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Old 07-16-2003, 03:23 PM   #26
Russ Qureshi
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Aleksey! You are priceless! Keep it coming! If you're ever on the west coast (Vancouver) email me (russ&april@telus.net) and we'll practise together.

We will host Suganuma Sensei in early April 2004 so save your money and vacation time!

In gratitude,

Russ
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Old 07-16-2003, 07:13 PM   #27
senshincenter
 
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Hi All,

Yes, I agree, after that passage that Aleksey quoted, there's no real need to read anything more of my post. It is the center of the whole issue - for me at least.

I would answer this last question this way: Aikido is not lacking. The art, as a system, is alive and well and fully participating in the Shu-Ha-Ri methodology of training all over the world. That said, the lack or the negative side of which we are all hinting at in one form or another, is present. It's only that I believe this lack to be present at an individual level (great as that may be). I remember a quote by (I think) Ikeda Hiroshi Sensei that went something like this - it was a response to the question or the doubt over whether Aikido "works" or not: "Aikido works. It's just your Aikido that does not work."

I like the spirit of this quote. Why? Because it keeps both blame and responsibility in the tangible arena of the self (the pesonal self). If Aikido is broke - then it is your (our individual) Aikido that is broke. So get to work, and fix it. One by one, every art lives or dies.

I have trained in other arts over the years, and been exposed to countless others, and I have to say that this "dilemma" is something that truly abounds in every system - whether one divides that into a martial art or a self-defense system or not. And most likely this has always been the case all along, particulary because he/she that is able to transcend both Shu and Ha, and actually reconcile with Ri, is rare indeed. Outside of that, prior to that, everything is fake and weak by one standard or another. The positive side of this, is that on the other side of Ri, everything is legit and powerful. All of this is an individual thing. So let's keep it that way - in my opinion. :-)

yours,

dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:09 AM   #28
David Yap
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Hi Ian,

Quote:
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
How would you make the training "more realistic", with particular reference to the attacks etc. ?
Primary reference to Budo at all times -- short & sweet.
Quote:
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
Where do you feel aikido is lacking in that martial feeling in general. If it has not been your intention to intimate this, apologies.
Aikido the art is not lacking in martial feeling. It just lacks teachers who have Budo feelings and principles. In the old days the teachers chose the students, these days, the students choose the teachers. Realistically, a number of them take the business route and teach accordingly.
Quote:
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
I'm honestly just curious as you indicate you've spent many a year pondering these areas and you're too damn far to get you drunk and ask direct.
I will gladly have some drinks with you the next time I'm in London but you need not get me drunk for answers. FYI, I have stopped pondering on these areas sometime ago.
Quote:
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
I'd also love you to ask what keeps you coming back to aikido (oh yes and why you haven't started your own dojo using your principals). But as these come under the heading of "too personal" I'll probably have to just keep guessing...(?)
I liken Aikido to golf (or even pool). You keep on going for it for no apparent reason; every game you played was different. As on the golf courses or in the poolrooms you are bound to come across some hustlers, similarly you would too in Aikido and other martial arts. (In MA, we term such hustlers as "Grasshopper Sensei" or "Medicine Man" or in the Malay language "Cari Makan" or "Cari Reseki" literary mean "to search for food"). Some in the martial art disciplines (more so in Aikido -- I noticed) would go for their yudansha and then choose either to disassociate from their teachers or start a new dojo or stop training all together. I took a different route, I chose not to grade. You can say I chose not to grade because of association. My thought on this may have changed as many of my peers have convinced me that I should grade for myself and not for others.

On the subject of golf and Aikido, You would notice that when you hit the "soft-spot" of the ball, you felt as if you have hit a sponge as the ball compressed and flied off with such tremendous force and speed. This is something that you look forward to dreaming of each time you tee-off. In Aikido, you enjoy every moment when your objective is met successfully with minimal effort utilised on your part. Your Uke goes down, then gets up and say, "Wow, I didn't feel that coming". When you train with the knowledge and discipline of Aikido principles and fundaments you never miss this feeling. This is the feeling that I wish my fellow otagani can have. I hate it when people are so expressive with their techniques that use full body/physical power to bring down their Uke, then apologise to their Uke and have the cheeks to say that's Aikido. IMHO, that's the problem when a teacher makes a weak statement -- AIKIDO CAN MEAN DIFFERENT THING TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

Still searching ...

