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Old 11-09-2007, 09:15 AM   #1
Aikibu
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Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

If you have been in the Military and in Combat Arms you may be familiar with the OODA Loop. It basically applies to any conflict situation. Contrary to popular Internet belief MMA style sparring is not always the best way to train...Here is an interesting article about OODA and the Martial Arts using Systema (which is considered a sister Art to Aikido) Enjoy. This article was originally posted on the Aikido Journal Website

http://www.belisarius.com/modern_bus...ual_combat.htm

here's a highlight...

On the surface, the full speed sparring would seem the most logical learning tool to complement one-step exercises. But, since rules limit the kinds of attacks, full speed sparring is not much different from one-step exercises with regard to limitations. Attacks in full speed sparring are realistic in speed but not in variety so the observation-orientation-decision sequence is still deemphasized compared to the speed of the response action. And, since the rules for safety must be, by necessity, formalized and rigid; the sparring takes on more the feel of a sport than a real-world conflict. It becomes a competition for a winner who plays within the specified rules of safety. Rather than being partners in a mutual learning experience, they become competitors in a sporting event. Slow speed sparring may be lacking in real-world speed but it compensates in real-world variety of attack which emphasizes the exercise of the entire OODA loop equally. In addition, it emphasizes training as opposed to competition. At slow speed one has time to observe the situation, orient themselves with that situation based on the position they are in following the previous attack, decide on the best course of action, and take that action. Every portion of the OODA loop is practiced over and over again with an ever-changing range of attacks and in an ever-changing range of positions one might be in. Slow speed sparring also removes the rules and competition flavor that would tend to make it more sport than training. Slow speed sparring removes the rush to win and concentrates the effort of both to help one another learn to survive. And the end goal is the primary difference in realism; in a real fight the goal is not to win so much as it is to survive.

We have all done slow speed "wristing grabbing" practice, and all though it may be boring when it is placed in proper practice context It is a building block equal to full speed Randori under Duress. However Full Speed Randori or "Sparring" is not the be all end all of practice nor does it always determine the validity of hard practice. (aka if I am learning something).

I hope this thread leads to some serious discussion of what constitutes good practice.

William Hazen

Kudos again to the folks over at Aikido Journal for posting the original article.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:03 PM   #2
JW
 
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Wow, thanks for posting that! It sounds.. very sound. I think the author, Col. Boyd, and the Systema people really are onto something. And I think ukes in aikido dojos can "suggest" to their nages what unconventional attacks may be coming to mind during the course of a slowly-practiced technique-- for instance if the attack is katatedori, that does not mean the uke does not intend to subsequently punch or kick, even as the course of a long technique evolves. In other words, I think we can at least START to take the article's suggestions to heart quite easily in our practice, without changing anything.
Also though, one thing I have recently been thinking about is in direct opposition to what is stated in the article. I agree that timing is a skill that needs to be practiced, and I agree that fast-speed sparring is a "deceptive teacher."
However, I have come to wonder if there is a way that we can train our ability to process sensory information on a faster timescale. Slow training probably does not increase this.. although if you focus on the "observing" phase of the OODA loop in slow practice, maybe it could help. But really, I feel like for me there are 2 timescales any of my behaviors can operate at: slow enough to monitor what I am seeing and make decisions about the next actions, and so fast that I cannot make fresh decisions, rather I must go through a series of actions I have pre-decided on. I think some such way to improve the speed of your ability to observe, orient and decide might be the ideal complement to the practice recommended in the article.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:03 PM   #3
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
...
We have all done slow speed "wristing grabbing" practice, and all though it may be boring when it is placed in proper practice context It is a building block equal to full speed Randori under Duress.
...
Both learning tools are needed.

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Old 11-09-2007, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Both learning tools are needed.
Exactly what I said.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:04 PM   #5
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

William,

How familiar are you with what we are currently doing within the Modern Army Combatives Program (MAC-P)?

Many, even in the program, don't really get what we are doing and the methodology that Matt Larsen is preaching.

It follows along much of the same pattern as written above, and most would say has a higher affinity for the way MMA guys are training today. My experiences with it and MMA follow the model you present.

