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Old 10-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #26
Chris Li
 
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
What is our definition of "aiki posture" ?
You're mis-reading it - it should be "in my definition of aiki, posture is inherent". I wrote a little bit about it here.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:15 PM   #27
DH
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
But I also feel that if you only learn aiki and poor posture and bad movement from the beginning your aikido will surely suck.
Please bear in mind this is my PERSONAL opinion and not ANYBODY elses !

Lars
Well...for me that doesn't make sense...to my experience.
1. Virtually all of the people I have ever met in your art were taught through waza.
2. Every single one of them suffer from an array of structural flaws.
3. Every single one of them learned to fix them through Aiki and not waza.
4. Structural flaws are not standing up straight. You can have great structure and be fluid and dodging head strikes while bobbing and weaving. If you fight even a moderately skilled fighter while standing vertical...well...it won't last long.

Structure is a complicated thing. Having structure that will sustain itself by producing soft power in a formless state is a learned skill requiring much training.
Dan
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:59 PM   #28
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Waza practiced with a partner using mind, body coordination creats Aikido. Technique practiced against a partner is waza.

For me, this is what makes Aikido different from other practices.

Blending, acceptance of what is, adjusting ourselves requires another person.

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Old 10-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #29
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Aiki is the state or condition and waza is the motion, the 'do'.

Peace.G.
nah waza is not the "do"sic, the dou ororor "path is the ongoingsearch for aiki

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Old 10-14-2012, 06:20 PM   #30
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Stephen Trinkle wrote: View Post
nah waza is not the "do"sic, the dou ororor "path is the ongoingsearch for aiki
To me Aikido is the path of peace. Hence the actions of divine techniques. The way of the way.

Peace.G.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:28 PM   #31
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
Maybe, maybe not. Who knows ? Maybe I understand more than you assume and vice versa ?
Well, if that were truly the case, you would understand what some of us are saying and you would not be asking the questions that you are

Greg
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:26 PM   #32
graham christian
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

I think Lars asked for peoples opinions and levels of understanding and got them so was actually very successful.

Not all questions are based having little personal understanding.

Peace.G.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:33 PM   #33
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

"my first teacher taught me there was no technique and only aiki for 4 years"

Anyone who say there is no technique is imho completely wrong or we would just stand there and not move at all wouldn't we? Aiki on it's own is as "useless" as waza on it's own...together one leading to the other..now that's a different thing. I can stand and do aiki all day with no one to practise with..and often have, and I can still call it aikido but it's a lonely endeavor that very few will support. Actually do this in Japan and you will be pushed out/away very quickly I can guarantee you that.

In the end we can go do whatever, but if the basic techniques of irimi nage etc are somewhat lacking we move away from what aikido is and was even in Ueshiba's day. Most videos will show Ueshiba practising basic waza or sitting by quite happily and watching others do the same.
(yes one day he got upset...we know )

There's nothing wrong with good technique..nothing at all.

Have fun...that's what's most important : )

Lee
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #34
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Aiki on it's own is not useless. It is exceedingly potent. You can have your opinion; it will last as long as you facing someone who gets what the founder...and now a number of his peers were referring to.
This is what I mean by internet ....debates. I would love to meet .....anyone.......please....anyone who can support their opinion on these matters in person like I have been expected to.
You keep failing, and to a man having to change your views and there is an endless number of people all lined behind you...not listening, not registering the thousands before you....and just line up to repeat the same process.
Aiki is not blending in external movement of joined centers like that. That idea is a modern corruption. Aiki is about changing your own body to make a powerfully balanced dynamically stable platform that neutralizes and controls and leads on contact.
THAT is why Ueshiba said When I move my body-techniques are created.
Dan
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Old 10-14-2012, 09:51 PM   #35
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Well hello

That's quite a strong reply to someone you've never met to be fair. How would you know whether I understand Ueshibas way or not?. Did you read my post correctly?

If anyone wants to come practise with me I'd be very happy btw.....how about you Dan? I live in a very quiet place and could do with someone who knows what they're doing to work with. Japan's very nice at this time of year..up in Karuizawa it's sunny everyday at the moment but beautifully cool : )

All the best

Lee
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Old 10-14-2012, 11:42 PM   #36
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Aiki on it's own is as "useless" as waza on it's own...
For your meaning, would it be accurate to substitute the term "aiki" with "principles" and "waza" with "form?"
In other words, when hypothetically all we have are principles and no form, the principles might be described as not actuated; there's no actual manifestation. If hypothetically we're just using form without the principles, we're creating a cheap or hollow imitation.
Is this what you mean?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-14-2012 at 11:46 PM.

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Old 10-15-2012, 12:06 AM   #37
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Aiki is not blending in external movement of joined centers like that. That idea is a modern corruption. Aiki is about changing your own body to make a powerfully balanced dynamically stable platform that neutralizes and controls and leads on contact.
THAT is why Ueshiba said When I move my body-techniques are created.
Dan
Hi Dan,
I was going to ask how this would translate into dealing with an incoming strike to the head, which I assumed you would respond to with an external movement or "waza" (though of course driven by internal movement), but then I thought of the systema striking exercises I've seen where people practice (I think) how to neutralize the incoming force in a relaxed way. Does that more or less represent an answer to my question? ...I assume because the head has so litte tissue compared to the torso it wouldn't be able to neutralize/direct the force into the ground as well. Am I in the right ball park?
Also, would it be fair to say your understanding of aiki is that it is an "internal" practice, but that most Aikido practicioners are doing an external practice? And that while external arts can produce a strong capable fighting body (when practiced with adequate "fight" pressures), internal arts are superior?
Hope all is well!
p.s. I dont know if these questions seem useful or not...I'm just trying to "refresh" my approach to these conversations and establish a kind of baseline for that. Any thoughts you'd be willing to share would be appreciated!

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-15-2012 at 12:14 AM.

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Old 10-15-2012, 01:07 AM   #38
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

looking at this from a Daito Ryu perspective for a second, I've found Katsuyuki Kondo's video on 'What is Aiki?' Vol 1 very useful for me as an AJJ practitioner. He very clearly demonstrates the difference Aiki makes to the traditional Daito-Ryu Jujutsu techniques. I guess from a beginners point of view (as expressed in the dvd) Aiki is primarily about taking posture in order to create a more effective technique, one that is less reliant on strength.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:14 AM   #39
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Hya Matthew

Probably bad wording on my part there..sorry.
What I mean to say is that although a lot is possible with err "aiki", if we are practising "aikido" then it may be better to maintain key fundamentals such as basic waza as practised by everyone too.
I can often do away with waza altogether and take people out, as can others...but it becomes formless, fluid and is not recognised as the aikido we know....and some people do get upset ^^
Some only do kata etc that leads to a certain development but they lack a lot/true aiki...and when they don't have good basic technique..well it just feels bad to be honest.
People with some development can easily forget the huge work it takes though and what is involved...'todays a new day and I'm king' can result if people aren't careful. It's difficult to generalize though as there are so many levels and most people don't/haven't met.
But in the end people can and have had a good time...entirely suitably in todays day and age just practising waza and doing it well. Its not a bad thing imho and can be enough for a lot. Not many will be standing on the battlefield eh ^^
There's something for everyone... but if you don't have good anything..then well that's not so good ^^

Lee
p.s. what I should say about kata etc is that it's good for those that practise a lot...some university students here in Japan that do that are really good..especially the girls. Most are once a week, tired company guys and that just doesn't work very well imho

Last edited by wxyzabc : 10-15-2012 at 03:21 AM.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:11 AM   #40
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post

p.s. what I should say about kata etc is that it's good for those that practise a lot...some university students here in Japan that do that are really good..especially the girls. Most are once a week, tired company guys and that just doesn't work very well imho
That"s an interesting debate in itself: Can the method of learning Budo through pure Kata survive in Japan? As far as I can see, after university, people just don"t have the time and energy to devote to
mastering budo via this method anymore. Those that hope to make a living from teching budo in Japan have to teach kids pretty much full time. Nothing wrong with that, but they can"t transmit the deeper stuff. They also can"t grow and challenge themselves so much. I think Budo (and many other traditional arts) are in serious trouble in Japan. The model will have to change.People don"t have the time and money to follow the ways anymore.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:31 AM   #41
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
That"s an interesting debate in itself: Can the method of learning Budo through pure Kata survive in Japan? As far as I can see, after university, people just don"t have the time and energy to devote to
mastering budo via this method anymore. Those that hope to make a living from teching budo in Japan have to teach kids pretty much full time. Nothing wrong with that, but they can"t transmit the deeper stuff. They also can"t grow and challenge themselves so much. I think Budo (and many other traditional arts) are in serious trouble in Japan. The model will have to change.People don"t have the time and money to follow the ways anymore.
could you elaborate on this? How is Kata taught in Japan? How do you see the model changing?
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:08 AM   #42
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
Oīsensei was one of a kind and so was the other geniouses of aikido.
Wery few of us will ever be able to reach their level for many very good reasons.
This doesnīt make aikido useless I feel.

My question still stands: Whatīs the purpose of distinguishing between aiki and waza ?
and

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
Youre right, there is allways waza and whether or not it develops understanding of or the ability to develop aiki is the same to me.
The buttomline is that waza is indistutable in terms of learning aikido and so is aiki in terms of enhancing your training over time. Afterall were all doing aikiDO- no ?
Cheers,
Lars
Sokaku Takeda taught a group of men (who all lived near each other) who went on to become well known (not famous) for their martial skills. Sagawa, Horikawa, Yoshida, Ueshiba. Ueshiba become the most famous of them, however, each were peers. Horikawa is on video doing the very same push test that Ueshiba did. All were known to have unnatural power. They each, in turn, created other martial artists known for being very different from the normal. Ueshiba turned out more than the others did. Tomiki, Shirata, Mochizuki, Shioda, etc. Definitely not "one of a kind" here.

As for reaching their level ... see below.

aiki and waza.

Sagawa, Horikawa, Ueshiba: My art is formless.

1. Morihei Ueshiba: Never did the same technique twice. Ueshiba did not catalogue techniques.
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Catalogued techniques into a syllabus and concentrated on that. Stated that it should only take 2-3 years to learn them.

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

1. Morihei Ueshiba: It was very common for Ueshiba to have his students push on him. (Remember, Ueshiba stated that Tenryu couldn't push him over because Ueshiba knew the secret of aiki.)
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Practice was about learning techniques.

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

1. Morihei Ueshiba: Taught Daito ryu and from that time, produced Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki, etc, who all stood out as aikido greats.
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Taught Modern Aikido and from that time, produced ...

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

Per Dan, earlier:
1. Morihei Ueshiba: Had an extensive solo training regimen. So did Shirata.
1. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Banned it.

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

1. Morihei Ueshiba: Taught Daito ryu and in 5-10 years passed on enough training to create aikido giants like Shioda, Shirata, Mochizuki, Tomiki, etc.
2. Kisshomaru Ueshiba: Taught in Tokyo and in 40 + years passed on enough training to create what aikido giants?

Who's aikido are you learning? 1 or 2?

So, is waza indisputable to learning the way of aiki? If we look to the other aiki greats such as Sagawa and Horikawa and compare them to Ueshiba, we find they all pretty much said the same thing. Their art was formless and aiki was a body changing method not based upon techniques. Ueshiba would look at sword kata and say, in aiki, we do it this way. Meaning that when you have an aiki-changed body, you move and do things differently than all the other martial artists. Even your techniques are different.

Now, going back to Greg's post, "you can have waza without aiki and you can have waza with aiki - waza will not create aiki, but aiki can create waza", you can see that from Tokyo (in general), there were all kinds of waza without aiki. Doing techniques for 40 + years has not produced people with the skills of the aiki greats. However, when Shirata showed up, everyone knew he was different. His aiki created techniques.

If you were born blind and never saw the moon, you would have no idea what it was. If people started putting a softball in your hand and telling you it was exactly like the moon, you would begin to think that the moon was like the softball. After 40 years of never seeing the moon and endlessly handlling the softball like millions of other blind people, you would not believe anyone else who told you the moon was different. Once you had your eyes opened (to true budo) and someone points to the moon, you see the moon for what it truly is.

Of course, all IMO,
Mark
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Old 10-15-2012, 07:33 AM   #43
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Well the simple answer is...my own.

True we may follow in others footsteps to a certain degree but all things and people are not equal..there are too many varients..body type..religious/spiritual practises to say I am doing the same as another. I can go to a shrine/mountain and get in big trouble with all kinds of stuff...others maybe can't (and trust me you wouldn't want too ^^)
Only a fool would say that everyone in Honbu is doing Kishomaru's aikido and same for someone saying they do exactly the same as Ueshiba.

What's it to you anyway Mark? I don't worry too much about what others are doing : )

Kindest regards

Lee
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:44 AM   #44
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

IMO the techniques of aikido are nothing more than paired exercises or drills to test the body conditioning and skill usage that are the root of aiki.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:01 AM   #45
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Hello,

I'm begining to think Takeda was right...only one or two people a generation.

Take Care All,

ChrisW

PS It's amazing that so much information is presented on a silverplatter for the taking.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:08 AM   #46
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Only a fool would say that everyone in Honbu is doing Kishomaru's aikido and same for someone saying they do exactly the same as Ueshiba.

What's it to you anyway Mark? I don't worry too much about what others are doing : )

Kindest regards

Lee
By Kisshomaru, I mean under his direction. True enough that there were many different "variants" to the aikido in Tokyo, however, for the most part, it was all under the direction of Kisshomaru (early on, also Tohei). And, in general, all leading to Modern Aikido. Modern Aikido does not equate to Ueshiba's aikido.

Speaking of variants, why was there different training done at Tokyo honbu than at personal, private dojos of some of the instructors? Why was some of the training banned at Tokyo honbu?

