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Old 06-23-2007, 08:06 PM   #1
skinnymonkey
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Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Hello everyone... The Aikido Podcast has just posted our newest podcast. It features someone very familiar to the Aikiweb community.

We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Sensei George Ledyard and have the podcast audio interview up on our website. http://www.usaikido.com

If you enjoy reading Sensei Ledyard's posts here on Aikiweb (like I do) and you appreciate his insights in his articles, take a few minutes and download this podcast (can be listened to on any application that can play an MP3 or you can listen to it directly from the usaikido website).

We sincerely appreciate the time that we got to speak with Sensei Ledyard and I think it was a very interesting and insightful interview. I certainly got a lot out of it.

Hope you all like it.

Jeff D.
http://www.usaikido.com
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:33 PM   #2
Drew Mailman
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Thank you! I'm very excited to listen to this tonight at work.
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Old 06-25-2007, 07:52 AM   #3
skinnymonkey
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Great! I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to drop me a note and let me know what you think!

Thanks,

Jeff D.
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Old 06-25-2007, 11:40 AM   #4
Drew Mailman
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

As usual, a great podcast. I work nights for the USPS (and yes, that really is my last name), so I have a lot of time battle the demons of boredom by listening to music and podcasts, and having the Aikido podcast around is fantastic.

I do have a few questions for Ledyard Sensei, but rather than send a private message, I'd like to post them here for everyone's benefit in case they had the same questions. I hope no one minds.

Mister Ledyard :

1. Mental Irimi - Did you mean to mentally "imagine" (or project, because "imagine" sounds silly) yourself moving into a technique before doing it, or to sort of "start" a technique before the uke grabs or attacks by shifting your balance and sort of "leading" uke into it, or am I just completely missing the point? :P

2. The Ball - I've never heard of this before. Can you briefly explain this, and if you have time, provide a few examples?

3. The bokken exercise - How does the kamae of the bokken change for the nage? Does it go from gedan, to gedan-hasso, to jodan-hasso, to jodan, then segan? Or is it in the opposite order? Also, when the uke attacks, does the nage block in any specific way, or do they just try to deflect the uke's thrust in any way they can? Is this also something that one can figure out with just a partner, or would it be better if an instructor taught and supervised it?

Thank you very much for your time! I can't wait to listen to part 2!
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:20 PM   #5
Beard of Chuck Norris
 
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

I really like what you guys are doing on that site. A real complimentary resource to the existing materials available online.

Best of luck in keeping up the standard you have set yourself.

Peace and love

Jo
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
skinnymonkey
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Thanks so much! We've been VERY fortunate to have great people to interview and they have been very gracious with their time. I really appreciate the positive feedback. It's been a great learning experience for me and hopefully others can get some good info as well.

Please keep on listening!

Thanks,

Jeff D.
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:36 PM   #7
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Quote:
Drew Mailman wrote: View Post
As usual, a great podcast. I work nights for the USPS (and yes, that really is my last name), so I have a lot of time battle the demons of boredom by listening to music and podcasts, and having the Aikido podcast around is fantastic.

I do have a few questions for Ledyard Sensei, but rather than send a private message, I'd like to post them here for everyone's benefit in case they had the same questions. I hope no one minds.

Mister Ledyard :

1. Mental Irimi - Did you mean to mentally "imagine" (or project, because "imagine" sounds silly) yourself moving into a technique before doing it, or to sort of "start" a technique before the uke grabs or attacks by shifting your balance and sort of "leading" uke into it, or am I just completely missing the point? :P
It has to do with placing your "attention" on the partner / attacker. The "attention" is made up of your normal sensory inputs:

At a distance for most folks Sight is the dominant sense, hearing, possibly smell, but also that "6th Sense" which I will call the "Intuition".

Once the distance closes, Touch becomes dominant for most people. The other senses go way to the background for most folks. However, for someone very advanced, the "Intuition" still plays an important role.

One does not think about technique in advance. One simply enters, which is the physical manifestation of what the "attention" is doing already. When you and the attacker come together, how that takes place will determine what the technique becomes. Thinking about doing a particular technique in advance means that you are not in the present instant but rather in the future i.e. anticipating. Action can only take place in the present instant, not the future or the past.

That doesn't mean that you don't use the action of the present instant to set up "probabilities" for the future. But you can't get attached to them or you get stuck trying to force something that's not there i.e. your mind is in the past.

Quote:
2. The Ball - I've never heard of this before. Can you briefly explain this, and if you have time, provide a few examples?
Most teachers I have encountered will talk about the "ball" or something similar when teaching the Kihon Waza. The "ball is basically spherical and is proportional to your body size. The bottom of the ball is around your "hara" and the top of the ball is about even with your eye brows. Most Kihon Waza go around the ball, one way or another. Ikkyo goes over the top and down the other side. Shihonage goes around the bottom, up the far side and then down again. It's a useful visualization for most folks because it is a familiar shape for them and most beginner / intermediate problems in technique can be looked at from the standpoint that someone tried to push too hard on the ball, or tried to put a flat side on the ball rather than going around the sphere with his movement. Later on in your training, there are better visualizations...

Quote:
3. The bokken exercise - How does the kamae of the bokken change for the nage? Does it go from gedan, to gedan-hasso, to jodan-hasso, to jodan, then segan? Or is it in the opposite order? Also, when the uke attacks, does the nage block in any specific way, or do they just try to deflect the uke's thrust in any way they can? Is this also something that one can figure out with just a partner, or would it be better if an instructor taught and supervised it?
There is a natural flow from one kamae to another. One doesn't usually go from gedan hasso directly to seigan, for instance. One either goes over the top, passing through jodan and then lowering into seigan, or one switches hanmi first, which puts one into front gedan and the raises to seigan.

The response on the part of the person making the kamae shifts is meant to be very simple, and most importantly, safe. Even with shinai, the tip is very dangerous if one gets a thrust in the eye or throat. So the way we do this with the lower ranked folks is to have them simply try to deflect the attacker's thrust but not to move in at all. in this instance you are simply trying to beat the sword, not get to the center which would be the real response.

We have helmets we use that were originally designed for full contact stick fighting. We add gloves of some sort and then use fufuro shinai. This way we can make it a bit more real. When the attacker initiates, I can really enter and even preclude the attack. Or I can respond with other techniques than the simple deflection we originally used... like a cut or an entry into a cut or takeaway.

But it is important not to let the exercise degenerate into sparring. It is designed to teach how to maintain unbroken projection of the attention and to develop the intuition. You want to keep the "noise" factor down.

Hope this helps...
- George

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-25-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
skinnymonkey
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Mailman working for the USPS! The irony of it! Was it the name that led you to the life of a postal worker? Ha! Well, I'm really glad you like the podcast. Like you, I love to listen to different podcasts while I do my work and I was shocked when I couldn't find any good Aikido podcasts. So my instructor Bob King and I decided to start our own!

Thanks for listening!

Jeff D.
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Old 06-25-2007, 01:56 PM   #9
skinnymonkey
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Thanks again for your time Sensei Ledyard!

Jeff D.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:01 PM   #10
Drew Mailman
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Thank you very much for your time and your reply, Mr. Ledyard. Everything is MUCH clearer now.

Quote:
Jeff Davidson wrote: View Post
Mailman working for the USPS! The irony of it! Was it the name that led you to the life of a postal worker? Ha! Well, I'm really glad you like the podcast. Like you, I love to listen to different podcasts while I do my work and I was shocked when I couldn't find any good Aikido podcasts. So my instructor Bob King and I decided to start our own!
Working for the post office is nice. In Wichita, it's probably one of the best paying jobs you can get right out of high school. My older brother plans on staying for a career with the postal service, but I want to do something else. But, the pay is great, which is nice when you're in college and just need to pay for food, gas, cable, electricity, and Aikido.

I *did*, however, have a night at work where I remembered all of the times the other kids in elementary school asked me "your last name is Mailman? Are you going to be a mailman when you grow up?". And then I thought about how funny fate could be...

