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Old 07-21-2005, 11:15 AM   #226
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

I'm eating lunch, and had an interesting thought. Many of the early akikidoka were already proficient in judo, sumo, boxing, kendo etc. They already had ingrained body movements from arts other than aikido. Often in this and other discussions on aikido and kokyu, we talk about building new movement patterns from the ground up, and how difficult it is to train in one set of movements, and then later on, go back and 'rewire'.

But when you consider the fact that the early aikidoka (Tohei, Shioda, Mochizuki, etc.) were already experienced martial artists...isn't this exactly what they had to do? First they learned to move martialy (outside of aikido) then they had to repattern their movement to learn aiki and kokyu. Many aikido students today are already proficient in MA in general, but many are also completely new to moving in a martial environment.

How is say a 2nd dan, skilled in more or less moving in a relaxed and relatively powerfull manner, familiar with the outer form of the techniques in aikido, different from say, Shioda? Both at some point would have to go back and retrain their strongly ingrained movement patterns to do something different, right?

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:32 AM   #227
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I'm eating lunch, and had an interesting thought.
Oh, Please, Ron.... next you'll be telling us, "Once I had a friend...."
Quote:
But when you consider the fact that the early aikidoka (Tohei, Shioda, Mochizuki, etc.) were already experienced martial artists...isn't this exactly what they had to do?
I don't know enough facts. We know that Tohei spent a lot of personal time re-learning how to move with Tempu Nakamura... so he had to make a large effort to change over. We know also that Tohei is reported to have commented about some other uchideshi's lack of ki, even though that person was above godan (at least sixth dan), IIRC. So there was at least a question of who knew how to move with ki. O-Sensei wasn't teaching it to Tohei and others, so probably the uchideshi had varying degrees of ki and kokyu skills across the spectrum. We just don't know for sure, though
Quote:
How is say a 2nd dan, skilled in more or less moving in a relaxed and relatively powerfull manner, familiar with the outer form of the techniques in aikido, different from say, Shioda? Both at some point would have to go back and retrain their strongly ingrained movement patterns to do something different, right?
I agree. The difference would be that the average nidan is far-removed from any viable sources of this type of movement and Shioda had sources more at hand. BTW... I've read the Shioda books (well, 3 of them) and I'm not satisfied that the books (which I believe were not personally written by Shioda) reflect exactly Shioda's take on things OR that the full extent of his knowledge and abilities is conveyed.

I remember that in Taiji, Wu Jien Jen developed a "square form" which actually broke the movements of his Taiji down into almost robot-like motions.... this was done so that he could teach large numbers of people at a time. Nowadays, you have some Wu-style practitioners that do this "square form" (they look like Mr. Robot-to) thinking they "know the secrets". I'd suggest that Shioda's method of breaking things down into simple concepts may present somewhat of a misleading potential in the same manner. I.e., people can put almost religious faith in Shioda's deliberate and clever simplifications, but an open mind may need to be kept about what Shioda actually knew. That bit I saw him do on Shingi Denju DVD was well beyond anything I ever saw him mention in writing.

Regards,

Mike
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:47 AM   #228
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
BTW... I've read the Shioda books (well, 3 of them) and I'm not satisfied that the books (which I believe were not personally written by Shioda) reflect exactly Shioda's take on things OR that the full extent of his knowledge and abilities is conveyed.
I'm positive it isn't 1) words never seem to convey physical items like aikido completely, if it was that easy, we'd all just read the book! 2) I believe that others were often at least involved in parsing what finally got published...but I'd have no idea to what extent.

On the basic movements / square form type of thing, I'm sure there are people who do them in a manner that looks outwardly correct, but if they do it with a partner feels completely different from what you might expect. Same goes for technique I'm sure. Last night, when taking ukemi from my teacher, I found myself in a position where there was absolutely NO posibility to resist. Sensei did the technique slowly, with little or no overt strength, and before he thew me, I had no base of power. My knees were cut from under me, I was tilted to one side, and it felt like I had no base to push against to even try to resist the actual 'throw'. If he had wanted to hammer me, I would have been helpless.

Needless to say, my own 'version' of the technique left much to be desired. One of the brown belts likes to test me sometimes, and made a point of resisting when he was in a BAD position...at the time I tossed him anyway, and warned him about resisting in bad positions...but the fact that he had any power base to resist from at all shows the problem with my current "level of aikido"....

Best,
Ron (as in 'not very high')

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 07-21-2005 at 11:52 AM.

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 07-21-2005, 11:49 AM   #229
tedehara
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

I don't think it really matters if you learned movement informally as a child, or learned it formally through a previous martial art or other movement art, like dance. You still have to retrain for that particular art.

However movement with ki or kokyu is not just simple movement. It's the mind and body moving in unison.

I don't believe Koichi Tohei spent that much time with Nakamura Sensei. I don't have any documentation that K. Tohei spent time learning how to move from Nakamura Sensei. He mostly used Tempukai's concept of mind and body coordination to provide the framework for his concepts of Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido.

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Old 07-21-2005, 12:03 PM   #230
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
I'm positive it isn't 1) words never seem to convey physical items like aikido completely, if it was that easy, we'd all just read the book! 2) I believe that others were often at least involved in parsing what finally got published...but I'd have no idea to what extent.
I think the intent was to get the basic idea across (at least that's my speculation). I do the same thing when I'm explaining things.... I'll avoid the real complexities and try to make the basic elements, and even then probably just the important aspects, as clear as possible. It's a good way to get people started, but more details are needed as progress is made.
Quote:
...but the fact that he had any power base to resist from at all shows the problem with my current "level of aikido"....
I dunno... artificial practice situations often give uke opportunity to screw with anyone's technique. I remember I was working out with Jay Portnow, one of Kanai's students, and I kept screwing up his bokken technique "because I could". Suddenly he moved at quick-speed and smacked me on top of the head with his bokken. I experienced enlightenment. QUACK!!!



Mike
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:06 PM   #231
wendyrowe
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I dunno.... if you ask every teacher on this forum, they'll all tell you that they and their students do their movement "from their center". And they're sure they do, I'll bet.
Sadly, I think my sensei wouldn't say that. He'd certainly say his students SHOULD do their movements from their center and are working on it, but I'm quite sure he knows most of us aren't there yet.

Sometimes it feels just right and works beautifully; but more often I still don't have that connection reliably. Still, there's plenty of time, and it's nice to have a goal.
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:10 PM   #232
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
However movement with ki or kokyu is not just simple movement. It's the mind and body moving in unison.
How about when someone warms up the palm of his hand by using biofeedback training and imagining his hand being in warm sand... isn't that mind/body coordination? Generally speaking, mind-body coordination means to me that you're learning to control things *with your mind*, i.e., voluntarily, functions of the body that are not normally voluntarily controlled. Moving with kokyu (as a manifestation of ki) is, in my opinion, one of a number of things you can train yourself to do... and from there practice it until it becomes a skill.

My opinion, FWIW.

Mike
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:13 PM   #233
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Wendy Rowe wrote:
Sadly, I think my sensei wouldn't say that. He'd certainly say his students SHOULD do their movements from their center and are working on it, but I'm quite sure he knows most of us aren't there yet
Well, I should have left off the "students" part of that comment, you're right. My error.

Mike
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Old 07-21-2005, 12:26 PM   #234
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
I remember I was working out with Jay Portnow, one of Kanai's students, and I kept screwing up his bokken technique "because I could". Suddenly he moved at quick-speed and smacked me on top of the head with his bokken. I experienced enlightenment. QUACK!!!
LOL!! Yeah, had that kind of enlightenment a couple of times now...still waiting for the one that comes while you're standing by a well...

I don't fault the brown belt...I fault my technique. But I did want him to know he was open to going head over heels...and landing on his head. The real problem with this 'artificial environment' we create is that it only takes a split second of someone being obtuse or stuborn for someone to get hurt. I'm not in this to hurt my training partners. Screwing with people's waza can lead to some bad places.

RT (once I had a friend...)

Ron Tisdale
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Old 07-21-2005, 10:23 PM   #235
eyrie
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
In reality, most of Aikido (and other arts, too), particularly in the West, has experienced dabblers teaching new dabblers.
It's kind of a catch-22 situation - drawing a balance between raising the standard of ability, and teaching ability with expanding the organization - IMHO.

Ignatius (didn't get special treatment either)

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Old 07-22-2005, 07:15 AM   #236
Mike Sigman
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
It's kind of a catch-22 situation - drawing a balance between raising the standard of ability, and teaching ability with expanding the organization - IMHO.
I absolutely agree. Look at how many large and obviously organizational, money-making moves have been made within Aikido. Look how many yudansha ranks have come in spurts or organizational reasons. It's always tricky and I think it's a contributing reason to why some of the diehard purists don't want to share all they know within an organization.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 08-11-2005, 12:01 PM   #237
JasonFDeLucia
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
I'd suggest that Shioda's method of breaking things down into simple concepts may present somewhat of a misleading potential in the same manner. I.e., people can put almost religious faith in Shioda's deliberate and clever simplifications, but an open mind may need to be kept about what Shioda actually knew. That bit I saw him do on Shingi Denju DVD was well beyond anything I ever saw him mention in writing.

Regards,

Mike
sure he could rely on shihonage alone but also had a variety of judo ,sumo and devoted application to daito ryu method of kokyu ryoku .
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:28 PM   #238
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Mike, it makes perfect sense to me and I can certainly see smaller movement progressing through experience. However, it my days training under Fumio Toyoda-shhan, one of the many things I learned from him was his very "big" technique. Yes, his tecnhiques were large and quite powerful. They were large and circular, not small and linear.

I tend to think that the smaller the movement, the more linear the technique has to evolve. Aikido to me, is very dynamic and I find more power, graceful, and fluid techniqies generated by large, circular ones.
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:53 PM   #239
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

large or small...to me it depends on the situation. it makes no sense to use a large circle when a small one will do!

Economy of force/motion is a basic principle IMHO. use the right tool for the right job.
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:42 PM   #240
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
large or small...to me it depends on the situation. it makes no sense to use a large circle when a small one will do!

Economy of force/motion is a basic principle IMHO. use the right tool for the right job.
Kevin, you are right. I was ainly thinking of the perfect scenarios in the dojo where everything works out nice and neat, in particlar, various types of throw, koshinage, etc.

Small and linear is definately called for when one has to be quick and dirty on special occasions! In a dojo setting, randori is the perfect example. Without quick, linear atemi, its over before you know it!
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Old 08-12-2005, 06:22 PM   #241
eyrie
 
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Re: Highest Level Martial Arts and Aikido

"Linear" could be a really really really BIG circle - I'm thinking "flat earth" here....

Ignatius
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