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Old 08-12-2005, 07:46 AM   #26
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Keith Lee,

Thank you for your kind words.

I found your post to be be an excellent summary of the situation. TMAs are working from a deficiency...how many times have really commited, physically excellent, young atheletes devoted themselves to the practice? I was watching some UFC stuff last night, and no doubt about it, those guys are the real deal. If they were my training partners in aikido, even in cooperative practice, my level would jump insanely in 6 months if I trained correctly and didn't give in to the temptation to bulk up and use too much muscle.

I've been reading one of Dave Lowry's newer books at the same time as pondering this thread, and i highly recommend it. It shows some of the things I think I look for in budo much clearer than I can. I'll try to find the title...work and life have me a tad scattered just now, can't remember it.

Roy,

It seems we have a disconnect somewhere...I'll let it go at that.

Best,
Ron

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 08-12-2005 at 07:50 AM.

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 08-12-2005, 08:14 AM   #27
rob_liberti
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Warning, this is probably my more opinionated post yet.

MMA/BJJ folks believe in their training progression because they have noticeable results against resistance. The thing is, I can say the same thing about my aikido practice. When I first started, I couldn't move sandans in aikido around the way I move them around now. I would say that I believe in the/my aikido process for the same reason they believe in theirs. I find myself able to do more and more sophisticated things against people that anyone would consider strong. As I continue my current path of aikido (primarily cooperation) with level-appropriate resistance, I _know_ I will approach the level of resistance that MMA folks would consider "live" and I plan not to be using much arm strength to deal with them (while standing up). I agree it will take longer for me to get there my way -- no argument there. However, I also believe that I will have the chance to test out what I'm doing in certain situations against aikido people who can resist much, much more forcefully and skillfully (in some respects) than I could almost anywhere else - and I don't have confidence I could get there any other way than what I'm doing now. Of course, I'll continue to branch out and try out what I'm doing with non-aikido people too because that is fun and interesting (and important to me) as well. This is, of course, all my opinion based on my experiences.

I do understand the point about a new/newer student getting more confidence in their effectiveness sooner in a MMA setting than aikido - no doubt. I believe that the nature of "live" training is good in that beginners won't really be allowed to be lazy in their training because someone would be all over him like white on rice. Whereas how good aikido beginners (or anyone in aikido) are WAY MORE up to them and therefore it is less likely that they will be compare to MMA/BJJ folks favorably in general.

However, the required intensity of MMA creates a self-selected student base of people who are able to handle that immediately (I see Ron beat me to the punch on this point). The negative side of this is that it becomes a bit exclusive, whereas my teaching/training methodology is less exclusive. I can take people who are not ready for that level of training intensity and give them the room and the support they need to develop to that level (as well as help people who are aggressive practice toning it down a bit). I think these are important points to consider in favor of the Budo approach.

Rob
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:52 AM   #28
rob_liberti
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Shoot, I re-read that, and I didn't really mean "_in favor_ of the Budo approach" as much as "in the Budo approach's favor". I don't mean to say budo is better, just that it has it's own strengths and weaknesses (as opposed to thinking it just has weaknesses compared to MMA). - Rob
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Old 08-12-2005, 01:49 PM   #29
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Defining budo and methodologies that are/aren't budo is always a interesting topic!

I think many people turn to MA, aikido, taiji, and a few others in particular to fill a void they have in there lives. There is something to be said for training hard with people that share common values and principles. We feel special as BUDOKA. Sometimes it is important to feel special.

However, I think there is really nothing special per se about the concept of budo. You can achieve the same sense of "being" through yoga or group meditation...two things that are connected sometimes with MA, but not considered MA.

There is no one way, and frankly I think we have way too many expectations about what aikido or MA in general "give" us.

the Martial arts certainly has played a HUGE role in my life. However, I was not "given" that from some mystical transformation process or by simply belonging, or labeling myself "BUDOKA"...heck I didn't even know what that term was for many years!

My point is while we can all understand the concept of BUDO and relate it to one or more arts. Defining which art or practice is or isn't...is simply not important since the outcome of what BUDO IS...can be achieved through any number of practices! IMHO!
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Old 08-12-2005, 02:48 PM   #30
rob_liberti
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Hmm. I mostly agree with that. I would say that the outcome of training aikido is ideally that you manifest your true self. However, the outcome of zen training (ideally) is that you understand your true self. I'm not sure what the optimal outcome of yoga is, but I suspect it is not exactly either of these two things as well.

Rob
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Old 08-12-2005, 06:38 PM   #31
Roy
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

I hope I'm not to off skew here, but IMHO,

I think kata is needed, not only to learn the basic technique, but to also add an element of mental calmness, and or compassion, to balance the negative mental state associated with learning how do do harm to others. And of course it adds to the safety; because, I don't want to cooperate fully with some guy I don't really know, and who wants to practice randori hard for battle readiness, do you? If Aikido were practiced like that it would not be 1/1000 the popularity it is enjoying today. I do agree of course, like many of you that it takes a long time to be combat-sh ready in Aikido, and many lower ranks doing 98% kata training are kidding themselves if they think they are ready to take on bigger or multiple attackers like Ueshiba, or Kondo, or even a 3rd dan etc... So whats my point here? hell I don't know, but how else do you learn the moves of Aikido without both the basics, and safety net you get from kata?

