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Old 09-06-2009, 08:31 AM   #76
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Ignatius,

Great post and I agree with your assessments. Baking analogy is a good one.

I agree that the class formats are the same. Warm up, Waza, Jiyu.

So that is not it. It is what goes into the reciepe that determines a quality cake.

The first step I think is what I have been saying for years is defining what is a quality cake. You talk about this later in your post really I beleive when discussing the spiritual and philosophical stuff that tends, IMO, to muddy the whole quality issue and makes it extremely difficult for us to really deine quality.

As Aikido is not typically based on a competitive or physically measure of effectiveness model....this gets extremely difficult and I believe it causes alot of our issues.

So, baking is somewhat easy in this respect. We back the cake, taste it, and we determine if it taste good or bad. We then use that feedback, look at what was different in the process, and try to replicate those things again.

In all cases the baking process and principles are the same right?

It is the ingredients, maybe when things are added to the mix, temperature changes, time we wait..all those things that are principles but are also maybe essentially the ART of baking that are important that have to be learned through experience.

Bakers hold back secrets too. I might be able to show you all the steps of baking and give you the ingredients, but I don't tell you the exact strain of yeast I use, or that the Ph of the water is important, or the time we wait between phases is important to get it just right.

What is missing I believe is a fundamental agreement of what constitutes quality aikido and then isolating those elements and providing testing and feedback that allows us to rapidily adjust and correct those things that are wrong.

Waza practice can be all over the place and jiyu...well alot of times it is just too jiyu!

There are pros and cons to this process for sure. Judo and BJJ are two related grappling arts that are formed on competitive models. Is there any yudansha out there that would not welcome a Judo or BJJ student with their base of experience into the aikido dojo to honestly and sincerely learn aikido?

My experiences say that these are great bases. Sure there are some differences and habits that are formed that need to be adjusted, but I believe there is a case to consider the methods of Judo and BJJ training in our "Cake" receipe because they are doing something right to shorten the feedback loop and provide for some foundational skills.

Not that we need to practice BJJ and Judo mind you....but what is it that we can learn from those practices that they are doing correctly that would complement our practice.

So, we have to define quality and excellence in aikido first. I also believe this needs to be defined in a physical way, not so much in a spiritual or philosophical way...that comes along with the practice of budo, which is very much a physical pursuit.

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Old 09-06-2009, 08:56 AM   #77
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Ahmad wrote:

Quote:
Face it. Aikido training methods today is geared for the part time martial artists. You may hate the word weekend warriors but there it is. Yet you will like to compare yourself against SWAT and Green Berets... its not very realistic.
Why not? why can't you be in as good shape and possess the abilitites of these guys, at least baseline. Why accept less for yourself?

UFC fighters, SWAT, Special Forces, Rangers, SEALs...yes they are all highly trained, full time professionals that specialize in what they do. Yes their full time jobs are to be warriors and they have alot on their plate that they have to do just like anyone else. It is just that what they do is more related to the physical stuff.

Sure they have more time to spend with stuff. I have been fortunate in that respect as I have gotten time and the ability to do some cool things over the years and gotten to spend time with some of the best experts in the business to learn from them.

For instance, Hanging out at Coronado California at the SEAL compound for about two weeks doing some classroom training in May, I was able to observe training of SEALs both on the teams and in BUD/S. I interviewed and talked to alot of SEALs that have been on the teams for 10 years or more. I also observed their habits and what they do on a daily basis. Talked to them about long term sustainment of excellence, injuries, stress etc.

What makes these guys unique and able to sustain high rates of excellence consistently for 10 years or more?

They do the little things that are important everyday. Read Book of Five Rings.

The get up, work out, go to class, seminars, their job. Eat small meals all the time throughout the day. They are constantly eating stuff...even if it is candy or junk, but it is constant. At lunch time they would go for a run maybe or work out again for 30 or 40 minutes, eat on the run small meal. go back to class, then they would do an evening workout and go home.

Nothing special, no secrets, they just got up and did the things that mattered. It was ubiquitous and was integrated into their lives.

