Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shaving off time and space

After Christmas I took off towards Oklahoma to train with the Kaze Uta Budo Kai folks. On the way to Oklahoma City I stopped by Lawton to train with Bode Sensei. I had quite a reality checking lesson from the hardened retired police officer.

I felt he really opened my eyes to the time and space inefficiencies that have been the basis of much of my martial work until this point. Everything was taking too long to perform, with too many steps to accomplish it.

When viewing martial effectiveness I think it is of vital importance to continue to shave off time and space from our application of principles while developing technique. Do we really want conflicts to last longer? Do we want to train in ways that require more space and time to execute?

A aikido teacher I once trained under defined aiki as "instant victory".

During tonight's practice techniques went from three steps down to one. Techniques were changed to be far more time and space efficient.

Things started working like never before. Technique that drags on too long loses a sense of instant victory. A technique that drags on no longer fits into my definition of what aiki truly is. Maximum efficiency demands time and space efficiency as well.


  1. Eric: Interesting observation on your part. This is one prime reason as to why I've always stuck to the original 17 Attack Movements and view the expanded 23/24 as being less effective in teaching the concept of "instant victory" and as few steps as possible. It clouds the issue, contains too much movement over too long a time span and fail to decisively take kuzushi soon enough.

    We explore the "expanded" 23/24 (Ki Hara) at very advanced Yudansha levels (at least Sandan to Yonda) only after internalizing the 17 and hand randori. In order to teach a "clean" picture we keep all beginners for a long time locked into the 17/fewer steps/sooner kuzushi/faster termination idea.

    I have street officers who believe the same as I and apparently as JW.

    Just a thought for you.

  2. I was never trained in the ideas behind the 23. It looks like there is some valid ideas, but I see it perhaps like you -an advanced study after the important stuff is down pat. More than anything it does not express my interest or personality. I was a bit turned off by it when I counted 16 steps in the execution of a particular technique. I am way too lazy for that. More power to those who like it though!