Ron,
"It seems we have a disconnect somewhere...I'll let it go at that."

Hey, cheers, no probs, but I would have proffered if you simply elaborated on what you meant, for I don't feel I responded to your post that absurdly.

Last edited by Roy : 08-12-2005 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 08-12-2005, 10:48 PM   #32
xuzen
 
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Quote:
Roy Leclair wrote:
I hope I'm not to off skew here, but IMHO,

I think kata is needed, not only to learn the basic technique, but to also add an element of mental calmness, and or compassion, to balance the negative mental state associated with learning how do do harm to others. And of course it adds to the safety; because, I don't want to cooperate fully with some guy I don't really know, and who wants to practice randori hard for battle readiness, do you? If Aikido were practiced like that it would not be 1/1000 the popularity it is enjoying today. I do agree of course, like many of you that it takes a long time to be combat-sh ready in Aikido, and many lower ranks doing 98% kata training are kidding themselves if they think they are ready to take on bigger or multiple attackers like Ueshiba, or Kondo, or even a 3rd dan etc... So whats my point here? hell I don't know, but how else do you learn the moves of Aikido without both the basics, and safety net you get from kata?

Ron,
"It seems we have a disconnect somewhere...I'll let it go at that."

Hey, cheers, no probs, but I would have proffered if you simply elaborated on what you meant, for I don't feel I responded to your post that absurdly.
Hello Roy, not aiming at you personally but just using your post as an example...

This debate of kata vs live training seems to go round and round the bush to me. Live training and kata are like the mind and body... they are interdependent and are not mutually exclusive. Kata sharpens the live training and live training gives meaning to kata.

After having do aikido close to a decade in various dojo or various school, I realize that in randori/jiyu waza, I can shove, push, punch or generally rough up my ukes around but then I do not think that is budo... more like plain brawling, it is ugly and of improper conduct. Proper technical execution on the technique other hand gives me much more satisfaction mentally.

I don't know if this qualify as a rant... today is Saturday and I have to get up early to work the morning shift...

So sorry guys.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 08-15-2005, 07:45 PM   #33
Keith R Lee
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Sorry for the delay in replying, been out of town over the weekend.

Ron, agreed.

One thing I miss from Aikido is the diversity in people it brings. Men, women, young, old, white-collar, blue-collar, etc. Everyone in my Sambo classes are 22-35 years old, fit males. I think this is because of the more "rough n' tumble" nature of the class that these type of people are ready for. Everyone was either a football player or a wrestler or something of the like in high school or college.

They have little to no hesitation in attempting any technique, pin, fall, escape, etc. These are people already used to a risk-prone environment and do not mind putting themselves in harm's way; Something that I think that has to slowly be acquired by most of the people who begin to practice Aikido.

Training exclusively with fit and motivated people definitely makes training much more intense. However, there is something lost by the lack of diversity. What's to be done for it? I don't know. But something about it definitely bothers me. I guess I just have to try and keep a foot planted in both places, although it's becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

RE: The Lowery book. Did you ever find it? I really enjoy his books. I find his insights in regards to budo in contemporary matters insightful. I'd be interested in knowing the title. Thanks.

Keith Lee
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Old 08-15-2005, 08:15 PM   #34
Roy
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Keith Lee'

I agree, dojos with 98% jocks, for me tend to be very competitive. I walked in a dojo for a free class once and was forced to do at least 10 push-ups and 15 sit-ups, and this is after doing a whole bunch of running laps, backwards, sideways, legs criss-crossed inwards outwards etc... etc.... Well I almost collapsed. Well, "No thanks";guess because, I'm both non-competitive and too laysy I enjoy working with adults (50 plus); because, they tend to value their health more, and tend to be more ki driven then braun driven.
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Old 08-15-2005, 09:00 PM   #35
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Tradition vs Fighting?

Well, I was thinking the other day that if someone attacked me with lethal intent while I was carrying a bokken - like you carry a bokken right? - I would turn the bokken around and hit him on the head with the handle as it is heavier. Why? The bokken is a piece of wood not a sword, and to use one as a sword may not be to use it to it's fullest capacity. Still, having said that, and having trained with a bokken as a sword for so long, it might make sense to use it as a sword since that is how I have trained. Anyway, perhaps such thinking shows the difference between tradition and fighting and the confusion that exists between the two.

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Old 08-15-2005, 11:00 PM   #36
Roy
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Well I guess you can practice the sword, with real swords, wouldn't that be safe for uke?
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:05 AM   #37
JamesDavid
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Chris Guzik,
In response to your first post in this thread. Thank you for you comments. I think that in part the issue could be cultural, a western focus on the individual makes the concepts you present difficult. here in Australia we are a little more towards the left of thinking and tend to think of the greater good, call me red go on!!, but its true that when you think of your self as part of a greater whole you have a different appreciation of what you learn. To give into a learning has a kind of faith. For me this is one of the things that I most desired to learn in the study of aikido!!

An issue that has plagued me, as I will tell, is whether the skill that one develops is a pure matter of learning or whether there is an aspect of innate skill of the student that makes techniques possible. in such as that a movement in aikido goes against instinct, does the proficient student naturally see the progression of technique? If so, Aikido then becomes a paradigm that the astute can understand and improve upon or at least modify to their needs. I think this a necessary condition for the passing of the art form generation to generation. Hmmmm that may be ambiguous….lets try again, ..perhaps there is a point in the study of aikido where you no longer need a teacher…
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Old 08-16-2005, 06:47 AM   #38
Ron Tisdale
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Clouds in the West: Lessons from the Martial Arts of Japan
By Dave Lowry
Lyons Press, 2004.
US$21.95 (+$6 shipping).
ISBN: 1-59228-590-2.
213 p. 6" x 9 1/4" hardcover.
Now available direct from Koryu Books!
Other books by Dave Lowry at Koryu.com
Articles by Dave Lowry at Koryu.com

Is the book by Lowry that I'm reading. Its a good'un. I wrote something for AJ that was partly based on what we've been talking about, what I've been reading in that book, and what I've been thinking about for some time. You can find it here:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1028

Quote:
Well I guess you can practice the sword, with real swords, wouldn't that be safe for uke?
There are some koryu groups that practice kata very seriously with live blades under qualified instruction. It was quite hair raising the time I tried it. I would only recommend it to very serious folk with a very qualified instructor.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 08-16-2005, 07:43 AM   #39
happysod
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Quote:
I enjoy working with adults (50 plus); because, they tend to value their health more, and tend to be more ki driven then braun driven
Roy, not banging on you here, but what's given you the idea that ki and "brawn" are incompatible?

One other spurious general question, I often read the words "sophisticated" thrown around when comparing aikido to other arts (strangely enough, normally when budo or fighting rears it's head in the thread title) but can someone please explain just what they actually mean by this?

(of course, leaving aside the idea that they're not using the original meaning of the word, but with hakama involved, who knows..)
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Old 08-16-2005, 09:32 AM   #40
rob_liberti
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

What _I_ mean by sophisticated movement is not powering through using normal arm strength, not trying to make the person fall with a joint lock (but rather affecting their balance - getting their mind to momentarily go to regain their balance before applying the joint lock), not directly pushing, pulling, lifting, cranking, yanking, depending on sudden and jerky movements, threatening with your non-violence, etc.

When I try to move my teacher with normal arm strength, some of my back/shoulder muscles go into instant spasm. I can really tense up my arm and power into his center - but I can't keep that up for any reasonable amount of time because I can't react as fast to a change of situation when I'm being strong in that kind of way.

Rob
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Old 08-16-2005, 04:19 PM   #41
Roy
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Ian Hurst,

"Roy, not banging on you here, but what's given you the idea that ki and "brawn" are incompatible?"

Not to bang on you either; but, what gave you the idea I felt braun, and ki were incompatible?
Let me reword that statement. I prefer to work with people that yous more "sophisticated" Aikido.
Rob Liberti's post summed up (my feelings also) the use of the word "sophisticated," in Aikido.
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:50 AM   #42
happysod
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Rob, so if I understand it you're referring to a particular direction and feeling in your training rather than anything solely intrinsic to aikido itself? If so, thanks, that makes more sense.

Roy, that was my understanding of your post, which is why I was querying it - glad you could clear up my misunderstanding.
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Old 08-17-2005, 07:09 AM   #43
rob_liberti
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

I don't know Ian. I do think those factors are intrinsic to aikido. I agree that they are not "solely" intrinsic, but I do find those factors developed to any degree of depth to be quite rare in other martial arts (hell that kind of depth is rare in aikido!). My point when I brought that kind of thing up was that I find that level of depth specifically uncommon in "fighting arts" due to the typical focus of training.

Rob
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:08 AM   #44
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Re: "Traditional budo" and "Fighting art"

Quote:
James David wrote:
Chris Guzik,
In response to your first post in this thread. Thank you for you comments. I think that in part the issue could be cultural, a western focus on the individual makes the concepts you present difficult.
James,

I think you are right about the cultural differences changing the way westernerrs typically approach this kind of thing.

Quote:
An issue that has plagued me, as I will tell, is whether the skill that one develops is a pure matter of learning or whether there is an aspect of innate skill of the student that makes techniques possible. in such as that a movement in aikido goes against instinct, does the proficient student naturally see the progression of technique? If so, Aikido then becomes a paradigm that the astute can understand and improve upon or at least modify to their needs. I think this a necessary condition for the passing of the art form generation to generation. Hmmmm that may be ambiguous….lets try again, ..perhaps there is a point in the study of aikido where you no longer need a teacher…
I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the relationship of being skilled at aikido and being skilled at learning aikido. I used to think these were quite different things but I am not so sure these days.

Chris
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