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Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 08:16 AM
I see all sorts of discussions about supplement Aikido with Systema, Bagua, Judo, Karate, Wing Chun, etc., and my opinion is that most Aikido has better potential than most people realize... it probably doesn't need those extra arts. Aikido mainly just needs to get the power, skills, etc., of the kokyu and ki things that are such a big deal in Aikido that Tohei saw an opportunity to run with those things as his banner under Shin Shin Toistsu Aikido when he split off from Hombu Dojo. It turns out of course, after comparing a few notes, that there are a few viable sources of limited kokyu and ki studies in Aikido, but they're somewhat limited. Information is just hard to get. A whole generation of people have come up not knowing that these things are even real skills, amazingly.

One of the things I noted about Shioda, Sunadomari, and a few others was that they had a very instinctive skill (devleloped over time, I'm sure) about peoples' balance. In my view, they were impressive at balance-control and knowing where to drop people in a hole just by the more preliminary feel. The more people I've gotten to touch hands with in Aikido over the last couple of years, the more I've begun to realize that most people don't have that instinctive feel (it can be called "listening skill and it's an offshoot of having kokyu skill, in reality).

Push-hands is supposed to be technically a part of the development of Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan). A person starts with a slow, empty-hand form in order to relearn the way he/she moves and to begin to develop kokyu/jin and ki/qi skills. After they have begun to develop some of these skills in themselves (this can be from one to three years, in traditional Taijiquan; most westerners never develop these skills and wind up "doing push hands" so quickly that they never learn any of the skills... only how to scrabble-compete with normal strength, judo, wrestling, etc.).

So push-hands usually starts of with fixed patterns that are supposed to be done with the kokyu power relaxedly filling the whole body, in beginning push hands, so that the learner can begin to acquire and use these skills all the way to his fingertips, in conjunctions with a partner using limited movements. Push-hands gradually develops in complexity, but real "freestyle is something that comes a number of years after beginning Taiji, not concurrent to or soon after learning an empty "form" with empty "corrections" attached to it.

The point in regard to Aikido is that kokyu skills allow someone to begin an odd sort of feeling that tells them immediately what the status of the opponent power and balance is. Shioda (and a couple of others) impressed me with how good he was, in some of his filmed demonstrations. I thought I'd just throw in my 2 cents about something I observed and which I think is important.... I'm not seeing/feeling enough Aikidoists who have an instinctive feel for their partner and their own forces. Such a thing is a very important skill, IMO. I was thinking that perhaps a push-hands type practice (NOT the kind you see in 99% of the Taiji class meetings; something more sophisticate) would be an augmenting asset to go with ki and kokyu training.

Just a thought. YMMV.

Mike Sigman

Lee Salzman
08-28-2006, 09:50 AM
If "99%" of the taijiquan practitioners are getting it wrong, why does it make them a better source of these skills than the "few viable sources" in aikido or related Japanese arts?

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 10:02 AM
If "99%" of the taijiquan practitioners are getting it wrong, why does it make them a better source of these skills than the "few viable sources" in aikido or related Japanese arts?Hi Lee:

All I was saying was that "good push-hands" would be a help and I was carefully trying to point out that going to your local Taiji group didn't necessarily mean that you would find "good push-hands". It's like saying "Aikido uses ki and kokyu power" to some questioner and then warning him that you won't find much use of Ki and Kokyu skills in most Aikido dojo's, if you see what I mean. I don't want to get an email 5 years later from someone who goes to the wrong place and finds out later that he learned none of those skills because he thought I was recommending that he go to a certain place.

Regards,

Mike

Qatana
08-28-2006, 12:52 PM
So if I hit "ignore user" does this mean I get to read threads with great big holes in them where Mr Sigman has posted ?

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 01:16 PM
Could someone point me to the thread where I mentioned the just-below-the-skin true personality of much of the New Age generation? Thanks.

Mike

gdandscompserv
08-28-2006, 01:55 PM
Mike,
We do all of these "ki exercises" (http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/KiEx/KiEx.html) in my dojo and in almost every other aikido dojo I have been in. Are you saying theses exercises are not effective in developing ones "ki?"

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 02:04 PM
Mike,
We do all of these "ki exercises" (http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/KiEx/KiEx.html) in my dojo and in almost every other aikido dojo I have been in. Are you saying theses exercises are not effective in developing ones "ki?"Ricky, by way of answer, my return question would be like: "I know thousands of people that do a Tai Chi 'form'..... would you say their 'form' is not effective in developing ki?". You see my point. Just because someone does "ki exercises" or "Aiki taiso" or "doe Aikido" doesn't mean they've developed anything, in reality, does it????

In most cases, I'd say the safe bet is to bet that most people doing those exercises haven't developed any ki ability. Wanna bet? ;)

Mike

David Orange
08-28-2006, 02:24 PM
So if I hit "ignore user" does this mean I get to read threads with great big holes in them where Mr Sigman has posted ?

Well, if you don't hit ignore, you STILL get to read threads with at least ONE great big hole in them... :p

David Orange
08-28-2006, 02:29 PM
...thousands of people that do a Tai Chi 'form'..... would you say their 'form' is not effective in developing ki...the safe bet is to bet that most people doing those exercises haven't developed any ki ability.

Again, Mike, you are equating ki with "abilities," showing that you only understand "ki" in terms of force and strength.

The fundamental nature of ki is that it exists everywhere in the universe, in everything and everyone. While some tai chi people will never be any good at push hands, their practice will improve their lives and their connection with the life force that flows through everything. They will become softer, more supple and agile. They will experience better circulation, ease of movement, improved health and greater satisfaction in life in general.

So if those things can be described as "ki abilities," you would lose your bet.

If you think that "ki" only exists in applications of strength and martial derring do, you still lose.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 03:04 PM
I've never seen Mike suggest what you just did David. In fact, he makes it clear above that one reason he values that information is for the health benefits.

BUT those health benefits (outside of the fact that people are moving as opposed to sitting on the couch) are said to come from moving the qi through the body **correctly**. It seems to be that if someone can not speak to the proper methods of doing that with some specificity, they may not know how to do it...and will not get the health benefits **traditionally** associated with chi gungs, taiji, etc.

Someone could easily be a horrible fighter, but still able to demonstrate and teach the skills Mike speaks of...so I don't think he loses at all. It just goes to show how easily these discussions get sidetracked. People have their own agendas, and bring them to the table. I think Mike is pretty open about his agenda...others not so much.

Best,
Ron

David Orange
08-28-2006, 03:28 PM
I've never seen Mike suggest what you just did David. In fact, he makes it clear above that one reason he values that information is for the health benefits.

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32288&page=1

That thread is where I first encountered Mike. While he has said that he studies these things for their health benefits, he often makes it clear that YOU don't know anything about them unless you can kick his butt.

The funny thing is, a lot of what I posted on that thread (and which Mike dismissed as meaningless tripe) was direct quotes or paraphrases from Yang Jwing-Ming's book "Emei Baguazhang," co-authored with Liang Shou-Yu, who Mike says "knows more about qi than any other Chinese person" of whom he knows.

Actually, I've often shared Mike's attitude about how to practice taiji since I first began the study in 1979. My first teacher was an older lady who was primarily a dance teacher. She taught only the form and no push hands. After a time with her, I went to a series of other teachers and often said that there was no value in taiji practice without push hands and that taiji without push hands is not real taiji.

Many years later, that lady is still teaching taiji with all the benefits I mentioned and all her students also get those benefits. I would still say that they may lack some of the more "correct" ways of training, especially relative to martial application, but Jou Tsung Hwa wrote a very nice dedication in the front of her copy of his book and said that she is doing the right thing.

Definitely, she and her students have benefitted. I'm sure none of them can stand up to Mighty Mike, but I think she has benefitted more from taiji than he has, from what I've seen of his statements.

Thanks.

David

gdandscompserv
08-28-2006, 03:30 PM
Ricky, by way of answer, my return question would be like: "I know thousands of people that do a Tai Chi 'form'..... would you say their 'form' is not effective in developing ki?".
No, I wouldn't say that at all. I don't think any martial art has a monopoly on "ki development." In fact, I feel like anybody who performs regular ki exercises will develop ki.

David Orange
08-28-2006, 03:38 PM
People have their own agendas, and bring them to the table. I think Mike is pretty open about his agenda...others not so much.

Edited to say that I made this second post because I noticed, after my first post, that you had edited your post to add the above statement.

I believe that both Mike and I would say that our main purpose for posting on these boards is to help other people find the inner essence of the "ki/qi" based arts and get more of the original intent from them.

But Mike has figuratively bumped my nose time after time for saying what the masters have always said, such as the fact that ki exists in everything and everyone, everywhere, that its original purpose is life itself, that it can become polluted through bad living and that it can become purified and refined through training.

On the "ki" thread on E-budo, I wound up with Mike and Rob John tag-team attacking my statements. Rob John referred me to Chinn, in New York, and when I went to his site, I found that he described ki/qi in almost exactly the same terms I had used. Why not? I simply subscribe to the ancient definitions that have circulated for centuries in taiji, Chinese medicine, karate and aikido. All my practice was for martial effectiveness when I was young, but it gradually moved more to the purpose of health and longevity as I recognized that I had developed the fighting side about as far as I ever would. And for a long time, I've been concentrating on that side and doing what I know increases health, longevity and fulfillment.

And these are what Mike attacks and his rationale is always that he can kick my butt.

So I wonder what you think his agenda is?

Best.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 03:39 PM
Practice of anything does not make perfect...perfect practice makes perfect. If you spend 10 years studying a form, and you still aren't doing it the correct way...somethings missing.

Deciding what is correct and what is not is another kettle...

We'll deal with the pot tomorrow...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 03:47 PM
I think you overstate the kick my butt stuff David. Almost every time I've seen someone claim Mike said that, when I read the quote it doesn't quite match the characterization. Now, Mike is not known for backing down from a good fight...if there are no witnesses ;) But to characterize his conversations with you in terms of threats is not accurate, in my opinion. Most often, what I have seen is that someone acts snotty (or downright insulting), and Mike basically says, "say that to my face". :) Usually, people don't.

I think Mike's agenda is pretty clear...to increase the knowledge of **how** to train these things, without going off into fluffy bunny territory. I think he does a pretty good job of digging out what is usually considered pretty closely held stuff. Don't agree with everything he does, or always with the way he goes about it...but that is neither here nor there. Not if you focus on the ball.

Best,
Ron (I liked some of your posts in those threads on e-budo as well...I tend to take a middle ground in this stuff, as much as I can find one)

David Orange
08-28-2006, 03:55 PM
Practice of anything does not make perfect...perfect practice makes perfect. If you spend 10 years studying a form, and you still aren't doing it the correct way...somethings missing.

Well, read the Aikido Credentials thread. Mike loves to attack all kinds of statements about aikido, but we see that he trained for eight years, mostly with a string of people he generally considers losers. That is why he left them. They didn't know enough about aikido to be his teachers. Yet, at the end of that, he figures he comes out with some considerable knowledge of aikido.

Then he tries to equate some concepts from Chinese and Japanese arts that don't equate and makes a lot of statements that don't really ring true for aikido.

No doubt, he has a lot of physical strength but he might as well talk about sumo as to talk about aikido. He seems to believe that kokyu is an "issued power" and that kiai is primarily a shout or some force generated by pressures in the abdomen through the act of shouting. If that were true, then what would aiki be, since it is the ura of kiai?

Mike started this thread about push-hands to supplement aikido in an attempt to translate something he doesn't know much about (aikido) into something he knows more about (taiji). It doesn't wash, but unfortunately, he insists on pushing it on everyone.

Speaking of agendas, the big essence of almost all Mike's statements is that no one else knows how to do any of the "ki/kokyu things" and that what everyone else does is worse than useless.

But I think that all the ki exercises of aikido and taiji are good for anyone. Naturally, as you progress, you would seek out deeper levels of this essence, but that's a personal matter for each person to get the most benefit from in their own lives. Mike really isn't qualified to be the arbiter of what is good or bad for other people's development.

