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#173018 - 07/31/05 04:29 AM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: csinca]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Chris makes a very good point about principles, in particular the principle of skeletal locks. This is common in a number of jujitsu derived variants.

Let's use Chris's example of kote-gaeshi (outward wrist twist). If you understand the principle of kote-gaeshi and skeletal locking, you can effectively do this technique with one hand and a subtle change of body angle. I like to do it with my 2 middle fingers and thumb (the key point being where I place my thumb and fingers) on the person's hand.

This is done in a similar way in jujitsu, except the other hand is often used as a "bridge" (i.e. the palm is pressed to the knife edge of uke's hand that is being twisted. This is done with a small circular motion (remember Wally Jay?) to put on the wrist lock.

What makes it "aiki"?

What is the core principle (or principles?) that make this "aiki"?

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#173019 - 07/31/05 10:16 AM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: Intrepidinv1]
wer Offline
Member

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

...Wrestling and judo seem to place more emphasize on controlling the main centers of balance. The area around the hips and under the arms. Aikido seems to emphasize the secondary points of balance, the arms, wrist and head... Please realize that I am sincerely asking this question not to criticize aikido but to understand it's concepts better. It seems to me that it is essential to control/take these key areas of balance by lifting, blocking, pulling, etc. in order to effectively take a person down. What am I missing here?




Chris beat me to it, skeletal locking is what you're missing. If you don't allow your arms to collapse in towards you as you advance, your advance pushes you into a position where you have your opponent's balance -- you advance as if you were heading through him, so that the center of mass of the two of you together is somewhere behind him such that he can't step to recover his balance.

Quote:


Shiho Nage with your right hand grabbing my left hand...


Excellent description, Chris! No point in my even trying, you said it better than I would.

Quote:

The truth of the matter is, if you cannot explain in precise terms what makes the technique work, then whether there is resistance or not is immaterial, because the technique just won't work. Agreed?



I disagree. I know a lot of people who have the intuitive (or maybe learned) body awareness to do techniques beautifully and effectively, but they have difficulty explaining what makes it work. They can show you, and can watch you then adjust your technique to make it work, but they can't explain it. And writing the explanation is even harder. I'm betting there are plenty of capable practitioners out there who would be unable to explain in writing or even verbally. Heck, Gozo Shioda says O'Sensei just showed people the techniques and let them work it out by practicing.

Quote:

...This is done in a similar way in jujitsu, except the other hand is often used as a "bridge" (i.e. the palm is pressed to the knife edge of uke's hand that is being twisted. This is done with a small circular motion (remember Wally Jay?) to put on the wrist lock.

What makes it "aiki"?

What is the core principle (or principles?) that make this "aiki"?




It's easy to illustrate how "aiki" is different from "karate" and other arts that meet force with force, because it's easy to say what's NOT aiki. The difficulty is differentiating between the "ju" and "aiki" arts. Once you get into the realm of force redirection and circular motion, I don't see a lot of difference. Daito-ryu techniques look just like aikido except they all end in a strike -- but of course, daito-ryu is aikijujitsu so by definition that makes it "aiki" even though it violates the aikiDO principle of using the least amount of force required to subdue your opponent. Wally Jay's small circle jujitsu is very close to small circle aikido, the only differences being (from what I saw in my seminar with Dave Castoldi, and from training with one of his black belts) that the circles are even smaller and the locks put on more painfully. Professor Castoldi's classic saying "Pain makes believers" somehow doesn't seem very aiki, but the movements of the technique are aiki.

I suspect this is why my aikido teacher describes as "aiki" movements from a variety of disciplines, depending on the practitioner (e.g. Roy Jones in boxing).

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#173020 - 07/31/05 04:58 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
Ubermint Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/05
Posts: 154
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".

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.







The original of this post was deleted. I have no idea why, since it's one of my least inflammatory posts. Perhaps i'm being typecast?

From a bjj perspective, i'll give an example of offbalancing.

One of the most important areas for offbalancing is guard sweeps.

When opponent leans forward and tries to smash/stack you, you use sweeps where you help him to go in that direction by pulling him forward until he is completely over top of you, like butterfly/elevator and overhead sweeps. Now you control his balance, you roll like a ball.

Examples:
http://www.bjj.org/techniques/jacare/sittingopenguardreversal/
http://www.bjj.org/techniques/intheguard/jogafora/
http://www.bjj.org/techniques/bjjfighter/gi/guard/overhead-sweep/

Side to side sweeps are used against an opponent who is trying to pass your guard to the side. Again, assist him to go in that direction.

Examples: http://www.bjj.org/techniques/bjjfighter/gi/guard/bicep-sweep/
http://www.bjj.org/techniques/bjjfighter/gi/guard/scissor-sweep/

Sweeps that take opp. backwards are for someone who tries to back out of your guard, again you assist him in going that way.

Examples:
http://www.bjj.org/techniques/intheguard/omoplatasweep/
http://www.bjj.org/techniques/jen/tech11/
_________________________
Grappler or not you are a terrible martial artist IMO.-sanchin31, friend to all children

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#173021 - 07/31/05 07:58 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
AttorneyJohn Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/31/05
Posts: 14
Loc: Houston Texas
I'd say it's really simple. And, in the nature of simple things, hard to understand.

Take the attacker's force, however it's coming in, and use it against him without ever contradicting it in any way.


But, if you say that, then there's a hell of a lot of "aiki" principles int he good boxer when he slips a punch, and then moves in beside the opponent on the weak and blind side, to prepare to deliver his finishing, knockout punch.

Don't get me started on how good, technically-proficient judo players are doing close-up aikido.

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#173022 - 07/31/05 08:07 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: AttorneyJohn]
wer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 31
Loc: Massachusetts
Now that I'm not the only one who's said it (thanks, Attorney John!), I figure I may as well post what my teacher Jason DeLucia said in an interview:

"With something like aikido, it's not a specific technique. Aiki is simply riding your opponent's force. And so, you can do aikido in boxing. In fact, if you ask me, Roy Jones is as good an aikido practitioner as any aikido master.

Most techniques are absorbed from a weapon. Judo is aikido. Most techniques are based or taken from the sword or the spear. Tennis is aikido. Aikido means I'm harmonizing, basically I'm trying to solicit a response from, and when I get that response I'm going to steer that response into a favorable position. And that is aiki; it's not the particular technique, it's what you do with the opponent's energy."

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#173023 - 07/31/05 08:39 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
wer,
Quote:


I disagree. I know a lot of people who have the intuitive (or maybe learned) body awareness to do techniques beautifully and effectively, but they have difficulty explaining what makes it work. They can show you, and can watch you then adjust your technique to make it work, but they can't explain it. And writing the explanation is even harder. I'm betting there are plenty of capable practitioners out there who would be unable to explain in writing or even verbally. Heck, Gozo Shioda says O'Sensei just showed people the techniques and let them work it out by practicing.





If you can't verbalize it, then half of the teaching delivery is missing. I also don't accept the view that "you'll work it out - if you practice long enough". It merely creates the illusory air of mystique that perpertuates much of aikido.

Perhaps this is why much of aikido is labeled as it is - because the way to describe it is so "airy-fairy".

I'm suggesting that it can be described in fairly precise terms. And no disrespect to Sensei DeLucia, but IMHO, it's a lot more than simply "riding your partner's force" or merely "harmonizing". It has more to do with not only WHAT you are doing with your opponent's energy, but HOW to do it.

It's getting to HOW that people have a problem verbalizing. So let's try it shall we? HOW do you do it?

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#173024 - 07/31/05 08:46 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: Ubermint]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Ubermint,

Interesting tactical perspective from a BJJ POV. How is that, in your opinion, "aiki" and what makes it "aiki"?

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#173025 - 07/31/05 09:06 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
wer Offline
Member

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

...if you can't verbalize it, then half of the teaching delivery is missing.



Are you saying that in your dojo the teacher explains absolutely every detail of the technique well enough that it could be written essay style in a post at home by the student after hearing it during class? Impressive, if so, for both the teacher and the student. Or are you just saying that if I'm a teacher I should be able to explain that well? (Lucky for me that I'm not one, if that's the case.)

Quote:

I also don't accept the view that "you'll work it out - if you practice long enough"...


I agree with you there, wholeheartedly. So does Gozo Shioda -- where I read that in Aikido Shugyu he says he explains in his dojo because they lost lots of good students who just didn't have the natural aptitude to learn by seeing O'Sensei demonstrate with no explanation.

Quote:

It has more to do with not only WHAT you are doing with your opponent's energy, but HOW to do it.

It's getting to HOW that people have a problem verbalizing. So let's try it shall we? HOW do you do it?



You first.

I must be missing your point, since my example of a non-aiki response to a shove and an aiki response doesn't seem to be what you were looking for.

And once we get away from the meet-force-with-force arts, I don't see how I would be able to differentiate between the ju and the aiki arts unless in describing an aiki movement I say "then you extend your ki into ...." -- I don't think there is anything intrinsic in the motions themselves in ju and aiki that clearly differentiate them from each other.

Do you? I can't tell if you're being devil's advocate here or if you have something in mind that you're hoping we'll submit.

How about if you give it a shot and we can pick apart your straw man?

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#173026 - 07/31/05 09:36 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: wer]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
There are 3 ways in which people intake information - visual, auditory, and kinesthetically. See, hear, feel. Granted, that only a small percentage of the overall population is auditory, (the majority being visual/kinesthetic), the fact remains that at least half of the teaching delivery is missed.

So if you can't verbalize what you're doing, there's something lacking in terms of your level of understanding. You don't have to be a teacher. Try explaining a simple movement to a junior student or even a beginner.

Quote:


You first.

I must be missing your point, since my example of a non-aiki response to a shove and an aiki response doesn't seem to be what you were looking for.

And once we get away from the meet-force-with-force arts, I don't see how I would be able to differentiate between the ju and the aiki arts unless in describing an aiki movement I say "then you extend your ki into ...." -- I don't think there is anything intrinsic in the motions themselves in ju and aiki that clearly differentiate them from each other.

Do you? I can't tell if you're being devil's advocate here or if you have something in mind that you're hoping we'll submit.

How about if you give it a shot and we can pick apart your straw man?





I asked first.

Ok, let's start with "extend your ki".... what is "ki"? How do you "extend" it? How do you know if you got "ki"? Is this the differentiating factor between "ju" and "aiki"?

Yes, I'm playing Devil's Advocate - but only to get the discussion going. There is some very good information in here. But like I said, you have to see, hear, and feel it to take it in.

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#173027 - 07/31/05 09:52 PM Re: What makes an "aiki" technique, "aiki"? [Re: eyrie]
Ubermint Offline
Member

Registered: 06/23/05
Posts: 154
Quote:

Ubermint,

Interesting tactical perspective from a BJJ POV. How is that, in your opinion, "aiki" and what makes it "aiki"?




It all depends on semantics. I highlighted that because it would be an example in BJJ of assisting your opponent to go in the direction he wants to go in. Also, there was a discussion about offbalancing methods going, so I thought that was relevant.

Is it "aiki"? Well, we don't call it that. But it displays common characteristics with the things described in the above posts.

Re: Offbalancing
One important thing in bjj is that when you attempt to sweep you should trap the arm or leg on the side that you are sweeping to, to prevent him from posting (balancing himself on that limb). We don't consider opp. completely offbalanced until there is no possible way he can support himself on that side.


Edited by Ubermint (07/31/05 09:54 PM)
_________________________
Grappler or not you are a terrible martial artist IMO.-sanchin31, friend to all children

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