience, the parlor trick is described as, "extending ki," usually by thinking about touching a wall, or imagining your arm as a fire hose, or tree limb. Also, the trick has to not work, then work. For everyone - sometimes, there is even a critical instruction from the demonstrator that is required for the participant to be successful. I am critical of this because the demonstration becomes more similar to a magic trick and less similar to a core instruction. I understand that not everyone shows unbendable arm this way, but I bet my bottom dollar we have all seen this demonstration.

Second, I think unbendable arm is a fantastic teaching instrument. But, we have all been 100% successful with unbendable arm... So why is that not the case in our aikido? I would hazard that most of us don't know what we are doing, which is why "extending to the wall" is the instruction du jour. Experience is not expertise.

I don't mean to derail the resistance thread, but I think looking at our exercises and understanding they are resistance exercises should raise some eyebrows. Tori fune, tenkan undo, irimi nage undo - you're building proper movement. I choose unbendable arm because we have all seen it, done it, and yet we have difficulty applying that principle in our aikido. If you can do this, I would argue you fall into a minority. I certainly can't.

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2016, 11:30 AM   #40
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 326
United_States
Offline
Re: Resistance as a learning tool?

Well, I guess trick is an accurate choice of words.

Learning that just using the tricep is stronger than using both tricep and bicep as the two muscles fight each other. Releasing antagonistic tension, extension. With other joints, there can be dozens of muscle groups involved so imagery is a way to coordinate muscle and structure.

We do a version of Shomenate as a back fall in class. I actually do have students strike the finishing posture, and then slowly, while giving them corrections, lean in and rest my full body weight against their palm. Translating this to motion is hard, but I think if a student felt it static at least they have some idea what to reach for. I guess it's "Unbendable body."
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Resistance training overview: the four basic levels G DiPierro Training 17 11-04-2007 04:18 PM
The tool of resistance in teaching Aikido Marc Abrams Training 18 10-26-2007 10:52 AM
Train of thought Ketsan General 35 12-04-2006 07:13 AM
Kinesthetic Learning akiy General 20 10-20-2005 11:26 AM
Need Suggestions For Learning... taro Training 13 08-22-2001 10:58 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:52 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2016 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2016 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate