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#332162 - 04/02/07 11:58 PM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
cool, for some strange reason that was clear even to me.

still, I can't get my head around the concept of it not being cooperative.

thru cooperative learning you learn how to deal with the uncooperative? counterintuitive. does it work?

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#332163 - 04/03/07 12:16 AM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
It's always about becoming a "better" person (in more than 1 way)... always...

I suppose there are levels of cooperation... just like everything else... just as there are levels of resistance...

Thru polarity are things perceived, are they not?

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#332164 - 04/03/07 08:47 AM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: eyrie]
Joe Jutsu Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 575
Interesting thread, it's a refreshing contrast to the "aikido vs. mma" or "most lethal technique" type of thread that I seem to see all over the place these days... but I have to point out a couple of things....
Quote:

One of the simplest explanations of Aikido I've ever heard was that "it doesn't take much force to hold down a drowning man", and the techniques of Aikido are more "self destruction" than "me doing a technique to you"...




this is absolutely brilliant!


Quote:

the "ai" in aikido means precisely that... to "fit". By fitting in, and uniting with the opponent, there is no opponent, you both become one unit.




Is this accomplished by "fitting in" with the opponent or with something larger (ie the universe?)

Thanks for the food for thought!

Joe

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#332165 - 04/03/07 12:12 PM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: Joe Jutsu]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
I paid particular attention to some of the students' body positions last night at class, and they were "making it hard on themselves" by "not fitting in". In an art where body position can be vital, and even the direction of a finger pointing can alter the outcome, body position is critical.

I was thinking about this thread as we held class, and it's clear to me that "understanding" has both a physical and mental element to it, and the union of those two are where the "art" comes in.

Some irimi methods I showed them almost totally "went wrong" for them, but it was because they wouldn't follow instructions (the mental part). Far from being "soft techniques", I was flattening some of them with the littlest of effort, and conversely, they were working like slaves and almost couldn't knock themselves down, much less the attacker.

It goes back to my saying that "good judgement is the result of experience... experience is the result of bad judgement"... Just keep trying... and when all else fails, follow the instructions...

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#332166 - 04/03/07 01:42 PM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: Ed_Morris]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Quote:

cool, for some strange reason that was clear even to me.

still, I can't get my head around the concept of it not being cooperative.

thru cooperative learning you learn how to deal with the uncooperative? counterintuitive. does it work?




Story for you. My Senseis Sensei was watching last night. After Unsoku (or "utter crap" as he called it), we practiced Kata for around an hour and a half. We constantly changed partners.

He explained at the end of class that we were made to work with other people because we had gotten use to the movements of another, and so we, as Tori, had become unbalanced. By working with other Uke, we realized how off a lot of our Aikido was. What we were use to doing didn't work that well on people of different sizes and shapes.

He explained further: Tori must always be balanced. When Tori is balanced, they can balance the world around them. Tori must learn balance first, then apply balance to everything around them. When you rely on Uke to assist you in finding balance, you are not really balanced. It is another who is balancing you. Aikido is about having internal balance of the self, and extending this to all that you meet. It is not about the joining of two to make a balance. Tori should be balanced from the start.

Uke, by nature, has attacked, they have commited an irrational act (i.e. attacking someone presents no logic). Tori must maintain his/her balance in order to balance Uke. If they don't, they will surely fail. Uke CANNOT be relied on to find balance on their own accord by assisting Tori. This presents a great danger to ones Aikido, as I found out last night.

There can be no greater danger for Tori than letting Uke help them in the Dojo. If Tori has found their own balance, then 100 Uke can come at them, and they will always prevail. It is about Internal balance, the correction of the self. If Tori NEEDS Uke to be balanced, then they are not doing Aikido and are doomed to failure.

It was a harsh lesson I learnt last night. But I am grateful for it.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#332167 - 04/03/07 07:40 PM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: Prizewriter]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

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

He explained further: Tori must always be balanced. When Tori is balanced, they can balance the world around them. Tori must learn balance first, then apply balance to everything around them. When you rely on Uke to assist you in finding balance, you are not really balanced. It is another who is balancing you. Aikido is about having internal balance of the self, and extending this to all that you meet. It is not about the joining of two to make a balance. Tori should be balanced from the start.


Aiki InYo Ho....

Harmony within self = harmony with others = fitting in. Ueshiba's preferred means of finding harmony within himself was thru the practice of Omoto-kyo and farming. I guess we all need to find what creates harmony in ourselves first. Aikido is merely the externalized expression of an internal harmony. IOW, the techniques of Aikido don't make you harmonious within yourself and with others... it is how you express yourself that makes your Aikido "ai-ki-do".

The same can be said for karate... the Heian/Pinan katas should give you a BIG clue.

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#332168 - 04/06/07 07:38 PM Re: Understanding Aikido [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Ed,
have you ever tried to open a door and have somebody open it just as you expected resistance? That dynamic is the dynamic of aikido.

Your "energy path" is the direction you take with your attack or movement, and aikido is designed for the player to "insert themselves" into the center of that energy field and either redirect it or cause it to cause the hips to lock or the "balance point" to be placed outside your ability to remain upright.

Where aikido techniques look "staged" in many cases, it's really simply leading the person into a position that it makes more sense to fall than to resist and try to remain standing. Where you might be able to pick up a penny off the floor, if you were placed on a step and told to pick up that same penny, you'd fall... simply from the change in where your center was "relocated".

I drive people crazy telling them to learn to do ukemi by simply walking along and act like they're picking up money off the mats, and when it makes sense to roll... do it. I could spend a month giving them explicit instructions, but the "picking up money" routine works best, and it's a good way to understand aikido. Even if you can reach the ground, as your body moves forward, you are prompted to roll...

Our bodies are designed to be unbalanced, and we tend to overcorrect most of the time, which is why we stumble. Our ankles and knees and hips correct our unbalanced condition as our weight shifts, but we are constantly in a state of imbalance, hence the concentration of aikido on "centering".
As the center of gravity is changed, the body position becomes improper, and you start to fall.

It's a very layered approach to body mechanics, energy mechanics, and structure, so knowing your concerns about ki, I'll leave it there. Like a tornado, the very center is "low intensity" and "crystal clear", but there is destruction going on all around it. That is aikido at it's best.

_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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