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Old 03-07-2005, 07:01 AM   #26
Amir Krause
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

For me, all of the following ,ust be present for a practice to be Korindo Aikido

It has to have a M.A. feel
Korindo Tai-Sabaki
Randori
Kata practice (technique)

Weapons practice is an option which does have it's proper place, but not from the first lessons.

Of course, Tai-Sabaki and Randori can be done in other M.A. as well, but Korindo Tai-Sabaki is specific way of moving, and one has to see it and proper harmonizing spirit in the Randori.

Amir
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Old 03-07-2005, 07:46 AM   #27
rob_liberti
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

I was taught aikido requires
1) inuri (verticality - in orientation - which reminded me of what George sensei was saying in his description of ikkyo)

2) tai-atari (body to body connection - the required resistance - the reason why systema folks don't wind up in many basic waza)

3) ki-musubi (which starts with and maintains that harmony that Gozo Shioda sensei was talking about). I've also heard that ki-musbui was a composite of tai-atari and kokyu.

I say if you have these three things, and your intent is to do minimal damage, you're doing aikido. Without these things, there isn't much.l I agree that there must be more to it concerning the spiritual side. Gleason sensei's spiritual foundations of aikido addresses this very difficult concept. But that book is difficult to get through, and only starts you out. I'm not mature enough to discuss the spiritual principles beyond the beginner levels. I do feel that practices like Zen help you to realise and understand your true self, while aikido is to help you manifest your true self. These paths are not the same path and have different goals. They can be combined, but that it not necessary.

Rob
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:08 AM   #28
Mike Sigman
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
I have several students who are doing Sytema as well as Aikido. What I have found is that my technique works just fine inthe sense that when they attack me I can defend myself and control their centers. But I can't use them as ukes when I am teaching Basics because the complete lack of resistance in their ukemi makes it difficult if not impossible to produce a particular technique "at will". In other words, to produce specific Aikido techniques I need Aikido ukemi which is the tension you are talking about.
Just to toss in my 2 cents, I think part of the problem may be that the concept of "Aikido Techniques" has become too narrowly focused toward leading and blending. Although I've never been closer to Yoshinkan than a few books, I think Gozo Shioda's concept of "Aikido Techniques" is/was broader than is commonly seen now. The ability to close and apply immediate great power is what you do when you don't immediately feel a controllable center, IMO. A truly balanced martial art, in the classical sense, can apply both "soft" (throws and controls) and "hard" (strikes and shaking power) at will.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:14 AM   #29
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Rob Liberti wrote:
Gleason sensei's spiritual foundations of aikido addresses this very difficult concept. But that book is difficult to get through, and only starts you out.

Hi Rob,

I've had that book for 4 or 5 years now and still haven't managed to get more than a couple of chapters into it. It's not for want of trying either, it's just that the subject matter is very dry and my brain starts wondering off very quickly. I'll keep chipping away though and who knows, maybe one day I'll get to the end .

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 03-07-2005, 08:41 AM   #30
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:

Wow - for my money this may be a lot more "esoteric" and/or harder to pin down than any other kind of religious/mystical term. To have compassion in the midst of violence - and though I would agree - wow - talk about a hard thing to pin down, let alone cultivate. It still opens the door for non-blending tactics though - wouldn't you say? Can non-blending tactics that are effective and done with compassion be Aikido? Are some of Karate's more identifying tactics then Aikido, as long as they are effective and the practitioner has compassion in their heart while doing them? Can Karate be Aikido?

Thanks in advance for replying,
d
David,
I don't quote words from a book, article or such...What I wrote I felt physically on me myself as uke, and I'm trying to do it as tori.

This kind of practice is difficult to explain in exact technical terms. Particularly as English isn't my first language. I think, searching for elements, as you do, it is what it is: elements. You simply can't separate those entities, as a mix of physical and non-physical elements is a heart of aikido.
I'm not sure about blending question; I suppose there are many different understanding of blending. As you progress, this understanding changes.

