Aikijujutsu!

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Re: Hakama, revelations, grading, and the Seven Virtues of B

Postby rne02 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:54 pm | #46

JitsuJin wrote: I asked at the end if that's how gradings were at this club, and to my joy, they are. When you're ready, you're ready. I like this as it means that you don't have to pay any thought to the process of grading, and instead you can simply train to improve, as it should be.

Agree with you there, possibly something worth discussing in a different thread.  I am sure that's how they do it in BJJ as well.  It gets rid of a few problems, probably creates some as well mind, everything has it's pro's & cons.
If you can't do it with a fag or a shot glass in your other hand, it's not a proper judo hold.
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby nry » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:43 pm | #47

I feel we've shared a few similar eureka moments :)

Never heard the term tai sabaki, but yes, it is key to, well, everything for Motoha as well.
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby captaintau » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:24 pm | #48

nry wrote:Never heard the term tai sabaki

"Body movement."

The problem with the term is can mean a specific motion (as in the crescent step / reverse crescent (or figure-3 step) motion or it can mean pretty much any body movement. Tenkan Undo (evasion to the outside exercise) could be a classed as a Tai Sabaki
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby nry » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:32 pm | #49

Ta :)  Good old Google explained it quickly before I posted the above :)
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:57 pm | #50

thauma wrote:Hakama - a great feeling when you first wear them. I remember my first few sessions with them, feeling so proud, and catching a sneaky glance in the mirror to see if I looked as good as I felt.

Having tried hard not to trip up I was rewarded with a cool feeling of superiority.

Needless to say it didn't last, as in the 5th session or so  with them, and having been lulled into a false sense of security by not falling over previously. When demonstrating a forward rolling breakfall, I managed to get my feet tangled upon getting up and then demonstrated an ad-hoc front break fall, fortunately not a full on face-plant…… I laugh now, but was rather red-faced at the time - Oh the honour of wearing Hakama and the spotlight of being an instructor.

So I guess the moral of the story is - watch out because Hakama are sneaky ninja assassins, and they will get you when you're not expecting it.

Enjoy your training, and be prepared to break fall at any time……..


Sorry to hear about your gravity related complication :) I love my hakama as it seems to make everything flow easier with tai sabaki. I definately see it as a training aid. I have kinda stepped on it a couple of times when working on techniques, and today learned not to "run" to the side of the mat unless you want to faceplant into the window/wall/whatever. Fortunately I saved myself and no one was looking :D
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Re: Hakama, revelations, grading, and the Seven Virtues of B

Postby JitsuJin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:00 pm | #51

rne02 wrote:
JitsuJin wrote: I asked at the end if that's how gradings were at this club, and to my joy, they are. When you're ready, you're ready. I like this as it means that you don't have to pay any thought to the process of grading, and instead you can simply train to improve, as it should be.

Agree with you there, possibly something worth discussing in a different thread.  I am sure that's how they do it in BJJ as well.  It gets rid of a few problems, probably creates some as well mind, everything has it's pro's & cons.


Indeed, I'll likely start a thread on it shortly, as I was waiting for any further developments (which there have been). Also there have been similar threads, so I'd have to be mindful not to tread too much over old ground. :)
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:04 pm | #52

nry wrote:I feel we've shared a few similar eureka moments :)

Never heard the term tai sabaki, but yes, it is key to, well, everything for Motoha as well.


According to Sensei, that would indicate that what we do is true to the roots of all jujutsu/aikido/yawara etc. I'm very much enjoying the feeling of revelation after revelation. Tonights session was no exception..
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:43 am | #53

Session number 9.

What can I say? It was great for all of the reasons I've enjoyed the previous sessions, and then some. I've been a little under the weather for the past few days but managed to pick myself up and get to training tonight, and I'm almost frightened of how much I would have missed out on if I didn't...

Second session with the hakama and I've forgotten how to tie it, and so spent much of the session adjusting it. It does look pretty sweet though, as I had a look in the mirror today for the first time (not ever.... but wearing the hakama :D ). After the usual warm ups minus sumo squats, we did the usual bokto wrist and cutting exercises and with the latter I feel I made a considerable leap by simply sinking my weight more at the end of kesagiri (diagonal cut).

