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Old 01-04-2004, 07:30 PM   #26
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Aikido at it Highest Levels

Quote:
Asim Hanif (AsimHanif) wrote:
Is it possible to reach the highest levels of aikido excellence without embracing the concept of unconditional universal love?
It depends on what one deems "Aikido excellence" - if we mean physical/technical excellence, I would tend to say no, one does not need to embrace the universal love concept to reach an extremely high technical level. If Ueshiba M. was an atheist he may have still been able to perform the sort of physical feats he did from his training. In this case there may not be much change to the technical quality of what he were doing, only in the end result of the tech, which may be destruction instead of preservation on the part of the aggressor. But preservation of Uke is a moral question, not a technical one per se, as the same technique can do both. As seen in another thread here on Aikiweb, there is nothing technically unique in Aikido, which means that a lot of styles that may seem brutal may actually share some technical elements with "The Budo of Love."

If the excellence referred to is more of a mind or spiritual nature, then I may lean toward yes, as the non-contentious / universal harmony philosophy of Aikido demands that one increasingly understand the nature of cosmic love and its applications to life, since this is the particular philosophy of Aikido. If one were doing another MA this may not be the case.

As far as the gap between Ueshiba M.'s skills and that of current highly skilled practitioners, I don't think there is one. Ueshiba M. was an impressive martial artist during his time. Given the tradition of Japanese culture to see some awe inspiring things as "divine techniques" or otherwise deify a person of unusual talent, it becomes difficult to compare legend of the past with practitioner of the present, as one does not have the luxury of comparing Ueshiba M. and a modern adept side by side on an objective basis.

I would tend to agree though that martial excellence in Aikido is difficult to judge, since the majority of technical training is done in a cooperative manner. One of the first reality checks one gets with even minor resistance-based training is how easy it is to delude oneself into feeling secure in knowing a technique from kata based repetition alone. Speaking personally, it can be painfully humbling , but is healthy for those who need to be true to themselves and what works in their martial training.

Just some thoughts.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-04-2004, 07:41 PM   #27
paw
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Aleksky,
Quote:
Usually when a beginner is "stuck" in one direction, one can "cooperate", that is, throw them in a completely different way.
For heaven's sake....

Cooperate - To work or act together toward a common end or purpose, To acquiesce willingly; be compliant

Get someone really mad at you then give them a stick and ask them to hit you with it. They will not cooperate --- they will have a different purpose than you do (most likely they want to smash your head in, you most likely want to prevent that). You may blend with their intention or energy and redirect their energy/intention to throw them, which is what aikido, judo, bjj and numerous other arts do. It is not, by definition, cooperation.

And again, this is tangental to the thread, IMO. I submit that a cooperative partner is not as accurate an indication of martial ability as an uncooperative one. I believe I've explained why previously, nor am I alone in this belief. --- See also Larry's post (preceeding) for further reasons why and consult the "Judo and Aikido" thread.
Quote:
Paul, do you even study Aikido ?
Why do you ask? I don't think I'm using terminology in a manner that would be unique or unfamilar to you, am I? I hold rank in aikido (ASU) -- 5 1/2 years of training thus far. Rank in bjj -- 5 years training thus far. I've also spent time training in judo and muay thai. Competed in powerlifting, bjj, judo and submission wrestling.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-04-2004, 09:11 PM   #28
Goetz Taubert
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@ Paul

I admit that randori - to what extent cooperation-based constraints meet martial effectiveness or sporting demands should be left aside - will still be a demanding challenge of one's ability. Please note that this doesn‘t automatically disqualify learning and judging in standard practice as inferior because you feel, that cooperation may be involved. How would you attempt to measure the degree of cooperation? Personally I can profit a lot with training partners who are uncooperative with my shortcomings. I also profit by feeling the technique of advanced practitioners on me becasue it can give me a - very subjective - understanding of „what and how much" is involved in ones technique.

If randori is really the best test of ability for you, you should come back to the theme of the thread and answer the question, whether spiritual aspects may be needed for superior randori skills? Otherwise I think you should specify uncooperative training methods more precisely than you've done until now. Give some examples, don‘t hide! I feel that you repeating your point of view on a quite abstract level or be so kind to summarize the important points in the other thread you're mentioning (I'm sure it wouldn't be the broken ellbow). Next question: How would you judge someones randori-performance?

