The Seitei, in and of itself, provided no good idea to solve the issue. I've heard stories over the years about dojo where senior jodo ranks went to teach and while there ran into people who have done Seitei jo the same way for 20 or 30 years; albeit incorrectly. When offering correction or if you're PC, "enhanced ideas and alternatives" , the senior jo teacher was told specifically, "No thanks.
I've always done it this way and I don't care to change. Just O-M-G What a closed mind attitude, not to mention WTF are your students doing talking to a senior teacher like that; esp. What kind of absentee landlord are you Never mind not being able to progress in your learning.
So all of my people are taught manners i. After all; someday they'll be a senior teacher and how would they like that kind of crude response. I once heard a Japanese Sensei describe some American students as being little more than "White Barbarians". After hearing stories of another Sensei's jodo students basically refusing instruction from a menkyo holder while attending a jodo session, then that description is apropo.
And, all of my people are taught to not stop their learning at whatever "seitei" is being proferred. Go on to all the advanced work as quick as you can and are ready. And perhaps most important of all Seitei is seitei and just because Aikido calls it "the 8 releases and the 17" or Judo the "Nage no Kata" doesn't mean that it isn't still a condensation of the larger art form; granted, a very important part but still not the whole.
In fact, take every description where the word jodo appears and replace it with Aikido. That's how fundamental this idea really is. The 17 Randori no Kata contains the essence of all of Aikido. The 17 is all you ever need to learn. This IS The 17 that you are looking for. Tags: aikido, fundamentals, jodo, principles, samurai, seitei, self-defense, stick, sword, training.
Have you ever noticed that the phase, "Tastes like chicken" seems to be the most repeated phrase in the English language? Well, maybe not but then again, never let an exageration stand in the way of a good story.
That phrase however does seem to be the standard by which all "mystery meat" is judged and is often used for comparitive purposes. Just the other day on a Face Book page that is used by the subdivision I live in, someone made a post about how their front yard had been dug up in the middle of the night by a pack of wild hogs.
Well, we do live next to a wilderness area that is probably a couple of thousand acres in size but I seriously doubt that a pack of feral hogs came through the guard gate at the front of the subdivision, walked down the main street to his yard, rooted around a bit and then left the same way, all without being seen by anyone or at least barked at by the neighbor canines.
I commented on his post that it was likely an armadillo since I've seen them walking around the neighbors' yards before and indeed, I have my own armadillo problems and have to put out repellant to prevent them from digging up my grass as they search for that tasty grub for their dinner plate. One thing led to another and I ended up posting a recipe for how to cook roast armadillo; a culinary treat common to South Texas and Northern Mexico So of course of course , during the series of posts and comments by a couple of dozen people calling for everything from organizing a feral hog-hunt to whether or not we're allowed to discharge.
So there you go. Compare it to chicken. So why "chicken"? Why not, "So does it taste like artichoke"? Or how about, "Does it taste like nutra rat or speckled trout or red cabbage"? I had to ponder on that one for about as long as it took to knock back a double scotch on the rocks and voila! It suddenly struck me like slap in the face with a dirty tail feather. The Gods of the Universal Creation of Everything and Everything Beyond That gave us a benchmark by which all else can be judged and evaluated.
Does It Taste Like Chicken and if so, how? Something easy, common and universally accessible. Something we all know well. Notice how useful this benchmarking comparison is and how it is used in the foodie decision making process Do you see? Using the taste of chicken as a benchmark by which to judge other food has universal value and utility. Why would anyone compare food to the taste of broccolli or rutabaga when you can use chicken as the universal benchmark instead.
Heck, I bet you that cave-bound monks in Tibet who haven't seen daylight since they hit puberty use the taste of chicken in determining whether or not they want to try a taste of that "thing" sitting on the plate in front of them. Caves are dark you see So "benchmark chicken" has value If The Gods of the Universal Creation of Everything and Everything Beyond That gave us chicken by which we can judge whether or not to eat that "blob" sitting on the plate in front of us, or that's flying around the campfire, or that's twitching on the spit over the glowing coals then it's simply logical to assume that the Gods of Budo and How To Kick Max-Booty would give us the same kind of benchmark by which to judge and evaluate advanced kata and other such ninja-esque ideas.
This is called fundamental principles as applied by properly structured kihon and basic kata; the "Budo Chicken Benchmark" as-it-were. We can decide to "consume" that new Budo-Stuff or simply ignore it as simply being one more bad plate of food that should be thrown out.
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How do you judge whether or not that "thing" you see on the internet is even close to what it should be? Pull out your "Budo Chicken Benchmark" kihon and basic waza and use the benchmark. If what you are looking at has no fundamental similiarity to the benchmark then it has no value. So throw it out like the salmonella-infested chicken carcass that it is and look for something that truly "tastes like chicken".
Time for brunch. I know you probably scream and cry that your little world won't let you go This phrase from the song "Are You Experienced" by Hendrix one of my personal favorite artists from way back yonder yesteryear describes the state of affairs for many martial artists today. Stuck in a rut. Teaching the same-o-same-o year after year. Never changing.
Never reconsidering. Never reviewing. Going stale. Unable to escape your little world or unwilling actually ; almost like a big minnow in a small jar. Over the last year or so we've become increasingly more focused on our tanto work and doing so has necessitated our "review and reconsideration" of the tanto work left us by Tomiki in his Aikido Ryu.
