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    jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

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    NBK

    Posts : 1060
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    jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:22 am

    Today I brought in a couple of new students to the dôjô: an athletic 30 year old with no martial arts training, and a late 30's gent who'd practiced some jûdô as a kid.

    In covering some basics, one mentioned aikidô and asked how jûdô is different. I responded by showing him some kôryû jûjutsu techniques outlawed in jûdô today but have descendent applications in jûdô and aikidô. Then I showed him some (rudimentary, no doubt) aikidô waza, then said something to the effect that:

    "Jûdô is much more subtle than aikidô. Jûdô often utilizes subtle body or hand motions to create kuzushi in uke rather than the gross motions of basic aikidô taisabaki."

    .... and followed up by showing him much more subtle jûdô techniques that use almost indiscernible-to-the-layman kuzushi in which tori sets up uke for a throw.

    When I practice, which is not nearly often enough, with a certain very senior aikidôka, he'll often smile at some technique of mine and say something to the effect of 'that's jûdô, that's great, but that's not aiki!'

    Probably not explained well, but I'd like to hear from others who've practiced multiple arts on this thesis.

    Thanks,

    NBK

    Y-Chromosome

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by Y-Chromosome on Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:11 am

    Have had a few occasions to spar with Aikido black belts who came to try a class. No real problems dealing with them standing, and on the ground, it was as if they had no training whatsoever.
    One seemed genuinely baffled at how easily I could reverse him and take the top position.
    This is anecdotal of course, and under judo rules, but this was my experience.
    I think aikido relies too much on uke to initiate and to do so in a grand and committed manner. In a real fight things don't really work that way, at least not all the time. Judoka learn to give less and less away the better they get. Even if wrist locks were allowed in randori, I don't think it would sway things that much in their favor. Not an easy thing to pluck a moving wrist out of the air and captitalise on it when the owner is an experienced grip fighter.

    NBK

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:49 am

    Y-Chromosome wrote:Have had a few occasions to spar with Aikido black belts who came to try a class.  No real problems dealing with them standing, and on the ground, it was as if they had no training whatsoever.
    One seemed genuinely baffled at how easily I could reverse him and take the top position.
    This is anecdotal of course, and under judo rules, but this was my experience.
    I think aikido relies too much on uke to initiate and to do so in a grand and committed manner.  In a real fight things don't really work that way, at least not all the time.  Judoka learn to give less and less away the better they get.  Even if wrist locks were allowed in randori, I don't think it would sway things that much in their favor.  Not an easy thing to pluck a moving wrist out of the air and captitalise on it when the owner is an experienced grip fighter.

    Thanks for that response.

    'I think aikido relies too much on uke to initiate and to do so in a grand and committed manner.'

    This is one key, no doubt. In basic aikido, it seems to me that uke does commit, 'in a grand and committed manner' is a nice way to put it, usually reaching out and being off-balance from the beginning.

    This leads back to my point - judo motions required to initiate kuzushi, thus creating an opportunity to throw uke, are often much more subtle than similar aikido motions.

    GregW

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by GregW on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:01 pm

    I know very little about aikido, but I had an interesting experience with a couple of aikido practitioners before launching my judo club.  I had approached a recreation center that had once hosted judo, but the coach there had moved on several years earlier.  The center director was interested, but I had to go through the preliminaries, background check, check my credentials, insurance, etc.  No problem there.

    Then I got a call one day from a man who worked for the city.  He worked in another part of the parks and recreation department, but he helped out sometimes by vetting candidates who applied to teach martial arts for the city.  He held third dan rank in both judo and aikido.  I agreed to meet with him at the dojo where he practiced in another part of the city.  He brought with him another gentleman, a law enforcement officer, who also was a third dan in aikido and judo.  Apparently, the city gets requests all the time from MMA wanna-bes who approach them about teaching judo, jiu-jitsu, etc. so they ask these guys to check out any applicants.  

    While the other fellow was changing, the first guy watched me as I warmed up, did some stretching, and some ukemi to get the feel of the mats.  After reviewing my paperwork (USJA rank certificate, coaching certificate, AAU coaching credentials, insurance info, etc.) he asked me to do some randori with the other gentleman.  However, he made a peculiar request.  He simply asked me to limit myself to osotogari and to attack the other guy.  The other guy could attack with whatever throws he wished.  I thought that was a strange set of limitations, but I figured I'd go ahead and give it my best.

    I was a new shodan, 50-plus years old, fighting against a more experienced, higher-ranking opponent, who was also skilled in an art about whiich I know hardly anything at all.  He attacked several times and I successfully evaded.  I figured he would be expecting a big, powerful attack with lots of kuzushi, which would probably give his aikido-trained reflexes an edge.  Instead, I gently nudged the elbow of his tsurite hand gradually towards his hara, in a very incremental, almost unnoticeable way.  As we turned, his balance was just ever so slightly off center and I moved in to attack.  Wham!  He hit the ground and was surprised at the result.  He looked at the first guy, who was observing and he asked, "Did you see it?"  The first guy shook his head and said, "No.  Try it again."

    We started up again and, once again the guy had great balance and control.  Again, instead of going for a powerful entry, I imperceptibly nudged his tsurite elbow in towards the hara.  This time, he felt the shift in balance and stepped back to correct, leaving me an entry at an oblique angle .  I threw him hard enough that the building shook.  Again, he asked the first guy if he saw it and got the same answer as before.

