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Old 03-03-2004, 12:23 PM   #1
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Discuss the article, "Aikido and Aiki" by George S. Ledyard here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/gledyard/2004_03.html
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Old 03-03-2004, 04:23 PM   #2
ikkitosennomusha
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George:

I would like to commend you on an excellent article! It is noticed that you have put time and thought into the column.

This is the very issue I delt with for a long time at New Life Aikido in Jackson TN. I was approaching my 2nd kyu rank at the time when the Sensei (try not to mention names) was wrongfully devloping issues with me.

The sensei always forced my techniques, even during jiyu waza. I went to a seminar under Y. Kobayashi 9th dan and he was able to break me through the platou I was experiencing due to the nature of my training at New Life.

Well, the sensei did not like my new found technique, strength, and quickness. He said it was not aikido (bare in mind he is 2nd dan saying that a respected 9th dan was not teaching me aikido). He pulled me aside and told me to not do those techniques becuase it would hsow up his authority in class. Sounds like an ego problem to me??

Anyways, it got to where he could not handle me becuase I had started throwing sensei around whereas previously I would just let him role out of techniques. So you think a student (mudansha) so honeslty throw the sensei or treat him with utter lack of intensity?

What got me kicked out of the dojo was that he was letting a 15 year old practice in the adult class. I feel a minor should not be allowed to participate in an adult class unless he is able to provide the same level of intensity and protect himself. Don't you? I was doing a figure 8 kokyu nage and I knocked the breath out of the boyh because he did not slap the mats to break his fall. I got blammed, called out publicle, and called Steven Seagal! Needless to say I do not think highly of the sensei as I no longer train in his cult-like situation. (I said cult because the sensei only favors union university members due to the fact that he feels the are Christians and no one else is). A real werido this sensei is! Oh yeah, he is with the AAA. Toyoda-shihan did not even like him from what I seen!

Brad Medling
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Old 03-03-2004, 06:47 PM   #3
Lan Powers
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Wow!

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 03-03-2004, 07:42 PM   #4
George S. Ledyard
 
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Young Members

Quote:
Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
What got me kicked out of the dojo was that he was letting a 15 year old practice in the adult class. I feel a minor should not be allowed to participate in an adult class unless he is able to provide the same level of intensity and protect himself. Don't you? Brad Medling
I am glad that you found the post helpful.. I will say that I generally try to work folks in to their training somewhat gradually. I have had some of my kids move from the young people's class to the adult classes when they were fifteen or sixteen. They weren't yet ready for full out adult power but they knew a lot and the adults respected them, even looked to them for assistance in their techniques (these boys had trained for six to sevenb years at this point). So I would say that we would expect to go easier on them. I don't think it hurts your training to have partners with whom you have to "go soft". I trained for years in a dojo in which I was by far the largest person on the mat (by 75 lbs at least). I simply adjusted my techniques so that I didn't feel any resistance at all. If I did I knew that the technique would not have worked on someone my own size.

That said, the other problem of feeling as if your teacher isn't fully competent is a difficult one. I had some students who trained with me move out of town and they joined a dojo which trained very differently from the way we did. I heard later that they were something of a problem for the teachjer at that school because they were always testing everything. I contacted them and was fairly severe with them in explaining that this wasn't approriate. This teacher had spent 25 or 30 years earning the right to open that school. In that school, the teacher has the right to define what is taught and the way it is taught. It is not appropriate to train there and then second guess everything the teacher is doing, even if you suspect your are right. I told my ex-students that if they stayed there they had to be supportive of that teacher. They have since changed schools, which is the proper way to handle that kind of situation.

When you find that you can't respect the teacher it is necessary to leave and find training with a teacher whom you do respect. It is as simple as that. This may even mean changing arts if that is what it takes. It is not appropraite at every school to test your teacher. You need to find one where that is ok. I expect my own students to test me if they think they can hit me or stop my technqique. That is for my own training, not theirs. I need to know that they aren't just giving it to me.

But there are some very good schools around that would not accept that kind if interaction. There are certainly schools at which the martial aside of Aikido is not stressed and the uke is expected to develop sensitivity by moving with the partner's technique. These folks are more interested in the "moving meditation" side of the art than the application side.

