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Old 05-01-2008, 12:42 PM   #51
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
That link is a gem - got any more?
http://www.thearma.org/manuals.htm

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To use a somewhat facetious example, you could take a very good tennis swing, and then convert it into a punch. It might not be a very good punch.
I'm sure being slapped by John McEnroe could be an enjoyable experience.

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Old 05-01-2008, 01:36 PM   #52
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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This is a brilliant analogy.

When people ask if Aikido works in a fight, usually what they are asking (and they don't even know it) is, "is Aikido English".

By that I mean, they want to know if Aikido fits into their idea of what "fighting" is. If they think fighting is unarmed one on one combat, then trying to "speak" Aikido to them is like trying to ask for a cup of hot coffie, in Spanish; while in a room full of non Spanish speaking people!

It would seem that your language doesn't work. If no one in the room had ever heard Spanish they could easily say, "That's not even a language", and leave you wondering if your parents had played a cruel joke on you.
Do people fight differently if they are non-English?

Coffie, coffee, cafe, close enough to get a cup in most restaurants.

David
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Old 05-01-2008, 05:54 PM   #53
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Do people fight differently if they are non-English?

Coffie, coffee, cafe, close enough to get a cup in most restaurants.

David
Some people don't understand analogy, that's ok...

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Old 05-01-2008, 08:29 PM   #54
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Of the many theories I'm entertaining about aikido, this is perhaps my "null hypothesis" or default assumption. It's also kind of my worst nightmare. To wit: aikido has no rhyme or reason to it. It's -complete- nonsense; a martial art that, due to a lack of "live" practice, has degenerated into stylized absurdity.
Paul
I'd hold on to that theory.
If you remove the power behind them- well you don't need to remove it, it’s largely absent already-you don't have much.
Looking at it as most learn it, (from the outside-in) the waza is so improbable that many experienced and more rational men frequently make observations like you have made. In other words your use of the term "absurd" as a description isn't a big stretch from the other critiques offered.
I might offer you a different view in person. In other words, you might want to consider there are men who trained in it, and got *it* to one degree or another. I mean go ti in the sense of what the real power is in DR. My body skills came directly from Daito ryu and no where else. Yet I refuse to be involved in any manner of stylized absurdity in what we do here in our training. Daito ryu's power is substantial. I believe it stands among the greats in martial arts today. But just like Taiji, Xing-I and Bagua...trying to find the power through all the smoke and mirrors and teachers who really have no business teaching is getting harder every year. I've met and seen some horribly inept *teachers" in the internal CMA as well.
The other take on DR’s weaknesses is one it shares with Aikido’s as well. There is no live resistive training. One party attacks, then whether he believe it or not instantly “sets up his body to get ready to take the Ukemi of his partner.
This get confusing to teachers and students alike who start to believe they are really “doing” a substantive waza they could follow through on had the attack been flowing and resistive. It is perfectly ridiculous, even blatantly obvious, yet the truth of it remains obscure to most in the aiki derived arts.
What takes many words to describe and outline can typically be rendered obvious in person in quick order. A body in a retained balanced state of continued attack has no relationship to the body offering an attack and taking Ukemi. Though it has become a topic raised by Me and Ellis here in these pages, the depth of what it conveys can’t be addressed in a simple post.

It is commonly said of Daito ryu that your center is taken and you don’t voluntarily get thrown like you do in aikido. While most who have experienced high level DR aiki might agree with that, it certainly has been written about ad nauseum, it still is deficient.
Why?
If you are getting thrown by a theoretical aiki master every time you attack him, then let’s reverse that. Let’s have the aiki teacher attack you. Does he attack you in the same manner as he defended himself using aiki? If he did, then I’d assume all things being equal- you could NOT throw him. Make sense?

Why not train adepts to move and use skill on both sides? Aiki and anti-aiki vying to cancel and absorb, trap and redirect. Anti-aiki!
Anti-aiki training is more profound then the standard pattern of attack with normal strength as uke and receive as shite with aiki. Reverse the roles.
So, where do we find aiki masters attacking aiki masters with aiki? Then receiving and changing with aiki and countering the absorption with aiki?
In Taiji
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:55 PM   #55
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

As I understand it, aikido is about giving up ego-based movement and re-learning internal martial arts and in so doing getting to know your ego and manifesting your true self. The problem is of course that the transmition of internal skills to only the most intuitive tremendously gifted students through kinethetic perspection from teacher to student is a tall order because there simply are not enough of either the such teachers or such students.

