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Mike Sigman
07-13-2006, 07:26 AM
I've just trained with one of the highest Chen Tai chi men in the world from Chen village and twenty of his students doing push hands. I told them "I can't do Tai chi, I don' know Tai chi, that I've never done Tai chi." A mere four hours in they told me I had better internal skills than them. And that I could help fix their Tai chi.
Their teacher could do nothing to me and bounced off me.
Who was this teacher and where did this happen, Dan? And before I check into it, do you want to modify your comments any? When you say "his students", are you be any chance meaning the attendees at some workshop? I.e., by that logic you were a "student" of his.

Let me know. This one sounds so good that I may be able to find someone who was there that can give me the lowdown on what happened. I always like a good story. However, self-glorifying stories tend to be something I'd prefer not to see in the martial arts.


Mike Sigman

DH
07-13-2006, 09:41 AM
Who was this teacher and where did this happen, Dan? And before I check into it, do you want to modify your comments any? When you say "his students", are you be any chance meaning the attendees at some workshop? I.e., by that logic you were a "student" of his.

Let me know. This one sounds so good that I may be able to find someone who was there that can give me the lowdown on what happened. I always like a good story. However, self-glorifying stories tend to be something I'd prefer not to see in the martial arts.


Mike Sigman

Do I want to modify my comment any?
Self glorifying?
Before you "Check into" it?
My god Man. The things I have heard about *your* antics are deplorable.What a laugh
I have trained with folks who trained with you. You are the one -not me-who should be careful about what you say.

I asked Jun to edit an earlier post to be nice to you leaving out an unkind referrence about my experiences recently with folks who know you. And this is what I get for my trouble.

OK, I've had a enough. So here it is.
I have now trained with over a dozen people who have personally trained with you. Add to that several who attended your "workshops." And sat at tables with masters, teachers and students alike. Their thoughts on you were shared openly with folks chiming in at will. Pretty much I got;
1. That you are dispicable human being. My judgement of your personal character was spot on -I'm rarely wrong. And that got you banned from E-budo. They went on to tell me even more "Sigman stories" their phrase for the many unkind, and awfully rude things they know about you. Their words not mine.

2. That your skills do not qualify your superior attitude. Yes they said you had some stuff but ...engh! No big thing. And after getting a taste of me. After me going in a nobody and being humble and then them feeling what I could do to them... then getting hugged by me and me making them laugh- they were even more disgusted by *your* attitude. Why do you make enemies? I can't figure it out.

3. Five of them offered me money to teach them what I do-after spending many hours with me. In fact they wouldn't let me go till way after the thing ended. At the seminar folks were bouncing off me and when they did their leg things in push hands I didn't move at all. and I showed them some breath work to add strength to their legs.

4. Several have now come here along with a MMA guy they knew and have taken a private workshop on internal skills. Sitting in my living room I decided to share with them the many times you have told me I was full of crap and I don't get it. They died laughing, now having had a close up and personal taste of you and me.

Oh well.
I don't like you Mike. Not at all. You are, as I guessed, pretty much not liked..period. Where you go you leave a bad taste in peoples mouth.
You forgot in your internal training to work on ...your heart Mike.

Call me a lair, tell me I'm all external, and go rate more Chinese masters by warching videos.....Fine by me. As I discovered- your not worth my time

Bye bye now
Dan

Mark Freeman
07-13-2006, 10:10 AM
Dan,

I'm not here to defend Mike, I'm sure he can do that for himself, but your post is a supreme case of "The pot calling the kettle black". A shame, because you could have just answered the questions posed or ignored them, your choice. You have chosen to lambast a mans character, through hearsay, and then chided him for lack of heart. I'd say "pots and kettles"!

The question posed at the head of the thread was from a complete beginner to aikido, he will no doubt be more confused, not less, by the track of this thread to date.

I was enjoying your posts up till now :(

regards,

Mark

DH
07-13-2006, 10:14 AM
Ladies and gents my apologies

Many of you know me personally, others by years on the net. While I am direct, I am usually never rude. For past year I was excited to see like minds in the CMA and have made freinds on that side of the fence. I can no longer explain Sigman, neither can the many I've now met who have trained with him and or conversed with him. I know from Private Emials your thougths on the way he has spoken to me on several boards.

I have allowed for different terminology and such and tried to be nice back but I gave up. I will not discuss the details of things I was told.I have now met too many for it to be the occasional dispute. I will simply no longer converse with the man.

Again, my apologies to the many who are reading.
Dan

DH
07-13-2006, 10:26 AM
Dan,

I'm not here to defend Mike, I'm sure he can do that for himself, but your post is a supreme case of "The pot calling the kettle black". A shame, because you could have just answered the questions posed or ignored them, your choice. You have chosen to lambast a mans character, through hearsay, and then chided him for lack of heart. I'd say "pots and kettles"!

The question posed at the head of the thread was from a complete beginner to aikido, he will no doubt be more confused, not less, by the track of this thread to date.

I was enjoying your posts up till now :(

regards,

Mark


Mark
It was a public seminar. Mike will dig around.

It was not the questions. I never talk about who I train with anyway. It was the constant and continued tone from him.
Pot and kettle? I don't see it. I've told guys flat out there are better ways, and I have critisized and challenged arts methods all while finding ways to be decent while doing so. If you notice I never got mad at Jim. No big deal. I hope to meet the guy. The way Mike is on the web is the way he is in person. I lost track of the insults he has tossed my way. Most of us disagree at points sometimes strongly. He is in a class by himself for insults tossed my way.
I have left off damaging commentary and the many detailed stories I have been told. At one point severl months ago I told some guys "Enough. I don't want to hear anymore."

If you note anyone who has trained with me talks about what a gentleman I am.

Cheers
Dan

happysod
07-13-2006, 10:32 AM
Where you go you leave a bad taste in peoples mouth. Have to say, having met Mike at one of his workshops when he was in the UK recently, I didn't get this impression at all.
I certainly appreciate any instructor who gets the beers in off their own bat and found him nothing but pleasant and willing to discuss things.

Mark, I don't think the added twists of the thread have done anything but reveal the "One Points" true source - it's whatever I damn well say it is at this point in time. With that in mind, the answer boils down to the nice little homily of "ask your sensei what they think it is" and act accordingly.

Jim Sorrentino
07-13-2006, 10:46 AM
Greetings All,

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

Dan, I am sure that our meeting will be pleasant --- if you can do and teach what you say you can.

Jim

gdandscompserv
07-13-2006, 11:29 AM
Greetings All,

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

Dan, I am sure that our meeting will be pleasant --- if you can do and teach what you say you can.

Jim
i can't figure out why Dan would turn down an all expense paid trip to Virginia to demonstrate his skills.
if Jim offered me the same deal, i'd be there in heartbeat!
a former sempai of mine teaches Aikido in that area as well.
i'm afraid i would be there to learn rather than teach though.
sigh...i suppose i have little to offer...other than how to be a humble student of Aikido.

Mike Sigman
07-13-2006, 03:58 PM
I don't like you Mike. Not at all.I understand that, Dan. You also smeared some unnamed teacher and his "students" (are you referring to workshop attendees... they are not his "students"). I ask you to name the object of your back-handed disparagement and you start attacking me. Par for the course; you've done it before.

Now...back to the question which you didn't answer. Are you going to tell us the name of these people you belittled with your self-pumping story earlier or not?

Mike Sigman

DH
07-13-2006, 04:55 PM
I didn't smear them. I like them. and from student to teacher we get along. And I don't need your help in differentiation.
But this is the third group...funny how the training speaks for itself and we can make friends. I now train with them- me learning two different CMA's forms and training them in internal skills. Funny how it works when you show up and don't insult them and just let them feel you. You make freinds They are as unconcerned with your methods -having trained with you- as I am.

When Ron and his friend come up I'll have them train and introduce them and they can go to dinner. They can tell Ron what they think.

As for smearing? Thats what you do.... I've heard plenty.
But I'll let that go
Keep training Mike. Its out there for ya......

Dan

clwk
07-13-2006, 06:24 PM
All,

I asked Jun to edit an earlier post to be nice to you leaving out an unkind referrence about my experiences recently with folks who know you. And this is what I get for my trouble.

OK, I've had a enough. So here it is.
I have now trained with over a dozen people who have personally trained with you. Add to that several who attended your "workshops." And sat at tables with masters, teachers and students alike. Their thoughts on you were shared openly with folks chiming in at will. Pretty much I got;
1. That you are dispicable human being. My judgement of your personal character was spot on -I'm rarely wrong. And that got you banned from E-budo. They went on to tell me even more "Sigman stories" their phrase for the many unkind, and awfully rude things they know about you. Their words not mine.

I know Mike. I have met and trained with him. I will not provide testimony either for Mike's technical ability, or for his character; and here is my reason (apart from my own dubious qualifications in either regard): I sincerely believe Mike would not want me to. I suppose that, paradoxically, I have lied by offering this information in such a way - but so be it. I would not speak up at all except that character attacks of the sort quoted above are so insidious. They imply everything while saying nothing, and they smear a man's name without even the chance of rebuttal. Sometimes it takes a third party to point this out, and that is really all I am doing. My only qualification in this regard is that I have in the past, defended Dan to another party - pointing out that based on a long history of reading his words, I thought his knowledge was deeper than might be suggested by his rash words at the time. I am not one to call for peace, but I think the information being discussed is important; and I for one would be happiest if it were possible for discussion to take place publicly without character assassination, attempted or otherwise.

Sincerely,
Chhi'mèd Künzang

Mike Sigman
07-13-2006, 07:40 PM
Although as usual, Dan's trying to make this a "bad Mike Sigman" diversion, as he's done in other threads and other forums, this is a serious charge that he's made about a purportedly well-known Chen-style teacher. All the attempts to change it to a Mike Sigman conversation are fatuous.... who was it, Dan? When you say about some well-known Chen teacher that "Their teacher could do nothing to me and bounced off me" you've opened a can of worms. If I wrote something that derogatory about a well-known Aikido teacher, D-R teacher, whatever, I wouldn't act surprised when someone wanted the name... it's an insult to the art.

And yes, according to an ongoing discussion on QiJing it's pretty obvious what seminar you're talking about and who, but you should be big enough to step up to your own words for once.

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
07-13-2006, 07:55 PM
Look guys... this type of exchange serves no useful purpose. On an Aikido Forum, it's about the Aikido. Both of you believe that you have something to offer the Aikido mainstream which is missing. I don't have a problem with that, it's clear to anyone who looks that there are all sorts of issues in Aikido today. Anyway, character and personality issues don't count in this discussion. it's about the technique. Frankly, both of you come up short when it comes to exchange without pissing some else off...

I would like to see what both of you have got going on... I am motivated strictly by self interest in that I'll train with anyone I think has something to show me that will make my Aikido better. I am going to suggest that Stan Pranin invite you both to do classes at the next Aiki Expo. That will give you a venue in which you can both make a positive contribution. This is what you trying to do, right? Make a positive contribution? Otherwise, I can't figure out what either of you are doing here on Aik Web.

Both of you go on at length about what you know and how the rest of us don't "get it". Then you attack each other... Now I know I don't get it, so you don't get my hackles up much. But what is the purpose? In my opinion, the only legitimate reason for either of you guys to be on Aiki Web, since neither of you are Aikido practitioners, is that you feel you have something to offer which is positive. So I think the best way to go beyond these constant repetitions of "you guys don't get it" without any way to actually see and feel what you are talking about for ourselves would be for both of you to step up and show your stuff at the next Expo. That's what the event is for, after all. I am going to suggest it to Stan. Hopefully the outcome will be more interesting than with Tennenhouse, the last guy who was busy telling all of us that we didn't get it.

gdandscompserv
07-13-2006, 09:24 PM
ouch

Neil Mick
07-13-2006, 11:06 PM
Isn't this the part where someone's mom jumps up and says, "I don't care who started it...behave?" :)

This is what you trying to do, right? Make a positive contribution? Otherwise, I can't figure out what either of you are doing here on Aik Web.

They're playing a game...it's called "Who Has the Biggest Tar-Brush?" :rolleyes:

I've yet to see anyone win at this game, no matter what the topic. The players only end up getting their dogi's sticky. :uch:

Mary Eastland
07-14-2006, 05:33 AM
I think it is hilarious that the two guys who claim to know so much about being centered have completly lost their own centers..
The cool part is that they can just relax, go back to good posture and positive mind and get their centers back......
Mary

Upyu
07-14-2006, 05:55 AM
And making snide remarks about both individuals doesnt seem to increase your appeal either Mary.
FWIW both of them only made claims about knowing physical aspects that are contained within Aikido, which seems to be lost among most practicioners. Neither of them claim to be saints.
Plus from what Ive seen, both of them have served up more concrete physical information about this stuff than yourself.
Leave it between them ;) Guys will be guys right?

I think both of them have stuff to offer the arts, and itll be an interesting day if they take up Georges offer to show up to AikiExpo.

Speaking of which, George, whats the off chance of Ark getting invited to AikiExpo?? :)

Ron Tisdale
07-14-2006, 06:59 AM
Dan, Mike, and Ark at an Aiki-Expo? I'd show up.

A group of martial artists gets together and a fight breaks out. Quelle Surprise. -- Chas, from rec.martial-arts.

