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Old 02-14-2005, 05:25 PM   #51
Zato Ichi
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
Quick question for the Shodokan folks. In the Shodokan system can you rise in rank strictly from winning in shiai?
Not directly - but there was one guy who did his nidan after about one year, which is almost unheard of (to be fair, he was really good). Basicly, he was going to be leaving Japan soon after the All Kansai Tournement, and he wanted to test for nidan. Nariyama Shihan basically told him okay - if he won the individual men's tanto randori shiai. Which he did, so he was allowed to test for nidan and passed.

I suppose by performing well in shiai, you might be considered for testing early, but if you can't perform technically, you'll never get graded.

Take a look at the grading syllabus to get a better grasp of what's needed for dan grading: tanto randori doesn't appear in the syllabus until nidan, and toshu randori never appears. Unfortunately.
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:27 PM   #52
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Thanks, that clears some things up

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:35 PM   #53
PeterR
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

And I may add that randori is not shiai. It's possible for you to be done every single round and still pass. Your opponnents are higher dan grades and if you are good they just keep coming and coming.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:14 PM   #54
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
Competition relies on parties to compete against each other. Most everyone will concede that Aikido happens when two forces cooperate to realize the fullfillment of technique; when cooperation is coerced, you still do aikido, but the results are not as pretty.
Exactly. And which martial art looks exactly the same way it looks during cooperative practice as it does when someone is seriously resisting and fighting back? Not even the Jujutsu styles look as "clean" when the other person does not intend to just let you "do him in" without a fight. So I don't see the point of raising the "it is not pretty" concept. If one wants to look pretty then focus on form, not on objective, resistance based training. This was not the question of the original post. I believe Wynand basically is looking for a forum where he can test whatever he thinks he may know about Aikido in an objective manner where he can truthfully look at his own practice and at himself. His concern is one of effectiveness the way I read it - and in the places I know of where effectiveness is very important there is no one standing there checking your form against the dojo standard. The best form in those cases is the one that lets you survive and escape.

The fact is, the majority of "pretty" Aikido is a direct result of the Uke's "pretty" ukemi skills, regardless of what is done by Tori (did someone say "no touch throw?") . Case in point - the same technique done on a 100lb Uke who is skilled in ukemi against a 400 lb unskilled in ukemi determined attacker. Regardless of whether you are a 20th Dan Professor Soke Grand Master Poombah, the 2 techs will look different and the latter will probably be a lot less pretty as the heavy guy who does not know ukemi goes crashing into the floor.

To deal with the "pretty Aikido" point and competition - this is why there is kata competition separate from shiai. Though from my experience someone who has poor technical form in our system shows that lack of form very quickly when under pressure of resistance randori as well. So either way one serves to aid the other - the randori tests the soundness of one's technical form (kata), the kata is then developed and forged into an even more effective form as one applies what is learnt and proven through testing in resistance randori.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
Competition is not cooperation, so the result is brutal technique that invites injury.
I really cannot agree with the above generalisation. I would like to see the documented proof that Aikido competition results in "brutal technique that invites injury". Even official studies like the one done by Shihan F. Shishida some years ago shows that injuries and deaths in Aikido training comes from the repetitive falls and aspects of kata training and not from any "brutal technique" that comes out of competition. The fact is that applying techniques in a manner to be brutal or deliberately injure shows again one's lack of basic skill and the ease with which one loses composure under pressure. It actually makes things a lot worse for you in competition because it instantly disqualifies you. So it is hard to see in the Aikido context how being brutal comes from competition type training.

Of course if one tries to compare typical Aikido shiai to competition in pretty much any other art they will probably fall far short of the reality, even if there may be similarities. So comparing Aikido comps to BJJ comps for example, is not a smart idea if one is trying to be accurate imho. The opportunities and rewards of being brutal are much more evident in stuff like BJJ comps from what I have seen.