David
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Old 07-17-2003, 01:47 AM   #29
David Yap
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Hi David V

I read your post with great interest and agreed wholeheartedly. The reality is that there are not many people like you or me who are intuitive and exposed ourselves to other martial arts forms. Some don't even have the interest or inquisiveness to research into Aikido let alone these other arts. They are only interested in chasing after belts and dan grades. Not surprisingly, some of them have never heard of the terms Sen-no-sen, Go-no-sen, Tai-no-sen, Tai-tai-no-sen let alone the precept of Shu-Ha-Ri. Ironically, some of them even went on to open their own dojo. They do not understand the teaching concept and hence, have no clarity on the what/why/how to teach and they cannot hold on to good students who had acquired more knowledge and skill than them.

I attached herewith my understanding of the concept of Shu Ha Ri. It was a thesis written for for san dan grading in karate but I am sure it has relevance to Aikido.



Still searching ..

David Y
Attached Files
File Type: txt shu ha ri.txt (10.4 KB, 97 views)
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Old 07-17-2003, 02:46 AM   #30
happysod
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Ron:"I'm not David but I want to answer this anyway. Aikido lacks pressure, simple as that... Pressure needs to be continuous for reality"

I have to disagree with this answer Ron - the 1 vs 1 stop start is for training only. Randori and free-form attacks etc. are where the true pressure comes. We also experiment with grappling, ground work and the famous "ok, you've lost, what do you do now?" scenarios - aikido isn't just technical drill, just like judo isn't just trying to remove each others clothing

David, thanks for your reply, it's good to know that we agree on why we keep coming back to aikido. However, I can't totally agree with you regarding teaching and the necessary "approach" to martial arts.

Firstly, as a teacher I don't expect my students to have an instant empathy or intuitive knowledge of what I'm trying to teach. My "job" (for want of a better term) is help them develop as fast and safely as possible and hopefully end up being able to (gently) push my face firmly through the tatami and show me up in technique. My problem with the "chosen students" route is too often this just turns into cliques who's own arrogance can mask bad technique. Fostering an "esprit de corps" (spelling?) is good and I do believe in rewarding dedication (more training), but this is different to the streaming I felt you were implying.

Secondly, the emphasis on needing to know the traditional terms to describe combat awareness etc. I'm always divided in myself over this one. I agree, re-inventing the wheel is dumb and slows you down. However, knowledge of the correct definitions for specific technical areas (which is all these actually are) is not always an aid in training. I've met (and I'm sure you have) martial artists who can quote chapter and verse who still fall over while trying to standing upright. How a person uses what they know is more important to me than how they describe it.

Glad to hear you may manage to disassociate yourself enough to grade and feel free to drop in for a beer if your passing. I have no doubt your budo's bigger than mine but I can manage a reasonable ukemi from time to time so I'll be happy to be bounced around if you turn up (and there's always some of Chiba's loons down the road if you want hard training )
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Old 07-17-2003, 09:00 AM   #31
ronmar
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Quote:
and there's always some of Chiba's loons down the road if you want hard training
Who, where? Where is the hardest uk dojo?
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Old 07-17-2003, 10:39 AM   #32
senshincenter
 
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David Y, and others,

Not to keep patting ourselves on the back, but...

I do agree with your position on Shu-Ha-Ri. Thank you for the attachment. I am forwarding it to our dojo email list for my students to read as well.

I also think some of the "doubting" in some of these other posts, regarding your position, does not really address the issues you have raised. Obviously, it's not what a person calls it, as much as the process being present or not that is important. We are talking about substance here after all - so don't fret. I get your point.

And, one should realize, call it what you will but without a process that takes one from form to a reconcilation between form and non-form, and without some great deal of insight into traditions of thought like Confucianism, etc., Budo would be non-recognizable. Why?

To be simple, perhaps overly simple here, Budo delineates a deep process of trasnforming the self. In a way, it is the Shu-Ha-Ri pedagogy that marks this path of pentration. Another way of looking at it might be: It's the means by which you bring something from the outside to the inside - such that in the end no distinction between the outside and inside can be clearly drawn. Without this process, what is outside remains outside, and what remains outside can only ever be called "superficial". Superficiality is the very antithesis of Budo training. For example, please note above that those of us pushing this post along have used words like "real", "authentic", "sincere", etc. - and all of these words are nothing more than an attempt to deepin (be less superficial in) our Aikido.

