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Old 08-10-2006, 04:23 PM   #226
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
But you will fight like you train. Under stress most people will fall back on what was is drilled into their core. A good example of this is a friend of mine who was in karate. They did light/ no contact point sparing. The hardest thing for him to do when we spar is connect a good shot. It is ingrained into him to pull his punches. If you never actually do the 'illegal' techniques, you have much less chance of using them under a high stress load.
This is an excellent opportunity make the point about the aspect of realism in training that is inherent to aikido and that is not necessarily so in "full contact" practice of other striking arts. They make fun of our "slow dancing" but there is a deadly point of physics embodied in this mode of training. Bottom line, we do not pull our punches, period -- they are all real, and for best training, if the hand misses, the elbow follows, if the elbow misses, the hip hits, and the irimi just never really quits at all until you have kuzushi.

All atemi in aikido are supposed to be delivered with correct distance and full extension and penetration of the intended target with the entire body behind the strike. It is simply done slowly enough (for the intended target that is) to do no real damage in case he or she flubs the technique.

By example, I show newbs how to strike by placing my fist at their solar plexus level, three inches away with a slightly bent elbow, and then perform a steady flowing punch to the midsection at about one eighth speed, knocking them back with full body momentum. At eight times that training speed, 1/2mv ^2 works out to be 64 times the kinetic energy of impact as compared to training impact at one eighth speed. Repectable enough for me to sit up and pay attention. Distance and penetration are the same.

Laugh at the Tai Chi guys at your own peril. That "hold the basketball" turn they do -- is somebody's head in there, a most awesome hip-snap men-nage neck-breaker. (three hyphenations in a row --- haven't done that before.)

What can be done slowly in proper form repeatedly in training can be done wicked quick at speed on adrenaline. The converse is not true, becuase training for fast light strikes at incorrect distance or penetration does not deliver the entire energy of the blow to the target at either speed. Going slow at correct distance and penetration does not create these training model problems in true conflict situations.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:20 PM   #227
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Hi Eric
There's (at least) one problem with your thesis above in my opinion. In Aikido timing is, as you know crucial. If I understand you correctly you are suggesting that strikes are delivered with full penetration but at reduced speed for training purposes? If so this does not train timing. If I'm going at 50% speed as uke who's to know whether nage is going at 50%, 60%,or 70%. They will likely go as fast as they need to do the technique - sometimes hiding technical errors or timing issues because they will always have the ability to create a speed advantage. Only by training vs attacks at 100% speed can you really work on your timing. Which will often mean responding to the precursors to attack rather than the attack itself.

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Old 08-10-2006, 08:06 PM   #228
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
What can be done slowly in proper form repeatedly in training can be done wicked quick at speed on adrenaline. The converse is not true, becuase training for fast light strikes at incorrect distance or penetration does not deliver the entire energy of the blow to the target at either speed. Going slow at correct distance and penetration does not create these training model problems in true conflict situations.
I find issue with this statement. When your adrenaline spikes your fine muscle controls suffer. Things become 'more complicated'. Training slowly with proper form is a good idea to learn the motion, but without training full speed under as close to real stress situtaiton you can get is required to truely have a good chance at using these techniques 'for real'.

I do however agree that training striking at incorrect distance, or softening blows is a bad idea. I am not a fan of point sparing. I much rather enjoy full contact sparing as often as my body allows it. Modern protective gear has allowed me to recgonize a hit and not cause my partner to suffer bad form and create bad habbits. A good hit to the head with a decent glove and headgear on won't be as bad as it would be on the street, but it will still knock me off my block for a minute or two.

This is not to say you can not develop skills from training slow in the manner you describe. I know full well there are must be good fighters out there that trained that way. However, I belive it is not the most efficent way to develop actually combat skill. I still believe Matt Thorton's training methods (and the modifications others have made) are better for developing solid technique that is usable in an altercation.

