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Talon
04-27-2006, 10:34 AM
You mention that the Joe Trick is done easily by a number CMA people they'd probably laugh at us for thinking its something out of the ordinary. I personally have not had the pleasure of viewing or feeling the joe trick in person. Furthermore, I'm a strong believer in Newton's laws and gravity. It has to be some trick since its pretty obvious that the person/s pushing on the end of the joe have a mechanical advantage. I personally will not believe in such a thing untill I see it / feel it myself or untill someone explains to me the rules of this exercise. Perhaps the people are not really pushing on the Joe, but merely attempting to twist it out of the person's hands. Otherwise, I don't see how it can be done. Some of the things described by people on here (ie. the balancing on the rear legs of a chair while a big guy pushes and maintianing balance) really make me think that in some parts of the World perhaps physics and gravity do not exist. Or perhaps its more of mind trick than a physical feat. Anyone care to elaborate?

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 10:58 AM
You mention that the Joe Trick is done easily by a number CMA people they'd probably laugh at us for thinking its something out of the ordinary. I personally have not had the pleasure of viewing or feeling the joe trick in person. Furthermore, I'm a strong believer in Newton's laws and gravity. It has to be some trick since its pretty obvious that the person/s pushing on the end of the joe have a mechanical advantage. I personally will not believe in such a thing untill I see it / feel it myself or untill someone explains to me the rules of this exercise. Perhaps the people are not really pushing on the Joe, but merely attempting to twist it out of the person's hands. Otherwise, I don't see how it can be done. Some of the things described by people on here (ie. the balancing on the rear legs of a chair while a big guy pushes and maintianing balance) really make me think that in some parts of the World perhaps physics and gravity do not exist. Or perhaps its more of mind trick than a physical feat. Anyone care to elaborate?Well, obviously it's something out of the ordinary or it wouldn't be shown in demonstrations. It's a variant of a well-known type of "ki" demonstration. And trust me, most CMA'ers I know can't do it. In fact, most of the average western CMA'ers are floundering around with as few qi skills as most Aikidoists have. ;) What you're watching is the beginning of a lot of these body conditioning tricks making it out into the open.

However, in relation to the jo-trick, let me say a couple of words. The heart of the skill involves shifting the responsibility for the load-bearing (due to the push) from the jo to one of the feet. This involves the mind's ability to redirect forces and force-sourcing at will. So does, for example, Tohei's trick of standing on one leg and having an uke push on his forearm... Tohei allows the load-bearing to go in a straight path to his foot.

Naturally, that's cool, but the shoulder still has to be under stress during this push, while at the same time the shoulder should not be contributing any muscular initiative of the responding force (that's where training the actual "ki" comes in, but that's another story).

So the *trick* is that Tohei redirects forces and that can be taught fairly quickly, in a rudimentay fashion to most beginners. Conditioning the shoulder and the rest of the body to transmit these forces in a relaxed fashion is a bona fide part of the trick though, and so the more conditioned the shoulder and body is to perform this sort of stunt, the more incoming force on the forearm someone can take.

So a beginner may *know* how and be able to mildly exhibit the push-on-the-forearm-one-leg trick, but he can't do it as well as Tohei, for example. Same with the jo-trick. Part of what Ueshiba was showing off was his redirection abilities *in conjunction* with the fact that he had an unusually strong and trained ability to spread the load across his body. So someone could know how to do the jo-trick and exhibit it to some degree without necessarily being able to demonstrate it to the peak level Ueshiba could have done during his prime years. Don't forget that not only did Ueshiba have high skills in these ki abilities, he also had a very small (he was only 5-feet tall.... so the moment-arm against him was less than on a long-limbed person), very powerful frame.

Just a dose of reality.

Again, doing a few of these tricks does not mean someone has a high level of the useable skills in the trick-bag of ki and kokyu forces. Doing the "jo-trick" or the "one-leg-trick", etc., does not signal anything more than maybe a foot in the door.

My 2 centavos.

Regards,

Mike

Mark Freeman
04-27-2006, 11:29 AM
You mention that the Joe Trick is done easily by a number CMA people they'd probably laugh at us for thinking its something out of the ordinary. I personally have not had the pleasure of viewing or feeling the joe trick in person. Furthermore, I'm a strong believer in Newton's laws and gravity. It has to be some trick since its pretty obvious that the person/s pushing on the end of the joe have a mechanical advantage. I personally will not believe in such a thing untill I see it / feel it myself or untill someone explains to me the rules of this exercise. Perhaps the people are not really pushing on the Joe, but merely attempting to twist it out of the person's hands. Otherwise, I don't see how it can be done. Some of the things described by people on here (ie. the balancing on the rear legs of a chair while a big guy pushes and maintianing balance) really make me think that in some parts of the World perhaps physics and gravity do not exist. Or perhaps its more of mind trick than a physical feat. Anyone care to elaborate?

Hi Paul,

Mike has covered the how it happens in his post above. Some of these 'tricks' ( I dont really like that description as it is not accurate ) are a bit 'unbelievable' when first seen. A bit like seeing an aeroplane for the first time! it looks like magic, but it is nothing of the sort when you know how it happens. ;)

Rest assured the gravity in my part of the world is the same as yours ( only not quite so cold in the winter ). :)

Of course the mind is involved but it is not a 'trick' it takes practice, practice and more practice, Mike has described the mechanics very well above, the minds role is paramount in all of these tricks/feats I prefer the term exercises. Whoever is doing the pushing has a mind, their mind preceeds their body, when they start to push it is at the minds bidding, it is this that is redirected as Mike describes, through the path to ground, once the mind is 'earthed' for want of a better term the physical body is held until the mind is changed. The person doing the exercise practices having a calm immovable mind, as well as practices redirecting the mind/s of the 'pushers'. Relaxation of mind and body, simple.
No magic I'm afraid, just practice, practice and you've guessed it more practice, oh yes having a really good teacher that can do these things well every time without fail helps. ;)

Tohei, learned his skills from O Sensei, and he passed them on to many people ( my teacher being one of them ), anyone having any contact with the 'Ki' people will know that these things are fairly commonplace and form the basis for Ki Aikido.

regards,
Mark

Talon
04-27-2006, 12:14 PM
Pardon my ignorance on the subject. So what youre saying is the person that is doing the pushing is basically brainwashed into thinking that he can't move the object. What if someone who doesn't believe in such things does the pushing? Does it still work? I just can't see it working on the physical level, if a real force is applied to the jo, or chair or whatever, an equal and opposite force needs to be applied to counteract it. With a mechanical advantage that the pushers of the jo, chair have, I just can't see the opposite force generated to be possible. In order to counteract a force with such a mechanical advantage the counteracting force would have to be enourmous. So I can accept the brainwashing theory, because the person pushing is not really pushing, but the alternative (physical force actually applied), seems to not be logical or possible in a world ruled by physics.

I'm sorry if I come across harsh, it is not my intention, I'm trying to figure this out and since so many people on here imply that this is common place, I need to learn what they are actually doing.

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 12:19 PM
Whoever is doing the pushing has a mind, their mind preceeds their body, when they start to push it is at the minds bidding, it is this that is redirected as Mike describes, through the path to ground, once the mind is 'earthed' for want of a better term the physical body is held until the mind is changed. Just to be clear, Mark, I don't quibble with any visualization you want to use (Ueshiba's visualization had to do with kami, so whatever floats your boat), but I don't need to pretend anything about uke's mind. I just re-direct forces using out-of-the-ordinary-but-not-magical body/mind skills. Each to his own. ;)

Incidentally, the jo-trick can be done or approximated by someone who knows how to re-direct forces using a stiff/strong arm/shoulder. But that highlights an important point. Part of the skills of ki involve learning how to manipulate forces with the mind, but an equally important part is establishing and training a connection out to the extremities. How you 'bring ki out to the hands' is as important a point as being able to use the hara and force/kokyu/whatever directions. The interesting thing that catches my attention about Ueshiba doing the jo-trick is not that he does the jo-trick... how to do the trick is something I already understand... but the fact that you can see how relaxed he is while the forces come out to his hand. I.e., his is not "muscular ki" but is the real soft variety and it's trained very powerfully to be able to show, even momentarily, this kind of forces at such an extension. I.e., it is worth a "wow" because of that, not because of the principle behind the trick.

Regards,

Mike

Mark Freeman
04-27-2006, 01:10 PM
Just to be clear, Mark, I don't quibble with any visualization you want to use (Ueshiba's visualization had to do with kami, so whatever floats your boat), but I don't need to pretend anything about uke's mind. I just re-direct forces using out-of-the-ordinary-but-not-magical body/mind skills. Each to his own. ;)



Mike,

no need to pretend anything just a mental practice, but as you so rightly point out they are body/mind skills, not just body skills.

Paul,
Pardon my ignorance on the subject. So what youre saying is the person that is doing the pushing is basically brainwashed into thinking that he can't move the object. What if someone who doesn't believe in such things does the pushing?

No I did not say or imply brainwashing, what would be the point of that?
The pusher has a mind as well as a body, deal with both not just one or the other, that is what these exercises are for - practicing the co-ordination of mind and body for the purpose of
1, improving your aikido and
2, to enhance daily life by being co-ordinated in all mundane actions.
So no, no brainwashing! I don't need people to believe that I can do something for me to be able to do it!!

I have to go now.. got a class to teach/brainwash...oops ;)

regards,

Mark

Talon
04-27-2006, 02:39 PM
I don't mean to be offensive at all. I'm an engineering consultant and deal with physics, lever arms, mechanical advatages and forces every day. From a technical stand point these feats seem impossible. I dont care how you visualize it in your mind, if a perpindicular force is really applied at the end of a lever arm, you are in some real trouble trying to provide a counteracting force. I can visualize invisible energies all day long, it wont prevent simple physics to win over. Again, I'd love to learn more about this subject and if it is possible train to do or at least understand how these feats are accomplished. I wish there was someone local that can perform/teach these Ki excercises. If anyone has any detailed descriptions on how to practice I'd greately appreciate it. At our Dojo we train hard in our techniques, movement and moving around our centers, we do not attempt any KI specific excercises.

James Young
04-27-2006, 03:06 PM
IFrom a technical stand point these feats seem impossible.

I think the key words there are "seem impossible". Like others have said I don't think these "feats" defy physics in any way. It's just that the forces that are visible or appear to be resulting mislead the observer and give the perception of fakery. I think if you could put together an accurate free-body-diagram with vector forces in their true direction, not just the direction the appear to go in, it would make more sense because of resultant vectors, etc., and they you can start to examine it under dynamic conditions with which it is experienced.

senshincenter
04-27-2006, 03:09 PM
Hi Paul,

I think Mike gave the basic description of what is supposed to be happening when he wrote: "...the skill involves shifting the responsibility for the load-bearing (due to the push) from the jo to one of the feet." This would definitely hold up to your engineering experience and understanding of physics, etc. However, what is a bit confusing in the demonstration itself, or what might be "gnawing" at you is the element of exaggeration. Perhaps Mike is coming from a mechanical/principle point of view and you are coming from a literal point of view - therein lies the apparent discrepancy.

In a mechanical system like the body, it should always be possible to shift load-bearing responsibility to almost any part of the body regardless of where that resistance is first experienced. However, that does not necessarily mean that that shifting of load-bearing responsibility can universally maintain itself in a mechanically viable function. Hence, it is possible for Osensei to shift load-bearing responsibility from the jo to his feet, but this may not necessarily mean that he can stop even one young man from gaining the distal lever advantage without some exaggeration involved.

In this way, what one is seeing is real (from a mechanical/principle point of view), but it is also false (from a literal point of view). In that sense, I think what Mike is saying is very valid, relevant, and important, and one would miss it if he/she cannot get past the level of exaggeration involved. In addition, I also think it is important to remember that both Takeda and Osensei have had top students openly state that they were not pushing all that hard in such demonstrations, and that if they were, they would have accomplished what any literalist would imagine quite easily. Remembering the latter keeps us honest, and, in my opinion, more likely to discover those very real principles of shifting load-bearing responsibility - less likely to talk about kokyu as some kind of magical "force" (ala Lucas).

my perspective,
dmv

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 03:10 PM
I don't mean to be offensive at all. I'm an engineering consultant and deal with physics, lever arms, mechanical advatages and forces every day. From a technical stand point these feats seem impossible. I dont care how you visualize it in your mind, if a perpindicular force is really applied at the end of a lever arm, you are in some real trouble trying to provide a counteracting force. I can visualize invisible energies all day long, it wont prevent simple physics to win over. Again, I'd love to learn more about this subject and if it is possible train to do or at least understand how these feats are accomplished. I wish there was someone local that can perform/teach these Ki excercises. If anyone has any detailed descriptions on how to practice I'd greately appreciate it. At our Dojo we train hard in our techniques, movement and moving around our centers, we do not attempt any KI specific excercises. You're not offensive at all, Paul... you're doing exactly what I think everyone should do, analyze, challenge, think out loud, etc. This is the sort of stuff I like to do on the QiJing list: analyze forces, skills, etc.

Think of this for a second. If you're say standing up and and you're holding your left fist inside your right hand (to make them one object. Your elbows are against your ribcage so basically your joined fists are a solid part of your body. If I say "start to move forward but don't really move", there will be a forward potential to your fists, even though you don't move; I can't see it. If I say "pull backward, but don't really move", there will be a backward pulling potential to your fists, even though you don't move; I can't see the difference. If I say "push the fists vertically straight up, but don't move".... same idea; I can't see the difference. And I can say "add weight to your fists like you're trying to sink them down, but don't move"... same thing; I can't see the difference.

Without moving, your mind and micro-muscular motion are able to bring force vectors to the hands (or any part of the body), provided you have a good connection. Yes, there are physical limits to these tricks, but they can get pretty sophisticated. If you're conditioned well and you can adjust the vector directions your body is "emanating" quickly, you can arrange your resultant body direction so that someone pushing against a seemingly vertical lever is actually pushing against a *ground-based* force that is coming into them at an upward angle. So draw a picture of a horizontal non-ground-based force meeting head to head with a ground-based force that is coming up toward it. It takes some skill and yes, whoever applies first can usually be the winner, etc., but it's not magic.... it's practice. And you have to learn to rely on your lower body for the load-bearing responsibilities.

Regards,

Mike

Talon
04-27-2006, 03:51 PM
Thanks for all of the explanation guys. I can see where youre going with this, however, I still can't see how it can be done. If you extend your arm and extend a jo even further and someone pushes on the end of that jo, they are introducing a torque. The force at the end of the lever arm does not have to be great at all to generate a high torque at the center. If you are not going to move you have to generate a massive torque in the opposite direction (assuming youre using your legs/feet). How do you do that? Furthermore, if you have your arm extended how do you prevent that arm from giving out first. I mean a system is only as strong as its weakest link. I'd think that your extended arm would be that weakest link in the scenario where someone is applying a perpindicular force to it (with a mechanical advantage at that). Does anyone have any simple excersizes that I could try to experiment with this?

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 04:28 PM
If you extend your arm and extend a jo even further and someone pushes on the end of that jo, they are introducing a torque. The force at the end of the lever arm does not have to be great at all to generate a high torque at the center. If you are not going to move you have to generate a massive torque in the opposite direction (assuming youre using your legs/feet). How do you do that? Furthermore, if you have your arm extended how do you prevent that arm from giving out first. I mean a system is only as strong as its weakest link. I'd think that your extended arm would be that weakest link in the scenario where someone is applying a perpindicular force to it (with a mechanical advantage at that). Does anyone have any simple excersizes that I could try to experiment with this?Hi Paul:
Yes, that's the second part of the equation, what I would call technically the "ki". Although Tohei and a lot of Japanese call the forces "ki power" or just "ki", I tend to separate the forces from the "ki" thing... it's a terminology problem.

Essentially what you're asking about is that stuff that people build up by Misogi or other approaches to "tanden breathing", "breathing to the navel" or whatever you want to call it. It's related to the fascial structures and in relation to the exact question you're asking, it tends to spread the force. If a normal person does the jo trick, the weakest link will be the shoulder joint or the wrist. Someone who has built up their "ki" will have a strong supportive "sheet" spread around the body structure that works in effect to spread that torque so that the torque gets spread, say, instead of being focused on the shoulder, it is spread over the arm, shoulder and back. However, we're getting into an area that is more complex than I want to go, so let's leave it there. But at least you get a glimpse of a structure that can spread the effects of torque and at the same time make your skin hard to puncture, able to pull loads with hooks in the skin, make someone resistant to heavy blows, etc.; all of these are normally considered characteristics of ki.

FWIW

Mike

Jory Boling
04-27-2006, 05:08 PM
is there a video of somebody doing the jo-trick somewhere?

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 05:17 PM
http://www.neijia.com/jotrick2.avi

You have to be careful of some of the so-called "jo-trick" pictures, in my opinion, because in what I consider the jo-trick, the uke(s) push horizontally. In some pictures they are pushing downward, which is a different matter entirely.

Mike

charron
04-27-2006, 05:41 PM
If you extend your arm and extend a jo even further and someone pushes on the end of that jo, they are introducing a torque. The force at the end of the lever arm does not have to be great at all to generate a high torque at the center. If you are not going to move you have to generate a massive torque in the opposite direction (assuming youre using your legs/feet). How do you do that? Furthermore, if you have your arm extended how do you prevent that arm from giving out first. I mean a system is only as strong as its weakest link. I'd think that your extended arm would be that weakest link in the scenario where someone is applying a perpindicular force to it (with a mechanical advantage at that).


I think that you are looking at the force being applied - as being in a laboratory. In a lab, yes you can measure forces in straight line. And, yes to stop a direct force you would need an equal and opposite force to cancel it out. What makes this different than strictly mechanical measured forces is that both individuals are living organisms. One person is affecting the other person at the core of their being via 'intent'/''ki'. These forces by both people involved can be and are changed the moment a connection is made, and now both people share a coming point. On a not so dramatic way, we practice, with one of our goals, to be able to take someone's center/balance on the very 1st touch. We are not always successful, but by continuing to practice - we are getting better at it.

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 05:49 PM
And, yes to stop a direct force you would need an equal and opposite force to cancel it out. However, if you supply a response to uke's immediate force that is cleverly NOT equal and opposite, there can be a resultant force that takes him in a direction he hadn't counted on and often his force actually contributes to taking him in that not-so-good-for-him direction. As a number of famous Aikido experts have noted, it is the ability to do that at first touch that is the heart of "aiki".

FWIW

Mike

Michael O'Brien
04-27-2006, 05:56 PM
Paul,

I have seen some pictures of the jo exercise and a brief clip of it in one video but I don't remember which one offhand so I don't have any firsthand experience with it.

However, I do have experience with the concept of the unbendable arm ki exercise which is similar. When we train with this I place my arm with my forearm extended just over the shoulder of my partner with my elbow pointing to the ground. My partner places his hands over the bend in my elbow and attempts to bend the arm while I am focusing on extending my ki through the arm to keep it straight. The arm is slightly bent at the elbow, not locking the joint out, and the arm stays relaxed so you can even wiggle the fingers while your partner is attempting this.

I can do this successfully and can attest that at 5'10", 185 lbs I can exert a lot of force and not bend someone elses arm who is doing this while I am trying to force their arm to bend as well.

Talon
04-27-2006, 08:29 PM
Thank you for all the responses guys. I rarely post, mostly just read on here. I think I'll start posting more questions since I'm overwhelmed with the amount of great people willing to help/explain things on here. I'll have to practice the unbendable arm, which we don't do at my dojo. The unbendable arm is however not quite the same (or as difficult) thing as the other (jo, Chair) tricks mentioned. I'll try it nevertheless.

Talon
04-27-2006, 08:45 PM
http://www.neijia.com/jotrick2.avi

You have to be careful of some of the so-called "jo-trick" pictures, in my opinion, because in what I consider the jo-trick, the uke(s) push horizontally. In some pictures they are pushing downward, which is a different matter entirely.

Mike

Thats a nice video, but I did notice that the Uke was not pushing at the end of the jo where he would have had the best mechanical advantage, instead he was pushing near O'Sensei's hand where the mechanical advantage was minimal. Nevertheless the demonstration was impressive.

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 08:50 PM
Nevertheless the demonstration was impressive. I agree.... I thought the pusher should get an Emmy at a minimum and perhaps even an Oscar for "Best Supporting Role". ;)

Mike

Talon
04-27-2006, 09:55 PM
I agree.... I thought the pusher should get an Emmy at a minimum and perhaps even an Oscar for "Best Supporting Role". ;)

Mike

My thoughts exactly...I'd like to see some football player out of the crowd try pushing that jo...

Michael O'Brien
04-27-2006, 10:01 PM
Thank you for all the responses guys. I rarely post, mostly just read on here. I think I'll start posting more questions since I'm overwhelmed with the amount of great people willing to help/explain things on here. I'll have to practice the unbendable arm, which we don't do at my dojo. The unbendable arm is however not quite the same (or as difficult) thing as the other (jo, Chair) tricks mentioned. I'll try it nevertheless.
Paul,

I agree the unbendable arm exercise isn't nearly as difficult as the other ki exercises; However, it is better to learn to crawl before you take off running marathons and I am definitely still somewhere in the crawling to weeble wobble stage in my Aikido journey. :)

Mike Sigman
04-27-2006, 10:02 PM
Yeah, there was some very interesting truth in the jo-trick, but there was also some embellishment. But what the hey, Ueshiba was in his 80's and nobody thought to film him doing the trick in his 40-50's when we could have told more. For that much moment-arm, he still does an impressive display and the principle is worth the discussion it brings.

Mike

Jory Boling
04-28-2006, 12:03 AM
My thoughts exactly...I'd like to see some football player out of the crowd try pushing that jo...

So, are there are a couple of you online here, that could have a "football player" push on the far end of the jo and demonstrate it? If you ever get around to making a short video of it, I'd like to see it.

eyrie
04-28-2006, 12:40 AM
Rupert Atkinson conducted an experiment some time ago to demonstrate this trick quite easily. He didn't have a "football player" (whatever that stereotype means?) pushing on the jo, but he had 2-3 of his students pushing on it. The videos are hidden somewhere on his site... you'd have to ask him....

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 06:32 AM
So, are there are a couple of you online here, that could have a "football player" push on the far end of the jo and demonstrate it? If you ever get around to making a short video of it, I'd like to see it.Well, there's limits to these things... they're meant to show a principle, but not to absurd limits. When Tohei has a partner pushing on his forearm, it's meant to show HOW a strength is done and not to imply that Tohei could withstand the onslaught of a push from an angry NFL linebacker.

Ueshiba took a somewhat well-known demonstration of what in China would be "Hun Yuan strength" and embellished it with a jo extension... a little bit of a showoff and you can see he never really pulls it off well without some aid, willing students, light pushes, etc. Still, he had unusual strength to even do it as much as he did.

Against a football player, it simply wouldn't work..... and nobody has implied that it would.

Regards,


Mike

Richard Langridge
04-28-2006, 06:50 AM
I think one has to be careful when suggesting that the uke is "helping" O-sensei. Sure he's holding the jo in a ridiculus place, but beyond that I think it's genuine. The human aspect of the "trick" is powerful: For a start the uke probably has great reverence for O-sensei, and hence probably does not believe that he can actually shift the jo. Also, this belief will be reinforced when he tries to push the jo and is surprised by how ineffective his efforts are. Again, I imagine this would lessen his will to give it everything he's got.
I dunno, maybe that's all just rubbish...

DH
04-28-2006, 07:32 AM
Now that the truth of this trick is out people should get down to work. Obviously there are folks who can do it and who are predisposed to teach it as well. Rupert being one of them. So I would say go and find them if you don't know these skills. When you go you push-just as in anything in training- its more important to understand what is making it work in the first place. And the real work begins "outside" the trick. Once things are in line and your body understands.

Now in fighting? The principles inherent make a tremendously effective stab with a spear, a punch or projection. and........depending on your skill and size-in fighting- will stop a football players drive. I have. I also stop my 279 lb 6'4" jujutsuka's tackle. In light of the recent challenge thread I just couldn't resist poking.

For every person -if they have never done this type work-their power will begin to improve and then increase over time. Period.
There are many more ideas and ideals to human movement and efficiency of transfering power or redirecting. As well as to just flat out hit or kick-all based on similar mechanics. In ground work the principles hold true-some are easier since the path or current is shorter. But in an of themselves the training excercises don't teach one to fight. They are helpful and healthful to living and balance. Fighting is fighting-a different thing.
As much as I slam wussy Aikido that "thinks" its strong-as opposed to guys who train hard and have a balanced view of things. I also have many times advocated that Aikido COULD be exceedingly powerful-said it many times-with this type of training. Those who do-do this type of training know what I mean. This training that was imparted to Ueshiba M. from Takeda S. and ALL of which most likely came to Japan from China.

Jim Sorrentino
04-28-2006, 10:36 AM
Dan,Now in fighting? The principles inherent make a tremendously effective stab with a spear, a punch or projection. and........depending on your skill and size-in fighting- will stop a football players drive. I have. I also stop my 279 lb 6'4" jujutsuka's tackle. In light of the recent challenge thread I just couldn't resist poking.Since you're unwilling to accept my invitation (on said challenge thread), please take a video of you doing this, and post it to AikiWeb. Granted, it would be in your dojo, under circumstances that you control, and like any other martial arts movie, subject to viewer skepticism --- but it would be a start. And it is long past time for you to put up.

Sincerely,

Jim

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 11:11 AM
I am going to admit my ignorance on this whole issue. One I am really intriqued...and not sarcastically, but really out of my own ignorance...what does all this stuff do for you, or what does it prove/test?

Unbendable arm, the Jo trick etc.

Mike I historically respect your opinions on KI etc, I may not always understand them, again probably my own ignorance on these deep issues, as I have not studied them. That and I am not an intellectual or an erudite.

so, in my simple mind, you do things for a reason.

I think I get the concept of the JO trick and unbendable arm, but not sure why it is so damn important to ANYTHING.

If you can redirect energy and are efficient then what difference would the size of an individual make?

Mike wrote:
Against a football player, it simply wouldn't work..... and nobody has implied that it would.

So either it works or it doesn't right? "Sometimes" does not enter into my small mind when you are talking about things that seemingly should be absolutes such as CHI, KI, etc as you guys refer to it.

I'd buy "sometimes" if you are saying "well theorectically it should not matter if you perfect things, and have the perfect conditions", but many people ellude to some degree of mastery of some elusive thing only mastered by those few...yet in my experiences...not one ever demonstrates this theory.

Reminds me of Cold Fusion Theory.

So if I do unbendable arm...then kick the guy in the groin and break his focus does it still work???? Yes I entered a new parameter in the equation. Which is exactly my point. Isolated demonstrations of things prove that you have mastered nothing but being able to set the conditions properly to have a efficiently predicatble result.

I'd really be impressed if someone could do unbendable arm while I kicked him as hard as I could in the groin then punched him in the face.

What is more impressive is seeing someone truly mastering himself and who knows how to appropriately respond and react to another human being and the parameters/conditions he/ or she presents.


Again, I am not trying to be sarcastic. I simply want someone to explain/quantify in very, very simple terms that an Infantry soldier of my basic thought process can wrap my mind around of what it is that these things do for you or prove.

We all get caught up in the air of intrigue, emotion, and mystery of this conceptually fascinating stuff, but I doubt anyone really understands what really is being discussed.

DaveS
04-28-2006, 11:13 AM
Mike: I'm sorry if this has been done before, but do you view ki as being essentially bound up with micro-muscular motion and control over the body which is at a level below what is visible (or even obviously detectable) but still essentially a consequence (on a level that we don't currently understand) of gravity, Newton's laws and so on, or would you consider it to be complimentary to these ways of looking at things - 'something else'?

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 11:52 AM
what does all this stuff do for you, or what does it prove/test?

Unbendable arm, the Jo trick etc. Hi Kevin:

Well, essentially it makes you stronger and gives you and advantage over an opponent. Howe does it do that? I may have to ramble a bit, but I'll give it a try so that it makes sense in an obvious and practical way.

Think of a native porter carrying a load on his/her head. The load is allowed to go straight to the ground through the skeletal structure, so the main expenditure of energy is no longer holding the load up, but is only in stabilizing the skeletal structure so that it carries the load. Can you see the benefit? The load, if it could feel things, would feel this extremely solid support underneath it, while the native porter feels like he is getting a lot of carrying power for not so much energy expenditure.

Now let's just hang a load from a rope at about the head height of the native porter and let him get under it, align himself, and then straighten cleanly into the load with his head. The load will feel this tremendous force of the ground straightening into it from below and the hit will be devastating if the native porter kept a good alignment. This hit again was very powerful, yet it required mainly the straightening out of a structure that was simply conveying the ground to the load. Let's call a path that conveys the ground a "ground-path".

When you see Tohei of someone holding out his forearm for his uke to push on, he is actually doing a version of the native-porter&load thing, only he is "bending" his ground-path or forming a groundpath to his forearm. If you were to draw the actual path, it would come up Tohei's back leg (in most cases) to his middle, and then go from his middle seemingly across the air to his forearm. The path doesn't really go across the air, but the mind can set up resultant forces so that for all practical purposes Tohei lets a push to his forearm push directly into his hara. Tohei is essentially showing how to use the force of the ground or the force of his weight do his work so that his muscles don't have to exert so much brute power.

One of the cool side-effects of this ability to make force-paths is that you can get very sophisticated in your ability to generate these paths and you can learn to generate a path in response to an incoming force from an opponent and manipulate *some* of what he's doing by mixing your forces with him, borrowing his forces, etc.

