Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Teaching

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-27-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Teaching context in training

A lot of Aikido kihon waza is based around grasps to the wrists and different parts of the body. Depending on where one trains the attacks may become wider spread to deal with a variety of strikes from hands and feet, weapon attacks and attacks from other arts.

In the early days of training I could never wrap my head around why someone would just grab your wrist and hold on while you threw them around while knowing what you were about to do. I've been given a host of reasons that did not make sense at the time until I discovered that these attacks were to be taken in a certain context where, unless understood by both Uke and Tori, the practice would appear to be a silly exercise.

The context of things like the wrist grab and many other things to do with mindset became evident when I started teaching people who got involved in a lot of serious physical encounters stemming from their work as LEOs, Security officers, Prison Guards and even from myself in an attempted mugging. In each case students would come back to class and "debrief", giving their feedback after their altercations and we would use this to enlighten our understanding of what we did in the dojo and why certain things made sense or not, given these insights.

The shocking result (which I am sure has been experienced by those who use Aikido as a weapon retention method also) was that the basic wrist and other grabs that appear so "dojo useless" actually occurred quite regularly during an actual unarmed attack. Waza that required one to "hold on" unnaturally else their grip would be broken in the dojo, worked in a very similar way to what happens with a cooperative Uke since the intent behind the real life attacks resulted in the attacker actually holding on (due to a solid wrist grab) while being taken off balance.

The difference between the dojo and the real world was the intent of the attacker in the particular context that the waza was being used. In our generally civilized world, getting into an empty handed or lightly armed physical altercation is extremely rare so most people have no idea what is involved in an actual combative situation, only a lot of speculation. This leads to the misunderstanding of a simple thing like a grab that appears to be useless as an attack, but suddenly makes sense when it happens in an actual altercation. Sadly these kihon waza set the foundation for everything else to come, so if misunderstanding occurs at the kihon level, what is to become of more advanced training?

My point in all of this is about knowing context from an application perspective - how many folks who train in aikido fully understand the context of each aspect of their training? Is it taught that the context of cooperative kata practice is different to the context of randori for example? Hence the requirement of different mindsets.

What about how the context of an attack will actually change how an attack is executed physically? A good example is the agreed upon duel environment of a boxing match as against a person who simply plans to knock you unconscious with a pair of brass knuckles - the attacks look similar but the contexts are entirely different. One is expected, the other is an ambush. This changes quite a lot of things.

I've found that a lot of dissonance and disappointment in training occurs when students are not taught to understand the context of what they do and why a lot of what is taught will actually work the way it's supposed to if one understands the context of what is being practiced. This understanding is of course in addition to strong ability to apply fundamental principles like ma ai, metsuke, tai sabaki, shisei, kuzushi etc.

What are your thoughts about making students aware of the context of everything they do in the dojo?
LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 10-27-2007 at 11:21 AM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 242
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Quote:
What are your thoughts about making students aware of the context of everything they do in the dojo?
I don't see how useful practice can occur without doing so. Only a fool would spend time, energy, and money practicing something for which no good rationale had been offered.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2007, 06:45 PM   #3
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I don't see how useful practice can occur without doing so. Only a fool would spend time, energy, and money practicing something for which no good rationale had been offered.
Yet we have so many who still believe that a wrist grab is an "unrealistic attack" because their partner does not grab with the intent to have one understand the context that governs how the waza is supposed to be practiced. One grabs and easily can let go before any waza utilizing the grab can be executed and they think the waza is ineffective when in fact the correct attack for the context in which the waza is being practiced is not being executed.

From another angle: We have people who may think it appropriate to attempt to shut down or resist an instructor who is teaching a technique and assuming that this shows some technical skill above that of the instructor. However all this really means is that the person does not understand the context of demonstrating a technique as a teaching partner during class. If one wants to stop the instructor and show technical superiority then do it during full out resistance randori where both are aware of the context of the interaction, else it is meaningless.

