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Old 12-04-2006, 02:51 PM   #201
CNYMike
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
Forget the name dropping. It just makes a clearer picture to frame a conversation. The idea was to look at a different way to not receive and to attack and what that does to make the body postionally safer both in attack and in defense.
Its not challenging except to consider that -there- the same type of ukemi is not used. The type of techniques used there are the same we train and the approach to ukemi is totally different than in Aikido so its a worthwhile look. And no, I don't fight professionally either.
The points were about how that .......type......of resistence would change the ukemi. Its a very simple question. It has a more complex answer as to how it changes the reactions of an attacking body though.
Its not a challenge position. Its an exploritory one. Do you suppose Systema takes that type of ukemi either? Or that is needed as much?
These are worthwhile, non challenging questions to approach.
How do -you- suppose full resistence and an MMA format would change both the type of ukemi and the need for it? And of the value in gradually upping the resistence as an ...adjunct... to training?
And to even make it fun to do so. Thousands of guys train safely in it every week.
Dan
It's all worth a look -- that's my point, the JMA Ukemi waza and the MMA methodology both. I am not, and have not, been arguing one over the other; I am saying both are good.

You're right, thousands of people -- many of whom don't want to compete, just train for fitness or self defense -- do MMA every day wihout getting hurt. That' true. But thousands of people do Aikido every day wihtout getting hurt. Who's right or wrong? I think it's all good; if somene has both methods under their belts, they'll learn whe there's a time and place for one or the other.

Of course, there's another issue of whether one can change Aikido radically and still call it Aikido; I don't think so, because one is breaking one's obligation to pass down the system. You have to be careful with that sort of thing. But doing Aikido and cross-training in MMA, hey, go for it!
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:53 PM   #202
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

It's all good if you understand the CONTEXT that it operates in. If you confuse the aikido context for a MMA match...you are going to be hurting, or looking silly.

As to whether the changes take what you do away from aikido...I don't know for sure, but I think if you take aikido back to what it used to be, that's a good thing...

Best,
Ron

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Old 12-04-2006, 02:55 PM   #203
CNYMike
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
Actually, what Dan said, was to only fall "when someone takes your center." That's an entirely reasonable criteria and should be a given in Aikido practice. The problem as I see it is that so few people understand how to do that or what it actually feels like that they have no reference point ....
Sounds to me more like an sensitivity issue since uke and nage both have to be aware of nage having uke's center. If they're not there, they're not there yet. <shrug>
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:57 PM   #204
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Michael Gallagher wrote:
Except that the idea that JMA training methods are ineffective has a very big hole in it: People had trained that way for hundreds of years, and if the methods hadn't worked, people would have got killed. Ever see a kenjutusu class? All they do is two-man kata. That's the way they were training back in the day when people wore swords on their hips and fought duels. If it didn't work, people would have died. Period.
ERRRR, sorry. Kenjutsu contain(s/ed) a lot more than simply two man kata. The exercises that led to the freestyle training of modern kendo have very old roots in several ryu-ha. Ono-ha Itto ryu's freestyle paired practice proved so popular that its offspring (modern kendo) went on to eclipse the parent art. Even beyond that, paired kata can be extremely vibrant and dangerous training grounds. Ellis, Dave Lowry and others have written some excellent articles about the dynamics of correctly practiced kata and the practice of fluidly transitioning from one kata to the next in a dynamic un-rehearsed fasion. The very static kata based teaching systems were formalized during periods of peace, when teachers needed to make a living.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:58 PM   #205
CNYMike
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
It's all good if you understand the CONTEXT that it operates in. If you confuse the aikido context for a MMA match...you are going to be hurting, or looking silly.
Agreed -- as I said, there's a time and place, ie, context.

Quote:
As to whether the changes take what you do away from aikido...I don't know for sure, but I think if you take aikido back to what it used to be, that's a good thing...
If anybody really knows what that was. People can say anything and get away with it in the MMA world because it is difficult/impossible to double-check some of it.
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:59 PM   #206
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
So by admission, your art does not train you to deal with one on one unarmed combat?
My art doesn't even teach me how to keep my shoe laces tied.

And yet, I persevere.

I think I could handle the mackerel though - I like sushi.

