Somewhere in Australia there is a beetle who thinks that beer bottles are female beetles and tries to mate with them. The guy in the TED Talk below says they almost went extinct because of it. Its a common thing to do something unrealistic in the martial arts, but its even more common to believe that you are doing something totally realistic, something that can happen, and it really can't happen at all.
If you think about Aikido techniques as looping an arm around an invisible beach ball, you can see Nariyama loop this guys arm over the top of the beach ball. You have an oshi taoshi, and hiki taoshi.
My friend Nick shows us a big shiho nage, or tenkai kote gaeshi. Same darn loop just on the underside of the invisible beach ball.
The basics of Aikido are that you get a guy to over extend his arm and then you give it back to him in a jacked up way, then you try to drop the guy. The giving it back almost always entails twisting something.
Here is the short list of ideas that exist:
A) extend and drop
B) give it back in a different way than you found it and drop
C ) sometimes add a turn
The thing about Aikido is that there has to be a severe abuse of mutually shared space. or, in other words, you have attack like a reckless dumbass without much of a game plan, and with out regard for getting things back the same way you left them.
My food for thought is that the invisible beach ball may be the damn beer beetle bottle. Its a concept that seems easy to teach, folks remember it, and it looks good. A beer bottle shortlist is,
A) think in terms of a great dynamic sphere(beach ball) of peaches and harmony
B) shape things to fit your great dynamic sphere(beach ball) of peaches and harmony theory
C) teach folks that success and prestige entails wearing a hakama
D) invent a guru type figure of amazing hard to understand and obtain ability and project it on to the guy who gives out the colored belts
E) eventually spiritually transcend the Active break a sweat/competitive model as you grow older and slower( and possibly fatter) and things start taking a few days to heal up, or else don't heal up at all. Start talking the slow is always good game, and it requires less laundry detergent to wash your gi.
F) but make sure you throw around someone considerably younger because it looks better and we need the dues.
If you can't get from point A to point B through the beer bottle short list then may be you ain't Zen enough,watched enough Anime, or immersed your self in enough Japanese culture. Perhaps you havent been loyal enough. Maybe you should invest your time listening to folks talk about internal power, martial belly dancing, and the ol' relaxation is the key to everything you do crowd. Its just another way to keep you clinging to the beer bottle a little longer.
In Aikido you have a guy who moves a little, to get another guy to move a whole lot. A little gear, versus a Big gear. You can see the wrist twist little gear and the big gear body moving. The little gear can see things coming a mile away, I guess symbolizing a hyperaware state that the great sphere of harmony and peace affords us.
When two guys move together(tsukuri) in a seamless fashion, the precipitating event that makes everything go smooth and classy is called Kuzushi. Kuzushi is a loss of postion, or structure, or the process of not getting things back the way you left them. Aikido movement has been described as a spiral, or maybe an invisible beach ball of peaches and harmony,
Here are two judo dudes. The difference being is the gears are a little more equal, two gears about the same time maybe 60/40 sometimes. You can see the fitting together a whole lot better. The loss of position has to do with the whole body, and balance. You put your whole self out there( not just an extension) in a balanced state and you get it returned in an unbalanced state. Judo movement has been likened to waves in the ocean, which tend to hurt more than spirals coming from the invisible beach ball of harmony and peaches.
If you look at Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, you don't get crashing waves, or invisible beach balls of peaches and harmony. And as far as watching as a spectator it isnt much to look at. I read where Jigoro Kano changed the rules of Judo to emphasize throwing because it was a more interesting thing to watch, even though it appeared that the Newaza or the ground fighting was where early participants were trying to take it.
Same thing with your MMA/UFC crap. The early matches were impressive but not much to look at. So they put in rounds so that the fans attention span could be saved by the bell, and everybody could get back to flailing at each other.
Would you spend 70 bucks to watch a true non-violent solution to conflict like this Gracie vs Jimmerson match?
Jiu jitsu and Aikido have basically the same arm manipulations. The techniques reflect moving things in a way that they dont like to be moved, using as much leverage as you can find. They dont reflect the presence of an Invisible ball or peace and harmony.
Jiu jitsu, in my done it for a nearly a year terms, is about causing a collapse of defensive structure, and attacking weak isolated areas. Its a realistically slow process. Kuzushi, the precipitating event that brings about tsukuri, two parts fitting together, can be seen and technically studied, but it exists at the conceptual level first, unlike the got to learn how to feel it kuzushi in Judo and Aikido. Sometimes it looks classy, sometimes it doesnt. Eventually it becomes a feel it thing, but early on its a concept and a lot easier to learn and practice.
In Aikido you cant even see it, the kuzushi and tsukuri because they blend, and because they must blend, you get a lot of fake looking crap floating around.
In Judo. it becomes like another sense, because Judo is about training and getting the most out of your sense of balance and touch, and it evolves around more conservative movement than Aikido.
In Jiu-jitsu they are all physically active qualties, they can become reactive and responsive, but they start out active. And active things can be studied a lot easier than things that have to be felt to be recognized. But if you notice the guy getting tapped doesnt move as much as the other guy, which is totally opposite of aikido where the guy getting whacked is doing the most moving.
And that is probably the real nature of things, if you want to do something you have to get it to hold still and be able to wrap your self around it. Like a real female beetle, not a beer bottle you think is a beetle.
The unifying factor is about seamless movement. Whether it is active or reactive. Its important that there isn't any gaps between a collapse of position, or structure, and the fitting together, and the final labeled product, whether its a throw, joint lock, or choke.
I'm not very good so I can make a lot of folks in Jiu jitsu look pretty seamless, especially with the folks who have progressed beyond the conceptual level to the feel it level. And the seamless effect is really about the disparity of levels. I make a lot of people look good and sometimes they thank me for it. But sometimes you are expected to make someone to look good and odds are that person owns a hakama. And if you are about to make them look bad, they stop you and walk you through a perfect world.
Which makes me think that along with the invisible beach ball mentality of movement beer bottle beetle, there is also a seamless movement beer bottle beetle too.
The expectation that there should be no gaps between the collapse, the fit, and the end state.
In jiu jitsu its not that unusual that you have a beginning student that can consistently get to an end state, that is, gain a submission, in a way that a Judo beginner or especially an Aikido beginner can't get to. When you learn to see the world in a tactile sense it takes a while. In jiu-jitsu you know what is going on because its squashing you. You can either breathe or you can't, you can either move something or you can't, you are either protecting something or you aren't.
In the early stages its not exactly technique that is the determining factor or the ability to feel what the other guy is actually doing. It's the speed and strength exerted in the large gaps between the collapse, fit, and end.
It's a common sense idea that beginners are expected to behave in this way, and as they get better the strength and speed in the gaps decreases and gives way to awareness and skill. Once you can put a guy in a bad spot he has to exert energy to just get back to even, and then things slow down and things begin to find an end state a whole lot easier.
Sometimes I really hate Aikido. What usually happens is that you start a prearranged move and the other guy stops you and lectures you about being relaxed or some other crap. And the lecture is always this is how it was taught to me, or other crap. It almost never comes from the place of experience, which is why this bow to your sensei, lineage crap is another thing keeping us on the beer bottle.
There is a lot of education in the gaps. And most folks dont want to go there.
I tried this, had to let go, and try something else. That learning/survival instinct that allows folks to develop realistic habits according to their age and body size and condition.
There are tons of martial arts schools out there, that really don't want their students to learn anything. All they want you is to keep coming back paying dues, or bowing to the sensei, who may just like the captive audenice to listen to his or her dumb stories, and even dumber ideas about movement and conflict.
There are tons of beer bottle beetles out there.