I'd be interested in hearing your opinions and observations on this for sure! Specifically where in what areas you feel are not being adequately addressed.

I imagine it has to do with the sole focus on Ring/Cage fighting that many take.

This link is an interview with Matt and I think shows a the perspective that we take with our training, (which BTW is based much on BJJ for those that don't know it) I think it demostrates the proper context for training for realism.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_XdoRbLhIo

good stuff. Thanks.

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Old 11-09-2007, 09:39 PM   #6
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Hey Kevin,

I am old school Ranger from the late 70's early 80's and have been following and commenting on the Army Combatives thread on E-Budo. I greatly admire what SFC Larsen and fellow Soldiers have done. My interest lies in improving the overall training paradigm in Aikido. I do feel Aikido would greatly benefit from incorporating the OODA Loop into practice and I would be very interested in what SFC Larsen has done in this regard. Systema is also a combat art and yet at it's core is very much like Aikido so I think there may be allot to discover.

Rangers Lead The Way!!!

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 11-09-2007 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:09 PM   #7
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Does this angle imply that there exists a type of martial proficiency, developed in non-sparring settings, that does not have any significant application (or noticeably increase the practitioner's proficiency) in a sparring environment?

I'm a little skeptical of such a non-falsifiable assertion.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:37 AM   #8
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Old grunt here.
We were taught Awareness Assessment Action.
Awareness is external focus to gather information.
Assessment is internal of threat level and response decision.
Action is doing it and being aware of the effect (gathering intelligence again - the loop).
Different wording, but same process.
Good stuff.
Thanks for reminding me and the new resources.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 11-10-2007, 06:55 AM   #9
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

William,

I see where you are coming from now. Not from the RBSD paradigm, but ways to apply training methodologies to improve transmission of aikido. Got it!

An interesting and never ending debate indeed!

I think a big part of the ellusive nature as it applies to budo is around the endstate or "outputs" that is....

how do you define "quality" aikido? How do you define "effective" aikido?

When you take police or military based situations, the outcome is very clear and you are able to distill, focus, and narrow things down to an OODA type model.

It becomes much easier to throw out the stuff that does not work and concentrate on the things that do work based.

As to what Matt and Company have done and are doing, even that has been a difficult road!

I also think the recent success in MMA paradigm has much to do with OODA. UFC and other such events have given us a very good measuring stick to focus methodologies and to get to the core of what really works given the parameters that all agree to.

It started, as you know with Rorian's concept, and has evolved to where we are today! Thousands of people all agreeing to a set of measures and rules upon which we can now mutually agree to and judge "quality" or "effectiveness".

OODA model works very well in this situation and has allowed for a huge explosion in knowledge and training methodologies in the Empty handed martial arts world.

We see the same thing in things like Judo and Kendo, however, many see the rules as constraints, and not a distillation of a process upon which we can exploit particular aspects of martial technique.

Budo is very illusive, multifaceted, difficult to measure and define. I think it is challenging to apply a OODA type model to Budo arts such as Aikido since we have a very difficult time agreeing to, or essentially in many cases outright Shun and attempts to measure effectiveness or define quality.

The budoka or student is left his own on the path to find his/her own way through a maze of organizations, seminars, shihans, and views, opinions, and methodologies.

In order to effectively apply OODA methodolgy, an organization (or two individuals that meet to train), would need to agree on what the desired endstate of their training, and then focus on techniques, approaches, and methodologies that acheive that endstate...irrespective of the Dogma, habits, paradigms, culture, and pecking order of their organization,.

To me, this is what the MMA movement or paradigm represents today....and much of what Matt Larson is trying to acheive within the Army.

So, back to the original question. How do we implement an OODA model?

First by adequately defining, codifying, and agree on what we think quality aikido might be!

This is a huge challenge I think in most of our organizations that identify with the that which we commonly define as Aikido!

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Old 11-10-2007, 12:50 PM   #10
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Great thread William.

The objectives outlined in the OODA loop are very similar to Tomiki's idea for Aikido using the Kata/Randori paradigm and how the art could be developed into something where direct feedback can be obtained to further ones progress in Aikido technique and principle.

