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 06-02-2003, 02:45 PM   #1
kodia
Location: Amsterdam
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2
Offline
the wado perspective

Hello Aikido forum...

I'm slightly puzzled by Aikido. I hardly have any experience in Aikido. I do, however, have some 25+ years of experience in karate and currently hold a sandan degree in Wadoryu. To me Aikido has many similarities to Wado. Which should come as no surprise as Wado is the most ‘Japanese' of all karate styles and has been derived from Shinto Yoshin Ryu jujitsu with influences from Daito Ryu. So Wado and Aikido share the same roots.

Now I'm faced with a situation that makes no sense to me:
A new Aikido student visits a local dojo. This student has a vast experience in karate. During the 5th training an incident takes place. The karateka trains with a dan-graded partner and acts as ukemi. The partner, torimi, sits down in seiza. Ukemi grabs torimi's gi and torimi ‘throws' ukemi in a defensive reaction. At least: torimi tries.....
Problem is: torimi just isn't able to ‘throw' ukemi. Imagine: the dan-graded Aikido expert gets no hold of a fresh student.
The sensei comes along and says: let me show you how to do this. Everyone gathers around the sensei and the fresh student. Sensei tries to ‘throw' the student. He can't. His face turns red and he starts pulling with all his force. Nothing happens. Meanwhile the fresh students calmly starts showing torimi's ‘openings' for punches to the audience. The other students think this is very funny and start to laugh. The sensei turns even more red and gets annoyed. The fresh student decides enough is enough and cooperates into the ‘throw'. Only then the sensei is able to finish his technique.
Now the sensei is very annoyed. He delivers a speech in which he states that ‘Aikido has no atemi' and ‘this is not martial art'. Later he talks in private to the fresh student to say the student ‘shouldn't try to prove herself'. But the student never tried to prove anything. She was invited to ‘attack' and that's what she did, without resisting, but without cooperating either into the technique.

If you ask me, the sensei made 2 mistakes:
1: He should have noticed that this student wasn't just anyone. This particular student happened to be a world-class karateka who has been taught by some of the best sensei in the world. As in any martial art, in karate one is taught how to keep balance in any circumstances. So this particular student was just keeping her balance the way she does every hour of the day.
2: If it is custom for Aikido students to cooperate into a technique, the sensei should have said so. The fresh student had no way of knowing.
And this particular student, by the way, isn't me.....

Questions:
-Could this have happened in any Aikido dojo?
-Could what happened be contributed to incompetence (of the sensei)?
-Is it normal in Aikido for ukemi to ‘cooperate' into torimi's technique?
-What's with ‘Aikido is not a martial art'? Then what is it?, aerobics for the new age?
-Sure Aikido has no atemi (why not?) but most agressors DO use atemi. So why not be prepared for it?
-How about ‘sen'? Sen (simultaneous strike....sort of.....) is a key concept in Wado. Doesn't the concept exist in Aikido? Sen only works with flawless and effective technique......


Igor Asselbergs, Amsterdam Holland
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2003, 02:55 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Janet Rosen's Avatar
Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 3,933
Offline
I am not prepared to pass judgement on a situation I did not see.

I will say that for most of us aikido is very much a martial art and it is one that does indeed include atemi.

A few thoughts:

It sounds as if the initial student did not take the attacker's balance before trying to "do a technique." In general, aikido training at basic levels is taught as a kata, in which one tries to do the technique as shown by the instructor, regardless of whether or not uke's energy is appropriate to this technique. In this sense, it IS a cooperative undertaking: uke will try to give the type of attack that will elicit the type of technique to be worked on. In more advanced, non-kata type training, nage will not have any technique in mind and will act in response to the energy of the attack.

If my uke simply roots and stands still, I very often do the same, since as far as I am concerned, we do not have an attack. If I am able to begin to discern a pattern of movement or energy in uke's grab, then I will connect and work with that.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to you....

