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 > Techniques

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 02-04-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
Offline
Techniques in themselves don't work

Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. It looked so trivial and obvious when the thought came up but I guess it depends greatly on the person how fast or slow his grasp is on the art (which then means I am a slow learner ). Aikido is such a challenging and daunting art.

If techniques don't work, then what does?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 596
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Do you mean to say that techniques don't work in the same way that food recepies don't provide norishment?

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #3
gates
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 193
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Better situational awareness
Mental composure
Avoidance and preemption

Principles that make techniques work - work
(when applied in a suitable moment)

Enjoy the journey
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 975
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Techniques work fine if you create the appropriate situation.

Which means that you will already have connection, already have kuzushi, and already have taken control of the attacker's space ... then you can do whatever technique presents itself.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,788
United_States
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
J
If techniques don't work, then what does?
of course techniques alone don't work. you must have good look and style. some of us just look good naturally in skirts, without even shaving our legs.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 02:07 AM   #6
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 821
Germany
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. ...
What do mean with "technique in itself"?

The more I practice (it's not even 20 years) the more I experience that technique teaches me, teaches my body, i.e. it's structure, it's skill to perceive and to be - what we call her - permeable ... It is not the outer shape of technique, but the millions and millions of details lying under the surface of a technique, that teach the practioner and "transform" him over time.

(Just to take an example: Standing hanmi. You can stand in hanmi and nothing happens. It might look "correct", but it doesn't "do" anythink. It doesn't "work".
And you can learn to stand "correct" in hanmi and suddenly you are doing "sort of qi gong" without even understanding it at first. The differences are very, very small. I sometimes don't see the corrections of my teacher with my eyes, but only feel them with my body. And this has enourmous effects you come to notice. So isnt't this the technique in itself, that works?)

So in my understanding it is just and "only" technique that works. But I think we may call different "things" technique?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
What do mean with "technique in itself"?

So in my understanding it is just and "only" technique that works. But I think we may call different "things" technique?
It is difficult to explain but what I am trying to get across is that a person's aikido only works if it applies to ALL body morphologies he encounters: small, tall, stout, skinny, strong, limpy, hunched, straight, muscled, etc. But the thing is we don't have the opportunity to train with every kind of body shape, size and strength such that we can only wonder how good (or bad) our aikido is.

The more years or decades you train in the art, the higher the probability you can make the techniques work on a large number of people but that does not mean you understand the art. There must be more fundamental than "technique" that needs to be understood if ever one is to progress significantly.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 02:35 AM   #8
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,148
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
Just recently, after several decades training, I came to understand that techniques in themselves don't work. It looked so trivial and obvious when the thought came up but I guess it depends greatly on the person how fast or slow his grasp is on the art (which then means I am a slow learner ). Aikido is such a challenging and daunting art.

If techniques don't work, then what does?
Dear Mario,
I would like to know how you arrive at your conclusion here. I find your statement to be for me somewhat confusing.A technique either works or it does not.A technique is just like a menu for baking a cake.Get the right ingredients, the right quantities , mix them up in the prescribed manner, cook the stuff at the right temp.and the result should be a cake.No magic or some mystical process.Just a matter of taking basic aikido principles , putting them into practice correctly.Result-the waza works!!If not go back to the drawing board.To answer your last point, if Aikido doesnt work use a baseball bat[Joking of course].
Cheers, Joe
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 04:09 AM   #9
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Mario,
I would like to know how you arrive at your conclusion here. I find your statement to be for me somewhat confusing.A technique either works or it does not.A technique is just like a menu for baking a cake.Get the right ingredients, the right quantities , mix them up in the prescribed manner, cook the stuff at the right temp.and the result should be a cake.No magic or some mystical process.Just a matter of taking basic aikido principles , putting them into practice correctly.Result-the waza works!!If not go back to the drawing board.To answer your last point, if Aikido doesnt work use a baseball bat[Joking of course].
Cheers, Joe
I am not saying aikido techniques don' t work. They do, but there's much more than a technique in itself for it to work effectively.

For me, in my training now, I don't focus on the technique itself but rather the underlying fundamentals that make up that technique. The pursuit for me now is not how techniques will work but rather seeking those fundamentals that work that make a technique work. I only know a handful that are tried and proven.

A technique's external form maybe similar when done by different people but its effectiveness varies.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 04:57 AM   #10
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

continuing from my post above, consider a very simple example

Tai no henko is the most basic exercise we have yet it is the most often unused and misunderstood IMHO. Tai no henko is one of the underlying principles to initiate connection, break uke's kuzushi, initiate wrist escapes or draw uke towards nage. Not only is it an exercise but it is also used for techniques but this is not known to many I practiced with. I think not many people know how tai no henko is properly used. We only think of it as the first exercise we do after completing warm-up yet it is one of the most important fundamentals when doing a lot of techniques. Leave out this aspect and you won't be able to do the technique properly.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 02-05-2012 at 05:09 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 08:33 AM   #11
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 821
Germany
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
... a person's aikido only works if it applies to ALL body morphologies he encounters: ...
I have to admit I don't understand. Because, what I call "technique" is exactly the tool one needs to deal with this: The details of every technique are "designed" to provide the skills to use it against any given body.
In my understanding and also my experience this is just, what technique is about. That's why learning technique is so very difficult and has to be so precise.
It is due to "correct" technique that you can handle people who are stronger or bigger. And that you can rely on the technique whoever is your partner.

This video points in the direction I am thinking of.

Quote:
...the higher the probability you can make the techniques work on a large number of people but that does not mean you understand the art. There must be more fundamental than "technique" that needs to be understood if ever one is to progress significantly.
In my undersanding Technique is not only the outer movement. That outer movement just is a sort of the shape of the technique, that part of the technique you can see. And that shape has a lot of very specific small details you nearly don't see. Finally: Most of what I call technique happens within your own body and can not be seen from the outside. And enables you to deal with alls sorts of other bodies.
Technique means to organize one's own body in a certain way, I think.

This are just my thoughts. With not having decades of practice in me, but only few years.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 09:09 AM   #12
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 813
Malaysia
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Agreed. Techniques on its own doesn't work. Generally it does of course, but it's not the end you are looking for.

I would hazard... You seek power of Aikido. Behind it is the principles that operate in and out of a technique. Understanding that and applying it is what works... Until of course you reach another level.

Of course my decade to your several means little...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #13
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

I agree with you that techniques in and of themselves don't work. Controlling the body and core of the person is what allows techniques to work. I think that you are also correct in your observations that different body shapes, sizes, age, abilities plays into things. The more we practice the more we gain in our intuitive understanding of how these things affect the situation. How I deal with a small person differs from how I deal with a large person.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #14
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,552
United_States
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

The best analogy I've ever been able to come up with is to compare it to learning to dance. You can put the little cut-out footprint things on the floor and work out the choreography. And you can train and train on those particular steps and movements. But at some point the choreography needs to "go away" leaving behind someone who is "dancing" and not just doing the movements.

Same for me in playing music. I have a classical piano background. And there is a difference between playing the notes to the third movement of the Moonlight Sonata, and *really* playing the third movement... One is a performance of the notes Beethoven wrote. The latter is creating music through the notes Beethoven wrote.

So I see techniques as being like choreography or notes on a piece of paper. They are ways to get ourselves in to a place where we can begin to really express the art. The technique itself as a teaching device that hopefully allows us to periodically glimpse that which transcends the choreography.

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 10:03 AM   #15
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,076
United_States
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Basically speaking, nothing works well without Aiki.
-Yukiyoshi Sagawa


Which makes sense to me, you can do a paint by the numbers picture (are those around anymore?), but that doesn't make you a painter - not even a good one. And painting by the numbers seems unlikely, IMO, to ever teach you much of anything about painting.

Shioda would say that even if you do a technique perfectly once, if you do it the same way a second time it won't work.

So what needs to link the first and the second time?

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 12:02 PM   #16
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Basically speaking, nothing works well without Aiki.
-Yukiyoshi Sagawa


Which makes sense to me, you can do a paint by the numbers picture (are those around anymore?), but that doesn't make you a painter - not even a good one. And painting by the numbers seems unlikely, IMO, to ever teach you much of anything about painting.

Shioda would say that even if you do a technique perfectly once, if you do it the same way a second time it won't work.

So what needs to link the first and the second time?

Best,

Chris
I like this one. Whenever someone does a 'great' technique and thereafter get's stuck I tell them to take a break and enjoy the good one.

If duruing a drill, and I want them to carry on then I point out they are stuck in the past and have them carry on. Fear can take you out of now but so can 'that perfect one'. Hence every moment is new.

Regards.G.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 12:05 PM   #17
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post

So what needs to link the first and the second time?

Best,

Chris
Exactly.

Endo shihan also said "From chaos, we deal with each individual shape. Then return to chaos. If not, then you are trapped in the forms."

It is only now that I began to understand this. Aikido is a challenging and daunting art in the sense that when you deal with different shapes and sizes, your technique doesn't work all the time. How do you make it work all the time?

In training, you basically deal with chaos. But underneath all this seemingly chaotic environment, there are basic underlying systematic and common principles that apply to every individual. Over time they will get revealed to us one by one. You may have understood the external form of the technique but you really havn't understood the principles that govern the technique as to why it works. These common threads in techniques are what we should be searching for IMO, much more important than how to make the technique work. But the challenge is the search for these and how to prove them. Focusing just on technique, you will get trapped in the forms.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 12:07 PM   #18
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 821
Germany
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Basically speaking, nothing works well without Aiki.
-Yukiyoshi Sagawa
And he states that aiki is a technique ...

