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Old 02-11-2012, 03:20 AM   #1
Carsten Möllering
 
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What do you call "technique"?

I was still thinking about the thread of Mario Tobias "Techniques in themselves don't work".
And I just attended a seminar where - like usually - did only very few classical waza which could be named like shiho nage or irimi nage or something like that. Most of the work didn't have such names. But it was not "free". It was very precise and was technique in my understanding.

So I realized that I think about two different things when the term "technique" is used:

1. The nameable waza like shiho nage, tenchi nage ...

2. But currently more important to me I think of the "things" you before it comes to these waza: Creating atari, connecting to the partner in a way, I can affect his body structure and controll him. Moving or guiding the partner, using this atari, making him move in a way "I want him to". Using my own body in a way he can not apply his strength on me. And above all: Organizing my own body, my inside, to be able to do all those things.

This is what I call technique in the "narrow sense of the word". So what is usually called technique - and I use this term also - the nameable, traditional waza of aikidō are or can be the product, the outcome of what in my eyes is technique in a deeper sense.

What do you call technique in aikidō?
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:07 AM   #2
gregstec
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

IMO, I consider a 'technique' to be any type of internal or external response to a particular situation - in martial arts, this can be in the form of an attack or defense - and since the key here is that no two particular situations will ever be exactly the same (similar maybe) no two techniques will ever be exactly the same either.

Greg
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:36 AM   #3
A2B
Dojo: Aikido Bad Boll
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

Havn't followed Mario's thread. Though, what I understand of the two postings before is, that you seem to wonder about the characteristics of the term "technique" in Aikido. Obviously people define and handle this term differently.

Just to add a point of view: I am used to distinguish between "technique" and "movement exercise". A "movement exercise" need not to work directly in the sense of a martial art. A "technique" should do so: precisely and consequently.

"Movement exercises" may be steps towards "techniques" - preparations and tools to develop certain qualities necessary for good techniques.

Christine
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
Lee Salzman
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

Techniques would most usefully be called those fixed patterns of movement that are specific to a circumstance and that we work to automate as a response to that circumstance, i.e. foot there, arm there, step over there, lower here, turn there...

General qualities, those things which it is a disservice to label as technique, are those which can be applied almost universally to movement/combat scenarios, which we seek to train under broader and broader scope rather than limit them to fixed circumstance, i.e. structure, relaxation, tension, explosiveness, rapidity of change, reactiveness, suddenness, etc.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:43 PM   #5
Rupert Atkinson
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

Technique for me is just going thru the motions using crafty leverage. It is what people do for kyu grades etc. It is grabbing uke's arm and doing something to him. Many never get beyond this - though they do get better at it, just not beyond. After doing lots of kokyu-nage, your technique will change - it will have kokyu-ryoku in it. But it will not change if you are one of those types that sticks to the syllabus like the syllabus is god. Then, after analysing it some, you discover lines of power, lines of weakness, balance, directions, circles, etc, and you begin to rediscover. And finally, you start taking uke's energy into consideration and then you will develop an aiki bent. To an observer, your 'technique' might look like a standard technique, but it will not be so. If you are smart, you will realise that you cannot teach at this level. The mistake that many make is to teach from where they are at right now - they fail to realise that students need to go thru a process, just as they did. Unfortuantely, there is no process built into the Aikido system, and therefore, it is not a system. Process in Aikdio is accidental and can only be found by those that seek, and then, only by chance because they do not know what they seek. They only know that something is lacking, so they seek.

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Old 02-11-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
kewms
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

This morning, our instructor spent almost all of a 2.5 hour class on variations of kosa dori ikkyo. I think there were seven, and we worked through static and dynamic versions of each. Those were "techniques." The thing that made them all work in recognizably the same way was the "ikkyo principle." Which itself incorporates many other elements: body movement, connection, etc.

Katherine
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Old 02-11-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
kewms
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
The mistake that many make is to teach from where they are at right now - they fail to realise that students need to go thru a process, just as they did. Unfortuantely, there is no process built into the Aikido system, and therefore, it is not a system. Process in Aikdio is accidental and can only be found by those that seek, and then, only by chance because they do not know what they seek.
While this is sometimes true, I think it's an indictment of the teaching methodology, not a characteristic of the art.

Katherine
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
Lee Salzman
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
While this is sometimes true, I think it's an indictment of the teaching methodology, not a characteristic of the art.

Katherine
Yeah, like you were discussing with ikkyo, technique is often also useful to illustrate something more general, so long as the technique is specific enough that it forces and enables you to work on the more general thing, and so long as the teacher actually ensures the student is getting the more general thing from that. If the system and/or teacher can't do that, then one, the other, or both are worthless.
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:33 PM   #9
Alic
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

I donno about other styles, since I've only been exposed to Yoshinkan, but from what I've learned through class and self research is this: everything is techniques.

Think back to when you first started out. Everything is a mess and you are eternally confused. That's no surprise giving that you were an untrained whitebelt. However, as you progress, you begin to act differently. Certain movements become natural. When you lose your balance, instead of stumbling, you shift your centre and shuffle or cross-step to maintain balance. When you fall, you do ukemi and stand up perfectly fine.

These things are all "techniques" since they don't come naturally, but as a result of your training. The same principles apply to things like the Ikkyo (or as we say it, Ikkajo). It is something unnatural to begin with, but by the time you are shodan, it would be a natural thing to do when you are attacked (hopefully).

Later on, especially at the higher dans (godan and above) you start to get into aiki-waza. Now you don't really even need to use joint locks. The locks are easy to do by themselves, but to have them be effective, it is important for your balance to be correct, and of course for things like yonkyo (yonkajo), both the centre power (chushin ryoku) and the focus power (shuchu ryoku) matters quite a bit. In this way, all of the basic techniques are training for those things, so that at the higher levels, combined with breath power (kokyu ryoku), you will be able to effortlessly apply techniques that employs no joint locks, with or without uke in motion.

This is the way I understand it, that everything we do is "technique". I've recently noticed how I'm always cross-stepping to catch my balance, rather than gripping harder on something, when I'm on the bus. In another instance (just today). when sensei threw out a slow punch as a demonstration, I who was close by automatically did an entering step (irimi) and placed by hand on sensei's elbow, just like kotegaeshi. I caught myself before I applied a technique, and was very surprised given how I did that basically on autopilot mode, and sensei was quite happy about it, saying "you are now a martial artist, because your subconciousness has changed"

Frankly, I'm not sure if I should be happy about improving, or scared that the techniques are seeping into my brain. O_O
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Old 02-12-2012, 12:12 AM   #10
dps
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Re: What do you call "technique"?

Techniques are the way (means) to learn the principles (ends).

How well you do the techniques, tells how well you undestand the principles.

dps
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