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Old 04-08-2013, 01:41 PM   #26
lars beyer
Dojo: Copenhagen Aikishuren Dojo
Location: Denmark
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Re: Good distance ?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
No, you got it. That's all there is. Way to kill a joke.

The drummer uses the rimshot, as per your youtube link, to punctuate a joke told by a standup comedian. Used in a forum like this, it acknowledges a snappy joke told by another forum member (Janet, in this case).

Okay now?
A joke ?
Okay, have a nice day.
Lars
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:49 PM   #27
Michael Varin
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
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Re: Good distance ?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
No, you got it. That's all there is. Way to kill a joke.
Way to kill a thread...

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:06 PM   #28
Janet Rosen
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Re: Good distance ?

Quote:
Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
No, you got it. That's all there is. Way to kill a joke.

The drummer uses the rimshot, as per your youtube link, to punctuate a joke told by a standup comedian. Used in a forum like this, it acknowledges a snappy joke told by another forum member (Janet, in this case).

Okay now?
It wasn't a joke, actually; it's how I describe ma'ai to newbies.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:21 AM   #29
lars beyer
Dojo: Copenhagen Aikishuren Dojo
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Re: Good distance ?

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
It wasn't a joke, actually; it's how I describe ma'ai to newbies.
Hi Janet, thanks for bringing the thread back on track.
Cheers,
Lars
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:53 PM   #30
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
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Re: Good distance ?

Great contributions to this thread.

Mark, I particularly like your post, and it gives good food for thought. And I'm glad that you expanded the conversation. In the early stages of training, it's not going to be harmonious, regardless of whether someone is inside or outside maai. Then with some understanding of the distance/space/timing need to break maai, it becomes somewhat harmonious on the outside, and less so on the inside.

It is, as you said, the goal to make the space beyond maai as well as the space within maai to be harmonious.

And we really need to keep in mind that maai is also a personal space. Someone can be completely non-threatening, and get inside your maai. In some cultures people have no problem getting in, and allowing in, each other's maai. We forget this as martial artists, who are in the practice of being all over people physically, and having others all over us. But there's a good segment of the population who become unharmonious if they're even touched by someone else, especially a stranger. One thing I got almost immediately from training aikido was that I became more comfortable with making contact with people sitting on the NYC subway. The experience became harmonious, rather than disruptive to me. And the end result on "the streets" was that I had a better sense of an expanded personal space.

Michael, the video is another excellent demonstration. Both videos show the difference of telegraphing by making a body movement before the strike. And I like yours as well, because it clearly shows that the time facture can be slowed down quite a bit. Which really goes to show that "time" is less relevant. Perhaps irrelevant. And that it's distance - space - and the perception that maai has been, or is about to be, broken that counts.

Also from the POV that "time" is "space." Time is not separate. When maai is broken, the time/space barrier has been broken. And inside maai is where the rubber meets the road.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 04-09-2013 at 05:57 PM.

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Old 04-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #31
Dan Richards
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Re: Good distance ?

I just wanted to add another comment that came to me concerning maai, whether outside of inside. There are people who sit in big chairs in huge houses within gated communities who are not harmonious and feel unsafe - in some cases, constantly. And in comes the Prosac.

Which leads me to expand a little more on Mark's idea of harmonious space. We can look at maai as not just a physical distance or space, but also a mental and emotional one. Even a spiritual one. And it's important who and what we allow inside our space. It could be information from the television - which is often a huge source of disempowerment for people. It could be poor-quality foods we introduce into our bodies, which over time create nutritional deficiencies, and a lack of spark and energy. It could be bad ideas and gossip. It could be poor relationships, that once may have been fine, but turned toxic. It could be societal and cultural programming.

Maai, viewed from that broader perspective, actually becomes a larger detector to intuitively clue us into that fact that something's not right. And if we're receptive, we adjust accordingly. That could have you changing hotel rooms, changing lanes, not going into a certain area, finding a new job, a new dojo, getting your car serviced, not buying that property, not entering that business deal. And with it we become more confident that we'll find the right hotel rooms, go into the right areas, find the right work, buy the right property...

A harmonious, prosperous, and abundant life is even promised to us by most of the major religions and many philosophical systems - including aikido. I love what I've heard of some of the central themes in Systema. Yes, it's hardcore Christian. And their approach is that we live in a perfect world, and that we are totally safe from harm. We are protected by God. Does aikido say anything less? I don't think it does.

[Mark, I'd appreciate if you'd add, subtract, or correct anything on what I just wrote concerning Systema.]

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Old 04-09-2013, 07:45 PM   #32
Mark Jakabcsin
Dojo: Charlotte Systema, Charlotte, NC
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Re: Good distance ?

Hmmm. Thanks for the positive comments and I am glad that some found it useful. Unfortunately I think my main point got lost in translation.

Personally I do not care for the word harmony as it is not overly clear (to me at least), hence my use of the word comfort frequently in the previous post. Comfort is physical, mental and emotional. All three are inter-related and when one is out of balance it will affect the other two to varying degrees. When we learn to listen to our bodies we find a barometer about our mental and emotional state. This is often difficult to accept as the tension never lies and frequently tells us things about ourselves we would rather not listen too.

In the context of maai, I think the harmony is learning to find comfort at all distances and levels of contact. Years ago Vladimir told us that people (especially adults) have a fear of being touched. At the time it went over my head but now I really see it (in myself and others). Reach in to grab someone and see the reaction, normally with the hands attempting to block or remove the grabbers hands. This is simply a sign of what is going on inside, it shows discomfort with being touched/grabbed.

When one is comfortable with being touched / grabbed they see the many opportunities to react and control. The fear that wants to remove the hand, narrows the vision of opportunities and is a fear reaction. You do not own a fear reaction, the movement is not yours, it is the other person's, hence it is not good movement and the probability of it working is greatly reduced.

Hence, imo, training that helps us be comfortable at any and all distances is what will help us be harmonious with distance. Training maai by first finding the comfort within, allows us to find harmony at any distance. A very different twist than the normal concepts of maai. The advantage as I see it is that it helps us deal with the reality that we do not control the distance, more often than not it just happens, control is an illusion. Learning to be comfortable, no matter the distance, overcomes the illusion.

The question is how to train to gain that level of comfort/harmony. I imagine there could be several methods that could work. In my training we 'experience' all ranges, at varying levels of intensity and work to find comfort. This can be as simple as laying on the gound and have 3-7 people lay on top of you. First you have to learn where you can and cannot breathe. Breathe where you can, do not force to breathe how you always do, find comfort in what you can do. Then slowly moving to escape.

Another drill is #1 places a fist on #2's face and pushes (increasing intensity throughout the drill), and repeats and repeats and repeats. #2 learns to move and escape but they also have to deal with the emotional impact of repeatedly being touched in the face and the pain involved. The sooner #2 can accept the sooner they will find comfort. Note that #2's face should be red relatively quickly and it is best to do this for at least 5 minutes so #2 can experience the emotional roller coaster.

So much of this is nervous system training. When we can feel our nervous system as a separate part of our body we can start to learn to relax it on demand, or at least recognize excitment and attempt corrective action.

I cannot find the link directly on YouTube so I will try the link from a facebook page. Hopefully it will work: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/...type=3&theater If not look do an FB search for 'Carolina Systema' and watch the stress inoculation video.

This training may look brutal until you understand what is going on and experience the benefits. Listen to the entire discussion afterwards. When done properly this type of nervous system work helps to remove latent built up stress and helps us to relax and accept the world around us. Note that much of the real work doesn't begin until the instructor starts to bring the student down from the highest point of excitment. It is not uncommon that people have emotional releases at this stage as many folks are not used to having someone help them recover from such an excited emotional state.

The more one does this type of training the more harmony we find in any distance and any situation.

I am not suggesting that anyone train like this, it is not easy and it is not for everyone, but the idea of training the nervous system and finding comfort in the body, mind and emotions is very solid and worth looking into.

Take care,

Mark J.

Take care,


Mark J.
www.charlotte-systema.com
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Old 04-12-2013, 01:53 PM   #33
Jeremy Hulley
Dojo: Seattle School of Aikido Shinto Ryu/Seattle Icho Ryu
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Re: Good distance ?

Nice post Mark..
Hope you are well.

Jeremy Hulley
Shinto Ryu Iai Battojutsu
Tuesday Night Bad Budo Club
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:03 PM   #34
JP3
 
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Re: Good distance ?

Dan, you said, "Michael, the video is another excellent demonstration. Both videos show the difference of telegraphing by making a body movement before the strike. And I like yours as well, because it clearly shows that the time facture can be slowed down quite a bit. Which really goes to show that "time" is less relevant. Perhaps irrelevant. And that it's distance - space - and the perception that maai has been, or is about to be, broken that counts."

I've got to point out that Time and space are directly relevant to one another. Otherwise, the statement you made above, "the perception that maai has been, or is about to be, broken" is meaningless.

There is no "about to be" in anything if time is irrelevant. Timing is everything, IMO.

That's my $0.02, but I really enjoyed the other thrust of what you said, the logic just fell out of the bottom of that part. Which makes me think that really sin't what you were trying to say.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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