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Thread: Aikido Katame waza

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    Default Aikido Katame waza

    Hello,

    I hope no one minds me drifting into another arts forum.
    The art I practice, Shorinji Kempo, has a great many katame waza and places great emphsis on there effective application at the conclusion of a technique.

    I have noticed from observing my son's aikido class, and generally observing aikido, that there seem to be very few types of katame waza practiced at the end of techniques and those that are don't seem to have the restraint of the attacker as there major emphasis. This includes observation of the Koryu Kata taught in Tomiki , the techniques of Yoshinkan and Aikikai schools. Was this a deliberate ommission by Ueshiba sensei? or are they techniques that are practiced but not in general training? I am curious because both the Daito Ryu and Tenjin Shinyo Ryu that he studied before developing aikido seem to have a large number of very effective katame waza.
    Thank you for any answers you can provide.

    Regards
    Paul

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    Hello Mr Browne,

    My only experience of Shorinji Kempo is watching Hiroshima University SK students training, as the aikido club members trained in aikido at the same time. From watching this SK training, I was not at all convinced that the kansetsu waza / katame waza applied actually worked.

    There was also an SK club in the local taiikukan, which also happened to be the local headquarters of the Hiroshima branch of the Aikikai. I never saw SK practice here, but the SK students appeared to have high regard for the local aikido shihan, who was my teacher. However, the shihan had had some experience of other Japanese koryu and this might have been the reason why his aikido pins and joint locks were very effective.

    I do not think that the aims of SK, considered as a postwar Japanese martial art, are so different from those of aikido, also considered as a postwar Japanese martial art. That is, the strictly martial aspects of both arts (as arts dedicated to killing) need to be seen in the overall context of postwar Japanese martial culture: that is, there is a more obvious compromise between 'martial' effectiveness, however this is considered, and other considerations, such as moral and spiritual improvement.

    Best wishes,

    P Goldsbury
    Peter Goldsbury,
    Forum Administrator,
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    Hello Sensei Goldsbury,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply.
    My question wasn't meant as a criticism of aikido, in fact I chose aikido as the art for my son to study when he expressed an interest in martial arts, as oposed to the many karate/tae kwon do/ kung-fu schools in my area as I hold it in very high regard, indeed I sometimes train in his class myself, so I apologise if it came across as such. It was merely the observation that most pins that finish a technique, as opposed to the locks that put the opponent on the floor (which I know from experience are very effective) appear to involve the arm being placed on the ground perpendicular to the body and, whilst in seiza adjacent to the opponent, tegatana applied to the areas above and below the elbow. I have occasionally seen techniques, again in seiza, with the arm placed at shoulder hieght and rotated to apply pain, again without direct holding of the arm. Both appear to be more symbolic of restraining the opponent rather than having restraint as the primary aim. I was simply curious as to the limited number of pins used given the variety of pins that appear in aikido's two precursers, which frequently involve pressure on multiple joints, pressure points and the airway and wondered if it was specific policy, whether something else was being emphasised or if other pins are added later in training.
    I can't speak for the Shorinji Kempo you have observed, I can only state that there are a large variety of pins in Shorinji Kempo that can induce great discomfort (applying pressure in all the ways mentioned above) and when properly applied (so not neccessarily by me) well nigh impossible to break out of without moving into something nastier or risking severe injury (I know because we pressuretest them drastically in my class).
    Regards
    Paul

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    Well, pins are not the speciality of Aikido, so there are not a great load of them in the art as practiced by most. But the few that exist, if applied correctly, do work by all means.

    Anyway, other styles, notably Yoseikan, include a larger catalog of pinning techniques derived from Mochizuki Sensei's experience in other arts.
    Alejandro Villanueva.


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    Hello Mr Browne,

    I did not take your post as a criticism of aikido and I apologize if my response gave this impression. My response was based on my own observation of SK at Hiroshima University and I also have to point out that the katame / kansetsu waza of the aikido students were, also, not particularly effective.

    My own teacher was old-fashioned and also taught what perhaps would be more appropriately called Daito-ryu, but as part of his aikido classes. In particular he often showed the variations possible in situations corresponding to the four basic pins / joint locks of 1-kyo, 2-kyo, 3-kyo and 4-kyo.

