Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-23-2002, 05:07 AM   #1
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 71
Offline
Is modern Aikido skipping a stage of development?

In modern Aikido today we see a lot of soft flowing movement. This we can see from pictures and film footage available was the Aikido of O'Sensei as an older man. My point is that he had reached that stage of his Aikido over a lifetime of hard relentless training. There is no doubt in my mind that O'Sensei could have used this soft flowing style, but can someone who has just begun his path in Aikido use this to effect? Surely only through taking a similar path can a person's Aikido evolve to this level? This is not a question of martial effectiveness, just a collection of thoughts.

All the best
Jason T
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 06:32 AM   #2
Rev_Sully
Location: Somerville, MA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 58
Offline
IMHO, Aikido is a modern Martial Art. Very young. Developed in the 20th Century by O-Sensei. Are we three-four generations of Aikdoka now?

"He who knows best knows how little he knows." -Thomas Jefferson
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 07:54 AM   #3
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,715
United_States
Offline
IMHO, yes in the old days many people came to Aikido from other arts. It had a more martial foundation. Later influenced by Omoto thought, Aikido became more spiritual. Some schools of Aikido emphasis the first, some the later. Development implies a goal or direction. So it depends on what you study for whether you personally are skipping a stage or not.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 07:59 AM   #4
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Offline
You expressed one perspective on this dilemma quite succinctly, Jason. There is a succinct expression of another perspective that I particularly like:

Karate students spend 15 years learning how to be hard and then have to spend the next 10 years unlearning everything they learned. Isn't it more efficient to start out by learning what you want to know?

I often wonder about these questions, but I think that what I basically come back to all the time is the sort of 'many paths up the mountain' idea. O'Sensei had his path up the mountain, but it was only his path. Your goal is not to follow his path but to follow your own.

Of course, there may be much to be learned by knowing or paying attention to his path, but that's not quite the same as following it.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 08:16 AM   #5
Paul Smith
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 59
Offline
Jason,I agree with you. One analogy my teacher often uses is that of Shakyamuni Buddha and Fudo-Myo, the fierce one, who with his sword cuts through delusion and with his rope binds passions. Seeing the image of the smiling, serene Buddha, we generally forget that this serenity was achieved only after 6 long and arduous years of deep shugyo, and it was likely accompanied by the goading of Fudo-Myo.

The corollary in Aikido, to me, is clear. One can only build an "evolved, ki-no nagare" Aikido on a solid foundation. Absent hard, fierce training, I believe it is likely one's Aikido may become what many of its detractors say it is - a stylized dance.

Paul

Paul Smith
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 08:32 AM   #6
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
I'd go with these comments. I've known several talented instructors who seem to have quite poor students; in my opinion because the students are trying to copy the instructor and not getting a good enough understanding of why the instructor is like that, or a good enough grounding in basic (even static) techniques.

I have wondered whether the 3 stage aikijitsu approach is actually better - with the strikes and more linear form to start, then less atemis and more blending, and finally complete blending.

As I've learnt more about aikido I've realised just how important and amazing some of the techniques are, however you have to consider the options available to both you and the attacker during the technque before this can be fully realised.

However, if you consider how long it took ueshiba to improve to what we would consider 'aikido', maybe its not feasible to follow the same path?

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 08:58 AM   #7
MikeE
 
MikeE's Avatar
Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
Location: Hudson, WI
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 407
Offline
"IMHO, yes in the old days many people came to Aikido from other arts. It had a more martial foundation. Later influenced by Omoto thought, Aikido became more spiritual. Some schools of Aikido emphasis the first, some the later. Development implies a goal or direction. So it depends on what you study for whether you personally are skipping a stage or not." -Quote from Lynn Seiser

Very succint Lynn. About 50% of my students come from other martial arts (usually many years of experience). IMHO, "ki-driven", soft aikido, can be as or more effective as the hard stuff. I think it is all IN & Yo, you have to find balance in what you are doing. None of us are O'Sensei. None of us have had his life. So for us to follow the development path of his art is a foolish waste of time. Repeating history is kind of like re-inventing the wheel. Why waste the time. O'Sensei put all aikidoka in the drivers' seat. We are the ones that need to further the art.