Rob
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:00 PM   #207
CNYMike
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
ERRRR, sorry. Kenjutsu contain(s/ed) a lot more than simply two man kata. The exercises that led to the freestyle training of modern kendo have very old roots in several ryu-ha. Ono-ha Itto ryu's freestyle paired practice proved so popular that its offspring (modern kendo) went on to eclipse the parent art. Even beyond that, paired kata can be extremely vibrant and dangerous training grounds. Ellis, Dave Lowry and others have written some excellent articles about the dynamics of correctly practiced kata and the practice of fluidly transitioning from one kata to the next in a dynamic un-rehearsed fasion. The very static kata based teaching systems were formalized during periods of peace, when teachers needed to make a living.
Ok.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:06 PM   #208
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Robert Rumpf wrote:
My art doesn't even teach me how to keep my shoe laces tied.
That would explain why everyone trains barefoot.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:10 PM   #209
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote:
That would explain why everyone trains barefoot.
Perhaps that's where I get my shihan in putting my foot in my mouth from.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:12 PM   #210
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

My art taught me how to tape my hands and feet. It comes in handy in the winter.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:14 PM   #211
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
My art taught me how to tape my hands and feet. It comes in handy in the winter.
We have heated floors.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:22 PM   #212
Robert Rumpf
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
Kuroda Testsuzan writes about jujutsu being responses to weapons, and that this explains the responses, techniques and the ukemi. The same skills are used in other arts when facing somes one without a weapon, and he says there's nothing wrong with applying them in a non-weapon scenario: but then the movements are no longer jujutsu (or iaido or other sword-related arts). Thus, no, one does not have to fall when threatened by an atemi, but the nature of the responses and techniques that one is carrying out is traditionally determined by the presence of a sword - if that idea is removed then although there is all manner of practical usefulness, the responses are no longer jujutsu, or aikido for that matter. This is the same teaching Abe Seiseki gives, and other top teachers I have met (sorry, no names apart from my current aikido teacher). So boxing, judo, MMA are all good for testing certain basic skill sets, but one's response is not correct in an aikido/jujutsu sense if one does not respond in the manner compliant with a sword, even if the basci skills used in the response are the same.
One other thing: I think I've been pretty clear in terms of advocating taking ukemi - but that does NOT mean that you have to fall in response to someone gesturing towards your face (unless you want to train your reflexes). If I said such a thing than it was poor wording on my part.

The reaction could be as simple as a sideways or backwards movement, or a movement underneath, but a reaction must me made (in my opinion) that respects the intent of the attack (and removes one from the threatened region of the attack) and that is what I've been taught is ukemi.

The fact that this can and sometimes does result in a fall doesn't mean that it always needs to or should.

Learning principle is great, and to the extent that it allows people to step outside themselves - great. However, I'm not sure that competition helps with that intrinsically more than non-competitive practice. I would expect that competition would help you to polish the techniques used to win in the competition.

However, that's another thread, and one in which I am not really that interested in.

Rob

Last edited by Robert Rumpf : 12-04-2006 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 12-04-2006, 03:26 PM   #213
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Putting some thoughts together.

So, looking back on my posts, I find that I'm being a bit too contrarian without offering much. I'll offer some context that I believe some of the MMA'ers are trying to get at and that is being misunderstood by some of the aikidoka. I've alluded to some of it already, but not in very clear terms.

When people write things like, "I never take ukemi, I am thrown.", "Don't fall down unless someone has your center," or "Hold on until the bitter end..." I don't believe any of them are talking about going to ground work with every throw that is ever attempted. They/we are talking about an understanding in how 'true' a throw feels, that is very hard to find if you've never really tried not to be thrown. In aikido, there's really kind of one training methodology (if you ignore Tomiki style anyway). To my mind, it's all done in a grey area between kata and oyowaza. Some schools are more like kata (say the Yoshinkan) while others tend to be more like oyowaza (ASU for example, and yes I'm painting fleas with wide brush). In judo (and many other jujutsu) you have different kinds of training that help to educate you from different angles. The level of resistance that a judoka gives during uchikomi is different than they would if they were really working on the same throw and still again different from how it would be in randori. However, they all exist to teach the same stuff. Even in something like uchikomi, there is room for partners to give physical feedback about if nage is setting up correctly. This understanding of what is right is enhanced by actually practicing the throw with some static resistance. What static resistance is fair and reasonable is educated by freestyle randori where you learn what kinds of resistance lead that that kind of throw and (possibly most importantly) just how extremely difficult it is to really throw someone cleanly. I know even when I'm feeling pretty good and throwing pretty consistently doing kata style judo, when I move to randori with the same person it just gets really difficult to get anything off at all. But even in classtime randori, when someone gets you and you feel that honesty about the encounter, you go. You don't struggle to the point on injury with every technique you ever do. But you do start to learn what it really feels like when someone truly gets you and you're going down before you have time to react. That awareness filters down into every aspect of your training. Then when someone says, "I don't fall, I'm thrown." you nod your head and say, "Yeah, I really know what that means." in a way that you didn't before.

Chris Moses
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Old 12-04-2006, 04:21 PM   #214
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Re: Putting some thoughts together.

You view things the same way I do. I should add that, if you are good at ukemi, when they finally 'get you' as in Judo, it comes as no big surprise - indeed, it is that surprise that often causes injury. Simply, as you are being thrown you just blend in and accept it, while, of course - if Judo - work to make as BAD an 'ukemi' as possible (on the surface - the way it looks) so that they don't get ippon, or, craft it into a counter, or, work to protect youself against groundwork before you even hit the floor. It's all ukemi - being on the ball, so to speak.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
When people write things like, "I never take ukemi, I am thrown.", "Don't fall down unless someone has your center," or "Hold on until the bitter end..." I don't believe any of them are talking about going to ground work with every throw that is ever attempted. They/we are talking about an understanding in how 'true' a throw feels, that is very hard to find if you've never really tried not to be thrown. In aikido, there's really kind of one training methodology (if you ignore Tomiki style anyway). To my mind, it's all done in a grey area between kata and oyowaza. Some schools are more like kata (say the Yoshinkan) while others tend to be more like oyowaza (ASU for example, and yes I'm painting fleas with wide brush). In judo (and many other jujutsu) you have different kinds of training that help to educate you from different angles. The level of resistance that a judoka gives during uchikomi is different than they would if they were really working on the same throw and still again different from how it would be in randori. However, they all exist to teach the same stuff. Even in something like uchikomi, there is room for partners to give physical feedback about if nage is setting up correctly. This understanding of what is right is enhanced by actually practicing the throw with some static resistance. What static resistance is fair and reasonable is educated by freestyle randori where you learn what kinds of resistance lead that that kind of throw and (possibly most importantly) just how extremely difficult it is to really throw someone cleanly. I know even when I'm feeling pretty good and throwing pretty consistently doing kata style judo, when I move to randori with the same person it just gets really difficult to get anything off at all. But even in classtime randori, when someone gets you and you feel that honesty about the encounter, you go. You don't struggle to the point on injury with every technique you ever do. But you do start to learn what it really feels like when someone truly gets you and you're going down before you have time to react. That awareness filters down into every aspect of your training. Then when someone says, "I don't fall, I'm thrown." you nod your head and say, "Yeah, I really know what that means." in a way that you didn't before.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 12-04-2006 at 04:25 PM.

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Old 12-05-2006, 03:36 AM   #215
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: Putting some thoughts together.

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote:
But you do start to learn what it really feels like when someone truly gets you and you're going down before you have time to react. That awareness filters down into every aspect of your training.
It really spoils training with people who don't really get you, too. Once you get hooked on that feeling, it's sooo dissapointing to "take ukemi"...

kvaak
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:30 AM   #216
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Thank you for the series of replies from those who get various things I was discussing. Particularly the later posts.
I had no intention of starting a new thread on it. But since Jun did so- I felt responsible to follow it a bit.

I'll remind those who question the intent that I have three Aikidoka coming tonight and two more who now train with me regularly. And they take it back to -their-Aikido.
And to those with unkind thoughts who questioned and were rude in other threads...no money exchanges hands. I don't charge a penny.

Let me be the first to say happy holidays to everyone
Cheers
Dan
P.S. Keep doing those solo exercises
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Old 12-05-2006, 06:56 AM   #217
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Hi Dan,

I wasn't trying to be rude - I was trying to trap you into falling over your own words. "Forum as randori".

I can really dig what Christian said about good koshinage and (the joy) of realizing you had better prepare for ukemi because your feet have left the ground. I bring this with me to every aikido class. My teachers leave me be, and I don't throw every time as I'm pretty injured.

BUT, by 'non compliant' Dan do you mean 'live' ???

I'll take this opportunity to level my own trouble with aikido - when you train in technique that people know is coming it's easy for them to stop the technique they know you have to use. Christian brilliantly stated 'how hard it is to throw someone cleanly in koshinage' BUT, and here is that joy part again - if people get a little resistive - they've given you the way to throw them. Try picking up a sack of rice - if the rice begins to shift in the bag you'll tear your back out. If it stays put, you can pick up even a fifty pound bag.

When uke braces against say ikyo - he has nicely given him or herself to me as a lever. I need merely to match my body, or my throw to their 'gift'. I trust this is clear as mud.

Love you guys, and Dan - fall into one of my traps please - it's the holidays!

david
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:48 AM   #218
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Cady,

Sutemi is bread and butter for me. It hurts to stand sometimes - so I harness uke's energy and fall with them as much as I can get away with in class. What did you think about using the bag of rice analogy to describe internal concepts, and my tacit suggestion that throwing really only works if there is some resistance?

dave
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:49 AM   #219
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Oops, you're quick, Dave. Sorry I yanked that post! (I was going to re-word). I do think the sack-o'-rice concept is too passive, but being utterly relaxed is (seemingly paradoxically) crucial. You make an internal shift to direct tori's balance and weight; it's not random dead weight. You also would be using your arms and legs to wrap and torque tori in preparation for where you want him to land and in what position.

I don't see this as resistance -- but "pro-active harmony."

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 12-05-2006 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:43 AM   #220
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
BUT, by 'non compliant' Dan do you mean 'live' ???
I'm not Dan, but I wouldn't equate those terms. It may be used differently where you train, but in the aikido schools that I have trained, being 'live' as uke generally meant being sprung to take a fall, and being very responsive to nage's movements. This isn't what I'm talking about. It's more that there is no difference initially between uke and nage. Uke and nage are both solid, both hunting for the other's center and both (at least mentally) trying to stay standing. This is different than uke being aware and being encouraged to 'find the line' of the throw. Personally, when I'm taking ukemi I look for the places where I could resist if we were in a freestyle encounter. Those places are where I would be able to start getting kuzushi on nage. When those gaps form, you can (if you know how to feel them) become suddenly very difficult to move, this feedback lets nage know that they have lost you, dropped their connection to your center or allowed you to shift your feet and regain your balance.

Quote:
David Knowlton wrote:
I'll take this opportunity to level my own trouble with aikido - when you train in technique that people know is coming it's easy for them to stop the technique they know you have to use. Christian brilliantly stated 'how hard it is to throw someone cleanly in koshinage' BUT, and here is that joy part again - if people get a little resistive - they've given you the way to throw them. Try picking up a sack of rice - if the rice begins to shift in the bag you'll tear your back out. If it stays put, you can pick up even a fifty pound bag.
I agree and disagree. I too hate when people take advantage of the structure of class to become difficult to throw. Often this is done at the expense of martial validity, and almost always makes it very difficult for their partner to acutally study what was being presented. This is both a symptom of being stuck in that grey area between kata and oyowaza and of the passive agressive mindset that is so pervasive in Western aikido (IMHO). This kind of training would simply not be tolerated in traditional jujutsu or judo for that matter. I stopped by my old aikido dojo this weekend for a special class (they just opened a new space) and one of the nidans there did exactly what you described. We were doing munetsuki kotegaeshi, but for whatever reason he would roll his arm completely over and bend forward at the waist at the end of his strike. He was literally putting himself in the perfect setup for hijiosae, arm straight, elbow pointed straight up and bent forward. This was in response to a gentle touch on the forearm. Occasionally I would just lift my arms and drop him in hijiosae, but it didn't matter, he just kept doing it. If I was still a teacher there, I would have either pulled him off the mat or injured him right then and there (let's just say it's not a new trick or one I hadn't talked to him about before). That kind of crap just isn't tolerated in most other circles of MA. Where I train now, you would be asked to leave. In some schools, that kind of thing would get sorted out in randori (judo def. not aikido def.).

Now for the disagree part. Being a little resistive does not make you easier to throw if you know what you're doing. This is one of the myths that continues to live in aikido because of the lack of any kind of freestyle training (again, IMHO). If you know how to resist (and you learn that by learing how to attack) you can become very hard to throw and do so in a martially valid, non-passive way. It exists, it's out there, it's not really that hard. That's one thing I really like about the push-out exercise that I've been doing since visiting the Aunkai. It shows you very quickly that these skills are there and that it's very possible to build them. (there's a lot more to the exercise, but that's how I find it most relates to this particular topic).

Chris Moses
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:51 AM   #221
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

I think we are all being pretty eager to disagree with each other. Thanks for clarifying what you feel is meant by 'non compliant'.

I think this debate will go on. I was told by a Sandan I respect very much that we can 'go farther' meaning engage in more risky training in aikido Because we cooperate. Learning how to cooperate in that way must be tough.

dave
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:57 AM   #222
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
[snip]
Lets get off this "cutting trees" stuff. It really isn't a strong point. I shouldn't have brought it up. Its more swordsmith stuff for me.

The martial art internal aspects are my own interests. So is spear work, that is a related but a separate topic. Still its tough to get folk to offer anything interesting.
Why did Ueshiba and Takeda do so much spear work?
Why did takeda and Kodo do jo work?

For technique?
Or for power?

