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Old 02-19-2007, 10:59 AM   #126
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Seems to me like there is a Rashomon type thing going on here. Mike looking at it from an internal skills viewpoint, Dan from a DR viewpoint and Ellis from a... well an Amdur viewpoint.... I think that perhaps a clearer and more thought out definition of what 'it' (in reference to such statrements as Ueshiba had 'it', Takeda had 'it' etc) is would help. I know everyone agrees that they are some sort of internal skill ki/kokyu etc.. but I look at the lists of people thrown around and see very different manifestations of 'it'. For example I was rather bemused to see Dan including Shioda in the list, a man so stiff I am often amazed he didn't break his own bones while executing techniques (though that probably says more about me than him). I also note that a man (Tohei Sensei) who focused his aikido on internal skills is left off of the list often.

My own personal opinion is that there is much of aikido today that is bad and plenty that is good, I don't see the dire prognosis offered by regular contributors to this thread (if they haven't done it in this thread I've read it elsewhere on the internet). It occurs to me though that the two most influential aikidoka at the beginning of aikido here in the UK were Abbe Kenshiro Sensei (primarily a judoka and a highly skilled one at that) and Chiba Sensei, I suspect that the flavour of many of the oldest and most respected aikido taught here in the uk is far less 'fluffy' for want of a better word than I've seen elsewhere. Perhaps this colours my judgement on the subject of what aikido may or may not be 'missing'.

Regards

Mike

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Old 02-19-2007, 06:27 PM   #127
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Mike
Essentiallly Elllis and I agree. We're only talkng some very small points. Mike never agrees me on anything but I think even he and I agree on the major points on this one.Again just talking and questioning some small points. And none of us has an iron in the fire so the outcome is fair game.

If we were talking -only-internal skills then Tohei should be included. However we were talking origination of Ueshiba's internal skills (which are all DR) VS his possible refinement. For that reason we were restricting comparisons to known DR men of the time. I brought in Shioda since he left Ueshiba to go to Kodo to learn things. So it was a DR related thread of internal skills.
THe comedy is it was a lot of words over some very small points we all sort of agree on anyway, with questions that really cannot be full addressed.
Make more sense?
Cheers
Dan
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:33 PM   #128
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Mike never agrees me on anything
Look back 2 messages.
Quote:
However we were talking origination of Ueshiba's internal skills (which are all DR) .....we all sort of agree on anyway, with questions that really cannot be full addressed.
Make more sense?
Actually... none of that made sense to me, Dan, but I don't want to disagree, so I agree heartily, I think.

Mike
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:38 PM   #129
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Mike looking at it from an internal skills viewpoint,
Actually, while the common denominator in Asian martial arts.... pretty much all of them... is "internal skills", my actual perspective has more to do with the fact that, very surprisingly, these internal skills are in all Asian arts and that Aikido is not some stand-alone unique art. It is, in fact, quite easy to view Aikido as just another permutation of martial arts techniques and strategies that are built around the ancient Asian Yin-Yang cosmology. That's more my perspective. The question about whether Aikido actually has these skills, as some Aikidoists are wont to ask, is a non-starter.

Mike
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:49 PM   #130
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I brought in Shioda since he left Ueshiba to go to Kodo to learn things.
Dan
This has been mentioned several times in this thread. I would appreciate any links to articles that deal with this story. I tried to do a search and found nothing.

Thanks,
Edward
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:26 AM   #131
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Make more sense?
Cheers
Dan
Yup makes more sense. BUT I wouldn't say that Tohei went outside to get his internal skills is a completely accurate statement. For example he mentions the Tempukai students as actively tensing their lower abdomen which he found ineffective, presumably after observing Ueshiba amongst other things. My suspicion would be that the teaching methodology of shin shin toitsu do is what he got from outside but a lot of his ability probably came from watching his (aikido) teacher too.

Like I said muddy waters. Anyone who knows more care to comment on the orgin of the 'ki-tests' and mind and body coordination exercises. A number of them (funakogi undo springs to mind) seem to be as likely sourced from Ueshiba as elsewhere just with a teaching methodology heavily influenced by the Tempukai.

It would be an interesting idea would it not to track down Tempukai students who were contemporary to Tohei and compare the things they do with the things Tohei teaches and getting a picture of how much of a mix shin shin toitsu and aikido ended up in the Ki Society.

Likewise for Shioda and his time with Kodo.

