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BJJGround Forum >> Rickson's connection theory


5/16/13 9:47 AM
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shark tank
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Here is a video that Henry Akins posted on his facebook page. Here is what he said in regards to the video:

"It was all setting up and using your opponents movements and energy against him. The owner of the school Nick Ushin Lowry, posted this video on "connection". When Rickson teaches it he usually shows an example from some stand-up situations to demonstrate. This CONNECTION is so important in martial arts because it allows you to "feel" what your opponent is going to do just as he begins to move and any movement you do immediately has an effect on your opponent, it is impossible to transfer energy or leverage if you don't have connection. It's the best explanation and example I have seen of it so far."

These Aikido videos showing the effortless movement of the opponent always struck me as somewhat fake. Any Aikido practitioners out there that can comment on this ability to control the opponent's movement?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwnGBLSFg7s
5/16/13 10:34 AM
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checkuroil
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Are we being trolled Phone Post 3.0
5/16/13 10:36 AM
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ChipW
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for sharktank

5/16/13 10:44 AM
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GrahamJ
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I did aikido for three years, before I started BJJ: I just try to do what I tried to do in aikido, in BJJ.
Aikido is excellent - as an abstract, and as a demonstration of principles; I think the training methodology, however, is sorely lacking.

I think whenever you study a martial art - or pretty much anything, for that matter - you eventually go beyond the surface, and start to understand, and investigate, the inner workings of it.

I love Seishiro Endo, and wish I could do what he does...not in BJJ sparring or whatever, before you start - just as a personal study:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbxWbehlB98&

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5s8ZSDPPTA&
5/16/13 10:59 AM
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GrahamJ
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shark tank - Here is a video that Henry Akins posted on his facebook page. Here is what he said in regards to the video:

"It was all setting up and using your opponents movements and energy against him. The owner of the school Nick Ushin Lowry, posted this video on "connection". When Rickson teaches it he usually shows an example from some stand-up situations to demonstrate. This CONNECTION is so important in martial arts because it allows you to "feel" what your opponent is going to do just as he begins to move and any movement you do immediately has an effect on your opponent, it is impossible to transfer energy or leverage if you don't have connection. It's the best explanation and example I have seen of it so far."

These Aikido videos showing the effortless movement of the opponent always struck me as somewhat fake. Any Aikido practitioners out there that can comment on this ability to control the opponent's movement?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwnGBLSFg7s

Regards your final paragraph: aikido is trained with the aim that the uke should always react a certain way - a way in which he tries to always maintain connection with tori.
This allows him to feel his partner's technique, too; to (theoretically, unless you train with certain old-school Japanese teachers) protect him from strikes from his partner; and to recover, should tori give him an opening.

The thinking being the same as in BJJ: if you just collapse to the floor, the other guy will beat/sweep/submit you
It's also trained with the presumption the guy will be armed (feudal Japan was a weapons culture...), so any gap, and you'll get stabbed.

...so you'll see guys keeping their balance - just about - but not going over.

Aikido is initially trained with static grabs - but ultimately, you will train it by pre-empting the grab, so by the time the guy is there, you've moved, and can unbalance him.
...so that explains thos techniques.

Aikido is a philosophy - and the techniques are merely a way of demonstrating it.
I try and practice/demonstrate it through the techniques of BJJ.

There's a lot of shit aikido out there, and there is much debate about what aikido is, and what the creator did, because many high-ranked judoka trained with Morihei Ueshiba.
For example, look at this arsehole:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s55Bpi-ukJc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

...hate that bastard.
5/16/13 11:02 AM
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Zero1
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The video isn´t that bad but I think it is to Aikidoish to understand for most people.

Let me try to find easy words for it.

Imagine you touch someone. Clinch, Wrist Control, doesn´t really matter.

The point of touch, is your point of connection. If you grab someones wrists don´t hold his wrists but try to feel his center through his arms and body.

It sounds esoteric but it isn´t. Instead of focusing your attention on the arms or whatever focus it on his center.

Why? Because if his center moves you will immediately be able to react.

You stop his move by adjusting your position.

If you don´t feel his center you will feel his attacks much later when they are stronger and faster and more difficult to stop.

Actually there is another connection. It is ther connection of your own body. So if your body isn´t connected forget about the opponents center and connection to him.

So first connect your own body and then connect to the center of your opponent and if your opponent isn´t really aware of it you will throw him with minimal effort.

Take care
Björn
5/16/13 11:29 AM
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ChokeTheFace
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Can't tell if on acid, or if blowing a logical concept out of the water. Phone Post 3.0
5/16/13 11:34 AM
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RoidsGracie
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Josh Waitzkin, who trained tai chi for many years before moving on to BJJ once was asked about the difference between tai chi and BJJ. He said with tai chi you go from abstract principles to concrete techniques while BJJ was vice versa: you learn concrete techniques to deal with specific situations and then after you get experience, you start making noticing the general principles that connect all the techniques. I know tai chi isn't aikido but what you guys are describing here sound similar in concept.
5/16/13 11:35 AM
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RoidsGracie
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And frankly, I do think the BJJ method of teaching is better - not just in martial arts but for learning in general. I remember back in my math classes when I would read theorems that would seem hopelessly up in the air and abstract for me. It was only by being shown specific examples of the theorem being applied to solve problems that I was later able to understand them.
5/16/13 11:37 AM
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BEEF & CHEESE
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If Aikidokas are experts on connection, why can't they throw anybody?
5/16/13 1:31 PM
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vegard
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There's a discussion on Akin's facebook page about the video. He says people are missing the point by watching uke flail about instead of principle behind the connection.
5/16/13 1:55 PM
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The Wizzle
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BEEF & CHEESE - If Aikidokas are experts on connection, why can't they throw anybody?

