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#359825 - 09/10/07 10:00 PM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Ed,
repeat after me "there is only blending..."

"there is only blending..."

"oooooooo"....

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

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#359826 - 09/10/07 10:51 PM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
"there is only blending...there is only blending..."

hey, this ain't workin' ! I want my money back!

screw training...I'm going back to the bottle

"there is only blending...{makes a magarita}...there is only blending...{hic}..."

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#359827 - 09/10/07 11:30 PM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

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

Aikido is really very simple. The easiest way to understand it is to first let go of the idea that Aikido is something you do to someone - hence the reason I say it is NOT for fighting. Once you can get your head around that, the rest will fall into place. It's counter-intuitive.

Aikido is NOT for fighting. (The fact that you can and will at some point use it to defend yourself is immaterial, so ignore that for the moment).

The spiritual philosophy of Aikido exists for a reason. It is far easier to hurt someone than it is to let go of your ego and "love thy enemy as thyself", and to embrace and envelop him in the spirit of loving protection, peace and harmony. Which in real terms also means, being in harmony with the Universe (and therefore the universal laws of physics and nature).

When you "fight", the psycho-mental-physical tendency is to tense up and fight yourself. The body works on antagonistic muscle sets - to bend your arm, you must tense your bicep and relax your tricep. To extend your arm, you tense your tricep and relax your bicep. Yin and yang.

Why would you want to fight yourself as well as someone who is trying to hit you? Relax. You'll live longer. It is far easier to open and extend your hand in friendship than it is to embrace someone with a closed fist.

That is why there is no opponent in Aikido - he and I are one, and together we are one in the scheme of the Universe. Since there is no opponent, there is no need for attack or defense.

I think the mental paradigm shift is critical to fully appreciate what the old man is trying to say... aiki goes beyond sensen no sen because one is trying to connect and flow with the Universal flow. To control without controlling. The Daoist concept of wu-wei or non-action. He does to himself what he tries to do to the Universe....

Or as Grady said... blend... blend... blend....

Personally, I prefer "cut... cut... cut... join and cut, enter and cut, turn and cut".

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#359828 - 09/11/07 12:34 AM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
you know I'm only a spectator of Aikido, since my boys started training in it - they love it BTW. They still look stiff as hell and awkward trying to erase their prior striking art habits, but it does take time.

anyway, we got into a conversation the other day about 'attacking when being attacked' - I couldn't comment on it from an Aikido perspective of course, but it made me wonder if there was a similar 'premptive' notion taught in Aiki arts as in striking arts. I would have thought it's a common tactic accross the board in most MA's...especially in Budo.

What you describe with so many words ( ) and minus all the 'one with the universe' stuff (I don't walk around all the time 'one with the universe' with perfect composure, controlled breathing, and in a walking state of Zazen - I'm usually late getting somewhere, and thinking about the 50 things I have to do. lol 'Koyonisquatsi' baby!) - it sounds similar to what I'm familiar (like I said, minus the mumbo-jumbo).

well, not that bad, but my point is I don't walk around with a monk-like mindset. my philosophy is simple, if I sense I'll be attacked, I'll try to act first. not necessarily with a strike - could be an offbalance check or whatever else.

so in order to understand your sphere of reality, first I have to be one with the universe? ok, I'll give that a shot...gimme till lunch tomorrow. "blending....universe...ohmmmm...."

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#359829 - 09/11/07 12:52 AM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
sorry, realized the last previous post was inflamitory....but you know how I am.

I'm not teaching them, their sensei is - and I'll be curious how he describes the concept of 'formless form' - with respect, I kinda hope he doesn't explain it the way you do. doesn't help, especially for a young teen. I realize the other end of the spectrum of a response: "if the bad guy does this, then do that" doesn't help in practicality either.

which is another reason I was curious about the subject from an Aikido take. How it's explained to a first year student.

no disrespect eyrie, WT...just having some fun while asking an honest question.

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#359830 - 09/11/07 02:16 AM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
No offense taken Ed... I'm bigger than that... like Universe "big"...

Look, I know it sounds all esoteric and sh!t3, but it's really not. It's very simple. Stop fighting. Stop even trying to. It won't work. Budo is never about fighting. The true meaning of Budo is to stop the spears. True budo is love - as in agape not the lovey, dovey, starry-eyed, "in love" BS.

Really, to understand Aikido, just stop fighting. It's really as simple as that. No big secret. Just stop fighting.

You cannot put Aikido in the same box as other martial arts. It just isn't the same thing. Stop fighting. Embrace your attacker with loving protection - just as you would a child who is having a hissy-fit, lashing out and chucking a tantrum. I can't get any simpler than that.

Quote:

How it's explained to a first year student.


Aikido not for fighting. Stop fighting with uke. Now Blend! Blend! Blend!

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#359831 - 09/11/07 06:35 AM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: eyrie]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Ed,
I suggest that you first learn the exercises (warmup) and aiki-taisos of Aikido (ikkyo undo, funi koga undo, etc. ..the Aikido teacher can explain that) and then give it a go.

Just like there's no "home surgery kit", there's no "home Aikido kit" either. It takes some instruction and some practice other than casual observation.

I came from striking arts to Aikido, but luckily, I had ukemi training (force dissipation by falling) with Judo, so the transition was easier for me, but it's a different skill all together than hitting arts. Where karate is a "force delivery" art, Aikido is a "blending with the force" art, so your intent is different.

As Eyrie said, it's a different mental concept, and it's powerful. Strangely enough, as you train in karate, you reach the same type of methods and ideas as you get to "the top of your game", and actually do a lot of "Aikido-ish" things as you get into higher levels of karate.

I did a seminar about a month ago where I used karate as the attacking method of the uke when I was teaching. The simple act of redirecting the energy negated most of the dynamic of karate and completely destroyed it's "foundations" (stances). My "students" were 9th and 10th Dans, 2 6th Dans, and a couple of underbelts... and they all met with the same success against this different method... in a word, none.

What's interesting, is that the basic concept of Aikido is based on the same thing that karate is... the arm sword. Like different styles of karate, it's used differently in Aikido, and for different purposes. As Eyrie said, it's redirection and cutting (as in swordfighting), and the only thing that's actually different from karate is the footwork and redirection of force, rather than the delivery of force(if your karate is correct). Of course, there are "nuances" in it that are different, but you have to lose the skepticism for a few minutes and understand how to generate that "internal pressure" you argue against all the time (ki).

I would suggest going to class with your kids for a few weeks, and get a little instruction. You can probably trade off some Aikido training for karate training with the Aikido instructor. I think you'll enjoy it, and it might not be as frustrating once you have "peeped under the sheet".

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

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#359832 - 09/11/07 09:37 AM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: wristtwister]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
A month ago, before my awakening (only way I can look at it), what you wrote would have just been so many words. Now that I am beginning to understand, what you wrote makes complete sense.

Thank you. :-)

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#359833 - 09/11/07 07:28 PM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: wristtwister]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

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

it's a different mental concept, and it's powerful. Strangely enough, as you train in karate, you reach the same type of methods and ideas as you get to "the top of your game", and actually do a lot of "Aikido-ish" things as you get into higher levels of karate.


The higher you go in any of the Asian MAs, the more it becomes the same. It was certainly the case, when I trained with Pat McCarthy, Rick Clark and some high-level judo and jujitsu-ka. Apart from some very subtle and minor technical differences, the higher the level, the more indistinguishable it became.

It's certainly a very powerful concept. Pity it is so counter-intuitive....

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#359834 - 10/13/07 01:04 PM Re: 'Sen Sen no Sen' in Aikido? [Re: eyrie]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117

Sen Sen no Sen is found in the intial phase of combat: the psychological. This is the phase that both Ueshiba and Takeda Sogaku spoke about. Ueshiba spoke of it as ‘reading your opponents mind’, and harmonizing with them.

To control your opponent on this level, you have to get to the point where you can ‘size them up’ quickly. It’s fairly easy to do with drunks, not so easy (at least for me, at this stage) to do with competent, sober fighters.

As an example, putting up a boxing style guard give your opponent cues as to what you’re thinking. For this reason, there isn’t a guard in DR. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to put up a guard, (usually to trick the person into thinking that they’re in for a ‘straight fight’). Another easy way to explain this, is to purposely stick your chin way out, present an obvious target, and generally, your opponent will take it. This can then be shifted to a total body awareness, wherein you present targets to your opponent. From here, your movement will look like you’re moving at the same time and intercepting and blending with the attack.

I don’t think I’ve done a great job of explaining this, but it’ s the best I can do. What it comes down to, is that there is indeed a kind of first attack (if you want to think of it like that) in DR and Aikido. However, it’s a mental one, not a physical one.

It’s because of this concept that I think crosstraining at some point is important (though many disagree with me and they’re welcome to their opinions). But personally, I think it’s important to learn the common attacks of the time, and internalize methods of neutralizing them without throwing away the key concepts of your art.

My two cents.

--Chris


Edited by Ames (10/13/07 01:07 PM)
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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