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Aikido & Kendo, The Sporting Way 2:4

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The arrangement of a formal room for entertaining includes strategy for self-defence. A samurai host could never be certain that he could trust his guest. Usually the guest sits over there. So you sit over there. Thank you. The host now sits where, in more dangerous days, the guest used to sit. It was an act of folly to sit with your back to the paper screen doorway. Welcome to Japan. Thank you. Kampai. The screens that surrounded the host concealed his bodyguard, who could burst in to defend their master. Though in ordinary life, the Japanese no longer take such precautions, there are still some who think it necessary. I found several differences between Western martial arts and Japanese or Eastern martial arts. One thing is... Uhmm In the West, there is boxing and wrestling. There are the weaving, and ducking, and jumping. And in Japan, all of the martial arts, like Jūdō, Kendō, Karate, Aikidō, the movement is the head, or never move. And walk like this. The steps like this. - Tsugi-ashi. -Yes, tsugi-ashi. And in the Western ones, there is jumping, you see. And I wondered why there is a difference between the two. And this is because, Japanese was basically an agricultural nation. In agriculture, you know, you have these things to put the soil. And the movement in this case, one, two. Never walk like this. And all the martial arts' movements, as well as Kabuki, it's this type of movement. And against, you know, hunting. We must run, and we must, hey, Jim, take that animal. So we have to run. And this kind of, I think of the wrestling and boxing is jumping. And in Japan, never jumping, the head never moves. I think there's a basic, you know, the motifs of the martial arts in those two different ways. Master Kuguri has achieved such command of the Tomiki style of Aikidō, that he is able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the art at great speed. He uses techniques taught only to advanced students, applying painful locks, chokes, and pressure to the nerves. In fighting, you know, the time when I attack you is when you're breathing like: [Steady inbreathing] And when you're breathing, pa-dah!, I hit you. But in Japanese fighting, I can easily get the breathing times. [Steady inbreathing] But, the foreigners, I find always their breathing out is more. [Fast-paced breathing out] So it is very difficult to find his breathing in. And I wondered why. Then I, somebody told me this is because of the language. Like, English accent is always pushing out, like, Fine, Okay, Yes, Let's go, No. Japanese is breathing in, "iiwa Jim-san sō, eh, hum." And always think about the enemies. Suddenly, if somebody attacked me from here, I'd have to stand up. And I have to stand and to fight, you see. And therefore, I can't sit like this. I must always move, you see. Yes. And if I sit down, like this, on the instep, and with the knees. And always right knee is up, because my sword is here, you see. And therefore, the posture, and eyes arrangement, and this type of things are very much important in Japanese ordinary life. Aikidō is very popular among Japanese university students. It is practised enthusiatically and thoroughly by large numbers of them. This is a typical class from Waseda University. Go Roku Shichi Hachi Kyū When the students' bodies are supple and warm, they move on to practising the basic movements of Aikidō. The idea of moving calmly and rotating the arms in circles to defend oneself originated in China. There, also, the fighters had a profound understanding of the joints, muscles, and vital points of the body, and developed ways of throwing or paralising an attacker. For centuries, in Japan too, these principles of soft, or internal martial arts have been used in combat training. In modern Aikidō, the dangerous techniques have been eliminated. But the mental approach remains the same. One of Jim Elkin's friends in Japan was Master Oba, a master of Aikidō, and also a master of Jūdō and many weapons systems. He is over 70, but he still teaches actively in several universities. In his long life, he has been awarded a total of 38 dans. The highest number ever earned by a Japanese individual. His life has been devoted to the fighting arts. Especially as a teacher of university students. He thinks that sport is an essential part of training. To practise martial arts was good discipline for the samurai both physically and spiritually since when they were at war, fighting became a matter of life or death. Now, however, the battlefield has been replaced by the sportsfield to train young people's minds and bodies. This is the way that the martial arts have been modernised. Aikidō was not changed instantly from a martial art to a sport. Inbetween is the classical Aikidō, still practised, and still important. When a fighting art is developed for sporting purposes, there are gains, but also certain qualities are lost. The older systems' prepared exercises take the time to be more complex and elegant. The very complicated holds work like chess moves. Each grip is a counter to the last. They are practised so that one person performs the winning moves. Two masters fighting together would use these techniques until one of them achieved a move that the other couldn't counter. Like many Japanese systems, Aikidō, even practised as a sport, aims to cultivate the mind and spirit, as well as the body. By repeating the moves in a classical manner, the girls can concentrate on perfecting their actions. The effectiveness of these throws and locks in secondary to the aim of performing them perfectly. It seems to be difficult to use the martial spirit nowadays in daily life. To discipline your spirit you need physical training. I think that to create the opportunity to train the spirit is an important aspect of today's Aikidō. All Aikidō is based on the same principles, but the sporting style is simpler. It's more direct and faster in action. Master Oba has lived through these developments.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes
Country: Brazil
Language: English
Views: 118
Posted by: halfleaf on Apr 10, 2010

Aikido & Kendo, The Sporting Way 2:4

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