What is it to me? I think that Modern Aikido has taken the spiritual ideals from Morihei Ueshiba and gone beyond his dreams. Modern Aikido has broadened the spiritual and made it available to the world. In that, I think Kisshomaru did very well. However, what did not get passed along (again, in general) was the martial skills of Ueshiba, namely aiki. So, I think people should know the truth so that they can make an educated decision about what aikido they wish to study. Both have their place in the world. Both can coexist. Only one, though, is martially exceptional. And that one, aiki, can also infuse spirituality to make it better.

If you do not understand the core of the art, if the core of the art is withheld, if the truth of the art is not passed along ... why should the students trust the Keepers of the tradition? But if you don't know that the core, the secret, the truth has been withheld, you are blind to the moon.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:17 AM   #47
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
could you elaborate on this? How is Kata taught in Japan? How do you see the model changing?
As taught anywhere else, only more so

It"s an excellent teaching method IMO, and there"s a lot more to it than many are giving credit for, but to fully benefit, it takes a long period of dedicated training. Turning up to a dojo off and on for twenty years doesn"t really work in this model,and this is increasingly what people in Japan do. The whole country is burning itself with overwork.It"s like Lee said: dojos are full of either kids or tired old men with little time on their hands.

Ironically, people outside Japan have more time and energy to dedicate to this model.

Personally, for arts to survive in Japan there needs to be a return a return to older times: People trained intensively in an art for maybe five to eight years, like an apprenticeship. THen you get a licence, or a grade and off you go and set up on your own. If you were happy just going to practice, you didn"t get a license because you didn"t need one.

Also, the paired Kata (I believe) was always expected to be augmented by training in a solo
art: hence the number of martial artists who trained in calligraphy, zen, tea ceremony etc.
People aren"t cross practicing like this so much either any more, because of work/study, and the fact that these arts have become very expensive and sectarian. Basically, people can only afford take up one art, in terms of time, money and emotional commitment.
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Old 10-15-2012, 09:35 AM   #48
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Interresting comments, and I appreciate that you take your time to answer some of my questions guys even I donīt understand all of them ofcourse.
Anyway !
Letīs assume waza is pointless in developing aiki, then what in your opinion does it take to develop aiki ?
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:04 AM   #49
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lee Price wrote: View Post
Hya Matthew

Probably bad wording on my part there..sorry.
What I mean to say is that although a lot is possible with err "aiki", if we are practising "aikido" then it may be better to maintain key fundamentals such as basic waza as practised by everyone too.
I can often do away with waza altogether and take people out, as can others...but it becomes formless, fluid and is not recognised as the aikido we know....and some people do get upset ^^
Some only do kata etc that leads to a certain development but they lack a lot/true aiki...and when they don't have good basic technique..well it just feels bad to be honest.
People with some development can easily forget the huge work it takes though and what is involved...'todays a new day and I'm king' can result if people aren't careful. It's difficult to generalize though as there are so many levels and most people don't/haven't met.
But in the end people can and have had a good time...entirely suitably in todays day and age just practising waza and doing it well. Its not a bad thing imho and can be enough for a lot. Not many will be standing on the battlefield eh ^^
There's something for everyone... but if you don't have good anything..then well that's not so good ^^

Lee
p.s. what I should say about kata etc is that it's good for those that practise a lot...some university students here in Japan that do that are really good..especially the girls. Most are once a week, tired company guys and that just doesn't work very well imho
Hi Lee,
Thank you for the clarification! I doubt you used bad wording...when I get on AikiWeb my brain tends to over think things and sometimes very obvious things just fly right past me. I think I understand your meaning better now though.

When I first trained in Aikido I noticed the fluidity of my movements got a lot better when I started doing solo kata. Now, I'm returning to my training in a more serious way, but I only train about once a week. To augment this I'm practicing solo kata each evening at home. For me right now, still having a very low level of understanding of things, the kata form of practice is a way of exploring how my body feels in different movements and stances, which makes me think of what was said about waza being a paried way of testing the roots of aiki. It does seem to help when I find myself on the mat, but without the checks from people who know better than me I do find myself practicing some bad habits.
...All part of the process I reckon...and it is a fun and frustrating process!
Thanks again!
Take care,
Matt

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Old 10-15-2012, 10:27 AM   #50
Tengu859
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Re: Aiki vs useless waza ?

Quote:
Lars Beyer wrote: View Post
Interresting comments, and I appreciate that you take your time to answer some of my questions guys even I donīt understand all of them ofcourse.
Anyway !
Letīs assume waza is pointless in developing aiki, then what in your opinion does it take to develop aiki ?
Proper solo training...then testing yourself. :0)

Take Care,

ChrisW
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