But, I digress.

In our schools we are looking for the waza that has the least physical strength, the most ki, and is extremely effective in real situations.

My point is:

All new students start by trying to use physical strength to effect technique. We try to move them through that stage quickly so they can develop more sensitive technique.

The stages are the same.....we just try to lead students through the stages so they don't spend a lifetime trying to find what O'Sensei already spent a lifetime to put in front of us.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
Dojos
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 09:04 AM   #8
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 71
Offline
Opher I agree with you here to a degree in the sense that we all want that knowledge and ability we seek straight away. My point is that I don't think it can happen that way. Using O'Sensei as an example, he spent a lifetime forging his mind body and spirit developing his martial ability. By the nature of things no one else can be O'Sensei of course, but what I'm getting at is similar to what Paul is saying, his Aikido had been developed by planting strong routes. Without those surely what you are doing is vaccuous and built on very shaky ground?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 11:50 AM   #9
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Offline
What I was trying to say (I'm not sure how clear this was) is that I think it's a good thing to wrestle with and not necessarily a good thing to have an answer to.

Let's think about it another way: O'Sensei was inventing something (sort of). His way was characterizing by many turnings and false starts and periods of questioning. Clearly, you aren't proposing that we each follow each of these steps in order to learn. It wouldn't really work even if we did. Or take another idea: O'Sensei's cultural heritage was far more militaristic and possibly more violent than that of many of us. Perhaps in this sense he had much further to go than the rest of us before he could realize some basic truths. Trying to 'put down the roots' you are thinking about may actually be more detrimental (in that it fosters violence) than it is helpful. I had the same sort of response to Paul Smith's comments. I think I've got plenty of Fudo-Myo all my own to wrestle with without 'goading' or 'cultivating' it.

Interestingly, I think these same issues come up in Buddhist and Zen thought. In my mind, the one thing that makes the way hardest is the need to give up on the notion that anyone can ever show you the way or that you will ever know the way. Similarly in AiKiDo, the hardest part is understanding that it is you who decides what roots you need and what roots you trust, and that you will never really know. All you can do is make sure they are truly your roots, and it seems likely that then will be as strong as they could ever possibly be.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 12:40 PM   #10
Paul Smith
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 59
Offline
I think that this goes to a whole methodology, on the question of approaches to learning.

In the west, we presume there is an "I" which "builds things." In acting, my old background, "I" "build" a character. In the east, or more specifically in Japanese/zen thought and practice (in Japan, hard to distinguish the two, really), there is no "I" to build anything - in fact, the way to learn is to empty the self and emulate, completely and utterly, one's Sensei - one's "One Who Went Before."

I have chosen the latter as a means towards a betterment of the self. I cannot presume to know anything if "I," meaning a whole host of assumptions, patterns, fixed-thoughtedness, etc., resists in any way the teaching of my teacher.

It is not just a metaphysical abstract. When Toyoda Sensei (and now, Moore Sensei) would throw, one's mind could not hope to have the idea of what it was he was after - any sticking opened one up for a rude awakening, and the only way to (at times, it felt) to survive was to empty and give over completely.

Now, as he once told me, by doing this, by emptying completely, by, in fact, modeling completely on one's Sensei, paradoxically, it is believed, you learn how to truly create one's own art.

This is all a long winded way of saying: you cannot create true art with a stuck mind. The way to unstick the mind is to get out of the way. The only way to get out of the way is to immolate the stuck notion of "self" and although it can be done on one's own, it is more likely successfully achieved by learning at the feet of a master.

I know myself - I know my ego is both so strong, and so fragile (if this makes sense), that were it not for this approach I would never learn anything of true budo.

Paul

Paul Smith
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 04:26 PM   #11
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
United_States
Offline
Re: Is modern Aikido skipping a stage of development?

