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Mike Sigman
06-02-2006, 01:10 PM
Heh. It's a red-letter day indeed when an Aikido flick is restricted for violent content. :)

MM
06-02-2006, 01:13 PM
Heh. It's a red-letter day indeed when an Aikido flick is restricted for violent content. :)

LOL! Yeah, aren't we supposed to be the "non-violent" martial art? the "soft" martial art? the "aiki bunnies"?

Mark

Michael Mackenzie
06-02-2006, 01:41 PM
This clip not only has Shioda but some killer footage of 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrV5RgkFf9s&search=shioda

I love that guy!!!

Robert Rumpf
06-03-2006, 12:42 PM
I think that's actually a pretty honest and clear representation of the general trend of thought (if you'll pardon my taking the paragraphs and isolating them). If someone's classmates and peers don't know this stuff and they're more or less socially happy, what's the point in shouldering the extra load? It's human nature, in a way. Only a few people are ever really going to dig deeply and peer pressure, etc., will keep the others in check. If we think about it a moment, Tohei and a few others went outside O-Sensei's dojo to get something they weren't getting in the dojo, but most of the others did not have the motivation to do this. So in a way, it's the same situation. But you summed it up nicely. ;)

Well.. you pick your topics and your level of interest, as a practitioner or instructor. If you're lucky, the seminars and instruction you receive allow you to either expand your knowledge to something more relevant, or to drill deeper into what you wish to know, or to at least be aware of what else is out there.

This is not always the case, when people train too much within the same circles. Such specialization though, while leading to some blind-spots, can produce surprising insights.

For me, I see the ki stuff as allowing for more successful technique with less muscle. That would be nice, but I'm more interested in what happens when technique doesn't work than when it does. Aikido, to me, is an excellent avenue to research failure modes in these types of situations without the onus of competition to condense the situation.

If my technique worked better, Maybe I'd have less ability to recover when it failed..

In addition, I'm interested in the ideas and use of Aikido that I can apply elsewhere. Aikido is my main motive activity, but every other activity involves structure, intellectual skills or interpersonal skills. Ki movement doesn't directly benefit any of that.

I'm also really interested in the problems of what you do with an uke or nage that you can't stand, how you deal with politics and hierarchy in the dojo, how you deal with multiple attacker situations, and how you acquire the ability to either teach or to learn.

Because of this, I feel OK about punting these movement issues to another time.

Assuming that you are with instructors who are thoughtful (as I am) than you can at least learn something if you make the effort. But.. its not everything.. and hopefully it never will be.

Rob

Mark Freeman
06-04-2006, 07:16 AM
In addition, I'm interested in the ideas and use of Aikido that I can apply elsewhere. Aikido is my main motive activity, but every other activity involves structure, intellectual skills or interpersonal skills. Ki movement doesn't directly benefit any of that.

I beg to differ on this one Robert. I have used basic ki development exercises in corporate training to illustrate a model of communication in the business environmet. They are a great way to get people to shift perspective, and provide a kinesthetic response to built into a 'non physical' activity. Also they are a much more fun way to learn than pictures or words on a page.

If my technique worked better, Maybe I'd have less ability to recover when it failed..

I'm having trouble comprehending this, could you explain what you mean, thanks.

regards,

Mark

DH
06-04-2006, 07:57 AM
Well, one way is to compare the results, although different people read their results different ways. Even though he's got a few mat-monkies here and there, this is a good little bit on Shioda Kancho:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?search=yoshinkan&v=1sCevYMrZtY


Again with Shioda.
Most everything we can see on that long Shioda video is? Daito ryu. And one particular style at that.
You are seeing, for the most part:
Daito ryu body skills
Daityo ryu entering movement
Even Daito ryu techniques

It's very odd to me that it is openly discussed how very "different" Shioda was from others in Aikido. We all know Shioda left Ueshiba. What few know is where he went and why he looked like he did as a result. One argument offers it was his personal vision or interpretation of Ueshiba's teaching-which in itself is noted as being different than those in Aikido.

The only comparison I see with Shioda and Ueshiba is that they both got there "real stuff" from Daito ryu body skills and then.......
Both hid the fact or minimized it.

Yes, I know the public drill very well and typical denials. But, I've seen paperwork and photos of when he was confronted.

If certain folks here want to bitch about koryu and their hesitency to "share" and not be more open.... I say your own art exhibits profound reasons as to just why that is.

Anyway, Both Ueshiba and Shioda are Daito ryu trained men. Which is T-H-E Reason they don't look like those who do Aikido. They were not doing Aikido..... And its why Ueshiba kept telling everyone at the hombu under Kissomaru that "this is not my Aikido."


Here we are in 2006 talking about why folks don't get certain things. Apparently two of the biggest stars in the art; Ueshiba and Shioda agreed and they went looking as well.
Its rather odd to follow a map back to the source, and the source points right.....so everyone takes a left.
Then 70 years later wonder why things were lost and how it happened.

Dan

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 08:09 AM
1. How very odd that Shioda's "vision" matches that of a very small school of Daito ryu... right down to definitive moves. And that his transformation happened after he trained there.

The only comparison I see with Shioda and Ueshiba is that they both got there "real stuff" from Daito ryu body skills and then.......
Both hid the fact or minimized it.

Yes, I know the public drill very well and typical denials.
Dan, I'm not sure why you continue to flog this dead horse about Daito Ryu being a precursor of Aikido. It was. It's written about. It's acknowledged by just about everyone I know. DR even has its own forum on the 'Aikido Journal' website.

The only problem I see with the "Everything Ueshiba did was Daito Ryu" idea is that he obviously got some training in internal strength mechanics via Omoto-kyo. Do they do Misogi and Shingon training methods in DR? I'm not aware of it. The problem is that those kinds of training methods affect strength and ki development. So instead of viewing Ueshiba as someone who stole the DR curriculum and re-named it "Aikido", I see him as someone who took some DR curriculum, some techniques from other styles and added some "secret" training methods he learned in Omoto-Kyo to comprise his Aikido.

Yes, there is some DR in Aikido. But everyone acknowledges that. There are also some other things.... unless you're asserting that there is nothing in Aikido but DR?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 08:14 AM
Because of this, I feel OK about punting these movement issues to another time.

Assuming that you are with instructors who are thoughtful (as I am) than you can at least learn something if you make the effort. But.. its not everything.. and hopefully it never will be.Although the ki "movement issues" are not 'everything', they are indeed the basics. Reading your posts, I get the impression that the basics are disregardable in your Aikido. I would tend to disagree, but at least you're up front about it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
06-04-2006, 08:42 AM
Mike
I'm not flogging a dead horse and your answer exhibits the evidence of just why it is worth repeating.

First up, It isn't about technique. The body skills are it. The shapes and uses for it are just results of playng with the connection. It is why Takeda kept growing.
It was the body skills (I.S.) that drove the machine. And that!!! is the real core or essence. Ueshiba's use of that to express his personal beleifs was never the point.

Secondly, while you may be able to watch and discern movement and connection, it doesn not mean you can factually detemine all sources. You may not know where it came from because you simply do not know what you are looking at in comparison. Stating it isn't from Takeda its from Omoto Kyo and shingon breathing implies you know all that Takeda taught. And quite frankly-you don't. There are a host of things that many were wrong about in this search.

Solo work
You have been told before that a small group of folks in certain schools were taught solo work, jo work, and certain body connection exercises. I don't know why others were not, nor do I care. But suffice to say with DR or even say (Yagyu Shingan that has solo body exercises) you didn't know that 5 years ago either.
You also "self admittedly " missed the power releases in Ueshiba's Jo and then "credited" Ellis with "finding" it. I'll let that go.... but perhaps you should "re-consider" other things as well and just who- knows what. I will only say that many, most or all of us, have missed more than we may think.
Its why research is such a bear
Ellis and Stanly know of some things that exist that would greatly surprise the community and answer some VERY interesting questions. They only know because I told them. But overall folks not knowing these things before had zero effect on the reality of it.

On the flip side we can look forward to possibly learning even more. Folks being honest about where they got information may help others who have it, to finally open up a little and be more willing to share.
But again the public at large not knowing does not effect that reality either.

Dan

DH
06-04-2006, 09:01 AM
Edit timed out


I'm Ok with the idea that everything Ueshiba knew did not have to be Daito ryu. I'm not wholly vested in the idea that he could not have grown. Perhaps you watching him and me and others I know watching him are two totally different views of movement from different vantage points.
I'm not concerned with "being right" or anything like that. Just what "is" right. Or in this case maybe what is "more" correct. I agree it may not be so cut and dried.

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 09:05 AM
Mike
I'm not flogging a dead horse and your answer exhibits the evidence of just why it is worth repeating. I know, I know... I'm just ignorant. You'll just have sigh and put up with me, Dan. ;) First up, It isn't about technique. The body skills are it. The shapes and uses for it are just results of playng with the connection. It is why Takeda kept growing.
It was the body skills (I.S.) that drove the machine. And that!!! is the real core or essence. Ueshiba's use of that to express his personal beleifs was never the point.

Secondly, while you may be able to watch and discern movement and connection, it doesn not mean you can factually detemine all sources. You may not know where it came from because you simply do not know what you are looking at in comparison. Stating it isn't from Takeda its from Omoto Kyo and shingon breathing implies you know all that Takeda taught. And quite frankly-you don't. There are a host of things that many were wrong about in this search. Yeah, except you have it backwards, Dan. *I* haven't been saying "it isn't from Takeda its from Omoto".... I said there are other sources than DR. Period. *You're* the one insisting everything is from DR. That's the dead horse that has been flogged to death. Solo work
You have been told before that a small group of folks in certain schools were taught solo work, jo work, and certain body connection exercises. I don't know why others were not, nor do I care. But suffice to say with DR or even say (Yagyu Shingan that has solo body exercises) you didn't know that 5 years ago either.
You also "self admittedly " missed the power releases in Ueshiba's Jo and then "credited" Ellis with "finding" it. I'll let that go.... but perhaps you should "re-consider" other things as well and just who- knows what. I will only say that many, most or all of us, have missed more than we may think. What I'm saying, Dan, is that NO ONE has missed that Ueshiba learned things from Daito Ryu. The "body connection" thing also applies in the Shingon training. Etc. I'm not attributing any specific thing to Takeda, Shingo, Omoto, whatever... I'm just saying the DR connection is well known and the you yourself couldn't possibly know exactly what parts Ueshiba got from Takeda, what from Shingon, what from spear work, etc. I don't have a fixation and I've freely posted things that are new to me, a surprise to me, etc., Dan. Leave me out of it. Ellis and Stanly know of some things that exist that would greatly surprise the community and answer some VERY interesting questions. They only know because I told them. You're a pip, Dan. No doubt about it.

Regards,

Mike

DH
06-04-2006, 09:27 AM
That was a lousy way for me to make that point. Edited it out like that it sounds self-serving. My point was there are things many of us may know-that others don't. There are things I ONLY know because others have told me. The overriding point being none of us is privey to "all" things.

And as unfortunate as it may be there are those even today holding back information. Stan and I have discussed his frustrations and the difficulties with dealing with certain factions. It was these types of things I was reffering to. These materials exist. and they can answer questions. Most of us just don't have access. And if you review, we both just said the same thing. Neither holds that it HAS to be 100% DR. Nor are we fully vested in that.


FWIW I know you openly acknowledge when you're wrong or when you are searching. I think you missed my point there when I stated that and saw it as a critisism or something. That was the opposite of what I meant to say. I was attempting to acknowledge that you indeed do (Most will not as their ego gets in the way) but that NONE of us have access to the full picture. At this late date we may never understand the real connection.

My point being that our -lack- of knowledge of certain of these things does not change the fact that they exist. And that it also colors what we see.
I dunno I can't say it any clearer than that.

Dan

Robert Rumpf
06-04-2006, 09:31 AM
I beg to differ on this one Robert. I have used basic ki development exercises in corporate training to illustrate a model of communication in the business environmet. They are a great way to get people to shift perspective, and provide a kinesthetic response to built into a 'non physical' activity. Also they are a much more fun way to learn than pictures or words on a page.

Well... good.. That sounds like interesting training. I've not experienced that, but I don't doubt what you say may be true.

I'm having trouble comprehending this, could you explain what you mean, thanks.

An example: I didn't start to appreciate koshinage until I kept failing at my ikkyo. If my ikkyo worked, I doubt I would appreciate koshinage as much.

In addition, the usefulness of atemi has been something that I have learned through the failure of technique, not its success. When I (briefly) studied ki aikido, there was no atemi.

Rob

Robert Rumpf
06-04-2006, 09:42 AM
Reading your posts, I get the impression that the basics are disregardable in your Aikido.

Wow. That's a pretty impressive insult.. and we haven't even met or trained together.

Rob

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 09:48 AM
And as unfortunate as it may be there are those even today holding back information. Stan and I have discussed his frustrations and the difficulties with dealing with certain factions. Well wait a minute, Dan... it sounds odd to me that you're on the one hand talking about it being "unfortunate" that there are "those even today holding back information" and at the same time you're reluctant to give any straightforward "how-to's" because of your nuptial vows or whatever. ;) FWIW I know you openly acknowledge when you're wrong or when you are searching. I think you missed my point there when I stated that and saw it as a critisism or something. That was the opposite of what I meant to say. I was attempting to acknowledge that you indeed do (Most will not as their ego gets in the way) but that NONE of us have access to the full picture. Well, don't think I don't have an ego, Dan... and maybe if I thought I could get away with pretending all-knowledge, etc., and would never get caught, I'd do it, too. Who knows? The point is that I know enough real "Big Dogs" that I know standing on the pose that I'm an expert in these things will only fly with neophytes and won't stand up to someone who really knows. Do I want the admiration of neophytes or the admiration of real experts? The experts. So I'm not about to leave it archived in writing that I'm making some pretense beyond what I can really do... in a few years that will come back to haunt. All the things we write, don't write, how we respond, the questions we ask, etc., etc., all leave an indelible record for posterity what we know at the moment, Dan. I.e., as Ann Landers used to say, "Never put in writing something you don't want read out loud in court later on". So we need to all acknowledge our limits and move on to progress, not to a safer place from which to play the role. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 09:51 AM
Wow. That's a pretty impressive insult.. and we haven't even met or trained together.No, we haven't. However, I was going by what you said in your post that the movement things aren't everything. To me it would seem that the movement basics are indeed the *basis* of everything, so they can't be sidelined with "they're not everything". But as I noted, I appreciate your perspective.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
06-04-2006, 10:03 AM
Well wait a minute, Dan... it sounds odd to me that you're on the one hand talking about it being "unfortunate" that there are "those even today holding back information" and at the same time you're reluctant to give any straightforward "how-to's" because of your nuptial vows or whatever. ;)

Well, don't think I don't have an ego, Dan... and maybe if I thought I could get away with pretending all-knowledge, etc., and would never get caught, I'd do it, too. Who knows? The point is that I know enough real "Big Dogs" that I know standing on the pose that I'm an expert in these things will only fly with neophytes and won't stand up to someone who really knows. Do I want the admiration of neophytes or the admiration of real experts? The experts. So I'm not about to leave it archived in writing that I'm making some pretense beyond what I can really do... in a few years that will come back to haunt. All the things we write, don't write, how we respond, the questions we ask, etc., etc., all leave an indelible record for posterity what we know at the moment, Dan. I.e., as Ann Landers used to say, "Never put in writing something you don't want read out loud in court later on". So we need to all acknowledge our limits and move on to progress, not to a safer place from which to play the role. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Well, I'll take your digs at what appears on the surface to be a dichotomy of witholding but not wanting to withold. Many of us gave our words on things. Just ask many in Koryu for details about what they do :wink: I do hope your diggin is just in gest.
The problem is we're stuck-many delightfully so and that's ours to deal with. My word means something to me. I still want to point for others to go out and find it though, and that it is indeed there.

As for posterity. I don't read where anyone claims expertise-I read the opposite. Each is discussing things they can do or cannot do, others not saying whether they can or not, and still others saying they cannot and that they don't see any real value to begin with. Those arguing for pointing out a balanced view of practical uses as well as limitations. With the over the top commentaries coming from detractors. Seems pretty clear to me.

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 10:04 AM
The jo-trick, if no one objects to me going back to the topic, has essentially 2 things worth noting, insofar as "ki tricks" go. One is the manipulation of forces between O-Sensei and Uke; the other is the training of O-Sensei's body to distribute the forces across the body. I wanted to say something about that second factor, because it's the one that would have the most to do with the actual "ki" of the body and the one that has to do with the breathing exercises, standing exercises, etc.

What the "unbendable arm" trick is supposed to show is the body's ability to spread a force over an area of the body without tensing the muscles. Of course, this is accomplished in concert with the manipulation of force directions, too, but people who do the "unbendable arm" trick well, don't necessarily always understand what they're doing with the forces. It's this "spreading of forces" by the "ki" that I'm focusing on in this post, though.

If Tohei stands on one leg and has a partner push on his forearm, he manipulates the forces so that his foot on the ground takes the responsibility for the load-bearing. But there is a focus of stresses in his shoulder. If he has trained his "ki", the dissipation of the forces in the shoulder area gets spread over a wider area than just the shoulder muscles and onto his back. If Tohei can only manipulate the forces, he's going to have to depend on building up his shoulder muscle to a pretty good strength.

The "jo trick" again has the idea of manipulating the forces, but the stresses on the hand/wrist, shoulder, etc., are great. What O-Sensei is showing that is unusual in the "jo trick" is that his "ki" is conditioned to such an extent that he can dissipate the forces at the wrist and shoulder so that the loading at the joints is sustainable. Maybe. He doesn't quite get away with it in the few videos available... not to mention the videos seem to be done very late in his life, so there is the valid question of whether he could have done this trick and pulled it off when he was more in his prime.

Also, Ueshiba was only about 5-feet tall and was reported enormously strong for his size. He worked out constantly during his life. So he was stronger than most people AND his short limbs gave him an advantage in the "jo trick" because the leverage is less on short limbs (ever watch a short guy knock off 200 push ups while a tall guy has trouble doing 50?).

Anyway, the point I was getting at was that the effect of "ki training" on the joints, etc., has to be considered and important effect when looking at the trick.

FWIW

Mike

Mary Eastland
06-04-2006, 02:29 PM
It seems to me that the word trick is inappropriate.I was taught that these are exercises to help you experience correct feeling. A way to develop ki...so you could then move with that correct feeling.
Mary

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 02:39 PM
It seems to me that the word trick is inappropriate.I was taught that these are exercises to help you experience correct feeling. A way to develop ki...so you could then move with that correct feeling.Oh, I think they're certainly more than simple "tricks", Mary, but I don't let semantics bother me. ;) "A trick that can be named is not the True Trick".

But what do you think about this "spreading of force", this "connection", if you will? This is the critical part for people to understand what "ki" really is. What are your thoughts on it?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Alfonso
06-04-2006, 03:22 PM
I think the experience of having technique collapse on you is fairly common in training. There's a "quality" that can be felt when you are able to perform ikkyo , shihonage , etc , correctly. Being relaxed is not enough of a description. I think it's partly correct, but not enough, limp doesn't work. My experience is that we are always tiptoeing around trying to get people to get a feel for that quality.
I find it hard to get a grip on the commonality of the terms and visualizations used, which always seem to make sense in corners and pieces.. these discussions are helping me a lot.

wendyrowe
06-04-2006, 05:36 PM
The jo-trick, if no one objects to me going back to the topic...
I was talking with my husband (a non-martial-artist but a computer architect who does a lot of robotics work) about the jo "trick" and unbendable arm, and he said it sounds very much like what happens when he turns up the gain while tweaking certain parameters in a robot. His theory -- which sound pretty reasonable to martial-artist-in-training and hardware engineer me -- is that the people who are very good at it have trained themselves to react much more quickly than the normal person to a very small displacement. Say, for instance, that Ueshiba was able to restore the arm or jo to its initial position after it had moved just 1/10th as far as an untrained person who wouldn't have noticed and reacted until it was 10 times as far (maybe we're talking 1mm for Ueshiba vs 1cm for someone else -- I'm just guessing at the possible dispacements). It would take much less force and time to replace the unbendable appendage to its undeflected position if it were accomplished at the much smaller deflection, and then the person trying to move it would be back to the initial position again.

Then he said the same thing I'd said earlier, which was that if the unbendable appendage were wired with force sensors (and displacement sensors), we'd be in a better position to tell what was going on.

If anyone wants to build an Ueshibabot, I can ask him for the names of the parameters -- but after that, you're on your own!

Mike Sigman
06-04-2006, 06:01 PM
I was talking with my husband (a non-martial-artist but a computer architect who does a lot of robotics work) about the jo "trick" and unbendable arm, and he said it sounds very much like what happens when he turns up the gain while tweaking certain parameters in a robot. His theory -- which sound pretty reasonable to martial-artist-in-training and hardware engineer me -- is that the people who are very good at it have trained themselves to react much more quickly than the normal person to a very small displacement. Say, for instance, that Ueshiba was able to restore the arm or jo to its initial position after it had moved just 1/10th as far as an untrained person who wouldn't have noticed and reacted until it was 10 times as far (maybe we're talking 1mm for Ueshiba vs 1cm for someone else -- I'm just guessing at the possible dispacements). It would take much less force and time to replace the unbendable appendage to its undeflected position if it were accomplished at the much smaller deflection, and then the person trying to move it would be back to the initial position again.

Then he said the same thing I'd said earlier, which was that if the unbendable appendage were wired with force sensors (and displacement sensors), we'd be in a better position to tell what was going on.

If anyone wants to build an Ueshibabot, I can ask him for the names of the parameters -- but after that, you're on your own!Ummmmmm..... I don't see how this applies, Wendy. It's a guess to toss into the pot for perhaps the jo-trick, but not really for the unbendable-arm trick (I do NOT like the unbendable arm demo because it can be successfully faked by too many people) or a bunch of other examples. Take another example of the same thing... Tohei used to show some of his people doing the "iron bridge" where they lay between two chairs.... it's that same overall force dispersal thing (although of course a good, strong athlete can do something similar and they sometimes do). The thing we're looking at is sort of like the way the body will rigidize over an inflammed appendix to protect it; a horse's flank quivering is similarly related.

Let me try a couple of other examples. If someone pushes on Tohei's chest he will again let the back leg accept the load-bearing responsibility. In someone who has trained well, the trick is to let the back leg accept the responsibility and to let the mind acquire and assign the necessary musculature to disperse yet transmit the force to the leg. The body has to be "relaxed" in order to let the mind assign what it needs. As a concurrent issue, note that Tohei almost invariable showed himself in a straight stance, not a stance with one leg propped out behind him to act as a "brace". People who use a "brace" seldom really develop this skill very far.

The other example I was going to use, letting relaxed kokyu power stop an applied nikkyo, probably won't be understood in writing, so I'll drop it.

The idea of the unbendable arm is to let the mind assign what it needs. And other tricks. Of course, as I noted before if someone jumps too quickly into trying to do these tricks, they'll wind up using pure joint strength... like in my example of someone pushing on Tohei's forearm and letting a stiff shoulder muscle cover the stress at the shoulder joint.

Often what I see happening is that someone has has gotten a bit of a "feel" for using rudimentary "center" and a few force manipulations is that they've unwittingly gone the route of too much power and let strong shoulder muscles become part of their responses.