Best,
Ron (looking forward to the trip up, Dan)

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 07:04 AM
Look guys... this type of exchange serves no useful purpose. On an Aikido Forum, it's about the Aikido. Both of you believe that you have something to offer the Aikido mainstream which is missing. I don't have a problem with that, it's clear to anyone who looks that there are all sorts of issues in Aikido today. Anyway, character and personality issues don't count in this discussion. it's about the technique. Frankly, both of you come up short when it comes to exchange without pissing some else off... I get a little tired of the "hidden gratuitous shot" in a lot of Aikido conversation, but I've learned over the years that it's de rigeur and almost unconscious. It's a part of the personality that comprises western Aikido as a whole. As I've said before, George, I'll be happy to put you temporarily on QiJing if you want to see what dispassionate and productive discussion can be like between a number of different styles. There's not even any sly digs on QiJing, believe it or not.I would like to see what both of you have got going on... I am motivated strictly by self interest in that I'll train with anyone I think has something to show me that will make my Aikido better. I am going to suggest that Stan Pranin invite you both to do classes at the next Aiki Expo. That will give you a venue in which you can both make a positive contribution. This is what you trying to do, right? Make a positive contribution? Otherwise, I can't figure out what either of you are doing here on Aik Web. I still occasionally do Aikido on the mat, George. But what are your personal criteria for me to qualify as "doing Aikido"? Is there some minimum standard I will have to meet? If you could lay it out for me, I'd be glad to review it.

In terms of what I do on the list, frankly the amount of information I've been getting for over a year from various friendly sources in Aikido has made Aikido forums quite productive for my own practices. Plus, in talking about these things, I'm forced to think, formulate, and articulate my thoughts and approaches. It's very productive. Talking, debating, explaining, etc., are good methods of making progress, George. I realize that the Ki and Kokyu basics are not very important to you personally, but I think I can show that all the emphasis on them which Ueshiba placed was worthwhile. So I think the best way to go beyond these constant repetitions of "you guys don't get it" without any way to actually see and feel what you are talking about for ourselves would be for both of you to step up and show your stuff at the next Expo. That's what the event is for, after all. I am going to suggest it to Stan. Hopefully the outcome will be more interesting than with Tennenhouse, the last guy who was busy telling all of us that we didn't get it. Actually, I'm available most of the time, George. You're welcome to come see, if you're really interested. And I've done various 2-day workshops when I've had the time (unlike you, I don't do these things as part of my income, so I pick and choose when I'll do them).... you could have attended if you've had the interest or thought the subject was germane to Aikido. Insofar as doing some sort of quickie at AikiExpo, I wouldn't bother for the same reason that I turn down offers to do quickie workshops at Chinese martial arts expos.... there's not enough time to even get started.

Plus, at a large gathering like Aiki Expo there would be what I call the "Embarrassment Factor"... it's difficult to deal with and it has to do with the problem I've mentioned a few times (just to get it out in the air). Anyone watching the gradual advent of this material getting into western martial arts knows that more and more people are realizing that there is some important factor that demonstrates that all the old Asian talk about "ki" and stuff was something larger and more substantive than most westerners have thought for a while. The number of westerners who have or who are beginning to have *varying degrees* of skills is growing. So what effect does being "a high-ranked dan" have in relation to "doesn't know these basic skills"? I've run into the question for years (long before this last year's surge on AikiWeb, BTW). Generally, most people are friendly and the topic doesn't really come up. But in the case of a bunch of guys/gals at an Aiki Expo who are there in the trappings of status and pecking order.... yet they really should already know this stuff... I see a recipe for problems. And yes, behind the polite, P.C.-speak is often a LOT of passive-aggressive behaviour, George; a fact well-known by many in the Aikido community. So adding that "Embarrassment Factor" with its promise of some sort of passive-aggressive confrontation, I'd say I'm not interested in playing.

I'd agree with Rob's comment and I think you should acknowledge it, too, George.... a LOT of information not commonly known in the Aikido community has been presented gratis on the forum. I've gotten the information (mostly historical, but also a number of things that affect my current practice, too) I wanted and I've tried to give more than I got on these very substantive issues. I feel beholden to people that give me good information and yes, I think it would benefit western Aikido, Taiji, karate, etc., if these stuff were brought out even quicker than it is now. But each person has to make their own choice about whether they're really interested enough to look for all the information pertinent to their own art. If they decide they already know enough, I certainly don't see any reason to spend the time cajoling them into going further. ;^)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 07:30 AM
Dan, Mike, and Ark at an Aiki-Expo? I'd show up.

A group of martial artists gets together and a fight breaks out. Quelle Surprise. -- Chas, from rec.martial-arts. :D Heh. Over the years at various workshops there have always been some Aikido people. On the QiJing list there are a number of Aikido people. Heck, I remember do a workshop purely for an Aikido group near Heidelberg, about 10-12 years ago (and as I've improved, still improve, I look back at some of those workshops and wish I could have done better for all those people). In other words, the interaction with people from different martial arts, including Aikidoists, is nothing new, as far as I'm concerned.

However, just to keep it on the table, let me say that while I have a lot of friends in the Aikido community, going back to the mid-70's, there are also a lot of people in Aikido who I don't have the highest regard for. The superficial "Aiki Speak" stuff far too often hides a petty, "gotcha"-type personality. There are people who are interested in these ki things, Ron, and there are people who are anxious that this talk of ki things either go away or be trivialized so their own knowledge can continue to shine through unblemished in the Aikido community. One of the reasons I'd personally be reluctant to go ton Aiki Expo is because it disturbs me to see people playing Aikido Sage while actually being distressingly human in their foibles. But then, to be fair, I see that sort of behaviour at every Expo and gathering of all martial styles. Not that there aren't a lot of good people at these things.... it's just that the number of role-players can be distressingly high. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Steve Mullen
07-14-2006, 08:58 AM
Now I don't have a p[roblem with people stating their opinion on something and arguing a point, and disagreeing, hell its what these forums are meant for.

What really bugs me is that a lot of the time it comes in the form of 'let me tell you why you are wrong' rather than 'here's what i think' and no one likes to be told that they are wrong, so bad feelings start and people go on the defensive, they feel like they are getting cornered and so look for ways to get strikes in so that they can get out of it. Much like in physical fights.

This leads to stupid bitching and in a few posts everyone has forgotten what the post was even about to begin with. I mean honestly, its like listening to 4year olds. So why dont we just stick to the post, and what we think about what the one point is without making reference to "he said this, she said that" "well i have kicked this guys butt", "oh yeah well when was that coz im gonna ask him" crap.

So my two pence, for what its worth. Ki can be whatever you want to think of it as being. IF you are worrying about if your idea of ki is the right one then you are going to loose your center in the mele in your mind. I think Ki can be another step in your aiki progression if you want it to be. But i have met and trained with some people who i feel have very solid (by which i mean it hurts like hell :) ) technique but don't put it down to Ki. But hell, i have only just started to scratch the surface of my aikido training (3 years) and who knows, i may "have my eyes opened" and suddenly find that i have been missing the big picture.

But i dont think it should be made to seem that people who don't focus on Ki are lacking in some way, or that they are just playing at aikido. we are all on the same journey, some may have just took a left turn at that fork in the road a few years back, while others went right and some went straight on. If there is no concrete destination, how can anyone be lost.

(okay, so that last statement came out far more profound sounding than i expected it to.)

Steve

George S. Ledyard
07-14-2006, 09:01 AM
But what are your personal criteria for me to qualify as "doing Aikido"? Is there some minimum standard I will have to meet? If you could lay it out for me, I'd be glad to review it.

Mike,
You are in a group of folks that has some substantial Aikido experience in the past but has chosen to pursue other martial arts as his main focus. This puts you in the same boat with all the Koryu folks, most of whom started in Aikido, who later abandoned serious practice of the art in order to pursue other training (Larry Bieri sensei is the only one of the bunch who has kept up his Aikido). I include Ellis Amdur in this group as well.

Just because you have some insights into areas which could substantially benefit us, as practitioners of Aikido, doesn't mean that you are an Aikido guy. Ellis is teaching Aikido workshops all over the country but that doesn't make him an Aikido guy either. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't attend one of his classes, in fact I have had him to my dojo on a couple of occasions to conduct his workshops. He knows enough about Aikido to have intelligent, relevant things to say about it. But he's not an Aikido guy either.

Some of us are on the mat every single day doing Aikido. Our primary focus is on Aikido. If we do other training it is to make our Aikido better. That's what I mean by "doing Aikido". The fact that you have done Aikido doesn't make you an Aikido guy in my eyes any more than the fact that I have done some koryu, some escrima or some systema makes me a real practitioner of those other arts.

This isn't a slight on you in any way. You and I have corresponded and I think you understand that I am quite interested to see what you have to show us. I strongly suspect that you have some very valuable information to impart. My only problem has been that between my own teaching schedule, the commitment I have to support my own teacher's events, and the fact that I am still a Dad, it takes me a while to get to all the events that are on my "shopping list" so to speak. You and Dan are high on my list of folks to check out.

At least you are willing to step out and share what you know with interested folks. Jimmy Sorrentino repeatedly renews his invitation to have Dan do a workshop at his dojo and gets no positive response. If it's so important to let us know that we, as Aikido practitioners, are missing some crucial elements in our training, then why isn't it equally important to show the Aikido community execatly what those elements are?

As for the Expo thing... I think you are making excuses. I have demo-ed or taught classes at each of the Expos. Sure, if you are not one of the "Big Ten" instructors, or a Soke, or somesuch, you don't get much time to show your stuff. But most of the real important interaction was off the mat between training sessions anyway. It's really about making connections between people. I've made a whole array of good friends by attending the Expo and it has paid off in my training.

The folks that I know who have had serious back-off about the Expo were all folks who basically had a hard time handling group situations and were sensitive to the issue of "being judged". They didn't like appearing somewhere they weren't center stage and couldn't control the interactions to their own satisfaction. The Expo is an event that is about showing your stuff. You have to "take the risk" of putting your stuff out there for all to see. If some meaningful technique gets imparted, that's great. For many of the senior folks who had a deep foundation, I know the training there had some serious impact.

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 09:06 AM
So my two pence, for what its worth. Ki can be whatever you want to think of it as being. Well, then, we're back to my "Dumb Ole Asians" theory. ;) If Ki is anything you want it to be, then those DOA's' opinions about martial arts are a waste of time because anything we do is just as good as anything they came up with. Heck... I wonder why they gave weird names to something that wasn't even important as a concept.

I love relativism. ;)

Mike

Steve Mullen
07-14-2006, 09:16 AM
Not at all Mike my point was, that is what they want to think of Ki as being, who can say if its right or wrong. If mr red thinks of Ki as being some esotric form of hidden power then that up to him, if mr blue thinks its just a frame of mind then its up to him, if mr yellow thinks that its all about the physics of how you put your body then why not. Its all cricket.

Why do we all have to think the same way about something, isnt diversity what makes life fun

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 09:35 AM
Mike,
You are in a group of folks that has some substantial Aikido experience in the past but has chosen to pursue other martial arts as his main focus. This puts you in the same boat with all the Koryu folks, most of whom started in Aikido, who later abandoned serious practice of the art in order to pursue other training (Larry Bieri sensei is the only one of the bunch who has kept up his Aikido). I include Ellis Amdur in this group as well.

Just because you have some insights into areas which could substantially benefit us, as practitioners of Aikido, doesn't mean that you are an Aikido guy. Ellis is teaching Aikido workshops all over the country but that doesn't make him an Aikido guy either. That doesn't mean that I wouldn't attend one of his classes, in fact I have had him to my dojo on a couple of occasions to conduct his workshops. He knows enough about Aikido to have intelligent, relevant things to say about it. But he's not an Aikido guy either.

Some of us are on the mat every single day doing Aikido. Our primary focus is on Aikido. If we do other training it is to make our Aikido better. That's what I mean by "doing Aikido". The fact that you have done Aikido doesn't make you an Aikido guy in my eyes any more than the fact that I have done some koryu, some escrima or some systema makes me a real practitioner of those other arts. Good points, George, but remember that my question was essentially what minimum criteria it would take to clarify the rhetorical discussion of who "does Aikido". I think that having done "some Aikido" is better than "never did Aikido", but after that it gets murky to me.

Think about it in terms of Taiji (Tai Chi in Wade-Giles), so that we can be a bit more dispassionate. There are tons of people who "do Taiji" who have no qi/jin skills. The Chinese who really do Taiji simply look at it and say "not Taiji". Much blunter than I am, believe it or not, but I would say the same thing even if they have been "teaching Taiji and know all the applications" for 20 years. ;)

So now take Ushiro Sensei's comments once about "no kokyu, no Aikido". My point is that saying who does Aikido and who doesn't can lead to an emotional discussion, particularly if someone has "done Aikido" for a number of years. This issue of Ki and Kokyu skills is unique in the way that the idea of "who has experience in Aikido" becomes very murky. That being said, I just happen to like it as a philosophical discussion while in the real world I don't emote about it very much. ;) As for the Expo thing... I think you are making excuses. I have demo-ed or taught classes at each of the Expos. Sure, if you are not one of the "Big Ten" instructors, or a Soke, or somesuch, you don't get much time to show your stuff. But most of the real important interaction was off the mat between training sessions anyway. It's really about making connections between people. I've made a whole array of good friends by attending the Expo and it has paid off in my training. No, I'm serious. I couldn't constructively show anything in a too-limited environment. It's a *reason*, not an "excuse". I've even "gone outside" with a few guys at expo's who wanted to make a point... but kicking someone's butt doesn't make the point either. It's simple and yet it's very complex, George... I don't mind spending the time occasionally trying to show and explain, but it's simply not possible in the Expo environment. I've done things like it before. It does not work. The folks that I know who have had serious back-off about the Expo were all folks who basically had a hard time handling group situations and were sensitive to the issue of "being judged". They didn't like appearing somewhere they weren't center stage and couldn't control the interactions to their own satisfaction. The Expo is an event that is about showing your stuff. You have to "take the risk" of putting your stuff out there for all to see. If some meaningful technique gets imparted, that's great. For many of the senior folks who had a deep foundation, I know the training there had some serious impact. Yeah, but I read that as a form of minimalization, George. If someone doesn't accept an invitation to Expo, then there is a negative connotation that implies their stuff isn't the real stuff and therefore it can be trivialized. I would suggest in turn that showing well at Aiki Expo has little or nothing to do with the validity of these skills. How about the possibility that many Aikidoists would feel more secure in being surrounded by their own equally knowledgeable-or-ignorant peers when looking at something which may or may not upset their applecart. Fair enough?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
07-14-2006, 10:37 AM
How about the possibility that many Aikidoists would feel more secure in being surrounded by their own equally knowledgeable-or-ignorant peers when looking at something which may or may not upset their applecart. Fair enough?

