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Old 09-06-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
Russ Q
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Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

Curious as to what the IP/Aiki folks think of this video. Personally I'm quite impressed, especially with Mifune's sumio toshi at 1:09 of the first clip....is this a good demonstration of IT?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFXbuszijCM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ye5D...eature=related

Truly,

Russ
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:19 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

Funny timing, Russ: my new class at the dojo follows a judo class (which seems to be more budo type, not sports type) and so just a few hours ago I was chatting w/ a fellow aikido student who has been attending the judo class as well - the subject of Mifune came up as we are both very familiar w/ the first of the two clips you link to - and my comment (in the context of thinking about the aiki seminar) was that his structure is amazing to me: with no feet on the ground he appears to remain in perfect balance with internal structure intact.

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Old 09-06-2011, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

Definitely has it. You can't get kuzushi on him, because Mifune is downweighting and the other guy can't get under. Mifune is essentially relaxing and allowing the weight of his structure to go down the ground, so the guy who is trying to lift him cant because 1) he's fighting against the force of gravity 2) it's not like Mifune is dead weight, Mifune is a living thing who is manipulating the forces of gravity to keep in his structure in tact (and thus maintain a dynamic downweight) and to remain umthrowable.


Notice also when he threw (and throws the guy) the kuzushi is very subtle. You don't see it. No excessive pushing and pulling. At that time you pointed out, there is a millisecond there where you see him plant his feet to to set up, "get under". He just gets low to create momentum for his throw. The foreign player can't sense his balance being taken at all.

Last edited by Lorel Latorilla : 09-06-2011 at 11:38 PM.

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Old 09-07-2011, 09:23 AM   #4
Russ Q
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

Thanks for the responses! I saw this just the other day and like it a lot.

Cheers,

R
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Old 09-07-2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

The sequence is he gets under lower than his opponent (think about why a moving train can take your balance, its "under" you) plants his feet and at that moment gets kuzushi, and then throws. He doesn't just "throw" you cause that would mean he's using brute force, and his body frame won't allow him to use brute force. Causing unbalance in the other person will allow the other guy to be light, and thus easy to throw.

But Mifune has developed it to such a subtle degree that the transition from kuzushi to throw is seamless that it almost looks like he's just throwing people at will without any unbalancing tricks.

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Old 09-07-2011, 10:24 AM   #6
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
The sequence is he gets under lower than his opponent (think about why a moving train can take your balance, its "under" you) plants his feet and at that moment gets kuzushi, and then throws. He doesn't just "throw" you cause that would mean he's using brute force, and his body frame won't allow him to use brute force. Causing unbalance in the other person will allow the other guy to be light, and thus easy to throw.

But Mifune has developed it to such a subtle degree that the transition from kuzushi to throw is seamless that it almost looks like he's just throwing people at will without any unbalancing tricks.
I like to think of it like imagining you ran up to a table and pushed down onto it with all your strength/weight. Naturally the table, unless it were very cheaply made, wouldn't budge and you would be pushing yourself up/back, but at that moment you contacted it, the table pushed back (or pulled) ever so slightly.

Also, in your first reply you were talking about him being unthrowable, and I agree, but I wonder how much of that unthrowability is also him keeping his center away from nage? I've found that to be a very interesting thing to play with, though I can't do it against any pressure without some external shifting. I believe Ark does some demos along those lines where he'll squat and have two people push down on him from each side. They're connecting to him and pushing him down, but then he subtly shifts his center to break their connection and is able to just stand up regardless of the weight/power they're putting into him. I would imagine they're some of that going on with Mifune as well.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #7
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

At the Aiki Principles seminar Threadgill sensei was speaking about not letting your partner feel your center (while touching theirs). This is the practice....moving, kuzushi and throw all while keeping ones tanden entirely relaxed......deep study.