Maybe since they dont train with resisting opponents they have only mastered the concept or"mental" part while those who train live learn it through body sensitivity rather than concept?
5/16/13 2:04 PM
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RoidsGracie
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^ That's exactly right. There's a world of difference to simply have someone explain a concept to you and to intellectually get it and to actually experience it first hand and then learn from that.
5/16/13 2:09 PM
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demandango
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In the comments on his group, Henry addressed the ukes acting silly.

Also that guys page has some more sweet judo vids that don't feature any of that foolishness. Phone Post 3.0
5/16/13 5:13 PM
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Daniel/CGJJ
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Those dudes at that windsong academy also teach judo, and do it really well. Check out the vids. Phone Post 3.0
5/16/13 6:04 PM
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shark tank
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the breaking of the kuzushi in the video seems much different than breaking kuzushi in judo and that's why i make the suggestion that it looks fake. i understand the fact that one needs to stay connected to feel the opponents movement and react to it.

5/16/13 6:57 PM
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GrahamJ
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Here's another aikidoka, explaining some of the connection stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot2kv6slTls&feature=youtube_gdata_player
5/16/13 7:05 PM
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The Gimp
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Edited: 05/16/13 7:05 PM
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Zero1,

Great post. But how do you connect your own body? What exercises can you do to find your own body connection?

Currently I simply focus on being aware of my body's contact points with the ground and where my center and weight are. Am I on the right track?
5/16/13 7:09 PM
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vegard
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I like this comment best from the discussion:

"Neal Winkler -- I just tried this on my girlfriend and it didn't really do anything. haha "
5/16/13 7:11 PM
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The Gimp
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BEEF & CHEESE - If Aikidokas are experts on connection, why can't they throw anybody?

Because their training methodology sucks.

Some* aikido guys understand connection, but they don't train with true aliveness.

All BJJ players train in an alive manner, but they do not understand connection.

Someday (soon, I think, within the next 5-10 years) you will see a TON of BJJ players incorporating connection into their game. This will take BJJ to a whole new level!

*having trained aikido for several years under a number of instructors, this "connection" idea is either unknown or referred to in vague, mystical language (chi, etc). It's incredibly difficult to find someone willing and able to demonstrate and teach this concept in plain english. For example I'm pretty sure that Kanai sensei understood connection but he didn't really teach the concept at any of his seminars that I attended. Aikido people are expected to kind of learn that sort of thing through osmosis, so of course most never do.
5/16/13 7:15 PM
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The Gimp
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An interesting recent development is the martial training method "Aunkai". The founder Akuzawa sensei appears to have "it" (connection). And he teaches connection to his students using a variety of wacky training methods.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbvipmVYGzA

IIRC here was a thread/investigation of this guy on Bullshido a few years ago - a purple belt went to try this stuff out, maybe? - and deemed him legit.
5/16/13 7:35 PM
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GrahamJ
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Pop and lock, man...

There's a guy in the US called Dan Harden - he posts on the Aikiweb forums - who claims to do what Morihei Ueshiba did; to teach MMA and BJJ people; and he's not strictly an aikidoka: he doesn't wear a gi, and insists people attend his seminars in a t shirt, and casual trousers, because he wants to be non-political.

He does some stuff in Boston, I recall - so if any of you guys are genuinely interested, get over to Aikiweb, and look at getting to one of his seminars: the guy's meant to be legit, and he explains stuff in a straight forward manner.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=8

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22270
5/16/13 7:39 PM
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The Gimp
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GrahamJ - Pop and lock, man...

There's a guy in the US called Dan Harden - he posts on the Aikiweb forums - who claims to do what Morihei Ueshiba did; to teach MMA and BJJ people; and he's not strictly an aikidoka: he doesn't wear a gi, and insists people attend his seminars in a t shirt, and casual trousers, because he wants to be non-political.

He does some stuff in Boston, I recall - so if any of you guys are genuinely interested, get over to Aikiweb, and look at getting to one of his seminars: the guy's meant to be legit, and he explains stuff in a straight forward manner.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=8

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22270

There's also Mike Sigman who was known for demoing connection principles in the late 90s / early 2000s. He's got a blog that makes for interesting reading:

http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/
5/16/13 7:43 PM
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Stubbsy
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This is an excellent concept that has been exploited by many teachers. The ukes are so complicit in the movement that the true concept has spiralled into the ridiculous. It is kind of like watching the extremes of reaction and connection, I know, I did it for around 8-9 years.

I love the sensitivity idea, and the concept is completely correct, but have a look at high level judo and you will see it actually working. If Aiki really 'worked' they would be working Judo guys at high levels easily. This goes back to the aliveness concept.

Just to emphasise, the connection thing is not bullshit, but in these videos and many like them you are seeing a massive extreme. An art, and not a truly applicable martial way. It has been massively refined, and is often beautiful and spectacular, but the techniques work in that way with cooperation from the uke. You can see the guys literally 'willing themselves' into being thrown in that video. It frustrates the true concept because it places it into a false context.

5/16/13 8:17 PM
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John Frankl
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The title references Rickson. Connection is real and important. But Rickson never tried to show it through choreographed BS.

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