Monday, February 28, 2011

Fitting before gripping - Cichorei Kano

So I was reading JudoForum, and my favorite anonymous Judo guru, Cichorei Kano posted on a topic that I thought was worth spreading.


Postfelixzog wrote -


I'm not sure I fully understand this part of the article on Tokio Hirano on the JudoInfo site:

"Traditional nage-waza (throwing techniques) were taught in the following sequence: kumu (gripping), tsukuru (the entry and proper fitting of your body into position taken just before the movement required for completion of your throwing technique), kakeru (completing), and nageru (throwing).

Hirano revolutionized the order to tsukuru, kumu, kakeru and nageru."

Does this mean that he would fit-in as he was establishing a grip so as to telegraph less? Comments?



Cichorei Kano spoke:

In the traditional judo sequence there is critical chance for acting very judo-unlike. Many people who establish a certain grip do so with a certain throw in mind. That in itself really is entirely judo-unlike, just like 'setting-up' a throw. The only people who 'set-up' throws are people who are clueless about what judo is. The throw and what grip you will end up with, should be a consequence of the opponent. Battling an opponent's grip (in most cases) is absurd and contrary to the idea of judo. A grip by your opponent if imposed on you means that it includes force. Judo requires that you use that force, not that you counter that force. The grip which your opponent establishes and what he does IS the tsukuru or a throw. Tsukuru should not be something you do yourself, but something that too really is done by the opponent. As tsukuru established by your opponent unfolds, the grip that follows by you is the natural consequence of the mistakes in the action of the opponent, hence why kumu should follow tsukuru and not the other way around.

The problem is that to succeed this one needs to have achieved full understanding of what judo works, and what principles it is subject to. You need to be able to sense, and let everything that happens be a natural reaction to the action initiated by the opponent. Essentially that is what Mifune also did, although Mifune did not go so far as to convert this into an entirely new approach to judo, by challenging the traditional sequences of a throw. Mifune felt he could sufficiently explain judo by emphasizing action/reaction and by postulating ōmyō. This latter concept implies a mysterious quality, sensing, sourcing and understanding that exceeds what the average mind can perceive by using just your eyes, or explanations of physics. This includes part such as control with the hara by manipulating center of gravity without changing body position, or the ability to ability to completely anticipate what it is you are going to do long before you have completed that action, as well as many other things. To some extent Mifune's ōmyō and Hirano's nami (waves of water) converge. Hirano postulated that every action in judo functions like a wave in water. He identified that there are 7 different types of waves in water. For example, whirlpool is an entirely different type of wave than a traditonal wave arriving the beach. If you produce a wave in water, you can anticipate its evolution. Hirano used the system as a sonar from a whale. By sending out 'pulses', he knew the opponent had to do something with it (resist, accept, deviate. By linking the type of wave that would be produced, he could anticipate the proper kuzushi, as all he needed to do was to amplify the returning wave and position his body so that the mass of the opponent would by toppled. The wave itself would have a momentum an direction, and position his body specific to that wave allowed him to achieve maximal efficiency at minimal effort.


Original Thread

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tegatana Dosa - The Walk

In this article I will be taking a detailed look at the history and evolution of aikido taiso in the Tomiki lineage. This has been a difficult project, piecing together the history for video records and information collected in interviews and internet documents. I highly encourage people to participate and add any information they may have about this topic. Simply comment on the blog or email me at thedragonsorb@gmail.com




Kenji Tomiki demonstrating tegatana in Judo Taiso



Aikido Taiso in the Tomiki Lineage


Most schools in lineages stemming from Kenji Tomiki 富木 謙治 practice a form of solo aiki based movments. These movements are variously called kihon tandoku taiso, judo taiso,budo taiso, tegatana dosa, tegatana no kata, unsoku, or tandoku undo, aiki taiso no tandoku undo, the walk, the walking, the walking ways, the handblade forms. Whatever the modern organizations call the collection of movements, it seems clear that the exercises were from a group of exercises originally called ‘Judo Taiso’, which translates to ‘judo calisthenics’. Judo taiso is a series of drills developed by Kenji Tomiki as part of his style that incorporates Judo teaching methodology into Aikido practice –and vice versa. Although time has formed many variations of the practice, it is composed of Unsoku or taisabaki (body movement) and the tegatana dosa (hand blade exercises).