How about efficient techniques and compassion? I believe there is not one exact definition. In some circumstances if you kill somebody you do efficient technique with compassion.
All our training is only conditioning -- as Chiba sensei said one day. Aikido technique is created spontaneously, in the right moment, and I can't say in advance what is meaning of each element in such situation. O sensei did his techniques after being influenced by kami, may be it is quite good explanation? How the right judgment is coming in particular moment? This right judgment allows efficient techniques and compassion.

It is good to ask yourself such serious questions.

Nagababa

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Old 03-07-2005, 11:59 AM   #31
ruthmc
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
As opposed to the idea of "blending" with a force. If someone attacks you forcefully, coming forward, Shioda is pointing out that the "harmonizing" has to do with timing in order to use the person's force (aiki) as part of the technique. You could also, for example, directly oppose the incoming force with a force or atemi of your own... the timing of your response being critical to the technique. But as I said, my main point is that "aiki" means "harmonizing with your opponent's force", not only through "blending" but also with using timing to control an incoming (or outgoing) force.
So, what does any of this have to do with resisting a force? (As per my original question). To resist means to directly oppose and attempt to stop the oncoming energy. An atemi does not do this - the strike is always applied from a different angle to the oncoming force, or tori is going to get hit! A well-timed Irimi may look to the inexperienced as if tori is opposing uke's force of attack, but this cannot be or tori and uke will be locked in a battle of strength against strength - definitely not Aikido!

Ruth
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Old 03-07-2005, 12:30 PM   #32
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
So, what does any of this have to do with resisting a force? (As per my original question). To resist means to directly oppose and attempt to stop the oncoming energy.
Maybe if you read Gozo Shioda's book and see the pictures of him directly opposing the force and meeting it with a force and if you understand how this is done. The point I'm making is that many people think you "blend" (as in "go with") a force always and few people understand how to actually do what Shioda is showing in his pictures, even if they vaguely understand the concept.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:31 PM   #33
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

As for the compassion in aikido part:

the only way I have yet found of reconciling 'aikido is an effective martial art' with 'aikido is love and compassion' is that when you use the effectivity aspect of aikido, you do so in a non-agressive, understanding and even compassionate (loving) state of mind. And I believe the techniques of aikido are specifically designed for that purpose.

The result of this is indeed the inflicting of minimal damage, but without mentioning the cause as I did above, it leads to a misunderstanding, imho. You do not cause mininal damage as an independent center of deliberation and action, but as one of the active factors in the whole situation (It's a blending thing.)
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:33 PM   #34
rob_liberti
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

There are a lot of people who try to just blend with the attack until they get into the optimal position to crank the attacker over somehow. I've experienced some good aikido senseis who always seem to find a way to resist the initial attack such that they take in just enough force to use, and let the rest go past them. I think this is what Mike means. A few months ago, I noticed how (I think!) Ikeda sensei was doing just that. I got a lot more out of the seminar.

If an example would help, consider katatedori ikkyo. If you don't set that up with some resistance you are forced to do the huge circle around their center, or an after the fact kokyu nage that looks a lot like a punch while going for nikkyo. Either of those are okay, but I can reverse almost anyone that does that. If you recieve the person's grab with some resistance, and then bring both of your back (maintaining center to center connection) and then make space with your hips/footwork while you fill that space with that ikkyo movement - you'll find it a whole lot more difficult for the uke to stop you.

Rob

Last edited by rob_liberti : 03-07-2005 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 03-07-2005, 01:39 PM   #35
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Funny, I remember my own yoshinkan instructor asking 'what is this blend"? Yoshinkan does have some rather 'direct' methods...

Ron

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Old 03-07-2005, 02:07 PM   #36
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
So, what does any of this have to do with resisting a force?
Hi Ruth,

I think, if I may speak a bit for the case Mike is trying to present, he might be asking: Can a straight palm-heel strike to the chin of an oncoming attacker be considered harmony? I think he is bringing up Shioda Sensei because he (i.e. Shioda Sensei) seems to be suggesting that such a strike can indeed be considered harmonious - as long as the timing is properly executed. This, I'm guessing Mike is suggesting, stands in contrast to the usual or common understandings of harmony, blending, and "not resisting," which tend to negate and/or be very critical of said straight palm-heel strike to the chin of an oncoming attacker.

