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Old 02-21-2006, 09:31 AM   #1
senshincenter
 
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Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Hi All,

Came across this quote by Sunadomari, was wondering what others thought about it. He says:

"In the past we used the tenkan body turning method in order to move our bodies. But to my way of thinking, this is meaningless. Even though this may be acceptable as a training method, it is meaningless in this age of speed. It won't work to use the methods of the past in this age of boxing and kick boxing. You must study what kinds of changes must be made. I had a long time to study these changes."

The quote was taken from the Interview Part I over at AJ.com

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:46 AM   #2
justinmaceachern
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Dave this goes back to my earlier thread about changing protical to meet todays standerds. My point was everythingUeshiba taught was defense against any and all atacks. I am sure that back then there were kickers and punchers and just werent named kick boxers. To me when we start to change the way of doing things, we then beging to change the integrady of the martail art itself. It seems like a lot of people are forgetting alot of techniques thata Ueshiba was teaching. For example we only study the art of sword to keep it alive, we will never meet a nother swordsman in battle. So why not look at techniques the same way.
For instance I also study Taekwondo ITF stlye. I went to a WTF style school to enter a tournament. They said i couldnt join. Then i asked what the real difference was and i was imformed that some of the WTF schools were no longer studying kata's, or forums.
Now how can you possibly advance wothout doing the traditional forums.
Hopefully you see what i am getting at.
Back to your question, I dont think anything should be left behind just because it may or may not be applicable.
JRM
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:32 AM   #3
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Hi All,

Came across this quote by Sunadomari, was wondering what others thought about it. He says:

"In the past we used the tenkan body turning method in order to move our bodies. But to my way of thinking, this is meaningless. Even though this may be acceptable as a training method, it is meaningless in this age of speed. It won't work to use the methods of the past in this age of boxing and kick boxing. You must study what kinds of changes must be made. I had a long time to study these changes."

The quote was taken from the Interview Part I over at AJ.com

dmv
Hi David,
it is all the same. The argument is really convincible, but if you want to adopt modern speed - modern boxining and kick-boxing is not faster than traditional karate, boxing, wushu, etc. - we have to include machine guns and infrared led rockets in our daily training. Hand grenades and nuclear bombs are not really fast nor modern, but they are a real challenge.

Nothing against including serious attacks in high level trainings, from whatever style you can take it. But demanding that all aikidoka should train that is misleading as aikido is in the first place a search for truth.

And arguing that tenkan is not helping against kickboxers is totally nonsense. I have seen tenkan in boxing and mma fights - although not in kihon waza style but that is true even for oi-tsuki in karate and if you train only stuff effective against (kick-)boxers, you will loose the first fight against BJJ. And now let us start again one of the 100 000 threads "how good is aikido against ..."


Best Dirk
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:53 AM   #4
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

I agree with Dirk. Sunadomari has no capacity to defeat modern armament and tactics. It is not his battle skills which make me look to him as a great teacher. If battle skills are the goal rather than just a vehicle for introspection then Aikido is a sorry art indeed.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:36 PM   #5
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

These positions all make sense.

However, what if we forget for the moment any notions of Aikido's larger purpose and/or on the martial viability of tenkan, what if we just look at the notion of evolution. How about from that point of view - how does this quote work out? Does Aikido have a sense of evolution, can it, should it, etc.? Or is all Aikido variation a matter of adaptation only? Does Aikido only add things? Should it never drop things? Etc.

Thanks for the replies.
d

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Old 02-21-2006, 02:35 PM   #6
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
These positions all make sense.

However, what if we forget for the moment any notions of Aikido's larger purpose and/or on the martial viability of tenkan, what if we just look at the notion of evolution. How about from that point of view - how does this quote work out? Does Aikido have a sense of evolution, can it, should it, etc.? Or is all Aikido variation a matter of adaptation only? Does Aikido only add things? Should it never drop things? Etc.