The Misogi breathing, stretching and compressing exercises, etc., are a way of building up the myo-fascial structures in the body (think of it as strengthening something like pliable living rawhide by continuously stretching, contracting, working it, etc.). These structures in the body, as they get stronger, make you very strong. The saying is that "the ki by itself is not too strong, but ki with muscle is very strong". To keep it simple, let's just say it augments the force stuff in the first part, although it's a very interesting and complex phenomenon, on the whole.

A lot of ki demonstrations are simply to show that someone has developed these skills, not to show something that is particularly devastating in combat, Kevin. For instance, if Tohei can stand and show a powerful and solid path in the face of a push to his arm, you should be able to extrapolate that he can retract and store along that path and then suddenly push or hit by "straightening out the ground".... and that's the essence of kokyu power. He hits with the ground; an ordinary person uses brute strength. You could say, "yeah, but I'm a big boy and I can hit pretty hard anyway" and I would say "sure, but if you learned to use this stuff you'd be far more stronger for the amount of bulk that you have."

Anyway, that's a quick attempt at answering your question, Kevin. Hope it helps.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 11:56 AM
Mike: I'm sorry if this has been done before, but do you view ki as being essentially bound up with micro-muscular motion and control over the body which is at a level below what is visible (or even obviously detectable) but still essentially a consequence (on a level that we don't currently understand) of gravity, Newton's laws and so on, The answer is yes. Although to get the full-blown phenomenon, you have to strengthen some parts of the body that we never think about in normal western physiology, at least not in this way.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that many of the Asian descriptions of what was going on were wrong because they were described in the terms of an old paradigm (ki/qi) that simply didn't exist. But if you look past the erroneous paradigm, the phenomena are there and they discovered them and developed them a long time ago, when the study of the body and how it worked were part of a cultural focus.

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 12:23 PM
Thanks for the information Mike!

So really sounds like Yoga can do the same thing for you right?

To me just sounds like proper body mechanics etc. correct?

Do you use the word "internal"? does it apply to this?

So, nothing mysterious. We all have some degree of understanding of it. Some better than others correct.

If I understood this COMPLETELY though to a fairly degree of proficiency though, i'd be a damn good fighter though right? Logic would seem to follow?

Therefore, if Saotome sensei understood and could demonstrate this better than I, then even at his age he could probably defeat me correct?

Or do the other factors such as speed, agility, body weight..all play a factor in this? OR do they represent the "imperfection/error" in someones skill? Does this make sense???

I mean if I was a perfectly efficient model, then all these things would be irrelevant correct?

I think that why we do martial arts over say yoga is that martial arts teaches us how to "gap" these inefficiencies. If we did not have them...then we could become martial artist simply through studying yoga right?

Let me know if I am a complete idiot here!

DaveS
04-28-2006, 12:24 PM
The answer is yes. Although to get the full-blown phenomenon, you have to strengthen some parts of the body that we never think about in normal western physiology, at least not in this way.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that many of the Asian descriptions of what was going on were wrong because they were described in the terms of an old paradigm (ki/qi) that simply didn't exist. But if you look past the erroneous paradigm, the phenomena are there and they discovered them and developed them a long time ago, when the study of the body and how it worked were part of a cultural focus.
Cool, thanks!

I suppose it's similar to the way that westerners are quite happy with the concept of 'gravity' and the basic laws describing that even though it's known to be inaccurate, and has been superceded by general relativity. But it'd be more or less impossible (or at least impractical) to do the maths to explain relativistically how to make a plane stay up, so we use gravity instead.

Out of interest, has there been much research done on finding out (if and) how ki effects can fit into a western physiological / scientific framework?

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 12:49 PM
Thanks for the information Mike!

So really sounds like Yoga can do the same thing for you right? No. Although originally yoga is derived from the same core "tricks" of body development. But western yoga seems devoid of it, period. To me just sounds like proper body mechanics etc. correct? No, it is beyond normal "body mechanics". Think of it as an addition to "proper body mechanics". Do you use the word "internal"? does it apply to this? In a way, although it's a semantics discussion I don't want to get into too much. What you're calling "proper body mechanics" would be considered "external strength". The things I was talking about take a while to *develop*... they aren't part of any corrections to proper body mechanics, Kevin. If I understood this COMPLETELY though to a fairly degree of proficiency though, i'd be a damn good fighter though right? Logic would seem to follow? These skills would improve anyone's fighting and strength. But without good fighting skills, this stuff alone isn't enough. The point is that Aikido, Taiji, and other arts aren't considered complete without these kinds of skills because their core concepts were designed to work with this form of strength. Therefore, if Saotome sensei understood and could demonstrate this better than I, then even at his age he could probably defeat me correct? I don't know. As I said, these strengths are additional to your fighting, not replacements for any expertise. Saotome knows more about these things than he shows most westerners, though, IMO. But that's another story.

Or do the other factors such as speed, agility, body weight..all play a factor in this? OR do they represent the "imperfection/error" in someones skill? Does this make sense???

I mean if I was a perfectly efficient model, then all these things would be irrelevant correct? No.... these are additives above and beyond those things, Kevin. I think that why we do martial arts over say yoga is that martial arts teaches us how to "gap" these inefficiencies. If we did not have them...then we could become martial artist simply through studying yoga right?

Let me know if I am a complete idiot here! You should go see Chen Xiao Wang when he visits Germany this year. It will open your eyes to what these additives can do. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 12:55 PM
Out of interest, has there been much research done on finding out (if and) how ki effects can fit into a western physiological / scientific framework? Hi David:

You know, there is no one thing called "Ki". That comes from an old way of explaining how things worked and anything they didn't know how it worked they attributed the forces to "Ki" and then posited some universal force called "Ki".... ergo, everything was explained! What we're talking about is a few body phenomena that are jumbled together and called "Ki", but we're only interested in a few of them. The 2 major body phenomena called "Ki" that we're interested in are the force-manipulating skill and the fascial/strength skill. Since they are intertwined to a degree, they're lumped together as "ki", for instance, in Tohei's terminology.

That being said, have these skills been studied in the West? No. Although there is some research on a couple of aspects of the fascia stuff. :)

Regards,

Mike

Josh Reyer
04-28-2006, 01:06 PM
I'm reminded of the very newbie question I asked Rob John in Tokyo: "So, what happens when two guys who know this stuff go against each other?"

The answer, of course, was "Well, the stronger, faster, smarter guy wins."

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 01:13 PM
I'm reminded of the very newbie question I asked Rob John in Tokyo: "So, what happens when two guys who know this stuff go against each other?"

The answer, of course, was "Well, the stronger, faster, smarter guy wins." Hi Josh:

It's even more realistic than that, actually. Let's say that I use these skills in some relatively safe format like stand-up wrestling or push-hands. And with people my size or even somewhat bigger I tend to win. But I can probably do that with only a moderate development of those skills because in these safe formats, I'm not really put to the test.

Suddenly, I'm confronted by a 300-pound Sambo fighter who is really mad at me. Will these skills help me. Maybe, if I get a chance to use some portion of them. Will I win the fight? Probably not. Just because these additive things are helpful, it doesn't mean that they are the end-all decider of a fight, by any means. To get too far into that kind of "well he uses internal strength so he's unbeatable" baloney would remind me of the types of discussions young kids have about jet planes and things. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Talon
04-28-2006, 01:46 PM
Cool, thanks!

I suppose it's similar to the way that westerners are quite happy with the concept of 'gravity' and the basic laws describing that even though it's known to be inaccurate, and has been superceded by general relativity. But it'd be more or less impossible (or at least impractical) to do the maths to explain relativistically how to make a plane stay up, so we use gravity instead.

Out of interest, has there been much research done on finding out (if and) how ki effects can fit into a western physiological / scientific framework?

I'm not sure why planes are such a mystery here. Its perfectly explainable and quite basic why planes fly. Of course the reason is the airfoil of the wing generates the air on top to travel faster than the air on the bottom creating low pressure on top of the wing and high pressure on the bottom. This pressure differential pushes the wing up, therefore the plane goes up. What is so mystical about that? And what is inaccurate about gravity or Newton's laws? Am I missing something here?

Now the jo trick to me is still mistycal, because redirecting of forces to the ground while someone pushes on a cantelever (arm and jo) is something that I don't comprehend at all...Thats a trick allright and I must say I'm still very skeptical.

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 05:43 PM
Mike do you have a schedule for Chen Xiao Wang? it is not listed on his website. I am interested.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Proper body mechanics to me are the alignment of body, mind, and energy responding with the appropriate response to that of your opponent. I have no concept/distinction of external strength or internal. There is only an easy way to move someone, and a hard way using muscular strength. Yes, maybe it is semantics.

However, I don't think there is anything "secret" or "mystical" or hidden about it. Hidden to the person that cannot see it, but it is there and some people intuitively figure things out, to others it requires conscious thought to get there.

you confirm this for me when you say that "this stuff isn't enough alone." (to fight). So what I have learned from my aikido instructors and BJJ instructors would fit the bill as they work to connect all these things in an efficient matter.

I can understand the concept of alignment of energy. I understand chakras etc...and have and do experience this "stuff" all the time, but not a real big deal as everyone makes it out to be. I simply need to practice more, and seek out those that have a better understanding of it and can correct my mistakes/practice.

Western yoga is devoid of it??? Not in my experiences either. My wife practices ansusara yoga under John Friend, he gets it. Tara Brach, Krishna Das (the Singer), John Schumacher....you telling me these quality individuals from the west "don't get it?"

Yea maybe the local health club...sure, they may only be concerned with core strength and flexibility, however even then...they have to adhere to some of the core principles at some point.

My wife and I do talk about the differences in martial arts and yoga. I think there is a distinction since we can assume that while yogis can understand the same energy, mind, and spiritualty that MA practice can offer....we can't imagine that alone would make them a good/efficient fighter.

No, why? simply because that in itself is not enough to fight. So, while you certainly may improve personally through the practice of MA and Yoga....it is not related enough to fighting to really have any huge impact on the MA and how well you do or are as a Martial Artist.

What is important, is the how you experience, empathize, and learn to respond to others and their "whole". Martial artist that have more experiences and more focused and proper training, will percentage wise respond more positively appropriate to the situation.

There are many, many factors that come into play in what makes some one respond in a particular way. paradigms, hang ups, perceptions, physical limitations, genetics, emotions, habits...all that "stuff" that makes us a human being. It is not a huge secret.

What makes it a secret is that there are so many factors, so many things happening at all levels from the microscopic level/sub atomic, to the macroscopic level that we cannot completely wrap our little brains around everything that is happening. However, many of us "teach" or "conditional" ourselves through experiences/practice to react or respond a certain way.

So you see, it is real easy for me, you, or anyone to theorize, conjecture, or conceptualize a few things that are going on. We then lump everything else into the category of "stuff". We can learn a few "tricks" like the JO trick. Set up the conditions in which we can perform this "trick" to demonstrate how well we "understand" these mysterious things....then we cop out because we really don't know what we are talking about, then say well, you have to spend years understanding the internal "stuff".

We set up a brass ring for people that they can never acheive. They desperately want it. We become snake oil salesman essentially peddling our "tricks", fancy words, jargon, and attitude. We set the stage in kung fu outfits, hakama complete with the all the trappings. Slap on the black belt, lights camera, action...then when they ask the hard questions about what is going on...we simply explain it away as "eastern" , KI, Internal Stuff... and THAT becomes the brass ring.

They fall prey to the irrational thought and perception (cognitive dissonance) and become lemmings chasing this "objectified" concept...that they can never acheive in the way that they think it will come to them.

In the end...all it really boils down to...is happiness is what they are looking for! With the expectations that training with a particular master, or a particular person, or meditating five hours a day, deep breathing, 1000 bokken cuts...blind practice, filling out the attendance card after every class will bring them to this mystical end state.

Okay...I am rambling so I will now stop. Just got on a thought process. Not accusing you of being anything but true and honest...I know you will probably concur somewhat with the observations I make from past threads and conversation.

I do follow eastern philsophy and believe in many of the things you label "internal" however, I suppose I am simply offering caution not to fixate (objectifiy) on the concept as it is dangerous to your personal development because it means absolutely nothing! That is the whole paradox of the issue!

I suppose what I am really saying is just because someone can't do "unbendable arm" or the "jo trick" doesn't mean anything other than they can't do those things. If they can do it, well it means that they simply can do it. It is not a measure of how well they understand the "internal" aspects of martial arts or KI...simply that they understand or have learned the conditions in which you can perform those stunts. Again, I offer, I will be impressed if anyone can do it once I change the input or parameters to the equation.

However, Mike, you freely offer that it will fail probably if a 300 lb dude is pushing on you. If it was an absolute, quantifiable, objectifiable "thing" AND you could align it, channel it, or what not separate from all the other criteria...logic has it that other inputs such as 300lbs pushing on you could be controlled or managed.

Thanks for the disussion..and sorry for the long rambling post.

DH
04-28-2006, 06:02 PM
I suppose what I am really saying is just because someone can't do "unbendable arm" or the "jo trick" doesn't mean anything other than they can't do those things. If they can do it, well it means that they simply can do it. It is not a measure of how well they understand the "internal" aspects of martial arts or KI...simply that they understand or have learned the conditions in which you can perform those stunts. Again, I offer, I will be impressed if anyone can do it once I change the input or parameters to the equation.

However, Mike, you freely offer that it will fail probably if a 300 lb dude is pushing on you. If it was an absolute, quantifiable, objectifiable "thing" AND you could align it, channel it, or what not separate from all the other criteria...logic has it that other inputs such as 300lbs pushing on you could be controlled or managed.


Kevin, May I? I'm sure Mike will reply.
That is precisely the point. They are in a sense just tests for where each person is in training certain skills. I have joked that with some people I know in SMR they'd just whack you in the head with the Jo. But the flip side-once you realize they are not anything other than tests, They can and do impart skills relavant to fighting arts. But being good at one does not make you good at the other.
That they are easy to show someone to do (to a small degree at the beginning) the rest just becomes improving on your skills. At a point you can hold back more pressure but only if it is controlled (in a way).
Now with pushing on "people" it becomes more relavent as there are more and more things one can do to resist, redirect, generate power back etc. As the years go by you can in fact resist allot of pressure, but the sensitivity the relaxation offers helps to "read" the guy. Similar to what you feel in grappling arts. Again being able to "test it"-is not a test of fighting skill just structure and aligiment. Some-like me. Have chosen to incorporate these skills into -our- fighting arts. So where does one draw the line? See what I mean? If you can do the Jo trick, you can punch with many of the same skills? There are others of course to connect the body.

Overall using the body with these various skills is a very proficient way to maximize power. But there are many good fighters who could care less.

cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 06:13 PM
Mike do you have a schedule for Chen Xiao Wang? it is not listed on his website. I am interested. Hmmmm. Here's the one I normally look on for his schedule:
http://www.chenxiaowang.com/
But I don't see anything in Germany, which doesn't sound right since he has such a strong organization in Germany. Then again, I'm not part of the group, so I don't know what all may be happening. Yes, maybe it is semantics. [[snip]] Western yoga is devoid of it??? Not in my experiences either. My wife practices ansusara yoga under John Friend, he gets it. Tara Brach, Krishna Das (the Singer), John Schumacher....you telling me these quality individuals from the west "don't get it?" [[snip]]I think there is a distinction since we can assume that while yogis can understand the same energy, mind, and spiritualty that MA practice can offer....we can't imagine that alone would make them a good/efficient fighter. [[snip]]I suppose what I am really saying is just because someone can't do "unbendable arm" or the "jo trick" doesn't mean anything other than they can't do those things. If they can do it, well it means that they simply can do it. It is not a measure of how well they understand the "internal" aspects of martial arts or KI...simply that they understand or have learned the conditions in which you can perform those stunts. Again, I offer, I will be impressed if anyone can do it once I change the input or parameters to the equation. Kevin, no offense, but it's been obvious to me for some time that you don't really understand what I'm talking about, and that's probably because you've never really experienced it. However, I appreciate your willingness to go look, for instance, at someone like Chen Xiao Wang. I guarantee that you will be impressed that the human body can be trained to that level. I'm hard to impress... but I know when I see something functional and real, even if I had scoffed beforehand. However, Mike, you freely offer that it will fail probably if a 300 lb dude is pushing on you. If it was an absolute, quantifiable, objectifiable "thing" AND you could align it, channel it, or what not separate from all the other criteria...logic has it that other inputs such as 300lbs pushing on you could be controlled or managed. Well, my comment was that while this stuff is interesting, very helpful, is an advantage in physical situations, and some other positives, it is not the magic bullet that makes someone invincible. In other words, there are realistic limits to it... that's a necessary caveat to reality. I try to be very realistic. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
04-28-2006, 07:01 PM
Dan, Mike thanks for the replies and your patience.

No offense taken Mike. I don't understand and frankly I am trying to understand. I am trying to break it down into simple logic and look for contradictions to my thought process so I can better evaluate and understand. Again, appreciate your patience.

A number of years ago I worked for a day or two with Tuey Staples in St Louis with Tai Chi. Ironically I was visiting a friend from my old dojo that was Studying aikido with Irene Wellington. They both found a great deal of value in what he had to teach to spend a fair amount of time focusing on it. I didn't work with him enough to really understand things, but enough to feel how strong and responsive he was and it was "different".

Again, thanks guys for trying to take the time to explain. I am not scoffing at the ability or proficiency of these guys....what I am having a hard time with is the etiology, explaination, and rational that is offered concerning the concepts.
I have been with a few other taichi guys, but frankly found it to be a waste of time as they were simply going through the motions.

Mike Sigman
04-28-2006, 07:35 PM
No offense taken Mike. I don't understand and frankly I am trying to understand. I am trying to break it down into simple logic and look for contradictions to my thought process so I can better evaluate and understand. Again, appreciate your patience. No problem, Kevin. I don't deal in "energies" or anything, so we're basically left with some physical skills that really have to be felt to be explained. The problem is that people hear explanations in terms of what they already know. The two big problems I see are (1.) that people don't know these things, so it's impossible to communicate until you establish a common terminology or (2.) that people know some of the rudiments so they tend to block out the conversation or deeds beyond that because they get stuck on "Oh yeah, I know about that stuff" and they never progress. I'm just as guilty as the next guy for having trapped myself that way at times. A number of years ago I worked for a day or two with Tuey Staples in St Louis with Tai Chi. Ironically I was visiting a friend from my old dojo that was Studying aikido with Irene Wellington. They both found a great deal of value in what he had to teach to spend a fair amount of time focusing on it. I didn't work with him enough to really understand things, but enough to feel how strong and responsive he was and it was "different". I've met Tuey a couple of times and he doesn't do what any real Taiji experts do (or at least he didn't when I met him some years ago). He seems to have interpretted a lot of the terminology in his own unique way... and I'm not the only person that has noticed that, so I feel fairly safe in commenting on it.
Again, thanks guys for trying to take the time to explain. I am not scoffing at the ability or proficiency of these guys....what I am having a hard time with is the etiology, explaination, and rational that is offered concerning the concepts.
I have been with a few other taichi guys, but frankly found it to be a waste of time as they were simply going through the motions. Well, if you judge Taiji by most of the practitioners, it appears to be a pretty useless art, I agree. No argument and on offense to me. ;) And I agree that what needs to be done is meet sometime and try to establish a base descriptive terminology.

Regards,

Mike

DH
04-28-2006, 07:56 PM
Kevin...What is reeeaally going to get your goat...... Man I hope you have a sense of humor.
Know what the most common phrase I have heard in the CMA so far?
" Most guys don't get internal power."
I died laughing and gave my best "OY!"
Before you shoot -ME-go read. Read all the CMA forums and Mike Sigmans comments as well.
Let the sarcasm-or frustration- begin. :)

Anyway, the skills are just not trained there in great numbers as well-or so I'm told. The one great thing is that you can't fake it. It takes only a few seconds or a minute tops and you know where their power is coming from. Again.......still not talking about fighting that is a different (and more fun for me) venue that you "use" these skills in...or not.

If you do BJJ have you heard of Tim Cartmel? He is supposedly working the internal aspects of CMA in BJJ.I don't know anything other than that, and he is supposedly are type. Likes to mix it up.
You are going to have a tough time meeting folks who can use it. I am waiting for some experiences this year as I have had some personal invites from some low level teachers to meet some high level guys. I get along well with these guys-even when I critisize somethings. They are a very practical bunch so far. But I am told they are as rife with internal bunnies as the Aiki arts with Aiki-bunnies Even in the internals of Xing-I, Bagau and Taiji and lessor known ones. I wouldn't know yet. I've met guys so far who's hands were as empty as many other artists in external arts. Heavy hands is a very good sign.
Cheers
Dan

Brad Darr
04-29-2006, 08:57 AM
Hello all,
Mike I really enjoyed your description in post #32, it is for my money one of the most straight forward descriptions of what is going on I have read. Have you considered writing more and maybe sending it to Jun I would really enjoy reading more. Anyway I think I get it but I may be totally wrong, so here is a question, is this the same thing when a person pushes something really large like a car or boulder or elephant or something, if the body is working in the proper way you describe would we simply be pushing the object with the earth? Does that come across?
Also Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei often talks about "putting you weight on" so when uke grabs katatedori it feels like the whole or most of the body weight of nage is on top of them but there is no push from the arm. The image I have is nage standing on the outstretched arm of uke and the "weight" of nage drives the person down. I have felt this done by Ikeda Sensei quite a few times so it definately feels like his whole weight or more! My question then is this something similar, is he reversing the effect you describe, the force traveling up the backleg down his arm into the grab of uke? Or is it something different and how would you describe it?
Thanks again I think this thread is one of the best I have read so far, it hasn't degenerated into the "Is ki real" debate and the arguments that ensue. Thanks again and sorry if I didn't really undertand and am babbling.

Brad

Mike Sigman
04-29-2006, 09:41 AM
so here is a question, is this the same thing when a person pushes something really large like a car or boulder or elephant or something, if the body is working in the proper way you describe would we simply be pushing the object with the earth? Does that come across? Hi Brad:

Yes. Although if I'm pushing something like that, I usually just put my mind to paying attention that my hands are easily and firmly connected to my hara and I pay attention to pushing with my hara. The power from the ground to the hara is fairly obvious. Someone with a tendency for high blood-pressure (hypertension) is supposed to keep their attention on the center of the soles of the feet and the connection to the hands. Also Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei often talks about "putting you weight on" so when uke grabs katatedori it feels like the whole or most of the body weight of nage is on top of them but there is no push from the arm. The image I have is nage standing on the outstretched arm of uke and the "weight" of nage drives the person down. I have felt this done by Ikeda Sensei quite a few times so it definately feels like his whole weight or more! My question then is this something similar, is he reversing the effect you describe, the force traveling up the backleg down his arm into the grab of uke? Or is it something different and how would you describe it? Well, if you look at the fourth paragraph of post #32, I mention that Tohei either lets the force of the ground OR the force of his weight do the work (sometimes it can be a combination of those 2, out in some of the horizontal ranges).

Generally speaking forces of this sort using the earth or the weight (which is where the "Ki of Earth" and the "Ki of Heaven" idea comes from) to provide power for a human can be thought of as 4 general forces:
Up
Down
Away from the Body (Push)
Toward the Body (Pull)

Since "Away from the Body" and "Toward the Body" can really be done (a.) to the front (b.) to the rear (c.)to the left side) (d.)to the right side, those 2 directions (away and toward) really become 4 directions. So in terms of force directions there are 6 directions... all other directions can be described and manifested as aspects of the 6-directions of forces. (Just as an aside, if you watch this sort of thinking develop, it follows the yin-yang cosmology of "from nothing comes the Tai Chi (the Yin Yang) which splits to 4, to 6, etc.).

OK, so all forces of "Up", "Away from the Body" and "Toward the body" are really just paths that the mind sets up which derive their power from the ground.

http://www.neijia.com/JinVector.jpg shows a figure with several different directions dotted in. You should be able to just stand there and form any of those directions (or the many more potential ones) of force at will. That is the core of the "mind-body" thing.

The oddball is any direction downward. You have to learn to form connections or paths from your center of weight to anywhere on your body at will. In fact, that potential should always be there ("heavy side down") so that it's hard to lift your arms to an opponent and he can have his weight on you when he touches you.

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

I suspect that if you grab Ikeda Sensei with a downward weight to your grab (I would do that just as an experiment if I were his student) he'd switch to something else. Different people have different tactics on the grab, but "down and toward a direction where uke has no support" is usually a pretty good on.

All the Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
04-29-2006, 01:31 PM
Mike, thanks for pointing that out wrt Tuey. Appears I have some exploring to do if I want to learn more. Thanks again!

statisticool
04-29-2006, 03:40 PM
The point is that Aikido, Taiji, and other arts aren't considered complete without these kinds of skills...


I'd like to read up on these skills some more. Where does O'Sensei specifically mention the kind of skills you are referring to that render aikido incomplete without them?

(I left out taijiquan since it is a very old martial art, founder unknown)


Thanks.

Mike Sigman
04-29-2006, 10:20 PM
The point is that Aikido, Taiji, and other arts aren't considered complete without these kinds of skills...I'd like to read up on these skills some more. Where does O'Sensei specifically mention the kind of skills you are referring to that render aikido incomplete without them? Well, I'm not sure what your question is. Are you asking "where does O-Sensei mention these skills and that Aikido is incomplete without them" or are you asking "Where does O-Sensei mention these skills"? Please note what I said in the original quote.

If you look in Ueshiba's douka, his spoken and written word, and watch the standard ki demonstrations that he did (not to mention Tohei and others do), it's pretty obvious these things are part of "Ai-Ki-do".

In a martial context, medical context, and as part of the widespread Yin-Yang cosmology, "ki" or "qi" means the same thing in both China and Japan, in all the different martial arts. When Ueshiba wrote the standard references about Man, the Ki of Heaven, the Ki of Earth, the Divine Will, etc., as being the jewels of Aikido, he was referring to the same skills that we're talking about in Tohei's "Ki Society", the "jo trick", "aiki", etc. Without thinking, a lot of people, even old Asia hands, will sometimes begin (because of lack of knowledge, to put it bluntly) sort of think that the "ki" in Aikido is somehow referring to something else or some irrelevant-to-the-core-matters concept. No... this is what's being talked about: the body skills we're discussing in this thread.

Regards,


Mike

Talon
04-29-2006, 10:49 PM
Its really a very interesting thread. I went for a drink with my sensei today and discussed this very thread with him, (he is not a big computer/internet user). He mentioned to me that there are many different definitions of "ki" and what it means to different people. Although he is not big on practicing things like the unbendable arm, joe trick etc, he is big on proper angles, timing, moving with youre center and taking the uke's center. To him "ki" simply refers to proper timing, movement, angles, and projection. Once you master these things he says, techniques will feel effortless. Also he mentioned that by practicing proper body mechanics, timing, proper angles and forward projection we are in fact practicing what he considers "ki" skills.

He is very open to me exploring and practicing "Ki" excercises such as the unbendable arm in the dojo and on my own. He is a very open minded person and I really respect that. What do you guys think of all of this?

statisticool
04-29-2006, 11:43 PM
If you look in Ueshiba's douka, his spoken and written word, and watch the standard ki demonstrations that he did (not to mention Tohei and others do), it's pretty obvious these things are part of "Ai-Ki-do".


I'm pointing out that I don't remember reading 'ground vector path' in O'Sensei's writings, or him specifically saying he uses the word ki to really mean a vector, but it is possible I may not be remembering correctly.

Some time ago Jim S. showed me some 'ground vector' stuff in Corvallis for about an hour. I must be honest and say it felt like anything else I've ever felt in taijiquan- basically pushing with the whole body movement instead of using just an arm, stuff known and practiced since long ago, so I guess I don't really see the point of updating ki/qi to more scientific sounding terms, but it is most likely too deep for me to understand fully.

Brad Darr
04-30-2006, 06:50 AM
Mike,
Thanks for the cool diagrams I think that Ikeda sensei is doing just as is pictured in the second diagram, but the weird thing is that you can't feel what he's doing it only feels like downward weight, I mean you can't try to push to his center because it doesn't appear to be where it should be. He does change for a differing grab most notably he can project the "weight" that was down out the back of his wrist in a direction to the side, which is really cool to feel. The reason I use Ikeda sensei as is because for years I am a few friends have tried to come up with a decent description of what he was doing and I think you have put it into a nice physical model that is easily understood, thanks again. Also you are in Durango have you ever gotten up to Boulder to see Ikeda sensei? If you haven't its well worth the trip. Imaizumi sensei gave a seminar a few years ago for Arizona Aikido in Phoenix and I remember it being very straightforward and he liked to explain techniques in a concise way almost like a science class, but much more exciting. When I get back to the US I may swing by Durango sometime to visit. My home town is Flagstaff. Thanks again and keep the info coming.