Thank you again,

dmv

Here I've pasted some of the text from our training video. I think it's relevant to what we are saying here and hope you all might find it interesting.

Text starts here:

By what means am I subject to form and spontaneity? What is the nature by which the greater Self is both trapped in bondage and potentially set free? Wherein lies the bridge between theory and practice, thought and action? By what praxis is the mind unfettered so that it can at all times remain compassionate and wise - even in the midst of violence? These are some of the questions at the heart of Budo. These are the questions that are to be addressed in this video, "The Shu of Ri, Drill #1."

For centuries now the Budo traditions have entered this realm of apparent paradoxes via the training model of "Shu, Ha, Ri." It is through the codependent stages of Shu, Ha, and Ri that the martial artist matures from the novice to skilled. "Shu", or the construction of form, is the first step, Primary and mandatory is Shu. In Shu the budoka shapes the mind and body according to the Way of his/her tradition. It is followed by "Ha," or the deconstruction of form. It is in Ha, through Ha, and with Ha, that the budoka tweaks, twists, and warps his/her tradition, such that its borders come to be known, and all for the sole purpose of having its interior reach a sublime level of penetrability. The end of Ha is marked by a clarity. It is through this clarity that the distinction between the artist and his/her art, between the aikidoka and Aikido, between the subject and the object, begins to blur and fade into meaninglessness. This is "Ri". This s the space/time of spontaneity. This is the reconciliation of Form and Non-Form. And this is the first real time that the budoka has gained access to true Budo.

At Senshin Center, this ten thousand mile journey begins with this first step: Drill #1.

Drill #1 is in line with the ancient spiritual mystery of "Peace through Violence." For at the heart of a human being who is sublimely compassionate and loving stands a warrior who's mind is unfettered by Fear, Pride, and Ignorance. How this mystery comes to be solved is ultimately a matter of each practitioner's level of commitment and discipline toward the training, but solved it must be. We must realize that when dealing with the "spiritual" and the "martial" we are not to understand one as a metaphor for the other, nor one as a choice amongst another.

The division between the spiritual and the martial that today pervades the world of Budo is nothing more than a modern invention. It is a reduction born first out of the rarity of those people that were actually able to attain "shinbu," or "divine martialness," that is to say, "the harmonizing of the physical, ethical, and spiritual elements of the human being via martial arts training with the Way of God, or Nature." This division is a perversion reared in the absence of those who could actually both epitomize and yet transcend the problematic of human violence. Later, weaned on fascism and imperialism, the false division in the end matured in the prejudice the elite always make in the name of "mass consumption": "Things need to be simplified."

When we as aikidoka accept this division without the slightest protest, even when we use one side to critique the shortcomings of the other side, rather than being reflective, we remain dangerously passive - the opposite of any martial virtue if ever there was one. In our passivity we are only left to understand Aikido as metaphor, or as symbol. And as such, Aikido, Budo, the Way, has no potency for transformation. In this way, Aikido has become like the map we have mistaken for the territory. It becomes like the picture of food that offers us no nourishment. Here, Aikido is superficial as a transformative process and impotent as a technology of the Self. Our quest, each of us, every aikidoka, must be then to not merely train, but to reflect upon this history, to question it, to struggle with it, and in the end to deepen our Aikido.

Drill #1, as basic as it may be, or even as slow as it may be practiced, will nonetheless put one in a face to face position with the highest ideal of the art itself, namely, with the martial tactic of "aiki." This occurs because, in one way, access to the tactic of aiki can take place only when one begins a process of reconciliation with Fear, Pride, and Ignorance. Drill #1, when carried out properly, is a matter of facing our fears, our pride, and our ignorance. Try to win, and you will lose. Try to do a technique, and you will fail. Try to do Aikido, and you will fail. Try at all, and you will fail.

Here, instead, one will either face the tactic of aiki as a fulfillment of that principle, and thus one will learn to be the embodiment of calmness, grace, and awareness, or one will face the tactic of aiki as an absence of that principle, and thus one will be that which is void of harmony, presence, and power. In the former case, one will come to embrace the attack and the attacker; one will be void of mistakes, showing only a constant flow of adaptation; and one will have entered that paradox that is everywhere and nowhere. In the latter case, one is only intimidated, manipulated, and, ultimately, one is dominated.