I get what you are saying... it's my experience, however, that there was plenty at each Expo to "upset people's applecarts". But the folks who didn't want to deal with it just ignored it. Some of us went precisely to have our applecarts upset and others went to show everybody else how great their style was. The most important things I got out of the Expo experiences was from the non-Aikido teachers. I personally know several 6th dan level folks whose Aikido has changed completely since the Expos because of exposure to some of those teachers. Ikeda Sensei, who, along with Pat Hendricks Sensei, were the only ones of the of the "top dogs" who attended the classes of the other teachers, has changed in very noticeable ways since that training. The relationship he has established with Ushiro Sensei has been extremely important, in particular. So, I know for a fact that there were plenty of sincere "seekers" at the events. These are folks with enough background that I suspect, you could impart something worthwhile to, even if it were just a short time period. At least it would be a good way to establish that personal relationship that makes exchange much easier. Just my own thoughts...

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 11:12 AM
I get what you are saying... it's my experience, however, that there was plenty at each Expo to "upset people's applecarts". But the folks who didn't want to deal with it just ignored it. Some of us went precisely to have our applecarts upset and others went to show everybody else how great their style was. The most important things I got out of the Expo experiences was from the non-Aikido teachers. I personally know several 6th dan level folks whose Aikido has changed completely since the Expos because of exposure to some of those teachers. Ikeda Sensei, who, along with Pat Hendricks Sensei, were the only ones of the of the "top dogs" who attended the classes of the other teachers, has changed in very noticeable ways since that training. The relationship he has established with Ushiro Sensei has been extremely important, in particular. So, I know for a fact that there were plenty of sincere "seekers" at the events. These are folks with enough background that I suspect, you could impart something worthwhile to, even if it were just a short time period. At least it would be a good way to establish that personal relationship that makes exchange much easier. Just my own thoughts... Fair enough, George. As I've said, I've been to enough of those venues that I have satisfied myself that they offer very limited abilities for substantive exchange. And then too, think how many people get a chance to watch O-Sensei's performances on Stan Pranin's videos and yet how many of them haven't picked up any ki/kokyu/jin skills, even though they positively admired watching O-Sensei and had some warm feelings about him personally.

Frankly, one of my main positions is that at a higher level almost all of the Asian martial arts use these principles when they're "real". Yet the average Aikido observer currently can't pick that out and anything that doesn't resemble the "Aikido" they're used to seeing probably won't ring a bell. On a personal level, I tend to think that working with a few good "martial artists" with a "good heart" is more satisfying than all the public demonstrations I've done to "promote the art" of any sort.

Despite Ushiro Sensei showing some perspective of "kokyu" (I've only seen a couple of film clips)... something that Ikeda Sensei picked up on... how much interest has been shown in the Aikido community? Almost none, statistically. Maybe the problem is not the people who won't conform to Aikido, but the Aikido community perspective? It's a debatable point.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
07-14-2006, 11:31 AM
I don't know Mike...Ikeda Sensei specifically invited Ushiro Sensei to a well attended summer camp, and people like George (another top dog in the art in the States) participated and spoke well of the event. And even teachers in the Yoshinkan are building bridges with Ikeda Sensei (they go to him and he goes to them).

I'd say we are off to a pretty good start, relatively. My experience at the Expo was much as George's; many people shared on many different levels. The demos were the smallest part of the exchange. The workshops and private sessions were the meat. And that would be the venue I would want to see someone showing these skills in...not a demo.

Best,
Ron

SeiserL
07-14-2006, 12:13 PM
Been to all three Aiki-Expos. Had a great time in training, cross-training, discussion, and friendly conversation.

While I have not heard of any plans to do it again, I would hope there continues to be venues we can meet and share our experiences directly on the mat. So much of this is hard to put into words.

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 12:13 PM
I don't know Mike...Ikeda Sensei specifically invited Ushiro Sensei to a well attended summer camp, and people like George (another top dog in the art in the States) participated and spoke well of the event. And even teachers in the Yoshinkan are building bridges with Ikeda Sensei (they go to him and he goes to them).

I'd say we are off to a pretty good start, relatively.Hi Ron:

You're talking "relatively" (although I don't know in relation to what), but I said "statistically". For instance, how much conversations in re Ushiro, kokyu, etc., do you see in the community or the forums right now? My experience at the Expo was much as George's; many people shared on many different levels. The demos were the smallest part of the exchange. The workshops and private sessions were the meat. And that would be the venue I would want to see someone showing these skills in...not a demo. I can appreciate that, Ron. It speaks well of your impressions of the Aiki Expo. However, you and George seem to just dismiss my comments about why the time and other constraints wouldn't work for me, even though I have broad experience at "expo's" and "tournaments". You seem to be more interested in defending Aiki Expo as some sort of validating venue for Aikido. Too bad O-Sensei was never able to attend. ;)

There seems to be a strong undercurrent, in my opinion, of a sort of "conform to the community if you want to be taken seriously". I've seen this same thing in Taiji and other arts. To be taken seriously, someone needs to find a legitimate place in the pecking order, it would appear. Although I recognize this sort of thing and I tend to be fairly friendly, I also make an effort to NOT become part of any social organization, Ron. I realize that it irritates a lot of peoples' herd instincts, but in my experience the first step on the road to Hell is to become a part of any social community.

I once had a friend of mine extend an invitation to join a "Taoist Club". My first comment was, "Do Taoists form clubs????". They don't. A club is the antithesis of the Tao. Yet even though Aikido is supposed to be a "Tao" or "Do" in exactly the same sense, the vast majority of practicing Aikidoists are involved in a community conformity. But so are most other martial arts engaged in similar social pursuits, for the most part. I just tend nowadays to engage on a friendly level with the real "seekers".... and they're easy to spot, as opposed to the people who are "seekers" to the extent that their social stature requires it.

Not that I want to offend people... don't get me wrong... but I could easily point out that the pressure to conform or to make "personal relationship that makes exchange much easier", as George said, is itself unwarranted and presumptive. ;)

I kinda like these threads in "Open Discussions" sometimes.

Best.

Mike

George S. Ledyard
07-14-2006, 12:59 PM
However, you and George seem to just dismiss my comments about why the time and other constraints wouldn't work for me, even though I have broad experience at "expo's" and "tournaments". You seem to be more interested in defending Aiki Expo as some sort of validating venue for Aikido. Too bad O-Sensei was never able to attend.)

Mike, you are reading way too much into this. I have no interest in defending the Expo, the experience spoke for itself to those who were there and those who weren't don't know. I don't look at the Expo as some sort of "validating" experience except insofar as it was the first time I have ever done my Aikido in the presence of so many people who are my seniors and peers. In my own organization, I am fairly senior.

Sure, I was happy that, after the exposure I got, I was able to forge some wonderful long term relationships with teachers whom, I see as at the top of their game.

This issue of being taken seriously... what does that mean? If people who don't know very much take you seriously, is that significant? If people who are really excellent take you seriously, doesn't that count for something with you? It does for me... The individuals capacity for self delusion is almost infinite. I definitely take the respect of my seniors and peers to be an indication that I am on the right track.

There seems to be a strong undercurrent, in my opinion, of a sort of "conform to the community if you want to be taken seriously". I've seen this same thing in Taiji and other arts. To be taken seriously, someone needs to find a legitimate place in the pecking order, it would appear. Although I recognize this sort of thing and I tend to be fairly friendly, I also make an effort to NOT become part of any social organization, Ron. I realize that it irritates a lot of peoples' herd instincts, but in my experience the first step on the road to Hell is to become a part of any social community.

The Expo gave me a chance to enlarge the number of folks I know who are REALLY at the top of their game. No one gives a **** about a pecking order.... It's not as if being up on the Aikido "pecking order" is some ticket to fame and fortune... After thirty years and three Expos my teaching income is just starting to cover what I spend on training. But I count myself fortunate that I can pick up the phone or send an e-mail to some of the best martial artists I know and they will respond in kind. I sincerely do not think that I am in some sort of "pecking order" with Chuck Clark Sensei or Toby Threadgill Sensei. I don't think Todd Jones Sensei spends any time at all worrying about where we stand relative to one another on some mythical pecking order. The relationship I am developing with Francis Takahashi Sensei is extremely important to me and would never have happened without the Expo. The fact that he started Aikido when I was 4 yrs old is enough of a marker as to where I feel I stand relative to him... These folks have become close friends, not competitors for the Aikido world's esteem... Isn't that what the Expo was really about?

Ron Tisdale
07-14-2006, 01:01 PM
Hi Ron:

You're talking "relatively" (although I don't know in relation to what), but I said "statistically".

Well, if we are going to talk 'statistically', then we have to have actual statistics. Since we don't... ;)

For instance, how much conversations in re Ushiro, kokyu, etc., do you see in the community or the forums right now?
Actually, a fair amount. We are in one right now :) There are at least 3 active threads here, one on e-budo on these matters and judo, there was a recent one on rec.martial-arts, etc.

I can appreciate that, Ron. It speaks well of your impressions of the Aiki Expo. However, you and George seem to just dismiss my comments about why the time and other constraints wouldn't work for me, even though I have broad experience at "expo's" and "tournaments". You seem to be more interested in defending Aiki Expo as some sort of validating venue for Aikido. Too bad O-Sensei was never able to attend. ;)

I certainly don't mean to be dismissive...I'm just providing an alternate viewpoint. And it has nothing to do with 'validating aikido', since aikido is not the only art there. I'm defending the workshops as good places to learn whether it's Systema, Karate, internal skills, or anything else.

There seems to be a strong undercurrent, in my opinion, of a sort of "conform to the community if you want to be taken seriously". I've seen this same thing in Taiji and other arts. To be taken seriously, someone needs to find a legitimate place in the pecking order, it would appear. Although I recognize this sort of thing and I tend to be fairly friendly, I also make an effort to NOT become part of any social organization, Ron. I realize that it irritates a lot of peoples' herd instincts, but in my experience the first step on the road to Hell is to become a part of any social community.

I do see this, you are correct. I don't blame you for stepping outside of it. That's why I've always tried to support viewpoints like yours and Dan's and others.

Not that I want to offend people... don't get me wrong... but I could easily point out that the pressure to conform or to make "personal relationship that makes exchange much easier", as George said, is itself unwarranted and presumptive. ;)

Well, sometimes you have to break a few eggs. ;) But I happen to agree with George that "personal relationship that makes exchange much easier". It's a fact, whether we like it or not. No surprise it's a fact here same as anywhere else.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 01:16 PM
This issue of being taken seriously... what does that mean? If people who don't know very much take you seriously, is that significant? If people who are really excellent take you seriously, doesn't that count for something with you? It does for me... The individuals capacity for self delusion is almost infinite. I definitely take the respect of my seniors and peers to be an indication that I am on the right track. Part of my previous point was that people at Aiki Expo, according to their posts, largely didn't understand the concept of what Ushiro meant by kokyu power. I would refer you back to a thread on Aikido Journal which you yourself participated in. It was an astonishingly short thread, though. And yes, one of my favorite comments to people is "who do you want to take you seriously... the masses or the few true experts in a given field?". Insofar as being on the right track, I think anyone on the right track can duplicate Tohei's "Ki Tests" on the spot, on demand. Since the "Ki" body skills are the basis of Aikido and aiki, wouldn't that be a better gauge than the "respect" of others? (Yes, I'm being a gadfly). These folks have become close friends, not competitors for the Aikido world's esteem... Isn't that what the Expo was really about?I never said anything about "competitors" and the nuance you're shifting to isn't what I meant, George. But I understand your position.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-14-2006, 01:26 PM
Well, sometimes you have to break a few eggs. ;) But I happen to agree with George that "personal relationship that makes exchange much easier". It's a fact, whether we like it or not. No surprise it's a fact here same as anywhere else.I've got nothing against your position, Ron. Personally I go by either someone's ability or by their honest efforts to search out information. There are people on QiJing, for instance, whom I personally dislike, but they're on there for their knowledge or for their genuine interest in getting at this heart of Asian martial arts.

"Personal relationships" are a complete side-issue to the real pursuit, as long as reasonable courtesy is involved, IMO. You either know it or you don't... and no one knows it all. If you focus on the core skills and don't get distracted by the social stuff, "personal relationships" of the best kind will develop, in my experience.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
07-14-2006, 01:39 PM
No arguement there. There are people at my dojo that I don't hang with...but on the mat, it's all about what they can do. The dojo where I train probably isn't a good example though...it's always been pretty much about the training there. There was another dojo I trained at which was more guilty of the things you mention. I'm not there anymore...

The point is...even if the nature of the relationship is not that of "best buds", it is still a relationship. That's all I am saying...not some fluffy bunny psychobable feel good, I'll jack you if you'll jack me kind of thing. ;)

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
07-15-2006, 06:45 AM
The point is...even if the nature of the relationship is not that of "best buds", it is still a relationship. That's all I am saying...not some fluffy bunny psychobable feel good, I'll jack you if you'll jack me kind of thing. ;)One of the real problems with the jin/kokyu things is, as I mentioned, that it's not something that can be shown/taught in some quicky sessions as an expo-type setting. In fact, it's one of those things that keeps expanding, fractal-like, as you get into it. For years I've fought to keep the workshop discussions as simple as possible and yet provide sort of a big-picture overview (mainly because I don't like doing workshops that much and I'd rather just show what I know and get out of peoples' lives). But it's complicated and some things can't really be shown/taught until one's body has developed a certain amount of abilities/skills.

Take the "One Point" discussion that this thread is an offshoot of. It seems like a simple discussion that someone says "what's that", an answer is given, and everyone moves on. But that's not true; the "one point" or "tanden" or "dantien" is actually a complex concept because, like so much of the nomenclature around "ki", etc., there is no one-to-one easy conveyance of the concept.

