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Old 10-16-2013, 02:55 AM   #1
Michael Varin
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"IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

It is often stated by proponents of "IP/IT/IS" that the techniques of aikido (and presumably other styles) are unimportant; that "IP/IT/IS" operates outside of technique.

In my very limited experience, I would have to say I disagree. In my admittedly short exposure to "IP/IT/IS" I found that everything shown was technique based. It may not be what many would call a formal technique, but technique I believe it is. In my opinion, it really comes down to what distinctions the practitioner is able to make.

Any thoughts?

-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 10-16-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
Mert Gambito
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Any thoughts?
Here's a reference that probably better serves the purpose: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...7&postcount=30.

Mert
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Old 10-16-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
phitruong
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
It is often stated by proponents of "IP/IT/IS" that the techniques of aikido (and presumably other styles) are unimportant; that "IP/IT/IS" operates outside of technique.
Michael, context is everything. i don't remember reading and/or hearing that the propronents of IS said techniques aren't important. Also, it depends on the definition of "technique". if standing around in hugging the tree pose is a "technique", then it's an IS technique and it's important. but if "technique" is something like shihonage or iriminage or ikkyo, then no, from IS perspective, not important in IS training. i am going to presume to speak for the IS lots. IS is like water that you put into a container like the shihonage, ikkyo, single whip, knife hand strike, bong sao lap sao, and so on.
without IS, those containers are still containers but without substance. one of my teacher, Ikeda sensei, said that IS is the aikido technique while ikkyo or shihonage or kokyunage and so on are aikido movements. and it's the technique (IS) that makes the aikido movements work. Same goes for karate, kungfu, taiji, and so on. IS stuffs are arts independent. some arts are better suit for IS, some are not so much. from my point of view, aikido is better suit for expressing IS.

Quote:
In my very limited experience, I would have to say I disagree. In my admittedly short exposure to "IP/IT/IS" I found that everything shown was technique based. It may not be what many would call a formal technique, but technique I believe it is. In my opinion, it really comes down to what distinctions the practitioner is able to make.

Any thoughts?
as i mentioned above. it depends on your definition of "technique".

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:03 AM   #4
Cady Goldfield
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

In addition to the above comments, I'd say that there are two parts to the equation:
1. The source of power (that drives all movement, including technique)
2. The martial application (i.e. martial conditioning)

The former is the engine. In an "external" system and conventional athletics, power is generally derived from a combination of twisting at the hips, upper back and shoulders, forward momentum (stepping), pivoting on the foot (using a jerking twist of the body to propel it), dropping the body (gravity), and using the muscles of the upper back and shoulders to whip or propel the arms. In an "internal" system, power is derived from creating dynamic tension within through opposing forces, expansion and condensation of muscle and connective tissues -- both surface layer and deep -- re-direction of force through aligned joints, and a relaxed structure that permits high levels of potential energy from which to draw.

Martial conditioning for the two approaches does have some overlap, particularly in the most pragmatic factors. For example, there are certain ways to make a fist or hold the hand, foot and other striking surfaces, in a manner that will not result in injury for the user. There are certain ways to strike specific targets, such as using your soft parts to strike a hard target, and hard parts to strike a soft target. Of course there are always nit-picky exceptions, but in general these are universal concepts for martial application.

Those things in themselves are not techniques; they are the martial conditioning. In addition, have a general and working knowledge of basic punches, kicks, joint locks, throws... just basic skills in how to pull off a koshinage, a rear naked choke, etc. Know where the nerve points and joints are and how to attack, control and (for oneself) protect them. You don't need to memorize a vast curriculum of technique combinations, just do the conditioning for those very basic individual applications.

As has already been pointed out, when your body is conditioned for IP/IS and aiki, that conditioning itself will respond to changes in the combat environment (i.e. what your opponent does, what the situation provides) naturally, and whatever martial conditioning you have in your kit will kick in and make for spontaneous creation of "technique."

That's what Ueshiba did. It's what his aiki teacher, Takeda, did. It's why it looked like they never did the same "technique" twice... and why their students frantically tried to write down and record everything the two men did, thinking that they were seeing a vast, memorized encyclopedia of techniques that should be codified into a curriculum for students to painstakingly memorize. If those students could "simply" have learned the body method, they would have understood where those "waza" were really coming from.