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2003, 04:44 PM   #3
Chris Li
 
Chris Li's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,075
United_States
Offline
Re: the wado perspective

Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-Could this have happened in any Aikido dojo?
No, but it's probably more common than I would like to think. OTOH, that kind of thing is far from limited to Aikido dojo.
Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-Could what happened be contributed to incompetence (of the sensei)?
Sure.
Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-Is it normal in Aikido for ukemi to ‘cooperate' into torimi's technique?
Depends on the level of the practitioners and the kind of practice that's going on. You don't always spar full strength in Karate, you limit strikes and wear padding in boxing, every style has their own form of "cooperation".
Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-What's with ‘Aikido is not a martial art'? Then what is it?, aerobics for the new age?
Everybody's free to do what they want, I suppose, but I wouldn't agree with that statement at all.
Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-Sure Aikido has no atemi (why not?) but most agressors DO use atemi. So why not be prepared for it?
Plenty of atemi (and preparation for it) in Aikido. As above, everybody's free to do what they want, I suppose, but I wouldn't agree with the instructor's statement about atemi.
Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-How about 'sen'? Sen (simultaneous strike....sort of.....) is a key concept in Wado. Doesn't the concept exist in Aikido?
Yup .

Best,

Chris

  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2003, 04:50 PM   #4
siwilson
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
England
Offline
Aikido IS a martial art!

Sadly some schools say otherwise and I think that means that means they no longer do Aikido!

In dojo training, Uke does co-orperate to a degree, as (in Shudokan & Yoshinkan) we want to train hard, but if we go full steam we will kill or cripple each other!

I really wish you culd talk with one of our Sensei about this, because as well as being 6th Dan Aikido, he also holds black belt in Wado Ryu Karate and Lau Gar Kung Fu.

For me, the intensity is everything. I can sit and do the techniqes, but if it doesn't work then what is the point!

On Atemi - Kancho. Gozo Shioda Sensei said, "Atemi is 80% of a real fight!"

On Atemi - O'Sensei said, "Atemi is 90% of Aikido!"

Osu!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2003, 05:33 PM   #5
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
United_States
Offline
Please describe the technique in more detail.

Your description was very vague and makes it hard to understand what was going on.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2003, 08:46 PM   #6
PhilJ
 
PhilJ's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Bukou
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 240
Offline
Re: the wado perspective

Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
-Could this have happened in any Aikido dojo?
An odd question... I suppose so, but it really depends on the people and skill involved. Maybe sensei was having a "bad day".
Quote:
-Could what happened be contributed to incompetence (of the sensei)?
Quite possibly. I'd rather say inexperience.
Quote:
-Is it normal in Aikido for ukemi to ‘cooperate' into torimi's technique?
For beginners, I encourage a little help from uke. After the first test, I stop unless a point needs clarification. I would hope a shodan or above would not need a "gimme".
Quote:
-What's with ‘Aikido is not a martial art'? Then what is it?, aerobics for the new age?
I know this defense. The sensei's ego was horribly damaged. Sensei then attempts to displace peoples' thoughts by giving them something bigger to chew on, thus 'proving' although he didn't do a technique, he is still 'wise'.
Quote:
-Sure Aikido has no atemi (why not?) but most agressors DO use atemi. So why not be prepared for it?
In our dojo (like many others), we use atemi quite often, as it is a great way to try and take control of a situation. 99% of the time we don't actually make contact, but I like to throw in that 1% to keep students on their toes. Heheh

I feel bad for this sensei, but hopefully s/he won't be too embarrassed, but realize what a valuable lesson was learned -- train train train. If your techniques aren't realistic, then you have a hard time showing people the benefit of knowing aikido on-and-off-the-mat.

*Phil

Last edited by PhilJ : 06-02-2003 at 08:59 PM.