It's the idea of letting the mind assign the required structure and not kicking in the primary musculature. It's also the idea of allowing the lower body to accept the load bearing and letting the mind handle the upper-body assignments.

Of course, until someone gets a good "feel" for what this is like, it just sounds like conversation (with a number of people thinking, "Aha, I must already be doing that"). ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mary Eastland
06-04-2006, 06:52 PM
But what do you think about this "spreading of force", this "connection", if you will? This is the critical part for people to understand what "ki" really is. What are your thoughts on it?

Regards,

Mike Sigman[/QUOTE]

I think for me it started to happen when I was being tested for one point and I stopped trying to not get pushed over and just trusted my center.

Then I extended that same feeling before my uke grabs me so they are grabbing ki first and then flesh and are already off balance.
Mary

eyrie
06-05-2006, 05:25 AM
Tohei used to show some of his people doing the "iron bridge" where they lay between two chairs.... it's that same overall force dispersal thing (although of course a good, strong athlete can do something similar and they sometimes do).


If you can do the "iron bridge", a good test of "strength" is to have someone sit on your middle and see if you can spread the load without collapsing.


The other example I was going to use, letting relaxed kokyu power stop an applied nikkyo, probably won't be understood in writing, so I'll drop it.


Not just nikkyo, but any of the pins - take the stress off the joint and absorb it and spread it to the ground.

You mentioned before the standing wrist "exercises" - that's really what they are for...

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 07:29 AM
If you can do the "iron bridge", a good test of "strength" is to have someone sit on your middle and see if you can spread the load without collapsing. Yeah. I guess I should note that this "spreading" effect of the "whole body connection" can be both active and passive: it can be used to "disperse" a force over a wide area of the body and it can also be a form of coordinated power that comes from a wide area of the body. Sort of like a thin, flexible body covering that disperses force over a wider area than just a joint (like the shoulder in the Tohei example) or which can be used to apply a torque through the arms/hands by contracting a wide area of the body (like the back/rib-area, etc.). Not just nikkyo, but any of the pins - take the stress off the joint and absorb it and spread it to the ground. I like talking about these things because it makes me attempt to put into words a sometimes too-general understanding. Nikkyo is a classic example to analyze. Essentially if we do a *demonstration* where someone applies nikkyo frontally from them to me, the idea is to ignore anything about their nikkyo except the exact direction of the force from them toward the me and meet it exactly with the ground going back up their incoming force. Of course, many people will attempt to change the direction of application, but if one's direction-changing controls are good, any direction can be met with the ground. If they turn to some weird angle in a desparate attempt to "win", they usually also open themselves up to problems, so I suggest just leaving it at the demonstration level rather than the testosterone level.

The interesting thing to consider about the nikkyo is that meeting their general incoming force with the ground negates the lock and I've never been totally satisfied with exactly why that happens. The angle of force incidence is changed and that has some to do with it. The mind also creates a force dispersal web to some extent, but my general thinking is that by blocking the general incoming force, the application is pretty much neutralized. And if they're being stopped with the ground (coming up through the body to their application), the more pressure they apply down onto the nikkyo, the more they're pushing themselves up and back. It might be worth diagramming and looking at sometime. You mentioned before the standing wrist "exercises" - that's really what they are for... I agree. The wrist-twisting exercises are to exercise the connection to the back through the "force dispersal" connection, and also some jin is also used. Don't forget that this "connection" is really copnsidered to be a manifestation of the yin qi and the jin/kokyu is the yang qi. And just like in the Yin-Yang diagram, there is also some yang in the yin and some yin in the yang.

Here's a shot of the diagram Tohei uses in the book "This is Aikido" (a must-have for any Aikidoist, IMO). The arrow shows that that jin/kokyu-force must be coming from the ground, through the body, and *out* the arm; the jin/kokyu-force does not meet the ikkyo by going in toward the body. Although this picture is poor for teaching a beginner how to do it, the twist should simply be allowed to go onto the back:

http://www.neijia.com/NikkyoUndo.jpg

So a force is always handled partly by the jin/kokyu force and partly by the "connection" of the body. The "jo trick" is a good example of where O-Sensei is employing both skills at the same time... and traditionally these are considered one skill of "Ki".

FWIW

Mike

davidafindlay
06-05-2006, 07:29 AM
But what do you think about this "spreading of force", this "connection", if you will? This is the critical part for people to understand what "ki" really is. What are your thoughts on it?


Just chiming in with a comment... Dunno if it is in-line with what you are discussing, but when I hear "spreading of force", it sounds a bit like one of the ideas I use sometimes.

In one example I hold a medicine ball above my head in one hand, and try to let the weight come down into my leg(s). If its the first rep of a set (of swapping the ball between my hands), my body is often a bit tight. Sometimes I imagine a glass of water poured over my shoulder, relaxing the musculature. My shoulder often seems to sink a bit and re-adjust a little. The load is then better "spread" over my shoulder.

I feel the water analogy helps me for this exercise, and it is especially nice because the forces are in the same direction as gravity, which is drawing the water down in this example. For something like the jo trick where there are a couple more directions involved the image is a bit less immediate than water running over the skin.

FWIW. Is this the sort of discussion point about spreading you were thinking of Mike?

Regards,

Dave Findlay.

Dennis Hooker
06-05-2006, 07:30 AM
If you want information of how O-Sensei and the second Doshu approached Ki please read The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I believe it dispels a lot of assumptions and I think leaves little doubt as to how they (father and son) approached it. I also think it was not along the same lines as Mr. Tohei.

Dennis

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 07:41 AM
If you want information of how O-Sensei and the second Doshu approached Ki please read The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. I believe it dispels a lot of assumptions and I think leaves little doubt as to how they (father and son) approached it. I also think it was not along the same lines as Mr. Tohei.Dennis, could you quote something to support your comment, please? A statement that reading a book will "dispel", etc., is not as good as giving an example. FWIW, I've never seen anything said by either Ueshiba the mechanically disagreed with how Ki works, despite their different descriptive approaches. Tohei only differs, IMO, in his "universal ki" stuff which I don't care for at all.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 07:49 AM
In one example I hold a medicine ball above my head in one hand, and try to let the weight come down into my leg(s). If its the first rep of a set (of swapping the ball between my hands), my body is often a bit tight. Sometimes I imagine a glass of water poured over my shoulder, relaxing the musculature. My shoulder often seems to sink a bit and re-adjust a little. The load is then better "spread" over my shoulder.

I feel the water analogy helps me for this exercise, and it is especially nice because the forces are in the same direction as gravity, which is drawing the water down in this example. For something like the jo trick where there are a couple more directions involved the image is a bit less immediate than water running over the skin.

FWIW. Is this the sort of discussion point about spreading you were thinking of Mike?Hi Dave:

No, that's not quite what I had in mind. If I am holding my arms out and down to the sides at 45-degrees from the body... lightly stretched/extended. Someone grabs my *forearm* (not the wrist-joint itself) and twists slowly and rotationally in the same direction as sankyo (but just leave the arm at the 45-degrees out and down). I let the twist go through my shoulder and onto my back... so they are essentially trying to twist my back (I actually will feel a pressure in the sole of one of my feet, too). The twist is dispersed by the overall "connection" I have in my body.

Anybody gets *some* amount of this type of connection over time, but until it is deliberately worked, it doesn't do the full job. Still, in even an experienced Aikidoka you can often feel this "connection" to some extent, even if they still use mostly arm and shoulder rather than full-time hara. Similarly, a long-term Aikidoist will often be "difficult to move", too..... you can't help be develop *some* of this stuff; developing the full package though is harder and takes time.

Regards,

Mike

davidafindlay
06-05-2006, 08:09 AM
<snip>

I let the twist go through my shoulder and onto my back... so they are essentially trying to twist my back (I actually will feel a pressure in the sole of one of my feet, too). The twist is dispersed by the overall "connection" I have in my body. <snip>



Ok, I understand that (and feel it a little bit too, though maybe only as far as the back). And similarly, when applying this sort of thing, the image I do have is trying to trist uke's body, not just their hand.

Nevertheless, the water thing for me can help spread a load - in thinking of this I have also been thinkning about the idea of misogi... and I wonder if its about developing a feel for that overall layer over the body, and not just looking like some tough old mountain sage. Or maybe its more about settling the weight down - I'll have to dig out my Ueshiba books and go through the dokas.

Dave Findlay.

Ron Tisdale
06-05-2006, 08:23 AM
I think the cold water misogi works on several levels; conditioning the breath (cold water tends to "take away" your breath), conditioning physical relaxation under stress, using your mind to overcome the cold, and other things. It's an interesting experience.

Best,
Ron

Dennis Hooker
06-05-2006, 10:34 AM
Mike, the book is just a small little thing and does not deal with technique as such and I think it would be better for folks to read it than for me to paraphrase it. In my own opinion though is that Mr. Tohei deals with Ki as a structured curriculum while M. Ueshiba and K. Ueshiba did not. This does not detract from its importance though. I believe not many Aikikai folks still talk about the stuff in that little book. I wish more of K. Ueshiba’s works were published in English.

Mike Sigman
06-05-2006, 10:46 AM
In my own opinion though is that Mr. Tohei deals with Ki as a structured curriculum while M. Ueshiba and K. Ueshiba did not. This does not detract from its importance though. I believe not many Aikikai folks still talk about the stuff in that little book. I wish more of K. Ueshiba's works were published in English.I can't spot where (if I still have it) my one K. Ueshiba book is on basic Aikido, but the last time I read it, I remember having the thought that he was actually talking about Ki things in a number of places, but the translator put it into such bland words that it wasn't obvious to English readers. Then again, it's traditional for knowledgeable martial artists to only sparingly discuss ki things.

As far as Tohei goes, I think he actually capitalized on the lack of discussion about Ki things. He was clever enough to go outside of Aikido to try and fill in his gaps and once he had enough knowledge about how to move, etc., with the ki things, he more or less took advantage of that lack in the public Aikido lore.

Regards,

Mike

eyrie
06-06-2006, 11:04 PM
Something I'm surprised no one has mentioned, and in regard to the wrist locks and pins is that it makes equal sense to view these techniques as partner assisted "qi/jin" training rather than actual techniques themselves (although they are in a way).

Mark Mueller
06-07-2006, 08:47 AM
[QUOTE]So stand arms length from a heavy bag hold it with your straight arrms. Push it and walk with it till it is at a 45 deg angle to the floor. Stand there and do not move for about ten minutes.
Tell me which body part ...hurts.

Next without moving anything visibly. cast it out say...3' from you.
No arm movement no scapula movement. just what looks like shudder.
Next go back to the begining. Stand at arms length. Do not move. make a percussive, pennatrating hit on the bag with your fist at arms length. A no inch punch."

Can someone demonstrate these skills with a heavy bag on camera? I am much more likely to believe these skills are present on an heavy, inanimate object rather than a live (and possibly collusive) subject.

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 09:37 AM
Hi Mark!

Have you been following the thread? Jimmy Sorrentino and myself have had the same request. It must be that we are all from the same lineage and mentorship? Interesting that three of us would end up with the same perspective on things!

Hope things are going well for you up!

Mark Mueller
06-07-2006, 12:00 PM
Hiya Kevin,

I have been following this thread (ad nauseam). I keep getting drawn back to it for some reason. The Pontification factor is large but there are some gems in here. I have incorporated some of the things into my personal workout that Dan Harden mentions (with the Heavy bag)......just beginning so no insights yet.

I have been trying to get a copy of the Cherry Blossom tape where Saotome's senior students demonstrate. I was uke for Bob and felt this transfer of power thing that people have been discussing...I hope it is on the tape because it literally blew me backwards. Bob seemed to build all that implicitly into training....but I don't know...I've never felt it with anyone else but then I haven't had the chance in the last few years to cross hands with many people.

Regards.

ChrisMoses
06-07-2006, 12:03 PM
Hi all, I’ve been following this thread since George’s excellent post (#447, p.18), but had to wait for my account to be vetted to reply. This topic spawned a bit of offline discussion between me, a few of my training partners and my teacher. It’s also a subject that I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about over the last few years. I wanted to briefly respond to a few things.

1) I think George got it very right when he said, “So then the real question is, if these are not considered "higher level" by certain groups outside of Aikido, but they seem to be generally absent within the Aikido community, then why are these things being lost and how do we re-introduce them? Understand, I am not just talking about the so-called "jo trick" but rather the underlying skills that would allow one to have the kind of effortless power which Takeda and Ueshiba seemed to have.” Rather than do something useful, like offer a solution to this problem, I’d like to offer my own thoughts on how we got here.  I’ve spoken elsewhere about my belief that the teaching paradigm in Aikido is broken. The evidence of this is all around us in mediocre dojos and the (fairly universal) belief in Aikido that we have somehow lost something in the time between Takeda, Ueshiba, the early (pre-war) uchideshi and today’s teachers and students. I think the problem stems from Takeda Sokaku but was exaggerated by the amazing popularity and rapid spread of modern (post-war) Aikido.

It was recently brought up on another forum that looking at the eimeroku (student register) of Takeda Sokaku, one is struck with the breadth and scope of experienced budoka who chose to train in Daito Ryu. This actually makes sense if one thinks about how he taught. Takeda broke from the koryu mold of a few long term students and chose instead to teach through short seminars all over the country. It has been pointed out that he had roughly 30,000 ‘students’ in his lifetime, but one has to wonder exactly how much he was able to transmit to these students when their time with him may have been as little as a few days. You also have to assume that he was not gearing his teaching for new students. One would assume that those attending a short seminar on a new art would most likely have at least a working understanding of some other form of budo. I believe this is supported by the eimeroku, though to be clear I have not had the opportunity to inspect it in a translated form.

So like Ueshiba, many (if not all) of the prominent pre-war uchideshi came to Aikido/Daito Ryu with notable skill in at least one other art (primarily dan rankings in Judo). Ueshiba would have been able to teach these students much as he had been taught since they would already have a good understanding of movement basics, kuzushi and maai. The evidence for this is the very short periods of training before being awarded high dan rankings and being entrusted with teaching responsibilities. In the 50’s we see a curriculum develop largely without the input of OSensei and shortly thereafter is the explosion of Aikido all over the world. Suddenly, instead of being an art for the already experienced budoka it is billed as an art for everyone. Particularly in The States it begins to appeal primarily to new students with no other martial training. It does this with a curriculum that has been overly simplified and is relatively new. This is a recipe that IMHO was doomed to failure when you factor in the emphasis on non-verbal teaching, inversion of uke/tori roles in training and explosive growth with novice teachers. I believe that what’s held it together this long is the lingering cult of personality around OSensei and the rigid hierarchical structure of all of the mainline branches. Before I get accused of being TOO cynical, I also believe we’ve come this far because a lot of people really believe in Aikido and have dedicated themselves to studying and teaching in an inspiring manner.


2) Kevin Leavitt asks (post #450, p.18), “so what happens if aikido continues on it's present path and guys like Mike Sigman and Dan Harden do indeed figure this stuff out and can develop a system and learn how to assimilate it into what aikido should be?

Politically and egoistically, it by all likelyhood would not be acknowledged by Aikikai...so then what?

psst...guys..over here...come train with these guys...they figured it out.”
Frankly Kevin, in my opinion this is not a hypothetical question, this is very much already the case and as far as I can tell has been for some time.

3) Ron mentions (post #462, p.19), “From what Mike has said about being able to do these things without it necessarily being visible, and my own minimal experience in the area, I'd have to say that as long as you can exhibit the outer form of a given style, family, organization, whatever...no one is going to kick you out for also having the skills under discussion. I personally would not leave my current organization...just do the solo training needed to build the skills, and invest the outer form with the inner skills.”

I’d say from personal experience that what you’re talking about will work for a while. The problem is that all the ‘internal’ stuff can be seen and/or felt if you’re doing it all right. People will start asking you what you’re doing, because you will feel different from everyone else. The other thing that will happen is that you will become increasingly difficult to throw. I’m convinced that a LOT of what all the ‘internal’ study actually teaches you is what’s going on inside your body, proprioception. The more aware you become of where the forces are going through you, how you are stabilizing yourself, and how you are balanced you will become much more difficult to throw and lock. You then face the choice, do I choose to be easy to throw and ignore the internal stuff I’m working on, or do I risk pissing everyone off who isn’t doing the same internal stuff that I’m doing? That choice becomes more and more difficult to make, especially after you begin to integrate the internal lessons to the extent that it’s difficult to turn it off. Others may have different experiences but that was mine and it was similar for most of my training partners. Perhaps Mike or Dan care to comment on their own experiences?

Finally, just to be clear, I’m not coming to this thread as some Mastah!(tm) of internal arts related to Aikido. I suck. I thought I was pretty good at Aikido once, I know a lot better now. So please read this stuff as the comments of someone who’s very much in the learning process and has a long way to go, rather than some voice of authority.

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 12:11 PM
Mark,

Yes there are some Gems in here for sure!

I suspect that alot of our outlook on this is that we trained with Bob. As you state, implicity it was there. I'd love to see a copy of that tape as well! Was it this year's Cherry Blossom? I can only imagine where Bob is at this point in his knowledge/applications! It has been like 7 years since I have trained with him.

As you know, Bob is very pragmatic in his approach to things. I suppose I look at things this way because I was influence by him. Anyway, I too am drawn to this area for much the same reasons, maybe it is because we have experienced much of what is discussed here, but in a implicit more pragmatic way!

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 12:19 PM
Christian, Good observations and comments. I share your beliefs for sure! Interesting comments about figuring the internal stuff out and practicing it in the dojo. I never really thought about it in those terms, but I suppose there would be a disparity between you and the other students, and now you have the conflict of being "stubborn" and not allowing them to train in a more traditional, cooperative manner. I will have to think about that one. If you did have perfect responses internally, I guess it would be hard for anything in General to work. I think as uke though, we give enough of ourselves over to nage so they can work with that error, but not so much as to not be able to recover control almost. Interesting insights again.

Mike Sigman
06-07-2006, 12:24 PM
People will start asking you what you're doing, because you will feel different from everyone else. The other thing that will happen is that you will become increasingly difficult to throw. I'm convinced that a LOT of what all the ‘internal' study actually teaches you is what's going on inside your body, proprioception. The more aware you become of where the forces are going through you, how you are stabilizing yourself, and how you are balanced you will become much more difficult to throw and lock. You then face the choice, do I choose to be easy to throw and ignore the internal stuff I'm working on, or do I risk pissing everyone off who isn't doing the same internal stuff that I'm doing? That choice becomes more and more difficult to make, especially after you begin to integrate the internal lessons to the extent that it's difficult to turn it off. Others may have different experiences but that was mine and it was similar for most of my training partners.That's a good post, Chris. It gets tricky, doesn't it. Once you get into this stuff, too often what happens is tha the peer-pressure in Aikido (or other arts), in the dojo, etc., can ostracize you. If you become "hard to throw", you're basically bucking the system and irritating people. The ideal thing would be for you to become "hard to throw" but for Nage to know enough about jin manipulation to use your "hard to throw" to work against you. But without the whole dojo progressing like that, you become out of sync.

And if you learn how to do some of these things (the scope of possible skills is pretty broad; none of us know everything, since as far as I've been able to spot, most of us are amateurs), the draw is so strong that you don't want to be forced back into the normal-movment mode. So a lot of the people who get a whiff of these skills wind up having to adjust their position with other martial artists, quit the dojo, whatever. Some start to "teach"... usually too soon, in my estimation, but it's not always a negative thing.

Personally, I spent a lot of time just trying to acquire information. what I can chip into the discussion is what a lot of people already know:
(1.) information is hard to come by.
(2.) knowing or having a general idea is not the same as doing it.

The question George was putting out, as I see it, had a lot to do with how to move forward. It's a great question. Time works against us all. At the moment, information is leaking in around the edges, so to speak. The ideal thing would be for some authoritative group to decide on a course of action (which might only be a general discussion, at first) and then move forward *with* the flow instead of opposing the flow.

One positive thing to bear in mind is that these kinds of body skills give someone a lot of power... that should have a direct bearing on all these conversations about "my Aikido doesn't work" and therefore it's an important topic.

My 2 cents.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
06-07-2006, 12:33 PM
You then face the choice, do I choose to be easy to throw and ignore the internal stuff I'm working on, or do I risk pissing everyone off who isn't doing the same internal stuff that I'm doing?

Well, to this point, what I'm seeing is that some were already there ahead of me, and I just wasn't seeing what had already been in front of me. Although I do think that the situation you describe is a possibility, I think to find out I need to touch hands with Dan or Mike to get a fuller picture.

More importantly...it's kind of a false choice. Just because I chose to favor connection and following a throw for certain uke (let's face it, when you are working with a newbie that's what you do), does not mean that I can't work the internal stuff in a different way while taking a fall, and certainly not while throwing, doing basic movements, doing movement exercises with partner, tetc.

What I do now when someone asks me what I'm doing to improve, is to point to the instructor. That works pretty well. ;)

Best,
Ron

Mark Mueller
06-07-2006, 12:37 PM
One positive thing to bear in mind is that these kinds of body skills give someone a lot of power... that should have a direct bearing on all these conversations about "my Aikido doesn't work" and therefore it's an important topic.

Mike....this got me to thinking....is there an inverse or opposite to this type of power you have been discussing..... I think I have felt what you have been discussing a few times but I have also worked with people who through superior movement, timing and positioning (managment of the time/space contiuum, so to speak) can deliver differnet but equally impressive results....If we were talking physics (which totally got me lost) it's kind of a unmovable object vs unstoppable object argument.

Regards.

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 12:44 PM
Ron wrote:

More importantly...it's kind of a false choice. Just because I chose to favor connection and following a throw for certain uke (let's face it, when you are working with a newbie that's what you do), does not mean that I can't work the internal stuff in a different way while taking a fall, and certainly not while throwing, doing basic movements, doing movement exercises with partner, tetc.

We must also not forget there is much more to trainng than simply working on your KI or internal skills. It is compassion and empathy. Or put in layman's terms "plays well with others!"

As I have stated before on this post, I think my main point of contention is not with the concepts, but with the realitive value against other things we must develop in aikido or "internal arts".

I know that for myself, working on internal training, you can run the risk of becoming "self involved" or "selfish" in your pursuit. It becomes all about me! and that is counterproductive to your holistic development!

Many buddhist practices get criticized heavily for this, especially for asthetic monks. On one hand they are supposed to be learning to be enlightened, open, caring, compassionate and empathetic, on the other, how do you achieve this without concentrating on your development?

I want to thank Mike and Dan for hanging in there and weathering the "storm". I have certainly learned a great deal from this discussion over the past month or too!

Mike Sigman
06-07-2006, 01:13 PM
I think I have felt what you have been discussing a few times but I have also worked with people who through superior movement, timing and positioning (managment of the time/space contiuum, so to speak) can deliver differnet but equally impressive results....If we were talking physics (which totally got me lost) it's kind of a unmovable object vs unstoppable object argument.Hi Mark:

Of course, since I haven't felt the things you're thinking of when you say that, I can't intelligently comment. ;) Generally speaking, someone who has these skills is going to be better than someone who doesn't. I think that's what Rob John has been trying to say about some of his encounters with MMA people... not that he is the world's greatest MMA fighter, but that with some knowledge of how to use these skills he was able to control a contest that he wouldn't have been able to control before. Put him against someone doing MMA who somehow learned to control the same forces, then the edge goes back to the MMA guy. It's an advantage, often a clearly superior advantage, all other things being equal, but that's about all you can say.