Sorry about the off-topic reply, just thought I'd explain a little.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:10 AM   #11
charyuop
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

This is a video of Ikeda Sensei talking about what Ledyard Sensei mentioned in his interview about the movement getting smaller and smaller....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INYE8DbeXAQ

Ledyard Sensei, I have a question about this subject. My Sensei, who studied under Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei so you might know him, told me something once. Now, let me put my hands forward (an Italian saying) by saying I am a very beginner and usually beginners tend to accept notion given as absolute truth and that makes so that most of the time most of us tend to reason in 2 dimension. I don't mean we need to doubt what we are told, but we tend to put that piece of notion in a box and treasure it as only truth so that we always miss the surrounding of the box.
Sensei told me that, reasoning with the sphere, the harder the tension Uke puts into his attack the smaller will be the circular movement (or at least that's what I understood). While if the tension is minimal the sphere increase in size and the movement becomes bigger.
My question is: According to what I was told, does that mean that Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei can throw Uke with such a small movement that can't be seen only if Uke creates an incredible strong and resisting attack?

Forgive me if I said a stupid thing....and don't blame my Sensei for my faults hee hee.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:49 PM   #12
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Quote:
Gianluigi Pizzuto wrote: View Post
This is a video of Ikeda Sensei talking about what Ledyard Sensei mentioned in his interview about the movement getting smaller and smaller....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INYE8DbeXAQ

Ledyard Sensei, I have a question about this subject. My Sensei, who studied under Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei so you might know him, told me something once. Now, let me put my hands forward (an Italian saying) by saying I am a very beginner and usually beginners tend to accept notion given as absolute truth and that makes so that most of the time most of us tend to reason in 2 dimension. I don't mean we need to doubt what we are told, but we tend to put that piece of notion in a box and treasure it as only truth so that we always miss the surrounding of the box.
Sensei told me that, reasoning with the sphere, the harder the tension Uke puts into his attack the smaller will be the circular movement (or at least that's what I understood). While if the tension is minimal the sphere increase in size and the movement becomes bigger.
My question is: According to what I was told, does that mean that Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei can throw Uke with such a small movement that can't be seen only if Uke creates an incredible strong and resisting attack?

Forgive me if I said a stupid thing....and don't blame my Sensei for my faults hee hee.
When things get compressed, they store energy. Really small technique has a lot of energy. If you are talking about grabbing attacks, it would be true that running a really small spiral movement would require a committed garb on the part of the attacker. Running that much energy through a weak connection would be like trying to run 20,000 volts through a wire designed for 12 volts.

However, if the contact point does involve the opponent's grab, but rather the nage has his hands on uke, then the strength of attack on the part of uke isn't a concern anymore because nage is creating the physical connection through which the energy runs.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:00 PM   #13
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

Excellent interview. I'll have to see if I can put some of that into practice.
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Old 06-27-2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

This is fascinating. Ledyard Sensei gives an audio interview where he gives all the goods away, including psychological and physical training methods, example exercises, and visualizations, and the thread about his interview has only twelve posts. This is the real deal guys. If you have been on this forum looking for how to implement internal training in your own practice this is a pretty damn good place to start.
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:51 PM   #15
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

I really enjoyed the interview, thankyou LedyardSensei, and thankyou Jeff.
I always enjoy reading (and now hearing) Ledyard Sensei's thoughts, this was a real treat.

Jon

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By words written or spoken.
Without dabbling in idle talk,
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:53 AM   #16
skinnymonkey
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

I'm glad that you all like it so far! There is just as much good stuff in the second half of the interview.

These interviews are exactly the kind of thing that I was scouring the net for and just couldn't find anywhere.

Please keep listening and we'll keep on making them!

Take care,

Jeff D.
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:36 AM   #17
skinnymonkey
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Re: Audio Interview with Sensei George Ledyard...

The second half of the interview is now out on www.usaikido.com.

Hope you all enjoy it!

Jeff D.
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