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Old 11-18-2004, 05:41 AM   #1
thomas_dixon
Location: Florida, USA
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Practicing Flow?

To me it's kind of difficult to go from a linear ideal martial art to a flowing one. Like Karate to FMAs or Aikido. I'm having some issues with flowing with attacks instead of blocking them on instinct, and I was wondering if anyone knew of any techniques (that can be done solo) that could help practice flowing with attacks. Thanks in advance
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Old 11-18-2004, 06:37 AM   #2
Michael Cardwell
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Yes, stand in traffic and face oncoming cars, if you try to block them you will regret it, so you will be forced to blend around the cars, it is a flawless technique( unless someone opens their car door ).

p.s. he he. not trying to belittle your valid question or poke fun at you, just thought blending with traffic was funny.
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:33 AM   #3
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

I had some difficulty blending with traffic...it seems that I can't run 55 mph in order to blend with said traffic
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Old 11-18-2004, 07:48 AM   #4
Michael Cardwell
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Re: Practicing Flow?

No no, just stand still and let them come to you, then at the right moment, turn and let them go by. The faster they move the less you have to. He he, car waza.
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:18 AM   #5
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

*grabs the car mirror in Car Waza*

*drops the mirror and runs*

I hope that lexus wasn't new....
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:25 AM   #6
Kevin Masters
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Re: Practicing Flow?

So, you're basically telling the guy, "go play in traffic"?

Ach, do you have little brothers?

-Kev
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Old 11-18-2004, 08:39 AM   #7
Michael Cardwell
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Re: Practicing Flow?

No, I am the youngest of my family. Thats what I was told growing up, and I turned out OK. blubber drool giggle. Now to the bat cave, fat man.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:53 AM   #8
Michael Cardwell
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Quote:
Thomas Dixon wrote:
*grabs the car mirror in Car Waza*

*drops the mirror and runs*

I hope that lexus wasn't new....

Good job on figuring out such an advanced technique so quickly Thomas. The good old mirror removel technique. Running is a good idea at that point, but you might try this different technique, called: GrabAPassingTruckAndCatchALiftOutOfThereWhileHiding.
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:03 AM   #9
MaryKaye
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
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Re: Practicing Flow?

In between playing in traffic....

My teachers seem to have two suggestions for this. One is working hard on the solo exercises (Ki Society has a set of about 20) to get them ingrained. A lot of them turn out to model responses to attacks. Maybe your dojo has something similar? Paired drills like the one we call tenkan and I think other schools call tai no henko are also good. Basically, you create a situation where there is no ordinary attack to react to, and try to lock in the desired set of movements there before going back to the excitement of an attack.

The other suggestion is to take a throw that's giving you trouble, and just practice the initial entry over and over and over with a partner. Some schools do not like to break down throws and always do them to completion, but if you are fighting with a particular aspect I think it's helpful to isolate it. Immediate repetition makes it easier to catch what's wrong and fix it; if you go on to a throw and pin, your head fills with different issues and they drive out the improvement you're working on so you'll just make the same mistake again. (At least I do.) Also, you can do more entries in the same amount of time and without wearing out your uke.

We have been doing just the entry and initial wrist control of kata tori nikyo two to three classes a week, fifteen or twenty minutes at a time, for the past month. It's maddening, but it sure does help.

Mary Kaye
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Old 11-18-2004, 10:04 AM   #10
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Practicing Flow?

At least he didn't tell him to go blend with trains.

Like all things. Flow takes time. Practicing moves like tenkan by yourself will help alot. It's something that i've been really pounding on myself about. I've noticed i've gotten in the habbit of doing some of my techniques stacato like counted kata. Just another thing to fix in pursuit of perfection.

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 11-18-2004, 11:29 PM   #11
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Thanks, I'll try it out (except blending with trains and pickups) and see what turns up
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:02 AM   #12
ruthmc
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Find a friendly dog or cat. Get them to chase something on a string. Your job is to stay ahead of their pounce (attack) on the object at the end of the string. You can move your arm (and therefore the string) forward, sideways, or up, practising blending in different directions.

Have fun!

Ruth
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:33 AM   #13
Michael Cardwell
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Quote:
Nathan Gidney wrote:
At least he didn't tell him to go blend with trains. .
Funny you should mention trains, I just barely got back from a seminar were the sensei used the blending with a train and letting it pass you by, instead of standing in front of it and blocking and dieing method. No joke. Perhaps that is why I thought of the blending with traffic joke, I had it on the mind.


But seriously Thomas, if I can be serious, I suggest taking up dance, that should help you develop flow and timing, and give you practice moving another person. I have been meaning to do the same for a while now.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:35 AM   #14
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Quote:
Michael Cardwell wrote:
Funny you should mention trains, I just barely got back from a seminar were the sensei used the blending with a train and letting it pass you by, instead of standing in front of it and blocking and dieing method. No joke. Perhaps that is why I thought of the blending with traffic joke, I had it on the mind.


But seriously Thomas, if I can be serious, I suggest taking up dance, that should help you develop flow and timing, and give you practice moving another person. I have been meaning to do the same for a while now.
Me? Dance? I'll think about it. as long as it's not Ballet, we're cool.

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
Find a friendly dog or cat. Get them to chase something on a string. Your job is to stay ahead of their pounce (attack) on the object at the end of the string. You can move your arm (and therefore the string) forward, sideways, or up, practising blending in different directions.

Have fun!

Ruth
Awesome idea
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Old 11-19-2004, 10:29 AM   #15
csinca
 
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Michael's suggestion is a great one. A few years ago most of my dojo took up swing dancing to learn to loosen up and flow. You learn to relax and move with someone else. The guys get to learn how to lead a persons movement.

We did have one irimi nage and one kote happen on the dance floor but both women were caught before they hit the ground. It's funny the habits we create!

Chris
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Old 11-19-2004, 01:15 PM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Re: Practicing Flow?

In FMA/JKD we used to shadow box and rhythm train. Turn on some good music and Tenkan to the beat. Visualize an attack coming at you an get off the line and Tenkan. As the music changes beat, go with it, counter beat, etc.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-19-2004, 04:12 PM   #17
Jill N
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Play around with a medicine ball- get the feel of letting it go where it wants to go before you change direction. If you have kids, you might have a swing in the back yard. Get it swinging, and tenkan to get off line and blend with the motion. Run around with your dog, try to keep the leash just slightly loose at all times. Practice blending smoothly with traffic instead of running up behind the front car, or holding a line of traffic back behind you.

e ya later
Jill.
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Old 11-20-2004, 07:14 AM   #18
grondahl
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Capoeria should be a nice alternative. Rhythmic flow, while still aware of openings. A martial dance, and you get to do acrobatics to.
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Old 11-20-2004, 07:36 AM   #19
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Wow, thanks for all your replies. Working with my dog helped a lot, when he didn't grab it pull like crazy :x

As for Tenkan, I honestly don't know how to do this technique...Any videos, etc. showing me would be nice.

Capoeria would be nice, but theres no schools near here
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:45 PM   #20
SeiserL
 
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Quote:
Thomas Dixon wrote:
As for Tenkan, I honestly don't know how to do this technique.(
Basic footwork. Step and turn 180-degress. Keep hands in front on your centerline with elbows down. Move body as a single unity.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-20-2004, 04:43 PM   #21
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Ohhh thanks *tenkan*
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Old 11-20-2004, 05:06 PM   #22
mriehle
 
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Quote:
Michael Cardwell wrote:
But seriously Thomas, if I can be serious, I suggest taking up dance, that should help you develop flow and timing, and give you practice moving another person. I have been meaning to do the same for a while now.
Why not just dance?

Turn on some music (I find trance music works well) and just do Aikido movements to the beat. First just work on going through the motions of techniques, then try to go from one technique to another. Keep up with the music.

Okay, yes, it isn't quite as simple as this, but with a little practice you can treat some of your Aikido movements as dance steps and then take it back to when you are actually doing Aikido. It's kind of astounding how much difference it makes.

Then try it with a partner. Just do the "dance" without trying to throw each other. The first challenge is likely to be just moving together without the attack/technique convention and still keep it all Aikido movements.

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Old 11-20-2004, 06:02 PM   #23
Larry Feldman
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Re: Practicing Flow?

In addition to Ki exercises, you should try to practice footwork drills if you teacher uses any.
I believe Richard Moon has a DVD out which tries to teach blending 'aiki dance' type stuff. He is based in the San Francisco area and his DVD may help.
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Old 11-21-2004, 05:35 AM   #24
thomas_dixon
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Re: Practicing Flow?

I guess I could try doing everything to music. We usually practice to music anyway
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Old 11-22-2004, 09:41 AM   #25
Mark Balogh
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Re: Practicing Flow?

Fill your lungs beforehand and execute one full technique, with one whole breath.
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