Thanks for the replies.
d
I suspect you're doing this intentionally (which I mean as a compliment ), but evolution is a pretty tricky word, as it not only denotes change, but also puts a positive evaluative spin on it. So, your question is about can aikido be improved upon.

from what little I know (and trust me, its little), I dont see much of a narrative of evolution within aikido. There is the central figure of O-Sensei, and then various senior students and uchi-deshi, and then everyone else, in that order. IIRC, I've seen Nishio Sensei talk about what aikido must become in the 'modern world of martial arts', but he didn't go into too much detail other than showing some variation of some technique. So, no... as a general rule, I do not think that aikido has much of a sense of its own evolution. Perhaps some particular practitioners do, but who knows how much they actually 'get it'. Additionally, evolution can go in many different directions. Aikido evolving towards being more 'street effective', more 'spiritual', etc.

I cant access the article by Sunadomari at the moment, so I wont try and guess how much he's talking about aikido evolving, and in what direction. If he's saying is that there are certain attacks where other forms of movement other than a tenkan would be best... well, thats not a HUGE change, assuming fundamental principles (blending, breath power, etc.) remain the same.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:52 PM   #7
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

I agree. Tenkan as it is traditionally practiced is pretty much useless if applied the way it is practiced in its "kata" form. However, the way I look at tenkan is to change the angle of insertion (entry) or angle of retreat (in order to reinsert). How much of a tenkan is needed depends largely on what angle is required - it need not be a full 180 degree turn. Tenkan is only a small part of the larger picture of ashi sabaki and tai sabaki.

BTW, aikido isn't the only martial art that uses a pivot (of varying degrees) to effect tai sabaki.

In terms of using it as an ashi or tai sabaki response to a boxer or kickboxer, the usual disclaimers apply - whatever works in that particular situation, I guess.

In terms of evolution, varying things, dropping things, or adding to - I guess as long as the principles are adhered to, then the "techniques" themself are of no consequence.

Ignatius
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Old 02-21-2006, 05:32 PM   #8
Edwin Neal
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

takemusu aiki... there is nothing (everything) to add or drop... tenkan works, but is not the only form of movement or response... speed??? come on there are fast strikers now and there were fast stikers then... aikido is constantly evolving, unfortunately one of the mechanisms of evolution is forms that are specific to a certain environment(attack), and they sometimes can survive in another environment, but usually not... what you get are specific forms and general forms, both are good, and necessary, neither is better than the other, just different tools for different jobs... i think Ignatius is on the right page here... aiki is about 'finding' what is appropriate to any kind of attack, if you are 'trying' to make tenkan work in any situation then it is bound to not be appropriate for at least some situations!!! that is why there is irimi, and irimi-tenkan, and hantai tenkan, and tenkan tenkan, and irimi irimi etc. etc.... if you get what i mean about body/foot work within different waza... just one of the steps in the dance...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-21-2006, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Well, in comparing whether or not Tenkan is feasible when being compared against Karate or whatever in a Martial way vs. Martial way. You have to look at are you comparing a Martial way (Budo, Aikido and the like) vs. a Martial Sport (BJJ, TKD). This may be a semantical argument, but nevertheless, one that requires some thought. Tenkan as a tai sabaki movement may not be practical at all when dealing with a speed like linear approach found in most Martial sports (although I have to admit I have seen a very practical application used against punches and jabs, using a ikkyo undo like approach). But by comparing it to those arts again, you are comparing Latin to Slang. two very different branches of the same tree. Which to me is a mistake many Martial artists make. Read Draegers books on the Bujutsu, budo and you will see that combat is a priority is pretty low on the list of the Modern Budo which Aikido is. And yet we as Western minded Aikidoka are constantly trying to reassure ourselves that are chosen art is as "street effective" as BJJ, MMA, Krav Maga or whatever. But this is not the point of budo or Aikido. It is like what Dirk was saying earlier. Even Saotome mentions it in his book "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" Why train with sword or staff, when a gun or missile is so much more effective as a weapon with minimal training?

Dan Hover

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Old 02-21-2006, 06:50 PM   #10
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Great Replies - if you will allow me to say. Lots of good points being made.

Here's what these things brought to my mind:

Well I get this view of Draeger's, but can a Budo still do what it claims to do spiritually if it is in essence saying, "Not only is there no evolution, but there is no need for evolution."? Can Aikido, even spiritually, claim to be of the workings of Nature, and/or one with the omnipotent source of the Universe, etc., if it can only say, "Well, we used to be able to martially harmonize with folks that used to attack us for real, and/or with folks that today attack us only in the way that folks used to attack us back when, but we aren't too able to stay with Nature and the Universe when we come up against a BJJ, or a MMA, or Krav Maga." ????

