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2909Re: [TRA Yahoo Group] Thoughts on Aikido's uniqueness

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  • Eric Norige
    Aug 6, 2014
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      I didn't intend to mean that Aikido is unique in striving for maximum efficiency.  While Judo may have made this principle explicit, I imagine that it's available in every martial art around the world.  Further, it's not quite the use of blending with the partner's movement and connecting to the partner's center that makes Aikido unique. 

      It's certainly common to improve one's strength through Aikido training.  I know I'm in better physical shape from my Aikido training.  A good Aikido teacher will develop body structure efficiency in his/her students.  Proper stance and the ability to generate force from proper movement are of great use even in Aikido.  And the techniques of Aikido are modifications of jujitsu techniques, but they're still techniques.  We absolutely learn how to twist our opponents in ways they can't resist well.  We learn martial timing and how to read attacks.  But Aikido allows us to go beyond all these.

      What makes aikido unique is *how* it blends and connects.  Aikido training teaches the ability to receive an attack in such a way that both the attack and the attacker are neutralized before the attack is even completed.  The concept of kokyu-nage seems to be foreign to even the most circular Judo, but it seems key to Aikido training.

      Strip away O-Sensei's jujitsu techniques, his immense muscular strength and his ability to use his body to generate devastating power, and you'll still be left with a formidable martial artist.  From what I can tell of what he's doing in videos, he's not using technique or strength.  The old man who is able to treat attackers as children, brushing away their attacks with ease, he is drawing on something else to achieve his results.  This is what I see as unique to Aikido.

      Eric Norige

      On Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 11:58 AM, Mike instruggle@... [threeriversaikido] <threeriversaikido@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      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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