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Old 10-21-2007, 06:08 AM   #26
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

I think the basic assumptions you make are wrong, or at least, do not encompass the Shihans I have met from my system:

-> On the first visit of a Shihan to our dojo, he taught a variation of Kote-Gaishi which seemed dubious to all the advanced students. Guess what happened?
- We asked him to re-demonstrate, this time with a young and swift Shodan. And found out we were correct, that variation was very problematic for an old sick person against a much younger and swifter one.
Do you think it removed an ounce of the honor we felt towards the Shihan? Obviously not. Particularly not for those of us who knew he was so sick he could hardly walk 100 meters without a rest stop.
Seeing him demonstrate was both inspiring (mind over matter) and most instructive.

-|> While I visited Japan, my brother and I (both Nidans at the time) were taught together in a private lesson by a 6th dan (for free). I will never forget his expressions of joy whenever one of us "tricked" him into a surprise technique or countered him during Randori.

Despite all the above, I do not get the point of countering a teacher while he is demonstrating a technique for the class. After all, you know the technique he demonstrates, he will do it in slow speed so all can see, he will often alter the technique angles to help the class see, he may also alter the technique to stress several deductive points, and his mind will be on teaching and not on you. Given all the above - being unable to reverse the technique is more of a wonder.
My teacher is several grades above me, and yet in the last year or so, I feel I could sometimes counter techniques while he teaches the class. I have no doubt this does not equate to being able to counter when he really practices (not to speak of fighting).

Amir
 
Old 10-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #27
aikidoc
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
He carefully cultivates and selects ukes who perform nice falls for him and make him look good. There's nothing wrong with cooperative training but when people ascribe some great martial prowess to their teachers because their perspective has been limited to this very artificial environment then I think it's worth injecting a dose of reality to the discussions..
My sensei goes around to everyone that time permits and lets them feel the technique. Only recently has he brought and uke with him since most of us cannot take ukemi when he opens up-we are too stiff I guess.

[quote]Then why train martial arts at all? Any time you are training you are imposing rules. Anything else is a real fight. If you need to see someone in a no-rules situation to know if they are any good then how do you know you shihan is any good? Have you ever seen him in such situation? Most people don't have any problem making assessments of people based on situations less than a real fight. For me a teacher that I would want to train with regularly needs to be able to demonstrate a convincing level of skill in something less than a real fight (ie a cooperative or semi-cooperative environment), and since I've met people who could do this easily it's obviously not something that is impossible to do.[quote]
You are very confusing. You complain about cooperative or semi-cooperative being the only way the shihan can make it work but yet you want a teacher that can demonstrate a convincing level of skill under those conditions. By the way, I'm not the one with a problem with rules. I understand the need for them in a training situation so people don't get injured.

[quote]Ahh, interesting. So I cannot impose any conditions yet I am supposed to accept the alleged skill of these shihan in a very limited set of conditions that they impose in their classes and which are much more restricted than what I impose in my own classes. Seems like a double-standard to me..[quote]

Your the one claiming they cannot move you or you can stop them. My contention is make it real then.

[quote]This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion but since you want to press the issue I try to be a cooperative uke and let people do the technique but I'm not going to allow people to abuse that and me with sloppy, tight, overly muscled technique, as many (most?) people in aikido have, especially at the shodan level. So I can either shut them down or reverse them, which usually results in them them getting upset and often trying to turn the interaction into a fight or contest, or I can tell them what they are doing wrong and give them the opportunity to fix it. Yet no matter which choice I make apparently it will upset someone or other.[quote]

See Rachel Massey's comments in other thread on muscling.

Last edited by aikidoc : 10-21-2007 at 09:10 AM.
 
Old 10-21-2007, 09:36 AM   #28
aikidoc
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote: View Post
I think the basic assumptions you make are wrong, or at least, do not encompass the Shihans I have met from my system:

Despite all the above, I do not get the point of countering a teacher while he is demonstrating a technique for the class. After all, you know the technique he demonstrates, he will do it in slow speed so all can see, he will often alter the technique angles to help the class see, he may also alter the technique to stress several deductive points, and his mind will be on teaching and not on you. Given all the above - being unable to reverse the technique is more of a wonder.
My teacher is several grades above me, and yet in the last year or so, I feel I could sometimes counter techniques while he teaches the class. I have no doubt this does not equate to being able to counter when he really practices (not to speak of fighting).

Amir
Good comments.
 
Old 10-21-2007, 10:35 AM   #29
Budd
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

MMA is a new term for something a lot of folks have been doing for a while. It does provide a great training methodology to relatively safely test out some things, but it isn't the end-all be-all. My opinion generally is that anyone that thinks so hasn't been around the block all that much.

The notion that you know what someone's capable of really bringing by practicing compliant drills, or even "resisting" their attempts at compliant drills - is flat out ludicrous. MMA sparring is a nice place to try things out and see how things work under pressure testing, but even MMA professionals don't only train by sparring full contact. I'm reminded of a certain guy that made a bunch of claims about aikido and MMA and then showed up at an Aiki Expo - it didn't go too well.

On the other hand, pointing out some possibly legitimate criticisms of aikido, its organizations and possibly mainstream training methodologies - shouldn't necessarily be discouraged. It just helps if it's balanced with sound logic and credible research. I don't have a dog in this one either way, though . . . so I'm bowing out.

Taikyoku Mind & Body
http://taikyokumindandbody.com
 
Old 10-21-2007, 11:51 AM   #30
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
John Riggs wrote: View Post
You are very confusing. You complain about cooperative or semi-cooperative being the only way the shihan can make it work but yet you want a teacher that can demonstrate a convincing level of skill under those conditions.
Training is training, but that does not mean that all training is the same.
Quote:
See Rachel Massey's comments in other thread on muscling.
I don”Ēt think you have enough understanding to see the obvious differences between what she is describing and the other situation you brought up. Either that or you are choosing to ignore them. I also think you are just grasping at straws here and don”Ēt care to have a substantive discussion anyway. Sadly this is a common pattern on the internet when people can't come up with any more arguments to support their position yet still don't want to let go of it. So keep holding on to what you think you know. If you stay with the aikikai, you might do very well since there are a lot of other people just like you there.
 
Old 10-21-2007, 03:13 PM   #31
Don
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

I saw this thread and was dismayed at Mr. DiPerrio's comments. I haven't seen him at any USAF seminars for a few years now, but contrary to his assertions of such prowess as to shut down high ranking yudansha and even shihan, when I encountered him he was asked to leave several seminars that I attended for mistreating students of lower rank than he and was himself shutdown when he would try to modify technique during training. Whether or not a 25 year-old can "take" a 60 year-old shihan might be debatable. Try it with someone like Donovan Waite and you are liable to have your head handed to you. And why would you want to anyway? If you always want to be on the outside looking in, then go around not making friends. Even if you are philosophically correct in everything you think or think you discover about aikido, and life, if you can't spread it and help anyone else, of what good are your insights? Knowledge not applied or spread is impotent. Or to put it more bluntly, "you will be a legend in your own mind"
 
Old 10-21-2007, 03:22 PM   #32
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

This thread is daft. I train for self defence. I am not training to fight some muscle-bound MMA prizefighting hulk. And guess what, most people that train, MMA included, are not the stupid type that are going to mug you. They are just like us.

If a teacher demos a tech then learn it. If you don't like it then go and do MMA. I have had many doubts about the various arts I have trained, which is why I have tried so many - the reality is that they all have something to offer. But I still come back to Aikido - it has more 'for me' than most other arts.

 
Old 10-21-2007, 04:11 PM   #33
G DiPierro
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Don McConnell wrote: View Post
I saw this thread and was dismayed at Mr. DiPerrio's comments. I haven't seen him at any USAF seminars for a few years now, but contrary to his assertions of such prowess as to shut down high ranking yudansha and even shihan, when I encountered him he was asked to leave several seminars that I attended for mistreating students of lower rank than he and was himself shutdown when he would try to modify technique during training.
This is not correct. I was asked to leave one seminar, but it was not for the reason you gave. I don't recall whether you were there or not but if so I doubt that the people who made that decision would have discussed it with you. And of course you do not know anything of my side of the story. Maybe you heard some rumors from some people about what happened but I would be careful about posting that kind of thing on a publicly archived forum like this, especially when you don't have first-hand knowledge of what transpired. Even if you did I think it would be best not to discuss it publicly. Airing out your own organization's dirty laundry on the internet is not something I would recommend doing.