The words used in OODA have parallels in Aikido training as well imho:

Observation - Metsuke / Touch Sensitivity (Total awareness and observation of opponent and surroundings from distance or when physical contact is already made)

Orientation - Kamae (Posture) & Ma ai (Distance)

Decision - Tai Sabaki (Body handling/avoidance in response to attack)

Action - Kuzushi (balance breaking) & Kake (Ending technique e.g. strike, throw, lock or combination)

At least the above is how I see them relating to each other. Interestingly enough there is not a clear one to one distinction between the Aikido elements and the OODA paradigm in my example above, but those are the elements that make up effective Aiki waza even though they tend to blend into one seamless expression of movement.

In our training using the Kata/Randori method we have the following areas that also parallel that of the OODA loop:

Level 1 - Paired kata practice (done slowly and methodically with predefined attack and response - here the OOD elements are already given, as the article by J. Mark Hord stated). - This uses a one step attack.

Level 2
- Kakari Geiko (slow to medium paced free practice without resistance, attacks are random - here the OO elements are partially given as an unknown attack is executed from the ma ai of issoku itto, but there is no testing involved to allow for the loop to restart as there is no resistance / challenge to technique). - This uses a one step attack.

Level 3 - Hiki Tate Geiko (slow to fast paced free practice with some resistance, attacks are random - here only the first O element is given but there is testing involved to allow for the loop to restart and return one to the Observation phase in the event that there is a flaw at some point along the OODA continuum) - This uses continuous, multi-step attacks and defenses.

Level 4
- Randori Geiko (faster-paced free practice with full resistance, attacks are random - here none of the OODA elements are given as there are continuous attacks given and continuous attempts are made to disrupt the OODA loop of ones partner by means that include fakes, deception and other means to mislead ones Observation and other processes). - This uses continuous, multi-step attacks and defenses.

Resistance (or disruption of the OODA loop) in this context means adapting quickly to whatever ones partner offers to short circuit his loop and get off effective technique (using kaeshi waza etc.) by utilizing the principles of adaptation/matching (aiki) trained in the earlier levels.In this practice the OODA loop of each person is constantly stopped by his partner or partners, forcing each other to restart the loop until one person can successfully get all of the elements to work together which will result in effective technique (kake).

For the purpose of this training paradigm, "effective technique" means Aikido waza that is successful in its objective regardless of any attempts by ones partner to thwart that objective. E.g. a strike should strike, a throw should throw, a pin should pin, a lock should lock - without being stopped or countered by ones partner at any point regardless of attempts made to the contrary.

This is the theory that I have been trying to use in our own training. The results have been that students tend to develop very good reflexive OODA abilities to execute effective Aiki waza very early on in the kyu stages for most common attacks that are executed with a non-competitive (i.e. intent to endanger) mindset, even if the opponent attempts to resist their waza once contact is made.

Of course the problem is maintaining safety while increasing the intensity throughout this process. I think a progressive increase in the speed of attacks is necessary to properly train the nervous system and mind-body pathways so that the student develops an increasing ability to perform under duress without losing the fundamentals. The development of timing (an important skill in Aikido) necessitates operating at different speeds to be able to adapt accordingly imho.

Just some thoughts.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 11-10-2007 at 01:04 PM.

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Old 11-11-2007, 07:10 AM   #11
Erik Johnstone
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Hello!

The OODA Loop concept is an excellent training tool. Major William R. Hayes (USMC, Ret.), Kyoshi, Shorin-ryu Karate-do includes it as one of the teaching tools in his principles and application semiars. He's been doing so for a few years now.

EAJ

Respects,

Erik Johnstone
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:37 AM   #12
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Good stuff, thank you.
I especially like what the author of the article says about timing vs speed and I do agree with the critical importance of developing good timing. The importance of speed, however, cannot be completely disregarded as it is inherently tied to timing. Lets not forget force = mass x acceleration(speed). Speed leads to more powerful striking. Also the quicker an attack comes the less time you have to move out of its path. This is why full speed sparring is one important component training, even with it's limitations, it does help the development of good timing.
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Old 11-11-2007, 07:38 AM   #13
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

What I really like about OODA is that the first 3 steps are more mental intelligences, train-able, and thus able to speed up the process.