Thus far here is the earliest written artifact I have found concerning the listing and the names. This was written before the 17 was created. My current wild guess is that this is from around 1960.






History


In 1944 Kenji Tomiki 富木 謙治 was living and teaching in imperial Japan’s occupied Manchuria. With the surrender of Japan, the occupying army fell and the Russian army rolled in to take control of Manchuria. Kenji Tomiki was captured as a consequence of his involvement. Tomiki sensei developed a series of exercises during his three year imprisonment 1945-1948, and based them on the basic movements that compose efficient budo movement. They are different from the general warm-up exercises in that they offer a variety of deeper meanings and insights into the execution of basic movements. According to the verbal lore, he continued to practice and during his three years of captivity developed what he called the Judo Taiso. In 1953, he was appointed to full professorship at Waseda University – the place where Judo Taiso became widely distributed. The blanket term Judo Taiso includes both the solo exercises and paired work called Judo Taiso Sotai Dosa. During this time he toured extensively and wrote several publications on the topics of Japanese martial arts. He published a book in 1956 with the name Judo Taiso.





A picture from Judo Taiso. Kenji Tomiki showing his preference for large circular movement.



jūdō 【柔道】taisō 【体操】- judo calisthenics




Kenji Tomiki’s practice


In the first minute and twenty seconds of the classic film of Tomiki’s practice we find him demonstrating the exercise that would come to be performed around the world by the students from his lineage.
The first film of the frame reads “Judo Taiso”
The second frame says…

Transcription:「合氣の技」の基本となる動作を体操の形式にまとめて練習し易しくした。

「あいきのわざ」のきほんとなるどうさくをたいそうのけいしきにまとめてれんしゅうしやさしくし。


“When the basic movements of “Aiki no waza” are brought together through formal exercises, practice becomes easy”






I have not been able to accurately date this film, but I surmise he probably filmed it around the time the book was being published in the mid 1950’s. Tomiki shows, at least in this stage of his training, a strong preference for large sweeping tegatana motions. He performs the exercises quite briskly, especially the unsoku stepping motions.

Next we see some clips of Kenji Tomiki Sensei practicing his tegatana dosa around 1975. I think this film is intensely interesting - especially since I have not seen anyone from any of his various student lineages perform it in this way.






Nick Ushin Lowry of the Kaze Uta Budo Kai did a detailed study of the evolution of Tomiki's own practice of the exercise. I applaud his work. It is of great value in looking at the subtle changes that happened through time in Kenji Tomiki's work. (edit) I just attended a workshop with Lowry Sensei on the evolution of the tegatana dosa. He has uncovered some fabulous insights.





Full Lesson of Lowry Sensei's Analysis




The Senta Yamada Film


Senta Yamada studied under Kenji Tomiki. In 1959 he went to England and brought Judo and Aikido with him. He did a taping at the BBC studios and one of the things they filmed was his solo Judo Taiso, although I do not know what he called the exercises at the time. The Yamada film and the Tomiki film are the two true treasures in the historical study of the exercises. I feel that Yamada’s demonstration is probably the clearest remaining representation of the work that was coming out of Waseda University in the late 1950’s.





I personally feel any student of Tomiki aikido taking a deep look at these exercises should take a long look at the oldest examples we have, Tomiki and Yamada's. My analysis of other examples of the exercise are to be compared with these oldest two. The purpose is to highlight the evolution that has naturally happened over time.


A cross style comparison of solo exercises




Tegatana 手刀 Dōsa  動作 (Handblade Movements)


At some point the solo exercises began to be known as the tegatana dosa. In the formal syllabus of Shodokan, and the Tomiki Aikido of the Americas they list Unsoku, Tegatana dosa along with basic breakfalls as the first requirements for grading and advancement.

tegatana ・ shutō 【手刀】-hand used like a sword in striking

te  【手】-hand; arm
katana・ tō 【刀】-(single-edged) sword; katana



The Nariyama Line


It seems the J.A.A. under Nariyama Sensei has moved the exercises in a different direction. One of the readers of the blog recommended this as a good example of what they are doing at the Shodokan in Japan.







British Aikido Association - B.A.A.


In the B.A.A. or the British Aikido Association knowledge of unsoku is required for for 6th kyu and complete knowledge of tandoku undo for 4th kyu. In this film we see a group from London Aikido Dojo, I believe a dojo in Yamada's line, practicing the exercises. They do a few repetitions of sections demonstrating more of a exercise over kata feel to the motions.




In the next nice example we see Adrian Tyndale's group performing at an exhibition the exercises. I believe this would be another B.A.A. example. Although much slower and timed to music, it looks they have remained true to the example that Yamada handed down.







Tomiki Aikido of Americas, formally J.A.A.


Next let's hop over the pond and take a look at an American version from the J.A.A. - Tomiki Aikido of the Americas. This presentation of the tegatana dosa is by Ash Morgan. The first major change we see from Tomiki and Yamada's work is that he drops the turning motions. Everything is performed moving straight ahead.




Michael Gelum from the TAA wrote a criticism of this film.

"Flow and movement are correct, but the tying to the center/hip movement is out of synch. The movements are sword cuts and we all know that the sword is fueled by body movement not arm. If your knot of your obi is leading your exercise, then you are executing good technique. As a suggestion to great technique, practice should be slow...speed will come with proficiency, not the antithesis."



手刀の型– Tegatana No Kata


During the 1970s Tomiki aikido began to take root in the United States. Two major branches formed. One remained close ties to Japan (J.A.A. then later Tomiki Aikido of the Americas). These groups continue to call the exercises Tegatana Dosa. Another branch of the lineage centered in Houston began under the teaching of Kogure, Miyake, Inoue and Geis. This lineage has gone on to spawn organizations that include the Fugakukai, Jiyushinkai, the International Aikido Alliance, the American Tomiki Aikido Association, the Zan-Totsu Kai, and the Kaze Uta Budokai. In this lineage the Tegatana Dosa usually became known as Tegatana no Kata – hand blade kata. Thus far I have not seen any groups outside this lineage calling the exercises by this name. Despite the name ‘tegatana no kata’ the actual use of the hand blade became less emphasized as compared to Tomiki Sensei. Likely instructor preferences started moving towards a palm connection as opposed to the hand blade that Tomiki Sensei seemed to prefer in publications. Many people in this lineage casually refer to the exercise as the “walk”, or “walking”.

kata・ gata 【型】model; type (e.g. of machine, goods, etc.), - type; style; pattern; mold; template; model - kata (standard form of a movement, posture, etc. in martial arts, sport, etc.)



Tegatana no Kata

1) Shomen Ashi - forward step
2) Waki Ashi - side to side step
3) Tenkan Ashi - step feet
4) Shomen Te Gatane - straight hand blade
5) Uchi Mawashi - inside sweep hand blade
6) Soto Mawashi - outside sweep hand blade
7) Uchi Soto Gaeshi - forward block & side push
8) Uchi Mawashi Gaeshi - inside sweep & turn
9) Soto Mawashi Gaeshi - outside sweep & turn opposite
10) Ude Goshi Gaeshi - arm & hip turn opposite
11) O Mawashi - major circle opposite
12) Yoko O Mawashi - side major circle both hands



Fugakukai


An example of the exercise done from a young member of Fugakukai practicing. We are beginning to see a bit of drift from Tomiki's example. The contact point has moved away from the original hand blade. There are a few palm up lifting motions that I have not seen in other examples. Also in this lineage we see the final motions of the exercises, Yoko O Mawashi, shift far away from the ideas presented in the Tomiki/Yamada model.





I found another example of a Fugakukai / Kihara student demonstrating the walking kata.







