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Old 11-25-2011, 07:45 AM   #26
SeiserL
 
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Perhaps the problem isn't in the commitment of the attack (agreed - very rare), but the commitment and confidence in your response.

When you find those of us who do know how to strike, don't critique or criticize us. Stay open and train hard.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:13 AM   #27
Marc Abrams
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well .

Marc Abrams
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:28 AM   #28
Ketsan
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
oouuuuuuuhhoouuu what a nice post! let me think about it for a while... in the meantime, if commitment is an opening, how this state of mind allows to enlarge this opening?
The opening doesn't need to be enlarged; the opening is the attack. Think of it this way: if you're facing uke and you're in kamae you're pretty much ready for whatever uke does, this is the point of kamae, you're neutral and uncommitted and so you can attack and defend at will. The moment you move to attack your capacity for defence is gone because you are mentally and physically committed to the attack.

The problem in martial arts is that often the mind is left untrained so when the punch is coming in we get caught up in protecting ourselves and not getting hit and in Aikido terms this means that we get stuck and held at bay unable to make our irimi movement. I don't think I'm saying anything contraversial when I say that without irimi there is no Aikido.

I think that most of the time when we hear about Aikido not working it's not a technical issue, it's a psychological one. It's not a case of enlarging the opening or of needing a commited attack, it's being in state of mind that allows you to enter in when someone is trying to punch you in the face.

Occasionally you see Aikidoka v other arts and you see it where the Aikidoka just stands there while the opponent throws strikes. If the opponent made shomen uchi they would probably stand there too. I'm sure if you put them in an Aikido dojo and tell them to make ikkyo from shomen uchi they enter in before uke can strike. If uke was planning a shomen, cross, jab combination they'd never have a chance to excute it before tori took them down, even if the shomen was short and fast.

If we then take the Aikidoka and throw jodan tsuki at them they have no issue with that either, they're straight in like a shot. Throw a jab at them and they block it, cover up, move back. They have pleanty of time to react and react successfully in that they don't get hit but they react with fear rather than with aggression. So the opening is big enough but Aikidoka are just not psychologically prepared, on the whole, to exploit it.

Last edited by Ketsan : 11-25-2011 at 08:32 AM. Reason: to correct my brilliant speeling
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:59 AM   #29
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
99.99% attackers in aikido don't know how to deliver a difficult attack. They do so called ‘zombie attack'. It is not worth for me nor to discuss it, nor practice it.

However sometimes we can meet somebody who really knows how to attack. He usually has a background in street fighting or competition oriented sparring and matches.

In such very rare and precious cases it is virtually impossible or most difficult to do any technique, due to lack of clear commitment. Of course such commitment exists, otherwise the effect of attack would be null, but it is very well hidden until last moment, and last for very, very short time. Immediately after successful attack he disengages looking for next opportunity to attack.

How you deal with such situation? I mean how to discover the moment he decides to attack? And how to extend this short time when he is well engaged? Any particular training methods?

Please refrain from this nonsense IP/IS discussion..
As I see it - "commitment" is a red herring - it doesn't have much to do with whether or not an attack can be handled or not. The real problem is that most Aikido folks deliberately (but perhaps unknowingly) train to tense and weight their attack in such a way that they are easily throwable (I just heard a shihan from hombu specifically tell people to attack that way). It's not necessarily a bad thing - for training, but it shouldn't be done unless it is being done intentionally, for a specific purpose. Otherwise, you're conditioning yourself to be throwable - not such a great idea.

People who are better at attacking won't usually double weight themselves for you, so it's probably going to be pretty difficult to get that nice clean technique off the first attack.

The particular training methods ought to be...Aikido - if they aren't, then something wrong .

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:25 AM   #30
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Re: Commitment into the attack

The issue isn't commitment to the attack, it's commited to attacking. In Aikido training all we expect of uke is to commit to that attack, first and last. If it so happens nage wasn't able to harmonize the first time, but didn't die from the first attack, uke should make his 'final' attack again.

If we have uke committed to fighting... Then I guess it'll be different. Sometimes the encounter is over from the get go but uke still fights on oblivious to the fact. By then, if it hasn't already degenerated into a sparring session, it would inevitably lead to one with both uke and nage busy trying to do something to one another.

It's a fine line indeed to accepting an attack and initiating one of your own. So much depends on your ability to blend with uke's energy that sometimes it seems easier to just attack his being instead. Wrong... And can only get you so far.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #31
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well .

Marc Abrams
One thing I noted about Ushiro in the limited time I spent with him is he has a good understanding of OODA. When he attacks, he takes away your ability to move or escape and you are constantly trying to re-orient to get to a place where you can get out from under his attack. In most cases, even if you attack first, as you know, he has already placed you at a disadvantage before you even launch...you hesitate because he has already disrupted your attack, if you continue you will run into a brick wall for sure.

So, for me, a what we typically call a "committed attack" is committed, but unalive. that is...it lacks any substance to do anything of great consequence. an alive attack has something behind it and it has nothing to do with the speed or force or strength of the attack. an alive attack changes the situation and forces you to have to do something different than what you might have intended to do. This is why you need structure...good structure.

In all my experiences training for alive attacks, they are very hard to get out of the way of and you pretty much have to use your frame of structure to absorb the attack and disapate the force in such a way that you can use it to gain control of the situation.

The principle of OODA really dictates this. The irony to me is if it is a good attack and an alive attack...you simply cannot "move off the line" or side step it, or blend with it...you must accept it and the energy in it and then attempt to gain control.

Again, this is if the attack is alive or real. For me, I am either in control of the fight and uke is backpedaling, or I am not. If I am in control, uke is behind me and cannot launch a good attack, if I am behind and uke is attack...then a good attack means I am NOT in control and uke can effectively attack me. A good attack means I must deal with what he is going to me first.

Hope this make sense.

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Old 11-28-2011, 06:43 PM   #32
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Perhaps the problem isn't in the commitment of the attack (agreed - very rare), but the commitment and confidence in your response.

When you find those of us who do know how to strike, don't critique or criticize us. Stay open and train hard.
I agree with statement "commitment and confidence in your response". However it is not enough to say 'train hard". To develop such confidence when facing minimum commitment from attacker, we should be able to have a very precise set of drills. I've never seen such systematical approach in any aikido training. That's the reason for my question.

If ultimate goal of practice is to be able to respond spontaneously to any situational scenario, and we constantly train only one case - strongly committed attack - we will never reach such goal even with very hard training.

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 06:54 PM   #33
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
So the opening is big enough but Aikidoka are just not psychologically prepared, on the whole, to exploit it.
I somehow agree and disagree. Aikidoka are not only not psychologically prepared, but also from technical point of view they often don't any idea what happens AFTER they enter\irimi into attack. Such scenario with uke alive (means i.e. bouncing and disengaging only to re-attack) is never done.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior. Here I agree with Dazzler that we have to carefully study peoples behavior in different situations do develop our eyes. I strongly believe that aikidoka must become a master of reading body language as a first step to his mind training.

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 06:59 PM   #34
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
As I see it - "commitment" is a red herring - it doesn't have much to do with whether or not an attack can be handled or not. The real problem is that most Aikido folks deliberately (but perhaps unknowingly) train to tense and weight their attack in such a way that they are easily throwable (I just heard a shihan from hombu specifically tell people to attack that way). It's not necessarily a bad thing - for training, but it shouldn't be done unless it is being done intentionally, for a specific purpose. Otherwise, you're conditioning yourself to be throwable - not such a great idea.

People who are better at attacking won't usually double weight themselves for you, so it's probably going to be pretty difficult to get that nice clean technique off the first attack.

The particular training methods ought to be...Aikido - if they aren't, then something wrong .

Best,

Chris
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:02 PM   #35
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Your quandary is explored and answers are immediately relevant at each and every Ushiro Sensei seminar. Most Aikidoka would be incapable of dealing with the nature and kind of attacks that Ushiro Sensei's students offer up. If you want to see how to make waza work with committed, sincere, genuine attacks, come on down Szczepan and experience it first hand. Then again, you will then also have to deal with the kind of stuff that you don't personally believe in as well .

Marc Abrams
I think you misunderstood my question. I'd like you describe me how to make waza work with very small committed, but correct attacks. Good attacker will not commit too much, do you agree?

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 07:04 PM   #36
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.
I got it - it's just by "committed" most Aikido folks mean that silly haymaker kind of attack that's so easy to deal with.

Like anything else - you work up to it, in stages, in controlled situations. Chinese arts have been doing that kind of thing with push hands of various types for...a long time.

Of course, the training method is going to look a little different from conventional Aikido.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-28-2011, 07:11 PM   #37
graham christian
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I somehow agree and disagree. Aikidoka are not only not psychologically prepared, but also from technical point of view they often don't any idea what happens AFTER they enter\irimi into attack. Such scenario with uke alive (means i.e. bouncing and disengaging only to re-attack) is never done.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior. Here I agree with Dazzler that we have to carefully study peoples behavior in different situations do develop our eyes. I strongly believe that aikidoka must become a master of reading body language as a first step to his mind training.
Hi. My rule in Aikido is to let the attack or even 'make' the attack happen.

Based on this rule; the attacker only readjusts or pulls away because you tried to stop them or interfere.

Allowing the commitment of the attacker to take place is the key.

Another point is that there is a reason for the type of attacks in Aikido and this reason needs thinking about and clearing in your mind before you can understand why? Maybe I'll start a thread on this for I haven't seen anyone explain it to my satisfaction yet.

Reading body language is one way of putting it so I agree there for in 'alive' attacks that's the main thing, however there is a process to do first before you can move correctly in that situation wouldn't you say?

Regards.G.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:41 PM   #38
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Why not share what you know with your partner to get the kind of attack you seek?

This may not apply to you, but I hear many more experienced aikido practitioners complain about poor attacks (teachers/instructors included), but very rarely are students shown what a "committed" attack is.

A productive outcome for all involved.

I come from the school of training (in all arts I've tried) that there is no such thing as a poor attack, but rather a poor response.

my two bits.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:02 PM   #39
Marc Abrams
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I think you misunderstood my question. I'd like you describe me how to make waza work with very small committed, but correct attacks. Good attacker will not commit too much, do you agree?
Too generalized a question. When you talk about small committed, correct attacks, are you referring to in-close striking and grappling? Waza is simply the end point of a number of processes. My invitation to you was sincere and I think that you can easily understand how to enter, without colliding in order to execute techniques after spending a weekend playing with Ushiro Sensei. I look at waza as kata. Proper practice which emphasizes the development of underlying principles enables a person to be able to become increasingly capable of managing ones' self amidst conflict. When you get too caught up in trying to make your waza work, you are already behind.

Marc Abrams
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:26 PM   #40
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Of course, the training method is going to look a little different from conventional Aikido.

Best,

Chris
Some details?

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:28 PM   #41
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Hi. My rule in Aikido is to let the attack or even 'make' the attack happen.
Regards.G.
Now we are getting closer. How do you 'make' the attack happen?

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:31 PM   #42
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Dena Williams wrote: View Post
Why not share what you know with your partner to get the kind of attack you seek?

This may not apply to you, but I hear many more experienced aikido practitioners complain about poor attacks (teachers/instructors included), but very rarely are students shown what a "committed" attack is.

A productive outcome for all involved.

I come from the school of training (in all arts I've tried) that there is no such thing as a poor attack, but rather a poor response.

my two bits.
Hi Dena,
hahaha, I share it without hesitation, no prob. That is why almost everybody hate practice with me almost because exceptionally JO likes it

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:32 PM   #43
graham christian
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.
Here's two concrete things for you. Ma-ai and entering. There is no such thing as an attacker who doesn't do a committed attack is there? He may be searching and prodding as you say but he is waiting for that moment when he commits to the strike or grab.

Practice keeping ma-ai and it will have no effect this 'real minimum' situation. Do it as a discipline, don't try to grab etc' just keep ma-ai. Then he will have to commit to get you.

Meanwhile, if the attack is so 'real minimum; and you notice this whilst keeping ma ai then you can commit, enter and take over. Another discipline. How and when to enter.

Ma- ai and entering. Two things to practice related to and vital to the subject of commitment. A process once again. no short cuts.

If you get very good then the concept of entering equals game over. Now that's commitment.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:33 PM   #44
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Too generalized a question. When you talk about small committed, correct attacks, are you referring to in-close striking and grappling? Waza is simply the end point of a number of processes. My invitation to you was sincere and I think that you can easily understand how to enter, without colliding in order to execute techniques after spending a weekend playing with Ushiro Sensei. I look at waza as kata. Proper practice which emphasizes the development of underlying principles enables a person to be able to become increasingly capable of managing ones' self amidst conflict. When you get too caught up in trying to make your waza work, you are already behind.

Marc Abrams
Marc, I appreciate your invitation, but I'm a busy person for the moment. But !!! I can have few minutes to read your description here

Nagababa

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Old 11-28-2011, 08:55 PM   #45
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Now we are getting closer. How do you 'make' the attack happen?
By understanding non- disturbance, letting go, principles like this.

Someone punches or kicks or rushes to grab. You apply what I call aiki and that is motion. You move in such a way that it allows the attack to happen. You don't try to stop it or go against it. This is mind and body together.

Tai sabaki and tenkan for example are motions designed for this purpose. Motion without resistance.

Now mind. If you have fighting mind then mind is against, ready to counter, to stop, to interfere. No, you must have mind of allow, welcome, invite.

That's the discipline of mind needed for the normal 'mind' is not so disciplined and reacts against automatically.

You can even test what I say as a drill with a partner. Something I do as a drill but don't know how many others do so I can only speak for myself.

You get nage and uke facing each other with uke ready to attack tsuki, or whatever, it doesn't matter really.

Now the drill is that uke must not attack if he feels he isn't welcome.

This is one frustrating and harsh drill but essential in my way of doing things. You see if the attacker feels the least be wary he has the right not to attack. Thus it is down to nage to control his own mind and feeling towards the attacker. When an attacker feels he can safely strike he commits, that's the hard simplicity.

Thus the concept of leading the attacker takes on a different meaning for if you are causing him to attack and move in accordance, motion, the you are actually cause and he is effect.

Thus you are harmonizing with the attack and yet in control. Aikido.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:50 PM   #46
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
I somehow agree and disagree. Aikidoka are not only not psychologically prepared, but also from technical point of view they often don't any idea what happens AFTER they enter\irimi into attack. Such scenario with uke alive (means i.e. bouncing and disengaging only to re-attack) is never done.

On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior. Here I agree with Dazzler that we have to carefully study peoples behavior in different situations do develop our eyes. I strongly believe that aikidoka must become a master of reading body language as a first step to his mind training.
There shouldn't really be much of an after the irimi. The entire point of Aikido, as I see it, is to break balance on contact. That's the foundation, if that's not being consistently achieved then the Aikidoka really needs to make an exhaustive study of it. The most sophisticated part of Aikido is the irimi movement because that's where, pace the ISers, that's where the Aiki is.

The worst case senario is that you mistime your irimi or get caught out by a feint and they back off, in which case you chase after them. If they're going back I don't let them pause to get a base to strike me from. I can do Aikido on the run, few people can effectively strike on the run.

As it is I don't find that even quite skilled martial artists read what's going on. Aikido's approach is just too unique. I can't think of another art where people respond to a strike by moving forward, except maybe BJJ and their method of entry is different although the principle of kuzushi on contact is still there.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:51 PM   #47
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Now we are getting closer. How do you 'make' the attack happen?
You leave an opening.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #48
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Re: Commitment into the attack

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Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Some details?
Well, that's really an entire curriculum, isn't it? If there were a couple of quick tips for unbalancing - everybody would be able to do it...

Take a look at I Liq Chuan - I'm not comparing it to Aikido, but you can see a good example of a well thought out curriculum that builds those kinds of skills in a consistent manner.

Best,

Chris

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Old 11-29-2011, 04:44 AM   #49
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Re: Commitment into the attack

Great thread. Alex, Kevin and Graham all bring up good points.

I think that a big part of the "problem" is that because we don't train against "alive" attacks, we don't learn to recognize the moment of commitment.

Ironically, I believe, this is what aiki is all about, and yet, the way in which most aikido is practiced ensures that one will almost never encounter an opportunity to train it.

Too often, uke commits himself to being thrown or facilitating the technique. There is no problem with this per se. It is probably a necessary part of training. The problem is that aikidoists seldom go beyond this point, which is, frankly, a very basic level.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
May be I didn't formulated question clear enough - how to deal with the attacks where attacker is committing only real minimum and if attack is not successful disengage immediately? I'd like to discuss very concrete training methods to face such situation.
Understood.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
On the other hand, a simple irimi is often not sophisticated enough as a solution. Advanced attacker will early see the intent of entry and will modify his behavior.
This is an obvious point, but one that I am only recently beginning to actually experience, ki musubi and awase must be constantly happening in each moment. This is not a do it once and you are done type of interaction.

How to do it? I honestly can't tell you.

Start looking for it, and then do it. I still cannot do it consistently, but I can notice it, and do it more frequently now than I could three months ago.

Quote:
Alex Lawrence wrote:
The entire point of Aikido, as I see it, is to break balance on contact. That's the foundation, if that's not being consistently achieved then the Aikidoka really needs to make an exhaustive study of it.
I agree that this should be studied, but determining the outcome before contact is the point of aiki.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
In all my experiences training for alive attacks, they are very hard to get out of the way of and you pretty much have to use your frame of structure to absorb the attack and disapate the force in such a way that you can use it to gain control of the situation.

The principle of OODA really dictates this. The irony to me is if it is a good attack and an alive attack...you simply cannot "move off the line" or side step it, or blend with it...you must accept it and the energy in it and then attempt to gain control.

Again, this is if the attack is alive or real. For me, I am either in control of the fight and uke is backpedaling, or I am not. If I am in control, uke is behind me and cannot launch a good attack, if I am behind and uke is attack...then a good attack means I am NOT in control and uke can effectively attack me. A good attack means I must deal with what he is going to me first.
Again, this is where aiki comes in. You "control' the fight by following uke's intention and commitment, but being with his action. It is not about attacking or defending, just appropriateness.

It is the essence of the true counter puncher.

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:52 AM   #50
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Commitment into the attack

The appropriateness I think comes from experiences. You need to put yourself in the contraints of the "problem" and work through your solutions in order to develop the appropriate response.

It goes back to your earlier statement that Aikidoka seldom practice things beyond "this point".

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