Asking some more: "Well what about if a BJJ, or an MMA, etc., comes up against you in the street - when there are no rules but this person still opts to come at you like a boxer would and not like those crazy attacks Osensei's uke did when he was 52 years old?" Is our answer supposed to be, "Well, please don't expect us to harmonize with that - we do Budo."?

For me, somehow this view falls short and hardly excuses us current practitioners who do Aikido as a Budo from addressing such issues as adaptation and evolution (in regards to technical application, etc.). I think Draeger was not entirely right and made a mistake in glossing over everything with his do/jitsu distinction, etc. In my opinion, we would be wiser by not doing the same thing. I think a lot more goes out than one would at first imagine if one separates the spiritual side from the martial side in a Budo.

I think Edwin is on to something - fighting has evolved. There's no doubt about that - heck - even boxing has evolved and not all of that is related to rules changing, etc. Much of that evolution has a lot to do with how much more that sport has learned about the human body, etc. It like that even in sprinting. Folks have always ran - true. But folks have not always sprinted in the Olympics like they do today. Sports, and the sciences of sport, build upon themselves in many ways and this has brought evolution as "improvement" to each activity. Anyone wanting to go into running would be making a mistake if he thinks all he has to do is run his fastest. Folks today know how to make everyone run faster than they normally would and this goes for folks that ran fast in yester-year as well. Even in boxing, people punch faster, harder, etc., for example, today than yesterday. So I am not so sure that Sunadomari is making things up - I think he may very well be on to a fact of the martial sciences (i.e. that folks don't attack the same way in every age).

I also agree with Ignatius. I still use tenkan, even in our more free training, but when I watch the films of it, I see that my tenkan is almost never the "normal" tenkan. For example, what seems to remain of the "normal" tenkan is only that my hips change their relationship to each other in a similar fashion. As things intensify, this almost always has me not stepping back at all and/or has me stepping back but only with my traveling foot going right behind the front foot or right next to it. However, I haven't made up my mind yet - like Sunadomari seems to have. This execution could very well be because my "attackers" are not needing to come in like Osensei's uke's used to in order to do the same (or greater) level of offense (because they are trained in boxing and kick boxing), or this may very well be a product of my inability to draw my attacker more out.

Yet - I'm thinking here - either way, I feel it would be easier to draw out an attacker that was not trained in boxing methods than one that has.


Hmmmmmm? I don't know yet. However, I appreciate all this discussion very much.

thanks,
dmv

Last edited by senshincenter : 02-21-2006 at 06:54 PM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-21-2006, 06:54 PM   #11
Dan Hover
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

True everything does have some sort of need to evolve, but if that was really true, coming down to street effectiveness, then wouldn't we all essentially then come up with the exact same art at some point in time? A sort of Budo Darwinism, that would quickly render arts like Tai chi extinct, as well as most Koryu?

Dan Hover

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Old 02-21-2006, 07:01 PM   #12
Michael O'Brien
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
Dan Hover wrote:
True everything does have some sort of need to evolve, but if that was really true, coming down to street effectiveness, then wouldn't we all essentially then come up with the exact same art at some point in time? A sort of Budo Darwinism, that would quickly render arts like Tai chi extinct, as well as most Koryu?
Very interesting theory, and in and of itself, I could see it being technically accurate.

The arts won't all evolve into one identical fighting art though due to factors such as "My Sensei taught TKD this way so I'll teach it this way" or "JKD is the only 'true' art out there so I'll only study that" or "I don't want to actually hurt anybody so I'll study Aikido" etc.

Please note that the arts chosen for the above examples are just examples and not a dig at any given art.

Simply, people train for different reasons and different goals so there will always be arts kept alive or invented/adapted to meet those goals and fulfill those needs.

Or at least that's my opinion.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:04 PM   #13
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
Dan Hover wrote:
True everything does have some sort of need to evolve, but if that was really true, coming down to street effectiveness, then wouldn't we all essentially then come up with the exact same art at some point in time? A sort of Budo Darwinism, that would quickly render arts like Tai chi extinct, as well as most Koryu?
Well, is this view so far fetched? I wonder...