The thing is that there are different elements of mindset, etiquette etc. that need to be used in different contexts during practice. The understanding of which mindset etc. fits which context will determine the success of ones training.

For example, it will be silly to be overly cooperative and fall at the slightest movement when one is doing randori designed to specifically develop adaptation, relaxed resistance and kaeshiwaza where the key is resistance via proper coordinated movement. Likewise to attempt to block, resist or stop a technique in a kata, teaching or practice environment to prove that you are more skilled than your partner is also applying the wrong mindset to the wrong context imho. In the first case one fails to learn good kaeshiwaza (being overly compliant when one should be resisting), in the second case one fails to learn good waza through kata practice (by being resistant when one should be relaxed to properly demo the technique with the teacher or feel the technique and understand its mechanics).

These are my thoughts.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 10-27-2007 at 06:48 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2007, 11:45 PM   #4
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

As always, a nice thoughtful post Larry.

Rock
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 12:07 AM   #5
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 661
Canada
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Yet we have so many who still believe that a wrist grab is an "unrealistic attack" because their partner does not grab with the intent to have one understand the context that governs how the waza is supposed to be practiced. One grabs and easily can let go before any waza utilizing the grab can be executed and they think the waza is ineffective when in fact the correct attack for the context in which the waza is being practiced is not being executed.

(snip)

These are my thoughts.
And I think they're good thoughts, too. Now... After 14 years in this Aikido thing, I'm still not sure how the wrist grab occurs in situ.
Restraining a mugging victim? going for an "arm bar" behind the back with "kubishime" or Hadaka-Jime or sleeper hold? Escorting one out of a pub?
My problem, if it is indeed a problem, is that I've never been in a fight. Nor (touch wood) have I been mugged, and since I was 14, and smashed a guy's nose with the back of my head, I've not been "assaulted", either.
Not to say I'm ever going to go looking for all of these events, but... I haven't had a sensei explain where wrist grabs occur in modern-day society. One sensei showed how a person might grab a wrist to prevent one from drawing a katana (ok, a bokken), and then how the handle of the bokken could be used to apply nikkyo (nikajo?), but can someone describe a few situations where, in modern life, people grab wrists as attacks (or part of an attack?)
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I guess I haven't had a violent enough up-bringing to have been exposed to this stuff outside of the dojo.

W
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 12:26 AM   #6
Michael Hackett
Dojo: Kenshinkan Dojo (Aikido of North County) Vista, CA
Location: Oceanside, California
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,134
Online
Re: Teaching context in training

I've seen three types of wrist grab attacks in real world applications. The first involves the aggressor grabbing katatetori in order to prevent a block or strike and then punching the victim. The second is a sucker bet where the aggressor reaches out to shake hands, grabs katatetori with his other hand and strikes the victim. The last I experienced in a Gracie GRAPLE (Gracie Resisting Attack Procedures for Law Enforcement) course I recently attended. Rather than actually grabbing the wrist, the attacker grabs for the holstered weapon, but the attack movement is virtually identical to the wrist grab. In the field I've seen the cross-hand grab much more often, usually as an initiating step to an arm lock or rear choke type of action.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 03:47 AM   #7
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,218
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

A wrist grab is actually an excellent place to start. Someone not used to a wrist grab may suddenly find themselves immobilized, unable to move and open to a strike or kick, or a stab/slash from a knife. A crosshand grab and slash to the torso is very difficult to defend against and very useful to point out a dangerous situation.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 06:18 AM   #8
eyrie
 
eyrie's Avatar
Location: Summerholm, Queensland
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,126
Australia
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Go figure... A lot of jujitsu kihon waza is based around grasps to the wrists and different parts of the body....

Maybe it also has something to do with stopping the person from drawing or using their weapon...

I agree, principles, theory, context and application is important to developing the student's understanding of what it is they are practising.

Last edited by eyrie : 10-28-2007 at 06:21 AM.