R
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:57 AM   #8
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I like to think of it like imagining you ran up to a table and pushed down onto it with all your strength/weight. Naturally the table, unless it were very cheaply made, wouldn't budge and you would be pushing yourself up/back, but at that moment you contacted it, the table pushed back (or pulled) ever so slightly.

Also, in your first reply you were talking about him being unthrowable, and I agree, but I wonder how much of that unthrowability is also him keeping his center away from nage? I've found that to be a very interesting thing to play with, though I can't do it against any pressure without some external shifting. I believe Ark does some demos along those lines where he'll squat and have two people push down on him from each side. They're connecting to him and pushing him down, but then he subtly shifts his center to break their connection and is able to just stand up regardless of the weight/power they're putting into him. I would imagine they're some of that going on with Mifune as well.
Hi Jason,

Yeah, I think that's naturally the effect. A guy pushing onto a guy who is "lower" than the other guy, will naturally prop himself up, because the guy who's low is directing his "energy" or "center" to the ground. In that case, yeah, the table image is suitable. I got some "a ha" moments from watching some Kondo videos of him teaching a seminar and while people might suggest other Daito Ryu guys for good examples of "aiki", his demonstrations of aiki, while lacking in subtlety, gave me ideas as to why it's easy for small guys to throw bigger guys. Kondo would do aiki using aiki-age, and put his attacker on his toes, upon which Kondo would throw him. If you are on your toes, you are basically powerless, and you can be easily thrown. But I figured, you don't literally need to be on your toes, you just need to be unbalanced for you to be throwable.

That's what I mean by "dynamic downweight". I didn't really explain. Why is that if a strong guy lifts a 150 pound weight and curls like its nothing, but can't throw a 100 pound dude (like Mifune)? The weight has a recognizable "center". It won't move. If you are strong enough, and can "sense" where the gravitational pull is on the weight, you can move it. But with a 100 pound guy, he can hide his "center" while maintaining a downweight anywhere on his body. So the guy will not be able to sense where the pull is on the 100 pounder, while the 100 pounder is mentally directing gravitional force affecting his body and consequently aligning his body in such a way that it desires to stay clamped to the ground.

I don't know if that makes sense. Jeez this is hard to explain.

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Old 09-07-2011, 11:34 AM   #9
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Hi Jason,

Yeah, I think that's naturally the effect. A guy pushing onto a guy who is "lower" than the other guy, will naturally prop himself up, because the guy who's low is directing his "energy" or "center" to the ground. In that case, yeah, the table image is suitable. I got some "a ha" moments from watching some Kondo videos of him teaching a seminar and while people might suggest other Daito Ryu guys for good examples of "aiki", his demonstrations of aiki, while lacking in subtlety, gave me ideas as to why it's easy for small guys to throw bigger guys. Kondo would do aiki using aiki-age, and put his attacker on his toes, upon which Kondo would throw him. If you are on your toes, you are basically powerless, and you can be easily thrown. But I figured, you don't literally need to be on your toes, you just need to be unbalanced for you to be throwable.
Re: on your toes - Yah i think the up on the toes thing is more of an exagerated response. In reality, depending on the skill level of both people, you're probably going to be looking at it more as getting tension into various parts of their body to get their center up subtly (shoulder/chest, lower back, etc) and then capitalizing on it from there. I think that what you look for in the other person changes depending on their skill level. Someone with some body skill isn't going to attach their center to their power output in the same way a strong but otherwise disconnected person would. Ikeda actually has some good ways of talking about this at his seminars. He calls it making a line and breaking the line and goes to great lengths to show the early, more exagerated version (from both uke and nage sides) to the more subtle and desired end product.

