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Old 06-17-2011, 10:45 AM   #76
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Eduardo Jauch wrote: View Post
Hi Graham

When you talk about "universe law" and not impose will or control (by yourself), I can't help but see that you're talking about being only a "vessel" to a greater force (the universe).

For me, this is a "faith" view and I can't argument on this subject.

But there is one point that I think I can. The "will" subject.

Even if you're not aiming to impose your will on the uke directly, letting the universe choose the path of events, you're doing it anyway.

This is because you choose to be the "vessel" of the universe law. Doing this, you're accepting the universe law will impose it's own "will" on the uke, because uke is trying to impose their will on you. And accepting this, you're imposing your will to uke.

But this "will" that we're talking is, seems to me, a "philosophical" one. It's more concept than feelings.

I agree with you that to do aiki one must, in the contact moment, have no feelings of "imposing" anything on the uke.

But the ausence of feelings doesn't mean that your will is not being imposed to the uke...

Confusing?

Ok Rich, I got your point
And I agree.

But like I said to Graham, seems that we all are talking about different "levels" or "layers" of control and will.

This is very confusing...
Hi Eduardo, and Rich.

Very astute if I may say so. Yes I do see my body as a vessel as you put it.

Now on the subject of 'will' I agree, along with the other word 'control' that it could be tranlated of different levels of or it could be translated as I say as absence of. Thus an interesting debate.

I liked Mary's analogy too.

Let's put it in Aikido practice terms to give you a perspective.

Drills. I drill people on these aspects from the view of self developement within the frame work of Aikido.

If a person is getting stuck and confused I would observe and communicate to check which principle is the main one they are missing causing the others to go out. Then for instance might say 'O.K. now do it with non-disturbance (without trying to control anything) Of course this is confusing to the student who hasn't done it before so he will then realize he can't so I will give him drills to that effect.

One drill would be a person standing in good posture holding both wrists of the other. He could be very stable or overtlly using force to prevent the other doing as I ask, it doesn't matter which, in fact as part of the drill it's good to test from various stances.

I then tell the student the drill is to push through the opponent in order to move him backwards until he can do it at ease without strength. Now here's the thing. I tell him to imagine, to see the 'Opponent' as a vessel full of water and his job is to move him without disturbing the water. Thus it rules out many things and many ways of doing it for they would all disturb the water.

It's very zen so to speak for it's until you let go of the need to control, until then you cannot see the difference.

So once done, even if accomplished only once from a hundred tries then the person sees and feels how different and infinitely more powerful that experience was. Now they can see and feel and have a bit more reality on Ki, self, and it's application.

Drills to do with specifics such as will and EVEN intent can be done as well. By this I mean without will and even without intent. Very zen once again and 'intellectually' very confusing.

Regards G.
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:30 PM   #77
Jauch
 
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Eduardo, and Rich.

Very astute if I may say so. Yes I do see my body as a vessel as you put it.

Now on the subject of 'will' I agree, along with the other word 'control' that it could be tranlated of different levels of or it could be translated as I say as absence of. Thus an interesting debate.

I liked Mary's analogy too.

Let's put it in Aikido practice terms to give you a perspective.

Drills. I drill people on these aspects from the view of self developement within the frame work of Aikido.

If a person is getting stuck and confused I would observe and communicate to check which principle is the main one they are missing causing the others to go out. Then for instance might say 'O.K. now do it with non-disturbance (without trying to control anything) Of course this is confusing to the student who hasn't done it before so he will then realize he can't so I will give him drills to that effect.

One drill would be a person standing in good posture holding both wrists of the other. He could be very stable or overtlly using force to prevent the other doing as I ask, it doesn't matter which, in fact as part of the drill it's good to test from various stances.

I then tell the student the drill is to push through the opponent in order to move him backwards until he can do it at ease without strength. Now here's the thing. I tell him to imagine, to see the 'Opponent' as a vessel full of water and his job is to move him without disturbing the water. Thus it rules out many things and many ways of doing it for they would all disturb the water.

It's very zen so to speak for it's until you let go of the need to control, until then you cannot see the difference.

So once done, even if accomplished only once from a hundred tries then the person sees and feels how different and infinitely more powerful that experience was. Now they can see and feel and have a bit more reality on Ki, self, and it's application.

