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Old 03-14-2004, 07:51 AM   #26
L. Camejo
 
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
Why I am not in favor of Tomiki-yru? Well, I guess to each his own but for me, I don't like it. I guess it is preference as I was born in an aikikai-type system where the atmosphere is serious and severe in flavor.
Interesting comments.

First off, there are schools of Aikido that follow Tomiki's concepts that are not Shodokan, hence the reason why the Shodokan folks here tend to specifically use the name, so do the Fugakukai folks, the Jiyushinkai folks etc. So saying Tomiki-Ryu is a bit vague in determining the style you may have seen / encountered. Also, as I may have said elsewhere, I'd be pretty myopic to judge an entire style by how one particular dojo trains. In fact I am happy that I did not judge Ki Aikido, Aikikai and Yoshinkai by everything I saw in the dojos I trained at, else by now I'd be a real Style Nazi.
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
We approach aikido as each moment is a life or death situation. It is my humble opinion that aikido was not meant to be a sport. It was meant for real life aspects. I have delt with a little Tomiki-ryu in my life and it just was not for me. I seemed to be a brut in comparison.
I agree that it may not be for you, and that's cool. This is why we have so many flavours of Aikido. Ron was correct imo when he said that resistance training and not sport tends to be more indicative of the training system. Kuzushi to me is probably the mainstay of any "Shodokan" technique, which means that nothing is given to you, the Tori MUST break the balance of Uke for anything to work. There are many Shodokan senseis who utilise the resistance-training methodology designed for sport and competition and utilise it for other aspects of the training, including the life or death stuff you talk about. Even though Shodokan has a sport aspect, it is no game.
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
I guess this gets down to the nitty gritty of what we want out of aikido. For me, it is a life lesson to cultivate the inner self. I want it to be as effective on the street as it is in the dojo and for this, you have to maintain that life or death atmosphere I talked about.
Agreed, but training is training, the dojo is not the street and unless you intend to kill your Uke there must be application of technique at all levels of the force continuum. The degree of aggression determines the degree of response. I often indicate this to my students - in training we are cooperating to learn from each other, even if there is resistance, the spirit of mutual protection always applies. I also tell them when forced to fight, fight to win. I do not believe that a true life or death scenario can be recreated in an environment as protected as a dojo. This is not to say that we can't train to come as close as possible to it. Even Navy Seal instructors reiterate to their trainees that they can't fire live ammo at them in training, so they'll do everything else they can to create the necessary mindset and try to shut them down psychologically and physically. To me, our training follows the same principle, but at a lesser extent.
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
Most dojos I travel to check do not have this attitude. Therefore it is no wonder I hear comments like "That technique is practical in dojo but not on the street". Why are they saying that? Because the manner in which they practice them will not make it happen on the street. Things like ryotetori kokyunage seems to be for aesthetic purposes only to some. But if you practice with sincereity and severity, it has its place and time in the realm of practicality. Granted it may not be the first instant response but under the right conditions could be perfect.
Those who have been in real life and death situations or trained with a person intent on shutting you down one way or another knows that looking for perfect conditions to apply technique can be a mistake. Often we have to create our own openings to make technique work and there is always the possibility that the aggressor can do something out of the ordinary in real life. But then again, this depends on what one view as real. Personally I have seen many good things in other styles of Aikido and I strive to use the good things I have seen to better my own practice. Sadly though, these things often tend to be more in the body mechanics, mental extension, or technical variation department, rather than the area of technical integrity under stress.

However, I would not judge the entire style by what I see in one dojo, as everyone's Aikido is personal, different and is influenced by individual personality, body type etc.

Just my few cents. The views expressed here are my own regarding my experiences in training. They may not be reflective of the mindset of all who practice the style.

Onegaishimasu

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 03-14-2004, 08:04 AM   #27
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
Hi Ron!

