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The Problem of Jiyu Waza/Spontaneous Application (Peter A Goldsbury)

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General: The Problem of Jiyu Waza/Spontaneous Application - 31 Replies

From: Peter A Goldsbury on Mon, 26 Jun 2017 17:31:55 -0600

Some time ago, perhaps here or in another forum, the analogy between learning aikido and another language was explored. (The analogy breaks down because there are no native speakers of aikido, but I wonder whether this matters: I am not sure.) I have been living here for nearly 40 years and can function in the Japanese language reasonably well, certainly to the satisfaction of my Japanese neighbours, with whom I sometimes pass the time of day. (A recurring topic is the close relationship between crows and garbage.) But this proficiency requires constant care and effort: There is still a major difference with a bilingual native speaker. One breakthrough came when I began to think in Japanese, without having to go through the process of translation. This seemed to occur naturally, in the sense that I did not consciously practice how to do it. Of course, there are various theories about how one learns a language and when I was acquiring a teaching diploma, Chomsky's theories of child language learning were popular. They have not stood the test of time. I have been doing aikido for nearly 50 years and the later training has mainly consisted of examining carefully what the Japanese experts have been doing, the major experts here in Japan being / having been Chiba, Tada, Arikawa, Yamaguchi, Saito, and my own teacher here in Hiroshima. The training also involves learning how to see / perceive, which is perhaps similar to what St Ignatius called the 'discernment of spirits.' A major preoccupation has been how to maintain effectiveness in the face of advancing age -- and I am happy to have the chance to test this with the teens and twenty-year-olds in the dojo.

Escape from ikkyo ?? (Tarik Ghbeish)

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Techniques: Escape from ikkyo ?? - 32 Replies

From: Tarik Ghbeish on Mon, 26 Jun 2017 13:51:58 -0600

[QUOTE=Jaemin Yu;351572]I think I know what you talk about and it feels like folding uke as if compressing an empty coke can. So all -kyo wazas feel like nikyo. Btw, there are still room for escaping if uke keeps(or at least tries to keep) his own balance. [/QUOTE] I don't even see it as an escape. My view is that it's not balance that uke needs to keep, but posture (or control of tanden to describe it another way). If they keep their posture, they can easily repair their 'balance' and reverse the relationship, taking back sente (initiative) far deeper into receiving a technique than most people except. I can 'reverse' many people while they are still sinking into the pin after the throw if they've given away too much. [QUOTE=Jaemin Yu;351572]Nage becomes very prone to counter when he folds uke through his arms. So uke can take balance of nage and reverse the waza. I'm not sure it's applicable out of lab(mat) but worthwhile to try. [/QUOTE] I think outside the lab requires a different type of experimentation, one that might not be prone to acceptable interactions with those around you. :) IME with some recent unintentional encounters (not really attacks, but situations) where people accidentally bumped into me, this operated because instead of entirely losing my balance, I kept my alignment, put my foot down in a new place without even thinking about it, and they bounced off of me and I caught them just by reaching out and changing their vector so that they fell back onto balance instead of on the ground. It was both surprising and interesting at the same time because I could feel myself deciding to save them instead of finishing them all in an instant. And none of it looking like technique, because it wasn't.

Aikido and Stress (Peter Boylan)

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General: Aikido and Stress - 25 Replies

From: Peter Boylan on Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:09:59 -0600

[QUOTE=Amos Barnett;351533]I see a lot of mention of Aikido as a means of relieving stress, but how about as a means to learn to deal with stress? One of the things I appreciate from having practiced Aikido is that it puts me under situations which have triggered fears within me, including personality flaws, and through practice I've learned to overcome them. This also relates to the other side of the situation where I've seen people become senior enough that they don't have to confront their character flaws and instead end up abusing their students or juniors in various ways. I've come to appreciate each time I screw up a technique somehow, as it gives me a chance to examine myself and find what part of me, often my own thinking, is causing me to move in an bad way. For example, we have all found ourselves forcing techniques, even slightly when we know we shouldn't. I've found often this might be with a particular partner, maybe someone very senior, with whom I'm not confident about being able to do the technique well. By examining both my mental/emotional state as well as the technique, I can learn to deal with similar reactions in situations outside of Aikido and improve my interactions with others overall.[/QUOTE] This is the sort of thing I was really looking for. I wonder what different dojo and groups do to inoculate students against stress. How is this dealt with? Or isn't it? What specifically does your dojo do to help students learn to handle stress?

Resistance? (John Hillson)

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Teaching: Resistance? - 49 Replies

From: John Hillson on Sat, 24 Jun 2017 19:17:45 -0600

[QUOTE=Josephine Fan;308265]I was wondering what everyone else's take on resistance and how teachers should address it in the practice of Aikido.... I always thought it was so that we could learn the techniques cooperatively, and not turn it into a competition. If it's understood between nage and uke that you are helping each other train by giving a bit of resistance to help eachother fine tune their techniques...thanks for your thoughts![/QUOTE] So there seems to be several things to unpack here, and maybe I am commenting/asking about the part that mattered the least to the OP? There seems to be two sets of exercises. Ushiro ryotedori, I learned uke would grab firmly - not stupid crazy, but firmly enough that nage can't just do it wrong. Same with some (not all) morote dori and kokyu doza. Not so much resistance as a feedback mechanism. These usually involve raising a limb that uke is holding, so the martial crowd says, "no one attacks like that on the street!" Connections, timing, a lot of the same kinesiology as beginner power lifting. The second set of exercises, there's kokyunage, kaitenage, udekimenage, higikime, iriminage - the line between badly done technique and good alignment is valuable, but the neck or elbow gets damaged easily. The line can be very fine, and really it is more about timing than placement and alignment. So, I can throw and pin some people, but I am not always able to do it without risking injury. I like the Judo practice where a pin is applied and then uke tries to escape. It is safer with some pins compared to others. No beginner will likely know where the line is. In randori/jiyuwaza, if I meet resistance I change. I never want to learn to chase the clashing. So, stupid practice is someone sticking their head down and demanding that I do iriminage instead of kaitenage, or forcing one's head up for kaitenage because I am not going to force the head down when the whole torso just opened up for strikes. Posture testing has a narrow role for specific practices, but I would not call it resistance though it is progressive resistance. I hope that makes sense.
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