@ Asim Hanif

I found a jugement of Mr. S. Pranin where he draws a quite similar conclusion. Here it is:

„The aikido seen commonly today differs considerably from that developed by the founder during the Iwama years in the following respects. Atemi (strikes to vital points) have been de-emphasized or eliminated. The number of techniques commonly practiced has been reduced. The focus on irimi (entering) and initiation of techniques by tori [person executing the technique] has been lost, and the distinction between omote and ura blurred. Practice of the aiki ken, jo, or other weapons is infrequent or nonexistent. Aikido, although still considered as a budo by some, retains little of its historical martial effectiveness due to the soft, casual nature of practice and as such has been transformed into what could be better called a health or exercise system."
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Old 01-05-2004, 04:51 AM   #29
paw
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Goetz,
Quote:
Please note that this doesn‘t automatically disqualify learning and judging in standard practice as inferior because you feel, that cooperation may be involved.
I never suggested that was the case. You are ascribing to me views that I do not hold.
Quote:
If randori is really the best test of ability for you, you should come back to the theme of the thread and answer the question, whether spiritual aspects may be needed for superior randori skills?
Again, you are putting words into my mouth. I never said "best" --- I have said randori (sparring, wrestling, boxing, rolling, whatever....) is better than cooperative practice for determining martial ability.
Quote:
I feel that you repeating your point of view on a quite abstract level or be so kind to summarize the important points in the other thread you're mentioning (I'm sure it wouldn't be the broken ellbow).
Obviously you're an intelligent fellow...so I have a hard time believing you don't know what I'm talking about. Since you have consistently ascribed to me views I do not hold I strongly suspect you're baiting me.

In the unlikely event you're not baiting me .... I can't give you aikido examples, because in my experience aikidoists don't train on a consistent basis against uncooperative partners --- with the exception of Shodokan. So for aikido examples, ask Larry or Peter or search the forum for older posts as I suspect there are some out there.

In bjj, we would instruct everyone on a particular technique (say, escaping from a pin). We would then practice cooperatively with a partner on the pin escape. We would then drill the technique. One person attempts to escape the pin, the other person attempts to hold the pin (this is no longer cooperative as both people have differing purposes). Finally, we integrate this pin escape into all bjj techniques by sparring.

If class is two hours --- 15 minutes are warm up --- 30 minutes are instruction --- 30 minutes are drills and 30 minutes are sparring and 15 minutes are water breaks, questions, announcements and general community building. That would be a "normal" class, more or less, everywhere I've trained bjj.
Quote:
Next question: How would you judge someones randori-performance?
By the results. To get an idea of general progress, monitor the results over time.

Finally,
Quote:
the theme of the thread and answer the question, whether spiritual aspects may be needed for superior randori skills?
As I've suggested previously that's the wrong tool to measure spiritual skill. You can't use a speedometer to figure out the temperature. An uncooperative opponent measures martial ability. Spiritual skill might be best measured by something else....maybe community service, donations to charity organizations, general reputation in the community, time in meditation or prayers...depending on what is meant by spiritual aspects.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-05-2004, 05:55 AM   #30
indomaresa
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paul

aikido practice is cooperative when trained so. Not every dojo trains that way. Look around more, and if you're lucky you'll find a dojo that cares about practicality as you do.

But the goal of learning aikido isn't about practical techniques. It's just an unfortunate side effect that can happen to any dojo.

Aikido mainstream organization are usually allergic and frowns upon terms like "combat aikido", "street aikido" or "practical aikido". This is probably what causes Aikido today to lose a lot of it's original prowess.

and...

I don't agree that taking ukemi isn't a good way to measure ability. If you found someone good enough, taking ukemi from him/her can either be a life and death pursuit, or like being teleported to the ground. I say this from experience.

I personally like taking ukemi. It's fun.

Next chance you find a shihan, you can try to test your theories by attacking him without any 'cooperation'. For real.

Preferably Steven Seagal Shihan.

I'm sure it'll be a enlightening experience.

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Old 01-05-2004, 07:02 AM   #31
paw
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Maresa,
Quote:
aikido practice is cooperative when trained so. Not every dojo trains that way.
I said, I personally have not experienced regular dynamic training in aikido, but I was aware that Shodokan people train that way. From other posts you have made, I suspect you understood quite well what I originally wrote.
Quote:
I don't agree that taking ukemi isn't a good way to measure ability. If you found someone good enough, taking ukemi from him/her can either be a life and death pursuit, or like being teleported to the ground. I say this from experience.
For Pete's sake.... Once again, I didn't say "taking ukemi" isn't a good way to measure ability...I said uncooperative training is "better" than cooperative training for measuring martial ability.

Have you ever seen a baseball game? A machine is used to throw a baseball for the player to hit. Is this an indication of batting ability? Of course. If the player can hit the ball we know they possess some skill. (This, you will note, is cooperative practice)

But a living, breathing pitcher is a better test. Unlike the machine a person can vary the speed of the ball, the direction of the ball, the timing between throws, the location of the ball and the manner in which the ball is thrown (the "windup" --- which varies from person to person). This is a better test of batting ability, and you will note, is also uncooperative practice.
Quote:
Next chance you find a shihan, you can try to test your theories by attacking him without any 'cooperation'. For real.
Try not making assumptions about what I've done and not done and try staying on topic.

I have trained with shihan, including Steven Seagal. I've "taken ukemi" from Shihan. I said, that I've not trained with O Sensei or with anyone who trained directly with O Sensei in a dynamic (uncooperative) manner and therefore cannot say from personal experience if O Sensei was "good". (Please read that again, it keeps getting missed)

If you're going to be cute and try in get in a good verbal barb, it helps to choose someone who: a) I haven't trained with and b) actually trained with O Sensei --- since this discussion is about how good O Sensei was, how good people are now and if "universal love" plays a part in any differences.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:20 AM   #32
Goetz Taubert
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@ Paul

„Personally, I see no way to judge martial performance other than an uncooperative opponent." (12.30.03, 04:44PM)

„Taking ukemi from someone isn't a worthwhile gauge of ability, in my opinion. There's still an amount of cooperation in some form or another." (01.01.04; 12:22).

„I don't feel taking ukemi is a good way to determine someone's ability per se, as it may still cooperative to some degree." (01.02.04; 12:27)

„If by "taking ukemi" all you mean is kata practice, then that isn't an accurate indication of much of anything as far as martial effectiveness is concerned"(01.02.04 08:05 PM)

Maybe your statements have gotten a bit tamer in the running of the thread, but I really try not to ascribe things to you without a certain „database". May others judge, whether I‘ve leaned out the window too far with my statement.

I appreciate to see, that you‘re getting more precisely concerning the thread theme. Thank you.
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Old 01-05-2004, 09:52 AM   #33
indomaresa
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oookay, paul

got it. But your posts are pretty contradictive you know. Had to read them over & over again to get the gist of it.

According to your statements, I gather that Aikido practice is NOT necessarily cooperative, but the attacker behaviour is still not dynamic / unpredictable enough?

Like what Goetz has stated earlier, I think you need to describe your version of dynamic (uncooperative) training. Because judging from your explanations and hints, I'm getting visions of roman gladiators / UFC as well. I'm sure some people who read your posts can get that impressions as well.

I had some ideas, but I'll hear yours first.

----

I did incorrectly assume that you haven't taken ukemi from shihans, judging only from the way your posts are worded.

In addition, I also assumed that you haven't taken ukemi from really powerful shihans. And since I couldn't think of any shihan I know that has been to my country AND wherever you are, I chose the scariest shihan I could think of.

Sorry. No verbal barb intended.

But how is your impression of Steven Seagal shihan's throws? Are you being cooperative at the time?

And, to maintain the spirit of this thread, do you think he practiced 'universal love'?

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Old 01-05-2004, 10:23 AM   #34
L. Camejo
 
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Talking Experiment?

This thread has become interestingly hilarious I'd have to admit.

I get the gist of Paul's comments and I don't think it has anything to do with the extremes of Roman Gladiators or even UFC.

I regularly do an experiment in our dojo, mostly with novices, but sometimes with more experienced folk as well, who have practiced a technique and get cocky, thinking that they have "mastered" it. Happened with one or two Yudansha who practiced other Aiki styles as well.

I get their Uke to attack them with the same practiced attack but with the full intent to hit/control (i.e. proper targeting, following, use of force etc.), but without resisting the technique once engaged by Tori. If Tori is able to get the technique off I take it up a notch and let Uke repeat the attack, this time resisting by keeping balance, muscle tension, sinking of weight when completing the attack etc. Uke is not allowed to strike or push Tori, just make life difficult for the tech to work.

In almost all cases, unless the Tori gets reasonable timing and kuzushi at the right time, the rest of the tech falls apart. Then Tori falls apart as he starts to use more and more upper body strength or try something like a leg sweep etc. to put Uke down. By this time I tell them, "more practice needed."

Regardless of total beginner or seasoned Shihan, anyone can pull off a technique with basic technical knowledge and a compliant Uke. Get that same Uke to release his mind and use free will to apply some medium resistance and then we may begin to see the embryo of effective technique. But if one's techniques fail at this point, they can't hope to work at higher levels of resistance, which is where one must go next to learn a bit more about him/herself and pressure.

I'm not sure how much "embracing universal love" like Ueshiba M. has to do with martially sound technique, but I will agree wholeheartedly that the technical insights gained from internalising much of aikido philosophy is very effective in reaching the place where martial effectiveness nears or even surpasses that of Ueshiba M.

In other words, the Aikido theory/philosophy of Ueshiba M. is very sound in my book, but simply "embracing universal love" alone will not enable one to achieve his level of martial skill or surpass it. Much more to it than that imho. If anything, it was after he had achieved this level of mastery that the concept of universal love began to make more sense and enter his training.

Gambatte

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-05-2004, 10:35 AM   #35
paw
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Maresa,
Quote:
According to your statements, I gather that Aikido practice is NOT necessarily cooperative, but the attacker behaviour is still not dynamic / unpredictable enough?
It depends. The longer I train the more convinced I am that no one can nail down what aikido "is". Everytime someone says, "aikido isn't such and such" someone else posts that they include that in their aikido training with Shihan X.

Be that as it may, what I've personally experienced is that aikido does not have enough uncooperative practice and too much cooperative practice, IMO.

If you re-read the bjj example I gave to Goetz, you'll see that 1/2 of the class time is uncooperative....and a number of people consistently feel that isn't enough time for uncooperative practice.
Quote:
Like what Goetz has stated earlier, I think you need to describe your version of dynamic (uncooperative) training.
Re-read the bjj example I gave to Goetz along with the baseball example. If you still don't understand, I can try again. However, like I mentioned to Goetz, I cannot give you an aikido example, because I've not personally experienced enough of it. I would urge you to ask Peter R. or Larry C. for examples of their training in Shodokan Aikido.
Quote:
But how is your impression of Steven Seagal shihan's throws? Are you being cooperative at the time? And, to maintain the spirit of this thread, do you think he practiced 'universal love'?
I will not gossip about shihan's in an public forum. If you really want to know my thoughts about Seagal, post an email address and I'll email you with the understanding that it will be a private conversation.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:22 AM   #36
AsimHanif
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Well this has gotten more interesting that I thought it would.

To put it plain and simple -

I have taken ukemi from some pretty good people. Some who have embraced the "universal love" concept, some who admittedly have not, and some who are probably somewhere in between.

From my experience, those who seemed to embrace that concept, had a technique that I would definitely aspire to.

Their technique was soft and subtle yet there was no give. I was caught up in the technique even from a static position. Trust me - I am not the most cooperative uke around.

While others had a very powerful technique it was on a very physical level. I was able to feel gaps although they may have been very small.

To each his/her own but this is what I get when I watch footage of O'Sensei's later years and from the various accounts out there.
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:30 AM   #37
deepsoup
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Quote:
paul watt (paw) wrote:
Re-read the bjj example I gave to Goetz along with the baseball example. If you still don't understand, I can try again. However, like I mentioned to Goetz, I cannot give you an aikido example, because I've not personally experienced enough of it. I would urge you to ask Peter R. or Larry C. for examples of their training in Shodokan Aikido.
I train in a fairly randori-oriented Shodokan dojo, and even there the training is a lot more 'cooperative' than the BJJ example you gave. Most of the training is in 'kata' form, just as it is in other styles of aikido.

That said, we do occasionally have randori classes - aimed towards success in shiai - that are a lot closer. Makes sense I guess, since that BJJ example looks like pretty much the ideal formula for getting techniques into a person's competition repetoire.

Sean

x
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:48 AM   #38
L. Camejo
 
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Quote:
Asim Hanif (AsimHanif) wrote:
From my experience, those who seemed to embrace that concept, had a technique that I would definitely aspire to.

Their technique was soft and subtle yet there was no give. I was caught up in the technique even from a static position. Trust me - I am not the most cooperative uke around.

While others had a very powerful technique it was on a very physical level. I was able to feel gaps although they may have been very small.
Very well said Asim, I can relate to what you are talking about.

But the question is - does the technical difference you felt have anything to do with their view of universal love, or more to do with their particular approach to training, part of which may be influenced by their approach toward universal love?

Something that shocked me in the early days was how very high ranking Judoka could execute throws that have the mesmerising grace, look, feel and subtle use of energy that were characteristic of "Aikido" throws.

After a while I realised that the ability to generate this sort of subtle power had something to do with internal mind/body training and how one chooses to exert force. But that did not necessarily mean that these individuals held the view of cosmic love. It was simply the place they arrived at after training consciously for a certain amount of time and understanding certain principles of suppleness. It is possible that if you look around some more you may find someone from both ends of the "universal love" scale who may execute techniques that feel almost identical in the application of subtle energy.

I now understand the reason for your initial question and it is an interesting one indeed. This is why resistance training can be very difficult, by attempting to maintain the subtle extension of energy you speak about, even while Uke is trying his hardest to stop that flow of energy.

Great thread Asim.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:00 PM   #39
indomaresa
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oh, THAT bjj example? I didn't notice it at first. It passed right by me in my eagerness to respond.

Well that clears the entire discussion then. Everything is clear to me now.

I'm getting the feeling that everyone are standing by their PCs to pounce on any posts that comes. Like me.

No need to answer the seagal question though, since you consider it gossiping, I might as well refrain from it entirely. On and off the forum.

thank you for answering my off-subject posts

Larry,

your experiment is interesting, I think I've participated in similar tests off the mats, but we rarely do it because it can lead to some bad feelings. (very much possible)

But even though the uke resisted and deliberately intent on avoiding the technique, wouldn't locks like tembinage, ude gatame and pressure points do the trick?

Or is your experiment restricted to specific throws?

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Old 01-05-2004, 12:02 PM   #40
AsimHanif
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Ahh yes Larry. That's why I didn't want to get into names. And yes it is still a matter of individual tastes. When I first saw a tape of Tohei, I said to myself That guy (Tohei) looks like he is close to doing what that other guy (O'Sensei) is doing. This was before I even entered an aikido dojo. And of course, this is only my view for example purposes.

Now Tohei didn't embrace the Omoto religion but he did embrace the teachings of the Tempukai. Some aikidoists I took ukemi for, I later found out that they either studied with Tohei (on the down low) or did some other form of internal development (yoga, tai chi, chi gung, etc). This also seemed to give them a certain view on humanity (to varying degrees).

But the question is - does the technical difference you felt have anything to do with their view of universal love, or more to do with their particular approach to training, part of which may be influenced by their approach toward universal love?

My answer based on my experiences would be yes.

So yes this is the question.
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:04 PM   #41
AsimHanif
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Yes Maresa - ready to pounce!
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Old 01-05-2004, 12:34 PM   #42
L. Camejo
 
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Cool Asim

I have had very very similar experiences myself. Loved the way you put the question across though. Got folks thinking .

In my pesonal training I have found that my practice of qigong, applying concepts from Taijiquan, Chin na and studying the philosophical Aikido views of Ueshiba M., Tomiki K. and others have had an interesting effect on my techniques when applied in resistance based randori and in kata. In fact, it's where I often go to find where I'm failing when it seems that I've covered all of the physical areas but still doing something wrong.

See, this is the beauty of Aikido being mind/body training. The answers tend not to lie in either place by itself.

Like I said - great thread .

Maresa-san, the range of techniques to be applied is limitless. Remember, this experiment tends to come in the wake of students already having practiced a particular tech in class and getting an ego boost from dumping their uke around repeatedly, giving a false sense of feeling they've got the particular technique "licked."

As far as the pressure points go, again they tend to require some sort of correct positioning to apply properly, which Uke will attempt to block by body evasion tactics.

The idea of the exercise for Tori is not a matter of switching to different techniques in the face of Uke's resistance, but to make the one technique being practiced work regardless of resistance, and not by resorting to extreme upper body strength or other shortcuts. It is designed to help one understand the depths of the technique's intricacies to a level where resistance by uke becomes futile - not because you are switching to utilise Uke's resistance to help you (which is another exercise we do ). The idea is to act decisively in the instant of the attack, utilising Sen and kuzushi to control the attack (mentally) before it even materialises.

Interesting how you say that these tests sometimes lead to bad feelings - when this happens it says a lot about the one who is getting the negative feeling. It says to me that this is where we need to focus in our practice as our threshold for maintaining harmony (centre) under pressure has been reached, causing negativity to enter, as you want to win or at the least don't appreciate being resisted.

This is why we have competition and resistance, to help us bring out and then defeat the inner demon who "always wants to be on top and to win" or who can be harmonious because the other "doesn't really mean it." Like I said earlier, resistance training helps us understand ourself better. In fact, this is where we may learn whether we can maintain the same level of universal love for our partner, even if he is honestly trying to defeat us.

We never know ourselves until our backs are against the wall.

Apologies for the digression from topic.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 01-05-2004, 02:44 PM   #43
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Look at tenkan. Yes you can almost surely do katate tori tenken "whatever technique" from a technical standpoint, using blade hand or some other very appropriate physical manuever to get uke going. You can do this really without regard for uke. But if you really, honestly, with all belief put yourself in the place of uke and really extend ki (or whatever you want to call it), and remain relaxed, you can execute this with no confrontation at all. Uke can not even feel the lead.

If I have any confrontational thought no matter how small or vague, a good uke will be able to feel it and there will be some conflict. In other words if I don't truly believe that I love this person, he/she will sense it and not want to join with me.

Also regarding the resistence training - I'm sure we have all had "that person" in the dojo who we try to avoid working with at all costs. Not a good uke, talks too much, too much resistence, too much philosophy, etc. You know that guy/gal right?

Well try to work with him/her with the intent of making the relationship work. I don't mean dominating the relationship or being patronizing. This seems to be the same as the training Larry spoke of. Find out what is really stopping YOU. Then you will be able to make it work.

I didn't mean to be misleading in this thread only vague as not to taint the responses.
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Old 01-05-2004, 03:50 PM   #44
Goetz Taubert
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Finally we get back on topic.

Resistance is needed in training. I resist when I'm given the opportunity to to so. It's just a help to advance. Maybe every fifth or fourth technique(on average)sometimes more

will give the possibiliy of resistance. So one can figure out, what major mistakes are made.

Asim Hanifs idea of the confrontional thought or wish to control as gereral obstacle for technical performance is interesting. Had I similar experience in training today (also many times before). Wehn I watch my teacher - even only from the corner of my eye - the technique will fail. She's able to give me a good strike cause I invite her to follow me with agressive intention. Fortunately only my right eye is the "bad eye".
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Old 01-05-2004, 08:02 PM   #45
AsimHanif
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OK Geotz - but if you are given a chance to resist, what does that say about the technique? And more to our point - why? Geotz - when you peek at your technique is that an indication that ki is not properly extended? This is a question not a comment. I would really like to know what you think.

Also I think too believe that resistance is good after tori gets "left foot/right foot" out of the way. Basically when tori has good idea about the physical movement of the technique then it's time to test at a higher level. But the resistance should only increase as tori progresses. I believe that any tori that gets upset about an honest attempt by uke to aid in the growth process doesn't want to study and is stuck in the lower ego.
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:18 AM   #46
Goetz Taubert
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@ Asim Hanif

I try to answer your question. Because of my restricted understanding of english language there are two aspects I will answer to.

First: I‘m not familiar with Ki-Aikido terms, but the feeling of beeing „extended" in my action surely is an important aspect. Missing it means I get difficulties especially with more experienced practitioners. Also my technique is missing natural moving and gets normally too strong, when I loose the notion of extension. In my experience it takes quite a long time evolve into that more natural and (physical) force lacking motion picture. Correcting my posture beeing extendet but without physical force is what makes me sweat the most and sometimes it feels like strangulating my breath. (Now I interpreted „peek at your technique" as critically valuation of my own performance.)