What is the issue people seem to have against "principle based training"? All I can guess is that they are against it in favor of "alive training". Is that so? I don't get it. Principle is supposed to be as opposed to training "tactics" that are not then generalized (and turned into principles). The idea being that you cannot prepare for every tactic.

It seems to me that training aikido in terms of internal skills becomes principle based training. Training aikido in terms of weapons retention seems like it becomes a tactics based system. I just can't get on board with that idea as the gestault.

Rob
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:23 PM   #56
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

Hi Rob
For me principle based training was a term that got allot of play in the late 80's to 90's. As the years went by and I got to feel some guys and talked privately with them, it was not at all what I was considering as principle based training- so I stopped using it. IME people approach arts through waza, then they may approach them through some common movements (principles) they each developed that drive the waza. The better ones had some semblance of sense to them. Many were corse or *rote* external movement drills that more or less worked on other muscular derived techniques every time, so the became principles. Think of connecting to someones arms and trying to down weight them in front. Then carrying their weight out from their base by pulling away. Their sense of weight increases exponentially so various arts called this a "principle." Nothing wrong with that right? What many of those guys were calling aiki-I was looking at and calling it jujutsu. They were just not approaching the martial arts from where I was.

Our model is to change the body and create internal power, and learning to use it in actual skills *in movement and in play* against force. First in slow motion in paired work to develop structure, intent, and ability to listen and change, later in rapid quick change-ups. None of that is done with any principles as I have heard or seen commonly discussed in the JMA. The result is learning to create kuzushi on contact, then to be able to freely move while maintaining it and building upon it.

Last edited by DH : 05-03-2008 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 11:35 AM   #57
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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As I understand it, aikido is about giving up ego-based movement and re-learning internal martial arts and in so doing getting to know your ego and manifesting your true self. The problem is of course that the transmition of internal skills to only the most intuitive tremendously gifted students through kinethetic perspection from teacher to student is a tall order because there simply are not enough of either the such teachers or such students.

What is the issue people seem to have against "principle based training"? All I can guess is that they are against it in favor of "alive training". Is that so? I don't get it. Principle is supposed to be as opposed to training "tactics" that are not then generalized (and turned into principles). The idea being that you cannot prepare for every tactic.

It seems to me that training aikido in terms of internal skills becomes principle based training. Training aikido in terms of weapons retention seems like it becomes a tactics based system. I just can't get on board with that idea as the gestault.

Rob
I need to clarify some terms, to be sure I'm understanding this.

"tactics" based training to me, would mean things like boxing combinations, or judo throwing combinations. Is that what it means to you?

"Principle" based training to me, means training around a major principle, or theory. Like the idea of Aiki, Jiu, or leverage. It sounds like you might be calling this what I would call "forms" based training (see next). Is this correct?

"Forms" based training, also called Kata. Training based on the idea of studying a prearranged set of actions, to practice one of several idealized situations.

"Alive" training. The idea of training spontaneously, with a non cooperative partner(s).

These would be my rough definitions of some of the terms you used. None of these are exclusive to the others, I use them all in the way we train. Can you tell me if these roughly meet your definition?

We've gone off topic again...

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Old 05-04-2008, 04:04 PM   #58
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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We've gone off topic again...
Let's go slighty back on topic then.

Hayanawa Kappō Kenpō Kyōhan Zukai Zen

Translator notes are worth reading too.

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Old 05-04-2008, 08:44 PM   #59
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

I'll try to wrap things up and bring things back on topic as well.

All "major" principles are really meta-principles of the "principle of correspondence" (which is: as above so below, as below so above). Meaning something is true on all levels.

To train tactics or forms to then discover meta-principles and re-apply them is a fine approach (outside in) when you do not have access to a teacher who can start you off with the principles (and let you train more efficiently from inside out).

I think what I should have said (to get back on topic here) is that if you base your martial arts on the aiki principles that are the gokuii of DR (and aikido for that matter) AND you practice manifesting them in the forms, and then take that experience to the next level and practice them "alive" you are approaching things from the most efficient path. The problem is gaining direct access to _those_ principles. We have some who are willing to share. I personally recommend we all try to take advantage of this unique opportunity.

