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Old 05-16-2006, 08:09 AM   #1
Mato-san
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Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

I do not want to create "catagories" between big and small, but would like opinions on the subject.
IMHO big is a step up from small and is a huge asset to the small aikido that you, we, us, have or are learning. It incorporates timing, distance and fluent beauty. Opinions please. Pros and Cons, do not rip into my opinion.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:29 AM   #2
Robert Jackson
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

I've had instructors discuss the differnce between big circle and small circles I'll assume this is what you're talking about.

They are both equally important. Whether you go into big circles or small circles depends on the energy you are recieving. If the uke gives alot of energy you need to use bigger circles in order to blend with it smoothly. Smaller circles are there for good when recieving less energy.

I put my right foot in, I put my left foot out, I do the Aikipokey and throw you all about
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

My sensei in Tokyo always said to me "Bigger, make it bigger" - "it's easier to make big smaller, not so easy to make small bigger".

rgds

Bryan

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Old 05-16-2006, 08:45 AM   #4
Mato-san
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Well said Bryan, Rob also well said.
My Sensei also says "MAKE IT BIGGER"

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Old 05-16-2006, 08:49 AM   #5
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

My instructor uses huge circles, and they work very, very well for him. Unfortunately, I've never really had the chance to study aikido based on smaller movements, outside of seeing people like Harvey Konigsberg shihan, or Clyde Takeguchi Shihan, at a seminar or two.

When I see video clips of someone like Ikeda Sensei, or read comments about movement approaching stillness, I become worried that my aikido is based on large sweeping movements and that I've missed the more subtle elements of connection & kokyu.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:51 AM   #6
Mato-san
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

I guess another aspect is the amount of space you have to move. So big and small are equally important.

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Old 05-16-2006, 08:56 AM   #7
asiawide
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

You can make it bigger and bigger so that no one can resist. At the same time, you can make it smaller and smaller so that no one can resist since nobody can see it.

Jaemin
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:57 AM   #8
Mato-san
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

We practice small then progress to big, this is where I get my opinion. We do not proceed to the next technique until we can do small and then big. Basically it is all good, big small as long as it is effective my opinion. I have heard some people dislike the contrast.

Before you drive or steer your vehicle, you must first start the engine, release the brake and find gear!
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:36 AM   #9
Nick P.
 
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Are we talking about the circle at the wrist of kote-gaeshi, or the circle of my tenkan, or the circle of a kokyu-nage?

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Old 05-16-2006, 09:58 AM   #10
Fred Little
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Nicholas Pagnucco wrote:
When I see video clips of someone like Ikeda Sensei, or read comments about movement approaching stillness, I become worried that my aikido is based on large sweeping movements and that I've missed the more subtle elements of connection & kokyu.
Hi Nicholas,

Having been fortunate enough to train at seminars several times a year with Ikeda Sensei for a couple of decades, it's clear to me that his movement has become very compressed over that period.

I would suggest that there's a huge difference between "small" and "compressed." The benefit of "large" movements is that it is much easier to see any places where you cut corners. If the "line" of the large sweeping movements isn't clean, then the same holes in technique that result in large movement will be there in small movement. As other posters have reported their teachers remarking, it's much easier to make (clean) large movement small than the other way around.

Hope this helps,

FL
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:06 AM   #11
Jimmy L
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Question Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
IMHO big is a step up from small and is a huge asset to the small aikido that you, we, us, have or are learning.
What does IMHO mean?
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:40 AM   #12
nodmines
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Jamie Loan wrote:
What does IMHO mean?
It's a chatroom speak for " In My Humble Opinion".
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:58 AM   #13
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

When you can really DO aikido, small and large, slow and fast are the same... it's a question of appropriate fitting the bodies/intent with what needs to happen to fulfil the riai of the situation. Compression, connection, kokyu ryoku, etc. are all aspects that are necessary in the event.

Chuck Clark
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:09 AM   #14
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

All I know is that I absolutely cannot please my sensei with my initial entering step for shomenuchi ikkyo omote. I feel like I'm jumping halfway across the room and he still yells at me: "Motto ookiku!" "Still bigger!"

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:19 PM   #15
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Josh, Please excuse my presumption, but you might consider the possiblility that he doesn't mean "more distance", etc. .... or it could be a timing issue as well. Obviously we can't see through another's eyes but there are lots of different ways to understand "bigger". He also could be just trying to "frustrate" you to get you to just "let go and do it" from your gut... lots of possibilities.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:04 PM   #16
Chris Li
 
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
My sensei in Tokyo always said to me "Bigger, make it bigger" - "it's easier to make big smaller, not so easy to make small bigger".

rgds

Bryan
My guess would be that this is the result of influence from Kisshomaru Doshu. One of the major modifications that he made to Aikido, IMO, was to make many of the circles larger and more open. It's hard to say why, since he's not around any more, but my guess would be that it was done in order to make the techniques clearer and more accessible to the masses when he promoted the spread of Aikido to the public after the war. This is one of the things cited by Daito-ryu folks when criticizing technical execution in Aikido.

In my experience, the older shihan at hombu (Arikawa, Yamaguchi etc.) would teach larger movements to beginners, while teaching smaller and smaller movements to advanced students - of course, the movements in their personal execution of technique was usually quite small, small enough that it was hard to tell what they were doing on any significant level unless you were actually holding on.