Quote:
Jason Tonks wrote:
My point is that he had reached that stage of his Aikido over a lifetime of hard relentless training. There is no doubt in my mind that O'Sensei could have used this soft flowing style, but can someone who has just begun his path in Aikido use this to effect? Surely only through taking a similar path can a person's Aikido evolve to this level?
According to Kanai Sensei, seeking to emulate O Sensei's style in his later years is flawed for two reasons. The first is O Sensei actually said that young people need to practice hard and hold on tight to make sure the technique works. The second is that despite the fact that O Sensei's technique looked soft and flowing, it was actually very strong and powerful. Kanai Sensei says that O Sensei would "bounce [him] off the mat when [he] took ukemi." If people just look at the soft part, he says, then they are missing an important part of what O Sensei was actually doing.

Based on what I have seen, I think that it is impossible to develop powerful, effective technique without hard practice. I can't rememeber ever meeting anyone who has done so. There are some powerful, effective teachers that I have practiced with who often talk about the importance of softness, but all of these people have actually had a great deal of experience with hard practice and are very capable of doing hard, martial technique. As I see it, the reason that they often speak of softness is that they themselves have reached a point where they understand the strengths and limitations of hard technique and have begun to move on to developing a similar mastery of soft technique.

I personally think that understanding both hard and soft technique is ultimately neccesary to developing truly effective Aikido. I have practiced with people who tend to focus primarily on soft technique and who have developed a good deal of effectiveness with that style, but they all have had at least some high-level exposure to teachers with harder styles. Even so, these primarily soft styles tend to be much more limited in application and effectiveness than the styles that incorporate harder, more martial practice. If one wants to actually develop effective, powerful technique like that of O Sensei, I think that hard practice is a requirement.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 06:16 PM   #12
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
Offline
This is really interesting, very relevant to me.

I have a limited perspective, but that never seems to stop me from having an opinion... After reading, I am left thinking about something my sensei talks about a lot, which is Paradox.

I don't (in my limited experience) think that this is as much of a dichotomy as Jason has set up. Often in my dojo we work from the perspective of resolving hard and soft, effort and effortlessness, receptivity and proactivity. I don't know if this is what my sensei has in mind, but it feels as if actively addressing this paradox-set has the effect of reverse-engineering the "Late O'Sensei Aikido", or developing both the hard and soft aspects simultaneously (?)

Another way to put this:

By admitting that there is both hard and soft and actively seeking to resolve them, I am consistently aware as a student that both parts are integral, that Just Soft Aikido is not the real goal.

Thanks, good thread!

Deb

Deb Fisher
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2002, 10:04 PM   #13
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Offline
Quote:
Gian Carlo wrote:
Based on what I have seen, I think that it is impossible to develop powerful, effective technique without hard practice. I can't rememeber ever meeting anyone who has done so.
Well, I'm not sure how much hard practice you think is necessary, but I think I've probably met people like that.

I can't help thinking that people who feel the way you do, Gian Carlo, are in one of two situations. Either you really wanted to develop a soft technique without 'needing' to be hard, and gave up on your ideal (and yourself) too soon, or else you never really believed in the possibilities of soft AiKiDo to begin with and are working to justify this position. I don't mean to be saying that either of these is you. I'm just saying that I'm not sure what other options there are.
Quote:
Paul wrote:
The way to unstick the mind is to get out of the way. The only way to get out of the way is to immolate the stuck notion of "self" and although it can be done on one's own, it is more likely successfully achieved by learning at the feet of a master.
I'm uncomfortable with ideas of 'only' or 'best' in this context. Perhaps for you the way to transcendence of self lies through the giving over of self to a master. Perhaps that is because, as you said, your ego is particularly strong and fragile. Still, one of the paradoxes of the path to no-self is that every self has a different one. Each self must recognize its own path, as you've recognized yours. Perhaps there is great wisdom and depth in your path, but my self will only be lost along my path.

