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2908RE: [TRA Yahoo Group] Thoughts on Aikido's uniqueness

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  • Mike
    Aug 6, 2014
      Senpai Eric:

      It seems to me that Dr. Kano's fundamental innovation to jujitsu was seiryoku zenyo, or maximum efficiency with minimal effort, the same martial principle you attribute below to aikido. This is also done by "adapt[ing] to and blend[ing] with the partner's movement and connect with their center."

      Judo and aikido were both created by martial artists who learned multiple jujitsu ryu. Strip away their philosophical aspects ("do"), and they are both "ju" jitsu. Both teach "weaknesses in the opponent's body that can be taken advantage of by twisting or pushing in various ways."

      Is there a martial principle which is unique to aikido which was not previously present within judo?

      Respectfully submitted,

      Michael Schaefer 

      To: threeriversaikido@yahoogroups.com
      From: threeriversaikido@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tue, 5 Aug 2014 23:12:33 -0700
      Subject: [TRA Yahoo Group] Thoughts on Aikido's uniqueness


      Power vs. Strength

      All martial arts try to achieve as much result for as little effort as possible.  Call the ability to get results "power" and the effort expended "strength".  One could lift weights to increase one's strength, and as a result be more powerful.  Alternately one can train in martial arts and one's power can increase more than one's strength.  The gap created between power and strength can be called "efficiency".

      Sources of efficiency

      Different martial arts achieve efficiency in different ways.  A Karate school may teach more efficient use of the muscles in the body to increase the impact speed of punches and kicks.  A Jujitsu school may teach weaknesses in the opponent's body that can be taken advantage of by twisting or pushing in various ways. Aikido has a source of efficiency that's unusual: the art of receiving energy.

      The power of receiving attacks

      Take Tenchi-nage for example (heaven + earth throw).  The attack is a two-handed grab, and the grabbed wrists are spiraled up and down, splitting the energy of the attack.  With practice, one is able to compromise the structure of the attacker by this movement, even while the attacker feels they're completing the attack successfully.  The technique is often completed by projecting energy into the attacker's compromised structure, stepping into their space and causing them to roll away or fall.


      This skill of receiving requires being able to adapt to and blend with the partner's movement and connect with their center, so that its movements are effective.  It can be practiced either reacting to an attack or having proactively having caused a reaction in the partner.  Its philosophical basis is grounded in peace and love, but these are grounded in real martial efficiency.  Mastering Aikido's response to an encounter allows much result (power) to be achieved with little effort (strength). 

      Eric Norige

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