I can see where practicing aikido as a weapons retention system will give people some very good experience in alive type of training - but to me it misses the point of the internal aiki skills principles and I would dare say that such practice before developing internal aiki skills will most likely works against development of internal aiki skills. The need to survive and keep the knife probably encourages good movement and strategic skills - but also unfortunately that need tends to encourage people to use muscles as opposed to proper structure and intention to develop the ability to raise your arms without "lifting" for shihonage, do ikkyo without "pushing" or "chopping", do iriminage without "pulling" and without "sneaky pulling".

I do not mean to put anyone's approach down. I mean to speak in terms of the principles being discussed on this thread and their implications. What might look like principles to some, will be considered "tactics" to people training deeper levels of aiki movement. (Which is what I believe Dan's point was and why I believe he dislikes the term principle-based training.)

I want to use the term "principle-based training" but maybe I'll start qualifying it and use "aiki-principle-based training" which ARE the Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques. As opposed to what people have been calling principle based training in the past.

Rob

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Old 05-04-2008, 09:38 PM   #60
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

Man, I was trying to get away from fancy words, so we can all understand each other, not make more confusion...

DCS,
That's a good find. How do you find all this good stuff. That's going to take me at least a week to go through. Thanks!

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Old 05-05-2008, 12:14 AM   #61
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Dan: create kuzushi on contact
Nothing wrong with pursuing new ideas - we all have to do that to get beyond being taught - we have to move into exploring. The trouble is which way to go. Well, just start. No one will lead you so just start. In the meantime, the ideas Dan has set out above are certainly something to aim for. How? Just start. That's it. I suggest you read his posts again - they make a lot of sense to me. Likewise, I pursue principles, yet, when I hear about other people talking about principles, they are nothing to do with my kind of principles. What one person calls a principle another calls a technique (not for me). Some call aiki a principle. Really? Well, how are you going to learn it? For me, principles are things that lead to aiki. Then, and only then, aiki might become a principle unto itself. The mistake, of course, would be to then teach aiki as a principle because it would be impossible for the average guy to learn. Finally, even if you can do good aiki, don't pratice the aiki too much, practice the stuff that got you there (if you want to develop it further). The icing on the cake may be good, but there really needs to be a good cake underneath it, and even the best cake goes off pretty quickly.

I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's how I see it.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 05-05-2008 at 12:18 AM.

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Old 05-05-2008, 07:11 AM   #62
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

I agree mainly with you Rupert.
In terms of understanding the Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques, you have to consider that studying simplicity is difficult and complex by it's very nature. The problem with complexity is that the various tools people tend to employ to deal with complexity are often misused. Reductionist thinking (wanting terms to be simple) is great if that approach actually will solve a multifaceted problem - where lateral thinking tends to be the better choice. Occum's Razor is a tool to cut through complexity and try to make sense of some patterns in the chaos - but it is ofen used to DISMISS the rest of the complexity and chaos which leads nowhere of much value.

The term "aiki" itself too often falls victim to reductionism. People say "ai" is blending, and "ki" is energy. I find it much more helpful to consider that the term "aiki" was borrowed from the name of the "okugi" level of some sword school that Osensei knew about. Okugi and therefor aiki were meant to represent the level of "depth". "aiki" meaning depth, far better represents internal skills set as the Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques - if you ask me.

Rob

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Old 05-05-2008, 11:23 PM   #63
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Okugi and therefor aiki were meant to represent the level of "depth". "aiki" meaning depth, far better represents internal skills set as the Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques - if you ask me.
Rob
Sorry, for me, aiki is a skill, a learnable skill. First you need to find out what it is (experience), then you need to figure out how to learn it. And the most important point I have realised is that those who 'can do it' can't teach it. So, search, find, experience, then, ... a lot of experimentation ... with no guarantee. Just ... start. That's it.

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Old 05-06-2008, 05:30 AM   #64
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Let's go slighty back on topic then.

Hayanawa Kappō Kenpō Kyōhan Zukai Zen

Translator notes are worth reading too.
Demetrio wins.