Also, since Aikido randori (and competition) is about reconciliation of opposing forces, then what better force to test one's mettle with than an equally skilled and determinedly opposing one? If one ends up doing forced, brutal technique then basically it means - train harder and smarter, raise the bar for your performance and do better next time.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
I do not think there's anything wrong with those systems, as long as they understand competition is simulated combat. There are some systems that do not have competition. There is nothing wrong with that either, as long as they understand that mat training is not combat.
Perfectly correct. However, the structure for resistance randori and competition given by K. Tomiki has been from my experience a great structure from which one can build a great freeform practice system to teach military hand to hand (hey, it's used to teach a few Police precincts in Japan as well from what I've heard). I've been using this structure with some of my military SF students to great benefit. The structure stays the same, we merely build on it, the intent of the training is what changes.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote:
To be sure, their are some frauds that exist because it is difficult to prove their inability without competition, but there are also frauds that exist because they have inflated their image with competition. Either way, as long as you know they are frauds, and take steps to protect yourself and your students from those frauds, does it matter where their fraud lies?
Actually I think if one is around effective technique long enough one will be able to spot it and spot what it is not. I have found a couple Aiki frauds without requiring competition. And it's not like I get around as much as some other folks I know of.

Good thread.
Happy training folks.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:33 PM   #55
darin
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Roy Dean wrote:
Darin,

Are you sure about Yoshida defeating some BJJ guys pretty easily? His record is still relatively short, with wins over Don Frye, Masaaki Satake, Kiyoshi Tamura, and Mark Hunt. He's lost to Vanderlei Silva, and most recently to Olympic Wrestling Gold Medalist Rulon Gardner in the last Pride. The only BJJ stylist he fought was Royce Gracie, twice: once winning by controversial referee stoppage, the second time to an official draw, although most that viewed the fight agree that Royce dominated, even if he didn't get the tap.

In the last K-1, one of the Judo stylists won by a beautiful armbar, so beautiful, in fact, that I think it may have been a work (thrown fight). Worked fights DO HAPPEN, especially in Japan. Viewers beware.


Sincerely,

Roy Dean
Thanks Roy,

I just asumed with all the hype on Japanese TV about Yoshida that he was beating everyone. I stand corrected. I think a few of Bob Sapp's fights were fixed. Especially the one where he lost to Mirocop (don't know correct spelling). How about Sakuraba? He had one win against Royce Gracie then got brutally beaten by Vanderlei Silva. He is still a national hero in Japan.
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:43 PM   #56
PeterR
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
I really cannot agree with the above generalisation. I would like to see the documented proof that Aikido competition results in "brutal technique that invites injury". Even official studies like the one done by Shihan F. Shishida some years ago shows that injuries and deaths in Aikido training comes from the repetitive falls and aspects of kata training and not from any "brutal technique" that comes out of competition.
I would also like to point out that the deaths Shishida Shihan documents occurred under the Aikikai umbrella. It was an exceptional situation so I could be accused of not being fair pointing that out but the irony of a member of that group pointing at Shodokan and calling it brutal is inescapable.

Now for my eyes - perfect timing against a resisting opponent such that waza happens as it should is absolutely beautiful to behold.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:12 AM   #57
maikerus
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Darin Hyde wrote:
I wonder how good that Tokyo Riot course is.
It probably depends on what you are looking for.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:01 AM   #58
Wynand van Dyk
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Clearly my training mindset is completely at odds with the general mindset of those "enlightened" pasifists that post here. Maybe it is my location, afterall South Africa is pretty much a 3rd world craphole, rife with crime and newspapers filled with the kind of human misery that make responsible adults keep large dogs, firearms and lock their security gates and barred windows at night.

Maybe I stress the EFFECTIVITY issue too much but I cannot fathom someone staying their course in a chosen pursuit without a goal to work towards. Maybe your goal is to teach blind kids to help themselves, maybe your goal is personal fulfilment and self discovery, maybe you just want the next rank or to meet up with your dojo friends, whatever the case may be, to ME your concerns are a far and trailing secondary to my concerns.

"Survival of the fittest" has worked for our forefathers and theirs before them, strething thousands of years into the past, the fact that we hole ourselves up in "safe" cities does not remove the genetic conditioning that milions of years of evolution has instilled in us. There HAS to be a pecking order, competition is a SAFE, ORDERED way to establish this order and to anyone who has ever been injured by a partner in the throes of passive aggressive machismo I would wager that organised competition would be far preferable to that kind of abuse.

Throwing up some misinterpreted and misunderstood o-sensei philosophical chestnut about the evils of "competition" smacks of self delusion and excuse making. Until you have stood your ground against someone who is not "holding back", who is of equal skill and determination and who does not have your comfort and best interests at heart how would you ever know if the thing that you have been training for (sometimes for decades) is of ANY value? This kind of statement usually serves as a cue to those that like to jump in with "but it makes me fit and feel better about myself" or "but its a great way to meet girls and establish friendships" or "but it makes the beer taste better" - smart as you might think yourself for saying things like this, it still does not resolve or remove the basic issue:

You are training a MARTIAL ART, you are not going to a social club, you are not in a dance class and you are not at a gym. You are learning techniques that are at best RUMORED to once upon a time have "worked" within the context that you believe you are training for. The masters of old are not infallible and every celebrated act of martial ability that stories are still told of, is another instance where, by the reckoning of those "enlightened" individuals in this community, the masters themselves were going contrary to their own philosophical teachings. I guess that gleefully telling your young students of your times in Mongolia, chopping up bandits with a sword and how you cant just slice all the time because human fat coats a blade and you need a sword polisher at standby is perfectly acceptable as a demonstration of martial ability but testing yourself against another in a supervised competition is on par with selling your grandmother for drug money (philosophically speaking of course)

There is no easy way for me to find out if what I do has worth and without ordered competitions to at least give me some sort of abstract feedback on my progress I am tempted to do ugly things to mean people and very possibly endanger myself and very probably, with a longshot and a lot of luck maybe endanger them. To me, and this is my opinion so you dont have to agree with it or even read it, people who train without this concern for real world applicability are merely going through the motions, pissing on serious martial traditions that we should be grateful for being let in on and are probably better off joining a commune to live out their pasifist, meat free lives away from the rigors and terror of the real world.

I hope I have offended enough people that they might reconsider their stance on some of the topics I have touched upon. If you do find yourself in a rage over what I have written, please dont take the easy way out and dismiss me as a troll, seriously think about it. If you can honestly say that the MARTIAL aspect of Aikido is not something you are interested in then power to you and may you train happily for a long time. If however the MARTIAL aspect holds any value to you, do what is at the core of Aikido's effectivity and dont get angry (resist) but adapt your training and thinking (flow).
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:25 AM   #59
happysod
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Clearly my training mindset is completely at odds with the general mindset of those "enlightened" pasifists that post here
I wouldn't dismiss you as a troll, but I will accuse you of selective reading. My reading of the consensus views espoused in this thread are fairly positive in favour of competition if that's what you wish to follow. I don't believe anyone has said competition is worthless, just often not what they're after themselves.

As for your "survival of the fittest" remark, this is normally applied to a species as a whole rather than individuals, so doesn't really apply. Indeed, if you check the mortality rates of any "civilized frontier" in history, you may well be amazed at which groups were the true survivors (hint - women with children score rather highly).
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Old 02-15-2005, 02:50 AM   #60
xuzen
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Hi Wynand,

You have selected your path and choice. You want to compete so that you know what you are doing is real Martial art and those non-competition based MA are not. There are plenty for you choose from... Tomiki, Shodokan, Judo, or even better Boxing. So why do you choose non-competitive aikido? Pls answer us that. You wanna be mean m@th@r fu@k@r to stand on your own, choose Krav Magna. Do they have competition? I don't think so.

And yes, you sounded like a troll. I would like to elaborate further on this thread, but then I have to log out, maybe I should continue tomorrow.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 02-15-2005, 03:13 AM   #61
Wynand van Dyk
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Ian Hurst wrote:
I wouldn't dismiss you as a troll, but I will accuse you of selective reading. My reading of the consensus views espoused in this thread are fairly positive in favour of competition if that's what you wish to follow. I don't believe anyone has said competition is worthless, just often not what they're after themselves.
I covered that and acknowledged people who do Aikido for reasons other than mine. I have no problem with these people but I dont want their training goals to dictate what is getting taught. If more people were interested in the martial aspects as opposed to the hokey new-agey "healing" aspects of Tai Chi it might still be a respectable martial art.

Quote:
As for your "survival of the fittest" remark, this is normally applied to a species as a whole rather than individuals, so doesn't really apply. Indeed, if you check the mortality rates of any "civilized frontier" in history, you may well be amazed at which groups were the true survivors (hint - women with children score rather highly).
You did not understand my use of the phrase. I used it as a lead in to that paragraph, to establish a common point of reference (obviously, in your case, I failed or maybe you attached some personal, emotional meaning to the phrase causing it to stand out for you). In any case, your point on women with children having high survival rates is mostly due to the sociological makeup of the group, whereby these people are given priority in times of crises at the cost of other members of the group, Its hard to imagine that you meant that women with children are better able to hunt and provide food for themselves or that they are better able to defend themselves against predators. However, you cannot argue that definite heirarchies are NOT established in almost every human endeavour. You just have to observe the sandpit at a kindergarten to see what I mean.
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Old 02-15-2005, 03:23 AM   #62
Wynand van Dyk
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Hi Wynand,

You have selected your path and choice. You want to compete so that you know what you are doing is real Martial art and those non-competition based MA are not. There are plenty for you choose from... Tomiki, Shodokan, Judo, or even better Boxing. So why do you choose non-competitive aikido? Pls answer us that. You wanna be mean m@th@r fu@k@r to stand on your own, choose Krav Magna. Do they have competition? I don't think so.

And yes, you sounded like a troll. I would like to elaborate further on this thread, but then I have to log out, maybe I should continue tomorrow.

Boon.
You are just blatantly putting words in my mouth, I never dismissed any other martial art as not being "THE TRUE WAY". As for why I chose Aikido - I actually do kind of believe in the art, the teaching method is outdated and the unwillingness of people to change the teaching method (not the art) because of some imagined philosophical reason or to keep the status quo and maintain the traditions is to say the least frustrating and irritating.

Krav Maga is a highly overated (but still pretty useful and neato) "self-defense" class. The fact that people take the supposed "martial arts" of military intitutions seriously shows their complete lack of understanding of the kind of work these groups do. Let me give you a hint there friend, it involves flash grenades and sub machine guns, not some fancy footwork and kiais. Most of the time, the "hand to hand" stuff is tacked on as an afterthought.
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Old 02-15-2005, 03:25 AM   #63
Yann Golanski
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Wow... This thread is a map between spark and powder keg . *grins evilly*

Rob Liberti:
Quote:
Would you be willing to share your knowledge by explaining the context of competition and adding your opinions of the pros and cons of competition/cooperation?
I've already done this several times before and once in this very thread.

However, here it is again. A teacher can teach the basics of his/her art. It is up to the student to take those basics and make them his own. For example, a student learning how to draw manga character must first learn how to draw circles, squares and all other basics of drawing. A teacher can teach him how to do this. What the teacher cannot do, is teach the student how to make those basics his.

In other words, a teacher can only show the way, it is up to the student to follow it.

Aikido is the same thing. Nariyama-shihan cannot teach me how to do randori. He can teach me the basics of kata. It is my task to make those kata mine. This is why I do randori. It is teaching me to make Aikido mine. It is forging my Aikido. Hence whenever I "compete" in Aikido, I am always winning. Best of all, my Uke is winning too. We are both winning in harmony. This is why what we do is called Aikido.

Now, could the same thing be achieved without "competition"? ... This is a meaningless question. It's down to semantics of what you understand by competition. Not even a dictionary definition will help. It's a matter of preferences and view point. Hence this is why I suggest that you visit other Dojo from different styles. See for yourself with eyes unclouded -- A great prise to however can tell where the quotes come from.

Does that help?

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-15-2005, 04:07 AM   #64
happysod
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
I have no problem with these people but I dont want their training goals to dictate what is getting taught
So change dojos if your current one is infected with these godless miscreants.

Quote:
obviously, in your case, I failed or maybe you attached some personal, emotional meaning to the phrase causing it to stand out for you).
No, I merely pointed out you were using a rather outdated, discipline-specific term incorrectly. Pedantic perhaps, but I assure you of no nefarious emotions involved.

All I am actually reading across several of your posts is that you have a problem with your current training and your solution is for some sort of martial jihad within aikido. Good luck with that...

(Yann - I'm really really trying not to throw the first torch)
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:29 AM   #65
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
I've already done this several times before and once in this very thread.
Yes, after you explained your views, you then suggested that other people who don't have your experiences go get them to add further context and ended your post eluding to the idea that you knew perfectly. So my point was that it would make more sense for YOU to add the further context, and maybe just site your sources. When I weigh the amout of information you were able to add based on your experience, compared the the amount of effort I would have had to expend to follow your advice and get that experience for myself, I'm glad I simply just asked you to explain your viewpoint further.

Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
Now, could the same thing be achieved without "competition"? ... This is a meaningless question. It's down to semantics of what you understand by competition.
The question has meaning to me and I'd imagine it does to others. I agree with most of the stated problems with how people are practicing the cooperative model, and the competitive models. Given all of my experiences, I say overall cooperation is better. You seems to say otherwise. Of course semantics influences how either of those ideas are meant/interpreted, but the entire point of the forum is to discuss ideas like this. Therefore, I claim that question is meaningful.

I don't really know exactly what goes on in competition aikido - but I'm getting a better sense of it by reading this thread. To get even a better understanding, I'm going to go out on a limb and explain my prejudices further and encourage the competitive model supporters to explain theirs to me.

My opinion is that I am strong enough with most of my basic waza that I can force them on many, many people. If my goal to win becomes 'make the technique work', then I'm bound to stay at my current level and just basically get stronger and stronger and maybe improve my timing a bit. But my goal of martial improvement requires me to let go of some of the things I've used in the past to be successful in getting the uke to the ground and try to be more and more effective *eventually* by having a lot more discipline about how I move my body with the uke.

There was a great story where Endo sensei (who was like 6th dan at the time) had injured his arm and was talking to Yamaguchi sensei about it. Yamaguchi sensei's opinion was something to the effect of 'break your other arm if you ever want to really do aikido'. Endo sensei took that message to heart, so the story goes. He competely stopped using his arm strength (directly) and was getting reversed in his classes by yondans. Eventually he made some significant progress and really made a level jump in ability. He is one of the more amazing shihan alive right now. He got there through the overall model of cooperation - where there was some degree of competition (I'd imagine that he was trying to live up to what he percieved that Yamaguchi sensei would respect, and more specifically he was trying to figure out how to get his technique to work against yondans who were resisting him in his class). If the overall model was competition, then I don't know that he would have been able to completely drop his arm strength to make that break-through.

My opinion is that the folks competing can get pretty good - probably just about as good as Endo sensei got before making that break-through. It is a respectable level - but not the highest level - or the level of depth (which is what the aiki of aikido means). I might even be willing to believe that many of those folks who are competing might just get to that respectable level of competancy more quickly than those who are not competing and good for them. But, my goal is to breakthrough and get to that level of being effective with my arm strength completely dropped. I don't see what the driving forrce in the competitive model would be to get people to break-through. Any thoughts here? This doesn't mean I see the other way as invalid, just not what I am trying to achieve.

The bottom line for me is that both Endo sensei and my teacher set a very good example for me to follow to my goal. Doing this furthers my other goal of walking the path of michi (it is aiki DO, not aiki - jutsu). I have no problem with you (Yann or anyone else really) following someone elses example. The difference is that I'm not saying, hinting, suggesting, or even eluding to the ideas that other ways from my own way are invalid and that I understand anything perfectly.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 02-15-2005 at 08:36 AM.
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Old 02-15-2005, 08:42 AM   #66
batemanb
 
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
The bottom line for me is that both Endo sensei and my teacher set a very good example for me to follow to my goal.
Hi Rob,

My sensei in Japan was also a student of Yamaguchi sensei, and now of Endo sensei. It's a path I work hard at to follow, I agree with your sentiments .

rgds

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 02-15-2005, 09:13 AM   #67
paw
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
My opinion is that the folks competing can get pretty good - probably just about as good as Endo sensei got before making that break-through. It is a respectable level - but not the highest level - or the level of depth (which is what the aiki of aikido means). I might even be willing to believe that many of those folks who are competing might just get to that respectable level of competancy more quickly than those who are not competing and good for them. But, my goal is to breakthrough and get to that level of being effective with my arm strength completely dropped. I don't see what the driving forrce in the competitive model would be to get people to break-through. Any thoughts here?
Why would a competitor have a different mindset or attitude towards reaching the next level that you have? Unless I'm mistaken, nobody is getting rich from aikido competitions.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 02-15-2005, 09:23 AM   #68
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Both Rob and Paul have really good posts here...I think in a lot of ways that is why Yann is saying get out and see what is called 'competion' for yourselves...

Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 02-15-2005, 09:24 AM   #69
phil farmer
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Re: Competition in Aikido

I have read this thread with much interest as Yoseikan has gone through much of this discussion in recent years. There is much confusion about competition and its role in martial arts.

In about 1930 or so, a fine judo player and martial arts genius left Ueshiba's dojo for two reasons, one being health and the other because he disagreed with O Sensei about the direction he saw aikijutsu (at the time) going. This fellow was Minoru Mochizuki. Master Mochizuki, until his death in May of 2003, was the last living student of Kano, Ueshiba, and Funikoshi, just to name a few. He believed that aiki was losing its martial focus and he began the Yoseikan. And, Mochizuki was a fierce competitor. If you read Pranin's book about the Aikido Masters you will find his story about Mochizuki winning twice in one day in judo and missing his meeting with Kano. So, Mochizuki was a competitor all his life and he was very focused on effective aiki techniques. He is the only student who ever openly disagreed with Ueshiba and the only student Ueshiba never had to demonstrate a technique with. Mochizuki could simply watch it and then do it and, unlike Ueshiba, he could also explain it. Ueshiba often took Mochizuki with him because Master Minoru could instantly explain what O Sensei was demonstrating.

Because of the above, I take a bit of issue with Rob. Mochizuki was a great competitor and a master of aiki. The testimony to the latter claim is many fold, but let me give just a couple. In the 1950's Mochizuki went to Europe to teach and added aiki with O Sensei's permission. When he returned, he pointed out that there were many situations where aiki alone was not enough to defeat an opponent. Yes, that is correct, Mochizuki demonstrated all over Europe and it was an "all comers" situation. Western boxers, French kickboxing, etc. He took them all on and he became the father of Judo in Europe and is much honored, because of his fierce competitive spirit. So, I take issue with Rob, a competitor can "break through" to higher levels based on skill, experience,and learning what works. The other claim for Mochizuki as Master is this, when the International Martial Arts Federation wanted to award Minoru Sensei a 10th Dan in aikido, he only accepted it with the permission of the Ueshiba family. I think that qualifies him as master.

If you study Mochizuki's teachers you will find that they believed that competition was the only way to test skills in relatively realistic fashion. I say relative because killing or injuring uke tends to reduce the number of students available to work out with, so you have to have some rules, for safety. But, competition is key to developing the martial spirit. Oh yes, those teachers: Kano Sensei and Mifune Sensei. See especially the re-release of Mifune's Canon of Judo for a good explanation of the role of competition.

This is why Hiroo Mochizuki, Minoru's son, has developed Yoseikan Budo with a competitive section. He was also uchi deshi with Ueshiba and honors O Sensei's work. But, he had these same disagreement with O Sensei as his father, you must have an aiki that is effective in self-defense while at the same time providing a "do" to follow for a lifetime. Yoseikan requires no one to compete but makes safe competition available to all ages. In Yoseikan, competition does not affect your rank in any way (I think this has hurt Judo). Sorry for the diatribe but I have seen these arguments (oh sorry, discussions) so often fall into who is best and what is real.

I agree with the folks here who post and say, "follow the path that is right for you". I don't like tae kwon do (don't start on me, I am making a point) but I have studied it a little, hold a few minor belts in it, and see the value of a system of competition that can teach values to students and skills. Guess what? I don't do tae kwon do, but I have good friends and excellent students who hold significant rank in it and, as a Teacher of martial arts I have learned that every person is my teacher. I think competition just steepens the learning curve. Anyway, I am sure of one thing, O Sensei and his master teachers through the years would be upset with all of us who put down other styles and experiences. For all of us who practice aiki, we share a path and it is wide enough for all.

Phil Farmer
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Old 02-15-2005, 09:51 AM   #70
Mads Gabrielsen
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
Bronson Diffin wrote:
This is something I've wondered about while watching the judo people practice. I'm pretty sure some of them rose in rank strictly due to their performance in shiai. They move up the ladder without having to learn/demonstrate the other aspects of the art, like kata, and their training often focuses on what will work at tournaments.

IBronson
Well, this differs from country to country, but being able to perform judo against a resisting opponent counts for something in most federations. In Scotland the kyu grades are pretty much competition wins only, although you do need to show your technical knowledge as well. For dan grades techniques and kata is required.
In Norway techniques are required for every rank (and kata for dan) as well as competition experience, although not necessarily wins.

However, most higher ranking judoka will have no difficulty explaining and demonstrating any technique from the Gokyu no waza (Catalogue of Judo throws), even if they only use 5 or 6 in shiai.

Mads
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Old 02-15-2005, 10:57 AM   #71
Chris Birke
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Re: Competition in Aikido

"My opinion is that I am strong enough with most of my basic waza that I can force them on many, many people. If my goal to win becomes 'make the technique work', then I'm bound to stay at my current level and just basically get stronger and stronger and maybe improve my timing a bit. But my goal of martial improvement requires me to let go of some of the things I've used in the past to be successful in getting the uke to the ground and try to be more and more effective *eventually* by having a lot more discipline about how I move my body with the uke. "

Competition is not about using all your stregnth. It's about doing your best Aikido. Surely you do not believe that Aikido does not work on an opponent who is simply stronger than you? Why do you believe that your muscling technique will work on an opponent who is far more skilled?

This slipperly slope is addressed by competition. You can learn what stregnth can and can't do - and you will learn when and when not to apply it.

If your goal is to make the technique work, you will quickly learn that muscle is only part of the solution. This step is very low on the ladder too. If everyone you practice with is cowed by muscle, perhaps you need new training partners.

And to me, this improvement of technique is only a part of the "competition" (a word I'm beginning to feel is subjective enough to subvert to any viewpoint) - the true value is the deeper understanding of my body, the bodies of others, and motion.

Limiting yourself to cooperative practice is like exploring a jungle by never leaving the trail. You will never know it intimately like that.
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Old 02-15-2005, 11:46 AM   #72
rob_liberti
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Okay, well that's pretty much the point of "going out on a limb and expressing my prejudicies" to get others to open up an discuss theirs.

Paul - You say no one is getting rich from aikido competitions. I assume the intended point was that money from winning would be the only reason for someone to never be willing to sacrifice effecacy for a period to develop well past the musciling anything stages. I disagree that money is the only reason. You also asked the fair question of why would a competitor have a different mindset/goal than I have. I'd say 'ego' is a more reasonable thing to consider as a answer to both issues you brought up. I'd imagine that's why someone claimed competing it addictive (which I can see as a function of ego, but nothing more.) I also asked for thoughts about what I might be missing from my observation and resulting opinions about competition-orientated practice (it was the last line of my post that you quoted).

Ron, thanks. While agree that Yann might have intended the meaning you suggest, I think I summed up the message he send out in a fair way.

Phil, correct me if I am misunderstanding but didn't you cite two people who trained with Osensei in an overall non-competitive way as masters who went on to train people in a competitive way? There might be merit to your post but I don't see it yet. If they produced someone wonderful exclusively from their overall training methodology, then please cite that person - and maybe how many people of that caliber have been produced from that system. Lastly, I'm not saying the competitive model is invalid. I'm saying I have not seen evidence of anyone who has taken that route as far as those people who have trained in an overall cooperative model.

Chris, I'm sorry I communicated poorly. I agree with mostly everything you said. I intended my message to be that my ability to do technique results in my basic waza being fairly strong. I'm not terribly strong sans technique. I do know that I cheat with using my arm strength here and there and I know because I work out with VERY strong sempai who shut me down - in a collaborative manner - when they catch me cheating. I don't feel that my over-all cooperative training/learning model is limited as their is quite a bit of testing things out in an honest and helpful way built in. I've mained that position since the start of this thead. I don't know if the people who use competition as the overall model for their training/learning are able to test things out nearly as thoroughly as I test out what I am doing. I just figured since I _can_ explain what I do, someone who trains differently should be able to explain what they do - without requiring me to have to go get the information myself as first hand knowledge. I suppose I don't feel that cooperation and collaboration is as limited as competition. I don't think it is unreasonable for me to be confused. I followed that link that Jun provided for us on this thread to the post from Peter Goldsbury about this and it seems that even Osensei felt that if Tomiki sensei called what he was doing aikido that it would _confuse_ people. Please feel free to shed as much light as you can and are willing.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 02-15-2005 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:24 PM   #73
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Hi Rob,

Quote:
I don't know if the people who use competition as the overall model for their training/learning are able to test things out nearly as thoroughly as I test out what I am doing.
a) I'm not sure that either shodokan or yoseikan 'use competition as the overall model for their training...' several people have stated that it is part of their training, and that not everyone participates in it.

b) Given (a), I don't see how they would be unable to 'test things out nearly as thoroughly as I test out what I am doing.' In fact, they would be able to test things out through kata and cooperative training, and then suppliment that with competition.

Now, don't get me wrong...I myself am frankly not interested in competition for a whole bunch of reasons, none of which should affect anyone else one wit...but I think I see a logical fallacy here (in other words, I try to follow your model, but just don't have a problem with others choosing a different one).

I think your point about who have the competitive models produced is an interesting one...but I also have to wonder how people like you and I would be exposed to such folk. How would I hear of (much less get on the mat with) Nariyama Sensei if it wasn't for aikiweb, or if I didn't go to a shodokan venue? There could be a whole bunch of absolutely supercalifragilistic guys and gals out there that I just don't get exposed to...could be ki society, yoseikan, tree-huggers, whatever.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-15-2005, 12:37 PM   #74
Chris Birke
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Well that was just a misunderstanding then. Know too, that I think "exclusively competitive" or otherwise is stupid. You need a mix of all training elements, and to use them when best.

That said, I do think that (although not impossible) it is much EASIER to convey some information through uncooperative practice than through cooperative.

The idea that their is either cooperative or competitive training goes on with my reservations due to the limitations of training. All cooperative training has an element of competition, and all competitive training has an element of cooperation. You can't get caught and shut down, otherwise. By varying the balance of these things (to both extremes) you can cover more expirence than by simply sticking to the same balance at all times. (I think you agree.)

I'll go on the record as saying that Osensei's word isn't law. He is very confusing - Tomiki is a good sensei, yet Osensei would not have him call what he does Aikido. Aikido is the universe!

As far as I can tell Osensei enjoyed confusing people.

When you say "overall competitive training" do you mean people who never train without resistance?

When I hear "cooperative training model" I get an image of people who never train with resistance.
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:19 PM   #75
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: Competition in Aikido

Quote:
When I hear "cooperative training model" I get an image of people who never train with resistance.
Yeah, well, we ALL know THAT doesn't happen...look at all the threads about 'bad' uke, the guy who resisted my technique at a seminar, the guy that hip threw me when I was shite...etc. Not to mention the fact that us 'cooperative' guys get all twisted when our stuff don't work....
RT

Ron Tisdale
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