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Old 01-17-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
Amassus
 
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Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Hello all.

Here is a quote that resonated with me from an online book found here:
http://www.discovering-aikido.com/index.htm

"If you practice/develop strong kokyu-ryoku the techniques become insignificant. You go through uke and partway, an aiki-shape (technique) reveals itself and, if you wish, you decide to take it. I believe this method reveals all the natural Aikido techniques - they just appear. Accordingly, I do not think that Ueshiba sat down one day and decided to include this or that in his repertoire - rather he just smashed his ukes around for half a lifetime with strong aiki and the shapes (techniques) we have just came out."

It seems to make sense to me that O'sensei just threw people around with a strong budo body and certain shapes resulted over and over again based on these interactions. Considering what has been discussed in these forums (IS and such) this guy could be onto something.

Thoughts?

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 01-17-2011, 02:12 AM   #2
Gorgeous George
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Re: Food for thought

Aren't a lot of aikido techniques very similar to/the same as Daito-ryu techniques?
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
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Re: Food for thought

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Aren't a lot of aikido techniques very similar to/the same as Daito-ryu techniques?
This is what I have read, and apparently the principles of developing a strong budo body is important in that art as well. What I like about this quote is that it explains to me why aikido has a relatively small technique set. Sure there are variations and what-not but compared to some other martial arts, it is a small group of base techniques.

My first introduction to martial arts was a composite kung fu/ zen do kai karate style. I only worked my way up three ranks but even in that time we learnt many different techniques. It was very technique driven.

So it reinforces for me the idea that Ueshiba was concentrating on a set of principles based on his experience in the martial arts. Over time, he was able to become a very good martial artist and didn't rely on technique alone to overcome opponents.

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:26 AM   #4
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Re: Food for thought

Quote:
Dean Suter wrote: View Post
So it reinforces for me the idea that Ueshiba was concentrating on a set of principles based on his experience in the martial arts. Over time, he was able to become a very good martial artist and didn't rely on technique alone to overcome opponents.
No one (who's any good) relies on "technique alone." Nor is the idea of seeing a shape "reveal itself" particularly advanced: it should be well within the reach of a competent shodan, at least some of the time.

It's true that aikido has a relatively limited technique set, but Daito-ryu has a huge library of techniques. To say that Ueshiba "just threw people around" ignores his very solid technical foundation. I think it's more accurate to say that he refined and distilled the Daito-ryu library for his own purposes.

Katherine
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Old 01-17-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Nice post and observation from the book.

Aiki - as a joining with energy of the opponent/partner is formless and completely spontaneous (takemusu) but how to get there is the question.

The Japanese *generalisation alert* are fantastic at systemising and refining something, an example of that is aikido.

Aikido curriculum consist of basic shapes and movements that are examples of 'spontaneous aiki' collected together so that one may learn some basic examples of 'aiki' as a catalogue to be internalised. After a little while (well after a long while) its easy to see how the techniques can be discarded and left to manifest after entry/kuzushi/leading.

A personal observation is that those who spend too long on the basics i.e. believe there is nothing more that technique get trapped by it and don't get to see this next step as a possibility

The book and quote puts it quite nicely. FWIW I saw the original book post last week and relegated it to 'get around to reading someday' will have to up that in the queue esp. as more of the diagrams are filled in

Daniel James, Brisbane Aikido Republic: AikiPhysics, Aikido Brisbane news,
ph 0413 001 844, 1593 Logan Rd, Mt.Gravatt, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Quote:
It's true that aikido has a relatively limited technique set, but Daito-ryu has a huge library of techniques. To say that Ueshiba "just threw people around" ignores his very solid technical foundation. I think it's more accurate to say that he refined and distilled the Daito-ryu library for his own purposes.
I totally agree. But I think the point the author is trying to make is that Ueshiba must have decided that the large group of techniques found in Daito-ryu (or any other art he had studied by that time) weren't all required to develop the abilities he had.

Quote:
A personal observation is that those who spend too long on the basics i.e. believe there is nothing more that technique get trapped by it and don't get to see this next step as a possibility
I have seen this myself and in fact was most likely stuck in it at one point. I think you have to immerse yourself in this phase and hopefully you (or your teacher helps you to) move on to 'allowing techniques to appear'.