IMHO, its this type of cognitive intelligent approach that often gets forgotten in just believing that physical training is enough. To have body and mind unified, both must be trained directly.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:00 AM   #14
Aikibu
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Outstanding replies gentleman...

Larry's post is a good outline I think, and to distill it in simple terms Effective Aikido is Aikido that works under all conditions...Effective Practice is practice that trains the Aikidoka to meet these conditions and act correctly under the circumstances...

The OODA Loop is an excellent training structure for Martial Artist to evaluate and improve thier practice.

There were some excellent examples from folks like Kevin Leavitt, Kevin Johnson and Sensei Camejo does anyone have some other examples they would like to share?

Also folks,What about Greg Blocks observations regarding timing and speed? What are some of your experiances using the OODA Loop under duress? How concious are you of the process in practice and under realistic conditions/application?

My own experiance almost mirrors Larry's in a sense
though until now I have not articulated it as well as he did in his post.

William Hazen

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Old 11-11-2007, 11:46 AM   #15
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

We use OODA a lot as part of our BJJ training. I often talk about getting inside the OODA loop. For example (apologies for those that are not familiar with the bjj terminology), On the progression from under/over control with hooks in ->double hook sweep->side control->far side armbar, you are pretty much orientating yourself to the armbar opportunity while the opponent is still thinking about (orientated to) the guard pass. IOW, it's a slightly complex but high value chain as for many opponents they never get re-orientated in time to Act in a way that's going to defend.
Same with the kimura from half guard - they are orientated to the guardpass while you are acting on the sub. Much of the success in sparring comes from getting inside your opponents OODA imo.

My BJJ coach John Will has an interesting theory that the D can be taken out of the loop. If you have a well trained "Immediate Action" for every "snapshot" you take during training there is very little decision making to be done. I think this corresponds nicely to theories of flow state or mushin.

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Old 11-11-2007, 12:36 PM   #16
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
The words used in OODA have parallels in Aikido training as well imho:

Observation - Metsuke / Touch Sensitivity (Total awareness and observation of opponent and surroundings from distance or when physical contact is already made)

Orientation - Kamae (Posture) & Ma ai (Distance)

Decision - Tai Sabaki (Body handling/avoidance in response to attack)

Action - Kuzushi (balance breaking) & Kake (Ending technique e.g. strike, throw, lock or combination)

At least the above is how I see them relating to each other. Interestingly enough there is not a clear one to one distinction between the Aikido elements and the OODA paradigm ...
I am familiar with the OODA from my days flying helicopters in the Navy. The way in which you are comparing it with your training paradigm seems very useful. However, OODA is less a teaching methodology than it is an classificaiton of strategic management process. Its purpose is to ensure that all relevant inputs to effective action have been mustered before committing. That is one criticism of the "fit" of OODA as a teaching paradigm.

Secondarily, Boyd meant it to be applied by increasing tempo "inside" the enemy's own OODA cycle timing, to create confusion and tactical advantage. This increase in tempo is a direct result of training to refine the process. This is clearly an aspect of judo training where certain engagements are practiced like joseki in Go to achieve instant recognition and preemptive reaction to the commonly seen "set-up" patterns. But O Sensei said plainly that timing is not really what aikido is about, and relative sente is not supposed to affect aikido in the way that other arts are affected by it. That is my other criticism.

Decision is the least apt. Aikido is not really deciding to do anything, or perhaps rather, one has already commited to decide one thing -- always enter/turn into a connection. One does that at any point in the attack that the connection is formed -- early timing, even timing, late timing. One goes where things wish to go of themselves, but in this Orientation and Observation are critical, and in that order, in my view. In fact most of the time if I "Decide" to do a technique or certain body movement, then the dynamic often escapes me because it just may not be there.

Thus, if aikido follows a similar cognitive cycle, I would suggest it is in a different order because the Decision step is meant to be left out ( "techniques create themselves"). Also because the nature of ki no kokyu requires it, the body must first be prepared (oriented) before it can properly perceive (observe) what is there to be felt in a kokyu connection.