Second: In my posting I really meant „looking at the partner while doing /beginning the technique". I don't know whether there is a total or partial overlap with the concept of extended ki. We do this because of a technical feature described in „Takemusu Aiki". „Il ne faut pas regarder les yeux du partenaire parce qu'ils prendront notre esprit. Il ne faut pas regarder le sabre du partnaire parce qu'il prendra notre ki. Il ne faut pas regarder votre partenaire parce qu'il faut aspirer le ki de votre partenaire." (Citation from aikido. Des paroles et des ecrits du fondateur a la practice. p. 30. Takemusu Aiki (french translation) p. 190) Translation: „One shouldn't look at the eyes of the partner because they are goint take our spirit. One shouldn't look at the sword of the partner because he is going to take our ki. One shouldn't look at your partner, because one should draw in (suck) the ki of your partner." So besides being extended there is also the feature of drawing in the partners ki. So „not looking" may be an aid to forget the partner, respectively concentrate fully on other aspects. The citation descibes looking at the partner as an invitation do dominate my spirit. Maybe there is an overlap with your concepts/experience, I don't know.
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Old 01-06-2004, 08:52 AM   #47
indomaresa
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Larry,

It seems that your experiment is focused to causing the tori / nage's mental breakdown then

I can only imagine the difficulty of executing a particular tehnique where the uke is specially set against it. I think It's a good exercise to force people to re-learn their basic principles.

I didn't foresee that people can react negatively to the result of such training though. I chose my training partners more carefully now.

and speaking of universal love..

my sensei recently ( 6 months ago ) changed his focus / emphasis on aikido teaching from practical application to.... universal love

I feel that this sudden change shows itself in the way he teaches and executes techniques. If he used to be obsessed with daito-ryu human origami and extremely painful locks, its 'love your opponent' techniques now.

Which is very beneficial to all his regular ukes now. Phew
Quote:
Asim Hanif (AsimHanif) wrote:
...But if you really, honestly, with all belief put yourself in the place of uke and really extend ki (or whatever you want to call it), and remain relaxed, you can execute this with no confrontation at all. Uke can not even feel the lead.

If I have any confrontational thought no matter how small or vague, a good uke will be able to feel it and there will be some conflict. In other words if I don't truly believe that I love this person, he/she will sense it and not want to join with me.
man, asim. I wish you could've met my sensei. This is exactly what he's been teaching for the last several months.

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Old 01-06-2004, 09:01 AM   #48
AsimHanif
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I believe I understand you Goetz. Thanks.

As for "Ki being extended" it is more like yogis may say "being in the moment". Fully being aware of my partner and my surroundings and allowing my "vibe" (hippy slang!) to get out there.

You make an interesting point about the eyes. In boxing, we usually are taught to look at the shoulders for clues. But I learned in Washin ryu karate to look into the eyes. "The eyes are the mirror to the soul".

I found that it allows me to intercept my opponents intentions and rely more on timing than speed. It also has a tendency to intimidate. Opponents sometimes have a hard time keeping eye contact and look away which means 1) they are unfocused and 2)philosophically they are trying to "hide".

I've noticed that most Ki aikido people initially engage uke with eyes then as the technique develops, draw the eyes to where the technique should end up. Thus the "sucking in" concept.

So I believe the eyes are very important. And on our "universal love" question, they probably have the ability to convey that or any other emotion.
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Old 01-06-2004, 09:07 AM   #49
AsimHanif
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Maresa, what has he actually done to change his focus? Is it physical techniques or re-interpretation of the same ones?
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Old 01-06-2004, 10:09 AM   #50
indomaresa
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I don't really know. I dare say it's probably the influences from people he meets and train with. I'll ask him about it though.

One day he is teaching us what he's been teaching for years, and then he left for two week training in japan. When he's back, BOOM! Ki Aikido. Or at least that's what I think he's teaching us now.

I do know that he studied under a resident ki no kenkyu kai sensei here for a length of time. Someone tipped me off of that possibility.

I've discussed this (IMO baffling) changes some time ago on the thread

'Aikido, the aiki part. Is it martial art?'

----

about the eye subject, didn't O'sensei said something like;

don't look at your opponent's sword or eye? because it will draw you in?

I forgot the exact wording. But my sensei also said something to the similar content, and adding that we're supposed to look at nothing.

Which I reason would mean to look at the opponent as a whole. Instead of at a particular part.

what do you think?

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