If you don't have any martial experience though, it's not going to be a deciding factor. Against someone with equal skill in these abilities, it's a matter of who applies first. Ideally and logically you don't want to teach everyone how to do these things.

The real problem is that in Aikido, Tai Chi, and a few other arts, these skills aren't just simple augmentations.... they're supposed to be what the actual art itself is built around.

My 2 cents.

Mike

Mark Mueller
06-07-2006, 01:25 PM
The real problem is that in Aikido, Tai Chi, and a few other arts, these skills aren't just simple augmentations.... they're supposed to be what the actual art itself is built around.

Agreed.

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 01:26 PM
The real problem is that in Aikido, Tai Chi, and a few other arts, these skills aren't just simple augmentations.... they're supposed to be what the actual art itself is built around.

Very good point. I think you are correct actually, but WRT aikido, I believe at least there is bigger concern dealing with the whole harmony and peace thing which uses these skills, but they become secondary to the main objective of harmony and peace. There are other things mentally and emotionally that need to be developed as well. Alas, how do you correctly build them without understanding the whole KI/CHI thing though? I am going to have to think some more!

I actually agree with you for a change Mike on the MMA thing. That has been my experiences too as you do state above. Although it is not necessary to be good in the "internal" area to be an effective fighter, (not saying you have implied this). As you know, I question only the realtive value when you cross over to applying it to MMA or combat type fighting in general!

Mike Sigman
06-07-2006, 02:48 PM
Alas, how do you correctly build them without understanding the whole KI/CHI thing though? I am going to have to think some more! As soon as I read that part about you "thinking", the sun dimmed. Scarey! :eek:
I actually agree with you for a change Mike on the MMA thing. Whoa!!! I need to get this computer checked... it's got some sort of virus that prints impossible jokes. :p

MIke

Upyu
06-07-2006, 03:48 PM
I actually agree with you for a change Mike on the MMA thing. That has been my experiences too as you do state above. Although it is not necessary to be good in the "internal" area to be an effective fighter, (not saying you have implied this). As you know, I question only the realtive value when you cross over to applying it to MMA or combat type fighting in general!

From the little I've gained, I'd say it presents a sizable advantage, if both fighters are of the same build/weight.

Immediately identifiable results are:
a) moving with extreme efficiency, resulting in apparent increase in stamina. (Actually my stamina sucks, its just that my opponent ends up having to move more than I do. This is rears its ugly head on the ground, where I should be the one with the stamina problems)

b) telegraphing of body movement is extremely reduced. and it's not something you have to "work" on, it just naturally happens because of the nature of how you have to move the body in this stuff

c) you're comfortable on both the ground and standing. same principals apply to both. allows you to free yourself from the confines of technique oriented thinking.

d) your reaction time seems to increase, mainly because of a reduced set of "principals" you have to adhere to. you no longer try and "react" to your opponent, but simply try and "maintain" yourself -> its this beginning flip in thinking that kickstarts the whole "become one with the universe" etc etc that you see in some teachers.

e) strikes are more penetrating, require almost zero windup, and can be thrown from distances that would generally be regarded as almost being impossible to do so. they also have a not so pleasant side-effect of offbalancing your opponent at the moment of impact.

But, to add a pinch of salt to the above, like Kevin said, all the above can be destroyed by someone that is much bigger, stronger/faster than yourself, even with those advantages.
One internal guy that I respect once said, internal skill helps to even the playing field, but if the guy is say, 40 lb heavier than you(and more athletic), then you have to have at least twice his overall skill just to be even with him, and at least 4 times if you want to dominate him. :D

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 04:27 PM
It is hard for me to tell Rob as I came from aikido and internal type training before I started into MMA and BJJ. All that you describe I agree with though, so maybe I take these things for granted, I don't know. I will tell you that I have been destroyed by people that have no understanding of internal concepts, some of them, the better ones seem to figure it out on their own.

Upyu
06-07-2006, 04:33 PM
I agree with you there as well. I think some of the "smarter" competitors figure out bits on their own, and work that advantage to the max.

Mike Sigman
06-07-2006, 08:02 PM
Well, Rob, I don't think it's all that simple that it's simply analogous to a "strength"... I'd have to add that it's more like half strength and half skill. As the skill increases, it goes beyond just a "strength". For instance someone just learning to use some elementary jin/kokyu-power has the advantage just discussed, but as they learn to manipulate forces, release power, etc., the advantages increase. And no, Kevin, I still don't think you understand what we're talking about exactly. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Upyu
06-07-2006, 09:02 PM
Mike:
Yup, I agree with you, touching Ark, Sam, or any other accomplished fighter/IMA guy will leave no doubt about that.

But I was referring to the rudimentary stages that I'm at. :)
Besides which, describing all the "benefits" I've accquired now is

a) too time consuming

b) better to simply find a teacher that can teach the stuff, work it on your own for a bit, and experience the results for yourself :D

Please excuse the extremely condensed version of the benefits. :p

That being said, Ark used to go up against peeps from Satoru Sayama's camp (the guy that started Shooto here), and they weren't just "beaten", they found they couldn't "mesh" with him.
IE, it wouldn't even be a fight. ( Simplified version of that : One person ends up in a bad way, while the other person isn't harmed at all)

Here's another cliffnotes version of what I'm driving at:

step 1. Solo training/special training changes the way your body works ->

step 2. Forms, then strengthens your "skills"/"percieved strength" ->

step 3. Which in turn completely changes the way you think, which leads back to step 1.

Eventually the skill/mindset developed from this process gives you a pretty big advantage over those that don't have this skillset.

Understanding of proper Katachi 形(frame) ->
Gives way to creation of Kou 功(foundation) ->
Creates Hou 法(Method). Your body is your technique.
Rinse repeat.

The above should be pretty familiar to anyone that's done IMA for a length of time :)

Kevin Leavitt
06-07-2006, 11:51 PM
Mike,

It is like saying I don't understand how to build a rocket to go to the moon. It is one thing to have explict or implicit knowledge and another to have conceptual knowledge. I agree that there are things I don't understand, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to conceptualize what you are talking about. At least give me credit in that area! I am not that dense.

Mark Freeman
06-08-2006, 04:36 AM
From the little I've gained, I'd say it presents a sizable advantage, if both fighters are of the same build/weight.

Immediately identifiable results are:
a) moving with extreme efficiency, resulting in apparent increase in stamina. (Actually my stamina sucks, its just that my opponent ends up having to move more than I do. This is rears its ugly head on the ground, where I should be the one with the stamina problems)

b) telegraphing of body movement is extremely reduced. and it's not something you have to "work" on, it just naturally happens because of the nature of how you have to move the body in this stuff

c) you're comfortable on both the ground and standing. same principals apply to both. allows you to free yourself from the confines of technique oriented thinking.

d) your reaction time seems to increase, mainly because of a reduced set of "principals" you have to adhere to. you no longer try and "react" to your opponent, but simply try and "maintain" yourself -> its this beginning flip in thinking that kickstarts the whole "become one with the universe" etc etc that you see in some teachers.

e) strikes are more penetrating, require almost zero windup, and can be thrown from distances that would generally be regarded as almost being impossible to do so. they also have a not so pleasant side-effect of offbalancing your opponent at the moment of impact.

But, to add a pinch of salt to the above, like Kevin said, all the above can be destroyed by someone that is much bigger, stronger/faster than yourself, even with those advantages.
One internal guy that I respect once said, internal skill helps to even the playing field, but if the guy is say, 40 lb heavier than you(and more athletic), then you have to have at least twice his overall skill just to be even with him, and at least 4 times if you want to dominate him. :D

Good post Robert, thanks.

My teachers teacher was Kenshiro Abbe and was of typical Japanese stature (ie small) but he had no trouble flipping guys of much greater weight than him ( he was the All Japan Judo Champion).
I'm not sure why weight is given so much importance. If resistance is offered weight can be an advantage, if no resistance is offered then weight is insignificant.
You are right though, skill is central, Abbe was obviously many more times skillfull than those he threw ;)

regards,

Mark

George S. Ledyard
06-08-2006, 11:02 AM
I'm not sure why weight is given so much importance. If resistance is offered weight can be an advantage, if no resistance is offered then weight is insignificant.


Weight matters greatly unless you have superior skill. Equal weight and much greater weight + advantage, especially in a throwing art but even in a striking art. You could take a hit from Sugar Ray and be functional but one hit from GHeorge Forman and the match is over.

In the old days on Judo they didn't do weight classes but I think that, as judo spread as a sport and became an activity that was done in the schools as part of the general phys ed curriculum, it was more positive an experince for the masses of students to compete against people of related size. That evened the playing field. When it was still thought of as Budo and not sport, people didn't feel the same way. It was more about developing the skill to beat anyone regardless. But only a few exceptional people ever got to that point.

Mark Freeman
06-08-2006, 11:33 AM
Weight matters greatly unless you have superior skill. Equal weight and much greater weight + advantage, especially in a throwing art but even in a striking art. You could take a hit from Sugar Ray and be functional but one hit from GHeorge Forman and the match is over.

In the old days on Judo they didn't do weight classes but I think that, as judo spread as a sport and became an activity that was done in the schools as part of the general phys ed curriculum, it was more positive an experince for the masses of students to compete against people of related size. That evened the playing field. When it was still thought of as Budo and not sport, people didn't feel the same way. It was more about developing the skill to beat anyone regardless. But only a few exceptional people ever got to that point.

Hi George,

I agree weight 'can' be an advantage, but only if resistance is offered for the weight to work against. In aikido I don't notice any weight advantage/disadvantage, I'm heavier than my teacher and it doesn't seem to do me any good :D
I doubt if I could take a hit from SRL, but I might be able to get out of the way ;)

Of course in the grappling and striking fields weight classes are neccessary, but aikido it seems to me does not need this distinction.
Abbe was one of those who practiced Judo as Budo along with Aikido, Karate, Kendo, and bayonet (can't remember the correct nomenclature) and was exeptionally skilled :D
I'm not up on the current state of the Judo world but does anyone still practice like they used to in 'the old days'?

regards,

Mark

ChrisMoses
06-08-2006, 11:52 AM
Hi George,

I agree weight 'can' be an advantage, but only if resistance is offered for the weight to work against. In aikido I don't notice any weight advantage/disadvantage, I'm heavier than my teacher and it doesn't seem to do me any good :D
[snippage]

regards,

Mark

I think Joe Svinth summed it up nicely in "Martial Arts: The Real Story." (paraphrasing), "The big strong guy will nearly always win against a smaller weaker opponent in a fair fight. What martial arts does is make it so that it's not a fair fight." This is the phenomenon you're experiencing and I would guarantee you that your teacher finds you harder to throw (if you're offering apropreate resistance) as he would a smaller student of equal skill. We have a 'little' Samoan who trains with us, and the few times that I've really planted him I have always felt that I really accomplished something. I think it's a popular myth in Aikido circles that your size and strength works agianst you.

Mark Freeman
06-08-2006, 12:13 PM
This is the phenomenon you're experiencing and I would guarantee you that your teacher finds you harder to throw (if you're offering apropreate resistance) as he would a smaller student of equal skill.
I can assure you Christian offering my teacher 'appropriate resistance' makes no difference, big or small there is only one ending, If you can make good ukemi you survive :D
I think it's a popular myth in Aikido circles that your size and strength works agianst you.

There are many things that can work for and against you in aikido, speed, awarness, focus, flexibility, strength, weight, intent and commitment to name but a few.

regards,

Mark

ChrisMoses
06-08-2006, 12:24 PM
I can assure you Christian offering my teacher 'appropriate resistance' makes no difference, big or small there is only one ending, If you can make good ukemi you survive :D


There are many things that can work for and against you in aikido, speed, awarness, focus, flexibility, strength, weight, intent and commitment to name but a few.

regards,

Mark

In judo they have the maxim, "Maximum effect, minimum effort." They also have the understanding that at times the minimum effort required can be very large. Note I wasn't saying that your teacher couldn't throw you, but that you would be harder to throw. Skill can overcome the size/speed advantage, but given oppenents of equal skill, the bigger/stronger/faster one will always be harder. Just ask anyone (un)fortunate to have trained with 'Big Tony' Alvarez or Jon Bluming.

Kevin Leavitt
06-08-2006, 01:05 PM
In what I am doing, we don't do weight classes at all. Even in our submission tournaments we host, we don't do weight classes. We do that for the reason that in real life you take what you get! Interestingly the big guys have never won the whole tournament, it is the guy with superior skills that always wins. That is not to say that the big guys don't have an advantage...they have a huge one!

Being a bigger guy myself, it is hard to find bigger guys to train with. It is very easy to replace skill with weight and strength so I think bigger guys have a harder time developing technically.

wendyrowe
06-08-2006, 03:13 PM
...It is very easy to replace skill with weight and strength so I think bigger guys have a harder time developing technically.
Good point. Jason DeLucia recently told a new big guy in class that at first his size and strength will be a disadvantage because he's got the habit of relying on them, and he'll have to break that habit to learn good technique. Of course, he then pointed out, once the techniques are mastered the size and strength will be a great advantage.

Mike Sigman
06-08-2006, 03:48 PM
And of course that means that if someone has some skills and techniques the big guy still doesn't have later on, they will have an advantage that can be telling against the big guy. I often think that the reason Ueshiba, Abe, experts in a lot of other Asian martial arts, etc., don't show the ki/kokyu skills freely to everyone is that it amounts to giving away an advantage.

My 2 cents.

Mike

George S. Ledyard
06-08-2006, 05:51 PM
I think Joe Svinth summed it up nicely in "Martial Arts: The Real Story." (paraphrasing), "The big strong guy will nearly always win against a smaller weaker opponent in a fair fight. What martial arts does is make it so that it's not a fair fight." This is the phenomenon you're experiencing and I would guarantee you that your teacher finds you harder to throw (if you're offering apropreate resistance) as he would a smaller student of equal skill. We have a 'little' Samoan who trains with us, and the few times that I've really planted him I have always felt that I really accomplished something. I think it's a popular myth in Aikido circles that your size and strength works agianst you.

I am thinking of someone of the skill level of Angier Sensei or Saotome Sensei... They are not using the type of technique which even engages my strength at all. Therefore it is pretty much not a factor. Angier Sensei's technique is completely relaxed. He is completly relaxed whether I attack him or a person a third my weight attacks him. That is the whole point of "aiki".

I have never maintained that your size and strength works against you. But "aiki" is about running the technique in such a way that it isn't a relevant factor.

Mark Freeman
06-08-2006, 06:13 PM
In judo they have the maxim, "Maximum effect, minimum effort." They also have the understanding that at times the minimum effort required can be very large. Note I wasn't saying that your teacher couldn't throw you, but that you would be harder to throw. Skill can overcome the size/speed advantage, but given oppenents of equal skill, the bigger/stronger/faster one will always be harder. Just ask anyone (un)fortunate to have trained with 'Big Tony' Alvarez or Jon Bluming.

Abbe Sensei passed on the maxim - "Minimum effort, maximum eficiency" which my teacher applys to aikido as did Abbe. I will say it again, It is not harder to for my teacher to throw me than someone slightly lighter, some of the grades above me are bigger and stronger, and they suffer the same consequensess as me. And trust me on this, I do not fall over for anyone! ;)

I agree that strength, speed and size are an advantage, when you are competing on those terms, and it interesting to see that you have attributed all three equally to the 'one with the advantage'. What about if you pit size against speed, or speed against strength, or size against strength etc..

Abbe was small, but he had the advantage over the larger, stronger opponents. Coupled with the patchy understanding of the internal/ki aspects that are evident in the aikido world, the concept of total non resistance is another area which may fall into the same category. The more I practice what he teaches, the more I enjoy what I learn.
The philosophy of 'non-contention' is central to aikido practice, this is the core of the minimum effort, maximum efficiency maxim. If you fight strength with strength you are not being maximum efficient. Mental clarity, focus and awareness, along with timing, relaxation and excellent body mechanics, these are the skills that need to be practiced and refined.
The concept of 'fighting' someone for the dominant position via the strength road, leads to the heavier/stronger/faster winner. This is not really what aikido is about. I like watching footage of Shioda Sensei, just a little guy, tossing around all who happened to get in his way :)

The fighting arena has plenty of students and practitioners some of whom practice some form of aikido.
For me to enter into a contest where one is trying to 'beat' the other, doesn't sit well with what I feel "for me" aikido is.
Don't get me wrong, I am happy for all who practice the fighting arts, good luck to you all, good training.
But if your chosen art emphasises strength, then learning a non-resistant art will be a challenge. Being non resistant has to be trained long enough to be an unconscious competance. This is not easy! The core is the body acting competently, embodying the internal/ki skills that Mike and others have been talking about, without them 'non resistance' is not so apparent or even possible.

The mind must be the place where the technique first takes place. The greater the skill in dealing with the attakers mind, the greater the advantage. Not in some psychological "psyching them out" way, but through dealing directly with the 'attack' itself.
If your aikido practice does not incorporate 'leading the partners mind' then accept that others do..then you may be missing one of the keys to minimum effort maximim efficiency.

At some point I may be of a mind to 'spar' with some of you fighters out there, and I may well find myself deeply humbled by having my backside whipped by some young whippersnapper mma-er.

In the meantime I'll just continue to pactice aikido with people of all sizes, trying to deal with the bigger guys with ever less effort, and the smaller ones with even more care, improving myself as best I can along the way.

Just some post practice, post fluid replacement therapy noodlings,

regards,

Mark

Upyu
06-08-2006, 07:39 PM
And of course that means that if someone has some skills and techniques the big guy still doesn't have later on, they will have an advantage that can be telling against the big guy. I often think that the reason Ueshiba, Abe, experts in a lot of other Asian martial arts, etc., don't show the ki/kokyu skills freely to everyone is that it amounts to giving away an advantage.

My 2 cents.

Mike
Heh, Sagawa pretty much said what you said :D
"This is physics, not mystical garbage! If some larger gaijin (foreigner) were to understand these skills we would have not chance against them"
Hence the reason they didn't allow foreingers admission to Sagawa's dojo.
The funny thing is, no one really got the essence of Sagawa's teaching. Even Kimura, his top student has a long ways to go.
But lets ignore the fact he already published a book entitled "my journey on obtaining Aiki" :rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
06-08-2006, 08:18 PM
Heh, Sagawa pretty much said what you said :D
"This is physics, not mystical garbage! If some larger gaijin (foreigner) were to understand these skills we would have not chance against them"
Hence the reason they didn't allow foreingers admission to Sagawa's dojo.
The funny thing is, no one really got the essence of Sagawa's teaching. Even Kimura, his top student has a long ways to go.
But lets ignore the fact he already published a book entitled "my journey on obtaining Aiki" :rolleyes: That's a great post, Rob. It's very important that the part about Kimura not be missed, either. My experience is that even if you directly show a lot of people how to do these things, they still won't get them... their preconceptions and their ingrained habits will prevent it.

FWIW

Mike

ChrisMoses
06-08-2006, 10:57 PM
I agree that strength, speed and size are an advantage, when you are competing on those terms, and it interesting to see that you have attributed all three equally to the 'one with the advantage'. What about if you pit size against speed, or speed against strength, or size against strength etc..

[snippage] If you fight strength with strength you are not being maximum efficient. Mental clarity, focus and awareness, along with timing, relaxation and excellent body mechanics, these are the skills that need to be practiced and refined.
The concept of 'fighting' someone for the dominant position via the strength road, leads to the heavier/stronger/faster winner. This is not really what aikido is about. [more snippage]

1) Size and strength often go together, and either one can make a rather unskilled partner/attacker very difficult.

2) Just to be clear, I NEVER said you are fighting strength with strength. I said 'harder' and you read 'more physical effort'. That is not what I said. A large strong oppenent will be more difficult to throw irregardless of what you are relying on to get the job done (speed, timing, strength, trickery, physio-psychological reactions...). In Aikido most people rely on timing and passive connection to accomplish a throw. With a large and/or strong partner, it is more difficult to do the throw correctly, thus it is harder to throw them. A smaller weaker partner is easier to fudge your way through the technique with. It has been my experience that the internal guys rely less on timing and more on internal body structure/dynamics. Again, to paraphrase Toby, "When something doesn't work, do it slower and lighter not faster and harder." I wish I got paid for every time I said to a student, "Doing more of what isn't working, isn't going to work any better."

3) George, I'm not sure if you were disagreeing with me or not, but I think that what you wrote is totally compatible with my earlier point. Both of those people are at a level of skill that they are able to overcome nearly any weight and/or strength advantage that most people can present. I've felt those same effortless *feeling* throws (from Saotome, Don, Takeda Yoshinobu, Kurita Minouru, Ikeda, Toby, Neil...) but that path that got them the internal awareness to be able to pull that stuff off was NOT effortless. They all trained very hard to get to the point where this stuff feels easy. An analogy: I watch a lot of motorcycle racing and the stuff that even the backmarkers of the MotoGP are able to do, is so far past my own level that what they consider a mistake would be my crowning achievement. They are able to do things that are simply impossible for me. Many of them have metal plates and rods to show for their learning process. I think of the really impressive practitioners/teachers the same way. When Saotome makes a mistake, it's still better than what 99% of the people on the mat are even capable of, so it still works. For most of us mere mortals, there is a real and appreciable difference between a small weak uke and a big strong uke. That isn't to say that it can't be overcome, but it's not trivial. Saying that they are the same is a fantasy.

George S. Ledyard
06-09-2006, 12:28 AM
1) Size and strength often go together, and either one can make a rather unskilled partner/attacker very difficult.

2) Just to be clear, I NEVER said you are fighting strength with strength. I said 'harder' and you read 'more physical effort'. That is not what I said. A large strong oppenent will be more difficult to throw irregardless of what you are relying on to get the job done (speed, timing, strength, trickery, physio-psychological reactions...). In Aikido most people rely on timing and passive connection to accomplish a throw. With a large and/or strong partner, it is more difficult to do the throw correctly, thus it is harder to throw them. A smaller weaker partner is easier to fudge your way through the technique with. It has been my experience that the internal guys rely less on timing and more on internal body structure/dynamics. Again, to paraphrase Toby, "When something doesn't work, do it slower and lighter not faster and harder." I wish I got paid for every time I said to a student, "Doing more of what isn't working, isn't going to work any better."

3) George, I'm not sure if you were disagreeing with me or not, but I think that what you wrote is totally compatible with my earlier point. Both of those people are at a level of skill that they are able to overcome nearly any weight and/or strength advantage that most people can present. I've felt those same effortless *feeling* throws (from Saotome, Don, Takeda Yoshinobu, Kurita Minouru, Ikeda, Toby, Neil...) but that path that got them the internal awareness to be able to pull that stuff off was NOT effortless. They all trained very hard to get to the point where this stuff feels easy. An analogy: I watch a lot of motorcycle racing and the stuff that even the backmarkers of the MotoGP are able to do, is so far past my own level that what they consider a mistake would be my crowning achievement. They are able to do things that are simply impossible for me. Many of them have metal plates and rods to show for their learning process. I think of the really impressive practitioners/teachers the same way. When Saotome makes a mistake, it's still better than what 99% of the people on the mat are even capable of, so it still works. For most of us mere mortals, there is a real and appreciable difference between a small weak uke and a big strong uke. That isn't to say that it can't be overcome, but it's not trivial. Saying that they are the same is a fantasy.
Based on what I understand you are saying here, we are not in disagreement at all. I have only recently started to understand what these people are doing. I can't do it as well as Angier Sensei or Saotome Sensei but my technique is now working for the same reasons theirs does.