Drills to do with specifics such as will and EVEN intent can be done as well. By this I mean without will and even without intent. Very zen once again and 'intellectually' very confusing.

Regards G.
Hi Graham

I just come back of a concert of a Portuguese band, Deolinda. Really Amazing.

And I found this replay here hehe

Well.

I was thinking about what you wrote. I'm not sure that I understudy everything, because my English is very limited.

When I tried to do my first tenkan ho I could not do it. So, the senior that was practicing with me, asked permission to the sensei and bring to me a 20 liter water bottle (empty) and made-me hold it.
Doing this complete shift my focus from the uke to the bottle. What before seemed impossible, I did the tenkan as if there isn't anyone there.

Is something like this that you do? Try to make people see that they are "looking" to the wrong place?
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:05 AM   #78
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Eduardo Jauch wrote: View Post
Hi Graham

I just come back of a concert of a Portuguese band, Deolinda. Really Amazing.

And I found this replay here hehe

Well.

I was thinking about what you wrote. I'm not sure that I understudy everything, because my English is very limited.

When I tried to do my first tenkan ho I could not do it. So, the senior that was practicing with me, asked permission to the sensei and bring to me a 20 liter water bottle (empty) and made-me hold it.
Doing this complete shift my focus from the uke to the bottle. What before seemed impossible, I did the tenkan as if there isn't anyone there.

Is something like this that you do? Try to make people see that they are "looking" to the wrong place?
Hi Eduardo.

Sounds like the senior was very wise, I love it. I'm sure if you ask him his reasoning you will find out. It definitely was to get you to let go of something you were doing and would take your attention off of the need to control the opponent.

As to being like what I do? Well in terms of creative drills-yes.

To try to get people to see they are 'looking' in the wrong place? Well maybe, that's not how I would put it personally.

Each drill is related to a spiritual principle in Aikido, in my Aikido anyway. Each drill is related to either improving center, or centre line or koshi etc.

The main thing is it helped you improve your tenkan thus it's all good.

Regards.G.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:23 AM   #79
Jauch
 
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi Eduardo.

Sounds like the senior was very wise, I love it. I'm sure if you ask him his reasoning you will find out. It definitely was to get you to let go of something you were doing and would take your attention off of the need to control the opponent.

As to being like what I do? Well in terms of creative drills-yes.

To try to get people to see they are 'looking' in the wrong place? Well maybe, that's not how I would put it personally.

Each drill is related to a spiritual principle in Aikido, in my Aikido anyway. Each drill is related to either improving center, or centre line or koshi etc.

The main thing is it helped you improve your tenkan thus it's all good.

Regards.G.
Hum.
This sounds very interesting
May I ask if you have any video?

I know that when related to "aiki" it's nearly impossible to understand without experience, but I'd like to see some of your drills

P.S.: I found some videos . I'll take a look

Last edited by Jauch : 06-18-2011 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Add P.S.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:09 AM   #80
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Eduardo Jauch wrote: View Post
Hum.
This sounds very interesting
May I ask if you have any video?

I know that when related to "aiki" it's nearly impossible to understand without experience, but I'd like to see some of your drills

P.S.: I found some videos . I'll take a look
Eduardo.
A word of caution when watching my videos. On a lot of them they are best looked at as drills but they don't have commentary so can look confusing as to what's being drilled.

Secondly, they were not done from the view of an instructional video as they are clips taken from a security cam.

To do with drills like you find interesting there is one or two where I am using a saucer where the object is to do moves as if the saucer is full of water, therefore you are not allowed to turn your hand or you would spill the water.

There is one or two with a fan, with this exercise you find you can't grab or grip the opponent yet still have to perform the Aikido. Great for kokyu.

The spirit of loving protection videos were actually two times when that particular person was 'down' for some reason so I said I would wake up his Ki.

Have fun. G.
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Old 06-18-2011, 09:41 PM   #81
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
....Another way to say this is that you prevented them for imposing their will on you by blending with their movement and energy thus creating harmony. It takes a lot of courage, confidence and training to be able to do this.
What this really means is that people who think this way, tend to draw and attract people who think this way...to attack or more pointedly to 'move" at them.
I have never, not even once, seen anyone pull it off against someone truly capable of "imposing their will on them" by attacking them....doing so.