As aiki is a psycho-physical principle, so too are the obstacles that keep us from cultivating it. One of the most common obstacles we come to face in our training is the obstacle of Resistance (or forcing, or muscling, etc.). For this reason, this video includes a section on Resistance. For we must realize that Drill #1, being a beginner drill, is one of the earliest times that the aikidoka comes to face some of the more spiritually and physically potent elements of the combative experience, namely: the impermanent and the unknowable. Now, in a sea of the ever-changing, rather than seeking to swim freely, the aikidoka often feels a great need to "not let go of the boat" - to instead cling to the delusions of the predictable, the knowable, and the constant. As a consequence then, resistance is both the resultant and that which is being further cultivated in the drill. This means, as Drill #1 has the potential to bring us into contact with the cultivation of aiki, it equally has the potential to forever keep it beyond our grasp if we are not mindful of what we are doing and/or not doing. In the end then, it is not enough to do the drill over and over.

No mirror comes from the polished brick.

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:06 PM   #33
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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A Question on Following Through

I notice one criticism is that, say, people don't just curve their mune-tsuki to hit the person who's moved to the side.

I'm not sure it would be appropriate to do this, at least not when the practice style being used (as it often is, for beginners) is a very step-by-step one.

Could someone more knowledgeable please elaborate on this subject?

I.e., "Not 'dutifully' striking where they were standing 24 hours ago".

Thanks.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:13 PM   #34
shihonage
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Quote:
David Valadez (senshincenter) wrote:
David Y, and others,

Not to keep patting ourselves on the back, but...

[ ... ]

No mirror comes from the polished brick.
Bruce, you're back !

We missed* you !

_____________________________________

* will aim more carefully next time


Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
I notice one criticism is that, say, people don't just curve their mune-tsuki to hit the person who's moved to the side.

I'm not sure it would be appropriate to do this, at least not when the practice style being used (as it often is, for beginners) is a very step-by-step one.

Could someone more knowledgeable please elaborate on this subject?

I.e., "Not 'dutifully' striking where they were standing 24 hours ago".

Thanks.
I am not more knowledgeable, but I will elaborate on the way how I understand it.

When the attack is done at close-to-realtime speed, you are physically not capable of "curving" much.

However if the nage moves too early, you can still adjust the direction of the punch before it becomes unchangeable.

If both practitioners choose to practice slowly, then they both need to simulate the energy and behavior of the encounter as if it was done at fast speed.

At that point, the uke may INDEED strike the point at which nage was "24 hours ago", as long as neither is cheating the "virtual laws" of this "slow-motion simulation".

And constantly adjusting the direction of the punch in such a "simulation" would be indeed breaking the laws of physics that this "simulation" aims to imitate.

Last edited by shihonage : 07-17-2003 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-17-2003, 12:20 PM   #35
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Grasps

In addition to a question, I may have a partial answer to offer.

In my home dojo, we do a lot of grasps - wrist grasps, chest grasps, etc - as beginners, as I'm lead to believe is common in other dojos.

It seems that grasps are useful in that they can be done committedly without causing harm. You can still do drills like "If I get my hand out of the way, I'll do this; else, I'll do this".

I remember one exercise that pointed out a weakness in our practice, at least amongst beginners. Often, if uke knew that it was going to be a technique where shite (nage) pivoted his/her wrist out of the way, if shite stood still, uke would end up reaching waaaay past shite's hand, sometimes even bending over a bit, and looking confused. Good reminder that uke's going for the wrist, not trying to lean over so he/she can be thrown. ^_-

Of course, it doesn't have that same 'intimidation' factor that a punch does, so it can't really serve to rewire that instinct in the face of imminent harm. Nor is it a 'real attack' in the direct sense.
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Old 08-11-2003, 02:11 PM   #36
Corey
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I know that the ukemi in my dojo is lacking and I am glad this subject is being discussed. The reason I know it needs improvement is that I witnessed a street fight a few days ago. Just through observation, I could see that my training is not sufficient at all for the preparation of dealing with real commited attacks one will encounter in these situations. I study aikido for self-defense. I don't want to waste my time dancing around with people and fooling myself into believing I can actually defend myself. I want to know that when I do my technique I actually DID it. If there is a weakness in my technique and the uke has a chance to recover then by all means they should counter. That is a more realistic reaction. I realize that the dojo is not ever going to be the same as fighting in a street, but I want people to actually try to hit me with real commitment and force. If they do this then I can become more accustomed to an attack of this nature, rather than getting scared and losing my center. I myself have been trying to be a better uke. Weak attacks as uke translate into weak atemi as nage. Maybe we should all try to think of being uke and being nage as two great opportunites to strengthen all aspects of our own techniques. As a woman, I want strong, commited attacks by my uke. I don't want a watered-down attack as it does me more of a disservice than anything. This is a MARTIAL art--not the Ice Capades. That's my two cents worth.