    After that, we did some randori without the restriction on choice of throws and we had a great time.  I asked what they were looking for and they explained that they typically saw guys with a really powerful, exaggerated kuzushi that flagged them when the attack was coming.  Their aikido gave them the means to defeat that kind of attack.  My more subtle use of kuzushi didn't give them the tactile feedback they were anticipating and I was able to throw my opponent, even though he was anticipating the attack.

    It was good experience for me as a new black belt and a new judo coach, because it gave me a boost in my confidence.  They approved my application to teach in the city's recreation program.  Interestingly, the guy observing later told me that he knew I was legit when he saw me do proper ukemi during my warm-up.  The experience gave me some insight in how to fight someone who had an aikido background.


    Last edited by GregW on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:06 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : fix typo)

    NBK

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:24 am

    That is the sort of input I seek! Thank you.

    Anyone else?

    medo

    Posts : 276
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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by medo on Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:00 am

    Been to a few budo weekends and had Aikido dan grades visit made a few comments of my experiences of them on this forum before.
    Both Judo and aikido are link with the word "throwing" its not like a Judoka up against a professional boxer.
    A competitive Judoka who's main training is through randori with many sizes/standards of Judoka will have a sense of balance and of shifting balance that makes Aikido type randori ineffective, their worst nightmare Razz as his whole game is to throw by accelerating ukes upper body faster than his lower body never had any problem with any aikido practitioner either on a Judo tatami or in aikido dojo their own positioning leaves them wide open. That maybe because the Aikido persons I have encountered over the years had been social club guys who train once a week for an hour and never get past dipping their toes in the water, much the same as a social Judo club that does the same, they tend to know all the throws at a static level with little competition and limited Randori with the few bodies in that club they cannot execute Judo on any attacking /resisting moving target....

    medo

    Posts : 276
    Join date : 2012-12-31

    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by medo on Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:16 am

    GregW wrote:I know very little about aikido, but I had an interesting experience with a couple of aikido practitioners before launching my judo club.  I had approached a recreation center that had once hosted judo, but the coach there had moved on several years earlier.  The center director was interested, but I had to go through the preliminaries, background check, check my credentials, insurance, etc.  No problem there.

    Then I got a call one day from a man who worked for the city.  He worked in another part of the parks and recreation department, but he helped out sometimes by vetting candidates who applied to teach martial arts for the city.  He held third dan rank in both judo and aikido.  I agreed to meet with him at the dojo where he practiced in another part of the city.  He brought with him another gentleman, a law enforcement officer, who also was a third dan in aikido and judo.  Apparently, the city gets requests all the time from MMA wanna-bes who approach them about teaching judo, jiu-jitsu, etc. so they ask these guys to check out any applicants.  

    While the other fellow was changing, the first guy watched me as I warmed up, did some stretching, and some ukemi to get the feel of the mats.  After reviewing my paperwork (USJA rank certificate, coaching certificate, AAU coaching credentials, insurance info, etc.) he asked me to do some randori with the other gentleman.  However, he made a peculiar request.  He simply asked me to limit myself to osotogari and to attack the other guy.  The other guy could attack with whatever throws he wished.  I thought that was a strange set of limitations, but I figured I'd go ahead and give it my best.

    I was a new shodan, 50-plus years old, fighting against a more experienced, higher-ranking opponent, who was also skilled in an art about whiich I know hardly anything at all.  He attacked several times and I successfully evaded.  I figured he would be expecting a big, powerful attack with lots of kuzushi, which would probably give his aikido-trained reflexes an edge.  Instead, I gently nudged the elbow of his tsurite hand gradually towards his hara, in a very incremental, almost unnoticeable way.  As we turned, his balance was just ever so slightly off center and I moved in to attack.  Wham!  He hit the ground and was surprised at the result.  He looked at the first guy, who was observing and he asked, "Did you see it?"  The first guy shook his head and said, "No.  Try it again."

    We started up again and, once again the guy had great balance and control.  Again, instead of going for a powerful entry, I imperceptibly nudged his tsurite elbow in towards the hara.  This time, he felt the shift in balance and stepped back to correct, leaving me an entry at an oblique angle .  I threw him hard enough that the building shook.  Again, he asked the first guy if he saw it and got the same answer as before.

    After that, we did some randori without the restriction on choice of throws and we had a great time.  I asked what they were looking for and they explained that they typically saw guys with a really powerful, exaggerated kuzushi that flagged them when the attack was coming.  Their aikido gave them the means to defeat that kind of attack.  My more subtle use of kuzushi didn't give them the tactile feedback they were anticipating and I was able to throw my opponent, even though he was anticipating the attack.

    It was good experience for me as a new black belt and a new judo coach, because it gave me a boost in my confidence.  They approved my application to teach in the city's recreation program.  Interestingly, the guy observing later told me that he knew I was legit when he saw me do proper ukemi during my warm-up.  The experience gave me some insight in how to fight someone who had an aikido background.

    I have always had difficulty explaining how I did any throw in competition/randori different sizes/experience means instinctive throws modified without thinking.
    Lower grade less experienced then I can, need less speed more control to assist them in ukemi..

    Brainjutsu

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    Join date : 2013-11-15

    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by Brainjutsu on Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:55 pm

    NBK wrote:
    "Jûdô is much more subtle than aikidô.  Jûdô often utilizes subtle body or hand motions to create kuzushi in uke rather than the gross motions of basic aikidô taisabaki."


