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Old 01-20-2012, 01:56 AM   #1
Mario Tobias
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"The goal is not to throw"

I have my own personal interpretation about this statement but just want to "throw" it out there to see what others think.

cheers,
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:51 AM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I was once taught to "blend, take balance, and let them fall."

Another said "connect, extend, and move".

"Throwing" implies muscle.

Thoughts?

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 01-20-2012, 04:11 AM   #3
batemanb
 
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Smile Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I believe that Aikido should be done with your uke, not to your uke. So in agreement with Lynn, once you've connected, you move with them to disturb their balance and then let them fall whichever way they are going. If you work with the aim of trying to throw them, you will invariably jam yourself up as you try to make the throw work, trying to put uke in a place that his body doesn't want to or can't go.

I also believe that this is so for any technique, be it a throw, pin or lock. The more you try to do it, the less it will work.

I guess that means I'm in the "goal is not to throw" camp.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:43 AM   #4
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Goal TO throw, no. Not for me. A skill to learn that I put under the term 'projection', yes.

Goal not to throw? I would never have to or not to as goals, merely choices.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
chillzATL
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

If I take their balance and control it/them through to completion, have I thrown them or simply let them fall?

IMO, simply letting them fall would indicate giving up that control at some point.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:56 AM   #6
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I am not seeking to control....only to receive and blend...the fall will present itself as I pay attention to what is.

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Old 01-20-2012, 07:49 AM   #7
lbb
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

The goal is not to throw.
The goal is to not throw.

Close, but not the same. Which is it?
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
phitruong
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

i thought the goal is not to throw up but more of a let down

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
Keith Larman
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I honestly think people make this way too complicated and often way too "mystical" sounding when it really doesn't need to be.

As we learn something new we will tend to focus on details of a movement. As we start to focus on those details we tend to start to over utilize aspects of our bodies. So a nikyo where the students shoulder raise up and they start trying to power through it. Rather than keeping that connected feeling and simply moving through the entire body to cause the nikyo to happen. That connected body allows nage (or fill in your favorite term here) to "feel" what's going on in the other person's structure and applying the nikyo becomes rather simple (unless the other person is doing the same thing back with their own connected body and then you have a problem). So the idea of tensing, or "trying" to "make" it happen involve localized tension and a destruction of the smooth connections. Or as our late sensei used to say "when you try to throw you cut off the flow of ki. Let your ki flow." The interesting part for me is that after some years I now understand that much better (I think) in that now I can intend to throw without mucking it up. I just keep my focus on maintaining that relaxed structure which allows me to feel what's going on in the "aiki" of me and the attacker. It is both simultaneously very soft but potentially very powerful because, well, at that point I have them. And I can throw. Or not. So for me the focus is not so much not "trying" to throw, but more about getting that connection, getting the "feedback" started, and working within that to do what I want to do. Which might include a throw.

Just fwiw.

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
Lyle Laizure
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I always thought the goal was to be able to go home after the enconter.

Lyle Laizure
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Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #11
kewms
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

The goal is continuous, uninterrupted movement. No stops, no edges. How uke responds to that is partly up to him.

Katherine
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
n.puertollano
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Something that stuck with me during practice... It was explained to me that if you focus on the throw/throwing then it's not aikido. My understanding of that statement is that focusing on throwing or taking someone down you focus to much on the end and you forget the basics of blending, and getting your partner off balance. Anyone that is strong can push anyone and throw them around.
It's about connecting, getting them off balance because at the end of it is the throw not because you threw them but because you did the steps right and they will naturally end up in a throw.

My other understanding of it deals with awareness. Focusing on the end then you don't get the experience all the elements that led to the end. The closest metaphor I can think of is in the movie Enter the dragon when Bruce Lee tells the young kid not to focus on the finger or he will miss all that heavenly glory.

-------
nico puertollano
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:57 AM   #13
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Interesting
  • I have never once seen a judo guy voluntarily over extend and leave his other hand behind and half launch himself at someone. Everyone I have met had to be thrown.
  • Ueshiba went to the Kodokan in his old age, post war, fully developed Aikido days and he had to throw people.
  • He built his reputation on uncooperative non-participating opponents during the post war years who had to be thrown.
  • Shirata, Shioda, Tomiki, Mochizuki, and many many others were incredibly damning of it. To the point of saying cooperative aikido was not aikido in the first place.
  • Apparently many in aikido are totally un-impressed by cooperative Aikido.
  • Come to think of it...other than a certain sub-group within aikido that most other people in aikido call dive bunnies... I have never met anyone in aikido who was overly impressed by cooperative training.
  • If someone can't throw a non co-operative person intent on keeping his center or effectively stop a motivated attacker how and why and by what standard should that be considered a budo?
Dan
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:11 PM   #14
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am not seeking to control....only to receive and blend...the fall will present itself as I pay attention to what is.
No...it will not. That will only happen if the person attacking is dissconected, cooperating and offering their center out from themselves. Which on the whole is a fairly unique way to do any sort of budo. I've only seen it in Aikido and Daito ryu. Everyone else in Budo keeps their center as the attacker. So in any other case you will have to throw them by actively taking their center...against their will. Thus they will have to be thrown. Why would a fall...happen...to someone NOT launching their center at someone, but retaining it while they attack, like most budo-ka do?
Aren't you guys really talking about a certain sub-group within aikido? It seems most dissaprove of this type of practice.
Dan
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:11 PM   #15
kewms
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
If someone can't throw a non co-operative person intent on keeping his center or effectively stop a motivated attacker how and why and by what standard should that be considered a budo?
I agree that it is reasonable to judge the effectiveness of a budo by its ability to achieve this outcome.

However, I don't think it is helpful to think of aikido as something you DO TO another person. That is, I don't think "I must throw him" is the right way to look at it.

In this, as in many such conversations, I think it's important to differentiate between the externally visible outcome -- resisting attacker falls down -- and the internal thought process that achieves that result. The evidence seems to suggest, for instance, that Ueshiba Sensei spent a lot more time worrying about his alignment relative to the universe than the precise angle of torque applied to his attacker's wrist.

Katherine
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:22 PM   #16
mathewjgano
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
I have my own personal interpretation about this statement but just want to "throw" it out there to see what others think.

cheers,
Hmmm...the goal is self-improvement in as many ways as possible? Keiko involves the goal of throwing. As both uke and nage I've been told I should try to throw: as uke to provide nage with something to work with as well as to "shape" my ukemi properly; as nage to learn the essence of the waza/form we're working on.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:23 PM   #17
lbb
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
I honestly think people make this way too complicated and often way too "mystical" sounding when it really doesn't need to be.
...and then he proceeds to get a wee bit "mystical" himself with talk about "connection". Come on, Keith!

Back to what I said before: is it "The goal is not to throw", implying that while throwing isn't the goal, it could happen....or "The goal is to not throw"? Big difference.

If the former, perhaps a better word than "goal" is "focus". Focus on the throw, or the ending, and you're likely to trip up while trying to get there. As my sensei says, you can't bake the cake until you've assembled the ingredients.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:28 PM   #18
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

@ Dan:
I understand that you don't understand. There is nothing mystical about it. It is just different than what you do. That doesn't make it bad or wrong. Just different.
Best,
Mary

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:35 PM   #19
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Interesting
  • ...
  • If someone can't throw a non co-operative person intent on keeping his center or effectively stop a motivated attacker how and why and by what standard should that be considered a budo?
Dan
Kahō budō, a long standing tradition.

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Old 01-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #20
graham christian
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

If you are doing to then you have already lost your center I would say.

Regards.G.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:04 PM   #21
Keith Larman
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
...and then he proceeds to get a wee bit "mystical" himself with talk about "connection". Come on, Keith! .
Well, the difference I suppose is that I don't think "connection" is at all a mystical concept. It is a function of proper body structure, movement and mechanics. Nothing complicated, confusing, or even remotely magical. Shrug.

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Old 01-20-2012, 01:09 PM   #22
DH
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
@ Dan:
I understand that you don't understand. There is nothing mystical about it. It is just different than what you do. That doesn't make it bad or wrong. Just different.
Best,
Mary
Hi Mary
Well okay then. I don't think right or wrong is the question. Anyone can do whatever they want. What's wrong with that? But we all carry the weight of clarity in our choices.
Leaving me out of this... why would a fall...happen...to someone NOT launching their center at someone, but retaining it while they attack?
How, where, and why would they fall down?
Do they want to fall down?
Are they trying to help you let them fall down?
If we are agreeing that the person attacking is cooperating and offering their center out from themselves, than that's fine. But it does open those observations:
1. It is a fairly unique way to do any sort of budo. As I said, I've only seen it in Aikido and Daito ryu.
2. It appears from reading, and meeting people all over the world that, that level of cooperation is certainly not the most popular method.
3. So it certainly expands on the question of what it takes to throw someone both in aikido and from someone you would have to use aikido on outside of the art.

Dan
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:27 PM   #23
chillzATL
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Interesting
  • I have never once seen a judo guy voluntarily over extend and leave his other hand behind and half launch himself at someone. Everyone I have met had to be thrown.
  • Ueshiba went to the Kodokan in his old age, post war, fully developed Aikido days and he had to throw people.
  • He built his reputation on uncooperative non-participating opponents during the post war years who had to be thrown.
  • Shirata, Shioda, Tomiki, Mochizuki, and many many others were incredibly damning of it. To the point of saying cooperative aikido was not aikido in the first place.
  • Apparently many in aikido are totally un-impressed by cooperative Aikido.
  • Come to think of it...other than a certain sub-group within aikido that most other people in aikido call dive bunnies... I have never met anyone in aikido who was overly impressed by cooperative training.
  • If someone can't throw a non co-operative person intent on keeping his center or effectively stop a motivated attacker how and why and by what standard should that be considered a budo?
Dan
It's amazing how modern aikido has created a mindset that taking control of another person and making things happen is somehow not good aikido or not aikido at all. I'd rather be stiff and muscly, but know that I was really getting something done, than just go through the motions in the name of enlightenment.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:46 PM   #24
jonreading
 
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

I am on the fence about this one, mostly because [I think] the way this is explained by seniors and the way it is interpreted by juniors is sometimes not the same. This is one of those concepts that is generally introduced too early and the result is... different than the intent.

The goal should be to throw until you know how to throw and can do it with competency. Dan is spot on in saying throwing someone who is not cooperating is a different experience than throwing someone who is actively participating in their own compromise. For those who can competently throw tori with or without tori's participation, talk all you want about the mundane of focusing on throwing our partners. As a competent practitioner, ideally your movement transitions such that you do not focus on moving your partner; you focus on moving yourself after assimilating your partner onto your center.

I'd also add a few observations:

1. Aikido is about control. The fact that you are trying to alter your partner's response to your own design inherently defines your actions as "controlling". That said, I do not think there is anything wrong asserting control over your partner; the magic lies in why you are asserting control...
2. Aikido in many respects seeks to accelerate the experience of throwing by generally repressing uke's natural responses to preserve his center. I think we call those who do not willfully fall for us "jerks with bad energy"...

My instructor used to describe this transition as analogous to when we learned to drive. Both hands on the wheel, full stops, no radio, turn signals when we think we are changing lanes and absolute terror merging onto the highway. 10 years later... listening to the radio, driving with one hand while (gulp) texting and absolute terror merging onto the highway. We need to let our bodies absorb the movements before we are ready to decide what we do and don't need. And we certainly should be questioning anyone who has decided to tell us what we don't need or won't teach...
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #25
sorokod
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Re: "The goal is not to throw"

Ms. Eastman provides a link to her dojo's web site with a link to a collection of videos on YouTube

http://www.miron-enterprises.com/ber...deo_clips.html also http://www.youtube.com/user/thermopile85/videos

Picture worth a thousand words and all that...

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