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Old 05-28-2014, 09:30 AM   #1
tarik
 
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Yakusoku

I used to post a lot a decade or more ago (especially on aikido-l). I've been trying to get back into writing out my training thoughts and moving training notes and questions into something else. Since I'm stuck on something specific I am working on for someone, I'm loosening up by writing shorter pieces of things that come to mind that I am addressing in my practice, my students practice, or in discussions with people about the art. It occurred to me that this is an appropriate audience and location to put this. So here it is...

Aikido (specifically Jiyushinkai Aikibudo) training is never far from my mind. From my friend and sempai David Martin:
Quote:
Important Assumptions during Keiko:

*Always assume your partner has physical advantages over you (mass, power, speed, etc.)
*Always assume your partner is armed, perhaps covertly.
*Always assume multiple attackers.

If you ruthlessly adhere to these assumptions during training you can mold your responses in such a way that your art will "work" both on and off the mat.
This is so much deeper than it initially sounds, IMO, because I don't think people truly follow this most of the time when they train. It's one of those core values or assumptions that should permeate everything else you do on the mat.

The yakusoku (literally promise or arrangement [of how to train]) between uke and tori must include that uke gives you a real problem to solve and has full permission to demonstrate when you are trying to use the above tools to solve the problem [because those tools do not work if those assumptions are true].
When this kind of training results in a success ratio of less than ~70-80%, then practice should slow down further and problems addressed until that ratio improves.

So many believe that they are not training correctly if they are not able to attack or fall down as fast as the seniors they see training. This is a crisis of perception. The real secret is that the best seniors are usually going much slower and doing far less than students believe.

I think this is also complicated by the fact that there are so many seniors are promoted for legitimate reasons other than their knowledge and skill such as their contributions to the dojo community and the art in roles other than their ability to teach and/or correctly role model these martial skills, but that's a different discussion.

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:01 AM   #2
PeterR
 
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Re: Yakusoku

Interesting post Tarik.

In a conversation with my father I was commenting on my advancing age with the adage "When you get old you have to get sneaky" to get across the point that with experience you tend to accomplish as much without expending the energy. His response was that when you get really old that doesn't work anymore. Well he sure wasn't slowing down.

The context though is as you mentioned. Experience teaches us not only to use our energy efficiently but to start looking at ways to train for that. It is very hard to convince the young and bouncy of the benefits of that training.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:40 PM   #3
JW
 
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Re: Yakusoku

Hi Tarik-
I think that list is right on for martial art training, and especially for aikido specifically. The first one is the foundation of my personal martial training outlook. And, I know others on this board also adhere to the list and put the second one as their primary.

The third one of course is a major part of aikido, not just from the founder's narrative of his exploration of the types of budo he encountered in his world during his formative years, but from the point of view of the later point of view, "I am the universe." That is, the entirety of the environment (which would include attackers beyond the first one) constitutes the martial context of an aikidoist's martial behavior.

I also like your comment about the 70-80% success rate for keiko, where did you get that? I think you are pretty much right on. (Although I wonder if 80-90% might be better .. but anyway this is an emipircal question and it isn't that different from the figure you provided.) And the point is that you keep the ratio constant by varying only one or 2 things, not by changing things a lot. As you said, adjust the intensity (varying the speed will accomplish that, but scaling the magnitude of the forces involved can also help), but not the intent that goes into the attack, nor the specific movements involved in the attack. Basically uke can pretend he is weaker or slower but should not suddenly give up nor suddenly get stronger during the course of the engagement.

So, what is the "something specific" that is stuck right now?
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:23 PM   #4
tarik
 
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Re: Yakusoku

Quote:
Jonathan Wong wrote: View Post
Hi Tarik-
I think that list is right on for martial art training, and especially for aikido specifically. The first one is the foundation of my personal martial training outlook. And, I know others on this board also adhere to the list and put the second one as their primary.

The third one of course is a major part of aikido, not just from the founder's narrative of his exploration of the types of budo he encountered in his world during his formative years, but from the point of view of the later point of view, "I am the universe." That is, the entirety of the environment (which would include attackers beyond the first one) constitutes the martial context of an aikidoist's martial behavior.
I need to get out more again. Lately, I have been pretty insular in my training while reprogramming everything about how I train. It was my personal experience that a lot of people (not all, by any means) think they're doing these things in their training, but were sabotaging them unintentionally in a lot of different ways.

Quote:
I also like your comment about the 70-80% success rate for keiko, where did you get that? I think you are pretty much right on. (Although I wonder if 80-90% might be better .. but anyway this is an emipircal question and it isn't that different from the figure you provided.)
My teachers. It also comes from how athletic coaches re-train and re-program their athletes to improve their movement and techniques. It should probably vary from 70-100%, depending upon what stage you are in during the process. My experience tends towards the 80% number being the most useful and of course the adjusting to keep that ratio is key to ongoing improvement.

Quote:
And the point is that you keep the ratio constant by varying only one or 2 things, not by changing things a lot. As you said, adjust the intensity (varying the speed will accomplish that, but scaling the magnitude of the forces involved can also help), but not the intent that goes into the attack, nor the specific movements involved in the attack. Basically uke can pretend he is weaker or slower but should not suddenly give up nor suddenly get stronger during the course of the engagement.
I agree, but with the caveat that intensity can be adjusted without adjusting speed. Slow is smooth is fast and deliberate speed is almost always not smooth.

Quote:
So, what is the "something specific" that is stuck right now?
Just an article that someone asked me to write. I have the outline, but am still struggling with expressing clearly what I wish to express.

Best,

Tarik Ghbeish
Jiyūshin-ryū AikiBudō - Iwae Dojo

MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."
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