    It all depends how you define "subtlety" and recognize it in a technique. In that sense, you cannot compare things of different kind. What you see as "gross motions" in aikido are in fact equivalent to gross motions in judo throws, not the "subtle body and hand motions to create kuzushi". Here's an example showing it in an aikido technique:



    As far as the issue of "commitment" goes, aikido and modern judo are based on different premises so their techniques cannot be really compared. However, if you take a more traditional approach to judo as can be seen in nage-no-kata, for example, then you may find quite some similarities between the two.

    noboru

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    differrent ways how we do the kuzushi

    Post by noboru on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:49 am

    I thought that the kuzushi (breaking balance of opponent) in aikido is done using atemi, no taisabaki. Ueshiba sensei quoted, that "Atemi accounts for 99% of Aikido".

    Japanese aikido sensei Nishio Shoji described and demonstrated it very nice in video below.


    I don't practice aikido, but I think that the way how we (today in judo) or they (in aikido) make kuzushi is little bit differently....

    I know some judo explanations of kuzushi when the tsurite goes to the chin or face (in kouchigari, osotogari, sasaetsurikomiashi, some from goshiwaza, etc.), Next tori's body is thrusted to the uke's body (butsugari in osotogari or goshiwaza), Both could be similar as using atemi for better kuzushi. But I think that these ways  - are not "standard explanations in judo".

    During my studying of great Daigo's book about Kodokan Nage waza I have strong sense, that his way of kuzushi is based on action-reaction moving. The waza are described in moving and Tori causes to Uke and uses his reaction for his balance-off and throwing him.

    In this way judo is subtle than aikido - we (may be I only) don't use atemi for kuzushi. But the judo throws and falling of Uke are firmed - my opinion...

    The next questions could be - It was in that time in judo? We should come back to / or adopt some from aikido ways of kuzushi using atemi (is is not for sport match of course)?

    NBK

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:32 pm

    Brainjutsu wrote:
    NBK wrote:
    "Jûdô is much more subtle than aikidô.  Jûdô often utilizes subtle body or hand motions to create kuzushi in uke rather than the gross motions of basic aikidô taisabaki."


    It all depends how you define "subtlety" and recognize it in a technique. In that sense, you cannot compare things of different kind. What you see as "gross motions" in aikido are in fact equivalent to gross motions in judo throws, not the "subtle body and hand motions to create kuzushi". Here's an example showing it in an aikido technique:


    ......  
    Ho, it's nice to see Pranin sensei in action.  Didn't know he still teaches.

    But to me, turning 90 degrees to your opponent or stepping forward over a meter to induce sufficient kuzushi to take uke's balance is hardly subtle.  That really makes my point, I think.  

    noboru wrote:I thought that the kuzushi (breaking balance of opponent) in aikido is done using atemi, no taisabaki. Ueshiba sensei quoted, that "Atemi accounts for 99% of Aikido".

    Japanese aikido sensei Nishio Shoji described and demonstrated it very nice in video below.


    ......
    During my studying of great Daigo's book about Kodokan Nage waza I have strong sense, that his way of kuzushi is based on action-reaction moving. The waza are described in moving and Tori causes to Uke and uses his reaction for his balance-off and throwing him.

    In this way judo is subtle than aikido - we (may be I only) don't use atemi for kuzushi. But the judo throws and falling of Uke are firmed - my opinion...

    The next questions could be - It was in that time in judo? We should come back to / or adopt some from aikido ways of kuzushi using atemi (is is not for sport match of course)?
    Lots in that post....

    Never read that Ueshiba sensei claimed atemi is 99% of aikido.  Do you have a source?

    As for the excellent video, note that a lot of the 'atemi' could be (and should be, in my opinion) regarded as blocking uke's movement or attack.  Tori shows superb timing and spacing, and as the attacks are fairly spirited, he needs to put some energy in his blocks, which look like  (OK, could be considered) atemi.  Most aren't atemi in the sense of inflicting damage on vulnerable points (although there are some later in the tape - shot to the jaw, throat, etc.) but that could be argued either way, I guess.  

    But still, the most important element in those blocks is timing, intercepting and interrupting uke's movement and attack.  That's different from atemi as described by judo, karatedo, and most aikido (AFAIK on the latter), which is to strike vulnerable points in order to harm uke.  Not simply to interrupt a step or attack.  And the targets are largely different, although there are overlapping ones.


    noboru

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    source about Atemi is 99% aikido

    Post by noboru on Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:45 pm

    NBK wrote:Never read that Ueshiba sensei claimed atemi is 99% of aikido.  Do you have a source?

    http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=118924&postcount=18 wrote:
    Re: atemi is 90% of Aikido
    The closest I can find to a direct statement attributed to the Founder occurs on p.38 of Volume 5 of M Saito's Traditional Aikido.

    I quote the English translation:

    "Atemi accounts for 99% of aikido." was a remark once uttered by the Founder. (The actual Japanese reads: Aikidou wa sono 99% ga atemi de aru.) However, Saito Sensei goes on to give some explanation. I introduced atemi at some length in Volume 4. Atemi is virtually omitted in aikido training on the grounds that that preliminary blow should not become a matter of dominant concern. However, there are quite a few cases in which the meaning of a technique is incomprehensible if the attendant atemi is left out. I suggest therefore that, after reading Volume 4, study shoud be made as to when atemi should be delivered in the execution of a technique and (of) cases of omission.

    Note that atemi is not defined in the Japanese text. It is simply a heading. In the English translation, Body blow, prior to applying technique is given in brackets after the heading.
    Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 10-02-2005 at 05:12 AM.
    P A Goldsbury in http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=118924&postcount=18

    Brainjutsu

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by Brainjutsu on Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:27 pm

    NBK wrote:

    But to me, turning 90 degrees to your opponent or stepping forward over a meter to induce sufficient kuzushi to take uke's balance is hardly subtle.  


    Ok, let's break it down a bit.

    The "subtle" part in sensei Pranin's demo is about relaxing his arm upon being grabbed and, yes, also (slightly) changing the position at that very moment (actually Nishio aikido provides a more subtle presentation on this, look it up). The effect of kuzushi created that way is explained at 8:15, because it's not so clearly visible in the fist instance; because it's "subtle". But wait that's not all...Since by grabbing the arm actually represents a trap that the attacker has walked into, it is assumed that the attacker was lulled into it because he didn't see it as such. In that sense defender's actions had to be quite subtle as well. Nobody should expect that the technique would start with the defender shouting: "Here, grab my hand!", right?

    "Stepping forward over a meter" after that is not to induce sufficient kuzushi but to maintain it much like off-balancing has to be maintained throughout judo throw. That part in the video is equivalent of the tsukuri phase in judo. You can find a nice text about continual kuzushi here:

    http://thedifficultway.blogspot.com/2011/01/continual-kuzushi.html

    Without securing kuzushi before stepping forward the opponent could have blocked it.

    Now, from your response I see you claim you can create judo-style kuzushi solely by "subtle" hand movements and not stepping or changing position?! I admit, it's a new thing for me. I guess, these guys should also reconsider their views on the matter:





    I emphasize that kuzushi we're considering here is the one applied in judo where we're limited to push-and-pull motion upon grabbing the gi. In jujutsu, for example, some techniques are based on grabbing the body instead and pressing vulnerable points on it. Trust me, the pain induced that way sets you on your toes right away. However, you must also shift weight in your posture to make it work. Of course, looking from aside you don't realize what is happening because it's so...subtle.

    I could go on with examples but the key point is that discussion on whether judo is more subtle than aikido, or karate or whatever is pointless. Every martial technique contains subtle elements that makes it work. Boxing, for example, appears quite simple - jab, cross, hook and uppercut. Yet, when you're standing against another man who is fighting you as well, to make any of those four pass his defenses you must first employ some subtle movements, positioning, even feints. You don't simply go for a haymaker as if you were punching a bag. Even then, subtle things such as foot orientation or shoulder position play a big role in making that punch count.

    Things must be brought to a same measure to be properly compared. Can we really weigh judo vs. another art on the scale of subtlety? I don't think so. It may appear to us that judo or whatever art employs more of it than some other art but that's probably because we don't fully understand all that actually stands behind elements we can observe at glance. Did you know judo was so subtle before you put the gi on? I know I didn't.

    Best regards





    _________________
    "If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking". George S. Patton

    NBK

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:19 am

    Brainjutsu wrote:
    NBK wrote:

    But to me, turning 90 degrees to your opponent or stepping forward over a meter to induce sufficient kuzushi to take uke's balance is hardly subtle.  


    Ok, let's break it down a bit.

    The "subtle" part in sensei Pranin's demo is about relaxing his arm upon being grabbed and, yes, also (slightly) changing the position at that very moment (actually Nishio aikido provides a more subtle presentation on this, look it up). The effect of kuzushi created that way is explained at 8:15, because it's not so clearly visible in the fist instance; because it's "subtle". But wait that's not all...Since by grabbing the arm actually represents a trap that the attacker has walked into, it is assumed that the attacker was lulled into it because he didn't see it as such. In that sense defender's actions had to be quite subtle as well. Nobody should expect that the technique would start with the defender shouting: "Here, grab my hand!", right?  

    "Stepping forward over a meter" after that is not to induce sufficient kuzushi but to maintain it much like off-balancing has to be maintained throughout judo throw. That part in the video is equivalent of the tsukuri phase in judo. You can find a nice text about continual kuzushi here:

    http://thedifficultway.blogspot.com/2011/01/continual-kuzushi.html

    Without securing kuzushi before stepping forward the opponent could have blocked it.

    Now, from your response I see you claim you can create judo-style kuzushi solely by "subtle" hand movements and not stepping or changing position?! I admit, it's a new thing for me. I guess, these guys should also reconsider their views on the matter:





    I emphasize that kuzushi we're considering here is the one applied in judo where we're limited to push-and-pull motion upon grabbing the gi. In jujutsu, for example, some techniques are based on grabbing the body instead and pressing vulnerable points on it. Trust me, the pain induced that way sets you on your toes right away. However, you must also shift weight in your posture to make it work. Of course, looking from aside you don't realize what is happening because it's so...subtle.

    I could go on with examples but the key point is that discussion on whether judo is more subtle than aikido, or karate or whatever is pointless. Every martial technique contains subtle elements that makes it work. Boxing, for example, appears quite simple - jab, cross, hook and uppercut. Yet, when you're standing against another man who is fighting you as well, to make any of those four pass his defenses you must first employ some subtle movements, positioning, even feints. You don't simply go for a haymaker as if you were punching a bag. Even then, subtle things such as foot orientation or shoulder position play a big role in making that punch count.

    Things must be brought to a same measure to be properly compared. Can we really weigh judo vs. another art on the scale of subtlety? I don't think so. It may appear to us that judo or whatever art employs more of it than some other art but that's probably because we don't fully understand all that actually stands behind elements we can observe at glance. Did you know judo was so subtle before you put the gi on? I know I didn't.

    Best regards

    Thanks for contributing so much to this pointless exercise!

    I think you properly identify a number of issues I hoped to hear from the OP.

    For me, basic aikido practice seems all too often to start from a stacked position. Even though it's seemingly a performance art more than a martial art, uke typically starts by reaching out to grasp tori. From that very motion, that initial position, uke is already off balance, and tori's non-reaction reinforces uke's off-balanced position.

    In much basic judo practice, uke is more in balance, either in shizen hontai, or left or right shizentai (hidari / migi shizentai), therefore less off balance than the initial position of uke in aikido practice. Nevertheless there are opportunities for subtle motions by tori that affect uke significantly. In the best examples, even nage no kata contains, or should contain, subtle motions by tori that affect uke.

    By accident this week I found the below again. EJ Harrison was one of the first Westerners to write in any detail about Japanese martial arts, and was an avid judoka at the Kodokan, living and practicing in Japan between 1903 and 1913. In the passage below, he interviewed Kunishige sensei, a taijutsu sensei, about certain esoteric aspects of judo, taijutsu, and aiki. This was a time when the Kodokan was still expanding its influence through setting tournament rules, and Kano finally got Ministry of Education agreement to include judo instruction in school curricula.

    extract from 'The Fighting Spirit of Japan'

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The Japanese teacher to whom I am most indebted for inspiration on the esoteric aspects of judo and jujutsu was not a member of the Kodokan but a Mr. Nobuyuki Kunishige, a veteran then [immediately prior to 1913] well over sixty years of age belonging to the Shinden Isshin-ryu school of the art. Mr. Kunishige was in those days the proprietor and director of a fifty-mat dojo called the Shidokan, situated in the Shimbashi quarter of the capital of Japan…I should say that Mr. Kunishige taught fencing as well as judo, and was besides an expert in the use of the spear and the iron fan, in archery, swimming and horsemanship; in a word, he was a worthy representative of the old samurai class which did not limit specialization to a single subject….

    Mr. Kunoshige received us in an upper room of the Shidokan, where he delivered his address to an audience composed not only of Mr. Umozawa and myself, but of a dozen or so of his Japanese disciples….a report of which I append, as far as possible translated literally from the original Japanese.

    “…First of all I deem it necessary to draw a clear line of demarcation between judo (or jujutsu) as it is aometimes called) and taijutsu. The latter is a branch of judo and is, I regret to say, too often regarded as synonymous with the latter. It is this taijutsu that is generally taught in judo schools of the present day under the style of judo. Taijutsu is a part but not the whole of judo, for otherwise judo would lose is essential value and become an art hardly worth learning. The distinction between the two arts is this, that whereas taijutsu aims more particularly at physical culture, in which its main value lies, judo seeks to invest its exponents with power over life and death, within certain limits, its secret lying in the wonderful aiki-no-jutsu. Taijutsu, on the contrary, having for its primary object physical culture, does not include in its curriculum ate…while the…methods of resuscitation…are also of the most simple description….

    ….The masters of some schools are inclined to separate judo and seikotsu (the art of bone-setting), but in my school seikotsu is treated as an integral part of judo for obvious reasons.

    ….A rib is especially liable to break when hit with force. Katsu is effective in repairing broken bones when administered within two hours after the infliction of the injury. With the help of aiki the art of seikotsu proves particularly effective in cases where the victim is being treated for ate applied to any of the nine organs [immediately below the nose...under the ears...brain...occiput...solar plexus...under the breasts...under the armpits...the sides, both front and back]….

    ….If the student learns judo at all he should learn it thoroughly, i.e. until he has fully mastered ate and katsu together with seikotsu and aiki (the secret of judo.)….

    ….the student of the martial arts should lay stress upon the shitahara.…By shitahara is meant the cultivation of mental immobility (kokoro wo ugokasanu)….But in addition…students must bear in mind the necessity for shinki (shin is “soul”, “mind”…), for the training of the shitahara. Shin and ki at times separate from each other and at times are joined.”

    At this point the speaker gave a somewhat metaphysical explanation of the manner in which shinki may be controlled in order to eliminate the subject’s consciousness of physical pain…. When you have reached this stage in your [secret] training you may be said to have finished a preliminary course of aiki and, according to Mr. Kunishige, this undertaking offers no insuperable difficulty.

    “When you are really proficient in the martial arts,” the lecturer went on, “you will arrive at the stage described by the old masters as Furai muitsu which may be likened to the facility with which the wind comes and goes without leaving any sign of motion. Still higher stages in aiki may be reached. I myself can practise only a small portion of the last named. But a man who has thoroughly acquired the art of aiki verges on the divine. The clairvoyance so much talked about nowadays [webmaster: a reference to Omoto-kyo and other New Religions?] is nothing but a part of aiki. But aiki can be acquired only by long and patient study, after one has attained the highest degree of proficiency in practical judo feats.

    “In order to study the art of aiki one must learn the method of shinki kiitsu…[mind and ki as unified ki] . The old masters of my school have sayings to the effect that one with full knowledge of aiki can see in the dark, bring walking men to a full stop, or break the sword brandished to slay him….But one who has not learned shinki kiitsu cannot grasp aiki even if taught. The student will do well to train his shitahara until he has learnt to place his ki at his disposal without moving his kokoro…By mesmerism one can place another under one’s influence and compel him to act as one suggests; but the art of aiki is even more certain in its effect….”

    – - - The Fighting Spirit of Japan, E. J. Harrison, Overlook Press edition, 1982, pp. 108 – 116
    *******
    I'll edit later to provide the link, but there are numerous pages that cite this passage. The original version was printed 1913, and was heavily edited in the 1950's version.

    The details are somewhat mangled in the translation (Harrison spoke Japanese to some degree, but had a Japanese collaborator along who took notes and helped him reconstruct what was apparently a very long conversation and demonstration), but Kunishige casually refers to aspects of judo common in the very earliest days of judo history (late 1880's to 1920 - the real technical history of judo doesn't start until Kano shihan starts developing his own curriculum years after founding the Kodokan, where he and others apparently taught bog-standard jujutsu from a number of schools).

    I'm not a great fan of the term ki but taken in context, with an understanding of the history, Kunishige sensei casually notes that there are multiple aspects of judo that are omitted from 'taijutsu'. While he himself also teaches taijutsu, I think it is clear from his unabridged discussion that he is including most Kodokan instruction as 'taijutsu', a subset of judo primarily performed for physical education, and which excludes ate (striking), aiki-no-jutsu, seikotsu, and other aspects that make up 'true judo'.

    When I first read this years ago, frankly it made no sense to me, but after chasing old judo and jujutsu books from the Meiji and Taisho eras for the last 20 years, and practicing both aiki-bujutsu and judo, I think I can discern the outlines of what Kunishige sensei meant. And historically now it makes sense.

    NBK

    Brainjutsu

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by Brainjutsu on Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:08 pm

    Interesting text, though it's the first time for me to see that the word "taijutsu" is used in this way. I guess this refers to what Kano defined as rentai ho. Clearly Mr. Kunishige, belonging to a traditional jujutsu school, disagreed with trend of abandoning traditional methods of teaching as presented in his criticism on the separation of judo and seikotsu, for example.

    NBK wrote:

    For me, basic aikido practice seems all too often to start from a stacked position.  Even though it's seemingly a performance art more than a martial art, uke typically starts by reaching out to grasp tori.  From that very motion, that initial position, uke is already off balance, and tori's non-reaction reinforces uke's off-balanced position.  

    In much basic judo practice, uke is more in balance, either in shizen hontai, or left or right shizentai (hidari / migi shizentai), therefore less off balance than the initial position of uke in aikido practice. Nevertheless there are opportunities for subtle motions by tori that affect uke significantly.  In the best examples, even nage no kata contains, or should contain, subtle motions by tori that affect uke.


    Martial arts are often criticized from the point called "realism" but regardless of what art it is, unless it includes causing real injuries on students then it's not really "real". Since such practice would be completely pointless Wink all martial arts have to depart from it to some degree...and pay a price for it. In traditional jujutsu schools, like Kunishige's for example, practice was known to be quite tough so bone-setting skills were required. Moreover, the number of students willing to endure all the troubles of learning was obviously low as we don't see too many of them nowadays. Kano's approach on preventing injuries rather than treating them and turning the whole practice in a sort of fun by pushing for randori instead of kata, made practicing martial arts more appealing to ordinary people. Aikido was certainly influenced by this resulting in more and less "realistic" practice during its development. Prior to promoting aikido as an "art of peace", Ueshiba was teaching cadets at a military academy and the art of peace came after it. Gozo Shioda, for example, disagreed with it resulting in a different branch of aikido. A problem with Westerners is that they tend to be mesmerized by what they visually observe and don't analyze it from a "realistic" point of view in terms of understanding what it actually represents.

    Comparing aikido and judo is another issue. As I mentioned before they are based different premises. Aikido is a relationship between an attacker and a defender regardless that their interaction appears quite watered down. However, while projecting his power (or energy) forward the attacker is not out of balance because it would render his attack powerless right there. It only turns into a loss of balance when the defender acts upon it by augmenting it beyond attackers ability to control it. Without the augmentation, attacker would simply continue with the attack as proper attack accounts for the need for limit the power projection for the sake of control so the stable position is always retained. Considering aikido's combat origin, the goal is to act upon the attack as soon as possible. Allowing yourself to get in a full grip with the attacker would be really dangerous as it would take him a split second to head-butt you, kick you in the groin or even simply lift you off the ground and smash you against it.

    Judo, on the other hand is a sport meaning that, to make it work, both contestants have to start from the same position in every aspect. Judo also has a combat origin but the initial idea was certainly not to get into a mutual grip and then spend some time in that position trying to catch the right moment to attack. Instead, the application of a throw had to be immediate with the attack. One of the best examples of that is how seoi-nage is performed in nage no kata.

    For the end, my reference on "pointless discussion" was to the actual title of this thread - whether judo is more subtle than other arts. The issue of subtlety, however, is not. In fact, it's exactly where true martial secrets are found.