Knowing others is wisdom;
Knowing the self is enlightment.
Mastering others requires force;
Mastering the self needs strength.
~Lao Tzu
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Old 08-11-2003, 03:21 PM   #37
shihonage
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Quote:
Corey Hollemeyer (Corey) wrote:
As a woman, I want strong, commited attacks by my uke. I don't want a watered-down attack as it does me more of a disservice than anything. This is a MARTIAL art--not the Ice Capades.
Do you accept marriage proposals ?
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Old 08-11-2003, 10:12 PM   #38
Pretoriano
 
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gby

Mr. Valadez, how you can come up with all that words in a single topic with that ease?

Apart from the renowned expert, you got the tread for yourself.

Do you have room for a lost soul? (my list rarely changes)

You doesnt look Japanese to me... Good Blend!

Praetorian

Manuel Chiquito Anderson

Caracas, Venezuela
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:59 PM   #39
senshincenter
 
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Well, I'd like to comment if need be, but truthfully, I'm not at all sure what a couple of the replies meant - e.g. "bruce we missed you" and "lost soul, my list hardly changes" - etc. So please don't consider the silence rude, it comes more from a lack of understanding on my part than from anything else.

thank you,

dmv

David M. Valadez
Visit our web site for articles and videos. Senshin Center - A Place for Traditional Martial Arts in Santa Barbara.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:20 AM   #40
Abasan
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I've been reading the posts here, and I still have trouble understanding what's the whole thing about.

I've been thinking somewhat about the reality of attacks and have almost come to the conclusion that there cannot be a real attack in the dojo. Because IMHO a strike is not an attack in itself. Attacks I believe is the whole being, spirit, attitude, intention and all... culminating towards the attack. Therefore, a real attack will end with a strike with which i want to hurt you, badly.

This i feel cannot be fostered in a dojo.

David Y, if you come back to class... we can address this type of attack if you wish. Not everyone agrees with senseis nowdays, especially when sensei has to teach classes on a commercial venture. But, to say sensei has nothing to teach you is very arrogant indeed. You haven't tried it, but you can always ask fellow students to train after class on a particular slant, including forceful and 'realistic' attacks. I've done that sometimes, with sensei helping out when it gets sticky.

However, if our objective to go through the Shu or forms part whatever... I would hazard that a follow through attack with enough energy should suffice. Gradually increasing in intensity as nage gets more accomplished.

I am just reading this new book by Dave Lowry, Reflections, which I feel maynot be as good as his ealier moving in stillness. However, one story of his reminds me very much of this post. The... oh i'm sorry, are you ok one.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:29 AM   #41
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Does an attaacker go through all this in his/her mind before the attack? Or do they just attack? And do attacks always hit their mark?

*Phil

Phillip Johnson
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An Aikido Bukou Dojo
http://www.aikidobukou.com
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Old 08-13-2003, 06:40 AM   #42
Alec Corper
 
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There are so many problems with semantics in such a discussion. People say "combat" when referring t

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 08-13-2003, 06:45 AM   #43
Alec Corper
 
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There are so many problems with semantics in such a discussion. People say "combat" when referring to "real" training. I don't care how real your dojo training is, it is not combat. Combat is not win or lose, it is live or die, the only rule is survival and there is no technique except the spontaneous response.

A "street fight" is not the same as a "street ambush". Most MA, including Aikido, will prepare a person, if they train with intent, for an argument that goes physical. No MA, IMHO, can prepare you to be blindsided and stomped by 3 or 4 people at once.

By all means let's make practise more intense, accurate, focussed, conscious, and a host of other words that can be used in a dojo, but don't tell me it's "real". As one Aikijutsu teacher once said referring to Aikido randori, "its fall down and stand up again practise. In a randori we should begin with 4 or 5 and end up with none if our techique works and the attacks are "real", but we would soon run out of ukes.