Regards

Mike

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Old 02-21-2007, 10:35 AM   #132
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

As a small addition to my last post think I should add that I don't think that ki-skills = aiki-skills. Based upon the Tohei style of ki development anyway.

Mike

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Old 02-21-2007, 11:30 AM   #133
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
This has been mentioned several times in this thread. I would appreciate any links to articles that deal with this story. I tried to do a search and found nothing.

Thanks,
Edward
Try http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/...pic.php?t=4458

Best,

Chris

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Old 02-21-2007, 11:50 AM   #134
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Thanks Chris, but the link doesn't seem to work. It's giving an error message at the specified website.

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:41 PM   #135
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Edward Karaa wrote: View Post
Thanks Chris, but the link doesn't seem to work. It's giving an error message at the specified website.
Worked a little while ago - looks to be an error at Aikido News (rather than the link itself). Anyway, Shioda definitely spent some time with Kodo Horikawa, but exactly what occurred is not 100% clear. Stan Pranin doesn't seem to think that Shioda really spent much time (if any) as a student of Kodo Horikawa. I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that Shioda "left Ueshiba for Kodo", but that's just me.

Best,

Chris

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #136
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

The link works for me (first page anyway), maybe you need an id on aikido journal website...

Best,
Ron

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Old 02-21-2007, 01:09 PM   #137
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
The link works for me (first page anyway), maybe you need an id on aikido journal website...

Best,
Ron
Ah! Works after I logged back in...

Thanks,

Chris

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Old 02-21-2007, 01:13 PM   #138
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

I have a copy of Aikido Shugyo by Shioda, and the entire book either revolves about the author's own experiences or those of Osensei, whom he very evidently mentions with utmost respect and awe, and one gets the impression from this reading that Shioda really considers Osensei as "his teacher". I'm not sure if Kodo is mentioned somewhere in the book though.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:09 PM   #139
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

My impression of all of that aspect is that the Daito ryu connection (as far as Kodo) was something kind of informal. For all I know, Stan is absolutely correct in his assessment...perhaps Shioda Sensei got what he got completely from Ueshiba, and he needed really nothing much else. I have heard Innoue Sensei mention that Shioda kept changing the whole time he knew him...and at a certain age...bam. Everything kind of changed....

This is just the best I can remember from a translated conversation...

Best,
Ron

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Old 02-22-2007, 04:58 AM   #140
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

With regards to the roles of uke and nage. Any chance you could answer a question for me Ellis (or anyone else, but it was prompted by Ellis' original post)?

Last night at Kendo an interesting thing occurred to me. In Kendo kata the roles of uchidachi (teacher/attacker) and shidachi (student/winner) are the same as commonly found in koryu. The teacher atacks first and loses. Ellis postulates that these roles are reversed in aikido with the teacher as nage (i.e. shidachi) who always wins.

So here's my question. Are there any situations in koryu where the roles of uke and nage or uchidachi and shidachi are reversed also?

I ask because last night at kendo one of the newer guys was wearing the club bogu, and apart from trying to hammer me into the floor with his shinai, durign jigeiko (sparring in case anyone is unfamiliar with the term) he was constantly holding back from attacking me. I offered him an opening for my wrist several times which he never took, once even going so far as to intentionally hit my shinai when my wrist was open to attack. At this point one of my sempai came over and told him (paraphrasing): "He's your sempai. You should attack him as much as you can without holding back". The unsaid idea being that he has to attack any offerings such as men or kote that I give so I can help him to improve his technique.

Now I'm a mudan in kendo and will be grading for ikkyu in a few weeks so I'm not particularly good and you should take what I say about kendo with a pinch of salt perhaps. But I'm mindful that the shinai and bogu were invented long before modern kendo was. So I suspect that certain aspects of modern kendo jigeiko are probably older too.

What really messed my head up was this. In kendo kata if I had had the same partner I would presumably as his sempai have taken the role of uchidachi and I would have lost (in the kata scenario). In jigeiko he was expected to attack me more and again I was losing because he was striking things I offered him, in much the same way as described elsewhere (uchidachi places himself in more dangerous situations to help shidachi learn). BUT was I or was I not the one who was taking ukemi at kendo last night, surely I was 'receiving the technique'? Surely I was being attacked and yet I was receiving the technique?