American Tomiki Aikido Association




Here we see Jeff and Gail Duncan at Full Circle Aikido in Killeen, Texas








Kaze Uta Budo Kai


Nick Ushin Lowry the head of the Kaze Uta Budo Kai demonstrates his version of the Tegatana No Kata. Interestingly enough, he emphasizes a return to the actual use of the tegatana in his version.






Windsong Online Lesson




The Tsunako Miyake Connection




Over my years of training I have heard many high level teachers attribute the ‘walk’ to the influential teacher Tsunako Miyake Sensei. Unless there is any evidence of her practicing it before the 1950s Tomiki film, I feel that it might be a false rumor. I am sure she was pivotal in distributing the exercise to a great number of influential teachers and she might have aided in refining the movements. At this time it seems clear that the movements came from Tomiki’s direct work with the Judo Taiso.

One interesting story recently came to light on the thoughtful Sensei blog. L.F. Wilkinson recently wrote on his blog - http://aikibudokan.typepad.com/

“When one of my Sensei's Sensei came over to the US on tour, my wife and I were tasked with escorting her from seminar to seminar while my wife acted as uke for her teachings; a great honor I might add. It gave us some behind the scenes on how high level Japanese Sensei view some things. We walked into a dojo while on the tour and on the wall the dojo proprietor, concerned about the proper Japanese names, had cobbled together Japanese names and had done poster boards with the names of The Walking (and every movement in it) and the 8 Releases (and every movement in that also). Sensei read the boards, turned away towards Lynn and I so no one could see and used her hand to hide her laughter before she said, "Walking and releases have no name. Not kata. Just walking and just exercise." She appreciated the sincere efforts but she said that Tomiki had never thought the exercises important enough for formal names; there are not being formal kata per se.”




合氣体操の単独運動 – Aiki Taiso No Tandoku Undo


In the 1980s some ex members of the Fugakukai lineage formed their own Tomiki based organization called the Jiyushinkai. This organization continued the practice of the solo exercises that originated from Kenji Tomiki. Like the previous teachers in this line, the emphasis moved away from hand blade work. Instead it took on an emphasis of steady center motion, weight dropping, palm connection and biomechanically efficient pushes. Perhaps for the reason of the de-emphasis on the hand blade the organization changed the name of the exercise to Aiki Taiso No Tandoku Undo (aiki calisthenics – solo exercise). This change must have occurred sometime before 1995, as this is when I first heard the name and began exploring this exercise.

Here is a film from what appears to be a mid 1990's version of the Aiki Taiso No Tandoku Undo. It was practiced by Aaron Clark at the Jiyushinkan in Tempe, Arizona.




A YouTube poster who is apparently part of their system writes, "This looks like the *old* kata video, because Aaron is still going up on his toes without flexing his knees and dropping down, i.e. the way we used to do it, in that one swing-around movement in the latter half of the kata. Sheesh, this takes me back..."

I would love to see a new version, but members of this lineage seem to not like putting practice to film at this time.


aiki【合気・ 合氣outdated kanji】
ai 【合い】joint; associate; to come together; to merge; to unite; to meet
ki 【気】spirit; mind heart, nature; disposition, mood, feelings,atmosphere;essence

taisō  【体操】gymnastics; physical exercises; calisthenics
tai  【体】 body; physique; posture
ayatsuru 【操る】 to manipulate; to operate; to pull strings

tandoku 【単独】sole; independence; single; solo (flight)
hitoe 【一重 ・ 単】one layer; single; onefold
doku 【独】By itself - In combination - walking alone; walking unaided; going alone; standing on one's own

undō 【運動】motion; exercise
un 【運】fortune; luck
dō 【動】motion; change; confusion

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Definitive Shomen Ate 正面当て

Tomiki performing Shomen Ate on Obha


正面当て


Shomen Ate 正面当て is the first movement of the Tomiki 17 kata, 17本. This is one of the more powerful, and complicated motions explored in the kata. I can say with some certainty that this motion is universally one of the poorest executed techniques that is typically performed by the average Tomiki player. Why is this? I think it is because we have a poor understanding of what we are doing and why. I hope to clear this up through this examination.


The definition

正面当てShomen Ate is often incorrectly defined a 'face strike', but in fact this motion does not have to be done to the face.

shōmen 【正面】 - front, frontage, facade, main

ateru 【当てる】- to hit, to expose, to apply

Rather than choosing a single definition, I think it is valuable for the aikido student to absorb the multiple meaning of the word presented here.

For further exploration of the atemi concept and principle
- here.




Yoshinkan trains this motion as well, typically it is called shomen tsuki 正面突き. While I do not know what aikikai lineage folks might call this my research indicates 'ago tsuki nage'. It is considered a variation of the kokyo and irimi nage ideas. If the names of techniques are decided by the presence of irimi (entering) then shomen ate would all be called 'irimi nage'.



Shomen Ate as principle


Shomen ate as it is commonly practiced and thought of is a technique. However every single high level teacher I have ever trained with has said, there are no techniques in aikido, there is only application of principle. So the first conceptual puzzle the student searching for deeper understanding must face is that there is no shomen ate technique.


There is no shomen ate technique




Shomen Ate as architectural relationship

Then what is shomen ate? Shomen Ate is aiki principle being exercised in a particular architectural relationship. The relationship in Shomen Ate is aiki principle as it is applied to the front of the partner. Typically the person exercising shomen ate will be in the uke's inside, or uchi.

I think this shift in understanding in crucial. Remember that Tomiki Sensei tried to distill the essence of Ueshiba's aikido into a student friendly form. Ueshiba moved freely in a great number of creative ways. He did not move in a tightly controlled kata parameter. The purpose of the kata is to give us the training wheels so we can move beyond the katas limitations and eventually generalize the principles of aikido to all situations.


Formlessness of Shomen Ate

As students in the lineages of Tomiki we are instructed in technique. We copy what our teachers tell us to perform. Most see and describe the techniques in terms of angles and lines, and where the application of energy happens. Many students grow to believe that there is a single way that shomen is to be done to be correct. This is flawed thinking. Aikido is flowing and formless. No technique can be perfectly replicated again and again. Why? - Because the situation and circumstances are always changing.

-There is no specific connection that has to be applied for a technique to be Shomen Ate.
-There is no specific part of the body that has to be used.
-There is no specific entry for Shomen Ate.
-There is no specific way for the exchange of energy between tori and uke.
-There is no particular geometry that must be used in the motion
-There is no specific timing that must be used

The single defining feature of shomen ate is the forward architectural relationship. Everything else is exploration, artistry, accommodation to circumstance, skill and stylistic preference.

In my humble opinion the single most detrimental aspect in the exploration of Shomen Ate is rigidity of form. Save yourself some time dear student - there is no specific form.



The textbook form


Let us look a few text book versions so we might understand what Shomen Ate looks like in the classic sense. By no means was the 17 kata (17本) meant to be the definitive study of aiki technique - it was merely the introductory guide to get college students quickly playing the sport.

In the first example we see Nariyama Shihan in Japan performing a text book style version of the idea.



The next version we see another lovely text book classic example from the Aikibudokan.




Variations of Form

Here we see shomen ate performed at the Essex Aikido Dojo (Shoshinkan.) They seem to have a driving energy preference. Tori gets off the line, then blasts through uke. One variation I see here that I often use is catching the recovery leg with the hand. Watch tori's left hand catch uke's right leg when he goes to recover.




Here we see some university students practicing a slowed down version. I believe they are part of the KiHara / Fugakukai lineage. They are using a later timing and floatier feeling. Notice how the back foot of uke pivots around him. This is often seen in later timing and circular executions of shomen ate. Also the tori is not driving through, instead he follows uke's energy.






In this film we see some non-Tomiki lineage folks doing a shomen ate. One interesting thing is uke's attack - a hand blade version of shomen ate. Then tori responded by getting off line and performing shomen ate right back.




Here he uses different footwork




The same group posted another example with a tenkan entry.




Here is a hiki taioshi counter with a tanto shomen ate. Notice his connection is different. He uses his arm as a connection.




Here we see one in a competition. Notice how radically different his execution is from traditional form? Still a Shomen Ate.




Here is Tadayuki Sato at 2001 Maishima seminar teaching variations of Shomen Ate.




Here is Nick Ushin Lowry's excellent instruction videos on shomen ate






For those of you that are serious gluttons for Shomen Ate, here I am discussing my version of shomen ate and its relationship to the Daito Ryu kuruma daoshi.




Here is a group discussions the changes they have made in the technique.




The same group shows its explanation of the technique





 Sato explaining the hand exchange


 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

J.W. Bode at Austin Budokan - March 5,6



Sorry about the late notice folks, but I just booked J.W. Bode to come down and train with us on Saturday March 5th and Sunday March 6th.

It is a rare occurance that I meet an artist that impresses me from first touch. Bode Sensei is one of those artists. I had seen his work on some You Tube videos, and I thought it looked weird. First time I trained with him though, he had me gently twisted into knots. Videos can be deceiving. My ego was checked by an old man yet again. He is not a traditional artist. He is a strategist, tactician and original thinker.

He has an extensive background in aikido, judo, fire arms, arrest techniques and law enforcement. His work transcends aikido - it is pure tactics. He shortens distances, times, efficiencies and speaks of technique in terms from Sun Tzu. No matter the art you primarily train in, I think you will take away something valuable from this seminar.


Who? JW Bode - retired police officer

What?
A seminar in effective martial tactics based on aikido,judo and arrest techniques.

When? Saturday March 5
9:30am-12:00
2:00pm-5:00pm

We will be catching some dinner and drinks somewhere. Feel free to tag along.

Sunday March 6
9:30am-noonish

Where? Austin Budokan

Location




View Larger Map



The space is at the North West corner of I35 and 51st street. 1000 E. 51st (upstairs)



View Larger Map




How much? I am hoping to pay his gas and send him off with a few bucks in his pocket. Try to chip in 40 bucks, and buy him lunch.

Contact for more information of questions

Eric

512-947-9585

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Russell Waddell - a brief history




Russell Waddell



It is so easy to lose information on the important people in our practice, our lives and lineages if we don't take the time to ask, and to record the knowledge. This is one of the responsibilities that I have taken on for myself - to record some of the facts about my teachers, so my students will have access to the information when they are ready to ask questions.

My first aikido and judo teacher was, and still is, Russell Waddell. I was working in a pizza place in 1994. Then one day a dojo opened up next door. I was already training in kung fu, and I would spend my breaks looking in the windows knowing my Chinese boxing could defeat these aikido people. Finally I met the teacher, joined his group and have been training under his guidance and friendship ever since. In his career he has graduated around 40 shodans and has started numerous budo clubs.


Russell Waddell and Eric Pearson - Austin Aikibudo


From Waddell Sensei


Hey guy, haven't forgot about your interview...looking at your questions, I must tell you there are some I am not of an opinion on, so don't want to try and answer them as a line-by-line item, but instead just let me do a little rambling and thoughts to you and you pick out what you want...I of course owe you my life and hope my correspondence helps you, you pulled me back from the brink of despair and hopeless obscurity by forcing me to get back on the mat and starting to teach again...many thanks to you and your group of friends for instilling meaning back into my life

How about stats and facts and history first...and I think that I will get this started with you and it will be sent to you in series as I can think and write down what you my be looking for and want to know, so lets begin and go for a while and then I will pick up later with you.

I began studying Kung fu wing chun with Robert Alaniz in Corpus when I was 23 which would be 1973. Spent about 1 &1/2 years with him, then was on my own sporadically working out for the next t couple years. While working at NAS Kingsville I met Barbara and David Gillanders who taught Judo and Aikido and began with them...about 1977-1979. I also met my Karate teachers, Bill Inmond and Marta Baiste..I was promoted to 2nd black in Karate, moved to Oklahoma and started a club (Bushido Club) in Frederick , Ok. and left it in Paul Fowlers hands when I moved back down to Corpus. I re-hooked up with Barbara and took my shodan test in Aikido in Houston in 1982 under Karl Geis.


In 1984 I moved to San Antonio and began teaching the suburb of Kirby until I moved back down to Kingsville in 1985. There, I started the Shorino Shi Shi Club in Bishop (named after Barbara and Davids club with their permission) and ran that for about 4 years...then moved to Houston for a few months to study under Karl but left after a few months back to Kingsville.

In January 1991 moved to Lewisville and am still here. Started teaching Judo and Aikido at Fred McBrides club, then joined in with Tim Vought who had a couple schools in Garland . Over the years I have had 4-5 locations on my own and had 3-4 partnerships with Tim.



Tim Vought, Russell Waddell, Eric Pearson - Port Aransas 2008ish



In 2001, I turned 50 and decided to step down and let my club be run by the seniors and for them to take it to wherever they wanted...that is now located on N.W. Highway by Lake Bauckman with Bill Parker,, David Bedard, Marc Randolph, Ron Charron, the teachers.

3 years ago I joined forces with Tony Genova at Texas Karate 3 to teach Aikido again and am presently there. Time frame brings to date about 38 years tied up in doing martial arts, have had a lot of great teachers and these are too various to mention and give due credit, but if truth be told, I think I have learned from just about everyone I have worked out with, irregardless of their ran,k, and that is the great and mysterious gift hidden in this endeavor which is why I am thankful for my rebirth to you Mr. Eric.



Eric, Brus, Russell, Jeff, Scooter - Austin 2008ish


My ranks are Aikido-6th dan, Judo-1st dan, karate-2nd dan, Jyodo-1st dan. Still a student in every sense of the definition, and forced by circumstances to fill in as teacher when needed.

In respect to my practice as I see it now, I am focused on timing and balance breaking. My teachers put lots of weight on these and I see why. They become the great equalizers in confrontation, rather than speed and strength, and now that I am beginning to feel the effects of age, laziness, over-weight, loss of muscle mass, it is of most importance that I shift my attention to these more important aspects of my training. When I am able to put Uke on one leg and then throw him at will, than that is going to be identified as my favorite technique...which way I am able to bring it to finish not too important, but as for teaching this, I think Aigamae Ate, Gyakyugamae Ate, and Gedan Ate are good and then Hiki Taioshi, and Ude Hineri also produce the little light above their heads.

Here is a good place to stop for now, will continue later, Russ

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Judo Pictograms




I first saw a martial arts pictogram used at a dojo I trained in England. I instantly fell in love. It is simple, primitive art with clean lines - just like good judo. This week I decided to search out the judo pictographs, and much to my dismay they is no collection of them on any internet sites that I could find. So I clicked and pasted small images and tried to fix them on photoshop. There is likely some distortion on a few of them. This blog entry was quite a labor. Enjoy it Judoka!


pic·to·gram

— noun
another word for pictograph


pic·to·graph
   
–noun
1. a pictorial sign or symbol.
2. a record consisting of pictorial symbols, as a prehistoric cave drawing or a graph or chart with symbolic figures representing a certain number of people, cars, factories, etc.






So the Olympics has had a history of graphic design making primitive pictograms for many of the sports. I it used for a variety of functions, but basically it is a cool design that cuts through language barriers.




For the part the trend to make pictograms for the games started in the Tokyo games of 1964. Here we see a judoka standing proudly.





There was no Judo in the '68 Games.




The art genre has been heavily influenced by the designers of the 1972 Munich games. I like this one.





Russia 1980 - not my fav.






Seoul 1988






Barcelona 1992 - the worst one IMHO





Atlanta 1996 - Nice design, but getting too detailed for my liking.






Sydney 2000 - the lame boomerang style







Athens 2004 - I really like this one. Simple and elegant conjuring imagery of ancient pottery.






China 2008 - I like this one. It was designed to look like the stamp seal script.






London 2012 - It is an OK design, just not my style.







Rio 2016



Some pictograms from random sources







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My all time favorite is the China 2008 with the red border to make it look like a stamp.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aikido In Austin

A little map I made of the clubs in the area. if you are seeking more information simply Google "aikido guide to Austin"