Brad

Mike Sigman
04-30-2006, 08:48 AM
Some time ago Jim S. showed me some 'ground vector' stuff in Corvallis for about an hour. I must be honest and say it felt like anything else I've ever felt in taijiquan- basically pushing with the whole body movement instead of using just an arm, stuff known and practiced since long ago, so I guess I don't really see the point of updating ki/qi to more scientific sounding terms, but it is most likely too deep for me to understand fully. Well, that's a good start. But you're right... if that's all there was to it, it wouldn't be worth a lot of fuss.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-30-2006, 08:51 AM
Also you are in Durango have you ever gotten up to Boulder to see Ikeda sensei? I used to live in Golden and trained at Ikeda's dojo when I got a chance (unfortunately, not too much since it's a little bit of a drive and I was doing other arts). When I get back to the US I may swing by Durango sometime to visit. My home town is Flagstaff. Thanks again and keep the info coming. Let me know when you're coming and I'll alert the local Chamber of Commerce that our worries are over. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-30-2006, 11:13 AM
I must be honest and say it felt like anything else I've ever felt in taijiquan- basically pushing with the whole body movement instead of using just an arm, stuff known and practiced since long ago, so I guess I don't really see the point of updating ki/qi to more scientific sounding terms, but it is most likely too deep for me to understand fully. BTW, Justin, did you read my first post in the "Been There, Done That Attitude" thread?

Regards,

Mike

statisticool
04-30-2006, 12:13 PM
I said it is most likely too deep for me to understand fully.

I'm sure it is very deep..

Mark Freeman
04-30-2006, 12:15 PM
On reading through this interesting thread one of Mike's sentences that jumps out at me is: The point is that Aikido, Taiji, and other arts aren't considered complete without these kinds of skills because their core concepts were designed to work with this form of strength.

I am quite surprised at some aikidoka either not practicing or having little awarenes of unbendable arm ( another description that doesn't really accurately describe what it is! ). For me having been brought up on practicing and testing this exercise since day one, I wonder how do you do aikido without it? It is not a party trick, it is a fundamental basic mind body state central to aikido.
My guess is that those that have practiced 'enough' probably 'have it' anyway.

For those of us who do practice this particular exercise we know that 'un bendable' arm is not an arm that can't be bent!!, it is a mind body state that allows the transfer of forces to be optimised, from the hand/arm to/from the centre/onepoint. It is difficult to gain understanding from a written explanation of this.
Mike did a good job in post # 32, but to understand it you have to practice it, to practice it you have to have the teacher to point you in the right direction and correct you when you inevitably start 'modifying' what he/she has just shown you. Being shown something once and then going off to practice on your own allows any 'missunderstandings' to be habituated, and therefore difficult to change.

just a few thoughts,

regards,

Mark

tedehara
04-30-2006, 12:32 PM
So really sounds like Yoga can do the same thing for you right?Koichi Tohei's theory of mind and body coordination is based on the yoga teachings of Tempu Nakamura (http://www.senninfoundation.com/tempu.html). However Mike is correct, in that this is not the yoga you'll see at your local community center.

To me just sounds like proper body mechanics etc. correct?What are proper body mechanics? How can you objectively verify that? K. Tohei uses ki testing to verify if the practitioner is keeping mind and body coordination. The Ki Society is the only group that originated this type of testing.

...If I understood this COMPLETELY though to a fairly degree of proficiency though, i'd be a damn good fighter though right? Logic would seem to follow?By developing mind and body coordination you would be using your body at it's most efficient level. By calming your mind you would be able to avoid "performance anxiety" that occurs in a real life confrontation. Training in a dojo is different than confronting cold steel. That is the time you need to have complete control over yourself.

Therefore, if Saotome sensei understood and could demonstrate this better than I, then even at his age he could probably defeat me correct?

Or do the other factors such as speed, agility, body weight..all play a factor in this? OR do they represent the "imperfection/error" in someones skill? Does this make sense???

I mean if I was a perfectly efficient model, then all these things would be irrelevant correct?In a real life confrontation, everything counts. Not only the physical and mental condition of the fighters, but perhaps the environment or the position of the sun in relation to them could be crucial.

I think that why we do martial arts over say yoga is that martial arts teaches us how to "gap" these inefficiencies. If we did not have them...then we could become martial artist simply through studying yoga right?

Let me know if I am a complete idiot here!The promise of traditional Japanese arts is to teach it's practitioners how to have a calm mind in a relaxed body. But the expression of each art is different. Most yoga is done though static postures. The martial arts by it's nature, is done though movement. Yoga is usually practice by an individual. Most styles of martial arts are done by two or more individuals. Each art has it's own principles and techniques. It is up to the practitioner to make the art come alive.

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2006, 06:42 PM
Ted Ehara wrote:

By developing mind and body coordination you would be using your body at it's most efficient level. By calming your mind you would be able to avoid "performance anxiety" that occurs in a real life confrontation. Training in a dojo is different than confronting cold steel. That is the time you need to have complete control over yourself.

Thanks for the comments Ted.

This doesn't answer the question of "internal though".

I train my guys in my Battalion in an "over stress" model, where we subject them to pressures nearing that of actual fighting or combat. They learn how to manage fear, emotion, and stress in a fight. They learn how to remain calm and all that stuff.

However, I am sure that someone would say "thats not INTERNAL".

No one has yet come forward to define what it is. Everyone will talk around the subject, those that say the understand it come across as in an authoritarian manner on the subject, yet it has yet to be defined/quantified as to what exactly is meant by the term. Mike Sigman comes the closest, but I still am lost as to what it means. Maybe as he states, I "don't get it".


Proper body mechanics to me, is the alignment of physical, cognitive, and psychological/spritiual aspects of the whole person and the appropriate response to a situation or stimuli regardless if it is walking down the street, or encountering someone in a fight or something.

As I stated before, I don't understand how Mike and Dan can sit in judgement on the subject and say "this guy gets it." "this guy doesn't". What criteria do you use? Jo tricks? Unbendable Arm? To me the criteria would have to be multifaceted and encompass a tremendous amount of "test".

My argument is that there are varying degrees of "getting it" and various ways of "getting it". I know many of proficient Aikidoka that can go through the motions and probably demonstrate and perform well on many "test" of aiki. However, when faced with other "martial" criteria, they may fail miserably. A good street fighter may not be able to pass a KI test.

I just read a wonderful book by the Dali Lama today. I think He "gets it"! However he is not a martial artist. So how does that play into things?

So, again, what is internal? How do you decide who gets it and who doesn't? who decides who gets to judge it.

I think that is the whole point of the "Sorrentino Challenge".

I for one am open minded and willing to expose myself to "getting it". Maybe I just need to get with some of the guys Mike recommends and see for myself!

Thanks!

DH
04-30-2006, 08:23 PM
Kevin
You are asking about body training and not martial skills or fighting yes?

Its not a case of a single test that exemplifies a trick. You test-or try to test the "whole" of the guy. There are a series of things you can do to a guy with your hands on him, that he will walk away and agree that -he- didn't get -either some aspects of body connection- or "most" aspects of it.
Then I do the same thing with his hands on me. I have had fairly good luck with this with those I have shown some things too.

So, Its very easy to feel someone and tell if he is using disconnected and singular large muscle groups to power through. Internal strength is a different feel. Once you feel it you will tell the difference as well.. Then you can decide if it is something useful for you or not. It's not a matter of one upmanship. Once shown, most guys will like what they can do and sense a new potential for power.

People have gotten by without it for centuries. If I said it was only a better way to walk, or do heavy manual labor but doesn't matter for fighting would you care as much? There are CMA guys I've met who use internal power and can't fight much. For me..and a few others I guess the real fun is where it works into a fighting form. But in the meantime ya just move better. There are some passages in interviews with Daito ryu guys who used to practice..................... while walking in crowds.
Cheers
Dan

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2006, 09:41 PM
Dan wrote:

People have gotten by without it for centuries. If I said it was only a better way to walk, or do heavy manual labor but doesn't matter for fighting would you care as much? There are CMA guys I've met who use internal power and can't fight much. For me..and a few others I guess the real fun is where it works into a fighting form. But in the meantime ya just move better.

alexander techinque, Feldenkrais, yoga......

Many people that study aikido do these things. No doubt about it, they could improve your MA.

So is THIS what you are saying is lacking in aikido?

If so, you really should consider studying with ASU, at least that is the organization I am familar with and can speak about, I am sure there are other quality organizations in Aikido out there!

We do practice and spend a great deal of time learning how to walk properly. Bob Galeone would spend sometimes a week just working on teaching us how to walk or transfer our weight properly.

Jimmy does these things too and trust me, he does correct your alignment, posture, and works on your connection to hara and uke.

Can we learn from you and other practices? Absolutely, I don't think anyone has said otherwise. Yoga has been a tremendous help with my practice.

That said, there is a HUGE difference between understanding, being able to do it in a "clinical" environment, AND applying it in a full speed, uncooperative environment. Maybe I will be able to do this after YEARS of practice as you state. (10 - 15).

Can you explain to me What specifically is lacking in aikido?

I think it is not that aikido is lacking, but varying degrees of students, teachers, and methods. Again, I have no doubt that you can learn alot from CMA, Yoga, Alexander, Feldenkrais that would help you on the path.

As you know I cross train, so obviously I do not think aikido is "complete" for me, but I have no problem with aikido and its methodology. I have my own goals and endstate.

When you say Aikido is lacking, you must mean that the methodology as generally practice will not accomplish the goals of aikido. So that is what I am looking to have a response to!

I appreciate you taking the time to explain things and your position. I am seeing it much clearer now, and I am seeing that I don't think we differ that much in our outlook on things!

statisticool
04-30-2006, 09:45 PM
I for one am open minded and willing to expose myself to "getting it". Maybe I just need to get with some of the guys Mike recommends and see for myself!


If you do, and honestly report that it didn't feel like anything special or look like anything that martial artists haven't done for centuries, you might be accused of having a 'been there done that' 'tude though. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
04-30-2006, 10:04 PM
Justin, I completely understand, and that has a lot to do with my "issues".

I am trying hard to understand the perspective and conditions surrounding the things that Dan and Mike discuss and support.

It is possible that we judge things differently or perceive things differently. It is also quite possible that I could work with them physically and walk away and say "nothing special" and that in wouldn't not necessarily invalidate their methods. Paradigms and perspectives can play alot in this type of thing.

Philosophically at least, I am aligned with them has I believe in the interconnectedness of all life, energy...whatever you call it. I do believe at the mind, paradiqms, etc are very powerful things and the conditioning process that starts the moment we are concieved both limits us and presents us opportunities. Opportunities require us to be open minded.

I am very well aware, havng wasted many, many years of my own martial training that cognitive dissonance plays a HUGE roll in why we do the things we do.

There is much we can learn from eastern philosophy and training methodologies to reduce dissonance. IMHO western pychology is still in it's infancy compared to many eastern methodologies. To that end Aikido and many CMAs are one way to assist us in that process.

However, the crux of the matter is managing the expectations about what Aikido and other methodologies will really do for us. My main concern is that the word "internal" has been slung around quite heavily with purported benefits to "improve us". Several methods for testing "internal" have been offered, but unless I am missing something, no one has really outlined what the benefits are, and what exactly we are testing other than proper "body mechanics" as defined as the alignment of physical, emotional, and mental processes through a narrowly defined parameters and conditions as offered in the unbendable arm and the Jo trick.

I personally think, as Dan has stated I believe, that we put way too much emphasis on the importance of that. That said, if so, then I am at a odds as to why he states that aikido is lacking if this is what it is lacking if the jo trick is not really all that important.

does this make sense?

Pauliina Lievonen
05-01-2006, 05:18 AM
alexander techinque, Feldenkrais, yoga......

Many people that study aikido do these things. No doubt about it, they could improve your MA.

So is THIS what you are saying is lacking in aikido?
If studying Alexander technique and aikido would do the "trick", it should have been easier for me to push Rob over. :D :D Of course, it could be just me personally that is lacking.

I'm afraid I'm in the group of people who'd tell Dan, no way I'm doing THAT every day! I tried to keep doing the exercises we did with Akuzawa for a while after the seminar in Paris and I just don't like the way it makes me feel. Now it's entirely possible and very likely that I'm doing something wrong, and that I'm just not able to figure out how to practice in a way that I can integrate into everything else that I do, and that if I stuck to it it would get easier, or at least bearable, but there you have it. On my own I'm not going to keep it up. :(

Anyway, i'm back to my AT and aikido, and doing the exercises my teachers do. At least that way there's some feedback.

I have to say though, I'm happy I went to Paris. It's so much easier to grab someones wrist and feel what they are doing. Or not feel, as it may happen. :D :D

kvaak
Pauliina

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2006, 05:44 AM
Maybe that is what Dan and Mike are referring too, an integrated way...methodology that teachese these thing more effectively.

I have no experience in AT, so I can not comment on it except conceptually.

I would stand to reason that you would have to "re-wire" your mind/body to do things differently. At least that is what I felt when I first came to aikido. I still have lots of bad habits however.

Again, it is one thing to say that you have something additive to contribute to aikido, another to categorically say that aikido is lacking and it's senior instructors on the average do not know what they are doing. That is the crux of my issue with the internal stuff, which is illuded to as being somehow "special".

I think one thing you have to be careful of in aikido is complacency and falling into habits that allow you to "get by" when doing techniques. I suppose I have been very fortunate to have teachers that are keen to watch this and keep me honest.

Thanks Pauliina

Pauliina Lievonen
05-01-2006, 07:40 AM
I got thinking... this is a very self-centered question, because I'd really just like to know for myself... Alec Corper was there at the seminar in Paris, so he knows what Akuzawa and Rob feel like, and we've met at a couple aikido seminars, so he knows what I feel like, and I just got to wondering if he could describe the difference. Come to think of it, he's experienced enough to have met a number of high ranking aikido teachers, too, so how about how they feel in comparison (to Akuzawa, not me!)? I wonder if he's reading this thread. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

Mike Sigman
05-01-2006, 08:03 AM
Again, it is one thing to say that you have something additive to contribute to aikido, another to categorically say that aikido is lacking and it's senior instructors on the average do not know what they are doing. That is the crux of my issue with the internal stuff, which is illuded to as being somehow "special".Well, Kevin, do you know and understand exactly what it is that breathing techniques work on? Can you extrapolate that if someone has an unusual strength that allows them to hold odd postures against strong pushes (as Tohei shows) that that same ability allows them to push strongly in unusual ways and manipulate their uke's forces upon touch? Have you decided that really all those dumb old Chinese and Japanese thought was a big deal was really just good body alignment, etc., which you already happen to do? You realize, don't you, that there are already terms in Japanese and Chinese for "good alignment", etc.? Why do you think they went out of the way to use other terms to express what you think must be the same basic concepts?


I think you've made your point that you don't see anything special because you've personally not experienced. I get that; I think everyone gets that. However Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Modern Dance Movement, and all those use the mind to form paths of force at will, regardless of posture.... that's what I was talking about. Let's just leave it for the moment that you don't understand what I'm talking about and you'll check it out the first time you get a chance?

I think you're fixating on the sort of demonstrations that someone like Tohei does, maybe too much, as "tricks somewhat apart from the strength we actually use in martial arts". Those demo's are actually what you want to consider as a first step. If you normally see someone using this kind of strength/skills you can't really SEE anything unusual in their techniques, etc. That's why these strengths/skills are often called the "concealed strength". So if somebody like you is watching somebody able to martially use this sort of power, you'd say "I don't see anything but good body posture, good alighnment, etc.".

So to show you that even though it LOOKS normal, it's actually different, they do these demo's to highlight that it's not your average use of "good alighnment", etc. They use odd positions to highlight that it's not something the average joe can do, using his "good alignment", etc. Your approach is that "good alignment and strength as Kevin uses it is everything and the 'ki tests' are trick usages that aren't anything but tricks". I'm saying, and so will everyone else who knows how to do these things and is reading the thread, that "no, these are not tricks outside of the way we move but instead the 'ki tests' etc., actually highlight the normal and common things you can do, along with using it martially, if you have this skill/ability." But if you knew how to do these things, you'd already know this.

O-Sensei used some of his demo's to show the limits to which his useable, working everyday strength was developed. You think instead that he was showing tricks unrelated to his working strength. Maybe O-Sensei was just doing tricks or maybe he, Tohei, and others knew something that was in Aikido which you don't? Take your pick. Obviously, you tend to think that you know what there is to know, from what you're writing. ;)

Regards,

Mike

statisticool
05-01-2006, 08:31 AM
Of course, there are those who have experienced those claiming to do it and still don't see anything different than a combination of timing, body mechanics, alignment, and efficient movement that have been known and practiced by martial artists for centuries.

Mike Sigman
05-01-2006, 08:46 AM
Of course, there are those who have experienced those claiming to do it and still don't see anything different than a combination of timing, body mechanics, alignment, and efficient movement that have been known and practiced by martial artists for centuries. Well, sure, that's part of the problem. Look at this forum and go read the various people, including numbers of "teachers", who have posted quite different ideas about what "ki" is, what "kokyu" is, etc. They can't all be right, yet each one is claiming to "know what that stuff is".

So you've got people who know, people who don't know, and you've got people that don't but claim to. There's also, as I pointed out in another thread, people who have rudimentary bits and pieces and therefore claim to know the subject. That last group can actually be the most misleading in my opinion... passing a few rudiments off as "all there is to it" is basically someone with incomplete knowledge representing themselves as having the expertise to teach.

I always remember going for a walk through a park at some sort of "Asian Festival" with a guest from overseas. We found one booth where a woman was doing calligraphy and selling it. As we walked away, my guest was just stunned... what the person was selling for calligraphy, he said, was about what a kindergartner did back in his own country. Yet the woman doing the calligraphy was wearing a nice Asian costume and speaking softly and sage-like and had an impressive array of writing tools. Probably no one else at the festival even had a clue. Oh... and it turns out that the woman *taught* calligraphy and had a number of students. But don't we see that same thing in many, many dojo's of different martial styles, in the West?

FWIW

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2006, 09:43 AM
Mike wrote:

So you've got people who know, people who don't know, and you've got people that don't but claim to. There's also, as I pointed out in another thread, people who have rudimentary bits and pieces and therefore claim to know the subject. That last group can actually be the most misleading in my opinion... passing a few rudiments off as "all there is to it" is basically someone with incomplete knowledge representing themselves as having the expertise to teach.

Ex...ACTLY!

Not putting you in this category by any means! I guess this is my whole concern. Not sure why I feel the need to be a "consumer advocate", other than I wasted a number of years of my life mis-guided and ill focused on the wrong things.

I suppose most of it would be semantics, so I will leave it alone. Mike you've certainly done a good job explaining yourself.

Reading through your post, this thought comes to mind. Keep in mind it is not a fully formed opinion or argument, but what popped into my head while reading.... When I was in Beijing this fall I went to the See the Beijing Acrobatic show. It was amazing watching a guy hop up and down stairs on one hand while balancing another guy on his feet. Certainly a feat of the type you are saying. Many, many years of training, breathing, alignment, strength.

Not sure how well he would do in MA. My guess is that given a year of instruction, he would probably fair better than most of us!

I think I have a better understanding of what these "things" will do for you. I am not so sure I would label them under the mysterious heading of "internal" as it has empty meaning.

It is apparent that MA is multifaceted, and each person values different things in their training. I suppose we would have to discuss those values and figure out how ours align and before we could discuss the realitive worth or value of various pieces of it.

Look at caporiea, A wonderful and beautiful art, with a unique set of skills. I cannot do it for a number of reasons, age, agility, strength, conditioning, ability...they can show strength in many different poses and "awkward" positions. I am sure many of these guys could fight well depending on the criteria and circumstance. However, because I do not value the same things in MA, does not mean that Aikido, BJJ, or other such things are any less relevant a have less value.

Probably a good time to say this: I am not inferring that Mike is arguing or presenting that Aikido is lacking or has any value. We are simply having a good discussion!

Along these lines: Aikido seems to have an issue and difference with BJJ and MMA. I am not sure why some aikidoka and MMA guys feel that UFC, MMA, or any other type of NHB fighting is the sole criteria to judge an arts value.

Again I think we first have to decide why we are studying MA, then pick those things that best help us get there. I don't see myself rolling like I do today in 20 years, or doing aikido the way I do it now. I'd like to think that by then, I can move on to "other things" within the arts.

Or maybe it is just an excuse that the old chinese and japanese guys used to keep themselves relevant! I think not, but ya know, some day it may just be time to hang up your sword. Reading Janet Rosen's column this month certainly makes you think hard about these things and what we tend to take for granted!

Again, appreciate the patience and time you have spent here Mike. It is very helpful.

Mike Sigman
05-01-2006, 10:15 AM
Keep in mind it is not a fully formed opinion or argument, but what popped into my head while reading.... When I was in Beijing this fall I went to the See the Beijing Acrobatic show. It was amazing watching a guy hop up and down stairs on one hand while balancing another guy on his feet. Certainly a feat of the type you are saying. Many, many years of training, breathing, alignment, strength.

Not sure how well he would do in MA. My guess is that given a year of instruction, he would probably fair better than most of us! OK, I didn't see the demonstration, Kevin, but I will be willing to bet you that there was more to that act than you realize. I'll bet, sight unseen, that the acrobat has done qi training to some extent. Now please remember that there is a *spectrum* of these skills, not just one or two things that are qi skills, and remember that some people have certain aspects developed well, while other aspects can be unknown or poorly trained. For instance, Pauliina asked about Akuzawa (whom I've never seen) and how he "felt", but since there could be a wide range of skills he could exhibit, about all I could listen to would be whether he had jin/kokyu-strength skills.

The Chinese acrobat probably uses the qi in the breathing and pressure sense. There is a subset of qi skills called "qingong", the "lightness skills" and part of that skill-set is to use pressure in the body help you jump by a store-and-release method. Since these skills are handed around in the acrobat community fairly commonly, I'd bet some dough and feel fairly safe. Would this skill help him in martial arts? Yes. He could jump, kick, and hit harder with these skills than a normal person could. But you or someone else watching him would not see the pressure trick and would say "Oh, that's just good alignment and conditioning". And if no one ever tells you about or shows you how that training is done, you don't have it in your knowledge base, so you'll only judge him by what you personally know. That's what happens. I think I have a better understanding of what these "things" will do for you. I am not so sure I would label them under the mysterious heading of "internal" as it has empty meaning. OK, I just told you about something you probably didn't know before. Assuming you didn't know about that aspect of qi training, I just told you something "myterious", eh? ;) Probably a good time to say this: I am not inferring that Mike is arguing or presenting that Aikido is lacking or has any value. We are simply having a good discussion! Oh, I agree. We're both sort of blunt, military background guys who just talk straight out. I prefer it that way. ;)Again I think we first have to decide why we are studying MA, then pick those things that best help us get there. I don't see myself rolling like I do today in 20 years, or doing aikido the way I do it now. I'd like to think that by then, I can move on to "other things" within the arts. Well, even though Dan, Ted Ehara, Rob John, and many others have somewhat different takes on these skills, we've all got some positive and substantial idea that these skills, or parts of them, are there.... and it's sort of a "heads up!" call. And more and more people have been seeing bits and pieces of these skills over the last decade, so it's becoming unavoidable and necessary that people doing Asian martial arts start looking at the ki things as not being the bogus woo-woo stuff so many "teachers" had thought, but as demonstrably containing skills that indeed shift away from "normal" strength and movement.

Oh... and for god's sake... the skills are NOT Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, or any of that stuff because the real skills involve making and manipulating force paths with the mind. If you take a look at one of those books where Tohei is doing hie "ki tests" and you just pick the standing ones, different directions. Someone who is good should be able to do ALL of the Tohei standing tests, one after another, without ever moving... the mind/body should be able to set up the correct forces without any change of body alignment or structure.

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2006, 10:30 AM
I was making the same point you are making about the acrobats. Thanks for clarifying it.

I definitely understand things a little better now, and see where you are coming from.

The stuff about feldenkrais, AT..was simply to frame a point of reference.

I would love to have the time to get with someone of quality to work with this, however, it is difficult at best to find someone that can "guide, coach, or mentor", on this "internal stuff" and be able to fight his way out of a paper bag based on the contstraints, conditions, and values I,,, key word is "I"... place on "effectiveness" in martial training.

Mike Sigman
05-01-2006, 11:32 AM
I would love to have the time to get with someone of quality to work with this, however, it is difficult at best to find someone that can "guide, coach, or mentor", on this "internal stuff" and be able to fight his way out of a paper bag based on the contstraints, conditions, and values I,,, key word is "I"... place on "effectiveness" in martial training. I agree with you, Kevin, that I want to see it used (a.) purely and (b.) martially. By "purely", what I mean is that is someone hits me or pushes me or does kokyunage or whatever with an admirable use of power, I want to feel this stuff doing it and not "some of this stuff but with a large dollop of muscle", because if you gotta depend on muscle, don't waste my time talking about "internal" power.

I wanta see "martial" because I like martial .... however the neat thing about this stuff is that you can use it for your everyday walking, lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, etc. That's why there's this constant comment about "it's an investment for your old age". While muscle atrophies and degenerates with old age, the ki part, the fascia-related stuff and the attendant skills, just gets conditioned like rawhide.

Insofar as being really able to kick-ass fight with the stuff, I don't really put so much emphasis on that. The first time Chen Xiao Wang hit me in a moderate manner and it was so hard a hit that it made my mother's womb hurt, I was able to figure out that win, lose, or draw this stuff is certainly additive and has great utility in a fight.

The problem with tying the idea of "use internal" and "you will always win" is false. Consider someone who is just learning and has moderate or miniscule skills but is on the right track and they get into a brawl with some strong boffo and lose.... do you say "ha, 'internal' doesn't work" or do you just realistically shrug and understand that there's levels of everything? These skills are additive and they add power greatly (and they add more than that, but let's keep it simple), but you have to realize that there are levels and gradations of power, range of ability, purity, etc.

I dunno if you saw that old post via Ellis about Terry Dobson's recounting of the match between Chiba Sensei and Wang Xu Jin. Wang was an old and very powerful martial artist and Chiba was a young buck in his early twenties (BTW, I've seen Chiba's version of this story and it's embarrassing to read). Wang, according to the people who were there, handled Chiba like a child and said something along the lines of "you have some qi... come back when you have more". I think that sums it up... these things are additive, but not by any means decisive. And isn't that what you'd expect in the real world?

All the Best.

Mike

Upyu
05-01-2006, 09:31 PM
Shameless plug here:

Ark (Akuzawa) is probably going to be be in Holland sometime early next year for those interested. =D
Keavin, there's clips of Akuzawa demonstrating portions of this stuff in kicks as well, if you do search on Youtube for "Akuzawa".

DaveS
05-02-2006, 07:17 AM
I'm not sure why planes are such a mystery here. Its perfectly explainable and quite basic why planes fly. Of course the reason is the airfoil of the wing generates the air on top to travel faster than the air on the bottom creating low pressure on top of the wing and high pressure on the bottom. This pressure differential pushes the wing up, therefore the plane goes up. What is so mystical about that? And what is inaccurate about gravity or Newton's laws? Am I missing something here?.
Going noticeably off topic here, but to quickly explain myself...

Newtonian gravity isn't a completely accurate picture of the universe - for instance, the orbit of Venus (iirc: it might be Mercury) has slight discrepancies with what Newton's laws predict - it accelerates at a slightly different rate and in a slightly different direction from what you'd expect. General relativity describes the motion of the planets far more accurately. Thus GR is a more accurate and more 'correct' theory, and Newtonian gravity, having been falsified experimentally, is 'wrong' - from the point of view of a theoretical physicist, it has no more relevance than the flat earth theory.

However:

GR is a very complicated theory and Newtonian gravity isn't. And it's accurate enough in limited situations, including most of those that we encounter in (say) engineering. Thus people use it to design planes. Using general relativity to do the calculations to design a plane that stays up would be highly impractical, although it'd almost certainly lead to the same conclusion. The explanation in terms of air pressure and and gravity is a bit of a fudge, but it's accurate enough that it always works in practice.

Kevin Leavitt
05-02-2006, 12:39 PM
Funny that you mention Newtonian Physics. I am currently reading a book by the Dali Lama that discusses these various issues. i.e quantum physics and how science and buddhism merge.

There is much more to life than we sometimes percieve and meets the eye! however like you say we can get by on the 80% solution most of the time.

Things like aikido tend to focus on the other 20% i think.

Mark Freeman
05-02-2006, 12:59 PM
Wow, theory of flight, General Relativity, Newtonians laws, Quantum physics and Pareto's principle all in one thread, there's more to the "Jo-trick" than meets the eye.
And here's me thinking I am just doing simple mind body coordination exercises. :freaky:

regards,

Mark

JasonFDeLucia
05-02-2006, 01:13 PM
the jo "trick" (drill) is a practice to manifest principle .it is a true principle and the effects are real .what makes scoffers react is that they usually think or say well i would never do that that way .but the purpose of the jo drill can only be appreciated through sincerity .like when doing kokyu exercise with a beginner and to avoid being duped they don't really grab .rather they grab with the idea of letting go as soon as they can ,not a real grab .not sincere .uke must be sincere and follow through with the idea of letting go when he has to not when he wants to .how easy it is for someone to demonstrate a known technique and then try to thwart it when you know it's coming .save that for randori not for drills .

Talon
05-02-2006, 01:13 PM
This thread is interesting to say the least. Now if i could only have someone relatively local allow me to "see" and "feel" the internal power discussed ie. "Jo trick" or other internal power demonstration.

Kevin Leavitt
05-02-2006, 01:36 PM
Good points Jason. Sincerity is really the crux of the issue. Thanks for keeping us focused on what is important about our training. I think we tend to forget that sometimes.

Mike Sigman
05-02-2006, 01:48 PM
but the purpose of the jo drill can only be appreciated through sincerity I don't get it, Jason, if you don't mind expanding. Or maybe I just disagree. The common variant I've seen of the jo-trick is for someone to stick their arm straight out in front of them and let a volunteer try to move it sideways or up and down. It's a demonstration of the connecting power of six-directions training, combined with some force-path controls.

For Ueshiba to extend the moment-arm even further with a jo was a bit of embellishment (and maybe a little too showy, since he never appears to be able to hold it very long in the available film clips), but still part of the same trick. I see his point, as will most people who are familiar with the principles. I say truthfully, that he does a pretty good job of trying to make the extended trick work, even though I also so that his Uke's tend to be overly cooperative and deferential. But then, I have a cause-and-effect mind. How does "sincerity" have anything to do with a mechanical trick, if I may ask?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

JasonFDeLucia
05-02-2006, 02:25 PM
Just to be clear, Mark, I don't quibble with any visualization you want to use (Ueshiba's visualization had to do with kami, so whatever floats your boat), but I don't need to pretend anything about uke's mind. I just re-direct forces using out-of-the-ordinary-but-not-magical body/mind skills. Each to his own. ;)

Incidentally, the jo-trick can be done or approximated by someone who knows how to re-direct forces using a stiff/strong arm/shoulder. But that highlights an important point. Part of the skills of ki involve learning how to manipulate forces with the mind, but an equally important part is establishing and training a connection out to the extremities. How you 'bring ki out to the hands' is as important a point as being able to use the hara and force/kokyu/whatever directions. The interesting thing that catches my attention about Ueshiba doing the jo-trick is not that he does the jo-trick... how to do the trick is something I already understand... but the fact that you can see how relaxed he is while the forces come out to his hand. I.e., his is not "muscular ki" but is the real soft variety and it's trained very powerfully to be able to show, even momentarily, this kind of forces at such an extension. I.e., it is worth a "wow" because of that, not because of the principle behind the trick.

Regards,

Mike
To ignore the effect of mental perception through the ether ,kami ,esp or otherwise is not wise because it exists and is usually the defining point of combat .yes you can master ki concepts in a sterile environment but without attention to the spirit of the thing itself you will be like so many policemen who are marksmen but got killed with their own guns .their attention and connection to their gut feelings was maybe lacking .

but in your explanation of vector you seem to advocate use of "mind without movement" an ethereal state which to me is a magical state because it starts with mind alone ,which constitutes mystical .nothing dishonest about that which is mystical ,it's that it can be completely fathomed .like at present we can calculate the momentum of a particle or its position but not both at the same time .i would not cast aspersions on a physicist's view that lead him to a conclusion if it worked to get him there

Mike Sigman
05-02-2006, 02:43 PM
To ignore the effect of mental perception through the ether ,kami ,esp or otherwise is not wise because it exists and is usually the defining point of combat .yes you can master ki concepts in a sterile environment but without attention to the spirit of the thing itself you will be like so many policemen who are marksmen but got killed with their own guns .their attention and connection to their gut feelings was maybe lacking . No offense, Jason, but those statements tell me nothing but vague assertions of your opinions. And I can think of counter-examples without even trying, so I'll politely say "pass". but in your explanation of vector you seem to advocate use of "mind without movement" an ethereal state which to me is a magical state because it starts with mind alone ,which constitutes mystical . Nope, there's nothing ethereal about it. Simple physiological skill that can be developed more extensively than most people realize. like at present we can calculate the momentum of a particle or its position but not both at the same time .i would not cast aspersions on a physicist's view that lead him to a conclusion if it worked to get him there I have no idea why Heisenberg's uncertainty principle would be invoked in an Aikido discussion, other than as techno-babble. One should note that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle does not say "everything is uncertain." Rather, it tells us very exactly where the limits of uncertainty lie when we make measurements of sub-atomic events.
;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

statisticool
05-02-2006, 04:45 PM
Nope, there's nothing ethereal about it. Simple physiological skill that can be developed more extensively than most people realize.


How are "physiological skills" different from saying it is a combination of mechanics, timing, and using the body efficiently?

johanlook
05-03-2006, 08:18 AM
To tell the truth up till I met a guy who had what we are probably talking about here I thought Aikido was all just good body mechanics. I think there's something to this fascia development(which I'm still trying to get my head around), as this guy's external body mechanics looks crap. The real kicker is when someone can express force from these terrible angles against my strong angles - slowly and humiliatingly. I'm also not sure if fascia conditioning makes skin feel harder or something but light contact with him feels hard. It seems like there's not many people around who describe the fascia conditioning though - this guy talks about putting his mind out somewhere - but that doesn't do much for me. Apart from that he seems to be guessing as to how he's developed these skills(or there could be stuff he's not saying).
Personally, I'm thinking that there is a lot more to misogi than I initially thought, but since a lot of dojo I've been in practice bits of this and most have none of the development that we are speaking of perhaps there are elements missing.

Mike Sigman
05-03-2006, 08:27 AM
The real kicker is when someone can express force from these terrible angles against my strong angles - slowly and humiliatingly. I'm also not sure if fascia conditioning makes skin feel harder or something but light contact with him feels hard. Well, the fascia and control of forces are 2 different things, more or less, Johan. Think of the time Tohei showed he could push over the zen priests. He knew about both fascia and forces; they only knew about fascia (ki).
Personally, I'm thinking that there is a lot more to misogi than I initially thought, I think just about everyone in the West is clueless about what Ueshiba really did in his Misogi practice. It obviously had some extensive martial body conditioning that he didn't show everyone. After seeing that film clip with Ueshiba doing power releases during fune-kogi undo, I just throw my cards on the table and stop trying to guess... obviously a lot was witheld.

Regards,

Mike

MM
05-03-2006, 09:30 AM
I think just about everyone in the West is clueless about what Ueshiba really did in his Misogi practice. It obviously had some extensive martial body conditioning that he didn't show everyone. After seeing that film clip with Ueshiba doing power releases during fune-kogi undo, I just throw my cards on the table and stop trying to guess... obviously a lot was witheld.

Regards,

Mike

Hi Mike,
Those last five words kind of baffle me. It just doesn't fit with Ueshiba in his later years. I believe he mentions that his aikido is for the whole world. When you read the stuff about him, it appears as if he's trying to get his version of "aikido" out there. So, I don't think that he witheld anything. Instead, I think that his students just didn't fully understand what he was teaching and how he was teaching. My two cents, anyway.

Mark

Brad Darr
05-03-2006, 09:33 AM
Hey Mike,
For those of us who can't "think of Tohei pushing over zen priests" is there somewhere to see this or some reliable account? Just curious as I have never heard this mentioned before, but I don't know that much about Tohei sensei anyway. Thanks

Brad

Mike Sigman
05-03-2006, 09:36 AM
Those last five words kind of baffle me. It just doesn't fit with Ueshiba in his later years. I believe he mentions that his aikido is for the whole world. When you read the stuff about him, it appears as if he's trying to get his version of "aikido" out there. So, I don't think that he witheld anything. Instead, I think that his students just didn't fully understand what he was teaching and how he was teaching. My two cents, anyway. Hi Mark:

Then you are a gentle, trusting soul. ;)

If he was showing everything to everybody, Tohei and a number of others would not have publicly commented that Ueshiba didn't show them things and everyone in Aikido would already know how to do power releases and the jo-trick. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-03-2006, 09:42 AM
For those of us who can't "think of Tohei pushing over zen priests" is there somewhere to see this or some reliable account? Just curious as I have never heard this mentioned before, but I don't know that much about Tohei sensei anyway. ThanksHi Brad:

Well, it never hurts to read everything you can about Aikido; even though it's a different piece of the pie, it's still the same pie. Read Shioda, Tomiki, Abe, Nishio, Saito, Tohei, etc., etc. I don't find that they're really doing much different (even though their students often are), but they're usually just giving slightly different perspectives of the same basic things that are in Aikido.

Tohei showed one time that he could push over some zen priests, even though they were "keeping their mind in their dantien"... yet Tohei could be immovable. Just goes to back up my point that Kiko (ki exercises) and Kokyu-ryoku are actually 2 different things, even though they are intertwined and both are called "ki" at times.

Regards,

Mike

MM
05-03-2006, 10:00 AM
Hi Mark:

Then you are a gentle, trusting soul. ;)

If he was showing everything to everybody, Tohei and a number of others would not have publicly commented that Ueshiba didn't show them things and everyone in Aikido would already know how to do power releases and the jo-trick. ;)

Regards,

Mike

LOL, well, I don't remember anyone ever calling me a gentle, trusting soul before. That's a first.

The part about Ueshiba showing everything is just a working theory that I've been mulling over. I wouldn't say he showed everyone, but I think he might have showed them everything at one point or another.

I've read that some of his students just didn't understand the things he said to them. Now, they might have just attributed his speeches to Omoto Kyo, but what if they weren't? What if Ueshiba was actually telling them in his own way how to get to some of the levels he was on? What if it was his way of teaching.

It reminds me of something Ellis Amdur mentioned about part of his martial art. Something about how he had expected his students to pick up on a move but they didn't. But once directly taught and/or shown, it seemed so obvious. Well, I don't think Ueshiba explained it to anyone in that manner; he expected them to find it on their own.

But that didn't mean he didn't show everything he knew. Theoretically, anyway.

Mark

Jory Boling
05-03-2006, 10:06 AM
...After seeing that film clip with Ueshiba doing power releases during fune-kogi undo...

Hi Mike,

was "that film clip" mentioned in an earlier post that I missed or can you remember in what film/video it was shown?

Jory

Mike Sigman
05-03-2006, 10:18 AM
was "that film clip" mentioned in an earlier post that I missed or can you remember in what film/video it was shown? It's from an old Aiki News videotape called "Morihei Ueshiba and Aikido". I looked to see if I can find it still offered by Stan Pranin's "Aikido Journal" (the new name for Aiki News) and I don't see it. It's a great video, though.

Regards,

Mike

Nick Pagnucco
05-03-2006, 10:23 AM
Looking over all this, I find myself wondering: what other Japanese martial arts focus on this stuff (internal strength / ki / kokyu / etc.)?

IIRC, either Ellis Amdur or Toby Threadgill mentioned there were a few Koryu, and there was a karate instructor at aiki-expo last year, and someone brought up something called taikiken in one of the earlier threads in this current ongoing discussion on the internal-ness of aikido. Seeing how that sentence is the limit of my knowledge, I'm curious: how frequently do other martial arts from Japan also discuss internal issues, or is aikido (relatively) unique in how much it focuses on ki & kokyu (if sometimes only in rhetoric)?

statisticool
05-03-2006, 05:03 PM
The point of Tohei and a number of others supposedly saying that Ueshiba didn't show them things is rather odd. How do they know if they weren't shown it?

And if a number of people saw it, doesn't that mean that he did in fact show people?

Richard Langridge
05-03-2006, 05:05 PM
He probably showed everything but to different people, hence all the confusion.

johanlook
05-03-2006, 09:56 PM
There are two curious clips here http://www.peterwutaichi.com/

in the articles/videos section that show this guy doing something that looks close to what Shioda used to do(didn't see Shioda do it in a chair though). Now besides the possibility that they guy could be using one of those prank handshake buzzers, is this some example of ground path making these guys jump like that?

DH
05-03-2006, 10:09 PM
LOL, well, I don't remember anyone ever calling me a gentle, trusting soul before. That's a first.

The part about Ueshiba showing everything is just a working theory that I've been mulling over. I wouldn't say he showed everyone, but I think he might have showed them everything at one point or another.

I've read that some of his students just didn't understand the things he said to them. Now, they might have just attributed his speeches to Omoto Kyo, but what if they weren't? What if Ueshiba was actually telling them in his own way how to get to some of the levels he was on? What if it was his way of teaching.

It reminds me of something Ellis Amdur mentioned about part of his martial art. Something about how he had expected his students to pick up on a move but they didn't. But once directly taught and/or shown, it seemed so obvious. Well, I don't think Ueshiba explained it to anyone in that manner; he expected them to find it on their own.

But that didn't mean he didn't show everything he knew. Theoretically, anyway.

Mark

Who was taught what

Hi all.
I would suggest....as I have before many times to re-read several interviews and books Stan has written.
You guys all know me. Hate me, love me, get frustrated etc. But for my part I have pointing in the same direction since the Aikido list days-before all these boards.
That there is adifferent way to train- with at least a "goal"- to be unlockable, unthrowable, pinning with your fingers, power to punch from a touch blah blah blah. And being told I'm nuts.


Ok, again,
Read where Tenryu was training with Ueshiba. What was he doing?
Pushing, everywhere, upstairs, up hills etc.
Read where Ueshiba admonsihed him to concentrate on T-H-A-T-type of stuff.
Read where after only three months
THREE MONTHS!!
Ueshiba dismissed him and said there is nothing more I can teach you. With what you know now you can go and be unbeatable.
Be what? Unbeatable?
Gee..any of that sound familair?

What or why do you suppose that a Sumo guy had such an advantage to learn? There are specific reasons.

Go read the fighting spririt of Japan : Harrison
In it he trains with Kanos Nephew after giving a large cash donation The nephew agrees to show him somthing rare. Takes him to...........an Aikijujutsu guy. What does he do??
Pushes.........
Does all Manner of things to push and pull and cannot be moved then
Wham.....power generation "no inch" punch.
Then Harrison asks about a 6th dan holder (Judo) about these mysterious powers. The guy says when the Judo guy is on his Judo game he is difficult to beat-when he uses these powers he cannot be thrown

Anyway, Upoon further questioning Harrison asks Do amyn men know these skills. He is told...no, only a few. This was in the 1920-30's

2006
Most people don't know.
Some have been shown and openly stated they don't want to do the work.
Others say they will.and don't.
What's changed?

Take what they will
Years have gone past me. I have had guys who only wanted to learn to punch from me. Others jujutsu, Still others-weapons.
Only a small percentage wanted to learn it all.
Its peoples own limited vision that prevents them from seeing.

Dan

Mike Sigman
05-03-2006, 10:11 PM
There are two curious clips here http://www.peterwutaichi.com/

in the articles/videos section that show this guy doing something that looks close to what Shioda used to do(didn't see Shioda do it in a chair though). Now besides the possibility that they guy could be using one of those prank handshake buzzers, is this some example of ground path making these guys jump like that?I can't get it to play for some reason, but I can see a still when I save the file. Think of it as the same sorts of cooperative students that take a dive when an Aikido teacher points down at the mat. I hate that bogus stuff in any martial art. Wu may be able to generate something of a pulse, but the over-acting on top of it is irritating. ;)

Mike

johanlook
05-03-2006, 11:24 PM
I think just about everyone in the West is clueless about what Ueshiba really did in his Misogi practice. It obviously had some extensive martial body conditioning that he didn't show everyone. After seeing that film clip with Ueshiba doing power releases during fune-kogi undo, I just throw my cards on the table and stop trying to guess... obviously a lot was witheld

Since I'm pretty sure that just copying Ueshiba's external movement doesn't mean I can get his abilities I'm betting on mind stuff or breathing stuff.

Dan mentioned that Tenryu got the context of the ki stuff in 3 months so if this is accurate then the practice should be straight forward. Come to think of it Shioda and Tohei didn't sound like they trained with Ueshiba for that long(compared to people these days who tell me that you need to train for 30 years before you get anywhere) - okay so this is all second hand to me, but it gets me thinking that there's probably a more efficient way of training than the blind leading the blind.

I can't get it to play for some reason, but I can see a still when I save the file. Think of it as the same sorts of cooperative students that take a dive when an Aikido teacher points down at the mat. I hate that bogus stuff in any martial art. Wu may be able to generate something of a pulse, but the over-acting on top of it is irritating

From my perspective I couldn't even work out what was meant to be happening. The guy is like moving an inch and these guys are jumping up in the air. But then when I see Shioda doing his stuff I reckon people are taking dives sometimes, but I've also heard first hand that he was pretty devastating.

Brad Darr
05-04-2006, 12:08 AM
Mike,
Thanks for the lecture, but you didn't answer my question I wanted to know specificly where you read or saw this event with Tohei and the monks. I read everything I can get my hands on and had just not come across this story yet. I have read everything available in english by most of the teachers you listed. When I said I didn't know much about Tohei I meant I have never trained Ki Society and I have only read his sort of Biography, Ki: A path that anyone can walk. My original question was

[For those of us who can't "think of Tohei pushing over zen priests" is there somewhere to see this or some reliable account?]

Thanks again
Brad

tedehara
05-04-2006, 04:55 AM
Mike,
Thanks for the lecture, but you didn't answer my question I wanted to know specificly where you read or saw this event with Tohei and the monks. I read everything I can get my hands on and had just not come across this story yet. I have read everything available in english by most of the teachers you listed. When I said I didn't know much about Tohei I meant I have never trained Ki Society and I have only read his sort of Biography, Ki: A path that anyone can walk. My original question was

[For those of us who can't "think of Tohei pushing over zen priests" is there somewhere to see this or some reliable account?]

Thanks again
BradOne mention of this is at Ki-Breathing (http://www.ki-aikido.de/texte/ki-breathing.html)

The Ki Test. This is why Tohei Sensei went to the Zen monastery and pushed "all" the monks over. Not because he wanted to push them over but because they were not Mind and Body Unified. Because it is not good enough to have the form down. The Ki Test reflects perfectly what is in the Mind without a life and death situation or without 20 years of staring at a wall. These forms are fine and if one really wishes to "wake-up" and live life to its fullest then Shin shin Toitsu Aikido is as good a way as I have seen.

Mike Sigman
05-04-2006, 08:54 AM
Read where Tenryu was training with Ueshiba. What was he doing?
Pushing, everywhere, upstairs, up hills etc.
Read where Ueshiba admonsihed him to concentrate on T-H-A-T-type of stuff.
Read where after only three months
THREE MONTHS!!
Ueshiba dismissed him and said there is nothing more I can teach you. With what you know now you can go and be unbeatable.
Be what? Unbeatable?
Gee..any of that sound familair?

What or why do you suppose that a Sumo guy had such an advantage to learn? There are specific reasons.

Go read the fighting spririt of Japan : Harrison
In it he trains with Kanos Nephew after giving a large cash donation The nephew agrees to show him somthing rare. Takes him to...........an Aikijujutsu guy. What does he do??
Pushes.........
Does all Manner of things to push and pull and cannot be moved then
Wham.....power generation "no inch" punch.
Then Harrison asks about a 6th dan holder (Judo) about these mysterious powers. The guy says when the Judo guy is on his Judo game he is difficult to beat-when he uses these powers he cannot be thrown

Anyway, Upoon further questioning Harrison asks Do amyn men know these skills. He is told...no, only a few. This was in the 1920-30's

2006
Most people don't know.
Some have been shown and openly stated they don't want to do the work.
Others say they will.and don't.
What's changed? Unfortunately, Dan's pretty much right on. A certain number of people recognize and know, in varying degrees, that this stuff is blatantly missing from most of what westerners are calling Aikido, Karate, TaiChi, etc., etc., and most people sort of hear the conversation but don't feel that it affects them and their status or their curiosity and drive enough to make them go out and really look hard.

I personally take the view that these conversations are only productive with the younger, enthusiastic group of up-comers who will lead the next generation... it's a rare adult with status and name who will apply him/herself to what turns out to be almost a discipline within itself.

But it doesn't hurt to throw the challenge out there because there is always that group who take it up and become the next set of goats... and there will always be a division between the sheep and the goats. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-04-2006, 08:58 AM
Dan mentioned that Tenryu got the context of the ki stuff in 3 months so if this is accurate then the practice should be straight forward. Come to think of it Shioda and Tohei didn't sound like they trained with Ueshiba for that long(compared to people these days who tell me that you need to train for 30 years before you get anywhere) - okay so this is all second hand to me, but it gets me thinking that there's probably a more efficient way of training than the blind leading the blind. I agree. This stuff can be laid out logically and systematically, but you still have to be shown how to do it, sort of like riding a bicycle... no amount of telling you will really get you there. From my perspective I couldn't even work out what was meant to be happening. The guy is like moving an inch and these guys are jumping up in the air. But then when I see Shioda doing his stuff I reckon people are taking dives sometimes, but I've also heard first hand that he was pretty devastating. Johan, just accept that in too many Asian martial arts there is a certain amount of over-acting by many students. It's a fact of life. If you've been around Aikido for any time you must have seen it. Always remember that there are sheep and there are goats. ;)

Regards,

Mike

DH
05-04-2006, 09:12 AM
Unfortunately, Dan's pretty much right on. A certain number of people recognize and know, in varying degrees, that this stuff is blatantly missing from most of what westerners are calling Aikido, Karate, TaiChi, etc., etc., and most people sort of hear the conversation but don't feel that it affects them and their status or their curiosity and drive enough to make them go out and really look hard.

I personally take the view that these conversations are only productive with the younger, enthusiastic group of up-comers who will lead the next generation... it's a rare adult with status and name who will apply him/herself to what turns out to be almost a discipline within itself.

But it doesn't hurt to throw the challenge out there because there is always that group who take it up and become the next set of goats... and there will always be a division between the sheep and the goats. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Unfortunately, Mikes pretty much right on as well ;)

The real task is letting the ego and preconceptions go. I have stopped teachers dead in their tracks and they didn't even want to know how. For me. it would be the very first words out of my mouth. I don't care where I was or who I was in front of. You can have the idea of students opinion of their teachers -as a pressure to deal with or reputation to live up to. I'd rather learn. I applauded Ikeda attending a Systema class at the Expo.
I played Judo with a high ranking guy once at a seminar. He couldn't throw me at all. Not even once. He knew I was doing something different. But never, not even once asked me what I was doing. My guys were well pleased, which is reverse ego, it isn't about that. I told them to "Knock it off." All I said was "Which of us would you choose to be? The unknown student who could not be thrown, or a teacher who remains ignorant of a method that just bested him? I know who I want to be."
Stay ...a student of the arts.

I have been open in that I thought the CMA were these silly twirly whirly things. I thought the internal skills I had were it. Now I see they are pieces of a larger picture. I was.....wrong. I don't mind being wrong. Means I Iearn. The CMA are deeper in their exploration. But again it appears even there it is limited as well. As well the explorationof these skills outside of a given venue to free style fight is about non-existent. Everyone should be open to these things even outside of martial skills. they are a better way to move, work and live.

Anyway, I applaud those who will risk being wrong and are willing to learn new things. I have been off playing with CMAer's for months now to at least try to find more things to incorporate into what I do.

Cheers
Dan

Ron Tisdale
05-04-2006, 09:40 AM
I've read that some of his students just didn't understand the things he said to them. Now, they might have just attributed his speeches to Omoto Kyo, but what if they weren't? What if Ueshiba was actually telling them in his own way how to get to some of the levels he was on? What if it was his way of teaching.

Hi Mark,

I think you have to consider that Ueshiba worked within a certain cosmology internally. And he probably expressed that cosmology every time he tried to describe what he was doing. And if you don't buy the cosmology, and don't understand the value behind it...you lose the message.

Tohei didn't buy the cosmology, so he sought the value behind it elsewhere. And apparently found something.

Shioda didn't buy the cosmology, but he did buy the value of the methods behind it...and somehow got something.

Shirata Sensei...seems to have bought at least a portion of the cosmology, and from all acounts, got something of the value.

I believe there are others too (Yamaguchi, Kato, the list goes on and on, and you can see the differences between them). As well as others who didn't get as much of the special skills. Each took what they could...and developed that to what extent they could. Case by case...

We as students need to be doing the same thing...but too often we really don't want to do the work. As both Dan and Mike have said.

Best,
Ron

Josh Reyer
05-04-2006, 10:09 AM
I, for one, am not sure that Morihei was ever on board with spreading "true" Aikido, as he knew it and practiced it, to the whole world. His son was the driving force behind the Aikikai, and the movement to spread it. In the beginning Morihei was against the idea, and he has been said to have gotten on board with the idea later. But to what extent? Perhaps he was just content with people learning the very basic movements and techniques, and learning the basic philosophy behind it, while he focused on his own practice, teaching what he knew to his selected students, and let whatever might trickle down trickle down where it may.

MM
05-04-2006, 10:12 AM
Hi Mark,

I think you have to consider that Ueshiba worked within a certain cosmology internally. And he probably expressed that cosmology every time he tried to describe what he was doing. And if you don't buy the cosmology, and don't understand the value behind it...you lose the message.

Tohei didn't buy the cosmology, so he sought the value behind it elsewhere. And apparently found something.

Shioda didn't buy the cosmology, but he did buy the value of the methods behind it...and somehow got something.

Shirata Sensei...seems to have bought at least a portion of the cosmology, and from all acounts, got something of the value.

I believe there are others too (Yamaguchi, Kato, the list goes on and on, and you can see the differences between them). As well as others who didn't get as much of the special skills. Each took what they could...and developed that to what extent they could. Case by case...

We as students need to be doing the same thing...but too often we really don't want to do the work. As both Dan and Mike have said.

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,
Read your blog on training. Sounds like you had a great time. :)

As for the topic here. I don't have any disagreements with what you've said. My post was in response to a theory that Ueshiba didn't teach everything he knew to his students.

My working theory is that Ueshiba *did* teach everything he knew to his students. I just don't believe that they got it all. Just as you wrote above, some got it elsewhere but not all of it. I'm not saying anything about the skill levels of the students. I'm merely saying in a working theory that Ueshiba *did* teach everything he knew, somehow, someway, sometime.

Yes, that theory trickles down into the students. Again, as above, some got portions of things from Ueshiba and from outside training. Some progressed rapidly in one area and some went off in their own direction and some just kept quietly training. None of that really matters to my theory.

Probably the only way you'll ever get corrolation to my theory is to gather all the students in one place and go through what they learned, how they picked it up, and at what level they are at compared to how they viewed Ueshiba's level of knowledge. But since many of the students are gone now, we'll never see that happen.

Ah well, it's only a theory ...

Thanks,
Mark

DH
05-04-2006, 10:14 AM
Hi Ron,

Probably the only way you'll ever get corrolation to my theory is to gather all the students in one place and go through what they learned, how they picked it up, and at what level they are at compared to how they viewed Ueshiba's level of knowledge. But since many of the students are gone now, we'll never see that happen.

Ah well, it's only a theory ...

Thanks,
Mark

Well Stanleys interviews are pretty telling. Gathering everyone in a room with new questions would be great, but dismissing decades of cross referenced research is never a good idea.
Not the least of which is "what were you learning?"
one after the other, after the other....all of them...."We were learning Daito ryu."

Then when he retired and came back to hombu.
"What are you doing? This is not my AIkido!"


Cheers
Dan

Ron Tisdale
05-04-2006, 10:27 AM
Hi Mark,

to add to your idea and Dan's point...we can always do the cross-referencing physically on our own. We can go to seminars of the students who seem to have gotten something special of Saito, Shioda, Tohei, Shirata and on and on. We can get the 'laying on of hands' up close and personal, and try to figure things out...to steal the technique. Why do you think I go other places? It's certainly NOT because I don't have faith in my own teacher. It's because his skill and work don't give me a pass. I still have to walk this road myself.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
05-04-2006, 10:33 AM
We can go to seminars of the students who seem to have gotten something special of Saito, Shioda, Tohei, Shirata and on and on. And of course you can always do what Ueshiba did and look around everyplace you can, take other arts, etc. Hey....... that's what Tohei, Abe, and a bunch of others did. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And weirdly, after doing that, Ueshiba seems to have captured the "big picture" of what is considered the epitomy of Asian martial arts, even in Chinese martial arts.

FWIW

Mike

MM
05-04-2006, 10:56 AM
Well Stanleys interviews are pretty telling. Gathering everyone in a room with new questions would be great, but dismissing decades of cross referenced research is never a good idea.
Not the least of which is "what were you learning?"
one after the other, after the other....all of them...."We were learning Daito ryu."

Then when he retired and came back to hombu.
"What are you doing? This is not my AIkido!"


Cheers
Dan

Dan,
Agree with you on Stanley. And I haven't dismissed that, but there is a lot of information there and it's taking quite a while to go through. :) One day, maybe I'll be able to corrolate stuff better, but right now it's a working theory that I don't put a whole lot of time into.

I just wonder what it was that the students were doing that wasn't his Aikido? And what was his version of Aikido?

Mark

DH
05-04-2006, 11:02 AM
Dan,
Agree with you on Stanley. And I haven't dismissed that, but there is a lot of information there and it's taking quite a while to go through. :) One day, maybe I'll be able to corrolate stuff better, but right now it's a working theory that I don't put a whole lot of time into.

I just wonder what it was that the students were doing that wasn't his Aikido? And what was his version of Aikido?

Mark

Hi Mark
Lots of pieces to a puzzle to put together. With many interesting clues. Some are convinced they know, others speculate, some are undecided and researching.
If we love training-perhaps its even more to explore.
Cheers
Dan

MM
05-04-2006, 11:04 AM
Hi Mark,

to add to your idea and Dan's point...we can always do the cross-referencing physically on our own. We can go to seminars of the students who seem to have gotten something special of Saito, Shioda, Tohei, Shirata and on and on. We can get the 'laying on of hands' up close and personal, and try to figure things out...to steal the technique. Why do you think I go other places? It's certainly NOT because I don't have faith in my own teacher. It's because his skill and work don't give me a pass. I still have to walk this road myself.

Best,
Ron

Cross training is great. My last venture, the Ellis Amdur seminar, was awesome. My next venture will take more time and money, though, but well worth it for me.

But, being as low as I am on the totem pole, there really isn't much chance to get some hands on time with the current shihans. The seminars offer an opportunity to get a small glance at different methods, but they never give anything in-depth. You've got to keep going back or put in some time. If you're at a decent level, three good months should work. :) But who's at that level and can devote that amount of time? I'd love to be able to do that.

For now, though, cross-training is great and an opportunity to see the techniques of others, but I also understand that a weekend isn't enough time to get a solid grasp on methodology. Least not for me.

Mark

MM
05-04-2006, 11:09 AM
Hi Mark
Lots of pieces to a puzzle to put together. With many interesting clues. Some are convinced they know, others speculate, some are undecided and researching.
If we love training-perhaps its even more to explore.
Cheers
Dan

Dan,
That first sentence is an understatement for me. LOL! Seems like too many clues at times and not enough at others. The only thing I know is that I really, really don't know enough yet to begin to grasp certain things. That's why I train. I can see a progression level through my past and while I can't see as clear a progression in my future, I do know one is there. And not training makes it go away. You're right, though, training creates a whole lot more to explore.

Mark

MM
05-04-2006, 11:11 AM
And of course you can always do what Ueshiba did and look around everyplace you can, take other arts, etc. Hey....... that's what Tohei, Abe, and a bunch of others did. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. And weirdly, after doing that, Ueshiba seems to have captured the "big picture" of what is considered the epitomy of Asian martial arts, even in Chinese martial arts.

FWIW

Mike

Mike,
That's what I'm trying to do. I've got two other arts lined up and I'm about to begin them. Should be interesting. Not a whole lot of CMA here, though. Unless you know of one in the middle of West Virginia? :)

Mark

Mike Sigman
05-04-2006, 11:19 AM
Not a whole lot of CMA here, though. Unless you know of one in the middle of West Virginia? :) Finding other arts is easy.... finding someone who really knows another art is very hard.

Frankly, the years have taught me that most of the Asian martial arts taught in the West are usually some kind of empty shell of what the actual art is. If I had it to do over again with my training, I'd probably only be able to find a teacher or two for any given art that I would consider worth my while. We all get sucked into that stuff, unfortunately.

I used to joke about rednecks who owned CB radios because they'd buy one, use it, pick up the lingo, and then within a couple of months start giving advice on "linear amps" and "side-band" like they were electrical engineers. A lot of the martial arts in the West is on the CB-radio level (read some of the karate and judo forums on E-Budo for an example). The trick is to avoid the CB-radio guys and the big strong guys who can kick-butt because they're big, strong guys but who claim it's their martial arts knowledge.

I.e., it's a quicksand swamp out there and you just have to decide exactly what it is you want to do, why you want to do it, set time limits, allow for false scents, and then take your best shot. ;)

Regards,

Mike

johanlook
05-04-2006, 07:22 PM
Finding other arts is easy.... finding someone who really knows another art is very hard.

I've encountered that a lot even in my relatively short time of training, although by all accounts Tohei and Shioda were doing magical things by now :) In any case I may not have all the cards but I kind of know what I'm looking for so it's just a matter of time and effort. From my experience I haven't had any negatives from politely asking a teacher if I could resist him or her or try and push them over etc.

Dan, it sounds like you've got something that's working for you - perhaps I missed the details in this thread or another thread but is it something that can be explained?(Or is it the ground path and fascia development that MIke has described)

johanlook
05-04-2006, 07:37 PM
One mention of this is at Ki-Breathing

That was an interesting article - I've always been interested in Tohei's stuff but from my experience with Aikidoka from Ki society and Kenkyukai, most of the people at my level or above have the same trouble with the ki stuff that I do. Instructors of 30 or 40 years were able to do stuff to me, but that's pretty normal no matter what Aikido they do. I can't seem to see that they necessarily have a greater level of "ki" development that at any other dojo - kind of what the initial writer of the article was saying. I have noticed other health benefits from "ki" breathing though. It's interesting though that later down the article that Bob Jones implies that ki breathing is the easiest way to develop ki, but he also mentions that it is not meant to improve Aikido.

statisticool
05-04-2006, 10:51 PM
Those certain number of people could be wrong in their belief that things are "missing" based on people not having the skill that O'Sensei had.

In Ueshiba's writings, and the writings of many Chinese masters, I don't read them placing much, or any, emphasis on tricks.

DH
05-05-2006, 08:03 AM
Those certain number of people could be wrong in their belief that things are "missing" based on people not having the skill that O'Sensei had.

In Ueshiba's writings, and the writings of many Chinese masters, I don't read them placing much, or any, emphasis on tricks.

Uhm....sorry but you'd be wrong. Go read and you will see many, many instances of these things. Ueshiba did them many, times. You will also read where he made guys push him all the time. Up stairs, up hills in the dojo. Etc.
Just what.........do you suppose he was doing?
Training.
And it became patently obvious that he shared little of the reasons why with others.
Oh well.
Think of them as demonstrations of a skill rather than a trick and it may help. The skills are usable in everyday life and in fighting.
The Jo -trick is the result of good body skills.
Skills that will help you shovel better, or kill with a spear.
Lift a mounted tractor tire or wear armor and throw.
Push a cow or horse aside who has brushed you into the back of the stall, or slam a guy onto the ground.
All the same power base.


As for Ueshiba's writting and talking...the guys who trained with him everyday couldn't understand his lectures either. Chiba was quoted in AJ that they could not wait for Ueshiba to stop talking so they could train.
Cheers
Dan

Chuck Clark
05-05-2006, 09:45 AM
Good Post Dan,

I have seen many old farmers and cowboys in my youth in Oklahoma that demonstrated many of the internal skills being discussed when throwing a bale of hay into a wagon or dumping a steer on it's side during spring branding, or, as you said, shoving a horse or cow around, etc. They don't look at it as anything separate from tools needed to do the job. Some are good at it and others aren't. My dad apprenticed to a blacksmith 4 years after Oklahoma became a state. He was 9 years old and worked as a smithy (along with his regular chores around the farm) until he was 30. He was a very powerful man until he died at 90. He didn't have a clue how he did it though.

Fortunately, we have available tools that we can learn this sort of thing in systematic ways if we have the sense to identify it and the courage, determination, and patience to develop it. It ain't magic for sure.

DH
05-05-2006, 10:02 AM
Hi Bud

Yeah I agree .There is an old axium about Farmers and fishermen being the "strongest" people. You know I live in the country and chop wood and I blacksmith as well. I think allot of people want the skills to be sexier than they are and so they make them all esoteric.
Its like putting a teacher on a pedestile artifically in your mind:
Its gives lazy students an excuse
"He so good I'll never get there." So they don't work as hard.
And it affords the less talented the:
"Excellence by affiliation" cop out.

When I show guys and HAND them the tools to work it at home...many still don't do it. And they see me every week!!....argh!
I always chastise them that I am the only one with perfect attendance and whenever I ask who did home work-I'm always in the group. Young people have an aversion to w-o-r-k.

The grand debate is what percentage of the skills came naturally to farmers, fishermen and such, or had to be taught and learned and then where did the mind/intent/ connection and breath work come in. Slinging hay with a fork is an easy transition to spear. and pushing a horse with Fajin was probably very useful as well. And there are body-connection things that are directly relevent to work and load bearing. The breath work is what I have been playing with for years. But because of what we do I still get bogged down in the banging and rolling aspects and bringing guys through that.
What else is new right?

I am trying to swing the fall Session to come down and see ya. I'm taking Kate to Ireland as a trade-off for Japan last year. So hopefully I am buidling up Husband points. Man did I marry well.
cheers
Dan

nicojo
05-05-2006, 12:31 PM
Ranch budo? Well I'm not much of a MA-ist, and I should probably just keep my trap shut, but I do know:

1. Pounding steel fence posts will destroy your back, shoulders and arms unless you are sinking down through good posture. Setting up a quick line in five minutes to corral some sheep, it's easy to see the "experts" vs. the strugglers trying to muscle it through. Setting up a mile of fence will teach a few things about efficient movement.
2. Pushing a bull or stubborn cow through a chute they don't want to go through is frustrating unless you see a balance point to push them on. Then it's easy to get them to walk. Can't do much on an animal that outweighs you by several hundred pounds w/o a bit of structure. I don't know if this is kuzushi since I don't really know what that is, but whatever it is, it works better than a electric prod.
3. Holding down a steer for a branding with your arms alone teaches humility and gets dusty. Centering your weight over their hips gets the job done. Some joint locks there as well.
4. Easy to see a good western rider on a horse: they slouch and look lazy until you realize all the communication with the horse is from the dantien, no wait, tanden, no wait, heck it's just where your butt- and belly-weight is. Use of spurs and reins shows an ill-trained animal or a new rider; it's the knee pressure and the balance of your body that tells the horse where you want to go.
5. Well shoot, cowboy boots hurt your heels and arches unless you see that they naturally pitch you forward on that point around the ball of your feet, whatever fancy Chinese word it was I learned then forgot. Anyhow, then it's good posture. Helps when you are riding as well as standing around.
6. A real master of kuzushi might be a border collie. I don't know how they do it.

I can't make any of this work in the dojo, but it's something that makes the work on the ranch move a little easier. Maybe if somebody just stood still on the mat while I got out the post pounder. I suppose if I were a good roper I'd have some other things to say. Newaza on a steer? I'll think about it. Ukemi from being bucked off? Luckily I haven't had to think about that since I was six or so.

Sorry to interrupt. My best regards,

Dennis Hooker
05-05-2006, 01:19 PM
Good Post Dan,

I have seen many old farmers and cowboys in my youth in Oklahoma that demonstrated many of the internal skills being discussed when throwing a bale of hay into a wagon or dumping a steer on it's side during spring branding, or, as you said, shoving a horse or cow around, etc. .

Chuck I agree wholeheartedly with what you say and have said as much on several forums over the years. As a youth the strongest man I knew was Neb Cook. He plowed with a two mule team in the Wabash River bottoms near my house. He had strength far beyond what he should have given his size and age. I believe the connection with the earth is critical. Ueshiba was a farmer and loved to farm his whole life. I believe it was a functional part of his budo development. I believe it helped him develop his power. One can not work a field long with a tense body. I have hoed enough rows and tossed enough bails to now. The power and techniques used are not tricks they are tools. I know a man that can drive a tenpenny nail (five stroke nail) with one smooth relaxed stroke of the hammer and he can do it all day long. It is not a trick it is a developed skill that took years to prefect. Some people do Ki tricks and that is the sad part because they believe the trick is the real thing. They are conditioned to believe and worse yet they condition their students to believe it. From the time I was 12 years old until I was 23 (with a little break for the army) I worked in Valentine Packing house. Five twelve year olds would shake hides. We would take cow hides covered in rock salt and maggots and shake them before throwing them into the tanning vat. The skill of relaxed work was passed from the older boy to the newest by working at his side. That was my first introduction to Ki. It took several weeks to learn. I moved to the killing room floor where I learned to kill a bovine and sheep with one swing of a ten pound hammer. I am sick to my stomach about the suffering I caused until I developed the skill to do it right the first time. That was my second interdiction to Ki. The nest job was in the hanging and boneing room. This is where a 5 foot five inch140 pound boy learned to swing a beef side up and have beef quarter cut loose on his shoulder with out going to his knees or worse then carry it to the truck and hang it on a hook and do this all day long. That was my third introduction to Ki. That took the longest to learn. I watched little old men put me to shame on that job. It is my own misguided belief that trying to understand Ki in martial context by itís self is useless. Aikido helped me refine those tools and put them in other context as well.

DH
05-05-2006, 01:25 PM
Well rasberries "phhhtttp! "... to ya Dennis. :D
I was the one mentioning farm work and trying to get people to re-think the pragmatism of it all and its early correlation to possible entry or segue into Budo. Well at least on a basic level.
Good post by the way.

Naturally it begs the question then -due to the huge corollary of the men who work-If I push on the jo? Where does the force go?

And Chuck I'm still not going to let ya hit me with it. ;)
Cheers
Dan

Dennis Hooker
05-05-2006, 01:33 PM
Well rasberries "phhhtttp! "... to ya Dennis. :D
I was the one mentioning farm work and trying to get people to re-think the pragmatism of it all and its early correlation to possible entry or segue into Budo. Well at least on a basic level.

cheers anyway...and good post by the way.
Dan

Ok I'll give the devil he due ;) By the way are you reading these things as I write them or are you a speed reader? :eek:

Ron Tisdale
05-05-2006, 01:35 PM
Dan is everywhere....

In fact, unless I miss my guess, he probably knows just what I'm thinking right now! ;)

Best,
Ron (excellent group of posts...I can't even compete)

DH
05-05-2006, 01:38 PM
No
I Just came in from re-oiling my deck and was sitting having a break while it dried and turned on the lap top. I took the day off to work. Yeah me

Now if the oil spreads with a pole.......never mind :D

I'm going out for the night with my son so ya can kick at me whilst I'm away.

cheers
Dan

What drives the shovel?
What pushed the horse?
We can resist and absorb the push of a jo with those very lessons. More can be added to dissipate the force or concentrate and project. But the building blocks are right there in the economy of....... work.

Mike Sigman
05-05-2006, 02:12 PM
This is where a 5 foot five inch140 pound boy learned to swing a beef side up and have beef quarter cut loose on his shoulder with out going to his knees or worse then carry it to the truck and hang it on a hook and do this all day long. That was my third introduction to Ki. That took the longest to learn. I watched little old men put me to shame on that job. It is my own misguided belief that trying to understand Ki in martial context by it's self is useless. Aikido helped me refine those tools and put them in other context as well.Hi Dennis:

Well, I agree that some of "ki" is along those lines of efficiencies, although it's more complicated than that. And even if someone is learning to do those skills, there's still hard work to make it more powerful. But then there's the part of ki that has to do with the breathing and enhancing the fascial stuff and I don't believer your examples even touched that one. But I'm just expressing my opinion. In some of the cases that you're talking about, there may well be some partial overlap with the "jin" or "kokyu-nage" type forces, BTW, so I'm trying to make impartial observations.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Dennis Hooker
05-05-2006, 02:14 PM
For years I have been fascinated by Ed Leedskalnin http://www.coralcastle.com/ what was his source of power? The Army Corp of Engineers can't figure it out either.


f you had visited Coral Castle 60 years ago, you would have been greeted enthusiastically by a man weighing a mere 100 pounds and standing just over 5 feet tall. He would have asked you for ten cents admission and introduced you to his fantasy world carved out of stone.

As you moved around his rock garden and the significance of each piece was explained, you could not help but notice the great pride Ed Leedskalnin took in his work.

Since it is documented that no one ever witnessed Ed's labor in building his rock gate park, some say he had supernatural powers. Ed would only say that he knew the secrets used to build the ancient pyramids and if he could learn them, you could too!

Today, you can leisurely tour Coral Castle via our new 30 minute state of the art audio tour. Hear this fascinating story in English, Spanish, French or German, and see for yourself what millions saw on national TV's "That's Incredible", "In Search Of...", and "You Asked For It!" Even rock star Billy Idol wrote his hit song, "Sweet Sixteen" about Ed's lost love.

Now we wonder what exactly was the source of inspiration that drove this man for 28 years to carve a Coral Castle from the ground up using nothing but home made tools from junk parts. Unrequited love? Ancient sciences that defy gravity, or just sheer, raw human determination? The Coral Castle is an everlasting mystery to those who explore it.

Dennis Hooker
05-05-2006, 02:49 PM
Hi Dennis:

Well, I agree that some of "ki" is along those lines of efficiencies, although it's more complicated than that. And even if someone is learning to do those skills, there's still hard work to make it more powerful. But then there's the part of ki that has to do with the breathing and enhancing the fascial stuff and I don't believer your examples even touched that one. But I'm just expressing my opinion. In some of the cases that you're talking about, there may well be some partial overlap with the "jin" or "kokyu-nage" type forces, BTW, so I'm trying to make impartial observations.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


Mike, I believe one has to possess this traits you talk about in order for the correct flow to exist. Many of the teachers I have trained with say Ki development is a natural part of the training and will happen naturally. That is one of the causes for the early schism in Aikido. Separation of Ki development into it's own discipline. The feeling was, and is, if you train correctly ki will develop naturally. Now I have not studied the Chinese arts but I know that breathing is the thread that runs through all of what we are talking about. Kokyu is much more that just breath. It is the flow of energy between things and the rhythms of nature. It is knowing how to remove the conflict between one's self and the ones environment. I believe that was what I was being taught even though many people may disagree. Hell I'm just a really a country boy and I admit most of this is way beyond me. I just do what I do because of what I am and what people made me. Without working in the flow of the rhythms I would have ceased to be long ago. I believe the foundation laid for me lead me to Aikido.

Dennis Hooker
05-05-2006, 03:12 PM
Hi Dennis:

BTW, so I'm trying to make impartial observations.

Regards,

Mike Sigman


Mike I wish I knew enough to be impartail!!


Have a great weekend

Dennis

Erick Mead
05-05-2006, 03:18 PM
For years I have been fascinated by Ed Leedskalnin http://www.coralcastle.com/ what was his source of power? The Army Corp of Engineers can't figure it out either. This may give you some ideas about it -- See this:
http://www.theforgottentechnology.com/Page1.htm

Pay attention to the position at the start and the end.

If you read his descriptive material and schematics you'll see its all about extending weight to the periphery and manipulating the rotation of the center of mass for leverage -- basically, a kokyunage toss -- about three feet -- of a 20,000 # block :D

Really, it is very cool.

Nifty guy.

Cordially,
Erick Mead

DH
05-05-2006, 03:22 PM
Hi Dennis
What I'm talking about has more to do with aligning parts of my body from my feet up through my legs and sacrum to spine, and head. No shouldering, no shoving. Just like the way you would use pitch fork all day long with hay, or shoveling sand as a laborer and not kill your arms and shoulders. The load is in the legs, hips and spine. There is a way to absorb the force in the stick right down to the ground-without using much else. The real key-not ki- is that I create and alignment that allows my body to stand and not to flex or create a concentrate flexed force anywhere-especially the arms and shoulders. Thus the force can run through me evenly or be moved to different places. Moved to different places??? I know I know....what?

Now, we can "add" to this with bridging various aprts of the body, by using vectors along a current or base, by bleeding off one side and powering another, and.........by the king....Breathing. Breath control-.....not dreamy, connecting to the universe breath control- I mean working it on the inside of ....me and sending it. Having a very active and palpable diaphragm to make a either a held for projecting or dissipated pressure. Breath power is a sort of add-on.
Anyway....thats a basic start.



Cheers
Dan

tedehara
05-05-2006, 03:54 PM
That was an interesting article - I've always been interested in Tohei's stuff but from my experience with Aikidoka from Ki society and Kenkyukai, most of the people at my level or above have the same trouble with the ki stuff that I do. Instructors of 30 or 40 years were able to do stuff to me, but that's pretty normal no matter what Aikido they do. I can't seem to see that they necessarily have a greater level of "ki" development that at any other dojo - kind of what the initial writer of the article was saying. I have noticed other health benefits from "ki" breathing though. It's interesting though that later down the article that Bob Jones implies that ki breathing is the easiest way to develop ki, but he also mentions that it is not meant to improve Aikido.That forum exchange is several years old. If you're interested in ki breathing, Koichi Tohei recently released "Ki Breathing which was on the best seller list in Japan. His son, Shinichi Tohei is translating it into English on his Ki Weblog (http://universalmind.way-nifty.com/universalmind_english/).

Mike Sigman
05-05-2006, 03:58 PM
Many of the teachers I have trained with say Ki development is a natural part of the training and will happen naturally. That is one of the causes for the early schism in Aikido. Separation of Ki development into it's own discipline. The feeling was, and is, if you train correctly ki will develop naturally. Well, there is a linear relationship between ki and strength, in one sense. The body "ki" was a way of explaining how strength worked, within the ki/qi paradigm. But that's only a small aspect of it. I'm not a follower of Koichi Tohei, although I've read a lot of his stuff in the same way that I read everyone's stuff, but the "schism" developed largely because Tohei split off from the Hombu dojo and decided to make the workings of ki the banner under which he started his own faction. His rationale was that Aikido was becoming more and more a technique, etc., thing and the ki part was being left out. If ki developed naturally, I don't think he'd have had a foothold worth a hoot, to be honest.

I think someone can "flow" whether they have any ki skills or not... so seeing flow doesn't imply ki to me. I do think that exactly what ki does can be analysed, just as how Ed Leedskalnin moved those stones can be analysed.... if anyone had seen him do it. IIRC, when he was forced to move the castle to another location, he borrowed someone's truck and he had some chains and pullies, but no one was allowed to watch him do it. If they had, we'd know exactly how Ed did it.

Erick's website showing the concrete slabs is a good one (I didn't know that one was still around; saw him on TV some years ago) and while I don't think it explains all kokyunage throws (I'm unsure what throws are NOT kokyunage throws, TBH), there is a principle in the use of those slabs that is very pertinent to the use of kokyu-power, in my opinion. It would probably be a good place to analyse what kokyu-power is.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
05-05-2006, 04:22 PM
If you're interested in ki breathing, Koichi Tohei recently released "Ki Breathing which was on the best seller list in Japan. His son, Shinichi Tohei is translating it into English on his Ki Weblog (http://universalmind.way-nifty.com/universalmind_english/). Frankly, I think Tohei's "Ki Breathing" is something different from the breathing for ki development that was used in Japan and China and which Ueshiba himself used. For instance, take a look at the website:
http://ccbs.ntu.edu.tw/FULLTEXT/JR-PHIL/ew88808.htm

Misogi-kyo was one of the thirteen religious groups designated "Sect Shinto" (shuha shinto) by the Meiji government. It has never been a large movement (in 1995 it reportedly had a membership of 99,180), but, like the better-known Kurozumi-kyo, with which it shares several features, its early history and teachings vividly illustrate the religious world of late Tokugawa Japan. The group has its origins in the activities and teachings of Inoue Masakane (1790-1849), son of a samurai employed in the domain of Tatebayashi (in today's Gunma Prefecture).[13] When Inoue was eighteen,[14] he practiced Zen under the guidance of Tetsuyu Zenni, an Obaku nun in the lineage of Shoto Mokuan (1611-1648). A year later, he set off on a journey to seek the guidance of various Shinto, Confucian, and Buddhist teachers, and eventually completed a stint in the Chinese medicine school of Nagata Tokuhon (1513-1630). By the age of twenty-five, Inoue began training under the Kyoto physiognomist Mizuno Nanboku. He underwent a strict regimen, carrying out menial work for his teacher and restricting himself to simple food and dress. It was reportedly during this time that Inoue learned to regulate his breath by concentrating it below his navel. After mastering the disciplines of the Nanboku school, the young man (now twenty-eight) moved to Edo and began practicing divination (under the name Shueki). The following year he added finger-pressure therapy (shiatsu ryoho) to his growing repertoire of physical and spiritual skills.

From about this time Inoue started to formulate his own system of therapeutic arts. He began to attract a small following, supporting himself in the meantime by practicing medicine (under the name Toen). But his search was not yet over. At the age of forty-four he happened to hear some Shinto teachings from an old woman in the Tatebayashi domainal residence in Edo; he is said to have been profoundly moved and subsequently had a "divine dream" (shinmu) that inspired him to take up the "way of the gods." The next year (1834) he returned to Kyoto and enrolled in the Shirakawa (Hakke) school of Shinto, where he was initiated into ritual ablution (misogi) and, reportedly, breath-control practices.[15] When he was forty-seven, Inoue received approval from the Jingikan to carry out Shinto worship rituals, and, two years later, he was permitted to supervise miko ceremonial duties. In 1840, he became shrine priest of the Umeda Shinmei Shrine in Musashi (under the name Shikibu).

Once he obtained this official status, Inoue began to propagate in earnest the purification rituals that were to become the central practices of Misogi-kyo. But by 1841, his teaching activities had aroused the suspicions of the Superintendent of Temples and Shrines (Jisha bugyo), and he was imprisoned along with his wife, Onari. The Shirakawa house appealed to the Superintendent to remove the charges, but with little success--though Inoue was transferred to the custody of the Umeda community. The following year, he wrote a summary of his teachings and presented it to the authorities, presumably in order to exonerate himself.[16] But the office of the Superintendent continued to view Inoue and his teachings as a potential threat to the public order, and exiled him to Miyakejima.[17] He is said to have occupied himself there by healing the ill, praying for rain, building shrines, supervising silkworm cultivation, and building reservoirs. He died in exile at the age of sixty.

Inoue's followers persevered in their efforts to spread his teachings, provoking the shogunate to suppress the group further in 1862. After the Restoration, however,Inoue's wife, his senior disciple, Uneme, and Inoue himself (posthumously) were pardoned by the new Meiji state.[18] In 1872 the movement was officially recognized under the name Tohokami-ko, and allowed to propagate its teachings publicly. The group changed its name to Misogi-kyo in 1876, and in 1894 the government designated it an independent religious sect.[19]

The Misogi techniques encompassed the common practice of storing pressure in the tanden area for building up power. The legendary Miki Nakayama probably got her famous strength from these sorts of practices. If you read books on Kalaripayattu, Chinese martial arts, etc., you'll see that this is indeed a famous technique (although it's more complicated than just breathing to the navel, of course).

Tohei's "ki breathing" seems to almost deliberately NOT talk about this sort of thing, oddly enough.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

statisticool
05-05-2006, 05:49 PM
The Jo -trick is the result of good body skills.


That's hard to say IMO based on either a still photo or a video, some of which the details are hidden.

All I know is that if you Google

Ueshiba trick

this thread is the first thing that comes up. That tells me that Ueshiba did not place emphasis on tricks, else hits of his writings discussing this trick would come up.

This is an interesting read

http://ejmas.com/pt/ptart_garrelts_0303.html

Talon
05-05-2006, 11:00 PM
This is an interesting read

http://ejmas.com/pt/ptart_garrelts_0303.html

Interesting read indeed. Dan would you care to comment since, you mentioned you can do the Jo "trick"...

Quanping
05-06-2006, 02:43 AM
You should go see Chen Xiao Wang when he visits Germany this year. It will open your eyes to what these additives can do. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Mike,

You mean this guy?

http://media.putfile.com/Liaobaivschen


Not sure what advantage all those 'additves' have given him, if any against a simple aggressive attack...

DH
05-06-2006, 04:28 AM
Interesting read indeed. Dan would you care to comment since, you mentioned you can do the Jo "trick"...

Well sure
He cant' make it work.
I mean.....after all he did buy the video and watch it. And he did try it once and couldn't make it work. So obviously it can't be done
And then..........he did write his findings on the net and you guys read it.
Is this martial arts training in the 21st century?

Look up the word myopic.

Dan

statisticool
05-06-2006, 08:07 AM
Mike,

You mean this guy?

http://media.putfile.com/Liaobaivschen

Not sure what advantage all those 'additves' have given him, if any against a simple aggressive attack...

And how would he do against an attack where takedowns are used, or kicks, or strikes to the face, etc., instead of just polite pushing with the hands and circling of each other?

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 09:04 AM
Mike,

You mean this guy?

http://media.putfile.com/Liaobaivschen


Not sure what advantage all those 'additves' have given him, if any against a simple aggressive attack...He didn't use any real additives other than to invite the Liao Bai to give it his best shot. Chen Xiao Wang did not respond at all... he simply let the other guy attack. And by the way, as a general rule when you want to "push hands" you don't suddenly dive in like that. Looks like twice Liao Bai knocked himself back (lost his glasses in the end one) and Chen Xiao Wang didn't catch Liao Bai's angle very well twice, so he didn't make Liao Bai knock himself back on those occasions.

CXW has a habit of just telling you to go for it and he doesn't do anything aggressive while just letting you take your best shots. The only thing you have to watch out for is when he says "OK, now my turn" because doom is coming.

Mike

JasonFDeLucia
05-06-2006, 09:06 AM
I don't get it, Jason, if you don't mind expanding. Or maybe I just disagree. The common variant I've seen of the jo-trick is for someone to stick their arm straight out in front of them and let a volunteer try to move it sideways or up and down. It's a demonstration of the connecting power of six-directions training, combined with some force-path controls.

For Ueshiba to extend the moment-arm even further with a jo was a bit of embellishment (and maybe a little too showy, since he never appears to be able to hold it very long in the available film clips), but still part of the same trick. I see his point, as will most people who are familiar with the principles. I say truthfully, that he does a pretty good job of trying to make the extended trick work, even though I also so that his Uke's tend to be overly cooperative and deferential. But then, I have a cause-and-effect mind. How does "sincerity" have anything to do with a mechanical trick, if I may ask?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

the object of the jo trick is to lead your partner's or partners' force then negate it in any combinations of kata omote/ura

JasonFDeLucia
05-06-2006, 09:09 AM
No offense, Jason, but those statements tell me nothing but vague assertions of your opinions. And I can think of counter-examples without even trying, so I'll politely say "pass". Nope, there's nothing ethereal about it. Simple physiological skill that can be developed more extensively than most people realize. I have no idea why Heisenberg's uncertainty principle would be invoked in an Aikido discussion, other than as techno-babble. One should note that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle does not say "everything is uncertain." Rather, it tells us very exactly where the limits of uncertainty lie when we make measurements of sub-atomic events.
;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman
no they are science facts that i have consistently exercised .where you understand a portion of a "martial art" in excursion form but no real depth of hand to hand application in a fight ,you can never see it .

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 09:10 AM
And how would he do against an attack where takedowns are used, or kicks, or strikes to the face, etc., instead of just polite pushing with the hands and circling of each other? I don't know what Liao Bai said, but he apparently also said something along the lines of "what would you do if...?" and CXW said OK, do it.

But if you go up to him and say "what would you do against....?" he'll also say go ahead. Push hands stuff is just for fun. If you want to fight, you need to go up and tell him you want to fight for real... he's taken real challenges his whole life. Instead of "what would he do if....?" you need to just go to one of his seminars and tell him you want to do it, Justin, instead of just theorizing from behind a keyboard.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 09:18 AM
the object of the jo trick is to lead your partner's or partners' force then negate it in any combinations of kata omote/ura Oh, I disagree. Ueshiba usually ended the demo with some sort of throw, but it was a demonstration of his power and a pretty interesting one, but in every example I ever saw, the trick was actually beyond his real abilities (although he may have been able to do it to a limited extent when he was younger and stronger). In every example I saw he had to slip it or the pushers had to be overly cooperative. It was a demonstration of his ki-related skills and the essential component of the demo is exactly the same as the component that Tohei uses when someone pushes on his forearm and Tohei doesn't move. Exactly the same principle.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 09:21 AM
no they are science facts that i have consistently exercised .where you understand a portion of a "martial art" in excursion form but no real depth of hand to hand application in a fight ,you can never see it . Well, if you're using Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in a real fight you are a truly unusual individual, Jason.

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

statisticool
05-06-2006, 09:37 AM
If you want to fight, you need to go up and tell him you want to fight for real... he's taken real challenges his whole life.


Oh, I'm sure, but we can only comment on what we see in front of us. And we saw a video of him getting pushed basically, in a 'polite' setting.


Instead of "what would he do if....?" you need to just go to one of his seminars and tell him you want to do it, Justin, instead of just theorizing from behind a keyboard.


I'm not sure why you believe you get to tell me how to use my computer. :) Let's please stay on topic here.

Dennis Hooker
05-06-2006, 09:44 AM
Just for the record could I get a quick count on how many contributors to this thread now train in Aikido? Don't get me wrong I like the discussion, attitude and tone of the thread and it seems we have a diverse group of people commutation openly and I sure would like to know the background of everyone. It would give me an idea of where I might like to explore further as a student. A few have already given that information.

Dennis Hooker

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 09:59 AM
Oh, I'm sure, but we can only comment on what we see in front of us. And we saw a video of him getting pushed basically, in a 'polite' setting. I think, just from watching the fact that CXW obviously agreed to just let the guy try something and that CXW didn't make a single offensive move himself, that the original discussion was about "what would you do if....?". In other words, the video tells us nothing of any real importance.

Oh wait.... when Liao Bai bounces off from the first push and the last one, the essential mechanics are the same as for the jo trick and for most of Tohei's "ki tests". So there is a relevance.

Regards,

Mike

Mark Freeman
05-06-2006, 10:00 AM
Just for the record could I get a quick count on how many contributors to this thread now train in Aikido? Don't get me wrong I like the discussion, attitude and tone of the thread and it seems we have a diverse group of people commutation openly and I sure would like to know the background of everyone. It would give me an idea of where I might like to explore further as a student. A few have already given that information.

Dennis Hooker

Although my input hasn't been massive, I think one of my earlier posts had a 'stirring up' effect :)

14 years of Ki Aikido with K Williams - Ki Federation of GB

regards,
Mark

Mark Freeman
05-06-2006, 10:05 AM
I think, just from watching the fact that CXW obviously agreed to just let the guy try something and that CXW didn't make a single offensive move himself, that the original discussion was about "what would you do if....?". In other words, the video tells us nothing of any real importance.

Regards,

Mike

I watched the video, I know little about pushing hands, but it was obvious to me within moments who was who and who had the upper 'hand' so to speak.
What would you do if...? questions are not really worth the space they take up.
The answer is only evident after the action.

regards,
Mark

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 10:21 AM
I watched the video, I know little about pushing hands, but it was obvious to me within moments who was who and who had the upper 'hand' so to speak. Actually, I like seeing people comment out of the blue on videos like that, too, Mark. I agree it's pretty obvious who was in charge and that it had something to do with a discussion about "what would you do if...?". But the people who couldn't grasp that quickly are numerous in many such similar videos, actual confrontations, etc., I've seen over the years.

The "jo trick" has always been sort of like that to me. Different people get different impressions about what is going on and frankly all I see is the principle that he was trying to show (although I think he stretched a bit too far and couldn't quite pull it off").

The same with watching Tohei's "ki tricks". I see that he's showing a principle and that principle, if used in the right way in a real confrontation, is valuable. If Tohei can stand on one leg, for instance, and resist a push to his arm, then he can use that same force to hit or throw someone .... so it's worth chasing down how he did that trick and the other tricks.

Jim Sorrentino mentioned the other day about seeing someone kick through the wall of a 55-gallon drum on Okinawa. I've seen someone shove their fingers through the walls of a 55-gallon drum. I don't want to train as long or as hard as they did, but I would like to have some portion of that kind of power, so learning how they train is worthwhile. Why do I want to do something like that if I don't fight anywhere at all as much as I used to? It's an investment in my own quality of life for now and as I get older.... and that's exactly what O-Sensei and Shioda said. Funny coincidence. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
05-06-2006, 10:35 AM
Just for the record could I get a quick count on how many contributors to this thread now train in Aikido? Don't get me wrong I like the discussion, attitude and tone of the thread and it seems we have a diverse group of people commutation openly and I sure would like to know the background of everyone. It would give me an idea of where I might like to explore further as a student. A few have already given that information.

Dennis Hooker


I still train in Aikido, although not with the same group I started with. Initially, I was in the Jiyushinkai out in OKC. I moved to West Virginia where there aren't any local dojos. So to keep up with regular training, I finally started training under the Chudokai.

Mark

Talon
05-06-2006, 11:47 AM
Well sure
He cant' make it work.
I mean.....after all he did buy the video and watch it. And he did try it once and couldn't make it work. So obviously it can't be done
And then..........he did write his findings on the net and you guys read it.
Is this martial arts training in the 21st century?

Look up the word myopic.

Dan

Well I don't think that his little article was that simple. It brought up pretty good obesrvations and points about the video. If the uke was strictly pushing with all his might why did his front foot not come off the ground? By all rights it should have. Also if you look at the video you'll see that his rear foot looks pretty light and sometimes even comes off or slides a bit. If he was pushing with all his might his rear foot should be planted and his front foot should be light or even off the ground. It doesnt look like thats whats happening in the video though.

I would not be so rough on the guy who is just observing and attempting to figure out something with some reason. Now I asked you because you do the jo trick and wanted to know your perspective and how you do the trick. Best regards.

PS. for the poster that asked about aikido practitioners. I used to train a bit of Karate when I was young, Wing Chun when I was in colege and now strictly Aikido.

wendyrowe
05-06-2006, 01:01 PM
Well, if you're using Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in a real fight you are a truly unusual individual, Jason.

http://www.neijia.com/Heisenberg.jpg
Some of Jason's writing can be hard to understand, but in that case it was pretty clear that he was using it as an example of something we know to be true even though we also know that we don't know everything about it:

like at present we can calculate the momentum of a particle or its position but not both at the same time .i would not cast aspersions on a physicist's view that lead him to a conclusion if it worked to get him there
The point is, the physicist has to work out a model that explains what's happening even though he doesn't know everything; and even if he doesn't know the entire answer, he still works with what he has and tries to learn the rest. Same idea here: we shouldn't dismiss the whole thing as hooey because we don't understand everything that's going on.

Because I believe that the "Jo Trick" conforms to established physical principles even though the outcome is not what we expect, I have to assume it falls into one of two categories:
1. a "parlor trick" with ukes who are in on it so observers will be impressed
2. an exercise wherein the dynamics are not what they appear to be because the camera (or eye) is not capturing all the subtleties of all the movements.

If it were a parlor trick, I'd expect it to be more convincing since there's no point in doing a demo of a technique that'll cause people to say "They were letting you have it."

As an engineer, I can easily imagine that there are unexpected torques involved because of the movements of the person holding the jo and the way he moves it. My guess is that the people trying to grab and hold the jo are expecting to feel force exerted against their hold in a particular way so they brace against that, but instead it moves differently so they can't hold it. It's the same concept as pretty much any aiki throw, where nage's initial motion sets up uke to react a particular way so nage can counter it.

I would love to have some sort of an electronic jo coated with force sensors so we'd be able to record and simulate what's happening. I'm sure the forces applied to the jo are going through considerable changes even though we can't see it in the video.

This isn't to say I don't believe in ki. But I'd say the manifestation of ki here is the way O'Sensei (or whoever else has the jo) uses his mind/body keep the jo responding to the attackers' dynamics. I don't believe he's defying physics through magic, and I don't believe that every instance of the "jo trick" is a put-on.

Just for the record could I get a quick count on how many contributors to this thread now train in Aikido?
Jason DeLucia has been my Aikido teacher for the past three years.

Mark Uttech
05-06-2006, 02:14 PM
O Sensei himself has been quoted as saying: "Reliance on tricks will get you nowhere."

DH
05-06-2006, 02:44 PM
Well I don't think that his little article was that simple. It brought up pretty good obesrvations and points about the video. If the uke was strictly pushing with all his might why did his front foot not come off the ground? By all rights it should have. Also if you look at the video you'll see that his rear foot looks pretty light and sometimes even comes off or slides a bit. If he was pushing with all his might his rear foot should be planted and his front foot should be light or even off the ground. It doesnt look like thats whats happening in the video though.

I would not be so rough on the guy who is just observing and attempting to figure out something with some reason. Now I asked you because you do the jo trick and wanted to know your perspective and how you do the trick. Best regards.

PS. for the poster that asked about aikido practitioners. I used to train a bit of Karate when I was young, Wing Chun when I was in colege and now strictly Aikido.

Hi Paul

I'm not trying to be contrary or argumentative at all. He did say pretty much what I just quoted. Bought the video, watched, read somewhere about using the ground and body alignment and he couldn't do it and he stated that it doesnlt make sense. Ok. That means what? Lets see there are men who do it. I know HOW I do it, and it is pretty much the way he says it can't be done. Body alignment and grounding the force, and using ground, and my breath in a very active way with my spine to push with it.

As for the man? I don't think anyone can self teach these things. Or maybe they do and they're just smarter than me. I think everyone else need a teacher.

As for how hard someone pushes and whether its one or three guys or pushing against a Sumo guy....Look -Its all degrees and and levels of skill. Gee whilickers. Does everyone do Kokyunage as well as everyone else. And for one final time.

IT ISN'T FIGHTING...ITS JUST A TRAINING TOOL.
Though the principles are excellent for fighting.


Point 1. A Foolish buildup

Now Please, don't anyone write to me or quote me anymore unless they specifically respond to the following.

a. It's not a trick, its various principles of body alignment, using ground, breath work, and mental control of ones body. and yes anyone can do it when taught-to some degree and it will get better.

b. Wether or not someone is good enough to hold one guy, and another can hold two or three doesn't negate the principle. The principle is way to generate new strength and power. Most will want to embrace it.


Point 2. READ THIS_____________________________
There is nothing inherent in the jo principle-I am refusing to call it a trick anymore, that is not inherent to learning principles of movement in other techniques Say a good kokyunage.
While it is NOT the same principles it is still body skills and principles contained in a technique.
Learned principles and skills.

1. So, does anyone remember not being able to do Kokyunage at first?
2. That it was magical to them at first?
3. Then they learned some very practical sets of alignment and then breath control and once they moved more fluidly.....voila?
4. Do you still think its magical now?
5. It is and will be the same with the jo. I outlined above, in a previous post, the basics. Once a series of people know it it will lead to other things that are far more important in their training.

In closing,
On the whole you will laugh at the shear mechanical practicality of the basics, and why there was such a fuss. Most will embrace the new ideas of strength and work them into other things.
And like my engineering student who told me no man can remain standing from a horizontal force and went on and..... on..... and..... on with all kinds of diagrams- and calculations to prove me wrong....
When I had him actually doing these things. I had to suffer as he went ...on and ....on...and on about why it is mechanically sound. and the this and the that and how NOW it all makes sense to him.... I stopped listening.
He never could explain breath-power and what it did to the body though.

Ron
If you haven't fallen asleep. You're going to crack up. Standing in a room of 20 somethings... none of which did Aikido. All doing the Jo trick. So can two of the CMA people I know .....Oooh! ahhh!
Gees...Until recently I just assumed there were a host Aikido people who knew this stuff. Wouldn't Tohei's people know this?
Cheers
Dan

Gary David
05-06-2006, 03:01 PM
Folks
Just some thoughts on my part. I have reading this and other forums for some time, but have not posted. Just the reading has provided an interesting range of insights and thoughts. Interesting to me that I would start nowÖÖ..

After many years of dismissing any practical use for Tohei Senseiís four principles I have come back to what they might represent and how make practical use of them. When I started Aikido these were a large part of the system I was in. KI testing was the method to determine your understanding. In the course of processing all of this I figured out how to settle a bit to get through the testing and how to get around the testing by redirecting the flow when pressed by some of the senior instructors. Still the possible importance of any of this was not evident to me in the way it was then presented or in what the possible benefits of this training might be. The testing was never of any great force application and we never heard any discussion of force pathways or redirecting of force. No discussion of retraining of the bodyís muscle set, structure or posture to facilitate enhanced performance. It didnít take long to dismiss the KI testing and just train. With the death in 1978 of the dojoís founders those remaining moved away from KI Society and I moved on to different places and approaches to Aikido training. Over the years I have developed a fairly solid base and some understanding about structure, postural muscles and keeping upright.

Recently I have looked again at my early training, this brought on by thought being put into how we could give new students a better foundation earlier on which to built their base. Could something be done to get folks going on the right track earlier? This would not replace years of practical training, but could eliminate a number of restarts. Anyway it has come to me recently, with the help of some friends and comments made by Stuart Olson in one of his books talking about all principles taught by Tai Chi masters are tricks to get you to do the right thing and that to take them literally you may end up far from the mark. I am thinking that this may be the case with Tohei Senseiís four principles, tricks to get us to do the right thing. Maybe to reach single body movement, use of the center and all the other things being discussed here. The hard work is to now figure out how to format the training and how to practically pass it along given that only a few will be interested and fewer will take the time to get it.

I am not trying to get into a discussion of the merits of KI training or how it was taught at the time, just how I perceived it then and how I reacted to it then and what is going on with me now.

As for meÖ.started Aikido in 1974 in Orange County, California, with Harry Ishisaka Sensei. Following his death in 1978 moved on to other places and other instructors. I trained a little in Karate in Hawaii in the 60ís, have touched on other martial arts over the years, have a current interest in Yingyi, Bagua, Tai Chi, Yiquan, and have returned to Orange County AikiKai to teach several times a month.

Just go straight.....

Gary Welborn

DH
05-06-2006, 03:15 PM
Just for the record could I get a quick count on how many contributors to this thread now train in Aikido? Don't get me wrong I like the discussion, attitude and tone of the thread and it seems we have a diverse group of people commutation openly and I sure would like to know the background of everyone. It would give me an idea of where I might like to explore further as a student. A few have already given that information.

Dennis Hooker

Dennis
I was in an Aikido Dojo this winter. Does that count :D

If you want to explore this, If I make it down to Chucks, I'll show him -as long as he doesn't follow his first instinct to just hit me over the head with the damn thing. Then he can show you. Then you can decide if it was worth it or not.
Then, since the two of you actually LIKE teaching, you can do the AMAZING JO, ROAD SHOW.

Me? Maybe I can get Chuck to spring for dinner and Mojito's-Ellis got me addicated to those things. :drool:

Dan

DH
05-06-2006, 07:23 PM
A better demo of push hands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Qex7QFLss&search=taiji

Same basic principle that the older guy is using to "send" the younger one-is used for the Jo trick

cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
05-06-2006, 09:34 PM
Some of Jason's writing can be hard to understand, but in that case it was pretty clear that he was using it as an example of something we know to be true even though we also know that we don't know everything about it: OK, he's your teacher; I don't see any point in discussing why a quantum-level phenomenon was used to justify a real-world assertion. So, personally, I'd as soon just drop it. ;) Because I believe that the "Jo Trick" conforms to established physical principles even though the outcome is not what we expect, I have to assume it falls into one of two categories:
1. a "parlor trick" with ukes who are in on it so observers will be impressed
2. an exercise wherein the dynamics are not what they appear to be because the camera (or eye) is not capturing all the subtleties of all the movements. [[snip]] As an engineer, I can easily imagine that there are unexpected torques involved because of the movements of the person holding the jo and the way he moves it. My guess is that the people trying to grab and hold the jo are expecting to feel force exerted against their hold in a particular way so they brace against that, but instead it moves differently so they can't hold it. It's not that hard, Wendy. You should already know how these things are done on at least a basic level, IMO... since they're core to Asian martial arts and certainly core to even basic Aikido. There are a fair number of readers of the thread that already know how the basic mechanics work already, but maybe it'll be helpful to do a quick incremental analysis of the basics and then go to the jo-trick (since it's just a sort of extension of the basic idea).

The basic model of a lot of ki-demonstrations devolves to this:

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

The essential idea is that a force pushes from one place directly toward another (from hand to ball, in the illustration), regardless of the fact that there is not a straight connection between the two points. Most people push from their shoulder joint, which is in turn braced against the stability of the body. Think of the "stress area" in the picture as representing the shoulder. We'll get to that in a minute. The hand represents the "middle" or "hara" or "tanden" or the "one point" or whatever your favorite name is. The ball represents whatever is being pushed OR we could reverse the arrows and say the ball is pushing toward the hand... it works either way.

So essentially we have some force-directions (resultant forces) and we have a "stress area" we need to look at. Here's a couple of pictures of K. Tohei demonstrating with an uke. We can think of Tohei's "hara" as the hand and the point of contact with Uke as being the ball. The green lines denote the directions of the resultant forces from Tohei's hara to the point of contact on Uke (of course the hara is braced against the ground, as shown by the green dotted-line). The yellow dotted lines show the actual connection, which would be our copper wire in the picture detailed above.

http://www.neijia.com/Tohei-1.jpg
http://www.neijia.com/Tohei-2.jpg
http://www.neijia.com/Tohei-3.jpg

Tohei espouses, as is common with this sort of power, that all forces originate from the hara/tanden, regardless of where you apply them (we'll leave out the down forces from this simple discussion, although it's the same idea). So that's the forces part, and of course the mind and the body have to be trained to source the forces from the hara, the "one point", what have you. The other half of the trick involves handling the torques at the "stress area". The idea of the "unbendable arm" is to trick an area of the body to sustain a shearing force or a torque by the mind recruiting elements other than the simple usage of the primary musculature. We can get into the details of that later, if you want, but point is that the "stress area", whether it's the shoulder or other places, can be handled by a broader recruitment of the body than just a single weak joint.

That's the essence of the idea. We can simplify the "jo trick" into basically the same model, but before we do let me know where I haven't been clear, or criticize, rebutt, comment, etc., so that we can come to an agreement on the terms, forces, etc.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
05-07-2006, 01:16 AM
Excellent explanation Mike.

Dennis Hooker
05-07-2006, 07:45 AM
Dennis
I was in an Aikido Dojo this winter. Does that count :D

If you want to explore this, If I make it down to Chucks, I'll show him -as long as he doesn't follow his first instinct to just hit me over the head with the damn thing. Then he can show you. Then you can decide if it was worth it or not.
Then, since the two of you actually LIKE teaching, you can do the AMAZING JO, ROAD SHOW.

Me? Maybe I can get Chuck to spring for dinner and Mojito's-Ellis got me addicated to those things. :drool:

Dan

Dan, frankly I don't remember saying anything regarding the"Jo Trick" in all of this communication. Now admittedly I am forgetful and to lazy to reread everything but I sure can't imagine expressing an interest in it. I never said I could or couldn't do it, but that is not what I practice of teach. I did discuss Ki much to my surprise because I usually leave that to other people. I don't place much value in tricks.

Dennis

DH
05-07-2006, 08:04 AM
Dan, frankly I don't remember saying anything regarding the"Jo Trick" in all of this communication.
snip.........


I don't place much value in tricks.
Dennis

Neither do I. That's why I don't do them. I train body skills and principles.
Anyway........Got it.
See ya
Dan

Mark Freeman
05-07-2006, 08:28 AM
A better demo of push hands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3Qex7QFLss&search=taiji

Same basic principle that the older guy is using to "send" the younger one-is used for the Jo trick

cheers
Dan

I enjoyed the video Dan, a little like watching my own aikido teacher at work, only the ukemi is done better.

regards,
Mark,
p.s please can we all stop referring to the jo trick as the jo 'trick' as you requested in post #162 ;)

Mike Sigman
05-07-2006, 08:38 AM
p.s please can we all stop referring to the jo trick as the jo 'trick' as you requested in post #162 ;) I dunno, Mark... I think what we call it means nothing of importance to the people who understand what it is. It's an example of someone using ki/kokyu skills and the people who understand those skills probably don't emote about the *terms* the way the people who don't understand it do. If someone comes up to me and starts talking about ki or qi or jin or kokyu or "ki tests" or "ki tricks" or whatever, I simply follow whatever it is they're trying to say and don't stop to quibble about the terminology. We should all be able to avoid the needless distractions. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mark Freeman
05-07-2006, 08:56 AM
I dunno, Mark... I think what we call it means nothing of importance to the people who understand what it is. It's an example of someone using ki/kokyu skills and the people who understand those skills probably don't emote about the *terms* the way the people who don't understand it do. If someone comes up to me and starts talking about ki or qi or jin or kokyu or "ki tests" or "ki tricks" or whatever, I simply follow whatever it is they're trying to say and don't stop to quibble about the terminology. We should all be able to avoid the needless distractions. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Absolutely Mike, I was just having a subtle dig at Dan for breaking his own request, hopefully it will be seen in the playfull spirit it was intended. :)
The language used to describe something is not the thing it describes. If only it were so easy.
These principles we are endlessly discussing here, are easily learned (as long as the teacher has the skill) but not so easily mastered. I think in this we are agreed.

regards,
Mark

Mike Sigman
05-07-2006, 10:57 AM
These principles we are endlessly discussing here, are easily learned (as long as the teacher has the skill) but not so easily mastered. I think in this we are agreed. Well, I agree that some of these basic ideas are easy to grasp and someone can learn to do a few of the basic things reasonably quickly. As I pointed out in the "Been There, Done That Attitude" thread though, too many people are anxious to indicate that they "know that stuff" and never go very far. Stunningly, a lot of teachers don't really know any of this stuff, even though they talk the talk and "can fight like blazes".

There's more than just the basic principles, although everything develops from these basic principles, and I keep offering this warning only because I've seen too many otherwise good people never begin to get any real skills in these things because they thought they already had them. I think it's past time where we should be able to visit ANY dojo and everyone in there, down to the six-months beginner, can easily duplicate most of Tohei's "ki tests".

I know a lot more than I did years ago, but I freely admit that I don't know everything and that every six months I look back at what I knew before and shake my head at the presumptions I had. ;) But, hey, I don't teach; I learn.

Regards,

Mike

John (King John)
05-07-2006, 12:05 PM
I know a lot more than I did years ago, but I freely admit that I don't know everything and that every six months I look back at what I knew before and shake my head at the presumptions I had. ;) But, hey, I don't teach; I learn.

Regards,

Mike
I can't tell you how much I feel the same. Even my instructor, who is 5th dan and moves with such perfection that he reminds me of a ghost or rolling fog, is constantly reappraising what he does. In fact I don't believe he knows how good he is and is constantly learning and relearning.

johanlook
05-08-2006, 02:34 AM
Just for the record could I get a quick count on how many contributors to this thread now train in Aikido? Don't get me wrong I like the discussion, attitude and tone of the thread and it seems we have a diverse group of people commutation openly and I sure would like to know the background of everyone. It would give me an idea of where I might like to explore further as a student. A few have already given that information.

Been doing Aikido since '98, started with Iwama for 2 years, now doing whatever it is that my teacher does. Focus is on understanding that 'ki stuff".

tarik
05-08-2006, 04:18 PM
I've been reading, but had little to add or comment on, so I just wanted to express appreciation to Mike, Dan, Chuck, and Dennis, and many others for a great and thoroughly educational thread.

Mike Sigman
05-09-2006, 08:23 AM
I've been reading, but had little to add or comment on, so I just wanted to express appreciation to Mike, Dan, Chuck, and Dennis, and many others for a great and thoroughly educational thread. Hi again, Tarik:

Well, it seems the interest died out on AikiWeb. If you're interested in other places where these things are discussed with more focus and interest on the how-to's, etc., email me privately and I'll point you. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

johanlook
05-10-2006, 05:27 AM
Well, it seems the interest died out on AikiWeb. If you're interested in other places where these things are discussed with more focus and interest on the how-to's, etc., email me privately and I'll point you

My interest didn't die out, it just sounded after all this discussion that there wasn't that much I could get without having someone physically show me. If you know of other sources of information though I'd be glad to have a PM to Mike thanks..

Talon
05-10-2006, 11:14 AM
No PM's guys. I'm interested in researching this more as well. Post all relevant links on here please for all to explore.

Jim Sorrentino
05-10-2006, 11:19 AM
I went to the woods for a few days. I see that things have not changed much.

Mike Sigman referred to a conversation with me in which I mentioned an Okinawan Uechi-ryu instructor kicking a hole in a 55-gallon oil drum with his big toe. IIRC, it was 20-gallon "jerry can" (the kind one sometimes sees on the back of US military jeeps). It was in Okinawa in 1981, the instructor was Yonamine-sensei, and the occasion was a Uechi-ryu demo at the wedding reception of one of Kanei Uechi-sensei's senior students. BTW, Yonamine-sensei started this demo by breaking a four-foot long 2x2 over the big toe of his other foot, which he held out extended in a front kick position.Ron
If you haven't fallen asleep. You're going to crack up. Standing in a room of 20 somethings... none of which did Aikido. All doing the Jo trick. So can two of the CMA people I know .....Oooh! ahhh!Dan, I noticed you have started citing YouTube videos in some of your posts. I'm glad to see that you are starting to learn how to show, as well as tell. Would you please take a video of your room full of 20-somethings doing the "jo trick", post it to YouTube, and send us the link? While you're at it, I would still like to see a video of you taking down the 6'4", 279-lb. jujutsuka who is attempting to tackle you. I believe it was back around post #30 that you said you could do that. If I remember correctly, you mentioned that it was a real-world, fighting application of the "jo trick". If you need some help with the technology, just ask one of the 20-somethings.

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 11:23 AM
No PM's guys. I'm interested in researching this more as well. Post all relevant links on here please for all to explore. I don't know about the "guys", but I've already begun a discussion on QiJing because of the 2 complexities in the analysis that Ueshiba contributed. If you want, I'll put you temporarily on QiJing to follow the discussion, but you'll have to promise you'll stay your own sweet self and nitpick mechanically so that the discussion stays honest. I.e., it's not a list where everyone is expected to agree. Email me if you want: mikesigman at earthlink dot net . ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 11:29 AM
Mike Sigman referred to a conversation with me in which I mentioned an Okinawan Uechi-ryu instructor kicking a hole in a 55-gallon oil drum with his big toe. IIRC, it was 20-gallon "jerry can" (the kind one sometimes sees on the back of US military jeeps). Geez, Jim... that guy was a wimp, then. ;) The guy I was talking about did a 55-gallon drum. The problem with some of these really phenomenal guys is that's all they can do, though, so we have to all decide exactly how much of ourselves we're really willing to invest.

The other point I'd mention with the toe kicking stuff is that my sensei just as a matter of demonstration one night kicked a hole through a thick tatami mat with his toe.... but I noted that his toes were short and stubby and not like some of the long joints many of us westerners have. Not something I'd bother to train when I could buy a pair of steel-toed boots. ;)

Regards,

Mike

wendyrowe
05-10-2006, 12:15 PM
...As an engineer, I can easily imagine that there are unexpected torques involved because of the movements of the person holding the jo and the way he moves it. My guess is that the people trying to grab and hold the jo are expecting to feel force exerted against their hold in a particular way so they brace against that, but instead it moves differently so they can't hold it......It's not that hard, Wendy. You should already know how these things are done on at least a basic level, IMO... since they're core to Asian martial arts and certainly core to even basic Aikido. There are a fair number of readers of the thread that already know how the basic mechanics work already, but maybe it'll be helpful to do a quick incremental analysis of the basics and then go to the jo-trick (since it's just a sort of extension of the basic idea)...
I didn't respond to this since I didn't want our readers' eyes to glaze over as they had to slog through more engineering musings; but since I wouldn't want people to think we're losing interest in the thread, here goes:

Although the forces are simple when viewed in broad terms, one can't really know exactly what's happening without precise in vivo measurements of those forces. Biomechanical/Biomedical Engineering is very complex because the systems involved have so many degrees of freedom (from lots of joints controlled by muscles able to exert forces in many different directions, and by the flexibility of the "rigid" parts of the system). And the simplifications used to get a handle on the system (even just used in our heads as we try to understand what we're seeing) can be misleading if they ignore variables that turn out to have non-negligible effects. If we see something that doesn't seem possible, we're probably interpreting incorrectly what we're seeing. That's why I want force sensors: not because I'm clueless but because I crave precision.

roosvelt
05-10-2006, 01:32 PM
I don't know how to do "Jo Trick". I've been reading the "ki" stuff for a while here, and been doing some "ki" excercises. That's what I've found out.