At the seminar I just did in Orlando at Hooker sensei's dojo, I had this great guy named Eric (6' 7" maybe, certainly around 300 lbs., makes me look like a pip squeak) grab two of my fingers with the instruction that he was to take me down with a finger lock. I did this so that the people watching could see that there was simply no possibility whatever of using strength to move him. In fact, when I purposely did it wrong as an example of what not to do, he practically broke them; it was quite unpleasant. But when I moved properly along the lines of what Kuroda Sensei at the Expo would call "whole body movement" I could give the energy he was trying to put into my fingers back to him and apply an ikkyo, all while he was trying quite hard to lock my fingers.

It's not that this was some great feat of ki... I was able to get almost everyone at the seminar except for the newest of newbies to succeed at least a little on doing this with their partners. It's actually easier to get someone to understand how to use aiki this way than it is in a technique in which they have the option of trying to force it. With your fingers grabbed strongly you just can't muscle it and your body and mind understand that immediately. The folks who had the hardest time with it were the folks who just didn't quite believe that they could do it and they would tighten up when they got grabbed and the lock immediately put them on the mat. But most folks got it and we are talking about kyu rank and lower level yudansha folks. All they needed was a detailed description of what they were trying to do; something often lacking when we have seen skills like this done by many Japanese teachers. Angier Sensei has been a great inspiration to me in the way he took what he had been taught by his teacher and organized it and broke it into principle based training. I am trying to do the same thing in my Aikido. It is my hope that, the things it has taken me 30 years to figure out, will only take my students 10 or 15 years to understand.

You are absolutely right that, every one of the high level teachers whose skills we want so desperately to emulate trained VERY hard, very severely. It's as much about mental toughness as it is about physical strength. If being completely relaxed is essential to execution of techniques using aiki, then a completely relaxed mind is a prerequisite for that physical relaxation. As most people know, this isn't that easy to achieve under the controlled conditions of training with your friends and teacher in a dojo where you know no one is actually trying to hurt or kill you. The ability to have this level of equanimity when under real attack is a skill that most of us probably don't have or at least, won't know whether we have until that moment of truth. I am in awe of such people. That's the real reason for the hard training. Not so much that the physical strength is so crucial to the ability to do technique with "aiki" but rather the mental strength is essential. The development of the mental strength produces good physical strength almost as a byproduct I think.

Certainly, I have never met anyone who could really do this stuff who had not trained very hard in both a physical and mental sense. Attempts by some teachers to spare their own students the difficulties of training this way, only do those students a disservice, because they will NEVER figure out any of this tuff training in the nice, user friendly mode that many of them are currently doing. And even if they mange to figure out a few principles, they won't be able to apply them because they won't be able to keep their composure under real stress.

Because of my back and knee injuries, I don't really take ukemi any more. This has made it very difficult to keep my weight under control. I probably always had the tendency to put weight on but it wasn't an issue when I was younger because I trained seven days a week very hard. Now I am in no way in the shape I was years ago. It doesn't impede my ability to do my waza (except getting low enough for a good koshi) because I am not relying on that kind of physicality any more. But there is no way I could have learned to do what I do if I had always been in this shape. I couldn't have trained hard enough.

tedehara
06-09-2006, 08:24 AM
Oops, I should have mentioned that the acupuncture idea is a combination of the "electro-magnetic field" effect and the way the layers of fascia in the body are supposed to be related to each other, the way the layers start and end, including the organs they wrap, etc. Generally speaking. I don't claim any expertise in the "electromagnetic field"/acupuncture part... just a superficial understanding of the relationships. The functional parts about the strengths, training, etc., is more where I'm focused, so allow me some slack on the other parts. ;)

Regards,

MikeYou're not the only one who believed hypnosis involves an interchange of energy. Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) himself believed in animal magnetism.

from Hidden depths pg. 91
For many Romantics the attraction of magnetism was precisely that, as a holistic theory which saw the whole universe as interconnected by the fluid that pervaded it, it ran counter to the kind of scientific theory which splintered the world and forgot the big meaningful picture.

Yet it would be people like James Braid (1795-1860) who would disprove magnetic mesmerism.

from Hidden depths pg. 202
Why was Braid effective where Faria and Bertrand were not? Because he was meticulous, plainly a medical man, not a showman, a lucid writer, sober, cautious and unconcerned with paranormal and exotic phenomena (which he either found no evidence for, or attributed to hyperaesthesia)...he based his views on observation and experiment, rather than on preconceived theories...

You don't need a neolithic theory to gain an understanding of the martial arts. There are other, more functional points of view.

The Science of Super Human Strength Science Channel Documentary
When we are learning something new, many different areas of the brain are stimulated. But as we become more skilled, brain activity is also more focused. Memories are formed that automatically signal the muscles to perform.

"Active thinking tends to take you out of the Zone. So its when you kind of go into almost a zen or hypnotic state and the people describe pretty consistent conditions around what it feels like to be in the Zone. Time seems to slow down. They're not aware of any kind of effort" Kirsten Peterson - Olympic Sports Psychologist

Mike Sigman
06-09-2006, 08:33 AM
Oops, I should have mentioned that the acupuncture idea is a combination of the "electro-magnetic field" effect and the way the layers of fascia in the body are supposed to be related to each other, the way the layers start and end, including the organs they wrap, etc. Generally speaking. I don't claim any expertise in the "electromagnetic field"/acupuncture part... just a superficial understanding of the relationships. The functional parts about the strengths, training, etc., is more where I'm focused, so allow me some slack on the other parts.

Regards,

MikeYou're not the only one who believed hypnosis involves an interchange of energy. Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815) himself believed in animal magnetism. Whoa.... where did "hypnotism" get into this? I was talking about a measureable electro-magnetic field effect (and I was discussing anything about putative results, incidentally). I.e., you may be quoting the wrong guy, Ted.You don't need a neolithic theory to gain an understanding of the universe. There are other, more functional points of view.

The Science of Super Human Strength Science Channel Documentary
When we are learning something new, many different areas of the brain are stimulated. But as we become more skilled, brain activity is also more focused. Memories are formed that automatically signal the muscles to perform.

"Active thinking tends to take you out of the Zone. So its when you kind of go into almost a zen or hypnotic state and the people describe pretty consistent conditions around what it feels like to be in the Zone. Time seems to slow down. They're not aware of any kind of effort" Kirsten Peterson - Olympic Sports PsychologistI'm not sure what any of this has to do with the quotes from me you included in the post, Ted.

Mike Sigman

James Young
06-09-2006, 10:13 AM
For those who are wondering, there are still some Aikikai teachers who definitely place value on internal power development and breathing exercises. Consider this from Hiroshi Tada-sensei:

"One of the most important parts in practice is controlling of ki by breathing exercises. To improve techniques and refine all of our activities to a higher level. we must first refine our force of life. Your success depends on your level of knowledge and skill in receiving the wisdom and power of the universe....Therefore, to synchronize the "mind, technique and body," mastering of the breathing exercise, which is the essence of training methods researched and experimented in lndia, China and Japan for thousands of years, is an indispensable training....This breathing system is a method that enables us to refine our force of life to a higher plain by receiving the power of the roof of the universe and its wisdom, ki throughout our nerve system. The breathing system is the root of our life."

I just took a couple snips here from the article to emphasize the point, but you can reference the entire article here:

http://www.christiantissier.com/05_articles/05_artilcle_05.html

Although it is likely not exactly the same practice as Mike Sigman and others utilize, when I practiced with Tada-sensei we started every class with his ki no renma exercises before or after the warmups in order to develop this internal power further. Unfortunately as only a beginner in aikido at the time I only understood this only on its surface and only got minimal benefits. However, in particular I agree with Tada-sensei's words at the top of the quote I included, that this practice is important to take our technique and refine our daily activities to a higher level. Of course through just normal practice we can get pretty smooth, fast, effective, etc. with our technique, but as aikidoists if we are truly stiving for that higher level we cannot ignore these aspect of training either.

Ron Tisdale
06-09-2006, 10:28 AM
From the video and stills I've seen of Tada Sensei, he must be truly amazing to train with.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
06-09-2006, 10:35 AM
Although it is likely not exactly the same practice as Mike Sigman and others utilize, when I practiced with Tada-sensei we started every class with his ki no renma exercises before or after the warmups in order to develop this internal power further. Hi James:

Just to be clear, I've never detailed what breathing methods I use for Ki training. Most of the explicative stuff I've posted has been on force manipulation and I've avoided the exact breathing mechanisms because they're complex, they need clear directions, there's a possible problem for people that over-do them, etc.

What I will say is that the "breathing methods" that encourage someone to do vague things in vague ways are pretty much useless. If you don't know exactly what you're trying to work, how to "acquire" those things to work them, what to look for, etc., you're wasting your time, as a general rule. Usually if someone glowingly enthuses about some "breathing method" or "ki training", etc., I ask them to show me what they can do now because of it that they couldn't do before. If there are no physically demonstrable results, we're kidding ourselves. But there's a lot of that going around. ;)

Regards,

Mike

James Young
06-09-2006, 11:26 AM
Just to be clear, I've never detailed what breathing methods I use for Ki training. Most of the explicative stuff I've posted has been on force manipulation and I've avoided the exact breathing mechanisms because they're complex, they need clear directions, there's a possible problem for people that over-do them, etc.

What I will say is that the "breathing methods" that encourage someone to do vague things in vague ways are pretty much useless. If you don't know exactly what you're trying to work, how to "acquire" those things to work them, what to look for, etc., you're wasting your time, as a general rule. Usually if someone glowingly enthuses about some "breathing method" or "ki training", etc., I ask them to show me what they can do now because of it that they couldn't do before. If there are no physically demonstrable results, we're kidding ourselves. But there's a lot of that going around. ;)

Fair enough. I thought you mentioned some of your breathing exercises in general on a different thread but I may have confused you with another person. Sorry.

I agree that it is difficult to get any benefit from breathing methods when the specific goals of such practices is vague. That is exactly what I experienced as a beginner student doing the Ki no Renma exercises. Little benefit if any due to my limited understanding. I think it's also the same with some of the misogi practices. I know what the general goal may be (develop kokyu power, etc.) but I'm not sure all the time of what each exercise is specifically intended to foster.

My purpose in posting this Tada-sensei quote was just to emphasize that there are Aikikai teachers who place importance on developing ki and internal power as well. (It was suggested in prior post that the Aikikai would reject such teachers due to political motives or such.) My feeling is that such practice has given him "physically demonstable results" which can be felt in his aikido technique, and I think that's why he teaches it and emphasizes its practice in this article, but that's just my opinion as a neophyte in such matters. Others with more experience may have a different opinion on his ability in such matters.

Mike Sigman
06-09-2006, 12:53 PM
My purpose in posting this Tada-sensei quote was just to emphasize that there are Aikikai teachers who place importance on developing ki and internal power as well. (It was suggested in prior post that the Aikikai would reject such teachers due to political motives or such.) My feeling is that such practice has given him "physically demonstable results" which can be felt in his aikido technique, and I think that's why he teaches it and emphasizes its practice in this article, but that's just my opinion as a neophyte in such matters. OK, I don't have a problem with that kind of opinion, but I would still challenge you to gather some specifics like "breathe this way to improve that thing" rather than just the idea that "So-and-so encourages breathing exercises and they're good". Be your own critic and challenge any "feelings" to see if you could defend your feelings with "factual results". If you check the Aikido, Karate, Taiji, etc., communities, you'll see that a LOT of people talk the talk. And many big, strong guys claim they have "got the results" when really they're still just big, strong guys able to overpower smaller people. Be very critical. Really practicing an effective martial art in a dedicated way is like going to heaven..... everyone wants to do it, but not yet. ;)

My 2 cents.

Mike

James Young
06-09-2006, 02:58 PM
OK, I don't have a problem with that kind of opinion, but I would still challenge you to gather some specifics like "breathe this way to improve that thing" rather than just the idea that "So-and-so encourages breathing exercises and they're good". Be your own critic and challenge any "feelings" to see if you could defend your feelings with "factual results".

Of course I'm somewhat limited by my own understanding and experience of the subject, but I do strive for that. As I get to listen to more teachings on the subject and feel the application from different people such as Ushiro-sensei at the Aiki-Expo I hope that I'm futhering my understanding more. That is why I've also been following this thread as well. However, that is good advice. Thank you.

Mike Sigman
06-11-2006, 03:37 PM
Anyway, it is quite possible that what the systema guys do is different than what you are describing. I simply don't know. But the point of my post was to counter what I understood your assertion to be that it wouldn't be worth ones while to look to systema for training which would help develop internal power for use in Aikido. I do not believe that to be true. However, what that "internal power" might be could certainly be different than what you have described in your posts. Our areas of expertise are different. I have thirty years of daily Aikido experience which you don't have, you have some vast amount of experience in Chinese internal arts which I don't have. I suspect that my direct experience of systema in terms of training with the two senior Russian teachers is greater than yours and I do have almost daily interaction with serious systema instructors (since their school is on the other side of the wall from mine). So basically, not much discussion is possible for us. So, generally I just follow your posts with interest.

The readers that know me and my Aikido can decide for themselves if they wish to take my advice and check out systema, at least the senior teachers. It has helped me immensely and I have done only a very little. I will say that, the systema folks I have encountered, and I don't mean just Vlad and his teacher but Vlad's senior students as well, are operating on a level of sophistication that one would see except at the very top most levels in Aikido, and not in many there.I realize the above is from one of the older threads on the post, but I just saw perhaps my 3rd Systema video-clip like this one:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4782614389622826842&q=systema

Whatever people want to make of Systema is their own business, but I just wanted to reinforce the idea that the topics of ki/kokyu things I keep referring to are very different from what I'm seeing in the Systema stuff.

All the Best.

Mike

artic
06-12-2006, 08:50 AM
:) Hi,
I have been following this tread with great interest.
I am very interested in the topic.

Mr. Sigman, have you seen the recently released dvd "Systema hand to hand" ?
with Vladimir Vasilev demonstating a segment called "the wave"
It looks really powerful, the attacker gets thrown away with a wave like shaking , looks like this can be related to jin..?

Regards
Tom Sorevik

Mike Sigman
06-12-2006, 09:16 AM
:) Mr. Sigman, have you seen the recently released dvd "Systema hand to hand" ?
with Vladimir Vasilev demonstating a segment called "the wave"
It looks really powerful, the attacker gets thrown away with a wave like shaking , looks like this can be related to jin..?Hi Tom:

No, I haven't seen that video. Part of my puzzlement is why a questionable source like Systema is being recommended as a supplement for Aikido. AiKIdo uses the same ki/qi/kokyu/jin etc., skills that are straightforwardly and isolatedly discussed in Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Why someone who doesn't have much expertise in these skills would suggest that "Systema" has something necessary for good Aikido is simply beyond me. It boggles my mind. :cool:

It's like these assertions I read where "Alexander Technique", "Feldenkrais", "Modern Dance Movement", etc., etc., are "part of Aikido".... usually this is said by someone who doesn't have even a foggy idea what "mind intent" means. (I'm not talking about you, Tom... I'm just talking/thinking out loud).

The only fixed idea I've seen in the Aikido (and other MA's) community that seems to never die is that anyone's take on what Ki, etc., is must be valid, particularly if someone is a "name-recognized" teacher. It gets a little strange, if not downright bizarre. These skills are pretty darn fixed in what they mean... they're not open to everyone's free-style and sometimes embarrassing opinions. ;)

If you understand what "ki" is, yes you can find vestiges of it in lots of martial arts just because that's part of how the body develops, to a certain extent. To use deliberate and cultivated "ki" skills is something entirely different, though. The idea that "this must be ki because it looks like it to me although I'm no expert" is one of the great unexplained phenomena in martial arts. ;). A "Wave" doesn't mean much by itself... there are "waves" that use jin mechanics and there are other "waves" of athleticism, etc.

Here's a video of Chen Youze doing part of one of the Chen forms... watch the first sort of punch/release upward as he turns. You can see a "wave" go from his foot up through his crotch, dantien, arm, etc. Yes, he's releasing power *along* a ground-path to the release is indeed "jin", but if he did it at normal speed you wouldn't see any of that winding... it would look purely linear. I.e., the "wave" is a method of training, not something you would concentrate on in an application itself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0pEkoTNduo&search=taijiquan

Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements. Full spiral movement is going to use the winding in the leg, the crotch, the waist, the torso/back, etc. Aikido doesn't do that. Any other "wave" is going to usually be a matter of subjective definition of what a "wave" is.

So to talk about "jin" or "kokyu power", a person needs to look at the source and direction of the power transmitted through the body, not necessarily at how the body winds or ripples. IMO.

If you're anywhere near Pajala, Sweden next month, I'll show you. ;)

Regards,

Mike

artic
06-12-2006, 02:43 PM
Hi Mike,
thanks for the informative reply.
Nice clip of the Chen style jin wave.

Unfortunately I am busy when your visit to Lappland is happening,
I am sure it`s going to be nice up there. :)
I`ll send you a pm so you can give me your full Europe schedule.

Regards
Tom

Pauliina Lievonen
06-12-2006, 05:25 PM
Hi Mike, beginning of next month or end? I'm going to be in northern Finland after half July or so...

kvaak
Pauliina

statisticool
06-12-2006, 05:57 PM
Mike wrote:


You can see a "wave" go from his foot up through his crotch, dantien, arm, etc. Yes, he's releasing power *along* a ground-path to the release is indeed "jin", ...


Ie, he had a wind-up, turned his waist, and punched.

Upyu
06-12-2006, 05:58 PM
Mike wrote:



Ie, he had a wind-up, turned his waist, and punched.
fuznack! another drive by! :rolleyes:

lol

statisticool
06-12-2006, 06:10 PM
fuznack! another drive by! :rolleyes:

lol

Do you think something else was going on in his movement?

Feel free to share.

statisticool
06-12-2006, 06:34 PM
I was just 'translating' since not everyone on a Japanese martial art board is a Chinese martial artist.

;)

Upyu
06-12-2006, 06:59 PM
My bad :D

I know your intentions are genuine, but to put it bluntly your translation sucked.
That being said, if I swing by the East Coast this year, I'd be more than happy to show you hands on the differences being talked about in this thread ;)

Mike Sigman
06-12-2006, 07:15 PM
Hi Mike, beginning of next month or end? I'm going to be in northern Finland after half July or so... Hi Pauliina:
I'll be in Pajala on the from about July 5-9 and doing a workshop the last 2 days. Undoubtedly it will be an interesting experience and a very pretty countryside. If you're going to be anywhere near the area, PM me and I'll promise to buy the first round. Emil can buy the second. ;)

Best Regards,

Mike

statisticool
06-12-2006, 07:17 PM
That being said, if I swing by the East Coast this year, I'd be more than happy to show you hands on the differences being talked about in this thread ;)

I'm sure you would be.

But, Robert, you didn't explain how you would translate it.

statisticool
06-12-2006, 07:20 PM
Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements. Full spiral movement is going to use the winding in the leg, the crotch, the waist, the torso/back, etc. Aikido doesn't do that.

Can you explain why one would even expect aikido to have a spiral exactly like taijiquan?


Journal of Asian Martial Arts, Vol 11, No. 4, 2002,

"Aikido: The art of the dynamic equiangular spiral"

by Paz-y-Miño G., & . Espinosa, A.

is an interesting read about spirals in aikido in any case.

Mike Sigman
06-12-2006, 07:27 PM
Can you explain why one would even expect aikido to have a spiral exactly like taijiquan?Since I just said that Aikido does not use spiralling like Taiji does, why would I explain "why one would even expect aikido to have spiral exactly like taijiquan"????????????????????????? :freaky:

statisticool
06-12-2006, 07:34 PM
Since I just said that Aikido does not use spiralling like Taiji does, why would I explain "why one would even expect aikido to have spiral exactly like taijiquan"????????????????????????? :freaky:

I guess I wasn't sure why the "even though" in

"Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements."

?

Upyu
06-12-2006, 08:27 PM
I guess I wasn't sure why the "even though" in

"Aikido does not use this kind of winding, even though I hear a lot of talk about "spirals" in many Aikido movements."

?

Difference (and anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), is that the winding that MIke is talking about, is a winding of the "structure".
In essence it's a winding up of the skeletal structure while the body stays in place(this is put really really simply, so dont shoot me),

while most "spirals" Aikido talks about is spiral "movement" generated by physically displacing the body.
(That being said, it doesn't mean they don't have jin/kokyu skills, just that it's generally linear, hence the whole "extend ki", "extend that" paradigm, and there's nothing wrong with that either)

There is a difference between the two, but you'd have to feel it hands on. Words can only convey so much for this kind of stuff ,unfortunately. :rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
06-12-2006, 08:47 PM
Ie, he had a wind-up, turned his waist, and punched. Incidentally, the "winding" or "spiralling" shown in that video clip is sort of the same 'body fabric' that Ueshiba was showing unusual strength in during the 'jo trick'. But it has to be developed. We know that Ueshiba had it developed on his arms and back, from what he showed, but I doubt that he had developed it through the legs and crotch in the way the Chinese guy on the video did.


FWIW

Mike

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-13-2006, 02:00 AM
Hi Mike, Rob, forum,

Quickie only: spirals....yes, we do here that a lot. I used to think the spirals were on the outside, but they're not, they're at the core of, say, the arm (joined to the ground). When Abe sensei stops his breath, there is a kind of winding of the line from contact to ground, but no overt movement of the arm muscles at all. This I guess is the manipulation of the pressure suit by the breath. This stopping of the breath seems to create some "tension" (for lack of a better word) along the lower back and back of legs down to the ball of the foot, which can be released either at the following instant after stopping the breath, or at a later stage, without letting go the breath pressure. None of this involves any movement of the arm muscles and bones locally, but the contact line seems to receive a twist initially, and a anti-twist and outward impact on release. I don't know if this is anything like what Mike is saying about Chinese arts, nor - disclaimer - am I 100% sure of what exactly Abe sensei is doing. But definitely the pressure is not let off at the center once it is collected.

Mike Sigman
06-13-2006, 08:31 AM
Nice post, Gernot. From what you've said in the past, I think Abe Sensei knew/knows a goodly amount of these things. And there are some others, too, from what I've been hearing. Problem is that these are like "point-sources" of the good information and it's not spreading in the community. Then again, whether everyone in a particular martial art should really know how to do these things is probably an issue which doesn't have consensus agreement. Abe may feel like these things are best kept restricted. It's his knowledge to do with as he pleases; more power to him.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
06-13-2006, 08:39 AM
I don't think he keeps it hidden...at least in the seminar I was at, he was very open about it. Learning it...that's a different kettle of fish. I am not even aikikai, but he was very open with me. That may be due to the fact that I was there with some of his foriegn students though.

I also like your post Gernot.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
06-13-2006, 08:48 AM
I don't think he keeps it hidden...at least in the seminar I was at, he was very open about it. Does that mean you can do these things, Ron? No offense, but I have a lifetime of hearing how "So-and-so was so open and I learned so much at his seminar".... then I ask them to demonstrate on me what they "learned how to do".