Quote:
If you always want to be on the outside looking in, then go around not making friends. Even if you are philosophically correct in everything you think or think you discover about aikido, and life, if you can't spread it and help anyone else, of what good are your insights? Knowledge not applied or spread is impotent.
There are other ways to spread knowledge than being part of a specific organization. To me the most important goals are to try to understand martial arts as best as I can and spread that knowledge to whomever wants to have it. I'm not necessarily opposed to any particular organization, and I have not had the same kind of problems that I've had in aikido with the organizations that I have encountered in other disciples, but I'm not willing to comprise those principles just to be part of an organization. If an organization cannot support me in those goals then what good is it? Having friends is nice but if those so-called friends don't accept you for who you are but will only like you if you do every thing the way they want you to then they aren't very good friends after all, they are just using you. I gave the USAF what I think was a more than fair chance and they chose not to support me. That was their choice, so I don't see how you can blame me for not helping that organization or sharing my knowledge with them.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-21-2007 at 04:17 PM.
 
Old 10-21-2007, 07:13 PM   #34
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

That's all good, but not quite the same as seeing it yourself.
 
Old 10-21-2007, 08:00 PM   #35
DonMagee
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

I probably can take my judo sensei in a fight. He's about 70 years old, shakes when he walks, has had both knees replaced, multiple surgery all over his body, and is the result of an long successful judo career. He is one of the most respected sensei in my area. I would not want him to grab a hold of me though. I've been thrown by him and he has perfect technique, even at his age. But I know with my youth, I could easily run circles around him and leg kick him to death.

This does not invalidate anything he teaches. His teaching is the most valuable teaching I get, it comes from life experience in thousands of judo matches. I trust him because he walked the path before I did, and his advice is the advice of experience.

My bjj instructor is a young black belt, in his 30's. He destroys me on the mat. I am no match for him, MMA, bjj, judo rules, etc. His advice is no better then my judo instructors advice. But I trust his judgment on the ground over my judo instructors. Why? Because that is 99% of what he does, he is more experienced there then anyone else I have access to. What would it matter if he took my judo instructor in a fight? It would not prove a single thing.

Now, I say this to point out a stark contrast between those people, and my aikido instructor. He is a great friend of mine, and good mentor in the ideas of budo. A very experienced aikidoka and a very large man. But, he has told me he has never had a sparing match. And rather points to his instructor for verification of the concepts and ideas he teaches. And while I'm 100% sure he would fight me if I challenged him, it would be to either of our benefit and I am no where near the size and strength of him. To lose would only show that am not skillful enough to defeat a larger, stronger, opponent.

Although I respect him, and train under him, I can not put the same stock in his advice that I would in my other teachers. His is the voice of theory, not the voice of experience. This does not invalidate his training, but it does not validate it either. It becomes a matter of faith. NO different then religion.

What takes this matter of faith and validates or invalidates it is what you do with your training. I choose to try to apply what he teaches to my other arts. I have found that while most of what he teaches does indeed work in ideal situations, if I was to use that as my sole focus of hand to hand combat, I would not be prepared after more then 4 years to handle any better then I was before I started. Honestly (and I feel it is important to be honest with yourself) I do not feel that even if I dropped all my other training, dedicated the 6 days a week I train only to him, would I even have the skills after 5 more years to defend myself against a single unarmed attacker any better then I did before I started.

This is not a bash on this teacher, or the effectiveness of the techniques. I really think the problem is two fold. First, the lack of resistant sparing gives me no idea how any of this works, how to adapt or modify the techniques with the ever changing pace of a fight. And this leads to the second problem. Until I walked out onto that mat and had a sparing match, I had no idea what a 'fight' was like. I was 100% unprepared for any of it. And that was not even a real fight. My ideas of what a fight was were shattered, I was defeated, and left scared, shaking, and defeated. And that was only grappling. I kid with less then 3 months training and half my size left me crumpled and helpless. All those TKD katas, all that aikido kata, all that theory, all those books I read, all those visualizations I had, all those videos I watched, made not 1 shred of difference.

