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Old 06-29-2009, 08:50 PM   #26
DonMagee
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
IMHO.

I always thought you didn't retract your hand because the other person needed to work on their blocks, it's about perfecting the block, not the punch. Later when they have the block nailed they can practice against propper punches. That's the way I've always seen things done anyway. "Nobody attacks like this" isn't always a valid response. In fact it's often the biggest bunch of BS floating around the martial arts at the moment.
People that have never boxed honestly think that if they attacked someone it would be as a boxer does, for instance and they expect everyone else to as well, even if they're untrained. But that's another argument.

The point of training is to develop skills and often the best way to learn those skills is often with attacks that may not be the most realistic, but are the most useful for developing confidence, timing, form, mai-ai ect.
I really don't care if no-one will ever attack me with shomen uchi, the practice of dealing with shomen uchi has taught me lots of stuff that is applicable across the board.
.
The point about grabs is that there shouldn't be time for something else. Where I train gakyu hamni katadori is a wrist grab followed quickly by a punch. We rarely do the punch because if uke can make the punch tori has already failed. Why would you allow someone to walk up to you and plant themselves ready to strike? That's madness, you don't win fights by giving someone a free hit or letting them take your balance. The defence against a grab assumes a follow up if not simultaneous strike and it begins before uke gets anywhere near making contact.
Sure, it sometimes looks like "grab and wait" but only if you misunderstand what's going on.
While I understand the value and reasoning you are stating, and I do agree with the spirit of your post, I'm still not 100% onboard. For instance the block. Ok, let's practice it four or five times, but after that it's about timing, just the punch and wait at that point is hurting your partner.

Now with grappling it does take longer to develop the proper motion and static training should be employed longer, but at some point it needs to be cut and you need to focus on what you can do, not what you wish you could do. I wish I could break someone's balance the moment they grab me. I of course practice this, but I spend a lot of my time practicing what I can actually do now. That means learning to deal with being imperfect and how to adjust and move with my partner.

I don't always see this in higher level practice. I still see the same static arm dangling punch thrown at black belts by black belts. The same grab and delay done again and again. I've seen this in TKD, I've seen it in aikido, hell I've seen it in bjj practice.

Take the bjj example of a triangle drill. Yes it helps a lot in the beginning for your partner to stick one arm in and wait to be triangled over and over again. But eventually, without drills that practice leading my opponent into a triangle, without drills that practice the real timing of using that triangle, this basic arm in static drill is worthless.

I saw this as a pre-teen. I'm almost 30 and I still can't see why it seems so obvious to me and so revolutionary for so many martial artists.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:05 PM   #27
swalsh
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Re: Viva la resistance!

I agree entirely that we are training, not fighting. Having an uke squeeze the cheese out your wrist and constantly resisting is no fun and counter-productive to learning. However, when dealing with someone with no martial arts experience, their usual reflex when unbalanced is to grab hold for grim death. So there is some validity in training to handle the grip of death.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:57 AM   #28
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Hi

in Aikido-based seminars I give, a lot of people ask me whether I can show how to handle a strong grip. Be it of the wrist or the hair or a clinch(?) from the front or from behind.

Greetings
Carsten
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Old 06-30-2009, 02:01 AM   #29
philippe willaume
 
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Hello
sure resisting like a donkey all the time is as counter productive as not resisting at all the time. There is a place for both.
As don said when you are learning what to do resisting is counter productive. After a while you need it shows us where we are loosing the technique.

phil

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Old 07-02-2009, 05:38 AM   #30
philipsmith
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Interesting thread.

i remember that Summer school well for several reasons.

Kanetsuka Sensei was very strong and "bullish" at that time with very direct physical Aikido and it was a complete revelation to see him change over the next several years.

Yamaguchi Senseis Aikido was generally flowing and seemed gentle but was also incredibly martial. I made the error of trying to stop him when he wasn't demonstrating (well I was young and foolish) and can still feel the power of his technique as he completley winded me, rendering me unable to stand. He said later on that week that teaching and practise were two different entities and it was difficult to always combine the two. I took that to mean that sometimes your technique is ineffective when teaching because of the situation i.e. you are trying to show a standard technique.
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Old 07-02-2009, 07:06 AM   #31
JimCooper
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
a) it's bad martial arts - anyone ever win anything
But when you're being the attacker (in a dojo), there are multiple reasons for doing that. You might be helping a beginner learn the technique, or providing a test of technique for a 4th dan.