1) Orient (seek connection, first connecting all of one's own parts together properly)

2) Observe (connect to opponent providing sensitivity to movement)

3) Act (enter/turn where 1 & 2 lead you in a critical path)

In any given practice technique I can map this cycle in several iterations:

Aikido training is meant to dispose the body in a hopefully constant state of proper orientation [O] before any hostility

(If not, then the first OOA loop is -- from a poor orientation [O], realizing a threat [O] and then acting so as to pull yourself together [A])

Continuing, once that proper orientation is attained:

Awareness of hostility occurs and it may be observed, -- [O]

An attack is launched, and the body simply moves in close correspondence to the attack [A]

Orientaiton is maintained (in a sense) by irimi tenkan or a new orientation is formed by contact (vice "deciding") [O]

New informaiton may be observed within the orientaiton of that contact, [O]

Action occurs in the connection precisely in accordance with and to match the observaton (not "deciding") [A]

In that sense aikido achieves, in its essential eliminiation of that Decision step, the tactical advantage Boyd was seeking in increasing the cycle tempo for the more general strategic scenario.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 11-11-2007, 01:19 PM   #17
Michael Douglas
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

I like slo-mo training, especially removed from reference to OODA or any other abbreviations for cognitive concepts.
I do find that slo-mo training requires quite a bit of training to be able to do. The unconcious desire to speed up is very hard to manage. Two big elements (at least) are missing and have to be 'imagined' during slo-mo : speed(of course) and momentum. Not 'imagining' correctly will lead to huge misunderstandings and useless training, so we try to be aware.
I still like it.

If training time is rather limited I'd say full speed training takes precedence.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:31 PM   #18
Aikibu
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Quote:
Michael Douglas wrote: View Post
I like slo-mo training, especially removed from reference to OODA or any other abbreviations for cognitive concepts.
I do find that slo-mo training requires quite a bit of training to be able to do. The unconcious desire to speed up is very hard to manage. Two big elements (at least) are missing and have to be 'imagined' during slo-mo : speed(of course) and momentum. Not 'imagining' correctly will lead to huge misunderstandings and useless training, so we try to be aware.
I still like it.

If training time is rather limited I'd say full speed training takes precedence.
I agree...Another legimate observation of most Aikido classes would be the complancey bred into slow speed training....The goal of every practice should be IMO the ability to apply Aiki principles at full speed under duress...From what I see of the harder styles Tomiki, Shotokan, and ours, address the issue at the beginning with the basics...I think the OODA loop should apply to tempo slow at first to understand the varibles and then progess to full speed. That paradigm can be hard to execute if the class is not used to it...and the responsibilty for tempo lies upon the Sensei to push the pace without sacrificing Aiki principles in the process...

By the way most MMA that I have experianced have the same issues and most instructors do a better job of pushing tempo without sacrificing principles.

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 11-12-2007 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 11-12-2007, 12:38 PM   #19
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Thanks to Eric Mead for bringing up an excellent point...Does anyone else have anything to contiribute?

William Hazen
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:08 PM   #20
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

This gets right to the point of contention in some of the other threads about resisting someone when they are in a different mode of practice (or teaching for that matter). That one can successfully resist / overcome one's partner is not necessarily an indication of skill -- it is an indication that one is able to process through this cycle in such a way to anticipate or counter the other's movements. But if the partners have different motives, i.e., if one is trying to show or study something in particular and not trying to defeat the other, then for the other to claim "ha! I have defeated you!" is a statement coming from ignorance of half of the interaction.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:30 PM   #21
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

Quote:
Chris Guzik wrote: View Post
This gets right to the point of contention in some of the other threads about resisting someone when they are in a different mode of practice (or teaching for that matter). That one can successfully resist / overcome one's partner is not necessarily an indication of skill -- it is an indication that one is able to process through this cycle in such a way to anticipate or counter the other's movements. But if the partners have different motives, i.e., if one is trying to show or study something in particular and not trying to defeat the other, then for the other to claim "ha! I have defeated you!" is a statement coming from ignorance of half of the interaction.
True...However this issue is an ethical one between Uke, Nage and the Sensei when it concerns motives...If your motive with practice is better yourself and your Dojo mates... This issue is moot. If your motives are the ones you suggested and they crop up in a practice session then hopefully the Sensei and your partner will help you correct this training defect. As Shoji Nishio once said the goal is "sincere heart through austere practice."

