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Old 03-25-2004, 11:27 AM   #26
aikiSteve
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk
Location: Norfolk, VA
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Re: Soft Styles

Here's a good example of a soft style aikido.

That's from the Virginia Ki Society. As far as I know, it's about as soft as Aikido gets. If you look at the iriminages they barely touch each other. I practiced at that dojo in the video for about a year or so. It's pretty neat, but honestly I'm a little more addicted to Aikikai style. Of course I'm finding out from this thread, that Aikikai is soft compared to some styles! Haha!

Here are some more videos. There are a bunch from the Virginia Ki Society towards the bottom.

Steve Nelson

Last edited by aikiSteve : 03-25-2004 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 02:32 PM   #27
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
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I have to admit...what with all the twirls and the way nage bounces around on his/her (can't tell) tiptoes...okay. I admit. 'Soft' is a real concept. (Not necessarily a bad one, but...yeah. Trying to imagine people in my dojo hopping around on their toes. Style differences clearly exist.)

Last edited by Paul Sanderson-Cimino : 03-25-2004 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:00 PM   #28
Nacho_mx
Dojo: Federación Mexicana de Aikido
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Aikikai soft? yeah right, tell that to my aching body... (today it even hurts to type this! ow, ow!) To me soft is being focused and relaxed when uke comes charging like a bull, then slamming them silly!
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Old 03-25-2004, 04:36 PM   #29
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
I have to admit...what with all the twirls and the way nage bounces around on his/her (can't tell) tiptoes...okay. I admit. 'Soft' is a real concept. (Not necessarily a bad one, but...yeah. Trying to imagine people in my dojo hopping around on their toes. Style differences clearly exist.)
Ah, the Tohei "hop"...

Interestingly, the best Tohei hop I've ever seen was done by a Yoshinkan shihan - a direct student of Gozo Shioda.

Best,

Chris

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Old 03-25-2004, 04:42 PM   #30
aikiSteve
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Yeah, the ki society Aikido seems kind of bouncy. Although I've been thrown by most of the people in those videos. You still go down.

Steve Nelson
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Old 03-25-2004, 06:18 PM   #31
DanD
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A quick addition to the "soft" concept- it may look "bouncy" or not, that is up to the individual. I've been thrown by Ki Society members and the last thing you can come up with in that moment, is that it was "soft" ....in a way it was, But also very decisive and effective.

Soft in the Ki Society is a lead to be "calm & relaxed", in order to execute a technic in an efficient and non-harming manner

What you have in Steve Nelson's video link is one (of 30) Taigi arts. That's a different issue, that emphasizes rhythm timing and harmony, all done "soft" using a sequence of Aikido arts. See also http://toitsu.de/video/video.htm

Last edited by DanD : 03-25-2004 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 03-25-2004, 09:47 PM   #32
Ian Williams
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I'm studying Jujitsu at the moment, and admittedly most of my knowledge of Aikido comes from the web/forums/books/videos etc, but I would class JJ as being "hard" compared to Aikido. Why? Most of the techniques I am learning result in injury/breakages to resisting opponents and there is not the emphasis on "minimising conflict and hurt" as there seems to be with Aikido.

This is in no way a denegration of Aikido, in fact it's completely the opposite. I love the "safe exit strategies" for Uke that a lot of Aikido techniques seem to have.

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:35 PM   #33
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
Dojo: Yoshokai; looking into judo
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Tohei hop? I would like to know more of this. Perhaps a new thread?
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Old 03-25-2004, 11:42 PM   #34
Chocolateuke
Dojo: Muhu Dojo
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I cant honestly say hard styles rely on pain at all. Payet, my sensei who teaches Yoshinkai, can devlope power and still have no pain in his techinqe. I have had Nikkajo applied by Payet and have had my balence completely taken. We relax all the time. I perfer to think of hard as how the uke reacts to the nage. I mean, that can be different from person to person! someone could be studing a hard style but be a soft stylest, and others could be studing a soft style but be a really deidicated and hard uke or nage. Its up the the person.

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:55 AM   #35
David Edwards
 
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Quote:
Ian Williams wrote:
I love the "safe exit strategies" for Uke that a lot of Aikido techniques seem to have.
It ought to be borne in mind though that those safe exit strategies only exist if the person takes ukemi properly. Otherwise, they'll end up with bones just as crunched as if a big muscley Jujitsuka had done it.

With regard to Ki Aikido; I have Tohei Sensei's "Aikido: Coordination of mind and body for self-defence" on my MA bookshelf, and consider it an excellent book for learning about the use of ki. I have no doubt that ki aikido can be very powerful if done properly, but "Kolesnikov's School" is a largish ki aikido association in Britain... Let's just say that Mr. Kolesnikov's grade is self-awarded, and his association is often seen as being a money-making thing. I went to one of his dojos, in Wilmslow. £6 for a 1hr30mins lesson (BAF / UKA / KAA average in these parts is £3 for a 2hr lesson), they (including high grades) didn't know _of_ shikko, let alone how to do it, hadn't even seen it before, they do no suwari-waza, they do iriminage in such a way that it's entirely possible to just remain standing and notice how shocked they look that you haven't been knocked flying by the blue lightening coming from their fingertips (no contact is made, and there's no attempt to take uke's balance; the assumption is that there's no need to take uke's balance as the ki will knock them over). The sensei called me up as uke and berate me for being unresponsive and resisting her technique... the truth was, she was barely touching me and I wasn't sure what she was trying to do, so I just stood there holding her wrist while she extended her ki out to god-knows-where. Turns out she was trying to do yonkyo.

I felt so sorry for these students, that they thought that this was Aikido, and knew no better. I gave them some information about forthcoming courses in Macclesfild and other nearby places, with Allan Rowley, Steve Parr, Ken Cottier, Terry Ezra, Minoru Kanetsuka, etc (All Aikikai, 5th - 7th dan)

To reiterate, though, "I have no doubt that ki aikido can be very powerful if done properly".
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:05 AM   #36
Kensai
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I always thought the Russian was pretty good?

I train in Ki Aikido (Ki Fed) and under some of the best teachers in the country. I believe that there really is room for alot of BS in Ki styles, however, all things in Aikido MUST be honest. Thats not just some philisophical outlook, but on the mat to. I dont want anyone to fall over for me, and the same applies to them, I dont fall if I have a choice.

When training with the Sensei's and high grades there is no doubt as to my lack of options.

The main thing to remember is to be honest.

"Minimum Effort, Maximum Effciency."
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Old 03-26-2004, 09:39 AM   #37
justinm
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I started my aikido career with Sensei Kolesnikov (Polish, if I recall, rather than Russian?). There was without doubt a focus on ki development and not martial effectiveness. That was, however, more than 15 years ago. I have also trained with one of his students more recently. I found him to be very well balanced and difficult to move. Very centred. However I also found his technique very different to mine and could not reconcile it with my understanding of aikido as a martial art. It did, however, fit my understanding of aikido as a way to develop mind and body co-ordination.

Justin

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Old 03-26-2004, 09:44 AM   #38
justinm
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to add to my previous note - the best comparison I can think of is comparing tai chi as taught for health to tai chi as a martial art (although this is based on very limited personal experience of tai chi as either).

Justin

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Old 03-26-2004, 09:57 AM   #39
David Edwards
 
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I'd like to clarify that I've never seen Mr. Kolesnikov in action; just seeing one of his students whom he has given a dan grade and instructor's licence to was what put me off.

With regard to his student whom you found well balanced, well centred, difficult to move; it seems to me that within any style there's always a fair bit of room for individual strengths and weaknesses, and that not everyone is representative purely of the strengths and weaknesses of their style. I realise you understand this already, I'm just sort of thinking out loud in response to your post. And this particular student of his... he could be the exception, or he could be the rule. I've only met the contents of one dojo, and they were all of the kind that I described above.

It's a kind of magic
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Old 03-26-2004, 10:13 AM   #40
justinm
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It was good to see Sensei Steve Parr in your list of instructors! I used to train with Sensei Parr occassionally at annual easter courses, but have not seen him for many years. I was unfortunate to miss a seminar he ran down here in Wokingham a few months back, but some of my friends went and had nothing but praise.

Hope to make it to the next one.

Justin

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Old 03-26-2004, 10:42 AM   #41
David Edwards
 
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Yeah, I practice with him on Fridays whenever I can get over to Chester. Actually, Ryusuikan dojo (in Chester) and Genbukan (in Macclesfield) have very close links, us and a few other NW England dojos. A number of our students practice at each others' dojos, and sometimes (like last night, in fact) Steve comes over and takes a class here in Macclesfield. (Btw, just realised it might seem disrespectful to just call him "Steve", but a) I consider him a friend and b) he hates to be called "sensei" or "Parr Sensei" etc off the mat).

I find he has a brilliant way of explaining things very simply; he's also one of the best teachers I've seen for explaining things to complete newcomers to Aikido.

But now we're wandering off topic... never mind

Btw, if you feel like getting back in touch with Steve, his dojo's website is http://www.chesteraikido.fsnet.co.uk/ (Or if you PM me, I can drop you his mob number if you prefer)

[edit]Actually, his home number is on the website, so I guess you can just use that, unless you specifically wanted to txt him or something[/edit]

Last edited by David Edwards : 03-26-2004 at 10:51 AM.

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Old 03-28-2004, 07:20 PM   #42
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Quote:
David Edwards wrote:
It ought to be borne in mind though that those safe exit strategies only exist if the person takes ukemi properly. Otherwise, they'll end up with bones just as crunched as if a big muscley Jujitsuka had done it.
Hi David! I guess I was talking about that recent thread on "wrist-twist" techniques (sorry I don't know the Japanese names for the techniques yet), and you Aikido guys were talking about lots of options for providing a relatively safe "extr strategy" for street situations such as putting someone down on their backside, or even letting them roll out gently etc.

In my limited time studying JJ, I have not seen/been taught any sort of wrist/arm lock/take down technique that doesn't result in a LOT of pain/potentially broken limbs/joints if applied at full speed.

This is not a JJ vs Aikido flamefest or anything, just an observation. I'm not trying to infer big muscley JJ'ers are any better/worse what so ever. Just attempting an observation (probably badly worded).
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Old 03-29-2004, 07:40 AM   #43
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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While our Ki Society dojo was closed, a classmate and I were guests at a local Classical Aikido dojo. The bounce versus slide difference was *very* apparent, especially with two of us--you could pick us out instantly among her students.

I feel I learned a lot by trying the moves both ways to see what changed.

My home dojo has a crop of very stubborn junior people. Our seniors don't get away with ineffectual throws. A memorable moment from last weekend's seminar involved me (fifth kyu) trying to stop a koteoroshi from a fourth dan. Chinn sensei, the seminar instructor, adjusted her technique by an amount so small I could hardly see it, and on the next iteration I was on the floor before I could even collect myself to resist.

I think this is going to be a function of the senseis' attitude and the student mix more than what style is taught. If the students and instructors challenge each other and themselves, you'll get throws that work out of any tradition.

During the seminar Chinn sensei did a lot of the no-touch throws, part of a point he was making about how your body language influences uke. The thing I noticed is that when those work, they are not gentle--uke hits the floor like a brick. If you physically grab someone you can be gentler.

They are tricky throws to challenge because uke *can* stop them--by making an uncommitted attack. Chinn sensei also spent a lot of time shaking his head and saying "Why should I throw you if you are not really attacking me?" to the more junior people. Really good practice.

Mary Kaye
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