The fact that you are gripping a wrist at all as an attack is not particularly realistic, the same way as having uke attack with a stepping punch isn't. But both attacks can help when learning either a technique or a principle.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
b) 50% of ones practice is in the role of uke.
As others have mentioned, strong is not equal to rigid. That's a lesson to learn as uke. But uke is also there to help tori, so sometimes it is necessary to attack in a certain, non-aikido way.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
c) Sensitivity is far more important than strength in what we do.
Sure. But not all attackers know that, and sometimes you want uke to emulate such people.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:28 AM   #32
AsimHanif
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Re: Viva la resistance!

As far as the clip is concerned I was impressed with Yamaguchi Sensei (as usual). I'm of the opinion that even IF he did get stuck, so what? I thinks its unreasonable to think that someone who's been on the mat as much as him over the years would never have any issues. I'm sure there are those who believe O'Sensei was always perfect and never had any issues on the mat. I just don't think that's realistic. I don't care how good you are there are gonna be times when things are off, even if just a bit.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #33
Janet Rosen
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
But when you're being the attacker (in a dojo), there are multiple reasons for doing that. You might be helping a beginner learn the technique, or providing a test of technique for a 4th dan.
Jim, I can't speak to what it does for 4th dans {big grin}, but I believe that the job of a beginner is to learn proper relaxation, breathing, posture, moving from the center with the associated correct footwork and movements for each art; that is, the building blocks of aikido. I remember being given very strong grips and a lot of resistance as a beginner and it never once helped; all it did was distract me from learning. It would be like taking a beginning foreign language student and instead of going back and forth on simple questions, reciting a paragraph and then asking a question.
A learner needs to succeed most of the time and challenges should be at each learner's current level, shaping and modeling him. If you keep failing because the challenge is inappropriately high, you are learning SOMEthing but it isn't how to succeed at the task.
I realize as I write that I may be reading more into your brief comment than you intended....

Janet Rosen
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Old 07-03-2009, 09:34 AM   #34
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Re: Viva la resistance!

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I remember being given very strong grips and a lot of resistance as a beginner and it never once helped; all it did was distract me from learning.
That's the point I was trying (not very clearly, now I read it again) to make. You attack (grip, strike, whatever) different people differently, and you might attack the same person differently depending on the point of the exercise.

With a beginner you may want a bad MA grip (weak), whereas a 4th dan might want a bad MA (awkward, rigid, normal person) grip.

While I can see the points he was trying to make, IMO, George was being a bit too general is his remarks on grips.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #35
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Regarding the clip, he's clearly teaching as in "if you get stuck, do this" or "his strength is here so go there".

Imaizumi Sensei likes to do that....ask for problems and then present solutions to try.
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Old 07-05-2009, 02:14 PM   #36
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Hmmmm... since we have no idea what he said prior to this clip...It could be an example of how not to throw.
Videos taken out of context can mean anything.
Mary
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:04 AM   #37
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
But when you're being the attacker (in a dojo), there are multiple reasons for doing that. You might be helping a beginner learn the technique, or providing a test of technique for a 4th dan.
I think that we need to start looking at what creates good martial artists, not what makes the teacher look good. Encouraging "strong" attacks in the way that most Aikido people do them is bad martial arts. If I grab you, I want you off balance before you even register what's happening. If I feel your strength, I am already dealing with it.

Quote:
The fact that you are gripping a wrist at all as an attack is not particularly realistic, the same way as having uke attack with a stepping punch isn't. But both attacks can help when learning either a technique or a principle.
Once again, I will point out that Aikido form is based on both people having weapons. Once you introduce weapons into the equation, grabbing makes much more sense. The fact that we largely practice without weapons does not mean that this was really supposed to be an empty hand fighting style.

Quote:
As others have mentioned, strong is not equal to rigid. That's a lesson to learn as uke. But uke is also there to help tori, so sometimes it is necessary to attack in a certain, non-aikido way.
And once again, I will say: Half of your practice time is as uke. If you have uke doing something different than nage, your body simply gets confused. Practice is about imprinting something into your mind and body. Practice that doesn't make the lesson completely clear for your mind and body isn't very good practice.

Most Aikido people substitute muscle power for proper structure. The whole internal power thing has been beaten to death on the forum here but suffice it to say, if you develop proper structure, your strength is in that structure and there is the ability to be completely relaxed. If you are using muscle power, you are not relaxed and you are not using aiki.

