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Old 11-02-2005, 05:48 AM   #26
Upyu
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
So John who was the Tomiki instructor. Frankly speaking kuzushi is the bread and butter of Tomiki Aikido and resistance is a present to some of these guys. Unless of course you were doing kata training where the level and type of resistance is very specific - stepping outside of that your first time in is well ...

Secondly - Tomiki people do their kokyu training through drills such as kiriki no yosie and shote-awase. We use quite specific terms and descriptions. If you come in using jargon foreign to the practice they know - well my response would be less polite than the deer in the headlights but that's just me.

I have my own ideas what constitutes good Aikido - could your instructor throw me with his pinky if I approached him with the same attititude you seem to have displayed.
Alright Peter, sorry if I offended you, and I kind of specifically omitted several other experiences that made me rather inclined not to go back.

The way the tanto exercise was being performed comes to mind. I was continuously told to "thrust" a certain way so as to completely throw myself off balance. If I thrust keeping my structure intact, well let's just say I kept on being "corrected" to do a "proper" tsuki (Because my partner couldn't get a proper throw off, and yes I realize that's kind of "rude" being the first time and all, but my experience is that if the students are taught well, this kind of hiccup shouldn't present a problem)

Btw, I recognized where they trained the Kokyu skills.
But I also noticed that most of them (as far as I could feel) weren't using that.
During the shote-awase drill, everyone, including the female and male blackbelt (cant speak for the instructor since I didnt do it with him) was just pushing from their feet and lower back. (The old "koshi kara koshi kara" push)
And that's definitely not the same feel as having "kokyu" no chikara.
And the instructor even made clear that it wasn't a big part in their practice.

As for the resistance part, most of it was like I said, brute force. If you develop structure, no matter the style, that resistance will feel well, different. And it was just the typical push/pull using muscular force with a good dose of posture thrown in.

Btw, not to sound like a broken record I'm not dissing Shodokan. Just that particular experience I had at that particular branch. To the instructor's benefit , I didn't get to touch hands with him so I don't know how much he has. I do know that some of his senior student's didn't have "it" though. That much was plain. It's not a diss just an observation.

The teacher's name I forgot, but if you look up the Tokyo Branch of the Shodokan, he would be the head instructor. He's a 4th dan I think.

The deer in the headlights phrase might have been excesive. For what it's worth, I did use objective ways to describe what I was getting at, and he still didn't understand what I was talking about. And pretty much anyone that has these skills would most likely understand what I was talking about. It's just the nature of how it works. Some things are universal across styles.

Anyways, I know I came across a little harsh, but I heartily suggest you drop by sometime when you're in Tokyo. And while it might sound like a bold statement, yea Akuzawa would probably be able to throw you with his pinky even if you showed 10 times the mild attitude I showed here (no limitations on how you test him)

But that's something you should probably determine yourself.

Btw, no hard feelings, alright?
If you make it out here, the first three rounds are on me!
Especially since I was the one shooting my mouth off :-p
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Old 11-02-2005, 07:35 PM   #27
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

There are several Tomiki Clubs in the Tokyo area some better than others. I still would like to know which one - Tokyo Branch says nothing.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:20 PM   #28
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Re: can aikido benefit from Chinese arts?

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
Ones Aikido practice can benefit from almost any training one does... Chinese arts, Aiki-jutsu, Systema, Iaido, Kenjutsu, etc. It just depends on what your priorities are? Do you train in another art simply to make your Aikido better or are you training to master the other form?

I think that at some point one makes ones choices and then tries to take his art out to the limit. Just because one "masters" one style, that does not mean one has mastered all. Many of the senior Americans in Japanese martial arts started in Aikido but chose to do other styles eventually. This gives them a unique insight into Aikido from their special perspectives but it doesn't mean they operate at the highest levels of Aikido. A kobudo man is a kobudo man not an Aikido man.

