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Old 09-17-2000, 08:55 PM   #1
RONIN
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Let me first say that this is in no way an insult to O Sensei as i have the most respect for him and his aiki techniques,he created this great art.Now on to my reason for this thread.I have read and heard many times in articles and from other Aikido Sensei that the throws O sensei did when it seemed he didnt have to touch his ukes at all were,were not done by some divine power but by the ukes themselves.It has been said that the atemis hurt the ukes so they learned to take ukemi before the blow was struck in essence throwing themselves.Again this is in no way a slander on O Sensei just food for thought.Any opinions on this subject please respond.
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Old 09-17-2000, 09:09 PM   #2
akiy
 
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I don't see anything wrong with that. If you come up against a teacher who isn't shy in putting their fist into your face, are you going to keep getting hit, day in and day out?

In any case, I don't think O-sensei possessed any "divine powers," any way. He was very much human as far as I understand.

-- Jun

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Old 09-18-2000, 03:44 AM   #3
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[quote]akiy wrote:
[b]I don't see anything wrong with that. If you come up against a teacher who isn't shy in putting their fist into your face, are you going to keep getting hit, day in and day out?

I agree with Jun on this one. Just last week I was making a grab for my Sensei's hand so he could demonstrate a sokumen. Instead of doing it in a manner that would have led into a pure throw, as he did with the previous two ukes, his arm rose very quickly and went strait towards my nose. Since I was moving at full speed, the only way to avoid it was to throw my head and upper body back which caused my legs to fly up. Did I throw myself? Yes, but the alternative would have been getting hit in the face which probably would have knocked me down anyway. Trust me, it wasn't a difficult choice.
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Old 09-18-2000, 04:52 AM   #4
andrew
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You can find footage on the net..... I found 9 pre ww2 movies (searched "aikido mpg" on google...) Also, theres two on aikidofaq.com.
Anyhow, I've seen what looks like what you describe, and I've seen people who certainly didn't throw themself. I read about (? guy who started yoshinkan?) a judoka who decided the uke WERE throwing themselves who took on O Sensei. I believe he was flying through the air when he realised that they were in fact thrown.
Must be said that anybody taking Ukemi from O Sensei who threw themselves would be in trouble, though. Ukemi isn't about guessing where he's throwing you (which can cause nasty injuries when you're wrong) but letting your body follow softly and be thrown. This would only apply more forcibly in the case of a master endowed with such subtlety in his technique. If you're going to jump first, you might as well struggle maniaclly and take the atemi. It's just as close to good Ukemi.

andrew
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Old 09-18-2000, 06:39 AM   #5
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I have to doubt this to a certain degree myself. My sensei took ukemi for O'sensei on many occasions and according to him, If you did not give a honest, hard attack, the next time you came at him, O'sensei would really slam you hard. He also said that he wouldn't use you for uke anymore if you didn't give hard attacks. Going by that, I'd say it's safe to say that he'd see an uke throwing themselves for his sake as an insult and he'd slam them or not use them anymore.
I don't use the word "divine" to describe O'sensei's skill, but it went beyond physical training, that much is certain. Maybe not though, maybe he was just darn good at what he did. I've attacked my sensei many times and found myself getting up off the mat and never really knowing what happened to put me there. I could call that divine or I could call it an excellent manifestation of control, timing and focus.
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Old 09-18-2000, 09:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
andrew wrote:
You can find footage on the net..... I found 9 pre ww2 movies (searched "aikido mpg" on google...) Also, theres two on aikidofaq.com.
Anyhow, I've seen what looks like what you describe, and I've seen people who certainly didn't throw themself. I read about (? guy who started yoshinkan?) a judoka who decided the uke WERE throwing themselves who took on O Sensei. I believe he was flying through the air when he realised that they were in fact thrown.
Must be said that anybody taking Ukemi from O Sensei who threw themselves would be in trouble, though. Ukemi isn't about guessing where he's throwing you (which can cause nasty injuries when you're wrong) but letting your body follow softly and be thrown. This would only apply more forcibly in the case of a master endowed with such subtlety in his technique. If you're going to jump first, you might as well struggle maniaclly and take the atemi. It's just as close to good Ukemi.