(1.) If someone legitimately talks (as opposed to some of the pretentious BS that always floats around) about "breathing to the one point", they mean "breathe to the seika-no-tanden". In the start of this "breathing to the navel" or "condensing the breath/ki to the navel", the practical matter is learning to condense the breath pressure at the lower abdomen area. After some months of practice doing this, a pressure area develops there.... that's the start of a lot, but not all, of the "ki to the navel" discussion and the "one point" is the imaginary center of that pressure area.

(2.) And yes, that area is near the center of mass of the body, but that's really a tangential issue to the point. When you move the body the center of mass, *supported by the power from the ground* is the strongest area to apply force from. A path from the ground (that's the real "mass" you want to use, BTW, the "earth") must go from the ground to the tanden to the object of the push, pull, etc. That means it can't really be manipulated by the shoulder, so the tanden becomes the manipulation point. The "one point" is the center of that manipulation point.

(3.) Lastly, there is a control of the body "connection" that is very hard to describe to someone who has not felt it or who has not developed some part of it through breathing and focused stretching cum jin exercises. But when you feel this odd additive to the body's abilities (it sounds strange, but then just describing how to wiggle one's ears sounds strange to someone who has never done it or seen it), there is indeed a sort of focused "one point" of "feeling". Being sort of an analytic cynic, I suspect that point of focussed feeling has a lot to do with the fact that you've developed that area... i.e., if you really worked at it, for some weird reason, you could probably develop a "one point" feeling in some other part of the body.

The point in the stuff above was that just in this small part of the whole subject of ki, it gets pretty complicated to go through and describe... much less time though than it would take to lead people to where they can feel and do these things themselves. A quicky at an AikiExpo would simply be too limited a venue to even get started. Good relationships or not. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
07-15-2006, 11:42 AM
I understand that you may not be able to teach it at an expo. The point of an expo is not to teach, but to show ideas, possibilities and to demonstrate concepts.

I would fully expect to be wow'd by your technique and how effective or different it was to anything I'd ever felt before as I came at you within the parameters that we agreed upon in which the demonstration would take.

The only issue I have had, and not necessarily with you Mike, is those that have professed to possess abilities, but then cannot demonstrate them effectively within the parameters we establish/agree upon.

No doubt that there are guys that can lift heavy weights with their penises. However, what is impressive to me is that you can translate that skill into something that is remotely useful to generally accepted within the martial arts or sports community, and be able to effectively demonstrate how it adds to or increases the effectiveness of the sport/art.

Saying, I'd show you but there is not enough time. Or I'd show you, but you do not have the right skill level, or I'd show you but then I'd have to kill you, generally peaks my BS meter right up there. You should be able to demonstrate this stuff on some level regardless of the time/skill level involved.

Mike Sigman
07-15-2006, 12:04 PM
I understand that you may not be able to teach it at an expo. The point of an expo is not to teach, but to show ideas, possibilities and to demonstrate concepts.

I would fully expect to be wow'd by your technique and how effective or different it was to anything I'd ever felt before as I came at you within the parameters that we agreed upon in which the demonstration would take.

The only issue I have had, and not necessarily with you Mike, is those that have professed to possess abilities, but then cannot demonstrate them effectively within the parameters we establish/agree upon.

No doubt that there are guys that can lift heavy weights with their penises. However, what is impressive to me is that you can translate that skill into something that is remotely useful to generally accepted within the martial arts or sports community, and be able to effectively demonstrate how it adds to or increases the effectiveness of the sport/art.

Saying, I'd show you but there is not enough time. Or I'd show you, but you do not have the right skill level, or I'd show you but then I'd have to kill you, generally peaks my BS meter right up there. You should be able to demonstrate this stuff on some level regardless of the time/skill level involved.Kevin, despite discussing this exact same issue before, and a couple of others along exactly the same lines (remember when I discussed the example using Wendy Rowe??? If she can't kick my ass with Aikido, does that mean that Aikido is useless??? Remember the conversation????), and you backing off and pretending to be polite, you keep coming back with this same crap. I'm tired of it. I'm talking about not having the ability to teach the principles of this form of strength to any useable degree in an expo format.... you're back to the same BS about "if I can't whip somebody's ass at Aiki Expo then it's useless, yada, yada, yada." Go back and read your posts on the "Jo Trick" thread... we've BEEN through this, Kevin. If you want to see what I have, come see me.... don't start this backhanded trivialization by distorting it to "can you kick ass with it" crap again. It's chickenshit. You've come back to this same approach between 5 and 10 times now.


Mike Sigman

Chuck.Gordon
07-15-2006, 01:13 PM
Saying, I'd show you but there is not enough time. Or I'd show you, but you do not have the right skill level, or I'd show you but then I'd have to kill you, generally peaks my BS meter right up there. You should be able to demonstrate this stuff on some level regardless of the time/skill level involved.

Preach it Brother Kevin!

Sounds about like time for a throwdown, neh?

Mike Sigman
07-15-2006, 01:32 PM
Sounds about like time for a throwdown, neh?Actually, I think it's time for some of the Aikido people and Koryu people to start wondering how they "teach", but they don't seem to understand the physical body skills that all the "ki" discussions are about. Including the "stillness in motion", Reiki-no-ho, etc... those are all part of the "ki" body skills.

Instead of trying to divert the discussion to a "throwdown at Aiki Expo", just show up. My comments about discussing a complex subject not being suited for quicky venues still stands. So far, instead of politely acknowledging that as a possibility (Ron being somewhat of an exception), all I get is some mindless tangents.

The real question, Chuck, for someone supposedly knowledgeable in Koryu and Aikido, is why your archived comments about "ki" are so far off. How do you justify it? Is the best solution for you to trivialize these body skills that you apparently have no real knowledge of?

Regards

Mike Sigman

clwk
07-15-2006, 01:52 PM
I would just like to interject an observation which might or might not be helpful to anyone. I do this in the good faith hope that the issues involved are actually somehow confusing. The question I want to address is the issue of how ki/kokyu skills may or may not relate to martial skills - and by extension to Aikido.

The folowing analogy is not meant to be perfect, but it should be illustrative. I *think* those advocating the ki/kokyu skills will agree that it is apt - as far as it goes; and I hope those on the other side of the issue can understand its purpose without feeling the need to pick it apart beyonds its utility.

On one side of the equation, we have ki/kokyu skills and martial skills. Obviously one can have martial skills without ki/kokyu skills and vice versa. The argument some might make is that the ki/kokyu skills will, *in and of themselves* augment whatever martial practice one engages in - and furthermore, that *some* martial practices really *require* at least a basic level of these skills.

On the other side of the equation (which is to say, the analogy), let's look at the relationship between pitch skills and musical ability. By pitch skills, I mean both relative and absolute (perfect) pitch. It is well known that there are individuals with absolute pitch but without any other particular musical ability. It is also well known that not all skilled musicians possess absolute pitch. However, there is a fairly reasonable correlation between relative pitch and musical ability. All serious musicians will have a degree of skill in identifying and producing relative pitches - and anyone with that skill will also have *ipso facto* a degree of 'musicality'. It might even be argued that someone with *zero* relative pitch skills cannot be considered a serious musician. [For the record, I am not a serious musician by any stretch of the imagination.]

Now, some musicians will have acquired a certain aptitude with relative pitch - simply as the default effect of years of reading and playing music. They may be fantastic musicians who never explicitly studied the subject. Even if - because they never bothered to be systematic about it - they lack certain aspects of the full skill set, they may not mind and it may not harm their particular style of music making. They would, however, recognize the lack in another; and with any perspicuity they would also recognize that (even if this was not how they developed it) a systematic course of development could be applied to remedying the lack.

Absolute pitch, on the other hand, does not seem to develop spontaneously, but it does seem that it can be intentionally cultivated. The methods involved in this intentional cultivation have nothing to do with the act of playing or composing music - but it should be obvious to everyone that, if one were willing and able to invest the time and effort in performing this cultivation, it would enhance one's musical ability.

How one chooses to spend one's practice time is an individual decision. Certainly most musicians do not put in the effort to cultivate absolute pitch - but to some extent this may be because it is not well-known that this is possible (assuming it is), and because well-developed systematic methods of performing this development are not widespread. On the other hand, it might be argued that there *is* a long-standing tradition of basing martial skills on the underlying ki/kokyu skills; and there *are* well-systematized approaches to doing so. The relationship between relative pitch and musical accomplishment is traditional, however.

Past a certain point, arguing about whether or not certain underlying skills will *really* enhance musicality/martial ability is silly. You either see and accept it or not. You may be skeptical as to whether absolute pitch is a real phenomenon, and whether it can actually be developed - but if you do not see the applicability to music performance/composition then that's not really anyone else's problem. A 'perfect pitch' skeptic would be entitled to a demonstration that it is possible. Someone wanting to learn the skill would be entitled to an explanation of how the method was meant to progress. It's worth separating out these three levels of disbelief. 1) Disbelief that the skill is relevant. 2) Disbelief that the skill is possible. 3) Disbelief that the skill can be taught.

Category 1 *might* be a somewhat confused subset of category 2. Whatever the case may be, if I were sincerely interested in maximizing my musicality, I would need to make a decision as to whether the investment/reward tradeoff relative to my musical goals would make it worth my while to develop absolute and/or relative pitch. If so, I would be looking for the best method to do that. If not, I'd just forget the whole thing. The one thing I would *not* be doing *at all* is asking purveyors of a method for developing pitch skills to 'prove' or even 'demonstrate' their utility. *I* would try (in the least confrontational manner possible) to establish whether the skill actually existed (if in doubt - which there need not be really, in the light of accumulated world knowledge) and then discovering whether an individual can really teach it. Why 'test' a prospective teacher of perfect pitch on their ability to compose or perform music? It's just not to the point. What matters is whether or not they can help you learn to develop the skills - so you probably want to establish that they have them. It's then up to you to do the work and to use them how you want to.

That's not to say that such a teacher (whether King Kong, Godzilla, or any other mega-monster terrorizing the powerless inhabitants of Tokyo) *couldn't* go to town and rock you with a crazy Hendrix beat-down - but requesting such a demonstration might be indicative of a misunderstanding, and might well just get you blown off.

Chhi'mèd

Mike Sigman
07-15-2006, 02:04 PM
That's not to say that such a teacher (whether King Kong, Godzilla, or any other mega-monster terrorizing the powerless inhabitants of Tokyo) *couldn't* go to town and rock you with a crazy Hendrix beat-down - but requesting such a demonstration might be indicative of a misunderstanding, and might well just get you blown off. Pretty far out analogy, Chhi'med. ;)

Long ago I found out that one of the more productive approaches is to avoid the BS as much as possible and then deliberately provoke the people that try to be jerks so that they would never stoop to coming to share information. Ultimately, of course, it creates some enemies.... but often your true worth can be described by who your enemies are. :)

Your analogy is fine, as are so many comments by different people, but ultimately it comes down to that old saying I've found so many Asians like to say, "Either they figure it out or they don't". And I think Ueshiba said something exactly along those lines to Terry Dobson, too, so this shouldn't be a surprise about how it works.

Best.

Mike

clwk
07-15-2006, 02:16 PM
Mike,

Pretty far out analogy, Chhi'med.

That was just my nod to 'Dan and Mike's Thread'. I was sort of sitting here at home picturing readers crouched under their desks hoping you two would kill each other without ruining too much of the metropolitan infrastructure.

-ck

Mark Freeman
07-15-2006, 02:40 PM
Mike,



That was just my nod to 'Dan and Mike's Thread'. I was sort of sitting here at home picturing readers crouched under their desks hoping you two would kill each other without ruining too much of the metropolitan infrastructure.

-ck

Interesting analogy, my guess is that many readers are sitting back in their seats, eating popcorn, and enjoying the entertainment ;)

Mike Sigman
07-15-2006, 03:09 PM
That was just my nod to 'Dan and Mike's Thread'. I was sort of sitting here at home picturing readers crouched under their desks hoping you two would kill each other without ruining too much of the metropolitan infrastructure. Actually, since you've seen *some* or the real fallout to Dan's preposterous post, on another list, I'm not sure why you see it as some sort of "contest" between the two of us. I never did. He stated something blatantly untrue and I called him on it. That's not a "contest", the way I see it. It's more following a certain Way of doing things. ;)

FWIW

Mike

clwk
07-15-2006, 03:25 PM
I'm not sure why you see it as some sort of "contest" between the two of us. I never did. He stated something blatantly untrue and I called him on it. Sorry if that was confusing. I was referring to the thread name (which was created when it was split). It seems to me that a certain degree of sensationalism/controversy went into the choice of that name. I did not mean, by parodying the sentiment, to partake in it. For the record, now that it has come up, I understand the reason for your objections to what Dan said; they are not wholely unrelated to my own (earlier in the thread).

-ck

dps
07-15-2006, 04:14 PM
How long will the" Dan and Mike's Thread" last. Will they make it to 1000 posts?
Hey Jun, are we allowed to make bets.

Mark Freeman
07-15-2006, 04:22 PM
David, you are just being naughty now, behave or Jun will confiscate your keyboard ;)

dps
07-16-2006, 01:22 PM
David, you are just being naughty now, behave or Jun will confiscate your keyboard ;) I thought I was banned from Aikiweb last night!!! :)

Chuck.Gordon
07-16-2006, 01:55 PM
I was sort of sitting here at home picturing readers crouched under their desks hoping you two would kill each other without ruining too much of the metropolitan infrastructure.

-ck

I have no care whatsoever what Dan and Mike do to each other.

They're consenting adults.

However, I find it amazing that the discussion is still ongoing on this list.

Whatever.

Anybody want to talk about beer?

cg (Not a sock puppet)

Adam Alexander
07-16-2006, 02:57 PM
Look guys... this type of exchange serves no useful purpose. On an Aikido Forum, it's about the Aikido.

