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Old 07-01-2005, 08:17 AM   #1
Ron Tisdale
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Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

There is a good interview with Sugano Sensei on Aikido Journal...there were recently some threads here that spoke to the use of kata in aikido. The comments by Sugano Sensei are very interesting in that light, and in terms of competition in aikido, being an uchideshi, and other matters. While I don't necessarily agree with all of his perspectives, I highly recommend reading this interview.

Best,
Ron

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=909

A sample:
Quote:
In creating aikido O-Sensei broke free from the predetermination of kata. His techniques were different every time, as was his way of teaching. The result was that everyone who trained under him developed his or her own individual aikido.

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 07-01-2005, 08:44 PM   #2
NagaBaba
 
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

This is one of the most important aspects of O sensei teaching. In his teaching, behavior, he was unpredictable. That was one on his major strengths. It made his reputation that served him well during some challenges.

Kata like training (i.e. a la Yoshinkan methods) creates good, strong basic, but installs kind of routine and practically exclude spontaneous reaction for unexpected situation. Long time students of kata-way training have a hard time to break with this routine, and in my opinion have minimal chances to attain Takemusu Aiki.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-01-2005, 10:38 PM   #3
bryce_montgomery
 
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

I wouldn't neccesarily dog kata training (seeing as it is an important part of so many budo) but I do agree with Szczepan. Kata can have the effect of making a situation that is unpredictale have a need to be predictable and might hinder the attainment of takemusu aiki...but I personally wonder if that could be a reason for the competition in the kata based budo.

Since kata hinders spontaneity, kata based budo need something to suplement the unpredictable circumstances. Since competition (while limiting some natural aspects of conflict) is for the most part, an act of spontatenous conflict, that practice allows the technique learned through kata to be used in an unpredictable scenario.

That's just my thought.

Bryce
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:12 AM   #4
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Thanks for the good discussion....

I like kata based keiko, because (like Mr. S.) it does foster strong basics (in my opinion). That doesn't say that other methods can't do that as well. Its also good to remember that the formalization of the yoshinkan (which has a strong focus on kata) established themselves by teaching large groups, and I believe the focus on kata and basic movements lended itself to that situation.

As to moving beyond kata to the next stages, that can be done both with and without a focus on the more formulaic training. For instance, before free style, a lot of yoshinkan schools focus on renzoku waza...training in kata form on dealing with a set of attacks, and using a set of waza for dealing with them. One of the nice things here is working with someone senior who can vary the timing, power, angles, etc. to draw more out of shite. You get to maintain form, yet deal with variety at a level you can handle, preparing for the next step.

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 07-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #5
Mike Sigman
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
One of the nice things here is working with someone senior who can vary the timing, power, angles, etc. to draw more out of shite.
Dang, Ron... I wish you Yosh guys would standardize and all start using "sh'te" instead of some of you using "shite", since "shite" is the common spelling for someone who is a real sh.t in many countries.

Mike
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:40 AM   #6
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Hope you're having a good holiday!

Ron (I say shite, you say tomato) Tisdale

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 07-03-2005, 07:34 PM   #7
maikerus
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Another way of viewing the difference between "Kata Training (aka. Yoshinkan like)" is that to the Yoshinkan eye people who don't study kata form very much seem to always be on the verge of falling over and don't really have any power, either...

As Szczepan mentioned there are good and valid reasons for kata training as well as good and valid reasons for not focusing on it. When asked I usually say that both ways lead to the same place, but the teaching focus and methodology differ. In a kata-based teaching methodology the "unpredictability" comes later. Ron mentions one of the methods to start.

I think to say something like "Long time students of kata-way training have a hard time to break with this routine, and in my opinion have minimal chances to attain Takemusu Aiki." only shows that you haven't taken this road and prefer your own. There is no problem with that...but be careful dissing what you don't understand. I can think of many teachers who wouldn't fall into that simplistic view.

I could just as easily form the opinion that a non-kata focus will make it difficult, if not impossible, to develop power and balance in your technique later on. Of course, there are many who would prove this false as well.

My point is that there are different reasons and approaches to getting to the same point. Please understand the other side before deciding it is wrong.

Just a thought,

--Michael

PS...I had to look up "Takemusu Aiki" - http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclo...hp?entryID=667

Last edited by maikerus : 07-03-2005 at 07:42 PM.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:36 PM   #8
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
In a kata-based teaching methodology the "unpredictability" comes later.
Later? When?
In the beginning you learning kata, once you are instructor, you are teaching kata....
You are staying all time in the realm of kata, even if you do some kind of unpredictable training, 99% of time is still kata.
If one wants to learn swimming he must swim in water, not doing all his life swimming-like preparation on the beach.

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
but be careful dissing what you don't understand. I can think of many teachers who wouldn't fall into that simplistic view.
--Michael
in the dojo when I practice, we don't have exactly kata training, but we do quite a lot very static exercises and teaching for the beginners is done in a way that resembles kata -- techniques are divided on phases and done in 1,2,3.manner.
The result is that even after the years of practice in more fluid way in advanced class, 1-2 kyu have still great difficulty to do fluid practice and are completely stack in one place in jiu waza against multiple attacks.
Not many black belts ever learn "really" moving.

----..----
To learn sophisticated skills in aikido takes YEARS and TONS of daily practice in fluid way.
That's why, i.e. in judo, they do sparrings in the end of every class.
I don't think my view is simplistic. Rather realistic.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:54 PM   #9
maikerus
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
Later? When?
In the beginning you learning kata, once you are instructor, you are teaching kata....
You are staying all time in the realm of kata, even if you do some kind of unpredictable training, 99% of time is still kata.
Actually...the fact that the focus is on kata does not mean that fluidity is not practiced. In fact, it can be practiced every class. But when the fluidity comes at the expense of a drop in balance and/or power then we revert back to working on the kata based form to make sure we are balanced at every point in every movement.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
in the dojo when I practice, we don't have exactly kata training, but we do quite a lot very static exercises and teaching for the beginners is done in a way that resembles kata -- techniques are divided on phases and done in 1,2,3.manner.
And this isn't "exactly kata" how?

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
The result is that even after the years of practice in more fluid way in advanced class, 1-2 kyu have still great difficulty to do fluid practice and are completely stack in one place in jiu waza against multiple attacks.
Not many black belts ever learn "really" moving.
Hmm...this doesn't sound too bad to me. The fact that 1st kyu and 2nd kyu are still having difficulty doesn't bother me. They probably haven't seen all the techniques that there might be let along be perfectly smooth in multiple attacker scenario.

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
----..----
To learn sophisticated skills in aikido takes YEARS and TONS of daily practice in fluid way.
That's why, i.e. in judo, they do sparrings in the end of every class.
I don't think my view is simplistic. Rather realistic.
As above...I agree. It takes YEARS and TONS of practice (maybe not necessarily daily) to get to the point. I wouldn't worry about it if a 1st kyu wasn't that smooth.

Also...after a certain point...even those schools who focus on kata also focus on fluid practice. But again...balance and power are the main goal in the earlier stages...not "fluidity without power" which is what I have seen in dojos that don't focus on proper technique and power.

FWIW,

--Michael

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Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 07-05-2005, 03:23 PM   #10
Adam Alexander
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

The definition of kata was brought up recently. I thought the last statement on it was that kata in the Yoshinkan sense isn't exactly what most people consider kata--it allows and requires adjusting to various uke's (as I recall the thread going).

Everyone learns by kata. Aikikai, Yoshinkan, everybody. If you're shown a technique and you attempt to repeat that technique (or your interpretation of that technique) it's kata.
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:23 PM   #11
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Everyone learns by kata. Aikikai, Yoshinkan, everybody. If you're shown a technique and you attempt to repeat that technique (or your interpretation of that technique) it's kata.
yes, you show for a boxer a combination of punches, he will attempt to repeat that technique and he will be doing kata!!!
your mom showed you how to eat and now you are doing kata in Mc Donald. Everything is kata

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:10 AM   #12
maikerus
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

...and I guess "real life" is just kata you haven't done yet or didn't know you knew...

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 07-06-2005, 02:17 AM   #13
Charlie
 
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
yes, you show for a boxer a combination of punches, he will attempt to repeat that technique and he will be doing kata!!!
your mom showed you how to eat and now you are doing kata in Mc Donald. Everything is kata
Hmmmmm????? So many on this board [including me] have made some statement as to the need to include Aikido in our everyday lives. Ueshiba and Shioda Sensei both have eluded to the possibility of Aikido reconciling the world...I wonder when will you start using your Aikido [gained through kata practice - because that is pretty much how ALL Aikidoka learn Aikido!] in places other than your dojo. Takemusu Aiki you say!? Hmmmmmm....

Charles Burmeister
Aikido Yoshinkan Yoseikai

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Old 07-06-2005, 04:22 AM   #14
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

Quote:
Charles Burmeister wrote:
Hmmmmm????? So many on this board [including me] have made some statement as to the need to include Aikido in our everyday lives. ..
That will be really scary

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-06-2005, 05:49 AM   #15
Kyudos
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Re: Sugano Sensei on kata & Training Methods

I'm always interested, reading these boards, to find how others train. We are a 'traditional' school of aikido, and put quite a lot of emphasis on kata.

Indeed, aiki no kata is a central part of our shodan exam, and suwari waza aiki no kata a similarly central part of the nidan exam.
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