A few baseline martial application skills, infinite combinations...all driven by one distinct method. From one thing, ten-thousand things.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:10 AM   #5
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Where the technique discussion is somewhat relevant (not martial arts waza necessarily) in Internal Strength training is to do with how you're tricking the body into starting the rewiring that's necessary move with the correct strength, relaxed but connected body. The visualization tricks can help, as well as some basic postures and structural drills for light pressure testing until someone senior and skilled enough can confirm that you've gotten the basic body vocabulary and articulation necessary for further self study.

But it's a package deal - the "techniques" so to speak, will not grant you internal strength solely through repetition. Manifesting the correct intention into physical action is the "art" you're chasing with regard to ground/gravity strengths and body connectivity and once you start to grokk to it then it's using the techniques at your disposal to condition the hell out of the strengths and build your skill with practice.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

I think the definition of technique is important here. From my experience so far Aikido kata is not important to internal strength conditioning exercises. But, undo is not kata. Kata is not waza.

Also, I do not think internal strength is aiki... yet. If we want to express aiki, then I think there are some other things that go into that soup, IS being a core component. The result of natural expression of aiki would be waza. The problem is that unless you: A.) possess internal strength and B.) express aiki (in any demonstrable form) you will would not able to express aiki in a particular form. You can also screw up expressing aiki in a particular form. That's a lot of potential to screw up.

Those two things said, it seems logical that during your aikido training someone expressing aiki would express it in aikido waza. This may be different if your exposure was during cross-training, but I think it would make sense to share aiki in a format familiar to those participating.

If it helps any, I am still confused by kata and waza as it relates to aikido and aiki. Kata is prescribed form, waza is natural expression. Most of what we do is kata, not waza. Yet we call it waza. What's more, you can do both kata and waza without internal strength... with some measure of success. You can argue the effectiveness of the movement as a criticism of moving without IS but...

For me, the rub is that modern aikido needs kata. If you want the four-legged animal, you need someone else with whom to connect and a shared form to define the interaction. If you do the kata enough, there is some chance that you will become proficient with the connection to your partner. Your proficiency to naturally connect and control your partner can arguably be called waza. Of course, if you partner is more proficient... she must subordinate her control in order for your control to lead the movement. The internal strength exercises do not seem to require that relationship.

As your observation suggests, I think the proficiency with which the practitioner is able to express aiki in waza is limited by their ability to convert the conditioning into waza.

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Old 10-16-2013, 01:46 PM   #7
Cady Goldfield
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

No, IP (internal power) is not aiki. However, aiki is a product of the manipulation of IP. You can use IP to power strikes and punches, or you can use aiki to control the center and movement of an opponent, neutralize and redirect his force and power. Both IP and aiki can be used spontaneously without predetermined waza.

Last edited by Cady Goldfield : 10-16-2013 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:53 PM   #8
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

So, if we're aligning this notion of thinking to how it should work in aikido - the taiso should be a method of practicing (conditioning and skill building) the correct kind of movement, the kata should give you a framework appropriate to your level to practice this correct movement within a paired exchange of technique within an agreed upon form. While waza, randori, shiai, etc. give you a progressively more freeform environment to try things out - but if internal strength is important than it should still be focused on practicing the CORRECT stuff instead of seeking to win or appear invincible.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Techniques are mechanical constructs - shapes. If you develop power, either external or internal, you can add it to the techniques. If you develop your coordination, your time, your flow, then you can add it to the techniques. If you develop enough of this stuff - your techniques will dissolve and become unimportant.