Well, there should be no concept of "resistant randori". Why? It shoud be randori which means to "seize chaos". Therefore it is implied that resistance already exists. In other words, randori should be real with honest attacks, period!
This is truly correct, the question is how many dojos train in this manner on a regular basis. Resistance may be implied, but I am pretty sure it does not exist more often than it does in Aikido training. Probably for good reason, else many of us would not be able to learn to get a single technique right as a beginner. Personally I have yet to meet someone from Aikikai or any other style that can stand up to resistance randori in my class. This of course is from my experience alone, it is in no way indicative of Aikikai training systems etc.
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
In Tomiki-ryu, the sport is to see how clean one's technique is during a predetermined attack and also with their katas. I could be wrong as this aspect might have changed since I last came into contact with it but this is what I observed during my very brief stint with this art.
Well Aikikai (and most other Aikido) kata training also revolves around a predetermined attack. This is probably where Tomiki got it from. Kata is the practice of technical form with a cooperative Uke, 2 people working together to understand and internalise the technique. It is in randori that the attack is unknown. Does anyone here practice in a dojo where the attack is not known before the technique is practiced? Except during randori?

As far as competition goes, like any sort of competition that involves someone striking another, there must be an agreed upon standard as to what constitutes a "point scoring attack". This is the same in karate, tae kwon do etc. However, this does not mean that all training is done utilising only one predetermined attack. This is the realm of competition training alone, which very few dojo may engage in for every class all the time. It sounds like the dojo you visited were training for competition when you visited, hence the focus on competition based randori alone, because this is all you are referring to. There are many other aspects of Shodokan training.

L.C.h

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Old 03-14-2004, 01:42 PM   #28
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Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
Does anyone here practice in a dojo where the attack is not known before the technique is practiced? Except during randori?

L.C.h
We have in our organisation, Lancashire Aikikai, a number of different options leading to randori. One is where uke has a choice of two possible attacks. One is where the attacks come one after another rather than together, possibly in a line rather than a circle. Usually this is where tori is doing kokyu throws.

Yours in aiki,

Peter

Peter
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:54 PM   #29
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Great comments from all! Althought I have never trained in Yoshinkan (Gozo Shioda-shihan) I like their ethics regadring their effort constantly achieve real and applicable aikido. Has anyone ever train this? Is this how it is?

I am used to completly unknown attacks starting in jiyu-waza which is like a mini-randori. Only difference is that in randori, there are just more people.

Brad Medling
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Old 03-15-2004, 09:57 AM   #30
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Peter Philippson (PeterPhilippson) wrote:
We have in our organisation, Lancashire Aikikai, a number of different options leading to randori. One is where uke has a choice of two possible attacks. One is where the attacks come one after another rather than together, possibly in a line rather than a circle. Usually this is where tori is doing kokyu throws.

Yours in aiki,

Peter
We have similar methods Peter.

But the question was whether the practice you outlined above is done as "kata" practice, i.e. where you are practising and understanding the basic form of the technique, or in a more free-play environment, as you say, leading up to randori. In our lingo what you describe above is a form of randori, which we have as well, a series of free practices that lead up to multiple attacker or single attacker resistance randori.

My point was that when we are learning technique (i.e. kata based practice), there tends to be an agreement as to which technique is going to be done and which attack is going to be given. It is only as we enter free practice (what I refer to as randori, others may call jiyu waza I think), do we tend to mix up the attacks, add multiple attackers etc.

Back to Nafis' original post though - I think understanding the approach of different Aikido schools towards different techniques is a great benefit of cross training within Aikido. There is so much to learn out there on so many levels.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:01 AM   #31
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Hi Larry!

You made an interesting closing statement and I agree. Although I have posted that I don't prefer Tomiki-ryu, that is not to say that I did not take away some knowledge that I did not know before!

Brad Medling
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:46 AM   #32
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Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
Hi Larry!

You made an interesting closing statement and I agree. Although I have posted that I don't prefer Tomiki-ryu, that is not to say that I did not take away some knowledge that I did not know before!

Brad Medling
Well said. Afaik there is only one Aikido, just many different points of view.

It's all good.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 03-15-2004, 10:58 AM   #33
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Has anyone ever train this?
Yes.
Quote:
Is this how it is?
I like it. I'd say that achieving real and applicable aikido is indeed a goal. How you define 'real and applicable' may vary.

Ron

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Old 03-15-2004, 11:00 AM   #34
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Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
Well Aikikai (and most other Aikido) kata training also revolves around a predetermined attack. This is probably where Tomiki got it from.
Mr. Tomiki got his ideas about kata and randori from Jigoro Kano (the founder of JUDO). He wanted to have a systematic approach, and teach it as "modern physical training". He thought that (like Judo) it needed competition to reach a greater amount of people.
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Old 03-15-2004, 12:21 PM   #35
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james bennington (mantis) wrote:
Mr. Tomiki got his ideas about kata and randori from Jigoro Kano (the founder of JUDO). He wanted to have a systematic approach, and teach it as "modern physical training". He thought that (like Judo) it needed competition to reach a greater amount of people.
.....among other things.