I think perhaps that the role of uke and nage depends on what 'the technique' is. In the case of kendo attacking was the technique. In aikido it would be defending. I'm not so sure that the uchidachi/teacher role is always so clear cut, surely sometimes being the 'winner'/nage is a teacher role too. Does this simply depend on the type of practice? Perhaps freestyle/randori/jigeiko vs kata? Is it a product of the more recent method of teaching budo with a single teacher in front of a large class? Does any of this make sense or do I need to have more coffee this morning before I can think straight?

Any thoughts?

Mike

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Old 02-22-2007, 06:58 AM   #141
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I think you need to separate and define the arts and goals and what became of the Teacher as Uke in these Japanese Aiki arts.

In some weapons based Koryu there are clearly defined Kata that are single to marginally multiple-step attack and defense. As such their roles are easily defined. The idea is that senior man is in the receiving role to better challenge the veracity of the students understanding.

There was a break from this in the modern era. A break that is not spoken of enough in my opinion. That is Kano's judo.
Kano understood clearly the need for Kata with its teacher student model and the need for a testing ground in "real" fully resistant movement. His ideas were a defined break from the old model of Kata only. His was to first learn through rote repetition, then to "really understand" through testing in equal footing freestyle..This equality and full resistance was a means to test relaxation under duress, as well as smooth execution of connection and awareness. Even if you take other ancient arts like grappling- the roles were equal. It was always true that due to shear skill the more senior man was self-evident. But there, attacks and defense were an are a continual interplay with feints, and traps and continual fluid interplay even much discusion of mass and relaxed moviement. It is also a far more difficult venue to play in against experienced men. Your "art" means little to nothing Your "understanding" will quickly speak for itself.

So we had a long history of the Japanese model of Kata training. And their "freestlye" was war. Where the lessons were far more harsh and severe. Then a newer model (based on an ancient premise) to allow a safer means to test kata. It was the gradual morphing or the interplay of Uke/Nage in randori and the lessoning of weapon awareness/knowledge that allowed for a somewhat unique and weird art form:

The Aiki arts
The idea that these arts can pull off their moves and weak pins against fully resistant foes has been morphed by the reversal of Uke/ Nage. The Uke as the attacker has allowed for an ever increasing weakening of these so called attacks with nary a thought to feints, counters, and resistance of actual applied technique. The perception of these "aiki" arts as being silly by most rough and tumble men is well known. The reason why they are seen as silly is not so clear-nor in my opinion are they entirely justified. The failure was not in Takeda, nor Ueshiba's abilities. The failure was the loss of a good transmission model in these arts. This has led to misunderstanding of technique. Much of what these silly "aiki" arts were meant to convey is missing. The reason they look and are so inane to even a half decent high school wrestler is the simple fact that the men in them fail to convey to their followers that these arts simply don't work well without weapons. They were not meant to. And no I don't mean the dumb idea of “Aikido comes from the sword” crap. I mean that there is clear disconnect to the students of why the art "looks" like it does.

The theory of these arts comes from an idea to remain on your feet and not to grapple on the ground in the first place, and to engage a weapon to kill your opponent. Functionally Daito ryu and Aikido were meant to be kogusoku arts. The pins can't hold anyone because they were not designed to. They were designed to be transient, till a blade was drawn. They are not true submissions and never were. The fact that they are demonstrated in such a cooperative manner left the newer untrained students to look in awe at locked up people and think that was the end of the show. The truth is you cannot hold anyone there for long and you were meant to finish it with other means.
Aiki people are stuck in the middle of applying koryu type armed finishes without the juice. In further perpetrating this ignorance-the aiki arts removed the weapons idea AND never introduced real resistance freestyle. It was a double blow to it own martial credibility. Aikido’s faux-fighting randori never truly made a serous attempt to match the grandeur (and due to thereality- less pretty) of the tried and true methods of real grappling. Many theories; external/ internal, aiki/ Kiai, nuance of overly detailed and highly improbable jujutsu, stupidtsu, moves are blown up by sustained aggression. It is yet another reason good relaxed grapplers laugh in the face of these professional martial art teacher ner do wells.