    There is an interview somewhere (I think Stan Pranin has it in his Aikido Journal website: the Japanese text appears in the first book on aikido published by the Ueshibas after the war), in which two reporters interview Morihei Ueshiba and his son Kisshomaru. Ueshiba is asked how many techniques there are in aikido and he does a rough calculation and arrives at something like 16,000. Of course, the way he calculates is very much open to question, in my opinion.

    I think one reason why the number of waza, including katame / kansetsu waza, were pared down was due to the desire to make aikido a 'general' martial art, after the war. Whether Morihei Ueshiba did this, or his son, is moot. In the two prewar technical manuals, produced with the approval of Morihei Ueshiba, the number of waza are, respectively, 166 (in Budo Renshu, 1933) and 50 (in Budo, 1938). Another technical manual, produced in the 1970s by Morihiro Saito, gives the flavour of aikido as it was practised by Morihei Ueshiba in Iwama from 1942 onwards. The number of waza illustrated there is considerably less than 166.

    As Flintstone has suggested in his post, some of Morihei Ueshiba's students brought their own skills to their encounters with Ueshiba and also went their own ways afterwards--and he did not mind this at all. All the demonstrations of Yoseikan I have seen (from Patrick Auge) feature sutemi waza, for example, which could well end in pins/joint locks. I have seen very few aikido shihans who were deshi of Morihei Ueshiba do such waza.

    In regard to the general question you raised in this thread, I recommend that you look at Ellis Amdur's new book (Hidden in Plain Sight) and ponder the issues he discusses. The issue of relevance for this thread is that proficiency in internal power / skills tends to make waza superfluous, or, at best, icing on the cake.

    So a germane question for SK students and historians would be to what extent So Doshin was exposed to 'internal' and 'external' arts when he was in China and to what extent he incorporated such solo training into SK. It is clear that Morihei Ueshiba did such training, but he did it as part of his own private 'religious' pursuits and appears not to have systematically taught it to his students.

    Very best wishes,

    PAG
    Last edited by P Goldsbury; 20th December 2009 at 10:52.
    Peter Goldsbury,
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    Gassho

    Sensei Goldsbury,

    Thank you for that very detailed reply. I will obtain Sensei Amdur's book, I own another by him and always find his articles informative and thought provoking. Incidently I always welcome both your and his contributions to the Shorinji kempo forum, sadly more than some of my comrades contributions .
    Wishing you a happy and peaceful Cristmas and New Year.

    Paul

    Kesshu

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul browne View Post
    Hello,

    I hope no one minds me drifting into another arts forum.
    The art I practice, Shorinji Kempo, has a great many katame waza and places great emphsis on there effective application at the conclusion of a technique.

    I have noticed from observing my son's aikido class, and generally observing aikido, that there seem to be very few types of katame waza practiced at the end of techniques and those that are don't seem to have the restraint of the attacker as there major emphasis. This includes observation of the Koryu Kata taught in Tomiki , the techniques of Yoshinkan and Aikikai schools. Was this a deliberate ommission by Ueshiba sensei? or are they techniques that are practiced but not in general training? I am curious because both the Daito Ryu and Tenjin Shinyo Ryu that he studied before developing aikido seem to have a large number of very effective katame waza.
    Thank you for any answers you can provide.

    Regards
    Paul
    Hello Paul,
    Yes, your observations are somehow right. O sensei created art based on cooperation. So there is no need to put a great emphasis on pins and to restrain the attacker efficiently in the end of the techniques. Attacker will never get up to free himself against will of nage.

    Most of the techniques ends with safe projection that in fact free attacker instead of pin him down. What a nonsense from martial point of view, isn't it? Aikido has much more paradoxes like that.

    The reason is, aikido has, as one of his goals, to develop a compassion to attacker. So throwing him out in the end of technique, or pin him with rather superficial pin has deep symbolic meaning. O sensei broke down with traditional approach 'winner-looser'. Because we are not 'finishing' attacker, we can transcendent this dualism. Instead of being prisoners "I'm better then you" to the end of universe, we can concentrate all our research on the elements that unify us with 'outside' world. What is interesting that such research is done in martial context.

