Koyo's Book

Discussion in 'Aikido' started by aikiwolfie, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    For an art to be considered a MARTIAL art the training should emphasise fighting spirit therefore ALL attacks must be powerfull,acurate and determined.

    ATTITUDE is the key word. There must be a sense of danger and the training just out of the comfort zone for beginners.

    A beginner shall look at a potential attacker attempt to present a kamae with no openings try to see the attack and provide a counter. An advanced student shall be looking for any openings that he himself may attack.

    beginners are told "have only one thing in your mind the desire to ATTACK AT ALL TIMES."

    Below gerry is about to attack me,you can see the commitment (attitude) in the second photo David is about to be attacked again you can see the attitude. Without the serious sincere attitude to training there is no MARTIAL in the art,

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    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  2. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Attack at all times show a stronger fighting spirit than the enemy and destroy his will to continue.

    This is a fundamental principle of swordsmanship and Japanese martial arts in general.

    Therefor EVERY technique begins with an atemi at the instant of contact to unbalance the opponent.

    The original aikido techniques were developed by swordsmen and contain sword principles such as attack along the enemy's line of attack. body alignment defends even moreso than the sword/arm.

    Another principle of the sword that I do not see used properly if at all is tsurugi. The instant before the sword cuts the hands make a small wringing motion on the sword hilt to centre/ stabilise the sword. Also the japanese sword cuts on the push or pull it does not strike like a hammer.

    The atemi below shows the entry and the use of a shomen strike (handblade to the centre of the head/face) for safety sake the strike hit high on the chest to drive him into the kuzushi. Second photo shows the strike arching around the defence.There is a push or pull effect to all strikes they do not simply focus on the target but cut through.

    ALL of the elements of swordsmanship are there. Body.intent and technique as one instinctive action. On contact the hand not only strikes but uses a push or pull motion to drive the recepient off balance as well as stun.ALL techniques must begin in this manner.

    Token strikes must NEVER be used therefor the uke must be trained in defending his centreline when attacking as an atemi is inevitable.

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    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  3. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


    Kote gaeshe showing the initial entry and atemi. Unbalancing over the edge of the foot and applied on the wrist where it lies. Hope this clarifies.

    I do NOT spin around the attacker ALL movement is triangular.

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  4. embra

    embra Valued Member

    My interpretation of whats happening here :-

    pic 1:enter outside jizen (simultaneous attack/defence) with atemi to unblance/disrupt his attack/spirit.

    pic 2: angle into uke (changing posture from right to left lead - mini hanmi change?) onto, still with jizen and atemi (second strike if necessary), taking uke's balance (transiently.)

    pic 3: reverse angle back (small hanmi change back?) into uke with spirited alignment (not trivial) and with both hands taking uke's blade arm back directly into him, along the attack line (that tori lined-up).

    Tricky bit:- making sure uke doesnt swing bak into you.

    More or less ...

    For me, kote-gaeshi is a difficult technique to apply by intent, but it could happen by opportunity. Hence, it is worth working on in training. I have experienced similar (90%) techniques in TaiChiChuan and Eskrima - and experienced the same difficulties.
  5. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    If the wrist is turned where it lies and the atemi knocks his head back. He cannot turn into you.Done properly the wrist turns the elbow that effects the shoulder,With his balance already gone..he WILL go where I want him too.


    Do not twist his WRIST twist his HIPS.

    Note uke's arm is at a 90% angle.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  6. embra

    embra Valued Member

    In my understanding, all locking should be employing the same principle of locking all the joints - not just the wrist. There is something of an art to making this 'happen' and a lot depends on timing, taking the opening and alignment; but I m writing beyond my ability! It does come, but kind of in snatches - its difficult to bring it to bear all the time.
  7. boards

    boards Its all in the reflexes!

    I was looking at a thread on another website about HEMA and it talks about how the masters emphasize comitted attacks that force the opponent to defend rather than counter attack, but that students often make shallow probing attacks. Do you find that to be a problem with students and how do you teach against it if you do?
  8. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    The ability to go from aware to all out explosive attack is self defence principle. So if someone is "probing" We shall attack him powerfully.

    The hope is that we can avoid conflict but when that is impossible we must mount a POWERFULL attack with no thought of defence or"competing".

    If two martial artists were to attempt to "compete" in this manner both would most likely be injured.

    I shall go into this deeper in the future but aikido is NOT a "waiting art". Those who wait for an attack are called "hesitators". A single attack rarely comes more often it is a continuous attack.

    Below Chris (for once) was hesitant in his attack and I simply cut through him.

    Incedently we are all long time cross trainers in the Makotokai and have enjoyed competative arts however the mind set is different for self defence.

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  9. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Cross training shall show how it is "possible" to probe in a competative manner.

    However if you attempt that in a competition against one who has an explosive attitude to competition you shall not last very long.

    Cross training is often seen as a modern development however ALL of the early budoka were crosstrainers. Below a page from crosstraining for aikidoka which appeared in Fighting Arts International.

    I submitted that some twenty odd years ago. The gentleman with me like myself trained in shotokan at the time.

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  10. embra

    embra Valued Member

    With regard to cross-training, 2 basic questions.

    1) How to train (from Aikido perspective) against a strong retracting punch e.g. a) Karate yaki-tsuki (spelling?) and b) against boxers jab? Clearly the simple answer is: - just do it!

    2) How to train against follow-ups e.g. fast retracting jab, followed up by cross - rather than just straight lung punch/tskui? - again just do it!
  11. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    I intend to go into maai in more detail. The main theme being NEVER fight in maai.

    For the moment slip the jab to the outside covering the next possible attack BUT since attack and defence are one a powerful strike to the ribs to pre-empt the cross hook.

    Or again slip and cover the jab BUT engage the other hand by attacking the face.

    Get off line and unbalance to pre-empt the second punch.

    The initial contact is only part of the overall technique which should include powering through the opponent.

    DO NOT box a boxer..those guys shall eat you.

    FACT of crosstraining. If you face experienced guys at their own game they shall own you. What better way to learn your weaknesses?

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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  12. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Maai - 'distance'
    Zanshin - 'awareness'

    I recall the 2 being tied in togther, and often getting splatted because some aspect of the 2 was 'wrong'.

    Maybe you can explain the relationship a bit more?
  13. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    At an advanced level the intent is to strike through the opponent's intention to attack. Meaning take the attack to him. This is most difficult or indeed impossible for those who teach aikido as a responcive/waiting art.

    Maai is a distance wherein BOTH can attck or defend. It is used at the very beginning to study balance and body alignment.

    In self defence we must be either just out of reach or too close (having entered and struck) maai is more like "duking it out".

    Below Derek has not been positive enough in his approach therefore I attack him breaking the maai and enter behind him to throw.I began the movement from just outside his reach.

    Zanshin allowed me to "sense" his lack of commitment rather like somone probing so I make an all out asault.

    Zanshin is awareness and attitude but it MUST carry the intention to strike instantly when an opening appears or begins to appear,Another principle shown here is awase (rather than harmony) where I break the rythm between us by moving much faster than he.

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  14. embra

    embra Valued Member

    So Maai and Zanshin are further tied-in with timing, spirit and stamina?
  15. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    The first technique showed the use of a wide ma (distance) the technique below shows the escape from maai (mutual distance).Closing with the attacker.The technique used is ikkyo.

    It MUST be remembered that these are a self defence actions and the intent is to go through the attacker NOT to "engage".

    Zanshin is awareness before during and after the technique it is part of the attitude (ki) of the aikidoka. If you lack awareness NOTHING else is of value.

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    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  16. afhuss

    afhuss Valued Member

    Think ma ai(間合), vice maai. Ma (間: distance) as Koyo noted and ai (合: fitting together). Sometimes (by my karate teacher, at least) its is referred to as "proper distance." Meaning the distance that is proper for whatever technique you are using. At beginning levels (again, I'm repeating Koyo) its a set distance for easy to do/teach/correcting students....whereas once that distance is comfortable to practitioner they are more free to interpret their own distance (for dojo with regimented kihon waza, not all are this strict). Granted, I missed the kenshu lecture on ma ai in my aikido training so most of this is from my karate background. I will make a note to ask my teacher his ideas on ma ai relationship to aikido and see what he says as I am curious.

    Not sure what you mean by tying in with spirit, but it compliments timing, zanshin, and other aspects that make up technique.

    Ma ai is also sometimes 間合い
  17. afhuss

    afhuss Valued Member

    To reiterate and caveat off Koyo;

    Awareness is super important in budo. Much of my uchi deshi training focused on this concept....and it was often practiced 'off the mat.' Much of the activities that seem deifications of a teacher are (for me) episodes of awareness training. Can I determine what my teacher needs before even he does? Grabbing a stack of rank certificates to be signed, or preparing nafuda to be hung/moved on the wall before my teacher asks...ensuring guests are taken care of before they have to ask. Above that, I often had awareness training homework to do while uchi deshi....involving nothing at the dojo. These are examples of awareness training in everyday life. The main reason I train iaido is to enhance awareness in my aikido.
  18. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.

    Thanks for the input.

    We are off to do a demonstaration and hour long class at a sankukai karate seminar on the 27th of this month. Should be interesting, crosstraining always is.
  19. embra

    embra Valued Member

    One without the others is unlikely to be of much use - particularly at close quarters - when the maai is very close and small changes in movement dictate a necessity of instant adaption and purpose.

    However, sometimes its helpfull to look at these aspects somewhat independently. In my case, re-discovering Aikido - slowly - along with other MA - it is essential to go to the primal elements - there is one heck of a lot to shake rust off and reinterpret - my original Aikido epoch was from 1980-1986.

    Last night 2 minutes walk from my work in the North of France, I stumbled upon an Iwama Aikido dojo, which was great!
  20. koyo

    koyo Passed away, but always remembered. RIP.


    Aikdo is a self defence art therefor EVERY technique or strike should be practical in a multiple attack or weapon attack scenario. We MUST NOT train techniques "separately" as in these are against empty hand while these are against weapons etc.

    If anything other than the maai needs changing to make a technique effective then that technique is wrong.

    This puts the lie to large circular movements on the aikidoka's part and illustrates clearly that aikido is a "triangular" art.

    I shall go into this in more detail.

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