Ok, following that was the main bulk of the session as usual, but today Sensei decided to look at a few things from the syllabus for yellow and I think orange also (5th and 4th kyu, our first two kyu grades). Of course for obvious reasons my ears pricked up at the sound of "syllabus" and as I expected they don't go through it often in a systematic fashion, though she also said that we do need to know them at some point or another. I think you may also be able to get a copy of the syllabus if you request one, though as I'm enjoying the refreshing change of pace and focus, I don't think I will.

The first thing we worked on was a rather peculiar walking exercise where the steps kind of slide out in circular sweeps, with little heel turns at the end (though done with the hip and most weight on the back leg). I can see how it could be useful, and I think I remember Sensei saying that shihonage was in there though that may have been with something else. We worked on this for long enough for me to get the gist.

Following on from that we did something called "go no sen" which means "late early" or something like that. The principle of this is one that has been constantly drilled into me since beginning my training here, and is simply that once they have grabbed you it is too late (and another technique is required). The grab can be analagous to a punch also. What we did to practise go no sen was a simple tai sabaki at the instant the attackers hand made contact. We couldn't move too early as we kind of wanted them to just about make contact and then use that to our advantage. Very subtle, and it was nice to spend some time looking at that concept exlusively. Well almost exclusively, as I found a chunk of my cognitive processing being concerned with the all pervading tai sabaki. I asked a question about it as I was training with a friendly nidan, and he very kindly showed me that it was a simple tai sabaki I'd already learned, just with a sliding step forward first.

The third item we looked at from the syllabus was described as an exercise that is also a technique. Essentially from forearm to forearm contact, tai sabaki out of their field of vision and do a spirally descending throw thing. I forget the name, but apparantly the yakuza use this same basic technique when working in groups to get people on the ground. Now for this technique I was working with the awesome Godan Sensei (YES!) and I was more than chuffed when he picked me out very decisively. Now, I'd seen this technique I think in my first session, I'd have to check my posts to be sure, so I had some understanding as I'd tried it previously. As 'always' though my level of understanding of Aikijujutsu techniques compared to Awesome Godan Sensei's, doesn't really deserved to be called understanding. Again, from the limited time I had with him I learned an immense amount. I was 101% focused on what he was communicating to me, and what I was trying to do. It paid off as I was pulling of the technique pretty well at least on one side, and ok on the other, and he seemed to notice and appreciate the effort. So many things to take in. I especially liked the fact that this technique requires you to move like a ninja and exert no real force. There's no grabbing for anything either (obviously with it being this style), but rather just letting your hands fall at the right spot. Also, I learned more about the nature of our Aikijujutsu in that any perceived tension or force or fluctuation of energy (for example an inconsistent movement that slows down or speeds up) is bad, as this sends signals to your attacker which they will instinctively act upon with resistance. I'd been told this before, but the specific technique he was referring to revealed another dimension. Great stuff!


Ok next up from the syllabus was a defence against a "wrist grab" which of course can be used for other things. Simple tai sabaki, and a not so simple tai sabaki using the cutting motion. I've done this one maybe 4 times in total now, and this session I had it down. My partner was another friendly and helpful nidan, so I was confident my technique was in capable hands. Not much to say about this one really. Nailed it :-) . I remained focused though and just put the reps in, and we both had a really good go at it because of how efficient we were.


After that I was working with the first nidan again (yudansha ftw!) working on shihonage. Remember that revelation I had regarding the footwork for shihonage? Well yes, I was correct. My entry into shihonage looks great, feels great, and is effective. The actual footwork OF shihonage is another matter entirely, and where I currently fall down (not literally, though I do have to watch my hakama, lol). I do really like this technique, and I experimented a bit with sinking even lower, and that just makes it more effective. On much shorter people I'd have to be able to do that anyway. There was some interesting discussion about the two different ways we do shihonage at our club; one with our arm mirroring (and underneath) ukes arm, and one where we simply "hold" (but not really hold as its simply resting it between the thumb and forefinger) the elbow joint. I think it boiled down to the positioning of the elbow dictating effectiveness. More work on the footwork for me, but other than that I have it down. All in good time :)

Sixth technique, sixth yudansha :) . Ikkyo. Ikkyo... I cannot do Ikkyo. It looks so simple, but I just have'nt physically been able to do it. I tell a lie, I have a couple of times today when I've had the head instructor (rokudan) watching and pointing little bits out, but on the whole I suck brutally and without logic at this technique. I'm going to do some serious research, which will be difficult as "the internet generally sucks at Aikido (its pointless to say aikijujutsu because no one really does it in the west, and aikido tends to be closer than the styles that say they do)". I'm a beginner and even I can see some of the glaring deficiencies in their technique. Anyway, I suck at Ikkyo.

After that, I was uke for a demonstration of a technique I don't remember by the second friendly helpful nidan, and then uke for a shihonage related demonstration by Awesome Godan Sensei. During this I was complimented by the head instructor on my breakfalling, and afterwards I was complimented on the same by the helpful nidan. And yet more breakfall compliments at the end of the session. This pleased me for the obvious knee jerk ego reasons, as well as the fact that it means they know I'm robust enough to train with freely without having to worry about my wellbeing, and thus 'compromising' their training. This brings me to my next point and the thing I'll remember most about this session. It may seem a bit vain to say this, but I do feel that everyone I trained with today really enjoyed training with me. Not just because it was more or less said afterwards, in a convincingly genuine mannar, but because I could literally see them enjoying the training more than I'd seen or noticed in the past. Now of course this could just be that they're pleased to see me progressing, though on a related note it could be that simply being more able, makes it more enjoyable to train with me.

At the end of the session, much like the previous session, two students were called up and awarded their 5th kyu. This kind of ties in to my thread Unecessary Confusion- http://www.planetjitsu.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18485 where I'll probably expand on this a bit, but due to the club currently not having any yellow obi in stock, one of the two recipients was actually already 5th kyu and had been for some time  :lol:  Much laughter ensued

Lastly, after packing away the mats I received a ton of compliments on my progress, even from the two instructors. I get the feeling that if I had a license (I should have got one this session or last, as theirs covers new students for a month) I may have been graded either this lesson or last. I'll probably get a license sorted at my next session. I definately wish to continue training at this club. :D
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby nry » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:52 am | #54

If nothing else you seem to save me writing anything as by all accounts, this style continues to appear very very similar to Motoha :)

The whole late-early thing is another link, it is all based on touch, if you let them get a hold it's too late - at least, too late for one technique anyhow.  I've not played with it too much, but there is a timing delay between grab and consolidate grip - you're aiming to be doing something before the grip is consolidated.  Ideally, before the grab too as (for example) the movement of the attacker to grab your collar is almost identical to a punch, the same principles apply for both.

Have you done anything with controlling the attack's direction through control of the limb etc. performing the attack?  Front kick for example - a simple touch to the inner thigh (difficult to describe) knocks the kick off line enough to miss, but it needs to be done within the whole late-early principle - a half step ahead of the attack I guess, acting on the initial movement of the kick and not simply waiting for it.
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:27 pm | #55

nry wrote:If nothing else you seem to save me writing anything as by all accounts, this style continues to appear very very similar to Motoha :)



Awesome, I try to be fairly thorough and descriptive with the posts as I feel its more useful that way. I like the fact that you're able to make comparisons too, as it gives me a little more insight into what I'm doing. The same goes to anyone who gets something out of this and feels like commenting. :) .

nry wrote:
The whole late-early thing is another link, it is all based on touch, if you let them get a hold it's too late - at least, too late for one technique anyhow.  I've not played with it too much, but there is a timing delay between grab and consolidate grip - you're aiming to be doing something before the grip is consolidated.  Ideally, before the grab too as (for example) the movement of the attacker to grab your collar is almost identical to a punch, the same principles apply for both.



Ah yes, reading this comment I remember the nidan I was working with on that, talking about the need to create "space" or a gap between the attackers palm and your wrist. It seems like something I'll get to look at in more detail in the future. The great thing about this club is that I need only to mention it and I will have it explained at great length (and with considerable enthusiasm too). Moving before the grip is consolidated would help to create that gap to prevent it from being so, and also provide the window of opportunity needed. It's a neat concept.


nry wrote:Have you done anything with controlling the attack's direction through control of the limb etc. performing the attack?  Front kick for example - a simple touch to the inner thigh (difficult to describe) knocks the kick off line enough to miss, but it needs to be done within the whole late-early principle - a half step ahead of the attack I guess, acting on the initial movement of the kick and not simply waiting for it.


Not that I can remember, though we generally use tai sabaki to avoid being there when the strike comes in. With a round house punch for example, we use a turning step (I think specifically it's irimi) to "continue the other half of the circle". The punch being one half. In this way we don't change the direction of the attack per se, but instead give the energy of the attack nothing to make contact with as we spiral them down into oblivion (which looks awesome in hakama). Actually all the attacks so far have been dealt with in that mannar, we don't block, just use footwork and momentum. There may well be that kind of principle in our style, but if there is I'm yet to come across it.

That said, I do faintly remember being tought something that resembled a parry, though I'm unsure whether it fits your description, as I can't quite remember it. It does sound like a useful concept though.
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:22 pm | #56

Another session done.

A shorter post this time as the last one was a bit long. The session was great as always, and apparantly next session we're all being given a revised version of the complete syllabus, which is interesting. Today Sensei decided to teach us the basics from the syllabus including iriminage which I kind of got. It turns out that what I previously thought was iriminage was not iriminage. We also covered tenchinage and a few other things. I also picked up that these techniques can end with either irimi or tenkan (two different tai sabaki) depending on where the attacker ends up. Also as CT mentioned in a previous post, Sensei did refer to the "nine techniques" as being the core, though there are a few more that kind of make it 11 or 12 depending.

Apparantly some thought has recently gone into how we train, and I think this revision (having everything also in English as well as Japanese, as well as other changes) has gone some way towards implementing that. Sensei made a point about the importance of having a solid foundation in the basics so that we understand the more complicated stuff later, and also can see how everything fits together. I'm all for this and agree wholeheartedly with the logic. Hopefully we'll spend time each session with the class divided as today, with kyu grades working on basics.

In other news I had the most sadistic application of koto gaeshi done on me today. Repeatedly. By a Dan grade. I half wish I hadn't asked, but I did learn from it and it was eye opening to see what its supposed to feel like when properly applied. For those who have'nt read many of my essays on Aikijujutsu, our koto gaeishi points the wrist straight down into the ground, no attempts at flipping people through the air/breaking their wrist. I'll have a lot to think about before I next work on koto gaeishi.

Also, someone got embarassed and left after not wanting to be in the group doing basics (bearing in mind this was all kyu grades and I don't think he's graded), wanting to be shown advanced flashy techniques he'd seen on the internet, assuming he knows what's wrong with a technique, and then having difficulty executing basic techniques. Apparantly he also studies "another" style of jujitsu. To be honest, Aikijujutsu is hard (imo) and you'll spend a lot of your time not being able to do things properly, so humility, an open mind and a positive attitude will go a long way. As well as perserverance I suppose.

All in all another great lesson. More a lesson of drilling and repetetition than milestone eureka moments :). Oh, and I bought a license with them, so I'm officially a member now :)
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby nry » Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:42 pm | #57

With you on the hard aspect, it looks simple but often isn't :)  Kote gaeshi for Motoha is as you describe, downwards, however there's what looks like kote gaeshi where you could 'dive' though I forget the name of it this evening.

Sounds like the prompt leaver is best to be 'left' :)
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Sun May 06, 2012 7:08 pm | #58

Session 10:

This should actually have been session 11 but I missed Thursdays due to work. The general theme of this session for me was that there are some things I'm not good, and others that I have no problem with. I can't help wondering how much easier I'd find it if my regular jujitsu class had instilled me with at least some of the basic principles of center of gravity and movement, but hey ho. Today was a particularly ninja/jedi session.

