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Old 10-16-2007, 08:17 AM   #1
NagaBaba
 
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Active resistance

I think this topic is important only for ppl who never did any sparring in other sports or MA. However, most of aikido students have no such experience. As a consequence, such training must have his place in any pedagogical approach.

For the moment I see two ways of practice:
1. kihon (very strictly defined basic techniques) and
2. the applications (nothing is defined)
Practice of the applications allows reaching highest goal of aikido -- spontaneous behavior in any situation in your life.
Kihon can be practiced with resistance only to certain level, and even then we tend to impose some limitations: (example by Rock: logical attack). Such situation excludes development of spontaneous behavior. If attack is in any sense artificial, nage behavior will be completely false.

That is why I'm convinced that the applications must be practiced as early as possible, from the moment when student can safely do roll forward and backward. Such approach allows applying techniques learned during kihon training against any attack and with solid resistance. Because, to tell the true, there is no such thing as bad attack. Students must be able to face any attack, any behavior of attacker in right way. If you don't start to learn it right from the beginning, it becomes almost impossible to do it later.

I agree that an atemi against resisting attacker is a lazy approach. Specially, if in applications everything is permitted, the question can be raised how to preserve the safety of practice. It is difficult issue. The maturity of students and their deep understanding of O sensei spiritual teaching can help here a lot. That is how I see the connection of the practice with resistance with spiritual teaching in aikido.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-16-2007, 08:34 AM   #2
roadster
 
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Re: Active resistance

At what point are you a smooth flowing uke and at what point do you actively resist? I tend to like a nage who put's some effort into a technique and an uke that resists some but that is also a good way of getting hurt too.

So at what point do the two merge? I agree that it should be explored early but at the same time being a good uke and going where nage leads you is the best way to learn the technique. That is why it takes a few years to build up to Aikido really working in street fighting environments.

Did I follow what you were saying or am I just rambling on about nothing?
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:27 AM   #3
Amir Krause
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Re: Active resistance

Generally, I rather agree with the ideas presented. Once a trainee knows a technique to some basic level, he should start learning to fill the holes in it. And even at very early stages, one can learn to move while being attacked.

Then again, Korindo Aikido Randori is rather different then the Randori employed in most places (the typical Randori has both sides "free playing": attacking, defending and countering) , and adding the Israeli nature, my teacher too often has to shout at us for being too competitive.

However, the big question is what type of resistance should be applied?
Take me for example, as an advanced student, I can counter almost any attempt of a beginner to employ his techniques, I would hardly need force for that. Is this type of resistance productive, or will it only frustrate the students to think they are learning inefficient techniques (illogical - I have learnt the same things and they would find it very difficult to avoid my or my employing the same technique....)
Same goes for a very week person practicing with someone who weighs twice as much, and has 30cm or more on him. (I once practiced with such a person in Randori, he kept resisting and I kept letting go for safety, at one point I did not give up, and he held his elbow for the next weeks, but at the time I had practiced 4 or 5 times as long as that guy, and it was very difficult for me).
Should the resistance be at the same speed as the rest of the practice (often slowed down for safety reasons)? or may the resisting person jump up the speed, and what would happen if Tori follows and Uke then can not keep up safely?

Resistance is not a simple thing. Which is the reason I prefer beginners not to practice it amongst themselves. It can be a good practice when employed by a deductive advanced student to a beginner (taking consideration of the beginner limitations), or a beginner resisting with everything to an advanced student, who knows failure is an option, injury is not. The teacher should watch such practice closely, from another experience, the beginner sometimes throws himself into dangerous situations without knowing).

Amir
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: Active resistance

How do we define "resistance"?

What is being resisted? The attack? What kind of attack? A skilled attack? A committed attack? A skilled and committed attack? What are the paramaters of engagement/practice?

Understanding that safety is a concern, but that lots of places spar full-contact, what's a realistic goal to shoot for in terms of applying skillful resistance to skilled, committed attacks? How does this affect existing training paradigms? Where's the line between honest testing and fooling oneself? Is training to and through failure sometimes required? Even of the "sensei"?

At what point is a form of practice no longer "aikido" and actually becoming something else?

These are questions I've asked of myself when attempting to objectively examine my own practice, so I thought I'd share them.
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Old 10-16-2007, 09:41 AM   #5
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Erik Jacobson wrote: View Post
At what point are you a smooth flowing uke and at what point do you actively resist? I tend to like a nage who put's some effort into a technique and an uke that resists some but that is also a good way of getting hurt too.

So at what point do the two merge? I agree that it should be explored early but at the same time being a good uke and going where nage leads you is the best way to learn the technique. That is why it takes a few years to build up to Aikido really working in street fighting environments.

Did I follow what you were saying or am I just rambling on about nothing?
The earlier point I was making is that smooth flow in itself is active resistance. The smooth flow should be able to be translated into a lead and a Kaeshi Waza. We practice smooth flow so that we can learn to resist in a way that can lead to a technique. Thus, smooth flow is active resistance at a higher level than locking down on a Nage. Part of the problem in identifying smooth flowing Ukemi as resistance is that a lot of people "give up" when doing a smooth flowing Ukemi rather than staying in a controlled position and movement. In other words, the smooth flowing Ukemi is often not Ukemi but smooth flowing giving up.

Rock
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:11 AM   #6
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Re: Active resistance

Active resistance is good to explore the application of aikido in an alive manner. However, the problem is it is very easy to confuse active resistance and judo' esque grappling match in a dojo.

I think, a good understanding between the players are important.

That is why when I train with active resistant with my teacher or adjutant teacher, it was more aiki, but if I train with some of the less experience yudansha, we tend to end up in grappling match.

Such is life...

Boon.

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Old 10-16-2007, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
Active resistance is good to explore the application of aikido in an alive manner. However, the problem is it is very easy to confuse active resistance and judo' esque grappling match in a dojo.

I think, a good understanding between the players are important.

That is why when I train with active resistant with my teacher or adjutant teacher, it was more aiki, but if I train with some of the less experience yudansha, we tend to end up in grappling match.

Such is life...

Boon.
It is a very good observation. I did it also, until one day Sugano sensei explained that in fact, uke is 'teaching' nage. Not by words, not by imposing his point of view, but with his body language.
It changes completly my understanding of interaction in aikido. While I'm 'teaching' nage, in the same time I'm also learning how to receive his improved technique, which becomes very often quite difficult and painful. So it is the best way to learn why and how to accept the technique by going 'with' instead of being hurt badly.This part can't be understand intelectualy. That is why no more grappling matches anymore for me.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:57 AM   #8
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
The earlier point I was making is that smooth flow in itself is active resistance. The smooth flow should be able to be translated into a lead and a Kaeshi Waza. We practice smooth flow so that we can learn to resist in a way that can lead to a technique. Thus, smooth flow is active resistance at a higher level than locking down on a Nage. Part of the problem in identifying smooth flowing Ukemi as resistance is that a lot of people "give up" when doing a smooth flowing Ukemi rather than staying in a controlled position and movement. In other words, the smooth flowing Ukemi is often not Ukemi but smooth flowing giving up.

Rock
I disagree. If you impose any kind of comportment during application it becomes kihon, and not spontaneous behavior. The power of application concept is that there is no limits at all. Also, even if smooth flow is really high level of kaeshi waza, relative beginners are not able to apply it naturally. I believe they must go through the lower level of the resistance stage. Smooth flowing movement never should be imposed. It will be not their movement, it will be YOUR movement. And they are not at your level.
When they are doing kind of "start and stop' resistance, they are learning in fact how NOT to do it.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:01 PM   #9
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Active resistance

By resistance, do you mean uke should try to attack you, or merely resist techniques applied on them?
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:25 PM   #10
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
By resistance, do you mean uke should try to attack you, or merely resist techniques applied on them?
I wanted to discuss here ACTIVE resistance, It means that uke is trying to discover and explore all openings in nage technique. So he can do a full counter technique if it's possible.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:48 PM   #11
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Active resistance

Well I got kinda confused when you mentioned this thread is important for people who've never sparred before...so I just assumed that by "active resistance" you mean uke should actively be trying to punch you in the head. My bad.
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:41 PM   #12
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
...smooth flow in itself is active resistance. The smooth flow should be able to be translated into a lead and a Kaeshi Waza. We practice smooth flow so that we can learn to resist in a way that can lead to a technique.
From our own practice in which resistance occurs in both kihon and application practice, the above is quite correct. We've found that to "resist" using the principles of Aiki is exactly what Rocky is referring to above, i.e. matching the movement of the waza and lead it towards kaeshiwaza. With out smooth flow this is literally impossible. In fact the most effective kaeshiwaza appear when ones adaptation and leading are so subtle that ones partner is unable to detect where and when they lost control over your centre.

Whether this situation is imposed or not is irrelevant since those who do not adapt to their partner's movement will either be successfully thrown by the first technique or end up in a locked down muscle match stalemate. It does not take much to realize that neither of the two would not help to improve ones understanding of Aiki waza.
Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
Thus, smooth flow is active resistance at a higher level than locking down on a Nage.
Precisely. When one trains regularly using resistance as a tool a student's progression from locking down and muscling to adapting and leading becomes more and more pronounced as their understanding of what works (i.e. adapting, maintaining balance, leading, relaxation, sensitivity etc.) successfully develops. I've found that one of the best ways to teach this is to allow smaller students to work with larger ones when they are able to easily adapt to the movements of their smaller partners. When they have to deal with the larger persons they have to learn a different way to adapt to deal with the larger person and also a different way to transfer power through their waza to make it effective on the larger person.

Just some thoughts.

Rocky, really happy to see you online again.

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Old 10-16-2007, 10:46 PM   #13
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I wanted to discuss here ACTIVE resistance, It means that uke is trying to discover and explore all openings in nage technique. So he can do a full counter technique if it's possible.
Of cousre - how could it be any other way?

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Old 10-17-2007, 12:43 PM   #14
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Active resistance

Quote:
Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
Well I got kinda confused when you mentioned this thread is important for people who've never sparred before...so I just assumed that by "active resistance" you mean uke should actively be trying to punch you in the head. My bad.
Punch in the head is certainly possible if you discover and can explore such opening.
In the other hand ppl who already sparred have experience in that their techniques can be resisted and countered. The set up intheir mind is different and the execution of the techniques is different.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:58 PM   #15
Christopher Gee
 
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Re: Active resistance

Active resistance is essential to progress onces essential elements like shisei, awase ho, kuzushi and tenuchi are understood. And indeed, resistance furthers understanding of these core elements.

Heiho wa heiho nari - Otake Risuke
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Old 10-19-2007, 03:56 PM   #16
Bob King
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Re: Active resistance

[quote=Larry Camejo;191790] "In fact the most effective kaeshiwaza appear when ones adaptation and leading are so subtle that ones partner is unable to detect where and when they lost control over your centre.

Whether this situation is imposed or not is irrelevant since those who do not adapt to their partner's movement will either be successfully thrown by the first technique or end up in a locked down muscle match stalemate. It does not take much to realize that neither of the two would not help to improve ones understanding of Aiki waza."

I agree. In randori it is imperative for both partners to maintain a loose flow so as to avoid the muscle lock up that becomes what often looks like bad judo/grappling. Both partners need to keep in mind that the faster they attack the faster the subconcious mind will respond to the attack, unless as Larry noted the attack is successful and then you are on your butt. I've pleasently surprised myself by responding with perfect form without concious effort to a fast attack, but every time that happens I was very loose and completely present in the moment.
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