Quote:
That's what I mean by "dynamic downweight". I didn't really explain. Why is that if a strong guy lifts a 150 pound weight and curls like its nothing, but can't throw a 100 pound dude (like Mifune)? The weight has a recognizable "center". It won't move. If you are strong enough, and can "sense" where the gravitational pull is on the weight, you can move it. But with a 100 pound guy, he can hide his "center" while maintaining a downweight anywhere on his body. So the guy will not be able to sense where the pull is on the 100 pounder, while the 100 pounder is mentally directing gravitional force affecting his body and consequently aligning his body in such a way that it desires to stay clamped to the ground.

I don't know if that makes sense. Jeez this is hard to explain.
It makes sense and yes, it is hard to explain without having felt it first. The first time I really felt it was from Toby Threadgill and the whole concept of it has really only started coming together for me over the last few months or so. It's definitely something that needs to be felt though.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:38 AM   #10
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
The weight has a recognizable "center". It won't move. If you are strong enough, and can "sense" where the gravitational pull is on the weight, you can move it. But with a 100 pound guy, he can hide his "center" while maintaining a downweight anywhere on his body. So the guy will not be able to sense where the pull is on the 100 pounder, while the 100 pounder is mentally directing gravitional force affecting his body and consequently aligning his body in such a way that it desires to stay clamped to the ground.

I don't know if that makes sense. Jeez this is hard to explain.
I remember someone years ago telling me to visualize being a loose sack of sand but with the ability to shift the sand at will. So to be in control of it in a relaxed fashion. So you decide to shift over here, over there, etc. as the person grabbing is trying their hardest to find a "thing" to lift. So no matter where they start to lift you're "pouring" over here, over there, etc. leaving them with nothing solid. Not giving them that center you talk about.

Or to put it another way, I think of using aiki to feel their center while not allowing them to feel mine. Or to keep mine controlled and invisible to them. So I can affect them but they can't affect me. Kuzushi on contact via aiki.

Yeah, while really hard to explain it is so much harder to do (for me at least). Still learnin'...

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Old 09-07-2011, 11:42 AM   #11
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

And yes, with Toby he'll sometimes do this thing where he'll say "I have you, I don't have you, I have you again..." From the outside you don't really see much of a change. But when you're on the receiving end if you're reasonably aware of how they guys can probe to your center you can feel exactly what he's saying. Yes, he does then it goes away. Then it comes back. Subtle shifts. The problem I find with Toby (and others good at this stuff) is that I can't ride that feeling back in to his center. With most "normal" folk when they have me I feel them as well. Then the issue becomes one of strength, positional advantage, etc. So if they do the technique correctly and have me compromised then my ability to ride back in to them doesn't help me as much as it could. But with guys like Mifune what you see is the bigger guy, even with apparent positional advantage, cannot seem to latch on to him. And it takes very little for Mifune to get kuzushi all while not compromising himself. Cool stuff.

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Old 09-07-2011, 02:42 PM   #12
Russ Q
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

Quote:
That's what I mean by "dynamic downweight". I didn't really explain. Why is that if a strong guy lifts a 150 pound weight and curls like its nothing, but can't throw a 100 pound dude (like Mifune)? The weight has a recognizable "center". It won't move. If you are strong enough, and can "sense" where the gravitational pull is on the weight, you can move it. But with a 100 pound guy, he can hide his "center" while maintaining a downweight anywhere on his body. So the guy will not be able to sense where the pull is on the 100 pounder, while the 100 pounder is mentally directing gravitional force affecting his body and consequently aligning his body in such a way that it desires to stay clamped to the ground.
Spot on! I get it:-) Now I gotta work at being able to do it...

Cheers,

Russ

Last edited by akiy : 09-07-2011 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:33 PM   #13
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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The problem I find with Toby (and others good at this stuff) is that I can't ride that feeling back in to his center. With most "normal" folk when they have me I feel them as well.
yep....kinesthetic invisibility indeed.

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Old 09-07-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

The tension/relaxation thing, I don't know where you got that because that's something I got from Systema guys. I've rolled with Vlad and he did the get my body to tense up in ways that would allow me to be easily put down. I don't know if this is the same as aiki though, unless you can explain more.