I think the key to this is integration into our lives. We tend to manage our lives in chunks. Get up, Eat Breakfast, Go to WOrk, Lunch, Afternoon Work, Go home, Workout, Eat, go to sleep.

So the Workout phase is done all together for maybe 1.5 to 2.0 hours. If we do this 3 days a week, we get what like 6 hours of training time in a week? Not much!

How about if we changed that model around? This is what I do and I have 2 kids, a Wife, and I jocky a desk for 8 hours a day at the Pentagon right now, so the "well your in the Army" excuse doesn't work...I am a desk jocky like alot of non-military folks right now.

I get up early, like 5 am. 1.5 hours of Yoga, shower, eat light breakfast on run, hit the office by 8 am. Oh yea...I ride my Bike to work and yoga so that time counts too. Lunch time, I ride my bike to the house and eat a light lunch. Sometimes I will do a quick BJJ workout 30-45 minutes if the guys are available. Back to Afternoon work in the Office. Then Take my Son to Judo, I participate in the class too, or I go to the Dojo.

In between I will try and find 5 or 10 minutes here or there to take breaks and work on stuff..especially because I hate my job right now and at least I can do something positive.

I try to eat right. I figure on a good week I am getting like 12 to 15 hours of solid focused martial arts training or yoga with another 5 hours or so of bike riding/exercise.

Once I made this switch in thinking, things are going much better for me. I am able to stay in shape. I lost like 35 lbs and I am still losing, and while I get injuries cause I am a dumbass...they heal fairly quickly and I have not missed training at all during this time.

Yes it is a huge mental habit to change in how we approach training, but I realized in order for me to get better I needed to do that.

I don't watch TV, I spend alot of my "free time" writing, reading, or thinking about Martial Arts, philosophy etc.

AND I still have to go to work and do those damned Meetings and Powerpoint slides!

I am in pretty decent shape. Decent enough where I would not hesistate to compete or take a fight on an amateur level. I certainly don't put in enough time to be a pro fighter! That is a different issue as you raise about peaking and training for that event! Nor do I have that level of Skill mind you!

But it can be done I think to a decent level if we are creative at look for those little pockets of time that are there, we just have to change a little.

Yes, people will think you are a little "odd". Screw them. Honestly they are jealous. Jealous that you have the discipline that they don't and they know you are right!

You will be happier, able to do more, and your training will improve!

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Old 09-06-2009, 06:31 PM   #78
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
So that is not it. It is what goes into the reciepe that determines a quality cake.... The first step I think is what I have been saying for years is defining what is a quality cake. You talk about this later in your post really I beleive when discussing the spiritual and philosophical stuff that tends, IMO, to muddy the whole quality issue and makes it extremely difficult for us to really deine quality....

What is missing I believe is a fundamental agreement of what constitutes quality aikido and then isolating those elements and providing testing and feedback that allows us to rapidily adjust and correct those things that are wrong.

So, we have to define quality and excellence in aikido first. I also believe this needs to be defined in a physical way, not so much in a spiritual or philosophical way...that comes along with the practice of budo, which is very much a physical pursuit.
Aye... there's the problem isn't it? Is it even a cake? Could be bread, or some other baked good of some description.

From Ellis' account, Aikido was not merely an amalgam of various bits and pieces stolen, garnered, adapted and reinvented from various ryu, it was an expression of Ueshiba's own ideology - both martial AND spiritual. At one point, he even makes the point that if we're not practising BOTH together, we're not doing Ueshiba's Aikido.

So, if it was some sort of baked good, my guess would be it'd most likely be some sort of meat pie... coz you never know what REALLY goes into a meat pie, and probably wouldn't want to know. And if you REALLY knew, you'd probably not want to eat it. Quite often you might hear one say... "nice pie, BUT where's the BEEF"?

Quote:
As Aikido is not typically based on a competitive or physically measure of effectiveness model....this gets extremely difficult and I believe it causes alot of our issues.
I don't think that's necessarily true. As Ellis relates, Ueshiba was not entirely opposed to competition, just certain forms of competition. What that likely means, is that he was "OK" with it, so long as it retained the true spirit of competition (shiai) - which is something along the lines of the original Latin meaning.