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
http://www.aikidobukou.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2003, 09:42 PM   #7
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,049
Japan
Offline
Re: the wado perspective

Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
Questions:
OK I'll take a stab at this.
Quote:
-Could this have happened in any Aikido dojo?
And any Karate dojo - if you've been doing Wado Ryu for 25 years you should know that. If the person, with a good amount of Budo experience, can not understand after five visits what the situation in a particular dojo is then he has a problem.
Quote:
-Could what happened be contributed to incompetence (of the sensei)?
Possibly, but shutting down any technique (Wado ryu or Aikido) is real easy if you know what's coming and you are looking to embarrass someone. Sensei was put in a difficult position - the answer was to switch techniques and dump the twit but that's hard to do when you are in seiza and dangerous for someone who might not be able to take ukemi.
Quote:
-Is it normal in Aikido for ukemi to ‘cooperate' into torimi's technique?
Depends on the kata. Uke has a role which usually means he looses, in Wado Ryu they have the same situation in paired kata if I am not mistaken. But with 25 years experience you would know better than I. Kata's main purpose is to instill technique - testing that technique is done in randori.
Quote:
-What's with ‘Aikido is not a martial art'? Then what is it?, aerobics for the new age?
One for you - if you were told that then you walked into a social club not an Aikido dojo.
Quote:
-Sure Aikido has no atemi (why not?) but most agressors DO use atemi. So why not be prepared for it?
Where did you get that idea. Frankly speaking the technical requirement for punches and kicks are far less than locks and pins and those that do Aikido are interested in the latter two. Hence we practice them more - sometimes to the total exclusion of learning to punch and kick (can be a problem). If we want to learn those - we join a karate dojo for a year.
Quote:
-How about ‘sen'? Sen (simultaneous strike....sort of.....) is a key concept in Wado. Doesn't the concept exist in Aikido? Sen only works with flawless and effective technique......
Most Aikido techniques are reactive (go no sen) but Aikido does include sen no sen and sen sen no sen. In fact it is a key concept here too. It does not require flawless technique (if that even exists) but the ability to read your opponent.

Finally a story. I've just had two American Karate types join my dojo - both turned out to be a real pleasure to train with but I remembered the last time one joined my group in Quebec. He really wasn't as hot as he thought but decided to prove that Aikido was no good. Lying on the floor holding his ribs he started telling me what I did wasn't Aikido. Of course it was - I just stepped out of the box of his preconceptions.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 01:44 AM   #8
Ta Kung
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 237
Offline
Quote:
Lying on the floor holding his ribs he started telling me what I did wasn't Aikido.
I've heard that one too. Just because you can do (for example)ikkyo, doesn't automaticly mean you that you are unable to punch. We're not forced to do kihon, just because it's the way we practise. I really don't get people who doesn't understand this.

As for Igors question, I have to go with Mr. Rehse advice; switch techniques. If it doesn't work beacause uke knows whats going on... switch. If it doesn't work because your not good enough, practise. Oh yeah, practise is good advice either way.

Best wishes,

Patrik
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 02:22 AM   #9
kodia
Location: Amsterdam
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2
Offline
Thanks for the interesting replies thusfar. They sure help me to understand Aikido. Some particular points:
Quote:
If my uke simply roots and stands still, I very often do the same, since as far as I am concerned, we do not have an attack. If I am able to begin to discern a pattern of movement or energy in uke's grab, then I will connect and work with that.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to you....
It makes very much sense to me....
Quote:
On Atemi - O'Sensei said, "Atemi is 90% of Aikido!
I'll remember that one, in case I meet another Aikido sensei who says: Aikido has no atemi.


Quote:
And any Karate dojo - if you've been doing Wado Ryu for 25 years you should know that. If the person, with a good amount of Budo experience, can not understand after five visits what the situation in a particular dojo is then he has a problem.
I was not the student involved...

Nevertheless, budo is one thing, the particulars of a dojo culture is quite another. It takes more than 5 visits to figure that out....
Quote:
Sensei was put in a difficult position - the answer was to switch techniques and dump the twit
Who's running the dojo? Sensei put himself in a difficult position. But yes, I guess he should have 'dumped the twit'
Quote:
Kata's main purpose is to instill technique - testing that technique is done in randori
Same in wado....
Quote:
Aikido does include sen no sen and sen sen no sen. In fact it is a key concept here too. It does not require flawless technique (if that even exists) but the ability to read your opponent.
The way I see it you need flawless technique to 'read' your opponent. Because if you're still preoccupied whith the execution of the technique you'll lack the 'state of mind' required to 'read'.
Quote:
Finally a story. I've just had two American Karate types join my dojo - both turned out to be a real pleasure to train with but I remembered the last time one joined my group in Quebec. He really wasn't as hot as he thought but decided to prove that Aikido was no good. Lying on the floor holding his ribs he started telling me what I did wasn't Aikido. Of course it was - I just stepped out of the box of his preconceptions.
Keep up the good work...



