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#172998 - 07/29/05 11:14 PM What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"?
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
With all this talk about aikido being too compliant and unrealistic against non-resisting training partners, let's talk about what makes an aiki technique an aiki technique.

I've purposely dropped the "do" for the simple reason that the discussion isn't necessarily constrained to the spiritual philosophy. So, you are free to discuss aikijitsu or even hapkido techniques if you like.


Edited by eyrie (07/29/05 11:21 PM)

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#172999 - 07/30/05 08:59 AM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
eyrie Offline
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Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
OK, let me start. Ikkyo (straight arm bar), Nikkyo (wrist crush), Sankyo (vertical wrist twist/centerlock) are 3 techniques that are common in a number of martial arts. What makes these specifically "aiki" techniques, i.e. what differentiates these from other martial arts?

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#173000 - 07/30/05 04:00 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
wer Offline
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Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
Lots of arts share techniques; I don't think it's the technique itself that makes it "aiki" it's how you use it.

"aiki" is "harmonizing energy," so the main idea is that you match your movements to your opponent's to use his force against him, rather than meeting force with force. "When pushed, pull and when pulled, enter." But one thing that makes aikido different than judo (which I think is where the "when pushed, pull" comes from) is that kuzushi is essential to aiki technique.

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#173001 - 07/30/05 07:19 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
Quote:

Lots of arts share techniques; I don't think it's the technique itself that makes it "aiki" it's how you use it.

"aiki" is "harmonizing energy," so the main idea is that you match your movements to your opponent's to use his force against him, rather than meeting force with force. "When pushed, pull and when pulled, enter." But one thing that makes aikido different than judo (which I think is where the "when pushed, pull" comes from) is that kuzushi is essential to aiki technique.




But Kuzushi is not essential to Judo??? I'm not sure I'd agree with that

Chris

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#173002 - 07/30/05 07:24 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: csinca]
wer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

But Kuzushi is not essential to Judo??? I'm not sure I'd agree with that

Chris



Disclaimer: I haven't ever done judo. But the people I know who have (particularly the aikido people who'd done both) say kuzushi is more important in aikido because in judo people use power in their techniques whereas in aikido you're supposed to get people so offbalanced that with perfect timing you get them to throw themselves. At least, that's the theory.

Are the aikido people misunderstanding something in judo, or is it just a matter of degree?

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#173003 - 07/30/05 07:45 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
In aikido, it's "When pushed, turn (tenkan). When pulled, enter (irimi)".

It's interesting to see the same principle (of yin/yang) used differently in Judo - "When pushed, yield (or pull if you prefer). When pulled, push".

It is also interesing to note that "kuzushi", or the principle of taking someone's balance, is treated very differently in Judo/Jujitsu and Aikido. Judo/Jujitsu tends to work on the principle of mechanical leverage and drawing the opponent's "weight" in 6 or 8 directions (10 if you include up and down).

Aikido tends to use the principle of spherical moment-forces (i.e. centripetal and centrifugal), using the attacker's momentum as the motivating force, and using ki/kokyu extension to control the center.

[added]
Note: when I say "mechanical leverage", I don't necessarily mean using force. Good judo players and jujitsukas are able to affect kuzushi using the principle of mechanical levers and fulcrums to magnify the effect of a (very) small initial force - sometimes by simply using their body weight in the right direction.




Edited by eyrie (07/30/05 07:57 PM)

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#173004 - 07/30/05 07:53 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
csinca Offline
former moderator

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 672
Loc: Southern California
The few judo guys that I've worked with certainly did focus on off-balancing. In fact one of my current training partners is coming froma judo background and I constantly hear "push when pulled - pull when push" from him. And you don't have to go very long into just about any aikido classs before someone will try to muscle their way through a technique.

I think the key is that both arts are supposed to take balance before going into technique but the bi difference is that judo is more competition based and they tend to not worry the details as much. Where in aikido there isn't that same focus and you can spend years worrying about the details.

If I'm in a judo class and I toss you onto yuor back, you can claim I used muscle all you want but I just got a point! But in aikido I might be more interested in perfecting my technique so I'll care that I had to use muscle to dump you...

Chris

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#173005 - 07/30/05 08:04 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: csinca]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
So just focusing on the technical aspects.... what would you say is the defining characteristic of an "aiki" technique (if there is one)? Or is it some other technically definable quality that makes it "aiki"?

(Let's try and keep the sport/competition differences out of this discussion for the time being. I don't believe that the sportive or spiritual aspects are differentiating or even pertinent factors at this point).

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#173006 - 07/30/05 08:16 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
wer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

In aikido, it's "When pushed, turn (tenkan). When pulled, enter (irimi)".

It's interesting to see the same principle (of yin/yang) used differently in Judo - "When pushed, yield (or pull if you prefer). When pulled, push".



Actually, I just ran across this (or one of its variants) again in Gozo Shioda's Aikido Shugyo. He quotes Mifune Kyuzo Sensei (Judo Master, 10th Dan Kodokan) as saying "If you are pushed, pull back. If you are being pulled, circle away." Gozo Shioda has a nice example, saying if you get pushed off a cliff and you go straight you'll go over but if you can wheel about you can recover. He also says, "They [Aikido and Judo] are both the same with respect to circular motion."

He trained in Judo first and says he had to unlearn some to learn Aikido properly under O'Sensei. One big difference between Judo and Aikido is the use of power, he says, where in Judo it's pulling power and in Aikido it's thrusting power forward. Does that fit with what you've experienced?

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#173007 - 07/30/05 08:49 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
"Same but Different" is the phrase that keeps coming up for me.

How can 2 things be the "same", but "different" at the same time? Since this is WHAT we are looking at (either principle or technique), this is where we need to look deeper into our respective arts and look at WHY the differences exist, and HOW they are different.

Generalizations from top level practitioners are helpful, but they serve no useful purpose other than to concur with what we've already established. They have come full circle. We haven't. So what WE must do is work out WHY and HOW they came to that conclusion, rather than accept their word blindly. This is what martial arts training is about.

So in answer to your question, my experience is with jujitsu. And no, "pulling" is a very loose word. "Thrusting" is equally vague. Let's try to dig deeper and see how specific we can really get, shall we?

Here's a few things to get you thinking:
1. Rather than "push" or "pull", which connotates use of force, how would you effect a "push" or "pull" mechanically by simply using body mechanics? Is there another way to effect a "push" or "pull" using "aiki"? How?

2. "Ju" means soft, supple, pliant, yielding. How is the concept of "ju" different to "aiki"? Why is it different? Is it different in Korean "Hapki" arts as well?

(This was an actually question asked of me by a jujitsu brown belt).

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