You are right, it does follow, but are we not seeing it somewhat already? Or, are we the first generation to have proposed such a thing? I don't think so. I think I've read several folks of the past offer a similar note.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-21-2006, 07:07 PM   #14
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
Michael O'Brien wrote:
Very interesting theory, and in and of itself, I could see it being technically accurate.

The arts won't all evolve into one identical fighting art though due to factors such as "My Sensei taught TKD this way so I'll teach it this way" or "JKD is the only 'true' art out there so I'll only study that" or "I don't want to actually hurt anybody so I'll study Aikido" etc.

Please note that the arts chosen for the above examples are just examples and not a dig at any given art.

Simply, people train for different reasons and different goals so there will always be arts kept alive or invented/adapted to meet those goals and fulfill those needs.

Or at least that's my opinion.
Yes, I do think this could be one reason why arts resist coming together. In a way, for example, it's because they take themselves out, for one reason or another, of the natural environment of addressing the fighting advances or particulars of their age.


Good idea Michael - makes sense to me.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-22-2006, 01:23 AM   #15
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
Sunadomari wrote:
"In the past we used the tenkan body turning method in order to move our bodies. But to my way of thinking, this is meaningless. Even though this may be acceptable as a training method, it is meaningless in this age of speed. It won't work to use the methods of the past in this age of boxing and kick boxing. You must study what kinds of changes must be made. I had a long time to study these changes."
Didn't read the whole thread because lack of time, but my initial reaction was:
I try to use tenkan as a way to move my partner's body. And for that to happen my body needs to move. When an attack comes, I have four options: irimi, tenkan, kaiten and evade. The tenkan and the evasion-that-looks-like-a-tenkan are two different things to me. The first one is the basis for an aikido technique, the second one can be used as a set-up to a technique.

About using tenkan against fas attacks and the nature of evolution in aikido, I'll need some time to ponder.
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:49 AM   #16
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Martial Effectiveness

With regards to martial arts progress, well, now we indeed have somewhat better understanding of body mechanics, so this kind of progress helps to develop methods of striking faster and harder.

From another perspective, all the way back there always were tremendously effective martial artists, effectiveness of which was mainly explained using different knowledge and terms base, now often referred as "esoteric". Well, regardless of what explanation existed at that moment, the effectiveness was there. Which means the modern "mechanical analysis" approach isn't necessarily represents any real progress of martial art in comparison to the past, but rather makes some aspects easier to grasp for practitioners.


Another note… There is a natural contradiction between desire for ultimate effectiveness and mastering of a specific martial art. Any art, including martial, teach you how to achieve the desired result in some particular way, that is, limiting your choice just to the tools declared as a part of that art. Brush painting still exists while so much more effective imaging technologies are widely available, and practitioners of this art do limit themselves to a brush. If this or that particular art doesn't have a roundhouse kick in its toolbox, you are expected not to use it as long as you consider yourself inside of that art's framework; even though roundhouse might be the best way to handle some specific situation. Well, in a real fight nothing limits you, but here you cross the line between martial art domain with its natural borders and a domain of self defense with its sole rule "use everything you know".

Ultimate martial effectiveness presumes no limitations in the way you respond to the situation, and thus no martial art can be ultimately martially effective. Martial artist can, though it rarely happens if he limits himself to one art.

Speaking about Aikido, we speak about art, not an artist. It is the artist who should adopt himself to modern speed, and make himself to be able to deal with BJJ, or a MMA, or Krav Maga, or even hand grenades; not an art.

Aikido is a beautiful martial art, existing, as any other art, within its own domain. Its techniques may evolve, but to stay Aikido, it has to stay in its domain.

Martial artist practicing Aikido can develop himself to any level of martial effectiveness, however when teaching, he must always realize where is the border between Aikido and his own extensions developed for sake of martial effectiveness…


This is just where I'm at this moment...
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Old 02-22-2006, 07:24 AM   #17
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
These positions all make sense.

However, what if we forget for the moment any notions of Aikido's larger purpose and/or on the martial viability of tenkan, what if we just look at the notion of evolution. How about from that point of view - how does this quote work out? Does Aikido have a sense of evolution, can it, should it, etc.? Or is all Aikido variation a matter of adaptation only? Does Aikido only add things? Should it never drop things? Etc.

Thanks for the replies.
d
As there is no institution that holds the trademark, every single person can do what they want and call it aikido - maybe unfortunately. But they can add and drop whatever they want.