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Old 10-16-2013, 06:36 PM   #10
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Oh, I think there's been a mistake made. Performance gains can be made through "interVAL" training, not "interNAL" training. Interval training is when you intersperse high and low intensity activities throughout your training session. For instance, at one station you might jump rope, throw a medicine ball at another, hit a heavy bag at another, and so on.
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:51 PM   #11
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Oh, I think there's been a mistake made. Performance gains can be made through "interVAL" training, not "interNAL" training. Interval training is when you intersperse high and low intensity activities throughout your training session. For instance, at one station you might jump rope, throw a medicine ball at another, hit a heavy bag at another, and so on.
You should be doing that regardless of whether you do aikido, martial arts, internal strength, etc. that's just basic fitness.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:13 PM   #12
Dan Richards
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
It is often stated by proponents of "IP/IT/IS" that the techniques of aikido (and presumably other styles) are unimportant; that "IP/IT/IS" operates outside of technique.
Well, it's often been stated by proponents of aikido, including the founder, that aikido operates outside of technique.

It's no different than music or language. It's the same way we're communicating here. Extemporaneous speaking and writing are no different than Takemusu Aiki, which is beyond technique, and is generated spontaneously.

Learning, initially, to make individual letters, and then short sentences, and then later reading and writing and speaking with a wider vocabulary, are all stepping stones to a wider range of spontaneous expression.

Learning a technique in the dojo is not "doing aikido" any more than learning to properly pronounce a "K" sound is speaking a language. Yes, it's one of the building blocks within the language, but only one of many parts of the kit in the total language.

We all have a signature that we've developed after perhaps 20+ years of education. And, in fact, truly unique signatures appear only after we have laboriously learned to print A, B, C, and then write in cursive, and then later disregarding the "rules" and writing our signature in our own way.

Practicing music is not the same as playing music. Scales and finger exercises, while being building blocks (techniques), are not the same as being able to expertly play musical compositions or being able to fluidly improvise individually or within a group.

This is why trying to "do" a "technique" often doesn't work outside of a practice session with agreed-upon parameters. When we speak and write effectively, we are in a state that is beyond technique. When we play music effectively, we are beyond technique. When we cook effectively, we are beyond technique.

This is because through the techniques - we gain understanding. And it's in this state of understanding that we no longer need or rely on the techniques. And from there we can express ourselves more effectively, openly, and spontaneously.

And that is the difference between the practice of building-block techniques of aikido, and actually being able to spontaneously allow the expression of aikido to effectively manifest itself in whatever situation arises.

Just some spontaneous thoughts.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 10-16-2013 at 10:18 PM.

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Old 10-16-2013, 11:25 PM   #13
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Too much is made of Ueshiba - or Takeda - being beyond technique. There is rarely a moment in any film of Ueshiba where he is doing anything that is not a technique - ikkyo, iriminage, what-have-you. At no moment does he look like he's doing anything other than aikido. Just like all the "technique-oriented aikidoka" that are so fashionable to deride, Ueshiba trots out the same 12 or so techniques almost every moment he's on the mat. When he wants to show off, he pulls out some other Daito-ryu techniques that he hadn't taught anyone post-war.

Oh, how about Sagawa, the greatest man no one's seen. Actually, Kuroiwa Yoshio observed a class in the mid-1960's (albeit he didn't observe Sagawa himself). What were they doing? "I saw kaiten-nage and nikyo, while I was there. They weren't very good either."

Seriously, when Ueshiba was talking about being beyond technique, every account comes down to him doing something, and a student asking, "how did you do that?" and him making some grandiose statement, and doing it another way Not some chaotic whirlwind - he just did variations.

If Ueshiba really was anti-technique - or Takeda Sokaku - then there wouldn't be this huge legacy of techniques. They would have done something like I-ch'uan. I believe with some confidence that the internal strength conundrum from those in the aiki arts who possessed it, was more like taking an old car and replacing the engine and the gearing (and maybe, to handle the extra power, you'd need some new tires as well). But it was - and it remains - the same 1946 Packard.

Takemusu aiki is really an expression that meant "spontaneous technique," not "no technique." When Ueshiba did Takemusu aiki - it still looked like ikkyo and tenchinage and all the limited rest of the curriculum.

Now - that the techniques could be one ideal methodology to "work" internal strength training - that's an interesting concept. That true aikido - or Daito-ryu - lacks any techniques. I think that's a fantasy. That one could choose to train aiki without using Daito-ryu or aikido techniques? Sure. But I don't think there is any evidence that was what Ueshiba was doing.
Ellis Amdur

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Old 10-17-2013, 12:09 AM   #14
Dan Richards
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Ellis, you might be making too much out of what "beyond" might mean. And I don't believe anyone is talking "anti-technique."

