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Old 06-30-2011, 07:15 AM   #76
Richard Stevens
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I've always been interested to see video of Aikido techniques demonstrated on a freely attacking (i.e. bum rushing and heavily swinging) opponent. I recall having seen video of Tohei in a similar situation, but if I recall correctly his opponent was a large foreigner simply trying to get a hold of him. I've also seen a few videos of Aikido "sparring", but it was fairly obvious the Aikidoka wasn't very skilled.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:24 AM   #77
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
If you are attacked unexpectedly you are not paying attention and therefore already not in full control. When you regularly work with 1,000 pounds of unpredictable you lean how to be aware, stay calm and in control in sudden situations...or you get hurt.

I have been in situations where there was a pretty serious threat in which I stayed loose and relaxed and in control and the threat was withdrawn.If I had reacted in fear or if I had pushed back things may well have come out very differently. This was before I took up aikido. The last guy who got in my face found himself pinned against a wall. Because I was in control I didn't deck him. It was pretty close though. I need to keep working on it.
You make an excellent point. Developing an ability to stay calm and in control in a violent situation is probably more useful than having great technique.

A friend of mine is a manager at a recycling yard, a Shorin-Ryu black belt, and frequently has to deal with unseemly individuals and has been threatened with violence numerous times. While he has never had to defend himself, the confidence he has in his ability to do so has allowed him to remain calm and in control. He manages to diffuse each situation with a smile and the occasional invitation to "swing away".
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:33 AM   #78
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Richard Stevens wrote: View Post
I've always been interested to see video of Aikido techniques demonstrated on a freely attacking (i.e. bum rushing and heavily swinging) opponent. I recall having seen video of Tohei in a similar situation, but if I recall correctly his opponent was a large foreigner simply trying to get a hold of him. I've also seen a few videos of Aikido "sparring", but it was fairly obvious the Aikidoka wasn't very skilled.
Kinda hard to do since most people are going to hold back unless it's a real situation. Just wait till this whole life-casting thing takes off, i'm sure you'll get one then! One of my two "aikido-in-the-street" incidents was basically what you described, right hook from a guy who wanted to take my head off. Alas, no vids though.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:45 AM   #79
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Why would you think Aikido techniques are efficient in an actual fight?

Richard Stevens
Developing an ability to stay calm and in control in a violent situation is probably more useful than having great technique.

This is the perhaps the essence of studying Aikido +1

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:04 AM   #80
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

I think there is more to the "will it work in a fight" discussion than we need to have in this thread.
Suffice to say, Jason's experience is an example of training right and having it "work" when tested. Which is not to say that the ability to prevent or diffuse trouble before engagement isn't hugely important. People in this thread (and others) have seen that both can work.
How it works (and why things fail when they do) is more interesting than "yes it does," "no it doesn't," back and forth.

Daniel-
I don't know enough to know what you mean by "power transfer," but sounds like a useful quantity, I'll look it up. Anyway, regarding dropping your mass 5cm to get a large amount of force, I think it's really right on (combined with your earlier post about the grf, sounds like you just hit "ki of heaven" and "ki of earth" pretty squarely). But I'd take the "5cm" comment a step further-- if there is good tensile connection going on, the useful force starts in theory before any motion happens at all, so you can see why subtle things might start to have crazy large effects..

David Skaggs-
I can't believe you called what I said "crap" and then you posted those vids at the top of page 2 of the thread. ... just when I think I know where you're coming from, you throw me for a loop!

And finally--
I have for a while done a lot of single-person practice.. ki cultivation, aka tanren. So one thing that really made me perk up was people talking about something specific to multi-person interaction. Matthew made it really clear:
Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
while I couldn't control the bigger kids, I could control the context of their attack. So I would present something to be attacked and then suddenly change that something.
A lot of people do aikido thinking about 2-person stuff right off the bat, and thinking about motion right off the bat (Janet, your comment about "blending excercises" comes to mind). I think these are more advanced ideas, but that's just my point of view.

The point is that here we have a nice example of transcendence of what I was calling the "fighting game." You don't try to control an "attacker." You are in charge of yourself and you control how you carry yourself. His aggressive intent fills in the blank. So you don't have to fight him, you just manage the blanks so that fighting you is not easy. This way of thinking comes out of not wanting to fight.
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:08 AM   #81
Keith Larman
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

A new take on an old concept comes to mind. OODA Loop. We train to get to the point where we can "get inside" the operations of the attacker. We're not reacting, we're actually controlling the confrontation while blending, leading, and moving. To get to that place requires extensive experience, the ability to stay calm, the ability to stay centered, the ability to not so much react but to take over control. Yes, we are in some sense a defensive art but properly done it is anything but reactive.

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Old 06-30-2011, 11:49 AM   #82
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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OODA Loop. We train to get to the point where we can "get inside" the operations of the attacker. We're not reacting,
Hi Keith. I brought that up earlier but no takers yet. I think your statements above are exactly what I am getting at: fighting means getting smarter at decision, faster at action, crafty about orienting, and fast/skilled at observing, that kind of thing. Work on any of the OODA items, and you are working on fighting.

Work on something that is *separate from* interacting within the OODA loop, and you are talking about the "something special" or transcendent quality. I think this is at the heart of what aikido is, so my question is, how is it that we accomplish it?

My point is, if you have this goal, then you can say how you are working on it. I think the IS folks are talking about exactly this, so I started this thread thinking, if their descriptions are the "noise" on this board, let's hear the "signal." (Maybe we would see that this supposed signal matches up well with IS when talked out in detail.)

How, mechanistically, can we "get inside the OODA loop" of the attacker, so that we don't have to be quicker than him or stronger than him? The only answers I can give fall squarely within the IS paradigm, and I would love to hear if there is another point of view-- other than, "keep training and it will come."
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:33 PM   #83
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Well, Jonathon, I'm firmly in the IS crowd and I this is the stuff where it makes the difference. I remember the first time I got on the mat with Toby Threadgill. I laughed when he did a technique because I realized I couldn't "feel" him through a connection that he used to throw me. I've worked long and hard but here was a guy that just wasn't "there" until he wanted me on the ground. I had nothing to grab, nothing to move, no "handles". Now I've felt that before from a number of very good Aikidoka, but never so clearly and consistently as that day. Because it wasn't just that there was a connection, but that it could become so powerful instantly. And I realized at that moment that he could feel me, had that handle on me, had me under control but that I didn't feel it in return. That was a huge advantage for him. From then on I got more serious about getting out and seeing people doing this stuff. And I think that the sort of connection that is not just about speed, not just about balance, not just about subtlety, but also includes these abilities is what I am after. That's the elusive "power" of aiki for me. That instantaneous connection that uke cannot use in return. That "advantage" gets inside their ooda loop. It made me reconsider o-sensei's phrase "Shodo-O-Seisu". The original version of OODA.

Just my novice opinion...

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Old 06-30-2011, 02:13 PM   #84
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

This thread would be a great chance for someone to say something like:

"Well Keith, I'm glad you enjoy standing for long periods of time, doing funekogi the "right" way while the rest of us do it wrongly, hanging out with friends gently pushing on each others' chests and shoulders, etc. But stop stinking up this place with IS-noise!
IS is not the heart of aikido --there is a totally different mechanism that lets aikido work, and here is a description:"

Let's hear it. My point is purely to end the feeling of divisiveness that people say they are perceiving. I am claiming that if anyone can continue the quote above, we will see that they are in fact looking for exactly what the IS people are offering-- not something different/separate.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:01 PM   #85
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

"It is all about mechanics. "

In practise you improve your sense of distance and (relative) speed. When making contact this happens at that point where your partner is already (close to) off balance. You can affect him/her, but not other way around.
In the end both parties are just human, have two legs, a core, two arms and a head. You figure it out. The techniques are exercises to study the mechanics.

Obviously when you are calm, relaxed everything 'goes' it bit better.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #86
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Well, Jonathon, I'm firmly in the IS crowd and I this is the stuff where it makes the difference. I remember the first time I got on the mat with Toby Threadgill. I laughed when he did a technique because I realized I couldn't "feel" him through a connection that he used to throw me. I've worked long and hard but here was a guy that just wasn't "there" until he wanted me on the ground. I had nothing to grab, nothing to move, no "handles". Now I've felt that before from a number of very good Aikidoka, but never so clearly and consistently as that day. Because it wasn't just that there was a connection, but that it could become so powerful instantly. And I realized at that moment that he could feel me, had that handle on me, had me under control but that I didn't feel it in return. That was a huge advantage for him. From then on I got more serious about getting out and seeing people doing this stuff. And I think that the sort of connection that is not just about speed, not just about balance, not just about subtlety, but also includes these abilities is what I am after. That's the elusive "power" of aiki for me. That instantaneous connection that uke cannot use in return. That "advantage" gets inside their ooda loop. It made me reconsider o-sensei's phrase "Shodo-O-Seisu". The original version of OODA.

Just my novice opinion...
That resonates strongly with what i have felt inskilled individuals and gained some clues when presenting some of the ideas about toppling, CoM and Base of support to aikidoka recently I took along some force plates (these measure ground reaction forces) to see if it was helpful...actually it was but not in the way that i suspected. What was discovered was that people with 10-20 yrs of aikido experience (myself included) weren't sensitive to mass/weight transfers until a threshold of about 10kgs. interestingly this is about the threshold around which toppling (or maybe kuzushi) occurs. IS training in part maybe develops this sensativity in self and in feeling uke i am thinking?

On OODA ideas Amdur's HIPS mentions 'oshikiuchi' (or inside the threshold) in his birth of DR chapter. Whilst it might mean literally just for those in the palace maybe its also an OODA naming??

from personal experience when I setup toppling in my partner techniques are easier (feather weight) to apply, and as uke if i can set up toppling in nage their techniques are rendered less effective.

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Old 06-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #87
graham christian
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Jonathan.
Nice thread and your persistence in keeping it to the point.

Some food for thought If I am understanding where your trying to get to.

Overcoming Aggression: I see you believe it's possible from a transcendence point of view. So may I say that it may be worthwhile inspecting the reality of what that word means.

You question fighting and indeed the use of a transient Aikido in a fight, implying true Aiki is indeed a transcendant thing. Am I right?

Regards.G.t
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:19 PM   #88
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Hi Tim-
Thanks! Here's another step, going off your post. I would like to start by stressing that we agree very much about something: the description of the end-state. This:
Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
In practise you improve your sense of distance and (relative) speed. When making contact this happens at that point where your partner is already (close to) off balance. You can affect him/her, but not other way around.
is very much what I would hope would happen should I be attacked. It doesn't say how it felt from my POV, or what I did to make it happen-- it just says objectively what happens. So, we know the "what"-- what about the "how?"

How do we bring about this goal, in our training? It sounds like you are arguing this:
We do techniques, which are really 2-person kata. They aren't realistic, but rather they are highly stylized. They are VERY similar from rendition to rendition-- they don't vary much. They are used with strange exaggerated attacks. We do these for years (maybe with some randori thrown in to hone things?).
While we do these reps, our bodies distill some kind of information from the design of the techniques, something embedded in there. Then, if we are not decrepit by the time our bodies fully get the info, we will be able to respond without much thought or effort to any kind of attack, even if we have never seen it before, by using the information "programmed" into our bodies from the technique repetitions.
Is that what you are saying?

What about budo being about transformation? What about heaven and earth and unity? What about not fighting?
I know you will have answers for these questions, but if you are interested in the things O-sensei talked about, think about parsimony. What if there is one answer, one single way of thinking, that accounts for all this, instead of a "list of stuff" that is on our aikidoka menu?
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:23 PM   #89
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Hi Graham-
Glad you think it is staying focused-- that is something I worried about before I even posted.
Regarding the word transcendence, I meant "being beyond the constraints/limits of" moreso than "busting through the limits of." I looked it up after your post to see that the word could be applied to both. Or maybe I am using it wrong. Is there a better word?

But now I don't know what you mean by "transient aikido!" Please clarify. Did you mean transcendent?

Anyway I think me clearing up what I meant by transcendence might answer your questions, or maybe change them-- let me know. What I meant:
The example of the OODA loop is the best I can think of. There are limits on the "speed" parameter of the "action" (the "A" in OODA).There are limits on the bredth of sensory input that is successfully processed in the "observe" part of OODA. These are examples of limits that are in play when you are fighting someone, where both parties are OODA-ing.

The bigger a person's limits in these parameters, the better he will fare in a fight. So my idea was, transcendence in budo means not straining to improve your limits of these parameters, but rather learning to do a different behavior altogether. So, the attacker has an OODA loop going on, but you are doing something else. You aren't making decisions, you aren't changing what you are paying attention to ("orienting"), you are just "being." So your limits of the OODA parameters are no longer relevant, because you are not employing that kind of behavior.
That's a description of an extreme, and ideal, but it is what I am working on. Even to be able to do it a little is a good thing.
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:57 PM   #90
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Hi Graham-
Glad you think it is staying focused-- that is something I worried about before I even posted.
Regarding the word transcendence, I meant "being beyond the constraints/limits of" moreso than "busting through the limits of." I looked it up after your post to see that the word could be applied to both. Or maybe I am using it wrong. Is there a better word?

But now I don't know what you mean by "transient aikido!" Please clarify. Did you mean transcendent?

Anyway I think me clearing up what I meant by transcendence might answer your questions, or maybe change them-- let me know. What I meant:
The example of the OODA loop is the best I can think of. There are limits on the "speed" parameter of the "action" (the "A" in OODA).There are limits on the bredth of sensory input that is successfully processed in the "observe" part of OODA. These are examples of limits that are in play when you are fighting someone, where both parties are OODA-ing.

The bigger a person's limits in these parameters, the better he will fare in a fight. So my idea was, transcendence in budo means not straining to improve your limits of these parameters, but rather learning to do a different behavior altogether. So, the attacker has an OODA loop going on, but you are doing something else. You aren't making decisions, you aren't changing what you are paying attention to ("orienting"), you are just "being." So your limits of the OODA parameters are no longer relevant, because you are not employing that kind of behavior.
That's a description of an extreme, and ideal, but it is what I am working on. Even to be able to do it a little is a good thing.
Hi Jonathan.
You're right I should have used the word transcendent.

I asked because even when used that word can mean to some being better than and superior to in an egotistical way.

I also asked for another reason though. To look at the concept of it and the process of it to better understand what it means and the reality of it.

Let's say a person say's they have transcended the need, the mindset of fighting for example. I bet you've heard people say they wouldn't lower themselves and things like it's barbaric etc and yet they are sure they have transcended that Neanderthal urge.

Well mostly they havn't at all and are merely removed from. Not wanting anything to do with. This is not transcending I think you'll agree.

So when you really inspect it. It is A) When a person has so thoroughly understood it and with that thoroughly understood the limitations or indeed folly of it. Plus B) When that person has replaced it with a new thoroughly understood set of principles or mindset that not only works better but also nullifies, dissipates, is totally unaffected by those old 'rules' and operations thereof.

Now the OODA loop you refer to is yet another terminology I am unfamiliar with yet I totally get what you are saying and have personally experienced such things myself.

The example of just 'being' is good enough to convey what you mean and I thoroughly agree. To me that is the attraction of Aikido.

Thus if someone is still of the mindset of fight and self defence then they cannot see what someone is doing who is handling an attack or indeed aggression without being aggressive or without fighting. Thus in my view true Aiki will elude them both in action and thought.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:29 PM   #91
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Good discussion on OODA! Most important thing to understand in fighting.

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Old 06-30-2011, 10:39 PM   #92
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Good discussion on OODA! Most important thing to understand in fighting.
Hi Kevin, want to guess where I first heard about it?
From your posts, here.

Anyway do you have any feeling regarding what I said about changing yourself so that your actions don't operate within that paradigm anymore? Do you think it is far fetched? Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:31 AM   #93
Keith Larman
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

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Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
Good discussion on OODA! Most important thing to understand in fighting.
Yeah, it was a number of years ago when I was training a lot with some very good people with lots of experience. We were occasionally mixing it up on the mat when it was just a few of us. I found that when I was successful it was when I had that level of control of the entire thing. And when I wasn't it was when I lost that control in the whole feedback loop. Kind of like being a half step behind all the time.

So I keep standing around, doing solo exercises, trying to build a different body, trying to burn in pathways inside... As I said elsewhere, it "informs" my techniques. It "informs" my waza. It allows me to be there first, to flow more easily, to change more fluidly. So I find that, for myself, it *is* the "how" you're talking about. Yeah, I know all about "let your ki flow", I know all about "relax". But most of us also remember how frustrating that was to hear when we first started. And as we got better we'd say the same thing to others. But... Do we really understand "how" that works? Why it works sometimes now when it didn't before? What's going on "under the covers" that makes it work? I don't think I've answered that question to my own satisfaction yet, but I'm a lot more satisfied with making progress.

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Old 07-01-2011, 01:07 AM   #94
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

transcendence in budo means not straining to improve your limits of these parameters, but rather learning to do a different behavior altogether
This is in fact something I point out almost every lesson: respect your limitations and physical range and learn to (maximise the) use it properly.

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
distill some kind of information from the design of the techniques...
something embedded in there...
Would this not in fact be why all teachers tell you to look what is 'inside' the technique, what the technique 'tells' you? That the technique itself is not important (it is a vessel to exchange that embedded info to your body)...

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Then, if we are not decrepit by the time our bodies fully get the info, we will be able to respond without much thought or effort to any kind of attack, even if we have never seen it before, by using the information "programmed" into our bodies from the technique repetitions.
Is that what you are saying?
Yup!

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
What about budo being about transformation? What about heaven and earth and unity? What about not fighting?
I know you will have answers for these questions, but if you are interested in the things O-sensei talked about, think about parsimony. What if there is one answer, one single way of thinking, that accounts for all this, instead of a "list of stuff" that is on our aikidoka menu?
I think that if you try to get to the right position where you can affect your
partner, but not vice versa, and do not use any force you ar actually united with the universe, apply all the rules, and thus do not fight. You are busy trying to be in harmony with the universe to achieve this. Hope this makes sense....
To me this all is what Aikido means: be able to be in the right place at the right time (the way of energy and harmony (Japanese meaning of harmony!)
This would mean one way of thinking.

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 07-01-2011 at 01:15 AM.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 07-01-2011, 10:30 AM   #95
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Graham- I think it is clear we agree regarding concepts, ideals, words, that kind of thing. In fact I have expected this would be true! The next level of investigation and understanding would come at the level of talking about how to implement those ideals-- how to train them, on the mat. The same set of ideals could translate into all different kinds of training methods and practices.

Tim- thanks, that is pretty clear. In fact the ideas about technique-based training are intimately familiar to me. But I've had a change of heart.
If one group of people feel technique-based will do the job, and another group feels tanren-based training will do the job, then it is just a difference of opinion-- unless long-timers in those 2 camps get together and share in person, or we discuss evidence like videos or results of visits to judoka/mma folks, or things like that.
My idea a few years ago was, well, let me hear out the "evidence" that people like Dan and Mike are talking about on the net-- short of meeting them, it's the best I could do. Then it became a question of, now that I know what "qigong" means, isn't it odd that aikido is chock-full of things that fit the bill but aren't being taught that way? And that the accounts of O-sensei's physical abilities seem so different than what is going on in aikido. <end soapbox, sorry!>

Keith, awesome post, fully agree. But besides talking about how your training applies to your goal, you even dig up something from the back of my mind:
Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
Yeah, I know all about "let your ki flow", I know all about "relax". But most of us also remember how frustrating that was to hear when we first started. And as we got better we'd say the same thing to others. But... Do we really understand "how" that works? Why it works sometimes now when it didn't before? What's going on "under the covers" that makes it work?
People talk about IS people "drinking the koolaid" or being brainwashed. I was uneasy about that when I started training.. but now, look at this! I used to train while thinking the same nebulous phrases that I was taught as a beginner, not knowing what they really mean or how they mechanistically work. I was sort of feeling around in the dark, and basically hoping for enlightenment. One change of point of view, a bunch of training and talking and reading, and all of a sudden I understand exactly what is happening (conceptually), what is supposed to happen, and how to build it. So wouldn't it be closer to the truth to say I broke OUT of being brainwashed?
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:22 AM   #96
Keith Larman
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
People talk about IS people "drinking the koolaid" or being brainwashed. I was uneasy about that when I started training.. but now, look at this! I used to train while thinking the same nebulous phrases that I was taught as a beginner, not knowing what they really mean or how they mechanistically work. I was sort of feeling around in the dark, and basically hoping for enlightenment. One change of point of view, a bunch of training and talking and reading, and all of a sudden I understand exactly what is happening (conceptually), what is supposed to happen, and how to build it. So wouldn't it be closer to the truth to say I broke OUT of being brainwashed?
Well, I agree to a point. I think it is easy to become an evangelist and annoy the hell out of everyone else. I also think there is a very real point about all of this that some miss -- namely that this is part of a much larger whole. *I* personally find the IS stuff fascinating and helpful. I think it is critical to my practice. However, as many have noted Aikido evolved tremendously and appeals to a wide spectrum of people with a varied set of expectations. So, if we see someone who is attempting to become one with universal truth and does so by swinging ribbons and basically doing rhythmic gymnastics, well, more power to them. Of course we could argue about what aikido "really" is, but that to me is a huge waste of time. It did evolve in a lot of ways and there are, what, millions of people studying it in various ways. I see people doing collusive stuff that would get their asses handed to them most anywhere else. I've seen people work on focusing their ki and seeing if others can feel it from a distance. I've seen all sorts of things. That said, for me my goals are more prosaic -- I wanted to study a way of doing martial arts that seemed to be able to do amazing, nearly impossible things. I will admit I'm not looking for enlightenment, guru status, or anything of the sort. Spirituality is something that is part of all of my life, not just my practice and certainly not reliant on my training.

So... I will say I think Ueshiba was doing many things using a level of IS that few in Aikido have today. Same with many of his first generation of students. For a variety of reasons, however, how aikido spread beyond that introduced a whole lot of variety. And today we have a landscape that is mind mindbogglingly (is that a word?) diverse. So... Some of us will focus back on IS. Some will do it to the exclusion of all else but I *personally* find that missing the point as well. Unless the goal is doing "Silly ki tricks" then it needs a context within which to exist. And that context is a huge area that varies tremendously.

So... I'm not really sure where I'm going with this, but I will say I think those who discount IS out of hand would likely benefit from opening up their minds a bit. I do think that there is ample historic evidence that these things were integral to O-sensei's practice and the "how" of what he did. It seems today many want to emulate what he did without bothering with that sweet, creamy filling of "how". What they end up with is "different", but it is where a lot of things evolved. And those doing that often have a great deal of other things they get out of their training, especially on the spiritual side. So ... Shrug...

I am a practical man. I was raised in a family of scientists. I tend to view the world through those lenses so my focus has always been on "how" do you do that? I mean, really, how?! What's happening inside? What makes that possible? When I say my ki is flowing what's really happening inside my body? I don't see it at metaphorical nor do I see it as magical. It is real. And I think I have a better understanding now of what that is through my training in IS. Which so far seems to have given me the ability to apply it better, faster, more often, in new ways, etc.

So yeah, I wouldn't call it "koolaid" because I do think there is a solid basis for considering these things WRT what Ueshiba was actually doing. But I would also say that some become mindless cheerleaders with fanatical enthusiasm and are probably just as ridiculous (and close-minded) as some who are running around with ribbons while wearing Japanese horsie pants. Chudo... And to each his/her own. Live and let live. You can't convince everyone because not everyone is asking the same questions nor are they even interested in the same things.

So... Okay, I'm done rambling. Woke up with a nasty headache and the drugs are making me ramble. I"m gonna go lie down now and come back to this later and cringe...

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Old 07-01-2011, 12:07 PM   #97
JW
 
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Don't cringe, those are great points. I hope your head feels better soon.
I'll try to cool it on the cheerleading, you are right. The net is a place for sharing info, not being obnoxious.

I guess what I mean is the value of the net is in addition to what takes place upon real contact, not a replacement for it.
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:36 PM   #98
Keith Larman
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Don't cringe, those are great points. I hope your head feels better soon.
I'll try to cool it on the cheerleading, you are right. The net is a place for sharing info, not being obnoxious.

I guess what I mean is the value of the net is in addition to what takes place upon real contact, not a replacement for it.
Oh, I don't think you're one of the cheerleaders. Some just get a bit out of hand at times which makes it easy for others to (unfairly) discount everyone.

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Old 07-01-2011, 12:41 PM   #99
graham christian
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Agreed Jonathan.

So now to on the mat. From the no competition view and reality comes a certain freedom and the consequence of it is only self and nothing to do with the other person.

There is no 'how do I counter' or 'get out of' or 'do to' or 'make' or 'control' or even disturb or disrupt for these are all part of competing with.

When someone grabs me let's say in a bear hug I have no feeling of got to get out of or counter or must do something to escape. All the bear hug is to me is something asking for harmony so I harmonize and do what I want to do.

If someone attacks tsuki and I harmonize with it in the way that others would call tai sabaki with kotegaishe then that's what I decided to do. The fact that the aggressor isn't flying through the air into a nice breakfall as it 'should be' makes those viewing it from the outside come up with odd conclusions.

The aggressor hasn't a clue why he's now sitting or lying on the mat, all he knows is 'that's different'

Breakfalls actually come under just one aspect of Aikido and that is the aspect of projections. It's actually how you protect the aggressor if you project him away from you.

In truth what you are observing when someone really is harmonizing and not competing at all is what the aggressor is now doing to their-self.

Like I said before I have met many from various arts and oriental arts who used various 'internal' methods. Always the same result even if interesting. The funny thing is none of them called it or labelled it as such but merely wondered how I knew what they were doing and more importantly for me how comes it didn't work on me.

The one thing I thus learned was they hadn't yet transcended competition even if their 'special ki skills or internal power was impressive.

I remember one guy a couple of years ago who taught some form of sword in his country. It was an oriental country and the style as he described it to me seemed similar to iaido although the country wasn't Japan. My 'friend' had said he was sending his 'mate' to kick my ass. Thus this guy turned up.

We had a chat while everyone warmed up where he told me what he did and said he also knew some Aikido and by his explanation I could see he was for real and seemed to know a lot of what I would call Aikijutsu. I knew he had some tricks up his sleeve so knew it would be interesting.

He said he would do Aikido as I do it even though I offered to let him show me any of his stuff if he wanted to. Inside I knew he would do something though.

Low and behold after an hours training he asked me to do Kote gaeshe on him where he had all kinds of ways of countering it but to no avail. He was impressed and I showed him why as best I could. Then he asked to do the same on me. He had a few attempts trying to do it as I had instructed but found it hard and said he wouldn't do it like that anyway but would do it in a way I couldn't resist. What happened next was interesting, he did one that personally I would ban from my way of Aikido even though it was very 'good' and any of my students would have been down and probably in severe pain. However I was still there unmoved smiling at him and he was looking at me like he had seen a ghost.

Suffice to say he knew subtle intricacies and add on to that specific painful pressure points but obviously didn't know they too can be harmonized with.

I merely told him 'we don't do that here' and he apologised profusely.

I will end here by saying the biggest problem for anyone understanding the true potential of Aikido is that they don't believe what O'Sensei said as real and try to say he meant a, b, c.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-01-2011, 03:41 PM   #100
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
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Re: Overcoming aggressive attack without superior strength

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
Why would you think Aikido techniques are efficient in an actual fight?

Richard Stevens
Developing an ability to stay calm and in control in a violent situation is probably more useful than having great technique.

This is the perhaps the essence of studying Aikido +1
Dear Tim,
If you consider that aikido waza is ineffective in an actual fight why do you train in Aikido ?Do you consider it a Martial art?If you do ,why will it be ineffective , if you do not consider aikido as a martial art, are you practicing meditation , philosophy , keep fit [in fancy uniforms ] or what?In my opinion the Aikido community is slowly but surely taking a martial art and diluting it to a point where it compares with synchronised swimming or ballroom dancing.
Next thing we will have is Olympic competition for the the
best presented aikidoka sequence dancing.
Cheers, Joe.
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