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#126813 - 11/02/03 12:05 PM Re: Aiki groundwork
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
At the risk of being boringly predictable, I have to disagree once again, kempo [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Ai and Ki MAY be used in some arts, but certainly not all. And Aiki is, in my opinion, exclusive to aiki arts. I have seen some arts that deal with attacks in a similar way to aikido, but there are always derived from aiki arts themselves. Other, more percursive arts most certainly do not use aiki. Most don't even use ai.

Budo

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#126814 - 11/03/03 12:17 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
Aiki is not mutually exclusive to just Aiki arts or have the roots of Aiki Arts. Kosho Shoerei Kempo or most commonly called Kosho Ryu Kempo employs not only Aiki Principle but Aiki movement. Also if one knows Aiki principle it can be APPLIED to any art, but it does not make it Aikido or Aiki-Jujutsu. I think too much is made of this is this, that art is that. An open mind can see aspects of all arts. One will see what he has in his background when viewing an art. So when an Aiki person sees Silant, he can see Aiki if his mind will let him. How else can you explain the art of Aiki-Kempo Jutsu of Japan. I am not familiar with its lineage, but I understand that it was developed by a member of the Ueshiba clan, a grand nephew or cousin or something. This art combines Aiki with Okinawan Kempo. Its hard to say the Shorinji Ryu Kempo or Shorinji Ryu Jujutsu created by Doshin So has Aiki roots, yet the very movements of the art are very Aiki.
The bottom line is there are 3 componets in every martial arts engagement-action-reaction-counteraction. Everyone has their own specified reactions to certain attacks, their counteractions are what dictate what they do. There is a Shito Ryu Karate techniqe where you turn tenkan, elbow the kidneys, kick the back of the groin and forearm throw from the rear. When the technique is observed, the tenkan motion is most defintely Aiki, however the rest of the technique isn't. However, if you do the tenkan, leave the kick and elbow strike out, and just forearm throw from behind its an Aiki technique-done very well by Professor Moses Powell and Shioda Shihan. Its really hard to argue what is Aiki and not until you have viewed all styles and how they approach their art.

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#126815 - 11/03/03 02:52 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
Cato Offline
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Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
I've met a lot of people who gave difficulty in seeing the difference between "ai" and "ju" as principles. If someone includes a tenkan movement in their art that doesn't mean they are doing even ai, let alone aiki!!! Aikido is widely acknowledged as a difficult art to learn because aiki is a difficult concept to understand, and even more difficult to employ effectively. I take it that doesn't hold true outside of aikido then, where everyone is happily using aiki in their art with no apparent difficulties in learning or using it? Perhaps O'sensei got it all wrong?

Most MA don't in fact use the principles of aiki. Any Karate I've ever seen at most uses Ju and ki, but more often only uses ki alone. Kempo uses mainly ju. To include aiki in a percursive art is not only a difficult marriage but also an exercise in the pointless. The philosphies of striking arts and aiki arts are totally different and require a totally different approach and mindset. The example of Doshin So and Shorinji kempo is a very good illustration of this. Doshin So openly acknowledged that he borrowed techniques and principles from aikido when forming his art, and he subsequently split the training and application of his art into two very distinct sets, hard and soft. He wasn't able to join aiki with kempo to form one style, the art switches between the two. Hapkido does the same. Both these arts are derived from aiki arts.

I've never heard of aiki-kempo before but it kind of begs the question that if kempo already uses aiki what is this art all about?? There seems to be a massive contradiction somewhere here. Wouldn't it be like calling an art aiki-aikido? [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]

I'm not making any great claims for aiki, other than it is my preferred style, and every art has its merits and shortfalls, but I think it is stretching the point to suggest every art extant uses the principles of aiki. Don't forget that in feudal times the Japanese thought it worth closely guarding the concept, and it is only in relatively modern times that aiki has been taught to a wider audience. There would be little point in keeping secret something that everyone else already knows about and does, wouldn't there.

Budo

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#126816 - 11/03/03 03:48 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
who says the japanese invented aiki in the first place....lol if i had to take a guess id say it probably came from china...bagua zhang is a likely candidate.
aikido is ALL aiki....other arts are not JUST aiki...aikijujutsu for example.
just because you use aiki, doesnt meant you are limited to studying and employind ONLY aiki. this is only true in aikido i guess [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/wink.gif[/IMG]
which is why i said that aiki is not an art its a principle, a way of looking at things...an option if you will. aikido is an art that is based solely on this concept, that does not mean that other arts dont employ aiki on occasion, although it may not be the cornerstone of their style or system.

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#126817 - 11/03/03 11:53 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
In all honesty, I don't think Cato has actually trained in Kempo or Shorinji Kempo, I don't mean a seminar here and there, I mean train. No disrespect here, but his insight is based on his view of Aiki and not on the opposite side. To say Kempo employs Ju is absolutely wrong, there is no Ju in any of the Kempo arts. However after studying Kosho Ryu Kempo for over 6 years and Aikido for almost 10, they are not only similar, but have the same principles and concepts. However you will never convince someone of this until they actually train in it. For historical sake, Ueshiba Sensei and Mitose Sensei were good friends and both shared information with one another. Mitose Sensei quotes O'Sensei in discussing Nage waza, and actually employs more principles than Ueshiba did, but in no way did he steal Aiki roots. In Doshin So, I don't know where you get your information, but once again I don't think you have trained in the art. You claim he separates things and its 2 separate arts, yet its one art with different componets. Just like Aikido has Nage waza and Katame waza, different componets but the same art. I can show you any Aikido technique, take the Ai out and its a Jujutsu technique. Same is true in other styles, I can put the Ai in and make it an Aikido technique if I choose. there is a saying that you can make statistics say anything you want, put any spin you want on them and have something look good. A fighter can be 12-6 but you can say he is 12-0 on fights after the 10 round, which could mean he got his ass knocked out 6 times in the first round. People do the same thing about the art they study. Its fine with me, people can think what they will, but its not fair to say other styles are or aren't other things without having trained in them. As for the Aiki thing being Japaneese, look at the internal arts of China, look at forms of Chin Na and look at Bhag Wa(?) and you can make a great argument that Aiki was around long before O'Sensei brought it out and made an art with it.I also just read an article and talked with a Japaneese Sensei that said O Sensei was not happy with Tohei Sensei's use of Ki and he really didn't understand the Ki in Aikido. If that is the case, I am wondering how many people really don't understand the Ki in Aikido, but make it say what they want.

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#126818 - 11/03/03 06:10 PM Re: Aiki groundwork
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
So the only people who can have an opinion on an art are those who have trained in them?? Absolute bollocks if you ask me. Following that logic you still couldn't comment on an art unless you trained in every variant of that art and with every teacher of it. Utter crap, and not a good tenet to base an argument on.

To say there is no Ju in kempo is ludicrous. I have actually trained in kempo jujutsu (sorry, didn't mean to rain on anyone's parade) and I'm amazed at such a statement, but each to their own. I can only speak from my own experience, and that experience is that I have trained in and seen a good few variants of kempo, and I have never seen it done using the principles of aiki as they are found in aikido/aiki jutsu.

Shorinji kempo seems to be the style that's being bandied about so let's stick with it for now. I'm actually very happy to do so because it suits my argument. I've never trained in it, but I know people who have and I've discussed it with them. My information comes from them. The art is separated into two approaches, hard and soft. The important point here is that they are two distinct approaches. Clearly that is very different from separating an art along the lines of techniques. In aikido pins are separated from throws, but both employ the same approach. That is not true in Shorinji kempo, where the approach differs between hard and soft. This is in turn important because it illustrates the difficulty in approaching a "hard" art from an aiki perspective. Aiki does not lend itself to striking techniques particularly well, so it makes little sense for striking arts to use aiki principles. The principles of karate are excellent for striking. Why add principles that aren't?

Arts like shorinji kempo are founded on the basis that a man can (and should) take control of what happens to him in life, he is the master and author of his own destiny. This is reflected in the techniques. Aiki techniques are the total opposite, the attacker controls the actions of the defender, if only inasmuch that he dictates which techniques can and can't be used to counter the force of his attack. Why on earth would a kempo practitioner want a set of principles in his art that contradict its most basic assumptions??

Budo

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#126819 - 11/04/03 03:03 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
kempo_jujitsu Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 1914
Loc: illinois, usa
i have trained in kempo jujutsu, as well as a little ryukyu kempo karate.
"Aiki does not lend itself to striking techniques particularly well, so it makes little sense for striking arts to use aiki principles. The principles of karate are excellent for striking. Why add principles that aren't?"
yet aikijujutsu is considered an aiki art? why is that, it contains strikes, kicks, etc....hence aiki is but an option! not every aikijujutsu technique is pure aiki.
second...karate is not merely a striking art.
senseilou said ju is not used in any form of kempo (or something like that)...i disagree, many techniques in kata use ju. some even look exactly like judo or jujutsu techniques.
however i think its kind of silly to refer to kempo on terms like that...as kempo doesnt designate a style, or even a method really...all martial arts could be called kempo (fist method)..infact many of them have been.

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#126820 - 11/04/03 03:37 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
Cato Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 1636
Kempo, From what I have learnt, there are no kicks in classical aikijujutsu, and the strikes are always part of a technique, not an end in themselves. It would, so I'm told, have been foolhardy in the extreme for a samurai in armour to start trying to kick or punch his equally well armoured and usually armed opponent into submission. Instead he waited for the attack and then applied his technique, which was nearly always a throw or takedown followed by a lock which allowed him to use his wakasashi or tanto to finish his opponent. It was very rare for two samurai to fight hand to hand in battle, so the need for strikes and kicks is less than it is for some other arts.

Kicks would leave the samurai off balance and vulnerable when he was wearing armour, and there efficacy would be questionable in any event, and strikes are directed toward very specific targets where the armour of an opponent is weakest, such as at the joints where it has to allow for movement. Strikes to the face/head would be pointless against someone wearing a kobuto. No doubt modern aikijujutsu does use such techniques, but they are an addition to the art and you know what I think about that [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/biggrin.gif[/IMG]

There are of course only so many ways in which you can defend an attack, and there is bound to be a great deal of apparent similarity between different arts. No doubt very similar styles grew up in China or elsewhere in Asia, but aiki is a Japanese term that is used to describe a Japanese understanding and interpretation of the principles and is, in my view, unique to aiki arts. You may think that is just a lot of semantics, but I think it runs much deeper than that.

That is my understanding, one that I have built up over a few years training and looking at other arts along the way and it is shared by my sensei. If you want to tell me I'm wrong that's fine, but I will need convincing of it. [IMG]http://www.fightingarts.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif[/IMG]

Budo

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#126821 - 11/04/03 11:08 AM Re: Aiki groundwork
senseilou Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/14/02
Posts: 2082
Loc: Glendale, Az.
I decided to do some research and called 3 people who are 1st generation students in the Kempo arts, one Ed Parkers Kempo, one Shaolin Kempo and the other, my dear friend Professor Kimo of Kempo Jujutsu. It was real interesting on what they had to say(though I know Cato is not interested in what the seniors have to say)The Professor from Ed Parkers system, who was one of Ed Parkers first Black Belts assured me that "ju' was not an INTENTION of Ed Parker. However, that is not to say its not practiced this way. He explained that Ed Parker taught on a highly sophisticated, scientific level. Many people didn't understand, took the techniques and kata and ran. With as many people training in his style of Kempo, many people have put their own influence into Ed Parkers Kempo and there may be some who practice this way, though not the INTENTION when it was founded. Very few schools practice Ed Parkers 'levels of understanding' but teach kata and self defense techniques and sparring, all are components but the meat of the art is being left out. He had 2 other good points.
1. If people want to believe their own ideas let them, you aren't going to change their minds over the internet. He likened this to the tenets of religion, how many people are you going to convert over the internet? Let them think what they want!
2. The internet has given way to a platform for peoples opinion. In the old days, if you wanted an opinion, Sensei gave you one(now this will really get Cato going as he believes that Sensei doesn't mean better)In the old days, you did what you were told, and didn't offer an opinion, because you didn't have one. Today people see what they want, and assign judgements to this, without the inner workings of what they discuss. So much of what you read is bullshit. Amen.
Professor went on to say that people train in the same art and highlight aspects of that art. Kajukempo is a great example. Some concentrate on the Kempo, others the Jujutsu some the original Chineese roots, so Kajukembo has become subject for interpretation. He said he has seen many 'styles' of Ed Parker Kempo and there is no telling someone there aren't seeing what they are. As for the kata question, the purpose was to work your techniques alone as all Ed Parker kata is made up of techniques and is not really subject to Bunkai, and you are fighting your opponent. You may do this with "ju" but it was not the INTENT.
The Shaolin Sensei assured me the only "ju" in Kempo was Alan Goldberg(which I found amusing)He too said there are different ways to practice the art, but the focus is not "ju" but actually the opposite, overwhelming the attack, not blending to it. His analogy was fighting fire with a volcano, certainly not a gentle approach. He also said "don't lay with the dogs because you'll end up with fleas" I actually understand that now.
Finally my good friend Professor Kimo Ferraria, one of the founders of Kempo Jujutsu. He had some great points,
1. What kind of Kempo are we talking about? Okinawan Kempo is most certainly "ju" oriented, and is practiced with "ju". Hawaiian Kempo and its derivatives certainly aren't. But he stresses also, interpretation, how one views it and how one does it. Professor Kimo who is close friends with Chosi Motobu Shihan and goes to Japan on a monthly basis says we are too hung up on terms and how we define them. He used my art and said "do you block, or pari and accept the attack?" We do indeed pari and accept ukes attack, which Professors says is "Ai" yet not practicing Aikido. Too much emphasis on terms. He also says that when you do irimi, which Motobu Sensei stresses, it can be done with Ai as harmonizing energies, accepting attacks but not allowing them. Therefore striking is Ai." If you don't believe this, look at O'Sensei, he did atemi waza. I just read in one of the posts criticizing striking as not being Ai, or Aiki or Aikido yet the very founder did it AND on a regular basis. So what we have here is this, if O'Sensei does atemi waza its Aikido, but if Motobu Sensei does it its Karate. They both do Irimi and do it strong, yet by classification one is Ai the other isn't.
Here is the bottom line, I am not here to argue, and that is all that is being done. Here this thread was about Aiki and groundwork, yet there is a discussion on Ai. You guys make Aikido or Aiki or whatever what you want it to be. One minute you claim Aikido has strikes and defend it as a good striking art, then turn around and say Aiki is not condusive for striking. You say groundwork goes against the principles of Aiki, then tell how to use it on the ground. When it comes to Aiki, its the panacea, its everything you want it to be, yet its not what you don't want it to be. As Professor Kimo says, its all bullshit, it doesn't matter, what matters is what happens in the dojo, on the street and what you can do with your art.Aiki has its place in the Martial Arts, but it is not everything you want it to be, it can't employ striking one minute and not condusive the next. It is what it is, and I for one am tired of all the rhetoric, I am starting to itch!!!!!!

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#126822 - 11/04/03 07:43 PM Re: Aiki groundwork
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
Back to Joe's original topic...

Anyone care to share an aikido principle that works standing but won't work on the ground?

Chris

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