It is my opinion that these arts are indeed capable of once again producing decent fighters by the switching to the model of teaching Aiki and anti-aiki. Basing everything off of good internal skills, then transitioning to ever increasing proactive resistance. Then teaching serious strikes and kicks, knees and elbows, and all of that...to stay on your feet. Then incorporate ground grappling with the idea of real submissions.
There is only one reason that good internal arts Japanese or Chinese fail to deliver in a martial context-and that is poor transmission. Whether by choice or by ignorance the students loose.
In either case "the fix" begins by the teacher being the Uke.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-22-2007 at 07:05 AM.
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:51 AM   #142
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
It is my opinion that these arts are indeed capable of once again producing decent fighters by the switching to the model of teaching Aiki and anti-aiki. Basing everything off of good internal skills, then transitioning to ever increasing proactive resistance. Then teaching serious strikes and kicks, knees and elbows, and all of that...to stay on your feet. Then incorporate ground grappling with the idea of real submissions.
Not sure I agree with everything that you said but it was interesting nonetheless. I'll send you a PM, but if you can then I'd recommend looking up my teacher if you're ver in the UK.

Mike

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Old 02-22-2007, 08:03 AM   #143
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

HI Mike
If he is doing these things, good on him and you. There is no end of talented guys trying to make their Aikido more capable.

There is a dichotomy of trying to make it more martially viable and more internal. You may succesfully pull off one without having the other. Its great to have both the martial veracity, while maintaining Ueshiba's model.
Dan
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Old 02-22-2007, 08:52 AM   #144
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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HI Mike
If he is doing these things, good on him and you. There is no end of talented guys trying to make their Aikido more capable.

There is a dichotomy of trying to make it more martially viable and more internal. You may succesfully pull off one without having the other. Its great to have both the martial veracity, while maintaining Ueshiba's model.
Dan
Let's just say we're in semi-agreement with regards to some of your previous posts That said I still don't believe aikido generally is doing quite so badly as a number of people like to say it is.

Regards

Mike

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Old 02-22-2007, 12:55 PM   #145
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
For example I was rather bemused to see Dan including Shioda in the list, a man so stiff I am often amazed he didn't break his own bones while executing techniques (though that probably says more about me than him).
Perhaps.

I'm not a Yoshinkan man and don't have a dog in it either way, but I'm curious about where you are getting your assessment of Shioda's "stiff"ness . . . and what you are comparing it to?

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
My own personal opinion is that there is much of aikido today that is bad and plenty that is good, I don't see the dire prognosis offered by regular contributors to this thread (if they haven't done it in this thread I've read it elsewhere on the internet).
So, are you saying it's case by case . . .? What, specifically, is the "dire prognosis" you're referring to that you disagree with?

Quote:
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It occurs to me though that the two most influential aikidoka at the beginning of aikido here in the UK were Abbe Kenshiro Sensei (primarily a judoka and a highly skilled one at that) and Chiba Sensei, I suspect that the flavour of many of the oldest and most respected aikido taught here in the uk is far less 'fluffy' for want of a better word than I've seen elsewhere. Perhaps this colours my judgement on the subject of what aikido may or may not be 'missing'.
So, you think aikido may be more 'fluffy' and 'missing' something in Japan, the USA (or elsewhere, based on your stated opinion that "much of aikido today. . . is bad"), or you just think that the aikido in the UK is that good?

I'm not really agreeing or disagreeing at this point. I'm just curious at what you're trying to say or imply? You seem to sort of be making some assertions, but without saying anything concrete or taking a stand.

I'm very interested in the takes of the folks that are trying to define and promote the "baseline skillset" (plug for another thread) and how it applies to aikido (or, as already has been said, how it applies to ANY martial art) and will be the first to admit that I'm approaching it from the perspective of open eyes/ears-trying-to-learn/soak up as much as I can (a quick thanks to all that have contributed thus far!)

You seem to be implying that you're already doing this in practice and can exhibit these skills, can you share some of what you're doing with us and how you're seeing it manifest in your practice (particularly in solo conditioning and how the skills manifest in waza and randori/free-sparring)?
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #146
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

And perhaps what you find lacking in other places...I am assuming of course that you have FELT the aikido in other places (Japan, US, etc.) and are not simply speaking of video waza.

Best,
Ron

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:42 PM   #147
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Perhaps.

