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Old 02-18-2005, 10:47 AM   #26
csinca's Avatar
Dojo: Various
Location: Southern California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 66
Re: PBT question

Michael F.

Sounds like a sound approach to me. One of my frustrations is going to my aikido class and having sensei demonstrate and entrance and then say "from here you have numerous targets including ....." and then I look at the rest of the class and I know without a doubt that most of them don't recognize the targets on their own, couldn't hit them with any effect if they did recognize them and with one exception none of them are going to learn. That one exception has started cross training at the same place I do!

Good training and be safe!

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Old 02-18-2005, 12:44 PM   #27
Dojo: Kyushinkan
Location: Roswell,GA
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 123
Re: PBT question

Chris S, hi and hmmm? I wonder what the other students in your senseis class would think of your comments. Are you possibly merely physically stonger than them and just think you know more than they do or what? I am concerned of what appears to be disdain on your end. Class is for learning, and from your description, it appears as Sensei did right with his explainantion of atemi points. Atemi can also be a wave of the hand or a light touch, or a kiai, and can create an excellent opening and make things some times go much smoother for you. I think if your out there butting heads with life, it will show in your practice. Hell, i am certain of it, having been there-done that. I invite you to your own refinement and hope things go well. Daniel.
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Old 02-19-2005, 09:02 PM   #28
csinca's Avatar
Dojo: Various
Location: Southern California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 66
Re: PBT question


Thank you for your interest. In this particular case however I have actually made this comment both individually and in group settings with my sensei and with all of the people that happened to be there. You see, for years sensei would work with us on entrances (which were great, no complaints) but would often point out various openings for strikes. However we never practiced the strikes themselves. For instance we might be working on an irimi entrance and sensei would point out that once you are in you might have a kidney, a floating rib, the back of the head and the temple as targets while being relatively safe from the attackers strikes (for a moment). All very sound and true but in the cases I'm thinking of, a light touch or a wave of the hand was not what we were talking about. It was similar to saying, from here I can use a nikkyo lock, but never working on nikkyo.

A couple of years ago I went out and started cross training in an art that gave me the striking skills I was looking for. My sensei knows it and the other students know it. One has even joined me in the cross training, and in fact told me this morning that he was just learning to see the targets. Last week sensei commented that when I bring those skills back into the aikido dojo I bring a different dimension that he appreciates.

Now on occassion I run across folks that don't think they need to dedicate any time to learning and practicing real strikes. The kind that make you want to sink to your knees. For some reason there are folks out there that think they will naturally be able to hit relatively small targets with power and accuracy, in a stressful environment (that whole thing about some stranger trying to hit you), without having to train it.

I wouldn't call it disdain, I simply recognized that there were things in the dojo that were mentioned but not taught. I went and found myself a teacher for those things and everybody on this end is cool with things.

As for personal refinement, well I'll be working on that for a long time and it will be a sad day when I think I have mastered it!

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Old 02-19-2005, 11:44 PM   #29
tenshinaikidoka's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Of Benton County Richland, Wa.
Location: Pasco, Wa
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 107
Re: PBT question

The reason that it appears that it is a no win situation during the randori in the video, is that it is. When you go for Shodan before Seagal Shihan, he will work you until you have nothing left, and then the test will begin. He is truly looking for how well you handle yourself when your energy is basically gone.

I know two people who have taken shodan from SS and although they both eventually went to the ground, they kept the fight up and did not give in to there own exauhstion.

But, I don't want to over analyze anything, and all very good points that I agree with!!!!!

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Old 02-23-2005, 04:38 PM   #30
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Re: PBT question

...well there is analyzing it, and there is experiencing it. I was there at the Dan test on the tape. If it is the sequence I am thinking of, I am one of the Uke.

There are several things that have been stated in the thread that I would like to address

1. There is no atemi in the randori as it was practiced in the dojo at that time. That is not to say that it does not exist. It does. It is just that we were not to use it in the dojo.

2. As Uke, we had several instructions that were always to be followed on test day.

a. go full speed
b. take them down
c. choke them out
d. protect yourself at all times
e. stay calm - never get mad
f . do not punch or kick uke (even out of anger, even if they did that to us)

Lastly - and this was something we, as students agreed to outside of the dojo instructions - "There are no friends on test day."

3. Tanking - not a chance in hell. And, if you even thought it, for a even a split second and we caught it we went in for the choke.

4. As Uke went down there was basically one rule to follow - each uke went for one of three options.

a. choke
b. tie up the hands and torso
c. tie up both legs

5. Nage had one job - survive. He accomplished this by:

a. successfully executing first cut and circling around to deal with the closest uke.
b. alternating between irimi and tenkan dealing with each uke until taken down to the ground
c. gain control over one or two of the uke as you go down
d. get out, get back up and continue

6. As for Seagal Sensei, if you ever attacked him anything less than full steam (with the intention to take him to the ground and choke him out), or to take his head off with a shomen or yokomen strike, you probably would never have that chance again.

Of course, there is also the idea that you are not seeing everything that occurred that day. The tape was edited for content, for one thing, and the other thing is that the context for the test was something that came from the culture of the dojo. In actuality, the culture of the dojo was entirely built around the magnanimity of the test -- both for the Nage and Uke.

7. Seagal Sensei was not the only one who could do this successfully. Matsuoka Sensei could always replicate the model even with four or five uke trying to take his head off. In many ways he has advanced it since that day of the black belt test known as Bloody Sunday back in 1992 when 13 students went up and 11 of them failed. There were others who at times were also successful for the five to 10 seconds needed to pass the shodan test. And then there was Eddy. Eddy did not pass that day, as most failed the test, often times repeatedly, over several years. However that day Eddy did something that no one else did. I won't say what it was, but looking back on things that happened ever since; I can say for sure that is, having said it, he encouraged Seagal Sensei to focus on him in a way that none other had yet managed and with Seagal Sensei, having him focus on you was never a good thing. He was tougher on Eddy than all of the other candidates over the next four years. As it turns out, and probably due to that focus being on him, Eddy's randori was the best I have ever seen outside of Seagal and Matsuoka Sensei's. When I say, "ever" I mean in person at any dojo, on any video I have ever come across, and at any demonstration of aikido that I have had to good fortune to observe, including the Doshu's.

This was all a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now that I recall, I do believe they made a movie about it...

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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