That was the day I realized I was unable to learn how to do anything without doing it. I can't learn to swim on the beach, I can't learn to play guitar or dance on my playstation, and I can't learn to fight without fighting.

And even that has levels. I quickly learned that the sparing was not all there was to gaining skill. At first I thought that was all anyone ever needed. I was obsessed with it, I yawned though the drills, and positional resistance sparing, and conditioning. And I did get a lot better a lot faster. I was a better fighter in 3-4 months of bjj then I had been in my entire life. But then I hit a brick wall. I started realizing in stages that there was more to learning to fight then just going "ok, thats a technique, now lets spar and test it!". First, I was a lazy, out of shape, computer nerd. Lesson one to self defense, stop being out of shape and overweight. I learned I needed cardio, because without it, I was only good for a few seconds. Then I realized I needed to learn how to breath, or I was only good for a minute even with great cardio. And who was trying to teach me how to breath? My old aikido instructor! Then I realized I needed to practice perfecting my techniques. At first I tried just resistance drills, no help, then I tried just non-resistance drills, no help, but then I shut up and did what my bjj coach was trying to tell us, I did all 3 types of drills: non resistance, leveled resistance, full resistance. So my aikido instructor was right, you needed that non resistance crap to develop skill. Then, I realized there was much much more to sparing then winning. That trying to win actually hurt my training as I was not fixing the weak spots in my game, but exploiting the strong spots in my game. And this change lead me to the biggest realization of all (and my last realization I've had that was this major to my training).

Sparing is not a fight. Even MMA sparing is not a fight. Training bjj all the time did not prepare me for using it in MMA, training MMA does not prepare me to fight on the street. And while I realized this, the thought came into my mind. I can't think of any training method that does prepare you for the street.

And this is the point of this huge post. To explain this simple realization. MMA can help you with a few things, learning to be driven though pain, learning how to adapt your techniques to different situations, learning how to be aggressive in the face of equally skilled adversity. These are not unique to MMA, but they seem to be unique to combat sports such as judo, bjj, full contact karate, boxing, etc. These skills alone are enough to overcome most people without technique. But technique alone without these skills is functionally worthless. They can't be explained, or drilled, or given to you though a belt. They have to be built from the ground up, by pushing yourself though situations where you have to develop these skills to succeed.

So my point is, no matter how great of technique you or your teachers have, if you and they have not felt what it means to have someone try to hurt you. Learned how to push though the fear, pain, aggression and adrenaline. You are ill prepared for conflict.

And if you think about it, this is what the military is trying to build that desire, good technique is a hopefully side effect. But if that guy can push though and take the initiative, he has a better chance of living. And those of us who are not practice to develop these skills are very much lacking. So for now, these combat sports are the best thing I've got for learning how to fight. Until someone comes up with a way to actually street fight safely.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
 
Old 10-21-2007, 08:12 PM   #36
Nikopol
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
This is getting ridiculous and I am losing interest in this discussion .
No malice intended, but..

ABOUT TIME!

If you ask me this whole thread is one stinking mess, and it does not seem that it indicates any interest in developing your Aikido whatsoever.

If you think there are poor shihan out there, become a great shihan.
Or do we intend to talk the entire aikido community into submission?
 
Old 10-21-2007, 08:16 PM   #37
DonMagee
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
No malice intended, but..

ABOUT TIME!

If you ask me this whole thread is one stinking mess, and it does not seem that it indicates any interest in developing your Aikido whatsoever.

If you think there are poor shihan out there, become a great shihan.
Or do we intend to talk the entire aikido community into submission?
I've had this thrown at me by judo instructors who disagree with me on the rules of competitions or how they train ground fighting. This poses a question. How can you get rank in an organization when you clearly do not agree with them. If I don't tow the party line, I'm not going to have much luck above 3rd degree where it's more about being part of the team, then it is about skill.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
 
Old 10-21-2007, 08:27 PM   #38
Nikopol
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
How can you get rank in an organization when you clearly do not agree with them.
Train, and then test.

Or if one just can't get along, give up.

What I object to is this breathless baiting of the other Aikidoka on this forum about shite. (that last word in the English sense, not the Japanese.)