Granted at most seminars there's a certain amount of "gathering tidbits of information".... but I don't think someone should leave a seminar without being able to do something they couldn't do when they walked in (assuming reasonable intelligence, of course). Too often we meet/know people whose martial art looks and feels pretty much like it did 10 years ago, 20 years ago, whatever. I never listen to those peoples' recommendations about workshops, frankly.

Again, not trying to be negative, Ron, but obviously people in Aikido are NOT being "very open" or we wouldn't be having these conversations after all these years, eh? ;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
06-13-2006, 09:01 AM
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=120164&highlight=iowa#post120164

should answer your questions. As I said above, being taught this and learning it yourself can be two very different things. I'll leave it up to those who have trained with me as to whether or not I've learned anything and can put it into keiko.

Best,
Ron

MM
06-13-2006, 09:16 AM
That being said, if I swing by the East Coast this year, I'd be more than happy to show you hands on the differences being talked about in this thread ;)

If you do swing by the East Coast of the U.S., let me know. I wouldn't mind learning.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
06-13-2006, 09:19 AM
Ditto.

Best,
Ron

artic
06-13-2006, 03:29 PM
So to talk about "jin" or "kokyu power", a person needs to look at the source and direction of the power transmitted through the body, not necessarily at how the body winds or ripples. IMO.

If you're anywhere near Pajala, Sweden next month, I'll show you. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike,
I will attend your workshop in Wadhurst near London instead,
then you can show me exactly what jin is. :)

Regards
Tom

Mark Freeman
06-13-2006, 04:22 PM
Mike,
I will attend your workshop in Wadhurst near London instead,
then you can show me exactly what jin is. :)

Mike,

when is the workshop? I would like to try and make it if possible.

thanks,

Mark

Mike Sigman
06-13-2006, 04:27 PM
when is the workshop? I would like to try and make it if possible.Hi Mark:

This is getting embarrassing and it probably shouldn't be in the thread, so I'll PM you with the details.

Regards,

Mike

Mark Freeman
06-13-2006, 04:29 PM
Hi Mark:

This is getting embarrassing and it probably shouldn't be in the thread, so I'll PM you with the details.

Regards,

Mike

Thanks!

JasonFDeLucia
06-22-2006, 12:11 PM
Hi Mike:

Remember last year when I asked if any of the "name" Aikido teachers who were deshi of Ueshiba taught any "standing" exercises? It turns out that some of them actually do (we'll leave aside the qustion of whether the actual stuff you're supposed to do in the standings is taught). So for all practical purposes, Aikido practice can include standing post exercises (zhan zhuang), practice movement using the jin/kokyu power at all times (shi li and mocabu are the same as what Aiki Taiso are meant to do), and now, it seems that even power releases can be done using fune-kogi undo and suburi.

Differences? I don't see any differences; I see commonalities (well.... I see commonalities that should be there, but all too often aren't, so that needs to be fixed). ;)

Regards,

Mike

integration always has stagnant phases .constant cross application adds purpose to what some times seems dormant or even dead .and some applications are as riding a bike .and some are like a foreign language .don't use it you lose it .

Michael Douglas
06-23-2006, 02:00 PM
From the last page, I'd like to comment on 'spiral' movement.
I use a relaxed palm strike as my primary striking technique.
I started years ago messing with the tight curling or spiralling movement something like the hsing-i corkscrew punch jobbie, and found it stiff and completely lacking power compared to a straight right.
BUT, I found using such a movement in training actually improved my relaxed delivery of penetrating force with my palm strike. At full speed not a bit of spiral is seen, but strangely the 'shadow' of the movement in my mind keeps my strike tight and in-line with my foot-leg-hip-body jerk.
If anyone has another exercise to help even more, then let me know.

On the same 'spiral' idea, I found that most of the Aikido movements to break wrist-grips and kuzushi from them use some kind of spiral with hip movement, a very similar movement to my training twistie thingy.
I would have long given up the training twistie as cool-looking nonsense if I hadn't found it strangely useful.

JasonFDeLucia
06-23-2006, 07:19 PM
...The interesting thing to consider about the nikkyo is that meeting their general incoming force with the ground negates the lock and I've never been totally satisfied with exactly why that happens. The angle of force incidence is changed and that has some to do with it. The mind also creates a force dispersal web to some extent, but my general thinking is that by blocking the general incoming force, the application is pretty much neutralized. And if they're being stopped with the ground (coming up through the body to their application), the more pressure they apply down onto the nikkyo, the more they're pushing themselves up and back. It might be worth diagramming and looking at sometime...
try using nikyo from a clinch as a transition to irimi nage .

Guilty Spark
06-23-2006, 07:43 PM
Can someone point me in the right direction as to what the "Jo trick" is??

Jim Sorrentino
06-23-2006, 08:25 PM
Can someone point me in the right direction as to what the "Jo trick" is??
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Kcv0MQSgU&search=jo%20trick

Does anyone else care to display their ability?

Jim

Peter Seth
06-27-2006, 06:10 AM
Hi all.
Dont have time to read all posts but using the general theme - Ive seen the 'jo trick many times, used to be able to sort of do it and will try again nxt time training.
If its the one where the jo is held out horizontally and someone tries to push its far end in an arc.
Theoretically its impossible as the jo/lever is immense and all to the pushers favour - BUT - in fact the holder of the jo does not try to resist the direction of push but instead adds a subtle extension along the line of the jo, pointing the end of the jo directly away from him. This means the pusher is actually being extended sideways as he tries to push (redirecting his energy, so the more he pushes the more his balance is compromised - so the less he pushes) . Its a very subtle balancing act which if 'felt' can be a revelation as to the nature of energy. And how relatively easy it is to get someone to imbalance themselves with limited effort applied subtly in the right place/direction, at the right time.
It does work - honest! Takes a bit of practice though.
As an example - let uke take a double grasp of your lapels and gently push you - easy!
Now with you facing in exactly the same plane (dont turn your body) do a half side step to your left with uke staying in the same place - his arms should now be at a slight angle to his right. Get him to push gently - less effect! With uke still in the same position, you move a little further directly to your left - again dont turn your body towards him - he should now be light on his left foot and more or less unable to effectively push you. Same principle.
Cheers
Peter

Talon
06-27-2006, 09:35 AM
Thanks for that Peter. Your post makes sense to me now I gotta try some of that stuff... :)

Peter Seth
06-28-2006, 05:59 AM
Pleasure Paul - to carry that last move on.
From you last side step where he is 'left foot light', now turn your body/centre to face him - (as much as poss you should always be facing your opponent with your centre to perform efficient techniques - with him turned). You will find as you turn to face him he will be well on the way to throwing himself - you just add a little incentive/energy if you need to. It will at first be a little 'lumpy' , but when you get the feel and rhythm it takes v little effort to encourage him to 'fall over'.
Simplistically - keep half a step out of his 'time' either towards or away from his centre and he will become imbalanced - then using your flow, direct his energy to a zero point.
Technique is really creating this imbalance, redirecting the energy and facilitating an interuption to that current energy stream. Really theres no such thing as 'technique' per se, its just a word to describe and more easily understand the interaction of energies. Try thinking in techniques and you short circuit your flow - you may get lucky? Try thinking in movement, rythm, flow and you may get lucky more often? Try not thinking - well I wish!! Its 'happened' once or twice - cant explain the feeling??
I'm rambling!
Stay well
Peter

DH
06-29-2006, 08:01 AM
Peter
You are relagating the jo trick to external "technique."
While the things you mention are in fact valid -in and of themselves. They are just more examples of what I have referred to for years as Martial artists, and many aikidoka, going full speed............ in the wrong direction.
Technique -once the body conditioning is in place and improves- at some levels become meaningless, at other levels is changed from what we thought we knew to somethng more......techniqueless, technique. Form without form, power without intent.

For a more relevant example of understanding the jo trick, do this.
Stand with your feet squared to your shoulders (like the karate horse stance) Place your extended right arm out in front of you, (12:00) place your left, out extended to your left.(9:00) Let someone push on your left arm (from front to back lets say). You should be able to hold them -within reason -its just an exercise. I do this to show guys where you should feel the force and where it can be manipulated in your own body-once they are training for connection. It where you hold the tension (not flexing) and let the force connect with you. Example: I can make the horizntal push force on my *left* arm feel as if it is enacting my right hand middle finger pointng out.
And that internal connection is a hell of a way to hit someone or kick....or shovel....or to just not fall down. :D

You can do that same exercise as a technique buy sending their force "out" then going around them or up and then down like in an irimi..but it is not exhbiting an internal connection-just martial technique.
Cheers
Dan
.

Peter Seth
06-29-2006, 08:38 AM
Yup Dan.
Know exactly what you are saying - in fact at the 'top end' of all martial arts there is no distinction between uke and tori - they are one. Tori becomes what you could maybe visualise as an inviible energy model which is actually uke's 'other half' or energy balance/equalibrium. He uses/directs uke's imbalanced/committed/uncentred energy to balance the formulae. Thats at a 'lower' higher level. At a higher level still, tori becomes 'smoke' as it were - letting uke be everything - initiator and executioner, with little interaction. Higher still - reconcile his aggression before he even 'thinks' of being aggressive - a bit like shangri-la. But something to aspire too.
Most of this is what I 'feel' - i'm trying to move towards this but after 45 years in marts i'm still in primary school - but still enjoying it.

DH
06-29-2006, 11:44 AM
Yup Dan.
Know exactly what you are saying - in fact at the 'top end' of all martial arts there is no distinction between uke and tori - they are one. Tori becomes what you could maybe visualise as an inviible energy model which is actually uke's 'other half' or energy balance/equalibrium. He uses/directs uke's imbalanced/committed/uncentred energy to balance the formulae. Thats at a 'lower' higher level. At a higher level still, tori becomes 'smoke' as it were - letting uke be everything - initiator and executioner, with little interaction. Higher still - reconcile his aggression before he even 'thinks' of being aggressive - a bit like shangri-la. But something to aspire too.
Most of this is what I 'feel' - i'm trying to move towards this but after 45 years in marts i'm still in primary school - but still enjoying it.
Pete,
Not sure you really do.
What would that connection feel like in your own body?
What causes it?
It has nothing at all to do with ...."their" energy.


I don't know anything about "invisible energy models" and "smoke"
What I do is very practical, explicable, and teachable. When people talk to me in convoluted, ethereal terms- I usually walk away.

Cheers
Dan
"In lue of substance- you frequently find formality"

Upyu
06-30-2006, 09:31 PM
YOu know its all aBou t the pece and luuuuuv :D


PS
Dan, found some submission grapplers to work out with, the "spreading" your wings intent worked wonders. Takedowns were nullified 90% of the time if I just stood there, and they really really didn't like the strikes I did :p
You mind importing some of your wrestlers over to Japan? Im thinking Im going to be needing bigger guys to tustle with soon. :D

DH
07-01-2006, 04:45 AM
YOu know its all aBou t the pece and luuuuuv :D


PS
Dan, found some submission grapplers to work out with, the "spreading" your wings intent worked wonders. Takedowns were nullified 90% of the time if I just stood there, and they really really didn't like the strikes I did :p
You mind importing some of your wrestlers over to Japan? Im thinking Im going to be needing bigger guys to tustle with soon. :D


Glad it worked for ya bud. The same skill can drill them into the ground if they go for your legs. I'm sure you are usng the intent with breath work... yes? Or in a shoot situation -with timing as a tool- you can "leave" the leg they are shooting for and "walk" into em with the other. Say in the forehead.

I don't think you will need bigger guys for improving your skills-it really just helps solidify or validate our training in our own eyes. Another words I am confident that skill will win out in a test and maybe even in a fight. If you really want to test yourself get a big guy who knows his stuff and is a relaxed fighter. Tell him to unload on you. Looks like I will be in Japan next year. You can play with me after training.

Hey one last note*
I tried your two man test standing with the knees locked and arms out front but I didn't do it like Arks video. Maybe I misunderstood you. I stood there and let them push and "I" didn't move at all. Just stood there. In Arks video "Ark" was moving his arms all around in a limited sort of push hands with his knees locked. I understand what he is doing but I thought the idea was to not move. If you haven't done it -try it. We stand face to face, arms out, no misdirection allowed. No raising or lowering of the arms allowed no bending of the elbows. Just stick straight. It gets to the point immediately.

If they are not connected and they push at all.....they pop off. Its over before it began.
That's what I thought you were describing so thanks for the new test anyway :D

Cheers
Dan

Upyu
07-02-2006, 05:20 PM
with timing as a tool- you can "leave" the leg they are shooting for and "walk" into em with the other. Say in the forehead.

Actually I did just that to one guy. Accidentally kneed him in the forhead. But I wasn't trying to "knee" him. Just was walking using the same feeling I do in "body axis" training.
Felt kinda bad since I think he still has a concussion from a counter punch he took at a tourney he won two weeks ago.


Looks like I will be in Japan next year. You can play with me after training.

Hoo boy, looks like I'll be earning my stripes earlier than I thought :crazy: :D


I stood there and let them push and "I" didn't move at all. Just stood there. In Arks video "Ark" was moving his arms all around in a limited sort of push hands with his knees locked. I understand what he is doing but I thought the idea was to not move. If you haven't done it -try it. We stand face to face, arms out, no misdirection allowed. No raising or lowering of the arms allowed no bending of the elbows. Just stick straight. It gets to the point immediately.

Nope, you didn't misunderstand me at all.
We train exactly the way you describe, and like you said it gets to the point immediately. Its a good barometer for structure.

If the person pushing tends to start changing the angles and stuff, then a certain amount of redirection manifests itself in the other person's arms (since he's simply trying to maintain his core). But that's only done for demo purposes, there's no training value in doing it this way whatsoever.


If they are not connected and they push at all.....they pop off. Its over before it began.
That's what I thought you were describing so thanks for the new test anyway :D


Hehe, np, glad you could find use in it. :) Actually I was pretty sure you'd be one of the few that would actually get something out of it and see the value of what it was testing. Its one of the tests I give to people now to see if they have anything, and emphasize the importance of being connected.

Peter Seth
07-03-2006, 06:02 AM
Well dan.
I see where you are coming from now - aikido as a 'martial way'. Yes, I can also 'do' the practical, physically dynamic so called effective 'f'ighting' aikido - I keep that for when I'm teaching practical, in your face self defence (Aiki/Ju jitsu). Using a lot of my own energy/aggression to perform technique.
You seem like a practical person who as you suggest tends to walk away from people who talk in concept? Thats fine, ive been there - took me a while to work out that everyone has a 'story to tell' and i listen to all - some are just further along the path is all.
I'm sure a good solid irimi nage which 'decks' a person fits the bill - but 'Ai ki' is more than just applying positive technique. I dont know how old you are or how long you have been training but i'm getting on a bit now and find I cannot physically 'apply' technique as I used to (age, energy and injury). But i'm getting the message about letting my opponent do most of the 'work' which I tried to get across in maybe a way you do not appreciate. Ah well you cant please everyone - but hopefully you can persuade them to maybe think outside the box they currently occupy.
Cheers. Sincerely all the best with all your endevours.
P

Nick Pagnucco
07-03-2006, 07:31 AM
Well dan.
I see where you are coming from now - aikido as a 'martial way'. Yes, I can also 'do' the practical, physically dynamic so called effective 'f'ighting' aikido - I keep that for when I'm teaching practical, in your face self defence (Aiki/Ju jitsu). Using a lot of my own energy/aggression to perform technique.
You seem like a practical person who as you suggest tends to walk away from people who talk in concept? Thats fine, ive been there - took me a while to work out that everyone has a 'story to tell' and i listen to all - some are just further along the path is all.
I'm sure a good solid irimi nage which 'decks' a person fits the bill - but 'Ai ki' is more than just applying positive technique. I dont know how old you are or how long you have been training but i'm getting on a bit now and find I cannot physically 'apply' technique as I used to (age, energy and injury). But i'm getting the message about letting my opponent do most of the 'work' which I tried to get across in maybe a way you do not appreciate. Ah well you cant please everyone - but hopefully you can persuade them to maybe think outside the box they currently occupy.
Cheers. Sincerely all the best with all your endevours.
P


I highly recommend you read more of this thread. There really is a large amount of very interesting and thought provoking discussion. This thread has been, for the most part, exactly what you have just posted: that aiki and kokyu is more than positive (or passive) actions. You would also get a better idea on what Dan's point of view is, along with other people who always seem to post thought-provoking (at least for me) comments on these topics.

DH
07-04-2006, 06:02 AM
Peter

What I am talking about has nothing at all to do with fighting technique of any specific art. It has to do with training your body to "be" a certain way. which can be, in the end, highly martial in use or just a better way to do field work on a farm.

These things are not about some "martial" reaction VS a passive reaction. In and of themselves they are better ways to move, be connected (again connected to yourself not someone else) and be healthy.

That said, this is the absolute foundational work for all that is essential in martial arts. To me they are the key that people searched for, for years but it elluded them.
Aikido was founded on Daito ryu's body skills. And without them you have some -not very good- jujutsu and a philosophy....and thats about it.
There are pieces in various arts, here and there, and from what I have seen so far they are not to be found in all practioners of the parent (Chinese Martial) arts either.

So, if we observe that on the whole they are fast dissapearing in the Chinerse arts, where they are at least acknowledged and talked about, then it is not surprising that in the few Japanese arts where they still exist, folks have relagated them to obscure "ki" discussions where illurory words and obscure concepts without meaning abound. It is exactly for that reason that I never refer to them as "Ki." If I tell a group of men I know a way for them to exercise their bodies and different ways to breath to make them hit harder, throw with more "power" and be unlockable or unthrowable they listen. Say "ki" and you already lost many or most.


With that said, we can talk about real martial technique-which is an entirely separate topic- and one that I enjoy. But they are seperate topics that come together and become enjoined by choice.
For that reason, I am fairly certain that you do not know what I am reffering to. In fact it is not often I can have a conversation with those that do. For the most part folks not only do not train this way anymore, they don't even know how to in the first place. And worse when you hand these tools to some people and they feel the results? They still don't do them.

cheers
Dan

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-04-2006, 10:54 PM
Hi Dan, thanks as always for your fine input. I am nowhere remotely near the level of yourself, Robert John or Akuzawa :lol:, but am finding the rudimentary exercises Ark teaches (I guess you know them from Rob already, including mabu and shiko, although of course for coordination [intent] it is how you do them that is most important, not the position per se, that would be the conditioning aspect) to be a way towards understanding how the body is connected, and using those connections. Training with Ark only once a month is too little to prevent errors and tangent-chasing, but from my view of trying to heal a long-term twist in my left side, these exercises are invaluable - the curiosity they arouse lead to many other self-developed exercises, games, and just lying on the floor twitching and pulling/moving the body in various ways to try and get everything hooked up in one unified whole.

So, my question (and seeing as you are training koryu I expect a necessarily vague reply wrt details): how did you find a route to this stuff, and more specifically, was there a particular movement that caused you to come to an initial idea of what it was you were chasing?

Best wishes,
Gernot

Peter Seth
07-05-2006, 05:39 AM
Hi Dan,
Sorry if I got wrong end of stick, I dont get on forum often and sometimes dont have time to read all posts - so i must have missed earlier input. What you are getting at is v interesting - more please till I can try understand and see if I am already applying similar ideas or have missed out something on my journey.
I am at the start of the 'feel' bit of my development and sometimes find it difficult to describe what I am experiencing. I am open to any information/ideas, so please bring it on everyone - its sometimes the best way to learn.
Cheers
Peter :)

Jim Sorrentino
07-05-2006, 07:46 AM
For the most part folks not only do not train this way anymore, they don't even know how to in the first place. And worse when you hand these tools to some people and they feel the results? They still don't do them. For the record, my invitation to Dan to show what he is talking about still stands. Please see http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10287.

By the way, has anyone else noticed that Dan only refers to his practice partners/students as his "men"? Dan, is this just quaintness of language on your part, or do you not work with women? If not, why?

Jim

DH
07-05-2006, 05:12 PM
Hi Jim

I was just being precise. I have taught and trained with women-including one for 7 years. Remember I have always been small. There is just no way I will compare with your experince or numbers with people. It just doesnt attract me, and I think...no I know.... I would suck at it. It's just too much pressure and I am a terrible teacher. I keep experimenting and researching all the time.

I also recently attended a tai chi seminar and there were several women. It was a lodes of fun. While there I thought of you and I brought up this thread. I was asked to teach-yet again- and when I said no they asked if I would offer private instruction saying I could "fix" their Tai chi! Its ludicrous since I know nothing of tai chi but they never saw someone use it like I did. I turned them down too, and said come train with me, I drove to meet you. So we are going to have get togethers with three schools to work on breath work and connection...they had little.
I am consistent Jim.

Cheers
Dan

Upyu
07-05-2006, 06:20 PM
For the record, my invitation to Dan to show what he is talking about still stands. Please see http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10287.

By the way, has anyone else noticed that Dan only refers to his practice partners/students as his "men"? Dan, is this just quaintness of language on your part, or do you not work with women? If not, why?

Jim

Dan tends to be a little reclusive in showing his abilities, but from my correspondence with him shows that he knows exactly what he's talking about. Not that he needs my backing ;)

If you're still interested in learning this stuff, Akuzawa was interested in doing a seminar in the states at some point. And guaranteed the attributes which Dan described (if a judoka tries to throw you you should be as a rock, if a wrestler tries to double/single leg you, you'll drill them to the ground) etc all apply here.
Ark also is very hands on, and will demo this stuff with ANYONE. :D

The seminar we held in France was met with success, and no one there said they'd felt anyone like him, nor taught exercises that had such direct effects like him.

Contact me by PM if you're interested.

gdandscompserv
07-05-2006, 06:44 PM
i know i'm always fascinated by those who possessthe attributes which Dan described (if a judoka tries to throw you you should be as a rock, if a wrestler tries to double/single leg you, you'll drill them to the ground) etc all apply here.

Nick Pagnucco
07-05-2006, 10:21 PM
i know i'm always fascinated by those who possess

yeah, but we gotta go beyond being fascinated.
(sorry to pick on ya... you were just the last post :))

Assuming something 'real' is going is going on in the jo trick, then there are prescriptive questions to ask. Assuming there is a problem, what do we do about it? How do I (or whoever) try to figure this stuff out?

Dan Harden's answer is pretty simple, if I'm reading him right: go find a daito-ryu dojo, preferably from one of the more 'internal' branches like Sagawa's. Its a simple, explicit, and direct solution in many ways, but a) there aren't many 'real' daito dojos around, b) it may not account for any other developments O-sensei made through Omoto (may or may not be significant... I dunno), and c) it appears dismissive of aikido in general, which may or may not be a problem depending on your POV I guess. Off the top of my head, I cant remember any other explicit suggestions.

Also, on more than one occasion, Dan Harden, Mike Sigman, and maybe 1 or 2 others have criticized posters for going exactly in the wrong direction. Explaining away kokyu as just timing or something. If that is correct, then the question is, 'what should we be looking for in the first place? What are some basic elements we should look for in technique and in instructors?' From what I can remember, the only two suggestions people had were Mike Sigman's teacher test, and Robert John & Dan Harden's discussions about 'maintaining structure,' which sound good & I bet make a TON more sense if you already know what they're talking about. Neither is from what I can tell a particularly developed tool to help the clueless (like me) out.

And lastly, there's the counterpoint, which I think needs to be taken more seriously, even if one disagrees: from what I've read, it is not perfectly clear that O-sensei wanted aikido to be primarily for self-defense, rather than some kind of spiritual practice. If that is true, then does this conversation really still have any merit, and if so, as what? This gets even murkier, of course, by the fact that O-sensei himself didn't seem to be particularly successful at creating an organized curriculum, pedagogy, or criteria for aikido.