In these illustrations, I think there's the suggestion of one key argument for the weapons theory -- they explain the "leading". That is, when the idea is uke struggling for tori's weapon, it makes sense that tori can turn and uke will naturally follow, even keeping the same grip.

Now, I don't know whether or not these techniques are any good...and in fact, they look kind of sketchy to me in some cases...but this is the sort of thing that could at least be testable and potentially lead to a functional explanation for why aikido techniques are the way they are. I think that could do a lot for aikido.

Of course, there are also what look like bizarre, vestigial techniques, such as the ones Ellis Amdur has described in his examinations of Daito-ryu: e.g., the ones that start with uke raising a hand above his head for some sort of weird yokomenuchi or something. I can't believe that people -ever- fought like that. Perhaps those techniques could be partially or wholly redeemed by talking about a blow with an object.

As a somewhat irrelevant aside, it was interesting to see the footwork on page 60. I'd only seen that before as a preparation for a sword thrust, or as a base for sokumen iriminage in Yoshokai/Yoshinkan.

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 05-06-2008 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:32 AM   #65
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

HA! Okay, well I wasn't aware that there were in fact winners of online discussions, but congradulatins Demetrio! Please contact Paul to claim your prize.

Rupert, I have to go with the definition of aiki in terms of Japanese and the orgin of the word's usage in terms of Osensei to describe what he was doing. But I think we can actaully meet in the middle. I would certainly go so far as to agree that aiki represents a skill set - one that has so much "depth" that it is difficult to find anyone who can teach it at all, let alone directly. -Rob

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:33 AM   #66
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
Now, I don't know whether or not these techniques are any good...and in fact, they look kind of sketchy to me in some cases...but this is the sort of thing that could at least be testable and potentially lead to a functional explanation for why aikido techniques are the way they are. I think that could do a lot for aikido.
They look (and probably are) sketchy and lacking functionality if (imo) the performer lacks ki/aiki/kokyu/body skills/bujutsu body/The Force(tm)/chi/jing/mojo/younameit....

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HA! Okay, well I wasn't aware that there were in fact winners of online discussions, but congradulatins Demetrio! Please contact Paul to claim your prize.
Masashiku katta watashi wa katta katsukoto ikioi hageshii reiryoku aka Masakatsu Agatsu Katsu Hayabi.

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:48 AM   #67
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

They don't have to be big techniques ending with the dominate position when you have a weapon. Having a free weapon IS the dominate position!

Also, those guys didn't have the internet back then. They couldn't look up a thousand techniques a day on youtube. So any little ideas they came across must have been like gold. A simple bump, shove, or arm hold they hand never before thought of could possibly save their life!

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Old 05-06-2008, 09:54 AM   #68
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Also, those guys didn't have the internet back then. They couldn't look up a thousand techniques a day on youtube. So any little ideas they came across must have been like gold. A simple bump, shove, or arm hold they hand never before thought of could possibly save their life!
Notice the succes of karate when arrived to mainland Japan....seems the japanese never though much about punching and kicking before.

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Old 05-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #69
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

Without downplaying the importance of training "the internals" or "aiki" (as defined elsewhere - perhaps most frequently on the "Non-Aikido" forum), I believe it's perfectly reasonable to have a "principles"-based approach to jujutsu - providing that at some point you're able to identify exactly what that means (gross motor movements, muscle reactions, etc.) in the overall context of training.

Which then ties back into the idea that we might not all be talking about the same thing, so the more that can be aptly described in basic terms (i.e. not using buzzwords), then probably the easier it is to have a conversation around these topics.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:23 PM   #70
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Notice the succes of karate when arrived to mainland Japan....seems the japanese never though much about punching and kicking before.
That seemed so silly to me until just a few years ago. I could never understand why the Japanese had such weak striking martial arts.

Then I realized they had very strong striking arts. It's just that they were smart enough to figure out striking you with a sword, stick, or chain is a way better idea then trying to strike you with an empty hand or foot! And wrestling was what you did when you couldn't strike.

Last edited by ChrisHein : 05-06-2008 at 06:26 PM.

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Old 05-06-2008, 06:24 PM   #71
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Which then ties back into the idea that we might not all be talking about the same thing, so the more that can be aptly described in basic terms (i.e. not using buzzwords), then probably the easier it is to have a conversation around these topics.
Good post!