Ignatius
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 11:04 AM   #9
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
And I think they're good thoughts, too. Now... After 14 years in this Aikido thing, I'm still not sure how the wrist grab occurs in situ.
Restraining a mugging victim? going for an "arm bar" behind the back with "kubishime" or Hadaka-Jime or sleeper hold? Escorting one out of a pub?
My problem, if it is indeed a problem, is that I've never been in a fight. Nor (touch wood) have I been mugged, and since I was 14, and smashed a guy's nose with the back of my head, I've not been "assaulted", either.
Hi Walter,

It is not a stupid question. In fact I think it is a question that is not asked often enough by both Sensei and students, resulting in a chain of assumptions that are quite false when the theory is taken to the test.

You present a near-perfect example of what I am referring to and it is quite a common thing in Budo across the board imho. For example you may learn a technical response to a grab that is used to escort you out of a pub, but without being taught that this is the exact context that this waza or application is designed for, your partner may just grab you and then let go as soon as you start to move, not realizing that if he were trying to escort you out of a pub that he would be trying to hold on since letting go would mean giving away an advantage he had through partial control of your body. Often these same persons (Uke in the above example) will go on to believe that 1) nobody attacks that way in "real life" and 2) that waza does not work because before you can respond fully the person can let go. As you indicated, this person may only get wiser if he happens to frequent pubs a lot and either see or experience the attack.
Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Not to say I'm ever going to go looking for all of these events, but... I haven't had a sensei explain where wrist grabs occur in modern-day society. One sensei showed how a person might grab a wrist to prevent one from drawing a katana (ok, a bokken), and then how the handle of the bokken could be used to apply nikkyo (nikajo?), but can someone describe a few situations where, in modern life, people grab wrists as attacks (or part of an attack?)
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I guess I haven't had a violent enough up-bringing to have been exposed to this stuff outside of the dojo.

W
The posts directly after yours gave some good examples of how the wrist grab operates in real life. From my own experience it can be used to immobilize that side of the body long enough for a friend to attack with a strike or weapon, it is also used as a handle to move a person into a position where it is easier to launch a more devastating attack or off balance them to do same. Grabbing appears to be quite a regular response to anything that poses a direct threat to a person that is within grasping range imho.

The thing about all of the above examples is that in no case does the attacker grab to let go immediately since the grabbing motion is to facilitate control of something. In this light, once properly applied, Aiki waza that utilize the grip of the hand itself actually work, but may never do so without a totally compliant (and collusive) Uke in the dojo if that Uke does not understand why the attack is done the way it is. In these cases, even if the waza is executed repeatedly via compliance, because the attack is not properly understood by either Uke or Tori, the view of the technique is that it can only be executed with a compliant partner.

However, the wrist grab example is only one aspect of the whole question of how context affects our training.

My 2 cents.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 11:06 AM   #10
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote: View Post
As always, a nice thoughtful post Larry.

Rock
Thanks Rock. As a person who teaches Aikido and weapon retention methods (among all the other stuff) your insights are most valuable and welcome.

Regards.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 03:44 PM   #11
Rocky Izumi
Dojo: GUST Aikido Club
Location: Salwa, Kuwait
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 381
Kuwait
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Okay Walter, Larry, Jon, and others. Here's my input.