The method of using cooperative kata practice to learn technique is prevalent in Aikido, Jujutsu, Kendo, Judo, etc. It is a way of learning. So to be precise in my quoted post, Tomiki got his concepts from Aikido and Judo (after all he was an instructor at Aikikai Honbu during Ueshiba M.'s lifetime, not to mention his first 8th Dan.) Many people are of the opinion that Tomiki wanted to redesign Aikido to fall into Judo principles. I don't think this was the case, as the principles of the two were essentially the same long before Tomiki came along.

However the need for competition was seen as the way to measure the efficacy of one's kata learnt technique in a more objective manner as we can see here - Kata are one part of budo where techniques must be learned. However, we are unable to train hard against someone competitively as in a match situation where we can polish up our techniques and spirit. In particular, we can objectify our true ability and aim to improve.

In the past, objective testing was done in combat. Similar to the drive that made Judo and Kendo competitive systems, there was a need to preserve the old techniques while still being able to safely practice them in a manner that would work with an attacker who had the free will to be uncooperative.

Imho the desire to reach a greater number of people was a secondary objective. The need to not fall into the trap of BS-ing ourselves about our abilities was the greater drive imho.

Gambatte.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 03-15-2004, 05:33 PM   #36
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Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
Imho the desire to reach a greater number of people was a secondary objective. The need to not fall into the trap of BS-ing ourselves about our abilities was the greater drive imho.
He called it painting the eye on a paper tiger. I've always like that image.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:03 PM   #37
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Larry Camejo (L. Camejo) wrote:
Many people are of the opinion that Tomiki wanted to redesign Aikido to fall into Judo principles.
From what I have read and heard, he did. He wrote a book called "JUDO & AIKIDO" in 1956, stating just that.

Chapter 4 is entitled:

"Explanations of Aikido Teqhniques According to the Principles of Judo"

a later quote:

"the author endeavored to explain the techniques of aikido by classifying and arranging them according to the principles of Judo. By way of conclusion he must now touch upon the techniques of randori (free style exercise) which are important as methods of practice. At present, these methods are being followed only in Waseda University"

His new method of teaching was not accepted at the Hombu dojo, although as you stated he did in fact teach there.
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:07 PM   #38
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Hi Peter!

Off the subject, Wow! I check out the dojo pic opn your site and I must say I am highly impressed with the training area! Look out randori!

The only times I ever get to train in a place like that is when I go to a seminar! Usually it has been on a decrepid 30' x 20' space.

Brad Medling
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Old 03-15-2004, 06:44 PM   #39
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James - there is a difference between Explaining Aikido with Judo Principles and redesigning Aikido. One thing about Tomiki K. is that, althought he was way up there in both Judo and Aikido, he kept the practice quite separate. When you do Judo you do Judo, when you do Aikido you do Aikido. Mochizuki M. on the other hand made much more effort to integrate the two in day to day practice.
Quote:
james bennington (mantis) wrote:
From what I have read and heard, he did. He wrote a book called "JUDO & AIKIDO" in 1956, stating just that.

Chapter 4 is entitled:

"Explanations of Aikido Teqhniques According to the Principles of Judo"

a later quote:

"the author endeavored to explain the techniques of aikido by classifying and arranging them according to the principles of Judo. By way of conclusion he must now touch upon the techniques of randori (free style exercise) which are important as methods of practice. At present, these methods are being followed only in Waseda University"

His new method of teaching was not accepted at the Hombu dojo, although as you stated he did in fact teach there.
There are a lot of training methods that were not accepted at Honbu. Honbu did one thing, the late Saito M. did something else. Same could be said for Shioda S. and any number of the top deshi of Ueshiba M.. As long as Tomiki K. was part of the Aikikai, and as far as I understood he never left, his randori method was part of that organization. More to the point, certain Shihan that were not students of Tomiki K. did adopt his randori method for certain students. I was working with a man once who when I found out what style of Aikido I did started telling me stories of learning the randori method while at University under Kobayashi Shihan of the Osaka Aikikai.

One thing that is very noticable is the variation of teaching and technique within the Aikikai - styles founded by specific deshi tend to be much more strongly defined.

Last edited by PeterR : 03-15-2004 at 06:46 PM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:04 PM   #40
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Thanks for the assists Peter. Got tired of repeating things already said about Tomiki on these forums.

I love that "painting the eye on a paper tiger" image myself.

Hope training is going well for you and the guys in Himeji.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:26 PM   #41
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I wasn't even sure i should put a reply to Larry's post, because I think my reply was a little nitpicky, but the reason I did was because when I trained at a few Aikikai dojos, I couldn't understand what they were doing with all of the circular motions and redirections.

The Aikido methods I learned were really linear and more direct. It didn't rely on the redirection of power the same way. I studied some Judo, and felt that it was more similar to that.

The Koryu katas seem to encompass the circular motions more, and focus more on kneeling techniques than the basic 17.

For me re-designing Aikido, or re-designing the training methods seem to go hand in hand. I had read that O'Sensei didn't approve of Tomiki Sensei's derivations, and said it wasn't even Aikido anymore.

I see a point in your and Larry's posts, but I think what Tomiki Sensei did for his style is a dramatic diversion from the other styles that I've been exposed to.
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Old 03-15-2004, 07:51 PM   #42
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james bennington (mantis) wrote:
I wasn't even sure i should put a reply to Larry's post, because I think my reply was a little nitpicky, but the reason I did was because when I trained at a few Aikikai dojos, I couldn't understand what they were doing with all of the circular motions and redirections.
Yes I have gone into certain Aikikai dojos where the linear movements were pretty intact. Yoshinkan Aikido is also known for a more linear style. The growing emphasis of large circular movements happened towards the end of Ueshiba M.'s life and much of it had more to do with Honbu under his son than Ueshiba M. himself. Again look at Iwama. Basically this is not a Tomiki inovation but the older way of doing things.
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I had read that O'Sensei didn't approve of Tomiki Sensei's derivations, and said it wasn't even Aikido anymore.
Without a doubt Ueshiba M. was worried about the incorportation of Shiai and its potential for Kousou - but as was stated quite recently he pointedly avoided condeming Shiai. The quote where he specifically disagreed over one of Tomiki's developements (not Aiki) was the Aiki Taiso - the solo exercises he developed during his detention. Tomiki called them something else. I think its a great diservice that a quote in one context is applied to another.
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I see a point in your and Larry's posts, but I think what Tomiki Sensei did for his style is a dramatic diversion from the other styles that I've been exposed to.
Shodokan is certainly different from the bulk of Aikikai you see today - so I see your point. Kenji Tomiki is on record disapproving the direction Honbu dojo was going (he was not alone in this regard). In some ways he was more of a traditionalist, in others innovative.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-15-2004, 08:05 PM   #43
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Peter:

Your closing statement is particularly true. When I trained with Kobayashi-shihan, it was a refreshing awakening! He did things so different than anything I had seen previously. From the way he warmed us up, ki exercises (very circular), to the jo katas he taught and how to handle, hold the jo. It was all different! He knows what he is doing. He single handedly was able to break me through a plateau in 5 days where I had been stuck for a year! He truely is a teacher of teachers!

Kobayashi-shihan got me in a state to react without thought, where the subconscience takes over the conscience instantaneously. What a great man. He maybe spoke two sentences of englsih but somehow we communicated. Bare in mind he is maybe around 5' and he threw 7' cromagnum guys aorund like twizzler sticks!

Toyoda-shihan's technique was particularly circular as well. I remember being a 6th kyu in a seminar and he called me out 3 times to demonstrate techniques. One was kotegaeishi. Some if not most people haphazzardly remain on the same plane in a linear fashion when they tenkan. This movement should be very dynamic and circular.

Brad Medling

Last edited by ikkitosennomusha : 03-15-2004 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:17 PM   #44
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Peter, informative reply. thanks for the insight.
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Old 03-15-2004, 11:38 PM   #45
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james bennington (mantis) wrote:
Peter, informative reply. thanks for the insight.
No problem James - Kenji Tomiki's ideas and by extention Shodokan Aikido are often misunderstood. Mostly by outsiders who latch on to one aspect and abscribe great importance to it but also sometimes from Tomiki Aikido people themselves.

It's why I keep popping up like burnt toast - not for advertisement as certain people (waves at Ian) would suggest.