But demanding that aikido - in general - should add or drop anything is cocksure. Each one can do what he/she wants and if it gets commonly used, it is fine.

Nevertheless each single person's aikido is different and each one has to develop his/her own aikido - after having learnt the principles.

I appreciate that there are guys like you out there, who challenge aikido's effectiveness, as it is a "martial" way.
But training for championate is totally different from searching harmony with the universe.

As I am just a lower student, I just give an easy and naive example:
Whatever we study, we train both sides alternately as well as irimi tenkan. And if I lack skills in one i train this one even more. If I was to go for championship, I would try to improve the most effective type, e.g. mostly right hand tirimi. I'ld try to be so good that I can do it in most situation as effective as possible and everything else is only good enough to ensure, that nobody can rely on what I might do. It is not really like that, but most judoka, karateka, boxers have a small set of techniques, which they really win their matches with.
The same is true for pure self defense or battle fighting (maybe old fashioned battles only). If you have a chance to train only one technique and in 99% of the cases you kill your opponent or you train 10 techniques and they work in 80% of the cases and in the remaining cases the opponent has a chance for a countertechnique, what would you choose?

But I train both sides. In the same time of training I am surely not good enough to win against someone, who trains applied fighting, but I do not care. Fortunately in my world I can choose, if there is a need to go into a fight or if I can look for other solutions. So I only fight, when fighting seems to be the better solution and I think my chances are good enough. Yes my fighting skills have to be effective, I would not train dancing only, but if my sensei tells me my moves are not good enough, I train the moves like dancing, and if the technique fails, I feel annoyed in that moment, but I know, that I just have to train harder - to move myself, to feel reaction, to stay stable, or whatever. Even to forget about the goal of victory.

Regards Dirk
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Old 02-22-2006, 08:09 AM   #18
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
Dan Hover wrote:
True everything does have some sort of need to evolve, but if that was really true, coming down to street effectiveness, then wouldn't we all essentially then come up with the exact same art at some point in time? A sort of Budo Darwinism, that would quickly render arts like Tai chi extinct, as well as most Koryu?
I'd have to answer with a resounding, no. Even IF (and I'm just using the term, not personally behind it yet) the MAs evolve, there still wouldn't be one art. Why? 1. Because no two people are the same. 2. There are multiple ways of gettting to the same place. 3. And there are no attacks that are the exact same.

1. People take a martial art that suits them, physically, psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally. Each person also excels at the art in a different pace. Some go beyond most.

2. Given any attack, most martial arts have a way of neutralizing the attack in the same general way. Aikido isn't the only art to neutralize an attack with both attacker and defender unharmed, etc. Even within Aikido schools, there are various ways to achieve those goals. So, again, there are too many paths to the same spot for anything to evolve into one path. And there are a lot of examples of this in the past and now. In the past, Japanese sword schools had various ways to position the sword. There are various MA backgrounds in the people who win the UFC. Not one single karate school wins every championship. Different countries win the Gold in Olympic Judo. Etc, etc, etc.

3. In the real world, an attack is a unique critter. It will never be repeated exactly the same. Therefore, there are various methods of dealing with said attack. MA training isn't there for the path. The "do" in the martial arts isn't there for learning how to defend against an attack. It isn't there as the end point, either. The "do" is a descriptive concept relating to the previous words. It is, at times, the "how" and the "why" and the "what" of each person training.

The end result, though, of a martial art is in its whole concept whereby one learns to deal with any attack in any situation. And that is individualistic in nature.

aiki, karate, ju, jeet kun, etc, etc, deal with descriptive words on the type of art. The do also describes the "being", the "life", the "essence" of the practitioner as he/she learns the art. Some say the path of, some say the way of, etc. It is that and more, however, it is specific to each person. Together, one ultimately finds a completeness in that art on how not only to live, but to handle any and all attacks, whether mental or physical.

Short answer, IMO, there won't be a budo darwinism type of event for all martial arts.

Mark
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:37 AM   #19
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Again, these are all very good points to consider. I think this is why that quote was so "out there" for me - meaning, it really drew my attention. There seemed to be so much to consider in order to be able to say such a thing with such confidence - seemed liked a good topic then for discussion, to go through all that should be considered. Like I said, I can get what Sunadomari is talking about, only I don't think I can be as sure as he seems about it. There just seems so much to think about and experience and how nearly any of these things can either lead toward or even away from his conclusion.

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-22-2006, 10:44 AM   #20
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Again, these are all very good points to consider. I think this is why that quote was so "out there" for me - meaning, it really drew my attention. There seemed to be so much to consider in order to be able to say such a thing with such confidence - seemed liked a good topic then for discussion, to go through all that should be considered. Like I said, I can get what Sunadomari is talking about, only I don't think I can be as sure as he seems about it. There just seems so much to think about and experience and how nearly any of these things can either lead toward or even away from his conclusion.
Hi David,
Yeah, that quote is something. What that "something" is, I haven't a clue. I imagine Sunadomari is somewhere way ahead of me in the Aikido game. I would definitely have to get more of Sunadomari's views regarding that quote before I could even think about what it means to my training. I see too much vague-ness in the quote. Tenkan to one school isn't exactly the same in another, not to even mention the theory behind tenkan.

But, I think if he means that changes to training must be made, yeah, I can agree with that aspect. Even the koryu arts change throughout the years. But why he views that tenkan training should be changed ... I don't have a clue.

Thanks,
Mark
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:33 PM   #21
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Hi Mark,

Thanks for writing.

Well I'm only guessing as well - I am not at all sure I understand what he is saying. However, when I'm guessing, I am using as a clue his reference to boxing and to kick boxing. When I do that, I noticed something in relation to my own training. When we do our spontaneous training environments, because of how we train folks, they tend to come in like boxers and kick boxers (etc.) would. As a result, something happens, some kind of translation issue rises up. It's an issue that does not tend to come up at all in Kihon Waza. So - here it is...

These folks come at you very skillfully, in a "cautious" manner but one completely capable of capitalizing upon any opening and leeway in one's defense - one even capable of creating openings. In other words, they are not needing to blow you over to find the opening and/or to create one, but they get their openings just the same and when they do they are very ready to take equal advantage of them. At this point, however, they are open to the same tactics being utilized against them (countering striking with striking, etc.). This is a product of how such "caution" approaches and/or attacks do not really force the defender out of an offensive strategy. I've written on this for Aikiweb here: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/thegr...e/2005_11.html. There are videos along with this article (click on the links "clip one" etc.) that show how even crude counter tactics can work to address such "offenses."

When first coming to these translation problems, I think that one is very prone to say that folks in the street don't fight like this - so cautious, so calculating, in so cultivated a manner, etc. However, I don't think that settles the issue of what works with what and what doesn't. For me, this line of reasoning only seeks to hide the issue.

If you allow me to digress for a bit... Tenkan is a strategy used against a pushing energy - it is yin to yang. Etc. We all know this. Yet, boxing and kick boxing tactics never commit to Yang in the same way that folks of old did with a sword and/or some other weapon and/or even the way striking may have. It's not that they don't have a Yang energy to their advance - you know it is there once they hit you, etc. But while they penetrate the target just fine to get the job done, they never penetrate the target in the way that folks might have in the past and/or that Aikido tenkan was meant to address in the past. As I see this, there is only two ways of addressing this tactical issue (which any one can feel for themselves - all you have to do is get in the ring with a boxer/kick boxer and try and tenkan against him/her):

1. You can work on strategies and tactics that work to pull out more from the boxer/kick boxer - getting more yang or the particular yang that tenkan requires/expects. (all the while knowing that good boxers and kick boxers are trained not to be pulled out of their offense)

or

2. You adapt tenkan to meet the different yang that is presented in the boxer/kick boxer's strikes.

To me, Sunadomari looks like he is choosing number 2. For me, I tended to first say, "I just suck at pulling the attacker out more." But when I looked at my tapes, I see that I'm doing number 2 just the same. So the issue is not settled for me because I'm wondering if I'm doing the second option because I'm still too unskilled to do the first option.

Like I said, I'm still undecided - mainly because sometimes I can pull out the attack just fine. Here's a video of what that might look like: http://www.senshincenter.com/pages/v...ermediate.html (please note the final entry and kuzushi are made mandatory in the drill,so as to measure how complete one's irimi was). However, this is usually when the attacker is not concerned at all with being struck in a counter-like fashion - which usually happens in the beginner's attack and/or in drills when we assign offense to the attacker only. So there is this whole other issue that mucks up things even more - the tainting of training cultures. Either way, Sunadomari has me thinking - as do you all.