If however one chooses to enter into an agreement with others of the same persuasion who like to "move at them' in some defined manner, and they get to play with that energy by "moving away from them" in some defined manner...well that can be fun, even addicting for many people. I'm told it can also help people learn to cope with stress in a more positive manner.
Why they do it in old Japanese budo clothing or pick up wooden implements shaped like Japanese weapons that are used in Budo, is a bit confusing to me, but hey....its a free world.

Away from aikido....
Imposing of will and resistence with real meaning and consequence:
When Gandhi and his followers, chose to resist at the Dharasana salt works, he had no illusions of blending with a hardwood staff. They knew that to face people willing and capable of killing them, they had no real choice by to suffer and die. There were no other options. And their injuries and deaths broke the heart of their enemies.
Likewise, Martin Luther King and his followers, had no illusions of facing dogs and such focused hatred with blending with the attack. Their injuries and deaths broke the heart of a nation.
These men were immense, incredible examples of peace in action, when they faced the imposition of will to invade their peace and the peace of others it resulted in costs.

True "warriors of peace" are men of incredible sacrifice and clarity....everyone else is just making excuses.
Cheers
Dan
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:10 AM   #82
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
What this really means is that people who think this way, tend to draw and attract people who think this way...to attack or more pointedly to 'move" at them.
I have never, not even once, seen anyone pull it off against someone truly capable of "imposing their will on them" by attacking them....doing so.

If however one chooses to enter into an agreement with others of the same persuasion who like to "move at them' in some defined manner, and they get to play with that energy by "moving away from them" in some defined manner...well that can be fun, even addicting for many people. I'm told it can also help people learn to cope with stress in a more positive manner.
Why they do it in old Japanese budo clothing or pick up wooden implements shaped like Japanese weapons that are used in Budo, is a bit confusing to me, but hey....its a free world.

Away from aikido....
Imposing of will and resistence with real meaning and consequence:
When Gandhi and his followers, chose to resist at the Dharasana salt works, he had no illusions of blending with a hardwood staff. They knew that to face people willing and capable of killing them, they had no real choice by to suffer and die. There were no other options. And their injuries and deaths broke the heart of their enemies.
Likewise, Martin Luther King and his followers, had no illusions of facing dogs and such focused hatred with blending with the attack. Their injuries and deaths broke the heart of a nation.
These men were immense, incredible examples of peace in action, when they faced the imposition of will to invade their peace and the peace of others it resulted in costs.

True "warriors of peace" are men of incredible sacrifice and clarity....everyone else is just making excuses.
Cheers
Dan
Dear Dan
I agree with every word of you closing statements.It takes a rare breed of man to make this sort of commitment to a cause.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 06-19-2011, 04:08 PM   #83
aikilouis
Location: Germany
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Re: Hard before Soft???

I would like to comment the point on MLK and Gandhi by saying that their actions were also calculated according to specific social conditions of their time. Because an all-out violent repressive reaction from the opposing authorities was not possible without very damaging consequences, did their non-violent movements stand a change of putting a majority on their side and obtain substantial change.

There are times when peaceful demonstrations or passive resistance are not efficient solutions. The risk is simply too great compared to the chance of victory.

Also, pretending to do a martial art of peace by engaging in a collusive practise at all times without exceptions is ridiculous. One of the key principles that I learned is "Sinken shobu"(sincerity as if in a fight with live swords). It means that each participant must have the mental attitude suitable to a deadly conflict and train skills based on that truthfulness. If you remove any condition of failure, of opposition of wills and of hostility, this is not a martial art practise but an exercise in aesthetics or in self-satisfaction.

No shinken, no shobu. (I'm sure it sounds barbaric, but it is the most concise way to convey my thought here).

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Old 06-19-2011, 04:26 PM   #84
gregstec
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post

Also, pretending to do a martial art of peace by engaging in a collusive practise at all times without exceptions is ridiculous. One of the key principles that I learned is "Sinken shobu"(sincerity as if in a fight with live swords). It means that each participant must have the mental attitude suitable to a deadly conflict and train skills based on that truthfulness. If you remove any condition of failure, of opposition of wills and of hostility, this is not a martial art practise but an exercise in aesthetics or in self-satisfaction.

No shinken, no shobu. (I'm sure it sounds barbaric, but it is the most concise way to convey my thought here).
Your statements are very true, but to some that type of activity is beneficial to them - hopefully, those that do it, do not expect it to prepare them for hostile actions against them of the physical nature.

