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Old 06-20-2004, 07:59 PM   #1
nothingness
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Question Kuzushi against resistance

All Aikido technics require kuzushi or balance breaking before executing the technics. I don't think it is a problem to execute the kuzushi for a person with lesser expertise.

My question is, how do you apply the "kuzushi" for people that resist or people that are more experienced?

I know how to do this in Judo, this kind of expertise is developed through experiences in randori. However, I am wondering how you develop this expertise in balance breaking when you keep only practicing techniques with a cooperative partner? I know that Shodokan/Tomiki has a randori, but what about the other ryus?

I think that kuzushi is the key in Aikido, technics are just secondary. Just like O-sensei said : "Whenever I move, it's Aikido". Please help.

If this question has been asked so many times, I apologize. I did a search using my slow internet and did not find anything.
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:32 PM   #2
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Hi Laurent,

In Shodokan, kuzushi is practiced both as a preset kata (i.e. 8 basic ways of breaking posture from grabs) and also during kata and randori training. Due to the resistance experienced in randori and competition training, kuzushi is pivotal for techs to become effective without resorting to percussive atemi.

Application of kuzushi against resistance has a lot to do with Tori's timing skills in my opinion. It is good to drill reaction, timing and kuzushi skills simultaneously so one instinctively knows how to time an incoming attack that is accompanied with resistance. This way one gets off the kuzushi and the technique can appear as clean as during cooperative practice.

Slowly increasing the degree of resistance is also important for beginners in practicing kuzushi. Once Uke attacks and solidifies his stance and posture it becomes increasingly dificult to get off effective kuzushi. this is where things like coordinated use of total body power and application of body weight along Uke's weak lines come into play imo.

There are threads here on Aikiweb that have dealt with this before. You can pobably do a search using the word "kuzushi" as well and see what you come up with.

Just my thoughts,
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 06-20-2004, 09:45 PM   #3
Zoli Elo
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Laurent Tambayong wrote:
My question is, how do you apply the "kuzushi" for people that resist or people that are more experienced?
Kuzushi on a person that has the knowledge to lock out their strength specifically to prevent unbalancing is the most difficult training in aikido.

However, there is always a weak point in everyone's center that may be exploited. Exploited expertly through intuition of the proper shikaku... Or simply by physically lifting your opponent and their center off the ground - when their center is on your center, they are yours to do with as you please.

Taninzugake is an excellent method to acquire a greater feel for such unbalancing. [Edit] Kaeshiwaza should also be practiced...

Last edited by Zoli Elo : 06-20-2004 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:22 PM   #4
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Laurent Tambayong wrote:
All Aikido technics require kuzushi or balance breaking before executing the technics. I don't think it is a problem to execute the kuzushi for a person with lesser expertise.

My question is, how do you apply the "kuzushi" for people that resist or people that are more experienced?...
Here is an unconventional viewpoint:

You never break a person's balance in Aikido. If an uke actually loses their balance they land on the mat with a SPLAT! and get hauled off to the hospital.

You lead your uke into the mat. When an uke takes ukemi, he or she, is actually balancing out the forces that are affecting them. Nothing is broken and nothing needs to be fixed.

If you lead a person correctly they should have to take ukemi. If they are purposely stopping the technique by refusing to fall in one direction, then throw them in another direction they find more to their liking.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:43 PM   #5
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Dear Laurent,

My personal view and observation on human anatomy; When your uke lock his/her body/limbs, and you get stuck, change your technique. Human only possesses one single brain. Therefore at anyone time, he/she can only focus on a particular part of his anatomy. If you face resistance, change your technique and apply again to a different part of his/her body. Atemi is also useful, if your uke is purposely trying to be hard (you know; to show his/her superiority), use your atemi judiciously at his vital points, when the uke is in agony or distracted, follow through with the intended technique. Try it, it usually works for me. Also remember to apologize to your uke for giving him a realistic response. The next time, the same uke may not be so resistant

Your fellow aikidoka,
Boon
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Old 06-21-2004, 02:29 AM   #6
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Thanks for the responses. I am very interested in Aikido. There is a very well dojo accros my apartment, www.ikazuchi.com . IMHO, they have an excellent instruction. However, upon learning different styles of Aikido, I become more intersted in either Shodokan or Yoshinkan. The problem is there is no such dojo in Orange County that I know of.
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Old 06-21-2004, 03:09 AM   #7
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Laurent Tambayong wrote:
Thanks for the responses. I am very interested in Aikido. There is a very well dojo accros my apartment, www.ikazuchi.com . IMHO, they have an excellent instruction. However, upon learning different styles of Aikido, I become more intersted in either Shodokan or Yoshinkan. The problem is there is no such dojo in Orange County that I know of.
As a Shodokan guy I tell you now - cross the street.