Igor Asselbergs
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 02:34 AM   #10
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,049
Japan
Offline
Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
Who's running the dojo? Sensei put himself in a difficult position.
Good point.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 04:27 AM   #11
Kensai
Location: South West UK
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 216
Offline
Firstly if the Sensei did not take your balance then ofcourse the throw should not work. There is no need for atemi if you have there balance.

Second, as for Aikido being a Martial art or not, I think its a very fine line. Sensei K Williams, the guy that brought Aikido to the UK is very much of the opinion that Aikido is not a Martial art, is a BUDO art. Although this may seem like petty samantics, its not, BUDO is in a since MORE than just a MARTIAL idea.

"This particular student happened to be a world-class karateka"

I'm glad modesty is still strong in the Karate world....lol

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 04:36 AM   #12
Kensai
Location: South West UK
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 216
Offline
Firstly if the Sensei did not take your balance then ofcourse the throw should not work. There is no need for atemi if you have there balance.

Second, as for Aikido being a Martial art or not, I think its a very fine line. Sensei K Williams, the guy that brought Aikido to the UK is very much of the opinion that Aikido is not a Martial art, is a BUDO art. Although this may seem like petty samantics, its not, BUDO is in a since MORE than just a MARTIAL idea.

"This particular student happened to be a world-class karateka"

I'm glad modesty is still strong in the Karate world....lol

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 05:33 AM   #13
JW
 
JW's Avatar
Location: San Francisco CA USA
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 510
Offline
Re: the wado perspective

Quote:
Igor Asselbergs (kodia) wrote:
Questions:

-Is it normal in Aikido for ukemi to ‘cooperate' into torimi's technique?
Hi.. my opinion:
Like others said, if everyone involved is a beginner then you have to have some cooperation since tori will have no real ability to "make it work."
Of course if tori is sensei and uke has good ukemi, or if they are any other 2 skilled practitioners, then you don't have 'cooperation.' You just have a real attack, and a real resolution.

If the attack is real, then uke is not cooperating, he is just attacking, without knowledge of what technique is destined to happen. And then he will either fall or beat up tori.

If the attack is not real.... it has been said already.
--JW
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 07:50 AM   #14
jss
Location: Rotterdam
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 459
Netherlands
Offline
In several ways uke always cooperates. Some of these (all of them?) have been mentioned already.

Uke's attack needs to be one on which you can practice the specific technique. No point in kicking someone when training ikkyo. (Although ikkyo on a leg might prove quite interesting, of course.)

Uke can cooperate by showing of telling the flaws (big or smal) in a technique. Leading to hilarious situations in which uke instructs tori where yonkyo is. Bit higher, just a bit more, oh yeah...

Adn then of course uke cooperates by moving along with the technique. Otherwise he'd land straight on his face or break his wrist. But that's just self-defence. It's the same as you react to atemis, especially to the face: you block or dodge. That way the atemi works, but you are still able to be uke for your tori.

Perhaps my point is that cooperation is not the best word. It makes people think that aikido is ballet, that it's a form of choreography. But it is a martial art.

And to practice it in a safe manner, some 'cooperation' is needed. My sensei prefers to talk about confidence. Uke is confident of his attack and of toris technique (and of his own reactions tot that technique) and tori is confident of uke's attack and of his technique (and in uke's reaction to that technique).

My father doesn't quite understand this delicate balance between the martial art part and the confidence part. He still thinks it's dangerous to do weapon practice without any protection other than the abilities of uke and tori.

