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Old 07-11-2006, 12:12 PM   #1
Erick Mead
 
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Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

This was prompted by Amir Krauise on another thread, and my reaction was sufficently OT that I moved it to this:

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
In Korindo Aikido many technique variations require one step, and the rest is completed based on very sophisticated hip movement. I do not think this is easier for the beginners, if anything, it is much harder, since beginners normally learn from the outside in, e.g. from hands and feet to the center. Beginners find it much easier to perform several more steps then to use their hips. And as a matter of fact, we often use longer variations for teaching them, which are then cut down to minimal movement as they progress on.

The step is often the evasion, often taken towards Uke. In most cases, even when one does not step, he should stay out of the line of the attack. The hip movement is sufficiently strong to base the technique on it without any stepping.
... The sophisticated hips movement is taught in Korindo by practicing the 8 Tai-Sabaki step types developed by Hirai.
I have been working on a way to structure intuitional training (I know, I know ..) around the taisabaki, vice working through techniques according to some more abstract rubric -- basically getting nage to "Move! -- Connect!" and then see what technique flows from the position you have arrived at. It is focussed on maintaining suigetsu as musubi.

I have only a passing familiarity with Korindo. Other than John Goss, I am not aware of another Korindo school here in the States (says he -- ducking the inevitable aikitrollka lobbing a brickbat saying "Here I am!). I know that Korindo has some eight basic structured kata dealing with fundamental hip positions. I have assumed (feel free to prove me wrong) that the eight positions are likely distillates of O-Sensei's "16 variations" on the basic techniques

My own thought has for some time now been dwelling on the hips as well but from the perspective of the sixteen variations of core taisabaki -- irimi omote/ura and tenkan soto/uchi -- first welcoming uke and then sending him on his way (I love that phrase.)

I have worked out my thoughts on the "16 variations" O-Sensei mentioned when asked how many techniques there were in Aikido. These are multiples then of the three thousand basic techniques to get about 48,000 or so.

By my estimation the technique count goes like this:: there are about 27-28 (give or take) basic tactics to about 18 (more or less) attacks applied from three hanmi (standing/ sitting/ handachi) from two basic positional choices (omote/ ura)

= ~ 2916- 3024 basic techniques -- i.e. about three thousand (Please feel free to be more precise, or to elaborate on the respective lists of tactics and attacks).

I have worked out the 16 variations on this basis:

- Every technique has (at least) two basic body movements (welcoming/sending)
- Every body movement can either irimi or tenkan.
- Every irimi can be either to omote or ura;
- Every tenkan can be performed either soto (outward) or uchi (inward),
- Every technique can begin with either irimi or tenkan;

I'll admit upfront that this is overly analytical, of course, because every tenkan begins with irimi and every irimi ends with tenkan-- in-yo are never truly separate.

Even though omote and ura form part of the basis for the variations as well as for the basic technique count, they are not really being counted twice -- the variations are really about the order of the irimi and tenkan movements and whether you are turning out or in, and they are differently applied depending on whether the initial movement is omote or ura.

Welcoming || Sending away

Irimi omote || Tenkan soto
Irimi ura || Tenkan soto
Irimi omote || Tenkan uchi
Irimi ura || Tenkan uchi
Irimi omote || Irimi omote
Irimi ura || Irimi ura
Irimi omote || Irimi omote
Irimi ura || Irimi ura

Tenkan soto || Irimi omote
Tenkan uchi || Irimi omote
Tenkan soto || Irimi ura
Tenkan uchi || Irimi ura
Tenkan soto || Tenkan uchi
Tenkan uchi || Tenkan uchi
Tenkan soto || Tenkan soto
Tenkan uchi || Tenkan soto

I am now busily trying to fry brain cells and spinal ganglia to work through these variants to see if I have it right. The tenkan-tenkan iriminage is beautifully spirally -- but gets one rather dizzy (Frank Doran does this on a tape I have somewhere).

Any thoughts?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:56 PM   #2
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

Quote:
I have assumed (feel free to prove me wrong) that the eight positions are likely distillates of O-Sensei's "16 variations" on the basic techniques
Amir will have more information, but I believe the 16 movements he is speaking of are based on the Korindo founder's own experience, and not on Ueshiba Sensei's art. Some kool Korindo info here:
http://www.freewebz.com/aikido/lecture/index.htm
Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 07-11-2006, 04:21 PM   #3
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Amir will have more information, but I believe the 16 movements he is speaking of are based on the Korindo founder's own experience, and not on Ueshiba Sensei's art. Some kool Korindo info here:
http://www.freewebz.com/aikido/lecture/index.htm
Best,
Ron
Good stuff. Thanks Ron.

I should be clear, that the "8 tai sabaki" exercise refers to Korindo, while the "16 variation" movements I am referring to is O-Sensei's explicit count in the joint newspaper interview with Kisshomaru, second Doshu. I have not found any explicit reference to what he meant by this, but what I have worked out seems to fit and may be useful (that remains to be seen) whether he meant it or not. If there is some source to show he meant something else by it, I'd like to find it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:54 AM   #4
Amir Krause
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Re: Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

While it is my message that has brought this intuition to you, I would have to admit at first reading I hardly understand your message. So I would not respond to your main topic (is it supposed to be logical categorization of techniques or counting of all possible technical combinations ?)., instead I will only comment on the few things I think I do know:

* Korindo Aikido tai-Sabaki is composed of 8 circular movements, each could be done in any direction and with some variations. We do not refer to these movement as Kata, since they are supposed to be more free practice then rigid pre-designed form.


The Tai-sabaki movement is not necessarily used in first contact, it also has a very important place while performing the technique, and in Korindo one could try and explain the movement in many techniques relating parts of the techniques to parts of different Tai-Sabaki. Just for example, the first Tai-Sabki is a turn backwards without stepping, involving mostly the body center and hip movement as the core of the movement. This 180 degree turn (our name for it) has usage in central variations of lots of techniques, from shiho-nage, through Ikkyo, Sankyo and lots of others. The examples I wrote all find the 180 as a very efficient mid technique solution to allow "internal" power generation from the body, without changing the position, thus making the technique stronger and more efficient.

Quote:
I have assumed (feel free to prove me wrong) that the eight positions are likely distillates of O-Sensei's "16 variations" on the basic techniques
* Korindo Tai Sabaki is said to have been developed by Minoro Hirai, long before he met Ueshiba (Korindo Tai Sabaki started sometime around 1920,

and Hirai and Ueshiba only met around 1938). I do not know anything about the "16 variation" of Ueshiba you wrote about, for all I know they could have been influenced by Ueshiba seeing Hirai and getting his own inspiration, as these two people did contact each other for a while. But I would deem this unlikely.

Quote:
I know that Korindo has some eight basic structured kata dealing with fundamental hip positions.
* Tai Sabaki is a way of movement, that teaches one to move from his hips in a stable and harmonically way. It is not a hip position as the hips rotate continuously during these exercises.


* As far as Korindo Aikido in the US - a minor clarification. I have read good impressions about John Goss and read the interview with him in Aikido-Journal. I would like to clarify that he learned Korindo outside the regular organization, and, to the best of my understanding, was never part of the Korinkai.
Just as a minor example, I read he places great import on the Hami-Bo. While this weapon does exist in the Korindo curriculum, it is not central in it. At least as far as the Korindo Shihans I met so far.

Since I have not understood your message and topic, I can only hope my message contributes to this thread, rather then being totally OT.

Amir
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Old 07-12-2006, 09:53 AM   #5
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

Thanks Amir, you are never entirely off-topic!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:23 AM   #6
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Hips, 3000 Techniques & 16 Variations

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
While it is my message that has brought this intuition to you, I would have to admit at first reading I hardly understand your message. ...

* Korindo Aikido tai-Sabaki is composed of 8 circular movements, each could be done in any direction and with some variations. We do not refer to these movement as Kata, since they are supposed to be more free practice then rigid pre-designed form.
...
Since I have not understood your message and topic, I can only hope my message contributes to this thread, rather then being totally OT.
I must attempt to clarify, then. The exact quote that provoked this line of thought is from the newspaper interview that AikidoFAQ republished (Stanley Pranin, tr.) here: http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html
Quote:
O-Sensei Interview wrote:
B: How many techniques are there in Aikido?
O Sensei: There are about 3,000 basic techniques, and each one of them has 16 variations . . . so there are many thousands. Depending on the situation, you create new ones.
I have been pondering the "16 variations" comment by O-Sensei for a long while. No one has ever answered what it represents to my satisfaction. I am of course open to any information I have never yet heard.

The "3000 techniques" observation is interesting also -- and is worthy of substantial work in its own right (especially given the disparities of terminology among the various branches). I have yet to hear a good, authoritative description of the basis for that number either. My own basis for calcuation is just that -- my own. Ultimately, though, the "3000 techniques" is a mere catalog of "hip here" "arm there" mechanics. Aiki has to breathe life into them, and aiki depends on contingent choices, i.e. -- variations.

The variations applicable to all of those techniques seem to me to be the road of aiki, much as what I sensed was the case of the Korindo exercises (even before your very helpful characterization).
What i have done is some educated speculation from my empirical experience, in the absence of concrete and authoitative description.

I knew that soto v. uchi turns had to play a part ion the variational scheme, as did choices of initial entry (omote/ura) into uke's attack, since the position will change the application substantially. The thing that got me thinking about these in terms of the stated variations though was seeing the two basic tai sabaki (irimi/tenkan) as alternates in each of the two phases of every technique (recieving/sending). The empirical test is to see if there are any techniques for which the variation scheme does not hold.

That interplay allowed me to set up a decision tree or matrix to better understand the relationship of these movement choices, to work through them as an exercise and to see if my intuition has any validity.

For each phase of the technique a choice may be made. One may receive an attack in irimi, moving omote or ura, or one may receive it in tenkan turning soto or uchi. Then -- in sending the energy of attack away -- one may again choose irimi, moving omote or ura, or tenkan, turning soto or uchi. The variation only describes direction of movement. In all of this, body, arm and foot position relative to uke varies according to technique being applied

If I am right -- for any given technique, say -- katatedori kotegaeshi, one should be able to apply it in each of the described variations in the taisabaki. If I am wrong -- then you can't -- or else someone has some authority that says the variations key on other factors, and I am completely stuffed.

Having started to work on this, some of them are making a lot of sense to me -- when I try them. When I try to think of them mentally it is harder to envision -- e.g. -- where "ura" is for the second phase of the technique, or what "soto" or uchi" means from a given position in a technique. Working through these thoughts while training has been very frutiful, on the other hand. That is the essential reason for the table I provided, as means to structure training to test or explore the variations:
Quote:
Mead's Variation Scheme wrote:
Welcoming || Sending away

Irimi omote || Tenkan soto
Irimi ura || Tenkan soto
Irimi omote || Tenkan uchi
Irimi ura || Tenkan uchi
Irimi omote || Irimi omote
Irimi ura || Irimi ura
Irimi omote || Irimi omote
Irimi ura || Irimi ura

Tenkan soto || Irimi omote
Tenkan uchi || Irimi omote
Tenkan soto || Irimi ura
Tenkan uchi || Irimi ura
Tenkan soto || Tenkan uchi
Tenkan uchi || Tenkan uchi
Tenkan soto || Tenkan soto
Tenkan uchi || Tenkan soto
I hope that makes this more clear.
Mud-like, even ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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