Personally, I would agree with Shioda Sensei on this case - for reasons I gave above. Namely, such a strike is a perfect relating of Yang to Yin - which is where all notions of harmony come from in East Asian culture (which includes Japan, Osensei, and Aikido). The palm heel strike is Yang for obvious reasons. Two aspects of the chin as a target make it Yin. First, there is the timing aspect -- which is what I believe Shioda Sensei is referring to. A part on the body can take on a Yin aspect temporally whenever the body/mind is in a state of transition from one basic to another. In that same way, a Yin aspect can be generated when a body/mind has first opted to attack -- first begins to move (i.e. transitioning from stillness to movement). Second, in relation to the center of gravity, which is much lower than the chin, the chin is Yin to the center of gravity or the bulk of the mass that is being most effected by momentum and inertia of the attack, which is Yang. Striking the chin with a palm-heel strike, especially at a slight upward angle, and especially at the beginning of the attacker's movement, is a perfect blending (or corresponding) of Yin and Yang. In my opinion, this is one reason why you see this strike/target combination across nearly every martial tradition.

I could be wrong -- maybe totally wrong -- but that is how I understood Mike.

dmv
ps. I'll try and post later in reply to the other things some folks have brought up - great stuff by the way. Thanks for posting.

David M. Valadez
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:33 PM   #37
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
I think, if I may speak a bit for the case Mike is trying to present, he might be asking: Can a straight palm-heel strike to the chin of an oncoming attacker be considered harmony? I think he is bringing up Shioda Sensei because he (i.e. Shioda Sensei) seems to be suggesting that such a strike can indeed be considered harmonious - as long as the timing is properly executed. This, I'm guessing Mike is suggesting, stands in contrast to the usual or common understandings of harmony, blending, and "not resisting," which tend to negate and/or be very critical of said straight palm-heel strike to the chin of an oncoming attacker.
Good example, David, and precisely what I meant. The point is that something like a palm-heel strike into an oncoming opponent is WAY off of what many people think is "allowed" in the "spiritual harmony" of Aikido. So it's a good thought-starter.... not to mention a helluva ice-breaker at a dojo party.

Mike
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Old 03-07-2005, 03:44 PM   #38
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote:
Hello Bryan,

Given the title of Kanshu Sunadomari's book, I would be interested to see what he takes for granted about Japanese concepts of enlightenment. For example, have you come across the phrase "sokushin joubutsu"? It has been translated as "enlightenment in this very body", e.g., the one you've got. I think the phrase was first used by Kukai and underpins the culture of 'shugyou' that goes right back to his time. As you know, shugyou and keiko are used in traditional arts that are much older than aikido. So one might wonder whether people like Zeami and Sen no Rikyuu thought the same way about enlightenment through training in their respective arts.

I too am very fond of Sunadomari's book.

Peter, if I may, yes, I am also under the impression that "sokushin jobutsu" can be attributed to the originality of Kukai. Although, I think one could easily trace its philosophical base to the Wisdom Sutras -- which pre-date Kukai by quite a bit.

One might also want to note that several other folks in Japan took on this idea -- actually taking it from Kukai and/or from Shingon and/or from Koyasan (where Kukai's teachings were based) -- while others had ideas that were for all intensive purposes the same. The spread of Esoteric Buddhism was huge at one point in Japan. Buddhist schools, even non-Buddhist traditions for that matter, that came after to Japan or that were there prior to Japan, in some way had to relate to Esoteric Buddhism. I think this is why we can see Kukai's idea of sokushin jobutsu in folks like Ippen -- a Pure Land Buddhist that felt he could with his present physical body become Amida Buddha. There is also Nichiren who at one point early on his practice, when he wrote "Kaitai Sokushin Jobutsugi," actually posited Shingon doctrine as superior to the Lotus Sutra (a position he reversed later in his career). Then there is the same kind of idea behind Dogen's (from Soto Zen) "the practice is Awakening." He called this base "sokushin zebutsu," by which he basically identified the Mind with the Buddha.