I understand from your post that you do Shodokan or Tomiki Aikido - can I ask where?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-16-2004, 01:08 AM   #46
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james bennington (mantis) wrote:
For me re-designing Aikido, or re-designing the training methods seem to go hand in hand.
In my coffee permeated state I missed that very interesting statement.

Its pretty much a given that Ueshiba M. had no training method even during the period of his prime. It was the deshi that developed their own training methods that they used for their students. Shodokan and Yoshinkan are known for highly refined methods but name your deshi you will find a relatively unique methodology.

Having fun with your statement I know but since they invented training methods does that mean they re-invented Aikido?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 03-16-2004, 06:46 AM   #47
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Good to get another Shodokan perspective on this thread. As usual, Peter and I are on the same wavelength with these concepts. Luckily I didn't have to type it this time .

From my training in different styles I have gotten some interesting insights into the evolution of Aikido from those who trained with Ueshiba M. in the earlier stages to those who trained nearer to his death. Though there may be variations in how techniques are done, how the training methodology is created and the sort of basics focused upon - in the end the core principles are the same.

I guess this is why I am often amazed when I meet other Aikidoka who tend to really go to town on technical variations that I may find minor. To me a kotegaeshi done following certain principles is still kotegaeshi. It's appearance however may be different due to the circumstances of the particular attack, but in the end it's still kotegaeshi.

Just some thoughts.

L.C.

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Old 03-16-2004, 08:33 AM   #48
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(waves at Peter as he scuttles off to talk to the other Shodokan menace) Larry, agree with you up to a point. I'm presuming here that you mean if it's recognisably kotegaeshi, does it matter how you got there? (ignore rest of post if wrong).

However, your intent of use for the kotegaeshi is just a technical difference but does have a big difference on how you approach it.

We broadly split the throws into sweeps (large movements, tip of triangle stuff) and overloading (where specific joints are targeted, often the leading knee or ankle). Kotegaeshi can be used as both, but your body movements are quite different depending on which you're going for (assuming the attack gives you a choice). In addition, while the kotegaeshi is recognisable in each type, the shape of the uke's body (just prior to splat) is sufficiently different for us to make the distinction.
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Old 03-16-2004, 09:03 AM   #49
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Quote:
Ian Hurst (happysod) wrote:
We broadly split the throws into sweeps (large movements, tip of triangle stuff) and overloading (where specific joints are targeted, often the leading knee or ankle). Kotegaeshi can be used as both, but your body movements are quite different depending on which you're going for (assuming the attack gives you a choice). In addition, while the kotegaeshi is recognisable in each type, the shape of the uke's body (just prior to splat) is sufficiently different for us to make the distinction.
Exactly. We speakin' the same language.

All of the options you outlined above have certain common underlying principles in how they are done, i.e. tai sabaki, kuzushi, body alignment and coordinated application of power. Although in the different scenarios the kotegaeshi would look and feel differently, the principles underlying all are basically the same, even if applied in different ways, orders etc.

I guess what I was alluding to is to look at a kotegaeshi from different perspectives within Aikido (i.e. different styles, approaches etc.) one should be able to pick out certain common factors in all, especially in the event that the same attack is used, even though the appearance may be different.

The techinque itself may become different in principle however if one is looking at an aigamae katate dori kotegaeshi done by an Aikidoka and then look at the same technique appplied from the same attack but being done by say.... a Shaolin Kung Fu practitioner. Iow, both are wrist locks (or wrist folds/returns), but what tends to keep things the same under a particular MA (like Aikido) is the use of common underlying principles and motivations in a same or similar manner while applying the technique.

Just an observation of mine is all. A matter of the principles used as against the appearance of those principles when manifested.

L.C.
(AKA Shodokan Menace #2)

Last edited by L. Camejo : 03-16-2004 at 09:08 AM.

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Old 03-16-2004, 09:32 AM   #50
Yann Golanski
 
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Larry, if you are the Shodokan menace #2 and Peter is #1, then what are the rest of us?...

When I was training with some ju-jutsu guys -- both aiki ju-jutsu and some other school -- they both had the kotegaeshi thrown/pin. It was done somewhat differently from the Shodokan way but it was still recognisable as such. When I started Aikikai, the whole technique was once more different but still the same.

What matters to me is the underlying principles of the technique and how I can apply them so that I can make it work. Besides, what works for me may not work for a 4 feet tall girl. I'd rather she learned something she could use rather than mimic me -- or any other teacher she has.

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