Thanks,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 02-22-2006, 02:29 PM   #22
Dennis Hooker
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Why not ask one of his students to ask him? Have you read his book?

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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Old 02-22-2006, 04:01 PM   #23
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

A good idea. Maybe one will chime in...? (hoping)

Yes, I've read the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very high on my recommended reading list.

Thanks for the suggestion, let's hope someone does chime in.
dmv

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Old 02-22-2006, 08:30 PM   #24
Derek Gaudet
 
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Re: Sunadomari Quote - Opinions Please

Well, I have to say I like this topic better then the infamous "Aikido does not work at...and so on" thread. I just wonder, how far can Aikido evolve before it is no longer Aikido?, and before someone else stumbles over a "New Art". In essence, when does the chimp stop being a chimp and become man? (Not a preference towards Darwinism, just a metaphor)

I remember a story involving O Sensei and a student watching an Aikido demo put on by one of the other schools. (Forgive me, I'm paraphrasing) The student said something along the lines of "That's nice," O Sensei's reply was "Yes, it's what they do, not what we do..." I wonder what the founder was thinking, was he thinking that's not Aikido? There's also another quote: "Several times in his final years Morihei sadly reflected, "I've given my life to opening the path of Aikido but when I look back no one is following me." Once an American disciple said to Morihei, "I really want to do your Aikido." Morihei replied, "How unusual! Everyone else wants to do their own Aikido."

So we're trying to adapt Aikido to the modern world, but I believe that if you wanted to throw someone 400 years ago, 300 years ago, 200, 50 years ago, for real, I'm sure they didn't ukemi their bodies through the air( Other then to try and protect themselves), rather tried to resist. It was a realization that the technique was required to work to keep them alive, and more likely then today, they would be using it. Today people have other senses of security, a nicely closed home, a nice lock, alarm system, guns, cell phones, what have you, martial arts to a lot is a last resort, when originally it was the only resort. I don't know how many instructors I have heard say, only use this as a last resort. Not all, many train their students well, but most get the idea, "I'm a weapon, I have to be careful", and in turn never realize when to use it, so they develop the idea, it doesn't work. I believe some Aikido is psychological to a particular dojo... some techniques outdated, but I do not believe any of those techniques are 100% useless. There are situations for every technique, just a matter of knowing immediately what to use when.

Guess that kinda went off topic a bit. I think it is important to train in the traditional methods, but also to include what we see as the "norm" for attacks. As it has been said "there are fast strikers today, and there were fast strikers yesterday", both go from "A" to "C", but somewhere along the lines "B" changed, but is "B" completely important, or is "A" (The initiation) and "C"(The finish) important. I was under the impression that we were supposed to respond somewhere in between "A" and "B", so we shouldn't even see "C", and only the beginning of "B". I was taught two styles of kicking, one JKD the other Karate, Both had the same "A" and "C", but "B" was different, in JKD there is no chamber of the leg (as I was told) in karate there is a chamber of the leg... the difference, one is faster given the practitioners are equal, but both can be defended against the same way, they just require different timing. The same is true with a "drunken lunge punch" and a jab... The jab being the harder of the two to defend, but same tenkan, different timing. My tenkan is probably different then the traditional tenkan, but it is still tenkan and therefore useful.

BJJ, Krav Maga, Kickboxing are all under the same pressure of "Does this work in a fight", "If I need to will I be able to defend myself". BJJ on the ground doesn't work with more then one attacker (I will only say something about this one because I take some BJJ classes on side of Aikido) so how are they any better off? Everything has it's limits to think otherwise is ignorance. To think you have an answer for every attack (Which I've seen martial artists claim) is arrogance. We all must improve, but I think rather then evolving an art, is is more about "How can I make this work in reality, without completely distorting it to the point it becomes something else." If we change a little, it's a variation of what is taught, and as long as we are taught the core, Aikido won't be lost, If we evolve too much it becomes something new, and if we only focus on the new, it is no longer Aikido, and we will no longer need to discuss it on Aikiweb... Just my views... In no way do they reflect that of too many others .

By the way Dave, really good topic my friend.

Kind Regards,
Derek Gaudet
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