And obviously anything done by Ueshiba on film is going to be the rudimentary ABC's of his art.

We're all communicating in English here, and most of us are writing and expressing ourselves pretty well. It's all recognizable, using the same 26 letters. No one is suddenly just jbUAS87b eucr9vjcvv2v2ovb2ev fjjf249g - going of crazy apesh*t crazy in some anti-technique language.

There are many techniques in art, language, music, etc.. that once grasped, understood, and internalized, can be discarded like so much unneeded scaffolding.

An excellent demonstration of moving beyond technique can be seen in a video with Chef Ramsey visiting a Malaysian woman in her kitchen. He's constantly asking her for measurements, recipes, techniques, etc., and she just replies with, "agak, agak."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UjzXJcxr8k

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Old 10-17-2013, 01:41 AM   #15
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
An excellent demonstration of moving beyond technique can be seen in a video with Chef Ramsey visiting a Malaysian woman in her kitchen. He's constantly asking her for measurements, recipes, techniques, etc., and she just replies with, "agak, agak."
Proves my point. She's always going to be cooking Malaysian. (Sure, you can quibble, and claim that this particular Malaysian woman studied in Paris). But suddenly, by accident, you will not see Burmese cooking in her kitchen. She follows the form - my point is that agak, agak is no remarkable deal. My wife just did that with dinner tonight. Each time its a little different, but its all variations on a recognizable theme.

Finally, Ueshiba saved his best stuff for off-camera? Seems really out of character for that egotistic old man. He was only filmed when he was putting on a show. Anyway - although there are accounts of him doing remarkable things (I'm still trying to get an IHTBF of Ueshiba from those who actually felt him), they still were in the framework of aikido technique. For example, Terry Dobson told me that once that he would attack him for real and he tried to knock him out with a punch, and suddenly he found himself in outer space, looking down on the earth, exactly like in the first photos of our globe (well before the astronauts when up) and then he was falling and falling and falling and BANG, he hit the mat, and he saw Osensei looking in his eyes, and Terry saw the look and knew that he knew that he knew! (or something like that). Anyway, that's what he told me he experienced. But he also told me that the throw was a kokyunage (the one with the tai-no-henko, and the upcurved arm under the chin).

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Old 10-17-2013, 02:22 AM   #16
Dan Richards
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Ellis, a "technique" is nothing more than a way to define something within a certain amount of resolution of observation.

You could take a so-called technique such as ikkyo, and if you begin breaking it down into smaller and smaller increments, there are countless "techniques" within ikkyo.

Calling something ikkyo is just a way to frame certain sets of movements. It's like learning to play a major scale in music on an instrument. And within learning that one scale you could focus on countless other "techniques" such as breathing, posture, timing, position of the instrument, listening to the instrument in the room - which will take you into more subsets - you can listen to the reverberation, early reflections, tonal resonance of the instrument and the room. Zoom further in, and listen to the sound of the instrument in your body, the vibrations. And then the vibrations of each note, and how they change.

And even though someone might be able to say that they are doing ikkyo or playing a major scale, I challenge you to actually put your finger on where that actual "technique" resides. It only exists as a reference point of agreement. And where does ikkyo begin and where does it end.

George Ledyard brought up a great point recently about so many people not even being able to do the first step of a "technique" correctly. He could walk right in and bop them on the nose. And his point was that if he can do that, then the nage he's bopping knows 200 techniques that that nage can't even do.

A technique is a reference point. An artificial construct. Nothing more. Techniques in and of themselves do not exist. You can't tell me where ikkyo begins and where it ends any more than you can accurately tell me the length of the coastline of England.

Last edited by Dan Richards : 10-17-2013 at 02:34 AM.

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Old 10-17-2013, 02:41 AM   #17
Ellis Amdur
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Right - and quantum physics illustrates that there is more empty space within atoms and particles are waves anyway, so nothing is real, so I didn't type this.

Ikkyo - a technique- excuse me - reference point is grasping the wrist and elbow and arcing the arm over in a kind of arm-bar.

Oh - excuse me - I can't quite define it exactly so it doesn't exist. I remember the time Arikawa sensei led the class the illusion he called shomen-uchi ikkyo, and I was doing a reference point some people choose to call kaiten-nage, cause that's what my takemusu told me to do, and he walked over and said to me, "We are doing ikkyo" - and I told him ikkyo couldn't be defined, and demanded he tell me the length of the coastline of Eastern Japan as proof. Arikawa sensei didn't like that.

yes, good aikido is beyond kindergarten, where one waits to be told the technique, makes sure one is grabbed cross-handed, and then does a reference point called sankyo. But sankyo exists - and although the edges may blur, sankyo is not nikyo.

I was practicing gun retention the other day - what to do when the enemy gets his hand on your holstered weapon from behind. The reference point is a very precise blocking of the draw of your weapon with the heel of your hand, a grasping of his index finger, and an exquisitely precise way of twisting/not bending his index finger - into a sankyo, done a very particular way so that his finger will definitely break unless he disengages, enabling you to transfer his arm to the other hand, draw your gun and shoot him - and the shot is a head shot, because too many people survive body shots, disarm the shooter and beat them to death with their own gun before expiring. (And yet, it is not precise in the sense that you have to depend on a certain attack for it to work). But do it wrong - and you are dead. So I'd prefer not to transcend that one.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 10-17-2013, 03:12 AM   #18
Dan Richards
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post

Ikkyo - a technique- excuse me - reference point is grasping the wrist and elbow and arcing the arm over in a kind of arm-bar.
That's one reference point, but it's not even a particularly good one. Ikkyo has nothing to do with anyone grabbing anyone's wrist.
Quote:
yes, good aikido is beyond kindergarten, where one waits to be told the technique, makes sure one is grabbed cross-handed, and then does a reference point called sankyo. But sankyo exists - and although the edges may blur, sankyo is not nikyo.
I agree that sankyo is not nikyo, but not because they are different "techniques," but because they are entirely different forces and directions. Nikyo cuts through the center of the body from top to bottom ala shomenuchi, and sankyo cuts across the body ala yokomenuchi. The point of movement of ikkyo where contact is made, which could also be applied as atemi - the one that takes ukes center - is the same movement as sankyo,

People can demonstrate "techniques" and someone like George can come right in and pop them, because they don't know what they're doing. And the reason so many people don't know what they're doing is because they try and frame things in terms of "techniques" rather than gaining and internalizing an understanding of forces and directions.

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Old 10-17-2013, 03:43 AM   #19
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Yep, I take the point about being "beyond technique" to mean that you no longer have to think "I'm going to do shihonage" or whatever but that you just react to whatever uke is giving you and an appropriate response arises spontaneously.

To take this into the cooking analogy, you can think "I'm going to cook chimichangas and therefore I need the following ingredients..." or you can take a look in the fridge, see what's there and make something really tasty with it, then maybe give it a name that best fits what you've come up with if you want to brag about it at work the next day.

As far as the OP question is concerned I'm not really qualified to comment being neither a proponent nor sceptic at this stage but I'm going to DH's seminar in Bristol next month and am looking forward to comparing what we do there with the qigong and ki development exercises we do elsewhere.
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Old 10-17-2013, 04:12 AM   #20
Dan Richards
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Paul Funnell wrote: View Post
To take this into the cooking analogy, you can think "I'm going to cook chimichangas and therefore I need the following ingredients..." or you can take a look in the fridge, see what's there and make something really tasty with it, then maybe give it a name that best fits what you've come up with if you want to brag about it at work the next day.
Exactly, Paul. I think that's an excellent analogy. There's a difference between being able to follow a specific recipe, and actually being able to cook on the fly with whatever ingredients are available. Following a recipe is similar to painting by numbers.

It's very different to cook, or paint, or do aikido from a rote technique outer framework, than it is to have an internal understanding of the foods, the flavors, ingredients, the paints, the brushes, the movements, the forces... and have an understanding of how to combine them in a harmonious way.

In the video link I posted with Chef Ramsey, he literally says he wants to "get his hands" on the beef rangoon - as if it's something he can possess in a box. And the Maylasian lady tells him to drop all that, and instead gain an understanding of what she's showing him. Ramsey even says towards the end of the video, "You've really helped open my eyes." And that's exactly what Ueshiba credited Takeda with - opening his eyes to budo.

Even in Japanese cooking you're often not going to get any precise recipes. Instead there might be a general list of the ingredients. Other than that, you're on your own. Agak, agak.

In Takemusu Aiki there is no time for putting together the ideal shopping list. You work with what you've got, and you spontaneously create something tasty and harmonious. "Then maybe give it a name that best fits what you've come up with if you want to brag about it at work the next day."

Last edited by Dan Richards : 10-17-2013 at 04:21 AM.

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Old 10-17-2013, 05:40 AM   #21
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Too much is made of Ueshiba - or Takeda - being beyond technique. There is rarely a moment in any film of Ueshiba where he is doing anything that is not a technique - ikkyo, iriminage, what-have-you. At no moment does he look like he's doing anything other than aikido. Just like all the "technique-oriented aikidoka" that are so fashionable to deride, Ueshiba trots out the same 12 or so techniques almost every moment he's on the mat. When he wants to show off, he pulls out some other Daito-ryu techniques that he hadn't taught anyone post-war.

Seriously, when Ueshiba was talking about being beyond technique, every account comes down to him doing something, and a student asking, "how did you do that?" and him making some grandiose statement, and doing it another way Not some chaotic whirlwind - he just did variations.

Takemusu aiki is really an expression that meant "spontaneous technique," not "no technique." When Ueshiba did Takemusu aiki - it still looked like ikkyo and tenchinage and all the limited rest of the curriculum.

Ellis Amdur
I have to agree, though my thought differs slightly. I think that at first we learn the 10 or so basic techniques. Then we practice them ... a lot. Then we have to break free from them and experiment ... a lot, and perhaps throw in a lot of other stuff. And then, we 'find a way' or we 'construe a way' to perform those same 10 or so shapes in a new way such that they are more spontaneous and less technique. Does that even make sense I wonder?

But at the end of the day, the 10 or so shapes Ueshiba left us are pretty broad basic movements that pretty much cover the totality of the way the body twists and bends - especially in terms of the sword (no leg locks for example). Even though I have done Judo, Jujutsu, Wing Chun, wrestling or whatever, those 10 shapes are everywhere. To me, it is as though Ueshiba just started chucking his students around in 1930 and just kept at it, all the time whittling away his waza until left with the elemental few come 1960. And maybe - we need to travel that same journey to figure it all out ourselves. No wonder we are all in different places!

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 10-17-2013 at 05:44 AM.

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Old 10-17-2013, 06:29 AM   #22
NTT
 
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Is the white horse a horse? That was a strong debate in Chinese philosophy.
Today what we have is: is there internal strength outside technique and is there technique outside internal strength?
I see an explanation of a unity in movement that separates 2 parts which are different categories, different concepts. They can appear only together but are separate, such as the colour of the horse and the form of the horse.
Internal strength vs technique would have the same meaning as colour vs form.
Ikeda sensei explains that internal strength is aikido technique and ikkyo is movement. He is shifting the logical opposition to another conceptual couple.
All this sums up to helping students but in the end students fight over the help.
In the same perspective, wonder techniques done by some senseis are to me help given to students for them to maintain their enthusiasm. It doesn't mean it is fake. It means students get some help. But again, we fight over the help.
I remember Noro sensei who in the end never did those wonder techniques any more. I could see he could still do them but refrained from acting likewise. Some thought he had lost power or internal strength. Some needed that kind of help.

Nguyen Thanh Thien
Walk the distance, keep the distance
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:11 AM   #23
Bernd Lehnen
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Too much is made of Ueshiba - or Takeda - being beyond technique. There is rarely a moment in any film of Ueshiba where he is doing anything that is not a technique - ikkyo, iriminage, what-have-you. At no moment does he look like he's doing anything other than aikido. Just like all the "technique-oriented aikidoka" that are so fashionable to deride, Ueshiba trots out the same 12 or so techniques almost every moment he's on the mat. When he wants to show off, he pulls out some other Daito-ryu techniques that he hadn't taught anyone post-war.
Yes, much too much. The discussion shouldn't be so much about the persons but preferably about "the thing".