Have you ever been to a bake-off? Bake-offs can be intensely competitive, and spiked with deviousness, back-stabbing, and even sabotage. They can turn that nice little grandma next door into the Devil incarnate.

Quote:
In all cases the baking process and principles are the same right? It is the ingredients, maybe when things are added to the mix, temperature changes, time we wait..all those things that are principles but are also maybe essentially the ART of baking that are important that have to be learned through experience.

Bakers hold back secrets too. I might be able to show you all the steps of baking and give you the ingredients, but I don't tell you the exact strain of yeast I use, or that the Ph of the water is important, or the time we wait between phases is important to get it just right.
One could get anal about it - fresh yeast is ALWAYS preferable to the freeze dried stuff. But guess what, the dried stuff does EXACTLY the same job. OK, maybe not as well, but it keeps longer than the fresh stuff. As long as water temperature is just right, the dried stuff is fine - even if it's past it's official use-by date. A bit of salt and sugar helps it do its stuff. And as long as the dough is allowed to rise, knocked back and allowed to rise again, it'll be fine. Or maybe not, sometimes, a single rising is sufficient - depending on whether you're making thin crust or thick crust. Even if it doesn't rise, you can always turn it into "unleavened" bread... OK, maybe not entirely kosher... No problem, we'll just call it flatbread then... it's still bread ain't it? Just not what we had in mind.

So, it begs the question doesn't it? Did Ueshiba give us a recipe and method for the best meat pie in the world - the meat pie to top all meat pies - WITH REAL BEEF? Or was it a basic framework (aiki) - the rich pastry crust perhaps - for making any variety of pie, which one could adapt and create (takemusu) according to one's own training, ingenuity and predilections? Or apple and rhubarb filling instead, if one so desired? So long as the spirit of the pie remained.... and perhaps more importantly, the spirit in which one lovingly creates that pie - to share with the world. Or maybe, he took a note from Takeda's page, and only doled out a slice each, and said, "Here I made this pie, have a taste. OK, NOW YOU go make your own damn pie!"?

And maybe, just maybe, we're all supposed to have that annual bake-off to taste each other's pies and say "WOW! That was some good pie my friend", or "Hmmm, needs a little more salt, but otherwise good pie", or "Hey, nice filling, but crust needs a little more work buddy". And we're all supposed to kick back with our respective beverages and reminisce about the old days, and those cranky old men and women who taught us, and their pies before us, and look back and say "It's all good... now where's the rest of that cherry pie? So... what did you do with the cherries first?".... "Sshhh... it's a secret.... I *could* tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."

My friend Grady Burchett used to tell the story of Tatsuo Shimabuku, founder of Isshinryu karate, and the devilish jokester he was. Apparently, Shimabuku told a few of his top students that THEY were in charge of Isshinryu in America. Imagine the political mayhem that followed... if Shimabuku were alive, he'd be ROTFLHAO.

Maybe Ueshiba is somewhere in Shinto paradise with Takeda and they're both ROTFLTAO... AT US. And Takeda is STILL cheating at shoji....

Last edited by eyrie : 09-06-2009 at 06:35 PM.

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Old 09-06-2009, 07:02 PM   #79
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Nice Post Ignatius...I am hungry now. seriously..good stuff.

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Old 09-06-2009, 08:57 PM   #80
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Heh... nothing like good food shared amongst friends, eh? Although if Takeda were present, he might have said something like "Is that so? Pie? How 'bout you taste it first and tell me if it's any good. (If you're not foaming at the mouth and spitting blood, that is)"

Maybe the entire point is for us to catch a whiff of that pie, perhaps even a taste, to make us hungry for more... whatever. More pie if you're the sort that's happy to eat what someone else has made and let THEM slave away behind that hot oven. Or is your hunger for the "know how" - how it was made, what the secret ingredient is, what's the trick to getting that buttery short crust that just crumbles and melts in your mouth... did you want it badly enough to kill for?

