Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-21-2011, 12:40 AM   #1
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 399
Offline
Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

There was something Bruce Wells said in David Orange's Primer thread that got my mind going, "We are trying to incorporate what you taught into our classes but boy you gave us a lot."

If I walk into an aikido dojo now and try to put some of the ideas into practice, the dynamic is no longer the same, like I notice myself tanking on purpose to not feel like I'm disrupting their training, such as it is. I always feel like I have to sneak the stuff in the back door, when nobody is looking, to prevent it from being misinterpreted, especially when I am at a level where trying many things will fail, where I need to fail at very specific things so I can learn, and teachers will see reasons for that failure that is not necessarily IS/Aiki which derail my attempts to try.

So that brings a two-pronged question:

1) So if you have either done or are doing solo IS training, how are you putting it into actual practice in the dojo, especially with other people who may not be on the same page? How is it improving your practice of aikido?

2) If you are teaching aikido, or just have ideas about how it needs to be taught, how then do you think the dynamic of the actual training environment itself must change to support IS/Aiki development? Yeah, yeah, I know there has to be solo training in there now, but you've got a room full of live bodies rather than imaginary friends, so what do you do with them now?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 01:14 AM   #2
Tim Ruijs
 
Tim Ruijs's Avatar
Dojo: Makato/Netherlands
Location: Netherlands - Leusden
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 395
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Do not know much about IS, but solo exercises are not entirely uncommon to Aikido.
(tai sabaki tenkan, irimi tenkan) and some work with weapons...
So based on that alone I would say it would be easy to incorporate solo exercises.
More important you shift focus in your training. When you put more emphasis on aiki aspects, you will surely find it in each exercise!

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 03:37 AM   #3
Chris Knight
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 138
England
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
(tai sabaki tenkan, irimi tenkan) and some work with weapons...
hi tim, i dont think these are the solo exercies lee is relating to

although exercises, they dont work on the correct aspects of body training, in my eyes

cheers, chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 04:06 AM   #4
Pauliina Lievonen
 
Pauliina Lievonen's Avatar
Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 559
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

My teacher has met Dan so that helps a lot. Plus I'm one of the seniors at the dojo nowadays, if I struggle with something and my teacher comes by, it's ok for me to say "I'm just working on xyz, feel free to ignore me..." I can't really imagine how I would train at a dojo where noone else knew anything about this stuff.

Not all my dojomates are interested in the same things though. And with beginners I have to go with the flow anyway so they can practice which hand and foot goes where. So practice is kind of a messy affair where I end up taking ukemi in many different ways during one class. And as tori, with some people I can go sloooow and work with connected resistance and with others I'll just enjoy throwing them around. Makes for nice varied classes actually. Not the most systematic way to train but then again I do this because I like to and not because I've got a deadline or something.

kvaak
Pauliina
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 04:39 AM   #5
Tim Ruijs
 
Tim Ruijs's Avatar
Dojo: Makato/Netherlands
Location: Netherlands - Leusden
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 395
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Chris Knight wrote: View Post
hi tim, i dont think these are the solo exercies lee is relating to

although exercises, they dont work on the correct aspects of body training, in my eyes

cheers, chris
I know and understand your confusion. I only meant to say that solo exercises do exist in Aikido, not that they have IS purpose, but are merely solo.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 04:47 AM   #6
Ernesto Lemke
Dojo: Seikokan , Leeuwarden
Location: Leeuwarden. the Netherlands
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 150
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

I have been working on IT for only about 4 years now, the last one of which according to what Dan Harden presents, so, I don't know much about it either.

To offer an answer to your questions Lee:

1) I both have my own dojo and also am in luck that my overseas teacher also trains with Dan. So in my/our case, everyone is on the same page. Lucky us

2) I was working on IP/Aiki yesterday with a friend from a different dojo. He is the only one in his dojo who went to Dan's seminars and he is facing things similar to what you described, and then some other stuff too. All of which is actually non-productive to making any progress in IT.

I really don't know if it actually is possible to get this work done efficiently in your average type dojo. Notice I said efficiently, not that it's impossible. The thing is that in order to work on IS elements with a partner, you do need a certain type of feedback (both physical and verbal) so as to not screw the thing up. Things I've found helpfull are similar as how you could approach "regular" kata training:
- Work one thing at a time.
Basics first and foremost of course. Think spine, 6 directions etc. how is that holding up during "regular" practice? I was telling my friend that I could maybe split up the first basic excercise into 30 different seperate pointers, all asking for attention at the same time. Evidently one can't do that all at once (I sure can't) so I address them seperately, then check all of them again and again and again, till they get burned in.
- Allow for failure in order to progress
Especially when one has a certain amount of development/experience in "regular" aikido, you become more or less proficient technique wise. So, since IT is aksing for a radical (with some people more so then others) counter-intuitive approach to training, one must let go of old ways of moving. So, if that means "loosing" during waza/kata practice, so be it. The ego wants to "show and proof", at least mine does. I really have to make a conscious decision to not go there and explore whatever it is I AM working on, accepting that in the meantime you feel and are acting like a beginner: stumbling, aware that you suck big time, not wanting to be there but are there nevertheless etc.
- Speak up/ask
Ask your partner to go easy on ya if that's what's needed. Also ask for feedback on the specific things you're working on. That doesn't have to lead into a debate or discussion. Just things like not using "normal" muscle strength, keeping shoulders low, spine straight, that's all see-able for a partner. The more detailed stuff isn't as much see-able as it is feelable so I would look for someone in the dojo with perhaps some experience and whom you'd feel comfortable asking.

Again, these "pointers" are applicable in "regular" practice. I trust that my fellow IP/Aiki afficionados will see how these also apply to IT.
Well, for whatever it's worth. Good luck everyone.

Ernesto
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 05:17 AM   #7
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,219
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post

So that brings a two-pronged question:

1) So if you have either done or are doing solo IS training, how are you putting it into actual practice in the dojo, especially with other people who may not be on the same page? How is it improving your practice of aikido?

2) If you are teaching aikido, or just have ideas about how it needs to be taught, how then do you think the dynamic of the actual training environment itself must change to support IS/Aiki development? Yeah, yeah, I know there has to be solo training in there now, but you've got a room full of live bodies rather than imaginary friends, so what do you do with them now?
Hi Lee,

I am fairly new to the solo IS training. Although I met Mike Sigman a couple of years ago and Dan last year, both of them showed and recommended solo exercises. I just didn't have the self discipline to practice them. I did however gain much from their paired practice work, which both informed and improved my teaching of aikido.

After attending Dan's recent UK training, I have started to do the solo work every day. All part of my own desire to get into the best possible shape I can, before launching myself onto the rest of the aikido community, on my self indulgent world tour.

How is it improving my practice? Well, I've always enjoyed practicing...now, I enjoy it even more! I know that is not that helpful to you, but it is a great help to me. If I were to try to be more helpful, I would say that I am more aware of my internal mind body state than I was, which I didn't think was possible, as I have always been pretty well focussed on this aspect. Maybe it feels like in this whole mirror polishing process, I have finally found a more effective cleaner!

What do I do different with my students? I invent more useful metaphors for them to ponder as they practice. I invent new exercises for them to practice. I challenge myself to put myself on the line by getting them to try ever harder to unbalance or otherwise disturb me. Otherwise I just keep instructing our whole curriculum with a renewed sense of purpose.

Good questions.

regards

Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 06:40 AM   #8
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

I see no issues in integrating "this stuff" into aikido. I will admit that for quite a while I went around wondering how this or that aspect fit into it, but once I got to a point that I was comfortably feeling things in me and looking at the training as a method of changing the way I use my body and not these individual pieces that are almost like techniques themselves, then it started coming together for me.

In a lot of ways I feel fortunate that our style is one that has all of the tools to make it work and nothing I've experienced in the IS training has contradicted or invalidated anything we were already doing. What it has done is expand and inform those things in ways that would have never happened otherwise. There's not a single thing that we do that I do the same way now. outwardly it may look the same, but what i'm focusing on, trying to feel and trying to do are completely different. We have a huge selection of taiso, breathing exercises, ki testing (aka, pushing) and other things. We're very "ki heavy" anyway, so nothing I do or talk about now seems out of place to anyone. We're also very anti-dive bunny. You are expected to give resistance and be able to work with it as your rank increases and it is not uncommon to see people from all ranks stopping other people, even those of higher rank, when they're not actually doing the things they're supposed to be doing. The way things are taught is also very open to interpretation. Our instructor was a student of Ueshiba and quite a few other MA greats from that era and a fighter. He incorporates a lot of other things into what he teaches and is ok with his students doing the same as long as the core principles are being followed.

As for making a difference, yes, definitely. For one, I can feel it when I'm working with some people. Those big, strong guys who like to be big strong guys. I find them easier to deal with most of the time and when things aren't working, I don't look at anything technical to fix it. I look at what I"m doing, in me, and start fixing things from the inside out. The people I work with feel it as well and comment on it often. While few of them are interested in the training outside of class at this point (give it time) several of them have already picked up on things that I do and talk about and are actively thinking about what they're doing in those ways and even just doing that helps. To me, that's been one of the coolest things about the IS training and how it relates to what we were already doing. A lot of those things just needed a clearer, more open way to explain them. Once you have that then I feel you're going to make progress, even if it's slowly, as long as you remember to look inside yourself to fix things that aren't working and not at the external things (footwork, technical minutiae, etc). From there it just takes desire and honesty. A lot of honesty. Someone who has that will seek out other types of solo training to further improve their skills, which is how it should be. It doesn't matter if you have a road map labeled "easy steps to become O'sensei". Only a select few are going to put in the time to get there, so it doesn't matter if you offer it all up to them on a plate or not.

Last edited by chillzATL : 11-21-2011 at 06:43 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 06:46 AM   #9
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
More important you shift focus in your training. When you put more emphasis on aiki aspects, you will surely find it in each exercise!
Well said Tim! It is not so much what you do, but how you do it that really matters.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #10
Dave de Vos
 
Dave de Vos's Avatar
Dojo: Shoryukai, Breda (aikikai) & Aiki-Budocentrum Breda (yoseikan)
Location: Baarle-Nassau
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 335
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
So if you have either done or are doing solo IS training, how are you putting it into actual practice in the dojo, especially with other people who may not be on the same page? How is it improving your practice of aikido?
In the dojo I just keep my eyes peeled for opportunities where I can sneak in some internal aspect. It's kinda hard, because as a beginner, I need to pay attention to a lot of external things too. The advantage of being a beginner though, is that people will cut me some slack to figure things out slowly

I am trying more to feel what is happening, avoiding to "muscle" techniques on my partner.

I think it's too early to tell if it improves my practice. But being new and eager, my practice would probably improve with or without it (in one way or another).
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 02:39 PM   #11
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 181
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Dave de Vos wrote: View Post
In the dojo I just keep my eyes peeled for opportunities where I can sneak in some internal aspect. It's kinda hard, because as a beginner, I need to pay attention to a lot of external things too. The advantage of being a beginner though, is that people will cut me some slack to figure things out slowly
I've been pondering on the pros and cons of learning and applying IP/aiki for both beginners and advanced students within the current aikido training paradigm. As you noted the biggest set back for a beginner is that you have to worry about learning the waza, the "external" aspect (as it's widely taught today anyway: move your foot here, your hand goes there, etc.). I have done the waza for many years so I am able to go on autopilot and concentrate on basic things like keeping connection, opening the body, moving from center, etc. But because I have done the waza without the internal requirements for so many years there is a long and agonizing de-programming of bad habits I have to go through in order to apply the more sophisticated IP/aiki concepts. For example doing intent-driven movement, spiraling, elbow power, etc., at the pace we're required to move during regular aikido training is almost impossible for me at this point -- the "normal" movement eventually takes over. Regular training is too fast for me, I would basically need it to slow down or stop to be able to fully and successfully train IP/aiki within this paradigm. The only solution I see for this is to do less regular aikido and more isolated IP/aiki training, at least until the body changes and I am able to put it back into regular aikido training.

Then again if the curriculum is revised to maximize learning of IP/aiki (and it needs a thorough, complete revision), both beginners and advanced will benefit equally and without their particular frustrations. IMO this revision should include teaching waza as a manifestation of IP/aiki rather than teach technique as driven by external situations. For example instead of teaching isolated techniques from kosa-dori (cross-hand grab), you teach how to spiral, move from the center, etc., and when they touch you techniques are borne (or become evident) out of this interaction with your trained body.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 02:54 PM   #12
ChrisMoses
Dojo: TNBBC (Icho Ryu Aiki Budo), Shinto Ryu IaiBattojutsu
Location: Seattle, WA
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 906
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Lee Salzman wrote: View Post
1) So if you have either done or are doing solo IS training, how are you putting it into actual practice in the dojo, especially with other people who may not be on the same page? How is it improving your practice of aikido?

2) If you are teaching aikido, or just have ideas about how it needs to be taught, how then do you think the dynamic of the actual training environment itself must change to support IS/Aiki development? Yeah, yeah, I know there has to be solo training in there now, but you've got a room full of live bodies rather than imaginary friends, so what do you do with them now?
1) We call what we do "Aiki-budo" or "Aiki-jujutsu" and everyone in class is overtly working IS along with the other principles we're working on. It's completely overt, but I don't think it's aikido. Interestingly, the better everyone gets at IS that we train with, the LESS minimal-motion our waza has become. We've found that the more jujutsu like aspects of our training is what continues to work when you're using frame/IS to throw someone who also has some frame/IS. That's not to say that it's always force on force rough and tumble, jujutsu can (should?) be extremely subtle and precise. All leading is gone (if it was ever there) and it takes a LOT to get kuzushi on anyone anymore. Many of the Yanagi-ryu influenced very minimal motion things just flat out stopped working on anyone in class a while ago. It just bounces off of you.

2) That said, I still teach Aikido one day a week and I just back it way, way off. As uke, I don't put any frame resistance at all and basically just go with it. I try to be clear that I think one of the biggest differences between aiki-budo and aikido is that in aiki-budo, we try to keep our frame and never lose ourselves in our attacks. In aikido, the assumption is that you're going to let go of your stability and attack with too much juice, then you'll follow that attack by trying to reorient yourself to face nage. That said, as nage, I'm basically doing the same thing whether it's aiki-budo or aikido. In aiki-budo I'll control uke's movement and momentum more, where in aikido I'll let people keep moving. My focus is almost entirely aiki-budo and not aikido though. I feel no need to save or improve aikido, it is what it is, love it or leave it for what it is.

Chris Moses
TNBBC, "Putting the ME in MEdiocre!"
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
TNBBC Blog
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-21-2011, 06:13 PM   #13
Pauliina Lievonen
 
Pauliina Lievonen's Avatar
Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 559
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
1) We've found that the more jujutsu like aspects of our training is what continues to work when you're using frame/IS to throw someone who also has some frame/IS. That's not to say that it's always force on force rough and tumble, jujutsu can (should?) be extremely subtle and precise. All leading is gone (if it was ever there) and it takes a LOT to get kuzushi on anyone anymore. Many of the Yanagi-ryu influenced very minimal motion things just flat out stopped working on anyone in class a while ago. It just bounces off of you.
Funny you should say this because I've discovered the same thing. Some of my dojomates are pretty solid, and I have to throw everything I have into the mix for anything to work - being as connected both to myself and to them as I can but also doing the technique as precisely and clearly as I can, with enough movement. Minimal movement seems to work only with people who have significantly less experience than me, or are less connected in themselves.

kvaak
Pauliina
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 03:04 AM   #14
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 780
Germany
Online
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
... in aiki-budo, we try to keep our frame and never lose ourselves in our attacks.
This is exactly, what we try to do in our attacks in our aikido: Remaining stable, being centered, preserving the structure of our body and a heavy center... So we don't let go ourselves, don't leave our own "sphere". We spend some time on teaching and learning this
It is toris job, to connect to this well structured uke and change his structure.

Quote:
In aikido, the assumption is that you're going to let go of your stability and attack with too much juice, then you'll follow that attack by trying to reorient yourself to face nage.
Why do you attack this way in aikido?
What is the purpose of attacking this way?

Quote:
... in aikido I'll let people keep moving.
So uke would just stand right there where he was standing before his attack and would be well grounded if I didn't try to connect to him an "move" him.

I don't understand what it does teach, if uke is moving "beyond himself" or ist moving "without reason" instead of remaining centered?
What does it teach uke? What does it teach nage? Or what should it teach?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-22-2011, 09:07 AM   #15
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,916
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Really good post!
I'm still dealing with tons of bad habits (like still carrying too much tension in certain areas) but I believe these are not really "aikido" bad habits; rather, they are ingrained body patterns in place whether I am sewing, cooking, or doing aikido. So the solution at least for me can't be just in the dojo, and I may be wrong but I suspect the solution also will not be based exclusively on doing solo IP exercises - though they will certainly be a major focus, I'm also specifically working on targeting release of certain muscles I chronically hold.
In terms of teaching aikido, I have long been a proponent of integrated curriculae that introduce both body principles and waza from day one. As more teachers begin to be able to teach IP/aiki I think this will be reflected in dojos scattered around the country/world.

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
I've been pondering on the pros and cons of learning and applying IP/aiki for both beginners and advanced students within the current aikido training paradigm. As you noted the biggest set back for a beginner is that you have to worry about learning the waza, the "external" aspect (as it's widely taught today anyway: move your foot here, your hand goes there, etc.). I have done the waza for many years so I am able to go on autopilot and concentrate on basic things like keeping connection, opening the body, moving from center, etc. But because I have done the waza without the internal requirements for so many years there is a long and agonizing de-programming of bad habits I have to go through in order to apply the more sophisticated IP/aiki concepts. For example doing intent-driven movement, spiraling, elbow power, etc., at the pace we're required to move during regular aikido training is almost impossible for me at this point -- the "normal" movement eventually takes over. Regular training is too fast for me, I would basically need it to slow down or stop to be able to fully and successfully train IP/aiki within this paradigm. The only solution I see for this is to do less regular aikido and more isolated IP/aiki training, at least until the body changes and I am able to put it back into regular aikido training.

Then again if the curriculum is revised to maximize learning of IP/aiki (and it needs a thorough, complete revision), both beginners and advanced will benefit equally and without their particular frustrations. IMO this revision should include teaching waza as a manifestation of IP/aiki rather than teach technique as driven by external situations. For example instead of teaching isolated techniques from kosa-dori (cross-hand grab), you teach how to spiral, move from the center, etc., and when they touch you techniques are borne (or become evident) out of this interaction with your trained body.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2011, 10:38 AM   #16
Budd
 
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Aikido
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 928
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

I've tried a couple different methods of rewiring IS stuff back into an ongoing class situation. Since moving to WNY, I've had the forced luxury of trying a number of things out in my solo practice, while working out occasionally with visitors, dojo hopping (though I've mostly been going to MMA gyms with some sidebars in western fencing), etc.

It's come to a point where I want to flesh out MY practice, though, so in the interest of seeing who's interested in working on stuff I want to work on, I'm starting an Introduction to Taikyoku Aikido class through one of the community ed groups (still working on which one - will depend who signs up as there's a couple options currently being advertised). To start, it will be minimal "aikido" stuff - plainclothes, working on aikido taiso and IS fundamentals with a very slow start into "waza" and other applications. Any partner drills will emphasize the center-to-center connection and build out from there. This will be very much a work in progress effort - independent of dojo/organizational affiliations or rank.

But a basic foundation of the practice is that everything will be subservient to IS/body fundamentals. Especially at the beginning, it will be much less a practice of martial arts, but more one of body cultivation - with applications, sparring and methodology growing out from there. First, let's see if we get anyone that wants to train this way Otherwise, I'll keep doing my own thing.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #17
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 846
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
I've tried a couple different methods of rewiring IS stuff back into an ongoing class situation. Since moving to WNY, I've had the forced luxury of trying a number of things out in my solo practice, while working out occasionally with visitors, dojo hopping (though I've mostly been going to MMA gyms with some sidebars in western fencing), etc.

It's come to a point where I want to flesh out MY practice, though, so in the interest of seeing who's interested in working on stuff I want to work on, I'm starting an Introduction to Taikyoku Aikido class through one of the community ed groups (still working on which one - will depend who signs up as there's a couple options currently being advertised). To start, it will be minimal "aikido" stuff - plainclothes, working on aikido taiso and IS fundamentals with a very slow start into "waza" and other applications. Any partner drills will emphasize the center-to-center connection and build out from there. This will be very much a work in progress effort - independent of dojo/organizational affiliations or rank.

But a basic foundation of the practice is that everything will be subservient to IS/body fundamentals. Especially at the beginning, it will be much less a practice of martial arts, but more one of body cultivation - with applications, sparring and methodology growing out from there. First, let's see if we get anyone that wants to train this way Otherwise, I'll keep doing my own thing.
Nice Budd, you should blog it!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2011, 11:17 AM   #18
Budd
 
Budd's Avatar
Dojo: Taikyoku Aikido
Location: Williamsville, NY
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 928
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
Nice Budd, you should blog it!
Hah, unlikely

1. I suck at regularly maintaining blogs.

2. It's too easy to write for the sake of saying something in a blog rather than posting meaningfully as time allows.

3. I have a short attention span with these things.

4. What were we talking about?

5. Oh right . . we'll see, I want to capture some things regarding progress stages but am unsure of the best mechanism other than addressing individual practitioners case by case.

Beyond that, we'll see . . .
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #19
woudew
Dojo: Seikokan
Location: Zwolle
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 104
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

I consider myself to be a lucky one and that for several reasons.

All the people in our dojo have attended Dan's latest seminar in the Netherlands and everyone is just as enthusiastic about it as i m am.

Our teacher (Allen Beebe) also trains with Dan and give his full support to it (and more than that).

Shirata Sensei (the teacher of Allen) has laid down a set of exercises, called tan doku dosa, which is very suitable to train IS/aiki (see for instance also http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...postcount=188). We had the exercises all along, we lacked a good description of what was going on within the exercises.

Further more Dan has showed us a lot of solo exercises. The fun part of solo exercises is that you can do them by yourself . It had increase my training hours a lot as you don't have to wait anymore for a training partner to show up.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 11:21 AM   #20
jzimba
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 20
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Hi Pauliina, (been a long time)

Care to discuss opening the body as it relates to your Alexander experience. ?? Center in general, and what might be similar or different?

Cheers,

Joel
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2011, 06:11 PM   #21
asiawide
Location: Seoul
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 119
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

1) Aunkai drills made me more stable and heavy during practice. I try to move according to the basic movements from Sigman's video. (up/down/in/out) It helps me to use less shoulders and muscle powers to apply -kyo techniques. However, I don't think about too much while doing techniques. Otherwise I become a cat knows 108 ways of escaping and other non IS/IP guys notice I'm a weirdo.

2) It takes some time to feel the necessity of IS/IP training. Only a few ppl belive it without feeling&seeing. So I guess it's best to mix solo exercises with warm-up. No need to mention IS/IP but it'll make beginners strong and stable. Shiko, Tenchijin, Ashiage, and Sigman's exercises.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-01-2011, 05:55 PM   #22
Pauliina Lievonen
 
Pauliina Lievonen's Avatar
Dojo: Jiki Shin Kan Utrecht
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 559
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Joel Zimba wrote: View Post
Hi Pauliina, (been a long time)

Care to discuss opening the body as it relates to your Alexander experience. ?? Center in general, and what might be similar or different?

Cheers,

Joel
Hi Joel, it sure has!

The interwebs ate my first attempt a couple days ago, possibly Jun was still fixing the forums or something...sorry for the delay in answering!

I'm not sure what you mean by opening the body? Though one of the effects of the kind of training we did at the recent seminar with Dan could be described as opening the body so maybe that's what you mean.

There are two things I like to separate, one is the way of going about the work one's doing, and the other is the results one's aiming at.

The way Dan works was something I was absolutely delighted about, because it fitted so well with Alexander work. Everything beginning with intent. The difference would be that the intensity of that intent and the effects of it on movement aren't usually taken that far in AT. It's usually not necessary either since most people aren't learning AT looking to become crazy powerful, just more coordinated and relaxed and able to move without or with less pain. So the goals are different.

One idea in the Alexander technique is that use, function and structure all influence each other. So if you use yourself differently, how you function will change and that may in time affect your structure as well. But the thing we always work on is use, and trying to change a students structure in any way directly or forcefully is a no no.

The exercises Dan taught I feel adress structure more directly, so that's another difference. I'm especially happy with a couple of them that give me a new tool to work on some slight tightness in connective tissue on one side of my spine and hip. Thing about connective tissue seems to be that it (unlike muscle) doesn't really respond much to intent, it really needs to be streched and worked over a longer period of time before it begings to change. And it seems to me the connectedness that one can feel in people's bodies who have done "internal stuff" for a while comes from connective tissue that has gotten stronger.

I remember someone writing here about theories about fascia contracting but I don't think that's quite the case, rather if your musculature works in really efficient way, and your bones are organized to carry and transmit weight as directly as possible, then the next weak link to strengthen is connective tissue that has to transmit the power the muscles generate. To put things very simply.

Talking about intent, whenever Dan asked us to think intent in some direction or another, not once did those instructions contradict anything I've learned in AT. It was funny really. Ok there was one minor thing I disagreed about, that's all.

Center - you know, I hardly ever think about "center". I prefer to think of the whole spine, or even better, my whole body, or on a really good day, the space I'm in, with me as a part of that three dimensional space. Wonder if that makes any sense to anyone else. :P

I'll be happy to write more, but it's 1:54 am here and I probably should go to bed sometime soon...

Pauliina
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 06:37 AM   #23
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,744
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

this is a really interesting topic. from working with folks at my dojo, they are not that interested in the whole IS/Aiki thing. so i would introduce some of the IS practices (which i got from Sigman, Ikeda, Saotome and Howie) disguise as body movement and stabilization practices. some of the folks got pretty stable and much harder to throw now. it's hard to introduce the whole IS program, since most folks are not really interested in it. so you just kinda feed them a piece here and a piece there, disguised as something else. I wondered if this was what happened with O Sensei and his students.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 06:45 AM   #24
woudew
Dojo: Seikokan
Location: Zwolle
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 104
Netherlands
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
this is a really interesting topic. from working with folks at my dojo, they are not that interested in the whole IS/Aiki thing. so i would introduce some of the IS practices (which i got from Sigman, Ikeda, Saotome and Howie) disguise as body movement and stabilization practices. some of the folks got pretty stable and much harder to throw now. it's hard to introduce the whole IS program, since most folks are not really interested in it. so you just kinda feed them a piece here and a piece there, disguised as something else. I wondered if this was what happened with O Sensei and his students.
Hi Phi,

at one point in time i do think you have to adress it as being IS/aiki otherwise it will get lost again.

If you train the solo exercises, you have to be aware of where to put the emphasis. Otherwise the exercises will be become some useless body exercises
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2011, 08:01 AM   #25
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,744
United_States
Offline
Re: Putting IS/Aiki back into Aikido?

Quote:
Walter Oude Wesselink wrote: View Post
at one point in time i do think you have to adress it as being IS/aiki otherwise it will get lost again.
yup, that's the rub. it's very hard here to get folks to even interested in aikido when we have the mass sport programs, and mma and mcdojo karate. aikido just isn't sexy enough to attract folks (although i looked pretty good myself in the skirt ). the ones that want to do aikido mostly interested in those fancy throws. lets face it. IS stuffs are just dull and boring and tedious. with the fast food, short attention span culture here in the U.S. it's a wonder that folks even want to do IS stuffs at all.

Quote:
If you train the solo exercises, you have to be aware of where to put the emphasis. Otherwise the exercises will be become some useless body exercises
i used various push/pull tests to make sure the focus of the exercises done correctly. it's a feedback and control mechanism. worked well so far.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Seminar with Frank Doran, Shihan - Aug. 8-10, 2014 at Sunset Cliff's Aikido, near San Diego's finest beaches



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If you could buy just ONE book about Aikido techniques, what would it be? Karol Kowalczyk Techniques 45 01-31-2014 11:35 PM
O-Sensei and the Purpose of Aikido George S. Ledyard External Aikido Blog Posts 9 08-08-2012 09:38 PM
Is two Days a week enough? EMelanson78 General 237 11-03-2010 10:57 AM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 08:31 AM
Elusive Realism Stefan Stenudd Columns 4 09-23-2008 04:18 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:22 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate