Aikido an insight

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by Polar Bear, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. aikiwolfie

    aikiwolfie ... Supporter

    I like that idea.

    KOKORO KAI Valued Member


    Koyo you said I am still banging my head against the wall,that is becaiuse I get frustrated at people passing off that so called Aikido in the video's like the one titled on here "fruity Aikido". Rememeber I have not been practising as long as you I still have to make mistakes and learn froim them as I am sure you have done. You talk about basic principles which I agree with, but none were shown on that video. Anyway you are right I will move on now I feel a lot better just popping off to get some of my dad's medicine.:hat:
  3. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    It must be remembered that aiki ken techniques must immediately be effective as empty hand techniques therefor our body movement and depth of cut is different from that of kendo.

    I used to drive shihan Hepburn crazy with constant use of triangular posture which facilitates the entry into hand techniques but is quite unecessary in kendo.

    Kendoka have a far more effective and explosive cut since they do not need to unbalance the opponent. beheading is quite effective in itself.

    All of our empty hand cuts are from one level to another and into a kuzushi this is reflected in the swordcuts.

    It is really the PRINCIPLES of timing distancing control of the centreline and decisive action of spirit technique and body movement as one that are the same.

    Good observation .

    regards koyo

    after I had explaine kuzushi to Shihan hepburn..for a while he became (in) famous for cutting someone then striking them with his body (tai atari) and sending them flying.

    Not to derail the thread BUT shihan hepburn has a wicked sense of humour.
    At one seminar a gentleman appeared with a WHITE kendo armour something only ever worn by hanshi for demonstrations. It must have cost a fortune.

    Shihan hepburn noticed if you cut do and "drew" the shinai along this left a real ugly looking mark....he told shihan can guess the rest.:evil:
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  4. Arnoo

    Arnoo Work in Progress

    Cheers for you answers Koyo, truly food for thought. :cool:
  5. Giovanni

    Giovanni nefarious editor Supporter


    what's the difference between what you teach and say an aikikai school? or is there even a difference?

    wonderful videos by the way.

  6. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Aikikai is not a school of aikido it is the umbrella organisation for the disemination of O Sensei's aikido throughout the world.

    However within that umbrella are numerous approaches that range from very effective to "less than effective" as martial art.

    I was taught by numerous of the original shihan and the approach was aikido riai. This means complete aikido in that it embraces the use of atemi and aiki ken and aiki jo and cross training is encouraged.I do not teach a "style" of aikido as this assumes a preferance I simply continue to train in the manner I was directed.

    I there a difference.? best to view and consider for yourself.

    regards koyo
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  7. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    TOO many teachers

    Asked what do I teach, I tend to reply like my "teachers" I do NOT teach I ask the students to join me in my study of the art.

    Chiba shihan said he had no time to teach so he made his students learn.

    I will show a technique and tell each individual student that they should use it to study either their own basic posture,timing,distancing,unbalancing,openings,defence of the centreline.attack along the line of the "sword".....principles which they must study and "find" for themselves.

    In this manner a group may be performing the same technique but individuals within that group shall be studying that which is most relevant to their training.

    Sensei means one who has gone before or example NOT teacher as we in the west understand it. By giving the student direction and challenge they are encouraged to find their own aikido NOT to become clones or over dependant on the sensei.

    Example from my own training. I asked how to ukemi from irrimi nage.... I was thrown continuously until I (had) learned it. Of course the sensei knew I was capable of learning the ukemi but this was the most direct way to "teach" explanation simply the experience.I taught myself within moments.

    I think it is because many teachers teach THEIR way rather than allow the student to progress and seek out for themselves with some directions, that there are divisions within aikido with some saying they are following the "true" way.

    Aikido is aikido and everyone is different. As long as it is sincere and effective (it IS a martial art) I see no reason for various "schools".

    regards koyo

    As uke I learned far more and faster about the effectiveness and application of technique than I would have simply repeating movement by rote.

    I new instantly not to question the art but to constantly question MYSELF.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2009

    KOKORO KAI Valued Member

  9. Panzerhaust

    Panzerhaust Banned Banned

    Had same experience. Easiest way to learn to fall from iriminage. Jumping it by yourself doesn't work quite the same.

    Also had a similar experience learning to catch a baseball. Father said "I'm throwing the ball at your face." POW!

    I caught it :)
  10. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I found that I felt that my early instructors were Ruthless remorseless BUT completely without malice.

    Ruthless in finding your weaknesses
    remorseless in making you confront them
    without malice because their only interest was in making you progress.

    Most effective way (for some) to progress.

    regards koyo

    KOKORO KAI Valued Member

    Can I ask Koyo were or are like the above with your students.The reason I am asking is sometimes after your practise my dad was a little nackered ?
  12. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


    shinkei mentiones kuzushi phantom power mentions atemi. Here I elaborate.

    Never attempt to throw someone who has not been unbalanced properly first is a basic aikido tenent. I would go further and say never TOUCH someone without unbalancing them.

    This demands that at musubi (instant of contact) the attacker MUST be struck/cut off balance before any technique is attempted.

    Photo one ..Enter triangularly to the side cut the attacking thrust down and strike ura ken to the side of the head.Attacker is unbalanced simultaneously downward and to the side.

    Photo two..he is cut at a right angle to his initial line of attack NOT in the same direction.
    He is drawn across the front of the aikidoka his head thrust down and his elbow thrust over creating the spiral that gives the technique it's name Kaiten Nage.

    At the precise moment the aikidoka thrusts his hip into the THIRD and final kuzushi again throwing the attacker at an ANGLE to his existing motion.

    There are three kuzushi in every aikido technique one to unbalance one to secure and one to deny any counter.

    I use minimum movement triangularly the attacker spins around me NOT the opposite.

    regards koyo

    Attached Files:

    • k1w.gif
      File size:
      94.2 KB
    • k2w.gif
      File size:
      85.2 KB
    • k3www.gif
      File size:
      98.5 KB
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  13. embra

    embra Valued Member

    There is quite a lot going on in the Videos and in the subsequent discussion, but some more comments/questions.

    What I take from this (that hasnt been said allready) - in particular in Video 2, is bringing these principles to together at the initial point of engagement (Triangular Entry and Posture, Atemi, initiation of unbalancing, timing), in order to set up the rest of technique's execution meaningfully (step1 in comment 72.)

    From memory (as I know longer practise Aikido regularly - but it remains of interest to me), I recall that the overerall manner of initial engagement must include a certain measure of spirit/energy focus/channelling -something like an internal corkscrewing motion in the lower stomach area, driving from the feet upwards, in order to make the cutting effective. I may be over-elaborating the description here (or plain wrong), but its the best I can do.

    As stated in earlier comments, similar principles apply in other arts. Skilled Boxers typically disrupt the opponents attack, in order to setup their attack i.e. disturb rather unbalance, if you want.

    What would be of interest to me here, is some description of the difference between irimi/omote and tenkan/ura at step 1 i.e. what is that uke does and tori must react to, that causes the difference?

    The turning of uke (in non-aikibunny mode) by tori, particularly in tenkan/ura, and in taisabaki movement; for me forms the basis of what makes Aikido somewhat unique in its spatial awareness in relation to multiple dangers/attackers. It is only possible to get to this through a great deal of effort and experience of continous re-examing basic concepts and principles. I am sure koyo will correct/expand upon these points.

    In Video 3, Shihan Hepburn presents from the Kendoka perspective, some usefull pointers about Sword postures and there were usefull comments as well. Further into this, I would like to ask about Kendo (which I have absolutely no experience of whatsoever.)

    1) Form a simplistic observation, Kendoka always seem to have faster cuts and footwork than Aikidoka. Is this due to practising with a shinai (more than with boken?), and/or is there a different technique than say Aikido suburi cutting?
    2) Once one has gotten over crashing lobsters and mating helicopters, can Kendo improve the Aiki-ken of Aikidoka? Kendoka always look like they have more energy in their cutting, but I imagine thay are sweating away, breathing hard inside their armour, like Aikidoka.
  14. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    In budo there is the saying "everything begins in seigan" meaning the attitude of the sword which sees an explosion from the ground through the legs to the hips. The actual feeling is like thrusting the hips forward and "allowing" the feet to move naturally beneath them. Moving the weight from one foot to another as in walking (plodding) is not used.


    Ura is a negative body movement used when the attacker mounts a powerfull attack which cannot be redirected or pre-empted by the aikidoka. An over dependance on ura as seen in many dojos is NOT desirable. Those who train in this manner are called "hesitants" since they "wait" for an attack.A powerfull budoka shall see this and mount multiple attacks to overcome them.The only time I shall use ura is if someone manages to resist omote then I MAY use ura to redirect their strength.

    When ura is applied it MUST immediately lead to omote to be effective.The aikidoka MUST NOT spin turn or spiral around the attacker.

    As mentioned kendo cuts are faster than aiki ken since they need only impact upon the opponent while aiki ken is intent on striking through to unbalance.

    Many principles of kendo are most valuable to aikidoka such as the sen principles of moving aside and unbalancing cutting/pre-empting the attack and unbalancing and striking through his intention to attack. Check out bokken basics aiki ken thread for a deeper explanation.

    I would say that the approach to aikido riai is more martial in it's aspect than many other approaches and it is from aikido riai point of view that I post.

    regards koyo

    below using ura to avoid the right jab. had I attempted to catch the hand to apply a technique I would have been caught by a left cross.Instead the left hand is pre-empted and an atemi used to unbalance (instantly returning to omote) this would lead to ikkyo on the left arm of the attacker.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  15. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    It is a bit like making a sword. You MUST have the right material....someone who has a true desire and spirit to learn.(they are always in the minority)

    Then the "impurities" are beaten out by placing it/him in the fire. (hard demanding training)

    TOO much beating and it breaks not enough an it is weak. Tommo chose to beat himself really hard against me and I was pleased to "accomodate" him.

    His excellent standard is down to his own sincere effort. Simply keep the student out of their comfort zone and present them with realistic challenges.

    My own early training by today's standards could be seen as severe however I was to be Chiba shihan's Scottish representative.

    Severe training is there but only for those who have the desire and spirit.However sincere effort ii demanded of everyone.

    Below ara waza training..few reach this level . Chris also cross trains in Muay Thai.

    regards koyo

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009

    KOKORO KAI Valued Member

    Thanks for the above reply Koyo, it is interesting.It also has given me things to think about.
  17. asher987

    asher987 Valued Member

    Great Video

    Just watched the entire video (3 parts). Thank you!!! Very impressed with your excellent posture, Koyo and minimum movement to achieve the objective.

    Warm regards and appreciate you sharing a part of yourself.

    Had difficulty in picking up the sound is there a way of improving on audio?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  18. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Thanks asher and again welcome to MAP.

    Your mention of posture and minimum movement caused me to think of a remark regarding taisabaki as an effective means of countering multiple attack.

    The attackers should be caused to turn around the aikidoka NOT the opposite is a fundamental principle and yet I have heard of,and seen scenarios wherein the aikidoka is "spinning like a top and anything touching him is spun off"

    This is against the principles of taking someones balance breaking their posture and timing and pre-empting their attacks.
    During a discussion on aikido where I said that aikido was a triangular art NOT circular Sekiya shihan corrected me by saying "Aikido IS a circular art BUT the circle has no diameter"
    This spoke of powerfull posture and minimum movement.

    Against multiple attackers the principle is to keep one between you and the others as you seek an avenue of ESCAPE. The longer you engage the easier it is for opponent's to see your manner of engagement. Multiple attacks? Avoid and escape.

    Below in a DEMONSTRATION of taisabaki in multiple attacks it can be seen that my next move MUST be to enter to the left of the nearest opponent.Even if I can deliver a powerfull atemi it is most doubtfull that he shall go down and STAY down.Should I start to spin around I shall be in real trouble.

    I personally feel that to survive multiple attacks the budoka must be far superior in general fitness and fighting spirit to the attackers. If they are experinced fighters then escape is the only option.

    regards koyo
    It was Polar bear who posted the videos and he who should be thanked for their appearance here on MAP. I do not have any sound on mine and do not know how to remedy this.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  19. embra

    embra Valued Member


    First of all I couldn't find the thred in your text 'Check out bokken basics aiki ken thread for a deeper explanation.'

    Secondly in note 78, there are 2 ways to look at this tight spot, from the angles, postures and intentions of Tori and Ukes 1,2 and 3 (left to right.)
    1) On Tatami with Aikidoka: Going outside of uke2 on Tori's left looks dodgy as uke1 looks big, mean, ugly and full of intent to clobber Tori - Tori's back cannot be turned to uke1 and uke2's potential right side attack must be neutralised. On the face of it, it looks like Tori could go inside (or maybe sideways - Tori's right -slightly to make space) against uke 2. From the entirely static view, if executed effectively this would appear to give Tori an inch or 2 of distance against the charge of uke1, but uke3 will be starting to attack again from behind by this time.
    A swift 2 stage step between uke1 and uke2 may provide an escape route, but its risky. My preferred option here would be a retreat, trying to get one of them into a vulnerable angle to exploit i.e. to escape.

    2) On the street: Thug3 is effectively out of it -I cant see him doing a nice ukemi on Buchannan street - unless he is an Aikidoka - in which case he is a kind of Yakuza Aikidoka. However Thug1 and Thug2 are still dangerous, and the strategies above still apply. Tori will be under a lot more strain and pressure. Aikido breathing and a calm mind can aid superior spirit and fighting capability, but only slightly. All in all its a nasty situation. I still reckon retreating with controlled footwork, looking for a better angle to exploit is the safest option. Thug1 might overextend himelf, reading his intentions statically here, a few seconds (if that) earlier. One thing that may help here is Aikidoka/General MA footwork. Its unlikely that Thug1 or Thug2 know triangukar footwork unless they are in the local Triad/Yakuza team - but they may well know some boxing or something similar - so its not a given. that Tori can surprise them e.g. outrageous forward ukemi between them and away (as they come a little bit closer.)

    Taisabaki and effective movement, footwork etc will improve your chances against multiple attackers, but only very slightly - like +1% maybe? - but its better than nothing. Its only by training with these concepts that awareness and capability improves.

    I have seen similar concepts at work in FMA and to a lesser extent in TaiChi, but my overall impression is that Aikido seems to train for these type of situations somewhat more effectively.

    I am happy to be corrected!
  20. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Type in bokken basics aiki ken in the search button above this page.

    Uke 2 is going to reach me first.moving to the left of uke 2 brings him between me and Derek (mr did you know?) and is in fact what I did. passing between them would get me killed.In a serious fight uke 2 would have been struck and thrown into the path of uke1.

    The longer you engage opponent's the longer they have to assess your abilities.Retreating would give them this.

    Musubi the instant of contact MUSt result in a strike and unbalancing of the opponent.
    Below photo 1 shows the attack cut aside and the atemi to bring his other hand up in defence this is the way aikido techniques SHOULD be trained.

    Ara waza (not shown on the videos) which would be used in multiple attack or serious one on one encounter calls for the techniques to be applied almost three times as fast and more direct than normal training and emphasises atemi. Photo 2 shows the same entry but it is "tighter" and the "blocking" hand continues toward the face while the atemi goes INSIDE his defence uppercut to the chin.

    In a serious situation..attack at all times ,show a superior fighting spirit to the attacker/s and, dominate the situation. If you cannot make an escape retreating is NOT an option.

    regards koyo
    photo 3 from the same demonstration shows one uke being used to attack/block off the others

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009

Share This Page