These days, you don't really have to rub the butter into the flour with your fingers. A food processor works just as well. Probably not the way Momma used to make it, or would have made it in her own inefficient way. Who cares... as long as it tastes good right? Maybe. Maybe not.

I guess it depends on whether you're happy if people simply came back for more, or if your aims are set a little higher like winning the prestigious Michelin stars - 3,4 or as many as there are. Just remember, you're only as good as your last dish... and sometimes you have to eat some humble pie.

Things change, methods change, new techniques, new ingredients, new technology to speed up the process - all these things, in no way substitutes the hard work (cooking AND cleaning up after yourself thank you!), the occasional sparks of creativity and ingenuity, the repeated failures, and the subsequent ongoing learning and improvements necessary to continue growing. And of course, having a "good" mentor helps a lot.

And what if you wanted to mentor someone in turn? Can you? Do you know enough to show them how? Or let them flounder in the kitchen, maybe let them burn themselves a few times before they really learn what HOT means? Or, would you, like mom used to, let them lick the bowl afterward? What "gift" would you give them? The gift of technique and technical prowess in the kitchen to rival all other budding young masterchefs under 12? Or simply the love of cooking and watching those gingerbread people turn a lovely shade of golden brown? Or a bit of both? Why should the "spiritual side" of the pursuit be anymore divorced from the "physical" technical aspects?

And let us not forget the real reason why some of us learnt to cook in the first place. Not merely out of necessity of having to eat - you could always outsource that to any fast food McDojo - cheaper, faster, but maybe not so good. Or, just add water, shake and place on a rock - careful, it WILL be VERY hot - or even, straight from the supermarket frozen section into the microwave (yuk!).

If not for the love of it, and the sated smile on yours and everyone's faces, what then? After all, one way to a person's heart is thru their stomach - and it ain't called heartburn fer nuthin!

Ignatius
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Old 09-07-2009, 01:57 AM   #81
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
I agree with you Joep, a technique based system of learning only works if the training is almost totally a one on one transmission at the end of the arms of someone that "has it." If this isn't possible, (and most modern practices are not) then the system must be heavily loaded with principle based learning under very close supervision by seniors and someone that really "has it" as often as possible. Of course the debate will always hinge around "Who has what you want" ... and, do most beginners even know what they should want? Once we know what we want, then we must constantly be looking for "it" and be willing to do what it takes to get "it"... or spend our time doing something else.
Amen. I was going to post, but I see my job here is done (so to speak). :-)

I would expand simply by saying that one can relate this to the efficiencies in learning any skill wherein the principles are well understood. Exercises must be designed to develop specific skill sets that are the building blocks for the next set of exercises until a complete system of education and practice is in place. I see this more and more as I train and bring along my juniors.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
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MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #82
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Not the way I was taught -- or teach.
Then how DO you teach?
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:24 PM   #83
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Joep Schuurkes wrote: View Post
Then how DO you teach?
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...1&postcount=48

One slice at a time.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #84
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

I was thinking of how to make aikido as 'efficient' as possible ...whatever that means..Maybe I would consider a defined 'kernel' of aiki to share. I think one of the chief inefficiencies in the aikido syllabus and training method is the lack of a commonly known aiki. Here envisioned is/are enunciated basis sets of solo and paired extant exercises (jibengong/shugyo) deemed to contain power building elements into it, for the student to (self-)discover, at will. both the technical material missing, including postures, tension lines including visualizations, as well as a common atomic foundation element of the seed of aiki to share & to to be able to discuss and do. freely. just the skills; how to train.! and if that includes then especially teaching dantien articulation, pressure manipulations, alignment jins, important foundational & universal basic movements and body methods. As well, this is a way of sharing experiences and enabling self-study, inter-studying groups, discussions.. such as body abilities, techniques, milestone abilities/achievements or sensitivities, changes,.etc. opensource aikimanifesto reference guide
..random thoughts..