There are also schools run by people who do see themselves as martial artists but whose egoes wouldn't handle having a student test them. If they were stopped on a technique, the next technique would be done to hurt or injure the student so that everybody would know that the Sensei was the superior one. I certainly wasn't trained that way and wouldn't train anywhere where that was the norm but I know of places like that.

I don't know what association you have now but I would recommed getting with a group whose teacher you respect, one who doesn't have a problem with you questioning how techniques work and who won't feel the need to restore honor to the school by maiming you when you are strong with them. That's the course I would recommend.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:01 AM   #5
aikidoc
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Brad:

I totally agree with George's response.

However, there are some more serious issues here. A lot of students get to a point where they think they know more than their instructors. Egos prevail on both sides of the fence. I do not feel it is appropriate to give as much information as you did about the details of your situation. First and foremost, you do not know what Toyoda Sensei felt about this person and he cannot be contacted since he is deceased. Second, it is pretty easy to figure out who your sensei is given an AAA website exists with names, etc. This is very disrespectful to someone who got you to 2nd kyu. You may have parted ways in your view points but this is not important. Kobayashi sensei is an 8th dan and hombu instructor. Obviously, he is going to give you some help in your technique. However, it sounds as if your ego made you want to prove something when you got back. On the mat, there can only be one person in charge. You were not it.
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:50 PM   #6
Kyri Honigh
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I'd just like to ask you one thing. If you knew the kid was too weak to take the fall. Why didn't you tone it down a bit? Your right about him having to be prepared for a more intense training if he was going to participate in an adult class. But I think Nage should be sensitive and try and feel what uke's capabilities are.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:24 PM   #7
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It's always been a rule in our dojo that you go at the pace of your uke. We have a man who is 61 years old and is ranked 2nd kyu but I'm not going to throw him as hard as I do the younger guys.

We have a kids program where they test up to 6th kyu and once they reach 6th kyu they stay in the kids program and get ready to test for 5th. Once they pass their 5th kyu they are allowed to train with the adults. Some of the kids (they're teens actually) have been training longer than me, and have really strong basics. But I wouldn't throw them as hard as the dans or other adults but not as soft as the newbie adults who aren't 5th kyu yet. One of their requirements to train with the adults is that they have to be able to take breakfalls. This seems to work really well and I look forward to training with them once they pass their first adult test.

In regards to you 2nd dan instructor, I don't think it's fair to expect him to be as good as an 8th dan shihan. We have several 2nd dans and they fill in at times when my sensei is away teaching his own seminars. I would never dream of challenging them or expecting them to teach like our head instructor who's a 6th dan.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:48 PM   #8
Janet Rosen
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Quote:
Brad Medling (ikkitosennomusha) wrote:
What got me kicked out of the dojo was that he was letting a 15 year old practice in the adult class. I feel a minor should not be allowed to participate in an adult class unless he is able to provide the same level of intensity and protect himself. Don't you?Brad Medling
I do NOT.

What about a person with a breathing problem, a shoulder problem, a knee problem, or YOU on a bad day?

Sorry to sound blunt, but it reads to me like you were playing a bit of an adolescent yourself, testing yourself against your daddy (instructor) and this poor kid got in your way.

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-04-2004, 04:14 PM   #9
Ted Marr
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Is it just me, or do we seem to have gotten off topic?

As far as I could tell, George was mainly writing about the perennial problem of how we should be training in Aikido. Brad saw him address a question (briefly) about how we deal with different training styles between locations, and comes more or less out of nowhere with an anecdote about how he felt unfairly treated by his sensei.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to give my opinion on Brad's case (which is to say, I think he was probably right to move to a different instructor, wrong to throw the kid too hard, and wrong to publically malign the guy)

But I think George was raising some good points that deserve discussion without being overshadowed here. Is it possible to get these threads separated?
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:10 PM   #10
aikidoc
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Ted is right. We strayed. I guess we couldn't resist giving this kid some advice.

George's article points out several good ideas and points of view. As an instructor, I will definitely integrate some of his thoughts in my future training. I also ran across several articles by Dr. Linden (sp.?) on similar issues of training and relaxation as pointed out by George, although in a slightly different context. They both have given me new things to experiment with while teaching. Dr. Linden's articles point out some excellent exercises in forcing us to be aware of our own body tension as well as the resistance in the uke. I have always used the fact that if you are tense or fighting with your attacker, you cannot feel the "soft" points of the energy. Your body will not let you send and receive at the same time.

George, I always enjoy your musings. It helps us shake out of the old habit patterns and break the molds that we have inherited from our instructors.
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:20 PM   #11
TomW
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George-

Excellent article.

Right on the money.

Regards

Tom Wharton
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Old 03-04-2004, 05:23 PM   #12
Janet Rosen
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It was a couple of yrs ago I realized there is a difference between imposing a technique and finding a technique, and started working on finding the difference. While this essay really gets to the heart of some issues about how one can learn to put that into practice, the sentence that resonated for me is:

"Technique becomes more about putting the attacker in a place where he gives you the technique than about you taking it." It takes one beyond responding to the attack, and is something I think I can "chew over" on the mat for quite a while to come....

Janet Rosen
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Old 03-04-2004, 06:50 PM   #13
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Pressure

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote:
It was a couple of yrs ago I realized there is a difference between imposing a technique and finding a technique, and started working on finding the difference.
One of the things I have been doing in my own technique is trying to find the place where there is no increase in pressure when I do the lock or the throw. For instance, on kotegaeshi, once you have established contact and begin to position for the particular technique you essentially have a "grabbing hand" and a "matching hand" (I realize there are a number of different versions of this technique; that's not relevant to the point at hand).

As you position the partner's hand for application of the technique there is a certain amount of pressure which you apply to establish a center to center connection with the partner. Ideally, that should be sufficient to allow the throw or takedown, if you will.

Most of the time people do this technique by establishing this connection and then torquing on the joint. This works if you are stronger than the partner or they have a low pain tolerance but it will not work on someone who is very resistant or simply doesn't feel the pain. With some people the wrist will sustain damage before the body's balance is broken. If you apply technique in this manner you will find that you need to crank harder and harder to get the technique to work.

But there is a place where the technique works without any increase in pressure. It is the seam that runs between my own zone of strength and that of my partner when we come together (not unlike the line that runs in between the yin and the yang in the yin / yang symbol in which the tomoe, those black and white drips, flow around one another).

Appliaction of technique in this manner reuires "whole body movement". Those who trained with Kuroda Sensei at the Expo will have experienced this concept. Basically, once the proper grip is established for the kotegaeshi, the rest of the technique happens when you move the body without changing the energy you are puuting in to the hands. The hands move simply because you move.

You can play with this conecpt on any throw or lock but it is easy to get a feeling using a simple technique like kotegaeshi.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:01 PM   #14
ikkitosennomusha
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Re: Young Members

Hi George!,

Thank you for your sincere reply! I am honored for your time as you sound like a respectable sensei.

I should explain more of the circumstances as I did not want to spend too much time with it but due to some replies, I find it necessary to try and shed more light. So, I will write this for you and John.

The kid is about 130-140 lbs. I am nearly 280 lbs from my days as a bodybuilder. I have worked with the kid for a year or so and never had a problem. As I watched the kid progress, I raised the bar a notch acording to his skill level but in general, I let him fall out of techniques like and baby rolling in leaves.

On the technique in question, the figure 8 kokyunage, there is only one way uke can fall, basically. The full technique was ryokatatori kokyunage in which I raise my hand in a shomenuchi ikkyo undo fashion to the outside to break the hold before proceeding to the technique. I did this about 3 times as the kid was desparately trying to hang and not go with it. I normally deliver the technique with him in 2 steps broken down. Due to his determination, I felt it was time to step it up yet another notch and perform it in one fluid motion. Naturally I built more intensity through centripetal force which a good kokyunage does. Everything went fine on my part but the boy did not break his fall. Perhaps he was shocked, perhaps he just made a critical error? I cannot ponder this. I have had the breath knocked out of me several times but I guess people too that for granted?