DH
07-05-2006, 11:07 PM
snip....it is not perfectly clear that O-sensei wanted aikido to be primarily for self-defense, rather than some kind of spiritual practice. If that is true, then does this conversation really still have any merit, and if so, as what? This gets even murkier, of course, by the fact that O-sensei himself didn't seem to be particularly successful at creating an organized curriculum, pedagogy, or criteria for aikido.

Nick
Here's my take on Uehsiba and a direct answer to your question. The conversation *has merit* because these skills were and are the foundation for all that Aikido was supposed to be.
Not part of, Not some of,..........ALL.

Takeda, Sagawa, and Kodo realized when they got to the highly developed body aspects of the training-that they didn't need to fight anymore. If you entered their space you were controlled and couldn't get...in.
So, In the fullness of time and in his turn, Ueshiba realized the same thing. The power that this type of training gives a person to withstand others trying to control you. Ueshiba got "it" from Daito ryu and "got" that he could create and maintain a fairly impeneterable sphere around him.
Now........no one or no thing is unbeatable or unstoppable. So lets not go there shall we? But these skills are right up there "approaching" that goal for many reasonable, and measured comparatives.

In various simple tests it becomes obvious that a person wirh these skills "feels" different. But some may stop at tricks. Some at reasonable dojo skills. And others may pursue using them in more challenging combative ways.
As I have said before, for simple terms of showing worth or user "potential" it is easy enough to make a point by sticking my hand out and asking an 8th dan to put me in a lock and just stand there looking at him or ask him to throw me and he sort of keeps poping off.
No thats not the same as having a freestyle fight..there you do other things that are also valid but it gives folks an idea of the potential THEY can get for whatever THIER uses may be.

Takeda's was to dominate and subdue
Sagawa's was to toss off and plant people or draw in an control
Kodo's as well.
But all of these men saught martial skills. And FWIW they all used the jo to demonstrate these skills. Its where Ueshiba got it from.
Ueshiba's was to realize that he could make a way to create no-fight, fighting. And it is THEE reason these skills are the essential foundation in Aikido. If you can make someone damn near impossible to lock and extremely difficult to throw, and his body feel like rubber over steel when you hit it. Thats a fairly substantial accomplisment and a platform with which to luanch a philosophy.
Without that Aikido is just another jujutsu style.

Cheers
Dan

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-06-2006, 07:15 AM
Dan, that's one of the most lucid and clearly understandable explanations of the purpose and goals of aikido I have ever seen.
Beats the Kojiki stuff by a fair margin :D

Nick Pagnucco
07-06-2006, 07:29 AM
snip....it is not perfectly clear that O-sensei wanted aikido to be primarily for self-defense, rather than some kind of spiritual practice. If that is true, then does this conversation really still have any merit, and if so, as what? This gets even murkier, of course, by the fact that O-sensei himself didn't seem to be particularly successful at creating an organized curriculum, pedagogy, or criteria for aikido.

Nick
Here's my take on Uehsiba and a direct answer to your question. The conversation *has merit* because these skills were and are the foundation for all that Aikido was supposed to be.
Not part of, Not some of,..........ALL.

Takeda, Sagawa, and Kodo realized when they got to the highly developed body aspects of the training-that they didn't need to fight anymore. If you entered their space you were controlled and couldn't get...in.
So, In the fullness of time and in his turn, Ueshiba realized the same thing. The power that this type of training gives a person to withstand others trying to control you. Ueshiba got "it" from Daito ryu and "got" that he could create and maintain a fairly impeneterable sphere around him.
Now........no one or no thing is unbeatable or unstoppable. So lets not go there shall we? But these skills are right up there "approaching" that goal for many reasonable, and measured comparatives.

In various simple tests it becomes obvious that a person wirh these skills "feels" different. But some may stop at tricks. Some at reasonable dojo skills. And others may pursue using them in more challenging combative ways.
As I have said before, for simple terms of showing worth or user "potential" it is easy enough to make a point by sticking my hand out and asking an 8th dan to put me in a lock and just stand there looking at him or ask him to throw me and he sort of keeps poping off.
No thats not the same as having a freestyle fight..there you do other things that are also valid but it gives folks an idea of the potential THEY can get for whatever THIER uses may be.

Takeda's was to dominate and subdue
Sagawa's was to toss off and plant people or draw in an control
Kodo's as well.
But all of these men saught martial skills. And FWIW they all used the jo to demonstrate these skills. Its where Ueshiba got it from.
Ueshiba's was to realize that he could make a way to create no-fight, fighting. And it is THEE reason these skills are the essential foundation in Aikido. If you can make someone damn near impossible to lock and extremely difficult to throw, and his body feel like rubber over steel when you hit it. Thats a fairly substantial accomplisment and a platform with which to luanch a philosophy.
Without that Aikido is just another jujutsu style.

Cheers
Dan

Dan,

Thanks for the post. I know you've said many of those things before, but sometimes I just need to hear things at the right time.

I think I get the basic of what you are saying, though it does set up a tricky situation. If aikido by and large doesn't have these skills (or the training of these skills, or the terminology to discuss them) to the degree you believe they are necessary, and these skills are necessary for 'real' aikido... well... then things have just turned really ugly. ...Actually, a better word is disheartening.

But independent of that, thanks for the reply. It was helpful for me.

DH
07-06-2006, 07:48 AM
Thank you Gernot.
It is the foundational truth that I believe quite a few have misinterpreted or never got- all together.

Nick writes
If aikido by and large doesn't have these skills (or the training of these skills, or the terminology to discuss them) to the degree you believe they are necessary, and these skills are necessary for 'real' aikido... well... then things have just turned really ugly. ...Actually, a better word is disheartening.


Were these skills placed back-in to the mainstream of Aikido it would function on a higher level than it does now, and fulfill Ueshiba M.'s vision. What we are mostly seeing is what Ueshiba the son, laid it.

As for your observation of being disheartening Nick?
We are not the first ones to observe this............................
Who was?
Ueshiba himself
It is why the old man would show up and shout "This is NOT my Aikido."
And the modern reader and his early students blew him off as just being an old fuddy dud and they weren't doing kotegeishi the right way. They openly state they ignored and could not understand much of what he said.
Maybe he knew EXACTLY what the hell he meant by what he was watching unfold. People walking away from the body skills into "technique junkie land." and missing the real power all together.

Go back and read and you will find him training with people pushing on him, pulling on him etc. Most have missed just what the hell he was training at to begin with.

Not only Aikido-all the Asian arts
As I wrote earlier in the thread- you can read of these same skills in the Book "Fighting spirit of Japan" -written in the 30's and published after the war-Where Harrison was told (after giving a large donation to the Kodokan) of a rarely known "way" to hold your body. A skill to resist being thrown. In fact he said that when this one fellow a 6th dan did randori he was tough to throw, but when he used these skills he was unthrowable. He was then introduced to whom?
A master of Aikijujutsu. Try as he would he could not throw him, push him, pull him or anything else.When asked who else knew of these skills in Japan the master said. Very very few.

I just trained with a Taichi Master from Chen village and his students. You don't want to know how many in that room were missing the connection. And why they openly asked to train with me.
What is being withheld from them and why? Or what did THEY choose not to pursue?

Here we are in 2006.
Same story.

Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
07-06-2006, 08:21 AM
these "secret" ways can only be "learned" through many years of training.
in other words, your sensei can show you things, many times, but it takes many years of practice to "master" the most basic of techniques, including being "immobile".

DH
07-06-2006, 08:27 AM
Actually you can get a good headstart in a weekend.
And I think a profound in-road and accomplishment in a year- if you train it.

BUT............
a. Most don't have a clue about these things
b. When shown most won't train solo at home
c. Most want immediate technique and fighting skills -not boring repetative exercises.

I have taught laborers a better way to shovel and came back and saw them using their arms and shoulders an hour later. Its the way of the world.
Cheers
Dan

Jim Sorrentino
07-06-2006, 09:04 AM
Dan,
I was just being precise. I have taught and trained with women-including one for 7 years. Remember I have always been small. There is just no way I will compare with your experince or numbers with people. It just doesnt attract me, and I think...no I know.... I would suck at it. It's just too much pressure and I am a terrible teacher. I keep experimenting and researching all the time.

I also recently attended a tai chi seminar and there were several women. It was a lodes of fun. While there I thought of you and I brought up this thread. I was asked to teach-yet again- and when I said no they asked if I would offer private instruction saying I could "fix" their Tai chi! Its ludicrous since I know nothing of tai chi but they never saw someone use it like I did. I turned them down too, and said come train with me, I drove to meet you. So we are going to have get togethers with three schools to work on breath work and connection...they had little.
I am consistent Jim. Concerning teaching and working with women, I'm glad to hear that you were just being precise.

As for whether you're a terrible teacher, I suppose we will never know unless you come down here or I visit you. I have not been to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island area for years, but the next time I go, I will contact you. I hope you will do the same, either if you are in the DC area, or if you decide to put a body and a face on your many comments and observations.

Was the tai chi seminar with Chen Xiao Wang? If so, did you have an opportunity to try to stop his technique, or have him attempt to lock or throw you? And if so, with what result?

As for stopping an aikido 8th dan (who? --- please don't be coy) from putting you in a lock, so what? I have a student who has been a professional motorcycle and auto mechanic since he was around 16 (he's now approaching 50). The guy turns wrenches all day. If he does not want you to bend his wrist, you're not going to bend it. But that hardly means that kotegaeshi is an invalid technique. Or as Hiroshi Ikeda-sensei often says, "Don't say, 'Aikido doesn't work.' Instead say, 'Your aikido doesn't work!'" Among your other skills and pursuits, you are a swordsmith/blacksmith, with massive forearms (or so I have heard). What do you do that makes you different from the mechanic?

Again, returning to your skills as a teacher, or lack thereof: for many years, in many Internet forums, you have made your observations about aikido and Daito-ryu. For what it's worth, I agree with many of these observations. That is why I invited you to demonstrate and teach what you claim to have discovered and/or learned about these body skills --- despite your mysterious reluctance to do something as ordinary as stating who your teachers are/were, and what your level of experience is. You have the opportunity to "place these skills back-in to the mainstream of aikido." But it will take more than talking to do so. If you're up for doing it, instead of merely talking about it, please let me know.

Jim

Michael Douglas
07-06-2006, 11:42 AM
Time for this nugget of historical gold.
An interesting excerpt from 'Hreidar the fool', a
thirteen-century Icelandic saga about, among other
things, a big strong idiot brother ;
... While the Kings were in conclave, Hreidar went to
join King Harald's men, and they took him to a certain
wood nearby. There they started teasing him and
knocking him about a bit.
Sometimes he would fly away from them light as a
bundle of straw, and sometimes he stood firm as a rock
and bounced them back. ... etc.
... and at this point he got really angry. He seized the
man who had been roughest with him, lifted him, and
then banged him down head first, knocking his brains
out and killing him instantly.

DH
07-07-2006, 08:01 AM
Jim

It isn't a question of arm strength. I thought I was long past qualifying that in this thread. I'm saddened to even see it mentioned at this juncture in the discussion as it means the general idea of internal strength is apparently still escaping you and/or others.
Mentioning my size really misses the point. If muscle mattered so much how would you explain the smaller Asian teachers who can do the same things only better? Their arm strength? If we allow the discussion to be reduced to comparisons with muscular size and arm strength (the lowest form of strength) your just going confuse the issue for some newer readers who have not been following along and it will bring the whole thread back to the starting point.

Stopping technique
*Stopping techniques isn't a big deal. Only you referred it as if I was saying it was, and then used- of all things- muscle to explain it. I don't know why you would do so other than you still haven't grasped the concepts of what we have been referring to. FWIW stopping technique doesn't mean anything in and of itself unless you understand *what* stops them. That's the Key. Understanding "what" is stopping them. Not the fact that they are being stopped. Your referrence to muscle is just where some folks are in thier understanding. I could say a punch in the face will stop a wrist lock. What does that say? Nothing at all. Thats technique. But stopping technique with connection, and absorbing that force internally does matter.
Why?
Because of what was going on-on the inside.

So, if I crank on your arm and we agree that you are just going to stand there and not move yet stop me from doing anything to your arm-what would YOU do?
You presuppose I am flexing? Do you not know of anything to do internally to stop the force other than flexing or resorting to technique, or blacksmithing to gain large forearms?
How would someone Rob John or Arkuzawa's size do the same things then?
Any Idea?

As for Aikido
The one aspect that comes to light and should be discussed about AIKIDO specifically is that it WAS there to begin with. It still is according to some folks so that's good news even if the truth and knowledge of these things is escaping you.
In case you missed it again. These skills are referred to in CMA, some Daito ryu, some Aikido, Yagyu shingan, and Arkuzawas art. No one has a corner on the market.

So tell me......Why not respond to several other things I have written: where this training is in other arts as well: with Harrisons book on Judo, his reference to the Aikijujutsu teacher, Daegers, Blumings, and Smiths writings of Wang Chu Chin doing much more dramatic things. Or how about the various other CMA stylist who train this way as well?
How about a single response about them discussing and writing the very same things.
Do you suppose all these referrences are erroneous?
That these men don't know what their talking about?

Cheers
Dan

*The Aikido teacher I referred to is very well known. Since you asked- then dismissed the ability to stop him anyway I can only assume you would like me to name names for challenge value. I have shared that story (and many more) with folks you know. I see no point to name names here. If you don't believe me, that's fine by me. The Tai chi seminar you asked about is similar. I see no reason to write what I could write. It would not be conducive to a positive conversation with you. Judging by your responses it would not please you in the least.

Kevin Leavitt
07-07-2006, 11:27 AM
Dan Harden wrote:

I have taught laborers a better way to shovel and came back and saw them using their arms and shoulders an hour later. Its the way of the world.

Better from who's perspective? This really sums up my whole point about the logic (illogic) of this discussion. If they tried it, didn't like it, and defaulted back to what worked for them, then i'd say the way they chose to accomplish the task was the best way. The endstate or goal is what is most important in life, not how you get there. Ego says things like "this is a BETTER way to shovel dirt". It is not necessarily better, but a different way.

Just like the Jo trick, what does it really prove? How does it make you a BETTER person, or help you understand anything BETTER than another person. It is simply another way at looking at things that effect the world.

IMO, when you are defining or judging the effectiveness or efficiency of ANYTHING you have to determine the endstate or goal in mind.

I can show you about 8 different ways probably to defeat Kotegaeshi, iriminage, or any other aikido "trick" within the methodology of aikido. I can also show you "BETTER" ways to perform them so you cannot be defeated by those defeats I can do. If you cannot do it, I don't go, well "Jimmy is a good teacher, but his students just don't "get it"...but when they work with ME or chose to work with ME on my BJJ internal methods, many of them could get it...maybe Jimmy isn't sharing everything, or they don't really want to learn."

That is a very pompous and ridiculous thing to say...but it is actually a phenomnea that I could probably go to Jimmy's dojo and replicate very well at this point. Confuse and dazzle his students with my proweness and cool skills of internal movement and ground fighting.

Then I could come on to Aikiweb and profess that I have knowledge that "many aikido students simply don't understand" in fact I was at a "well known 5 Dan's dojo, and demonstrated this". Not name Jimmy, so as he could not refute the claim and then drive on with my life.

What is the point of all this??? Do I get it...or am I way off base? Because in my simple mind...this is how much of this discussion seems to be surrounding.

Alfonso
07-07-2006, 12:03 PM
In the spirit of furthering the discussion, and hoping to relieve a bit of frustration , I would like to interject here..

I am not qualified to tell any of you guys how to go about your training nor am I trained in anything but aikido of the garden variety sort, I'm just recently ranked so don't take my word for it; but you're talking past each other and judging from 8 years or so of reading your opinions on the web (scary thought there) I can see no malice in anyone and I hate the idea of having the discussion stop in sourness..

Better as in

It's better to lift a heavy weight by bending your knees and lifting up than bending your waist and straightening up. ( I tell this to my wife all the time and she still wrecks her lower back once in a while by going back)

Better as in, there's other ways of manipulating force than using upper back and shoulders (should come to no surprise to Aikido folks). The thing is that at the lay-level we are not fully exposed to all there is to it..

Better as in there are ways of cultivating this strength which are probably familiar to most people who train in Aikido but in general are not given importance or understood fully. I'm trying to learn more and Dan's hints and Mike Sigmans outright provocations have helped me a lot at this stage.

I think the point being made is that there is a skill that should be inherent in Aikido that may have been either partially transmitted , or omitted altogether because

a) it's private information not for the initiates
b) it's not well understood by those who stole the teaching, and is always being refined
c) it's not all there is in Aikido either, because there's enough technique to satisfy technically minded people.
d) it's the type of info that can give you an edge, and people in martial arts seldom give away an edge..
e) It's not obvious, so how can you tell.
f) it's in your mind and how do you show that

My apologies to all for using first names without regards to proper etiquette and so on. I'm not a very formal guy, and I seem to choke on the Mr. and Mrs. and so on. I read you guys every day, you feel like old friends (my mistake)

Jim Sorrentino
07-07-2006, 01:46 PM
Dan,It isn't a question of arm strength. I thought I was long past qualifying that in this thread. I'm saddened to even see it mentioned at this juncture in the discussion as it means the general idea of internal strength is apparently still escaping you and/or others.Since you are unwilling to either describe in detail what you claim to be doing when using "internal strength", or demonstrate it on video, or come to my dojo and teach it, you should not be surprised that I am still skeptical. Mentioning my size really misses the point. But you were the one who brought it up when you said (several posts back), "Remember I have always been small."
Stopping techniques isn't a big deal. Only you referred it as if I was saying it was, and then used- of all things- muscle to explain it.Again, you were the one who brought it up when you said (several posts back), "As I have said before, for simple terms of showing worth or user "potential" it is easy enough to make a point by sticking my hand out and asking an 8th dan to put me in a lock and just stand there looking at him or ask him to throw me and he sort of keeps poping off." Since you did not describe in detail how you did this, nor did you tell me who this 8th dan was or when this happened, so that I might attempt to verify it, I simply asked you how what you claim to have done is different than what I have seen another person do.
But stopping technique with connection, and absorbing that force internally does matter.
Why?
Because of what was going on-on the inside.So come on down to Virginia and demonstrate/teach what you claim to be able to do. If you're unwilling to do that, at least be as gracious as Akuzawa and Rob John, and post a video of you doing what you say you can do. And if you're unwilling to do even that, then describe what you are doing in enough detail that I may attempt to reproduce it.
So tell me......Why not respond to several other things I have written: where this training is in other arts as well: with Harrisons book on Judo, his reference to the Aikijujutsu teacher, Daegers, Blumings, and Smiths writings of Wang Chu Chin doing much more dramatic things. Or how about the various other CMA stylist who train this way as well?
How about a single response about them discussing and writing the very same things.
Do you suppose all these referrences are erroneous?
That these men don't know what their talking about?As Thomas Aquinas once said, "Argument from authority is the weakest form of argument --- according to Augustine." I assure you that if Harrison et al were posting on this board and making your claims, I would be asking them the same questions, and I would make the same offer to them to come to my dojo and demonstrate/teach.
The Aikido teacher I referred to is very well known. Since you asked- then dismissed the ability to stop him anyway I can only assume you would like me to name names for challenge value. I have shared that story (and many more) with folks you know. I see no point to name names here. If you don't believe me, that's fine by me. The Tai chi seminar you asked about is similar. I see no reason to write what I could write. It would not be conducive to a positive conversation with you. Judging by your responses it would not please you in the least.If you take my attempt to verify your claims as a challenge to your veracity, so be it. You claimed, several posts back, to be "a terrible teacher", yet you contradicted that claim (in the same post) by inviting the Tai Chi seminar participants to come to your place for training. Dan, my invitation to you to "place these skills back-in to the mainstream of aikido" still stands.

Sincerely,

Jim

DH
07-07-2006, 02:02 PM
Kevin

I think you missed the point entirely. We are not talking about fighting and ways to stop wrist locks Via more technique, anyone can do that.
We are talking about NO techniques. Just standing there and not moving. Does that make sense or clarify things better? Now as Jim noted you can use muscle, but that brings us back to Martial arts 101 day one. I was referring to body skills that allow you to remain relaxed, pliant, and your arm immovable. No I don't mean agains tthree men, a truck, and a mule. Just being cranked on by a strong martial artist.

The optimum movement argument
As for shoveling- the way I taught them gave them a mechanical advantage to shovel easier and to that they agreed but just didn't concentrate and went back to shoulders and arms. That said you may be surprised at how many laborers know the correct way to shovel anyway.

As for you disagreeing about ptoper ways to do things or taking umbridge to me citing correct ways to do things-yes there are. Any fool can lift a heavy object. Many a fool has and have bad backs to prove it. Lucky for me I was a young fool and learned young. If you think there are no "better" ways to move than what you know.so be it. I think there are optimal ways to move and be balanced for the human frame, as well as optimal ways to revceive force and send it.

On a side note. I've experienced any number of guys who have felt me move or resist them and have stopped and said "what are you doing? I have not felt that before." But yet at various taichi things they knew, more or less, what that "feel" was even if they can't do it as well. I have two low level teachers of Tai chi who felt me at a seminar coming here tomm to train, just internal skills, not tai chi (I know nothing of Tai chi).
Why are they coming?
They recognized "the feel" right away. Instantly in fact. Its hard to explain it but I know, they know, everyone knows right away whether you have something. You can't hide or fake it. You do or you don't.
Anyway, you could present your arguments to me all day- that all movements are the same. All I know is people get moved or tossed I don't.

Now again we are not talking about fighting techniqiue or redirecting. Thats a different topic.



Alfonso

I think that sums it up rather well. And I don't mind you using my name at all. Great post

cheers
Dan

Keith R Lee
07-07-2006, 02:33 PM
Just to throw my two cents in.

So somehow you manage to generate some "secret" (obviously, since no one else seems to know about it) balance or energy or something that keeps you from being thrown from a static position. Also when people "crank" on your arms, nothing happens.

More than whether you could do it or not is not the point to me. The point would be: why? Followed by: what's the use?

I mean, when are you ever going to be in a conflict situation where the ideal action is going to be "stand in unmovable stance" and the attackers (who by some raging coincidence happen to be experienced martial artists) come up to you and immediately begin to try and throw you or crank on your arms. I mean, that's one of the most idealized types of attack of which I could think.

DH
07-07-2006, 02:37 PM
Hi Jim

Thanks for responding. When I said I have always been small I meant the dojo....not me. Iwas talking about small in numbers. There are quite few guys who are probably cracking up right now. Sometimes I wish I was small so folks would stop misconstruing where the power is coming from. I'm a 6 ' 220 power lifter. But......................I have small guys who do what I do.

As for details on the net...Mike gave a few pointers, so did I so did Rob. Can you do them? Teaching or sharing these things should be through relationship not on the net.

As for Harrison, Draeger, Smith, and what not. I think I am not getting my point across. My bad.
What I am trying to get you to think about or if you have already done so-then to talk with me about it-is this. How is it that these guys have all felt these skills as well. And then wrote about it.
See what I mean.
Its not about me, its about an ages old skill that is in many places.
I can understand you being ____________at or with me (you fill in the blank albeit frustrated, skeptical, or what have you) But the overal point is that these skills are simply undeniably there and evident in many written sources. Even with Ueshiba having Tenryu pushing him around and then gradutating him in three months-unprecedented for Ueshiba. I can guess why. It is the training Tenryu had as a basic to work with.