Personally, and I'm discussing this now with my students as we are doing a group reading of Takuan, I think some seeds were planted during the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, seeds that worked to allow some folks to see their artistic pursuits as akin to religious pursuits (or even more). But some of these seeds go way back -- to China even. For example, Huang T'ing-chien (1045-1105) consciously noted the inner vitality his calligraphy took on after his Awakening. Peter, you have mentioned key figures in Noh Drama and Tea. Since Esoteric Buddhism was still so strong during these periods, I cannot see how such beliefs such as sokushin jobutsu would not be relative to what eventually happened in drama and tea ceremony. However, I think some figures out of Shingon are also quite important. For me, they are more important because they do not only see things as related but they actually come to see the artistic pursuits as legitimate ways to Awakening - not just as places where one can manifest or demonstrate Awakening. In particular, I think one should look at Muso Soseki and his works on gardening. Then, of course, there is Takuan and his work on fencing. Finally, and these guys are from the 20th century, but they are the fruit of these early seeds in my opinion - there is the thinking that was coming out of Kyoto University in the last century. It was those folks, e.g. Nishida, Nishitani, etc., in my opinion, in their attempt to address Western scholarship and/or to revive Japan's capacity for international glory and respect via a delving into Buddhism's Wisdom Sutras, that really made this type of thinking legitimate and thereby possible. What is interesting is that it is probably impossible for Osensei and Omoto-kyo to not be in some way influenced by these ideas and these thinkers. Another cool link -- the scholars from Kyoto University were heavily into seeing relationships between the thinking of the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart and the Wisdom Sutras, etc.

david

Last edited by senshincenter : 03-07-2005 at 03:49 PM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 03-07-2005, 06:48 PM   #39
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Hello David,

Thank you for the reply. Yes, I am aware of Kukai's borrowings from China. I have since looked more closely at the Sunadomari volume and see that the English title is a loose rendering of "Aikido no Kokoro; Yokyuu-ryoku", which illustrates the point I made in my earlier post.

Actually, I came into this area relatively recently, by way of reading Nishida. I am attached to the philosophy department in my faculty here and have two Japanese colleagues with whom I regularly discuss such matters. One is a specialist in Heidegger, the other in Japanese aesthetics. The only contemporary Japanese scholar of shugyou, mind-body, elightenment I am aware of who has been translated into English is Yasuo Yuasa and the translations have been heavily edited\I gather, at the author's suggestion.

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 03-07-2005, 08:31 PM   #40
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Hi Peter,

Than you will have to let me know what you think of our little discussion after I transcribe it all - our group discussion on Takuan. I hope to post it somewhere - for sure at our web site.

Thanks,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:51 PM   #41
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
David,
This is VERY interesting. I have been playing around with this myself. I have several students who are doing Sytema as well as Aikido. What I have found is that my technique works just fine inthe sense that when they attack me I can defend myself and control their centers. But I can't use them as ukes when I am teaching Basics because the complete lack of resistance in their ukemi makes it difficult if not impossible to produce a particular technique "at will". In other words, to produce specific Aikido techniques I need Aikido ukemi which is the tension you are talking about.

My current thinking about Aikido technique is that it is all ikkyo. And Ikkyo is simply defined as running a spiral that allows you to rest your body weight on top of your partner when he is out of alignment. If I stay with that idea I have no problem handling the Systema boys but it is difficult to produce many Aikido basic techniques and even then when they happen, they just seem to happen on their own, not due to some intention on my part. If I try to execute a particular technique rather than just keep connection and allow the technique to happen on it own they can escape.


Hi George,

Thanks for posting. I think I know exactly what you are talking about, and I agree, I think it is totally related to what I was trying to say - which was the positive side of resistance (i.e. how to find the resistance in uke's attack such that basic Aikido architecture actually becomes viable. You are dealing, if I may, with the contrasting side of resistance - when it is gone or absent. I think both sides are asking us to understand resistance differently in our training than we usually do (i.e. "resistance should be absent from Aikido waza," "resistance where our techniques fail," "resistance is when we are training martially," etc.). I also think both ways are asking us to cultivate ourselves differently - such that we are more capable of adapting our tactics according to where resistance may or may not be within a given attack. Toward that end, I too have been forced to see Aikido as more principle-based and less technique-based. I know we all say that, but I am talking about type of cultivation that is based upon a lot more than just training in technical variation after variation of the so-called "pillars." I use the phrase "so-called" because I am not sure how they are supposed to be pillars if that is we you ever do or we do for the most part. The term "pillars" implies that they are few in number and our supporting something that is greater in number (by far greater). Slowly, it seems, what is being supported is just disappearing and all we are left with are these columns that are supporting nothing. Archeologists usually call them "ruins." My own personal gripe - probably a new topic.