1. Grabbing attack to different than Chudan Atemi but only more difficult to deal with due to longer Maai and greater ease of changing direction due to lower level of intertia.
2. All grabbing attacks are more difficult to deal with than straight striking attacks due to higher level of immobilization ability and ability to strike with other parts of body. This effect is often seen in UFC fights where grapplers with good striking ability are very difficult to defeat or defend against. It is also seen in knife fighting where initial entry in a shanking is often the grasp with the free hand to immobilize the quarry before shanking with multiple strikes. The grasp makes the Atemi much more effective due to immobilization and the inability of the target to slip the attack.
3. Katate Tori, Morote Tori, Kata Dori, Katate Tori Kubi Shime, etc., etc., etc. are all Aikido techniques. These attacks are part of our repretoire and should be learned correctly so that they are effective. Shomen Uchi, Yokomen Uchi, Tsuki, etc., etc., etc. are all Aikido techniques. These attacks as well are part of our repretoire and should be learned correctly so that they are effective. This lack of understanding about what techniques should be studied in Aikido seems strange. I cannot see how some people see the Shomen Uchi, Yokomen Uchi, Tsuki attacks as proper to be learned when working with weapons but don't even think about practicing them when doing things empty handed. Often, I think the inability to see the grasping attacks as effective are partly due to the poor ability of many practitioners to do an effective grasping technique and their lack of practice in doing those techniques.
4. When teaching defensive and control techniques to police officers, the terminology is Katate Tori / One hand escort grip, Morote Tori / Two hand escort grip, Kata Tori / One hand escort grip on upper arm, Katatori Tsuki / Shanking attack, Katate Tori Kubishime / Carotid constriction immobilization, etc., etc., etc. These attacks are still taught to police in training because they are still considered very effective in the real world and still used in the real world.

That, is just the start but I have to get back to resharpening my broadheads for tomorrow.

Last edited by Rocky Izumi : 10-28-2007 at 03:54 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2007, 06:05 PM   #12
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
Location: New York
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 322
United_States
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

I read somewhere once that a wrist grab is one of the most common attacks to a female. I assume to drag her off somewhere she does not want to go. That and a hair pull or a choke.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 01:24 PM   #13
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 242
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

The context that I give to my students as they practice is that of an actual fight. While I show them the basic actions of uke and nage in a given exchange, I also remind my students that the exchange is empty and useless without proper martial intent. Uke should not simply step forward toward nage as though walking down the street, and attempt to grip nage's wrist as though doing so carried no greater risk than reaching for a doorknob, and then move passively with nage until the technique is completed. One would never attack like this in a real fight, so why do so in training for a fight? Although uke and nage are not truly fighting when they are practicing technique together, they must think like they are, analyzing what they're doing in light of what might actually happen in a real fight and with a "shinken shobu" attitude. It is my experience that if my students are practicing this way it is more readily apparent to them why they are doing what they are doing and when what they are doing is inappropriate and/or ineffective.

I find that if uke attacks with proper martial intent, nage must take a correspondingly martial attitude and form toward their application of technique. When uke is strong and fully intended in attacking, balanced, and highly responsive to nage's actions, nage cannot simply go through the motions of a technique by rote. What I'm suggesting, then, is that much of the responsibility for effective aikido practice rests upon genuinely martial attacks from uke and so I emphasize this in particular when talking about the context for training to my students.

A couple of examples of what I'm writing about go as follows:

Sometimes newer students will grip nage's wrist as powerfully as they can and, in an attempt to "be real," lock their entire body into position. One of three things usually happens here:

1. nage cannot move through the technique properly.
2. nage breaks free of uke's grip.
3. nage moves through the technique to the point where uke must fall but is in a bad position to do so.

Typically, I'll have to tell uke that this kind of an attack is not natural or martially prudent. I often just ask the student to think for a moment about what would happen to him/her if they attacked like that in an actual fight. Usually they smile and admit that if they locked down in a fight as they are in practice they'd probably get whaled on.

