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Old 02-13-2017, 10:20 AM   #1
Timo95
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Solo exercise in Aikido

I'm asking myself if it's possible to invent solo forms for myself to train at home. Maybe a bit like Karate Kata but with Aikido techniques. I know that Yoshinkan Aikido has a form with six basic movements.
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:56 AM   #2
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

I've already seen such a kata like exercise once. It was bascially the movements of a couple of techniques done in a shadow version. I know that this is quite a ununsual way of training and generally is a bit contradictory to the general principle of aikido but I like doing it and I find it useful for drilling the body mechanics.
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Old 02-13-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
PeterR
 
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
I've already seen such a kata like exercise once. It was bascially the movements of a couple of techniques done in a shadow version. I know that this is quite a ununsual way of training and generally is a bit contradictory to the general principle of aikido but I like doing it and I find it useful for drilling the body mechanics.
Well Shodokan has the Tegatana Dousa - or hand blade exercises, and also the unsuko which are foot movements but what you describe above I call ghosting. You don't need a partner to do many of the techniques in the curriculum - and especially in the beginning stages of your journey its a great way to develop the coordination necessary.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-13-2017, 01:45 PM   #4
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Ah okay thank you. That's interesting do you think it's possible to do those ghosting exercises (cool name ) in a form of combination. I mean a longer sequence like a array of techniques successively?
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:09 PM   #5
PeterR
 
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
Ah okay thank you. That's interesting do you think it's possible to do those ghosting exercises (cool name ) in a form of combination. I mean a longer sequence like a array of techniques successively?
Well of course.

The Shodokan system for example is made up of a series of kata, but where the ghosting is most useful are for the raw beginners and there we have the first three taught techniques, done left and right. I encourage them to work through all at least once a day.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-13-2017, 03:44 PM   #6
Larry Feldman
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

The Ki Society had 'Ki Exercises' that were well suited for solo practice. They taught movement from your center. Check with your teacher if your particular style has such a thing...
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Tenkan, tenkan, tenkan ...
Keep your alignments/structure, relax/extend/breath/one-point, keep the 6-directions, apply principles ...
Shadow box the footwork and waza ...

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-13-2017, 05:11 PM   #8
rugwithlegs
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Like Peter said, Tomiki Aikido has a very well developed system of solo exercises, and Larry is right about the very different but also very developed number of Ki Society solo practices. My understanding is the Yoshinkan groups test people on solo movement too, especially beginners? And Iwama style has the solo weapons practices.

So really, it's Aikikai that has the least developed solo curriculum. Those I understand several Aikikai instructors did develop their own personal solo methods for their students.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:57 AM   #9
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Thank's for your help. I know some Ki-Society exercises they are really good.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:16 AM   #10
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

But besides those basic nevertheless very useful exercises I'm asking myself if it's possible to design longer more complex solo sequences with the movements of various aikido techniques comparable to kata in Karate. I'm well aware that this method of training lacks effectivness (in comparison to paired training) but I would enjoy doing them for fun.
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:30 AM   #11
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
But besides those basic nevertheless very useful exercises I'm asking myself if it's possible to design longer more complex solo sequences with the movements of various aikido techniques comparable to kata in Karate. I'm well aware that this method of training lacks effectivness (in comparison to paired training) but I would enjoy doing them for fun.
Then do them for fun. Whether they'd actually be aikido training or accurately representative of aikido movements is another matter.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:13 AM   #12
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Ok thanks for your tip. But my question was if it's possible to do such form of training with aikido techniques.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:42 AM   #13
MRoh
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
Ok thanks for your tip. But my question was if it's possible to do such form of training with aikido techniques.
Just try, and you will see whether it is ueseful for you.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:08 PM   #14
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
I've already seen such a kata like exercise once. It was bascially the movements of a couple of techniques done in a shadow version. I know that this is quite a ununsual way of training and generally is a bit contradictory to the general principle of aikido but I like doing it and I find it useful for drilling the body mechanics.
Are you talking about this kata?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTRJ0HeQkcs

I think it's interesting, but the more I go to the dojo for class, the more I realize how much more progress i need to make before I'd be ready for such a thing.

There is an old interview with the founder of our dojo, in which he was asked how he practiced when he had no training partners. His reply:

Every day, I practiced with bokken and jo. I did the 22-count kata that Koichi Tohei Sensei taught. I practiced pokes, blocks, and cuts — hundreds and hundreds of them. I practiced my breathing. It's surprising how many people don't know how to breathe. When under stress, many people stop breathing. But, if you can't breathe, you can't do anything. If you do learn to breathe deeply — and learn to breathe deeply naturally — you don't stop breathing. If you can poke, block, and cut, you can apply this to all other aspects of Aikido.
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Old 02-14-2017, 02:09 PM   #15
MrIggy
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
But besides those basic nevertheless very useful exercises I'm asking myself if it's possible to design longer more complex solo sequences with the movements of various aikido techniques comparable to kata in Karate. I'm well aware that this method of training lacks effectivness (in comparison to paired training) but I would enjoy doing them for fun.
Well, if you do the techniques in ghost version aka using visualization while doing the techniques without a partner, technically it's the same thing as certain kata's in Karate.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:09 PM   #16
tlk52
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Sugawar Sensei, a uchi deshi to O'Sensei and menkyo in traditional swordsmanship has developed such a form as mentioned above https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTRJ0HeQkcs

Last edited by tlk52 : 02-14-2017 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:42 PM   #17
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

I didn't meant that video. Sorry I can't find it anymore
But those video you did sent is very interesting too thank you.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:18 PM   #18
rugwithlegs
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

This is a portion of Tomiki's work. It was also modified several times over the years to come.

https://youtu.be/ukGPR2wAzdU
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Old 02-15-2017, 09:44 AM   #19
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Tom Kopp wrote: View Post
Ok thanks for your tip. But my question was if it's possible to do such form of training with aikido techniques.
Are you new to aikido? If so, I'd guess the answer is, probably not. You've been given links to videos of various exercises, but you don't know what those exercises are trying to develop. If you're new to aikido, you don't have a reference point, you don't know what the "right thing" feels like yet. Working with more experienced students and your sensei, from time to time one of them will say to you, "Do you feel that? That's right." Then you know what the "right thing" feels like, and you can continue to try and capture that in your training. But moving your body around to try and imitate a video whose purpose is not clear and for which you have no frame of reference? No, I'd say you're not going to learn aikido techniques that way.

Again: do it if you think it's fun. Don't expect to gain skill from it.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:14 AM   #20
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

I'm aware that I haven't enough knowledge and experience to assemble such form by myself nor do I just want to copy something from a video I was just curious if it's general possible (of course just for someone who has a lot of experience under his belt). The videos which were sent are what I was searching for so I guess if someone is experienced enough it's possible right?

Last edited by Timo95 : 02-15-2017 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:21 AM   #21
PeterR
 
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Are you new to aikido? If so, I'd guess the answer is, probably not. You've been given links to videos of various exercises, but you don't know what those exercises are trying to develop. If you're new to aikido, you don't have a reference point, you don't know what the "right thing" feels like yet. Working with more experienced students and your sensei, from time to time one of them will say to you, "Do you feel that? That's right." Then you know what the "right thing" feels like, and you can continue to try and capture that in your training. But moving your body around to try and imitate a video whose purpose is not clear and for which you have no frame of reference? No, I'd say you're not going to learn aikido techniques that way.

Again: do it if you think it's fun. Don't expect to gain skill from it.
That's a good point. The karate kata also have a connection to particular principles and ideas and are not a haphazard collection of moves. The Tomiki video shown above is closely linked to the next level in a training pyramid. I would say it is impossible to invent a kata series de novo - but - going through the motions without a partner is a good way of developing coordination.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:36 AM   #22
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

@PeterR the video Toby Kasavan sent was exactly what I was searching for. A longer solo sequence with various aikido techniques even tough I'm aware that you can't understand all the underlying principles as a beginner. But that wasn't my intention anyway I was just asking such thing can be composed and the video of Sugawar sensei is a great example
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:02 PM   #23
GovernorSilver
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

A weapons kata (jo or bokken) will also give you what you want. Ask your dojo. You'll probably have better luck finding someone to teach you that, than Sugawara-sensei's empty-hand kata, as his brand of Aikido is unique to him and his organization.

The weapon movements in Aikido are supposed to be the same as empty-hand movements - well that's what I hear from more experienced Aikidoka consistently.
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Old 02-15-2017, 12:16 PM   #24
shuckser
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

"Long" Aikido techniques are an escalation of ultimately very simple "short" movements linked together. With this in mind, it should be possible to contrive any number of solo kata. Not only the basic forms, but variations of whatever you like.

One of the purposes of the art is, of course, to admit to oneself that there is no way to predict things so far into the future. Even if, in the beginning, we're inclined to see full (and especially basic) techniques as atomic and indivisible answers to certain questions, ultimately it should be remembered that they're really only possibilities, variations, or progressions built around natural principles for the purpose of their discovery and study.

Anyway, all Aikido kata can be reduced to the same basic ingredients: footwork (tai-sabaki) and a cutting or sword-swinging movement (suburi):
  • Tai-sabaki: Tori fune, tsugi ashi, ayumi ashi, and henka.
    Tenkan-ho contains essentially all of this, but it's also good to isolate the movements.
  • Suburi: Shomen, yokomen, kesa giri from hasso and waki gamae, kiri gaeshi, tsuki.
    Developing a relaxed and controlled shomen informs everything, including a straight tsuki.
Technical details (like how, when and where to grab, and empty-hand variations around cutting) can be added on top of these basic movements. Practice all while keeping good posture, balance, a low centre of gravity. Hone clarity, precision, coordination, and develop the ability to control the speed, direction, and timing while remaining focused. Be light on your feet, loose in your knees, heavy in your belly, straight in your back, relaxed in your shoulders, forward in your gaze, and generally keep all joints safely aligned an unstrained. Easy peasy!

Last, but certainly not least, is breathing. Press your thumbs firmly into your sides (between your ribs and hips) and then push them away with your core muscles. The feeling is like pushing your stomach out. (Tighten gluteals to prevent embarrassment!) In doing this you control your diaphragm. As you breathe in, gradually increase the "push" (still using your thumbs if it helps) until you've drawn-in everything you can. Hold it, and as you breath-out, keep holding, and use this feeling to let the air out as slowly and controlled as possible. Don't tense your throat. Control the rate with your core muscles, not your neck muscles. It feels like you're breathing in and out of your tummy rather than your chest. Of course this isn't happening, but you will fill more of your lungs as a consequence. Eventually it becomes more natural than "chest-breathing", and pays off in your practice when it comes to things like body-awareness, stamina, and having that uncluttered and "centered" feeling. Lemon squeezy!

Of course, and as others have already said, everything changes when you stick another person in front of you.
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Old 02-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #25
Timo95
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Re: Solo exercise in Aikido

Thanks for your tips @shuckser. I will keep training
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