I read a little of the start of this. I also read a little of it here.

I think it's very usefel. After I burned a lot of time on these petty arguments, there was moments of clarity--freedom from anger. At those moments, I could see what was happening to me--What I was losing.

It actually changed my life. I was more brought into the fold of aiki-mentality? Recognizing what "mental-Aikido" is, maybe. Or, recognizing that there's a right and wrong technique in words as in physical techniques?

So, I figure it might be useful for them in that way.

Second, it's useful because I can drop in and be reminded of what a jack-a** I was. LOL.

Adam Alexander
07-16-2006, 03:12 PM
It actually changed my life. I was more brought into the fold of aiki-mentality? Recognizing what "mental-Aikido" is, maybe. Or, recognizing that there's a right and wrong technique in words as in physical techniques?

BTW: I don't claim to be perfect or consistent in the application of these ideas;)

Mike Sigman
07-16-2006, 03:18 PM
It actually changed my life. I was more brought into the fold of aiki-mentality?

So, I figure it might be useful for them in that way.

Second, it's useful because I can drop in and be reminded of what a jack-a** I was. LOL.Heh. :) I have to admit that that may have been one of the funnier statements I've read on an Aikido forum. I assume it's your "aiki-mentality" that forces you to imply other people are "jack-a**'es". Really a good one. "Aiki-Speak" at its truest. :D

Anyone noticed how much trivialization has been attempted in this thread? Or how much explicative, direct knowledge of "ki" and "one point", etc., was actually contributed by Aikido experts in the lead-in conversations?

One of the interesting things I was mulling over on my trip back from the mountains a little bit ago was the idea that "How to do Ki things" is something that a number of *western* Aikido experts are making out to be "how is this useful in Aikido and you need to prove it". An interesting approach to the discussion of something that's supposedly a cornerstone of Aikido. I decided that the reason this is so intriguing to me was that when I got a whiff of it from a Japanese Aikidoist many years ago, I could see the value and I started chasing it down. What I'm watching with interest is people whose approach is quite different from chasing it down.

It's that curiosity and desire I experienced compared to casual dismissal by *some* Aikidoists; not all.... bear in mind that there are a few Aikido players on this forum and other places that do have some good and demonstrable skills that I respect. And I've seen them just shrug off the trivializers crowd, but the mentality of the trivializers constantly draws my attention. What intrigues me is the size (within the western Aikido community) of the dismissive crowd who would like to trivialize the topic. The one question I keep probing at is the logic behind the dismissive segment... and I keep trying to get people like Chuck Gordon to explain it to me logically instead of trying to piddle on threads that contain the question. No emotion attached... just keen clinical interest in the thought processes involved.

Just thinking out loud.

Mike Sigman

Adam Alexander
07-16-2006, 04:35 PM
I assume it's your "aiki-mentality" that forces you to imply other people are "jack-a**'es".


It depends on your perspective, I suppose. Tohei totally rips into people at times with little snips (i.e, Ki in Daily Life he calls U.S. soldiers weak for dying in the "death" marches. The French Aikido's founder [I can't remember his name. I think the style is Yoseikan] talked smack about Tohei in regard to recognizing that internal troubles would cause issues for Tohei in Aikikai by saying "I saw it coming, I guess you could say my Ki was stronger. There's hundreds of them.)

I think aiki-mentality would be more along the line of trivializers who recognize there's nothing you can do. Like when I say something stupid and the seniors don't respond.

I guess your Ki isn't very strong...since you responded.

LMAO!! I'm just messing with you. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

Mike Sigman
07-16-2006, 04:41 PM
It depends on your perspective, I suppose. Tohei totally rips into people at times... Even better!!! Compare yourself to Tohei as an excuse!!! Heh. ;)

Mike

Adam Alexander
07-16-2006, 05:49 PM
Even better!!! Compare yourself to Tohei as an excuse!!! Heh. ;)

Mike

LMAO! You're a nut-case. I'll compare myself to an apple or box if I want to exemplify straight and round lines...not as an excuse...only to help you understand.

Hahaha.

I can't play anymore. I've reached the obnoxious boundaries of my aiki-mentality.

Hugs and kisses from a fellow jack-a**. LOL.

Mike Sigman
07-16-2006, 05:56 PM
LMAO! You're a nut-case. I'll compare myself to an apple or box if I want to exemplify straight and round lines...not as an excuse...only to help you understand.

Hahaha.

I can't play anymore. I've reached the obnoxious boundaries of my aiki-mentality.Oh, I dunno. I think the venom portrays a lot of what is behind much of the "aiki-mentality" and "aiki-speak". Most of the experienced Aikidoists know that most of the outside martial community and a LOT of the Aikido community realize there is a great deal of passive-aggressive behaviour behind much of the "aiki-mentality" facade. I think you've done a pretty good job of displaying it, Jean. Don't sell yourself short. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ian Thake
07-17-2006, 03:52 AM
(1) If someone legitimately talks (as opposed to some of the pretentious BS that always floats around) about "breathing to the one point", they mean "breathe to the seika-no-tanden". In the start of this "breathing to the navel" or "condensing the breath/ki to the navel", the practical matter is learning to condense the breath pressure at the lower abdomen area. After some months of practice doing this, a pressure area develops there.... Seems a fairly clear assertion, does anyone have an opinion on whether this is - or isn't - what happens?

(Feel free to stick this in the One Point thread btw)

Mike Sigman
07-17-2006, 07:07 AM
Seems a fairly clear assertion, does anyone have an opinion on whether this is - or isn't - what happens? The problem with this sort of discussion is that there should be a *number* of Aikido teachers who just casually agree "Yeah, that's a general description of it, alright", and then the conversation should move forward with perhaps someone else mentioning his preferred method of concentrating the breath at the tanden/hara. It's a very basic discussion. But since the number of people who can describe how to do this is fairly limited (although I am quite well aware that there are a number of people reading the thread that know how to do this thing, but who aren't commenting), it leaves some people free to take partial umbrage that there is something being discussed which they don't know about. Is it better to use "Aiki Speak" and simply not discuss these core concepts in order to not offend anyone???? ;)

I think I posted a website previously that mentioned Misogi and "concentrating the breath at the navel". "Breath" can by synonymous with "Ki". Part of the problem with the very generic word "Ki" is that often "what kind of ki" becomes a question. Is it air, pressure, fascia-'tension', electro-magnetic/nerve responses, etc. In the general case, the most probable usage is a buildup of pressure in the lower abdomen, bounded by the diaphragm, the abdominal walls and spine, and by clinching the perineum/anus area (this is the same thing, for the same purpose, as a yogic "lock").

FWIW

Mike

Ian Thake
07-17-2006, 12:12 PM
The problem with this sort of discussion is that there should be a *number* of Aikido teachers who just casually agree "Yeah, that's a general description of it, alright", and then the conversation should move forward... Sorry, I meant to say: does anyone except Mike Sigman have an opinion on whether this is - or isn't - what happens? ;)

Alfonso
07-17-2006, 12:47 PM
well if it makes you feel better, I do and I didn't start feeling a pressure area in that abdominal region , a sort of hard knot, and sometimes a quite intense heat too, until years into my regular aikido practice. But then again I've not had specific instruction on this and i've been stumbling around these topics for quite a while (I don't want to be fumbling forever either) What/how/where and when this is useful, I have very little idea, I'm trying to find out more.

Adam Alexander
07-17-2006, 03:45 PM
Oh, I dunno. I think the venom portrays a lot of what is behind much of the "aiki-mentality" and "aiki-speak". Most of the experienced Aikidoists know that most of the outside martial community and a LOT of the Aikido community realize there is a great deal of passive-aggressive behaviour behind much of the "aiki-mentality" facade. I think you've done a pretty good job of displaying it, Jean. Don't sell yourself short. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

No kidding. I dunno either. But I do know what passive-aggressive looks like. At no time does it look like screwing with someone in such a direct way as I usually take (as on this occasion).

Don't confuse wit with passive-aggression.

My experience concurs with your's, there seems to be more fakers in the liberal/artsy/granola-eating/peace-loving types. It's like the new VW commercials where they're driving around and everyone has a blow-horn...but they're sooo superior they don't need their's. The peace-knicks need to "prove" how superior they are the same as the buyer of a VW...because they're denying what they are. Unfortunately, they're so busy trying to prove it, they don't see that they're the opposite in their behavior...Nor, because they're too busy, do they see the real reason they believe what they claim to.

However, I've found that when I behave in a likable way, most of the passive-aggressive stuff disappears. Be a good boy and it'll stop.

It's all Aikido.

Mike Sigman
07-17-2006, 04:29 PM
However, I've found that when I behave in a likable way, most of the passive-aggressive stuff disappears. Be a good boy and it'll stop.

It's all Aikido.I see. You're only passive-aggressive if the other guy is a bad boy. It's not even your fault or responsibility, even. This is perfect "Aiki-Speak", in my opinion, Jean, and you have done much to make the case.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Adam Alexander
07-17-2006, 04:40 PM
How sorry. Get a life.

Neil Mick
07-17-2006, 05:37 PM
I see. You're only passive-aggressive if the other guy is a bad boy. It's not even your fault or responsibility, even. This is perfect "Aiki-Speak", in my opinion, Jean, and you have done much to make the case.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ooh...I guess he showed you...

How sorry. Get a life.

And now, I guess you showed him! :freaky: (altho, I think, he DOES have a point, Jean...)

But hey! Don't pass ME that tar-brush: My dogi's plenty tarred enough, as it is... :yuck: ;)

(someone please, please PM me the Japanese translation to "I don't care who started it: behave!" willya? I'd ask Sensei, but I'm afraid she'd get a little miffed... :) )

Mike Sigman
07-17-2006, 05:41 PM
How sorry. Get a life. Another Bon Mot! I feel blessed. :)

Jean..... do you know ANYTHING about the 'one point' or how it applies to Aikido, etc.? Even a vague idea? Wouldn't you like to show that you actually know something of interest to the discussion, instead of just being judgemental about others' character flaws, real or imagined??? ;)

Mike

statisticool
07-17-2006, 07:01 PM
In the general case, the most probable usage is a buildup of pressure in the lower abdomen, bounded by the diaphragm, the abdominal walls and spine, and by clinching the perineum/anus area..

All I've learned is that we can replace ground strength, ground path vector/ whatever, with something like "pressure in the anus area".
:eek:

johanlook
07-17-2006, 07:22 PM
After a few years of hearing it mentioned I decided to practice breathing to the one point area. It probably took me about 6 months before I felt something that is more than just imagination but I do feel something there. Now I'm just trying to work out what to do with it.

In my case I just had to try it out for myself and see if anything happened because my teachers were pretty elusive and/or very esoteric about it. I've often been in dojos where even if self-exploration is not actively discouraged it is neutralized in the sense that student's own doubts are allowed to stop them from progressing in certain areas. If we have teachers or people that we trust telling us to breathe into the one point and it will begin to form over time then we'd probably just do it and trust that it would happen. In time we could experience it for ourselves and those initial doubts would diminish - but if we never push through those initial doubts in the first place then we'll never really know for ourselves.

A lot of things have been glossed over in my own training that I'm going back to now. I remember things that I heard mentioned briefly on a forum like this or elsewhere and think "man, if I just put in a bit of regular practice in that - then I would know either way now". Worst case scenario I waste my time but dispel my confusion. Best case scenario I actually get some new skills.

Mike Sigman
07-17-2006, 08:42 PM
All I've learned is that we can replace ground strength, ground path vector/ whatever, with something like "pressure in the anus area".
:eek:No, one thing augments the other. Ask your teacher to explain it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-17-2006, 08:49 PM
In my case I just had to try it out for myself and see if anything happened because my teachers were pretty elusive and/or very esoteric about it. I've often been in dojos where even if self-exploration is not actively discouraged it is neutralized in the sense that student's own doubts are allowed to stop them from progressing in certain areas. "Actively discouraged" and "neutralized" are pretty accurate. Like the comment to "talk about beer" earlier on.

Of course you need to do more than just "breathe to the dantien". You have to breathe with the idea of strengthening the area inside and out, gently, over a long period of time. But I think that basically you're putting your finger on the problem... many of the "teachers" will actively discourage or neutralize anything that might diminish their stature, etc., since that can be far more important than progressing forward in something they don't know much about. No matter what "nice guys" people are, they tend to protect their turf. None of us is perfect, though. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Steve Mullen
07-18-2006, 05:14 AM
"None of us is perfect, though" surely you aren't including yourself in that one mike :eek: :D :D

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 06:59 AM
"None of us is perfect, though" surely you aren't including yourself in that one mike :eek: :D :DI don't have any problem including myself in that group at all. One of the ways I've figured many things out over the years is by constantly saying, "So OK, what did I do wrong?" or "What's the facts that can come back to bite me in the butt?". It's the way I work.... *assuming* I am doing something wrong and trying to catch it before it gets out of hand. It's why I never became a martial arts teacher. Not only did I find a lot of things I was doing wrong, I STILL find a lot of things that I'm doing wrong. If there's anything valuable I can tell people, it not's things they can do... it's the things they should avoid doing, because I've already been there.

You?


Mike

Steve Mullen
07-18-2006, 07:32 AM
Boy you have a real knack for taking all the fun out of a joke. :(

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 07:39 AM
Boy you have a real knack for taking all the fun out of a joke. :( Well, sometimes. I was in a conversation one time with a bunch of Chinese who were martial arts teachers. One of them noted that most real martial artists constantly think like engineers... while commenting that most western martial artists tend to be more like Liberal Arts majors. If there's going to be any progress in the Ki/Kokyu things in Aikido and other Arts (in the West, particularly), the trick will be to convince people to think more critically and clinically about how certain things are done. Many westerners hear an Asian speak with poor English and mangled descriptions and they don't understand that in his own language and terms, the man is more of an engineer than a "Taoist Sage".