I'm not a Yoshinkan man and don't have a dog in it either way, but I'm curious about where you are getting your assessment of Shioda's "stiff"ness . . . and what you are comparing it to?
Tohei

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So, are you saying it's case by case . . .? What, specifically, is the "dire prognosis" you're referring to that you disagree with?
Discussed ad nauseam in a variety of internet forums

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
So, you think aikido may be more 'fluffy' and 'missing' something in Japan, the USA (or elsewhere, based on your stated opinion that "much of aikido today. . . is bad"), or you just think that the aikido in the UK is that good?
No Aikido in the UK is pretty much the same as elsewhere but the lineage tends to colour impressions of the longest serving practitioners I've either seen or had the good fortune to practice with

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I'm not really agreeing or disagreeing at this point. I'm just curious at what you're trying to say or imply? You seem to sort of be making some assertions, but without saying anything concrete or taking a stand.
Not interested in taking a stand, adopting stances invites aggression Be it in the dojo, in real life or (and perhaps most especially) in internet discussion forums where people tend to be far more aggressive in their arguments than they do face to face

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
You seem to be implying that you're already doing this in practice and can exhibit these skills, can you share some of what you're doing with us and how you're seeing it manifest in your practice (particularly in solo conditioning and how the skills manifest in waza and randori/free-sparring)?
Solo conditioning? Go to the gym IMHO. I'm mostly referring to using Tohei style ki development and seeing how it fares against a fully resisting uke. Usually it does quite well but I'm certainly no expert, simply trying to fathom the depths of this issue without advocating any one approach to aikido. IMO they are all valid and worthwhile, I think that there is only really one aikido, it's just the way we try to achieve that that I'm trying to learn more about.

Sincerely

Mike

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:47 PM   #148
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

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And perhaps what you find lacking in other places...I am assuming of course that you have FELT the aikido in other places (Japan, US, etc.) and are not simply speaking of video waza.

Best,
Ron
I'm talking mostly about film footage yes, which is a valid point of view considering that observation is a large part of the learning process. It is of course nothing like experiencing a technique first hand. But I've been lucky enough to have practiced with some people who have trained in those places, FWIW.

It is also worth mentioning at this point that I was not trying to make it sound as though I am doing something better than others, if it has come across like that then I do apologise. I'm not really trying to do anything except explore some thoughts with people who seem to have a clear point of view on the subject.

Regards

Mike

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Old 02-22-2007, 02:55 PM   #149
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

By the way I've never said that I felt there was something lacking in aikido, if you re-read things perhaps you'll see I've been saying the opposite all this time.

Mike

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:28 PM   #150
Budd
 
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Re: Ueshiba taking Ukemi

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote:
I'm curious about where you are getting your assessment of Shioda's "stiff"ness . . . and what you are comparing it to?
Tohei
Excellent, you've felt him and Shioda then?

Quote:
Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Discussed ad nauseam in a variety of internet forums
Actually, I asked you, specifically, for the 'dire prognosis'. If it's discussed ad nausem, what do you think this prognosis is (I'm not asking if you agree with it, just what's your interpretation of what others are saying)?

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
No Aikido in the UK is pretty much the same as elsewhere but the lineage tends to colour impressions of the longest serving practitioners I've either seen or had the good fortune to practice with
So their lineage and experience are better than what you've seen or felt in the US, Japan, etc.? Still not sure what exactly you're saying here. If it's just that you really like the people you train with, cool, so do I.

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Not interested in taking a stand, adopting stances invites aggression Be it in the dojo, in real life or (and perhaps most especially) in internet discussion forums where people tend to be far more aggressive in their arguments than they do face to face
What I'm trying to figure out is whether you are trying to contribute your own experiences or passing along what you've been told? It may be that adopting aggressive stances may invite aggression . . . but making comments generally will invite attention . . . on internet discussion forums and face to face. Are you trying to imply that I wouldn't say or ask the same thing in person? Just asking, because again, it isn't clear.

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Mike Haft wrote: View Post
Solo conditioning? Go to the gym IMHO. I'm mostly referring to using Tohei style ki development and seeing how it fares against a fully resisting uke. Usually it does quite well but I'm certainly no expert, simply trying to fathom the depths of this issue without advocating any one approach to aikido. IMO they are all valid and worthwhile, I think that there is only really one aikido, it's just the way we try to achieve that that I'm trying to learn more about.
Interesting, so Tohei style ki development is differrent from solo conditioning or the best solo conditioning is to go to the gym (and do what exactly)? What types of fully resisting uke do you work out with (e.g. your students, folks from other schools/sports, etc)? Again, I'm asking because I like to know what people are doing to get at this stuff and you've indicated that what you're doing is in line with what others have been advocating.
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