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Old 02-25-2006, 07:40 AM   #26
Leon Aman
 
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote:
And if we had no muscles in our legs, we would not be able to walk at all...
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Old 02-25-2006, 04:41 PM   #27
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Powerful

Regarding Ruth's problem, perhaps the simple answer is the guy was being a jerk. The trap of the martial arts is to start blaming yourself for other people's problems. The classic example is when a martial artists insists that the fight you got into at some point could have been avoided, essentially blaming the victim for having to defend themselves.

If the guy knew what he was doing and wanted to teach Ruth what to do, then strong arming her a bit would be appropriate, and George's response would be dead on. But that's not what he was doing.
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Old 02-25-2006, 05:29 PM   #28
giriasis
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Lyle Bogin wrote:
Regarding Ruth's problem, perhaps the simple answer is the guy was being a jerk. The trap of the martial arts is to start blaming yourself for other people's problems. The classic example is when a martial artists insists that the fight you got into at some point could have been avoided, essentially blaming the victim for having to defend themselves.

If the guy knew what he was doing and wanted to teach Ruth what to do, then strong arming her a bit would be appropriate, and George's response would be dead on. But that's not what he was doing.
I'm going to second Kyle, here. If the guy did not have the intent to help her out, then he's just being a jerk. What can Ruth do to deal with someone who is just acting up? First, I know it's really hard to get over that frustration. It's also frustrating to hear from those bigger guys to tell you to not get frustrated. I'm sorry, but I don't really think they know what the big deal is.

The other response to Ruth, that I agree with, is that sometimes the bigger guys just don't realize their own strength. I will also add that even at 4th kyu he might still have fear of taking ukemi, which causes them to stiffen up and resist. They are likely not to admit that fear, but it's still in their head.

Finally, he might be testing "the effectiveness" of the technique by testing you. He sees you as smaller and more advanced and perhaps thinks you can handle it. There are times that I get this and then these guys (usually newer) get up all smiles. But most of the times these guys have real good attitudes and ask for more when they get up.

Oh, and Ruth, if you really felt he was a jerk, trust your intuition -- as that is the first line of self-defense anyway, and you don't want to unlearn that.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:47 AM   #29
iron horse
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Re: Powerful

It seems to me that the stronger, faster, and fitter you are the better. Aikido should be powerful. And when you develop good technique you will no longer need to use your 'power'. Instead, you will use finesse. At least, that is what I am hoping ...
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Old 02-27-2006, 04:04 AM   #30
Mark Freeman
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Ian Holm wrote:
It seems to me that the stronger, faster, and fitter you are the better. Aikido should be powerful. And when you develop good technique you will no longer need to use your 'power'. Instead, you will use finesse. At least, that is what I am hoping ...
Speed, strength, and fitness are all well and good, but if you use strength to apply technique you are not applying the technique properly. So my question is, how do you develop good technique by doing it incorrectly?
You can only do something by doing it, not by trying to do it. One of the difficulties and joys of aikido.

Finesse (nice word) needs to be built into practice from day one, IMHO slow soft practice leads to fast powerful aikido.

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-27-2006, 06:47 AM   #31
koz
 
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Speed, strength, and fitness are all well and good, but if you use strength to apply technique you are not applying the technique properly.
Well, aikido works against resistance. You must only use enough strength to foster that resistance.

So it's really not about using no strength but rather just the right amount and nothing more.

Quote:
So my question is, how do you develop good technique by doing it incorrectly?
You develop good technique from correcting your crappy ones.

Quote:
Finesse (nice word) needs to be built into practice from day one, IMHO slow soft practice leads to fast powerful aikido.
Yes. But slow and soft practice can also lead to slow and soft aikido. Now while that is in itself a good thing once training has come full circle (whenever that is) there are still a few steps in between.

Sometimes you just have to train like you really mean it if only to gain an understanding of the application.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching, Ch48
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Old 02-27-2006, 07:29 AM   #32
justinmaceachern
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Re: Powerful

I have to say, I dissagree with you Ian. Just becasue guy A is srtonger, and in better physical shape and faster does not make him better. Like I said, I am 6" and 245 poounds and what you would call some what in shape , and i can go longer then some of the guys in my class that are regular weight lifters and cardio nuts. I believe Samuo Hung said it best when aksed about his size while entering a mixed martial arts tournament. The guy at the sign in booth asked " aren't you a little out of shape?" He replied, " nope just fat".

"It is not the size of a man the matters, its the size of his heart that counts" General Choi Hung Hi
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:56 AM   #33
ian
 
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Re: Powerful

Nothing wrong with strength and power. Aikido is about efficiency - using power without resistance. Thus you need to gently unbalance someone with perfect timing, then, when they can't resist, grind them into the mat.

Unfortunately in normal training this is not acceptable, since uke needs to be able to survive. Thus, do not feel that you have to be 'gentle' but realise that
i. you must not damage people
ii. that the hardest part of aikido is using timing and sensetivety correctly to unbalance your opponent

Many people may be intimidated by your size. I would advise against being over gentle - you should be relaxed but use appropriate force where necessary and when there is no ability for uke to resist. However just being 'soft' is teaching your body to do aikido in a completely incorrect way. Possibly train with larger uke if you find it difficult training with little people until you feel more confident in your technique.


My apologies to all - didn't read other posts fully.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 02-27-2006, 01:14 PM   #34
roosvelt
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Anne Marie Giri wrote:


Oh, and Ruth, if you really felt he was a jerk, trust your intuition -- as that is the first line of self-defense anyway, and you don't want to unlearn that.
RIght. If my akido doesn't work, it must be my uke's fault for being a jerk.

If i have too many big mac and overweight, it must be Mcdonal's fault for having a store in every city. If I can't find a job, it must be the new imigrant's fault for taking my job. If I can't graduate from high school, it's teather's fault for giving hard exams.
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:18 PM   #35
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Powerful

Roosvelt, I think this is a separate issue entirely. If someone really is being a jerk, they are not helping you learn. In my current definition, jerk behavior on the mat is behavior which is not merely frustrating, but also dangerous. If your training partner is being a real jerk, they're not just stopping your technique for their own ego gratification, but blithely increasing the risk of injury (so that you can't practice) which is really not helpful.
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Old 02-27-2006, 04:39 PM   #36
mj
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Re: Powerful

2 different topics here.

1) Doing Aikido against strong people.
2) Strong people doing Aikido.

Regarding 1:- obviously we all want to enjoy ourselves when we train - but enjoyment is relative. Every high grade in any art (no, I don't generalise..I've actually asked everyone in every art) will tell you that to improve you have to take the horrible practices. The ones you don't enjoy, the people who are to awkward, slow, strong, sneaky to long a reach, too low a centre or just downright humiliating. That's where the gold is, there's the mountain you keep talking about climbing is. Try, fail, try, fail, try, fail. The very definition of a good practice. "What did you learn tonight?" "I have no idea...just lots of things that don't work, but hey I narrowed it down some more." To smooth something rough takes a lot of abrasion.

(On another level we need many different kinds of practice though)

Regarding 2:- You've all got grips that could crush a cow's leg.

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Old 02-27-2006, 05:47 PM   #37
Mark Freeman
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
2 different topics here.
1) Doing Aikido against strong people.
2) Strong people doing Aikido.
Doing aikido against strong people:-relatively difficult if you use strength ( especially if they are stronger than you), relatively easy if you are doing 'aikido'.