In practice of technique where uke initiates the exchange with katate-tori and nage tenkans in response, uke will sometimes stand in place alongside nage, gripping arm extended out in front of him/herself, bent over, facing in the same direction, waiting for nage to whirl them around to face him/her. At this point, I'll ask uke if this is a safe position to be in. Sometimes, in response, they let go; at which point I tell them that their attack has been for nothing. At other times, they maintain their grip but straighten up and turn to face nage; at which point I commend them and ask why they've been staying bent over in a position that makes them blind to nage and totally vulnerable. Normally, they see my point immediately and make some comment about needing to think more about why they are doing what they are doing.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2007, 03:12 PM   #14
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 661
Canada
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Thanks Rocky and Johnathan,
Every sensei I've had has mentioned that "it's an attack", and most have reminded us that this should be done with a "martial" attitude. However, apart from one practical example of kata-tori/mune/tori (one side of the jacket lapel) followed by a tsuki with a shank/tanto, NO other sensei has given a practical example of why these things are real attacks. At least - that's my memory which may be incomplete. The same sensei has said that wrist grabs are more dangerous than direct punches but I haven't understood much context, again, because I've not been in a real scrap, and because we haven't really had practical examples. One other sensei says "keep your grip" even though with me as an old inflexible guy he's been moving in such a way that I CAN'T keep my grip, and yet other sensei (plural) say that nage should move in such a way that uke wants to keep the grip, is able to, and still feels in control...

When I got to NZ the first time around after 2 years with Rocky, a decade ago, one of the sempai from the dojo I was at said that he thought that I'd been obviously well trained because entering with "unbending arm" in response to katate-tori I virtually lifted him off both feet (he was over 100 kg) but it was one of those rare occasions that things worked sans thought...

Most sensei (I'm now in my 6th dojo due to employment related relocations) have studiously avoided any discussion of "practical application" and said keep practicing with the form...

Relating to another discussion, through George L and Rocky's discussions, we've had a lot of "technique" based instruction instead of the "principle" based instruction advocated by George and Rock, which seems quite badly to slow down development, learning, and understanding - i.e., we're quite frequently shown a bunch of (possibly) related techniques without being told of, (or asked to watch for, or being asked to figure out) the movement principle that binds these together...

As well - most "western" folks I've practiced with have not grown up with real need for martial arts, and have not grown up with the tradition of visiting a dojo for the purpose of "learning" from the dojo by experiencing their techniques in a sort of challenge situation. I remember we used to visit judo dojos around Vancouver with the intent of seeing who we'd meet in the next shiai and having our sensei/sempai pick up our opponents' waza, but most Aikido visits to dojos have been with much more benign intent.

I'm a professional rowing coach, and make my living teaching people (and other coaches) how to move racing boats in a technically/biomechanically sound way, and base just about all of my coaching on Newton's laws and some neurophysiology about how the body best works and learns. When I go to a dojo and find a sensei who understands this stuff it's like being born again (no, I'm not religious - don't believe in gods), It's very good to be challenged intellectually and physically, where in some dojos it's the same-old-same-old without any understanding of why we're doing things.

Now, admittedly, at my age, "martial" arts happen a lot slower than they used to, and the true "martial" arts are done by guys and gals who are between 30 and 35 years my junior, so I don't expect to get to any really high level (keep learning, yes, but the nervous system, transmission rates, muscular contraction are on their way down now), but it would be very good if more dojo sensei understood and explained the "application" side of attacks and techniques, because I don't think we are exposed to enough of it...

Again - John and Rocky - thanks for the feedback... (by the way, I'm happy about the current dojo - sensei has been "around," has a karate background, and practicing is again fun and interesting)...

Cheers,
Walter
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 10:00 AM   #15
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 242
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Walter:

When I write of "martial intent" I mean more than just aggressiveness and fully intended attacks. Martial intent in my thinking very much includes asking myself whether or not what I'm doing as uke or nage is a smart thing to do in a fight.Your question about the purpose of being grabbed indicates that this is exactly the way you're thinking about what you're doing in Aikido. However, instead of looking for a sensei who will spell out for you why being grabbed in an attack might happen, answer your own questions. I'm quite certain you can, and doubtless already have, come up with reasonable scenarios yourself.

I'm sure its obvious to you that a wrist grab isn't, by itself, an attack. I teach my students that a wrist, lapel or shoulder grab are part of a setup for a wide variety of strikes, takedowns, or controlling measures. Most commonly, I teach that a wrist grab is made to suppress or pull nage's lead arm while a punch is delivered to his/her face. (I suppose I could go into how, in ancient times, samurai would do thus-and-so when an attacker would grab their wrist to prevent them from drawing their sword, but that seems to me to be largely irrelevant to training now.)

