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Old 04-01-2004, 10:59 PM   #1
Ian Williams
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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Question No-touch throws

Can someone please explain the concept behind this? I've heard references to them in a lot of aikido text but have not yet had it explained..
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:19 PM   #2
p00kiethebear
 
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Yeah...

My favorite one is where i'm driving with my uke in the passenger seat without his seatbelt. I slam on the brakes and he gets thrown through the windshield....

We can only do it once though...

From what i've seen, the no touch throw's usually involve a very strong kiai...

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:41 PM   #3
Ian Williams
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eh hem... yes.. well.. in the balance thread, bob wrote
Quote:
But you can also cause him to react in such a manner that he falls in trying to right himself. Taint easy, but I've seen it done
Is this the sort of thing they mean?

Tsutsumi Ryu Jujitsu
Adelaide, South Australia

Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure
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Old 04-01-2004, 11:48 PM   #4
bob_stra
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Quote:
Ian Williams wrote:
eh hem... yes.. well.. in the balance thread, bob wrote

Is this the sort of thing they mean?
Dunno ;-)

But the "make him fall over when he's trying to recover his footing" thing is *very* well documented. The IOUF tapes have oodles of "how to" on them.

http://www.themartialist.com/pecom/iouf-1.htm

The "no touch throw" stuff...well...maybe... did you happen to see the "Segal Mountain Dew" commercial ;-)
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Old 04-02-2004, 12:52 AM   #5
William Westdyke
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I'll try to sum up my views on this quickly. Here goes. Not having to do violence. Allowing the attackers energy to work against them. Being able to harm someone then deciding not to. To me, this is the core of the Aikido spirit. As far as "no-touch throws" go... they ARE the core of Aikido. We have all seen them done, but why they work always seems like magic. Not that I can do it, but, I think using the THREAT of violence to throw someone is exactly what we all aim to achieve. So, "what is a no-touch throw?" Its throwing someone by the threat of injury. (i.e. save yourself or DIE!) Why is it shown or in any way important? It gives us a glimpse at the perfection, even O'Sensei wanted to achieve.

Of course this is just my two cents on the issue.

William

"You, not anyone else, is 100% responsible for your own happyness and wellbeing." -- David Robertson
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Old 04-02-2004, 04:22 AM   #6
Edward
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No touch throws usually require a lot of cooperation from uke,IMHO.
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:46 AM   #7
MaryKaye
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At Chinn sensei's seminar last weekend he spent a moderate amount of time on the no-touch throws. It seemed to me that the point he was making was that nage's body language is important in all of the techniques, and no-touch throws isolate this aspect particularly strongly. We spent a lot of time on all the throws working on "what is nage trying to say to uke? How can he say it more clearly?"

The lower-ranked people like myself enjoyed seeing the no-touch throws done, but the results of trying to do them ourselves were pretty funny. My training partner actually got it to work once--I went down nicely without conscious effort, to my surprise--and then fell on top of me full-length as he had apparently not been expecting success either!

While I can't know what was going on in sensei's ukes' minds, my impression was that he surprised each of them at least once with a no-touch throw and they went down anyway. They certainly looked shocked when they hit the floor. So I am not convinced that conscious cooperation is required. However, some degree of awareness is--if you are oblivious to the danger you get hit instead of thrown. Late in the seminar two of the juniors were practicing this with a fourth dan and it seemed to become less and less feasible to throw us because we were so tired that we were indifferent to being hit.

Mid-seminar Chinn sensei asked "Do you think this would really work in combat?" After a bit of silence I said "Maybe" and that seemed to be the general consensus. I don't think we study them for their martial effectiveness so much as for their power as a teaching tool--much the same way as we use kokyu dosa. What I saw seemed very effective, but there would potentially be problems with an attacker who was insensitive for whatever reason (drunk? drugged? crazy-angry? exhausted?) And they are much harder than ordinary throws. I havne't been shown many things that I flatly couldn't do, but some of the no-touch throws were among them.