As for videos and such yuck!! How will that help? You can't learn it that way. But if you want to try and "reproduce" what I am doing unless you are doing these things -it's going to take a while. The basics don't, but I like to hope I am beyond the basics. At least when I am dreaming. You have seen ark. So go copy him or read his methods and try to reproduce it. I am really not interested in seeing me on the little screen any time soon. One of my sensei would call them "Movie Stars!"
No offense Rob.

Ok
As for teaching. I *am* a terrible teacher Jim. No kidding. My guys always try to keep me focused as I am constantly experimenting. And with jujutsu (Warning!! change of subject that has NOTHING to do with internal skills) they don't even venture to ask about variations as I go on and on.
I think the training speaks for itself even though I suck at teaching, I have kept students for up to 15 years.. Your questioning the tai chi guys wanting to pay me to do seminars? Or to train? (I said no to them as well regarding the seminars), so they are coming here. And Jim, they have already felt me and been tossed around and we laughed up a storm. My point in with the tai chi people isthat these things are not new to them. There is a fair amount of exchange even they cannot do these things as well. They would never debate this. They already know about it. Aikido people are just behind the eight ball is all. They even openly talk about Ueshiba as an internal artist.

I understand your terminology of my "claims." Its odd for me to read it that way and not take offense, but thats ok. From my end its sad that these things are not being done by most as they can and should be the norm in the arts.
Anyway, I just hope when we finally do meet its pleasant.

Cheers
Dan

DH
07-07-2006, 02:45 PM
Keith

There are many people who know these things to varying levels and they are throughout the Asian arts The point is never to just stand there. That is just testing and training bud ...not fighting.

Now, there are excellent means to use these trained skills in fighting. Including delivering powerful punches and kicks in small spaces, stopping a throw and reversing it without much thought, THis sound odd but beingable to simply move in an take your space has some really supressing feeling in it. You can be smothering standing or on the ground and sticky without intent. The opponent pushes on me and I don't have to think about where the pressure is. The theory is to feel heavy as lead to him and highly resistent but the truth is not really doing anything at that spot .No matter what he does he feels solid ground not moving-yet I am flexible and light. It is highly tactical and combatively rational.
goodness...it goes on and on and it is GREAT with weapons.
Good questions but they have been covered.
Read the thread.

I'm out of here guys........ going out for the night

Dan

Adman
07-07-2006, 02:51 PM
I will say that the exercises Dan mentions in an earlier post from another thread (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=139103&highlight=Heavy#post139103), has me chomping at the bit to get my garage cleared out, so that I can hang that dusty heavy bag, currently leaning in a corner of my basement.

Adam

DH
07-07-2006, 03:00 PM
I have guys still struggling with that one. Start with something lighter than a 100 lb bag.
If you feel it in your shoulders ...it aint right.
Then you can start holdng body lines and hitting and kicking. There were exercise for that in some Koryu weapons arts for maintaining the left and right axis.
Takeda and Ueshiba were both known for one handed sword work. Which is axis training. Takeda had hand grabbing exercises to train this with resistense and that got destroyed in Aikido to a wierd tenkan thingy where you gave up yourself and instead of bringing them in.
Perhaps another reason Ueshiba said "This is not my Aikido
The real connection it was supposed to lead to echos training in Tai chi The connections you can develop is part of that test I talked about where you stand with the feet apart and hold one arm out front (straight) one to the side (straight as well).
Have someone push on the arm out to your side. And you hold it. If you are connected you will feel it in your whole body right out to the front extended fingers.
And all this leads right into............the jo trick!

Dan

Adman
07-07-2006, 03:34 PM
Start with something lighter than a 100 lb bag.Well, I think my bag is 80lbs. So, there you go ...Takeda had hand grabbing exercises to train this with resistense and that got destroyed in Aikido to a wierd tenkan thingy where you gave up yourself and instead of bringing them in.Not totally sure what you're describing -- on both points (although something is taking shape in my mind as I re-read this).

Something I try to train everytime I'm in the dojo, is to have somone hold my wrist while they're standing rock solid (mind-body connection and all that). Some might call that resistance, but it's not really what's happening. They'll also be providing either a constant pressure towards my body, without moving forward, or merely stand connected with the grasp and think of my arm as an extension of themselves (like a sword). Then I perform tenkan. I have to do it right. Is this something like what you're describing?<much snipped> And all this leads right into............the jo trick!Yeah ... that's what I thought. I'll get back to you in a few months. ;)

thanks for the tips,
Adam

Mark Freeman
07-08-2006, 05:12 AM
Just to throw my two cents in.

So somehow you manage to generate some "secret" (obviously, since no one else seems to know about it) balance or energy or something that keeps you from being thrown from a static position. Also when people "crank" on your arms, nothing happens.

More than whether you could do it or not is not the point to me. The point would be: why? Followed by: what's the use?

I mean, when are you ever going to be in a conflict situation where the ideal action is going to be "stand in unmovable stance" and the attackers (who by some raging coincidence happen to be experienced martial artists) come up to you and immediately begin to try and throw you or crank on your arms. I mean, that's one of the most idealized types of attack of which I could think.

I don't think there is anything 'secret' in what is being discussed here Keith. And as Dan (and Mike further back in the thread) have both said the skills being discussed are not about 'fighting', so your hypothetical conflict scenario is not really 'connected'.

However, I would like to add that a 'static' practice does have merit in a dynamic situation, as you can conceivable see a dynamic movement as being made up of many static ones, like a 'film' perhaps. So if in a dynamic conflict you have the immovable mind/body state, you are in a better position than one who hasn't. ;)

regards,

Mark

Kevin Leavitt
07-08-2006, 06:41 AM
Again, I think it all depends on the realitive value you put on the skills, and the endstate of what you are accomplishing by said training. What is the point of doing the "trick"? that is the "big question" that you must ask to decide if it has merit or not.

DH
07-08-2006, 06:48 AM
What is the point of doing the trick?

Ok what is the point of grabbing a hand?
What is the point of hitting a bag?
What is the point of road work (running)
Its training and strengthening the body
There are ways to strengthen and train your body to be much stronger in response than you know now. You train itn then...as in various tests and tricks...you test it.

I talk about it separate from fighting to be clear and precise. On any other day I will glady hit someone or let them hit me then throw someone and als them totry and throw me and ask THEM if it makes a difference in a fight.
Most people I have met in many dojo really could not survive sustained agression anyway. They never train to fight. So most martial artists are caught up in "agreed play" training.
They don't step outside the box to mix it up.


In the kindest way I am saying what I have been saying for ten years on the net. People don't know this stuff. It's like talking to them about an alien being. Its beyond how they even perceive the body or the way its should be connected and move.
Your breath is a power to increase that connection in to you and out from you, not contemplating your navel
Once you train it and feel it you will never go back, never. It colors everythig you do, and everything you see

Dan

Kevin Leavitt
07-09-2006, 01:37 AM
"Fighting" is a very broad topic, it encompasses many, many things, situations, emotions, motivations, tactics, strategies, perspectives.

Philosophically, I'd say everyone "fights" at some level everyday. Life is a struggle, for some it may be a huge victory to get out of bed in the morning and face the world. To others, this would be an alien concept. We all fight our own demons and battles, physically and mentally everyday on some plain.

Not really sure what you mean by "sustained agression". Empty hand? Weapons?, a guy that stalks you every night for a year?

My point is, and was several post back, that we must be careful when judging people and their effectiveness against a set of criteria that we set up for ourselves. What you and I may consider "sustained agression" may be much different than someone else.

Most successful life forms are born with the ability to breath. breath in and breath out. That simple act means that at a base level that we all have built within us the ability to understand KI and CHI and do understand it at a base level. We may choose to use other "tools" we have such as strength, or we may interrupt our breathing patterns with stress and emotion and upset our balance. But that may be a necessary part of doing things in general to "survive" or get by.

I think techniques such as the JO Trick, Push hands, and such are wonderful tools to show us how it is possible to become more connected with are natal processes to learn to listen to our "self" and to become in tune with the energy around us.

If that is a helpful thing, or not...is up to the individual to determine.

Like I said before, when you start layering criteria to judge effectiveness though...things start breaking down for me. (Remember the Chuck Liddell discussion).

Again, I think at a base level, everyone "gets it", and it is nothing special. Some of us choose to explore it, some of us find it more useful than others and choose to adapt our patterns of living to accomodate it as a useful thing, Some of us will choose to obsess and focus on it as if we have found something that is very special that no one else knows about.

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-09-2006, 07:41 AM
Dan, still a great thread! I was very glad to see you mention "relaxed, pliable, and immovable" together. Although my understanding is still sadly only on the first rung, the way that the lower spinal motion (balanced at the upper back and chest) creates a store and pushes down/compresses/twists the muscles of the thigh/calf/leg, which can then bounce back in unison with the lower/middle/upper back (ignoring all the other directions that alignments and tensions are kept to allow storage to happen) does create a very relaxed unified motion, sort of like a springy piece of squid stuck onto a skewer in a multiple-S shape (1-dimensional for simplification). Now when someone pushes or pulls on you, their force compresses you to a certain extent, either until they can no longer exert more force, or until they do manage to break your structure (assuming you are not doing anything to take away their strength on contact, which in any case is beyond me at this stage, except for releasing into them and thereby attempting breaking their structure). The breath part is interesting since the spinal motion can pull the breath in, and push it out, or in different circumstances the breath can initiate the spinal motion. In the first way, a punch could be absorbed with an in-breath, in the second way with a out-breath.

I was amused to see you mention that surprisingly many labourers do know the correct way to lift things. Doesn't surprise me in the least... I see that my ballet teacher knows something too :lol: Namely, how the spine expands and contracts when he sinks down in bent knees (usually a slightly crossed-feet posture) before rising up on the toes with straight legs to jump or spin on his axis. That is how these people get and keep their excellent body control way into their 50s and 60s without injury (he is in his late 40s and only started at age 27, so he must have gotten the trick right quite quickly, and conditioned his body using the correct movement techniques), despite what seems an incredible amount of pressure on the knees and ankles and toes for several hours a day. His way of explaining is different from most martial art teachers, always on extending the center of the chest upwards and never dropping it, even (especially!) while sinking the body downwards in preparation for a lift or jump. No matter what, the centerline is always pulled upwards, while all the outermost parts of the body are pushed downwards. That, and the explanation of "freedom" in all ballet movements by extending all limbs (arms, neck, legs) out straight, opening up the joints to the point of considerable pain.

All these things make me realize that really (me included) most people have no clue about where there teachers are actually showing the important stuff. Abe sensei lets people grab him at the start of each class. He sort of does a small arm motion and people fall. But I realized lately that the important thing is not to run up to him and grab, but to try to stand immobile and contact him. Often he pushes and pulls people off their balance and tells them they have to plant their feet this way or that, staighten the back etc, and when he holds them in return to show them then they cannot move him. So that part is important, not the funny throw-like motion he does afterwards where people take ukemi ritualistically. But everyone wants to do this throw...

Another interesting point for me: playing the flute is much much easier now that I do not need to move my upper body back and forth anymore, but my breath is strong and stable no matter what - it is under control of the spine. Keeping in time is also a lot easier when you do not have to tap with your foot anymore but can do the same thing via the exact same motion of the back that powers the breath. It is also not necessary to bend the knees, as long as the leg muscles are relaxed enough to transmit what they ought to (connected to the back).

In conclusion, the whole thing of dancers getting high ranks, Ueshiba speaking of sending semen through a shoji screen, stories of tea masters having no opening when holding a sword after only a short training period, etc., do not seem so far-fetched at all in the light of optimal body coordination.

Cheers,
Gernot

DH
07-09-2006, 07:46 AM
I think techniques such as the JO Trick, Push hands, and such are wonderful tools to show us how it is possible to become more connected with are natal processes to learn to listen to our "self" and to become in tune with the energy around us.

If that is a helpful thing, or not...is up to the individual to determine.

Like I said before, when you start layering criteria to judge effectiveness though...things start breaking down for me. (Remember the Chuck Liddell discussion).

Again, I think at a base level, everyone "gets it", and it is nothing special. Some of us choose to explore it, some of us find it more useful than others and choose to adapt our patterns of living to accomodate it as a useful thing, Some of us will choose to obsess and focus on it as if we have found something that is very special that no one else knows about.

Hi Kevin

We keep talking past each. For my part I am not talking about some etherial energy in me. I am talking about body skills that are very real. And..........a better way to hit or absorb being hit. A better way to throw or not be thrown. And its not a natural way to move. You have to learn it

As for Chuck, or any other fighter going back to boxing's Jack Johnson. Ever ask your self why it is that some men were knock out artists with..."Heavy hands." And others- who were equal or even larger than them- didn't ever achieve equal knock-out power or heavy hands.If you think that is muscle or technique you would be mistaken. Heavy hands is a connection of varying levels.

Instead of training and training and MAYBE stumbling upon it-there are ways to specifically train it in. My goals were never to get in tough with my energy stream :confused: My goals were to improve overall power and ability to fight.

Now as to the sarcasm about special secrets. What it widely known in one culture is not always known in others. And on top of that. Some of these training skills WERE in fact kept secret.

Testing
I see your question about "setting up" tests Kevin. At least I think I got your point. But these tests are universal Kevin.
I Don't know Rob or Ark but in about fifteen seconds I could find out if they are connected and they me. We may not be the same skill level or have the same strengths in all areas but I know there would be no confusion about where the power was coming from.
In short its not about a skill or technique to undo a technique. The tests can even be made up ...as they show a common thread in how we use our bodies.

I take the discusion off of fighting for the simple reason that fighting and these skills are separate. But make no mistake I am seriously interested in how these skills are used to fight. But many guys may not be. But that is a different statement than yours.

For examples of related training:
Do you think that Lifting and Cardio are worthless in MMA?
They are useless as well er....right?
Or do they aid? Do they aid to point that they give you more...dare I say it...POWER to win?
Of course they do. But lifting doesn tgive you technique does it?
Cardio doesn't give you martial skills does it?
Care to try to win MMA as an out of shape fatty?
No?
Then you just agreed there are things that aid fighting that are not fighting yet may be vital to win.

Internal skills give you power at a base level. The ability to feel like hard immovable rubber against an attack. The abiltiy to hit and kick from short ranges that are powerful. The abilty to move and reverse with what feels like an extra strength. The abiltiy to absorb punches and throws.
If ya think that is worthless as training aids- than I have nothing more to say

Does THAT make better sense.
Cheers
Dan

DH
07-09-2006, 08:05 AM
Gernot

Off to a picnic. I'll reply later

I didn't get to read the whole thing just scanned it.
I dont' know dancing but other that to say holding the chest "proud" or holding it more equal or concave will actully produce different results for things even though both are exhibting postural alignment. The alignment can be different on the inside I wouldn't stand with my chest out per se.
I liked the start of your comment about "grabbing while standing" and not walking in, but at some levels it doesn't really matter what you are doing if you are connected. You can stop high level guys who do martial schtick "techniques" mid-stream while walking squatting, knees locked, or bent. I relaixe Abe sensei was knoy training thats not fighting either, but ask him these detailed questions you may get great answers.

Later
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
07-09-2006, 08:31 AM
No they are not worthless Dan. Never meant to imply that, just to special in any sense of the word. At least not a special as we'd like to think they are. We are teaching a CQB course starting next week. The first couple of days will be gun control. That is breathing, posture, connecting your M4 to your body and moving with it in a connected way. Basketball clinics will spend time teaching the samethings, connecting to the ball, breathing and moving your body in an effective way. Ergonomic experts hired by insurance companies will work with your day laborers teaching them proper lifing techniques to save injuries. Yoga, feldenkrais... the list goes on.

Sorry to re-hash as I know we have been through this before already. Your exercises might be more related to skills used in martial arts, but they area still practices that follow the principle of kineasology. Important? yes very important. Special and rare.....no I don't think so. My belief is that most people learn just enough to "get by" to accomplish the endstate of what they want to accomplish. World class athletes certainly have figured it out within the parameters of their particular sports rules. I suppose I go along on the "efficient market theory". The market gravitates to efficiency. Same with all this stuff, we learn enough to do the job and get by.

Can I learn more. No doubt, would it be useful, probably to me. In fact, I have learned more about using this type of skill in the past year than I have in the past 10 years! I can fight the average 18 year old army guy for about 1 hour and never even get my heart rate above 130! Not really even break a sweat! I move, and flow and roll right around them, take breaks, breath, relax, listen to there movement and Ki and respond. Can I do better? Absolutely! Can I learn even more....no doubt. Is it rare or special? I supose it is a matter of perspective, sure in the average population it is "rare" in the world of martial arts, no not so rare, I know of many people that are much better than I am that can show me these things.

Again, you probably will say, "we are not talking about the same thing." Maybe not, I don't know as I have never worked with you. Maybe there is something unusual or special I have not yet experienced. I suppose it is possible. But I doubt it at this point in my life. If there were something different or special, you'd see many world class athletes knocking down your door, and I don't see them doing that.

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-09-2006, 08:35 PM
I dont' know dancing but other that to say holding the chest "proud" or holding it more equal or concave will actully produce different results for things even though both are exhibting postural alignment. The alignment can be different on the inside I wouldn't stand with my chest out per se.
My bad. I meant upwards, not forwards. Rob has shown me this last time we met, the chest is almost hollowed as the cross manifests itself through the extension in up/down and sideways in/out directions.
(Of course I could still be mistaken, owing to my current level being low).

I liked the start of your comment about "grabbing while standing" and not walking in, but at some levels it doesn't really matter what you are doing if you are connected. You can stop high level guys who do martial schtick "techniques" mid-stream while walking squatting, knees locked, or bent. I relaixe Abe sensei was knoy training thats not fighting either, but ask him these detailed questions you may get great answers. Yeah, I think I follow. Isolating parts of the body for training purposes is fine, but you can't really separate them, and once you have the connection you can keep it no matter what your legs are doing - or rather, what your body does it does in such a manner as to maintain the connection. When Abe sensei stands and "twitches" he often moves only from the back, but again sometimes you can see his thighs and knees factionally moving as well. They do not have to be straight, no, he just teaches that way, probably the same reason Akuzawa teaches the "push-out" with straight legs. Food for thought, I should be able to ask some questions coming Friday or Saturday.

Cheers, Gernot

DH
07-11-2006, 06:56 AM
Yeah, I think I follow. Isolating parts of the body for training purposes is fine, but you can't really separate them, and once you have the connection you can keep it no matter what your legs are doing - or rather, what your body does it does in such a manner as to maintain the connection.

Cheers, Gernot
Hi Gernot
Isolating?????
Well I wasn't- for my part- discussing isolating parts of my body-rather connecting the whole. :eek:
Where did you see me saying anything otherwise bud? Yikes.

In think: frame/ connectedness, and breathing. Both for training and fighting. I think that way due to using training to fight not just cooperative playing.
Frame will sustain you to recieve power, or stall and move through a transition, as a constant and it can be burned in to be a natural feel as well a place to go in a flash....I am referring to the way you can absorb a push by grounding the force or in ground grappling where you can post. both different but the same in oter ways
Connection will bring about heavy hands, heavy body- a correct use of axis for power. That too can burned in to be the normal way to move and used with frame.

Both of those in and of themselves will bring allot of power into play if any one touches you or you contact them, but in sustained fighting/grappling you may be at various stages of geting gased. So breathing may not always be optimul. So I place breathing last. I love it and use it but see the diceyness in use.

Breathing will increase your power. And working with the pressures is great. It is vital in grappling as well as hitting, But in a sustained fight breathing will have to be a fluid thing. If your hitting rapidly and being hit or set up and played you may have other things on your mind and you may be taxing your system -aerobically-as well. I'm in pretty good shape, but there are varying levels of getting gased in a fight so overal I think frame, and connection are more important then breathing.

Anyway, in this limited format or discussion I don't think I was ever discsussing isolated body parts or even isolating the use of the body. Did you miss the place where I offered the " feet squared with shoulder, one hand forward, one hand to the side fully extended and push on the arm test?"
No one is going to pull that off anytime soon as an isolation or muscle use exercise!

Frame, connection, breathing. Should be a no brainer in something as tame as Aikido or Daito ryu where a single hand-grab thingy or gi-grab...of any type-offers you opportunity to think, ponder, and count sheep...then use intent and breathe all the day long.

Cheers
Dan

thisisnotreal
07-11-2006, 08:53 AM
Greetings Dan!
I am most grateful for your candor in explaining these things.

I have a question near and dear to my heart...Have you ever experienced a 'structural failure'? I.e. a tendon knocked loose; or snapped? or a bone which will not sit in its joint?
And i don't mean one which can be easily reset into joint...i mean; you're doing the ki-gongs (or whatever)...and you can detect an asymmetry which you can sense; and momentarily fix (or perhaps not) but will not remain stable; in the position which you discern to be normal?

Thanks and Cheers!

Josh

DH
07-11-2006, 09:21 PM
Josh
I don't do CMA. I don't know Chi gongs or any form of Tai ji.

I haven't had misaligned joints or tendons and such, just the normal breaks, brusies, tears, and sprains from training/fighting.
Chiropractors and ice are my choice.....never even had acupuncture.

Cheers
Dan

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-11-2006, 10:39 PM
Dan, thanks for putting me straight there and helping other readers not to get confused. I probably still don't have the right idea about connection, but I meant more in the line of choosing a particular shape to practice (for example, legs straight in the push-out exercise, as opposed to some other shape), not in the sense of only using a certain part of the body. Not sure if I am still making a fundamental error here...

I think you are very fortunate to have a well-aligned body. Many readers here have some or other alignment problems which hinder them in some way to feeling what is correct. The exercises help a great deal in making the body come back to a balanced position and hold itself there.

I am not sure whether there are fixed categories for these exercises, but some people refer to them as martial chi gungs. Not sure if they're the same thing though....

Regards,
Gernot

DH
07-11-2006, 10:53 PM
Hi Gernot

The shapes really don't mean much in the overal sense. In the testing we were talking about locking the knees makes it much harder so it conveys a higher level of skill. But shapes for hands and such which you see in Aikido and Daito ryu can be fun but you need the body skills to back them up. Overall it is the inside that matters. In the fullness of time anyone pushing on you from any angle should feel instant ground and when and if you decide to deliver power you can do so expiditiously and without dedicating too much of...your intentions.
Then you have the hard-rubber heavy-body feel that they can't get in on.

I posted this in the one point thread but it helps explain more about your connection question. Ya need to go see Ark though and ask him or Rob for more hands on. FWIW its also a good primer for Koryu weapons. I cut through trees as test targets. Trust me when I tell you though- when you finally get there ot that stage of connection-many will still tell you its all muscle, Most folks just don't recognize the feel other than calling it power. Although those that do know, will spot it instantly.

cheers back at ya

**************************************
About the cross or the back chest area Rob mentioned and the idea of a one point.
If you can imagine shoving a drive shraft or any pole into a hole in the floor then slide a peg through it horizontally. Next grab the peg as it sticks out left to right with both your hands.
Now
Imagine the hole you stuck the pole into is attached to an engine with 1000 ft. lb. of torque and I turn it on.
Now when you get out of hospital with your broken arms healed you can understand how powerful it can be if
1. the pole is your spine
2. the peg is tension held across the back and chest
3. and the engine is the ground through your legs through your hips that turn the spine or pole at the waist. Everything attached to it is launched without you dedicating much to the effort in a forward direction. It makes powerful kicks, punches, throws, and shoves without you giving much to lose or have someone take your balance. You are wholely dedicated without being dedicated.
The frame is strengthened through connections throughout the body which can be strengthened further still through breathing and pressures there. As well you are using the ground for power to launch. Of course it is the way you are connected and can create the power that moves through the whole body foot to hand

The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight and you hold tension in the cross and you turn using the ground from your feet through the hips and you turn the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn in yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.