I'd never quite combined these two notions (loss of self and walking our own paths) before. Even if you don't quite agree with me, Paul, thanks for helping me make that connection and see that lovely paradox.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2002, 03:53 AM   #14
Jason Tonks
Dojo: Bracknell Ellis School of Traditonal Aikido
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 71
Offline
I personally like to visit other dojos and seminars when I can. When I have trained with people who have trained in this soft flowing style I have often found myself in a difficult position. What I mean by that is that the I'm taking ukemi unnecessarily. The technique is not on and the power is not there, ie - I'm going so as not to appear an awkard Uke. This is not doing my Aikido any favours and has to be lulling that Nage into a false sense of security. Different issue but relevant to what I'm getting at. Anyone had similar experiences?

All the best

Jason T
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2002, 09:50 AM   #15
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
back to basics

Quote:
I have wondered whether the 3 stage aikijitsu approach is actually better - with the strikes and more linear form to start, then less atemis and more blending, and finally complete blending.
Agreed.

I was lucky I was already rock-hard when I came to aikido. Studied judo, karate, and played football.

But others my god! They get a little bump in the face and they stop right in the middle of the waza. They can't take a hit! My god, not a hit, A BLOODY LOVE TAP. (Whiners these days.)

It seems to me that in O'Sensei's time, the people coming to him already had some martial arts training and they were coming to him to work on the finer points. They at least knew something about ken and they knew how to punch somebody in the nose, and well as take a punch. In fact, I think a lot of them came to O'Sensei with a letter or recommendation in hand from some other martial arts teacher.

So, times have changed, conditions have changed. Hell; even in the early days in Chicago, most of us were a pretty rough lot, usually with at least a dozen street fights under our belt. But that's the way it was. People didn't pack heat they used their fists. Anything else was unmanly. Kicking was even frowned on. (Tells you how old I am!)

But now, everybody packs heat. Go out and try to get some experience fighting these days just gets you a gun-shot wound, or worse.

Times have changed in a lot of ways, but I agree; Maybe aikido training at the basic level needs to be changed.

That's one reason I'm adding some ken practice for kyu-level students. It gives them some way to train on their own. It teaches them posture, footwork, and it gives the weaker ones (the number of which seems to be increasing) a way to build up their grip, arm and shoulder strength.

I also start giving them breakfalls at the earliest possible stage (maybe 3 kyu) to toughen them up. We start out with just a few, and then as they start to get the hang of it, the number increases.

It's not a macho thing; we do it slow, gradual, over time, for the long-haul. The newer students see the older students doing it, and then, eventually, they WANT to do it.

The best way to teach is to get the students to want to do things that are tough; things that people don't normally want to do.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-24-2002 at 09:54 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2002, 01:11 PM   #16
Alfonso
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 346
Offline
Must everyone have the same Aikido experience?

Should (can) Aikido produce an even range of similarly skilled "martial-artists", formed in a vacuum?

I came to Aikido with little previous martial arts experience (a couple of years of judo). I did, however play rugby for some 15 years prior to that and got chewed, bitten , stomped , dished and got back enough to discover what I could about that side of life.

I don't consider my Aikido learning lacking because I don't get abused in the dojo the way I did in the practice field. Should other people who train with me have to bear that sort of pseudo-military style of training to gain anything?

If 99% of Aikidoka are not considered UFC material does it matter? I do know Aikidoka who are fighters, should all of them be?
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2002, 03:29 PM   #17
Deb Fisher
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 145
Offline
Jason Tonks wrote:

"When I have trained with people who have trained in this soft flowing style I have often found myself in a difficult position. What I mean by that is that the I'm taking ukemi unnecessarily. The technique is not on and the power is not there, ie - I'm going so as not to appear an awkard Uke."

Yes, I have had that experience. But you're not learning *that* aikido, right? Otherwise you wouldn't even notice that you're being too gracious as uke when you visit these Mama Bear Dojo.

I guess what I'm assuming is that most of us are in the middle somewhere between Soft Flowing Balls of Ki and Chiba Sensei's Nikkyo. That seems right to me - that feels like a good place to talk about what is interesting about this thread, which is the interplay, the resolution of hard and soft, which seem to happen fairly concurrently during any balanced practice.