Taiji push hands practice is good in and of itself. I don't know why Mike needs to talk about "supplementing" aikido with it when he doesn't do aikido,himself. I guess it's just because this is an aiki message board and has to argue with someone.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
08-28-2006, 04:09 PM
I think you overstate the kick my butt stuff David....to characterize his conversations with you in terms of threats is not accurate, in my opinion.

No, I didn't say he makes threats (not usually, but sometimes he does make threats). I mean he always takes it back to his confidence that he can push anyone around. He will say that your aikido is no good because he is sure he can push you around, which he can probably do with almost anyone--but which does not prove that he really understand anything about aikido or the unique concepts and methods that make it different from karate or sumo.

I think Mike's agenda is pretty clear...to increase the knowledge of **how** to train these things, without going off into fluffy bunny territory.

Well, Ron, for all his postings and their heavy repetition, I haven't seen an "ounce" of "how to" in them. He talks about having the skills, he talks about how important the skills are, he vaguely refers to what the skills are, but I've seen very little solid information in the thousands of posts he has made, which is where I began to get irritated with him on the ki thread. He only dismissed what I said, most often on the basis that it was not martially oriented, but brought nothing better to the discussion.

I think he does a pretty good job of digging out what is usually considered pretty closely held stuff.

Well, I've heard him claim that he has dug it out. And Ellis Amdur wouldn't speak so well of Mike's power if he didn't have any, or George Ledyard, for that matter. But to say that hara and tanden are central to all the Japanese martial arts and that this is very similar to dan tien in the Chinese arts is nothing either new or closely held. And we both know that there is a lot of aikido out there that does not reflect any development of those elements, much less have any martial effectiveness (some being outright dangerous to the practitioners for self defense, in my opinion). But I have seen a lot of statements from Mike that he has the stuff while getting very little on "how" he develops it or anything else about it beyond the level of "my milkshake is better than yours."

(I liked some of your posts in those threads on e-budo as well...I tend to take a middle ground in this stuff, as much as I can find one)

Well, you know, the first poster said, "I am interested in knowing what the opinions are about what Ki or Chi actually is, and how people use it and teach it in their different styles of Martial Arts, or religion" and I just gave the traditional answers, perfectlyconsistent with Sam Chinn's and Liang Shou Yu's descriptions of "what" it is.

Now, you could say, "Yes, on a basic level, that's true, but to refine ki/qi and use it....insert your training methods." But Mike and Rob simply dismissed my statements as baloney. And Mike seems to hold that tack even when it forces him to contradict himself.

Thanks for your comments and insights.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 04:10 PM
mostly with a string of people he generally considers losers. That is why he left them. They didn't know enough about aikido to be his teachers. Yet, at the end of that, he figures he comes out with some considerable knowledge of aikido.

This is what I'm talking about...the mis-characterization of what he says. Due to personal pique in my opinion.

A) he didn't call them losers, you did. He said that his standard is that they teach what he is interested in...specifically the ki/kokyu things. If they don't teach it, he moves on. Them just knowing it doesn't qualify. Them teaching it does. That is different from what you said.

B) No, he has specifically said that he knows some things about ki/kokyu (he never says he's a master, or even that his skills are that unusual if you know these things). He says that if you accept his logic (ki/kokyu being the base of aikido), then if you don't know these things, your base in aikido is compromised. Pretty straight forward really.

Personally, I see some good in that approach, and some bad. In my life, I've learned to take the good with the bad, and sort them out on my own, as best I can.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 04:16 PM
I think many parts of the how are there David, if you care to look for them. And there are some standing offers to experience it in a teaching format as well. But people like to focus on the personal...so that often gets in the way.

Best,
Ron (people often get cantankerous when their rice bowl gets broken. Oh well...)

gdandscompserv
08-28-2006, 04:16 PM
Practice of anything does not make perfect...perfect practice makes perfect.
Would you be so kind as to explain what "perfect practice" is?

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 04:21 PM
Heh...If I knew that **I'd** be teaching... ;)

I think it is situational. Context is everything. I've seen many methods of keiko, and each pretty much is crafted to achieve similar goals. But the devil is in the details, especially when it comes down to a teacher doing something dramatic with no visible body movement. And I don't think the best instruction is through words on the net, though it can lay down some good things to reflect on, and sometimes to incorporate into your existing training.

Best,
Ron (If I make any progress, trust me, you'll hear about it! ;) )

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 04:24 PM
http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=32288&page=1

That thread is where I first encountered Mike. While he has said that he studies these things for their health benefits, he often makes it clear that YOU don't know anything about them unless you can kick his butt. Cite, please, or retract it.
The funny thing is, a lot of what I posted on that thread (and which Mike dismissed as meaningless tripe) was direct quotes or paraphrases from Yang Jwing-Ming's book "Emei Baguazhang," co-authored with Liang Shou-Yu, who Mike says "knows more about qi than any other Chinese person" of whom he knows. Give us an example, please of something from that book I discounted. Your own knowledge and offerings of ki things, I haven't said they were "tripe", but I won't argue the characterization. Actually, I've often shared Mike's attitude about how to practice taiji No. Another mischaracterization.

David, on E-Budo you tried to adopt the position that you know these things too, but use different terms, understandings, etc. It didn't hold water then, it doesn't hold water now. If you want to debate an issue that is as basic as the kokyu/ki things we've been discussing (VERY basic level), you could easily throw in a few comments to show what you understand in the physical world, which in turn would indicate your grasp of the topic. That's the best way to win an argument, as far as I'm concerned.... FIRST show that you know the topic, then argue the points. The discussions on the internet where the issue is debated and the personal comments are injected are almost always conclusive that the person doing the argument and personal stuff doesn't know the subject. Win on the merits first; then you've earned the right to take the shots, if that's your bag.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-28-2006, 04:26 PM
I think many parts of the how are there David, if you care to look for them. And there are some standing offers to experience it in a teaching format as well. But people like to focus on the personal...so that often gets in the way.

Ron, I've looked for anything related to actual practices but I haven't seen it. Could you point out some examples?

David

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 04:31 PM
Hi David, it's obvious to me at least that your reading skills are up to par. If it interests you to that degree...you shouldn't have that much trouble finding it. I linked some of those threads that resided here in the e-budo threads. The search function is another option.

I don't say this to be rude...I just frankly spend too much time here as it is, and don't have the time to do the chores for others. I'm sure if you clear your mind, and try to investigate rather than score points, you'll find what I mean.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 04:33 PM
No doubt, he has a lot of physical strength but he might as well talk about sumo as to talk about aikido. He seems to believe that kokyu is an "issued power" and that kiai is primarily a shout or some force generated by pressures in the abdomen through the act of shouting. If that were true, then what would aiki be, since it is the ura of kiai? Here's your chance, David. Tell us what "kokyu" is. Show us the cite where I said it was an "issued" power or retract it. Tell us what "kiai" is. Here's your chance to argue your points and quit the personal attack crap. Mike started this thread about push-hands to supplement aikido in an attempt to translate something he doesn't know much about (aikido) into something he knows more about (taiji). It doesn't wash, but unfortunately, he insists on pushing it on everyone. Well, make a case why I'm wrong, instead of just assertion, m'boy. You can't win every argument by simply asserting things, you know.Speaking of agendas, the big essence of almost all Mike's statements is that no one else knows how to do any of the "ki/kokyu things" and that what everyone else does is worse than useless. Look at my posts today and on other days, David... I've mentioned other people that can do these things. My point is that YOU can't... prove me wrong with a sterling exposition, rather than just attacking personally.

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 04:41 PM
Since Mike is responding himself now, I'll bow out...enjoy!

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 04:41 PM
Taiji push hands practice is good in and of itself. I don't know why Mike needs to talk about "supplementing" aikido with it when he doesn't do aikido,himself. I guess it's just because this is an aiki message board and has to argue with someone. It's a good question. I got to thinking about a number of recent experiences that I've had and (once again... insights are the reason I keep looking and talking) it was a measured response.

My basic point is that the *correct kind* of push-hands is nothing more than an exercise in how to use kokyu power while in constant contact with a partner. Learning how to constantly work with kokyu direction-control is faster with some push-hands or push-hands-related format. In a sense, kokyu-ho is a form of shortened practice of the type found in push-hands, but it has limited directions involved. If we did a form of kokyu-ho, 2-hand wrist grabs, etc., etc., we'd be doing the same basic idea of kokyu/jin manipulation that is found in push-hands. But there can be more variety and fluidity in push-hands, so I simply offered it as a suggestion along the lines that kokyu-ho type practices are necessary, not just the teaching of how-to-form kokyu and ki power. See? Simply being logical.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 04:45 PM
Oh shucks. Here I am again. Just to give *some* validity to the idea of push hands in aikido, my own 7th dan instructor tried something like that at least once that I remember. I also remember him being annoyed with how stiff we were...

Best,
Ron

statisticool
08-28-2006, 04:45 PM
I see all sorts of discussions about supplement Aikido with Systema, Bagua, Judo, Karate, Wing Chun, etc., and my opinion is that most Aikido has better potential than most people realize... it probably doesn't need those extra arts.


From what I see, people aren't saying aikido "needs" these things, but asking if multiple arts are complementary, because they are interested in multiple arts.

For example, I simply don't see high kicks of muay thai in aikido, so if I want to learn muay thai kicks I practice muay thai or a martial art that has similar kicks. This is not saying aikido "needs" muay thai kicks.


A whole generation of people have come up not knowing that these things are even real skills, amazingly.


One should publish their insights then so the next generations will be educated.


A person starts with a slow, empty-hand form in order to relearn the way he/she moves and to begin to develop kokyu/jin and ki/qi skills.


Taijiquan teachers might say they are practicing to learn the movements of the postures, or to learn the principles.

I doubt any taijiquan teacher would say that they are practicing a Chinese martial art to learn Japanese concepts. Kind of like going to a Japanese restaurant and asking the waiter for shui (Chinese word for water). If they are the same or not (and that is very debatable, even with qi/ki) it seems kind of odd to use that term.


(most westerners never develop these skills and wind up "doing push hands" so quickly that they never learn any of the skills... only how to scrabble-compete with normal strength, judo, wrestling, etc.).


Since you can talk about "most" people without evidence, I'll say that most people who talk about different kinds of strength are really just waxing poetic about "normal strength", and what they do might also really just be "normal strength".


Justin

statisticool
08-28-2006, 04:49 PM
Someone could easily be a horrible fighter, but still able to demonstrate and teach the skills Mike speaks of...


You do know the 'quan' in taijiquan means fist, martial arts, etc. right? If one is practicing a skill in a martial art, but is not able to apply the martial art in a martial way, then we'd have to question just what skill they are really learning, and why it is said, by a couple of people, that these skills are essential to martial arts.


Justin

statisticool
08-28-2006, 05:02 PM
Tell us what "kokyu" is.


That can be found in any number of great aikido books.

But why would you ask for something you already know is jin? ;)


Justin

David Orange
08-28-2006, 05:04 PM
David, on E-Budo you tried to adopt the position that you know these things too, but use different terms, understandings, etc. It didn't hold water then, it doesn't hold water now. If you want to debate an issue that is as basic as the kokyu/ki things we've been discussing (VERY basic level), you could easily throw in a few comments to show what you understand in the physical world, which in turn would indicate your grasp of the topic. That's the best way to win an argument, as far as I'm concerned.... FIRST show that you know the topic, then argue the points.

Mike, I may have you and Rob John mixed together where that ki thread is concerned. You guys were doing the old snake brothers kung fu hissy poke-poke thing. But I think I recall pretty clearly how it went. It's at least eighteen pages of posts, so it won't be a quick matter to dig out your statements. Keep your shirt on and I will get back with you on that, and also the "Aikido Credentials" thread.

However, as to the basices of "these things," the fundamentals are simple and they are the same throughout all human life, including the martial arts:

1. Relax.
2. Stand upright.
3. Separate yin and yang (recognize the light and the heavy).
4. Move from the waist.

Those are ALL the fundamentals. You can go deeper and get more complex, technical and microscopic, but if you violate any of those, you're wrong. If you leave out any of them, or try to substitute something else for any of them, you are wrong. You can leave out other things, but as long as you have those four points, the worst anyone can say is that you don't have everything you could possibly have.