Last edited by thisisnotreal : 09-07-2009 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:18 PM   #85
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
* sigh *

Well, frankly Erick, that's not really teaching at all, frankly. I'm sorry. You do not teach to be understood and teach, like that. What are the salient points of your summary and how would these take-aways help us to , a c t u a l l y *do* something? What would we be learning to "do". I mean that in the simple meaning of the word 'do'. With the hoity-toity fancy book-learnin' speach... well...respectfully, I disagree with it as a method. Hate it, even. Even for masters and PhD level people to talk; ask 'em and they'll usually say the best teachers somehow make the subject come alive. for instance today I saw a 1-page summary-by-analogy rationale and mechanical explanation for the Higgs particle, and mechanism.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:51 PM   #86
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
I was thinking of how to make aikido as 'efficient' as possible ...whatever that means..Maybe I would consider a defined 'kernel' of aiki to share. I think one of the chief inefficiencies in the aikido syllabus and training method is the lack of a commonly known aiki. Here envisioned is/are enunciated basis sets of solo and paired extant exercises (jibengong/shugyo) deemed to contain power building elements into it, for the student to (self-)discover, at will. both the technical material missing, including postures, tension lines including visualizations, as well as a common atomic foundation element of the seed of aiki to share & to to be able to discuss and do. freely. just the skills; how to train.! and if that includes then especially teaching dantien articulation, pressure manipulations, alignment jins, important foundational & universal basic movements and body methods. As well, this is a way of sharing experiences and enabling self-study, inter-studying groups, discussions.. such as body abilities, techniques, milestone abilities/achievements or sensitivities, changes,.etc. opensource aikimanifesto reference guide
..random thoughts..
Wow... that's a lot of stuff - no wonder it's inefficient!

I think it's helpful to think of it as "building blocks" - each "block" builds on each other in a related fashion. I think the main reason the ATM is inefficient is mostly because everyone wants to do what Steven Seagal does up front. (Of course, I'm just using Sensei Seagal as an example of why someone might turn up to an Aikido dojo to begin with...).

It doesn't work that way. MA is like building a house, or architectural structure. First you have to get the "foundation" right. It's impossible to build a house without a foundation. And we all know what happened to the folks that built their multi-million dollar mansions right on the waters' edge of prime beach front real estate, don't we?

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Old 09-07-2009, 11:08 PM   #87
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
Wow... that's a lot of stuff - no wonder it's inefficient!

I think it's helpful to think of it as "building blocks" - each "block" builds on each other in a related fashion. I think the main reason the ATM is inefficient is mostly because everyone wants to do what Steven Seagal does up front. (Of course, I'm just using Sensei Seagal as an example of why someone might turn up to an Aikido dojo to begin with...).

It doesn't work that way. MA is like building a house, or architectural structure. First you have to get the "foundation" right. It's impossible to build a house without a foundation. And we all know what happened to the folks that built their multi-million dollar mansions right on the waters' edge of prime beach front real estate, don't we?
Hi - It is interesting what you say. Maybe it is best done, as Marc is presently discussing; doing Aikido as Kata. Delving into the arts secrets in that way. Not trying to approximate real physical defense encounter situation; that it is not trying to train you for (e.g. day one, that is). If I got the jist of what Marc was saying. You never know with me.

yes foundation is important. That is why it, for instance, should be enunciated so clearly; so that all would know. I think taking Aikido as kata practice goes a long way to setting the varied foundational elements to be practiced. Am I out to lunch? now just roll up the sleeves, and add/describe body requirements and how to work and stabilize it...add a few high level principles like juuji, etc. and then the aikido training method and bodymethod (i.e. one that has internal strength in it) it'd get more widespread, fun, and easier to learn more, as more would be learning and sharing, and so on, and so on.
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Old 09-08-2009, 01:27 AM   #88
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Maybe it is best done, as Marc is presently discussing; doing Aikido as Kata. Delving into the arts secrets in that way. Not trying to approximate real physical defense encounter situation.
There's a whole separate argument as to why kata, in general, is not an efficient method of practice. While it does serve its purpose, namely as a vehicle through which the technical corpus of the style is transmitted, it provides little else in terms of actual physical learning - even though the principles of the style are incorporated within the movements. It's a good way to hide things in plain sight as well... that's why some ryu have 2 versions of the same kata - omote and ura...