Keith I like that sandbag analogy! It easily describes what I'm trying to say, heh.

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Old 09-08-2011, 08:41 AM   #15
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
The tension/relaxation thing, I don't know where you got that because that's something I got from Systema guys. I've rolled with Vlad and he did the get my body to tense up in ways that would allow me to be easily put down. I don't know if this is the same as aiki though, unless you can explain more.

Keith I like that sandbag analogy! It easily describes what I'm trying to say, heh.
I'd seen/felt it in various places, Toby, Mike and Ikeda, but like a lot of this stuff it didn't really come together in any measurable way until I started putting in enough time to be able to play with it more myself, feel it and then noodle things out in my head. Most of my time in aikido these days are spent playing with that basic idea and exploring the results/reactions in uke, which is how I think it's supposed to be. We try to avoid the whole "going through the motions" thing in our org and we have plenty of people who enjoy being hard to move and It's really fascinating to see how even a little bit of body skill can subtly influence a larger/stronger person who simply isn't connected, much less trying to incorporate the other aspects of IS into their movement. On the flip side, it's also interesting to see how easily it is, at least at my level, to have it not work at all for me when one of those aspects are neglected.

As far as calling it aiki, I think it depends on how its done. When done in the way we're talking about, using the body skills we're talking about, I wouldn't hesitate to call it that. Especially considering that it seems to conform to the common demos we see of aiki, which is getting under uke for kuzushi. Though I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:32 AM   #16
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
I'd seen/felt it in various places, Toby, Mike and Ikeda, but like a lot of this stuff it didn't really come together in any measurable way until I started putting in enough time to be able to play with it more myself, feel it and then noodle things out in my head. Most of my time in aikido these days are spent playing with that basic idea and exploring the results/reactions in uke, which is how I think it's supposed to be. We try to avoid the whole "going through the motions" thing in our org and we have plenty of people who enjoy being hard to move and It's really fascinating to see how even a little bit of body skill can subtly influence a larger/stronger person who simply isn't connected, much less trying to incorporate the other aspects of IS into their movement. On the flip side, it's also interesting to see how easily it is, at least at my level, to have it not work at all for me when one of those aspects are neglected.

As far as calling it aiki, I think it depends on how its done. When done in the way we're talking about, using the body skills we're talking about, I wouldn't hesitate to call it that. Especially considering that it seems to conform to the common demos we see of aiki, which is getting under uke for kuzushi. Though I reserve the right to change my opinion at any time
Well, for me, if tensing up the other guy to bring him down does not necessitate getting under the guy for kuzushi, I don't know if you can call it the same thing. I have both felt aiki and the tensing up thing, and they are two different kinds of tactics. I've grappled with Vlad and I would not call what he does aiki (aiki or not, what he did to me was damn effective)...at least in retrospect, since he has a very well developed relaxed body, I would have no doubt that he has an idea of what aiki is. But he did, at will, make my body tense up and use that to bring me down (perhaps this skill could be anti-aiki?) I just think that aiki to a unique, particular skill that can be defined, analyzed, and drilled.

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Old 09-09-2011, 10:42 AM   #17
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

This is said to be a clip of Mifune doing randori (year 1922).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_2EVfT03kA

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Old 09-09-2011, 11:04 AM   #18
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
This is said to be a clip of Mifune doing randori (year 1922).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_2EVfT03kA
I love to see old clips like that. Love the choke in that clip!!

If you've ever been foot swept by a skilled player, you will find there is no power in their move, just excellent timing and technique.

Judo is based on leverage and not power. Competitions don't always show this aspect though.

-

-It seems to be all about semantics!
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:13 AM   #19
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Tim Jester wrote: View Post
If you've ever been foot swept by a skilled player, you will find there is no power in their move, just excellent timing and technique.
Not like the "shinkickers" who mistake judo with soccer... ouch!!!

Quote:
love to see old clips like that. Love the choke in that clip!!
Lots of old clips in that youtube channel. Worth watching.

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Old 09-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #20
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Well, for me, if tensing up the other guy to bring him down does not necessitate getting under the guy for kuzushi, I don't know if you can call it the same thing. I have both felt aiki and the tensing up thing, and they are two different kinds of tactics. I've grappled with Vlad and I would not call what he does aiki (aiki or not, what he did to me was damn effective)...at least in retrospect, since he has a very well developed relaxed body, I would have no doubt that he has an idea of what aiki is. But he did, at will, make my body tense up and use that to bring me down (perhaps this skill could be anti-aiki?) I just think that aiki to a unique, particular skill that can be defined, analyzed, and drilled.
I think we would have to come to terms on what we define as aiki. To me, it is using these body skills to connect to another persons center and get under/over them in order to take their balance and control them. The introduction of tension into uke simply aids that connection and is more a step towards the end result, not the end result itself. I believe that is why atemi was "90% of aikido" or whatever the number was. The strike should be delivered in a way consistent with the body skills with a goal of disrupting uke's center, but also introducing tension into their bodies to make the connection easier, not simply punching to punch or whatever. In most of the demos of aiki that you see, it seems to be a commonality. Uke is always getting manipulated with these body skills in such a way that they have tension introduced into their bodies, usually the shoulders being jacked up or stretched out. Nage is being the table that we discussed before and because uke is generally unconnected and tense in how they output power, those things happen as a result. Against someone with a more well connected body and/or better body skills, you don't get the same output of power from them so you don't get the same opportunities to connect to them. It becomes a more subtle thing and one that they are capable of feeling and recovering from more quidkly. When we talk about connection, we're essentially talking about finding lines of tension to uke's center. Sometimes it's skeletal, sometimes muscular and sometimes probably even intent driven. If, for whatever reason, you can't get to their center easily (they have body skills or even good athletic skills in some cases) then it becomes a cat and mouse game of trying to get that connection and I would imagine simply trying to get a little tension into the other person so that you have an opportunity to make that connection is as good as it gets. I believe external grappling (at high levels) works on essentially the same concept, albeit with a different motor driving the car and a different focus on how to step on the gas, but without the body skills, it's not aiki.

make sense? I think I got a little rambly there, but I hope it was clear. Do you agree or disagree with that attempt at a definition?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #21
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
This is said to be a clip of Mifune doing randori (year 1922).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_2EVfT03kA
That's great!
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:11 PM   #22
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

BTW,

How do you know Mifune is showing IS watching him in an old movie

It has to be felt.

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Old 09-09-2011, 12:39 PM   #23
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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BTW,

How do you know Mifune is showing IS watching him in an old movie

It has to be felt.
Demetrio,
Is there a hint of sarcasm in that?
You are either very wrong or very right.

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Old 09-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #24
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
BTW,

How do you know Mifune is showing IS watching him in an old movie

It has to be felt.
Actually in a couple of those clips he does some throws in a very distinctive fashion. Minimal movement, total connection, and he takes a much larger fella off instantaneously. Having been thrown that way via brute force and having been on the receiving end of someone doing it with tremendous grace and elegance using something other than the brute force, it is unmistakable. Okay, can't be 100% sure. Nor can I be 100% sure there is no such thing as unicorns. However, as you said, it has to be felt. And once you've felt it enough times in enough contexts you start to see more and more of the tell tale signs.

So yeah, the guy has some serious skills. Seems obvious from the video.

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Old 09-09-2011, 01:06 PM   #25
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Re: Is Mifune showing IP/Aiki

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Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
BTW,

How do you know Mifune is showing IS watching him in an old movie

It has to be felt.
I would be more inclined to attempt to seriously answer the question if you hadn't been around these discussions long enough to have seen this asked and answered several times before...

not sure if serious or just being sarcastic...
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