How does this relate to ground fighting? Well obviously to get good at a skill you need to practice it. The best way to get good at something is to have someone more skilled then you work with you. I think a slow moving kata like takedown defense will not develop good takedown skills in a reasonable lenght of time with most people. However a more 'sport' like drill where the each training partner has a goal, but no pre-directed kata (uke's goal is to take down nage, nage's goal is to remain standing, blend, throw, whatever with uke) will develop skill at a reasonable pace and lend itself to the stress that you will experiance in an actual altercation. This is the reason so many people point at bjj when they talk about ground work. In truth the there is nothing special technique wise about bjj that doens't exist in other martial arts that do grappling. The difference is in the training methods. It does not matter what delivery system you choose for your ground fighting (judo, bjj, sambo, aikido, aikijitsu, etc), but the training methods will dictate how long it takes for you to use the skills you are developing.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:14 PM   #229
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

I think it's also important to note the differences in rolling gi and no-gi. Rolling with a gi is a nice, timely affair, while rolling no-gi and is like greased lightening. Not to mention there are alot of moves and positions that are much higher percentage no-gi and are used more often. Rubber guard, goro guard, chinstrap, brambo chokes, a complete lack of collar chokes and scarf hold-downs, etc.

Take someone who is comfortable in a gi (even rolling) and put them up against someone who is an exclusive no-gi player and, in my expereince, the no-gi person will usually win rather handily. I think this is a rather significant point to be addressed by arts that focus exclusivley on gi related training such as Aikido and Judo.

There's on the ground, and on the ground with a gi. The two are very different.

Keith Lee
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:27 PM   #230
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

True, no gi changes the game a lot. However, I dont think most self defense situations involve a half nakid man. Personally, I perfer wearing my gi pants while rolling no gi. It gives me traction I've been used to with very little 'bad' side effects (sure they can use my pants against me, but normally that is not an issue). A t-shirt can be used to collar choke some one as fast as a gi can. Although in a street fight, I'm not sure I would be going for collar chokes. I'd be trying to get position, rain blows and stand back up. If a submission presented itself I probably would go for it out of habbit though.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:16 PM   #231
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Yeah true no gi isn't a typical self defence scenario - they are still clothed. but pays to address grips without sleeves etc just the same. In terms of subs vs escapes it depends. Go for the reversal if that don't work often they'll offer a sub. There are times where your are being or are likely to be dominated on your feet there will be times where it makes sense to go down and look for a quick sub. And on most it would be pretty quick.

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Old 08-10-2006, 11:21 PM   #232
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
Hi Eric
There's (at least) one problem with your thesis above in my opinion. In Aikido timing is, as you know crucial. If I understand you correctly you are suggesting that strikes are delivered with full penetration but at reduced speed for training purposes? If so this does not train timing. If I'm going at 50% speed as uke who's to know whether nage is going at 50%, 60%,or 70%. They will likely go as fast as they need to do the technique - sometimes hiding technical errors or timing issues because they will always have the ability to create a speed advantage. Only by training vs attacks at 100% speed can you really work on your timing. Which will often mean responding to the precursors to attack rather than the attack itself.
Aikido is not about timing at all -- it is about musubi. The variations of technique available (16 typically, covering the omote/ura irimi and soto/uchi tenkan permutations), cover almost all relative timing and position issues. Musubi is the key to feeling which variation uke is directing you to perfrom. The slow knife cuts as well as the fast one. Go no sen is widely understood. But aikido is not about sente, go no sen or any other form of one-up initiative, either. I didn't say that -- O-Sensei did. Took me a long time to glimpse what he meant by this.

Musubi exists or not regardless of speed. By training for intuitive maai and full embrace of the attack, I control space and time(ing) of the encounter simultaneously with musubi. Since I am seeking musubi and not to "beat" the attack timing, I have no concern with timing. If nage does not blend with the attack, he has already lost, regardless how fast he moves.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:31 PM   #233
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Ok let's take it out of arcance Japanese terminology and get to some real examples. Let's take shomen uchi irimi nage as a basis - understanding you're going to say that the irimi nage component will be dependent on alot of things. But we can agree that you need to get off the line and take balance right? If you move too early you get tracked and hit. If you move too late, you get hit. how is this not about timing?

