What "rules" should be broken in your art?

Gerry Seymour

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My opinion is that, while this is true, you also shouldn't lose the original techniques.

This is an opinion that has started many an argument in the TKD forums.
I more or less agree, assuming I understand what you mean about losing the original techniques. If the techniques are teaching valuable (reusable) principles, then they serve a purpose, even if they aren't directly useful. There are techniques in the formal NGA curriculum ("Classical" techniques) that I would not encourage someone to try to learn to use for combat, sport, or defense. I find them useful tools for exploring, learning, and developing some of the principles. To me, they serve the same purpose as drills, though we call them "techniques".

But if a technique isn't directly useful, and doesn't help develop principles or teach movement useful in the aforementioned "grey area", then they can go. I'd even be okay with someone deciding to drop some of the NGA techniques I've referred to (and still call what they do NGA), so long as they're covering those principles elsewhere.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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But if a technique isn't directly useful, and doesn't help develop principles or teach movement useful in the aforementioned "grey area", then they can go.
If a "principle" is not useful, it can go too. If I have not learned the "floating hand" principle, I don't think I can lose any MA knowledge/skill.

 

Kung Fu Wang

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In the prey mantis system, there are

- 8 places that you should not strike (can cause serious damage), and
- 8 places that you should strike (won't cause serious damage).

A preying mantis teacher will teach his

- beginner students how to strike those 8 strike places (won't cause serious damage).
- advance students how to strike those 8 not strike places (can cause serious damage).
 

JP3

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I figured aikidos rule would be always let them push you. Isnt that the whole aiki thing - use their push/momentum/energy against them?
Nah, we hardly ever want to think let them push me. Push past me, sure. "Let them push me" sounds to me more like Systema. Your thought is the not countering force with force, which should be explained with just a bit more wordiness as Don't meet force with force directly, yeah, that's us. Of course, that's sort of a pure aikido viewpoint, IMO. My back in the day punch-kick background points out all sorts of opportunities when the optimum technique for a situation IS the direct force conflict, e.g. the finger in the charging guy's eye seems to work magic (if you can pull it off, that's the thing).
 

JP3

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I'm interested in some discussion of what that means in that context. I don't know anywhere else in Aikido (the art or the family of arts) that would be a rule, though maybe that's just because I don't understand what it's meant to say.
I bet it's a nomenclature thing... reframe your question and I'll try to get in here and explain it better.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I bet it's a nomenclature thing... reframe your question and I'll try to get in here and explain it better.
I think the simplest start is a request: can you explain what "always be pushing" means? The way I hear it, it sounds counter to the way the principles are usually expressed (which would be closer to "always be accepting").

I'm always keen when I hear an expression of the principles that doesn't seem familiar.
 

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So, @skribs , how do you see this discussion relative to your other posts about training? You started both threads, so I am Interested in whether you see a connection between this thread and the one on training for the clinch.
 

JP3

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I think the simplest start is a request: can you explain what "always be pushing" means? The way I hear it, it sounds counter to the way the principles are usually expressed (which would be closer to "always be accepting").

I'm always keen when I hear an expression of the principles that doesn't seem familiar.
Ah, OK.

Like I wrote in that first post, it's like a teaching paradigm, a structure into which you fit the student's learning. Also remember, this is Tomiki, who got his aikido from O-Sensei After years and years with Kano (physical education background) so what is taught in a different fashion in other aspects of aikido is broken down into different bite-size concepts in the Tomiki.

Always Be Pushing starts out as a literal thing. Stand in strong posture, having the unbendable arm, palms and arms in a pose similar to that one would use to move furniture. My main metaphor I use in class with beginners to explain how to move and push is literally, "Moving a refrigerator." To do that, I have them go to a wall, think in there head for just a moment to imagine they are about to push a fridge across the floor then push the wall.

It's neat. People automatically move one foot forward and the same side hand in a controlling/leading position with the other hand typically exactly at shoulder level and shoulder width apart. I've probably taught my students to do this to brand newbies a thousand times now and it's hilarious to see how many people's bodies already "know" how to do it.

So, that's a body posture thing.

Note: It's internal, it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with what is happening in the System that is Me vs. Opponent. I'm not there yet. Do you see the separation I'm trying to illustrate? I'm talking about Me, what I do, not how I am interacting with the Opponent, yet. That part is a different discussion... To Which I will apply.. the model of movement, and pushing, with which I've just given the student.

Let me know if you're with me so far, otherwise my fingers are getting tired for no reason, Ha!
 

Gerry Seymour

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Ah, OK.

Like I wrote in that first post, it's like a teaching paradigm, a structure into which you fit the student's learning. Also remember, this is Tomiki, who got his aikido from O-Sensei After years and years with Kano (physical education background) so what is taught in a different fashion in other aspects of aikido is broken down into different bite-size concepts in the Tomiki.

Always Be Pushing starts out as a literal thing. Stand in strong posture, having the unbendable arm, palms and arms in a pose similar to that one would use to move furniture. My main metaphor I use in class with beginners to explain how to move and push is literally, "Moving a refrigerator." To do that, I have them go to a wall, think in there head for just a moment to imagine they are about to push a fridge across the floor then push the wall.

It's neat. People automatically move one foot forward and the same side hand in a controlling/leading position with the other hand typically exactly at shoulder level and shoulder width apart. I've probably taught my students to do this to brand newbies a thousand times now and it's hilarious to see how many people's bodies already "know" how to do it.

So, that's a body posture thing.

Note: It's internal, it doesn't have ANYTHING to do with what is happening in the System that is Me vs. Opponent. I'm not there yet. Do you see the separation I'm trying to illustrate? I'm talking about Me, what I do, not how I am interacting with the Opponent, yet. That part is a different discussion... To Which I will apply.. the model of movement, and pushing, with which I've just given the student.

Let me know if you're with me so far, otherwise my fingers are getting tired for no reason, Ha!
That makes sense, I think. It sounds like it's the concept of keeping a forward intent, with both posture and arms. Is that close?
 

JP3

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That makes sense, I think. It sounds like it's the concept of keeping a forward intent, with both posture and arms. Is that close?
I think you could put it that way, it's in the ballpark at least.
 

JP3

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I think you could put it that way, it's in the ballpark at least.
I was in a hurry, Gerry. I think my explanation of the Always Be Pushing principle/concept is in the ballpark of the things considered in having the forward intent.

Later on, once we've got the beginner at least able to conceive of how he/she Can always at least attempt to remain in a pushing "posture" while in execution of a Tomiki technique... down the road a bit, we can start to show alternate methods that appear to violate the "basic" rule... but what they're actually doing is taking off training wheels, to get to the more universal, real principle, which I think I'll steal your phrase of the keeping forward intent.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I was in a hurry, Gerry. I think my explanation of the Always Be Pushing principle/concept is in the ballpark of the things considered in having the forward intent.

Later on, once we've got the beginner at least able to conceive of how he/she Can always at least attempt to remain in a pushing "posture" while in execution of a Tomiki technique... down the road a bit, we can start to show alternate methods that appear to violate the "basic" rule... but what they're actually doing is taking off training wheels, to get to the more universal, real principle, which I think I'll steal your phrase of the keeping forward intent.
Man, now you've got me wishing I had time and money to spend a few years at a Tomiki dojo.
 

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