Kata is essentially a textbook - a compendium of waza, strung together as a coherent movement sequence. But without the keys to decipher the kata, it'd be pretty hard, unless you've already been clued in. Stories abound of how people like Chojun Miyagi had to be given the gokui of deciphering the kata (and its combative applications), and from which he went on to create other kata, based on those principles. So, without the oral transmission, kata has limited use other than a partial means of knowledge transmission.

OTOH, if you apprehend the principles and the oral transmissions, you don't really need the kata. It just becomes "exercise".

Last edited by eyrie : 09-08-2009 at 01:34 AM.

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Old 09-08-2009, 02:15 AM   #89
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
OTOH, if you apprehend the principles and the oral transmissions, you don't really need the kata. It just becomes "exercise".
That said most Japanese martial arts use paired kata - and that has one added advantage that you can practice at speed and power which should compliment the more chaotic randori training.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:21 AM   #90
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

I used to have a big problem with Kata. Hated it, thought it was a waste of time. Mainly because you could never use it to create the pressure and reality you need.

Now that I do BJJ and Judo, I see why Kata is important and why we do it.

It took me a while to realize that we do kata in BJJ.

What is wrong with kata is that I believe alot of teachers are really poor at teaching it and don't understand the role and linkage it serves to creating a martial body and to provide the foundation to build aliveness on.

Alot of people on study kata. that in itself doesn't really do you much good IMO, unless you want to perfect kata or to develop a martial body.

I think most of us are wanting a little more than that. So we do kata then when it is not working and progressing us the way we want, then we through it out and say it is a waste of time.

I think in alot of places kata becomes over important. It starts to become the art or the ends rather than the means.

I think you end up in kata practice alot because either the instructors lazy, doesn't know how to use it properly, or that is all he/she really grasped in their studies and since this was easy to memorize then....well lets do that!

Understanding the reasons behind doing kata and then transferring this to a strategy and tactics is important...and I am not talking about all that mumbo jumbo hidden bunkai crap/myth either.

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:52 AM   #91
Marc Abrams
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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Ignatius Teo wrote: View Post
There's a whole separate argument as to why kata, in general, is not an efficient method of practice. While it does serve its purpose, namely as a vehicle through which the technical corpus of the style is transmitted, it provides little else in terms of actual physical learning - even though the principles of the style are incorporated within the movements. It's a good way to hide things in plain sight as well... that's why some ryu have 2 versions of the same kata - omote and ura...

Kata is essentially a textbook - a compendium of waza, strung together as a coherent movement sequence. But without the keys to decipher the kata, it'd be pretty hard, unless you've already been clued in. Stories abound of how people like Chojun Miyagi had to be given the gokui of deciphering the kata (and its combative applications), and from which he went on to create other kata, based on those principles. So, without the oral transmission, kata has limited use other than a partial means of knowledge transmission.

OTOH, if you apprehend the principles and the oral transmissions, you don't really need the kata. It just becomes "exercise".
Ingatius:

I believe that your understanding of kata is too limiting. Kata practice is a lot deeper than that and does not begin and end with kata practice. It needs to include to taking of of the moves within a kata and exploring them in more realistic modes. This would include Bunkai Kata Kumite and then onto kumite (for Aikido, freestyle attacks, randori, ...). As I stated in my latest blog, the problems with kata tend to be with the people who are teaching them and not the kata themselves. For an excellent and in-depth look, I would suggest that you read the book "Karate and Ki" by Ushiro Kenji (by the way, I hear that the translating team was a wonderful bunch of people ).

Marc Abrams
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:07 AM   #92
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

I use my Aiki in the UFC all the time. Any time I see it come on, I perform tenkan on the channel changer. Violence peacefully resolved.

Michael Hacker
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:11 PM   #93
tarik
 
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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Michael Hacker wrote: View Post
I use my Aiki in the UFC all the time. Any time I see it come on, I perform tenkan on the channel changer. Violence peacefully resolved.
What, no irimi?!

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Old 09-08-2009, 12:22 PM   #94
tarik
 
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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Kata is essentially a textbook - a compendium of waza, strung together as a coherent movement sequence. But without the keys to decipher the kata, it'd be pretty hard, unless you've already been clued in. Stories abound of how people like Chojun Miyagi had to be given the gokui of deciphering the kata (and its combative applications), and from which he went on to create other kata, based on those principles. So, without the oral transmission, kata has limited use other than a partial means of knowledge transmission.

OTOH, if you apprehend the principles and the oral transmissions, you don't really need the kata. It just becomes "exercise".
That's rather the point, isn't it? To get to the level of apprehension where kata is no longer necessary.

But, learning kata is more than learning the techniques and movements, it also about learning those keys. Learning the technical corpus is only one step in the process, and really only the first step.

It's rather like learning how to write by learning block letters first, before eventually learning the differences between upper and lower case letters, then words, and when learning cursive, how the letters can change and look different (but still have the same fundamental essence) when placed beside different letters. Uh... do people learn cursive any more?

Explorations of the sort Erick describes are pretty normal methods of instruction I've encountered and practiced in Aikido, but they really are only efficient teaching vehicles once people have learned their 'cursive' pretty well. It fun and interesting, but not a good way to train for a longer time than I think most students are willing to wait.

Regards,

Tarik Ghbeish
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:52 PM   #95
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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What, no irimi?!
There is no tenkan without irimi.

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Old 09-08-2009, 01:17 PM   #96
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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There is no tenkan without irimi.
{grins} beat me to it, Mr. H!

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Old 09-08-2009, 01:22 PM   #97
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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{grins} beat me to it, Mr. H!
sen sen no sen

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Old 09-08-2009, 04:51 PM   #98
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Kata practice is a lot deeper than that and does not begin and end with kata practice. It needs to include to taking of of the moves within a kata and exploring them in more realistic modes. This would include Bunkai Kata Kumite and then onto kumite (for Aikido, freestyle attacks, randori, ...). As I stated in my latest blog, the problems with kata tend to be with the people who are teaching [or NOT teaching!] them and not the kata themselves.
Hi Marc... exactly... what Tarik said.

Quote:
Tarik wrote:
To get to the level of apprehension where kata is no longer necessary....But, learning kata is more than learning the techniques and movements, it also about learning those keys. Learning the technical corpus is only one step in the process, and really only the first step.
Without the keys, kata is merely a sequence of shapes, a bunch of "fighting postures" if you will. The problem of course is that it's not about the postures, but what happens between the postures... I'm just saying, it's like reading between the lines.

Ignatius
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:06 PM   #99
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

The problem lots of people have with kata geiko is that although it is "pre-arranged form" or choreographed, it must be practiced with appropriate intent at some point. It makes it doubly hard if your partner isn't. That's one of the reasons that uke's role is taken by the senior in many traditional practice methods. When both partners are filled with the intent and are fulfilling the riai of the kata, then there is katachi and the kata is no longer "fake" or lifeless, etc. The kata is REAL even though it is programed.

A huge problem is that lots of trainees never get out of the initial stage even though the choreography looks nice/great and can be a very nice "workout"... it ain't real yet. Unless there are enough models that have made the step to kata that's filled with the proper intent and understand the riai of the kata, the level of real kata is lost for the juniors that eventually become "seniors" and "instructors" and the practice suffers.

When sotai kata geiko reaches a mature level of training, it has the appearance and feeling of "real" action. Then randori, that is "taking form out of chaos freely" becomes the test of our ability to use the forms of kata that then answer our intuitive, creative decision making, on the go, under varying levels of stress becoming the essence of budo. The continuing creation of waza that fits the needs at hand. It is a difficult practice to be sure.

Sorry for the length and rambling.

Best regards,

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:20 PM   #100
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Re: Inefficiencies in the Aikido Training Method

I completely agree with your statements Chuck. The problem I find is that keeping kata alive is one of the more difficult things to learn and to actually do...
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