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#348345 - 06/30/07 08:16 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: eyrie]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Training with weapons is always difficult for students. The main reason is usually that they only practice when they are in class. Sword required much more than that.

The old training method was "1000 men per day"... meaning 1000 sho"men" cuts with the sword every day "to gain proficiency". I know Aikido students that might not have done 1000 men in the entire time they've been doing Aikido, and have been coming to class for years.

It's much easier to take the attitude that "you aren't getting something in class", or that "sensei has a method I can't copy", rather than blaming yourself for not doing the work necessary to learn. "Instant training"... just add water... that's what people want these days, rather than layering the onion with work.

We have an exercise for doing tenkan that we teach. It's something that anybody could do 100 a day while watching television or holding a conversation... and it is always apparent who's been doing it when we start teaching tenkan entry techniques. I have to remind myself to do them, but if you don't practice, your body loses it's learning.

There is a distinct difference between the intellectual learning of technique and the "body learning" which is necessary to execute technique. "Copying Sensei" is moving like he moves, breathing like he breathes, doing what he does... Like cutting, there is no "cut like..." It is cutting, or not. You are either "moving like Sensei" or not.

You can't blame "Sensei" if you don't do the work to gain the knowledge. Pretty simple, once you think about it.

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

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#348346 - 06/30/07 10:38 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Please remember, there is one great difference between "sensei demonstrating cutting" and "cutting like sensei".

When sensei is using you as a target to demonstrate a cut, YOU DO NOT TWITCH OR EVEN BLINK. You are demonstrating your faith in his ability. Anything less is an insult to him.

When you "cut like sensei" do not cut anything you do not wish to kill.

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#348347 - 06/30/07 01:20 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: iaibear]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
If you do 1000 men cuts a day, that won't be a problem. Cutting is cutting, and the ability is found in practice. If you do 50 in class, and nothing else... then, it will be a problem.

"Sensei" did his 1000 a day for whatever length of time it took for him to develop his skills, so you have to do likewise to have the same skills. A mirror only reflects what's in front of it, as does a student.

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

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#348348 - 06/30/07 02:25 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: wristtwister]
aikidonut Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 100
wrist,

when we do the bokto, we start off with about 200 cuts where we hold the bo and do a shomen cut down towards the mat, stopping as close as possible to the mat without touching. hopefully we get the other 800 in during class. Interesting about the 1000 cuts, I didnt know that.

Iaibear, do you do that, since you are iaidoka?

Unfortunately, wrt myself,in this day and age, I hadn't been doing this everyday,but I think I'll incorporate them into my daily workout. Thanks.

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#348349 - 06/30/07 03:47 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: aikidonut]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
To be realistic, you have to understand that doing 1000 shomen cuts is only to train your muscles and develop your focus. My method is to position myself with a target just one inch from the "touch point" of my bokken and then use it as the focus of my cuts. That point is just out of reach, and a bit higher than the "head" or "men" position, so that I don't have to constantly "fix" something that I hit, and it causes me to turn my front wrist down slightly in order to hit the men position.

Also, I raise the bokken by pushing the rear hand forward until the bokken is vertical, and then raising it high enough to press my body forward between my arms... a la "funa kogi undo" hip motion. I might do a set of 200 of one strike, and then change to kesi kiri (collar cut) for a set, and then return to shomen.

When I was doing karate, we used to do a thousand kicks and punches for warmup, so it's not extrordinary to do 1000 of anything, it's just basic practice. Most people are lazy, and they do just enough until they get tired, and quit. That's why they can't do what the teachers can.

My bokken practice lately has been spotty, but I still try to do some every day. It might not be a thousand, but it's better than pulling out the suburi-to. If I don't do bokken, I will do jo, and do the same exercises.

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

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#348350 - 06/30/07 06:30 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: aikidonut]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Quote:

Iaibear, do you do that, since you are iaidoka?.



Shomen cuts in sets of 100 starting with the tip above and slightly behind my head, the grip slightly before and higher than my forehead. The speed/strength part of the cut is as high as "his" forehead. The cut ends horizontal, waist high, with my hands wringing the grip inward. I was taught to sink with the cut and no bouncing. Think "reach out and touch someone" ending in a slight pull-in, which is the cutting action itself.


Edited by iaibear (06/30/07 06:39 PM)

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#348351 - 07/01/07 12:31 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: iaibear]
aikidonut Offline
Member

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 100
Superb exposition, and thank you, iaibear. You obviously have been doing this a while. I really love the iaidoka's aspect of the sword. After all, it is their "business".I must come to your dojo.

And thank you, wrist.

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#348352 - 07/01/07 08:37 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: aikidonut]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Thank you for those kind words.
Details of the cut vary depending on the ryu you belong to.
Sadly, our local dojo no longer exists.

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#348353 - 07/01/07 09:57 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: iaibear]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Quote:

starting with the tip above and slightly behind my head, the grip slightly before and higher than my forehead




I wouldn't have attempted to describe grip structure or tip placement, but that's very accurate. Most sword work is like having gorillas do knitting... it's all over the place because of the different levels of skill and understanding of what's going on. The most common miscue is the "chopping" cuts, using the sword like an ax, and starting with the tip somewhere around their buttocks.

I'd almost rather teach a pig to sing than somebody to learn bokken practice, because when their shoulders start to hurt, they put everything else aside and up come the shoulders while they're wincing in pain. That's where the "relax harder" instruction came from...

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

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#348354 - 07/01/07 10:08 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Doing 1000 cuts a day... certainly makes you relax harder.

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