    So in summary I'd say that O sensei created the openings in Daito ryu techniques for special purpose. It was his expression of spiritual approach to Budo.
    regardz

    Szczepan Janczuk

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul browne View Post
    ... generally observing aikido, that there seem to be very few types of katame waza practiced at the end of techniques and those that are don't seem to have the restraint of the attacker as there major emphasis. This includes observation of the Koryu Kata taught in Tomiki...
    Hi Paul,

    I am not sure which "Tomiki" Aikido you are referring to, as many groups use that general name. However as far as the Shodokan or "Tomiki' Aikido of the Japan Aikido Association goes, there is much katame waza. Examples include - Ude Kujiki Osae, Ude Hishigi Waki Gatame, Ude Garami / Ude Hineri, Ude Gatame and there are others whose names escape me at the moment.

    I am assuming katame waza here to mean "immobilization technique." Also, I just want to clarify that 3 basic types of katame waza are usually spoken of in relation to Judo, Jujutsu and other Japanese Budo: Osae Komi waza (hold downs), Shime Waza (chokes/strangle holds), and Kansetsu waza (joint locking techniques). Tomiki saw that the overlap between Judo waza and Aikido waza appeared in the area of the kansetsu techniques and kept the standing or sitting immobilizations that were in line with the application of Aiki waza.

    Tomiki taught that Aikido and Judo waza were primarily differentiated by the distance of application (ma ai). As a result, the katame waza he kept in his Aikido were those that could be applied at the distance of ones tegatana, since as soon as one ventured inside of this range one was in the distance where Judo waza was most applicable.

    The requirement of tegatana distance for Aiki waza automatically ruled out the use of Shime Waza as this requires one to be well within tegatana ma ai to be applied, making one vulnerable to Judo kaeshiwaza.

    Osae komi waza requires one to be already on the ground in a grappling position. This would only happen if ones ma ai had been breached, and if Aiki waza and shisei (posture) had already failed, allowing one to be taken down into a Ne Waza situation or if one lost ones balance and grounding, which would again mean that one was not applying the fundamentals of Aiki.

    In this sense Tomiki saw Judo and Aikido as two complementary parts of what used to be the fundamental techniques of koryu jujutsu. In this light, if one wanted to learn the full range of katame waza one would have to study Aikido and Judo separately.

    Some of these concepts are also talked about in Ellis' book that was mentioned by Goldsbury Sensei.

    Just my 5 cents.

    LC

    P.S.Please note that what Tomiki studied with Ueshiba was pretty much still Daito Ryu at that time.
    Last edited by Aiki_Ninja; 22nd December 2009 at 01:18.
    Larry Camejo
    --When placed in a forest of spears your spirit is your true shield
    www.mushinkan.ca

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    Default "all techniques end in a pin"

    i remember hearing "all techniques end in a pin" when i studied Iwama Aikido in the early/mid-nineties, the only exceptions that i remember being when the opponent was thrown so violently that it was thought a pin was totally unnecessary. (or if you were intentionally gentle because the person was heavily intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated)

    pins were seen to be the most important way to control a violent attacker and keep a situation from escalating any further.

    all pins were face down, in my memory and limited experience (we did turn people over who landed on their back so they were on their front)

    ikkyo variations ended with an ikkyo pin (a perpendicular pin of the elbow and wrist, with a variation of pressure on the wrist)

    nikkyo variations ended with a nikkyo pin (put the arm across the chest and control elbow and wrist)

    sankyo variations ended with a sankyo pin (hand flexed in the same manner as sankyo but behind the back - this was a particularly painful pin for me)

    yonkyo variations ended with a yonkyo pin (didn't really love this one)

    gokyo variations were only for knives, as far as i remember

    these were from seiza, although i seem to remember some standing variations, maybe even some from one knee sometimes

    all of the pins done correctly were painful and/or immobilizing

    as we advanced, we learned to apply the pins as we saw fit to the situation instead of them being stuck to the originating technique

    perhaps someone more recently acquainted with Iwama Aikido can give more details to those interested?
    ~Tony Johnson

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    Default Pins and their use

    My experience at aiki dojo is that if a pin is used at the end of a technique, it is essentially symbolic as described above and not intended to actually hold a person in that particular position.

    Also, noted above, O Sensei's students often brought their own knowledge to aiki practice. In the case of Minoru Mochizuki (Yoseikan) he had a great deal of knowledge from judo, Daito Ryu, and several other areas. He always kept the strong martial aspects of the techniques.