William Hazen
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:28 AM   #22
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
OODA is less a teaching methodology than it is an classificaiton of strategic management process. Its purpose is to ensure that all relevant inputs to effective action have been mustered before committing. That is one criticism of the "fit" of OODA as a teaching paradigm.
Quite true.
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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Secondarily, Boyd meant it to be applied by increasing tempo "inside" the enemy's own OODA cycle timing, to create confusion and tactical advantage. This increase in tempo is a direct result of training to refine the process. This is clearly an aspect of judo training where certain engagements are practiced like joseki in Go to achieve instant recognition and preemptive reaction to the commonly seen "set-up" patterns. But O Sensei said plainly that timing is not really what aikido is about, and relative sente is not supposed to affect aikido in the way that other arts are affected by it. That is my other criticism.
Maybe it's because Tomiki approached Aikido based on principles found in all Japanese Budo, especially Jujutsu/Judo and Kenjutsu/Kendo (as compared to what Ueshiba M. says about timing, though I doubt that the two men are in disagreement here), but increasing tempo inside the attacker's own OODA cycle seems to fit quite well with our Aikido, especially when dealing with a skilled attacker.

Through practice at the Randori geiko level (number 4 in my first post) it is quickly realized that in the event that ones initial waza fails, unless one is able to create kaeshiwaza that ones partner (who is also trained in Aikido) cannot detect, then the OODA loops of both persons keeps resetting as neither person is able to short circuit the other to complete their kaeshi waza. This perpetual loop is only stopped when one is able to move in such a way that his partner is either misled (lead) into his counter without detecting the setup or moving faster (quicker tempo) within his partner's loop so that he cannot react quickly enough to short circuit the technique and restart the loop. Here is where things like leading, relaxation, connection, sensitivity, timing, fluidity of motion, correct power generation etc. become critical elements since dealing with a skilled attacker/partner means dealing with someone who has an increased sensitivity to potential attempts to short circuit their waza/OODA loop and are quite capable of doing so themselves (Nishio's quote about effectiveness against other MA comes to mind ).
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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Decision is the least apt. Aikido is not really deciding to do anything, or perhaps rather, one has already commited to decide one thing -- always enter/turn into a connection. One does that at any point in the attack that the connection is formed -- early timing, even timing, late timing. One goes where things wish to go of themselves, but in this Orientation and Observation are critical, and in that order, in my view. In fact most of the time if I "Decide" to do a technique or certain body movement, then the dynamic often escapes me because it just may not be there.
Imho the above does not mesh with the concept/principle of Mushin Mugamae (No Mind, No Posture), which again admittedly is something drilled in our Shodokan training so I defer if this is not a common thing in other schools. There should be no commitment in mind or body until one discerns the correct way to move to deal with the attacker. In the sense of a strike for example, if I Observe and Orient myself to deal with the attack (Metsuke, Ma Ai, Kamae) but do not decide to do anything, then I will get hit as the attacker recalibrates to deal with my orientation (shutdown of my own OODA loop). The act of tai sabaki or moving the body off line to deal with an attack is a decision to move in a particular direction that best suits the principles of effective Aiki waza to resolve the conflict. Granted it is often an unconscious decision during free practice and application, but it is a decision nevertheless imho. In Aikido I will admit however that all of what I indicated above (the entire OODA loop) literally happens within an instant (takemusu Aiki?) so separation of the different elements can be tricky.

Taken from another perspective, think of how during a real life attack the adrenaline dump alone can short circuit an OODA loop, causing one to Freeze on the spot, Fight without truly discerning the nature of the threat and most effective response to the situation or take Flight, running away where escape may not even be an option.

William your thread has me looking at my waza and practice through an even finer microscope now. Good comments all.

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I think the OODA loop should apply to tempo slow at first to understand the varibles and then progess to full speed. That paradigm can be hard to execute if the class is not used to it...and the responsibilty for tempo lies upon the Sensei to push the pace without sacrificing Aiki principles in the process...
Totally agreed.

Gambatte.