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    finarashi

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by finarashi on Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:43 am

    I only practiced aikido in my youth. That was time when aikido was just entering our country.

    Is Judo safer than Aikido? I,e, Aikido techniques e.g. wrist lock done with resisting opponent in real randori could lead to injury. Basic Judo techniques (kata apart) can be practiced with full force against resisting static opponent. In that respect Aikido is closer to old jiu-jitsu.

    In Aikido we practice a lot tai-sabaki which practice alas is not too common in Judo.

    Is there Aikido newaza?


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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:27 am

    finarashi wrote:I only practiced aikido in my youth. That was time when aikido was just entering our country.

    Is Judo safer than Aikido? I,e, Aikido techniques e.g. wrist lock done with resisting opponent in real randori could lead to injury. Basic Judo techniques (kata apart) can be practiced with full force against resisting static opponent. In that respect Aikido is closer to old jiu-jitsu.

    In Aikido we practice a lot tai-sabaki which practice alas is not too common in Judo.

    Is there Aikido newaza?
    Good point on the safety of judo, and a key innovation in the development of judo. I had a discussion yesterday with Brian Watson, author of Judo Memoirs, a translation of Kano shihan's bio as recorded by Ochiai in the 1920's Judo magazine. There is a lot of misunderstanding of the history of this development. It's not clear that even the Kodokan records have any answers.

    There exists newaza in aikido to the extent that tori pins uke. Usually at arms length, with tori upright, not using his body. Usually an arm bar, sometimes with a head control, too. So katame waza of a sort. Much is actually legal in judo - I've done it in randori, usually to the shock of tori. But once you do it snd tori realizes he's not safe face down, they'll pull in their arms and it becomes much tougher for aikido-like arm bars.

    NBK

    medo

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by medo on Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:24 pm

    finarashi wrote:I only practiced aikido in my youth. That was time when aikido was just entering our country.

    Is Judo safer than Aikido? I,e, Aikido techniques e.g. wrist lock done with resisting opponent in real randori could lead to injury. Basic Judo techniques (kata apart) can be practiced with full force against resisting static opponent. In that respect Aikido is closer to old jiu-jitsu.

    In Aikido we practice a lot tai-sabaki which practice alas is not too common in Judo.

    Is there Aikido newaza?

    Something of what I tried to explain the title is "playing" and that's what it is, no speed no commitment just a below average social Judo player "plodding" along enjoying doing his ukemi!! (or maybe respecting his sensei who knows?)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqyvdS037rc

    Andre the Judo man if he came to my old club wearing a dan grade It would take me at least a year or two to get him worthy of the grade around his waist. Green/blue with watching his randori efforts here, who ever gave him a dan grade hold your head in shame..

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:33 pm

    medo wrote:
    finarashi wrote:I only practiced aikido in my youth. That was time when aikido was just entering our country.

    Is Judo safer than Aikido? I,e, Aikido techniques e.g. wrist lock done with resisting opponent in real randori could lead to injury. Basic Judo techniques (kata apart) can be practiced with full force against resisting static opponent. In that respect Aikido is closer to old jiu-jitsu.

    In Aikido we practice a lot tai-sabaki which practice alas is not too common in Judo.

    Is there Aikido newaza?

    Something of what I tried to explain the title is "playing" and that's what it is, no speed no commitment just a below average social Judo player "plodding" along enjoying doing his ukemi!! (or maybe respecting his sensei who knows?)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqyvdS037rc

    Andre the Judo man if he came to my old club wearing a dan grade It would take me at least a year or two to get him worthy of the grade around his waist.  Green/blue with watching his randori efforts here, who ever gave him a dan grade hold your head in shame..
    Ooooohhhh..... you picked an interesting example.  Interesting but not necessarily representative.

    The big guy in black off and on is Nick Lowry sensei, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  I understand he primarily teaches a branch of aikido I understand was developed by Karl Geis sensei in Houston, who was a student of Miyawake Tsunako sensei, a high ranking Shodokan Aikido (also known as 'Tomiki ryu aikido' after its founder, Tomiki Kenji sensei) sensei.  I practiced with her some years ago.  At the time she was one of the senior female judoka in the world.  She's since retired from the mats and teaches kiatsu, IIRC.  

    http://www.aikido-world.com/archives/Articles%20Archive/Nick_Lowry.htm

    Lowry's dojo seems to be an odd mix of primarily their small offshoot splinter branch of aikido with some judo.  Clearly they're just tinkering around in the video; I wouldn't judge either one based on this.

    Having said that, you can learn something from Lowry sensei's motion (or the lack thereof...).  Largely upper body only, he's big and strong enough to control (at least this mostly compliant) uke without much taisabaki.  I've seen longer videos of his classes and his motion is primarily hands and upper body, limited mobility / taisabaki.  But I've never seen in person or taken a seminar with him.  

    Anyhow, that lack of mobility is anathema to the core Shodokan.  Taisabaki is very important to the art, which has a very complex set of taisabaki drills that is not evident in the videos I've seen of this school.

    Here's Tomiki sensei with Ohba sensei showing some of what I mean.  The fun starts at 10:00 in the application portion  

    Look how quickly Tomiki sensei moves his entire body.  His upper body / hands finish the techniques but the taisabaki is all important.  Very different from Lowry's movement (although the Tomiki video is not dated I assume it's from circa 1955 when Tomiki sensei was 55yo. )

    medo

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by medo on Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:10 am

    [/quote]
    Lowry's dojo seems to be an odd mix of primarily their small offshoot splinter branch of aikido with some judo.  Clearly they're just tinkering around in the video; I wouldn't judge either one based on this.[/quote]

    Theres playful randori but that is a non competitive player who has no clue how do Judo. Why would a sensei running a club show a video of a crap dan grade who from 2.03 to 5.39 does nothing more than I would expect from a beginner.
    Could it be that Lowry's Aikido would not live up to a skilled Judoka.

    Just look at 2.04 who the hell taught him to attempt a throw with his arm up like that, his seoinage attacks at 2.21 and 2.44 4.09 little more than an 11yr old beginners attempt.

    No wonder Lowry's grinning at 5.11 whole things bit off a joke really.

    Think this video needs challenging and judging If only to say this is not a dan grade doing Judo......

    NBK

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:02 pm

    OK, now that you've thoroughly pointed out that, anything else on the OP?

    Any better examples?

    medo

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by medo on Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:19 pm


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AssByvGVx6s

    Similar to my experience with Aikido possibly an example of a social club Aikido player been doing Aikido many years but never got past that beginner stage!!

    NBK

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:09 am

    medo wrote:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AssByvGVx6s

    Similar to my experience with Aikido possibly an example of a social club Aikido player been doing Aikido many years but never got past that beginner stage!!
    I rather enjoyed that - probably more than Barry the aikidoka! I wonder if he intentionally didn't attack the judoka's wrist.

    finarashi

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by finarashi on Sat Aug 15, 2015 3:19 am

    NBK wrote:
    medo wrote:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AssByvGVx6s

    Similar to my experience with Aikido possibly an example of a social club Aikido player been doing Aikido many years but never got past that beginner stage!!
    I rather enjoyed that - probably more than Barry the aikidoka!  I wonder if he intentionally didn't attack the judoka's wrist.
    Maybe one reason is that Judoka spends large part of their practice time with grip fighting. Aikidoka is used to get a grip and have the uke maintain that grip throughout the move. i.e. old fashioned aikidoka that did judo too were different.

    More philosophical point; what is the relationship with hurting your opponent? You speak of wrist locks. Wrist locks are banned in Judo due to possibility of resisting opponent getting hurt. IMHO Judo tries to eliminate all techniques with which you can cause permanent damage to your opponent. In Judo randori you are frowned if you hurt your opponent. in competition many slight moves actually cause pain.

    Second philosophical point; how much hurting / pain is involved in modern aikido practice? I don't know! If I read some books then the answer is of similar level than in Judo, but ....

    Again I have deep respect with aikido and the pondering is more in line of how we now practice it.


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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by NBK on Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:24 am

    finarashi wrote:
    NBK wrote:
    medo wrote:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AssByvGVx6s

    Similar to my experience with Aikido possibly an example of a social club Aikido player been doing Aikido many years but never got past that beginner stage!!
    I rather enjoyed that - probably more than Barry the aikidoka!  I wonder if he intentionally didn't attack the judoka's wrist.
    Maybe one reason is that Judoka spends large part of their practice time with grip fighting.  Aikidoka is used to get a grip and have the uke maintain that grip throughout the move. i.e. old fashioned aikidoka that did judo too were different.

    More philosophical point; what is the relationship with hurting your opponent? You speak of wrist locks. Wrist locks are banned in Judo due to possibility of resisting opponent getting hurt. IMHO Judo tries to eliminate all techniques with which you can cause permanent damage to your opponent. In Judo randori you are frowned if you hurt your opponent. in competition many slight moves actually cause pain.

    Second philosophical point; how much hurting / pain is involved in modern aikido practice? I don't know! If I read some books then the answer is of similar level than in Judo, but ....

    Again I have deep respect with aikido and the pondering is more in line of how we now practice it.
    First point: my assumption was that the aikidoka could use his standard attacks in such a match.  That means wrist locks.

    I was recently rereading Harrison's 1905 'The Complete Kano Jiu-jutsu' rules, and noted the rules for judo / jujutsu versus boxing specified that the judoka could use all his techniques.  At the time, that included finger and wrist locks.  

    Second: the level of pain really depends on the aikido style and dojo, the individual tori, etc.  In something hard like Yôshinkan aikido, you better learn quickly to respond to joint locks or you can get a very painful, even seriously damaging locks.   Beginners learn very quickly or drop out, or stay on the sidelines with some genial septugenarian. The mainstream instruction is tough, and the dropout rate pretty high, I think.

    Of course, the response herds you towards the throw, as it starts with pain avoidance.  The practical side is of course that an unaware opponent would be seriously injured, with sprained or broken wrists, or broken shoulders from the fall.  


    Something like Akikai is typically much more gentle, guiding to a smooth conclusion, and only builds up to frenetic action with advanced practitioners.

    Same thing, effected differently, different focus and intensity.


    Last edited by NBK on Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:55 am; edited 1 time in total

    medo

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    Re: jJûdô is more subtle than aikidô - and about anything else you can think of

    Post by medo on Sat Aug 15, 2015 4:55 am

    Here's an interesting guy, British to.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VOb2YBBr7E

    It does not look like Aikido to me more Jujutsu with the Atemi?

    The titles interesting.......

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