Quote:
Sure. But not all attackers know that, and sometimes you want uke to emulate such people.
If, once in a while you want to test out whether you can do your stuff against any attack, why not find some non-Aikido folks to mess with? One of the huge objections I have had with how Aikido is done is that one largely develops a very high level of skill doing sophisticated techniques, using very subtle principles, against attacks by martial morons. We should be teaching people how to attack with aiki, not keep telling them to get stronger and stronger.

I am particularly aware of this issue. I am a very large man. Attempts to use physical strength against me are ridiculous. Yet i constantly have people come up and try to turn my hand purple, hunkering down as if they could actually keep me from moving with a grab. That's bad practice any way you cut it. It doesn't do anything, isn't actually possible, and only serves to give me what I need to destroy them. I think we should be striving for the ability to apply aiki whether in the uke or nage roles. Very few people I see do that.

You either see ukes floating around and tanking for their partners or you see ukes trying to be strong in ways that make no sense whatever in a martial sense, all the while thinking that their "strong" attacks are the real martial deal.

Once again... if I grab you I want you off balance and either struck or on your way to the floor before you feel what is happening. Muscle type strength is the enemy of that sort of ability.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:29 AM   #38
MM
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The whole internal power thing has been beaten to death on the forum here but suffice it to say, if you develop proper structure, your strength is in that structure and there is the ability to be completely relaxed. If you are using muscle power, you are not relaxed and you are not using aiki.
Well, you know I already agree with you. But, before I experienced things first hand, I "didn't know that I didn't know" to borrow a great phrase. I had thought I was being relaxed and not using a lot of strength only to find out that I wasn't. I really didn't know that I didn't know.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
If, once in a while you want to test out whether you can do your stuff against any attack, why not find some non-Aikido folks to mess with? One of the huge objections I have had with how Aikido is done is that one largely develops a very high level of skill doing sophisticated techniques, using very subtle principles, against attacks by martial morons. We should be teaching people how to attack with aiki, not keep telling them to get stronger and stronger.

I am particularly aware of this issue. I am a very large man. Attempts to use physical strength against me are ridiculous. Yet i constantly have people come up and try to turn my hand purple, hunkering down as if they could actually keep me from moving with a grab. That's bad practice any way you cut it. It doesn't do anything, isn't actually possible, and only serves to give me what I need to destroy them. I think we should be striving for the ability to apply aiki whether in the uke or nage roles. Very few people I see do that.
Not debating effective attacks ... I agree with you on that. And I agree that both nage and uke should be working on aiki.

But, I had questions about practicing while learning aiki. For instance, does my partner, uke, always use aiki (to their ability) when practicing? The answer given was not always. Split the time between uke using muscle (with good attacks) and aiki. Why? Because people react very differently when using muscle as compared to aiki. Be prepared for both.

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
You either see ukes floating around and tanking for their partners or you see ukes trying to be strong in ways that make no sense whatever in a martial sense, all the while thinking that their "strong" attacks are the real martial deal.

Once again... if I grab you I want you off balance and either struck or on your way to the floor before you feel what is happening. Muscle type strength is the enemy of that sort of ability.
True. The only disagreement that I have is from experience in working on the beginning exercises for building structure and aiki. There really is quite a bit of ... not cooperation really, but a give and take kind of training. Let's take me working on a push to the side of my head. In the beginning, it didn't take hardly any kind of a push at all to push me over. So, uke had to dial down the level of energy or physical strength so that I could have enough time to work on my structure and pathways.

Working on building aiki -- different kind of training, I guess you could say. Working on techniques (once you have some level of aiki), yeah, I agree with what you posted. Sometimes as uke, we work on capturing center on contact -- when uke uses aiki. Trying to capture center on contact as a non-aiki-using uke when nage is using aiki is ... very problematic.

Mark
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:19 AM   #39
DH
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Re: Viva la resistance!

The strength of your grip has little to do with your hand. Ueshiba knew this and it is also why Mochizuki noted that contrary to all of his efforts (now there's a comparative worth statement if ever there was one! Anyone care to consider just how capable HE was)...but he says "he never got it either." Nor will anyone else who continues to pursue strength like every other guy out there.
It doesn't work- it will never work.
It is also pointless to separate stickiness from power in the grip. They exist at the same time. Just switching directions in your center can be "very" potent in your hand, to the point of breaking bones, or taking center, and this while the person is..."stuck" to you. No one can say they truly understand either if they cannot manifest both at the same time. You can't "fake" having a hand that is connected to your center, nor can you "fake" a center that has power to drive the body. Although many are convinced they are connected, once you meet someone who actually is, it just sort of ends the discussion then and there. So the real dilema is finding those who can do it...but more importantly, the smart ones will find those who can also can teach it to them.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 07-08-2009, 10:57 AM   #40
DH
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think that we need to start looking at what creates good martial artists, not what makes the teacher look good. Encouraging "strong" attacks in the way that most Aikido people do them is bad martial arts. If I grab you, I want you off balance before you even register what's happening. If I feel your strength, I am already dealing with it.
Huge subject George...lots there