For myself, I would say that you'd want to shrink things in size and close the circles down as you go along.

Best,

Chris

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Old 05-16-2006, 03:56 PM   #17
dps
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Jamie Loan wrote:
What does IMHO mean?
IMHO= Is my hair okay.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:39 PM   #18
odudog
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

My Sensei always tells us that as time goes by, you want to making smaller circles. We start with a lot of distance and big attacks so that nage can see what is going on. But later everything becomes smaller. The attack distance is shorter, the yokomenuchi is not as wide, etc... It is hard to see what the really good Senseis are doing for they do everything so tight, that is when they are truely applying the art and not teaching/demonstrating. Takeguchi Sensei is on the grading panel when I take my tests so this might help explain my way of thinking on this matter.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:53 PM   #19
Russell Pearse
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Hi:

We also start with big movements for beginners and gradually compress the movements at more advanced stages. Big exagerrated movements are easier to teach and it is easier to feel the openings and weak points.

When our sensei moves it is sometimes very difficult to see exactly what is happening as the movements are so small. So he slows down and expands the movements so that everyone can see. But he also emphasises that correct technique is small and fast.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:49 PM   #20
Shannon Frye
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

I've noticed that, with some techniques, the more flexible the uke is, the bigger the circles need to be. When an uke is stiff, smaller circles seem to sufice.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:57 PM   #21
xuzen
 
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Big aikido = for training and teaching purpose.

Small aikido = jiyu waza / practical application of things learned in normal kata practice.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-17-2006, 12:36 AM   #22
David Yap
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
In my experience, the older shihan at hombu (Arikawa, Yamaguchi etc.) would teach larger movements to beginners, while teaching smaller and smaller movements to advanced students - of course, the movements in their personal execution of technique was usually quite small, small enough that it was hard to tell what they were doing on any significant level unless you were actually holding on.

For myself, I would say that you'd want to shrink things in size and close the circles down as you go along.
Shigenobu Okumura 9th dan shihan did state something along this lines in his lectures about training begins with big circles and works toward small circles. He also said that this is the nature of the Japanese people with the limited natural resources they have. They learn not be wasteful, hence the objectives are efficiency and quality.

This is consistent with the MA training maxim, "Minimum effort, maximum effect".

Best training

David Y
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Old 05-17-2006, 01:15 AM   #23
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote:
My guess would be that this is the result of influence from Kisshomaru Doshu. One of the major modifications that he made to Aikido, IMO, was to make many of the circles larger and more open. It's hard to say why, since he's not around any more, but my guess would be that it was done in order to make the techniques clearer and more accessible to the masses when he promoted the spread of Aikido to the public after the war. This is one of the things cited by Daito-ryu folks when criticizing technical execution in Aikido.

In my experience, the older shihan at hombu (Arikawa, Yamaguchi etc.) would teach larger movements to beginners, while teaching smaller and smaller movements to advanced students - of course, the movements in their personal execution of technique was usually quite small, small enough that it was hard to tell what they were doing on any significant level unless you were actually holding on.

For myself, I would say that you'd want to shrink things in size and close the circles down as you go along.

Best,

Chris
I know where you're coming from Chris but he is ex Yoshinkan, and a student of Tanaka Shigeo sensei, he only switched to the Aikikai a few years back.


Quote:
Fred Little wrote:
I would suggest that there's a huge difference between "small" and "compressed." The benefit of "large" movements is that it is much easier to see any places where you cut corners. If the "line" of the large sweeping movements isn't clean, then the same holes in technique that result in large movement will be there in small movement. As other posters have reported their teachers remarking, it's much easier to make (clean) large movement small than the other way around.
When you do Aikido technique, it should always be an interaction with uke's movement. I think "compressed" is a good word. We should be practicing to move with uke, over exaggerating our movements, which helps to create simple but powerful techniques (and as Fred said, highlight where things are not so good). As time goes by, we are able to compress that power into smaller movements when required. If you only make small movements from the start, in my experience it is a lot harder to expand that movement into something bigger if required.

Compressing big into small is a lot more powerful than stretching small into big. At least that's the way I look at it.

regards

Bryan

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Old 05-17-2006, 03:21 AM   #24
crbateman
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote:
Compressing big into small is a lot more powerful than stretching small into big. At least that's the way I look at it.
I think you're spot on here, Bryan. My impression has always been that larger circles are for learning the movements and force vectors in the techniques, and growing smaller compresses the technique into its purest and most efficient form. Smaller reduces the margins for error once the proper technique is learned, but provides the quickest and shortest response, once one has become accustomed to the timing and the blend. I think instructors emphasize larger because it is the best way to see and to learn the technique, but not the best way to execute it once it is learned. The "walk before you can run" principle...
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:03 AM   #25
Mark Freeman
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Re: Big Aikido vs Small Aikido

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
When you can really DO aikido, small and large, slow and fast are the same... it's a question of appropriate fitting the bodies/intent with what needs to happen to fulfil the riai of the situation. Compression, connection, kokyu ryoku, etc. are all aspects that are necessary in the event.
Spot on Chuck!

My teacher encourages large movement, particularly when your body is young and able, this encourages the mind to think in terms of 'big' exercise. Then as our bodies get older they and they can only create physically smaller movement but with a correspondingly 'big' mental element.

Perhaps this is all designed so us older folk don't have to move around so much

regards,
Mark

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