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  1. #31
    Rock Ape's Avatar
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    Experiences of a middle senior dan grade

    Many people here know that for the last 21 years I've studied aikido [together with Kendo and Muso Shinden Ryu Iai]. Over the years I've seen some fucking awful aikido and equally I've seen what I consider to be some of the very best. I've have the opportunity to study in several parts of the world with both Japanese and western instructors. I've never studied in Japan purely because there's simply no need too, there's enough Japanese around the world and, its a fact that there's more western students and instructors than there are Japanese.

    My experience stems from within both Aikikai and Iwama Ryu variants and with my koryu sword art I am fairly well versed in what makes aikido tick so-to-speak.

    Its important to firstly forget the image of Ueshiba M. as a saintly peaceful man; the image often seen in dojo kamiza of an ageing man bears absolutely no resemblance to the person who fought within the Japanese Imperial Army, who toughened his forehead by routinely head butting stone and, studied for a considerable period of his adult life with arguably one of Japan's toughest individuals - Takeda Sokaku. Ueshiba was prior to and during WWII, an imperialist of Japan who taught his skills within Military establishments, this is not the picture of the peaceful 'love thy universe' image that almost all modern day aikidoka have of their beloved art.

    Kihon: Aikido is a synthesis of several influences, those including empty handed jujutsu and classical weapons systems. The key to aikido taiso lay in the application of the sword and staff. The posture and stances within aikido are classic to koryu sword and spear arts, the movements (often referred to as blending) used to bring the aikidoka into connection with their adversary are likewise weapons orientated and this is why, certainly within Iwama Ryu methodology, aiki-ken and jo feature so heavily indeed there are no distinctions between weapons application and that of the empty hand - they are essential one and the same.

    Kuzushi: Making people fall over - loosing their balance - loss of control over centre of gravity are key features of what occurs within aikido technique. Ueshiba did in fact state that "atemi is 90% aikido" unfortunately his son Kisshomeru began to alter the emphasis of his father's techniques very early in his control of the Aikikai in Tokyo - indeed today you will almost never see any form of atemi waza or weapons study in Aikikai affiliated schools and to my knowledge neither are ever taught at the Hombu in Japan by the current head of the organisation Ueshiba Moriteru.

    Atemi is a crucial part of achieving kuzushi and although many here will criticise Aikido use of atemi merely to create distraction or opportunity - that is in effect exactly what it was intended for (rightly or wrongly) The major issue for me as a long standing aikidoka is that people within certain communities of aikido seem to be afraid of actually hitting each other and, I feel this stems directly for the over emphasis of Ueshiba's "harmony with your attacker" ideology. Being in harmony with your attacker doesn't mean you love that person, wish him/her any ill will or any such nonsense, what it merely means is being in the right place at the right time to effect the technique you wish - its not fucking rocket science but many aikidoka want to attach so much frigging fantasy to their study it often makes me want to puke.

    Wrist grabbing: katatedori is nothing more than a basic means of learning the principles of kuzushi in a particular way - often from a static position and, should be with a degree of active resistance, this resistance teaches the student where, when and how to create movement from the absolute worst case. The problem as I've experienced is that many aikido dojo never move on from that point in their training, so much so that wrist grabbing application becomes almost the sole means of training, neglecting the other methods of learning.

    I once read a short sentence from an aikidoka being questioned about his school's training methods:

    Question: Will I be grabbing wrists all the time ?

    Answer: If you visit my dojo you'll be kicked, punched and occasionally get your wrist grabbed.

    That sums it up for me.
    Last edited by Rock Ape; 7/09/2008 10:30am at .
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler

  2. #32
    This is all I do: girls, photography and BJJ... Join us... or die
    M.C.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Ape
    Question: Will I be grabbing wrists all the time ?

    Answer: If you visit my dojo you'll be kicked, punched and occasionally get your wrist grabbed.
    You missed a part of his answer, "you will be kicked, punched by your friends for training Aikido and occasionally get your wrist grabbed to make fun of you"

  3. #33
    Raging Monkey's Avatar
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    While I have only done one Aikido seminar, as kind of a laugh to be honest, I just shake my head at the whole bashing people do of the whole wrist grab thing you see in JJJ and Aikido.

    Wrist grabs are an integral part of any old Japanese system, and while Aikido is a gendai art I can only assume that it's roots in older traditions is why they are so ingrained in it's syllabus. Understanding how to escape wrist grabs is the key to weapon retention, and conversely understanding how to grab someone's wrist effectively is the key to understanding weapon disarms. To attack someone with a punch or a kick while they had a sword in their belt (be it a long or short one depending on the time period and social class) or a staff in their hand is ridiculous, so you had very involved systems of te hodoki spring up in most systems. This was a necessity... and while I do think that the way they have devolved in Aikido is not very effective, the theory behind them is sound and it is something anyone who regularly carries a weapon (LEO, Military, Security, etc...) should be well schooled in.

  4. #34
    Rock Ape's Avatar
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    Consider the best way to arrest the drawing of either kodachi or tachi ? Grab a firm grip of the wrist of the sword arm and move out of the way.

    This is why katatedori exists, and is why kihon requires that you make a sword drawing motion to create basic technique when you wrist is taken. It is why omote and ura variation exists as it creates the ability to draw your weapon moving forward and if required, whilst moving around your opponent.

    As I said aikido has heavy weapons influence
    "To sin by silence when one should protest makes cowards out of men".

    ~Ella Wheeler

  5. #35
    Snake Plissken's Avatar
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    This thread is like Bizarro World.

  6. #36
    Guess which finger is the fickle one... supporting member
    FickleFingerOfFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Ape
    Many people here know that for the last 21 years...Blah blah Blah.


    Question: Will I be grabbing wrists all the time ?

    Answer: If you visit my dojo you'll... get your wrist grabbed.

    That sums it up for me.


    tl;dr.




    Nice pants, btw.


    :tongue5:
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    Others will be happy to do it for you. :evil6:

    The 2 most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.



  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Utah
    This thread is like Bizarro World.
    Fucking too right. Honestly, if this **** had happened in 2006 the OP would be an older member getting endless +rep for everything and all the other posts in the thread would be from 1 post wonders who got flamed to hell like they were Dr Tzun Tzu.

  8. #38
    Guess which finger is the fickle one... supporting member
    FickleFingerOfFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kultist
    Fucking too right. Honestly, if this **** had happened in 2006 the OP would be an older member getting endless +rep for everything and all the other posts in the thread would be from 1 post wonders who got flamed to hell like they were Dr Tzun Tzu.
    :rolleyes:


    * notes Kultists join date *


    :thebirdma
    If you can't laugh at yourself,
    Others will be happy to do it for you. :evil6:

    The 2 most abundant elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.



  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by FickleFingerOfFate
    :rolleyes:


    * notes Kultists join date *


    :thebirdma
    When I joined you tard. I lurked moar.

  10. #40
    DdlR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kultist
    Fucking too right. Honestly, if this **** had happened in 2006 the OP would be an older member getting endless +rep for everything and all the other posts in the thread would be from 1 post wonders who got flamed to hell like they were Dr Tzun Tzu.
    That's progress towards what BSD is supposed to be about.

    We can only expect to be taken seriously when criticizing genuine cases of fraud and delusion (Ashida Kim, Yellow Bamboo etc.) if we demonstrate an even-handed, informed approach to our criticism across the board.

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