Quote:
Oh, how about Sagawa, the greatest man no one's seen. Actually, Kuroiwa Yoshio observed a class in the mid-1960's (albeit he didn't observe Sagawa himself). What were they doing? "I saw kaiten-nage and nikyo, while I was there. They weren't very good either."
Well, to remind us: IHTBF.

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I believe with some confidence that the internal strength conundrum from those in the aiki arts who possessed it, was more like taking an old car and replacing the engine and the gearing (and maybe, to handle the extra power, you'd need some new tires as well). But it was - and it remains - the same 1946 Packard.
Yes, and perhaps new brakes and a good knowledge of when and how to slow down and that dynamic friction is lower than static friction:

"That said, it was never the peacnick model of avoiding power and running away from force. His constant admonitions were of possessing power as a killing force and then having to forge ones soul to manage it's use and that practice and hone that control. An old saying goes "If I raise my hand. I withdraw my temper. If i raise my temper, I withdraw my hand."
There is a conundrum to Aikido and really many high level arts, that can feed us for the rest of our lives." ( Dan Harden about Ueshiba's aikido)

My teacher, Asai Katsuaki, always has insisted, that it's not about killing, not about injuring, because killing or injuring would be too easy, that it is rather about "find out" doing aikido the right way and attempting to exercise control over yourself and the situation, whatever the circumstances.

Best,
Bernd
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:30 AM   #24
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

So the subject of the thread, IP/IT/IS vs technique:

You can have internal strength/power without any aikido technique.

To train internal strength/power, it's very helpful to have specific techniques (not necessarily aikido techniques, mind you) to condition and build skill in the mind/body unification required for internal strength/power.

To APPLY internal strength/power to another person, it's helpful to have a framework to train this. The 12 basic techniques in aikido, in my opinion, provide an excellent framework to train to apply internal strength against another person (presuming you have the baseline skills and can work on them independently - which you'll need to do), especially from the perspective of jin, body connectivity. I'm also highly suspicious that there's a gokui built into the practice (especially due to the anecdotes and commentary from some of the giants about the importance of atemi) where at any point in time you should be able to release a huge power dump into the other person (somewhat equating to the Chinese fajin term) which would give a very nice justification to the reason for the importance of jin/connection and the distancing/body points of contact that the practice seems to place importance on. And interestingly, the formal version of the practice is still an excellent framework to set up the ideal situations for all of those internal strength checkpoints and applications of aiki and fajin.

Still one of the reasons I love still having the framework of aikido as my main expression of internal strength (both philosophically and in physical practice - entering, connecting and controlling the situation to protect yourself and others from harm as much as possible, while having the strength and practical skill to end an encounter as suddenly as needed through the ability to release a shit ton of power ). Plus, it's fun.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:41 AM   #25
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Re: "IP/IT/IS" vs technique?

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Dan Richards wrote: View Post
People can demonstrate "techniques" and someone like George can come right in and pop them, because they don't know what they're doing. And the reason so many people don't know what they're doing is because they try and frame things in terms of "techniques" rather than gaining and internalizing an understanding of forces and directions.
For me, technique is a small thing, a building block of interaction. "I see. You are standing with Crane technique. I shall break your crane technique with Tiger technique." WTF? Ikkyo is not technique. It is kata; or if you get into that argument, principle (ikkajo the kata). Whatever. My uke grabbed my wrist and I controlled his arm. Ledyard sensei does this tricks where his exposes our over-committal to kata and lack of attention to the technique (i.e. the why does my partner's arm fall under my control). This usually looks like, "what happens when I don't let you to control my arm?" Then he whacks the top of your head or walks you back. Then, he steps back, puts his hands on his hips, licks his lip and pushes his glasses up and looks down at you. Oh, and you feel dumb. He then breaks up the kata and scrutinizes why it makes sense to construct the kata. Then you feel better cuz its George. Technique is a tactical movement designed to solicit a response. Maybe its twisting a finger, maybe stomping a toe, maybe throwing a punch. The action is designed to cause a [logical] response. You put together an interaction of tactical movements and you get a kata.

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