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Old 08-03-2018, 09:43 AM   #1
mike costley
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Moving beyond kihon waza

Many doubts as to aikido effectiveness often are the result of the reluctance to move beyond the kihon waza taught. After a few years, aikidoka must focus on the principles within beginning techniques and reduce the time spent practicing kihon waza in the same manner as they always have. That approach, though it will polish basic technique, will lock instinct at that particular level. Kihon waza is to introduce the student to aiki principles; it will not take the student to being free in response to changing situations. As a variety of training partners is essential, so then is the expansion of basic principles through henkawaza and kaeshi waza. Making aikido truly a reflection of the individual will never happen if one trains only on one prescribed method, irregardless of the teacher that method came from. Learn to mirror the art, not the teacher.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
David Costley wrote: View Post
Many doubts as to aikido effectiveness often are the result of the reluctance to move beyond the kihon waza taught. After a few years, aikidoka must focus on the principles within beginning techniques and reduce the time spent practicing kihon waza in the same manner as they always have. That approach, though it will polish basic technique, will lock instinct at that particular level. Kihon waza is to introduce the student to aiki principles; it will not take the student to being free in response to changing situations. As a variety of training partners is essential, so then is the expansion of basic principles through henkawaza and kaeshi waza. Making aikido truly a reflection of the individual will never happen if one trains only on one prescribed method, irregardless of the teacher that method came from. Learn to mirror the art, not the teacher.
You should never stop practicing the basic principles of Kihon waza. You can even practice them by yourself. I used to practice the kihon waza foot work while standing at my computer station at the call center I used to work at and whenever I went clothes shopping with my wife while waiting for her to pick out and try on the clothes.

dps

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Old 08-03-2018, 02:21 PM   #3
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

yes, should move beyond kihon waza, forget the principles and join MMA programs. it makes you cooler and mellow and can dish aikido folks. at the very least, you don't have to wear pajamas. you might even get cool name, like Bang Bang Bob or Master Blaster Mike or January Jane. mine is Dead Pond.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
You should never stop practicing the basic principles of Kihon waza. You can even practice them by yourself.
It's not about the principles underlying kihon waza, it's about the principles underlying Aikido.
People often assume that kihon waza is easier than kinonagare. I think this assumption is incorrect, because you get less to work with when doing kihon (no inital dynamic).
At least in my training it's important not to bring the rigidity of kihon waza to kinonagare, but to bring the fluidity of kinonagare to kihon waza (to generate a flow out of a static starting position).

At least that's what kihon waza should - imho - become, once you revisit it after having encountered kinonagare. If you use it the first time around to show the basic pattern of movement, that's fine as well.

My favorite quote regarding kihon waza comes from a Karate blog. It was along the lines of: "To build a house, build a fundament first. But then build a house on it! I see so many people who build fundaments on top of fundaments on top of fundaments!"

There might be a language issue here as well. People seem to use "basic" as in "basic kihon waza" at the same time in two completely opposite ways.
basic:=simple, easy, beginner, initial, starting point
and
basic:=underlying, fundamental, refined, end product

David, you seem to be happy with your training, so by all means continue with what you love. But I'm more with Mike on this one.

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Old 08-06-2018, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

This isn't an introduction, is it? Maybe a good topic for general forum?
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Old 08-06-2018, 11:10 AM   #6
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

IMO practicing only the kihon waza leads to many bad habits. Jiyu-waza seems vastly underplayed in Aikido, and yet IMO past a certain point, whole classes MUST consist of jiyu-waza only. It won't make you win an MMA match, but it vastly expands one's ability to spontaneously react to ambush attacks which happen in real life.

Dojos which focus solely on kihon waza, develop these weird ideas about "when done right, no can defend", to quote Mr. Miyagi. That you have to wrangle the technique into perfection even when the attack's energy was completely unsuitable for it. This results in wasted training time, pointless struggle, and bad habits in general.

Jiyu-waza teaches you to detect the energy more accurately and faster, so you produce the movement that actually suits the attack. Introducing more realistic attacks and some "playful resistance" from uke goes a long way to enhance jiyu-waza and that feeling of spontaneous, no-mind movement.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:33 PM   #7
mike costley
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Move past kihon waza as the major source of your study. Those beginnings are crucial, but they are far from the end of learning. There really is no end to discovering more with respect to both the art and ourselves. Expanding training scenarios can go as far as you are comfortable. Take the desire of winning against others and simply study the art to make it yours, not a copy of any teacher. Kihon waza will relegate your technique to the approach that was laid in front of you. We are each unique in our understanding; therefore, your approach will become your interpretation of all the teachers you have had.
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Old 09-24-2018, 09:51 PM   #8
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

What exactly are/is kihon waza? To my limited point of view, kihon are in everything; making kihon "alive" gives rise to the infinite techniques we might discover.

I suppose kihon waza means different things to different people and "moving beyond kihon" can also potentially mean bring it along inside whatever else it is that happens to be beyond it. (?)

Thanks for the chance to consider these things!

Last edited by mathewjgano : 09-24-2018 at 09:56 PM.

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Old 09-25-2018, 03:18 AM   #9
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
What exactly are/is kihon waza? To my limited point of view, kihon are in everything; making kihon "alive" gives rise to the infinite techniques we might discover.

I suppose kihon waza means different things to different people and "moving beyond kihon" can also potentially mean bring it along inside whatever else it is that happens to be beyond it. (?)

Thanks for the chance to consider these things!
Hello Matthew,

Kihon has at least two meanings: Basic techniques are what you do first, and secondly, basic techniques are the techniques that are the foundation of all the others. I will soon have been training for 50 years and I find myself constantly teaching kihon waza. So the question for my students is: why did he choose eight waza? I assume we all agree that the eight are: 1-4 kyou; Shiho-nage, irimi-nage, kote-gaeshi; and kaiten-nage.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 09-25-2018, 08:34 AM   #10
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I assume we all agree that the eight are: 1-4 kyou; Shiho-nage, irimi-nage, kote-gaeshi; and kaiten-nage.

Best wishes,

PAG
Not kokyuho?
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Old 09-25-2018, 07:04 PM   #11
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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Not kokyuho?
Hello Mary,

I do not regard kokyu ho as a waza. The name 呼吸法 means something like rule or law of breathing and I think this underlies all the waza, such that if there is a problem with your 呼吸法, this will affect any waza you attempt to execute. So all the waza need to be executed in accordance with the rule.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 09-26-2018, 07:45 PM   #12
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Matthew,

Kihon has at least two meanings: Basic techniques are what you do first, and secondly, basic techniques are the techniques that are the foundation of all the others. I will soon have been training for 50 years and I find myself constantly teaching kihon waza. So the question for my students is: why did he choose eight waza? I assume we all agree that the eight are: 1-4 kyou; Shiho-nage, irimi-nage, kote-gaeshi; and kaiten-nage.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello Goldsbury-Sensei!
Would you be willing to elaborate on the distinctions between the two meanings you described? I'd also love to hear any thoughts you have on why the 4 (8) kihon waza (or refrences which are already availble)!
Take care!
Matthew

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Old 09-27-2018, 07:21 AM   #13
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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Hello Goldsbury-Sensei!
Would you be willing to elaborate on the distinctions between the two meanings you described? I'd also love to hear any thoughts you have on why the 4 (8) kihon waza (or refrences which are already availble)!
Take care!
Matthew
Well, they really go together, and the distinction made between first in terms of the temporal sequence of learning and first in terms of importance seems to me to make better sense of the waza we actually have in aikido.

In Kenkyusha's Japanese-English Dictionary, the many meanings given to kihon and compounds include a standard, basic or basics, fundamental, elementary. At school I studied a subject called elementary mathematics, before going on to higher or advanced mathematics.

The eight waza I gave in my list actually reflects the eight waza that I was originally taught when I was a beginner at the hands of Aikikai teachers like Chiba, Kanai, Tada, Yamaguchi, and Arikawa. (One might make a toss-up between kaiten-nage and tenchi-nage, but they have similarities. Anyway, if they are kept separate, that could make nine--and you can also add to the 1-4 sequence of pins. However, I think at some point pins like 5-kyou and 6-kyou could be seen as variations on the others.) For example, I originally learned ude-garami as a less basic variation of ikkyou, which had a different conclusion.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-27-2018 at 07:27 AM.

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Old 09-27-2018, 12:11 PM   #14
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

To understand the place of kihon in aikido practice we need to define for ourselves what exactly is this practice. If one follows Osensei ideas, it is very clear that for him aikido was a misogi practice. If you agree with this statement next questions can be: what for we should practice misogi? What is it? And how to achieve it?
Misogi is often see as purification, and certainly there are many levels of it. I personally believe kihon can be used to achieve basic level of purification but certainly one cannot move to advanced level just with kihon itself. The simple reason is that after a while one become very comfortable with kihon and it means that he will not be put outside of his comfort zone. As a consequence, not only his body start to collapse but also non physical progress is impossible. Mind must constantly face "the wall of impossibility" to force the finding of no-cartezjan solutions. This can be achieved only by practicing advanced techniques in no predefined environment, like I.e. jyu waza where any attack and any technique is allowed. Preferably by multiples attackers. More you advance, more you need difficulties that appears at first glance no possible to solve. So we add more attackers... and then weapons... One can also see the results of practice "only kihon" ... simply look at those aikidokas who do it 30.. 40 years, look at their posture and how their body is collapsed in itself... very often they can't even do a simple roll forward ... forget about high flying break fall... so instead they become "politicians " and start to talk instead of practice...

Nagababa

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Old 09-29-2018, 05:42 PM   #15
MrIggy
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
(One might make a toss-up between kaiten-nage and tenchi-nage, but they have similarities. Anyway, if they are kept separate, that could make nine--and you can also add to the 1-4 sequence of pins. However, I think at some point pins like 5-kyou and 6-kyou could be seen as variations on the others.)
What about kokyunage, sumiotoshi, aiki(obi)-otoshi and various other otoshi techniques? Were they generally taught later to students?

Quote:
For example, I originally learned ude-garami as a less basic variation of ikkyou, which had a different conclusion.

Best wishes,

PAG
I remember learning ude garami from the ikkyo position as well.

Last edited by MrIggy : 09-29-2018 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:18 AM   #16
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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Igor Vojnović wrote: View Post
What about kokyunage, sumiotoshi, aiki(obi)-otoshi and various other otoshi techniques? Were they generally taught later to students?
Hello. Yes, of course, they are part of the repertoire of aikido. My thinking behind the question was from looking at the differences between Morihei Ueshiba's aikido, as evidenced by Budo Renshuu, and Kisshomaru Ueshiba's aikido, as can be found in his early volumes. There was a paring down and systematizing going on, prompted by Kisshomaru's avowed aim to spread aikido overseas after World War II. My own original teacher rarely strayed beyond the basics given above. When we became more proficient at ukemi -- which is crucial, he added the nage-waza that you mentioned and also various koshi-waza.

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Old 10-01-2018, 04:22 AM   #17
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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Stephan Schröder wrote: View Post
People often assume that kihon waza is easier than kinonagare. I think this assumption is incorrect, because you get less to work with when doing kihon (no inital dynamic).
I don't think kihon can be equated with go no geiko as opposite to ki no nagare.
Kihon waza can be elaborated in all the three basic geiko forms, go no geiko, ju no geiko, and ryu no geiko or ki no nagare
In go no geiko you train structure, positions and angles, this is indeed basic, but there are other things that are basic as well, but not trained in go no geiko.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:56 PM   #18
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

I figure I haven't said anything stupid in a while...

First, I think kihon waza is not kata. I think we often mistake waza for kata, so I will make that distinction. Kata is the shape, waza is the expression with variation to fit the situation. Kihon waza to me describes the basic expressions of movement within aikido.

Without quibbling over specifics, I think those waza for me fall more closely aligned with the techniques Peter laid out, which are similar to the earlier curriculum. They have movement patterns that can used in a variety of ways.

Two things come to mind for me:
1. "Root technique" as a translated term in martial arts is not new. It exists in Japanese arts, Chinese arts, and Indo-Chinese arts for as much as I know. I think we may be myopic if we feel this language is unique to Aikido.
2. In as much as we are describing techniques, "root technique" may be a literal instruction to develop strong foundational movement (i.e. a "root"). The focus of these techniques designed to change the body for aiki movement.

If I work out and improve my body conditioning over a period of time, I may still not be a strong or as fast or as coordinated by comparison to another person. However, I should be better by comparison of my earlier conditioning. Similarly, I would hope my conditioning would encompass a variety of activities to create a rounded training routine.

For me, kihon waza is movement pattern that should be in everything I do. It is the foundation of my movement. Inasmuch as I can internalize the movement patterns, I have freedom to shed them as forms.

Last edited by jonreading : 10-03-2018 at 08:59 PM.

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Old 10-06-2018, 06:11 PM   #19
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Kihon-waza are what make Aikido into Aikido but they also limit it greatly. I have been all over the world and the vast majority of dojos only practise kihon - even koykou-ho/kokyu-nage are just taught as additional kihon-waza in many places, even in Japan. There is little to no thought put on the curriculum; just following regardless ... is the norm. Contrasting this, in Judo, almost no emphasis is placed on kihon, and yet, some Judoka actually become very good at it (in Japan, not in the West). The main Aikido groups that have a more progressive/pragmatic approach are Tomiki/Shodokan styles - and yet they manage to retain their kihon very well. All this is probably the main reason Aikido in general is in decline. I used to teach high school wrestling. Sometimes I would throw in a bit of Aikido - their instinct was to test it immediately. Also, they picked it up and could use it in minutes, not years; they were 'ready' for it. Likewise, I have seen advanced Judoka in Japan pick it up easily (basic Judoka/Western Judoka (even advanced) often can be worse than beginners). Keep the kihon, but be willing to 'investigate' learning methods.

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Old 10-07-2018, 12:17 AM   #20
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

As usual, I find I'm having a hard time understanding the meanings shared. Perhaps it's my inability to look outside my own sense of things. I see kihon as exemplifying basic elements of something more complete; something few of us really comprehend well enough: whole body. A set movement might be said to illustrate a set of relationships more-so than other movements. Kihon are (potentially) an emphasis; I will make no assertions as to what those assertions specifically are.
To me, Aikido is not only that which we might amalgamate as the practice of most who practice "it", but it is also that which I practice, and that which other groups of people practice, and that which yet those other people too practice; none of which might look quite alike, or feel the same.
To my limited sense of the term, "kihon" refers to a simple set of movements, but it also refers to a simple set of principles embedded in those movements. It is ultimately the principles...in my limited sense of things, because principles drive the function of form.
As such, kihon doesn't seem (to me) to limit much. An ikkyo to the arm is an ikkyo to the leg. The body seems awfully symmetrical. Every technique is a means of viewing whole-body effects. Every technique is a way of seeing the same thing...as far as I can see...and I claim no real understanding or insight. I merely claim an effort at understanding myself and my movement better, such as it may be. Aiki-do is a concept. I hope I am approaching it. Kihon waza is a lense through which to consider the greater reality (a limited range through which to consider a greater range), in my meager opinion, such as it may be.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-07-2018 at 12:27 AM.