Of particular note this session was an exercise we did in small groups that involved your partner walking "past" you, while you have to interrupt their steps at the precise moment required to easily take their balance with a simple sinking motion. I'd seen something like this on youtube and initially thought it looked a bit suspect. In the comments someone had mentioned something about interrupting the steps, so I took it with an open mind and that was that. Today then was especially interesting for me for this reason. It's a very simple princple, but so effective and sneaky that it has me feeling like a ninja (like I am a ninja. I'm not sure how ninjas actually feel about being ninja, but I imagine it's something like this :D ). The princple behind this exercise extends throughout our style of Aikijujutsu.

During the practise of another technique I was having a little trouble being fast enough to deal with the attack, and to help, I was told to "touch" the attacker first. Not physically though, but mentally. Apparantly this is what gunfighters and swordsmen of some sort used to do so that they where able to respond at the precise moment necessary. He admitted it's a bit of a hard concept to take in, but I'm not unfamilliar with the concept. It did come across as a bit jedi though. I tried it, but didn't have much success. I was a bit tired though after a late night last night. Anyway, jedi mind tricks get extra ninja points :D .

Today I also did my first randori. It was only using one technique, and there were two attackers. Higher grades got a variety of attacks from which to defend against in a variety of ways. I enjoyed the experience and got some positive feedback (the technique we were doing was one of those I'm better at).

All in all, an interesting and thought provoking session, with the usual benefit of getting to hone the necessary motor skills.
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby nry » Mon May 07, 2012 8:45 pm | #59

There's an innuendo in there somewhere about being mentally touched but it eludes me :)

Interrupting the attackers movement is subtle, I'm finding that once you understand how this works as a general principle it is more easy to find where it fits in with the application side of other kata techniques.  In Motoha some of this comes in to replace the concept of blocking an attack - by interrupting the attackers movement in the right place and at the right time their attack becomes something you no longer need to worry about in itself, and is another big change from previous styles I've trained in.
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Re: Aikijujutsu!

Postby JitsuJin » Sat May 12, 2012 10:15 pm | #60

Session 11:

A bit of a delay in posting due to time constraints, but I still remember it well. If I could only say one thing about this session, it would be that my Ikkyo has improved. That alone makes it a noteworthy session, but there is more! I seem to have improved a bit across the board. Ikkyo remains the core technique I'm least proficient at, but the improvements are noticable. That said, it didn't stop me from making an embarassing mistake(?).... We had a fairly open exercise where we had to try and escape from an unexpected grab, strangle or similar from behind. The day before, I'd been to one of my Jujitsu sessions and did a bit of grappling, lots of very physical hands on stuff, and it was great fun. Perhaps I was still in Jujitsu mode, but I was reminded very quickly that the training partners vary significantly between my Jujitsu and my Aikijujutsu classes. From one of the attacks from behind, I ended up (or so I thought) in a perfect position for koto gaeishi, and so that was what I did. Or what I tried, but he seemed to prefer standing up, so I applied more pressure (bearing in mind our koto gaeishi sends uke straight down). Now, granted I was a little tired, but I applied it in such a way as to make uke go "oi! Don't hurt me!" and then counter (he was second dan). Ok so... I was a little confused, massively embarassed but suspected I'd probably over done it, and appologised. The other person I was training with (also second dan) probably sensed my weariness to apply the next technique, and just reminded me to think of all the possible techniques I've learned and what I can use from this (different) possition. Anyway... I noticed that the applications for the rest of the techniques were all very soft, but effective nontheless. When anyone has applied koto gaeishi on me it has been pain compliance that has made it work, and it has been done on me with greater intensity at the same club, so I'm left at a loss. I don't feel great about it as he was genuinely quite upset, and I felt crap for the rest of the session, and the fact that  he later took great pleasure in the vigorous application of some weird thumb wrench thing in the same exercise was of little consequence. Hurting someone is one of the things I absolutely hate, and I really don't feel like going to my next session.
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