I cannot be sure, though I can check for you, the best example I have ever seen of what you are talking about is by a Judo player - I believe it was Mifune. My friend upon visiting me from Japan brought a DVD - it was zoned for Japan, so I could not buy it and thus do not now have it. Please forgive me for not knowing the exact player. Anyway, whoever it was, he would just "yield" in the middle of whatever throw his competitor was trying to throw - like you can barely imagine. As a result, the throw just went dead. He was an old man in the video - well into his eighties, I believe. He was going against these huge totally fit Judo players. Time after time, they just could not throw him. Moreover, if that was not enough, the video then showed a child (of about six to eight years old) doing the same exact thing to the same players. Though they could throw the child about 50% of the time, one has to admit that that is not a very good ratio of success on an elementary school student - right?! lol It was fantastic to see.

It almost being impossible to believe, I had my students try versions of kokyu-nage and irimi-nage, where the hip is really being checked out by a fulcrum and irimi, and sure enough, I went up for a bit but then came right back down, only now I was behind them. It really made for some interesting counters. Anyway, what we found (using my own terms), and what I think you are saying, is that we had to treat the ultimate Yin with more Yang (e.g. running a spiral that allows you to rest your body weight on top of your partner when he is out of alignment). We kept moving - sometimes we kept moving forward so that though uke was behind us he/she was too far behind to do anything with the counter, and/or we kept entering. When we kept entering we eventually found that resistance we were looking for and/or we reached that place where that "gooey-center" was so soft it's totally martially invalid.

thanks,
david

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Old 03-07-2005, 11:20 PM   #42
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

This is a rather tough topic. My "top-down" response is to simply say that when we cease to apply universal principles, we cease to do Aikido. But of course by virtue of the many schools of "Aikido," each of which range from similar to vastly different from each other, we can see there are many different perceptions of what it means to do Aikido. So first of course we have to pin-point the operating definition of "Aikido." Perhaps that is what you're seeking to do here...
At any rate, my limited opinion would describe Aikido as the practice of coming into harmony with the universe itself. In my case this includes a spiritual truth as well as a physical one. To what extent this spiritual truth exists, I don't know. Perhaps it is purely subjective and is different for each person, and perhaps there is some universal quality which we all abide by somehow. The concept of mutual benificence is the best idea I can come up with, to date, regarding this concept of spiritual truth. I liken it to the laws of conservation of momentum where I seek to make the net result equal to the gross amount of energetic work...um...working together, with utilization of all resources, is the best way and is more productive than working against each other, or with loss of some resources. How exactly this is spiritual I cannot clearly say except that perhaps it has to do with personal intent more than anything else.
This extends in the same way to the physical aspect of Aikido training. I think this is the "easiest" aspect of Aikido to understand. If I am not as strong as someone trying to harm me, for example, I have to learn how to use their actions to my benefit. This is the essence of Aiki-bujutsu I think. It is my opinion that Aikido comes into being only when you take these physical principles and apply them philosphically, which to me means always trying to never harm anyone.
Now I wonder if a beginning student is doing Aikido in simply trying to practice these things...but then I consider the message I've recieved from so many of those who have gone before me, which is essentially that they are still refining their Aikido ability, implying to me one rarely, if ever, attains the perfection they seek in the concept of Aikido. So in my mind Aikido has two definitions: the practice of becoming ideal, and the ideal itself.
On the path toward becoming ideal, often it seems one has to be practical, which seems to imply an opposite meaning to idealism, but I don't think it is. Perhaps "practicality" is an excuse to not try our hardest, and perhaps it's not...I really don't know, but I will always try my best, and that is, in essence, what I think Aikido is about, even if it means I'm not always practicing Aikido itself.
.....hmmm...difficult question...
Perhaps a better answer is, I'll tell you when i get there...
Take care,
Matthew J Gano

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Old 03-07-2005, 11:32 PM   #43
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

...a thought based on where someone said it's hard to pin this concept down...
perhaps Aikido is fittingly hard to pin down, considering the idea of the irresistability of non-resistance.
...I think I remember a quote that went something like that last bit.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:58 AM   #44
xuzen
 
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
What is mandatory for Aikido? What is it that we simply cannot do without? What thing or aspect, if it is absent, forces us to be unable to say, "We do Aikido?"

dmv
Hi Dave,

My answer to your questions would be:-

1) Compassion for all sentient beings and
2) Respect for living beings; be it friend or foe.

If we do not have the above, it is just another jutsu, a battlefield art which is to maim or kill.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 03-08-2005, 05:14 AM   #45
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
If we do not have the above, it is just another jutsu, a battlefield art which is to maim or kill.

Boon.
Umm .. nope. Aikido incorporates 'jutsu' as do most of the gendai budo claiming to me ethically or morally superior.

The jutsu-do dichotomy is a false, and persistent, myth probably attributable to the writings of Donn Draeger. He tried hard to express concepts in English that are kind of fuzzy even in Japanese, and as result, spawned some gross misunderstandings in certain areas of budo among folks who haven't done enough research to put what he said into context.

That said, Draeger is a must raed for any budoka, but again, must be taken in context.

The concepts espoused in the 'do' camp were found in many of the 'jutsu' arts, and indeed, many of the old masters use the terms interchangeably.

My best interpretation is that jutsu encompasses the technical aspects of any budo, do encompasses the art and philosophical bases.

If you study, say, Takeuchi Ryu Jujutsu for 20 years, never get into a fight, but as result of your studies and training are a happier, gentler, more balanced human being, have you done budo or bujutsu?

If you study aikido for 20 years, and one day have to use your skills to defend your life or the life of your loved ones, have you done budo or bujutsu?

Do is not morally superior. It's a different aspect of jutsu. And vice versa. Neither can be separated from budo. The use of broad labels such as jutsu to identify those arts designed for practicality over philosophy is misleading. Likewise the belief that a do art is superior (either technically or philosophically). It just ain't so.

It's nice to believe that because 'we' are doing XYZ, we're morally or spiritually superior, but that idea, in fact, really is false and usually the result of insufficient study of the roots and history of what budo is, how the modern arts came to be and what happened to them in the transition from 'jutsu' to 'do' ...

In fact, much of the conversion to 'do' was political, I believe.

YMMV.

Chuck (one of those bloodthirsty jutsu guys)

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Old 03-08-2005, 06:18 AM   #46
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Without this no Aikido?

For me I think, commitment would be the essential ingredient. To show up and train no matter how I feel or what I think. The results have been innumerable: I am more relaxed, positive, open-minded, strong and grateful.

Mary
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:00 AM   #47
ruthmc
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Maybe if you read Gozo Shioda's book and see the pictures of him directly opposing the force and meeting it with a force and if you understand how this is done. The point I'm making is that many people think you "blend" (as in "go with") a force always and few people understand how to actually do what Shioda is showing in his pictures, even if they vaguely understand the concept.
It always amuses me that anybody believes they can learn Aikido from pictures in a book

Unlike you, I have trained in Yoshinkan Aikido, so I have seen and practised these things myself. I still maintain that in Aikido you do not directly oppose anyone's force. All the Yoshinkan instructors I have ever trained under applied a palm-heel strike to uke's chin after re-aligning their body so as to be slightly off the direct line of the oncoming force / attack. This is very effective at stopping or throwing uke and prevents tori from getting hit. If any of them just stood still and tried to strike uke, they'd get mown over! Yoshinkan ukes tend to give very committed attacks

What is your interpretation of what Shioda Sensei is doing Mike?

Any Yoshinkan instructors care to comment?

Ruth
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:22 AM   #48
Mike Sigman
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
It always amuses me that anybody believes they can learn Aikido from pictures in a book
I guess it would amuse me, too, if anyone had suggested it in this thread. But no one has. If Shioda shows something that is quite obviously related to what I already know and I use it as a common link to explain a point, though, it's a different matter.
Quote:
Unlike you, I have trained in Yoshinkan Aikido, so I have seen and practised these things myself. I still maintain that in Aikido you do not directly oppose anyone's force. All the Yoshinkan instructors I have ever trained under applied a palm-heel strike to uke's chin after re-aligning their body so as to be slightly off the direct line of the oncoming force / attack. This is very effective at stopping or throwing uke and prevents tori from getting hit. If any of them just stood still and tried to strike uke, they'd get mown over! Yoshinkan ukes tend to give very committed attacks
Unlike me, a number of people on this list have trained in Ki-Aikido, as well. But I know what Tohei shows and although there are some variants and "grades" of doing it, there's essentially only a few basic principles. I can demonstrate those principles and the effects; i.e., I'm not just theorizing out loud just to make mouth noises.
Quote:
What is your interpretation of what Shioda Sensei is doing Mike?
I'm only interested in the general discussion he has about power. He breaks it down into practical components like Chushin-Ryoku, Shuchu-Ryoku, Kokyu-Ryokyu, and Ki. While I sort of agree with what he says in his books, I'm not about to assume that all Yoshinkan people do particularly what he himself did. A lot can get lost in peoples' interpretations in Yoshinkan, just as things are lost in Aikikai, Ki-Society, and so on. My bet is that Shioda probably had more of an understanding of how things work than my caution is allowing, but I can't know that for sure from a book anymore than I can assume you know what Shioda knew from your arrogation of Yoshinkan prinicples in an email post. You, or any Yoshinkan instructors, can verify the depths of your knowledge by physically explaining how opening your fingers is supposed to help your power. Since, unlike me, you have trained in Yoshinkan, you must certainly know the answer in greater depth than I do.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-08-2005, 10:32 AM   #49
Mike Sigman
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
All the Yoshinkan instructors I have ever trained under applied a palm-heel strike to uke's chin after re-aligning their body so as to be slightly off the direct line of the oncoming force / attack.
Oops, I forgot to address this point. While I agree with "re-aligning" the body, my previous comment was simply to show that good Aikido can legitimately oppose an incoming force; the added information about "re-aligning" the body is extraneous to the thrust of my remarks that not all is "blending" in the sense that many people feel is only proper in ALL of Aikido. I didn't want to get too far from the point.

You'll notice that I put "re-align" in quotations. There's a reason that would take more time to write than it would be worth and besides, I don't want to dilute what you practice. But as an aside, I'm not totally clear on what Shioda knew because, as I said, there are variations and "grades" of knowledge. If, as is my current working hypothesis, the Ki skills, Kokyu, etc., in Aikido is more aligned with the approach of Shaolin martial arts, then you don't particularly need to know the bit about "re-alignment" as I do it. It's possible that a contributor to this forum will meet with me in Harrogate/Leeds next month, and if he does, I'll ask him to comment on these discussions in retrospect.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
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Old 03-08-2005, 11:20 AM   #50
jonreading
 
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Re: Without this, No Aikido

Hey,

I hate to get into questions like this, but it may help me compose my thoughts better.

To me, aikido happens when uke resolves the conflict that exists. I sometimes forget that "aiki" existed long before "aikido." I also forget sometimes that aikdio techniques are similar to many other Japanese techniques. This leads me to believe there must be a component that differentiates aikido from aikijitsu that is not religious, technical, or physical. I feel that this component is the ability to cooperative to resolve conflict. Which translates into the ability to solicit cooperation from your opponent; by solicit, I mean illustrate the way to resolve the conflict.

Without cooperation, I feel that aikido becomes aikijitsu, which is not bad, but it is not aikido. As a martial artist, I must be prepared to execute technique on anyone (willing or otherwise). As a aikido person, I prefer to execute technique on someone that recognizes the danger and cooperates to avoid injury.
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