Or at least that's my $.02

Deb

Deb Fisher
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2002, 08:30 PM   #18
Edward
Location: Bangkok
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 803
Thailand
Offline
I think that hard technique and hard practice are being confused. The problem nowadays is that aikidoka believe that because aikido is a soft MA then they have to practice softly. This is very far from the truth. You just have to watch a tape of an aikikai hombu training. Only soft techniques are used, but very hard practice, and the effect is very powerful. So ideally you should be soft but powerful. In order to achieve that, sometimes you surprise yourself using physical strength, but that's unavoidable. What I don't like is soft practice where aikidoka look like their joints are dislocated, attacking with a lot of "manierisme" and stumbling and falling without Nage's intervention. I think they give a bad image to our art.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2002, 09:17 PM   #19
jaime exley
Dojo: Aikido West
Location: California
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 23
Offline
Edward raises an interesting question. What makes Aikido "hard"? Is it how hard Uke hits the mat? Is it how much Uke resists? How hard Nage is working? Is it the force of the attack? If Uke never resists but takes Ukemi until they get the dry heaves are they practicing hard or soft? If you go to the dojo every day and your buddy only makes it twice a week are you practicing harder than he is?

Anyway, you can see what I'm getting at.

Jaime Exley
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2002, 08:16 AM   #20
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
Absolutely jaime,

a sensei I know gets quite irrate when people talk about 'soft' and 'hard' aikido. I think a good grounding in basic, static movement is useful - and I think this is the type of movement some people refer to as hard.

However I believe aikido goes beyond that (and this is why it is different from ju-jitsu), to blending. To blend, we have to realise WHY we blend - basically because someone can resist non-blending if they get the feedback from the technique.

Thus we have a strong, commited technique, however; if we feel ukes body changing or moving in a particular way we are fluid enough to respond to that change.

Also, I think you can throw someone hard whilst blending, and also throw someone softly without blending. It is about directing force at the weakest point of uke. For example, when ukes spine is bent (and balance broken), the choice is yours on how hard you throw them because they do not have the posture to offer any resistance.

Thus probably we should be arguing about 'blending' and 'not-blending' rather than hard and soft.

Not blending is a process of learning technque, which all beginners will go through to some extent. To some degree whilst learning technique, but more ONCE we are familiar with technique, that is when we can learn to blend properly.

ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2002, 10:21 AM   #21
Paul Smith
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 59
Offline
This is my simple view: "hard" aikido means a committed, real attack, waza which neutralizes the attack, and a finish which employs absolute focus, kime. It is my view that only hard throws/locks/pins can ultimately press one as uke to learn the paradox of a complete attack, coupled with the ability to hungrily sieze on nage's body/mind, so that whatever changes nage executes I can execute, instantaneously, without hesitation of body or mind (going back to my earlier thought re: getting out of the way), and without reserve, to take the fall, lock, or pin. And this ultimately gives me the sensitivity and ability to train, as O'Sensei urged, with a "fierce joy." Both fierce, and joyful.

As nage, my job is to lead uke to where I want them in order to effectively execute.

It is not to create a "harmony" where uke and nage are in essence, in complete agreement..."harmony" can be anything, almost. To illustrate bluntly: if someone wants to shoot me, I can "harmonize" by allowing it. Or I can kill the attacker with a break to their vocal chords/trachea. Or I can disarm the attacker by leading them into my orbit of control. All are versions of "harmony." Aikido teaches the latter, but I think it is often misunderstood to mean, as I earlier said, a type of dance where nage/uke, in seeking to build grace, do not really require much from each other. I don't find this useful.

Paul

Paul Smith
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2002, 02:02 PM   #22
G DiPierro
Location: Ohio
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 365
United_States
Offline
Quote:
Jason Tonks wrote:
What I mean by that is that the I'm taking ukemi unnecessarily. The technique is not on and the power is not there, ie - I'm going so as not to appear an awkard Uke.
Jason, this is a difficult situation, and there are many factors that you must take into consideration. I had originally written a longer reply discussing some of these factors, but I decided not to post it because I don't know enough details of the situation to know whether the factors I focused on are relevant to your situation.

