Futari Gake

He visto este pequeño vídeo en la página de Stefan Stenudd en el que realiza algunas técnicas de futari gake.

Futari gake son las técnicas, procedentes del Daito Ryu, realizadas contra dos ukes que “agarran” a tori. Normalmente se confunde con el futari dori, que son las técnicas que se realizan sobre dos ukes que “atacan” a tori, sin haber llegado a conseguir un agarre sólido. Así, el futari dori sería un randori contra dos oponentes.

El nivel exigido para realizar este trabajo es alto, ya que nuestros movimientos al aplicar la técnica sobre un uke se encuentran grandemente limitados por el agarre del segundo oponente, así que las técnicas de futari gake son poco estudiadas, si es que llegan a serlo, incluso por grados altos.

Realmente, las técnicas que se pueden emplear en este tipo de situaciones son las típicas del trabajo en kihon: shihonage, iriminage, nikyo, kokyunage… pero es interesante hacer “nudos” con los dos ukes, tirando a uno encima del otro, poniendo a uno delante del otro, haciendo que se estorben entre sí. Es un buen ejercicio tanto para aprender a moverse correctamente, desde el centro, como para buscar la estrategia que nos permita ayudarnos con un uke contra el otro.

Niveles más altos de práctica incluyen el sannin gake (tres ukes), yonin gake (cuatro ukes), etc… Estos ejercicios sólo se ven normalmente en exhibiciones de Daito Ryu.

Si podeis, son muy educativos, así que ya sabeis.

Publicado en aikido, budo. 3 Comments »

Doshu’s Way

A partir de una entrevista realizada a Ueshiba Kisshomaru para la Japan Martial Arts Society (JMAS) en marzo de 1986, Ellis Amdur extrae las siguientes conclusiones.

Aikido starts as pure Daito-ryu (irimi-issoku), and then is rounded out, the opponent projected away rather than crushed or folded close in. In other words, you can’t do aikido unless you can do Daito-ryu. Kamata Hisao describes Ueshiba Morihei’s early aikido in Daito-ryu terms: “He always said, ‘You must enter the opponent; get inside him and then draw him into you!'” This, by the way, is true ukemi on Ueshiba’s part— fully congruent with the precepts of koryu, rather than the modern idea that ukemi is “taking falls.”

Amdur redunda, como hace siempre, en la imposibilidad de practicar el “do” sin haber dominado el “jutsu”. Es decir, si no podemos realizar correctamente la técnica, de manera que el agresor quede controlado en todo momento, ¿de qué sirve realizar una bonita y fluída técnica circular? Como diría aquel, “para morir de forma grácil”.

No me puedo cansar de recordar que el Aikido es una evolución (no por supuesto la única) del Daito Ryu, y que no se puede evolucionar o desarrollar algo que no se conoce.

Ueshiba Kisshomaru does emphasize here some elements of the basics of proper physical organization and alignment, but if that was enough, why didn’t he – or any of the other top shihan for whom I took ukemi, both in kokyu ryoku yosei ho and in aikido techniques – manifest such power that we otherwise hear about? Perhaps because Ueshiba Morihei (and his compatriots in early Daito-ryu), as I have written over-and-over again, practiced basic breathing exercises, which one could also term kokyu-ho, which literally means “the method of breathing.” “Kokyu-ryoku yosei-ho” means “the cultivation of breath power.” This begs a question, because one can only further develop what one already has. Can we start with a two-person exercise that “refines” power, without developing such power first?

Retorna al tema de la imposibilidad de refinar algo de lo que se carece. ¿Qué sentido tienen los ejercicios por parejas de kokyu ho, cuando no se tiene kokyu que desarrollar? Para eso hay prácticas, ejercicios, en los que no se require compañero; por ejemplo el tanren uchi, los suburi de ken y de jo…

But, without barre work, no ballet; without scales, no virtuoso pianists; without juggling with the feet, no soccer; without prep work, no cordon-bleu. Without exhaustive solo training, no aikido? At least, no aikido of Ueshiba Morihei.

O también: “sin (Aiki) jujutsu, no hay Aikido. No al menos el Aikido de O’Sensei.”

El artículo completo en: http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3600.

Katas Heian I-V

Los cinco kata básicos de Karate Shotokan, realizados por los maestros Osaka, Imura, Sakata, Kagawa, Ogura, Fukami, Imamura, Yokomichi, Kashiwage, Koike y Mizuno de la JKA.