1. I've given up "standing like a tree" and "boat rowing" excercises. I'm way too busy with my job and family. My mind just isn't calm enough for me to experience the benefit.

2. I do bokken excercises more. I try to do it daily. It fits my busy mind better. I don't know how much "ki" stuff I can get out of this though.

3. I do similar excercise recommended by Rob. I did some modification though. I stand in front of a wall, an inch away, keep my hand in my chest, then squad dwon and up.

4. I tried to push rocks in my back yard. But it's killing my back. Now I'm building a chest high parallel bar. I plan to put a heavy log on it, and push it daily. If I can't find a log heavy enough, I plan to "in-print" some heavy dumb bell into the log.

Any other suggestions about simple "ki" exercises? Thanks.

tedehara
05-10-2006, 01:37 PM
Ted Ehara wrote:



Thanks for the comments Ted.

This doesn't answer the question of "internal though".

I train my guys in my Battalion in an "over stress" model, where we subject them to pressures nearing that of actual fighting or combat. They learn how to manage fear, emotion, and stress in a fight. They learn how to remain calm and all that stuff.

However, I am sure that someone would say "thats not INTERNAL".You are simulating combat conditions for training. Soldiers are expected to function as members of a team and as individuals in those conditions. You are correct in that this is not internal training. Internal training concentrates only on the individual. It probably comes from the tradition of individual fighting on feudal, Asian battlefields. People did not fight in units, but as individuals.

No one has yet come forward to define what it is. Everyone will talk around the subject, those that say the understand it come across as in an authoritarian manner on the subject, yet it has yet to be defined/quantified as to what exactly is meant by the term. Mike Sigman comes the closest, but I still am lost as to what it means. Maybe as he states, I "don't get it".Nobody defines what is internal because there is no standard definition. My personal interpretation of internal training is that it effects the psychological make-up of the individual. Other people may add different components to this training. Some, like Mike, suggest there is a physical development within the body. Still others may suggest there is a spiritual development. I currently find the physical and spiritual development concepts speculative and just settle for psychological development.

Most of what internal training focuses on is developing internal power. The Chi/Qi/Ki theories of oriental medicine and martial arts are central to a traditional approach for training. Several practices like meditation and breathing are common approaches to development. These practices are not popular in martial arts training and (as Mike notes) makes this almost a discipline within a discipline.

So why do all this extra training? Really top martial artists have taken this approach to their arts. This way of training appears to have produced almost super-human results. Since internal training develops the individual, it stands to reason that it would try to teach a person to the extreme.

How are you able to detect if someone has had this type of extreme training? Koichi Tohei said that you cannot see the mind, but you can see the body. So you can "see" a person's mind by their body movement. Their actions and the way people use their bodies will reveal their mental states. Movement will also reveal their mind/body training. Also the movement in martial arts is different than movement in dance. There has to be power behind the movement, rather than the movement alone. This power can be felt by an observer.

There once was a samurai who had fought several successful duels. When he was asked how he was able to best his opponents, he replied it was simple. When he approached his opponent, he would tap the tip of his blade to his opponent's tip. If the sword acted normally, then he knew he would win. However, if he discovered his opponent was extending ki through the tip, he would throw his sword at the other swordsman and run away.

What do I think this type of training is actually doing? K. Tohei wrote, "Mind and body are originally one." To understand that statement you have to realize what he is not saying:

He is not saying that in the past, people long ago had mind/body coordination.
He is not saying that when you were an infant you had mind/body coordination.
He is saying you have mind and body coordination - Right Now!

So why aren't we all walking around like legendary warriors? It's because we're letting our consciousness get in the way of ourselves. If we could just let go and act naturally, we would have this power, because that is the way the mind and body are set-up as. We're trying to reclaim our natural heritage.

Last year my sensei and I did a demo at a church on the west side of Chicago. A young 20ish Chinese gal also did a Tai Chi demo. I knew she was good just by looking at her. But when she did two forms, I began to realize just how good she really was. I had never seen anyone do Tai Chi that well. It was several levels above anything I had seen before. My sensei agreed with my assessment. He said she could be the best he's ever seen, or certainly the best he's seen in the last forty years.

I was later told that she was an acknowledged master in her style. She doesn't even teach Tai Chi and is a student at a local university.

We all have different traditions, various theories, ways of training, even different ideas of what the "goals" are in internal training. However when you see someone who is truly good, then there is no dispute.

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 01:58 PM
Thanks for taking the time to respond Ted.

minor comments. Not that it really pertains to anything substansive, but soldiers on ancient asian battlefields fight the same way soldiers today do they fight as individuals and as units. Soldiers are always a part of a unified and coordinated effort of some sort. Methods and tactics may vary based on technology, but the same basic thing is going on.

Also what you describe as internal can be seen in our world class athletes. Basketball, football, soccer, track and field etc. They all practice on things that could be defined as internal methods, visualization, meditation, and physical drills and exercises in an attempt to pull everything together in one complete package to best exploit the human body to some great physical feat.

So, I submit that there is nothing special about asian martial arts or chinese martial arts in this respect.

In fact you can get down right internal about bocci ball! Ever watch those old guys focus!!

I do find that Martial arts, aikido in particular has helped me in many of the ways you describe so yes, in that respect it is special to me. I also think martial arts do a wonderful job of focusing simply on the dynamic movements that best allow us to us our bodies...but so does yoga, feldenkrais and other such practices.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond!

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 02:12 PM
You are simulating combat conditions for training. Soldiers are expected to function as members of a team and as individuals in those conditions. You are correct in that this is not internal training. Internal training concentrates only on the individual. It probably comes from the tradition of individual fighting on feudal, Asian battlefields. People did not fight in units, but as individuals.

Nobody defines what is internal because there is no standard definition. My personal interpretation of internal training is that it effects the psychological make-up of the individual. Other people may add different components to this training. Some, like Mike, suggest there is a physical development within the body. Still others may suggest there is a spiritual development. I currently find the physical and spiritual development concepts speculative and just settle for psychological development.Ted, I disagree pretty strongly with what you're saying.

First of all, what is being called "internal" body mechanics is pretty widely known in Asia. In the Chinese Army, they train these sorts of things routinely using breathing exercises and related techniques. So the application for the military is pretty widely known and accepted over there. Over here, the background information is quite sparse. So sparse that Kevin can't envision anything other than what he's familiar with, so he's basically in the mode of "I've never had any experience with it, you can't be talking about something I don't know about, so therefore you must be talking about something I know of". ;^)

In Chinese martial arts tournaments there are, as I've mentioned before, a number of defined and associated phenomena with "qi" and "internal" development:
(1.) The skin becomes resistant to puncturing and tearing.
(2.) The body becomes able to absorb heavy blows.
(3.) strength is increased due to the development of fascia-related structures in the body.
(4.) Strength is increased due to the ability to manipulate paths with the body/mind.
(5.) Measureable electro-magnetic field around the body is increased.
(6.) There seems to be an immune-system function tied into the fascia-structure strengthening.

Those factors pretty well define what "internal strength" does. The practice of these things goes back well before the systematic study of "science" as we know it, so the training factors and body involvement gets mired in the pre-science terminology of ki/qi, but the phenomena are there and are measureable. None of it is mysterious when adequately defined and explained. Tohei's "ki tests", if you'll compare are bound up in the descriptions I gave above. Think of it as a nifty way to improve strength and health without doing excessive cardio or spending so much time at Gold's Gym. ;)

Regards,

Mike

roosvelt
05-10-2006, 02:53 PM
So, I submit that there is nothing special about asian martial arts or chinese martial arts in this respect.




When you can push/pull a 18 wheel truck with your iron crotch, then I believe you.

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 04:20 PM
So, I submit that there is nothing special about asian martial arts or chinese martial arts in this respect. Hi Kevin:

How would you explain this in terms of "normal" body mechanics?

http://media.putfile.com/yiquan-push

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 04:30 PM
I thought I'd never say this on aikiweb, but based on what you guys are describing, seems to me that we'd see one of these guys with all these abilities enter the octagon and prove to guys like Chuck Lidell that they are amateurs compared to what they know from the
"internal arts".

Guys I don't doubt there are benefits and that there is something behind these ancient practices. I believe in many, many things associated with the benefits to be gained through meditation, proper diet, physical exercise, things that you call "KI exercises", yoga asanas and what not.

However the last several post have still not offered much that leads me to believe that their is anything special about asian arts over say big irish guys that can pull 18 wheelers with their crotches. (I have to admit, I haven't seen that!).

Yes to be quite honest, and I really hate to admit it....but the day I see a fat old chinese man in his 60's enter the octagon and beat a guy like Chuck Lidell with something other than what we normally see, is the day I will believe that their is something unique and special about CMA or so call "internal training".

That said, I do believe there are things to be gained from such training. I have seen Yogi's slow their heart rates down. They have the ability to control many physical aspects of their bodies through constant training. Endure hot beds of coal and what not.

So contrary to what Mike purports that I don't seem to grasp. Frankly think I do. I simply think that there is nothing unique about these practices over say yoga, feldenkrais, or any other practice that is designed to condition and unify the mind, body, and spirit.

I have experienced such things. I have witnessed western athletes that have never even probably talked to a chinese master do similar things.

So again, I submit, there is nothing uniquely special, other than maybe a particular methodolgy that allows for the development of various aspects of the mind, body, spirit connection.

If there was, I'd believe we would have seen by now some cross over of some shaolin monk fighting in the Octagon, or dominating in some olympic contest of strength. China has a good olympic team, but I believe you will find that most of them train in many traditional western ways. However, admitedly, I have not researched this enough to offer that opinion, so I am definitely open for rebuttable in this area!

Sorry for the negativity. You guys had me convinced for a few days, however in light of these current discussions, I am not convinced. Maybe my logic is totally wrong in this area. Set me straight if it is! I respect your opinions, and obviously there is no need for you guys to "win" me over if you don't feel like wasting your time! :)

Thanks!

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 04:35 PM
Mike,

I will have to look at it tommorrow at work. I have linux here at the house and it does not support the plug-in on the link. I will take a look and respond!

Thanks for continuing to discuss with me!

I do think that much of this discussion will be a waste of time unless I met face to face with you and worked with you over time etc, as we are talking very conceptually and that allows for a great deal of misinterpretation and misunderstanding!

Keeping an open mind...and offering what I hope is constructive opposing thought!

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 04:38 PM
Mike, BTW are you familiar with Gene Frantz? I think I have his name right. I have a book down on my nightstand. I am going to peruse it over the next few days and see what I can glean from it to ask some questions!

What is your opinion of Mr Frantz if you know of him?

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 04:39 PM
I simply think that there is nothing unique about these practices over say yoga, feldenkrais, or any other practice that is designed to condition and unify the mind, body, and spirit.

I have experienced such things. I have witnessed western athletes that have never even probably talked to a chinese master do similar things.

So again, I submit, there is nothing uniquely special, other than maybe a particular methodolgy that allows for the development of various aspects of the mind, body, spirit connection. So, Kevin, you were saying it's normal "body alignment" and stuff like that at first. How do you explain what this guy is doing in terms of normal "what any good athlete can do" conditioning? I'm curious.

http://media.putfile.com/yiquan-push

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 04:41 PM
Mike, BTW are you familiar with Gene Frantz? I think I have his name right. I have a book down on my nightstand. I am going to peruse it over the next few days and see what I can glean from it to ask some questions!

What is your opinion of Mr Frantz if you know of him?Let me see if I can channel this from you, Kevin. ;) Are you talking about Kumar "Gu Ma" Frantzis, the guy who told everyone in Beijing that he was "America's greatest martial artist" and whom Feng Zhi Qiang, a man in his 60's at the time, threw on his butt? ;)

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 04:43 PM
LOL, I am tired...just went down and looked at the book. B.K Frantzis. not Gene Frantz...I think he is an actor right?

Anyway, it has been a few years since I read his book, I am going to look through it again. What do you think of his work if you are familiar with it?

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 04:45 PM
Yea...I that is the guy. So I gather that his work is not worth reading?? is that correct?

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 04:46 PM
LOL, I am tired...just went down and looked at the book. B.K Frantzis. not Gene Frantz...I think he is an actor right?

Anyway, it has been a few years since I read his book, I am going to look through it again. What do you think of his work if you are familiar with it?That's Kumar Frantzis, the guy I just mentioned... "America's greatest martial artist". Every martial artist in China is aware of "Gu Ma". ;)

And no, I don't mind you keeping the discussion alive, as long as you don't mind me jerking on your leg a little bit. ;)

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-10-2006, 04:51 PM
No I have thick skin...and I am sincere in my questioning...not looking for an argument, really wanting to understand!

So, is his book worth anything. I am going to re-read it over the next couple of days and pull some info etc for discussion from this. It might be helpful. Want to know if you think his work is a fair representation of what we are talking about though!

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 05:01 PM
Want to know if you think his work is a fair representation of what we are talking about though!Not really. He knows what we're talking about, to some degree, but what he does know he doesn't really tell people how to do. I think mainly because he wasn't shown too much (he is not a pleasant person, from accounts of his teachers)..... if you don't know much, you don't/can't tell much. Sort of like an Aikido teacher I had who knew how to do basic jin-alignment, but wouldn't show anybody how to do it because it was the only real stick he could hold over peoples' heads. ;) Luckily the guy ticked me off so much that I left Aikido instead of hanging around him for years trying to get what turned out to be just the beginning basics.

Mike

Jory Boling
05-10-2006, 05:35 PM
When you can push/pull a 18 wheel truck with your iron crotch, then I believe you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFfhxVmdXZ4&search=Chris%20Crudelli%20Mind%20Body%20kickass%20Moves%20Sifu%20William%20Wan%2 0Martial%20Arts%20QiGong%20QiGung%20Fut%20Gar%20Kung%20Fu

if this link doesn't work, try searching for "iron penis" (can i say that on here?) on youtube.com

Jory Boling
05-10-2006, 06:23 PM
Do any of the following links relate to anything being discussed here? Or is it just fun to watch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InlQtTMK5Ys internal stuff from a kenshi?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FZjHAijc0k kiaido

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFfhxVmdXZ4 iron crotch

statisticool
05-10-2006, 06:25 PM
First of all, what is being called "internal" body mechanics is pretty widely known in Asia. In the Chinese Army, they train these sorts of things routinely using breathing exercises and related techniques.


But do they practice jo tricks?


(1.) The skin becomes resistant to puncturing and tearing.
(2.) The body becomes able to absorb heavy blows.
(3.) strength is increased due to the development of fascia-related structures in the body.


How are these different from body mechanics and regular ol' external strength?


(4.) Strength is increased due to the ability to manipulate paths with the body/mind.
(5.) Measureable electro-magnetic field around the body is increased.
(6.) There seems to be an immune-system function tied into the fascia-structure strengthening.


Are there any actual studies with measurements that you can cite?

statisticool
05-10-2006, 06:26 PM
Hi Kevin:

How would you explain this in terms of "normal" body mechanics?

http://media.putfile.com/yiquan-push

Can anyone rule out conscious/unconscious acting/playing along?Afterall, if it is a teacher/master situation, one wouldn't want to not react when the master did something and make him/her lose face, I can imagine.

It would be nice to rule some of these possibilities out before resorting to 'different than external' explanations.Unfortunately, no one can be assured of that from some random video found on the internet.

I don't see anything other than one person barely moving and the other stepping back. I can video myself and another person doing that exact thing if that is what passes for evidence of doing something 'internal'. :^)

Forutnately, normal body mechanics is the default so Kevin doesn't have to explain anything. It is up to those who claim it is different than normal body mechanics to do the explaining.

Mike Sigman
05-10-2006, 09:01 PM
Do any of the following links relate to anything being discussed here? Or is it just fun to watch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InlQtTMK5Ys internal stuff from a kenshi?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FZjHAijc0k kiaido

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFfhxVmdXZ4 iron crotchWell, the second two are directly connected with ways of developing the "ki" itself. The kiai development can be considered a tangent of the breath storage/development of the hara. The penis thing is actually one of the oldest recorded "gungs" to develop qi strength because the penis/scrotum area is sort of like a "tab" that allows you to grab the fascia layers, hang weights and develop the body wide fascia (along with breathing practices). But it's just one of a number of "here's my favorite way of doing it" approaches.

FWIW

Mike

johanlook
05-11-2006, 03:05 AM
The penis thing is actually one of the oldest recorded "gungs" to develop qi strength because the penis/scrotum area is sort of like a "tab" that allows you to grab the fascia layers, hang weights and develop the body wide fascia (along with breathing practices). But it's just one of a number of "here's my favorite way of doing it" approaches.

So... what are some other "tabs" that aren't quite so sensitive?

On the topic of BK Frantzis - he tells a story that he was unable to move even one of his teacher Liu Hung Chieh's finger's with his whole 200 lb body mass. His teacher was meant to be 90lb I think. This sounds about as unlikely as someone pushing full force on a jo from the side and not moving it - I ground path, fascia and all that - there's gotta be a limit don't there?

Kevin Leavitt
05-11-2006, 03:17 AM
Mike checked out the video. I have no idea what is going on. My thoughts are in line with Justin's though, if I had the time, I could reproduce the video with a couple of dudes with no training. So it is hard to tell from the video if anything substance is going on.

The penis thing. I accept that their is KI/CHI and all that other stuff going on. No problem there. It, it like the Jo trick, unbendable arm is again, designed around a very controlled set of parameters and inputs that allow for something to happen. I put all this in the category of walking on coals, bed of nails, yogi's being buried in the sand etc.

I do agree that these people are highly skilled at what they do and have developed a mind/body link that allows them to perform such feats. It is something to marvel and there are things we can learn.

However, back to martial arts. Practically speaking, I have yet to see how any of this training has much to do with MA. The Iaido sensei is impressive. He demonstrates that he has mastered his art of the sword. I have no issue with that....however, he is not generating this "amazing strength or super human powers. He has simply connected his mind/body to the point that he has superior reflexes, speed, and skill all put together in one complete package. Impressive to say the least!

Again, I still submit, at this point, I have not seen demonstrated that there is any unique benefit that CMA or the so-called "internal arts" offer over any other "external system".

There is no proof offered that 1. They live longer than anyone else. 2. They are happier than anyone else. 3. They are more effective as a martial artist than anyone else. 4. They are more well rounded and versatle than anyone else.

What they have demonstrated is that they have specialized in a particular area of interest and have developed a unique set of skills that are simply quite amazing. They should be studied with interest and explored because there are lessons we can probably learn from them, but I have yet to be impressed that what they do some how offers a greater benefit that produces a superior athlete or martial artist.

I still depise the term "internal martial art" as it is commonly applied as it is used by many to decieve people into thinking that they are learning something secret, that there is something that they are missing, or something extraordinary "special" that can be transmitted by a select few individuals. In the mean time, people have their eye on goal that simply serves as a distraction that keeps them from learning the real lessons MA arts have to help us learn...which is how to be better, happier, and healthier.

If you are talking internal in that regard...I have no issue. However, once you go there...then there really is no such thing as "external training" as a separate and distinct practice because you will inevitablely get the internal benefits simply from training hard at the external.

What it does do is take away the creditability and money out of the pockets of the circus freaks and others who want to parade around in fancy uniforms purporting themselves to have "something" to offer people that is some how mysterious and special.

Again, the day one of these penis lifting guys get into the ring with Chuck Lidell and can demonstrate that they have the CHI to beat him, or they can go to the UN council and use their abilities to negotiate peace in the world, or to show me how I can be happier or live longer is the day I will be impressed.

Why do I bring up the UFC? frankly it really is the only avenue we have that safely demonstrates abilities of a person to deal physically with multiple inputs and parameters that are fairly uncontrolled and uncooperative.

I still think Yoga is more on the right track in developing your mind, body,and spirit than anything anyone here has demonstrated through Martial arts through focusing on KI development.

johanlook
05-11-2006, 06:45 AM
I still think Yoga is more on the right track in developing your mind, body,and spirit than anything anyone here has demonstrated through Martial arts through focusing on KI development.

I pretty much agree with here - esp since it I have found it a hell of lot easier to get instruction in basic pranayama or meditation through yoga teachers that actually give me tangible results relatively quickly. In the martial arts arena however I've met far more people who talk about ki but can show me nothing and a few who have the stuff but want to hang it over the rest of us.

Mike Sigman
05-11-2006, 07:54 AM
Mike checked out the video. I have no idea what is going on. My thoughts are in line with Justin's though, if I had the time, I could reproduce the video with a couple of dudes with no training. So it is hard to tell from the video if anything substance is going on. Hi Kevin:

So let's leave it at the probability that there is something going on involving some unknown form of training/results that is outside of your understanding of "normal" body mechanics, alignment, etc., eh? Fair enough?The penis thing. I accept that their is KI/CHI and all that other stuff going on. No problem there. It, it like the Jo trick, unbendable arm is again, designed around a very controlled set of parameters and inputs that allow for something to happen. I put all this in the category of walking on coals, bed of nails, yogi's being buried in the sand etc. You're right... it IS part the same stuff the yogis do (when it's actually done and not just one of the faked-up demo's so many westerners see and then dismiss). It's part of body training and conditioning that is OUTSIDE of what would be considered "normal conditioning". Regardless, it is still conditioning that obeys the laws of physics... let's keep that part clear.Again, I still submit, at this point, I have not seen demonstrated that there is any unique benefit that CMA or the so-called "internal arts" offer over any other "external system". Well, I gave you a list earlier of the increased strength, resistance to blows, etc., that are above normal. If you can't see any reason why that might be of a benefit in a martial setting then it's pointless to keep repeating myself. ;)
There is no proof offered that 1. They live longer than anyone else. 2. They are happier than anyone else. 3. They are more effective as a martial artist than anyone else. 4. They are more well rounded and versatle than anyone else. Well, I'm personally unclear that they live any longer than anyone else with good health that exercises a lot. But from what I know, I would concede that it's probable, just from the type of exercises and what it exercises. Happier... no one said that. More effective... they are because of the power, resistance to blows, etc. "Well rounded" and versatile?.... no one said that and I don't want to go off on tangents. I still think Yoga is more on the right track in developing your mind, body,and spirit than anything anyone here has demonstrated through Martial arts through focusing on KI development.Kevin, my opinion is that this is simply a topic that you don't have enough facts to make knowledgeable statements about. Rather than make negative comments, why not just wait until you have enough information? ;)

Regards,

Mike

roosvelt
05-11-2006, 08:42 AM
Hi Kevin:

Kevin, my opinion is that this is simply a topic that you don't have enough facts to make knowledgeable statements about. Rather than make negative comments, why not just wait until you have enough information? ;)

Regards,

Mike

Yes, actually a Chinese idiom describes this better "The Frog in the Shallow Well"

The frog has a very limited knowledge of what the outside world is like, but think that it knows everything there is to know.

bratzo_barrena
05-11-2006, 11:45 AM
It's ridiculous to think of KI as a source of magical power, or some kind of energy one person can manipulate at will.
At best, KI could be defined or understood as an state of being, or as a logical consecuence of using body, mind and spirit/will as a whole to achive a specific goal.
As obvious as two legs generate more power than just one, the whole body, properly aligned and structured generates even more power. To the body we and the mind, meaning the capability to analize the situation and respond properly, and the spirit/will, meaning the correct intention and attitud towards that specific situation; well, the CONSECUENCE is "this magical power" called KI. Nothing magical though. Nothing special, everybody has it, everybody uses it, even if they don't know it.
It's funny when we see these Ki/CHI masters, who for example claim they can move Ki aroud their bodies at will an use it to protect them as an invisible shield. To prove it they put a spear to their throats and push. It's a nice trick, but have you ever seen them focusing their KI in their eye and the putting a spear on thier eye and push? Of course not. Can they do ti? NO. Because it's not true ki is a kind of invisible shield they can use at will, that's bullshit.
How about the video of this guy screaming and the attacker falls down. If that power were true, from ancient times armies would have been trained in that art and they would have ruled the world.
That would be the perfect martial art. Even without contact, just by screaming you defeat your enemy, great... for a star wars movie.
There's nothing mystical, maginal, hidden about KI. Ki is just the logical result of using our being as a whole, to achieve a goal.
A martial artist, a soccer palyer, a cocker, a contruction worker, a mother taking care of her children, a song writer, a painter, all use Ki when they they focus their bodies, mind and spirit/will in what they do.

Mark Freeman
05-11-2006, 11:48 AM
Yes, actually a Chinese idiom describes this better "The Frog in the Shallow Well"

The frog has a very limited knowledge of what the outside world is like, but think that it knows everything there is to know.

I beg to differ, frogs are that dim that they would starve to death in a box full of dead flies ( they are only programmed to see moving things as food )
Frogs are not capable of processing 'knowledge of what the outside world is like'.

Kevin as far as I'm aware is not a frog :D

It's a cute little saying but like much of what has been said and misread on this thread it does not describe the reality.

Talking about Ki/internal exercises is a bit like frogs looking at pictures of flies.
practicing the exercises are the only way to gain anything from them.
What you gain from themis personal to you, what other people think you gain from them is open to argument.
A bit like sitting listening to the frogs at nighttime, pleasant but incessant noise :p

regards,
Mark

Mark Freeman
05-11-2006, 11:54 AM
It's funny when we see these Ki/CHI masters, who for example claim they can move Ki aroud their bodies at will an use it to protect them as an invisible shield. To prove it they put a spear to their throats and push. It's a nice trick, but have you ever seen them focusing their KI in their eye and the putting a spear on thier eye and push? Of course not. Can they do ti? NO. Because it's not true ki is a kind of invisible shield they can use at will, that's bullshit.
.

I've seen just that on one of the Mind Body & Kickass Moves programmes, so be careful about saying something can't be done.

I absolutely agree that ki /chi is not mystical or magical though.

regards
Mark

bratzo_barrena
05-11-2006, 12:00 PM
I've seen just that on one of the Mind Body & Kickass Moves programmes, so be careful about saying something can't be done.

I absolutely agree that ki /chi is not mystical or magical though.

regards
Mark


Mark, are you telling me that you've seen a person put a spear in his/her open eye and push and bend the spear without suffering any damage? Can you give us prove of that?
And by the way, I've seen a programme in which David Copperfield was flying, but he can't fly, right?

Mike Sigman
05-11-2006, 12:08 PM
It's funny when we see these Ki/CHI masters, who for example claim they can move Ki aroud their bodies at will an use it to protect them as an invisible shield. I don't know any real "masters" who claim that. There are some experts who say that conditioning the "qi" resists punctures to the skin and provides resistance to blows, but not on areas that are not covered by musculature To prove it they put a spear to their throats and push. It's a nice trick, but have you ever seen them focusing their KI in their eye and the putting a spear on thier eye and push? Of course not. Can they do ti? NO. Because it's not true ki is a kind of invisible shield they can use at will, that's bullshit. That's an amazing rhetorical device... you make a statement about something I've never heard claimed and then you debunk it. Let's call it a "strawman" argument, for want of a better name. ;) How about the video of this guy screaming and the attacker falls down. If that power were true, from ancient times armies would have been trained in that art and they would have ruled the world. Strange... being strong doesn't guarantee anyone will win every fight and yet soldiers still foolishly traing their strength. Will they never learn? :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mark Freeman
05-11-2006, 12:25 PM
Mark, are you telling me that you've seen a person put a spear in his/her open eye and push and bend the spear without suffering any damage? Can you give us prove of that?
And by the way, I've seen a programme in which David Copperfield was flying, but he can't fly, right?

I'd have to dig out the dvd to see exactly, but it was probably two sharp metal rods rather than spears, and he may have had some coins on the eye balls. Anyway what I saw was an impressive display of strength centred on the eyaball region, ki chi body mechanics, I don't care what you call it, it certainly took alot of mind body training. He was part of a travelling chinese group that were famous for their extreme demonstrations of control of chi energy.

regards
Mark

p.s. David Copperfield can fly, can't he ?;)

Kevin Leavitt
05-11-2006, 01:57 PM
Again, thanks for the reply Mike.

Yup no point in repeating yourself. I agree. And as to waiting to I have more input. Also agree and will keep an open mind. However, at this point in my thought process, I am at the conclusion that these things obviously do exist and obviously warrant some sort of study. However, they have little or no meaning as it applies to martial ability or martial skill.

Obviously if you feel they do help in some way, that is okay, however, I have not seen demonstrated that these kind of things influence things enough to make much of a difference, or we'd see world class athletes, NHB fighters, and others flocking to gain the benefits. Can we leave it at that?

Mike Sigman
05-11-2006, 08:16 PM
Obviously if you feel they do help in some way, that is okay, however, I have not seen demonstrated that these kind of things influence things enough to make much of a difference, or we'd see world class athletes, NHB fighters, and others flocking to gain the benefits. Can we leave it at that?Kevin, Kevin... where is your respect for the other inhabitants of this planet? ;) This may come as a shocker, but there are tons of martial contests being held in Asia by guys that never heard of the UFC and NHB(with rules) fighting. I can appreciate it that if someone doesn't watch the same trendy things you do they're just not "with it", but...... :D

Do you understand the traditional Asian views about public fighting for purses, etc., among some martial artists? Let's just leave it for the minute that there MAY be some interesting things still out there... and doesn't that just add a nice spice to life to not have already been there and done everything. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-11-2006, 10:24 PM
No problem with that Mike. Still think there would be some crossover at some point regardless of tradition and culture.

I think we have reached our point of balance and I am getting very repetitive so I will leave it alone for now!

Thanks!

statisticool
05-11-2006, 10:34 PM
Do you understand the traditional Asian views about public fighting for purses, etc., among some martial artists?


Most people understand that they do it too. Muay Thai matches for example, Pride, the Olympics, etc.

Most people that do stuff like in the clips that you linked to, probably do not engage in such sports, and if they do, do not seem to use their tricks. BTW, they could donate the purse to their favorite charity, of course. ;)

DH
05-12-2006, 08:28 AM
Kevin

For some who practice these things they do it for health; balance, movement, support of internal organs, etc.

From heath and balance ot fighting
Others have, do, and will continue to incorporate it martially. This training will improve certain aspects of a fighters game, but, they are a separate venue of training you then incorporate into your game of choice. There is no argument worth having when you are shown how to do some of these things that I have seen. They are a "practical" skill set in every sense and worth the having.

The Ki debate
I don't believe in what most folks call Ki and the resultant foppish attempts at anything martial I have witnessed that comes from their studies. But there are other views on Ki, or breath work biuld on I.S. and that are indeed relevant. I do know that taking men through a regimen of heavy bag work and having THEM greatly enhance their penetration through internal training, their ability to throw and to resist being thrown, their ability on the ground to deliver more power while being more reactive and fluid has more than enough merit to convince those involved to further their own pursuits.

Internal training is not fighting
Just to repeat: Fighting is different from training. Many "masters" of many arts wouldn't last 5 minutes in a MMA ring, and no amount of internal training will prepare you to win in that venue other then training for that venue. That said, if your interest lie in a martial pursuit, internal strength training is -thee- best type of relaxed strength to pursue for it. And Yes Kevin I do believe it will enhance Lidells ability to punch. His hands will be heavier and deliver even more center into an opponent.

And Kevin as for the ground game
If an internal fighter was in the mount and say going for a kimura or americana? The ways he would generate power to do so using the ground across a body line have significantly more strength to apply it, while leaving the body more relaxed to read and sense as well. No one and no thing is invincible bit these skills make you more of a handful. The opponents ability to sense where the power is coming from is further obscured as well. It is fairly easy to "read" when someone is using shoulder and arms. And in the case of Jujigitame or oma plata? The person doing them will have a better base of strength even though he is already using legs and hips. And last..you know the four corner mount in BJJ ? There are ways to do that smear across the person to control them that are difficult to read and work against and feel very smothering. But for person on top the movements aren't "dedicated" or singular therefore more exposed to a reversal. So, while feeling strong you remain mobile to "up" for a ground and pound, then slide down for chokes and locks.On the ground using the back and legs to flip becomes a different game as well. In some aspects the line between I.S. skills and E.S. skills join or cross.

The connection is that all of the attributes for resisting the jo apply in the ground game. You just need to know the ground game to know where and how to use them. You are using the same principles but instead of absorbing and grounding through the back foot and transfering to the front- you are using knees to knees across hips. and knees to hands and knees to head or hands. Even and active diaphragm and use of the spine to generate a power apply. Even with something as simple as a relase, right into their stomach while in the mount.
No matter If you are a decent, good or excellent fighter it will give you an edge.
But it will never......make anyone a fighter.

Remain a sceptic and discount all this crap. Most people fall apart in a real confrontation. They don't have the mental or physical preparedness to handle true agression. To wit, their "arts" generally don't hold up to any standard resembling a measure of refinement when pressed. So I don't fault you at all for doubting it.

I returned only to say that to make a statement that these things have questionable or doubtable relevance in fighting.......... is simply wrong.

Dan

Kevin Leavitt
05-12-2006, 12:47 PM
How do you know that Chuck Liddell doesn't already possess these qualities? I bet his hands are as heavy as anyones.

I think that among high caliber athletes that they are already doing many of the things you subscribe to. They simply don't make a big deal out of it or objectify it.

I learned years ago how I could push my mind and body beyond the limits percieved physical limits years ago. I have also experienced some pretty incredible mental and physical states during extreme periods of training. Handling physcial agression requires skillfully requires mental toughness, but also calm, and being able to connect your mind, body, and spirit together within yourself and also be able to empathize with the other party involved. I find that my aikido teachers and instructors do this just fine. It is nothing secret, nor does it require KI training per se. It requires a sincere desire to listen, open your mind, and learn through repetitive training and cooperation.

I personally put much more weight and importance in this area of becoming skillfull and feel that if you spend you time in this area you are much more powerful internally than anyone that can do Jo Tricks.

Anyway that is how I see it.

I guess the value of this simply escapes me. Sorry.

Kevin Leavitt
05-12-2006, 01:07 PM
Let me rephrase my statement above. I see value in the KI exercises as a means to test alignment, posture, response to energy, pushes, pulls...propreception etc.

We used to do this in Uechi Ryu as well as Jimmy stated somewhere.

What I mean to say is I don't see any value in concentrating on this as a separate, and special practice or holding it in such high regard that it takes on a life of it's own. Or to say that because someone does not study with someone who concentrates or specializes in Bua Gua, Taiji, or any other art...that they don't "get it".

As I stated before, there are people out there that develop skills to suit their needs. Basketball players of high caliber develop "KI" that best serves them in being the best basketball player. Chuck LIddell develops his KI to be the best NHB he can be. Chess Players develop their KI to be the best chess players they can be.

KI masters simply are that. KI masters. They can lift weights with there penis, but that is there speciality. nothing more than that.

If I want to be a good basketball player I'd study with the best basketball players I could.

If I want to be a NHB fighter, then I study with those guys.

If I want to learn to lift wieghts with my Penis...well I wouldn't go to Shaq and ask him to help me develop my ability to do that.

If I want to be good at aikido, I will study with someone who is good at that.

I suppose this is really what my point is.

Mike Sigman
05-12-2006, 01:44 PM
What I mean to say is I don't see any value in concentrating on this as a separate, and special practice or holding it in such high regard that it takes on a life of it's own. Or to say that because someone does not study with someone who concentrates or specializes in Bua Gua, Taiji, or any other art...that they don't "get it".

As I stated before, there are people out there that develop skills to suit their needs. Basketball players of high caliber develop "KI" that best serves them in being the best basketball player. Chuck LIddell develops his KI to be the best NHB he can be. Chess Players develop their KI to be the best chess players they can be.
Kevin... have you ever noticed that a number of Aikido teachers don't get into these conversations if they can avoid them? They're smart. Why leave a public post of what you don't know in 2006 when it's obviously growing rapidly as the information most of the westerners missed in their various martial arts? Of course, if you think it's of no value and saying that won't come back to haunt you, I admire your candor. ;)

All the Best.

Mike

Dennis Hooker
05-12-2006, 02:34 PM
It can also be said that too many western students pick up the prejudices of their eastern teachers. And I will point a finger at myself as quick as anyone else. This shades their view of the depth and understanding of other arts developed in other countries by people that are distrusted and even loathed. Believe me the west has no monopoly on narrow-mindedness. Sometimes if we donít use the same words or describe something the same way people will assume we are lacking knowledge or are just obtuse. When in fact neither is true it is simply, many times, a breakdown in communication fostered by a lack of trust and a heaping load of misunderstanding.


Dennis

Mike Sigman
05-12-2006, 03:20 PM
Believe me the west has no monopoly on narrow-mindedness. Yeah, but only the West thinks narrow-mindedness is something to be ashamed of... we're narrow-minded that way. ;)

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-12-2006, 03:34 PM
I've been wrong before and I have no problem with it. I do want to clarify, I never said I was "right" about anything. Only that at this juncture, this is how I see things!

Ironically that is probably the only reason I have any students right now. Not because I am necessarily good or an authority on what I do or know, but that I offer an environment that fosters learning, I set the example for training hard, and I am willing and secure in my knowledge of what I don't know!

If you could go back to circa 1996 and pull some of the old aikido-l listserve post, you'd see I do not necessarily subscribe to some of the opinions I had back then! I have no problem saying "yup, I guess I was wrong!"

Again, I still don't undestand if westerners missed so much information that is critical to the physcial manifestation of the internal, then it would seem logical that we'd see things in the olympics and other venues of physical excellent being dominated to a very high degree by "easterners". Again, I don't see it. Alas this is getting repetitive!

It's not that I think it is of no value, it is just that I don't see it demonstrated in various contest of martial prowness outside of the schools that set the parameters and conditions for that to be exploited.

To me it is like a TKD guy that is very good at TKD and stating that a MMA guy is missing some critical skills in the ring. The TKD guy goes into the ring and gets slaughtered by the MMA guy. So the MMA guy says "what can you teach me again?"

Not that what the TKD guy does is not important in the realm of TKD, he just should not be throwing stones at another guys house saying he is lacking something to make him "complete".

Now the TKD guy might be able to teach the MMA guy some things about kicks that are useful. (Maybe this is all that is really being proposed by you Mike concerning the Jo Trick), however this is much different than the TKD guy saying that he has something very "significant" that the MMA guy is lacking in.

I think it is all realitive to the perspective you take to your art. What concerns me is that many in the so-called "eastern martial arts", lure people in the arts into thinking that there is something very important that they and their teachers are missing that is somehow crucial to there training when it is all realitive to the situation at hand.

This might go along with what Dennis Hooker is talking about when he mentions the "narrow-mindedness" in the martial arts. I don't want to put words in his mouth or skew his post though.

Martial arts, especially arts like aikido are very prone to cognitive dissonance, "group think", distortion, and mis-interpretation by us. We all want to think that somehow there is something magical or mysterious about what we do and that if we train with the right instructor, meditate on the right things, and train long and hard enough the eventually, "poof" we will become "one with the universe and our art" and be "just like O'Sensei".

The ironic thing is, that it is not mysterious and it is right there in front of us all the time. We just simply need to "let go" and recieve, to me THAT is the challenge and the hardest thing for us to do!

Also, you don't even have to get "good" at the martial art or demonstrate physcial proweness to find it!

I would only caution students to simply "be in the moment" and enjoy the journey and their training, that is what it is about. I suppose that is why I am so passionate about responding to this post. Once we start focusing on Jo Tricks, the perfect iriminage, and feeling KI emanating from our finger tips, we objectify our practice and we lose sight of the value and goal that we are trying to obtain!

Again, not that there is anything wrong with doing the Jo Trick as an exercise. I re-interate, there is value in it for training, just that these things have their place and failure to do these things does not make you any less of a proficient budoka! It is the state and health of the mind, body, and spirit that matters the most!

statisticool
05-12-2006, 05:23 PM
Why leave a public post of what you don't know in 2006 when it's obviously growing rapidly as the information most of the westerners missed in their various martial arts?


If some people have missed out on tricks explainable by cooperation and/or regular ol' body mechanics they aren't really missing anything.

Mike Sigman
05-12-2006, 09:00 PM
I've been wrong before and I have no problem with it. I do want to clarify, I never said I was "right" about anything. Only that at this juncture, this is how I see things! Well, Kevin, you're about as happily fatalistic as anyone I know. ;) Ironically that is probably the only reason I have any students right now. Not because I am necessarily good or an authority on what I do or know, but that I offer an environment that fosters learning, I set the example for training hard, and I am willing and secure in my knowledge of what I don't know! I'm too fatalistic to worry about everyone in the world, so each to his own. And if you misled your students or I misled mine (but wait... that's why I don't teach!), then c'est la vie ("ch'est la Vye" to you Okies out there).Again, I still don't undestand if westerners missed so much information that is critical to the physcial manifestation of the internal, then it would seem logical that we'd see things in the olympics and other venues of physical excellent being dominated to a very high degree by "easterners". Again, I don't see it. Alas this is getting repetitive! Alas AND alack, and with alacrity!I think it is all realitive to the perspective you take to your art. What concerns me is that many in the so-called "eastern martial arts", lure people in the arts into thinking that there is something very important that they and their teachers are missing that is somehow crucial to there training when it is all realitive to the situation at hand.

This might go along with what Dennis Hooker is talking about when he mentions the "narrow-mindedness" in the martial arts. I don't want to put words in his mouth or skew his post though. Well, I tend to admire the elan and savoir faire with which someone's chosen martial art is so brilliant that it must be followed, but so understandable that it impugns the founder's reputation by making him only a colorful fellow, easily understood. ;) The ironic thing is, that it is not mysterious and it is right there in front of us all the time. We just simply need to "let go" and recieve, to me THAT is the challenge and the hardest thing for us to do! I rest my case. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
05-15-2006, 09:21 AM
I would only caution students to simply "be in the moment" and enjoy the journey and their training, that is what it is about. I suppose that is why I am so passionate about responding to this post. Once we start focusing on Jo Tricks, the perfect iriminage, and feeling KI emanating from our finger tips, we objectify our practice and we lose sight of the value and goal that we are trying to obtain!

Hi Kevin,

While I can understand your personal viewpoint, I do have to wonder about something. In the quote above, you refer to "the perfect iriminage, and feeling KI emanating from our finger tips," and equate those things with the "jo trick". It seems to me that that would be a logical fallacy, by your own admission. If so, then why do it? Why trivialize the serious parts of this conversation with the less serious issues which really have not even been posited by anyone here?

It makes your arguement, which without such methods seems fairly strong, rather weak.

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
05-15-2006, 11:07 AM
Ron, Might be the time of day right now (it is late for me!), so I am not sure I understand what you are saying.

Maybe I am not very clear in my words.

My point is this. Everything must be done with moderation and balance.

We want to strive for excellence and to improve in everything we do. The Jo Trick can be a way to demonstrate certain aspects and to convey concepts that much I agree with.

I suppose what I am most critical of is the objectification of such things as being "mysterious", the insinuation that there are only special eastern people and a few rare individuals can convey they things, and that it somehow holds a great matter of significance in training.

The danger is that we get people in the martial arts that feel that their is some "holy grail" that if they can obtain those magical secrets, will some how be special or very powerful.

Dan outright says that he knows that if Chuck Liddell mastered "this stuff" that his punches would be more powerful.

No disrespect to Dan, but how would he know what Chuck Liddell has mastered or not mastered? How do you know how many pounds per square inch he is packing in his punch? There is an air of assumption and judgement that does not sit well with me. (Sorry Dan)

It can be devisive and makes some people feel special at the exclusion of others. Those that may not be as experienced in martial arts get caught up in the "stuff" that we run around preaching, talking about, and demonstrating and they don't really have the base to judge what is important or not important.

Again, I don't mean to trivialize the value of KI training and things like the Jo trick. I simply think that moderation is the key. There is a tendency for people to try and quantify and objectify aspects of their training. In doing so they run the risk of putting too much focus and importance on things that are not quite as special they might seem to be.

I hope this makes sense Ron.

Ron Tisdale
05-15-2006, 12:44 PM
That was much clearer, and to the point. Thanks!

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
05-15-2006, 12:57 PM
I suppose what I am most critical of is the objectification of such things as being "mysterious", the insinuation that there are only special eastern people and a few rare individuals can convey they things, and that it somehow holds a great matter of significance in training. Just for the record, Kevin, who has said that the jo-trick, etc., is "mysterious"?

And who has said anything about a "few rare individuals"? From my perspective, this sort of training is done by a LARGE number of people, but NOT ALL people know how to do it. It's appears to be a deliberate diminishment of the many people that can do these things to hold out that they are "rare individuals". Perhaps an uncalled-for characterization? The danger is that we get people in the martial arts that feel that their is some "holy grail" that if they can obtain those magical secrets, will some how be special or very powerful. Again, this appears to be a distortion of the original comments, Kevin. Let's just say that there are, for example, a few people who are saying, "Hey, this stuff about 'moving from the middle' is more important than most people think and it's worth looking at". That's not the same thing as a "few rare indivduals" saying that "hey, there's this Holy Grail of stuff and only we know it". C'mon. Granted, some people may think they're special if they've got bits and pieces (I had just such an a-hole Aikido instructor, BTW), but overall, it has to be noted that the commentaries about how this stuff is almost universal, while the actual knowledge is fairly scarce.

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
05-15-2006, 01:33 PM
Good points Mike. I was only clarifying my position of why I am critical or at least suspect of such things. Not meant to be directed at you in anyway.

Yes, you are correct, I am probably heading into "insinuation land" myself at this point, by the nature of the thread.

Do you have any issues, though with my general concept of moderation etc? Seems you agree that there are those that do take things to extremes. I suspect that you and I may agree on things more than it appears. Maybe not agree on the realitive importance on a scale, but agree on things conceptually.

I suppose I could just simply chalk things up to theorectical practice vs. applied practice. University professors can demonstrate various theories and talk in isolation about very minute details about inane and obscure facts that..yes...are important at some place and time. However, many have no idea about how to actually employ the theories they teach in a "real situation". Many Undergrads and some guys on there own with no education can intuitively put into practice what these guys preach with little or no understanding of the theories and be very successful in implementing.

I suppose I am more aligned with those that can do versus those that can talk. both are important, but I think given the nature of martial arts...it is more about doing and talking than talking alone. I am not insinuating that anyone here is necessarily guilty of that.

The basis of my argument is that "good for them" glad these guys can have push hand competitions. It is important to them. Yes I can learn something from them I am sure. However, when they cross over and start talking about what others are lacking, then they need to be prepared to demonstrate that within the confines of the art or situation in which they say they are judging...or they are simply "college professors" talking about some theories that they themselves cannot back up.

I am not talking about some isolated exercises or demonstrations.

It sounds like this was the one experience that was had at Aiki Expo last year, although I wasn't there so I can't say for sure.

I really do not mean to continue on. I was simply clarifying my points to Ron about my concerns. They are not directed necessarily at anyone. I have just grown frustrated over the years with people that fixate on KI and then there are those that perpetuate that to gain favor or power, rather than manage, teach, guide, or mentor through proper balance.

I must emphasize that I do not know both you are Dan so I cannot say for sure what you are able to do or not do, so it is not my place or intent to judge either one of you or insinuate that you guys can not practice what you preach. For all I know you guys can and do all the time. To be honest, I'd love to train with both of you, as I have appreciated your candor, patience, and willingness to discuss these subjects!

I am simply not an easy person to deal with in training as I tend to be critical and very stubborn to teach! Probably why it has taken me so many years to advance!

I really do think at this point, I am beating a dead horse...and this is really not related to the topic any longer. Sorry to take up time and distract you guys!

wendyrowe
05-15-2006, 01:33 PM
... who has said anything about a "few rare individuals"? From my perspective, this sort of training is done by a LARGE number of people, but NOT ALL people know how to do it... Let's just say that there are, for example, a few people who are saying, "Hey, this stuff about 'moving from the middle' is more important than most people think and it's worth looking at". That's not the same thing as a "few rare indivduals" saying that "hey, there's this Holy Grail of stuff and only we know it"....overall, it has to be noted that the commentaries about how this stuff is almost universal, while the actual knowledge is fairly scarce.
Mike, I'm having trouble following your train of thought. Sometimes throughout these discussions it seems like you're saying "the actual knowledge is fairly scarce," but sometimes you seem to be saying "this sort of training is done by a LARGE number of people." Above, I distilled your post into what I think are your salient points; but I'm not sure I managed to collect the essence and I hope I haven't accidentally changed your meaning.

Are you saying that a large number of people do this sort of training without understanding it, and hence the knowledge is fairly scarce even though a large number of people do it? Or am I missing something else?

Sorry to be dense.

Mike Sigman
05-15-2006, 01:46 PM
Sometimes throughout these discussions it seems like you're saying "the actual knowledge is fairly scarce," but sometimes you seem to be saying "this sort of training is done by a LARGE number of people." [[snipsky]] Are you saying that a large number of people do this sort of training without understanding it, and hence the knowledge is fairly scarce even though a large number of people do it? Or am I missing something else? Hi Wendy:

What I'm saying is that within the hierarchy of Aikido, most people (well, from a westerner's perspective in a western land) don't know how to do these things, but some certainly do/did and they demonstrated their skills. The list in Aikido of people is not all that short and it has to include a Sandan I met in 1975 who was visiting from Hombu dojo and who demonstrated the unusual form of strength that first got me started in Aikido. But if you take the number of Aikido practitioners that can do these things, it's a small (but not negligibly small) number in comparison with the whole of Aikido. Then you take a look at Judo, say in E.J. Harrison's book, and see the same skills mentioned, again with the idea that only a few know them. Same in the Koryu. Same in karate. Same in Taiji, Shaolin arts, Indonesian arts, all the Asian arts. Always the same pattern that some of the skilled at the top know how to do these things, the knowledge is somewhat guarded, and the majority of practitioners don't really know. If you take all the arts and look at the total of all the people that do know, it's a large number of people.... but still the information is relatively scarce. See what I mean? ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-15-2006, 01:54 PM
I suppose I am more aligned with those that can do versus those that can talk. both are important, but I think given the nature of martial arts...it is more about doing and talking than talking alone. I am not insinuating that anyone here is necessarily guilty of that.

The basis of my argument is that "good for them" glad these guys can have push hand competitions. It is important to them. Yes I can learn something from them I am sure. However, when they cross over and start talking about what others are lacking, then they need to be prepared to demonstrate that within the confines of the art or situation in which they say they are judging...or they are simply "college professors" talking about some theories that they themselves cannot back up. I think I understood your argument the first time, Kevin. You keep making it. In a way, I agree with you, but not fully, because I don't think the same way you do.

Suppose for example that Wendy (I don't know Wendy, but let's assume that she's a normal weight-range, frame-size female) has some bona fide skills in kokyu/jin and ki/qi conditioning. They will, with even moderate training, give her more strength than a comparable female of similar size, musculature, etc. But since I'm about 230 pounds and I have a lot of fighting experience, I can probably take her out fairly quickly. The question is whether I'm smart enough to look at what she does and say, "Hmmmm..... it would definitely be an advantage to have those skills on top of what I can already do" or whether I'm going to say, "Well, she couldn't kick my butt so therefore the stuff she's talking about is useless, just like I suspected." ;)

FWIW

Mike

Dennis Hooker
05-15-2006, 02:48 PM
Hi Kevin,

While I can understand your personal viewpoint, I do have to wonder about something. In the quote above, you refer to "the perfect iriminage, and feeling KI emanating from our finger tips," and equate those things with the "jo trick". It seems to me that that would be a logical fallacy, by your own admission. If so, then why do it? Why trivialize the serious parts of this conversation with the less serious issues which really have not even been posited by anyone here?

It makes your arguement, which without such methods seems fairly strong, rather weak.

Best,
Ron

To see how far and how misguided this can become see the Aikido Journal posts by Brian Kagen on Tom Cameron and George Dillman complete with video. The excuses made for being unable to down a disbelieving reporter and a doubting scientist after the fact are just mind-boggling. I think what is most alarming is that they and their students believe this really works. I have had some hands on experience with these people in the past and I none of it worked on me either.

Kevin Leavitt
05-15-2006, 02:50 PM
I got it, and agree. Again, I think it is simply a matter of realitive value and weight that you and I differ on in regards to this topic.

Jory Boling
05-15-2006, 04:57 PM
"then c'est la vie ("ch'est la Vye" to you Okies out there)."

thanks for the translation!
- an Okie.

Chuck Clark
05-15-2006, 06:08 PM
Jory, I'm an old Okie myself. I understood immediately, even though I had to cheat by living in Paris for three years and overcoming my Okie limitations by learning the lingo.

I hope your Okieness dosen't rub off on the folks in Yokosuka too much. It didn't do too much harm when I was there. The culture most likely won't shudder to a halt while everyone starts rooting for OU or OSU.

Big hint.... learn as much of the lingo, writing as well, while you're there.

Regards,

Upyu
05-16-2006, 10:28 PM
Dan outright says that he knows that if Chuck Liddell mastered "this stuff" that his punches would be more powerful.

No disrespect to Dan, but how would he know what Chuck Liddell has mastered or not mastered? How do you know how many pounds per square inch he is packing in his punch? There is an air of assumption and judgement that does not sit well with me. (Sorry Dan)


Funny thing, you can tell if someone has aspects of these skill or not, just by looking at how they move. I'd agree with Dan in a heartbeat about Chuck Liddel tho.
The movement done when throwing the punches looks entirely different (and I'm not talking technique)

Though, I've seen Rickson Gracie move around in one video, showing how he trains, and I'd say he's got bits and parts of some of the stuff. :D

Oh oops...maybe its no coincidence that Rickson is starting to stress "flow" and "softness" more in the BJJ that he teaches as well :p
(Tho, just as irritating is his vagueness at these terms. He doesn't show anyone how he's really training to develop these skills. Tho you see glimpses of it in this one video on the net)

Kevin Leavitt
05-17-2006, 01:11 PM
I don't know Rickson, but studying with others in the art of BJJ that I consider to be proficient, I'd guess that he simply trains the same way he always has...that is he does BJJ.

No magic, he probably simply understands more and more everyday that he studies.

Budd
05-17-2006, 03:50 PM
I have to agree with Upyu regarding Rickson, in 'Choke', he's clearly doing some solo stuff on the beach that's similar to yoga (not to mention something like a nice Capoeira ginga). Given how many of the Gracies have admitted to training in different things and then later sometimes go on to say, "100% Brazilian Zhoo Zhitsu!" . . . (then we hear wrestling tournaments and sambo matches . . .)

Not that any of it is unrelated . . . I'd argue it's all related . . . but it ain't all just BJJ ;)

Jory Boling
05-17-2006, 05:23 PM
Off Thread:
Sensei Clark,

I arrived on the scene, too late. My in-laws were already diehard country fans (hats, boots, buckles, line dancing: the whole deal) by the time I met them.

Also, at the recommendation of a Tulsa dojomate, while working in OKC, I visited Shobu Aiki Dojo. It was my first exposure to a different style of aikido. I remember being pleasantly surprised that, even though it was a different approach, from watching Sensei and his students, it was still the aikido that I had seen, before.

On Thread:
Has anyone training in Japan seen many people demonstrating The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises? If so, were they trying to demonstrate their own power or were they trying to teach it?

Upyu
05-17-2006, 06:11 PM
I don't know Rickson, but studying with others in the art of BJJ that I consider to be proficient, I'd guess that he simply trains the same way he always has...that is he does BJJ.

No magic, he probably simply understands more and more everyday that he studies.

And I've trained with other people that're "proficient" at BJJ, and while they're good, they DONT move like Rickson ;)
But I do recognize the way Rickson moves in that video (Choke?).

There's a reason Rickson's different from the rest.
Btw, Rickson is a huge Yoga nutcase, and these skills are inherent in yoga if done properly ;)

On a sidenote,
it's funny that while I'd never really done grappling work extensively before, I was able to roll into the local gracie academy here in Tokyo and roll on par with some of the blue belts. (Something I've mentioned in other posts). The skills that Mike, Dan etc have been talking about directly apply to the ground as well :D
And its a good thing too, otherwise I probably would've had my ass choked out in under 30 seconds if I didn't have a smattering of these skills.

Upyu
05-17-2006, 06:12 PM
Off Thread:
Sensei Clark,

I arrived on the scene, too late. My in-laws were already diehard country fans (hats, boots, buckles, line dancing: the whole deal) by the time I met them.

Also, at the recommendation of a Tulsa dojomate, while working in OKC, I visited Shobu Aiki Dojo. It was my first exposure to a different style of aikido. I remember being pleasantly surprised that, even though it was a different approach, from watching Sensei and his students, it was still the aikido that I had seen, before.

On Thread:
Has anyone training in Japan seen many people demonstrating The "Jo Trick" and Similar Exercises? If so, were they trying to demonstrate their own power or were they trying to teach it?

Akuzawa here in Tokyo does a version of it, except with a 6 foot long staff, which he holds with his pinky :D

Same principal tho. And yes he teaches you how to develop this body skill.

DH
05-17-2006, 08:20 PM
Akuzawa here in Tokyo does a version of it, except with a 6 foot long staff, which he holds with his pinky :D

Same principal tho. And yes he teaches you how to develop this body skill.

Pinky!!!!

Damn Rob..... I got to get over there and hang with you nut jobs, compare notes, and maybe learn some things. Maybe go out for a drink with you and Ark and have us come to the realization that this body skill, and connection work is just a bunch of hippy Ki crap that is useless in a real fight... :eek: riiiight?
.
I hope you're still rolling. I been hanging with some various hooligans here and trying some things myself and in general just having fun.
Fun having so much to still look forward to though...year by year.
Cheers
Dan

Jim Sorrentino
05-17-2006, 10:53 PM
Robert,Akuzawa here in Tokyo does a version of it, except with a 6 foot long staff, which he holds with his pinky :D

Same principal tho. And yes he teaches you how to develop this body skill.I'll ask you what I have asked Dan H. and others: put a video on YouTube of Akuzawa doing the jo trick (and you, if you can do it), and post the link here. Otherwise, it's just talk.

Jim Sorrentino

Talon
05-17-2006, 10:58 PM
Pinky!!!!

....and have us come to the realization that this body skill, and connection work is just a bunch of hippy Ki crap that is useless in a real fight... :eek: riiiight?

Dan I believe the proper quote is "some fu$#ing hippy Bulls#it chi" :)

Jory Boling
05-18-2006, 01:27 AM
Akuzawa here in Tokyo does a version of it, except with a 6 foot long staff, which he holds with his pinky :D

Same principal tho. And yes he teaches you how to develop this body skill.


Hi and thanks for the reply. Where does Akuzawa Sensei teach and how can one watch or participate in a class. Other than the unbendable arm, I have no experience in any "fu$#ing hippy Bulls#it chi" tricks. I also have little experience in Tokyo.

Please email me, I'd like to know more! As Mike Sigman has suggested, "go find someone and learn."

Jory