andrew

I believe I have seen the mpgs you described, so I think I know what you are referring to. What I was attempting to describe was a little different from that, but as always it is difficult to convey a technique in words without causing a misunderstanding. Sorry I did not make it clearer. The difference was in a throw that was made by connecting to uke's center and disturbing his/her balance and a throw which occurred as a result of avoiding an oncoming atemi in a situation where there was no connection to uke's center. In my experience, when faced with an oncoming atemi in a situation where nage has not made a connection to uke's center one of three things will result: 1. If uke is able, uke will block the atemi. But this provides nage a potential means of connection to uke's center enabling uke to be unbalanced and thrown. 2. Uke will attempt to avoid the atemi and cause himself/herself to lose his/her balance and possibly fall. 3. Uke will actually be struck by the atemi and fall provided there is sufficient force. If nage delivers an atemi and in the process of avoiding the atemi uke loses his/her balance and falls, I think the end result is just as valid and real as nage connecting to uke's center, unbalancing uke, throwing uke and thus causing uke to fall. Since, I was not able to block the atemi. I avoided it, lost my balance and fell. I did not intentionally lose my balance. That would have been poor ukemi as I am sure you will agree. In retrospect, I don't think I phrased it very well when I said, I threw myself. I probably would have avoided causing any confusion if I had explained it as I did previously in number 2.

As for guessing where nage is going to throw you, I am in complete agreement with you. It is dangerous. Had I been guessing, I would have guessed the technique was going to be performed in the same way as it was on the previous two ukes. In which case, I probably would not have been able to avoid the atemi.

However, if you are advocating taking atemi in the face as opposed to trying to block it or avoid it, (I do not know if you are just being facetious) I disagree. I do not think allowing oneself to be struck in the face is a natural reaction or conducive to safe practice.



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Old 09-18-2000, 09:56 AM   #7
andrew
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Quote:
Morgan wrote:


However, if you are advocating taking atemi in the face as opposed to trying to block it or avoid it,

[/b]
No no no! I wasn't actually aiming any of my last post at your comment. When I see something coming for my chin hard and fast, I'll fall under it. I was replying to the first message.
[Actually, to add to what you're saying, we often train to get hit in the face (at slow speeds!!!) Our sensei reckons we'll lock up when facial contact is made if we're not used to it. I reckon I'll lock up anyhow.]

My Sensei insists on sincere, full strength attacks too. (I'm not sure who chillzATL is doubting there...)

re ukemi... http://gargas.biomedicale.univ-paris...ts/ukemi1.html
an article by Angel Alvarez, 5th dan aikikai. Not so much stuff we wouldn't know as the things we do know expressed better than most of us could manage. And it kind of raises the original question in the thread as one of it's points...

andrew
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Old 09-22-2000, 03:51 PM   #8
George S. Ledyard
 
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Atemi

Quote:
RONIN wrote:
Let me first say that this is in no way an insult to O Sensei as i have the most respect for him and his aiki techniques,he created this great art.Now on to my reason for this thread.I have read and heard many times in articles and from other Aikido Sensei that the throws O sensei did when it seemed he didnt have to touch his ukes at all were,were not done by some divine power but by the ukes themselves.It has been said that the atemis hurt the ukes so they learned to take ukemi before the blow was struck in essence throwing themselves.Again this is in no way a slander on O Sensei just food for thought.Any opinions on this subject please respond.
I can't remember whether I posted this on the Aikiweb forum, I know I did during an atemi discussion on the e-budo forum so forgive me if you already saw this:
http://aikieast.com/atemi.htm
It's an article i wrote a while back about atemi. John Stevens Sensei gave me permission to use some of his O-sensei pictures in the originla article but they're not up on the net. But it might be of interest.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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