On the other hand, by going deeper and deeper into the "mysteries" of this kind of thing, you can definitely damage yourself--especially if you are going deeper without good basic knowledge. I work with a Chinese doctor who knows very little concrete about martial arts, but it turns out that he has absorbed a great deal of information purely from cultural immersion for most of his life in China.

He said something that I think really applies to you. He said that by doing qi gong, one can improve his health, circulation, etc. and be better for it. But it is also possible for a person to become sick and evil through these practices. He mentioned, specifically, Li Hongxi, the founder of Falun Da Fa, whom he considers someone who has had a bad effect on himself and on society. He said people can be driven somewhat mad by the esoteric practices without proper foundational discipline. And that's where you come in.

No matter what you have developed in your ability to push people around, there is clearly something missing in your personality or character. You didn't study aikido very long or deeply but you really need to tell everyone else what's wrong with aikido. If you really had confidence in "this stuff" or "these things" you would just hang out your shingle in "This Stuff Do" or "Mike's Superior Fighting Method" or "Mike's Health and Well Being Art".

Look at Moshe Feldenkrais. He was a MASTER of judo, a direct student of Jigoro Kano, and he taught judo for many years in Europe. A lot of my ideas on ki come from his method. But he did name his own, personal method after HIMSELF. It's called The Feldenkrais Method and it seems to do most of what you claim that your teachings will do. He treated David Ben Gurion with it, taught martial artists with it, taught dancers, actors and children with cerebral palsy with it.

Your need to attack anyone and everyone whose lingo does not jibe with yours (even when they are quoting Liang Shou Yu) indicates that you have gone off the path somewhere. Two men walking the earth may walk on different paths. One walks on an established path and the other forges his own path through the wilderness. The one in the wilderness may feel that he has grasped the essence of nature, but he may also end up lost in the wild. No doubt you can kill a bear with your teeth, but your need to attack everyone who won't cow down to your bullying indicates that you may have lost touch with what it is to be civilized.

Regards.

David

David Orange
08-28-2006, 05:08 PM
I don't say this to be rude...I just frankly spend too much time here as it is, and don't have the time to do the chores for others. I'm sure if you clear your mind, and try to investigate rather than score points, you'll find what I mean.

Ron, I've read thousands of Mike's words and have read all about "these things" and "this stuff" without finding anything to relate to what one would actually "do" to develop what Mike talks about. At least Rob John finally posted explicit sets of exercises. I just haven't seen ANYTHING specific from Mike.

And I have not focused on scoring points on him. I've tried every way from Sunday to get on some reasonable, mutually respectful terms with him, but it seems impossible. No disrespect, but if you say he's said some reasonable things, please be specific. I've been unsuccessful at finding any such.

best wishes,

David

statisticool
08-28-2006, 05:10 PM
Here's what Sigman in that thread said qi/ki is:

-
(1.) focused lines of force of unusual power
(2.) resistance to blows
(3.) resistance to cuts and/or puncturing of the skin
(4.) increased immune-system functions
(5.) detectable (by western instruments) increase in a fascia-related magnetic field.
--


1) what does "unusual" mean?
2) all bodies have built-in resistance to blows to some extent. Why is this qi/ki?
3) I wonder if Sigman attributes the bed of nails trick to qi/ki?
4) Isn't this just attributable to physical and mental exercise?
5) This just assumes what qi/ki is.


Justin

David Orange
08-28-2006, 05:25 PM
Here's your chance, David. Tell us what "kokyu" is.

See, Mike? How is that an "arguing" or "debating" technique? How many times have I posted the answer to that question? Kokyu is coordination of the mind and body through the breath. Now what does that mean? It means to use the breath to focus the mind to permeate the body so that the mind doesn't go off in one direction while the body does something else and the breath is ragged. Kokyu means to consciously breathe smoothly and bring the body into correct alignment through that mental/physical action. Nothing more. It is not an "issued power" that you can hit someone with.

Show us the cite where I said it was an "issued" power or retract it.

Read back over your own posts. You made the big deal about the e-mail you got from your friend where his teacher did the technique with kokyu and without and your friend said how much more powerful the technique was. Then you inferred from that that the teacher actually hit the student with his kokyu. Who knows where all you've posted that. But we can clear this up right now: DO you believe that kokyu is an issued power?

If so, you prove me correct.

If not, then you should stop posting "kokyu/jin" references because 'jin' is issued power and kokyu is nothing more than internal organization.

Tell us what "kiai" is. Here's your chance to argue your points and quit the personal attack crap. Well, make a case why I'm wrong, instead of just assertion, m'boy. You can't win every argument by simply asserting things, you know.

Kiai is the INTENT to dominate the opponent through aggressive attack, such as a punch or a kick, or simply the willingness to pull the trigger on a gun pointed at the other person. That's ALL it is. Kiai is the INTENT to knock the other person down and/or kill him. The shout is a "sign"of kiai, just as the report of a pistol is a "sign" that the firearm has been fired. Kiai is NOT some force that is generated, as you said, by pressures in the abdomen. It is an ATTITUDE of the mind and spirit.

Look at my posts today and on other days, David... I've mentioned other people that can do these things. My point is that YOU can't... prove me wrong with a sterling exposition, rather than just attacking personally.

Mike, you don't know what I can do. When I was uchi deshi in Japan, Mochizuki Sensei had me teach special seminars for visiting black belts with experience in various martial arts. Sometimes he wasn't even in the room. Once, in particular, I taught some fine points to three Germans who were all bigger than I. I didn't go looking for someone else to be there with me or to help me in case I couldn't handle it. These guys came halfway around the world to train with the meijin in aikido and he turned them over to me and I taught them. As I was conducting a lesson on aikido, I hit one of the guys with a rubber sword. He would have been killed by a real sword, but because the rubber sword only stung, he came on through and punched me in the ribs. What shocked me most is that it had no effect on me.

So here YOU are on the internet telling people you've never met what THEY can't do. It's doesn't make any sense. You do exactly what you criticize. At least when I comment on aikido, I have thirty years and more experience as a basis. I didn't spend time training with people who weren't good enough to teach me. I always went to the next level and finally Mochizuki Sensei said to me "You pretty well understand aikido."

So satisfy yourself, Mike. It seems you have a mind like a steel trap. But it's closed and, apparently, rusted shut.

Upyu
08-28-2006, 05:31 PM
Here's what Sigman in that thread said qi/ki is:

-
(1.) focused lines of force of unusual power
(2.) resistance to blows
(3.) resistance to cuts and/or puncturing of the skin
(4.) increased immune-system functions
(5.) detectable (by western instruments) increase in a fascia-related magnetic field.
--


1) what does "unusual" mean?
2) all bodies have built-in resistance to blows to some extent. Why is this qi/ki?
3) I wonder if Sigman attributes the bed of nails trick to qi/ki?
4) Isn't this just attributable to physical and mental exercise?
5) This just assumes what qi/ki is.


Justin

1) Feel it yourself, we've already given you people that can dishout this kind of skill

2) Stand feet shoulderwidth apart knees straight, have someone (preferably a boxer with a good right hook) smack you in the chest.
If you don't have this skill you'll be knocked back, doubly so if you're tense. If you have structure backed by kokyu/ki/qi/jin skills the strike will literally rebound back into said person's shoulder, wihtout conscious effort on your part. Still hurts like a bitch on the surface, but it won't rattle your core/spine causing you to compromise your balance.
*edit I should probably mention I've seen Ark kicked full power with lows and mid-highs by several Muay thai guys ranging from 130lb - 190lb, and all of them said that it felt like they were kicking "hard rubber". Basically they got no feedback and it felt like their strength was sapped from them on impact ;)

3) I doubt it, stop making stupid innuendos

4) Well that goes without saying for anything we do Sparky

5) Simple speculation that's neither here nor there and not really worth debating here so don't drag it into the forum for more attention grabbing on your part.

Upyu
08-28-2006, 05:41 PM
Kokyu is coordination of the mind and body through the breath. Now what does that mean? It means to use the breath to focus the mind to permeate the body so that the mind doesn't go off in one direction while the body does something else and the breath is ragged. Kokyu means to consciously breathe smoothly and bring the body into correct alignment through that mental/physical action. Nothing more. It is not an "issued power" that you can hit someone with.

Gernot studies with Abe sensei and could probably give a more "pure" japanese view on the issue. Gernot care to comment? ;)

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 05:46 PM
Kokyu means to consciously breathe smoothly and bring the body into correct alignment through that mental/physical action. Nothing more. It is not an "issued power" that you can hit someone with. Really? So all those people that Ushiro Sensei pushed (he could have punched) in the throat and other places with his noticeably powerful and different kokyu power.... those people all suffered delusions? Let's face it, David... you don't know what you're talking about. I've mentioned before why the "breath" part has a lot to do with why the force is called "kokyu", but that doesn't get you off the hook. Read back over your own posts. You made the big deal about the e-mail you got from your friend where his teacher did the technique with kokyu and without and your friend said how much more powerful the technique was. Then you inferred from that that the teacher actually hit the student with his kokyu. Who knows where all you've posted that. But we can clear this up right now: DO you believe that kokyu is an issued power? Kokyu power is, as I have said in the past, "essentially jin". You can use it to hit with, to exert a force in a throw, etc. If not, then you should stop posting "kokyu/jin" references because 'jin' is issued power and kokyu is nothing more than internal organization. David, you're quite simply wrong. Demonstrably wrong. Kiai is the INTENT to dominate the opponent through aggressive attack, such as a punch or a kick, or simply the willingness to pull the trigger on a gun pointed at the other person. That's ALL it is. Kiai is the INTENT to knock the other person down and/or kill him. The shout is a "sign"of kiai, just as the report of a pistol is a "sign" that the firearm has been fired. Kiai is NOT some force that is generated, as you said, by pressures in the abdomen. It is an ATTITUDE of the mind and spirit. Sigh. I'll do a separate post on these things later, when I have a few minutes.
Mike, you don't know what I can do. [[snip another gratuitous personal anecdote]] No, I don't know what you can do, David. However, I can see what you write. If you knew certain things and you're not crazy, then what you write would be different. As it is, you're wrong on some pretty basic stuff, which indicates to me a high, high probability of certain things that you can't do. If you can't do those things, then your Aikido is incomplete. Would you be the first person I've met who has spent some time under "good teachers" and who weren't shown a lot of things? No. The best way to have gotten me to change my mind was to say something close to the mark where I at least questioned myself that maybe it was some interpolatable version of the same thing. No. I'll place my bet pretty comfortably that I have a pretty good idea what you know and don't know.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
08-28-2006, 06:06 PM
If you can't do those things, then your Aikido is incomplete.
Mike,
Is anyone's aikido ever "complete?"
I know mine isn't, and I am pretty sure that it never will be.

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 06:10 PM
Mike,
Is anyone's aikido ever "complete?"
I know mine isn't, and I am pretty sure that it never will be.
Depends on what you mean by "complete". For instance an author who doesn't know how to do footnotes for his book is a writer whose skills are not "complete", in one sense. An author who doesn't know the complete alphabet isn't "complete" either, but in a more dire and necessary sense. I'm talking about that second kind of "complete".

FWIW

Mike

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-28-2006, 06:34 PM
Gernot studies with Abe sensei and could probably give a more "pure" japanese view on the issue.
Abe sensei doesn't use the word kokyu at all IIRC. At least not in a long time. He uses the word ki, that his arm becomes a arm (made) of ki, and that you fill your lower abdomen with breath and stop it, in order to facilitate this. He also does the same thing without the breath, or with completely filled lungs, saying there are different emphases (like trained muscles in the empty case). He tends to go around showing, correcting stance, arm positions, elbows, grip, and let people feel his movement, and also with himself as uke. I have a lot of questions for Abe sensei, hopefully he'll give answers that I can remember coherently!

gdandscompserv
08-28-2006, 06:47 PM
Depends on what you mean by "complete". For instance an author who doesn't know how to do footnotes for his book is a writer whose skills are not "complete", in one sense. An author who doesn't know the complete alphabet isn't "complete" either, but in a more dire and necessary sense. I'm talking about that second kind of "complete".

FWIW

Mike
Do you mean perhaps, like the difference in skills between someone who has just begun to study aikido (first kind of complete)and one who has studied for say, ten or twenty years (second kind of complete)?

eyrie
08-28-2006, 06:49 PM
In a pathetic attempt to pull this thread back on topic, perhaps it would be helpful if we could discuss what constitutes "correct push hands" practice....

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 06:49 PM
((Pauses here to allow some of Peanut Gallery to complain or ask insulting questions about something rather than contribute to the thread))

Abe sensei doesn't use the word kokyu at all IIRC. At least not in a long time. He uses the word ki, that his arm becomes a arm (made) of ki, and that you fill your lower abdomen with breath and stop it, in order to facilitate this. He also does the same thing without the breath, or with completely filled lungs, saying there are different emphases (like trained muscles in the empty case). He tends to go around showing, correcting stance, arm positions, elbows, grip, and let people feel his movement, and also with himself as uke. I have a lot of questions for Abe sensei, hopefully he'll give answers that I can remember coherently! Well, that's actual "ki" he's talking about. What Tohei shows where someone tries to push against him, etc., is actually kokyu/jin. It's very hard to separate these completely, as I've said before, and also, as I've said before, I tend to separate them for conversational clarity. The force paths are the jin. All the body skills related to "pressure", breathing, stretching, etc., are the ki. If the force paths are bound up in the manifestation of the ki, then it's usually just called "ki". Just to keep it all simple, a lot of Asians will just say "ki" and be done with it. I tend to go by what is being exhibited. If there are force paths being exhibited, I say "jin". If they are showing a pressurized/protected arm, then I say "ki". But it admittedly gets hard to distinguish sometimes because these things are so inextricably intertwined.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 06:58 PM
In a pathetic attempt to pull this thread back on topic, perhaps it would be helpful if we could discuss what constitutes "correct push hands" practice....Well, I tried to say more or less what that was in post #1, Ignatius. What's not clear?

Let me give a simple example of a "for instance" of what I see wrong. If I stand in front of almost all Aikidoists (in migi ai-hanmi) and push them lightly on the chest with my fingertips, they will resist or use muscle in some part of their body, rather than a simple jin/kokyu path to ground the force. If I start to push them back and slightly to their right (toward the "back gate" in their stance), they'll try to compensate by sneakily moving their pelvis to the left... that's balance adjustment, not kokyu, and it destroys their ability to manifest kokyu. They should be able to mentally generate a kokyu path that combines, negates, or puts me off-balance. I.e, "aiki". So what I was saying was that insofar as "correct push hands" goes, I mean more generally that I'm talking about a more sophisticated variation of kokyu-ho dosa is needed. Does that make more sense?

Regards,

Mike

David Orange
08-28-2006, 07:12 PM
Really? So all those people that Ushiro Sensei pushed (he could have punched) in the throat and other places with his noticeably powerful and different kokyu power.... those people all suffered delusions? Let's face it, David... you don't know what you're talking about.

Baloney, Mike. You don't know what he was talking about. Sure, he pushed them, and sure, he had kokyu. But he could have stood there with kokyu or he could have kicked them or whatever. No matter how you pat yourself on the back, you are misinterpreting what he said. He could have said, "Look what happens when I stand in good posture and hit them" and you would interpret it as "good posture" being some kind of power that he issued when he hit them. So yes, he hit them while he had kokyu, but no kokyu came out of him and hit them. The kokyu remained with him. It's nothing more than a high degree of organization of the body--NOT an issued force as you STILL seem to be trying to prove.

I've mentioned before why the "breath" part has a lot to do with why the force is called "kokyu"

and you have the NERVE to demand that I tell you where you have defined kokyu as an issued force. KOKYU is NOT a FORCE. It is a high degree of organization of the mind and body through the medium of the breath.

but that doesn't get you off the hook.

I wasn't on a hook, Mike. You just showed again how you contradict yourself. Kokyu is NOT a force.

Kokyu power is, as I have said in the past, "essentially jin".

Where did you say that? You just said in a previous post that you never said it was an issued force. Jin IS an issued force. Kokyu is NOT a FORCE of any kind.

No, I don't know what you can do, David. However, I can see what you write. If you knew certain things and you're not crazy, then what you write would be different.

Yes, and if you weren't crazy, then what you write would not continually contradict itself, make the same claims, claim you didn't make the claim, then make the claim again right after challenging people to prove where you made the claim. Read what you write, Mike. It's like an idiot savante without the savante.

As it is, you're wrong on some pretty basic stuff, which indicates to me a high, high probability of certain things that you can't do.

And what you can't do, apparently, is point out what "basic stuff" I'm wrong about. You can only say I'm wrong, then repeat the same vague references to "pretty basic stuff."

If you can't do those things, then your Aikido is incomplete. Would you be the first person I've met who has spent some time under "good teachers" and who weren't shown a lot of things?No.

And you wouldn't be the first I've met who has spent no time under any really major teachers, never got a black belt and never traveled to Japan to get to the real depth, but thought he knew it all. I realize quite well how incomplete my aikido is, but you have never even seen how deep aikido can go, and at what a shallow level your training under incomplete teachers (whose teachings weren't good enough for you) has left you to make ego claims about everyone but yourself.

The best way to have gotten me to change my mind was to say something close to the mark where I at least questioned myself that maybe it was some interpolatable version of the same thing. No. I'll place my bet pretty comfortably that I have a pretty good idea what you know and don't know.

Which really impresses the doodly squat out of me, I'll tell you what. Mike, you may be a strong man, but you don't know jack about aikido. You don't know what kokyu is and you don't know what kiai is, so how could you understand the ura of kiai?

I know that you are comfy in your superior knowledge and that Moses and all the prophets would never tell you anything to make you question yourself.

David Orange
08-28-2006, 07:14 PM
Quote:
Me:
Kiai is the INTENT to dominate the opponent through aggressive attack, such as a punch or a kick, or simply the willingness to pull the trigger on a gun pointed at the other person. That's ALL it is. Kiai is the INTENT to knock the other person down and/or kill him. The shout is a "sign"of kiai, just as the report of a pistol is a "sign" that the firearm has been fired. Kiai is NOT some force that is generated, as you said, by pressures in the abdomen. It is an ATTITUDE of the mind and spirit.

Sigh. I'll do a separate post on these things later, when I have a few minutes.

Yeah, be sure to dump the coffee grounds and old newspapers in there with it. It's all good, coming from you.

David Orange
08-28-2006, 07:18 PM
Abe sensei doesn't use the word kokyu at all IIRC. At least not in a long time.

Mochizuki Sensei never talked about kokyu and very seldom about ki. If he talked about ki, it was only in terms of the attacker's attitude.

He uses the word ki, that his arm becomes a arm (made) of ki, and that you fill your lower abdomen with breath and stop it, in order to facilitate this. He also does the same thing without the breath, or with completely filled lungs, saying there are different emphases (like trained muscles in the empty case). He tends to go around showing, correcting stance, arm positions, elbows, grip, and let people feel his movement, and also with himself as uke. I have a lot of questions for Abe sensei, hopefully he'll give answers that I can remember coherently!

Yes. Sounds right. Especially in serving as uke, himself. That's something the lesser guys will not do.

Thanks for the comments.

David

David Orange
08-28-2006, 07:19 PM
Mike,
Is anyone's aikido ever "complete?"

Mike's is. And it's plated with chrome. No, silver. Yeah, that's it. Solid silver...

David Orange
08-28-2006, 07:23 PM
All the body skills related to "pressure", breathing, stretching, etc., are the ki.

Proud ignorance, Mike. Liang Shou Yu would not agree.

eyrie
08-28-2006, 07:24 PM
Thanks, it does. Generally, I think the idea has merit in terms of a standing version of kokyu-ho exercise. As far as being a more sophisticated variant, I think that will largely depend on the level of ability and sophistication of one's training partner. I guess what I was implying at was the rules or framework for such an exercise.

I also think the same can be said about doing seated kokyu-ho within a similar format. For example, even if you are pinned to the ground, you should still be able to use a kokyu path to negate the pin, redirect and uproot the person pinning you. The problem is, once you do that, most see it as you being a jerk and they try to turn it into a contest of strength, rather than learning why/how they were uprooted.

Upyu
08-28-2006, 07:38 PM
David, to give you the benefit of the doubt, what constitutes "good" posture? Phsyiologically speaking.

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 07:42 PM
Proud ignorance, Mike. Liang Shou Yu would not agree.I see. My own teacher wouldn't agree. It is a sad day in my life, indeed.

And your teacher, Mochizuki, left you with the impression that "ki" has to do with the attacker's attitude? David, I'm willing to bet that the problem is not Mochizuki having everything arse-over-teakettle... it's your hearing and personal ideas.



Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 07:47 PM
Thanks, it does. Generally, I think the idea has merit in terms of a standing version of kokyu-ho exercise. As far as being a more sophisticated variant, I think that will largely depend on the level of ability and sophistication of one's training partner. I guess what I was implying at was the rules or framework for such an exercise. I just meant using real kokyu/jin instead of muscle, more than I meant certain "rules", IT.
I also think the same can be said about doing seated kokyu-ho within a similar format. For example, even if you are pinned to the ground, you should still be able to use a kokyu path to negate the pin, redirect and uproot the person pinning you. The problem is, once you do that, most see it as you being a jerk and they try to turn it into a contest of strength, rather than learning why/how they were uprooted.Whoa.... Rob... I think he's onto your BJJ tricks! :D

Mike

Upyu
08-28-2006, 07:50 PM
Dammit! and I was about to get my copyright INC on them ... :(

eyrie
08-28-2006, 08:01 PM
Not if I trademark it first :P.... would love to roll with ya man.... so far the only one I couldn't get around was a really big judoka who represented Australia back in '75... :(

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 08:06 PM
Not if I trademark it first :P.... would love to roll with ya man.... so far the only one I couldn't get around was a really big judoka who represented Australia back in '75... :( Remember... this is the stuff that Kevin L wanted to know if it would help in a fight. He's the guy you should roll with and make a believer out of. ;)


BTW... I already know from things Rob has said that he understands this kokyu/jin force. What Ignatius just said makes it unmistakeable that he knows exactly what it is, too. Now it gets down to who knows what variations, how well they can be used, etc. When people know, it's obvious by what they say if they do. It's also obvious when people miss basic references that they don't know or only have a vague, tenuous idea.

Regards,

Mike

Sadez
08-28-2006, 08:46 PM
As a beginner, I don't understand where all this fits in. I've found in the short time I've been doing Aikido is that the only thing that can train you to be the best you can be in Aikido, is Aikido training and attitude. Never try to stop learning, understanding, and applying; that coupled with progressive relaxation. Aikido is Aikido, not Karate - Tae Kwon Do - Kung fu.. if it was something other than what it is .. it just isn't Aikido.

But that's just my 2 cents.

eyrie
08-28-2006, 08:56 PM
Remember... this is the stuff that Kevin L wanted to know if it would help in a fight. He's the guy you should roll with and make a believer out of. ;)


I HATE fighting.... and I wouldn't roll with anyone to prove anything. I would rather crawl between someone's legs than prove I can do what I can do. Crap, somebody could get hurt... and it ain't gunna be pretty... ;)


Now it gets down to who knows what variations, how well they can be used, etc.


Amen!

David Orange
08-28-2006, 08:58 PM
David, to give you the benefit of the doubt, what constitutes "good" posture? Phsyiologically speaking.

Well, I know you have a whole set of phrases and terms you like to hear, but I am not familiar with that whole lingo, so I will explain it by the nerve processes.

When a human stands, it puts pressure on the soles of his feet. The nerves send impulses to the brain, letting it know exactly where the pressure is affecting the feet. The brain sends signals back down the spinal cord to the body, directing it to adjust according to the pressure on the soles. The signals from the brain sends are physiologically correct for the human body if the body and nerve system are healthy and normal. These signals cause the entire tonus of the body to adjust in subtle ways in the toes, the feet, the ankles, the calves, the knees, the thighs, the hips, the lower back, the rib cage, the middle back, shoulders, neck, and the angle of the head on the neck.

Good posture is an organization of the body that is appropriate for the demands of the moment--or more precisely, to the demands of the milisecond. This naturally comprises the three external harmonies of hips/shoulders, knees/elbows, hands feet. Good posture is comfortable and uses optimal energy--not too little and not too much in any part of the body.

When we relax, we free the body to respond instantly to the signals that go back and forth from the pressure on the feet to the brain and back to the body, which changes the pressure on the feet, which sends new signals to the brain, which sends new impulses to the body, which changes pressure on the feet, etc., many, many times in a single second.

Bad posture is anytime we tense any part of the body without purpose. This impedes the nerve impulses and the body's response to those nerve impulses, resulting in the hips being out of line with the shoulders, the head to be at an improper angle to the neck, the lower back to be too curved or too flat. Bad posture is usually enacted by an inner image of how we think we should appear--in other words, mimicking someone else's way of standing or moving instead of feeling our body's own natural impulses to adjust to gravity and the terrain.

In other words, good posture comes from feeling how we need to adjust our position. Bad posture comes from thinking about how we ought to position ourselves or how we look to an outside observer.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 09:13 PM
Well, obviously, watching Tohei's "ki tests", he's not using "postural alignment" to effect what he's doing. He's establishing jin paths at will.

Incidentally, here's a quote on Misogi that I've posted before:

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

This concentrating of his breath below the navel is pretty much what I was talking about with Dennis Hooker on the breathing thread. The idea is not "deep breathing" per se, but "concentrating" or "condensing the pressure" in the lower abdomen. It's the start of building up the "ki" that Abe Sensei is referring to with Gernot... ultimately the "pressure" goes to all parts of the body and the body is hard. However to augment that pressure source in the abdomen, they found that you can shout/yell in certain ways as you strike. It will add to the already great strength developed by ki... "ki ai".

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Upyu
08-28-2006, 09:21 PM
<snip>
In other words, good posture comes from feeling how we need to adjust our position. Bad posture comes from thinking about how we ought to position ourselves or how we look to an outside observer.


You don't have to use the Buzzwords, but honestly... I'd have to be very skeptical as to whether you knew something David. What you say is to vague. There are certain postural configurations that are adhered to and become natural which are describable if you can do these skills. ;)
Mike and I haven't met once, and there are parts we have differences in interms of how we train these skills, perhaps how we use them, even in their quality. But there is a fundamental block that they share which should be describable. I've encountered this time and again.
Even Sam Chin who uses the "Qi" description in a more vague term on his website can explain everything (and does so) in terms of anatomical structure, as well as explain why those configurations serve their purpose in training.

Upyu
08-28-2006, 09:23 PM
It will add to the already great strength developed by ki... "ki ai".



Auuummmmm....... :D

David Orange
08-28-2006, 09:39 PM
I'd have to be very skeptical as to whether you knew something David. What you say is to vague. There are certain postural configurations that are adhered to and become natural which are describable if you can do these skills. ;)

Well, that means a lot to me, believe me, coming from someone with your lengthy experience and wide range of training. It's precisely what I expected when you asked so politely. I just wanted go give you another chance to show what you're really about.

Mike and I haven't met once, and there are parts we have differences in interms of how we train these skills, perhaps how we use them, even in their quality.

Even in what "these skills" are, I'm inclined to believe.

But there is a fundamental block that they share which should be describable.

So why don't you describe correctly what "good posture" is. Physiologically.

David Orange
08-28-2006, 09:45 PM
This concentrating of his breath below the navel is pretty much what I was talking about with Dennis Hooker on the breathing thread. The idea is not "deep breathing" per se, but "concentrating" or "condensing the pressure" in the lower abdomen. It's the start of building up the "ki" that Abe Sensei is referring to with Gernot... ultimately the "pressure" goes to all parts of the body and the body is hard. However to augment that pressure source in the abdomen, they found that you can shout/yell in certain ways as you strike. It will add to the already great strength developed by ki... "ki ai".

Those things are part of the refinement and increase of the ki, but the fundamental nature of ki is there before any refinement is done. Kiai is "going against" the other person's ki. Babies do that, including naturally breathing into the belly. But the fundamental nature of kiai is nothing more than entering your own ki into the other person's ki with an intent to dominate him.

Aiki is the ura of kiai. It is using the ura of the other person's intent and effort to control him. It, too, can exist without movement or sound.

thisisnotreal
08-28-2006, 10:04 PM
T... But the fundamental nature of kiai is nothing more than entering your own ki into the other person's ki with an intent to dominate him.

It is using the ura of the other person's intent and effort to control him. It, too, can exist without movement or sound.


I guess I agree. But then how is this so different from issueing forth the ki-powered-kokyu-forcepath-derived-alignment-power-coupled-by-sinews-strengthened -through-six-harmonies-training (c) via an alignment to the opponents (unwitting) kokyu-alignment (if, it is present), and dominating him?

If kokyu is this coordinated-mind-body-(spirit) connection, (mediated by ground-path force within) and you can maintain and use this in your body -specifically against an opponent, is this not arguably 'issuing-forth' of kokyu? then called jin?

whatever.

p.s. [edit] should have tried to fit-in 'pressure-suit' somewhere up there.

pps. [edit]2 Don't you guys feel that somewhere there should be some kinda warnings to nooBs when initiating people into this mode? should there not be a thread entitled "I've learned how to cultivate and condense, and it's caused me obsessive behavior?", which is what it may or not take to become a 'madD martialArts champion' /random thought...

Mike Sigman
08-28-2006, 10:10 PM
the ki-powered-kokyu-forcepath-derived-alignment-power-coupled-by-sinews-strengthened -through-six-harmonies-training (c) via an alignment to the opponents (unwitting) kokyu-alignment (if, it is present), and dominating him? Holy Cow. I will study from you, O Master of the Word. ;)

Upyu
08-29-2006, 12:04 AM
Well, that means a lot to me, believe me, coming from someone with your lengthy experience and wide range of training. It's precisely what I expected when you asked so politely. I just wanted go give you another chance to show what you're really about.



Even in what "these skills" are, I'm inclined to believe.



So why don't you describe correctly what "good posture" is. Physiologically.

I have, check the training section ;)

raul rodrigo
08-29-2006, 05:54 AM
Boy....and I thought Mike Sigman vs. Justin Smith was entertaining. David Orange, though, takes things to another level.

ian
08-29-2006, 06:14 AM
I can't say I'm an expert on ki/chi. However I would observe the following points:

1. push-hands is not a chi development exercise per se. Chi Gung and tai-chi form are.
2. Since chi exercises can take many years to develop stronger chi (or expression of chi through power (jing?)), and also due to the link with the meridians (vital points etc) I would suggest chi (as chinese traditionalists think of it) is not purely mechanical.
3. Most aikido ki 'exercises' are actualy ki testing, not ki development i.e. if you are just teaching your body to relax, this is helping chi/ki flow, but is not aiding ki/chi accumulation - this is stored in the dan tien.

When people talk about chi they often think of 'exercises' or breathing but chi is also obtained from food. Basically, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating healthly (grains and fruit and avoiding coffee, excessive fats or sugars and alcohol) must be one of the best ways to develop chi/ki. Indeed the local chinese doctor almost always prescribes more sleep and better diet!

Therefore, in conclusion I would say that in aikido we focus on the mechanical aspects of improving chi/ki flow, but not necessarily ki/chi development. We also do very little of the conditioning that fighting tai-chi/kung-fu arts would do (e.g. lots and lots of horse stance, press-ups, repeated striking etc). I do believe aikido is a great martial art, but I also believe that are impression of ki in aikido is often misplaced and not necessarily congruent with the understanding of chi in chinese martial arts. I also believe what Ueshiba did (esp. in terms of conditioning) is rarely done by modern aikidoka.

Upyu
08-29-2006, 07:08 AM
2. Since chi exercises can take many years to develop stronger chi (or expression of chi through power (jing?)), and also due to the link with the meridians (vital points etc) I would suggest chi (as chinese traditionalists think of it) is not purely mechanical.
<snip>
When people talk about chi they often think of 'exercises' or breathing but chi is also obtained from food. Basically, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating healthly (grains and fruit and avoiding coffee, excessive fats or sugars and alcohol) must be one of the best ways to develop chi/ki. Indeed the local chinese doctor almost always prescribes more sleep and better diet!


Just a couple of thought before I head off to bed:

2. I don't think it takes years to develop this to a practical point of useability. But, you can continue to develop and strengthen it for years once you understand how to train it. In fact I think a lot of the effort by the "old masters" went into finding "how" to train it. Once they understood how to train it, it didn't take them very long to start trashing people. Note, when I say not very long I mean like 5 years plus for them to start using it with great efficiency. The longer they go at it, the better they get at it.

About the Food-chi part, that's a different paradigm and I wouldn't get that confused with the bodyskills we're talking about, though I think Mike could comment more on that.

And no, most people don't condition their bodies to the degree that Ueshiba or other old-timers did. But they weren't doing it to run a triathalon...think about "what" they were conditioning ;)

Esaemann
08-29-2006, 08:40 AM
Mike,
I second your first few posts (haven't read all of them yet) on Tai Chi push hands.
The head Aikido instructor, with whom I attend 1 class a week, has a leaning toward more of that type philosophy (how to develop soft/internal/etc.) - can't explain very well, you'd have to see for yourself. He was a student of Peter Ralston for a time, if you've ever heard of him.
I do enjoy the other classes, but they are more physics or strength oriented. Just what comes out in those classes.
I'm fortunate to have a Tai Chi school that does push hands class (cooperatively) once a week.
Seems the only way for me to grow in this skill is to practice as much as I can on my own. Even practicing the form 15 minutes per day should show improvement over years.
Everyone learns differently, though.

David Orange
08-29-2006, 08:42 AM
I have, check the training section ;)

Why don't you adhere to your own descriptions of "good posture," then?

David

David Orange
08-29-2006, 08:53 AM
2. Since chi exercises can take many years to develop stronger chi (or expression of chi through power (jing?)), and also due to the link with the meridians (vital points etc) I would suggest chi (as chinese traditionalists think of it) is not purely mechanical.

When people talk about chi they often think of 'exercises' or breathing but chi is also obtained from food. Basically, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating healthly (grains and fruit and avoiding coffee, excessive fats or sugars and alcohol) must be one of the best ways to develop chi/ki. Indeed the local chinese doctor almost always prescribes more sleep and better diet!

Ian, especially on those two points, you are exactly right. What I've been grappling with Mike and Rob John about is their mechanical belief that chi doesn't even exist except when you do those mechanical structural things. Mike has even said that ki comes from the fascia of the muscle. But what you have stated is the correct view, according to the Chinese, including Liang Shou-Yu, as stated clearly in "Emei Baguazhang" and, I'm sure, elsewhere.

Therefore, in conclusion I would say that in aikido we focus on the mechanical aspects of improving chi/ki flow, but not necessarily ki/chi development. We also do very little of the conditioning that fighting tai-chi/kung-fu arts would do (e.g. lots and lots of horse stance, press-ups, repeated striking etc).

Those two statements seem contradictory. the horse stance and other development exercises (and Rob John's vaunted Aunkai) are all mechanical forms of ki development.

I do believe aikido is a great martial art, but I also believe that are impression of ki in aikido is often misplaced and not necessarily congruent with the understanding of chi in chinese martial arts. I also believe what Ueshiba did (esp. in terms of conditioning) is rarely done by modern aikidoka.

Correct on those counts except that I believe the aikido/Japanese approach is simply a different way to develop the ki/qi. However, the Chinese way (as your local Chinese doctor describes it--not the fanatical mechanical training) is closer to the root and therefore more natural and therefore correct.

As for what Ueshiba did for conditioning, I think that farming/gardening is the missing element much more than any mechanistic, repetitive "training" through exercises and conditioning. In the West, we tend to "overshoot" by doing too much unnecessary "conditioning" and also too much unnatural stuff such as driving, sitting in air conditioning, watching TV and failing to walk and interact with the natural world.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
08-29-2006, 08:57 AM
About the Food-chi part, that's a different paradigm and I wouldn't get that confused with the bodyskills we're talking about, though I think Mike could comment more on that.

You've got it exactly backward, Rob. You have confused "body skills" with ki/qi and its development. You think that the mechanistic exercises are the beginning, but they are only good once you have made a firm connection to the root of natural ki. Doing it your way results in "trashing people". Doing it the other way makes for a natural mind and a healthy life, which is a life-long process.

davidafindlay
08-29-2006, 09:02 AM
Yaaaaannnk thread back on (original) topic - not that I'm not enjoying this one :)I was thinking that perhaps a push-hands type practice <snip> would be an augmenting asset to go with ki and kokyu training.Yeah, I agree. And it would be interesting to see how it would get integrated into an aikido "shape".

From my background (Shodokan), it is not that common to be in a "give and take" environment like you have in push hands. The randori done is generally completely different, although it has levels of practise which would be suitable, I think.

One nice thing about the push hands I've done is that its opened up my eyes to maintaining my structure against forces coming in from another angle than pretty much straight ahead (not saying this aspect isn't in the aikido I've done, just that the exposure to some push hand helped show it). And conversely, its been interesting playing with getting a good structure to be able to direct force out from a different direction than straight ahead. Plus, it gives you a bit more of a "slow" or controlled atmospherer so you can pay more attention to how you want yourself to move.

So, yes - I think something like a push hands could be cool.

As to the how... My opinion is you'd need a pretty structured progression of actions to go from basic concepts to more "free play" (hey, just like push hands progression ;) )

Perhaps it would be nice to start with the old ikkyo-to-ikkyo routine, where neither person moves their feet much. Ikkyo is a nice "simple" shape to get a good structure going, I reckon, hence would lend itself pretty well as a basic vehicle.

Maybe after that you might look at some one-step moves. Sugawara had some kata developed that are kind of along the lines I'm thinking of (I've got the clips here but don't know how to up load them), and I've also seen some other kata out of the Kobayashi (Yasuo) dojo's system which are basically give-and-take type stuff that might set up the right sort of environment nicely.

And then moving on to a free-play kind of environment, but not the running around the mat style, just one or two step type stuff.

As for the kokyu part of it, I guess like anything the reason for doing something would have to be stressed - if the point was dveloping kokyu, then the teacher would have to stress that. For this reason I think staying with a no-step or one-step routine would be useful for beginers, so they can better maintain a frame and have less to distract themselves to begin with.

David Orange
08-29-2006, 09:13 AM
Yaaaaannnk thread back on (original) topic - not that I'm not enjoying this one :)Yeah, I agree. And it would be interesting to see how it would get integrated into an aikido "shape".

Dave, when I first started training in yoseikan aikido in 1974, we did a simple push-hands type of exercise like this:

partners face one another with the right foot forward, almost side-by-side, on the outside of each other's stance. Each extends his right arm and the backs of the hands touch. One partner pushes toward the other's right shoulder. The non-pushing partner rotates his hips with the push so that his right shoulder retreats while he remains upright and stable on his feet. This movement allows his right hand to lead the pushing hand just outside his right shoulder so that he cannot land any pressure. The one receiving the push continues in an oval motion so that he begins to push back toward the other person's shoulder, turning his hip into the push and "unwinding" the coil of the hip. The person who was pushing is now being pushed. He yields with the hip and shoulder and guides the pushing hand past his shoulder. He then begins to push again.

This is a simple, smooth and easy movement. Beginners always use far too much strength, which can be neutralized with no strength at all. And when you push back toward them, it is easy to move the pushing hand toward the center of their body and push them in the middle of the chest, which will almost always push them off balance. Or they can be made to fall forward with their push.

You do this on left and right, of course.

It was interesting to see, many years later, than Ben Lo uses this exercise in his tape on pushing hands. He also shows variations to lead into more advanced practice.

Best to you.

David

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 09:16 AM
I second your first few posts (haven't read all of them yet) on Tai Chi push hands.
The head Aikido instructor, with whom I attend 1 class a week, has a leaning toward more of that type philosophy (how to develop soft/internal/etc.) - can't explain very well, you'd have to see for yourself. He was a student of Peter Ralston for a time, if you've ever heard of him.
I do enjoy the other classes, but they are more physics or strength oriented. Just what comes out in those classes.
I'm fortunate to have a Tai Chi school that does push hands class (cooperatively) once a week.
Seems the only way for me to grow in this skill is to practice as much as I can on my own. Even practicing the form 15 minutes per day should show improvement over years.
Everyone learns differently, though. Hi Eric:

Good post. However, let me make it very clear that most of the "push hands" available in the West has no real jin and qi in it. It's more along the "contest" and "safe way to have a mild engagement so we can kid ourselves that we're doing martial arts". Or in the last number of years, you see more and more big, strong guys who specialize in close-form engagements that are simply limited-wrestling and they call it push-hands. One of the truly interesting things about all these western versions of push-hands is the *number* of Chinese martial artists who have commented "that's not push hands" and the westerners just keep going because they know better. ;)

What I'm saying is that I have something very specific in mind and I'd prefer to keep it very clear that (and most people I know would agree) most push-hands you see around you is not what I'm talking about. Just to be clear. :)

I have never met Peter Ralston, although I know one of his long-time students somewhat. So all I can say is that "I don't know enough about what he does to make an intelligent comment". Fair enough?

All the Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 09:19 AM
Doing it your way results in "trashing people". Doing it the other way makes for a natural mind and a healthy life, which is a life-long process. I dunno, David... would you consider yourself a benefactor of this "natural mind" that has been developed with your personal knowledge of ki?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-29-2006, 10:52 AM
I dunno, David... would you consider yourself a benefactor of this "natural mind" that has been developed with your personal knowledge of ki?

I can see it, but I am in an unnatural society, so it is difficult to lay full claim to it. Still, I'm working toward it and I don't suffer a compulsion to blow up what little training I had into something it really wasn't. I go to work in epidemiology, come home and work in my yard and garden, play with my child, help my wife with the chores and do a little tai chi and kenjutsu. It's a satisfying life. I'll take that and not suffer any longing for the deluded mechanistic route you are taking.

David

DaveS
08-29-2006, 11:34 AM
Good post. However, let me make it very clear that most of the "push hands" available in the West has no real jin and qi in it. It's more along the "contest" and "safe way to have a mild engagement so we can kid ourselves that we're doing martial arts".
Hmmmm... I've always found that when I've practiced 'competitive' push hands (or shiai randori, for that matter) I tend to get a bit strengthy and try to wrestle and shove, but I come out thinking that I should have been softer, more sensitive, more relaxed and less strengthy, and then take steps to improve this - normally by thinking about these things in non-competitve or fixed form practice (kakari geikio, hikitate geiko, 'circling' push hands) and then trying to bring in more of that feeling next time. I'd hope that in this way I was improving my tai chi and am improving my aikido.

Would you consider these benefits to be part of the qi / chi / jin/ kokyu development / improvement / whatever or tangential to it? And if they're tangential, do they make push hands a worthwhile practice in themselves?

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 12:00 PM
Would you consider these benefits to be part of the qi / chi / jin/ kokyu development / improvement / whatever or tangential to it? And if they're tangential, do they make push hands a worthwhile practice in themselves?Hi David:

The point I was getting at was that Aikidoists need not only kokyu/jin/qi *development*, they also need some form of focused practice in manipulating the kokyu force. A push-hands type format would be nice, was my suggestion. However, the direction I was thinking of was toward the more focused ability to manipulate kokyu/jin force, eventually, with just the mind, but resulting in a strong force. I.e., leading toward some skills in "aiki", not just "jin/kokyu development". It was just a suggestion, a thought.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-29-2006, 12:11 PM
The point I was getting at was that Aikidoists need...

Mike, the best things you can do for the aikido world are first, LEARN some aikido and second, learn the language and stop trying to translate it into Chinese that does not correspond.

David

shodan 83
08-29-2006, 12:59 PM
David Orange, you do not speak for this list, and especially not for me, I know you don't speak for Aikido in general, so if you have an issue with Mike use the tools available to you such as "ignore". I for one enjoy the robust discussions that revolve around Mike's threads, so learn something and quit throwing insults or bring a valid discussion forward and defend your points, I read over and over here your accusations pointed at Mike but what I read from you is a general degradation of the very civility you so profess to see in others.

E

DaveS
08-29-2006, 02:08 PM
Hi David:

The point I was getting at was that Aikidoists need not only kokyu/jin/qi *development*, they also need some form of focused practice in manipulating the kokyu force. A push-hands type format would be nice, was my suggestion. However, the direction I was thinking of was toward the more focused ability to manipulate kokyu/jin force, eventually, with just the mind, but resulting in a strong force. I.e., leading toward some skills in "aiki", not just "jin/kokyu development". It was just a suggestion, a thought.

Yes, I think I see that. I was just interested in your views on the other benefits of push hands training (and whether they are actually benefits and whether they actually are 'other' benefits).

Upyu
08-29-2006, 02:40 PM
You've got it exactly backward, Rob. You have confused "body skills" with ki/qi and its development. You think that the mechanistic exercises are the beginning, but they are only good once you have made a firm connection to the root of natural ki. Doing it your way results in "trashing people". Doing it the other way makes for a natural mind and a healthy life, which is a life-long process.

I'm sorry David...I mean I tried really hard to be polite, especially after the scene you made on e-budo but...
wtf are you trying to say? :D
"Trashing People" :rolleyes:

Btw, you keep on making innuendos about stuff I never said. Seems to be a habit for you.

If you have more to offer why don't you share your great knowledge with us under the training thread I posted?

Esaemann
08-29-2006, 02:44 PM
Mike,
I agree with your comment about "western" forms of push hands.
Since I haven't been to China or Taiwan myself, I can't be certain if our school is "good". I do have faith, because I've heard stories about push hands that seem more strength oriented than what we practice. Our school heavily emphasizes no muscle, feeling partner's "energy", rooting, waist flexibility, no dead hands.
The head instructor goes to Taiwan every year for a couple weeks to train with the founder of our style/school. One of the students came back very impressed and wishing that we could work on it like they do over there. The problem is our school doesn't have soft walls like they were being "thrown" against. We'd go through a window or drywall. The other difference is that it sounds like the senior students over there practice hours many days a week.
I also like Yang Jwing-Ming and have many of his books. The fact that we share the same birthday doesn't hurt either. Some of the stuff I have a hard time following or swallowing, like the parts about magnets.

Duarh
08-29-2006, 02:58 PM
I have to concur with Eric. Hearing David Orange's objections once might have been educational and informative as to what other opinions are out there, but these constant attacks on everything that Mike Sigman says are annoying and unproductive. I may have far less experience in the martial arts than you, Mr. Orange, but I enjoy Mr. Sigman's posts and find useful ideas in them that do connect with my practice of both taichi and aikido. I would much rather read intelligent discussions about his ideas than this empty bickering. It's clear you're not going to agree on this topic, so please just let it go already.

As to the fact that some well-known teachers and authorities have been known to talk in terms of qi permeating the universe, connecting us with each other, etc - well, sure, I trust that they believe that and I respect many of them deeply for incredible martial prowess, but that doesn't stop me from thinking that their opinions are New Age-ish nonsense. Having some training as a physicist, I expect physically measurable evidence for such claims. If you can't measure it, you can't apply it martially - because any interaction we have as people is ultimately physical. If you can't demonstrate a measurable physical effect from your 'leet qi abilities' that can't be explained by present science, you're fooling yourself.

That doesn't mean that I think 'qi skills' don't exist; it's just that I think a whole lot of people are mistaking incredible internal conditioning - and the human mind & body are capable of some incredible things - for mystic ability. It's a bit like the ancients hearing thunder and deciding it must be Thor striking his hammer, because they don't have the analytic and scientific training to figure out what's really going on.(This kind of thinking is very common even today, alas; for a source that deals with it far better than I can here, pick up a copy of Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World").

You don't need to understand how something works to use it. I don't have an analytic understanding of why it pleasures me more to play the piano in one manner rather than another, but I can still intuitively play it the 'right' way. That doesn't mean I'm infused by some invisible energy field that gives me special piano playing abilities. It's just that my body and mind are conditioned from many years of practice and exposure to do the things that work and not do the things that don't. In the same way many martial artists may be able to _do_ qi skills, but they don't necessarily have the training or education to analyze the underlying physical structures.