Greg
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:04 PM   #85
aikilouis
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Well said Greg. Such practises are just not martial, they are something else.

Trying to solve the paradox of martial activity with a spiritual content is part of aikido as a quest. It is clear that for O Sensei aikido had a spiritual meaning, he lectured on and on about it. What is not so obvious is what this meaning was.

Reducing O Sensei's complex worldview to a few slogans like "Budo is love" serves only a purpose : these slogans become dogma, critical thinking is suspended and practitioners are clearly tempted by this holier than thou attitude towards other martial practises just because they are supposed to do aikido, the martial art that went beyond conflict to embrace love.

On the contrary, knowing that Morihei Ueshiba intended to give aikido a spiritual purpose should be an encouragement to challenge our own perceptions, including the role of harmony and conflict in our lives, and the wish of each one of us to see him/herself as a good person.

The idea of extinguishing the will to win in order to reach of state of unity with the here and now is not new in the martial arts. You can find the same idea expressed in Chinese or Japanese treaties. It is clearly seen as a strategic advantage in combat, or more briefly said : "less will, more power" (power = increased tactical advantage).

The practitioner reaches unity with the universe and becomes invincible. It is not a question of morality but of pure efficiency though the optimisation of the individual's relationship with his environment in order to prevail in the conflict.

What O Sensei did, in my opinion, is that he pushed this logic to its extreme and concluded that by according himself to the universe, the individual became the instrument of the accomplishment of the divine design, whatever it my be. I think that he implied a dimension of benevolence in that design, that the final end of this universal project is globally positive, but it is a byproduct, not an initial condition.

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Old 06-19-2011, 05:17 PM   #86
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quote:
Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Well said Greg. Such practises are just not martial, they are something else.

Trying to solve the paradox of martial activity with a spiritual content is part of aikido as a quest. It is clear that for O Sensei aikido had a spiritual meaning, he lectured on and on about it. What is not so obvious is what this meaning was.

Reducing O Sensei's complex worldview to a few slogans like "Budo is love" serves only a purpose : these slogans become dogma, critical thinking is suspended and practitioners are clearly tempted by this holier than thou attitude towards other martial practises just because they are supposed to do aikido, the martial art that went beyond conflict to embrace love.

On the contrary, knowing that Morihei Ueshiba intended to give aikido a spiritual purpose should be an encouragement to challenge our own perceptions, including the role of harmony and conflict in our lives, and the wish of each one of us to see him/herself as a good person.

The idea of extinguishing the will to win in order to reach of state of unity with the here and now is not new in the martial arts. You can find the same idea expressed in Chinese or Japanese treaties. It is clearly seen as a strategic advantage in combat, or more briefly said : "less will, more power" (power = increased tactical advantage).

The practitioner reaches unity with the universe and becomes invincible. It is not a question of morality but of pure efficiency though the optimisation of the individual's relationship with his environment in order to prevail in the conflict.

What O Sensei did, in my opinion, is that he pushed this logic to its extreme and concluded that by according himself to the universe, the individual became the instrument of the accomplishment of the divine design, whatever it my be. I think that he implied a dimension of benevolence in that design, that the final end of this universal project is globally positive, but it is a byproduct, not an initial condition.
All good points that deserve the proper deliberation to truly appreciate.

Greg
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:30 PM   #87
matty_mojo911
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Re: Hard before Soft???

Quick reply - and perhaps getting back to a simplistic point of view.

The very best Aikido instructors I've seen have always done some hard style, generally something other than Aikido.

Very simply being able to do things in a hard environment gives you confidence, once you have the confidence people tend to move back to soft styles, for a variety of reasons.

Hard does give you a better soft, but it requires the correct personality to do this - many can't.

O'Sensei was as hard as nails when he first started his martial arts career, he moved through this process to develop a "softish' style (though his early versions were pretty hard indeed).

There are no real short cuts to reach a good soft style, I strongly believe it is a process you must work towards, we are all a compilation of our experiences and life. If we were attempting to model ourselves on O'Senseis later Aikido Style, we perhaps should not so much study that alone, but what was the compilation of expereinces that led to that - and yes, many of these are outside of the Dojo and are personal, so there is every chance we cannot replicate it.
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