The bottom line, though, is that you should never take ukemi unnecessarily. If you don't feel that you should move, then don't move. Usually, doing this will at least gain you some insight into the reasons why you should or should not have been moving. You are right that doing what you think you shouldn't be doing isn't going to help you, but only you can change that situation.

As for the people who are wondering what is meant by the terms "hard" and "soft" in this thread, I think Jason defined his use of those terms quite well in his intial post.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2002, 10:44 PM   #23
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Offline
Quote:
The bottom line, though, is that you should never take ukemi unnecessarily. If you don't feel that you should move, then don't move. Usually, doing this will at least gain you some insight into the reasons why you should or should not have been moving.
As a real seeker in the softer sides of AiKiDo (as well of some of the harder sides), I really really agree with this. One of the nice things about a 'softer' school is that you know they're not likely to break your arm if you don't fall down for them.

I more often find myself taking 'unnecessary' ukemi for people who I worry might accidentally break part of me than for people who are too gentle with me. I worry about this when I am visiting some dojos, just like Jason discussed worrying about his own uke in the opposite situation. I think my interpretation of this is that I'm still exploring all the possibilities of what being uke can mean.

As far as hard and soft and blending and throwing, I have two thoughts. One is a common seidokan teaching and the other is my own:

In seidokan we often said that when AiKiDo is done properly, uke should feel like they stumbled and fell rather than that they were thrown.

I often tell people when I'm teaching that if uke isn't already falling, it's very hard to MAKE them fall. On the other hand, if they are already falling, then it isn't necessary to MAKE them fall. You just have to let them fall.

In my experience, most of AiKiDo study is about realizing that it is you who is preventing uke from falling and learning how to get out of their way.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2002, 11:00 PM   #24
Bronson
 
Bronson's Avatar
Dojo: Seiwa Dojo and Southside Dojo
Location: Battle Creek & Kalamazoo, MI
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,677
Offline
Quote:
In my experience, most of AiKiDo study is about realizing that it is you who is preventing uke from falling and learning how to get out of their way.
This is where I've been trying to take my technique. I've realized that my job is to fit into the spaces around the technique that uke isn't in. I need to make the path I want uke to take, the easiest path for him to take. If I'm in his way at all he won't go there so I need to completely let go of the idea of holding that space and give it to him while completely owning my new space (as long as it's correct...which it often isn't yet)

I'm not sure any of that makes sense. Opher's comments just kind of knocked some random thoughts and ideas I've been having into some type of place. I was thinking about it as I was writing it so be patient with me

Thanks Opher, once again you've given me things to think about.

Bronson...another seidokaner

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2002, 03:06 AM   #25
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 646
Offline
relaxed power

It's my understanding that the concepts of hard (external) and soft (internal) are related to ki, and not to what the technique looks like.

The clearest example of hard technique is karate. The opposite is tai chi chuan. The difference is that karate emphasizes a hard body, that is, the fist must be hardened, and the muscle and bone must be strenghtened.

In tai chi, smooth, continuous breathing is emphasized. The concept is the opposit of karate in that in tai chi, the body is strengthened from the inside out; that is, the nervous, skeletal and cirulatory system, the internal organs, the deep, inner muscles, the external muscles, and even the skin. Admittedly, this takes a longer time to learn. This is why for military and law enforement purposes, hard forms are often taught. This even includes hard forms of aikido.

If one wants quick results, one can practice a hard style of aikido. But if one wants to learn aikido as it was meant to be used, then breathing, hara, posture, relaxation, and the extension of ki should be emphasized in every phase of the training.

Last edited by mike lee : 10-26-2002 at 03:11 AM.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why do some people hate Aikido? Guilty Spark General 609 12-29-2010 04:29 AM
Watch Out for Aikido 'Shihans'.......... Man of Aiki General 74 02-24-2009 08:37 AM
Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward Red Beetle General 358 10-10-2006 11:43 AM
failed? Leon Aman General 15 09-28-2006 05:15 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:16 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate