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Old 08-14-2005, 11:37 PM   #51
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 241
Re: What Makes a Technique an "Aikido" Technique?

The way you train is the result of your technique e.g., you react in accordance with the way you have trained so, I would not, in my humble opinion sum up aikido simply as the way you train if you say that other arts use techniques that are in-part similar or even them same.

What makes aikido what it is, is a culmination of many things. I can find Aiki in just about anything. For example, orenaite in someone picking up an object in front of them or pushing a lawn mower, etc.. The thing is that although I recognize aiki in someone, they are not aware of the concept in which they are somewhat applying.

Since I have trained aiki, when I recognize a concept, to me it is aiki; to someone else it could be peanut butter and jelly. Different arts percieve things differntly but as an aikidoka, I see all things aiki and that is all I need be concerned with.
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:57 AM   #52
Rupert Atkinson
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Dojo: Wherever I am.
Location: New Zealand
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 995
United Kingdom
Re: What Makes a Technique an "Aikido" Technique?

Brad Medling wrote:
The way you train is the result of your technique e.g., you react in accordance with the way you have trained so, I would not, in my humble opinion sum up aikido simply as the way you train if you say that other arts use techniques that are in-part similar or even them same.

What makes aikido what it is, is a culmination of many things. I can find Aiki in just about anything. For example, orenaite in someone picking up an object in front of them or pushing a lawn mower, etc..
But you have just said exactly what I think. It's the way you do it that counts - and if the way you mow the lawn follows aiki principles, then it is indeed a reflection of aiki. It is not the techniques that count, but the way you train.

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Old 08-18-2005, 04:48 AM   #53
xuzen's Avatar
Dojo: None at the moment - on hiatus
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 965
Re: What Makes a Technique an "Aikido" Technique?

Hello all,

Aikido technique is basically jujutsu technique that utilizes aiki principle. Aiki principle is not fighting with the opponent but by simple being not there to fight with him; what is not there, he cannot target; what he cannot target he cannot harm, what he cannot harm, he cannot create animosity towards, an absence of animosity is amicability. if we take amicability further we might just create harmony.

So aikido technique is unique because it allows the user to create harmony even with his opponent.

My point of view in a nutshell anyway.

Your fellow aiki enthusiast,

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 08-18-2005, 10:03 AM   #54
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Re: Aikido's individuality

Bruce Baker wrote:

The art of riding the wave.

That would also include learning how to make the wave, as well as ride it.

If you have ever wiped out and ridden a wave in the ocean, or been thrown into a river to fight the current and rough water, then the concept of riding the wave does have some meaning. If not ... you will when your ukemi gets good enough to feel where the energy is going instead of trying to anticipate movements.
Thank you Bruce.
This is excellent imagery to work with in aikido practice.
I think for reasons you will see below, that I have been doing this implicitly for quite some time now, although I had not connected them. Analogy and metaphor are wonderful tools.

This prompted me to remember something that I wrote a number of years back as an exercise in the priniciple that all activities in life can teach great truths. This can be done for almost any activity no matter how mundane. Those who are aware of the teaching of Chado, the significance of tea ceremony and its relationship to martial arts will understand what I am getting at.

The activity I was doing at the time was surfing, which relates to the excellent observation Bruce has made. Rather than surfer psychobabble ("be the wave, man"), I decided that each practical thing learnt in good surfing could likely teach a lesson about almost anything else you could imagine, and put the things I had learned in a simple list .

I think the list can be taken with Bruce's imagery to good effect in training and in thinking about how to practice and teach aikido. If you find it helpful, you may use it with due credit.

So without further ado:

"Surfing is Life"

1. You do not create the waves.

2. You are not in control of the waves.

3. You can only control your relationship to the wave.

4. You can only surf one wave at a time.

5. You can't surf every wave.

6. Waves cannot be resisted without getting hurt.

7. A wave will not wait for you to get ready.

8. There are only four ways out of the break: over it, under it, around it, or with it.

9. Sometimes, no matter what, you just get caught inside the break.

10. If you are caught inside, every breath you get is a gift.

11. Every wave has something to teach you, whether you ride it or not.

12. To ride far, let the wave lead.

13. The best ride is the one you are not expecting.

14. All waves are the same shape.

15. Each wave is unique.

16. Waves won't keep.

17. Waves cannot be predicted.

18. Favorable wave conditions can be anticipated.

19. Waves, even small ones, are more powerful than you are.

20. Some waves can't be surfed by anyone.

21. Many waves can't be surfed by you.

22. The next ride is always different from the last one.

23. Waves have sets and lulls.

24. Sometimes it's totally flat; and sometimes you get no lulls between sets.

25. Company is nice in a lull, but ultimately it's just you and the wave.

26. A wave is not a place for crowds; that's what beaches are for.

27. People who like crowds tend to stay on the beach.

28. Sharks like waves too.

29. Sharks can surf without stopping to eat or sleep.

30. You have to stop surfing to eat and sleep.

31. You are smarter than a shark.

32. Wind shapes the wave, at its beginning and at its break.

33. The shore shapes the wave, but in the end it's the waves that shape the shore.

34. Every wave ends up on the beach.

35. When this wave ends, the only choices are the next wave or the beach.

36. If you want the next wave, you have to let go of the one you're on.

37. The best wave is the next one.

Erick Mead
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Old 11-02-2005, 01:28 PM   #55
Mike Haftel
Location: Hokkaido
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 87
Re: What Makes a Technique an "Aikido" Technique?

I think the very nature of this discussion is invalid.

There is no such thing as an "aikido technique." All martial arts are stylistic interpretations of the same principles. Afterall, a principle is true in every case no matter how it is applied, otherwise it isn't a principle. It's like argueing over truth. What is true is always true, otherwise it isn't true. Somewhat circular, I know. But it makes sense.

The principles which make aikido "techniques" work are the same which make karate, kung fu, jujutsu, wushu, hung gar, tai chi, (insert art here) work. It's all the same. Just applied differently.

What is down, is down. What is heavy is heavy, relaxation is relaxation, blending is blending, I could go on and on about this.

The emphasis should be put on how and why technique works, not on the technique itself.
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Old 11-02-2005, 03:01 PM   #56
Kevin Leavitt
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Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Re: What Makes a Technique an "Aikido" Technique?

I agree 110% Mike! I believe that aikido is simply a methodology.

One of the things we do is form an attachment to aikido and attempt to "box" it up as a separate and distinct "object" that we can possess as a very special group of people.

How self limiting that concept is! It prevents us from experiencing much more than is out there.

Not to sound to Zen or Buddhist on this, but the attachment to aikido style or technique is one of the biggest sources of delusion that we have as budoka.

I just finished writing a few things on the principles of budo on my new blog: www.budowarrior.blogspot.com If anyone is interested.

I think as Aikidoka we need to understand, first WHY we are studying aikido. It may be for the wrong reasons, or different reasons all together than why we started.

I boil it down to just this. Aikido is a methodology for studying budo. Budo is based on the underlying principle of happiness or peace. In order to have that we must learn to resolve conflict within ourselves.

I think when most of us come to the martial arts, we come for various reasons least of which is to be at peace or happiness. I think intuitively we know this at some level, if no other reason that we simply like the way we feel when doing it.

However, if we don't explicitly know this we get distracted and confused. We focus on the external things such as the techniques we attach or associate with aikido.

We get into discussions like "aikido doesn't work in a real fight".

So, the question of "what makes and aikido technique an aikido technique" really becomes a Koan.

Aikido is a concept or methodology based on the universal principles of harmony and peace. All is aikido, yet aikido possesses nothing as a concept. So, when you label an aikido technique as such, it becomes a falacy since aikido cannot possess anything.

Applied as a concept of conflict resolution we can recognize aikido in many forms, applied as a technique, we can see nothing.
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