Anyways, for the nearly 4 years I trained there, we did so on mats donated by the memphis club, very thin and wore out. when you roll, the padding breaks away and flots in the air like feathers. Concrete flooring is directly underneath the mat. When I roll, because I am so heavy, I feel the concrete. I have place concerned about saftey in that regard but to no avail. Sensei always thought a love donation would come and did not feel that it is his place to provide adequate facilities. We trained in a church gym. If everything was not free, we did not have it. I paid $45 a month and drove a 2 hr. round trip 2-3 times per week for this. Manytimes the gym would be in use and I drove the trip for nothing. I felt that a courtesy call was appropriate.

Anyways, I am now involved with an uchi-deshi of Toyoda-shihan. He is one of only two named to pass on his teachings. This is how I know what Toyoda-shihan thought of that particular club. And again, it was obvious at seminars becuase he would verbally attack certain issues. Toyoda-shihan took interest in me though as he would frequently call me out to demonstrate certain techniques because he like them. I was very honored as I was only a 6th kyu the first time I trained with him! After the seminar he pulled me aside and expressed how in a year or so he would like me in the uchi-deshi program. Unfortunately, due to his untimely passing, I would never get to carry out that dream.

Back to the kid, if I was truely trying to slam him, the fact that I can bench 405 for 7 reps, military press 315 for 8 reps,... there would be no contest if that was the case. I learned very early that I had to turn the strength off becuase that is not what aikido is about. I had self control and knew the difference betweem brut strngth and technique. Due to my stability and mass, my technique is very powerful even when I am trying to go easy sometimes. This has always been a battle for me to be aware of this though.

All said and done, I appologized to the kid 1000 times it seemed liek and he said he was fine. The boys father donated lights above our practice area so I guess the sensei felt obligated to scold me verbally and publically. I have never had much opf a problem there until this. I was his senior student for about 4 yrs. and he does not take my sincerity when explaining that there wa no intent behind it.

Actually, the one who is know head of his own organization that I am under knows of the situation and said the sensei was just looking for a reason to boot me because in the eyes of the other students, my technique was progressing faster than his ego could adapt.

When I trainied under Yasuo Kobayashi-shihan, I came back with a wealth of knowledge. I trained 8 hrs a day and at night I took plennty of nothes. I offered to demonstrated a few for the class and he said it would upstage his authority (ego) if I were to rpesent awesome techniques that we never seen. I said fine, I will show you in private and you can teach them. No one will know they came from me, I just want to practice these and add them to our repotoire! After a month, He asked to see a couple after class. I threw him and another student. The students could not believe it. His ego was so bruised that he stood up and had the audasity to say that it was not aikido!! I was shocked that a newly 2nd dan would mouth that about a shihan with around 300 dojos in japan!

Also, he did not follow proper protocal in class methodolgy and organization due to his religous beliefs. He also conducted prayers in during class time. I am a Christian but this drove a few good potentials away. It would be appropriate to ask those interested to join in a corner after class. Also the name of the club canveyed a religion and not aikido training. Toyoda-shihan did not like this eaither. How do I know? I heard this from him directly!

So, this is lengthy and somewhat detailed althought there is mroe but this is good for now. I do this not to vent because I was over it the day I left. I just thought someone out there could relate and offer opions. Myabe this will help some people that are confused whether to tolerate this behavior or not. The answer is NO! Move on!

Doomo arigatoo,

Brad Medling
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:18 PM   #15
ikkitosennomusha
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Hi Anne!

Thank you so much for your reply. I generally agree. However, I do not expect a sensei to be as good nor teach at the level of a shihan, I do expect openess to expansion. Kobayashi-shihan instructed everyone of us to return to our places of training and spread what he had taught us! Now, it is frustrating when the sensei is not willing to recieve those instruction! I mean, If I were a sensei at that time, I would be glad for a senior studen to bring exciting new techniques back to share becasue I am humble and have no ego. I love to learn! I often get bored with the same outlooks and views on things so a twist is always refreshing. Don't you think?

Kobayashi-shihan pulled me aside and showed me some of his special tachniques. I felt honored. I also he picked me to perform kumitachi (sword against sword) with him in front of everyone. It was the single best moment in my aikido traning! What an honor!! NOt many can say they have exchanged blades with Kobayashi-shihan!

The nature of Kobayashi-shi if very meek and lowly. He is the most humble and effective sensei I have ever been priviliged to train under! He knows how to push you through your plateau. I admired him because most sensei only call yudansha (black belt) out to demonstrate but he was calling out white and yellow belts at times and I watched with admiration and the chance he gave those beginners to shine with a aikido legend!

