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Old 02-19-2006, 01:30 AM   #1
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Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of February 19, 2006:

How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Critically important
  • Very important
  • Somewhat important
  • Not very important
  • Not at all important
Here are the current results.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

I find this a rather curious question, because one who has no advantage really has no advantage at all. Getting off the line of attack puts us in a safe place where we have an advantage in that we can strike but cannot be struck. Aikido's goal is controlling yourself and controlling an attacker; any kind of control would be a type of advantage, so I consider it very important to train and learn to create and receive an advantage. On the flip side, the ukemi of Aikido helps you give yourself to the advantage of your partner, and by training in ukemi, you actually share advantage with your partner.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:42 AM   #3
wmreed
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

If I understand Mark Uttech, I agree. To my thinking, you cannot be correctly practicing aikido without "gaining advantage" over your partner. So, I suppose it's really about how one interprets "Gaining advantage".

To me, it means being in control of oneself, and the situation, perhaps through physically controlling the attacker, or perhaps through mentally being confident in the situation. If we're talking exclusively about practice in classs, it's usually both. For me.

William M. Reed
Columbus, OH USA
wmreed@columbus.rr.com
"I'm not the author William Reed -- yet."
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:34 AM   #4
Tharis
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in you

There is a saying: "If you can't hit it, you can't throw it." If you're not in a strategically superior position, ther really isn't any realistic way to "apply technique," IMHO.

Any other views?
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:55 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

Is this a "who has the advanatage" question?
I choose me.

Is this a "who has control" question?
I choose me.

Is this a "whose afraid? question?
I choose them.

I remember in one of my first Ikeda Sensei seminars, he stated that when some one grabs him, he has them. Its like when a train car connects to the engine, the engine is still in charge. Take out the slack and move the car along.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 02-19-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
ESimmons
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in you

Having the advantage means you are in a relatively favorable position. Since uke is compliant at my level of training, I voted "not at all important."

This strikes me as a question of semantics, and the polarization of answers seems to support that.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:02 PM   #7
xuzen
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

I chose not important.

My style does not have shiai, so the concept of gaining advantage is not important to me. However, each technique (kihon) we learn in normal class already has already a built in "gaining advantage" factor in it already, so the technique per se is already gaining advantage. I do not have to specifically go out of normal kihon to gain advantage... at least not in my normal practice.

The concept of tenkan, irimi, kuzushi, tsukuri, atemi are all part of the "gaining for advantage" IMO. In nutshell, the techniques I learn in kihon has the "gaining of advantage" factor built in already... I only let the technique flow naturally, and I need not go the extra mileage to gain additional advantage... again I reiterate, at least not in my normal practice.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:04 AM   #8
Shannon Frye
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

After reading the above entries, i wonder if I interpreted the question wrong. I voted tht it was nto important at all. I read the question to mean an advntage "in the dojo" over the person you are practicin with. That is to say, "I" can do it better than "he/she" can.

It seems obvious that by the nature of the technique, by offbalancing your opponent, that you'd want to have an advantage over your partenr (or opponent in otehr circumstances). Otherwise, why not just stand there and get hit?

But as far as furthering personal ego, or trying to "get it better than soemone else", while friendly competition between friends can always be very constructive, it doens't matter to me how good/bad someone ELSE is doing, just that I'M doing it better than "I" did the last time I tried it.

Shannon
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Old 02-20-2006, 03:43 AM   #9
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

Just another understanding of the question:
In teaching/learning techniques, do you teach train first "gaining advantage" and then the flow comes by practicing hundreds of times or do you teach/practice mainly the correct movement and blending - maybe dancing - and when you are improving on those, nage will gain advantage/control over uke by time?
Using this interpretation my answer was as stupid as it can be: Somewhat important as neither extreme is right.

But it might even depend upon the level of experience.


Dirk

--
I would say it is a good question as neither the answer nor the interpretation is prefixed. Maybe such an open question is not ideal for a poll
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:28 AM   #10
ian
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

Wow - this is the most interesting poll that's been. I really didn't know how to answer this. I always look at aikido as being completely domineering; you have to dominate your attacker completely. But 'gaining advantage' seems somewhat inappropriate, as if you have to be stronger, faster or technically better, or as if there is competition. Two of Uehsiba's phrases come to mind (I forget the exact translations):
1. handle your uke as if you are handling a baby
2. as soon as the attack has started the attacker has lost

In my mind, the stages of the attack are as follows:
1. agressor thinks of attack
2. defender encourages the initiation of the attack or 'opens' themselves for the attack (controls timing of the attack)
3. attacker attacks, and in doing so directs his centre towards nage
4. Nage uses this displaced centre, by moving himself, and blending with the attack to continue (slightly over extend or subtely redirect attack)
5. Uke is unbalanced by this action
6. Nage continues the unbalance and effectively executes and controls the fall of uke (in one of a variety of techniques) (ensuring uke is always unbalanced).
7. completion of the fall/pin zanshin etc.

Thus, the advantage must be there at the instant of contact. If not 'gaining advantage' applies a struggle, unecessary use of force, and thus is not our ideal in aikido.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:54 AM   #11
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

I voted somewhat important because advantage comes and goes.

I feel that half of aikido is frequently ignored: the yin side of ki.

I hear "dominate uke", "control the center", "take uke's mind" a lot. I don't hear, "let the flow of the moment guide you", "uke tells you how to defeat him", "When you are falling - jump". I think these things are important. I think surviving conflict is more important than being victorious.

dave
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:59 AM   #12
Qatana
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

Last night my training partner was a nine-year-old boy. Gaining Advantage was not exactly an issue as I could have picked him up and chucked him across the dojo with no technique at all! As most of my dojomates can do with me....so,I say proper application of technique is far more important than "gaining advantage",
Kid has a mean pin.....

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:30 PM   #13
billybob
 
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

Quote:
There is a saying: "If you can't hit it, you can't throw it." If you're not in a strategically superior position, ther really isn't any realistic way to "apply technique," IMHO.

Any other views?
- Thomas Harris.

I like that aphorism. I learned to hit after I learned to throw, and it makes sense. I know it's taboo to talk about sacrifice technique in aikido, but a judoka I think highly of said "The essence of judo is quickly turning disadvantage to advantage." This judoka was famous for being thrown, and turning the energy into throws of his own. Beautiful in concept.

An other view sir. Please comment!

dave
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Old 02-22-2006, 11:03 AM   #14
Nick Simpson
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

Critically important to me.

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 02-26-2006, 11:31 AM   #15
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Poll: How important is the notion of "gaining advantage over your partner" in your aikido training?

From Gozo Shioda's 'Dynamic Aikido', page 17, section titled Practice Methods:

Quote:
Though aikido differs from other sports in that it goes beyond the normal concepts of victory and defeat, the object of controlling the opponent and gaining superiorty must never be forgotten. At the same time, as mentioned earlier, the aikidoka must always strive for harmony.
Here is one of the contradictions that intrigue me about aikido that I mentioned on another thread...we have 'gaining superiority' vs 'strive[ing] for Harmony'. Tricky thing to do in practice...

Best,
Ron
PS Jun, any chance you were re-reading this book when you created the poll?

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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