Strong people doing aikido:- relatively difficult for them if you are doing 'aikido', relatively easy for them if they do aikido rather than use their strength.

regards,
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-28-2006, 06:33 AM   #38
DaveS
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
Nothing wrong with strength and power. Aikido is about efficiency - using power without resistance. Thus you need to gently unbalance someone with perfect timing, then, when they can't resist, grind them into the mat.
Also speed is an important part. Using power against someone who pushes back in the opposite direction is Bad Aikido and probably not the most effective option even if you do have the strength to make it work. On the other hand (in my rather limited experience) muscle power can be useful in working with someone who resists by being very relaxed. Using shomen ate in a hikitate geiko setting, for instance, the most likely result is that uke will just step back and to the side and stay standing up. To get the technique to work, I need to (get it more accurate and) faster so that uke is moving too fast to keep his footing. GCSE physics tells me that acceleration = force / mass, so strength is definitely going to work in my favour here.

In other words, pushing against a line of very little resistance is the right thing to do, but if you've got strength on your side, you're going to move along that line a lot faster.
Quote:
Many people may be intimidated by your size..
But being nage to a large uke is fantastic - you're pretty sure that you're not accidentally going to pull their arm out of its socket, and if you do the technique wrong you can tell that it hasn't worked. More than makes up for being chucked around a bit when it's your turn.
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:08 AM   #39
Bridge
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
So what happens when some big chump grabs you and powers up his muscles to effectively stop you moving in any direction you try to move?

I had this happen recently, where a 4th kyu guy and I were doing a back stretch technique, and he couldn't figure it out too well, so he decided to overpower me so I couldn't even try to do it myself

I asked him if he was going to let me do the backstretch, then sensei clapped so I turned away from him and scooted back to the side of the mat without bowing (which I know was rude, but the 4th kyu was rude first)

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles, but that's not going to teach him not to be a jerk. I just hate it when people take advantage of my good nature on the mat like this

Ruth
Full sympathy from me!

I actually had a similar incident with a new guy who was mucking about wiggling and using power to show he could get out of whatever it was i was struggling to apply. He wouldn't let me just learn the technique (I was very new at the time too and given how much I struggle to pick things up...)

I did tell him I was very new too and please could he just let me practice too, but he wasn't listening. So I moved my knee to show that if he carried on being an arse I could theoretically knee him in the head.

Unfortunately, my knee moved a whole lot faster and further than I anticipated and he happened to turn to face it. He refused to get up for a while.

A certain well know head of school of was teaching that time who instantly came rushing over to see what had happened and I got more sympathy than him!

I reckon there's a lesson there.

I felt awful.
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:27 AM   #40
Bridge
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Re: Powerful

May I also add he was 6 ft 8" and about 18 st.

I am 5 ft 6" and 10 st.

Really not fair!
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Old 02-28-2006, 10:51 AM   #41
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Bridget Chung wrote:
May I also add he was 6 ft 8" and about 18 st.

I am 5 ft 6" and 10 st.

Really not fair!
No, not for him

Dirk
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:25 PM   #42
James Davis
 
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Bridget Chung wrote:

I felt awful.
...but justified, right?

Don't feel awful, Bridget. He came to train in a martial art, and he knew there was risk involved...

...especially when he's acting like a jackass.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 02-28-2006, 12:57 PM   #43
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: Powerful

I'm 5'10", 155-60 lb. I'm often being told in my dojo I have to adjust my aikido due to my "big" size. Boy, is that a trip.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 03-01-2006, 06:52 AM   #44
Bridge
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote:
...but justified, right?

Don't feel awful, Bridget. He came to train in a martial art, and he knew there was risk involved...

...especially when he's acting like a jackass.
I guess so.

Honest to goodness it was a complete accident. I was well embarassed too. But he stopped mucking about thereafter.

So perhaps Ruth should have knee'd that 4th kyu in the nuts?
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Old 03-01-2006, 08:31 AM   #45
ian
 
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Ruth McWilliam wrote:
So what happens when some big chump grabs you and powers up his muscles to effectively stop you moving in any direction you try to move?...

I know I could have gotten him to move by aiming my knee at his testicles, but that's not going to teach him not to be a jerk. Ruth
Of course, uke needs to take your experience into account for succesful training, but don't feel threatened by this person. They are giving you an opportunity to try out the aikido principles. From stationary it is very difficult to move someone. However that does not mean that you are incapacitated (indeed, they are). You can move your whole body anywhere around this point of contact, and as you say, you can move other limbs.