More numerous in my experience, alas, are the individuals who _think_ they can do qi skills, having practiced in one New Age-ish framework or another - perhaps reciting a poem or two at the start of every class and spending more time meditating and _talking_ about martial arts than actually practicing - but who when it comes down to it clearly have no clue. (Just to be clear, neither do I - but I'm aware of this and have been working on it from the biomechanical perspective ever since I had the opportunity to see some individuals with great fajin who made no claims about mystic powers and universal energy fields).

----------

As far as the original topic goes - I saw Master Yang Jun do some push hands not long ago, and I was surprised how much like aikido it looked to me. I definitely thought to myself that I could use some of that kind of training in my aikido - not only for fajin, qi, etc, but also for the "sticky contact" and sensitivity that it teaches. On a tangentially related note, it also occurred to me that constructing something like a "long form" of aikido for myself might also be useful, because of how such solo practice allows one to examine the biomechanics of technique without the distraction of needing to throw someone.

statisticool
08-29-2006, 03:29 PM
I'm sorry David...I mean I tried really hard to be polite, especially after the scene you made on e-budo but...


Who got banned on E-budo... Sigman or Orange?


Justin

shodan 83
08-29-2006, 03:37 PM
Who got banned on E-budo... Sigman or Orange?


Justin

Justin, as personal as David Orange got with Mike, he at least had the insight to put forward his view points, you on the other hand seem to lurk around Mike Sigmanís posts, throw out total garbage and think for some reason you might be adding something to the discussion. Do you have the ability to discuss the issue on the thread or not?

E

Ron Tisdale
08-29-2006, 03:40 PM
No, he does not.

Just guessing....

B,
R

Qatana
08-29-2006, 04:11 PM
Could someone point me to the thread where I mentioned the just-below-the-skin true personality of much of the New Age generation? Thanks.

Mike

is this directed to little me?
Oh Boy have you got me pegged. New Age, uh huh, Thats why every art I oractice has a clearly traceable lineage. Like being a second generation from Chen man-Ching.
Of course I do practice the aikido of Robert Nadeau, Shihan and everybody knows what a New Age nutcake He is.
New Age. me, right.
At least I practice aikido.

Mark Freeman
08-29-2006, 04:59 PM
Hi Toms,

good post and some good points, many of which agree with, and although I may have few points of contention, I hope that we can explore something here.

I too like to see the world through scientific eyes than filtered through rainbow coloured New Age metaphysical spectacles, however ki has to be seen for what it is, so much of the historical explanation has to be 'un scientific' due to the lack of science when people first started to become aware of this thing/stuff/call it what you will phenomena known as ki/chi.

Three of the asian practices which I see as cornestone practices of the cultivation of ki ( I'll just uses ki to cover all the names for roughly the same thing ) are Aikido, Tai Chi and Yoga. They all work on unifying mind and body to cultivate good spirit / ki. I'm not really interested in their relative merits in these similar endeavours, only in that they all have a rich history to draw from. They all have esoteric philosophies, but are grounded in the constant practice of working with the body and mind in very specific ways to improve the overall human experience. You can't master any of them in a few weekend retreats, you have to commit to years of practice to even start to understand the deeper meanings of much of the teachings.

I can only understand ki in terms of how I was taught my aikido, and what I have discovered for myself through practice. I don't consider myself an expert in these matters, only a serious student who has spent 14 years of regular practice doing ki-aikido with a teacher who definitely does know how to use ki. :)

In the beginning I was told both to extend my mind and extend ki, both terms being interchangable. Later on I learned to think in terms of ki being separate from mind although I am quite happy to admit that that is nothing more than me thinking. It doesn't prove ki or it's existence. However, my practice has revealed enough to me to feel comfortable with my 'own' experience of it.

Now for someone wanting scientific proof, my subjective experience is not very measurable. I do however, have my own half baked explanation that may one day be proven to have some basis in reality. If not, I don't really mind, I'm open to what the explanation 'if' ki is ever measured.

I think I am up with current predominant sientific thinking when I say that the known universe currently is made up of what we know exists ( about 10% ) and what we speculate must exist, otherwise the current model doesn't hang together. This approximately 90% is refered to as dark energy and dark matter. It is there, it must be, it just hasn't been 'caught on film' yet. I like to think of it as the stuff that fills the space within the atoms ( and anyone knowing anything about this area has to be blown away by the amount of space there is between the 'bits' ).

In my thinking, this is how I see 'ki', the stuff that permeates the space between the atoms. I have no idea whether this hypothesis is true or not, but it works for me. In my own small world I can apply this thinking to most of what is written or said about ki.

All the mind / body practice that promotes co-ordination of both that allows for relaxed, focussed intent filled movement, will help in the cultivation of the state needed to utilise ki.

It seems to me that ki is not the preserve of a few small select band of martial artists, it exist in everything, however the 'very' effective martial use of it, maybe. We can all improve our own experience of it by practicing with someone who can both explain how to, as well as demonstrate it themselves, aikido and tai chi are both proven paths and I'm sure there are plenty of others.

If you can't measure it, you can't apply it martially - because any interaction we have as people is ultimately physical.

this is where I have to disagree, we are not just physical, all interaction has much more than that. Minds can both win and lose fights without any skin being touched. Surely this is the ultimate goal of the martial artist, to win without fighting. My take on this is that the attacker feels the strength of the 'defenders' mind/ki. If the defender's mind has already begun to take control, the outcome is felt, and this can be enough for the attacker to withdraw. How you measure it, I don't know, but just because you can't at present measure it, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, just that we haven't found a way yet.

I reckon that that aikido will keep me occupied for the rest of my natural life, so by the time I can't do it anymore I will be I little better informed than I am now. Maybe I will live long enough to see ki being measure as easily as we do voltage now, and that there maybe amperage resistance components that show the difference aspects of ki. But then again maybe not.

Feel free to praise or pull to pieces as you wish, you may grin or stroke your chin, as you wish :D

regards

Mark

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 05:23 PM
Three of the asian practices which I see as cornestone practices of the cultivation of ki ( I'll just uses ki to cover all the names for roughly the same thing ) are Aikido, Tai Chi and Yoga. Hmmmmm. Mark, think a second. Go get a bunch of old books on karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Praying Mantis, Jiu Jitsu, Choy Li Fut, Hung Gar, the Koryu, etc., etc., etc. They all talk about "ki" or "qi". Do you think they are talking about some other type of "ki" or "qi"? When you read about "prana" and "shakti", the Indian equivalents of qi/ki and jin/kokyu, in Yoga, Kalaripayattu, etc., do you think they are talking about something radically different? No. The Asian practices all have ki in them. It's the same mind, body, breathing, etc., etc., practices. It is a basic form of movement, training, use of the mind, etc..... all of those practices are simply various ways of utilizing these core skills. ;) And there are variations, levels of skills, mixtures of the skills and muscle, etc., etc., so to an outsider it may look like they're different approaches, but the core skills and body theories are the same.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Bryant Pierpont
08-29-2006, 05:41 PM
I'm not very skilled at Tai Chi or Aikido but I've done both a bit. To me, the similarities are so obvious. Both use ki in lieu of strength...at least as much as one's skill allows ;-). Both offer great spirituality. With some kokuho (spelling?) experience, I found push hands a bit easier than some beginners. That was enlightening and made me a deeper believer in the principles. My concern: some of these posts show serious conflict...did we forget to blend and harmonize?

Bryant

Duarh
08-29-2006, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the measured response, Mark. I have to return to work, so I'll be short (or as short as I can be, which is not very ;)):

On the dark matter/energy comparison: those concepts were introduced because they were necessary to make cosmology work, given our current understanding of physics (but they're far from undisputed, and we're all waiting for experimental evidence/new theoretical developments to point either way). This is a case in which we already have a fairly sophisticated system of laws that predicts the majority of our observations of the universe accurately, but we see that something doesn't quite mesh so we speculate there's something more - and yes, in science there's always something more, we never know _all_ of the truth. We're always open to new phenomena - provided there's documented evidence. In regards to ki, however, my view is that I haven't seen anything yet that _requires_ any explanation outside of the system of physical laws that we already have. My exposure to ki aikido is limited, but in the few years that I've been training (in other styles) I've yet to see or feel anything that I would call 'physically impossible' and requiring esoteric energies or mystic forces in aikido - and I've seen a number of high-level aikido shihan. I've seen some incredible things - but since I have some idea of how they are physically possible, I feel no need to talk in esoteric terms. Of course, it can be argued that I just haven't been exposed to the right people. Well, perhaps; I've only been in the martial arts for 5 years so it's certainly possible, but that's not enough for me to lose sleep over it.

You're absolutely right that human contact is more than touch; as a physicist, when I say 'physical', I don't mean 'involving the body', but 'involving physical effects' - so sight, hearing, smell, etc, all constitute physical contact as far as I'm concerned, as does the mental recognition of another's presence that accompanies the use of these senses. Chiba-sensei talks about 'feeling the air' between you and your oponent, for instance - which you need to enable you to react instantaneously to your opponent's intentions. I don't know if he means anything esoteric by this himself, and I can't say I've developed the skill myself, but I have no reason to doubt that full use of our very real, physical senses is quite sufficient for this kind of awareness ('instantaneous reaction' modulo the speed of light/chemical reactions in the body), and I don't think resorting to undocumented energy fields is required. I do think this kind of high-level awareness requires employing subconscious rather than conscious processes - conscious thought is too slow - and this is probably part of what can lead one to believe something otherwordly is going on. You may become aware of someone's movement without consciously realizing what gave it away, for instance - our minds are incredible machines that can take very limited input and find meaning in it. That you're doing things you don't understand doesn't mean they're 'superphysicall'.

When all is said and done, what I'm wary of the most is people who end up focusing on ki and meditation exercises at the expense of the martial aspects of aikido (the same as I tend to be annoyed by hippie-ish all's-love tai chi practitioners who're constantly 'soft and relaxed' to the point of collapse - all song and no kai, as they say - and think that puts them in some kind of harmony in the universe). If a person is martially skilled and knows how to convey that skill, I don't care what s/he _believes_ s/he's doing - I'll form my own understanding as I learn. Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to see any very experienced ki aikido practitioners, and I'm sure there are many I could learn a lot from. The few fairly junior yudansha I did get to take some classes from were not very martially focused.


Edit: (heh, I wasn't short at all, was I)

Qatana
08-29-2006, 06:02 PM
Er, is Mike agreeing with what Mark said about how Yoga, Tai Chi & Aikido all use ki no matter what you call it, or is he disagreeing?

Alfonso
08-29-2006, 06:17 PM
I think the confusing issue here is a matter of how much you buy into the paradigm of ki.

It seems to me that one set of issues has to deal with what the traditional idea of ki encompasses ( a lot) , another has to do with what Mike, Rob and others are describing as a subset of the group of phenomena describe by ki.

The specific subset in this case is a phyical thing, not a "spiritual" thing though both may be found together in the ki paradigm

Whether or not this is a true distinction , I guess can make a difference on how you interpret the different disagreements..

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 06:59 PM
I think the confusing issue here is a matter of how much you buy into the paradigm of ki. Well, I think it's pretty clear that I don't buy into the ki-paradigm. But to keep the accuracy of what's being talked about, I use the ki-paradigm-terms to delineate the particular topic. The actual ki-paradigm was brilliant, but it was more of a meta-theory than anything else. There really is no "ki"..... what is meant by the body skills/attributes of "ki" though is very intriguing and there's been little or no real western study of it. Someone's going to be on the cutting edge of some interesting physiological research.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

davidafindlay
08-29-2006, 07:01 PM
we did a simple push-hands type of exercise like this <snip> One partner pushes toward the other's right shoulder. The non-pushing partner rotates his hips with the push so that his right shoulder retreats while he remains upright and stable on his feet.A bit like this with a slightly differnet stance? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AfmNPFXFBE)

Sounds cool.