One historical item that I was unaware until fairly recently was that since he built most of his teaching pedagogy after the end of WW II he was apparently influenced in his tanto work by the level of street crime in Japan. Imagine a broken country with everyone starving to death, no jobs to speak of, some living in cardboard boxes, entire cities burnt to the ground and still not fully rebuilt 10 or 15 years later The sensei I spent 20 odd years training under used to tell stories about training at the Kodokan during the 's and taking gifts of cartons of cigarettes and cans of spam and food to the teachers there so that they literally could eat and feed their families; sometimes using the cigarettes as barter for other items they needed, but had no money for.
Forbidden to own firearms a holdover from both Samurai law where only Samurai could have weapons and the Allied Occupation many Japanese carried knives and attacks in some cities were apparently quite frequent in contradiction to today's view of Japan as a "crimeless society" which while it may be today, 50 or 60 years ago it wasn't. Tomiki's tanto work and subsequent tanto randori concepts were focused on defense against a tanto but the attacks as seen in his kata and randori were structured in my view around classical use of the tanto and for whatever reason, were adequate for randori practice but not truly reflective of an efficient knife-fighter.
They were also limited in that the attacks were either broad overhead stikes, big circular attacks aimed at the kidneys or simple forward thrusts. All-in-all not too shabby for practice and easily cleaned up by lots of randori where the attacks would naturally evolve in the heat of the moment as-it-were but still, not truly reflective of how to actually "use" the knife and "think" like a true knife fighter.
So IMO, while Tomiki Aikido has a much greater emphasis on using and defending against the tanto than probably any other style of Aikido , it still lacks a method by which to teach the mental, aggressive, cut them down fast mentality that could change Tomiki tanto work from "merely good" to "incredibly dangerous" which would in turn, create "real ability" to defend against a knife attach and not simply do "randori" or "shiai".
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Don't get me wrong here. It is truly a great place to start your training in tanto and it is capable of teaching very effective knife defense. I've never had to use it in a real knife fight but personally knowing a couple of players who have and knowing at least one other player at a different dojo who used it very successfully after being attacked, I feel confident that it is, and remains, an effective study. During the Vietnam era and in the period immediately after that, the US Military was evaluating the lessons learned from that experience and began looking for ways to create a new animal for the battlefield.
Some things such as the New Earth Battalion and staring at goats were tried for a while and eventually discarded but one item that survived and was successful at least until replaced by the Budo Du'Jour after a change of command was a new form of knife work developed for Spec Ops by Michael Echanis one of the original goat staring guys. This form of knife work, while using strokes and moves that everything else out there used, had a new "mental" emphasis that can best be summed up as, "all in or all out, there is no in-between".
Many forms of knife work use 3 ma-ai; basically close-in, middle distance and far distance.
The issue with this however, is that too much time is spent and taught at the middle distance, basically the distance used in "The Mark of Zorro" where you dual and exchange cuts or as one of my deshi put it apparently from knifework learned prior to joining us "you cut, I cut, you cut, I cut". The fact is, no matter how good you think you are you're likely to have to accept some level of carving on yourself anyway; but why make intuitive a system in which y0u plan on being cut in order to cut e.
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Why not stay outside the range of being cut and then jumping in to finish the opponent in the fastest and most efficient way possible? Dualing at the middle distance strikes many of us having the mental quality of "hanging back" until you are sure of that open opportunity to cut. So the Echanis system, by using what a Budo-man could refer to as "classic kihon and kata" forms, uses a system in which there is NO middle distance. You stay outside the range and if he violates the range then you parry and go for a fatal stab or deep slash or, if he offers an opening in his defense then you jump in FAST and take him.
There is no slashing, dualing, or cut-for-cut; only "all in or all out" with no middle distance to speak of; the allowable operating ma-ai dropping out the middle range and effectively having only far and close. And no, don't tell me that competition with a big rubber sausage wrapped in white leather with a red dot on the end is the same. It just isn't unless you let me stab you in the face or bladder with it and also allow me to add atemi with my free hand and then drive it through you until you fold up like a lawn chair.
How many times do Aikido Sensei talk a good talk about uke giving "real attacks" but those "real" attacks look like my grandmother getting up for a fresh mimosa. No matter how good the physical movements look, where is the mental aspect of uke giving a good, focused and efficient attack efficient being BOTH physical AND mental in its intensity? This doesn't mean vicious and dangerous training.
This only should be viewed as controlled intensity such that if tori doesn't get serious in their mind then uke may scare them. One story that comes to my mind here is that of my wife being called upon to uke for a jodo promotional demo at a Houston seminar many years ago. A jodo student from out of town wanted to demo for promotion but his normal uchidachi failed to attend. It wasn't the speed that make him cry out and literally jump back almost failing his promotional exam but instead, it was her mentality, that projection of focus and intensity that communicated to him the idea of, "Here I come!
Move well or die where you stand! Pretty thought provoking isn't it? At least it was for me when I sat down and really gave some serious thought to it. Producing the most efficient uke possible by using mind-set and the most dangerous and efficient attacks possible, in turn producing a tori who becomes even better than thought possible.
It may start in learning to use and defend against the knife using efficiency instead of loose sloppiness and taking out that "dualing" thing ma-ai that looks good only on paper but it certainly should carry over to empty hand practice also; esp.