Always see a stationary grab as one less fist they have to hit you with! Now, if they use that to pull or push you, then you can work with it.

Although he may have been a jerk for this type of action, by not allowing him to grab in the first place, you could have generated the movement. Ueshiba said about even the strongest person being weak when you draw them out of their sphere of power i.e. timing and coordination are required. Of course, when things go stationary its more difficult, and thus atemi is useful to generate movement again (unless you are quite happy staying there unharmed, which can sometimes be OK).

From practical experience I would say that strength is of no benefit to an attacker if you are prepared to move your body. Indeed, I would say the easiest fights I have been in are those with a really big and strong opponent because they often believe that they can hold you, or destroy you with a single strike - and it just isn't true if you move properly.(I'm only little and weedy at 11 stone)

(PS I agree with Bridget, next time kick him in the nuts - its good training for both of you!) In fact, do so even before he grabs and it'll stop him thinking 2-dimensionally!

P.P.S. one of the main reasons I was attracted to aikido was a girl who must have been no more than 8 st who could throw me around like I was a leaf (of course, she was a dan grade, but is was amazing to an aikido novice and a thug like me).

Last edited by ian : 03-01-2006 at 08:39 AM.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:20 PM   #46
Roman Kremianski
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Re: Powerful

I'm not speaking from any extraordinary experiance here, but I personally don't mind when people "lock-up" as described here. I think teaches you to deal with the unexpected.

Also, I think weight and power do come in handy during pins.
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Old 03-01-2006, 03:51 PM   #47
roosvelt
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Amelia Smith wrote:

If your training partner is being a real jerk, they're not just stopping your technique for their own ego gratification,

To be anble to move poeple who try to stop you IS the technique. If you can't do it, you're not doing the technique. If you think you've got the technique, but you can't move pople who try to stop you, you don't know the technique, you only know the form.

Granted, a uke should help nage to learn the "technique". Ruth was obviously a higher kyu than the 4th Kyu "jerk".

If I can't move a lower kyu uke, I usually feel ashamed of myself. I ask my sensei to demostrate the technique again. I'm not a fast learner. I still can't move some big people, I just tell them that I haven't got the technique down yet, and go easy on me.
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Old 03-02-2006, 12:20 AM   #48
Leon Aman
 
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Re: Powerful

Quote:
Roosvelt Freeman wrote:
RIght. If my akido doesn't work, it must be my uke's fault for being a jerk.

If i have too many big mac and overweight, it must be Mcdonal's fault for having a store in every city. If I can't find a job, it must be the new imigrant's fault for taking my job. If I can't graduate from high school, it's teather's fault for giving hard exams.
You must be kidding Roosvelt

leon

Last edited by Leon Aman : 03-02-2006 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 03-02-2006, 03:29 AM   #49
Leon Aman
 
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Re: Powerful

If your aikido doesn't work, it is because it doesn't work. On of a very convincing reason it is probably you didn't do it well. Failure to work your aikido technique is not an ukes fault how stupid or jerk he/she is.

As far as self responsibility is concerned, I believe everyone is 100% responsible for everything occurs in their life. If you have lot of bigmacs and is overweight , it is because you chose that to happen. If one can't find job, it is because he didn't find it yet or didn't seriously look for it. If one cant graduate from the school he is in, it is because one chose not to graduate. One may argue whether he didn't choose that consciously or else but subconsciously he did it, that's why it was appeared in his life , but of course such topic must be discussed elsewhere.

leon
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Old 03-02-2006, 06:22 AM   #50
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Powerful

Roosvelt, you've misquoted me, leaving out the main point of the sentence. My main point there was that people should not be training in a manner that recklessly endangers their training partners.

Also, it's relatively easy to stop many/most aikido techniques if you are at all strong and know what's coming. If an uke blocks a given technique, I might not be able to continue with that same technique/strategy, but there's probably another one that will work. That's what henkawaza's all about.
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