And to some extent it is dangerous, but if it wouldn't be, aikido wouldn't be a martial art.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 08:11 AM   #15
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
I think Chris Li and Peter Rehse (see Peter, I spelled it right that time) gave pretty much the same answers I would. I do think that the instructor's reaction bears some thought, though.

We have 2nd and 3rd dans in shotokan who train in aikido with us at our dojo. They can be *very* hard to throw, because they have a tendency (a good one) to not hand over their balance at first contact. On the occations when I teach, I love calling them up as uke. Even when they know the technique I'm about to do. Every time I have trouble throwing them, they show me what they are doing, what I am not doing, and how I can make the technique work (almost always in an aikido fashion, only occationally in a shotokan fashion).

I think students like this should be drafted by the instructor...they are one of the greatest possible assets an aikido dojo can have. The students with experience in other arts have raised the level of our aikido and our martial skills in so many ways...

It is frustrating dealing with someone who steps outside of our normal training paradigm. This past saturday, one of these shotokan guys blocked my technique. I started to get frustrated (there were new people in the class, and I wanted to give them the feeling that we had strong classes even when the head instructor wasn't teaching). I fumbled a bit, found a way to fudge the technique a little bit, and when we partnered up for training after the demo, I took the student who blocked my technique. He showed me where I was getting stuck, and how he would deal with it (using an elbow atemi). I then realized why the elbow was necessary...I was not where I was supposed to be. That's why I was getting caught having to block an atemi from him every time, and the energy I put into the block was forcing me to stop my movement. I changed my movement, aligning my hips with uke, and suddenly he couldn't use atemi anymore. I didn't need to use his "trick", and the technique worked flawlessly. When I went back in front of the class to demo, I gave him the credit for figuring out what was wrong before.

I think the instructor in the initial post made three huge mistakes.

He started by not recognizing a really well trained new student for what she was. I always say that a really good instructor has a pretty good idea of your background within minutes of you walking into their dojo. Certainly after several classes, he should have known what the student was capable of.

He tried to make a point with someone who was "besting" one of his students. In front of the whole class. He would have been better off just working with that student off to the side to figure out what was going on. If people stop to watch, either let them know you're facing a well trained martial artist, or tell them to go back to practise.

Instead of learning from the experience, and soliciting the participation of the new student, he tried to cover for his inability to throw her.

I think all of these mistakes can be attributed to ego. I hope I can avoid those mistakes myself. There will always be times when I'll be caught off guard (like saturday), but if I stay focused and centered, hopefully I can respond well.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 09:21 AM   #16
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 96
Offline
I just want to add my 2 cents on the cooperation part of the discussion.

No matter the level, there is always what may be called a "mutual understanding" between the partners that may look like cooperation: Tori agrees not to break the bones of uke or to strike full strenght atemi and, in counterpart, uke agrees to follow the technique without unnecessary resistance (which means willfully put yourself in a position or posture which renders the technique impossible to do or grossly innapropriate). Without that understanding, it will be quite easy for tori to badly hurt uke...

If I remember my few years of karate (a long time ago!), there was a bit of that same understanding: we weren't doing full contact strike all the time or tried to hurt the other to show him how well a particular technique was working...

Our sensei often tell us that, if we face an uncooperative uke, a good atemi will soften anyone and put him more "cooperative"...

That was my 2 cents...
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 09:47 AM   #17
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
While I agree that atemi is a major part of aikido, and while I do not want to put anyone down for suggesting its use in these situations, I have to ask:

What about the other skills that make up "aiki"?

If we rely on atemi exclusively when our technique is not working, how do we come to develop the proper ma ai, body placement, kazushi, breath, kiai, posture for the throw in question? Sure, I could just switch to another throw, I understand that...but at least in my practise, I can almost always find a fault in the things mentioned (in *my* technique) above when a technique doesn't work...without hitting uke, or telling uke "you didn't do the right attack".

In my post above, I described how not being in the correct position left a major opening...during the initial demo I filled the opening with an impromptu atemi...but that didn't fix the technique. In shite / uke training later, uke simply atemi'd first, forcing me to block...from a bad position. If we hadn't looked deeper than just atemi, or uke's attack, we wouldn't have found the real solution. Any thoughts?

RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 10:34 AM   #18
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
Offline
Well, one thought is that an effort to atemi in what had been a bad position might have highlighted for you the weakness of te position just as effectively as the discussion.

Still, I agree with you that atemi is my means of last resort for 'fixing' techniques. Not so much because I don't like hitting uke (which I don't) but more because of what I have learned by looking other places first.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 10:44 AM   #19
Carl Simard
Location: Quebec City
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 96
Offline
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
If we rely on atemi exclusively when our technique is not working, how do we come to develop the proper ma ai, body placement, kazushi, breath, kiai, posture for the throw in question? Sure, I could just switch to another throw, I understand that...but at least in my practise, I can almost always find a fault in the things mentioned (in *my* technique) above when a technique doesn't work...without hitting uke, or telling uke "you didn't do the right attack".
I think it's just the difference between perfection and real world... Sure, we should do our best to not rely on atemi. If we were always able to execute the appropriate technique, all the time, in a perfect way, on any attack, we would never have to use atemi.

But imperfect as we are, we rarely are in the perfect situation were everything just fit in the right place at the right time (distance, timing, breath, posture...). This is were atemi could help us: regain the good distance, win a second to get in time again or give the opportunity to switch to a more appropriate technique... So, it's important to train with them since there's way more chances that we need them than not...

In my experience, atemi take all their sense in randori, where it's much easier to get out of timing, being at the wrong distance or with an inappropriate technique for the attack, where only an atemi can help you recover from your mistake.

In traning "kata style", you shouldn't have to use atemi to do the technique, since everything should more or less fit in the right place. In kata, we usually do the atemi to remember and learn when and where we can strike an efficient atemi if need be. We don't do them for the sake of doing an atemi.
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 10:50 AM   #20
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,633
Offline
Empty Cup

There are two things going on here I think...

First, the student in question didn't appear to have come into the dojo with an "empty cup". I don't have any problem with the strong grab, that is the uke's job. But when the uke starts to show how the Teacher is open etc. you've moved in to the realm of the challenge. I don't see this as proper behavior in someone's dojo. If the student decides that the Teacher here doesn't know what he is doing he simply leaves or doesn't go there again. When he crosses over in to purposely humiliating the Teacher in front of his students he is letting his ego get out of control.

That said, the Aikido Teacher in question clearly didn't have any idea what he was talking about. To say that Aikido has no atemi is simply not correct. We've had this discussion at length on this forum. Saotome Sensei taught us that "if the uke knows that he will not be struck, ANY technique can be stopped".

The Karate student was unwisely placing himself at risk in a dojo situation with a bunch of strangers. I know people who would have nuked this guy rather than let him go away thinking Aikido doesn't work. I think this Karate student had already decided that the Teacher didn't look like the dangerous type and decided to mess with him.

The Teacher's naivete about his own ability, evident when he called the whole class to watch him deal with this visitor, is a product of poor training practices. This also has been discussed on this forum at length. People who are just going through the motions in their training with unrealistic attacks from cooperative partners lead people, even teachers, to think they can do something they can't. One of the best things that happened in my Aikido was spending a number of years working with a couple of police guys in my defensive tactics program who were 250 lb. fellows who bench press upwards of 400 lbs (one does a 1500 lb. three lift combined) and knew little or any ukemi. If you didn't do your technique right they simply didn't fall down.

In my dojo, if I had had this problem I would have tried to get a sense of this person's motivation. If he seeemed sincere I would have explained a bit about the nature of the exercise, allowed as how both of us had additional options available which we were "choosing" not to do so that we could look at certain principles... If I thought he was there just to screw with me I would have dumped him, perhaps using some atemi or distraction technique, and then asked him to leave as he clearly wasn't there to learn anything.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 11:39 AM   #21
rachmass
Dojo: Aikido of Cincinnati/Huron Valley Aikikai
Location: Somerset Michigan
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 794
Offline
Thank you for your post Mr. Ledyard;

You raised some very important points, including the motivation behind the karatekas resistance.

It certainly appeared to be a concerted effort on the karatekas behalf to lecture to the class where the aikido teacher was vunerable. The explanation on how this could be dealt with is appropriate, and I will try to keep that in my bag of tricks if someone ever tries that with me when I am teaching a class (actually, I am not at all adverse to using atemi, in particular being quite short, it is very effective when dealing with tall ukes).

I read the initial post as that the karateka involved was in fact challenging the teacher.

best,

Rachel
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 11:42 AM   #22
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Quote:
Well, one thought is that an effort to atemi in what had been a bad position might have highlighted for you the weakness of te position just as effectively as the discussion.
Well, the problem was that in the demo, the atemi "seemed" to cover the weakness at the time, because I did a really strong, focused atemi, and actually managed to catch Norman a little off-guard (unusual in itself). Once he was aware I was going there......that was the end of *that* working. The atemi itself took little effort...and therin lies the problem. The position I was in was fine for **throwing** an atemi. It was not fine for blocking **his** atemi though, since he outweighs me by about 60 pounds, and is 2nd dan in old style rockem sockem shotokan. And it was a lousy position to do an aikido throw from. Combine that with not taking someone's balance sufficiently and...

Ron (livin' and still learnin', due to the kindness of Stormin' Norman) Tisdale

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 11:54 AM   #23
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Quote:
I know people who would have nuked this guy rather than let him go away thinking Aikido doesn't work.
Hello Ledyard Sensei. I don't mean to be arguementative, but one thing that occurs to me is that it doesn't seem that the student hurt the instructor in any physical way. Embarrassed, sure; perhaps even cost him some students. But the instructor didn't seem to get physically hurt. So I'm not sure I'd be comfortable "nuking" someone under those circumstances. Now if they actually try to break **me**...as opposed to my rice bowl...then all bets are off.

Based on the description...I'd have to question the student's motives too.

RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 12:28 PM   #24
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,633
Offline
Hurting

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Hello Ledyard Sensei. I don't mean to be arguementative, but one thing that occurs to me is that it doesn't seem that the student hurt the instructor in any physical way. Embarrassed, sure; perhaps even cost him some students. But the instructor didn't seem to get physically hurt. So I'm not sure I'd be comfortable "nuking" someone under those circumstances. Now if they actually try to break **me**...as opposed to my rice bowl...then all bets are off.

Based on the description...I'd have to question the student's motives too.

RT
Hi Ron,

Don't misunderstand. I didn't say that I would nuke them. You're right, it wouldn't be appropriate to injure them under this kind of circumstance. What I said was the I know people who wouldn't have qualms about doing so. In other words, going out of your way to humiliate someone in his own dojo puts you at some risk; you're taking their good will for granted. This does not show a good Budo attitude I think.

No, my own reaction, which I think I can back up, would be to dump them to let them know that I could do so but to do so in a way that we both know that I could have hurt them but chose not to. I haven't actually had to do this because I haven't had anyone really insincere challenge me on the mat. The folks that have were doing so out of a desire to learn and I responded accordingly. I did have one guy come in from a karate school and his teacher had told him that Aikido didn't work... by the time he left he was ready to find a school in his town. But I was able to do that without hurting him at all. I made the techniques I used appropriate for someone who didn'y know any ukemi.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2003, 01:19 PM   #25
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
I agree. A person is kind of asking for a thumping in those circumstances. And there are a few places where such a thumping would be handed out...

RT

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  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
Putting Things in Perspective Taliesin Open Discussions 9 05-25-2006 12:50 PM
A different aikido perspective markwalsh "Off-The-Mat" 13 01-09-2006 02:17 PM
A perspective on learning Aikido kimusubi0 General 9 11-06-2005 06:33 AM
Perspective d'apprentissage de l'aïkido kimusubi0 French 0 10-18-2005 10:00 PM
Scripting your "free-style" test Jesse Lee Testing 25 05-19-2003 10:09 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:16 PM.



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