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Old 10-13-2018, 10:45 PM   #21
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
David Costley wrote: View Post
After a few years, aikidoka must focus on the principles within beginning techniques and reduce the time spent practicing kihon waza in the same manner as they always have. That approach, though it will polish basic technique, will lock instinct at that particular level.
What particular level of instinct do you mean?

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Old 10-14-2018, 03:45 AM   #22
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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As usual, I find I'm having a hard time understanding the meanings shared. Perhaps it's my inability to look outside my own sense of things. I see kihon as exemplifying basic elements of something more complete; something few of us really comprehend well enough: whole body. A set movement might be said to illustrate a set of relationships more-so than other movements. Kihon are (potentially) an emphasis; I will make no assertions as to what those assertions specifically are.

To my limited sense of the term, "kihon" refers to a simple set of movements, but it also refers to a simple set of principles embedded in those movements. It is ultimately the principles...in my limited sense of things, because principles drive the function of form.

As such, kihon doesn't seem (to me) to limit much. An ikkyo to the arm is an ikkyo to the leg. The body seems awfully symmetrical. Every technique is a means of viewing whole-body effects. Every technique is a way of seeing the same thing...as far as I can see...and I claim no real understanding or insight. I merely claim an effort at understanding myself and my movement better, such as it may be. Aiki-do is a concept. I hope I am approaching it. Kihon waza is a lense through which to consider the greater reality (a limited range through which to consider a greater range), in my meager opinion, such as it may be.
Hello Matthew,

You are being too self-deprecating. To me your post indicates that you are on the right track, but it is overly complicated, suggesting that you probably think about things too much.

Yesterday, I taught a 'kihon' class. The class focussed exclusively on 1-kyo and the changes you need to make if the attack is shomen, yokomen, ai-hanmi or gyaku hanmi karate-dori. We then added ushiro ryote, but the purpose of this was to move from 1-kyou to something else. Nevertheless, the only waza taught in the 2-hour class was 1-kyou. During the class, I did not explain anything: I merely 'showed' waza.

I remember that one of my teachers suggested that the best way to teaching aikido was by showing, rather than explaining in words, since showing was a good way of allowing students to 'steal' waza, which the teacher argued was the Founder's preferred method of teaching. He was a 9th dan direct student of the Founder, as all my teachers have been.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 10-14-2018 at 03:49 AM.

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Old 10-14-2018, 03:30 PM   #23
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Matthew,

You are being too self-deprecating. To me your post indicates that you are on the right track, but it is overly complicated, suggesting that you probably think about things too much.
Thank you, Prof. Goldsbury! I also think I tend to think about things too much...I'll have to meditate on this a bit further.

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Old 10-28-2018, 08:46 PM   #24
mike costley
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

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What particular level of instinct do you mean?
Repeating the same movements in the same way over a long time, can be a double-edged sword. That is, the technique will become polished, and, locked into the instinctual side of mind/body memory. Though this is certainly beneficial and necessary, if we can not free ourselves from this locked-in response mechanism, the principles kihon waza explain so well will be "stunted". Without discovering the endless applications these principles make possible, our Aikido is in danger of being only polished technique, not a living vehicle for growth internally. Not to mention not being responsive to situational changes. Life moves and constantly presents new challenges; therefore, we must be able to use all principles learned in all endeavors with an adaptive attitude. Randori, henkawaza, kaeshiwaza is where the instincts learn to adjust and mature.
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Old 10-28-2018, 11:22 PM   #25
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Moving beyond kihon waza

Quote:
David Costley wrote: View Post
Repeating the same movements in the same way over a long time, can be a double-edged sword. ..., if we can not free ourselves from this locked-in response mechanism, the principles kihon waza explain so well will be "stunted".
Study free!
To me, this the reason why Ueshiba deviated from the rigidness of form, as found in traditional jujutsu. Aikido and ukemi - is supposed to be more alive. If it is not - the point has been completely lost.

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