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Old 08-10-2006, 11:35 PM   #234
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I find issue with this statement. When your adrenaline spikes your fine muscle controls suffer. Things become 'more complicated'. Training slowly with proper form is a good idea to learn the motion, but without training full speed under as close to real stress situtaiton you can get is required to truely have a good chance at using these techniques 'for real'.
Fine motor control will be lost, thus a premium on training that emphasizes proper tai sabaki as the strategic imperative. Most aikido techniques do not require or are even impeded by nage's grabs that are often seen by new learners. Thus gi/no-gi distinctions are of little weight in aikido, since grabs are largely intended to be superseded when the training function in learning connection (musubi) is overcome.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
In truth the there is nothing special technique wise about bjj that doens't exist in other martial arts that do grappling. The difference is in the training methods. It does not matter what delivery system you choose for your ground fighting (judo, bjj, sambo, aikido, aikijitsu, etc), but the training methods will dictate how long it takes for you to use the skills you are developing.
A developed sense of musubi allows broader improvisation in unfamiliar situations, such as going to ground, because in essence you are simply following along with the attack, just with special emphasis ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:56 PM   #235
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
Ok let's take it out of arcance Japanese terminology and get to some real examples. Let's take shomen uchi irimi nage as a basis - understanding you're going to say that the irimi nage component will be dependent on alot of things. But we can agree that you need to get off the line and take balance right? If you move too early you get tracked and hit. If you move too late, you get hit. how is this not about timing?
OK. Balance we agree about, past that, however ... Shomen uchi iriminage can be taken early, middle or late, omote or ura, turning in or out. Timing is irrelevant. If I am performing it with an initial tenkan turn (soto or uchi / in or out), moving off-line is irrelevant since I will sweep the attack slightly in turning before the concluding irimi. Moving offline early and uke tracking just means I have attained musubi even sooner since uke is responding to my movement naturally with his attack. The sokumen movement results in tracking, and allows the inside approach to the shomenuchi sweeping down and back up again into the kata gatame uchi mawari iriminage variation. (sorry, less arcanely -- the shoulder-wrap, inside- turn entering throw). The most devastating shomenuchi iriminage I have ever seen was late to the point that uke's elbow was scraping his ear as he drove in to the direct omote iriminage under the descending attacking arm.

I do not see the point you are making.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:21 AM   #236
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

OK allow me to put it a different way. You are now asking nage to make a lot of adjustments based on how late or early they enter, what uke's doing etc. I suspect there is more congitive stuff going on than you may suspect at first glance (OODA loop type stuff for those across that). These adjustments are easy and may even seem effortless and without thought at slower speeds. But at full speed....?

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Old 08-11-2006, 09:48 AM   #237
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
OK allow me to put it a different way. You are now asking nage to make a lot of adjustments based on how late or early they enter, what uke's doing etc. I suspect there is more congitive stuff going on than you may suspect at first glance (OODA loop type stuff for those across that). These adjustments are easy and may even seem effortless and without thought at slower speeds. But at full speed....?
If I train to do things without effort and without thinking at slow speed -- I have no troubling effort or disturbing thought at faster speeds. Musubi takes the place of thought, speed and effort. The cognitive stuff happens in training with the purpose being to train the feel of gaining and following the connected interaction -- musubi -- so that the conscious cognitive component falls away as unnecessary. I am not training for habitual reactionsor conscious "adjustments" however. It is more like learning surfing -- training the cerebellar mind -- not the cerebrum.

Musubi is not some mystical mumbo jumbo. Your question indicates training in terms of selecting tactical options, apply a particular technique that is deemed typically most effective in a given circumstance. I really do not have time or inclination in a fight to think in those terms, nor does most anyone else.

Aikido is about structuring strategic action in an intuitive mode, where I do not select the tactic, uke does, like the wave dictates the break in surfing. After that point I have far more liberty of action, but not until I have joined the wave at the narrow gate of the break.

Whether I have three or hundred or a thousand tactical techniques at my disposal, I am simply waiting for uke to direct me to where some technique, or no technique should be given to dissipate his attack. Some breaks I cannot catch -- some waves will no break. I lose my dynamically stable connection to the wave at any point I will wipe out regardless of technique. (You might imagine I like surfing.)

It is really that simple. He may direct me so that the attack ends with a simple taisabaki or ukemi. Cool, too. Your objection seems to be that I did not "defeat" him. That was not my objective -- any mor than I hope to defeat the wave -- the wave doesn't care. In war the only prize for the warrior is survival, and budo (among many other principles) teaches that death is by far not the only, nor even the worst, defeat.

I had to unlearn what I thought were some fairly basic natural responses (the ugly ball of claws approach), and to restore some even more primitive, dare I say, even infantile responses.
All infants instinctively understand musubi, just like they quickly learn to understand ukemi. Anyone who has tried to get an insistent toddler off your leg or arm knows what I mean. (Anybody who believes taking candy from a baby is easy -- has never tried to take candy from a baby.) They know how to connect and shift connection instinctively when they want to. By the time a baby learns to walk well he has mastered simple ukemi, because that is all he has done for two years.

Infants unlearn musubi in most cultures as part of individuating. They unlearn ukemi as their tenderly sprouted egos come to believe that falling is failing. Adults have power, coordination and the ability to structure action and new learning -- add the musubi back in and a realization that falling does not mean failure and the package is once again complete -- and enhanced.

I don't mean to intimate that musubi is gained by some satori moment of enlightenment -- it is very much the result of hard training, and a lot of wipeouts along the way. We structure the attacks in aikido so carefully for training in order to provide a more comfortable "break" in which a student begins to feel the musubi in the interaction at a much higher threshold of kinesthetic awareness than he or she will have after a year or so of training. After that things can be come rapidly more diverse and variational. The real test of this developing ability to feel musubi is demonstrated in kokyu-tanden ho (kokyudosa for some).

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-11-2006 at 09:50 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:09 AM   #238
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

My feeling is that slow practice is to build up the form so that you can safely practice with increasing speed and power. You can't really replace (or substitute) one with the other -- each have their place and are necessary components for practicing form and application. Again, I think this applies equally to both aikido and competitive grappling contexts.

Just like I tell the one person that ONLY wants to go slow and easy -- you need to eventually increase the resistance, speed and intensity in order to be able to deal with stuff on that level, I also tell the other person that ONLY wants to spar/randori that you have to work through this stuff slowly and with proper form in order to initially build (and improve/broaden) the relaxed technique and posture that you'll need to perform 'aiki'.

Last edited by Budd : 08-11-2006 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:22 AM   #239
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote:
My feeling is that slow practice is to build up the form so that you can practice with increasing speed and power. You can't really replace (or substitute) one with the other -- each have their place and are necessary components for practicing form and application. Again, I think this applies equally to both aikido and competitive grappling contexts.
I tend to agree with this, actually. Musubi in some techniques is very natural above a certain -- I hesitate to say speed, because with musubi to begin with it can be maintained and slowed down and still preserve the form and kuzushi -- kind of like a musical retard in rhythm. However, it usually feels very artificial if you start those below that, say allegro rhythm -- but you cannot learn the feel of it at spiffier rhythm until you first grasp the dynamic architecture of the form that you are moving through. Kaitennage is a good example of this.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-11-2006, 04:28 PM   #240
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I but you cannot learn the feel of it at spiffier rhythm until you first grasp the dynamic architecture of the form that you are moving through. Kaitennage is a good example of this.
Eric you said you thought my concern was that you have not "defeated" your opponent. That's not my concern. My concern is that without practicing at full speed you not be able to maintain musubi when attaceked at full speed. The above is starting to indicate that you actually advocate starting slow and building up to full speed? If so we're in agreement.

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Old 08-11-2006, 05:14 PM   #241
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Michael Fooks wrote:
Eric you said you thought my concern was that you have not "defeated" your opponent. That's not my concern. My concern is that without practicing at full speed you not be able to maintain musubi when attaceked at full speed. The above is starting to indicate that you actually advocate starting slow and building up to full speed? If so we're in agreement.
I do recommend understanding how things change at different speed once people are comfortable, but not in the way it seems that you mean.

For most techniques at full speed, a little touch of true musubi (even just with atemi) is all that is required to effect a throw, drop or transition the attack into osae waza. It really becomes more ukemi-limited for uke's safety than for nage's technique. Someone said that the mistakes in aikido are more dangerous than the techniques. This is one illustration of that. It takes time also for uke to be comfortable in adapting his musubi in the ukemi as well, which can be progressively unpredictable the faster that one goes, and not just harder and faster. There is a fundamental physical reason for this.

Going fast does not necessarily have the effect intended -- if what you are driving at is acheiving close and predictable correspondence between rhythm of attack and rhythm of selected technique at progressively higher speed, just harder and faster. Going fast inherently breaks into different rhythm from going slow (one of the reasons why kaitennage feels different slower, and why "speed" is not exactly meant the same way by different people).

That is why people walk at differnt rhythm than they jog, and jog and different rhythm than they run. It is no just faster, Notice that we have only three normal gaits for getting around at different speeds. There are a couple of others but they are more specialized and are not about moving over large distances efficently.

Chaotic systems theory illustrates this rhythm altering by increasing flow rate in a dripping faucet -- first you get one stable rhythm, then two different stable rhythms, then three, and if you dial up the faucet one more time --- at that point the systems becomes chaotic and indeterminate and any rhythm or no rhythm exists in the system.

By increasing speed of attack in the same way, tactical sequences very shortly go out the window, and only musubi will keep up. Speed also has less advantage when seen from the standpoint of inherently altering rhythm. This creates suki that uke did not intend when he went in full tilt, and which do not even exist if he were moving with somewhat greater deliberation. He will fail to recognize it unless it is shown to him at a training pace (which will seem artificial at that pace, even though it is not.)

Another reason to focus on following the musubi rather attempting to trina for tactical sequences in advance and then faster (other than for training to abandon them). Going faster changes more than just energy.

Ground fighting must have some similar thresholds, but I have no idea what they may be. The inherent compression of the fighting space has the impact of making any added energy ramp the rhythm changes up even quicker -- meaning that ground fighting is even more susceptible to chaotic rhythm than other types of combat.

Not a strategic preference in my book.

I find this speed-timing-rhythm discussion interesting enough in its own right that I will move it to a different thread.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:02 PM   #242
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
I do recommend understanding how things change at different speed once people are comfortable, but not in the way it seems that you mean.

For most techniques at full speed, a little touch of true musubi (even just with atemi) is all that is required to effect a throw, drop or transition the attack into osae waza. It really becomes more ukemi-limited for uke's safety than for nage's technique. Someone said that the mistakes in aikido are more dangerous than the techniques. This is one illustration of that. It takes time also for uke to be comfortable in adapting his musubi in the ukemi as well, which can be progressively unpredictable the faster that one goes, and not just harder and faster. There is a fundamental physical reason for this.

Going fast does not necessarily have the effect intended -- if what you are driving at is acheiving close and predictable correspondence between rhythm of attack and rhythm of selected technique at progressively higher speed, just harder and faster. Going fast inherently breaks into different rhythm from going slow (one of the reasons why kaitennage feels different slower, and why "speed" is not exactly meant the same way by different people).

That is why people walk at differnt rhythm than they jog, and jog and different rhythm than they run. It is no just faster, Notice that we have only three normal gaits for getting around at different speeds. There are a couple of others but they are more specialized and are not about moving over large distances efficently.

Chaotic systems theory illustrates this rhythm altering by increasing flow rate in a dripping faucet -- first you get one stable rhythm, then two different stable rhythms, then three, and if you dial up the faucet one more time --- at that point the systems becomes chaotic and indeterminate and any rhythm or no rhythm exists in the system.

By increasing speed of attack in the same way, tactical sequences very shortly go out the window, and only musubi will keep up. Speed also has less advantage when seen from the standpoint of inherently altering rhythm. This creates suki that uke did not intend when he went in full tilt, and which do not even exist if he were moving with somewhat greater deliberation. He will fail to recognize it unless it is shown to him at a training pace (which will seem artificial at that pace, even though it is not.)

Another reason to focus on following the musubi rather attempting to trina for tactical sequences in advance and then faster (other than for training to abandon them). Going faster changes more than just energy.

Ground fighting must have some similar thresholds, but I have no idea what they may be. The inherent compression of the fighting space has the impact of making any added energy ramp the rhythm changes up even quicker -- meaning that ground fighting is even more susceptible to chaotic rhythm than other types of combat.

Not a strategic preference in my book.

I find this speed-timing-rhythm discussion interesting enough in its own right that I will move it to a different thread.
A person who only jogs will not make a good sprinter. He just wont have the physical skills needed. He can sprint, but he would be a better sprinter if he ran sprints.

When I was training in aikido, I noticed I had a lot of time to think. This thinking lead me to overthink what I was doing and mess stuff up. I would compensate for my lack of skill with muscle and speed and other no no's. In judo however, things changed. I was either practicing the technique, or I was sparing. There was a fine line between the two. No variation, just rythem and repitition, and then nothing planed, havn't to try to set the rythem, and constant changes in partners, sizes, attacks, and skill levels. I spent a lot of time with my feet over my head against my own will. However, this training I found way more useful then I did my aikido training. This is becuase I was getting 'real' feedback from my partners. They were not about to let me have my way. I had to 'blend' with them. I had to lead their mind. I had to use speed, and sometimes strenght. And most times, regardless of my intentions or mindset, I ended up eating the mat. However, I started to 'feel' things I wasn't feeling in my past aikido training. I was able to 'read' my partner. I could feel though his body his intention, I could read his eyes and movements. I knew his intention by the way he reached for me. I might not of been able to do anything about it, but I could feel it.

This feeling has grown a lot in the last year and a half. I noticed I can feel slight movements standing or on the ground. I've had partners comment that they thought about attempting a submisson and I was already starting a defense. I attribute this to isolation drills and sparing. With isolation drills. I am working on how my movements and goals intersect with my partners movements and goals. Perhaps my goal is to simply escape side control. And my partner's goal is to submit me or take the mount. We have no pattern, no uke or nage, what we have are goals, motion, timing, and technique. I usually like to do these drills after I am exusted from training. I perfer a partner who is not all that tired. This way I am forced to work technique. Improper form or technique will simply not work against someone who can still use strenght and speed. Perhaps your aikido training is different then mine (in fact I bet it is). I felt I had good quality aikido instruction. However, that training method held no gains for me. At least in the time that I put into it. However the gains I have seen in judo, bjj, and recently boxing have been fast, and substantial. I can not remark on the long term gains though this method as I have only put almost 2 years into it. But I have gained more skill in 2 years then in my previous 10 (well offically 14, but I dont count my low teens as serious training).

Everything you have said sounds well thought out. I can tell you have a good insight into your training and a good feeling about what you do. This is great. However, I have found, at least for me that the ideas you have put forth do not hold true. I simply can not drill a kata and translate it to fighting without sparing full contact. It took me 10 years to figure that out. I spent 10 years of my life memorizing kata's, learning complex patterns of movements and theories. But none of it really stuck until I stepped onto that judo mat. I feel like I've just started my martial arts training in the last 2 years.

So to bring it back on topic. How does all this relate to ground fighting? Well quite simply, I believe to gain some creditable skill you need creditable attacks. You need to have someone qualified to attempt to take you down. You need those sports drills to develop the sense of motion you will be subjected to in a full speed situation. A slow shoot will never be the same as a full speed shoot. Sometimes the principles involved simply do not work at half speed. I belive the same is true for striking as well. A slow punch is nothing like a real punch. Its just impossible to represent the motion and energy in a manner that is close to a real punch.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:05 PM   #243
David Orange
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
Hoo boy. Where to begin?
Erick,

I read that, but I wasn't entirely clear on what it all meant.

The prime question is: is it impossible for ANYONE to get you on the ground in the mount position?

In my experience, there are very few people who can claim that NO ONE can ever get them on the ground.

There has been a lot of discussion here about what percentage of fights go to the ground. And I say with Kevin Leavitt that the percentage does not matter if you find yourself in a fight that does go to the ground--especially when it involves YOU on your back and the attacker sitting on your chest pounding you on the head.

My post was in answer to Ken's post (#52, I think) in which he said that IF someone DID get him on the ground in a mount position, he would...(follows a string of ad hoc techniques without training or experience of testing those techniques against even an inexperienced ground fighter). Many people responded to Ken that "clawing" the eyes is not likely to work in that position. Nor is grabbing the man's arm so that he "lifts" you when he pulls back for a strike. And I said that, if you have thought a lot about these things, enough to have worked up these imaginary responses, why be satisfied with THINKING that you have something that will work? Why not test it? That's all that ground work really is: testing to see if certain techniques will work.