We practice a lot of close-quarter, free-style randori that includes any kind of attack. Nage may use atemi freely in this kind of training, which makes uke rather more careful about how he/she attacks. When uke knows that nage's lead hand will not only intercept his/her attacks but hit him/her they tend to want to control nage's lead hand before they close with nage for a takedown or strike. To this end, uke will often grab nage's wrist or forearm. I mention this to suggest that maybe this kind of training would help you to answer the questions you may have about what you are told to do in practice of Aikido technique.

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 01:07 PM   #16
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 242
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Walter:

One other thing:

Freestyle training is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to get at the underlying principles of technique. This is so because, in part, techniques rarely work in freestyle situations exactly as they do in the more structured practice common to Aikido training. Especially when attacks are not yokomenuchi, shomenuchi and tsuki, but something more typical of boxing, or muay thai, or grappling, Aikido principles rather than exact technique become what is important. If you don't have a grasp of the principles underpinning the techniques of Aikido, you won't be able to adapt those techniques to the less than perfect circumstances you'll face in freestyle training (or in an actual fight). The techniques as they are typically practiced in Aikido are performed in a very structured way, which is excellent for maintaining safety and fostering learning of techniques, but if the student of Aikido doesn't get a chance to practice the techniques they're learning outside of that structured setting, I doubt they will every fully appreciate how vital a good grasp of the principles of Aikido really are.

I get first time students to practice evading tsuki from multiple attackers. They aren't allowed to touch their attackers, only evade. The attackers may punch high or low and from all sides and do not have to wait their turn. I also ask the attackers to keep things slow for the first few times the new student attempts this kind of training. In this simple, relatively unstructured situation, the new student is exposed to a whole host of fighting principles without a layer of technique to have to fuss with. Proper fighting distance, economy of motion, the need for correct timing, the value of not stopping one's movement, the dangers of an overly aggressive or retreating mind, etc. -- all these principles get illustrated in bold relief to the new student through this simple exercise. When students go from this kind of practice into the more structured process of learning technique, I find they tend to be much more aware and concerned about these principles as they learn kotegeashi or shihonage or whatever.

Anyway, I could go on, and on, and on...

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2007, 03:36 PM   #17
Walter Martindale
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 661
Canada
Offline
Re: Teaching context in training

Jon,
Thank you for these considered replies to my queries/comments. Yes, I can imagine some scenarios where wrist/lapel/jacket/collar grabs/pulls etc can be the lead in to other attacks.
When we practice "structured" practice katate-tori, for example, I will quite often slowly (as in the bionic woman/6 million dollar man frame by frame slowly) punch at nage's face while holding their wrist.

Your description of the introduction to randori by new students avoiding tsuki at an early stage of training sounds like something I've missed in most dojos - LOTS of structured practice, and if there ever is jyuwaza it's only the nikyu and higher ranked who get to play. Not true of all dojos, but..

I think that few of the dojo sensei I've experienced have "real" experience - I know one or two who have but I've been away from that environment for quite a while. So long that it took me quite a while to remember why I even owned a mouth/tooth protector - (Regina, mid 1990s) - and needed it for Aikido..

Again - thank you for your considered thoughts. In a similar context, I could go on and on about coaching/teaching rowing...

Rocky - how did the hunt go?

W
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Takemusu Aiki in Systematic Teaching? Erick Mead Training 39 11-02-2006 10:55 AM
Aliveness in Martial Arts Video Clip Richard Langridge Open Discussions 60 08-10-2006 10:28 PM
Brawling with a friend Luc X Saroufim General 227 07-17-2006 08:33 PM
Am i missing something?? aikigirl10 General 119 04-20-2006 01:07 PM
Beginners Retention Rates akiy Teaching 45 04-06-2006 12:13 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:31 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate