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Old 06-29-2002, 09:22 AM   #1
Doshu
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Forms or Formlessness

Sorry to be starting continous threads, but its great to have input into Martial Arts from people that appear to really understand them.

I studied Shotokan for 2 years, and though the Katas look impressive and train you very well in holding positions. The actual applications of these moves are a little criptic. Shotokai students have a greater understanding. Also not to over general but Kung Fu especially the hard southern styles, adopt hard stances that are difficult to hold and in a real situation difficult to applie.

As a Ki Aikido practioner it was strange to train with out fixed movements. Although the forms are fixed they are "looser".

I wanted to know which would create the better Martial Artist. Looking at it completely superfacially, without considering the actual practioner.

Cheers

Chris

Master the Divine
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Old 06-29-2002, 09:44 AM   #2
jimvance
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Kata as a classical training method were never intended to serve as real life application. Instead, they teach correct posture, principles of movement, strategy, and relaxation under stress. Apply this same question to painting. Would copying the masters make you a better painter than just experimenting on your own? I think you need both in order arrive at a level called "artist".

Jim Vance
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Old 06-29-2002, 12:49 PM   #3
Bruce Baker
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Kata / reality / understanding

I used to question different teachers of karate about the moves in kata, and their practical application in sparring or actual fighting ... nearly all of them relayed knowledge their teacher had given them, or didn't know.

The ones who did not know were the honest ones.

Every move in a kata is designed to kill.

There are no blocks in kata, but each move is designed to activate a pressure point that disables, knocksouts, or kills.

With the chopping off of heads in Japan, or the many internal conflicts in Asia, many of the hidden schools of empty hand (chi'uan fa better know as Kempo) steal whatever works best for their art, which in turn creates nothing but misconception for tracing the real history of martial arts.

So ... when you see a kata, whetherit be in your own style, or another style, chances are the actual applications have been lost as movements have been imitated without the knowledge being passed down to all teachers.

When you think kata, think attackers, think purpose of movement, think pressure points ... it will provide clarity to many of the lost movements which are sometimes exagerated movements of jujitsu, found in Aikido, or exagerated movements you already do in fighting but have not associated them with kata ... yet.

Once you or the teacher who teaches you sees purpose with application, it becomes much easier to translate kata into techniques.

Don't know if that helps, but playing with kata at pressure point seminars has been enlightening for all styles of martial arts that attend, especially me.

As far as Aikido, my position is that we have a variety of pressure points at our finger tips for almost all of Aikido's techniques, and sooner or later we will teach them even if we never need to use them.
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Old 06-29-2002, 01:31 PM   #4
ronmar
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[quote]I wanted to know which would create the better Martial Artist. Looking at it completely superfacially, without considering the actual practioner. [/QUOT

Depends what you mean by martial artist. None of the styles you mention tend to produce effective and realistic fighters since they lack realistic sparring. Katas and "secret techniques" like pressure points attract the martial arts equivalent of trainspotters and stamp collectors. People who were bullied as kids and are looking for some secret magic way to overcome adversity. Unfortunately arcane old fashioned martial arts styles are not the answer. Good as a hobby though if your interested in that sort of thing.

What you need to learn to fight is constant pressure testing of techniques through sparring and competition, along with drilling of the basics under the direction of a good coach. This needs to be coupled with concentration on strength, conditioning and diet.
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Old 06-30-2002, 03:47 AM   #5
Doshu
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The last comment

Unfortunately arcane old fashioned martial arts styles are not the answer. Good as a hobby though if your interested in that sort of thing.

That is not really truth the techniques past to use by out Sensei are "battle tested". If a martial arts really did not "work" then people would not study them. More to the point any martial artists would tell you that the "body" ie fittness and diet are very important. But the focusing of Ki, the use of the mind, emptyness and Seikan no Itten have a great impact. Personally I did not believe that Aikido worked. As a Shotokan student I constantly was taught to believe that aggrestiveness, fittness and strength were the most important. However they really are not. My Sensei who was taught by Sensei Abbe and Sensei Tohei could easily destroy me, because atleast a foot shorter than me and not as strong (physically). So what you say has some truth in respet to hard martial arts.

However in the realms of Aiki, it is meaningless.


Cheers

Chris

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Old 06-30-2002, 06:57 PM   #6
PeterR
 
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Is it just me or is anyone else bothered by the moniker Doshu.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-30-2002, 08:03 PM   #7
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I wasn`t going to say anything Peter, but yes, it does seem out of place to me too. Not nearly as strange as the e-mail I received from Morihei Ueshiba this morning though, apparently a user on the Yamaguchi forum.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-30-2002, 08:54 PM   #8
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by batemanb
I wasn`t going to say anything Peter, but yes, it does seem out of place to me too. Not nearly as strange as the e-mail I received from Morihei Ueshiba this morning though, apparently a user on the Yamaguchi forum.
Not to worry, the proper authorities have been alerted. Soon the Official Aikikai Enforcement Squadron (OAES, for those in the know) will be knocking on the door of this Ki Federation hooligan. Will not be a pretty picture, I'm sure.

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-30-2002, 08:54 PM   #9
paw
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Chris,

Quote:
If a martial arts really did not "work" then people would not study them.
Out of curiousity, exactly how does one determine if a martial art "works" without a resisting opponent?

Curious,

Paul
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Old 06-30-2002, 09:12 PM   #10
batemanb
 
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Hey Chris,

Let me know when they`re coming, I can track back the mail headers and locate the mail servers to pin point his location a bit more .

I was just passing comment that it seems strange to be seeing posts from Doshu who isn`t Doshu, and even stranger to get mail from O Sensei. I don`t recall suggesting that they stop (although I suppose that could be implied), or that we round them up and flog or stone them.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 06-30-2002, 09:35 PM   #11
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by batemanb

I was just passing comment that it seems strange to be seeing posts from Doshu who isn`t Doshu, and even stranger to get mail from O Sensei.
More importantly, what did Morihei Ueshiba have to say about forms and formlessness ?

Best,

Chris

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Old 06-30-2002, 10:18 PM   #12
shihonage
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Quote:
Originally posted by batemanb
Not nearly as strange as the e-mail I received from Morihei Ueshiba this morning though, apparently a user on the Yamaguchi forum.
Hahaha !

Last edited by shihonage : 06-30-2002 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 06-30-2002, 10:25 PM   #13
batemanb
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


More importantly, what did Morihei Ueshiba have to say about forms and formlessness ?

Best,

Chris
Not a lot to be honest, just said. "Mi name is Pierre", nothing else there other than the eye popping moniker. Not exactly sure what the purpose of the mail was.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 07-01-2002, 04:33 AM   #14
Doshu
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batemanb

Perhaps Batemanb it is not for you to judge what names we chose to call ourselfs. Unfortantly I am no the Aikido Doshu. However the literal meaning for that term is "Master of the way". I just liked the name. Hence I shall call myself what I wish.

I am supprised that JKD has not been mentioned. I raelly dont understand how a completely formless art can be taught. Can anyone explain this to me?

Cheers

Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 04:41 AM   #15
PeterR
 
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Re: batemanb

Quote:
Originally posted by Doshu
Perhaps Batemanb it is not for you to judge what names we chose to call ourselfs. Unfortantly I am no the Aikido Doshu. However the literal meaning for that term is "Master of the way". I just liked the name. Hence I shall call myself what I wish.
No one said you couldn't - young master.

No one said we couldn't comment either or have a wee bit of fun.

Personally I found you moniker somewhat disrespectful of the Aikikai Doshu (there is only one).

Last edited by PeterR : 07-01-2002 at 05:03 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-01-2002, 04:43 AM   #16
Doshu
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Paul

Well, in my ignorant mind, how a martial art "works" can be difind on many different levels. Obviously its physical abilitys to throw, punch and kick. Also its ability for spirtual refinement. In my mind Aikido works on both of these levels, that is to say that a well trained Aikidoka, can defend oneself well if needs be. Also spiritually it teachs us that these skills are not to be used for the wrong reasons. It also gives us a depth of knowledge of the universe. And the ablity to actually comprehended "ki". Which even many Master still dont really understand.

I hope this answers your question.

The only way to test a martial art it in your own mind. As long as you believe in it then it will treat you well. O'Sensei aikido had no real sparring. Mainly because of the dangerous nature of the techniques, unlike Karate, TKD and Judo, where in many cases the moves are not so damaging. Altough still very effective.



Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 05:37 AM   #17
Doshu
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Peter R

I am very sorry for the offence that I have caused.
The Doshu has always been my idol. The current one will do great things for our martial art.
But I ment no disrepect. They are all great men and if I could be a millionth of an Aikidoka as them then that would be great.

A very guilty

Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 06:24 AM   #18
paw
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Chris,

Well, now we've definately hijacked this little discussion.

In reverse order:

Quote:
O'Sensei aikido had no real sparring. Mainly because of the dangerous nature of the techniques, unlike Karate, TKD and Judo, where in many cases the moves are not so damaging. Altough still very effective.
We live in an age where technology allows for people to train with real firearms shooting real people without too great a risk of injury (simunation rounds). But I'm to believe aikido alone is more dangerous....

Not to mention Shotokan Aikido has shiai, including one empty hands version. But I suppose you'll respond by saying it's not O'Sensei's aikido. (as for sparring, see the thread on "kata". If memory serves Peter gives a nice thumbnail on the different types of randori, and how many aikido uses)



Quote:
Also spiritually it teachs us that these skills are not to be used for the wrong reasons. It also gives us a depth of knowledge of the universe. And the ablity to actually comprehended "ki". Which even many Master still dont really understand
An aiki intelligence test? If most "masters" don't understand it, who could measure it? Seems to me this is a subjective personal judgement.

I find myself in agreement with Ron. The measure of martial effectiveness is a resisting opponent.

I promise to stay on topic in the future,

Paul
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Old 07-01-2002, 06:29 AM   #19
Doshu
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Paw

Perhaps. But what I meant to say is that ki is such a vast well I dont know if subject is the right word......power or something its one of those things that you learn over a life time.

More to the point everything is opionion.

But yes my comment is wrong. ofcourse masters understand.

Cheers

Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 06:32 AM   #20
Doshu
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Hijacked

I have no problem with such a hijacking. It is clear that you guys have a much better of Aikido than me. I ahve not been studying for very long. I enjoy the critism, as it furthers my own knowledge.

Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 06:36 AM   #21
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: batemanb

Quote:
Originally posted by Doshu
Perhaps Batemanb it is not for you to judge what names we chose to call ourselfs. Unfortantly I am no the Aikido Doshu. However the literal meaning for that term is "Master of the way". I just liked the name. Hence I shall call myself what I wish.

I am supprised that JKD has not been mentioned. I raelly dont understand how a completely formless art can be taught. Can anyone explain this to me?

Cheers

Chris
I would just like to point out that when you use a name to post on the Internet everybody gets to judge. You might think it unfair for people to form a negative opinion of you just because you picked a name like that but of course people will. Whereas I don't get offended by its use it shows a lack of experience in that no one I know who has trained a long time would use that name and possbly a lack of judgement if you decide to keep on using it after those with more experience point out that the name is an issue.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 07-01-2002, 08:13 AM   #22
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Re: batemanb

Quote:
Originally posted by Doshu
I am supprised that JKD has not been mentioned. I raelly dont understand how a completely formless art can be taught. Can anyone explain this to me? Cheers Chris
I trained in JKD under the late Ted Lucaylucay. Go ahead, check him out, he is on the JKD family tree.

Formlessness comes from form and from formlessness comes form. Chaos theory will tell you that looked at from a different perspective one can find patterns and rhythm (form) in everything, even conflict, confusion, and chaos.

Most things in like are a craft and an art. First you learn the craft by learning the techniques, the forms. Then you can express your own art or formlessness. The best writers must frist learn the alphabet. The best musicians must first learn the scales.

JKD originally was taught to people who had already learned their form from other arts and were now looking to let go. In class, we did a lot of drills (forms) but we called them "dead patterns" because they lacked the aliveness of the art. They were just trainign in our craft. BTW, many people I train with still see the JKD patterns as I move in Aikido. Likewise, IMHO, up to Shodan we learn the form. After Shodan we learn the principles, the art, the formless.

Later we get to spontaneous execution without attachment.

Formlessness does not exist separate from form. They imply and compliment each other.

Until again,

Lynn

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 07-01-2002, 04:34 PM   #23
Doshu
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George

It saddens me to see that a name can offend so many people. As I already said I am sorry. However this is the last time. I have not come on here to be attacked simply because of my name. And if there is a problem then dont read my posts. However all I wanted to do was to talk to people who know martial arts about martial arts especially Aikido.

Do as you wish George if you feel that ganging up on one person simply because of there name, no matter how unproper is good for you, then by all means. Then perhaps Aikido is not for you. To learn non violence and not to be judgemental. I suggest you read about the great founder of our art. More to the point, I would not imagin that the Ueshiba family would hold alot of meaning to a name.

I will continue using the name. Simply as I cant change it in my profile and I dont want to have to sign on again.

I now hope that the insignificance of names can be cast aside and the forums can be about the questions posed.

Cheers

Chris

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Old 07-01-2002, 05:00 PM   #24
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Re: George

Quote:
Originally posted by Doshu
I will continue using the name. Simply as I cant change it in my profile and I dont want to have to sign on again.
If you'd like your username changed, just let me know. Although it won't be trivial, I believe I can do so manually through mysql...

-- Jun

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Old 07-02-2002, 01:42 AM   #25
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Re: batemanb

Quote:
Originally posted by Doshu
Perhaps Batemanb it is not for you to judge what names we chose to call ourselfs. Unfortantly I am no the Aikido Doshu. However the literal meaning for that term is "Master of the way". I just liked the name. Hence I shall call myself what I wish.
Chris,

Check out my previous post, I don`t remember saying anything about what you could or couldn`t use, or being offended, I simply commented that it was strange, see below:


Quote:
I was just passing comment that it seems strange to be seeing posts from Doshu who isn`t Doshu, and even stranger to get mail from O Sensei. I don`t recall suggesting that they stop (although I suppose that could be implied), or that we round them up and flog or stone them.
My signature confirms what Peter said

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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