Dan
hi Dan,

I wasn't trying to side-track the discussion, just making the point that the cutting-silk scenario seems more dependent on the quality of the swordblade's edge than it does on the internal body skill of the wielder. But I don't have much experience with the sword, in particular Japanese sword work. I'd be interested in hearing about differences and commonalities in the use of sword and spear to train internal body skill.

What aspects of internal martial arts are trained by sword work? What aspects are trained by spear or staff work?

I train with staff ("gun" in Mandarin, similar to the Japanese "bo") and with the long pole. I understand, in a very general way, the relation of that training with dantien (tanden) coordination, breathing and whole-body power. I can also see how the same training informs technique.

I don't train with sword. At the risk of stating the obvious, from what I've seen of aiki-ken and the kenjutsu of other schools, the movement and usage seem very different from spear and staff (including jo).

The "natural" movement (or movement learned and embodied so well it becomes natural) of sword and spear/staff seem very different. Does emphasizing sword over jo suburi, for example, make a difference in empty-hand technique? Does a particular emphasis affect how internal body connection is cultivated and trained?

Ellis Amdur's historical inquiry into the course of Ueshiba Morihei's personal development in weapons work is interesting. I wonder how people training today with both sword and spear/staff find the weapons training with respect to its usefulness in building internal body skill.
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Old 12-05-2006, 04:11 PM   #223
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Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote:
..... Still can't get folks to talk about any thing else but falling down. Training to fall makes the fear of falling deeply ingrained
How do you figure? My experience was just the opposite. Before I started Kali in 1997, I definitely was afraid of falling. Being thrown, and in turn, learning breakfalls helped me through that. Aikido is more of the same.

Furthermore, it's worth noting that some non-Aikido people have noted Aikido for ukemi waza that is safe for training, in particular the orward roll -- by going diagonally over the back, Aikido's forward Ukemi protects the head, as a opposed to a tumble which, while appropriate in some situations, carries with it the risk of you landing on your neck.

Quote:
Ok... NOW you have the rest of your life to think of some better ways to -not fall down- in the first place .....
Like when O Sensei was "immovable"? Covered.

Quote:
"What are you saying. What happens if I fall? Do you mean you don't trian to fall? I was thankful for ukemi I fell off a sidewalk once in the rain.....
I still remember the time my dad, who for whateve reason had gone out to walk the dog on icey condiitons with just loafers on, slipped on the ice and hit his head. Our dog came running back in; I can see Dad lying there in our driveway as clearly as I can see the computer screen in front of me as I type this. I don't know how long he lay there, only that it was for some time.

So when someone says ukemi waza saved their lives, I can understand that. If you want to poo-poo it and continue to rant about how people shouldn't train that way, by all means, do so. But head injuries are nothing to sneeze at -- potentially fatal, in fact -- so having a skill that can protect you from them is not a bad thing.
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Old 12-06-2006, 11:45 AM   #224
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 916
United Kingdom
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
The "natural" movement (or movement learned and embodied so well it becomes natural) of sword and spear/staff seem very different. Does emphasizing sword over jo suburi, for example, make a difference in empty-hand technique? Does a particular emphasis affect how internal body connection is cultivated and trained?

Ellis Amdur's historical inquiry into the course of Ueshiba Morihei's personal development in weapons work is interesting. I wonder how people training today with both sword and spear/staff find the weapons training with respect to its usefulness in building internal body skill.
My low-level insights lead me to believe that practising the sword improves more linear movement, cutting action in ikkyo etc. Jo seems to be more about larger, circular movements (irimi-tenkan) and kokyu power, so perhaps it helps cultivate more 'internal' skills?. I prefer the sword, but im learning to enjoy the jo these days (I used to have an intense dislike for it). Both of them help with movement and timing at the least.

Some people have said I practise very 'directly'/ in a linear fashion, others say that I like tenkan and big projections, both come from weapons work practise I spose, it's all about the blending/condensing of the two to create a decent whole, imo.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #225
Michael Neal
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 601
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Re: Non-Compliant Ukemi

Quote:
For example, a judo guy does not simply grab you, he sucks you in, there is a constant pushing and pulling. A man on the street does not just hold your hand and look at you. He has a purpose for his grab. Maybe he is going to hit you with the other hand, maybe he is trying to clinch, etc.
Yes, i don't find it very impressive that somebody could shut down a technique by just being a stiff zombie. In Judo you get penalized for that in competition because it is just stupid. In a self defense situation if someone just stood in front of me and resisted my throw I would kick them in the nuts or deck them because they would be an easy target, I wouldn't even have to use Judo.
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