    As a Yoseikan practitioner and instructor for many years, we require our students, during tests especially, to demonstrate control after a technique, be it a throw or a joint lock and we expect the pin to be practical and effective, not symbolic. In the U.S. Yoseikan Budo Assoc. we retain the Kansetsu waza kata and require it in its entirety at 3rd Dan. In the World Yoseikan Federation, during testing, you are required to demonstrat at least three effective pins.

    Every throw can result in a pin or a strangle and it was correct above, all of our sutemi can end in a pin and several involve applying a strangle before the actual throw so that at the end, we simply roll up and apply the pressure of the strangle. It does take a high level of skill to apply most of those pins from sutemi, but it can be done, effectively. I have been on the receiving end from our U.S. Technical director during many demonstrations and trust me, they are very effective.
    docphil

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Farmer View Post
    we retain the Kansetsu waza kata and require it in its entirety at 3rd Dan.
    Sensei, these two kata are still unknown to me. Sadly. I mean Kansetsu Waza Kime no Kata and Shime Waza Kime no Kata. I believe they may have been lost in our transmission line in Spain, or were developed at a more recent time. Could you be of any help to me to get some knowledge of them, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks!
    Alejandro Villanueva.


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    Default of course

    We still practice both of these kata regularly. I think I might even have a video of it somewhere. Let me see what I can do about getting or making one for you. Myself and my two teachers taught the shime waza several years in a row at the World Stages in France with Shihan, who had asked us to do so because even he had not seen them in a number of years. The students loved it, though, since I was uke each time, I didn't get to watch.

    Apparently, the faces I made were fascinating because the laughter and pictures taken were widely shared among world students. My tormented face is probably on video throughout the Yoseikan world. Anyway, let me know, we have many pins and still do the osae komi as well.
    docphil

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    Thumbs up Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Farmer View Post
    We still practice both of these kata regularly. I think I might even have a video of it somewhere. Let me see what I can do about getting or making one for you.
    That would be of great help! Thanks a lot for your offering!
    Alejandro Villanueva.


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    Gassho,

    Hello gentlemen,

    Firstly I hope everyone had a Happy Christmas and I wish you all a very prosperous and peaceful New Year.

    There was plenty of information to consider here. I recal readng that Tomiki Sensei considered Aikido and Judo to be interlinked, though i think i general there has been a separation between the arts (in so far as not many schools teach both).

    I have to say that I really enjoy practicing Aikido (injury has kept me away but I intend to return in the new year) as it gives me another perspective on the throwing/locking element of my art.

    Regards
    Paul
    Kesshu

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    About all pins being face down, in the kihon Shiho nage, the uke ends up on his back in a somewhat unconvincing pin, Saito sensei would sometimes show a "finishing off" strike (todome) to the head at this point.

    I have been shown a pin from Irimi nage once, an uncommon one I guess.

    There is also a standard pin from Kotegaeshi.


    Quote Originally Posted by tsunamiflood View Post
    i remember hearing "all techniques end in a pin" when i studied Iwama Aikido in the early/mid-nineties, the only exceptions that i remember being when the opponent was thrown so violently that it was thought a pin was totally unnecessary. (or if you were intentionally gentle because the person was heavily intoxicated or otherwise incapacitated)

    pins were seen to be the most important way to control a violent attacker and keep a situation from escalating any further.

    all pins were face down, in my memory and limited experience (we did turn people over who landed on their back so they were on their front)

    ikkyo variations ended with an ikkyo pin (a perpendicular pin of the elbow and wrist, with a variation of pressure on the wrist)

    nikkyo variations ended with a nikkyo pin (put the arm across the chest and control elbow and wrist)

    sankyo variations ended with a sankyo pin (hand flexed in the same manner as sankyo but behind the back - this was a particularly painful pin for me)

    yonkyo variations ended with a yonkyo pin (didn't really love this one)

    gokyo variations were only for knives, as far as i remember

    these were from seiza, although i seem to remember some standing variations, maybe even some from one knee sometimes

    all of the pins done correctly were painful and/or immobilizing

    as we advanced, we learned to apply the pins as we saw fit to the situation instead of them being stuck to the originating technique

    perhaps someone more recently acquainted with Iwama Aikido can give more details to those interested?
    David Soroko

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