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 01-17-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

As I see it there are a couple of separate issues here.

Firstly on basics:
O'Sensei started each and every class with Tai-no-Henka, and Morote-dori-kokyu Ho and finished every class with Suwari-waza Kokyu-ho.

O'sensei believed in basics as fundamental stepping stones to higher 'level' techniques.

The second issue cuts right to the heart of many debates about Aikido techniques and their effectiveness, in this or that situation.

A spontaneous action can only be made if there is no precognitive thought pattern prior to the movement. Thoughts just get in the way, even more so notions of 'trying' to do this or that technique.

It is my understanding that the technique 'revealing' itself is a manifestation of an action without the notion of a doer. Similar to the pure mind of a Kyudo exponent becoming the action of releasing the arrow, by a long and arduous process of letting go of the self.

It is only through repetition of Kihon-waza that such a manifestation can be made with effectiveness . I'd suggest that the techniques were chosen carefully to streamline the learning, and the basics, tai-no-henka, morote-dori-kokyuho are central to that. (As you can prob tell I practice Iwama Style !!)

In the moment just let go and react, if your training has been good then you will have nothing to fear.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:44 AM   #8
Randall Lim
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Quote:
Dean Suter wrote: View Post
Hello all.

Here is a quote that resonated with me from an online book found here:
http://www.discovering-aikido.com/index.htm

"If you practice/develop strong kokyu-ryoku the techniques become insignificant. You go through uke and partway, an aiki-shape (technique) reveals itself and, if you wish, you decide to take it. I believe this method reveals all the natural Aikido techniques - they just appear. Accordingly, I do not think that Ueshiba sat down one day and decided to include this or that in his repertoire - rather he just smashed his ukes around for half a lifetime with strong aiki and the shapes (techniques) we have just came out."

It seems to make sense to me that O'sensei just threw people around with a strong budo body and certain shapes resulted over and over again based on these interactions. Considering what has been discussed in these forums (IS and such) this guy could be onto something.

Thoughts?

Dean.
Formlessness is my goal. Only Mushin can achieve Formlessness.

As a beginner I learn Form. As I progress, I discard Form.

Formlessness is my goal.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:06 AM   #9
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Randall did you write that? That's a great tanka. Very cool.

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Old 01-18-2011, 04:25 AM   #10
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Dean,

What do you mean by "budo body"? It is not a term that I have heard used in the practice of Aikido.

David
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:18 PM   #11
Randall Lim
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote: View Post
Randall did you write that? That's a great tanka. Very cool.
Yes, I did. Inspired by the Martial Arts Masters of the past, like Bruce Lee, etc.

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Old 01-18-2011, 10:06 PM   #12
Amassus
 
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Dean,

What do you mean by "budo body"? It is not a term that I have heard used in the practice of Aikido.

David
Great question, Dave.
I think I read it somewhere on the Aunkai site. I liked it and it stuck. What I mean by using this term is that the body has been conditioned so that it works as a balanced, coordinated unit. Now, forgive me in advance if some of the terms I use have come up in internal strength talks. I don't really know anything about the internal strength stuff, however this is a path I'm interested in and am pursuing as best I can.

If you have a coordinated, balanced body this allows you to generate a relaxed power from the ground up, moving from your centre etc. If such a practitioner is shown a technique, then they can perform the technique using the principles of a budo body. If you have trained your body to be aligned to generate power then when you try a technique shown to you, you can tweak it until it feels 'right'.

My thoughts about Ueshiba are that he learnt to develop this power and found he could move opponents around easier. As he moved them around he would apply techniques as he saw fit.

I hope that clarifies things, David.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:51 PM   #13
Amassus
 
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

David...found the site that talks about conditioning the body.
http://www.aunkai.net/eng/aunkai/index.html

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 01-21-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

From what I understand, Daito-ryu doesn't have that much more techniqes than Aikido. Daito-ryu labels everything with a technique name while Aikido just labels most stuff as a class of techniques.

So Daito-ryu:
technique A
technique A + 1 = B

Aikido:
technique A
technique A +1 = A
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:28 PM   #15
asiawide
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Re: Food for thought - "Shapes" of aikido techniques

If you are in NZ near Auckland. Try to meet him. Maybe he's not the best aikido teacher but he knows how to teach his skills.

Jaemin
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