So, at the place I tranined, this kind of humility was not demonstrated. I am in favor of beginners from 4th kyu and up occasionally leading warm-ups/ki exercises to make the learn them and to let them practice leading. I mean, you cannot wait until shodan to begin this as the experience will need to already be there.

Also, randori is to seize chaos. In the 4 yrs of me training there it was discussed only 2 times. Once was with just sensei and myself! There are many ways to effectively begin teaching the principles of randori in a manner that is safe and not full blown by any means. It got to the point where my drive was not worth it because my training I felt was retroactive!

I hope this helps clear it up. Thank you!

Brad Medling
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Kyri Honigh wrote:
I'd just like to ask you one thing. If you knew the kid was too weak to take the fall. Why didn't you tone it down a bit? Your right about him having to be prepared for a more intense training if he was going to participate in an adult class. But I think Nage should be sensitive and try and feel what uke's capabilities are.
Hi Kyri!

I appreciate your question! Well, as i wrote somewhere, I trained with him over a year and felt he was more competant and capable. He was getting to the point of doing some breakfalls so naturally, he is fully able to handle a simple kokyunage fall as uke. Why? I cannot count the times I have thrown him with that before. So, YES! I do know what he can tolerate and not tolerate, he just did not slap the mat. Haven't we all done that, even at our levels????? Thank you!

Brad Medling

Last edited by ikkitosennomusha : 03-04-2004 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Ted Marr wrote:
Is it just me, or do we seem to have gotten off topic?

As far as I could tell, George was mainly writing about the perennial problem of how we should be training in Aikido. Brad saw him address a question (briefly) about how we deal with different training styles between locations, and comes more or less out of nowhere with an anecdote about how he felt unfairly treated by his sensei.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to give my opinion on Brad's case (which is to say, I think he was probably right to move to a different instructor, wrong to throw the kid too hard, and wrong to publically malign the guy)

But I think George was raising some good points that deserve discussion without being overshadowed here. Is it possible to get these threads separated?
Hi Ted!

Yes, I appologize to all for straying off topic. I never meant for that. In regard to his article the point is, many have lost the way of aiki! Aikido in some dojo is getting as mainstreamed as tai kwon do. I am for getting back to the intensity and tradition of the older days. whatcha think? In a seminar, you can always tell who has not been under auspicious instruction and training!

No one is perfect and I certainly still have to work on finding my technique. O-sensei once said that he can never duplicate the same technique twice. Why? It is impossible to duplicate the same intensity, angle, distance, etc..! So, each one is unique and different. I am mainly gentle and a good partner. 95% of the time I would throw a uke too soft but ther is still 5% that I might cross over. That is what training is about for beginners and advanced alike. Each time you do a technique, you shave one more layer off the rough.

Regarding my old sensei,I respect him as a human but thats it. If you read on O-sensei's history, he often had similar experiences when traveling from dojo to dojo. At times he was able to bow out politely and at others it ended in conflict and duel. Thanks!

Brad Medling
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:51 PM   #18
ikkitosennomusha
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To George and all!

Next thread forgive me if I don't respond to all remarks. I am new at this so, I feel it takes up too much space to reply to all but keept the comments coming!

Lets talk about this great article! The reason I posted in the frist place is becasue George hit it on the head for me. Aiki attacks should be real with intent and sensei should not force the technique for a certain level.

I was once at a seminar and a black belt was having trouble with a technique so he tried to finish with another. I thought he was just plum horse-playing and told him to stick to the technique. He looked at me funny.

Having said that, you see, I did not know any better because it was all I had been taught. After training elsewhere now, I see that it was totally acceptable. Lokking back, I felt like an ass. I hope this is related to the topic! I willnot post on this thread so, thanks to you all for the attention but its time to sit back and read. Good luck!

Brad Medling

Last edited by ikkitosennomusha : 03-04-2004 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 03-05-2004, 10:06 AM   #19
aikidoc
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Wow Brad. You are airing a lot of dirty laundry about your instructor and with respect to a situation at AAA that you know little about. I'm not going to discuss this on the forum. Since you do not have an email contact, I cannot contact you off forum. However, if you email me I'd be glad to discuss some of these things off forum. You have strayed off the topic and have used this forum to vent your frustrations.
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:22 PM   #20
Janet Rosen
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Re: Pressure

Quote:
George S. Ledyard wrote:
But there is a place where the technique works without any increase in pressure.(snip)

Appliaction of technique in this manner reuires "whole body movement". Those who trained with Kuroda Sensei at the Expo will have experienced this concept. Basically, once the proper grip is established for the kotegaeshi, the rest of the technique happens when you move the body without changing the energy you are puuting in to the hands. The hands move simply because you move.

You can play with this conecpt on any throw or lock but it is easy to get a feeling using a simple technique like kotegaeshi.
I think the first technique it ever happened to me with was basic iriminage. The first dojo I trained at was fond of the "grab the collar and hurl em" version. Then I was shown the "nestle uke's head to your shoulder" version and discovered that, having done so, I was free to move at will, not thinking about doing anything to uke (not that I do it *well* with consistency...), and have been able to use that as a model for considering other applications of the principle.

What you say about the pitfalls of looking for the outcome is so true. I feel fortunate in that most of my instructors see if I'm falling into that one and remind me.

I look forward to an opportunity to train with you at a seminar someday; until then, will just say thank you so much for being part of this forum and for taking on the column as well.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 03-05-2004, 04:08 PM   #21
thisisnotreal
 
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Thank You

George,

Thank you so much for that article.

Thanks for sharing your insights and your time.

I am still trying to mentally sort out many of the points you make.

This is (still) changing the way I see aikido.

Most sincerely,

josh

p.s. any more essays you want to share....?
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Old 03-06-2004, 11:14 AM   #22
John Boswell
 
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George Sensei,

Thank you VERY much for your article! You nailed down many thoughts that I was seeing but could not articulate and with my sensei reading your article and getting it (very well!) he has now turned the "light" of aikido training into a laser beam!

I foresee a great improvement in training for all instructors reading your article and taking it to heart. So many thoughts and ideas I have come across through reading and research... all sumed up nicely in your article.

Thank you!

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Old 03-07-2004, 09:35 PM   #23
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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Old 03-18-2004, 01:04 PM   #24
Fudo_Tai
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I am a new-comer here, so I do not know which way the conversation has gone, but I simply wish to comment on the article I just read - share some insights gained from applying it to my practice.

I am fairly new to the practice of Aikido, I hold no formal rank in any association, my experience is only about three years, though I am a Goju Ryu practitioner of about thirteen years, with formal rank, though that means little to me.

Anyways, I found the article to be quite enlightening, infact, it is something I will refer to quite often for guidance in furthering my exploration of the deeper levels.

It has helped me open up to the more subtle things in practice - I have often questioned why everything must be uniform, because I have found that not all things work the same way for everyone.

Perhaps it is good to get the rough idea, but it must be stressed that there is more than one way to do something. I tend to agree that freestyle Randori should be stressed more, in order to get the feel for letting things happen, but with mindful awareness, rather than blind action.

To slowly do things in freeform would be a great benefit for many students who wish to experience Aiki in a way that actively promotes learning through direct awareness of the moment.

Eventually it could be possible to speed things up a bit, but that is why there are various levels to training.

I've begun putting this notion more actively into action during every aspect of my training, Kata, freeform and set drills. Studying myself and what intents or preconceived notions pop into my head, taking note of the outcome and how much it differs from what I thought would happen.

I find that if I just let things flow, without forcing myself toward any given outcome, then the proper technique happens all on its' own.

Slowing down my Kata to an almost Tai Chi-like pace also helps promote this type of training. Putting my Kata in perspective so I can actively see what I am doing, how it could benefit from and how it relates to my Aikido practice.

Whenever I am helping my Aikido Sensei demonstrate technique I am often surprised to note how similar the movements are to movements in certain Kata that I practice - were it not for intentionless awareness, paying deep attention without expecting to find anything, I would not have noticed this little detail that I had overlooked so many times before.

It is so amazing how the simplicity of a situation slaps us in the face - we tend to make things more difficult than they really are.

D. C. Chapman,
The Spokane Budo Circle.
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