The most difficult thing is to get started and the convenience of the dojo is the major drawback. Shodokan and Yoshinkan are more a pedeological approach than anything particularily different from good solid Aikido anywhere. From what I have heard about Haruo Matsuoka you should find that in dojos under his control and you can always explore later.

The only thing that brought a smile to my lips was the description of the dojo as World-class with only Nidan instructors. This is not that bad really since the Chief Instructor is not that far away but I thought it was a bit much. As a beginner a good Nidan instructor is more than enough and personally speaking I've chosen to regularily train with Nidans over Godans.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-21-2004, 08:02 AM   #8
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
You never break a person's balance in Aikido. If an uke actually loses their balance they land on the mat with a SPLAT! and get hauled off to the hospital.
Wow. I thought this was why we trained Ukemi from day one. We have people's balance broken or disrupted at every class, but no one has yet gone to the hospital in 10 years that I've seen. Even in Judo techniques like Seoi Nage where you are suspended in mid-air and balance is totally gone, folks are able to do ukemi safely. Interesting point that one....


Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
If you lead a person correctly they should have to take ukemi. If they are purposely stopping the technique by refusing to fall in one direction, then throw them in another direction they find more to their liking.
I would suggest you throw them in another direction that is available based on the principles of balance (weak lines and strong lines) and economy of movement. Imho the uke has no choice of where to fall if Tori's technique is sound. The only option may be how to fall, but they fall where you put them if you are in control. I do agree however that if one is finding resistance along a particular line of movement that one should change the line to one of less resistance to avoid having to "force" technique.

Again, if tai sabaki, timing and kuzushi are done properly, resistance of the resulting technique is in fact futile as there is no stable platform from which to focus Uke's resistant energy. If you take out the foundation the structure will weaken if not collapse - imo that is the principle behind kuzushi.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

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Old 06-21-2004, 09:24 AM   #9
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

I found 2 shodokan dojos that are not that far. Fist, www.eshinkan.com and second www.yoshinkan.com . Correct me if I am wrong, but the reason I am leaning into Yoshinkan or Shodokan is because I found their technics as more comprehensible. I have some background in an art that is very linear and direct. So, circular movements are pretty much new to me.

Just in case you wonder why I want to learn Aikido. I encountered an event couple months ago where I realized that sometimes a very efficient art whose goal is solely the destruction of enemy cannot be applicable. Sometimes we need to subdue people just to give them time to cool of without hurting them.

Your advices are most appreciated.
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:37 AM   #10
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
Here is an unconventional viewpoint:
You never break a person's balance in Aikido. If an uke actually loses their balance they land on the mat with a SPLAT! and get hauled off to the hospital.
Another unconventional viewpoint:

I was always taught that an off-balance (kazushi, break balance etc.) is just making uke do something they didn't want to do (an extra step, a pause, a change of direction etc). Uke doesn't have to lose his balance either.

We have a randori we do that proves this time and time again. After many hours of practice, you learn by moving certain ways that uke will be effected and will walk into a technique. Techniques just tend to happen on there own.
Mostly your subconscious will recognize the situation before your conscious mind will.

This is similar to judo randori. If you want uke to do something, you can make him go right where you want, if he resists you already know in advance 3 or 4 things you can do to him at any moment.
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Old 06-21-2004, 09:56 AM   #11
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

The way I take it...

To me, at least, kuzushi isn't best defined as "taking balance" or "breaking balance." Those kinds of terms conjures up, say, a person coming up to an upright structure and pushing its top to try to topple it. Rather, for me, kuzushi more has the connotation of its Japanese definition -- that of "undermining a structure's foundation to compromise its stability." Maybe it's just my own, picky mind, but there seems to me a lot of difference...

I've had kuzushi applied in such ways as to seemingly affect only my legs. This may have felt like my feet got swept out from under me (either directly via a sweep or through subtle manipulation of my stepping mechanism) or that my knees were suddenly melting and could no longer hold up my body. And, yes, these can happen whether or not I'm "resisting" (or, rather, "providing movement in a different direction than originally begun/thought") or "expecting." I, too, believe that kuzushi works with "resistance" (which is different than "against" or "through" resistance).

Just my thoughts this rainy morning,

-- Jun

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Old 06-21-2004, 10:04 AM   #12
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Hi Jun,

I like the way you put that...I know Utada Sensei's technique often applies kuzushi to the knees...you simply go weak there, and become really easy to throw. Chida Sensei worked on some techniques that do this at his seminar last month too.

It seems you can often tell if the technique is working properly by checking the effect on uke's knees, as well as hips.

Ron

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Old 06-21-2004, 10:07 AM   #13
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

I agree with you Jun. In fact, the more resistance someone puts into the equation, the more the other person has to work with and use against them. Given, this requires SKILL, and the proper mind set and intent. If there is intent to "do something to the other person" instead of doing it "with them", it makes a big difference.

I think there's a lot of people that think this is just "aiki philosophy" and doesn't matter... but it does.

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-21-2004, 12:10 PM   #14
nothingness
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Jun and Chuck:

Could you be kind and elaborate your points on the Japanese meaning of kuzushi and "against then verus with them"?


TIA
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Old 06-21-2004, 05:02 PM   #15
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

"Against" their motive, strategy, intent, etc. by involving kuzushi, appropriate timing, and fitting into a relationship of ki musubi then the waza happens "with" and "because of" what the uke decides and does instead of overwhelming them with force, speed, and or being a bit better at what you do than what they're doing.

Hard to talk about... easy to feel (or often "not feel") the difference. I think there are many discussions concerning this sort of thing in the archives. It might be worth doing a search ...

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-22-2004, 03:52 AM   #16
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:

The only thing that brought a smile to my lips was the description of the dojo as World-class with only Nidan instructors. This is not that bad really since the Chief Instructor is not that far away but I thought it was a bit much. As a beginner a good Nidan instructor is more than enough and personally speaking I've chosen to regularily train with Nidans over Godans.
Peter-San,

If you were referring to the training schedule at Ikazuchi Dojo, You may have misread the information on the website. Eddy-San and Josh-San are assistant instructors, and teach the beginner classes. Matsuoka Sensei teaches all of the intermediate and advanced classes, unless he is out of town teaching at one of his various seminars. In that situation, either one of the two assistants will fill in, with the other usually traveling with Matsuoka Sensei, if needed.

Over the years, given the feedback from the heavy traffic from all four of the so-called corners of the world that have come through the doors, I do believe that world-class is a perfectly-suited phrase for the instruction and spirit that you would find there on any given day. Should you find yourself having the time and energy to attend more than just one class, and you really like a challenge, try all three level classes on the third Friday evening of each month. If you survive that, you would be more than welcome to follow Sensei up to his Doshinokai dojo in Culver City for two more classes the next morning. I would highly recommend it. When you combine the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of the principles of kihon, taijutsu, nagare, kokyu, randori and bokken that are covered in just these two particular days of the month, I am sure you, too, would agree that the world-class moniker is perfectly appropriate. If you find yourself in the area, and have the opportunity to visit the dojo, I, for one, would look forward to any review you might choose to post, here on aikiweb.

If based upon your own experience, you would recommend an aikikai dojo outside of the Southern California area that offers a better, or more well rounded training regimen, please do so. You would certainly be doing a great service to anyone looking for such a place to train.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-22-2004, 04:11 AM   #17
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Ah OK - I mis-understood the web site. I thought my post was quite positive over-all.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 06-22-2004, 02:12 PM   #18
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Ah OK - I mis-understood the web site. I thought my post was quite positive over-all.
Agreed. I didn't find your post outside the norm for a critique on the use of the term. In a world where everything from burgers to budo receives trumped up appraise via the use of meaningless phrases such as, "Original " or "Disciple" typically used solely to create hype, we should all be wary. My aim was to provide a balanced reply to quell any doubt that may have originally been raised.

Anyway, I don't want to hijack the thread. So, back to it folks.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 06-24-2004, 06:10 AM   #19
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Laurent Tambayong wrote:
My question is, how do you apply the "kuzushi" for people that resist or people that are more experienced?
Hi, I am quite inexperienced myself compared to some who post here, I have about 2 and a half years experience with this fascinating art, which does not translate to a very strong voice on these forums but I want to offer some personal insight.

I can list the principles of Aikido for you as I understand them, posture, breathing, tai-sabaki, timing, awareness. The goal of Aikido practice is to drill these principles into you until you manifest them spontaneously whenever the situation presents itself. The other thing is that these principles dont stand on their own, you cant just have good tai-sabaki and make your opponent fall, good tai-sabaki as opposed to mechanically shuffling your feet across the mat is dependant on good awareness (of the situation), timing (in relation to your opponent), breathing (to energise your movements and relax yourself), posture (to bring your center power into your movements).

Whenever I struggle with something, either a specific technique or an entire concept like kuzushi I step back and examine which of those principles are lacking or out of synch with others. If you struggle with an uke who can use strength to resist your technique then you need to do something which eliminates their strength, a well timed atemi, a bigger more positive inital movement or even breathing in or out at the right moment can all affect your ability to break balance.

It often helps me to find a senior student to either explain the technique to me or allow me to experiment on them. I also believe that the "fighting strategy" or "delivery system" of Aikido techniques deals with this kind of stiff-arm strength based resistance very differently than other grappling arts like Judo or BJJ. In Judo and BJJ a stiff resisting opponant is easy to deal with because they provide you with a more substantial structure to lift, lever or somehow manipulate. Aikido technique is not the manipulation of an opponent except for some peripheral joint techniques, Aikido is moving the target until the arrow has tied itself into a knot, slammed into a tree or has fallen to the ground. No movement from your opponent means no imminent danger means no more need for technique, this does not mean that you can shrug and walk away, it means that you can reinitialise your opponent's movement via some means to deal with him until he relents and goes away or until he is no longer an immediate threat to you.

In another year of training my viewpoint would have either shifted or deepened so take all of this with a pinch of salt.
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Old 06-24-2004, 07:52 AM   #20
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Nice post Wynand! I think you are further along than you thought!

Personally, I wouldn't use the term "some peripheral joint techniques"...I believe that the joint techniques in aikido are supposed to directly effect uke's center, not just the wrist, not just the elbow or shoulder, but the entire body. These techniques can be an important stepping stone to learning how to position yourself and uke, and how to connect to uke's center. Just a little quibble...and perhaps my own personal bent and nothing more.

Ron

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Old 06-24-2004, 10:03 AM   #21
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Wynand,

I hope you're including ma-ai or distance in your understanding of timing. A package concept you might think about is: Target, Distance, and Timing

If you don't have specific target in mind (place of first contact with the line of force going through all the way to it's eventual contact with the ground), how can you know what the proper distance is... and if you don't know the first two (target and distance), how can you possibly understand what the appropriate timing is? If you add this into your thinking about timing it can help.

I also agree with Ron... the joint locks should affect the entire structure of the uke, not just create pain, etc. at the point of kime in the joint lock.

Chuck Clark
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Old 06-24-2004, 03:22 PM   #22
otto
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Hi Laurent,

In Shodokan, kuzushi is practiced both as a preset kata (i.e. 8 basic ways of breaking posture from grabs) .....
Hi Larry...

Is there any websource available that you know of , where this could be seen in video/pictures?

Thanks in advance

Otto

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Old 06-24-2004, 10:31 PM   #23
nothingness
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Ottoniel Ojeda wrote:
Hi Larry...

Is there any websource available that you know of , where this could be seen in video/pictures?

Thanks in advance

Otto
Otto,

This is a source that I found: http://www.wakefield-aikido.co.uk/multimedia.htm?

Good luck!
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Old 06-24-2004, 11:23 PM   #24
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Quote:
Laurent Tambayong wrote:
None of the vids would show what Oto was after but there are some interesting clips there. Nariyama Shihans demo are always worth watching however the Kumi-tachi sequence made me wince.

It is the best collection of vids on the Tomiki style that I've seen on the net. I knew they were building it but this is the first time I've seen it. I think I'll include that link in my own homepage.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 08-09-2004, 07:22 AM   #25
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Re: Kuzushi against resistance

Just like in Judo and BJJ, Beginners and those who don't understand real technique try to overpower, trick and hurt Uke. But, with correct experience, a stiff Uke makes a technique easier, not harder to apply in each of the arts. My first answer is..stiffness can be extended forwards easier than looseness but I really think you are talking about throws? You asked "How to get experience dealing with stiff Uke when we lack randori?". You don't need the full freedom of Randori to practice overcoming stiffness and resistance. It's true that a stiff upright Uke is harder throw. So, the answer is, (like in judo and wrestling) , force uke to bend over or extend his arms, weakening his ability to resist. There are many legitimate ways to do this including pushing before leading and reaching at Uke's face and legs(like wrestlers do).When he pulls his legs away to avoid the groin/leg grab or extends his arms, his posture is weakened and he gives you enough energy to lead him further off balance. The concept of "Breaking" uke's balance means to actually weaken his ability to stand and to resist. When Uke is forced to move his feet to maintain a grip or protect his face, that is also a breaking of posture which can be used to lead into a throw. A forward bent over uke is far weaker than an upright one, regardless of whether he is stiff while bent over. Also, an Uke that is moving forwards into your throw is weaker than one standing straight and still. A good way to test this is to try irimi nage when Uke is standing straight and not moving. Not so easy to use, he can brace quickly and change his posture rapidly. Then try it after faking a leg grab. Uke pushes away at your wrist, pulls his hips away and bends slightly forward. In such a posture,the forward extension and head lead seem natural to apply. In the "old fashioned" judo katas, Tori often begins with a low grabbing action or high poking action, attacking the face or groin. These 2 motions cause hand grabbing reactions which can be used to lead an opponent off balance. Aikido becomes harder to practice and understand when it gets isolated from realistic combative situations. When a drop of realism is added, aikido becomes quite effective and sensible.
Mark T
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