Last edited by Nikopol : 10-21-2007 at 08:28 PM. Reason: spelling
 
Old 10-22-2007, 06:15 AM   #39
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Organizations- How important are they to you?

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
Since you brought it up, if any shihan is willing to give me a fair shot at trying to reverse his technique I'd be happy to try it. I haven't found any takers on that yet, though.
Not looking to get into this discussion really, just going to say that my teacher does this all the time quite happily. He's ranked 7th Dan in aikido. If you ever get the chance to train with him you can ask him to give you a shot at reversing his technique. I've been trying to find ways around him for years and have only ever drawn blanks. It's not like he's not invincible though, so maybe you'd do better

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
 
Old 10-22-2007, 06:27 AM   #40
Ecosamurai
 
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Bryan Bateman wrote: View Post
Deja vu

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11374

The reason I don't visit so much these days. Good to see that not a lot's changed
Yeah, that's why I don't bother to read much around here any more, plus aikiweb always seems to bring out the worst in me too call it webrage I suppose....

Anyway, before I add him to my ignore list, just wanted to let Giancarlo know that there are plenty of people quite happy to do exactly what he suggests as far as 'testing' them goes.

Bye Giancarlo

Mike

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
 
Old 10-22-2007, 08:47 AM   #41
Dewey
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Thanks, Don...that was an excellent post. The bright spot in this thread.

As to the rest of this thread...

 
Old 10-22-2007, 10:09 PM   #42
G DiPierro
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Re: MMA and Aiki Expo

I can relate to how someone who does not even understand how to approach resistance training might find the statement that many or even most aikido shihan rely too much on cooperative training to be a form of bragging. I can also see how such a person might find the claim, offered in response to a direct challenge from some other person who believes that nobody could possibly resist his shihan because said shihan supposedly allows people to try to attack him for real and stop him and that person has never seen anyone do so successfully, that it is actually not that difficult to resist this and other shihan to also be a form of bragging, especially if this person considers such things be nearly impossible.

However, it just might be the case that this is not really bragging at all, but just the recounting of something that, although perhaps beyond the ability level of many people in aikido, is actually not that impressive relative to what it is possible to do. It might be the case that those who feel the need to insult and attack someone who makes such statements are doing so because they are actually insecure about their own skill level and afraid to consider that something that they have committed a great deal of their life to might not be quite what they thought it was. Perhaps they don't want to let go of that aspect of their self-identity and risk losing all of the ego-reinforcement that it has provided for them. All of that is understandable.

However, if such a person really was a sincere martial artist, as he claims to be, I think he would realize that bragging about how he is so much better and more sincere than anyone who would make these kinds of statement only makes himself look foolish. I think he would pause to consider that it might be wiser to investigate for himself whether there is something to these statements that seem to be outside his realm of understanding before summarily dismissing them on a public, archived forum. And I think he would be much more careful about the choice of words he used if he did choose to participate in a public discussion about these statements.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-22-2007 at 10:14 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 07:17 AM   #43
Marc Abrams
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Re: MMA and Aiki Expo

Giancarlo:

Unlike you, you do not hear me making claims one way or another. Unlike you, you do not hear other people question not only the validity of your claims, but of your abilities themselves. The best that you can appear to do is to question the competency of those to seek to hold you to task about the words that you write.

When teachers demonstrate techniques, particularly done from static attacks, the techniques are typically "expanded in their time frame." In other words, what would typically take a split second, can be drawn out to say ten seconds. This is done to clearly demonstrate what is occurring during the execution of techniques. "Useless resistance" has been talked about quite frequently. Knowing what technique is happening, knowing that the time frame is drawn out, makes it easier to resist the execution of the technique. The only thing that the uke has accomplished is to demonstrate their insecure ego. At full speed, the attacker would never be able to change direction of force in the manner that a person is able to when the technique and attack are practiced at slower speeds.

I have never met you, but I extend an open invitation to you to visit my hombu dojo in NYC. Imaizumi Sensei teaches every weekday night. Heck, I will even pay for your mat fee. He is 70 years old. Be my guest and do what you do with him when you ask him to demonstrate a technique on you. It would be my pleasure to see someone of your skill level do what you do. I am open to learning from everybody, including you.

Instead of trying to rebut everybody who attempts to hold you to your claims, maybe you should try and step back and ask yourself why you elicit the kind of responses that you do. It may come as a complete surprise to you, but many people in the Aikido world have spend most of their lives training in other martial arts and fighting sports before training in Aikido. Many people in the Aikido world are aware of what their personal shortcomings are in their training and execution of what they do. Few I see, engage in idol worship with their teachers.

In summary, it seems to be you who raise questions that reflect back for others to question your ego integrity and even your martial arts abilities. From an Aikido perspective, it appears as if your ego is getting in the way of your ability to work from a place of "mu-shin" which should be a critical starting point for the execution of effective Aikido techniques. For me, reality is the ultimate trump card. Maybe it is me who is so insecure and unaware of the shortcomings in myself and my teacher. That is why I am so open to invite you to our school. I welcome an opportunity for a sincere training opportunity with anybody who is equally as sincere.

Marc Abrams
 
Old 10-23-2007, 10:11 AM   #44
G DiPierro
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Re: MMA and Aiki Expo

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Giancarlo - I think what folks are saying is that they don't see where you get the authority to make judgement calls about laying hands on anybody. Some folks get away with it because a number of people have met them behind the scenes (even if they don't talk about it) and can verify their chops. The problem is the kind of claims you're making 1) aren't verifiable 2) don't really give weight to your arguments 3) also don't really cast you in a favorable light . . . so maybe people are puzzled why you're making them?
Fair point. I guess I don't really see the claims I have made thus far as all that exceptional. I myself don't think I am claiming any great level of skill here. There are a lot of things I cannot do yet that I want to do and I think are possible to do, and I know there are people out there who are much better than me at doing these things. I've only been doing aikido just over ten years and only focusing on the stuff I'm doing now for four or five, so I'm just getting started.

But even now I can see that what most people (not everyone, though) are doing in aikido just doesn't work. It lacks some very basic elements and covers for what is missing with a reliance on compliant ukemi, usually without anyone realizing that this is what is happening. I know a lot of people who do aikido and read this forum don't like to hear this, but to me it is so obvious that I don't see how someone can miss it or sit here and keep arguing with me that I'm wrong about this unless they themselves are missing some very basic yet important piece of knowledge. To me it's just such a clear starting point for the fact that the training method in aikido needs some serious changes.

That's what I am most interested in right now: not claiming how good my skills are relative to anyone else, but pointing out how the current training method that people in aikido use is not going to get very many people to the level of being able to realize the true potential of aikido. I'd say that the people who are getting hung up on what I know or don't know are missing the point and also sidetracking the more important discussion, but since they keep attacking me and challenging me personally I feel I need to respond.

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
I have never met you, but I extend an open invitation to you to visit my hombu dojo in NYC. Imaizumi Sensei teaches every weekday night. Heck, I will even pay for your mat fee. He is 70 years old. Be my guest and do what you do with him when you ask him to demonstrate a technique on you. It would be my pleasure to see someone of your skill level do what you do. I am open to learning from everybody, including you.
Thanks for the invitation. I haven't been in NYC in several years but if I am will be happy to drop by. I don't know your teacher but if I did touch hands with him I probably wouldn't do that much. Usually the only thing I will do with someone is find out where his resistance threshold is and then move back down into a comfortable working range that gives him a challenge but is not impossible. That's what I consider intelligent training with resistance. Most aikido teachers I have met seem to think that they are much stronger than they are, I suspect because they have bought their own press with regards to their students always taking nice falls for them, so I usually take it to the point of actually stopping them from moving me first before dialing it back down, but if a teacher is realisitic about his abilities that step is not actually necessary.

Quote:
Instead of trying to rebut everybody who attempts to hold you to your claims, maybe you should try and step back and ask yourself why you elicit the kind of responses that you do.
I suspect it is because I am challenging the status quo and many of the commonly held myths in aikido.

Quote:
In summary, it seems to be you who raise questions that reflect back for others to question your ego integrity and even your martial arts abilities. From an Aikido perspective, it appears as if your ego is getting in the way of your ability to work from a place of "mu-shin" which should be a critical starting point for the execution of effective Aikido techniques.
Well I'm not claiming any kind of enlightenment here. Do I have shortcomings? Absolutely. I see them every time I train, either in my own dojo or elsewhere. But that doesn't change the fact that progress in understanding comes from taking an idea that you think works and testing it out to see if you are right. This is what I have been doing and will continue to do. If someone can show me that their way is better than mine or even just can offer me something I don't have but want to have, as a number of teachers have done over the years, then I will try to learn what he is doing. But if not, I'm not going to "empty my cup" just so someone else can fill it up with a bunch of crap that I already know doesn't work.

This is and has always been a standard practice in martial arts instruction, and I would put the same responsibility right back on the teacher: just because you are standing at the front of the room doesn't mean that what you are doing is right, so why is it so hard for them to empty their cup and see when what they are doing is not working? Of course I have my own answers to this and that's what I've been talking about a lot here.

When someone comes into my dojo and what I am teaching doesn't work on them (it has happened a few times with people with certain kinds of previous experience), I take the opportunity to learn from that and work to change what I am doing. When I give most aikido teachers this same opportunity they usually not only don't want it but get upset that I'm not just taking nice pretty falls for them (there's been a few exceptions to this here and there, though). That's why I'm so critical of aikido and so many of its big-name shihan.

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-23-2007 at 10:15 AM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 11:01 AM   #45
G DiPierro
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Re: MMA and Aiki Expo

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Giancarlo - I think what folks are saying is that they don't see where you get the authority to make judgement calls about laying hands on anybody. Some folks get away with it because a number of people have met them behind the scenes (even if they don't talk about it) and can verify their chops. The problem is the kind of claims you're making 1) aren't verifiable 2) don't really give weight to your arguments 3) also don't really cast you in a favorable light . . . so maybe people are puzzled why you're making them?
One other thing I should point out just because you brought it up: the claim I made about my encounter with Saotome was verified on this very forum by a member of his own organization who was obviously not sympathetic to me. Check the last post in the other thread. The claim I made about my encounter with Kato I believe could be verified by reference to the video tapes of the event. I thought there were multiple cameras in action, and the person who challenged that claim should have access to those tapes.

For the record, the part we would need to see is from when he first came up and sat down to do kokyu-dosa with me, since that is the only time I recall where I gave him sufficient resistance to stop him. After that I reverted to mostly compliant ukemi. However, I doubt we will ever see this clip since I think it would prove that I did what I said I did, as the account posted by the person in the other thread did. Whether or not those claims advance my arguments or how well they do is a separate matter, but they can be and have been verified.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 11:07 AM   #46
DonMagee
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

I just thought of something important.

Defeatism

If you think you will never be able to stop someone, you never will. I must believe I can stop them in order to stop them. If you think it is hopeless, you have already failed. This is why I always believe I can defeat my instructor ever time I spar with him. Sure he puts a hurting on me, and I never 'win', but next time, I'm gonna beat that guy.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
 
Old 10-23-2007, 11:41 AM   #47
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
To me it's just such a clear starting point for the fact that the training method in aikido needs some serious changes.
I'll buy that...and so would a lot of people who are trying to figure out how aikido keiko seems to have moved away from the internal skill development. This topic has had quite a bit of interest here.

Quote:
That's what I am most interested in right now: not claiming how good my skills are relative to anyone else, but pointing out how the current training method that people in aikido use is not going to get very many people to the level of being able to realize the true potential of aikido.
The problem is that you DO make such statements...if you'd stay away from that, I think you'd be fine. Oh sure, there'd be the normal bickering and who do you think you are stuff that always happens on the internet...but I think the serious folks would give you much less flak.

Quote:
I'd say that the people who are getting hung up on what I know or don't know are missing the point and also sidetracking the more important discussion, but since they keep attacking me and challenging me personally I feel I need to respond.
Uh, don't bring it up, and they won't see the opening...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
 
Old 10-23-2007, 02:03 PM   #48
G DiPierro
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Don Magee wrote: View Post
I just thought of something important.

Defeatism

If you think you will never be able to stop someone, you never will. I must believe I can stop them in order to stop them. If you think it is hopeless, you have already failed. This is why I always believe I can defeat my instructor ever time I spar with him. Sure he puts a hurting on me, and I never 'win', but next time, I'm gonna beat that guy.
That's a very good point. One of the things I've noticed especially about aikido shihan is that they are very good at encouraging people to take nice falls for them. Sometimes I even think that much of moving up through the higher ranks in aikido comes down learning how to entice people to do this through non-technical means. Since it's usually considered an "honor" or privilege to take ukemi for such teachers, students will compete to try to be the best at making the teacher look good with their ukemi. In essence, they are trying to see who can be the biggest (or best) loser.

On the other hand, these people will often resist quite a bit when practicing with partners in class. For example, I was training at a seminar a while back with a guy who I think was pretty high up in his organization, maybe 5-dan or so. I guess he thought I was giving him too much resistance (even though it wasn't that much), and so when it was his turn to uke he just locked up and didn't move. I tried to go around it for a while but he was experienced enough to stop that, especially since his resistance was totally unrealistic for the technique in question, which was ikkyo. I then tried to explain to him that although I was not going to hit him, his locking up left him very open to being struck with my free hand. Finally, the shihan called him up and threw him around a bit, then he came back and took nice cooperative ukemi for me. Why? Because there was no way he would have ever taken the kind of ukemi he had been using with me for his shihan, and going from one to the other made seems to have made that quite clear to him (and I'm sure the shihan had precisely this outcome in mind).

I would never give a practice partner at a seminar a level of resistance that is higher than I what would be willing to give the teacher, but I think most people in aikido would do exactly this. They go up and give the teacher almost no resistance in the hopes that he will call them up again and then have no problem locking up in totally unrealistic ways for their practice partners, trying to prove how tough and martial they can be without realizing that they are way off the mark. Of course if you do this and then write about it on the internet nobody will get upset, because nobody cares if you make the teacher look good and then go and resist some other student in class. However, when I do the opposite, giving the shihan more resistance than I give his students, on the assumption that he should be better able to handle it, those same students get upset and claim that there is no way I could be able to resist their teacher since I couldn't even resist them, clearly missing the possibility that I might not have been even trying to resist them that much, if even at all.

If I catch flak from those people for posting about my experiences with their teachers then so be it, but I'm not going to censor myself just because I'm worried about someone getting upset about what I say. I generally assume that I'm going to catch some kind of flak anyway because I know I'm going against the status quo in aikido, and by now I've accepted the fact that it comes with the territory I have staked out. There's a number of people who have been trying for several years to silence my voice within the aikido community, both in dojos and online, and I haven't let them stop me yet. Why should I do it now?

Last edited by G DiPierro : 10-23-2007 at 02:06 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 02:42 PM   #49
Aikibu
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Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post

If I catch flak from those people for posting about my experiences with their teachers then so be it, but I'm not going to censor myself just because I'm worried about someone getting upset about what I say. I generally assume that I'm going to catch some kind of flak anyway because I know I'm going against the status quo in aikido, and by now I've accepted the fact that it comes with the territory I have staked out. There's a number of people who have been trying for several years to silence my voice within the aikido community, both in dojos and online, and I haven't let them stop me yet. Why should I do it now?
Your Welcome to come to our next seminar and show us how to do it....Of course resistance to us means attacking with Punches, Kicks, Throws and Take Downs...I highly suggest not to just interpret resistance to mean grabbing someones wrist strongly or wrestling them through a technique during the demonstration in front of the class... Only beginners and intermediate students grab...The last time someone showed up at a seminar to demonstrate that type of resistance They got a black eye and partially separated shoulder for thier trouble, and Sensei was trying his very best not to hurt them...We consider it poor form to suprise someone by trying to out muscle them and not allow them to understand what they are being taught.

Of course you'll have to demonstrate your technique on the Senior Students first. And as long as you practice it in the spirit of love and harmony I am sure we'll enjoy having you and hearing what you have to say.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 10-23-2007 at 02:47 PM.
 
Old 10-23-2007, 02:44 PM   #50
Will Prusner
 
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Freaky! Re: Resisting Aikido Shihan

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Giancarlo DiPierro wrote: View Post
There's a number of people who have been trying for several years to silence my voice within the aikido community, both in dojos and online, and I haven't let them stop me yet.
Maybe, it would be easier on both parties if they quit trying to stop you, and tried blending with you instead, eh?

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration...

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
 

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