***************************************************

Cheers
Dan

Tien Le
07-12-2006, 02:39 AM
The above example can be quite effective in ground grappling for reversals when you are on your back with someone on you giving you weight and you hold tension in the cross and you turn using the ground from your feet through the hips and you turn the spine like a drive shaft .....which......... turns the peg (your scapula area). Whats attached to the peg? Your shoulders and arms.
I have seen guys lifted off the floor and thrown. The key is to not try to throw them but to maintain connection and just turn in yourself.
Breathing and certain other things add to this.


Hah...yes...I've experienced this with Rob...he just re-aligns, strengthens the cross and turns and it's very easy to get flung off and suddenly you're in a choke instead of on top.

thisisnotreal
07-12-2006, 09:52 AM
I am not sure whether there are fixed categories for these exercises, but some people refer to them as martial chi gungs. Not sure if they're the same thing though....

Regards,
Gernot

This is perhaps my question as well. What would be a 'workable' dinstinction between the two? Perhaps Mr. Sigman is still watching from a distance...?

Thanks Dan - for the answer, I mean. Do you do standing excercises as well? Or are your connection exercises usually more dynamic (e.g. like rolling the 100lb heavy bag along your arms/fingers)?

Josh

Josh

Mike Sigman
07-12-2006, 10:57 AM
This is perhaps my question as well. What would be a 'workable' dinstinction between the two? Perhaps Mr. Sigman is still watching from a distance...? Well, I'm back at home, but my perspective of this conversation is that there are almost undoubtedly people doing quite different things, but talking as if they're doing the same things. The basic jin and the ability to use it is a skill that has a lot of different gradations and skill levels, so while various people in the conversation may recognize that they're using the same jin, I would bet heavily that there are a lot more differences than the casual conversations would reveal.

So in terms of "martial qigongs", there's not going to be a pat answer because it's recognized that there are all sorts of levels and skill gradations. In fact, that's where the debate about "shaolin" or "external" and "internal" comes in. Most westerners are doing "normal force" or "li" and don't know how to use jin/kokyu/whatever. Once someone starts using some jin, that doesn't mean that they are suddenly "internal".... in fact, they are probably just getting their foot in the door for the real "external" martial arts, because all good "external" martial arts use jin/kokyu, too.

So "martial qigongs" can be "internal" or "external" and I haven't seen much to indicate that the level of this current discussion is anything more than an "external" discussion with a vague bunch of guesses, etc., about what the jin component is, how it's used, etc. The big killer with a lot of Aikido, karate, Taiji, you-name-it, is that a little bit of knowledge represents most of the spectrum of knowledge. It's a killer attitude that blocks progress and it's easy to get back into that attitude far too soon, blocking further progress.

The "martial qigongs" that Ueshiba did would include the Aiki Taiso, knowing really how to use the hara, the Misogi training methods (not just some of the wildly superficial stuff like seen on the "Misogi" thread), and so on. The questions in my mind, if I were a serious Aikido student, would be (a.) how to do these body skills and (b.) how to do them in the manner closest to what Ueshiba did. The problem is that even getting a whiff of somewhat how the basic principles work doesn't guarantee that you won't go off on some harder "external" mode of the principles. So keeping it in mind that this can be a very complex topic might be worthwhile.

My 2 cents.

Mike

dps
08-06-2006, 08:03 AM
" The Jo Trick" from 1895
The Feats of the Magnetic Girl Explained
http://ofinterest.net:16080/mg/

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 08:34 AM
" The Jo Trick" from 1895
The Feats of the Magnetic Girl Explained
http://ofinterest.net:16080/mg/

Of course you know that's already been mentioned, don't you? ;)

Several times. And in several threads. Still it's a good read... although not totally applicable to the "jo trick", some of the physical laws explained in the "Magnetic Girl" article are actually applicable in some jo-waza.

Regards,

Mike

statisticool
08-06-2006, 08:37 AM
dps, another interesting read:

http://ofinterest.net:16080/ttr/

;)

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 01:30 PM
dps, another interesting read:

http://ofinterest.net:16080/ttr/

;)Heh. Actually, that's a good webpage to bring up because it shows something that can happen in a lot of martial arts, probably not too far in the future. I refer people to that same article sometimes because of something Goodson says on it (see below).

As far as the "teacher test" goes, Stephen Goodson didn't understand originally what it was and only heard of it from a beginning Taiji student who had only attended one of my workshops. Goodson butchered what he had been told so badly that the guy who told him about me publicly repudiated Goodson. So Goodson, who has never even seen the 'teacher test', doesn't know what he's talking about in regard to the "Teacher Test", but he's done something very interesting that is worth considering.

Goodson is one of the longest term students of Robert W. Smith for Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, etc. So his "expertise" at Taiji is in relation to what Robert Smith knows... although it should be borne in mind that Robert Smith could only possibly have studied Taiji for 2-1/2 to 3 years, since that's how long he was on Taiwan. But Smith presented himself as an expert and wrote books on Taiji, Xingyi, and Bagua (he learned them all in that period of time on Taiwan).

Now notice that Goodson says on the webpage:JUST TO BE SURE IT'S CLEAR: This counter only works for this test and it is not a deep or mystical principal of T'ai Chi, Nei Jia nor Nei gong. If the 'test' is changed then the 'counter' must also change, but to be sure, it is only trickery that is at work here. It is also not Peng Jing (which doesn't exist). Notice that last sentence about "Peng Jing (which doesn't exist)." "Peng Jing" is the jin/kokyu that we've been talking about on this forum.... yet Goodson, student of Robert Smith, says it doesn't exist. It's like telling Ushiro Sensei that kokyu power doesn't exist, etc. What does that tell us about what Robert Smith knows?

There have been a number of interviews articles published in various martial arts magazines, particularly "T'ai Chi Magazine" in whiched noted experts on Taiji have now mentioned that the core of Taiji is peng jin. The point I'm noting is that Stephen Goodson has more or less destroyed Robert Smith's facade of expertise in the Chinese martial arts, in this regard. To be fair, some of Smith's students have already mentioned publicly that Smith really didn't know much, as they found out when they themselves spent up to 12 years on Taiwan themselves.

But the point I'm making is that the internet is an archive and who knows what at the present will be seen in a few years on the internet, video, books, etc., that are available right now. Goodson and Smith pretty obviously don't understand the basis of Taijiquan (as Yang Zhen Duo referred to peng jin), so how could what they teach be anything more than empty forms and external techniques. It's something to think about and it's not really far off-point for the topic of this thread, either.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

statisticool
08-06-2006, 03:50 PM
;)

statisticool
08-06-2006, 04:58 PM
Notice that last sentence about "Peng Jing (which doesn't exist)." "Peng Jing" is the jin/kokyu that we've been talking about on this forum.... yet Goodson, student of Robert Smith, says it doesn't exist.


At what date was the word "peng jing" first introduced? Or 'ground path' or 'ground vector strength' for that matter?


"Receive the earth's strength," is the way Cheng Man-Ching referred to the powers which have their basis in peng (the ground-vector strength) through a constantly connected body.


If Robert Smith and others called the concept something else (as CMC did, as you say above), that differs from what a few people using a newer or differnet term call it, ... .. ... so ?

They might believe that talking about the physical body is more explanatory and useful than talking about non physical vectors. Dunno.

Smith was a close friend of Donn D., very well respected martial artist and historian. You think he would have corrected Smith, or not associated with him if Smith were all bunk, but we don't have any evidence of that.

Not to mention Smith co-authoring books with Cheng, among other things.


Could we see please a video of you or someone who beleives in you doing your Teacher Test in action, so we can evaluate Goodson's statements?

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 05:10 PM
At what date was the word "peng jing" first introduced? Or 'ground path' or 'ground vector strength' for that matter? Who knows? It's in Chen Xin's works, so all that matters is that it's well before Robert Smith. Why don't you make a substantive argument sometime instead of just snide questioning? Do YOU know when any of these things was introduced? All you do is nibble around the edges with negative questions trying to make an oblique point. But that's been pointed out to you before. Try to argue with some facts instead of the snide questions. If Robert Smith and others called the concept something else (as CMC did, as you say above), that differs from what a few people using a newer or differnet term call it, ... .. ... so ?

They might believe that talking about the physical body is more explanatory and useful than talking about non physical vectors. Dunno.

Smith was a close friend of Donn D., very well respected martial artist and historian. You think he would have corrected Smith, or not associated with him if Smith were all bunk, but we don't have any evidence of that.

Could we see please a video of your Teacher Test in action, so we can evaluate Goodson's statements? "If"?? "Might"?? "if", again, and so on. And then can we see something further so we can make vague criticisms. Draeger has writings where you can see the limits of his knowledge about ki and kokyu. If you want to make speculative writings, YOU write them... I'll ask substantive questions instead of making snide suggestions. Howzat???

Mike Sigman

Upyu
08-06-2006, 06:10 PM
Assuming everything goes well and we give a seminar in the eastcoast Justin can get an upclose and personal demo from Ark of "Mike's" test.

Without the airshield.

I think that'd provide more than enough material for you to write about it here. ;)

statisticool
08-06-2006, 07:17 PM
Why don't you make a substantive argument sometime instead of just snide questioning?


I can see how questions can make one agitated if they don't like people questioning their beliefs.


Do YOU know when any of these things was introduced?


Typically when one asks a question it is because they are trying to find out.

As you didn't address, you've already seen CMC talk about the ground, and he was Smith's teacher, you know. That Smith doesn't use the description/term another person uses is moot.


Draeger has writings where you can see the limits of his knowledge about ki and kokyu.


That is pretty vague.

statisticool
08-06-2006, 07:19 PM
Assuming everything goes well and we give a seminar in the eastcoast Justin can get an upclose and personal demo from Ark of "Mike's" test.

Without the airshield.

I think that'd provide more than enough material for you to write about it here. ;)

Oh, of course I can, just like Mike, or anyone else, can post a video of the Teacher Test for us all to talk about.

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 07:36 PM
Oh, of course I can, just like Mike, or anyone else, can post a video of the Teacher Test for us all to talk about. For all practical purposes, the "teacher test" is simply asking someone to do a no-inch hit with their palm... without any drawback and especially without letting the shoulder do the work, draw back, etc. The point is that if someone is a "teacher" of an internal art that is supposed to "move from the hara", they shouldn't do a hit with the shoulder, now should they?

Do you know how to do that, Justin? Or were you just offering to critique, as usual, something that you don't really know anything about?

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 07:42 PM
As you didn't address, you've already seen CMC talk about the ground, and he was Smith's teacher, you know. That Smith doesn't use the description/term another person uses is moot. No, Cheng knew what the term was. Smith didn't. Smith and a lot of westerners were simply ignorant of what jin was. That's why they kept translating it as "intrinsic energy" . I can debate this to a standstill, Justin. So far you're just offering your usual negative speculation and questions. Give us some facts. Your loose idea that because Cheng knew it was from the ground meant the Smith understood jin is ridiculous. I've said "groundpath" a number of times and you know it's "from the ground"... does that mean that you know what it is and can do it? No, of course not.


Mike

statisticool
08-06-2006, 08:01 PM
For all practical purposes, the "teacher test" is simply asking someone to do a no-inch hit with their palm... without any drawback and especially without letting the shoulder do the work, draw back, etc. The point is that if someone is a "teacher" of an internal art that is supposed to "move from the hara", they shouldn't do a hit with the shoulder, now should they?

Do you know how to do that, Justin? Or were you just offering to critique, as usual, something that you don't really know anything about?

Mike Sigman

Ok, so you refuse to.

Upyu
08-06-2006, 08:02 PM
I can see how questions can make one agitated if they don't like people questioning their beliefs.



Typically when one asks a question it is because they are trying to find out.

As you didn't address, you've already seen CMC talk about the ground, and he was Smith's teacher, you know. That Smith doesn't use the description/term another person uses is moot.



That is pretty vague.

oh poo...

p
:rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 08:03 PM
Ok, so you refuse to.Oh, poo.

statisticool
08-06-2006, 08:41 PM
Smith didn't. Smith and a lot of westerners were simply ignorant of what jin was. That's why they kept translating it as "intrinsic energy" . I can debate this to a standstill, Justin.


I'm sure you can. And I'm sure you can continue being incorrect. :freaky:

For example, page 5 of T'ai Chi: The "Supreme Ultimate" Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense, by Zheng and Smith, shows:


"W.T. Chan has well observed that "ch'i denotes the psychophysiological power associated with blood and breath," or another English equivalent might be "intrinsic energy".


To break it down for you, this shows that they were talking about qi possibly being described as 'intrinsic energy', not jin. You can count this as an example of facts you requested.

Mike Sigman
08-06-2006, 09:48 PM
I'm sure you can. And I'm sure you can continue being incorrect. :freaky:

For example, page 5 of T'ai Chi: The "Supreme Ultimate" Exercise for Health, Sport, and Self-Defense, by Zheng and Smith, shows:



To break it down for you, this shows that they were talking about qi possibly being described as 'intrinsic energy', not jin. You can count this as an example of facts you requested.Yeah, well, you're over your head in this one, so stoppit. Jin is the physical manifestation of qi... Smith never understood that. He proof-read some of his own books and made horrendous mistakes. When they had to translate "ch'in" or "jin", they translated it as "intrinsic energy". There have been long discussions about this on some forums and private emails. The mistake of calling "jin" as "energy" is well-known. Quit looking for *anything*, even when you don't know the subject, to pick a quarrel with. I'm about to join a few others and stick you on ignore unless you can show that you have some substantive knowledge of some, of *any* subject, related to martial arts. So far you haven't contributed anything positive or anything with useable knowledge. You've only shown that you like to nitpick. Last chance.

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
08-06-2006, 10:42 PM
Mike,

Justin is over his head on most of this as he has little or no experience that anyone has been able to ascertain other than appealing to authority on video clips from youtube, quotes from websites, and books.

statisticool
08-06-2006, 11:08 PM
Yeah, well, you're over your head in this one, so stoppit.


One can surely grasp the concept that one is not able to order others around.


Jin is the physical manifestation of qi... Smith never understood that.


Here we see the story change somewhat. Before, it was said, and I quote:


Smith and a lot of westerners were simply ignorant of what jin was. That's why they kept translating it ["it" referring to jin- Justin]as "intrinsic energy" .


to which it was showed with an actual reference that Smith and Zheng (I can't speak to the vague "a lot of westerners" that one keeps referring to) in their book said it was reasonable to describe qi as intrinsic energy.

So yes, one was incorrect when one said Smith translated jin as intrinsic energy, since it was showed he said it was reasonable to describe qi as intrinsic energy. The unsupported claim that Smith didn't understand that jin is a physical manifestation of qi is a red herring.


I'm about to join a few others and stick you on ignore unless...


One, and mystery 'others', are encouraged to use that feature of the bulletin board software at any time they see fit, of course. That, of course, has no bearing on any argument.


For all practical purposes, the "teacher test" is simply asking someone to do a no-inch hit with their palm... without any drawback and especially without letting the shoulder do the work, draw back, etc. The point is that if someone is a "teacher" of an internal art that is supposed to "move from the hara", they shouldn't do a hit with the shoulder, now should they?

Do you know how to do that, Justin?


The one claiming theories for the above, the one claiming to be able to do the above, and the one who claims that such a demonstration is meaningful, and the one who was therefore asked to demonstrate such a thing, should be the one producing evidence when asked, not people who don't believe, endorse, or claim what the claimant does.

Logic 101.

statisticool
08-06-2006, 11:13 PM
Justin is over his head on most of this as he has little or no experience that anyone has been able to ascertain other than appealing to authority on video clips from youtube, quotes from websites, and books.

It should be obvious that if one has .10 or 10 years experience, that that has no bearing on requesting evidence. Obviously if we're on the internet, the 'currency of evidence' is videos and text.

How many years do you need before you feel someone is worthy to talk to? 1? 5? 10? Let us know. Whatever years they don't have they'll get, and then they can email you all their comments which will have accumulated in that timeframe for you to answer.

Upyu
08-06-2006, 11:40 PM
It should be obvious that if one has .10 or 10 years experience, that that has no bearing on requesting evidence. Obviously if we're on the internet, the 'currency of evidence' is videos and text.

How many years do you need before you feel someone is worthy to talk to? 1? 5? 10? Let us know. Whatever years they don't have they'll get, and then they can email you all their comments which will have accumulated in that timeframe for you to answer.

poop :rolleyes:

Mike Sigman
08-07-2006, 06:42 AM
Here we see the story change somewhat. Before, it was said, and I quote:Yeah, well, it's in maybe 10 of my posts on this forum that qi and jin (or ki and kokyu) are confusingly interchanged; even to me pointing out that Tohei demonstrates his "ki", but to be more accurate he is demonstrating jin/kokyu.

Smith never understood that. He confused the two. But the point I was making was that whenever he came to the word "jin" he translated it as "intrinsic energy". He didn't know how to do jin. That's why Stephen Goodson didn't know what "peng jin" was. It was NOT a new term.... Cheng used it in his books and Yang Cheng Fu used it in his books. The Americans were translating "jin" as "intrinsic energy" and when they'd see the term "peng jin", they always translated it as "wardoff energy", not having a clue what it meant. Their "wardoff energy" is "peng jin" is the core "jin" is the same as kokyu power.

It was a needless tangent with no other purpose than to get in a negative shot by you, Justin. You've done it continuously. You don't have any facts, just a constant desire to pee on someone's leg and waste time with fripperies. You're on my ignore list.

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-07-2006, 07:02 AM
Justin, you are over your head here. Like everyone else has suggested, find something to contribute, or get ignored. Personally, I don't have to put you on ignore to ignore you...but the serious contributers to the thread certainly might. And that would be a shame.

Best,
Ron

statisticool
08-07-2006, 07:49 AM
Heh.

Kevin Leavitt
08-07-2006, 01:17 PM
I will make one more attempt to see if I can help you understand the general perspective of those that have some experience here Justin. Again, i am not sure why I want to bother since you do not seem to have any interest at all that I can ascertain in actually seeking to understand physically, mentally, and spritually aikido or martial arts in general...maybe mentally...but even that seems to be a far stretch since most of your discussions seem to not so much "seek to discover knowledge" but "seek to find the holes".

I will be the first to tell you I don't necessarily see eye to eye with Mike Sigman or Dan Harden on many issues. I too have "sought to find the holes" from time to time. There is nothing wrong with that every now and then. However, once that becomes your primary goal, people grow tired of that and tell you "enough".

If you actually go to a dojo, especially an aikido dojo, a little of this is expected from students. Especially those that are seeking hard to discover the "truth". I am not saying accept what I say because I have studied it for years, but at some point, you have to "seek for sincere knowledge" vice "finding the holes". If not, then why are you there. Are you really that unhappy with yourself and your life that you would hang out with a bunch of guys that you are skeptical of and don't believe in? Negative energy gets you no where! Why propagate it? Move on!

Anyway,

It is not about the number of years you study that gives you respect or a voice in the community, but a sincerity and honesty with "seeking to discover". It is about learning. Again, if you don't believe in what you are surround with, then why bother wasting your time?

Yes I agree that it is possible to intellectualize and rationalize and grasp mentally many concepts and theories. Sure we can talk about quark theories, quantum physics, ki, and the interconnectedness of energy and the universe all day long. I do extensive reading in these areas and find it very intellectually stimulating to discuss and figure out. Frankly I believe that aikido, jin, ki, chi, and all that are very, very much apart of all this.

But, when you get into the so called, internal martial arts if you must find a label, such as aikido, tai chi chuan, bua gua, yoga, and many comtemplative practices etc....you now enter a very distinct area of science and art combined. It is an area that is very difficult to quantify, rationalize, and agree upon definitions, limits and abilities.

It unfortunately requires you to get off your ass, and physically experience things. If not, you have no dog in the fight, nor any right to have an opinion. It is not about years of experience, but about as Yoda said "do not try" or "do not talk" as is said many times in aikido. You simply cannot intellectually rationalize or use logic. It is about self discovery, personal knowledge, and personal experience.

You know my philosophy in combative arts and budo is really this. Statistics and Logic don't matter if you are in the fight and you are losing. The only ones that matter are the odds that you are now facing. Might seem unrelated, but I think it is core to the argument concerning rationalization and the application of theory and logic. Experience and the situation you are presented in count for quite a bit.

The currency of evidence that I have is the years of goodwill, reputation, and actual training with many of the people I correspond with here on aikiweb. I am not concerned with being an "internet warrior" because I have people that really know me, know my experiences, and skill level (or lack thereof), and that speaks for itself.

While I may not agree with Mike Sigman, and I have never personally met him, I do know people that have vouched for his honesty, competence, and sincerity in what he preaches. That is Mike's currency of evidence, and that is all I need.

What is your currency of evidence Justin? As best I can tell, you decided to take an interest in the Martial arts, expressed a few months ago that you were going to start, I and several others invited you to check out a few dojos in the Alexandria, and Arlington area. As best I can tell, you have not started studying, maybe you have, but my gut tells me "no". Maybe you have good reasons for not being able to at this point in your life. No disrepect there. I can understand that. However, if you were sincere in your desire to learn arts like aikido, and tai chi, I do believe that there would be a more geniune "seeking to discover or learn" slant to your post than the general trend has been.

So, as you can see, your currency of evidence is grown very thin with many people on aikiweb.

It is not about the years of experience, but the genuine interest in what you are pursuing that give you the voice and the respect of many here that will take our time to discuss and converse with you.

I hope you do not take this post as negative. Although, it is very direct. I spent about 20 minute of my life typing it so I do feel that it is worthwile to respond to you and give yo a voice.

I hope this kinda explains the general idea of where I and probably a few others are coming from. I feel I owe you that much.

statisticool
08-07-2006, 01:24 PM
Feel free to PM it if you want a response to it.

Ron Tisdale
08-07-2006, 02:17 PM
How about if we start another thread so as not to take away from this one? Or is there a reason you don't want to respond in public? I don't necessarily mean anything negative by that...I have issues in the past with responding to certain things publicly myself. Just trying to understand.

Best,
Ron

statisticool
08-08-2006, 04:14 PM
Or is there a reason you don't want to respond in public? I don't necessarily mean anything negative by that...I have issues in the past with responding to certain things publicly myself. Just trying to understand.


His query, and my reasons, don't involve you.

Roy Dean
08-08-2006, 05:17 PM
Justin,


Wow. You certainly know how to "not" make friends.

Sincerely,

Roy Dean

www.jiaiaikido.com
www.royharris.com

Ron Tisdale
08-09-2006, 06:14 AM
His query, on a public board, involves me if I want it to...

Your reasons, however, are indeed your own. As it your attitude.

Welcome to it.

Ron (now where's that ignore button....)