Mary Kaye
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:28 AM   #8
Ghost Fox
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During my time in Aikido I've only managed the no-touch throw twice, and both time by accident.

The first Uke was attacking with a Yokomen and I wasn't as focused as I should've been. My reflexes took over and got me out the way really fast and I entered with the line of the attack. The uke was really trying to hit me, so when I wasn't there he fell into a forward roll.

The second time uke was coming at me with a hard Yokomen, again not exactly all there and I dove into a Sudori. Uke was surprised and dived over me to avoid me making contact with his body.

These experiences taught me that the no-touch throw is about leading and vanishing at the last moment and probably works better with committed attacks that go from the top to the bottom, like Shomen and Yokomen. Also, I think surprise and natural movement play a large part. Of course in both instances my attempt to duplicate the technique failed, I'll probably be training another 6 years before figuring it out again.
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Old 04-02-2004, 06:31 AM   #9
Charles Hill
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George Ledyard has a really good article on his website about atemi that deals with this subject. I highly recommend it.

Charles Hill
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:42 AM   #10
aikidocapecod
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I remember my first "no touch throw" Ahhh I remember it well as it was done to me!!! My sensei at the time, Len Rose Sensei, and a couple of his students were doing a demonstration for a large group. He asked only that when we attack him, stay in control, but make it an honest serious attack.

At one point, he wanted munetsuki. So I tried to hit his mid section hard. Naturally, when my fist got to the target, the target was no longer there. But what was there was his open hand. And his open hand was coming with great speed towards my face. Somewhere in my collection of "most memorable moments" photos, there is a picture of me about 4 feet off the floor...parallel to the floor and I am face up looking at the ceiling. I seemed to hang in the air for a long time before the floor came up to meet me....

It was my first experience with a No-Touch throw.....
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:32 AM   #11
thatoldfool
 
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This no touch throwing brings to mind a question. I read this thread, and then was cleaning my apartment, thinking about it...

In Aikido, we're taught to "keep contact" during the movement. However, in my experience, the few "no touch" throws i've experience were because nage "disappeared" - and I did *not* "feel" him. When trying to duplicated the technique, that seemed to be the case - that contact had to be broken unexpectedly for the above to work.

In retrospect, contemplating it now, keeping contact seems to be largely for uke's benefit. I train with one ikkyu, who coincidentally is also a taoist, after regular class, who is excellent at no-touch throws. Especially with a lot of momentum, flipping break falls are especially difficult to take, as there's almost no central pivot point, resulting in jarring falls. Even forward rolls are accompanied by the "my god, it feels like i'm falling off a cliff" feeling.

So...*scratches head* what do you fellow Aikidoka think? Contact for the sake of uke, or "ghost" movements for the sake of....a certain philosophical essence of Aikido?

"Best to be like water,
Which benefits the ten thousand things
And does not contend."
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Old 04-02-2004, 08:57 AM   #12
aikidocapecod
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This is just my opinion....but is it possible that "keeping contact" can be mental or physical? Also, when one extends, does that extension stop at the fingertips?

When I practice, I try not to think that any ki I may have stops at my partner, but rather it extends well past my partner. So in a "no-touch" throw, perhaps our extension is in "contact" with partner.....

Just a thought.....
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Old 04-02-2004, 09:14 AM   #13
mantis
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Quote:
Larry Murray wrote:
But what was there was his open hand. And his open hand was coming with great speed towards my face.
I've had the same experience also.

In my opinion, this is the single most effective aikido technique there is.

It's the basis for all of the 17 in tomiki aikido.
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:31 AM   #14
John Boswell
 
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Quote:
These experiences taught me that the no-touch throw is about leading and vanishing at the last moment and probably works better with committed attacks that go from the top to the bottom, like Shomen and Yokomen. Also, I think surprise and natural movement play a large part.
Damion Lost said it well above.

People like to take something such as a "no touch" throw and make it mystical when its a simple (though not so simple) matter of intention, leading the uke, uke's committed attack and getting off line.

We do many kokyu nage throws and techniques and a committed attack is always helpful. BUT, if you capture the uke's mind with your intention (read also: ki), get off line and extend properly, they will end up throwing themselves because:

A) Nage got the hell outta the way.

B) Uke's energy is redirected up or outward.

C) Uke is left with no choice in the end!

Face it, your yokomen strike comes full force (or whatever attack) and Nage blends well leading you to think he's there... but gets off line at the last second. A good blend leads the uke to follow you around, though his strike is now hitting nothing... and the energy flows onward, drawing the uke into a roll/fall.

Timing and intention are vital on Nage's part, but its fun when you see it and experience it! Nothing mystical at all, just a matter of perception.

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Old 04-02-2004, 11:04 AM   #15
aikidoc
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No touch throws are possible with a committed attack, good mind lead and impeccable timing by the the nage.
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Old 04-02-2004, 01:42 PM   #16
cbrf4zr2
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No touch throws are completely dependent on the uke. You'll never convince me otherwise. IMO there are only two no touch throws. An iriminage atemi in which uke goes into an ushiro ukemi, and sudori. But both are entirely dependent on uke.

When I first started aikido and received the "hand to the face" (as I called it in the beginning) atemi, I would simply duck my head forward and continue on my line. I was then told how that was improper ukemi. Now, to make nage look good I will do it "properly" but if I am feeling particularly lazy I will still from time to time not take ushiro ukemi, and duck through it.

I have yet to see sudori work well against a beginner. They always stop the attack and catch themselves, or they trip over you. In either case there was not a no touch throw executed.

************************
...then again, that's just me.
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:38 PM   #17
willy_lee
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Quote:
Edward Frederick (cbrf4zr2) wrote:
When I first started aikido and received the "hand to the face" (as I called it in the beginning) atemi, I would simply duck my head forward and continue on my line. I was then told how that was improper ukemi. Now, to make nage look good I will do it "properly" but if I am feeling particularly lazy I will still from time to time not take ushiro ukemi, and duck through it.
I have similar reservations about this. To assume that uke will always react this way to an attempted punch in the face seems to me naive. I think you can only guarantee that uke will fall back if nage is getting knocked out.
Quote:
I have yet to see sudori work well against a beginner. They always stop the attack and catch themselves, or they trip over you. In either case there was not a no touch throw executed.
Is sudori where nage drops down in front of uke, like a body block? This also bugs me -- if uke really wants to get you, wouldn't he gladly take the trip, since he's landing on top of you? On your back, even.

=wl
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:57 PM   #18
wendyrowe
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I've had no-touch throws done to me by my Sensei, and it was definitely surprising. Once or twice I've done one to my partner, but only on the rare occasion when everything worked perfectly. (I look forward to the day when I can do them at least most of the times when I try for one.)

In all cases, they were (as others have posted) due to committed attacks and nage suddenly not being where uke expected. Uke attacks, nage enters, uke instinctively braces or adjusts balance to avoid a takedown -- then nage's arm or hip or whatever never makes the expected contact, and uke falls over the other way.
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Old 04-02-2004, 07:24 PM   #19
Charles Hill
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Quote:
Edward Frederick (cbrf4zr2) wrote:
When I first started aikido and received the "hand to the face" (as I called it in the beginning) atemi, I would simply duck my head forward and continue on my line.
This sounds to me like the person doing the atemi is making some kind of mistake. I believe the point of this kind of throw is that the thrower actually makes contact with the "throwee`s" face. If it is a "no touch" throw, the throwee still believes that he/she is going to be hit and that`s why he/she takes the ukemi.

Again, Mr. Ledyard explains all this in a very clear way in his article. (That is, if I understood it correctly.)

Charles Hill
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Old 04-02-2004, 10:18 PM   #20
willy_lee
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
I believe the point of this kind of throw is that the thrower actually makes contact with the "throwee`s" face. If it is a "no touch" throw, the throwee still believes that he/she is going to be hit and that`s why he/she takes the ukemi.
Yes, but I think Edward's point is that some people will not throw their head backwards even if they believe someone is trying to plant a fist in their face.

ESPECIALLY if they are coming in with full speed and intent.

Look at boxers or wrestlers. They'll pull their head back to avoid a jab at distance. But if he was charging at you, why would he do that? He would try to slip the punch and keep coming in.

The only way (as I see it) to guarantee that their body does the ukemi is to place your hand on their face and drive the back of their head into the mat.

I'm not saying no-touch throws never happen. I do think though that Edward makes a good point regarding these particular types of no-touch throws.

=wl
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Old 04-03-2004, 12:27 AM   #21
batemanb
 
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I was going to say that it doesn`t always require a co-operative uke, but when I re-read the paragraph I changed my mind. It does require a co-operative uke, but not in the sense that uke falls over because they think they have to. The co-operation here is an uke who is confident in his ukemi enough that he can give an honest committed attack, and who is prepared to empty his mind. For tori`s part, musbi, good mai ai and good timing are all key.

There`s another thread on here about balance, that is also fundamental to doing no touch throws.

Doing an Aikido technique is best done when there is no conflict between tori and uke. What so often happens in keiko is that tori is so focused on doing the technique that they don`t nearly move enough in the first instance. In this case tori`s body becomes the point of conflict, blocking uke`s natural unhindered movement, the technique becomes a struggle because uke ends up fighting with uke (and himself).

If uke is honest and committed in their attack, they will try and cut you down, their mind is so intent on this that they are not thinking about anything else, they have no preconception of what defence you are doing, i.e. they are not stopping you doing the technique in their mind before you start(even though they probably do know what you are supposed to be practicing). Hopefully you make your connection with them (musbi) at the instant they attack, if your ma ai is good and your timing right, the instant you move, assuming you move enough, you will create a void and uke will fall into it, the right combination of the points above will lead uke into a nice kokyu nage or aiki nage (no touch fall).

In my opinion, a no touch throw is the pinnacle of Aikido technique. It means that I have led uke`s mind and body to become dependant upon me for their balance, even though there is no physical contact between us, the no touch throw occurs when I remove the dependancy.

Regards

Bryan

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 04-03-2004, 02:04 PM   #22
Goetz Taubert
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If you want to see some spectacular photographs of "to touch" throws, look at the pictures in "The breath od life" by K. Nishino ISBN 4-7700-2022-8.

He's is doing this to five scholars attacking simultaneously and he surely doesn't need to "step out" in the very last moment of attack to do this.

This is also an example, that "no touch throw" is not restricted to particular technique or willing-to-cooperate uke.
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Old 04-03-2004, 02:11 PM   #23
willy_lee
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Quote:
Charles Hill wrote:
If it is a "no touch" throw, the throwee still believes that he/she is going to be hit and that`s why he/she takes the ukemi.

Again, Mr. Ledyard explains all this in a very clear way in his article. (That is, if I understood it correctly.)
Actually, from my reading of his article, he explains quite clearly that this form of no-touch throw is quite dependent on uke being trained to respond in this way.

From the article:
Quote:
George Ledyard wrote:
If one tried to throw an untrained partner without touching him it would merely manifest itself as a strike which hit. The partner would not understand that the agreement exists that I run the strike in just such a way that there is just one "out", to take the fall.
And I would add, it could manifest itself as a strike which misses, or hits but doesn't do what you intend.

=wl
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Old 04-03-2004, 03:03 PM   #24
Doka
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No touch throws?

Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

No such thing!

OK, there is the thing where you move off line and Uke over-extends himself and falls. That is not a throw!

This is a Ki myth!
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Old 04-04-2004, 04:16 AM   #25
Goetz Taubert
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@ Mark Dobro

Your "No such thing!" statement seems to be your personal myth (perhaps on a restricted knowledge base).

So better don't have a look at the mentioned book, to keep your view of the world stable.
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