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 08-13-2003, 11:35 AM   #44
Eric Joyce
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Alec quote:

By all means let's make practise more intense, accurate, focussed, conscious, and a host of other words that can be used in a dojo, but don't tell me it's "real". As one Aikijutsu teacher once said referring to Aikido randori, "its fall down and stand up again practise. In a randori we should begin with 4 or 5 and end up with none if our techique works and the attacks are "real", but we would soon run out of ukes.

Amen brother. Good post.

Eric Joyce
Otake Han Doshin Ryu Jujutsu
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:54 PM   #45
Derek_W
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Shu-Ra-Hi in use by the FAA

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
I attached herewith my understanding of the concept of Shu Ha Ri. It was a thesis written for for san dan grading in karate but I am sure it has relevance to Aikido.
{excellent essay by David Yap snipped}

Hi, all... my first post here. I just HAD to sign in and add my two cents because although I know nothing about aikido, I *am* a teacher. Specifically, I'm a flight instructor. And I thought it might be interesting for you all to know that "shu-ra-hi" training style is taught to American flight instructors when teaching them to fly airplanes... we just refer to it differently.

As flight instructors, we are taught that there are "four levels of learning:"

1. ROTE: the ability to repeat back an answer. For example, that "Vso is 55 knots" in a particular airplane.

2. UNDERSTANDING: a deeper level of learning in which one knows what has been taught, and when it might be applied. For example, that "Vso represent the lowest speed at which the airplane will fly, and that one wishes to land at this speed in order to have a smooth landing."

3. APPLICATION: The skill to apply the knowledge in the appropriate situations. For example, the ability to perform a successful low-speed landing.

4. CORRELATION: The ability to COMBINE AND ASSOCIATE this knowledge with other factors and skills in a given situation. For example, given a scenario in which the pilot may be landing with a crosswind, what would the pilot do in order to ensure a safe and comfortable landing? The Vso knowledge might be combined with knowledge of wind flow patterns over terrain, low-speed flight procedures and skills, altitude-related performance factors, etc. to safely and smoothly put the plane down.

In this case, it seems that "Shu" corresponds to "rote;" "Ha" corresponds to "understanding / application;" and "Ri" corresponds to "correlation." The match between the discipline of aikido training and flight training is (of course) not one-to-one, but there are similarities, and I thought you might be interested.
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Old 08-13-2003, 02:25 PM   #46
TheFallGuy
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I've been following this thread, and one thing I see is that there is a lot of confusion on what you really mean David Valadez. You tend to obfuscate what you're asking and saying with a lot of philosophical rhetoric.

This may or may not apply, but from what I see and understand you are referring to the sincerity in the strikes. I believe in being sincere in all of my strikes, but since most of the people that I work with are all below yudansha (myself included, we only have 3 black belts in our dojo), I have to adapt my sincerity so I don't hurt the person I work with. In all honesty -- who wants to work with the jerk hurting everybody. But when you find the limits of your training partner and help them push those limits, then it becomes really fun for both of you. Sometimes you throw harder than they are used to and they find out "Hey! I can actually do this!!!" which then moves them to another level. OR they go kersplatt, and you feel like a jerk. But most of the times it's "Hey!!! Excellent."

I think Ahmad and Alec make a good point too. But then it may just be semantics. If your goal is to actually hurt your partner, then you are in the wrong place. NO respectable MA appreciates or wants that type of behavior or attitude. I tend to agree with other masters of other arts (Wing Tsun, Pa Kua, etc) that the dojo is a place of learning and we are all "family". We all have different skills, and abilities, and reasons why we are there. Can't we work together? Become unified?

What is your point to this thread? That we should all strive to develop a sincerity in what we do? I agree. Aikido is a Martial Art. There is a martial side to it and an art side. Without the art it is only self-defense, without the martial it is not effective in self-defense.

As mentioned earlier, some people are in the dojo for many different reasons. Socializing, health, self-defense, whatever. In my book, that's all fine and dandy. Hopefully, we can work hard and have fun, learn tons, and get along, get healthy, etc.

Thanks Derek! Your post clarified some things for me on the Shu-Ha-Ri text. Great way to learn things. And then you can add on applications, derivations, expansions -- making the technique unique and your own.

Hope I haven't offended I'm just seeking clarification.
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Old 08-14-2003, 03:47 AM   #47
Alec Corper
 
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Frank, I totally agree. I don't practise to hurt people and would not train in a dojo where people did. I'm just fed up with the underlying critique that seems to abound in the Aikido world. I started martial arts when I was 16 did 2 years Shotokan and Kyukushinkai. then 8 years of Chuen Shu Kwan full contact fighting. Even there we were not really trying to hurt each other, but we sure as hell were trying to hit each other hard. Looking back (I'm now 51) it was agreat experience for a young buck and it definitely teaches you to accept impact and keep going, which is an experience which, IMHO, many Aikideshi are missing. However, in every other way, I wish I had started Aikido then and not when I was 39.

Aikido is a superb MA, it's only shortfall lies in it's practioners, not the art. If these dicussions are about how we can improve our practise, fine, if they are a venting of people's personal doubts why not say so.

There is no such thing as a "real" attack in a dojo, thats an oxymoron. You do not suddenly introduce feints, deception, mob attack, unless it's agreed before hand, in which case it's not real. You do not mercilessly punish uke (or tori) for suki, you try to indicate them with a level of intensity that your partner can safely handle.

O Sensei's teaching is reconciliation of opposing forces, which is impossible if we are personally in conflict with what we are trying to practise.

Let's all drop the macho posturing and practise with love, joy, and serious intent, but we are practising a DO, not preparing for combat. Those of you who really want "real" attacks try a few bars or street corners and try not to get hurt too badly, or anyone else for that matter.

No rudeness intended, Alec Corper

If your temper rises withdraw your hand, if your hand rises withdraw your temper.
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Old 08-14-2003, 05:56 AM   #48
PhilJ
 
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So, does this imply there's more than one reason to practice aikido? I'm just finding this out now?

*Phil

Phillip Johnson
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http://www.aikidobukou.com
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Old 08-14-2003, 08:31 AM   #49
SeiserL
 
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IMHO, I have to agree with others that there is no way to actually practice with "real" attacks in the dojo. Just not pratcical. Very few tori's could defend and very few uke have the intent to deliver. The closer we can get to the applied situation, the easier it is to generalize and apply the training. Lower belts need to start slow and build up as their ability progress. Higher belts need to be more committed.

Please remember that training is not sparring, sparring is not fighting, fighting is not combat.

There are many other reasons besides the strict martial applications to study Aikido. It is easier to gain martial ability through other arts.

Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself. Now, lets get back on the mat.

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!
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Old 08-14-2003, 10:50 AM   #50
TheFallGuy
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Alec wrote
Quote:
O Sensei's teaching is reconciliation of opposing forces, which is impossible if we are personally in conflict with what we are trying to practise
I agree, and I also feel that O Sensei's teaching was resolution of conflict. So another aspect could be resolving the conflict within ourselves. Ahhh applications.

Phillip wrote
Quote:
So, does this imply there's more than one reason to practice aikido? I'm just finding this out now?
Let me respond to that question with another question -- Why did you start Aikido? And then ask, why did anyone else start aikido? I'm almost sure that my reason is different from yours. I'm a 150 pound weakling who needed to learn how to defend himself. How 'bout you?

I can't remember who said it or if I imagined it, but someone once posted that even changing your attack while nage/tori is going through the technique is insincere. I'm going to have to call "that depends". If you are new to the art, and learning the techniques -- then yes it is unfair. If nage/tori has been doing the art for years then it might be good to change direction a little for him. My sensei recently successfully demonstrated for yondan. And one of the things that a visiting sensei asked me and the others in our dojo was to stop somewhere in the middle of the technique. The reason for this was to get our sensei to open his mind to other techniques. He was specifically doing this for Oyowaza and Henkowaza (sp?). It was really hard to do. Especially when your balance is gone and you're trying to get it back while following through with the technique.

Alec wrote
Quote:
Aikido is a superb MA, it's only shortfall lies in it's practioners, not the art. If these dicussions are about how we can improve our practise, fine, if they are a venting of people's personal doubts why not say so.
I agree, that's why I am asking David Valadez for clarification on what he means and what he is trying to get across.

Some people get into the mode of expecting everyone to live up to "their standard". In the process they forget that everyone is unique, and the standard is really lame. I like the buddhist thought on expectations. Get rid of your expectations. It makes life more interesting, and can be a lot of fun. It also allows you to be more adaptable.

Lynn wrote
Quote:
Relax, breath, and enjoy yourself. Now, lets get back on the mat
Amen to that.
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