As Ellis Amdur Sensei once said, you tend to "become" the style you train in, although he certainly meant having given that style a whole hearted commitment. Do enough T'ai Chi and you are a T'ai Chi practitioner, even though you might have started in Aikido. Do both equally and I am not sure that you get to the depths of either... just my own supposition.
Hi George,
These are valid points. But one can also look at cross-training as similar to playing guitar. I have reached a certain level in playing -let's say rock- but I know I can be even better but nothing I have been doing seems to make that leap. So I look, listen, learn other styles such as classical, jazz, or blues. With my perspective focused on improving as a rock guitarist, That would be the key. I see students who are cross training and they seem more of an amalgamation than someone making a leap in Aikido. But always focusing on how to improve your Aikido changes the paradigm - or so it seems to me. IMHO.
Best,
Gene
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:30 PM   #29
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
During the shote-awase drill, everyone, including the female and male blackbelt (cant speak for the instructor since I didnt do it with him) was just pushing from their feet and lower back. (The old "koshi kara koshi kara" push) And that's definitely not the same feel as having "kokyu" no chikara. And the instructor even made clear that it wasn't a big part in their practice.
I've also got to say that it isn't a big part of the practice at least its part of many aspects that are designed to come together in a final form. The end result may not be the end result of what you or your arts training goals are - and this is always a danger when applying critique. Using the koshi is a physical practice that is emphasized in that particular drill.

Quote:
As for the resistance part, most of it was like I said, brute force. If you develop structure, no matter the style, that resistance will feel well, different. And it was just the typical push/pull using muscular force with a good dose of posture thrown in.
You seem to have covered a lot in one lesson. Good Shodokan people don't overuse muscle in their resistance and over-extended tanto thrusts aren't taught either. Did you participate in randori?

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-02-2005, 08:48 PM   #30
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
There are several Tomiki Clubs in the Tokyo area some better than others. I still would like to know which one - Tokyo Branch says nothing.
Really?? Well it's the one that meets in 吉祥寺 (Kichijouji) on Fridays 7pm. It's on the Shodokan website

http://www.shodokanmusashino.com/
is their site, since you asked.

Rob
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:02 PM   #31
Upyu
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
I've also got to say that it isn't a big part of the practice at least its part of many aspects that are designed to come together in a final form. The end result may not be the end result of what you or your arts training goals are - and this is always a danger when applying critique. Using the koshi is a physical practice that is emphasized in that particular drill.


You seem to have covered a lot in one lesson. Good Shodokan people don't overuse muscle in their resistance and over-extended tanto thrusts aren't taught either. Did you participate in randori?
They did both Kata and light Randori, and especially in Kata they tried to "correct" me into doing a tsuki that well, compromised my balance. If I did a tsuki that kept my structure, they would try and correct it. Wanted me to do it with a fumikomi step (which I'm pretty sure I know why it's there, but I get the feeling most of them were doing it just for the sake of doing it) which would compromise my balance.

Btw, the whole over use of muscle, I don't mean to say that they were trying to bulldoze me, but there was a lot of extraneous exertion, that wasn't "張り" either. Just an observation.

"The end result may not be the end result of what you or your arts training goals are - and this is always a danger when applying critique"
Can you define what the end result is? (And I don't mean this in a challenging way, I'm just curious what your definition of the end result is)

"Using the koshi is a physical practice that is emphasized in that particular drill"
Alright, fair enough, but can you tell me what the end goal of that is?


But I have to be honest Peter, all that aside,
I've touched people with skill in both JMA and CMA, and all had a certain overriding "feel" to them. Anyone that's handled all sorts of high level people outside their own field as well would know what I'm talking about
And the people I did touch didn't have it.

But we could bicker on and on, about this, so like I said, the fastest way to put your questions to rest would be to drop by if you're ever in Tokyo.
All this stuff is really pointless, the differences need to be felt. It's hard to convey this stuff in words.

Last edited by Upyu : 11-02-2005 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:19 PM   #32
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

That's Sato's club and he is very good both in kata and randori - I've seen him dominate people twice his size in full resistance shiai using perfect timing and resistance. I would class him as one of the best young Aikidoka around. It's also a very young club being formed only a few years ago. He was actually deshi to Nariyama Shihan while I went through my kyu grades in that dojo so personally I owe him a lot. I also consider him very friendly and very competent.

Sorry you did not have a good experience there but I think there was an opportunity missed.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:31 PM   #33
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Like I said,
I can't speak for Sato, since I didn't get to touch him
It seemed like he could handle himself pretty well within those contexts.

But I'll also say this, and this is my own observation, not a fact.
I've seen good boxers, and muay thai people dominate with precision timing, resistance, and footwork.
And all of Sato's techniques were done using that. Nothing more, nothing less. The "it" I was talking about goes beyond just that. And it didn't look like Sato had much either, what can I say. But I'll eat my own words and say that looks can be deceptive.
But the fact that none of the students had any of that skill said enough for me.

Btw, Sato, and all of his other students were extremely nice people, but skills are skills, don't take it personal.
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:52 PM   #34
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Ok I'll leave it at that except to say "it" for us is measurable and based on performance. The ability to execute aiki techniques under pressure. Perhaps this is the different goals previously alluded to.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:13 PM   #35
Upyu
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Not to drive this off topic, but is it fair to say then the goal is just to be able to execute those particular techniques under pressure??

I think we're talking about different "it"s.
The "it" I was referring to was, groundpathing skills, abillity to connect to the person's center, and create kuzushi by using the groundpath, kokyu path, jin whatever you want to call it.

That would explain the gap really.
In which case I kinda understand why the rest of the Aikido community consider Shodokan a different beast. (Not saying that that's good nor bad tho
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:01 PM   #36
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

How the aiki techniques are applied in a technically sense has not changed from what Tomiki learned directly from Ueshiba. How it is described is somewhat different there being a concerted effort to rationalize but the line of evolution is still direct.

The problem with using an art form outside of Aikido is that the further away you get from a common source the greater the divergence in meaning, emphasis and intent. Considering that other styles of Aikido also developed a curriculum/rationalization there can even be a problem within Aikido. This is even more so within the family of Daito-ryu (Aikido being part of that), what you are practicing (I don't know the background), and the broader world of Japanese martial arts. You mentioned your school as being more like Koryu - you are aware how varied and broad these schools are? Many don't even consider Kokyo.

When we go further a field into the CMA the problem is compounded. The Chinese mean this - therefore the Japanese mean this too is not necessarily the case. Considering the attempts to force the issue (round pegs, square holes) the difficulty is obvious to me.

The question is how does an Aikidoist look at the problem - not how a CMAist thinks Aikido should look at the problem.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:17 PM   #37
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

"The problem with using an art form outside of Aikido is that the further away you get from a common source the greater the divergence in meaning, emphasis and intent. "

Well I guess I'm a little different in that Akuzawa's stuff sits outside, all of the stuff you mentioned before, but is included at the same time.

And yes I realize that the Koryu stuff is varied, but most of the high level peeps (and this is according to other people as well) have a similar feel. They just use it differently

If that feel isn't there, well, I could be PC and say they're just different, or I could be blatant and say their skill isn't that high/ they never got it (pretty common even in japan).

Could you describe the meaning, emphasis, and intent of Aikido as you understand it? And how it differs from other forms of IMA?

While there's slight variations, I don't think the differences are nearly as big as people make them out to be.
And that's an opinoin that I've run into from other experienced Aikidoka as well.

But whatever dude, get your ass over here some day,
Seriously, it's not a challenge, I'd love to compare notes

A lot of the Shodokan exercises that were done that day were interesting (excluding the execution), and I'd love to get a feel for how they're really performed
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Old 11-02-2005, 11:27 PM   #38
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
Robert John wrote:
A lot of the Shodokan exercises that were done that day were interesting (excluding the execution), and I'd love to get a feel for how they're really performed
Sato would have been a far better example than I.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:24 AM   #39
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
Hi David;

Did he really? The way I read his convulutions is that you can't bring something to an art that is already there ...
Hi Peter,

I was merely responding to subject title. In order to benefit, one must/should must come to an understanding of his training and practice. To benefit from another MA, one has to partake by training and research. IMO, the subject matter should be aptly titled, "Can aikido practitioner benefit from Chinese arts?".

One of my teachers said that "his aikido" is ever evolving. What does he mean by this? His understanding of the principles keep changing or just his preference of doing a technique (say, ikkyo) using handwork or footwork keeps changing. If after twenty years of practice, he still could not figure out the underlying principles, then the gods of MA help us (his students) all. BTW, he is also a CMA practitioner

Best training

David Y
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Old 11-07-2005, 12:51 AM   #40
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Hi Peter,

I was merely responding to subject title.
I thought you were responding to Xuzen.
Quote:
In order to benefit, one must/should must come to an understanding of his training and practice. To benefit from another MA, one has to partake by training and research.
For sure - with a major problem arising from layering on your own preconceptions.
Quote:
IMO, the subject matter should be aptly titled, "Can aikido practitioner benefit from Chinese arts?".
We agree here completely and if you read my previous posts in this thread my answer is a clear yes.
Quote:
One of my teachers said that "his aikido" is ever evolving. What does he mean by this? His understanding of the principles keep changing or just his preference of doing a technique (say, ikkyo) using handwork or footwork keeps changing. If after twenty years of practice, he still could not figure out the underlying principles, then the gods of MA help us (his students) all. BTW, he is also a CMA practitioner
One would hope that all of our Aikido evolves - certainly my own understanding, emphasis, and frustrations have changed. I came to Aikido with certain preconceptions from previous (non Aikido) training and altered views based on Shodokan Aikido training, training in other styles of Aikido and in other forms of Budo. I wont say that the underlying principles changed but my appreciation of the nuances sure did. I have no doubt that will change/evolve again.

I have no problem with CMA My two best students have a CMA background with one getting ready to leave me in a few months for an extended (at least six months) period in China with a teacher he knows and has trained with. We were in fact talking about me joining him for a time. Again any cross-training will have benefit to your core art for a wide variety of reasons.

Last edited by PeterR : 11-07-2005 at 12:56 AM.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-07-2005, 03:14 AM   #41
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Wink Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

A follow up on what I said before....I think it mainly depends on who you are learning a CMA from. But authenitc Chinese Kung Fu would with out a doubt help anyone who practiced it understand what ever else MA's they did. See the problem is that too many have the WROND idea of what CMA really are...here is a great quote from Shaolin a long time ago....An old philosophical quote from Shaolin states, "Perceive the way of nature and no force can harm you. Do not meet a wave head on avoid it. You do not have to stop force, it is easier to redirect it. Learn more ways to preserve rather than to destroy. Avoid rather then check, check rather then hurt, hurt rather than maim, maim rather than kill, for all life is precious and can never be replaced." Within this statement lies all the answers one would ever need to become an effective martial artist. As simple as it may sound, it is more true and effective when practiced than anything known to man, yet hardly any martial art schools ever teach this anymore. Why? Answer: Because the teachings of old, have been lost. Aikido, for one is a very similar art to Kung Fu. Its principles are based on the Shaolin philosophy stated earlier. It is an art of harmony, rather than punching and kicking they blend with their attackers energy and use it against them. While in Kung Fu there are punches and kicks, one has the option of doing both redirecting or if needed meet the force head on. After all, the arts do come from Kung Fu in the first place.

"When you cease to strive to understand, then you will know without understanding." -- Caine
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Old 11-07-2005, 10:06 PM   #42
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Re: can aikido benefit from chinese arts?

Hi Peter,

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote:
For sure - with a major problem arising from layering on your own preconceptions.
This, IMO, depends on the individual. For those with no budo training goals, they probably wouldn't know the problem and they probably don't give a damn - the happy moron syndrome. They get annoyed and blamed the uke when they could not get a technique through. On the contrary, the serious MA would analyze and look for that missing factor (peculiar in his art) that would have made the technique work. To do that, one has to discard some preconceptions. When I first started to train aikido, my posture, footwork and manner of attacks were very karate-based and the instructor told me to "empty the cup". I did but I realized later that I need not "throw the baby along with the bath water". Here, I am not talking about using karate techniques in aikido or vice versa. The arts teach us to learn about our own body; the limitations - what it can or cannot do, the amount of pain one can take and how it react to the senses. Physical techniques are confined to the rules and spiritual guidance of the arts of fighting "The Do" - karate techniques in a karate dojo, judo techniques in judo dojo and aikido techniques. Appreciation/understanding of biomechanics and mental reaction is common to all arts. The objective is how one can put this understanding into use within the defined rules. This draws the line between cross-training and MMA.

Quote:
One would hope that all of our Aikido evolves - certainly my own understanding, emphasis, and frustrations have changed. I came to Aikido with certain preconceptions from previous (non Aikido) training and altered views based on Shodokan Aikido training, training in other styles of Aikido and in other forms of Budo. I wont say that the underlying principles changed but my appreciation of the nuances sure did. I have no doubt that will change/evolve again.
I hope so too. It has been said "change is inevitable but growth is optional". I think for those who have not stopped learning, the line should aptly read, "growth is inevitable, change is optional". It is given that change may not be equal to better. I have seen some instructors (whose "aikido is ever evolving") evolving from "minimum effort, maximum effect" to "over effort, minimum/no effect". To them, the changes were better; to me, sad.

Rgds

David Y
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