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Old 05-06-2008, 10:47 PM   #72
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Masashiku katta watashi wa katta katsukoto ikioi hageshii reiryoku aka Masakatsu Agatsu Katsu Hayabi.
Is it possible that I have also achieved true victory over myself but Paul wasn't there to tell me I won? OR does this mean that after you won, your prise was the kojiki?

In terms of the orgins, basic terms are great if they are not so reductionist that you through the baby out with the bath water.

Rob
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:46 AM   #73
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

If people want to talk about "principles", I would argue that "the way people move/fight with and without weapons around" is sufficiently abstract and broad to count as a "principle". In fact, it sounds to me like a "key" or "organizing" principle.

And I'm sorry to tell you this, Rob, but transcendental self-victory is null and void unless its achievement is duly notarized by a licensed enlightenment certifier. I suggest making an appointment with one beforehand.
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Old 05-07-2008, 03:55 AM   #74
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

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Rupert, I have to go with the definition of aiki in terms of Japanese and the orgin of the word's usage in terms of Osensei to describe what he was doing. But I think we can actaully meet in the middle. I would certainly go so far as to agree that aiki represents a skill set - one that has so much "depth" that it is difficult to find anyone who can teach it at all, let alone directly. -Rob
Sorry - but I need to pursue my point. To do this, forget what you think. Open your mind to a new idea. Don't try to meet me halfway. Just try to understand me and if you don't like it ignore it. First, I am not interested in what O-Sensei said, or what someone said they thought he said. No one really knows as even his best students admit they could not understand him. And how do we know he was doing what he said he was doing? If what he said was important/useful, his students would all be able to do what he could do and that is clearly not the case.

To me, aiki is not a skill 'set'. It is 'a' principle we should be seeking. 'One' principle. Think - can you topple your partner in suwariwaza kokyu-ho? If you can, then think - how can I use this skill in other techs? If you can't, you have to figure it out. And then, add resistance. If you get it right, it works no matter how hard they resist. The easier it is to topple him without using your own strength, against increasing levels of his resistance, the better your own skill, or aiki. To me, aiki can be found in this one exercise (and in many others). And this 'aiki' = one thing, one method = one principle. It is not - if he does A I do X; if he does B I do Y; if he does C I do Z. Rather, no matter what he does, I do aiki (or try to). Then, once you have the incling of an idea, you can 'begin' to put it into everything else = other techniques.

Does that make any sense? Easy to show, hard to explain.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 05-07-2008 at 04:00 AM.

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Old 05-07-2008, 04:34 AM   #75
rob_liberti
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Re: Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques

Quote:
Easy to show, hard to explain
I tried aiki as a single skill and stunk at it for far too long. If I tried to explain aiki it would be something like this:

To achieve aiki in kokyu ho, and/or any situation for that matter, I _currently_ need to set my structure so I am not in the way of myself. I have to set my intent up and down my spine at the same time such that every part of my has to be flowing upward and downward at the same time with that intent. I have to hold myself such that my structural weaknesses are closed down with other lines of intent all happening at the same time. I have to pivot around my spine such that it and my hips do not move much at all. I have to feel how my own weight on my feet is expressed thorugh my hands (and arms, and shoulders sometimes) upward and over my partner/attacker and beyond them at the same time I convert any kind of pushing they are doing on me back into them generally underneath their pushing. I have to fix my intention to be in agreement with anything they are doing to me and completely welcome it while setting my intention in other directional lines for stabilization. When anyone touches me I have to be instantly touching their center (not moving around trying to find it) and they need to feel that their attack is generally sending them upward (or downward) and THEN I need to blend with their reaction such that I continue to follow my spine's connection to them through their spine and do it in a way thay I never lose my integrity. If they have been working such things then I have to employ some strategy to get there first and/or use soft power to blow through them anyway.
ALL of that skillset is aiki to me..

So unfortunately I guess I'm unable to meet you halfway (although I tried) and at this point I'm sorry but I'm just unwilling to forget what I think I know now that I'm working things this way (where it is not difficult for me to explain)

And by the way Paul, when I am achieving all of those lines of intent (and the various principles I described a bit), I have achieved victory over myself right then.

Rob
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