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#348355 - 07/05/07 02:25 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: eyrie]
SBudda Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 46
Loc: ATL
Quote:

Sensei demonstrates the whole technique, then everyone practices. There is no breakdown and people tend to fuddle and muddle along



I have to - again! - give a lot of credit to my sensei. While he tends to do as you suggest (demonstrate the entire technique), he also structures his lessons so all of the techniques that day reinforce a particular component that is common to them all. For instance, we'll do a class that does nothing but various techniques that you can do from a kokyo-ho lead. Perhaps we'll do nothing but ikkyo that day - but do it with many, many variations.

It is humbling to get the first 4 ikkyo techniques right away, but then the last one takes you half an hour to see what makes it difficult. In the end of the day, you have a greater understanding of what the common parts actually have in common. And boy does struggling with the 5th ikkyo make your performance in the first 4 MUCH better.

That being said, I have appreciated the jujitsu method. Perhaps there is something about the flowing movements of aikido that make such a teaching method difficult to integrate. That or the Taiso have already shown you the basics, and the rest of practice is there to show you how to chain them together.

Regardless, thank for making me (again) appreciate the way Shihan structures his class.
_________________________
I have never made but one prayer to God..."O Lord make my enemies ridiculous" And God granted it.

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#348356 - 07/05/07 08:44 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: SBudda]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

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

Quote:

Sensei demonstrates the whole technique, then everyone practices. There is no breakdown and people tend to fuddle and muddle along


I was generally referring to the many Japanese and local sensei I encountered. But that's not to say they weren't good teachers. Whatever I learnt, I stole...

I'm happy for you, that your sensei is making a difference.

Quote:

It is humbling to get the first 4 ikkyo techniques right away, but then the last one takes you half an hour to see what makes it difficult. In the end of the day, you have a greater understanding of what the common parts actually have in common. And boy does struggling with the 5th ikkyo make your performance in the first 4 MUCH better.


Ikkyo is a "mother technique". If you understand one way to do ikkyo, the rest should make sense, since they are merely variations of the same thing - the square, the square in the circle, the square outside the triangle, and all 3 together. There are many ways to do ikkyo, but they all rely on controlling the center thru the elbow.

Quote:

Perhaps there is something about the flowing movements of aikido that make such a teaching method difficult to integrate.


Aikido doesn't have the monopoly on "flow". Every single MA I have done all teach some aspect of "flow". So I don't see why Aikido would be any different, and why it would be so "difficult" as you put it.

Quote:

That or the Taiso have already shown you the basics, and the rest of practice is there to show you how to chain them together.


Precisely. Once people understand this point, they can start to see how one technique is the same as all other techniques. I have stated this before... all aikido techniques are based on the basic principles of movement in the taiso exercises. Understand the taiso, and there is no technique you cannot do. Forget this or that technique, and all movement becomes variations of aiki taiso.

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#348357 - 07/06/07 07:58 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: eyrie]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< Ikkyo is a "mother technique". If you understand one way to do ikkyo, the rest should make sense, since they are merely variations of the same thing - the square, the square in the circle, the square outside the triangle, and all 3 together. There are many ways to do ikkyo, but they all rely on controlling the center thru the elbow. >>
Obviously I do not understand ikkyo. Been "doing" it only since 1994 and haven't a clue what you just wrote. :-(

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#348358 - 07/06/07 08:48 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: iaibear]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
I think you just made my point...

This gels with what WT said about everything being Ikkyo - i.e. ikkyo is the mother of all techniques.

Ikkyo is basically the shape of a square. To control the center thru the elbow, your arms on uke's extended arm forms 3 sides of a square (your torso forms the 4th side). There are many variations of the same idea - big squares or small squares.

If you add tenkan, the square that I just described lies inside the tenkan circle. If you irimi, there is your triangle inside the square.

There are many variations of the same theme, with the "shapes" of movement in any of the 3 dimensional planes. But it's all ikkyo.

It's just another way to explain how ikkyo works... on a very rudimentary level. How do you understand ikkyo?

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#348359 - 07/06/07 11:58 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
Iaibear,
Do you do ikkyo undo as an exercise? If you do, which you should, the feel of that exercise is how ikkyo should feel to you. Yes, it has some different motions in it to execute the technique, but the feel of the movements should be the same. If there is resistance, you aren't blending with your uke, and need to adjust until the "feel" of ikkyo is the same whether attached or not with your uke.

When you do techniques such as tenchinage, do you do ude furi undo as you move? If so, do you maintain your ikkyo arm sword shape as you do the techniques?

Do you understand kaote?...(reaching for the sword) as ikkyo?

Do you understand shomenuchi as ikkyo?

I'm not asking this to embaress you, but to understand how to help you "figure it out".

If you do a "standard" set of exercises, they should include all of the items that are in your techniques. All the arm shapes, wrist turns, hand positions, etc. that you need to put your techniques together. The only difference is that you're usually doing it with the uke's hand and arm.

Where this guy is swinging the top part of his body as he strikes, correct ikkyo would have his body moving forward as his bokken (stick) was raised and back as the strike is made, as would his hips. So what does that mean?.. it's the most common mistake in "cutting", therefore it's the most common mistake in ikkyo. Your hips drive the cut, not the arms... they simply preceed the hips or move at the same time.

By keeping your arms in the proper shape, moving your hips to drive the technique, and creating one single motion for the movement, you can do perfect ikkyo. Then, you can apply it to your training and work toward getting that same feeling in every technique.

Hopefully, this didn't confuse you further.



Emoticons as training tools... Oh, for the shame of it...


Edited by wristtwister (07/06/07 11:59 PM)
_________________________
What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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#348360 - 07/07/07 08:45 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: wristtwister]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

Emoticons as training tools... Oh, for the shame of it...




OMG, now I have REALLY seen everything!
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#348361 - 07/07/07 09:09 AM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
First off thank you both WW and er. for your efforts to help me. I shall try to take things in order.
What is ikkyo undo? All these years our class has been taught that ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, reverse sankyo and kotegaeshi are grabs, not techniques. We drill all of them as part of our warmup at the start of class.
What is ude furi undo?
When uke grabs both my wrists with the grab we call ikkyo in tenchinage, it is never referred to as a square. Among other techniques it can morph into Heaven and Earth, in which I drag uke back and down to where his nonexistant third leg would not support his balance. Lead arm would maintain a sword arm curve.
<<Do you understand kaote?...(reaching for the sword) as ikkyo? >> No Never heard the term kaote.
<<Do you understand shomenuchi as ikkyo?>> No. I understood it as an overhead strike to the head that should be caught from below with my hand/wrist going the same direction as uke's, up, more like the grab we call nikkyo or the start of kotegaeshi.
All turning moves happen from the waist with both arms kept in front of my center, and end with both feet planted flat on the mat.
You are not embarrassing me. I have simply been given different definitions as part of a different way of instruction. It is gratifying to be reassured that my confusion has a genuine basis.

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#348362 - 07/07/07 11:36 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:

All these years our class has been taught that ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, reverse sankyo and kotegaeshi are grabs, not techniques.




I understand. Each technique has a grip that is "familiar" with it's execution, and while most Aikido is taught from the principles of ikkyo, nikkyo, etc., it is also taught from the "grip" format. I also agree that it's much more difficult to understand that way.

Ikkyo Undo is an exercise where you step forward and execute the "ikkyo" arm sword. It is practiced "one direction", "two direction", "four direction" and "happo undo" (eight direction). It is designed to coordinate your movement with your breathing and to assist you in timing your technique with your opponents.

Rather than try to explain everything to you, I'll give you a site address that will give you the terminology.
http://www.mancosre6.edu/Curr/studentsite/npg/common_vocabulary.htm

Some of the spelling is atrocious, but you'll figure that out as you go along... such as "one pint"... as in one point.

Ude furi undo is an "arm swinging" exercise that assists you in irimi techniques. Like ikkyo undo, it helps with timing, and coordination of movements and breath. These are usually done during "warm ups".

I'm not sure I could adequately describe the "shapes" for you in words, but I could show you, so I'll skip that for now. I understand what Eyrie was talking about, but describing it in words might take me all day.

Kaote is, as I described it, "reaching for the sword", as if drawing the sword. It is a movement that is probably more used by description in aiki-jujutsu than Aikido, but the same movement is used to "open the wrist" for gripping by someone executing a technique in Aikido.

Think of ikkyo as "pressing forward with the sword" (with or without one). If you have no sword, you must stop the motion of someone's arms as they strike "shomenuchi" at you, and entering to block them before they bring their arms down is how you would block with the sword. It is also how you execute ikkyo properly.

Quote:

All turning moves happen from the waist with both arms kept in front of my center, and end with both feet planted flat on the mat.





That part is correct.

Now, let me digress into a simpler explanation of how many of the techniques of Aikido developed. They were designed to allow someone trapped in a circle of swordsmen to escape from that circle and often displace themselves with someone else in the process. To do that, they often went through the opening created when they cut someone out of the way, and other times by going between them and the person next to them.

That being said, there is a historical basis of all the techniques of Aikido that relate to swordfighting, so to study Aikido, you need to study the tactics of swordfighting. Each principle has a basis in sword arts, and once you understand those, the empty hand applications of them are simple. Ikkyo is the "mother cut" of all Aikido techniques.

I really don't want to confuse you further, but (and I can't believe I'm giving you this advice) google the terms you have problems with, and see what you find on them. The Aikido Journal has a lot of information on it's website and usually a link to video that demonstrates the activity.

Seeing it demonstrated and explained by "someone else" might be the key to learning it. I have often been taught correctly on a technique, I just was on a different page from the instructor... and once I heard it explained differently, I understood.

Give this a run, and then let me know how it's going.

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

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#348363 - 07/07/07 11:11 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Might be a while. I am working on a friend's computer in the Adirondacks at the moment.
Sure do appreciate your help.

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#348364 - 07/08/07 08:25 PM Re: What is a "real Aikido dojo"? [Re: iaibear]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

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

All these years our class has been taught that ikkyo, nikkyo, sankyo, reverse sankyo and kotegaeshi are grabs, not techniques. We drill all of them as part of our warmup at the start of class.


It is both tanren-ho (body forging methods) as well as techniques. Unfortunately, the tanren-ho aspect has largely been de-emphasized in modern aikido in favour of waza and ukemi. And so, they are largely taught as "grips", when in fact it is less a "grip" (which connotates "strength" or a method to strengthen the wrists) than a method of offloading the forces on the wrist to the lower back and ground - when you're doing the "warm up" exercises. BTW, all the "warm ups" are tanren-ho.

As an example, I've dropped people to their knees in nikkyo without so much as putting strain on their wrists. Outwardly, the shape of the technique looks like nikkyo, and for all intents and purposes it is nikkyo. The difference lies in HOW it is applied - not so much as a "grip", but as a way to redirect forces and control the other person's center. Sure you can use pain compliance as a way to control the other person, but pain is a "base" method of exerting control over the other person, and it doesn't always work. (Like beating children... doesn't always work... and makes the child resent you).

Ikkyo is the basis for all of the "kyo" - nikyo, sankyo, yonkyo, gokyo, kotegaeshi are all aspects of the square (the basis of applied control) - the differences are in the juxtaposition of the square. Geometric shapes are easiest to convey the "shape" of the movement, easy to demonstrate, but difficult to explain in words.

Quote:

When uke grabs both my wrists with the grab we call ikkyo in tenchinage, it is never referred to as a square. Among other techniques it can morph into Heaven and Earth, in which I drag uke back and down to where his nonexistant third leg would not support his balance. Lead arm would maintain a sword arm curve.


Personally, I don't like the word "drag"... it connotates strength and a lack of finesse (both of which are incorrect). Tenchi is an example of "splitting power". It is also a form of tanren-ho. In fact, I would say ALL aikido "techniques" are NOT techniques as such, and more paired tanren-ho. "Techniques" are what people see - the outer shell. If you "move" correctly, the shapes of the movement manifest themselves as "techniques". An entirely different focus.

Quote:

All turning moves happen from the waist with both arms kept in front of my center, and end with both feet planted flat on the mat.


If your description is correct, then it would be an "external" movement in which movement is initiated from the middle - which I would hazard is incorrect. Rather, it should be the opposite, where the forces should originate in the feet, and the torso twists and spirals the force from the ground to your hands. IOW, the twisting and spiraling of the torso stores power from the ground (the point of origin) for the impending release at the hands (the business end).

Hope I haven't confused you more...

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