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Old 07-11-2003, 01:59 AM   #26
PeterR
 
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Hi Bryan;

Well my kendo guys weren't nearly as illustrious.

I am still wincing at the idea of ma ai being maintained during the entire execution of technique. During the initial phases of many techniques I often expound on the fact that ma ai should be maintained (ie. stay out of reach of the punch) but there comes a point where ma ai gets tossed. Because of kuzushi, body placement , etc. the danger from uke is mollified but to say you are sitll in ma ai - I don't know.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
I often expound on the fact that ma ai should be maintained (ie. stay out of reach of the punch) but there comes a point where ma ai gets tossed. Because of kuzushi, body placement , etc.
Hi Peter,

This is where we differ. If we define ma ai as correct distance, I don't think that ma ai is tossed for kuzushi or body placement, if you are in the right position to do kuzushi, you still have ma ai.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:53 AM   #28
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Bryan Bateman (batemanb) wrote:
Hi Peter,

This is where we differ. If we define ma ai as correct distance, I don't think that ma ai is tossed for kuzushi or body placement, if you are in the right position to do kuzushi, you still have ma ai.
OK - then in my view ma ai can not be defined as correct distance. We need another translation. If we scroll back a bit the term I acutally used was combative distance but that probably has the same inherent weakness as correct distance.

I am beginning to see your point (while of course refusing to adopt the heresy). There are enough times where I am either correcting myself or others because I am either too far or too close during the execution of a technique. You know those pictures I put up on my web site - well two that didn't make it have me way too close in one instance and way too far in another.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:21 AM   #29
akiy
 
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For me, at least, "maai" basically translates directly to something like "the matching of one's interval(s)." In essence, "maai" is the awareness and understanding of the relationship between distance/positioning and timing.

I know that some folks out there describe maai as that distance between you and your partner when your partner (or yourself) has to take a step forward to attack/connect. To me, that's just one aspect of maai.

I don't think there's one "correct maai" or anything like that as the situation mandates a different sense of maai. Just as you can't define the length of a piece of string, I don't think you can define "correct maai" as being, say, seven feet, three-and-a-quarter inches. "Correct maai" to me is just one aspect of maai and, to me "maai" doesn't mean "correct distance" (or somesuch). There's also, of course, "incorrect maai" (with which I am all too familiar).

If the situation is that I'm empty handed and my partner has a jo, my sense of maai will differ from that of my partner's. Likewise, my sense of maai in that situation will differ from that if my partner were wielding a shorter weapon like a tanto. And so on.

Personally, I don't think we throw away the sense of maai ever during a technique. It's just like the sense of posture, connection, and so forth that occurs during a technique; it's something that's always there, although perhaps not always there in a perfect sense...

-- Jun

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Old 07-11-2003, 11:26 AM   #30
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Re: proper distance in action

returning to the original question... ;-)
Quote:
James Vadakin (jvadakin) wrote:
How the heck do you limit your adversary to the one distance that works best for Aikido? Do we just concede the other ranges that are not compatible with our techniques? Is that a huge disadvantage? Thanks in advance for your help!
I not 100% sure to be honest (see "More fun with kids thread)

I *suspect* it has to do with being comfortable with all ranges and thus being able to dictate the action as you wish. Naturally enough, this entails learning abt kicks, punches, grappling etc. (cross training)

Or think of it like this -

Man grabs wrist and swings a wild punch

James can -

duck

enter and attempts hiji kudaki

throw man with taiotoshi

James choose hiji kudaki

Man wriggles out

James can -

kick

throw

elbow

headbutt

James throws

Man holds onto James and drags him onto the floor

James can -

establish knee ride and strike

stand up and run away

etc etc etc

Different ranges blending.
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Old 07-11-2003, 03:55 PM   #31
jvadakin
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Re: Re: proper distance in action

Thanks for addressing my original question. Your answer is both informative and sort of hilarious.
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Old 07-11-2003, 04:35 PM   #32
bob_stra
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Re: Re: Re: proper distance in action

Quote:
James Vadakin (jvadakin) wrote:
Thanks for addressing my original question. Your answer is both informative and sort of hilarious.
*makes a "Did I just step in dog poop face*

Uh....I'd thank ya, but I get the feeling yer ribbing me ;-)

You get what I'm trying to say though (I hope).
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Old 07-07-2004, 06:57 PM   #33
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Re: proper distance in action

Aikido ma-ai differs from judo's which differs from karate's which differs from kendo's. That's it. The games differ, so the rules differ...

One constructive way of characterizing the difference is to consider the blatancy of the attacker's intention and what role it plays in a particular martial art. In judo or karate jyu-waza both partners try to hide their true intentions. In aikido if uke tried to and is at all skilled in hiding his intentions the aikidoka is at a total loss...

And this is perfectly ok... aikido is simply a different game.
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Old 07-07-2004, 10:14 PM   #34
senshincenter
 
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Re: proper distance in action

I would have to agree with Lynn Seiser here. Maai is the "proper" or "right" distance. That means that it is "situational specific," and can only be known in strict accordance with one's actions and intent. In other words, we are talking about the necessary relationship that must be present between Space and Time in light of an intent to execute a given tactic and/or strategy. There is a constant fluctuation in the manifestation of these things but a harmonious relationship must always be present between them. So it would not be a matter of being at a safe distance and/or of being out of range unless those two things were your intended tactic. That is the best way to understand "maai" - in my experience.

As for Lee's ranges, I think the current understandings offered thus far are a bit too two-dimensional. Combat is a lot more dynamic. Thus it cannot serve us well to measure things in a way that only makes sense within a situation where we picture two men standing in front of each other at distance "X," and then watch them close in at varying degrees of "-X." I think this is important to realize no matter what one's art, but I think it is doubly important for one to understand when one's art makes ample use of the spiral in its tactical architecture. Aikido falls firmly within this parameter.

The spiral allows us to strike, kick, throw, trap, pin, etc., at "ranges" not even conceivable when one only understands maai two-dimensionally (linearly) in terms of "X" and the various forms of "-X." In other words, Aikido's spirals, I would suggest, make Lee's formula irrelevant. We do not train for one range, or even for four or five ranges. Spirals, in their three dimensional structure, which itself can travel along any given plane and/or curve, and that can also be enhanced by a fourth dimension of Time, have us addressing the various tactical limitations of a given basic in terms of range in a totally different way. We would be wiser to look more at that -- look at how and why that can happen and should happen -- why would should reject Lee's thesis outright.

In my opinion,
dmv
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