Los Cinco Espíritus del Budo

Existen cinco mentes o espíritus fundamentales en el Budo: shoshin, zanshin, mushin, fudoshin y senshin. Estos antiguos conceptos, sin embargo, son enormemente ignorados en los dojos modernos. El budoka que emplea el tiempo necesario para comprender las lecciones de estos cinco espíritus, madurará hasta convertirse en un artista marcial competente. El estudiante que no toma el tiempo necesario para aprender e interiorizar estos espíritus, sienpre estará falto de calidad en su entrenamiento.

  • Shoshin: (初心) Espíritu de Principiante
  • Zanshin: (残心) Espíritu de Alerta
  • Mushin: (無心) No-Mente
  • Fudoshin: (不動心) Espítiru Inamovible
  • Senshin: (先心) Espíritu Purificado

Shoshin

El estado de Shoshin es el del espíritu del principiante. Es un estado de alerta que permanece siempre plenamente consciente y preparado para ver cosas por primera vez. La actitud de shoshin es esencial para un aprendizaje continuado. O’Sensei decía “No espereis que yo os enseñe. Debeis robarme las técnicas vosotros mismos”. El estudiante debe jugar un papel activo en cada entrenamiento, empleando una actitud shoshin, para poder robar la lección del día.

Zanshin

El espíritu de zanshin es el estado de espíritu alerta. Se describe a menudo como un estado sostenido y enaltecido de alerta. Sin embargo, el verdadero zanshin es un estado de concentración antes, durante y tras la ejecución de una técnica, donde se conserva una conexión entre tori y uke. Zanshin es el estado de la mente que nos permite estar conectados, no sólo a un atacante, sino a múltiples atacantes e incluso a un contexto: un espacio, un tiempo, un evento…

Mushin

El término original es “mushin no shin”, cuyo significado es “el espíritu de la no-mente”. Es un estado de la mente en el que no existe el miedo, la rabia o la ansiedad. A menudo se define mushin con la frase “mizu no kokoro”, que significa “mente como el agua”. Esta frase es una metáfora que describe la laguna que refleja lo que la rodea con calma, pero cuyas imágenes se desdibujan cuando un simple guijarro cae a sus aguas.

Fudoshin

El estado de fudoshin se caracteriza por una mente inalterable y un espíritu inquebrantable. Es coraje y estabilidad, manifestados mental y físicamente. En lugar de indicar rigidez e inflexibilidad, fudoshin describe una condición que no es fácilmente alterada por pensamientos internos o fuerzas externas. Es capaz de recibir un fuerte ataque manteniendo la compostura y el equilibrio. Recibe y cede ligeramente, con las raíces bien plantadas, y refleja la agresión de vuelta a su origen.

Senshin

Senshin es el espíritu que trasciende los cuatro primeros estados de la mente. Es un espíritu que protege y armoniza el Universo. Senshin es un espíritu de compasión que abarca y sirve a toda la humanidad, y cuya función es reconciliar la discordia en el mundo. Mantiene que toda vida es siempre sagrada. Es la mente del Buddha, y la percepción de O’Sensei de la función del Aikido.

Conseguir el senshin es esencialmente equivalente a la iluminación, y puede muy bien exceder el ámbito de la práctica diaria. Sin embargo, los cuatro primeros espíritus probablemente pueden ser obtenidos por el practicante serio a través de la alerta y el entrenamiento sincero. Obtener estos estados de la mente pueden beneficiar al estudiante de innumerables formas.

Shoshin puede liberar al estudiante de un frustrante proceso de aprendizaje, dándole la capacidad de discernir lo que no era capaz de ver con anterioridad. Zanshin puede elevar la percepción total del estudiante, mejorando la práctica de su randori. Mushin puede liberar la ansiedad del estudiante sometido a presión, mejorando su rendimiento en los exámenes. Fudoshin puede proporcionar la confianza para mantener la posición bajo atáques físicos desproporcionados. El budoka serio debe siempre encontrar formas de incorporar estos espíritus en su entrenamiento diario.

Publicado en budo, life. 2 Comments »

Senderos

Todo sendero no se parece al otro. Siempre el sendero le corresponde al guerrero que le transita.

He visto gente caminando en el sendero, caer y desaparecer. He visto a otros caer levantarse y seguir caminado. He visto los que se pierden, otros que toman atajos que solo los llevan al principio.

También he visto senderos llanos y expeditos, algo anchos y tranquilos. Y los que más me han sorprendido son esos senderos pedregosos, angostos, maltrechos, los cuales llevan al mismo lugar que llevan todos y he visto a guerreros caminarlos sin frustrarse ni perderse.

Pero la visión más triste y desgarradora que he visto, es a los guerreros los cuales, el único obstáculo que se encuentran en la senda, es el de su propia sombra.

Publicado en budo, life. 3 Comments »

Demonstration by Saito Morihiro Sensei

This is Morihiro Saito Sensei in action. Please, note that during the last part of it, filmed on 2001, Sensei was ill with cancer, and could barely move. Even in those conditions, you can feel the martiality of one of the great masters of all time.

I wish I would have been able to train with him. Fortunately, his legacy is still alive in Iwama Ryu, in all of his uchi and soto deshi. I’m fortunate enough to train with one of them, Daniel Toutain Sensei, at least once a year.

IMAF Taikai 2007 at Cala Montjoi

This year’s Taikai at Cala Montjoi has been a complete success. The organization has been just perfect, and the location a good combination of sun, sand, sea and tatami.

We counted with the presence of Jan Janssens (7th dan Aikijujutsu Yoseikan), José Guisado (7th dan Goshin Jujutsu), José Miranda (6th dan Aikijujutsu Yoseikan Ha), Pau Ramon Planellas (6th dan Nihon Kobudo), Juan Antonio Salas (5th dan Aikijujutsu Yoseikan Ha), David Buisán (4th dan Goshin Kenpo), Pere Soler (4th dan Mugai Ryu Iai Heido), Xavier Teixidó (3rd dan Aikijujutsu Yoseikan Ha), Miguel Ángel Ibáñez (3rd dan Aikijujutsu Yoseikan Ha) and others, among the Sensei. The best in their specialities.

We could practice a full weekend of Aikijujutsu, Jujutsu, Nihon Taijutsu, Iaido, Iaijutsu, Aikuchi and other martial disciplines.

I never step out of the “aiki tatami”, where Senseis Janssens, Miranda, Salas, Ibañez and Teixidó did their best to try to teach us some of the techniques of their two different Yoseikan lines. Miranda Sensei’s line, Yoseikan Ha, includes techniques from old schools, usually meaning Daito Ryu, but also Aikuchi, Jo Gatame, etc. We could say (or, at least it seems to me) that this line is more traditional and painful in its forms.

Janssens Sensei’s Yoseikan tends to be more dynamic in its application. Rich in Sutemi Waza, this line doesn’t invest time in making complicated human knots with its ukes. Instead, tori gets rid of his ukes in a quite expeditive manner.

I also attended the Aikuchi class by Miranda Sensei. Those expecting a class in Tanto Dori didn’t get what they were ready for. In this work, it is tori who’s welding the aikuchi (tanto without tsuba), and it is the aikuchi wielder who “wins” in the kata. A very interesting work, from a different perspective.

Saturday night, the attending groups prepared an exhibition in honor of Javier Juarez Sensei, recently deceased. The Spirit of Budo was present all over it, with demonstrations of Aikijujutsu, Jujutsu, Kenpo, Iaijutsu, Nihon Taijutsu, Aikuchi, Jo Gatame, Tambojutsu, even some Hojojutsu… It was a very emotional moment.

At the end, my whole body was acking for a complete day and night… But I loved it! Hope to see you all next year!!

Aikido Dobun (instructive principles) by Morihei Ueshiba

One spirit
Four souls
Three elements
Eight powers

As taught by Sadao Takaoka Shihan, Wakayama Aikikai dojo

Mototsumitama (literally translated as the Great Basic Metaphysical Substance of Being) of the one spirit, four souls, three elements, and eight powers, make up the Great God. The Great God is the living infinite mother who has spread spiritual and physical prosperity throughout space. Space was once empty, with no Heaven and no Earth. Suddenly a pinhole opened up in this empty space.

This pinhole was the very origin of existence. From this hole, Ki of the Great God, which was finer than steam, smoke or mist, gradually came forth to form a circle which surrounded the pinhole and gave birth to the Kotodama of Suu. This birth was not only the birth of the physical world, but of the spiritual world as well.

The universe then began its natural respiration taking a deep breath of expansion, and as it expanded sound flowed from it. This original sound was the kotodama Suu. Suu then continued expanding in four directions and formed a pulsating circle. When Suu has developed it turns into U. The constant work of Suu produced the kotodama U.

The kotodama U, which is the origin of spirit as well as substance, divides into two and works as opposing forces which function independently. Each of these two functions has its own Mitama (spirit). One of these forces flows up and generates the kotodama A, while the other function falls to Earth and creates the kotodama O.

With A going up and O going down an opposing force is created, and held together by Ki, an attraction is formed. Takamagahara (high planes of heaven) represents the universe. It teaches us what the law and order of the universe should be and how the gods reside within it. Everyone s family represents Takamagahara and each individual has Takamagahara within him/herself.

All the elements of this universe constantly breathe and flux and live every moment of our lives. In other words, Takamagahara is the great celestial globe which has successfully accomplished its formation and wishes. It is the very origin of creation of heaven and earth. To come to understand the wishes of Takamagahara and pursue the tasks of the gods to satisfy their will is Aikido. Clarify the Ki of space, the Ki of the self-curdling island (Onogorojima), the KI of the universe, and all the ways which mitama come into your body. Make all the breathings of the universe match your own. Use these lines as the law, and make them accomplish the mission of the universal heaven. The basic principle to pursue in each direction is called Aikido.

Aikido should be the doctrine endowed by god to clarify the workings of the universe. The past, the present, and the future are the routes which the universe should follow. This includes the human body, as it has the universe within it. Purify the universe and harmonize it with the three worlds of the manifest, the spiritual, and that of the gods. Following this continually is Aikido.

The core of the universal dynamism consists of 75 sounds. Each one of these sounds obeys three rules: triangle (Iku-musubi), circle (Taru-musubi), and square (Tamatsume-musubi). The kotodama, A, O, U, E, I, manifesting the mind of the Founding god (Kuni no Katachi no Kami), interacting with the neutral god (Toyokumo no Kami), the functions of the Five gods came into being. When the eight powers interact with each other, the light, pure ones went up to the heavens, and the heavier, impure ones fell to the Earth.

Each time the heavens and the Earth interacted, some functions fell to Earth, expanding it. This was done by the god of Tamatsume-musubi. With the three elements, Iku-musubi, Taru-musubi, and Tamatsume-musubi, influencing the process, the universe grew and continues to grow today. Aiki is this interaction and use of kotodama. It is the one spirit, four souls, three elements, and the eight powers.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, one hundred, one thousand, one million, and the great Mitama of all These words represent the one spirit, four souls, three elements, and the eight powers. Ueshiba Sensei never failed to recite these words in his prayer before and after Aikido practice in order to teach us to assimilate ourselves within the universe.

By doing so, we can produce techniques which make the three elements visible in the manifest world. Wishing for world peace, Ueshiba Sensei always preached that human beings are also a part of the universe.

The Three Elements

Ueshiba Sensei told us in his Dobun that the Three Elements are gas, liquid, and solid. After studying this for a long period of time, I came up with my interpretation for this. I think that these three elements are three stages. When O Sensei said gas, he wanted to tell you to match your breath with that of your opponent.

Liquid indicates that you should absorb your opponent’s strength. Solid implies that you should use your breath and perform the technique. In other words, in the gas stage we should lead our opponents with our Ki. In the liquid stage we should assimilate ourselves with our opponent. In the solid stage we gradually apply ourselves in the desired directions to complete the technique.

The Four Souls

Historically in Japan four separate aspects of functions of mitama have been recognized. The first is Kushimitama, or the heavens, which give light to all things in order to purify their KI. The second is Sachimitama, or the Earth, which lavishly provides and never expects anything in return. The active and valiant Aramitama, or fire, is indispensable for any type of development. The harmonious Nigimitama is the water that can flow anywhere and rules the Earth.

The Eight Powers

The eight powers are always contrastive to each other. Moving force and stopping force, dissolving force and curdling force, pulling force and releasing force, joining force and separating force, work actively in the universe to sustain life and the Earth. This is also true within ourselves, as we are part of the universe and have a universe within our bodies. I draw an analogy from the Ken-zen-ichi-jyo sword tactics which were written in the twelfth century.

In Ken-zen-ichi-jyo we learn that if an opponent gives you his full 100% attack, you should receive the attack with zero. If he gives you 90% then you receive it with 10. 80-20, 70-30, 60-40, 40-60, 30-70, 20-80, 10- 90, 0-100. I believe this is much easier to understand than the definitions given by O Sensei. If we meet 100% with 100% we end up with a 50-50 connection and we cannot proceed with the desired function.

Fire and water are two basic examples of the opposing powers. Fire naturally flows vertically, while water flows horizontally. Water puts out fire, and fire evaporates water.

Many people ask about Aikido with relation to religion. I don t believe in religions because I know that history has seen a lot of conflicts among religions which have caused many great battles. Instead I believe in the god of fire and the god of water. It is such a simple concept that I wish people all over the world could come to support the idea.

The final set of contrastive powers is positive and negative. When explaining these two forces I use the terms plus and minus. Correct breathing is critical to using these forces effectively. Take a breath as you pronounce A, O, U, E, I. Try to let your body learn to breathe the kotodama, and not your brain. In doing so you will not need commands from your brain to move as quickly as possible.

In Aikido, zero (or nothingness) is necessary most of the time. Kokoro (heart and mind) is one thing while Ki is something else. Many people believe that they are identical, but it they are not. Heart and mind remain innocent for your entire life, while Ki is always fluctuating. You must purify yourself to become nothing. What you do in Aikido never fails to reflect the state of your Ki. If your Ki is clouded, you cannot accept or lead your opponent. I really hope that everyone can learn to master the Aikido that Ueshiba Sensei taught and lived.

Shakkan-Ho Conversions to Metric and Imperial Systems

function shakkanhoToMetric(theForm) {if (theForm.shaku.value == “”) {theForm.shaku.value=”0″} if (theForm.sun.value == “”) {theForm.sun.value=”0″} if (theForm.bu.value == “”) {theForm.bu.value=”0″} theForm.cm.value = parseFloat(theForm.shaku.value)*30.3022+ parseFloat(theForm.sun.value)*3.03022+ parseFloat(theForm.bu.value)*0.303022}function cmtoshaku(theForm) {if (theForm.cm.value == “”) {theForm.cm.value=”0″}shaku=parseFloat(theForm.cm.value)/30.3022;shaku=shaku-(shaku%1);sun= (parseFloat(theForm.cm.value)-shaku*30.3022)/3.03022;sun=sun-(sun%1);bu= (parseFloat(theForm.cm.value)-shaku*30.3022-sun*3.03022)/0.303022;theForm.shaku.value= shaku;theForm.sun.value= sun;theForm.bu.value= bu;}function metricToImperial(theForm){if (theForm.cm.value == “”) {theForm.cm.value=”0″}theForm.inch.value = parseFloat(theForm.cm.value)/2.54}function imperialToMetric(theForm){if (theForm.inch.value == “”) {theForm.cm.value=”0″}theForm.cm.value = parseFloat(theForm.inch.value)*2.54}function convertMetric(theForm){cmtoshaku(theForm);metricToImperial(theForm)}function convertShakkanho(theForm){shakkanhoToMetric(theForm);metricToImperial(theForm)}function convertImperial(theForm){imperialToMetric(theForm);cmtoshaku(theForm)}

A useful utility to convert between old Japanese units (Shakkan-Ho) and the good old Metric and Imperial Systems.

Shakkan-Ho   Metric System   Imperial System
shaku (尺)
sun (寸)
bu (分)
  cm   inch
   

One shaku (尺) is approximately 30cm. One sun (寸) is about 3cm, while one bu (分) equals 3mm. As a curiosity, one ken is equivalent to 6 shaku (180cm), approximately the height of a man.

Even when Shakkan-Ho is the old system, it’s still used in Japanese martial arts for measuring the length of weapons, as well as for clothing (in which case a bu corresponds to 3.79mm) and footwear (when it corresponds to 2.4mm.) In any case, one shaku always equals to ten sun; and one sun contains always ten bu.

Thanks to Leonard from www.network54.com forums and to Kampai Budokai for the good information and the JavaScript code.

Three Techniques That Have Everything

O’Sensei once said that a student could learn all the basics of aikido if he practiced just three techniques: tai-no-henko, morotedori-kokyuho, and suwariwaza-kokyuho. Given the seemingly endless number of different waza and their variations, how is it possible to encompass aikido in just these three primary techniques?

Read the complete article at: http://traditional-aikido.com/Technique/three_techniques.htm