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Old 08-14-2008, 02:54 PM   #1
Will Prusner
 
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What comes after Aikido?

I've read alot of posts lately about resistance and atemi. After watching hours of video of the founder, I notice that because of the demonstrative nature of the footage (i assume), technique seems to have the desired result the first time, every time. Since we and our technique is all fallible, what would you call what you would do if a technique fails to produce the result desired? This question is being asked in the context of an unavoidable violent encounter, not during cooperative training on the mat.

If thats too vague, hypothetically, someone swings at your face (insert attack of your choice here). The situation for applying ikkyo (insert technique of your choice here) presents itself. You perform the ikkyo (chosen technique), but for some reason (maybe their balance was not taken or they were able to regain it) you find yourself holding the arm of an angry individual, hellbent on your demise, who is now more prepared to resist further technique.

Would you maintain proper posture and alignment and see what possibilities develop? Would you wait for them to launch another attack?

Would you throw atemi in order to open more possibilities for aikido
technique (and/or to break person's resistance) or maybe throw atemi and just keep striking until the threat was neutralized?

Would you revert to technique from another art you've studied, possibly some kind of stand up grappling (maybe like judo)? Would you throw atemi in preparation for this kind of technique?

Would you call a "do over"?

Would you still call it Aikido when it was all said and done?

I realize the actual response will vary according to which, if any, other martial arts you have studied, but i'm more interested in how you would classify your reaction to the worst case scenario, your aikido technique fails at a crucial moment.

In other words, what picks up where Aikido leaves off (if you believe it's possible for aikido to "leave off" at all)?

W.

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

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:08 PM   #2
ChrisMoses
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
William Prusner wrote: View Post
In other words, what picks up where Aikido leaves off (if you believe it's possible for aikido to "leave off" at all)?

W.
Jujutsu, which is why it should be the foundation for good aikido. Then when the super subtle stuff doesn't go down like you planned, you still have something besides good intentions...

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:16 PM   #3
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Technique will fail, but that's not the end of the aikido. As long as I have a connection with the opponent, the aikido continues. So ikkyo becomes irimi-nage becomes koshinage becomes kokyunage. It will probably not look pretty, not like all the demonstrations. But, ideally, the aikido should never start and never stop. It should always be in effect.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
Conrad Gus
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

My Sensei recently told me that truly effective aikido isn't the ability to make shihonage work on somebody trying to kill you with a knife or broken bottle. Applied aikido is the principles being applied in any situation, no matter what that might end up looking like.
  • diffuse the situation
  • run away
  • enter and atemi
  • go around and unbalance
  • et cetera

You're not going to execute a beautiful yonkyo on someone weilding a machete at your face. That's just crazy.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:23 PM   #5
Alfonso
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Technique will fail, but that's not the end of the aikido. As long as I have a connection with the opponent, the aikido continues. So ikkyo becomes irimi-nage becomes koshinage becomes kokyunage. It will probably not look pretty, not like all the demonstrations. But, ideally, the aikido should never start and never stop. It should always be in effect.
I think this is a very good way of putting it. Waza are endings , set pieces for study.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:14 PM   #6
Amassus
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

I agree with the others thus far.

Aikido doesn't teach technique alone. All the principles behind the techniques are what will keep you safe. Dwelling on a technique will trap your mind and the end would be ugly.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:55 PM   #7
Will Prusner
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
...aikido isn't the ability to make shihonage work on somebody...
and

Quote:
Dean Suter wrote: View Post
Dwelling on a technique will trap your mind and the end would be ugly.
Right, I agree completely. I'm not asking about forcing a technique or even being committed to a particular technique. To clarify, the technique fails, the person is now resisting. If they were caught off guard by the failed technique, they might be expecting something along the same lines if they launch another attack. Is the jig up? Is it time for Atemi in an attempt to get the juice flowing in a more conducive manner? Would you go on the offensive, or wait for them to make a move?

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

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:06 PM   #8
MM
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Somewhere it's written that Ueshiba talked about takemusu aiki. I guess one of the translations could be viewed as spontaneous technique.

This is not predefined technique. And most acknowledge that. So, spontaneous means something just happens. In that view, whatever happens, no matter what it looks like will be some sort of "technique". We train to recognize the principles behind the techniques, not to apply "techniques".

Now, we look to aiki. If aiki is something along the lines of "appropriately matching", then we can view aiki as something that happens inside you. No resistance in aikido, remember? So, there is an appropriate matching going on inside oneself that goes beyond resisting the attack.

Putting that together, when you have takemusu aiki, you have an instantaneously trained body that appropriately matches whatever attack, or force, is trying to affect you.

And, in that sense, there is never "what comes after aikido". It isn't really a matter of thinking that a technique fails and something else must follow. Rather it is training the body, mind, and spirit, to spontaneously and instantaneously match in a very relaxed, sensitive manner to create the appropriate response.

IMO anyway,
Mark
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Old 08-14-2008, 09:21 PM   #9
Hebrew Hammer
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Technique will fail, but that's not the end of the aikido. As long as I have a connection with the opponent, the aikido continues. So ikkyo becomes irimi-nage becomes koshinage becomes kokyunage. It will probably not look pretty, not like all the demonstrations. But, ideally, the aikido should never start and never stop. It should always be in effect.
Josh, great piece of writing here...I'd frame that if I were you and put it up on your wall....I'm gonna plagiarize it myself.

Stay Cut,

The Hebrew Hammer
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:05 PM   #10
Dathan Camacho
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Very interesting thread. I'm not the voice of experience, but this thread reminds me of the cliche "failing to prepare is preparing to fail."

I would expect that if your training is solely comprised of kata, you'd be suprised by a situation where your technique fails, and it might catch you off guard. However, if you've incorporated randori in your training, maybe you'll have been in situations where your technique failed multiple times, and be better prepared to improvise?

Our sensei rotates us through 3 levels of training, roughly:

1) kata (the foundation)
2) randori w/ mild resistance (the application)
3) randori w/ full resistance (the reality check)

For level 3, uke wears boxing gloves and nage wears head gear and a mouth piece. =)

I really like this multi-level approach, because I think it helps me find out what I know, and more importantly, what I think I know, but really don't. =)

My sensei learned this approach from Meritt Stevens Shihan, who taught Aikido and self defense to the department of corrections officers in Ohio. I'm guessing that other dojo's have similar approaches?
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:12 PM   #11
Buck
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
Somewhere it's written that Ueshiba talked about takemusu aiki. I guess one of the translations could be viewed as spontaneous technique.

This is not predefined technique. And most acknowledge that. So, spontaneous means something just happens. In that view, whatever happens, no matter what it looks like will be some sort of "technique". We train to recognize the principles behind the techniques, not to apply "techniques".

Now, we look to aiki. If aiki is something along the lines of "appropriately matching", then we can view aiki as something that happens inside you. No resistance in aikido, remember? So, there is an appropriate matching going on inside oneself that goes beyond resisting the attack.

Putting that together, when you have takemusu aiki, you have an instantaneously trained body that appropriately matches whatever attack, or force, is trying to affect you.

And, in that sense, there is never "what comes after aikido". It isn't really a matter of thinking that a technique fails and something else must follow. Rather it is training the body, mind, and spirit, to spontaneously and instantaneously match in a very relaxed, sensitive manner to create the appropriate response.

IMO anyway,
Mark
I look at mind, body, spirit and technique as a unified whole that has to take place for a well executed technique. I was taught that early on.

Mind is correct attitude, being focused, without distraction. There is that photo of O'Sensei with the staff over his head and the look in his eye says it all.

Body is unification of movement, coordination. You move as one unit. You train your body, to move as one unit. Naturally, we move segmented, disjointed, limbs and core don't work in sync. To move as one unit our limbs and core move together to generate the greatest power with the least effort or strain. This helps the body relax allowing it to moves unrestricted to generate power etc. We train our bodies to relax because we tend to tend to tense up naturally when exerting effort. This restricts our movements and motion.

Spirit is the right energy, it is the willingness to do the work. To go the extra mile. To be willing to use 110%.

Technique, alone I was told, is an empty shell, it needs all the other things to make it work right. I don't think allot of people just single out technique and call that Aikido. Aikido is like being good at things like sports that take the mind, body, and spirit together in order to be good.

I think those few who only see Aikido technically and only focus on technique need to see what it takes to be good at that technique. It doesn't come over night.

There is no end to Aikido, just those who don't see the infinite matrix that is Aikido. And if your technique fails, which mine does, it isn't because you need to get a patch to fix it. If your technique is failing, you might have to look deeper inside yourself and find what needs to be looked at closer. Maybe there isn't enough spirit, mind, or body. Maybe you need a better teacher. Maybe you need to be a better student.

Aikido is endless that makes it complete, you can always improve on what you do. There are allways new levels. You can always grow and develop. O'Sensei did Aikido until he died, and so has so many others, all of them grew and developed. I think that is why calligraphy is so important. That is why Aikido is also an art. There is beauty in that.

I don't think there is an Aikido after-life. Aikido is endless, maybe it is just that some people aren't endless.

Last edited by Buck : 08-14-2008 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:17 PM   #12
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

In the end, Aikido is in the heart.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:32 PM   #13
Buck
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

If you are really looking for a spot on, foot stomping, flag planting "end" to Aikido, O'Sensei gave it to us by saying that self-victory is the true victory. Who has come to that end?
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Old 08-14-2008, 10:49 PM   #14
Buck
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

After a thought and playing with the Chinese magic ring set, maybe an end would be boredom, impatience, frustration, looking for short cuts, etc. that would be an end. No that would be a death. What comes after that is anyone guess.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:03 PM   #15
Buck
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Now after a couple of shots of Patron Silver, and giving up on the rings, I looked up some Doka and by the spirits of the worm and Agave they guided me to this wise purport from Kisshomaru Ueshiba. "The aim of Aikido is a kindness of heart expressed through this spirit of budo." Wow, how great is that, I went to it spontaneously and instantaneously, must be Doka ki working inside of me.

This is Aikiweb's Doka for the day:
To command the forest of enemy blades arrayed before you,
Know that the enemy's spirit/mind is your shield."

- Morihei Ueshiba

It all works as one.

Last edited by Buck : 08-14-2008 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:46 AM   #16
Will Prusner
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Thanks everybody for the interesting thoughts. I tend to agree with the idea that Aikido never really ends. Even after a violent encounter is over, the blending, matching, harmonizing continues. I also believe that if one is capable of being victorious over oneself, people and situations which once appeared threatening may not seem so much anymore. I find myself thinking about O'Sensei's 1925 satori moment, in which afterwards, technique played second fiddle to his true understanding of budo. I guess it was kind of a trick question, but I probably wouldn't have realized it if I hadn't asked. For me, If I am existing with Aikido principles, it is impossible for a technique to "fail", as one apparent failure is in actuality an opportunity for deeper understanding of myself and the world around me.

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

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:00 AM   #17
Bryan Sproles
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

To me, the most obvious example of "if one technique fails, move on to something else" is Judo. Your opponent doesn't sit around waiting for you to throw them with a tai otoshi or koshinage.

I've been watching a lot of Judo from the Olympics lately, and if Judo means "gentle way", it sure doesn't LOOK that way

Most throws you see in Judo *are* ugly - very rarely do you see someone literally flying through the air as though he/she were a willing recipient of the throw, as you would see in practice.

Too bad they barred shihonage from Judo...talk about taking someone directly on their back -- ippon!

I agree with the idea of - if my ikkyo or nikkyo doesn't work, don't think about what to do next, because you probably won't have time. That's what practicing combinations is for

-Bryan
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:41 AM   #18
JamesC
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Would you throw atemi in order to open more possibilities for aikido
technique
Wait...atemi isn't aikido?

To me it seems like you're suggesting that if you don't succeed in neutralizing or projecting on your first try then whatever you do after isn't aikido.

That's kind of like saying that if you don't land your first elbow strike then you aren't doing muay thai.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:22 AM   #19
Mark Uttech
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Onegaishimasu. Looking for what comes after is like looking for the answer to what happens after someone or something dies.

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:51 AM   #20
Trish Greene
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
James Cavin wrote: View Post
Wait...atemi isn't aikido?

To me it seems like you're suggesting that if you don't succeed in neutralizing or projecting on your first try then whatever you do after isn't aikido.

That's kind of like saying that if you don't land your first elbow strike then you aren't doing muay thai.
Wait...doesn't Atemi move their mind away from their strike, which then will allow you to enter?

"Aikido is nothing but an expression of the spirit of Love for all living things."

Morihei Ueshiba
www.aikido-kajukenbo.com
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:37 PM   #21
BK Barker
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Trish Greene wrote: View Post
Wait...doesn't Atemi move their mind away from their strike, which then will allow you to enter?
Ahhhh..... I would believe Atemi could do much more then that and that you should enter no matter what... now how you enter would be in the way that you train. I bet I could safely say that some people train with more intent then others.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:18 PM   #22
mickeygelum
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Quote:
Now after a couple of shots of Patron Silver...(snip)...the spirits of the worm and Agave they guided me
This is usually how most disposable ukes apply for the position...

Train well,

Mickey
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:40 PM   #23
JamesDavid
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

In response to the original post. If the first technique doesn't work use a different one.
In this specific example. You have attempted ikkajo and they just stand there. Well lets assume you have managed to rotate their arm across the your centre. But you didn't get their balance and they didn't fall over. Enter with the point of your elbow to their face and finish off with a sokumen into the concrete. You could try the sokumen without the face strike but it won't be as reliable.

One aspect of your post that I find perplexing is that suggest that you might do something that isn't aikido. You shouldn't limit your idea of what self defense or aikido is. Even the most advanced parishioners in aikido are not so arrogant to think they can win encounters without atemi. Aikido footwork is designed to allow you to deliver powerful blows either with a weapon or without.

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Old 08-15-2008, 07:04 PM   #24
Will Prusner
 
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

The Atemi question is interesting to me because (and please correct and educate me if i'm wrong), in my EXTREMELY limited experience, in class at my home dojo, the other dojos i've visited and footage i've seen online of dojos around the world, i've never seen an aikido class practicing full-contact strikes or doing any bag work (maybe the shotokan guys do, i really wouldnt know). So i'm drawing the conclusion that if atemi is used, it will most likely be drawn from another art or style that an individual has studied. For instance, if a person has studied Muay thai, I'd assume that there atemi is going to look rather similar to the strikes learned in their muay thai training, unless the Aikido sensei is committed to teaching a different way of striking (i've never really seen anybody get corrected on technicalities of striking form, like i'd expect in a more striking based art, like TKD). So if a person who has studied muay thai, uses a strike from muay thai, but uses it in accord with the core principles of aikido, we're still going to call it Aikido, right?

I heard O'sensei demanded his students have experience in another style before joining his classes. Could this be why?

Last edited by Will Prusner : 08-15-2008 at 07:10 PM. Reason: spelling

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

ART! - http://birdsbeaks.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:11 PM   #25
BK Barker
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Re: What comes after Aikido?

Maybe the question should be... does an Atemi have to a hard physical strike/motion to be effective.....
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