Making a good martial artist IMO, is two fold:
1. Internal power and the ability to manifest aiki
2. Fighting with it

Quote:
Most Aikido people substitute muscle power for proper structure. The whole internal power thing has been beaten to death on the forum here but suffice it to say, if you develop proper structure, your strength is in that structure and there is the ability to be completely relaxed. If you are using muscle power, you are not relaxed and you are not using aiki.
I think internal power has not even begun to be discussed here. All that has happened is that it has been talked about amongst a group of folks who had not been taught much, if anything at all, and the subsequent debate of its possible worth. I have seen almost nothing in writing that went past nursery school stuff.

Quote:
If, once in a while you want to test out whether you can do your stuff against any attack, why not find some non-Aikido folks to mess with? One of the huge objections I have had with how Aikido is done is that one largely develops a very high level of skill doing sophisticated techniques, using very subtle principles, against attacks by martial morons. We should be teaching people how to attack with aiki, not keep telling them to get stronger and stronger.
What a great point. And that plagues Daito ryu and many other forms of MA as well. It's not just aikido's dilemma. But OMG what are you saying then, George? Do MMA?

Quote:
I think we should be striving for the ability to apply aiki whether in the uke or nage roles. Very few people I see do that.
Again, great point, but if you pursue it to its full extent you will wind up with a model that looks VEY different from Aikido. Ueshiba was not exactly allowing or developing that in his model was he? Teaching people to defeat you and NOT to take Ukemi eliminates all of the dramatic shtick people love to watch, and also the "empowering" quality a lot of people "need" to feel good about their efforts. Others will argue that all of the fun is gone...until they fully realize a different sort of fun that true aiki can instill.
Quote:
Once again... if I grab you I want you off balance and either struck or on your way to the floor before you feel what is happening. Muscle type strength is the enemy of that sort of ability.
And, another good point. I dare say though that judo can do that as well as many other good grappling arts. That’s where you and I usually have a problem in discussion. Principle based waza can do quite a lot to move normal people and thus "mask" any real lack of connection in your body or any real serious understanding of what it is really all about.
There are a whole bunch of popular teachers on the circuit explaining their "principle based" art who don't have much of a clue about real power or even aiki, but they are good martial artists and mimic some of the effects very well through certain principles they share. I have a couple of high ranking acquaintances who were previously enamored with so and so teachers until they felt guys with the real deal. Suddenly it dawned on them that those other guys were masking connection failures and structural flaws, with "sophisticated" technique. It helped understand why there were years of discussion about subtle and sophisticated waza failing and why some of us who could actually DO aiki were reading that and thinking "What the hell are they talking about? What is dependant on waza in the first place? And what's subtle about it"
In the end the real training is to change the body not focus on principles. So that the body does NOT move, act or re-act the way a normal person does in the first place. For me, that is thee singular goal I start people off with. And that training has to be gradual to full resistance; statically then in motion. Not without merit is the fact that it is making some very experienced men want to change everything- their entire approach to everything they knew!
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-08-2009 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 07-08-2009, 02:28 PM   #41
rroeserr
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
The strength of your grip has little to do with your hand.....It is also pointless to separate stickiness from power in the grip. They exist at the same time. Just switching directions in your center can be "very" potent in your hand, to the point of breaking bones, or taking center, and this while the person is..."stuck" to you. No one can say they truly understand either if they cannot manifest both at the same time. You can't "fake" having a hand that is connected to your center, nor can you "fake" a center that has power to drive the body.
Hi Dan,

Are you alluding how to make it so that someone can't let go of you when they grab you? Or are you talking about taking up the slack in your 'suit' so that you are more connected to the middle when you grab someone? For instance with my modicum of IS I can breath in and close the my fingers via sucking the 'suit' in. I suppose I could do the same when I grabbed someone. Would I use this taking out the slack to create a sticky grip?

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:39 AM   #42
ruthmc
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Once again... if I grab you I want you off balance and either struck or on your way to the floor before you feel what is happening. Muscle type strength is the enemy of that sort of ability.
Great stuff

However, my dojo has (except for myself and Sensei, both nidan) one 2nd kyu, one 3rd kyu, one 4th kyu and everyone else either 6th kyu or ungraded...

If I were to start attacking the other students in this way it would probably challenge them to the point of frustration

How can we practise in this way within a dojo of mainly mudansha?

Ruth
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Old 07-09-2009, 05:53 AM   #43
DH
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Re: Viva la resistance!

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Ruth McWilliam wrote: View Post
Great stuff
However, my dojo has (except for myself and Sensei, both nidan) one 2nd kyu, one 3rd kyu, one 4th kyu and everyone else either 6th kyu or ungraded...
If I were to start attacking the other students in this way it would probably challenge them to the point of frustration
How can we practise in this way within a dojo of mainly mudansha?
Ruth
From day one. step one, and move forward from there. And for a women or small guy it is thee best training in the world.
I consider it either the greatest hoax, or the greatest incompetance of all time, that we were not taught this stuff at the start. But as Sagawa stated "Takeda told me to teach this to only one or two students and NEVER to foreigners, they are big already and it will give them an advantage!"

We....have been had. It's time to take it and own it. We even have Japanese teachers stepping outside to get it.
You can continue to hope and believe your teachers are both capable, and knowedgable and able and willing to teach you this, or you can do something that will ensure your success. If not you will be meeting the current people training this way and asking to become THEIR students in a few years. And...the work is fun and challenging and the results are guaranteed.
It is going to be the end of the "Is Aikido effective?" and "How does it work without cooperation?" debates seen here.
In the future it is going to be "How do I fight an Aikido person?"... Or " I felt this Aikido guy...WOW!" on other forums
Rest assured their are some smart teachers that are already making damn sure that is going to be THEM in the near future.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-09-2009 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:56 AM   #44
DH
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Quote:
Robert Roeser wrote: View Post
Hi Dan,

Are you alluding how to make it so that someone can't let go of you when they grab you?
Hello Mr. Roeser
I don't believe l have had the pleasure of talking with you before have I?
To answer your question, yes, but not as an absolute or anything someone should consider in grappling-just in aiki play. There are all manner of things that one can do to cause some pretty dramatic effects here and there but I wouldn’t give you a wooden nickel for getting those same results in a fight. People need to separate the two. Something which is best done with George's and my admonitions to go out and try your shtick on those who would love nothing better than to hand your head.
Anyway in various modes of play the "stick" can be from more than one cause, and not have one single thing to do with your breath cycle.

Quote:
Or are you talking about taking up the slack in your 'suit' so that you are more connected to the middle when you grab someone? For instance with my modicum of IS I can breath in and close the my fingers via sucking the 'suit' in. I suppose I could do the same when I grabbed someone. Would I use this taking out the slack to create a sticky grip?
Thanks,
Robert
NO! I am discussing something different. Although that is a DR breath training exercise. BTW, you need to separate the "training aspects" of certain things and what you are shooting for and how that creates connection in your body, and differentiate it from more complex means to use that in action- under stress in fighting. They are not ALWAYS the same.

Viva la resistance
Guys who just train solo qi-gongs or focus only on breath training to build power can get quite a shock in meeting guys who practice a broader range of connection work under stress against someone else who understands power and how to change incoming or outgoing force. There are ways to move the body, and ways to "use" connections in a defined manner that will see certain methods undone. And they are NOT all the same.
Since we are discussing the use of certain aspects of training against resistance, I can think of any number of situations where even thinking of using certain "connection" exercises -as a means for movement in fighting- would see you undone. Some exercises are simply that. Trying to use them by rote can cause you to be double loaded and/ or too slow and would hand you your head, while others cross over and always work. And more's the point some are not really meant to be used in aikido movement in the first place while others are tailor made. A good case in point is the winding connection that your art is based upon. Daito ryu is all about spiral energy. By its nature it is always capturing and sending energy at the same time, while leaving the adept non-committed. Training in a whole bunch of different methods borrowed and patched together from here and there is really never going to make your Aikido better. In fact some things will make it worse!
George Ledyard has addressed that issue quite well, although he is not the only teacher that has gotten wise to that issue. Frankly, I am elated and very hopeful at how sharp some of these old guard teachers are. Damn!
When you work on things it’s good to have someone at least offering advice on what the differences and similarities are and not trying to force fit some universal “one size fits all” " "all arts are the same" theory into your training in Aikido. And that gets us back to owning our own training. Get out there and train with talented people and keep your eyes and ears open. Don’t take anything or anyone at face value. But don't take "a little of this and a little of that" approach and think you are going to get anywhere deep. Although it It makes a good beef stew it has never made good Budo.
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 07-09-2009 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 07-09-2009, 07:03 AM   #45
JimCooper
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Re: Viva la resistance!

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I think that we need to start looking at what creates good martial artists, not what makes the teacher look good.
I'm not sure how you managed to interpret what I said as "making the teacher look good".

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Encouraging "strong" attacks in the way that most Aikido people do them is bad martial arts.
IME, most aikido people don't attack very strongly at all.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Once again, I will point out that Aikido form is based on both people having weapons. Once you introduce weapons into the equation, grabbing makes much more sense.
That may be true, but the fact is that grabbing wrists is not a particularly common way of being attacked these days.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
And once again, I will say: Half of your practice time is as uke.
Again, I think you're reading things that I didn't mean. Of course you should learn good MA technique as both uke and nage. But how are you supposed to learn to deal with people who try to use brute strength if nobody ever attacks you that way for to to practice on?

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Most Aikido people substitute muscle power for proper structure.
Again, IME they don't do that either Mostly the attacks are very weak. They *should* learn how to be strong and relaxed at the same time, but mostly they don't seem to.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
If, once in a while you want to test out whether you can do your stuff against any attack, why not find some non-Aikido folks to mess with?
Right. Meanwhile, here in the real world, people are strangely disinclined to do that.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
We should be teaching people how to attack with aiki, not keep telling them to get stronger and stronger.
And I would wholeheartedly agree. However, I personally want to learn to deal with different sorts of attacks and resistance as a way to test my technique.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
You either see ukes floating around and tanking for their partners
I've not heard "tanking" used in that sense, but I assume you mean the sort of happy dance that so many people do. Unfortunately that's the most common sort here.

If it came to a choice between those two options, I would much rather (for my own practice, anyway) have someone try to be awkward. At least it'll test me out a bit.
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Old 07-09-2009, 10:52 AM   #46
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: Viva la resistance!

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Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
I'm not sure how you managed to interpret what I said as "making the teacher look good".
Sorry, I didn't mean to say that you had suggested this... it's just part of some stuff I've been thinking about. Recently I came to realize that the so-called "strong" attacks given by many people actually made it easier to move them around because of the tension involved. When someone attacks from his center, in a relaxed fashion, it's much harder to get your power to flow to his center, This is true even without the kind of opposition that Dan H is talking about in which I actively counter you (as in kaeshiwaza).

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IME, most aikido people don't attack very strongly at all.
I'm not really interested in addressing the folks who don't attack even when they are "attacking". Yes, there are lots of them. Getting them to change is far harder than getting people who are mistaking muscle power and tension for effective martial technique.

However, there are whole styles of Aikido which pride themselves on their ability to turn your hand purple with a grab. They train against tense, resistant partners right from the start and few of them have a clue, in my opinion about anything resembling "aiki" because they have only imprinted muscle tension, over and over.

My basic rule of thumb is "if it sounds like you are having a difficult time on the commode when you grab someone, it's not relaxed."

Quote:
That may be true, but the fact is that grabbing wrists is not a particularly common way of being attacked these days.
This statement implies that this is a problem. The underlying tone here suggests that Aikido is supposed to be somehow "practical". So we should adjust our training methodology to fit some "street" paradigm because those situations are more "common".

In my opinion, if this is the focus of your training, it isn't Aikido any more. I'm not saying don't do it. I teach an "applied self defense" class which is quite eclectic and attempts to combine, boxing, Muy Thai, Aikido, Kali, into a self defense system. Basically, you go to the center, deliver two or three solid impact techniques, then you go for the takedown. If I have law enforcement folks in the class it gets adjusted a bit towards control and low level force. If it's civilians, it's break the attacker into as many pieces as possible quickly. But it isn't Aikido, it's basically George-Do.

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Again, I think you're reading things that I didn't mean. Of course you should learn good MA technique as both uke and nage. But how are you supposed to learn to deal with people who try to use brute strength if nobody ever attacks you that way for to to practice on?
Brute strength is the easiest kind of attack to deal with. As I said, if you want to try out your understanding once in a while against this kind of low level attack, go ahead. But having people in the dojo attack badly so that their partner's can develop good technique isn't the right way to do it. Why not teach the folks to attack with speed, relaxation, and connection? As I said before, much of Aikido seems to involve people trying to develop very subtle skills against attackers who are moronic, either because they have no intention and are energetically false, or because they are way too tense and are slow as molasses and totally open to boot.

Often there is a perception that folks are training at "full speed". Everybody trains away thinking that what is happening is fast. The reality is that they feel like its fast because they are too tense in their minds and bodies to slow themselves down. So the attack from the tense and slow attacker feels fast to the tense and slow defender. When someone walks in to that training situation who understands proper relaxation, especially the mental side,every body looks like they are moving almost in slow motion.

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Again, IME they don't do that either Mostly the attacks are very weak. They *should* learn how to be strong and relaxed at the same time, but mostly they don't seem to.
I don't disagree with this but from what you have said, I think we have different ideas about what this entails. The entire foundation of Aikido is based on not trying to use force against superior force. When you try to teach people to be "strong", most of the time it ends up being the wrong kind of strength.

Now if you want to have the proper kind of strength, then start developing the kind of internal structure Dan is talking about. You can do this by doing Akuzawa's exercises, you can do the breath work along with push-ups, sit-ups, squats and leg raises that the systema folks do, you can pursue Chinese internal training like Mike S. I honestly don't think it really matters what you choose.

Aikido training is essentially about learning to relax your mind and body in get integrated. Anything that you do in the dojo which doesn't further this goal should be jettisoned, in my opinion.

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Right. Meanwhile, here in the real world, people are strangely disinclined to do that.
And perhaps that is because most folks doing Aikido don't care. I am on record as saying that I do not think Aikido is a "fighting" art. Many people doing Aikido are "fighters" in their dispositions. They are continuously trying to morph the art into something that fits their natures. Rather than allow the art to transform them, they try to transform the art. They deride the folks who don't care to do this. The folks who don't care about fighting deride the ones who do. It's not a dispute that has a resolution.

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And I would wholeheartedly agree. However, I personally want to learn to deal with different sorts of attacks and resistance as a way to test my technique.
I don't have any problem with that idea... just don't train your students to attack badly just so you can accomplish that goal. When we trained with Saotome Sensei, he always told us to grab strongly and try to stop him. I came to realize that he was trying to show us just how ineffective that kind of attack is. He weighs 135 lbs and I am over 300 lbs. And I never had a prayer of stopping him. Realizing that, I found that we had misinterpreted what Sensei intended. We trained with each other the way he had us attack him. And we spent 20 plus years imprinting the wrong thing.

I don't do that with my students or the folks who attend my seminars. What is the lesson when you can let the biggest guy in the room grab your fingers as hard as he can and you can move him around at will? Personally, I think the lesson is not that I am so good, but that that kind of attacking energy is ineffective. We should be teaching something different.

Dan H has a lot to say and teach on this subject, as do others. When he says "strong" he is talking about something else than what most people call "strong". I think this is one of the reasons that sword work is so important. It is about speed and relaxation not trying to power ones weapon. Empty hand shouldn't feel any different than sword. Folks who do a lot of sword work know what I mean. Folks who don't, perhaps should. It provides a whole different body centered paradigm than treating Aikido as a sort of grappling art. But any weapons based system like Kali can do the same thing.

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I've not heard "tanking" used in that sense, but I assume you mean the sort of happy dance that so many people do. Unfortunately that's the most common sort here.
I won't let my students "tank" for me. Periodically I will do my technique wrong, just to make sure they aren't just moving for me. But what I mean by not tanking, many folks interpret as resisting and that isn't it. I don't teach my student to resist, period. If the technique is there, they go, if it isn't they should reverse it. Kaeshiwaza is at the heart of the art in its martial guise. You can't do kaeshiwaza if you are attacking with tension. If the opponent leaves an opening, the technique should be yours in an instant, before he even knows he is in trouble. Resistance simply gives away the fact that your are trying to beat his technique and allows him to shift it.

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If it came to a choice between those two options, I would much rather (for my own practice, anyway) have someone try to be awkward. At least it'll test me out a bit.
If you have ALREADY figured out how to relax properly, then it's appropriate to do this. But you most likely will not learn to relax properly training this way from the start. And, as I said before, I do not think we should be teaching people to attack badly just so the partner can have his reality check with an ineffective attack. Doesn't make sense in the end.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 07-09-2009, 04:01 PM   #47
rroeserr
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Re: Viva la resistance!

Hello Mr. Harden,
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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I don't believe l have had the pleasure of talking with you before have I?
Thanks for the replying/confirming some thoughts I've had. Nope we've never talked, but I think you talked with Allen Beebe before - I'm one of his students. Your post peeked my interest so I'm shamelessly and selfishly trying to pry information for you.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
To answer your question, yes, but not as an absolute or anything someone should consider in grappling-just in aiki play. There are all manner of things that one can do to cause some pretty dramatic effects here and there but I wouldn't give you a wooden nickel for getting those same results in a fight. People need to separate the two....Anyway in various modes of play the "stick" can be from more than one cause, and not have one single thing to do with your breath cycle.
Ok - Like the demonstrations in the Kodo Horikawa videos on YouTube. One thing I'm kind of struggling with when do you reach a level before it becomes useful and you not just tricking yourself you are? You seem to be pointing out a potential trap: You could get really good at aiki play but then not be able to use it in a fight.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Something which is best done with George's and my admonitions to go out and try your shtick on those who would love nothing better than to hand your head.
I just got done reading Aikido Shugyo, and Shioda was lamenting the same problem. It's not like you can roam the country side and get in fights like Takeda did. I have a background in Judo, and I can understand why you bring this up. I can do a really beautiful Osoto-gari with a compliant partner, but things change in a match. I think Kano tried to address this, but unfortunately 'ju' was lost, and now you have a sport. It's an interesting challenge, and I could see how you could use MMA for this.

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
NO! I am discussing something different. Although that is a DR breath training exercise. BTW, you need to separate the "training aspects" of certain things and what you are shooting for and how that creates connection in your body, and differentiate it from more complex means to use that in action- under stress in fighting. They are not ALWAYS the same.
Things you do/feel in training to work on your connections are not necessarily what you use in a fight? And when you are connected in a fight you just end up doing certain things because of the way you are?

Thanks,
Robert
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:03 AM   #48
ruthmc
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Re: Viva la resistance!

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Dan Harden wrote: View Post
From day one. step one, and move forward from there. And for a women or small guy it is thee best training in the world.
Hi Dan,

It's difficult to even get 'true' attacks accepted, without people becoming confused! Take gyaku-hanmi katatedori, for instance - the original head of the organisation I train with, Mr William Smith Sensei, taught us that uke would grab the wrist to prevent tori from raising a weapon, and that to be an effective attack, uke should approach tori slightly off-line, so that he would not be on the receiving end of a kick or blow from tori because he was standing right in front of him. The attack would also involve forward extension, to keep tori's hand down and away from uke.

I think I confuse people by attacking in this way, as it subtly alters the line they need to take to get my balance, than if I were standing right in front of them!

If I were to go one step further and start coming in with a blow as well as the grab, or to start taking their balance as they stood there trying to remember how to do Shihonage, it would confuse and frustrate them even further....

Sometimes I have to 'tank' for newer students or they'd really struggle to get the technique as they haven't yet figured out which direction they need to move in to weaken my balance.

Once they start to get it, I'll subtly increase the resistance so that if they put me back on balance (or fail to take it in the first place), the technique fails. I'll also back that up verbally by saying "You haven't affected my balance / posture this time". I'm reluctant to reverse a poor technique performed by a newer student as they don't understand why I would do that when it's "supposed to be them making me fall over"

So, what more can I do to incorporate true Aiki attacks into my training?

Ruth
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:11 AM   #49
JimCooper
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Re: Viva la resistance!

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Recently I came to realize that the so-called "strong" attacks given by many people actually made it easier to move them around
And sometimes (only sometimes), that needs to be demonstrated to and experienced by people. So sometimes you want someone to attack you that way.I know that it points up weaknesses/errors in my own techniques.

Also, it can be a scary attack for a lot of people, so they tense up. Again, unless you train against it.

I wasn't suggesting doing that all the time, but every now and again I think it's fine. Various points you raised need to be pointed out at the time, of course.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I'm not really interested in addressing the folks who don't attack even when they are "attacking". Yes, there are lots of them.
Getting them to change is far harder than getting people who are mistaking muscle power and tension for effective martial technique.
And they make practice pretty dull, IMO.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This statement implies that this is a problem.
Actually, what I had in mind was that wrist grabs are mostly for learning basic technique.It seems to me, anyway. Grabs to the shoulder, lapel, centre etc are more difficult to deal with.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The underlying tone here suggests that Aikido is supposed to be somehow "practical".
I think any MA should have an element of that to it, otherwise it's just dancing. It shouldn't be the only thing, though.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
The entire foundation of Aikido is based on not trying to use force against superior force.
And not just aikido. AFAICT all martial arts counsel against doing that.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
What is the lesson when you can let the biggest guy in the room grab your fingers as hard as he can and you can move him around at will?
You can do that - not everyone else can, because they haven't learned how to yet. Doesn't mean they shouldn't, does it?
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