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Old 11-13-2007, 08:04 AM   #23
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

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Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Imho the above does not mesh with the concept/principle of Mushin Mugamae (No Mind, No Posture), which again admittedly is something drilled in our Shodokan training so I defer if this is not a common thing in other schools. There should be no commitment in mind or body until one discerns the correct way to move to deal with the attacker.
I do not dispute that the goal of traditional Aikido aimed toward takemusu (self-creating technique) may be achieved in other ways. I just think that Aikido operates by something other than the OODA paradigm, and actually your comment seems to suggest that is the case among the Shodothu.. er, NICE friendly, neighborhood Shodokan practitioners.

My point is that OODA is a rationalist paradigm with a definite conscious decision step. I perceive aikido, when it is functioning properly, decides nothing consciously or rationally -- being properly oriented to begin with, internally and externally, aware of surroundings and entering into continual connection with them, no decision is necessary. Keeping connection is not a decision , it is just maintaining orientation and the contact necessary for awareness to make that orientation function AS action, and at some point in the process the attack moves outside of his support and collapses. I think the Mushin-mugamae probably accomplishes that as well, at least from what I roughly know of that approach . .

The point is when I do it right in randori or jiyuwaza I do not have to think or strategize, a priori, or rather, all my strategy has been poured into training the sensibility of the art prior to any encounter. More to the point, when I try to think or strategize -- it generally does not work. The art maps the envelope of dynamic paths and connected interactions that are possible with human structure, without resisting or rejecting the attack. Not having to decide what to do, I am already doing what uke's movement requires within that envelope, by being continually oriented and connecting. To put it another way, I move as he moves me -- but as the art would have me move -- not as he would have me move.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:23 AM   #24
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

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Michael Fooks wrote: View Post
We use OODA a lot as part of our BJJ training. I often talk about getting inside the OODA loop. For example (apologies for those that are not familiar with the bjj terminology), On the progression from under/over control with hooks in ->double hook sweep->side control->far side armbar, you are pretty much orientating yourself to the armbar opportunity while the opponent is still thinking about (orientated to) the guard pass. IOW, it's a slightly complex but high value chain as for many opponents they never get re-orientated in time to Act in a way that's going to defend.
Same with the kimura from half guard - they are orientated to the guardpass while you are acting on the sub. Much of the success in sparring comes from getting inside your opponents OODA imo.

My BJJ coach John Will has an interesting theory that the D can be taken out of the loop. If you have a well trained "Immediate Action" for every "snapshot" you take during training there is very little decision making to be done. I think this corresponds nicely to theories of flow state or mushin.
Thanks for the insight Michael.

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Old 11-13-2007, 09:53 AM   #25
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Re: Realistic Training Part One: The OODA Loop

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I do not dispute that the goal of traditional Aikido aimed toward takemusu (self-creating technique) may be achieved in other ways. I just think that Aikido operates by something other than the OODA paradigm, and actually your comment seems to suggest that is the case among the Shodothu.. er, NICE friendly, neighborhood Shodokan practitioners.

My point is that OODA is a rationalist paradigm with a definite conscious decision step. I perceive aikido, when it is functioning properly, decides nothing consciously or rationally -- being properly oriented to begin with, internally and externally, aware of surroundings and entering into continual connection with them, no decision is necessary. Keeping connection is not a decision , it is just maintaining orientation and the contact necessary for awareness to make that orientation function AS action, and at some point in the process the attack moves outside of his support and collapses. I think the Mushin-mugamae probably accomplishes that as well, at least from what I roughly know of that approach . .

The point is when I do it right in randori or jiyuwaza I do not have to think or strategize, a priori, or rather, all my strategy has been poured into training the sensibility of the art prior to any encounter. More to the point, when I try to think or strategize -- it generally does not work. The art maps the envelope of dynamic paths and connected interactions that are possible with human structure, without resisting or rejecting the attack. Not having to decide what to do, I am already doing what uke's movement requires within that envelope, by being continually oriented and connecting. To put it another way, I move as he moves me -- but as the art would have me move -- not as he would have me move.
Good point Eric...Let me answer this with a question If according to my Zen Roshi I am already enlightened... Then why should I do zazen???

I think the OODA loop is a way to understand 'rationally' the application of the principles you've mentioned....

William Hazen
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