It is my experience that every technique, every waza has an essence, a certain substance. If you find this essence of a waza and adapt it to your own body, feelings, character, you can bring the waza to life. But still the waza is independent of you. It still exists without you.

I don't like the term "principle". Because I think what waza teaches is much more concrete and detailed than what I think, a principle is.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 02-05-2012 at 12:13 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 12:38 PM   #19
DH
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,394
United_States
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
And he states that aiki is a technique ...
He states that aiki is both body conditioning and applied application. He is discussing a rather deep subject. He is correct. Unfortunately I have never seen this demonstrated "in its fullness" much less taught or discussed by anyone in Aikido or Daito ryu.

Quote:
..every waza has an essence, a certain substance. If you find this essence of a waza and adapt it to your own body, feelings, character, you can bring the waza to life. But still the waza is independent of you. It still exists without you.
I think this is foundational error. It is the essence of what is happening in the body that makes all waza happen and is universal. The rest is window dressing. Your entire art is based on being techniqueless.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 02-05-2012 at 12:48 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 02:40 PM   #20
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 821
Germany
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
... the essence of what is happening in the body ...
If this is can not be called "technique" what is it?
I'm just starting to search, to look for it. But I am deeply convinced that this can be learned, can be taught, can be explained? It is not arbitrary, it's not magic, it's not fake. It must be something down to earth.
Even it is something very deep.

Thank you for answering. While I'm trying to find words to answer you, I note that I contradict myself.

You are right: A waza like shiho nage or something like that doesn't exist in itself. Question: Are those waza more "typical situations" than "techniques"?
You are right: The essence is what is happening in the body. Question: Isn't this also "technique"?

Ah, and there are not some different techniques in the body, but only one? And this one thing does it all?

questions questions
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 03:44 PM   #21
Rupert Atkinson
 
Rupert Atkinson's Avatar
Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: South Korea, Yongin
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 779
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

I just posted my thoughts here - post #5:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20839

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2012, 05:41 PM   #22
kewms
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 975
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

How much time did Ueshiba Sensei spend teaching waza?

For that matter, how much time do most shihan-level instructors spend on it?

Waza is not aikido any more than memorizing the dictionary is English.

Katherine
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2012, 04:20 AM   #23
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 821
Germany
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
For that matter, how much time do most shihan-level instructors spend on it?
As I said in the other thread: When we practice with Endo sensei we usually practice very few waza. This exactly was the reason I at first didn't like his seminars, actually. Was so different to what I knew until then.

And even when we practice a certain waza, it's not the waza itself, we focus on, but allways some detail that can be found everywhere and doesn't point in the direction of this certain waza, but is important universally. Not easy to describe. But the nameable waza are more kind of "occasion" to study something deeper, than the aim of the study.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2012, 06:36 AM   #24
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,711
United_States
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Yes agreed.

People and principles work.

The technique is only their expression.

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!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2012, 10:48 AM   #25
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 252
Philippines
Offline
Re: Techniques in themselves don't work

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
As I said in the other thread: When we practice with Endo sensei we usually practice very few waza. This exactly was the reason I at first didn't like his seminars, actually. Was so different to what I knew until then.

And even when we practice a certain waza, it's not the waza itself, we focus on, but allways some detail that can be found everywhere and doesn't point in the direction of this certain waza, but is important universally. Not easy to describe. But the nameable waza are more kind of "occasion" to study something deeper, than the aim of the study.
Principles behind waza are rarely or not taught in my observation. It is for the student to discover themselves. Even if you teach it this way, the students will not understand if they are not ready to receive. It may also be that the teacher doesn't know how to teach it properly for the students to understand.

Also, the teacher maybe teaching the principles in class, but the student is focusing on something else. It is for the student to discern what the teacher is ACTUALLY teaching. There's always this type of "miscommunication" happening during classes that the gist of the lesson is entirely missed. So you always have to ask yourself "What is he actually teaching?" It's easy to get distracted trying to mimic the technique or criticizing it, like I do myself.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



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
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 17 Peter Goldsbury Columns 41 06-03-2010 09:46 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5 Peter Goldsbury Columns 69 12-31-2008 11:41 AM
Functional Origins of Aikido/Daito-Ryu Techniques Paul Sanderson-Cimino Techniques 92 05-09-2008 09:01 AM
Aikido vs. Kickboxing (video) The Jawz General 23 09-17-2007 02:27 PM
aikido and competition ewodaj General 129 08-10-2006 10:43 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:22 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