View Full Version : aiki concepts

The Void
14th August 2001, 06:34
To practise and do exactly what has been taught, hoping that it is true aiki then the practisioner will only maintain himself, it was the founder who indicated that Aikido must change because the aiki techniques of one era doesn't always work in another. Aside from the Kata or structured attacks and defenses that are always required when learning the basics. If one is to shop around, look at could be done to make their techniques better, a core set of prinipals, concepts must be adhered to in order that the techniques remain Aiki. This then is the premise what are the core principals concepts that are universal in all of Aiki?

My teacher Fr. D Skoyles as would I would say that the underlying root principal/concept is sword work.

Tohi"s four points also come to mind
Weight underside
Extend Ki
Relax dynamically
keep one point

Doug Pleysier

16th August 2001, 19:46
Originally posted by The Void
what are the core principals concepts that are universal in all of Aiki?

You should read the twenty page introduction of Tim Cartmell's (sp?) book, "Principles, Analysis & Applications of Effortless Combat Throws."

Although he teaches Ba Gua (sp?) (a "soft" style of Kung Fu) in Garden Grove, CA, all the principles are the same.

YoungIn Park

16th August 2001, 21:59
Im with Void on this issue. No Sword No Aiki. Hey, I think I was at that Seminar with Don Angier when he said that.
Go figure. I think my concept of Aiki would rest on the pillars of Ken, Jo , Taiho. Take anyone awayone of these tools from the core principle and practice and , Aiki it is not. Its somthing just not Aiki.
Gregory Rogalsky
Director Of Rogalsky Combatives International

Gil Gillespie
21st August 2001, 03:12
Once I get past "don't get hit" (never a given here), I still find myself largely in Mike Collins' realm of put your hand there, put your feet here. But after 13 years of stumbling even I find myself exploring and wondering about the principles. I agree full well that aikido without sword is hard to imagine. We hear Aikikai Hombu no longer teaches bokken. Is that true?

Yet as I try to home in on the principles, and how to impart them, I return again to kihon. It's very reassuring to me to hear that Saotome Sensei is also emphasizing kihon waza. I try to tell our new people not to think of them as beginners' techniques, but rather basics, fundamental building blocks that we should never stray too far from (and always return to).

These basic 6th and 5th kyu techniques contain what I think of as "lighthouse" principles, i.e. munetsuki kotegaeshi presents tenkan, musubi and kuzushi, connecting everything to center, much more than just torquing someone's wrist to make him fall down. Shomenuchi ikkyo presents irimi, taking control of an attack in its gathering zone of weakness, connecting center through the elbow, turning the attack into a circle under your control. Etc. etc.

I see many folks teaching principle. It seems cart before the horse, especially with new people. Principle is contained in technique. They are derived from technique. They are analogous to musicians learning scales and chord structure, but training kihon is a lot more interesting than practicing scales!

Mike Collins
21st August 2001, 04:56
Yeah Gil, I've tried to articulate that before, but didn't do so well as you just did.

It's easy to make noise about principles, but they are not separate from the techniques of Aikido, they are contained in the techniques.

I spent the weekend at a seminar with Kato Hiroshi sensei, and was doing suwari waza shomenuchi ikkyo with one of my first and favorite teachers, and was having a pisser of a time just doing the techniques as Kato sensei was demonstrating it. I felt a bit better when my teacher had some of the same troubles I was, and I asked him, why these most basic techniques seem to get harder instead of easier? His response was a bit comforting and revealing- he said it was because we are getting better at them, and I think the implication was that a greater awareness of our flaws was only shining a light on the rough spots.

That's the deal with basics, the same technique we get taught on day one is the one that has the most to teach us years and years later.

That said, Aikido is not the techniques, the techniques contain Aikido principles and lessons. That is, I think, the difference between kata and waza, kata has a correct way, waza has infinite right ways, and almost as many wrong ways. It either is in keeping with principle or it isn't.

Richard Elias
21st August 2001, 19:55
Though I do not come from an Aikido school our training is largely principle based and my teacher has been a promoter and “preacher” of being aware of the “Aiki principles” for decades. It could, and has been, said that he is responsible for opening many people’s eyes to the how and why of techniques instead just imitating them, which is the traditional method of learning.

I will share our take on principles, which largely mirrors what has already been said and then some.

In our school it is taught that the principles are universal, that for the most part they are the physics, anatomy, and psychology that makes the techniques work, in any style of martial arts. More than just how to turn someone around, to enter, or to maintain a connection to center, etc. The principles are what is it that makes the technique of turning someone around work. Why and how does controlling the elbow connect to the center. What is it that makes the different aspects of the techniques function, not just how to do them.

Everything advanced in a martial system is contained in its basics. That’s why they are the first things taught. They are physical examples of the core principles of the art. The advanced techniques, more often than not, are simply pieces of the various basic techniques put together in a different order or with a different timing or emphasis. Often times the reason a technique does not work is because an inherent principle contained in the basics is not being adhered to. If you don’t have a solid grounding in the basic forms of your style your advanced techniques will not be as clean and consistently effective as they could be.

The principles can be view as a kind of alphabet. There are only 26 letters in the English language, yet look how many words you can make out of them. It’s the same with the principles. Each technique is made up of many different principles. Many of the basic techniques will emphasize a particular principle, with others still present but having more of a supporting role and not being the focus of that form.

I would suggest not being overly conscious of any particular principle, unless that is the focus of your training at the time. Simply try to recognize them when they occur, and try to take advantage of the inherent qualities of them. Principles, as such, are there to provide technical support, understanding, and to aid in the clean and efficient application of technique.

The principles define the techniques, but the techniques dictate how the principles will be used.

The Void
21st August 2001, 22:48
Thank you Richard Elias.

Doug Pleysier
Nakayamakai Ko Aikido

24th August 2001, 14:32
I like to consider this analogy:

Most of us learned how to speak our native language by example, through trial and error putting sentences together and by listening to those around us, who were already accomplished, do the same thing. Over time we intuitively understood syntax.

At some point though, learning how to diagram a sentence may have shed new light on the whole bit. We may have then noticed new relationships or constructs that were not previously apparent.

The Void
25th August 2001, 06:46
Thank You for that Chris Guzik. I am in agreement that knowledge of Aiki Concepts are an enrichment to an Aikidoka's practice and development. Dealing at this point with the concepts themself, I thought that I should point out one author's aiki principals/concepts:

the universal reality of life
circular energy
perfection through repitition

Doug Pleysier
Ko Aiki