Ken had also made a big distinction (elsewhere) between modern virtuous aikido and ancient, outmoded, spiritually inferior pre-war aikido. But if your morally superior training leaves you thinking that you can "claw his eyes" and willing to "kill him in any way" you can, what's superior about that training? It has no particular moral superiority and it lacks the technical training to succeed in those things which old-style pre-war aikido actually provides.

Minoru Mochizuk was the first to teach aikido outside Japan, according to Kisshomaru Ueshiba. In France, after World War Two, he encountered western boxers, savate artists, knife fighters, western fencers, and western wrestlers. These people all attacked very differently than the people in aikido dojos. When he returned to Japan, Mochizuki Sensei suggested to Ueshiba O-Sensei that aikido's curriculum be expanded to respond to a wider range of attacks such as one would be likely to meet from any foreigner. Ueshiba Sesnsei disagreed vehemently and mainstream aikido continued with a small range of attacks. But Mochizuki Sensei incorporated a much wider range of attacking methods--not to attack people with, but for his aikido students to sharpen their aikido against. And that included ground work.

I understand that even Saotome Sensei now does (and perhaps teaches) some sutemi waza, with which you throw the attacker by falling to the ground. I have not seen them, but in Mochizuki Sensei's sutemi, nage frequently ends the technique on top of uke, in pinning or choking position. But if Saotome Sensei is teaching or demonstrating throwing by falling down, it seems that some ne waza (ground fighting) follow up is not only a natural extension, but a vital technical follow up.

Of course, strikes of all kinds can be used, but only to the extent to which nage has really seriously trained in them. And this gets back to technique. And that gets back to the point of training to know they will work (as in pre-war aikido) or training to think or "believe" they will work, which is not real budo.

Please correct me if I have misunderstood your points.

Best wishes,

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 08-11-2006, 09:09 PM   #244
David Orange
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote:
in case the main thrust fails and you end up there, how do you get back up?... sometimes it's also an eye opener to put yourself in a bad position and try to work from there, rather than assuming you won't have to.
Budo is a type of emergency planning and preparation. Saying we can't be taken to the ground is like saying the levees in New Orleans won't fail. Now we know what happens when emergency "planning and preparation" is built on sheer wishful thinking.

I appreciate your comments.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 08-11-2006, 09:38 PM   #245
xuzen
 
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Don,

Wrt to your post #242, I can't help but to agree with you. I can't put into words as good as you... you are a better writer than me. But what you wrote is almost the exact sentiments I have now.

Boon.

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Old 08-11-2006, 10:38 PM   #246
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
When I was training in aikido, I noticed I had a lot of time to think. This thinking lead me to overthink what I was doing and mess stuff up.
This is a problem for everyone. I do not neceessarily think that making action too fast for conscious adjustment solves the basic issue here though. It require training that adjusts unconscious cues, which is far more difficult.
If one works at the intuitive limit, which is necessary at full speed, one provokes intuitive responses. If the product of other training or of no training is all that lies beyond that intuitive limit, then working so fast just practices bad technique fast, and any good results are largely the product of trial and error. What then is the point of accumulated wisdom passed on in training?
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
This feeling has grown a lot in the last year and a half. I noticed I can feel slight movements standing or on the ground. I've had partners comment that they thought about attempting a submisson and I was already starting a defense.
Sounds like musubi, actually.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I attribute this to isolation drills and sparing. With isolation drills. I am working on how my movements and goals intersect with my partners movements and goals. Perhaps my goal is to simply escape side control. And my partner's goal is to submit me or take the mount. We have no pattern, no uke or nage, what we have are goals, motion, timing, and technique. ...
Cannot argue.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I simply can not drill a kata and translate it to fighting without sparing full contact.
I had the advantage of two six-month deployments and a lot of careful thought-through free form shadow boxing through a standard technique curriculum. I ended up shifting my persective from uke to nage and back again just to move correctly. At the time I just wanted to pracice and had no training partner, so I had to imagine him. I realize now this was a unique gift; it made me internalize uke as I was performing as nage.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
So to bring it back on topic. How does all this relate to ground fighting? Well quite simply, I believe to gain some creditable skill you need creditable attacks.
I do not diminish the fact that musubi exists on the ground, as you seem now to describe your training does indeed accomplish in that sphere. What the training regimen you describe seems to lack is the expansion of space and interval that is so integral to aikido. Working so close, so intensively changes focus to a more contracted sphere of conflict.

I enjoy working through ground elements of my techniques, in both osae reversals, sweep opportunities and ukemi kaeshi waza. For me however, the goal is not dominance on the ground or from the ground. Ground -- like any other space -- is not a point to occupy and defend, but merely another space to move through on the way to somewhere else. Ukemi is strategy -- and preemptive ukemi will avoid most (not all) attempts to go to ground.

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Sometimes the principles involved simply do not work at half speed. I belive the same is true for striking as well. A slow punch is nothing like a real punch. Its just impossible to represent the motion and energy in a manner that is close to a real punch.
It is true, they do not, that is why training for other speeds at half speed or slower requires more attention and guidance to form and maai, because the innate rhythm at that speed is not the innate rhythm at other speeds.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-11-2006 at 10:42 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:41 PM   #247
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
The prime question is: is it impossible for ANYONE to get you on the ground in the mount position?

In my experience, there are very few people who can claim that NO ONE can ever get them on the ground.
And I am not one of them. I just do not choose to be so if at all possible, and to depart as soon as procurable.
Quote:
David Orange wrote:
And I said that, if you have thought a lot about these things, enough to have worked up these imaginary responses, why be satisfied with THINKING that you have something that will work? Why not test it? That's all that ground work really is: testing to see if certain techniques will work.
I work on ground pins, kaeshiwaza and transitions all the time. I just focus on techniques with a more extended space of action, which allows uke more (apparent) degrees of freedom, which gives greater room to turn him back on himself. The extension of such aiki techniques allows me greater range of responses in the event of reversal or intervention.
Quote:
David Orange wrote:
I understand that even Saotome Sensei now does (and perhaps teaches) some sutemi waza, with which you throw the attacker by falling to the ground. I have not seen them, but in Mochizuki Sensei's sutemi, nage frequently ends the technique on top of uke, in pinning or choking position. But if Saotome Sensei is teaching or demonstrating throwing by falling down, it seems that some ne waza (ground fighting) follow up is not only a natural extension, but a vital technical follow up.
Ukemi kaeshi waza are very much part of what I have learned, having started in and after much wandering about, returned to Saotome's lineage. Osae in aikido are intended for a different purpose than in the proper grappling arts. Most are intended to do three things -- 1) hold the opponenet with minimal energy expenditure on my part, (ideally bracing his own strength against itself) and 2) remain perilosuly close to a joint-disabling torque in an axis the joint at issue is not structured to resist. 3) enable me to abandon my connection in the pin at a moment's notice to deal with another threat.
Quote:
David Orange wrote:
There has been a lot of discussion here about what percentage of fights go to the ground. And I say with Kevin Leavitt that the percentage does not matter if you find yourself in a fight that does go to the ground--especially when it involves YOU on your back and the attacker sitting on your chest pounding you on the head.
I have learned a few effective releases from mount shown by George Ledyard. I don't pretend to have any great body of knowledge in that area, but I have described what I have seen and done, and my inferences from both. My point is that aiki and its use and relationship to the ground is different from typical grappling are different things, not necessarily better or worse and not exclusive, but quite different.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:34 AM   #248
David Orange
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Re: Aikido on the ground, questions.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
And I am not one of them. I just do not choose to be so if at all possible, and to depart as soon as procurable.
Cannot argue with that and I think any sane person would be the same. I was just replying to an original statement along the lines of "I just wouldn't let him get me on the ground."

Aikido is purely aikido and, like I said earlier, it has its limitations. I don't criticize it for having limitations just as I don't criticize a katana for not being a good can opener, or having one attached.

Still, if we have seen a limitation in our art and have thought about it, the most important thing is to make our thoughts realistic and not mere fantasy. Having read several of your posts, I don't think you rely on fantasy, but some, apparently, do.

Best wishes,

David

Last edited by David Orange : 08-12-2006 at 11:41 AM.

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