;)

Mike

Steve Mullen
07-18-2006, 07:43 AM
So because you ripped the fun out of a joke you are a real martial artist? hmm i have this handfull of magic beans, and i remember that i read in a book that if i plant them a mighty bean-stalk will grow and i can get a goose that lays golden eggs. *rushes off to get a spade*....... now we wait. Does that make me a real fairytale hero???

Upyu
07-18-2006, 07:55 AM
So because you ripped the fun out of a joke you are a real martial artist? hmm i have this handfull of magic beans, and i remember that i read in a book that if i plant them a mighty bean-stalk will grow and i can get a goose that lays golden eggs. *rushes off to get a spade*....... now we wait. Does that make me a real fairytale hero???

No since you still haven't served up any advice that's useful. ;)

Don't mind me though, I'm kinda on a roll tonight, since I tapped out a submission grappler that won a medium sized tournament a month back. In fact I used the "drop"/pressure mentioned on this thread to rope an rnc on him before he even knew what happened. :D

Body connection is such a wonderful thing :)

Ron Tisdale
07-18-2006, 08:19 AM
yeah...so how exaclty is what you just did so much different from what Dan did in the earlier version of this thread...

Best,
Ron (no malice here, just currious...)

Adam Alexander
07-18-2006, 12:45 PM
"Actively discouraged" and "neutralized" are pretty accurate. Like the comment to "talk about beer" earlier on.

...But I think that basically you're putting your finger on the problem... many of the "teachers" will actively discourage or neutralize anything that might diminish their stature, etc., since that can be far more important than progressing forward in something they don't know much about. No matter what "nice guys" people are, they tend to protect their turf...

Maybe the problem isn't the teachers, but you.

If you had a chance to read my post about testing, I think you're similar to me in that respect (principally speaking). You know something about technique, so you think you know something about martial arts (in the idealized way they're spoken of).

What? Because some instructors showed you a little more or told you a little more than the last one you think the last one had something up his sleeve or didn't know anything? Maybe it has more to do with the next one (the one who showed or talked to you more) seeing you had some technical knowledge or ability and was simply throwing you a bone in an effort to just get you under his belt (no pun intended;) ) or school.

Maybe the one that doesn't discuss anything with you recognizes your arrogance and isn't giving to someone who will not give himself?

I think there're excellent reasons that no one tells you everything; just hints here and there to keep you moving forward.

Maybe your life will develop a little more meaning if you consider that there might be more to it than you think at this moment.

Oh boy, and when you start to see it (If, indeed I am seeing anything myself) the shame and humiliation will be immense. IMMENSE.

Or, perhaps I'm just seeing myself in others.

Haha.


Ron Tisdale!

What's this? I've been posting like a j.a. all these days, and not once have you shot into any of them!

What, you getting slow?

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 01:01 PM
Oh boy, and when you start to see it (If, indeed I am seeing anything myself) the shame and humiliation will be immense. IMMENSE.

Or, perhaps I'm just seeing myself in others.

Haha.Well this one is pretty easy to sort out. Show me any Jean de Rochefort post that has explained how to do anything in the ki/kokyu realm. Anything. Or the 'one point'. The shame and humiliation may be immense, but you need to recognize that you just bumble along and do it to yourself. You may not recognize it, but you're being called to contribute something substantive.... again... and you can't do it.

Who's your teacher, Jean?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Adam Alexander
07-18-2006, 01:21 PM
Well this one is pretty easy to sort out. Show me any Jean de Rochefort post that has explained how to do anything in the ki/kokyu realm. Anything. Or the 'one point'. The shame and humiliation may be immense, but you need to recognize that you just bumble along and do it to yourself. You may not recognize it, but you're being called to contribute something substantive.... again... and you can't do it.

Who's your teacher, Jean?

Regards,

Mike Sigman


I haven't trained formally in some time. I guess you could say that I'm sorting things out right now. Waiting for my pride to snap? Reassessing my priorities? I don't know. There's something wrong with me and I'm trying to fix it I guess.

Hell, I've been working so much (except the last few days that I took off)...you know the story.

On the rest of your post, like your other posts about "passive-aggression" (apparently, we have different definitions of passive-aggression) and the last one about teachers not being competent: You notice that all these posts disregard an individuals sincere attempt to offer help? In the case of my last post, I spent fifteen minutes writing that. In the earlier posts, initially calling you a j.a., did you notice it was done in a non-malicious way? I didn't have to go out of my way to do that. I could of just left it alone while you were being called immature and foolish, pretty much outright.

So, then, there's your instructors. You just assume that your instructors 'want to stay better than' you.

You notice a theme in all this? You've got a mental problem.

I'm not saying you should appreciate what I did (just putting up a couple posts), but you might give some consideration to your hyper-sensitivity...cause you've really got a mental problem.

Thanks for the lesson.


On discussing technique, etc. Why in the world would I tell you a thing? You'e a total a**hole (is that direct?). I'd rather see something bad happen to you on the mat because you don't seem like a good person. I don't want to see your type progress (hey, maybe it's a mental thing that keeps me off the mat? Because I'm not the right kind of person, I don't go back. Who knows.).

I hope that's clear. I'm not passive-aggressive. I might be a sarcastic j.a., but I'm not passive-aggressive. I'm telling you directly: As a person, you ain't right.

Thanks for the lessonS.

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 01:34 PM
In the earlier posts, initially calling you a j.a., did you notice it was done in a non-malicious way? Heh. I guess I should have taken it as a compliment, then. :p On discussing technique, etc. Why in the world would I tell you a thing? You'e a total a**hole (is that direct?). Well, you might do it just to validate the hypothesis you're offering that you're a good human being who is just being helpful. It sounds suspiciously like you're a fairly petty guy who really can't do anything and is reduced to making only personal remarks. Discussing techniques with some knowledge and intelligence might do something to ameliorate the impression you've been leaving that you're simply a guy who can make only personal remarks and who knows nothing of any use to the discussion at hand. It's up to you. If you know tremendous things that are far beyond my level, at least do me a favor and hint at them.... *after*, of course, you've shown that you have a handle on the basics of the ki and kokyu things that would have to be the simple *basis* of all things Aikido. Having a "deep understanding" of Aikido techniques and strategy that are largely wrong because of a misunderstanding or incomplete understanding of the body mechanics (like "move from the hara")... well, that's going to be a difficult package to sell, logically.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
07-18-2006, 01:54 PM
What's this? I've been posting like a j.a. all these days, and not once have you shot into any of them!

What, you getting slow?

Hey Jean, nah, I'm just sittin' in the bleachers, chillin'. ;)
Best,
Ron

Adam Alexander
07-18-2006, 02:25 PM
Hey Jean, nah, I'm just sittin' in the bleachers, chillin'. ;)

Ah, I see. I should follow your lead...every time I look back, I seem to encounter the same old type;) (Attn: That was a passive-aggressive/witty snipe.)

statisticool
07-18-2006, 05:42 PM
Who's your teacher, Jean?


In another thread here you said:


This sets up an "Us versus Me" relationship, George, while noting that I am an "outsider". Rhetorically, it's a way of discrediting someone in a debate. I know you didn't mean to do that, but I thought I'd point it out. Is it possible that we can discuss this without slipping in personal references to bend the debate?


Isn't this getting personal and bending the debate by asking who has what teacher?

statisticool
07-18-2006, 05:45 PM
I was in a conversation one time with a bunch of Chinese who were martial arts teachers. One of them noted that most real martial artists constantly think like engineers... while commenting that most western martial artists tend to be more like Liberal Arts majors.


Subjective opinion from unverifiable people isn't very satisfying.

Who were these martial artists, and who are these 'westerners' you constantly refer to? Let's not get personal and bend the debate by citing actual references.

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 05:52 PM
Isn't this getting personal and bending the debate by asking who has what teacher?Not really... he told me he knew some hot techniques that he wouldn't tell me and yet he couldn't answer simple questions.

The real question for you, dippy, is why you keep sticking your negative nose in without contributing a single positive component to any thread. You're probably the single-most singularly snide commentator I've ever seen hang out with his keyboard on a martial arts forum.

Do YOU have anything positive to contribute, or are you just as bereft of substantive knowledge as Jean is? If you have something on ki/kokyu or "one point", let's see it. Oh... I think we've been through this on previous threads, haven't we? There was no substantive reply there either, but you can't stop, apparently. Looking at your "cool" website, I don't find any answers, either. Hmmm.

Regards,

Mike (not holding his breath) Sigman

George S. Ledyard
07-18-2006, 07:30 PM
In another thread here you said:
Isn't this getting personal and bending the debate by asking who has what teacher?

It is pretty much always ok to ask who is ones teacher. In the Japanese world view, one exists in relation to others. There is a need to place one in the social / hierarchical nexus. "Who is your teacher?" was almost the first thing another practitioner would ask when I was in Japan (they almost never asked ones rank but they would also ask how long you had trained).

If someone isn't willing to state who they trained with, they should pretty much restrict themselves to the anonymous postings.

Now, whether the information about whom one trained with makes any difference to a discussion is another matter.

Mike Sigman
07-18-2006, 09:02 PM
It is pretty much always ok to ask who is ones teacher. Actually, if someone is deliberately insulting while claiming impressive martial knowledge like Jean has been and yet avoids any martial discussion, it's pretty much a given that he will be asked who his teacher is, either personally or through private channels.

I know of a number of instances where someone has been insulting and telephone calls have been made throughout China or Japan to find out who spawned some guy. It's the claim to impressive knowledge that justifies the question... either "who is his teacher" or "who did he beat". Once you claim great insights, as Jean did, you need to back them up or you get marked down as a sockpuppet making mouth noises. ;)

FWIW

Mike

statisticool
07-18-2006, 10:26 PM
The real question for you, dippy,
..
you keep sticking your negative nose
...
without contributing a single positive component to any thread.
...
You're probably the single-most singularly snide commentator
...
Do YOU have anything positive to contribute, or are you just as bereft of substantive knowledge as Jean is?


Your above rant is not negative. It is contributing. It is not snide. I am Abe Lincoln. ;)

I'd still like to have an answer to my question that you avoided, if you could focus on that. Who were the Chinese martial artists you spoke of, and who are the 'westerners' you are constantly talking about? Feel free to PM or email if you don't want to post in the thread.

Steve Mullen
07-19-2006, 02:02 AM
Despite the fact that this will probably incite a response of "well what have you contributed" but, has anyone else noticed that there has been very few on-topic posts here in the last.......well ages

Upyu
07-19-2006, 02:02 AM
Your above rant is not negative. It is contributing. It is not snide. I am Abe Lincoln. ;)

I'd still like to have an answer to my question that you avoided, if you could focus on that. Who were the Chinese martial artists you spoke of, and who are the 'westerners' you are constantly talking about? Feel free to PM or email if you don't want to post in the thread.
:rolleyes:

statisticool
07-19-2006, 03:48 AM
:rolleyes:

Some people have a 'thing' against naming actual names and providing factual support for their statements.

gdandscompserv
07-19-2006, 06:05 AM
Despite the fact that this will probably incite a response of "well what have you contributed" but, has anyone else noticed that there has been very few on-topic posts here in the last.......well ages
what is the topic?

Mike Sigman
07-19-2006, 08:00 AM
what is the topic? Good question, anymore. Looks like the "Aikido Mentality" that Jean was talking about has buried it. ;)

Mike

Steve Mullen
07-19-2006, 08:05 AM
Mike, if you are so dam sure that this AIKIDO MENTALITY exsists in pretty much every person (except you, of course) on this forum, why do you keep coming back and lowering yourself to the level of us mere aikido mortals from your pedestal that you are on with the martial arts gods, whats the air like up there???

The question was what was the name of the Tai-Chi guys. Its a valid question that you asked. Im interested to know too as i don't know much about chinese martial artists and would like a jumping off point for looking.


Why is it that you take everything as an attack, defensive much

George S. Ledyard
07-19-2006, 08:54 AM
I know of a number of instances where someone has been insulting and telephone calls have been made throughout China or Japan to find out who spawned some guy.

Absolutely. If one actually has a teacher he is associated with, it becomes a great mitigating factor on his behavior. Appearing on the forums seems to many folks to be a great opportunity to indulge but acting badly on the net means that they are embarrassing themselves internationally. Some folks seem not to care that they are known world wide, through the entire English speaking world, as idiots but I can guarentee that their teachers hear about it eventually. And that they usually do care about. Once one has a certain degree of recognition, there's a golden rule which applies: Don't embarrass your teacher (s).

Mike Sigman
07-19-2006, 10:23 AM
[[snip the personal stuff, again]] The question was what was the name of the Tai-Chi guys. Its a valid question that you asked. Im interested to know too as i don't know much about chinese martial artists and would like a jumping off point for looking. Shoot, I can't remember them all. There was a guy named Sun, Liang Shou Yu, another guy named Wu, and about 3 others. It was at the "A Taste of China" event, back in the late 1990's. But if you really wanted to know that, why didn't you just PM me? In reality, you're just interested in keeping any discussion on tangents or on the personal. Why is it that you take everything as an attack, defensive much This may come as a surprise to you, but I go off on plenty of tangents, *AS LONG AS THEY HAVE SOME RELATION TO THE SUBJECT BEING DISCUSSED*. You, Jean, "Statisticool", etc., have absolutely nothing to contribute so you're trying to keep the discussion personal. I.e., a lot of people in Aikido won't come on AikiWeb because there are too many posters like you. Best solution.... try to stick to the topic. If you want to shut someone down, do it with expertise, not personal attacks. The guys who want to stick to the personal are *always* the guys who can't really keep up with the technical conversations. Everything is insulting to the guy with no technical expertise and the cheap way out is to try to shift the conversation to personal issues. That's what you guys do... and it needs to be pointed out publicly.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Adam Alexander
07-19-2006, 12:38 PM
Not really... he told me he knew some hot techniques that he wouldn't tell me and yet he couldn't answer simple questions.

Do YOU have anything positive to contribute, or are you just as bereft of substantive knowledge as Jean is?

Actually, if someone is deliberately insulting while claiming impressive martial knowledge like Jean has been...

Hot techniques? There you go again. You're imagining things. I never said anything about what I do or don't know. I just said that I wouldn't discuss anything related to technique with you because I have the impression that you are a bad person.

How do you know I lack knowledge in Aikido? I don't know, but it seems like an awfully big leap of faith to assume someone is so limited because of what they don't do...demo what they know.

Intentionally insult? Nothing doing. I didn't say anything about you that I haven't said about myself. Of the majority of the observations or opinions I expressed, attached were "maybe," "?," etc. to indicate my uncertainty. I was half-asking questions, half talking aloud.

On calling you mentally ill: Would it be an insult if I told someone that I believed them to have a broken arm? Of course not. Could I be mistaken? Certainly.

In this case, I believe you have an authentic illness. How can one illness (broken arm) not be an insult and the other (mental illness) be considered an insult?

Depends if you're mentally ill, hyper-sensitive and terribly angry, you might consider it an insult.

Good luck. I hope you're getting all the attention you need.

statisticool
07-19-2006, 03:04 PM
But if you really wanted to know that, why didn't you just PM me?


If you really want to know teachers, why don't you just PM them?


In reality, you're just interested in keeping any discussion on tangents or on the personal.


Calling someone 'dippy' and saying they contribute nothing. This is not personal according to you.

Hypocritical behavior needs to be pointed out publically, even though it is very obvious.

statisticool
07-19-2006, 03:08 PM
Mike, if you are so dam sure that this AIKIDO MENTALITY exsists in pretty much every person (except you, of course) on this forum, why do you keep coming back and lowering yourself to the level of us mere aikido mortals from your pedestal that you are on with the martial arts gods, whats the air like up there???


My personal favorite is the constant disparaging remarks of 'westerners', all the time noticing that the person saying that is a westerner.

Upyu
07-19-2006, 03:42 PM
My personal favorite is the constant disparaging remarks of 'westerners', all the time noticing that the person saying that is a westerner.

I think he's referring to westerners like j00 ;)

statisticool
07-19-2006, 04:55 PM
I think he's referring to westerners like j00 ;)

Oh he wouldn't do that and get personal like he demands others not do, now would he? ;)

Upyu
07-20-2006, 12:11 AM
Oh he wouldn't do that and get personal like he demands others not do, now would he? ;)

Nah, maybe he rubs people the wrong way, but he also offers up concrete physical info about what he's talking. Same goes with Dan. That's more than you can say yourself, drive-by boy. :p

Steve Mullen
07-20-2006, 02:02 AM
"Who was this teacher and where did this happen, Dan? And before I check into it, do you want to modify your comments any? When you say "his students", are you be any chance meaning the attendees at some workshop? I.e., by that logic you were a "student" of his."

If you really wanted to know mike why didn't you PM him rather than perpetuate a tangent.

Hope you get my PM

Steve Mullen
07-20-2006, 02:21 AM
P.s The reason i didn't PM mike straight away was incase anyone else wanted to suggest some things so i could get a cross section.

statisticool
07-20-2006, 04:03 AM
Nah, maybe he rubs people the wrong way, but he also offers up concrete physical info about what he's talking. Same goes with Dan. That's more than you can say yourself, drive-by boy. :p

You're not a paying member nor do you have more posts than me, so your label for me of 'drive by boy', I take as seriously as Mike's 'dippy'.

Someone asking a question (yes, I was asking Mike for actual concrete info about who these mysterious 'westerners' and 'Chinese martial artists' are) isn't required to offer anything as you believe.

Mike Sigman
07-20-2006, 05:22 AM
Nah, maybe he rubs people the wrong way, but he also offers up concrete physical info about what he's talking. Same goes with Dan. That's more than you can say yourself, drive-by boy. :pI rub some people the wrong way; some people I don't. Some people make it a point to be rubbed the wrong way because they're playing a role. Based on the progress in something as foundational as the ki and kokyu stuff, Rob, I think you'd agree that probably more rubbing (in many martial arts, not just Aikido) should have been done sooner because "aiki mentality" doesn't get the job done. ;)

My 2 cents.

Mike Sigman

Mark Freeman
07-20-2006, 10:30 AM
This thread should be allowed to die a peaceful if undignified death.

If anyone has anything useful to add about 'one point' the thread in the general section has got to be a better place than here.

Dan it seems has left the building...probably a good thing after his vitriolic outburst. Mike is still here, so maybe it should now be renamed Mike's thread? Either way, taking cheap shots at one another, is a sure sign that people have run out of decent things to discuss.

Don't mind me, I'm a bit grumpy with myself for having bothered to read so much :(

regards,

Mark

gdandscompserv
07-20-2006, 12:08 PM
This thread should be allowed to die a peaceful if undignified death.
http://www.ultimatesims.com/rip.jpg

Upyu
07-20-2006, 02:47 PM
You're not a paying member nor do you have more posts than me, so your label for me of 'drive by boy', I take as seriously as Mike's 'dippy'.

L.M.A.O

oh and

R.O.F.L

sorry, just couldn't resist :D

Mark Freeman
07-20-2006, 05:36 PM
I rest my case :p

Upyu
07-20-2006, 07:22 PM
It's an open discussion area. Chill ;)

Keeping Justin strung along happens to be a great time killer for me at work.
For those tired of flaming, I thought I'd start a new thread on bodywork at some point. It'll be based off of the article that I'll be publishing on Bullshido. Overall its less about the tanden,one point etc etc, and more about martially related stabililzation of the body, which I think needs to be done before extensive work is done on the tanden itself.

I try and balance my posts without substance with an occasional one that does :)

ksy
07-20-2006, 09:33 PM
if i spent as much time on training as some of you here writing this and and that and your never ending replies, i'd have gotten a black belt in no time! :D

wonder if it's something about Dan and Mike being american that makes them like to talk, and talk, and talk. But i guess it's better to talk than not, cause when americans stop talking, they start invading foreign countries and all that. ;)

like most of you here on this thread, i have nothing positive to contiribute. just letting off steam, bad hair day and all, y'know...

Jeremy Hulley
07-20-2006, 10:41 PM
Robert,
I'll look forward to reading that article..

Upyu
07-20-2006, 10:50 PM
Robert,
I'll look forward to reading that article..

If you want a sneak peak at it, feel free to PM me.
I'm always down for some extra objective opinoins on the paper.
I gave the near completed rough draft (or final, i havent decided which, depends how lazy im feeling ^^;) to several guys on bullshido and the lazy #$"$ers haven't gotten back to me yet. :crazy:

eyrie
07-20-2006, 10:58 PM
Hey Rob, feel free to throw a rough draft my way... ;)

xuzen
07-20-2006, 11:04 PM
if i spent as much time on training as some of you here writing this and and that and your never ending replies, i'd have gotten a black belt in no time! :D

wonder if it's something about Dan and Mike being american that makes them like to talk, and talk, and talk. But i guess it's better to talk than not, cause when americans stop talking, they start invading foreign countries and all that. ;)

like most of you here on this thread, i have nothing positive to contiribute. just letting off steam, bad hair day and all, y'know...

This really crack me up... ha ha ha.

Boon.

Steve Mullen
07-21-2006, 02:05 AM
That was the funniest thing i have read in a while

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 08:19 AM
So now take Ushiro Sensei's comments once about "no kokyu, no Aikido". In the last week I've had a couple of conversations on the phone with people I know and I just finished a pretty lengthy one about Ushiro Sensei and what he teaches from someone who has been there and who knows something about jin, ki, etc. At the moment, not having personally seen what Ushiro Sensei teaches, I think I need to pull back my comments about Ushiro's teachings and wait until I have personally seen what he does/teaches before I make any comments.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
07-21-2006, 08:41 AM
I'm confused...are you saying that his definition/use of kokyu is different from the common understanding?

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 08:54 AM
I'm confused...are you saying that his definition/use of kokyu is different from the common understanding?
Not necessarily. But based on some lengthy descriptions of what he's showing and how he's showing it, I'm just saying that I'm not in a position to comment about what he's showing, in terms of clarity for the discussions we've been having. So until I do see what he's teaching, it's wisest to back off using him as an example even though it *sounds* like he and I agree on the general concept that most Asian martial arts without Kokyu are simply not complete enough to be claimed as being fully representative of that art.

If I get a chance, I may try to go up to Glenwood Springs next week and watch some of his stuff. Problem is that it's a 4-hour drive... although if I take my kayak and run the Shoshone stretch of the Colorado River, it can't be a waste of time. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Jim Sorrentino
07-21-2006, 10:33 AM
Hi Mike,If I get a chance, I may try to go up to Glenwood Springs next week and watch some of his stuff. Problem is that it's a 4-hour drive... although if I take my kayak and run the Shoshone stretch of the Colorado River, it can't be a waste of time. ;)I hope that you will take the 4-hour ride. I would be at Boulder Camp again this year, but my parents' 50th wedding anniversary happens in the middle of it... and I would like to stay on their good side! ;)

In addition to Ushiro-sensei, you could also watch classes taught by Saotome-sensei, Ikeda-sensei, and Frank Doran-sensei. You could meet quite a few people who have read your opinions about aikido. Two of my students will be there as well. If you go, please PM me so that I can put you in touch with them. If you teach either one of them to do the jo trick, they will buy you dinner. :)

Seriously, I hope you go, and report back with your impressions.

Sincerely,

Jim

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 11:20 AM
Hi Mike,I hope that you will take the 4-hour ride. I would be at Boulder Camp again this year, but my parents' 50th wedding anniversary happens in the middle of it... and I would like to stay on their good side! ;) Well, heck, Jim... if you're not going to be there, probably half the people that would have gone won't show up. :) In addition to Ushiro-sensei, you could also watch classes taught by Saotome-sensei, Ikeda-sensei, and Frank Doran-sensei. You could meet quite a few people who have read your opinions about aikido. Two of my students will be there as well. If you go, please PM me so that I can put you in touch with them. If you teach either one of them to do the jo trick, they will buy you dinner. :)

Seriously, I hope you go, and report back with your impressions. I'm seriously thinking about it. Probably, as is typical of me, I'll make the decision whimsically in a day or so (I have some things happening here at home that I need to attend to).

I first watched Saotome's Aikido in the 70's and I've seen him since then as well. I've trained at Ikeda's dojo sometimes, starting in the 80's. So seeing them would not be anything new to me, Jim. Doran I would enjoy, I'm sure, but really the only interest I'd have would be to see exactly *what* about kokyu power Ushiro is teaching and *how* he's teaching it.

Insofar as "teaching someone to do the jo-trick", it's a conditioning thing, as well as a skill. As I've said, I think it's a bit of a reach and O-Sensei never fully pulls it off... if I were you, I'd start looking for the principle and then asking someone (like me) to show you how that principle is useful in martial arts in a way that normal strength is not as effective. That, to me, would be the core question, would it not? ;)

All the Best,

Mike

shodan 83
07-21-2006, 11:49 AM
Hello Mike, personally I have not seen Ushiro sensei, however many members of my core group in Tallahassee did last year and were quite impressed. Only one of that group is returning this year and I know you have spoken to him recently. The rest of us are heading to Ledyard’s intensive later in the year; limited funds and all.

Kayak or not the four hour drive from Durango will be worth your time, if I’m wrong, which is doubtful, I’ll pay for dinner and drinks when our paths cross in the near future.

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 12:16 PM
Hello Mike, personally I have not seen Ushiro sensei, however many members of my core group in Tallahassee did last year and were quite impressed. Only one of that group is returning this year and I know you have spoken to him recently. The rest of us are heading to Ledyard's intensive later in the year; limited funds and all.

Kayak or not the four hour drive from Durango will be worth your time, if I'm wrong, which is doubtful, I'll pay for dinner and drinks when our paths cross in the near future. Hi Eric:

Limited funds? Heck, I heard that if I had you guys' money, I could throw my money away. ;)

Don't get me wrong... all I did was carefully put my engine in neutral in regard to Ushiro discussions. A couple of private discussions left me with the impression that I was letting my bulldog mouth overload my chihuahua brain and hear only what I wanted to hear. My comment is simply that *until* I personally see what he does, perhaps in a few days time, I'm backing off previous inferences. I.e., I'm not saying anything positive or negative. I have this compulsion to not be caught in inaccuracies. ;)

One comment I sort of re-state is that if people "learned some valuable stuff" from Ushiro Sensei (or any other teacher), they might want to post some of the ideas on this or other forums. If it's that valuable a discussion and further support for the material might be promulgated.

Thanks for the comments.

Regards,

Mike

George S. Ledyard
07-21-2006, 02:13 PM
Not necessarily. But based on some lengthy descriptions of what he's showing and how he's showing it, I'm just saying that I'm not in a position to comment about what he's showing, in terms of clarity for the discussions we've been having. So until I do see what he's teaching, it's wisest to back off using him as an example even though it *sounds* like he and I agree on the general concept that most Asian martial arts without Kokyu are simply not complete enough to be claimed as being fully representative of that art.

If I get a chance, I may try to go up to Glenwood Springs next week and watch some of his stuff. Problem is that it's a 4-hour drive... although if I take my kayak and run the Shoshone stretch of the Colorado River, it can't be a waste of time. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike,
I'll be at Glenwood Springs through the whole camp; I'd love to get together... I would really like to get your take on some of the things you have talked about when I could actually feel what you were talking about.
- George

shodan 83
07-21-2006, 02:27 PM
I’ll vouch for Ledyard Sensei, he has given me so much to work on that I need a towel for my swimming head.

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 02:50 PM
Like I said, I'm giving serious thought to going just to watch, but it would help my decision-making process if I could hear a few people describe what it is about Kokyu, etc., that Ushiro actually teaches in his workshops so that I can get an idea of what to expect if I go.

In other words, if people are learning how to use kokyu power, what exactly are they learning, what can they do that they couldn't do before, and so on? I'd be interested to hear.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

Adam Alexander
07-21-2006, 03:34 PM
Like I said, I'm giving serious thought to going just to watch, but it would help my decision-making process if I could hear a few people describe what it is about Kokyu, etc., that Ushiro actually teaches in his workshops so that I can get an idea of what to expect if I go.

In other words, if people are learning how to use kokyu power, what exactly are they learning, what can they do that they couldn't do before, and so on? I'd be interested to hear.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

Don't sweat it Mike. Listen, if anyone had implied to meet me in person to discuss all the crap that I was dispersing in-the-not-too-far-past, there's NO WAY I'd of showed either.

;) Something about talking all that stuff and then realizing that you've got to fill some awful big shoes you've made is a little threatening to the ole' ego.

shodan 83
07-21-2006, 04:16 PM
Don't sweat it Mike. Listen, if anyone had implied to meet me in person to discuss all the crap that I was dispersing in-the-not-too-far-past, there's NO WAY I'd of showed either.

;) Something about talking all that stuff and then realizing that you've got to fill some awful big shoes you've made is a little threatening to the ole' ego.

Jean, I don't know you, I didn't claim I knew anything, all I said was my group was impressed, further I've taken Ledyard's and Hooker's seminars, I consider both friends, and teachers, as well as journeyman on a path. If George wants to meet Mike, it is to further George's ability, I want to meet Mike to do the same.

I'm not sure of your intent, but if the serious people in this thread wish to continue perhaps it's better to do so by PM to avoid the chatter.

Adam Alexander
07-21-2006, 04:36 PM
Jean, I don't know you, I didn't claim I knew anything, all I said was my group was impressed, further I've taken Ledyard's and Hooker's seminars, I consider both friends, and teachers, as well as journeyman on a path. If George wants to meet Mike, it is to further George's ability, I want to meet Mike to do the same.

I'm not sure of your intent, but if the serious people in this thread wish to continue perhaps it's better to do so by PM to avoid the chatter.


Don't get 'em in a bunch...your panties that is.

I said nothing of you. I just know that ole' Mike has said a lot and I know that I've said a lot...and I know that when it started sounding like someone's going to make me put up or shut-up--in the non-anonymous realm, I started getting nervous that I wasn't as wonderful as I thought I was. I also know that Mike's received a couple of invitations to demo is vast knowledge in person...but he doesn't seem to have that go-get'em attitude to show the world his vast understanding in person like he does on the keyboard.

That's all. Nothing malicious.

Mike Sigman
07-21-2006, 04:43 PM
I also know that Mike's received a couple of invitations to demo is vast knowledge in person...but he doesn't seem to have that go-get'em attitude to show the world his vast understanding in person like he does on the keyboard
As far as I remember, I've demo'ed at a lot of tournaments, gatherings, and workshops, Jean. Are you saying that I've lied and haven't done these things?

Actually, reading your post, the only thing I can see you're saying for certain is that you definitely won't be at the Summer Camp in the Rockies, isn't that right?

Mike Sigman

shodan 83
07-21-2006, 04:54 PM
Don't get 'em in a bunch...your panties that is.

I said nothing of you. I just know that ole' Mike has said a lot and I know that I've said a lot...and I know that when it started sounding like someone's going to make me put up or shut-up--in the non-anonymous realm, I started getting nervous that I wasn't as wonderful as I thought I was. I also know that Mike's received a couple of invitations to demo is vast knowledge in person...but he doesn't seem to have that go-get'em attitude to show the world his vast understanding in person like he does on the keyboard.

That's all. Nothing malicious.

So add to the discussion or go away little man!

shodan 83
07-21-2006, 05:14 PM
Don't get 'em in a bunch...your panties that is.

I said nothing of you. I just know that ole' Mike has said a lot and I know that I've said a lot...and I know that when it started sounding like someone's going to make me put up or shut-up--in the non-anonymous realm, I started getting nervous that I wasn't as wonderful as I thought I was. I also know that Mike's received a couple of invitations to demo is vast knowledge in person...but he doesn't seem to have that go-get'em attitude to show the world his vast understanding in person like he does on the keyboard.

That's all. Nothing malicious.

To further this Jean, since you threw an opening insult, Mike has been to Tallahassee before and demonstrated what he knows, unfortunately at that time I did not know of Mike, I do now and when he returns I will be there. You are in the former category, which by your post I'm confident you'll stay, out on the periphery, and blindly plodding along in your presumed knowledge. Best of luck to you sir, as they say ignorance is bliss. Enjoy your self imposed exile.

Adam Alexander
07-21-2006, 05:41 PM
Best of luck to you sir

All the best to you.

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-22-2006, 12:10 AM
I thought I'd start a new thread on bodywork at some point. It'll be based off of the article that I'll be publishing on Bullshido. Overall its less about the tanden,one point etc etc, and more about martially related stabililzation of the body, which I think needs to be done before extensive work is done on the tanden itself.

Heya! I was not informed this discussion was continuing.... ran over a lot of roadkill on the way here, and notice you've already made the point I was going to. Alright, so be it, I shall repeat, and in greater length :blush:

What Mike and you say about the pressure and its relation to what holds it in, plus the nice translation of Jun Li's work on emptyFlower, made me think (over some time already) about the difference between preparation of the external body for internal operation, and internal exercises per se. (I've noticed that my waist area is not trained strongly enough to actually control my legs and torso, so local muscle still does too much of the work, with consequenct instability and uncentering.)

As has been pointed out, there are steps which add up. You can't, say, grip the ground with your toes (forgetting the heel and not knowing anything about the function of the arch of the foot) and expect to gain much. Like all of us, I have spend some time trying to figure out which is the starting point, from which to tie the other parts together. Not unexpectedly, what people like Mike and Akuzawa (and Rob) say is true :D It is not a matter of tensing, rather a matter of stretching parts of the body (and twisting) to obtain tensions that act like springs. Concentrating on any one of these areas is counter-productive in the overall sense since the entire system is reduced in effectiveness (for initial training its OK). I think that extending the lower spine (in both directions) has the greatest nett effect on the rest of the system, since it facilitates pulling up at the neck, tensioning the abdomen on the inside to support that pressure in the tanden area, extends the thighs right down to the front of the knees, and thereby allows the foot to function as the final joining to the ground. All this just from one intent, I think that is very impressive.

This also corrects a large number of small imbalances in the abdominal area, hip joint area and lower back area, and takes the slack out of the waist. It acts in a way that feels like the spine is being pushed down at its lower and (and upwards at the top) and the sides of the waist are being pulled up taking the legs with it, thus that these start to feel lighter. The arms too can thereby be extended and at the same time the outer skin feel pulled back towards the center. Hence the hands can fulfil the same function as the feet. This then helps to set the stage for internal manipulations and tanden practice, which frankly I think cannot have much effect if the outer body (structure and connections) are not set up correctly first.

Anyway, what I notice is that this preparatory structure seems to be the same one used by ballet dancers (and I suspect gymnasts), and that as a result all of their movements use and are the result of spring actions, which is what rythym is essentially all about (2nd order or higher systems can exhibit oscillation, i.e., conversion of energy, i.e., store and release).

I am of course not advocating that what I write here is correct, it is simply an observation I have made recently, and if others have more effective ways to do such things, I would be most grateful for them to post same information.

I also very much agree with the "engineer" analogy - curiosity and a scientific mindset are vital.

I would also like to add that Westerners doing an Asian martial art should realize that staying in the fold only ensures that they will not learn everything. Asians know this from the start, since that is how all education happens, formal or informal. Unless you are The Chosen One, in case you would not be bothering with any discussion boards.... Yes, it does suck :yuck: And guess what, if you ignore this system, you will become ostracized and hated. This is when you realize the meaning of Way. :uch: You may, however, find what you are looking for and then ignore the people in the system who are at the low end. You will get the respect from the teachers as soon as they see that you know the stuff, and probably you can learn more then. It's like crossing to the other side of the glass ceiling by going up by a different elevator (as did Tohei, Abe, and others) ....

Cheers,
Gernot

Mike Sigman
08-01-2006, 06:09 PM
Don't sweat it Mike. Listen, if anyone had implied to meet me in person to discuss all the crap that I was dispersing in-the-not-too-far-past, there's NO WAY I'd of showed either.

;) Something about talking all that stuff and then realizing that you've got to fill some awful big shoes you've made is a little threatening to the ole' ego.Had a good time and got into some interesting discussions with George Ledyard and Richard Moore that *may* help further some of the discussions on the forum. Hard to say. Here's a picture:

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

Not pictured: Jean de MouthFoot ;)


Mike

Tom H.
08-01-2006, 09:17 PM
Heya! I was not informed this discussion was continuing.... ran over a lot of roadkill on the way here, and notice you've already made the point I was going to. Alright, so be it, I shall repeat, and in greater length :blush:

That was a really good write-up. Thanks especially for pointing out the spine. You and Rob (and maybe Mike) seem to agree that the body needs to be connected before you can work on strength training, e.g. tanden work.

Just a couple months ago I finally discovered how to create connective tension in my arms. I can somewhat reasonably connect them to my spine, and now I'm working to discover other lines running down through the torso towards the ground. The feeling seems much subtler and easier to miss the further away from my hands it gets; I'm not sure if I should even be looking for the same kind of tension. The question I'm thinking about now is how much breath training is used to feel and strengthen connection, and how much it is used to strengthen power generation, and when I should start thinking about breath. The work is hard enough without it. (Mike's quote from the Yi Jin Jing in the One Point thread made me think).

I've been on the road for a couple months, so my solo practice has been sporadic -- I think I'm weaker now than before I was introduced to shiko -- but it's already changed the way I walk/stand with my backpack. I do a lot a walking, which I've found is a good medium for exploring the body connection structure, but not for strength training.

This post may have had a point earlier, but I think I lost it. I'm glad to see open discussion on this kind of training, at any rate.

Tom

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-02-2006, 12:19 AM
That was a really good write-up. Thanks especially for pointing out the spine. You and Rob (and maybe Mike) seem to agree that the body needs to be connected before you can work on strength training, e.g. tanden work.

Hehe, "agree" is a relative word. Mike and Rob can walk the walk, I am still mostly talking the talk. But hey, I believe :D Years of faffing around with the wrong stuff and constantly beating my head against the wall (and then having my time or money stolen while my brain was addled) finally woke me up. I'm indebted to first Mike, and then Rob and Akuzawa for that. Doing the actual work is up to me.

Good luck!

Mike Sigman
08-02-2006, 08:46 AM
That was a really good write-up. Thanks especially for pointing out the spine. You and Rob (and maybe Mike) seem to agree that the body needs to be connected before you can work on strength training, e.g. tanden work. The other day I was glancing back through Lam Kam Chuen's book "The Way of Power". Even though some of his description are not complete enough, they're not bad. His comparison to geodesic domes (and by inference, "tensegrity") is pretty accurate. Your "connection" is composed of a framework that is not slack (the skeleton) and a "covering" (the fascia/muscle thing) that is not slack. Once you understand that, you can begin to see that all these training systems, while often appearing dissimilar, are really the same thing. Just a couple months ago I finally discovered how to create connective tension in my arms. I can somewhat reasonably connect them to my spine, and now I'm working to discover other lines running down through the torso towards the ground. The feeling seems much subtler and easier to miss the further away from my hands it gets; I'm not sure if I should even be looking for the same kind of tension. The question I'm thinking about now is how much breath training is used to feel and strengthen connection, and how much it is used to strengthen power generation, and when I should start thinking about breath. The work is hard enough without it. (Mike's quote from the Yi Jin Jing in the One Point thread made me think). There's a real danger here, Tom, in the word "tension". It does not refer to muscular tension. That's a mistake many of the martial artists I know fall into because they don't realize the subtlety of the particular "tension" they're supposed to use. As I heard on Chinese remark with a laugh, "If it was that simple why would anyone bother to talk about it?" ;)

Regards,

Mike

Tom H.
08-02-2006, 07:51 PM
The other day I was glancing back through Lam Kam Chuen's book "The Way of Power". Even though some of his description are not complete enough, they're not bad.I've read both "The Way of Power" and "The Way of Energy", and I'm pretty sure that if you know what you're looking for, it's good material. I've pretty much concluded that, at a basic level, all the training is the same. I'm better than I used to be, but I'm still aware that I'll be playing with foot-in-the-door skills until I can get (let's say) a year of daily, disciplined solo training.

Aside: I'm now amused when people talk about "moving naturally" or "like a child".

There's a real danger here, Tom, in the word "tension". It does not refer to muscular tension.Agreed. The tension I'm talking about can be increased with selective muscular tension, but it's very different from raw tensed muscle. I've also found the tension can also be increased by careful alignment, and breathing tech.. Right now I can only generate this feeling in my upper body, and a little bit in my lower back if I try real hard. That's not much, but it's exciting because until now I've been unable to reliably connect my center to my hands, and I think I've got my foot into a new door.

Tom H.
08-02-2006, 07:56 PM
Good luck! Thanks. It sounds like we're on somewhat similar paths. Check back in a year or two :).

Mike Sigman
08-03-2006, 12:12 PM
The tension I'm talking about can be increased with selective muscular tension, but it's very different from raw tensed muscle. I've also found the tension can also be increased by careful alignment, and breathing tech.. Right now I can only generate this feeling in my upper body, and a little bit in my lower back if I try real hard. That's not much, but it's exciting because until now I've been unable to reliably connect my center to my hands, and I think I've got my foot into a new door.Actually, this may not be the "tension" I'm talking about, although I think I know the "tension" that you're talking about. There are 3 possible tensions: muscular tension (wrong) and the other two. The one you want is the condensing tension. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Tom H.
08-04-2006, 11:04 PM
Condensing tension? I'm not sure what you're talking about, so I'll assume I can't do it yet, or if I can, I haven't identified as a phenomenon I pay attention to. I'm looking forward to getting home (and back to a routine) in a couple months so I can explore the new stuff I've got with some discipline.