I guess the key thing with any exercise is to make sure it is being done with the right reasons and the right understanding by the students (and teacher!), ie the appropriate goals & limits of the activity are made clear. And I guess this is where this thread is pretty much at the moment - ie discussing some details of ki/kokyu/whatever, because the subject is about whether push hands would be good for kokyu development. I'm sure most people would agree its no use have a vehicle trying to teach a particular aspect, if understanding of that aspect is completely lacking.

Cheers,
Dave.

Mark Freeman
08-29-2006, 07:08 PM
Hmmmmm. Mark, think a second. Go get a bunch of old books on karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Praying Mantis, Jiu Jitsu, Choy Li Fut, Hung Gar, the Koryu, etc., etc., etc. They all talk about "ki" or "qi". Do you think they are talking about some other type of "ki" or "qi"? When you read about "prana" and "shakti", the Indian equivalents of qi/ki and jin/kokyu, in Yoga, Kalaripayattu, etc., do you think they are talking about something radically different? No. The Asian practices all have ki in them. It's the same mind, body, breathing, etc., etc., practices. It is a basic form of movement, training, use of the mind, etc..... all of those practices are simply various ways of utilizing these core skills. ;) And there are variations, levels of skills, mixtures of the skills and muscle, etc., etc., so to an outsider it may look like they're different approaches, but the core skills and body theories are the same.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

I've thought for a second ( but only 1 ) ;) , no disagreement, you are right, there are many more practices using the paradigm, I just chose 1 prominent practice from 3 separate countries, to illustrate my point.

regards,

Mark,

Mark Freeman
08-29-2006, 07:38 PM
My exposure to ki aikido is limited, but in the few years that I've been training (in other styles) I've yet to see or feel anything that I would call 'physically impossible' and requiring esoteric energies or mystic forces in aikido - and I've seen a number of high-level aikido shihan. I've seen some incredible things - but since I have some idea of how they are physically possible, I feel no need to talk in esoteric terms. Of course, it can be argued that I just haven't been exposed to the right people. Well, perhaps; I've only been in the martial arts for 5 years so it's certainly possible, but that's not enough for me to lose sleep over it.

I don't believe in mystical forces in aikido, I believe all the forces used are completely natural. When we train to move our mind/body in a particular way we have access to 'more' than when we don't. I'm not really bothered what nomenclature we give it, it exists within the moment. I try and train with diligence and an open mind. I have seen and been apart of some pretty amazing stuff, but there is nothing mystical about it. However it is not easy to fully appreciate watching from the edge of the mat.

Good luck to all those trying to make sense of it for themselves. I personally can't argue about what ki is or isn't, I would like to see it explained in concrete modern scientific terms but as I've said, maybe not yet.

Just as an aside, one of the practices I have tried is being attacked from behind with a shomen cut with a bokken, whilst sitting in seiza. The escape is a spin out to one side, if done at the correct moment the attacker will continue their cut through, too early and they follow the escape, to late and no explanation neccessary. This cannot be done using the sense of sight, smell and taste are also out, so we are left with hearing and touch, possibly there are some clues here, but my guess is that if you trust the instinctive urge that compels spontaneous movement, the timing can be uncanny. Do we 'feel' the mind/ki? all I know is that when you get it right, you don't know 'how', you just do it. Interesting practice though.
Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to see any very experienced ki aikido practitioners, and I'm sure there are many I could learn a lot from. The few fairly junior yudansha I did get to take some classes from were not very martially focused.

Check out some of the video footage of Tohei Sensei, a good place to start. ;)

regards,

Mark

statisticool
08-29-2006, 08:41 PM
Justin, as personal as David Orange got with Mike, he at least had the insight to put forward his view points, you on the other hand seem to lurk around Mike Sigman's posts, throw out total garbage and think for some reason you might be adding something to the discussion. Do you have the ability to discuss the issue on the thread or not?

E

You are congratulating Orange for getting personal (you claim) but criticising me for doing it, and ignoring Sigman for doing it. Please be consistent at least with your praise or scorn.


Justin

Upyu
08-29-2006, 08:43 PM
At least Justin his consistent in his excrement :)

statisticool
08-29-2006, 08:44 PM
Mark, think a second. Go get a bunch of old books on karate, Shaolin Kung Fu, Praying Mantis, Jiu Jitsu, Choy Li Fut, Hung Gar, the Koryu, etc., etc., etc. They all talk about "ki" or "qi". Do you think they are talking about some other type of "ki" or "qi"? When you read about "prana" and "shakti", the Indian equivalents of qi/ki and jin/kokyu, in Yoga, Kalaripayattu, etc., do you think they are talking about something radically different? No.

Kiss. Ueshiba thought about it, and in Spirit of Aikido, I recall he made a distinction between Japanese and Chinese ideas of qi/ki.


Justin

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 09:01 PM
Kiss. Ueshiba thought about it, and in Spirit of Aikido, I recall he made a distinction between Japanese and Chinese ideas of qi/ki.Cite? Who translated? Etc.


Mike Sigman

Duarh
08-29-2006, 09:17 PM
Check out some of the video footage of Tohei Sensei, a good place to start. ;)



Oh, of course, I've seen _footage_ of Tohei-sensei. . .it's very hard to observe this kind of thing from video, though, because film only conveys one or two aspects of the full sensory experience of observing someone's aikido (vision and sometimes hearing, and those two imperfectly as well). At any rate, Tohei-sensei was clearly a very skilled man, but what footage I've seen has not led me to believe what he was doing wasn't purely physical in the sense I described earlier (though I've read some of his writings and don't expect he himself would agree).

Another issue is that, as I understand it, Tohei-sensei came to teach aikido using methods and an emphasis very different from those used by his instructors at the time he was a student. People who studied at Hombu in the 60ies have told me Tohei-sensei seemed to them to be the most powerful of O-Sensei's students at Hombu at the time - but that he spent more time talking during class than any of the other instructors (edit: sorry about the unattributed anecdote; I'm not naming names because I don't want to put anyone else except myself on the spot by saying this, even though the people in question - who were Japanese college students training at Hombu in the 60s - left the aikido world a long time ago). Whether this is good or not depends on taste, I guess, but I found the same approach was employed by the ki aikido instructors i did get to train under, and personally I've yet to learn anything much from verbal instruction in aikido. And of course there was the later split with Aikikai based on Tohei-sensei's insistance on teaching ki principles. I've no doubt whatsoever that Tohei-sensei was onto something big with his own martial embodiment of ki skills, but, based on my own limited exposure to ki aikido practitioners, I can't help having doubts about the effectiveness of his teaching methods at passing those _martial_ skills on to his students. This is not to say I think all ki aikido practitioners are ineffective, but merely that I have no reason to believe the emphasis on ki has produced students more consistently powerful or martially aware than the methods used in, say, the aikikai.

I would, however, be very open to opportunities to learn I'm wrong. Who would you name as the most martially able practitioners of ki aikido today? Perhaps I can visit some good dojos when I'm traveling and observe class. (Just to be clear: I don't mean this as a challenge in any way. If there's excellent ki-based aikido out there, then clearly I'm missing out on part of the art, so I'm eager to see it.)

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-29-2006, 09:39 PM
Another issue is that, as I understand it, Tohei-sensei came to teach aikido using methods and an emphasis very different from those used by his instructors at the time he was a student. People who studied at Hombu in the 60ies have told me Tohei-sensei seemed to them to be the most powerful of O-Sensei's students at Hombu at the time - but that he spent more time talking during class than any of the other instructors

Hmm, I wonder if he was just training himself during this time, standing, breathing, and everyone just watched him and thought, "hum, haw, get on with it". Wouldn't be the first time! :)

You gotta think, what's this guy doing with his time? I don't buy that he was simply wasting it. Good story there, Duarh.

Duarh
08-29-2006, 09:39 PM
What I meant is, he talked the most when _teaching_ the class. And I completely agree that Tohei-sensei knew what he was doing with his exercises on a physical level - the only thing I'm not sure of either way is if he was able to routinely and effectively pass this on to his students.

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-29-2006, 09:41 PM
I see. well, that's probably good too. Since he could do what he preached, there must have been something in what he said also. Maybe not clear to those not yet at his level, but surely plenty of clues.

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-29-2006, 09:43 PM
Yeah, that's a telling point. I'm not sure that "routinely" passing this knowledge on was ever a part of the intent. Humans being human, as he had to sweat blood and tears for his knowledge, probably he expected others to work hard too, and pointers were all he would give out.

Duarh
08-29-2006, 09:47 PM
:) well, at this point we're just guessing at his intentions.

What I suspect may have happened in _some_ cases - and to a greater or lesser extent I've observed this in other styles of aikido - is that some Western students interpreted what they were being taught through the distorted lens of New Age ideas and somewhere along the way, perhaps between the 'peace' and 'universal harmony' mile markers, lost the ability to apply what they were learning martially. Edit: again, please note I'm not trying to talk in universals here.

Mike Sigman
08-29-2006, 09:54 PM
What I meant is, he talked the most when _teaching_ the class. And I completely agree that Tohei-sensei knew what he was doing with his exercises on a physical level - the only thing I'm not sure of either way is if he was able to routinely and effectively pass this on to his students.I have no doubt that Tohei knows/knew exactly what he was doing physically. I just don't think he gave it away all that easily.

One interesting thought I have had recurringly is about this comment from the Tohei interview I've posted about twice before:
Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn't do it, so they didn't think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, "Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration's no good!"

You see, I had been out drinking until three o'clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, "Of course the gods aren't going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they'd all get tipsy!" That's why he thought they would be able to lift me.
In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It's just a matter of having a low center of gravity.
To me this is an interesting thought-puzzle. If Tohei described how he could do the same "unliftable" trick that O-Sensei did while thinking it was "gods", would O-Sensei have understood Tohei's description of the physical process? I think so. I think there are boundary conditions of logic that you simply can't get around; what might be harder is to make someone give up their beliefs by admitting that they understand. Just musing.

Mike

Duarh
08-29-2006, 10:01 PM
Heh, thanks for the ever-so-subtle indication that I shouldn't be talking about Tohei-sensei in the past tense! A good demonstration of the danger of just assuming things. . .And now I've learned something new (and good) today!

Does Tohei-sensei still teach actively?

David Orange
08-29-2006, 11:05 PM
I'm sorry David...I mean I tried really hard to be polite, especially after the scene you made on e-budo but...
wtf are you trying to say? :D
"Trashing People" :rolleyes:

Just quoting you from a couple of posts back, Bob. And "the scene" I made on e-budo? I posted stuff from Liang Shou-Yu which both you and Mike attacked, trying to push aside all the old, traditional teachings with mechanistic stuff that supposedly explains ki, but is good only for fighting techniques. It doesn't relate to plants, water, weather or any of the natural systems without which you wouldn't last one second.

Btw, you keep on making innuendos about stuff I never said. Seems to be a habit for you.

What stuff would that be? The trashing people remark? You said that in Post #71: "Once they understood how to train it, it didn't take them very long to start trashing people." But you didn't even wait to understand it. You want to believe you can trash everyone, so you just badmouth without a foundation.

If you have more to offer why don't you share your great knowledge with us under the training thread I posted?

You never showed up on the Kuzushi thread on E-budo, did you? On the Ki thread, you only wanted to babble about kuzushi, but when I opened the Kuzushi thread, I don't think you posted once. And you never addressed my specific examples--at least not until I had provided the full explanations for all of them. So why would I waste pearls on a little piglet like you?

You are still at the stage where you need someone to "teach" you how to walk. You are still at the imitative stage. It will probably be 20 more years before you are able to let that go and even recognize the power of the natural impulses that arise and work from within the human body and nervous system. You'll spend all those years developing "second nature" responses which will fade and disappear if you ever stop conditioning them, and will leave you unable to get effective use out of the natural responses you should have been cultivating all along.

Be my guest.

Upyu
08-29-2006, 11:23 PM
Just quoting you from a couple of posts back, Bob. And "the scene" I made on e-budo? I posted stuff from Liang Shou-Yu which both you and Mike attacked, trying to push aside all the old, traditional teachings with mechanistic stuff that supposedly explains ki, but is good only for fighting techniques. It doesn't relate to plants, water, weather or any of the natural systems without which you wouldn't last one second.


So why did Sagawa have Kimura do about 1000 Shiko squats a day?
Or why he said "Tanren" was important do developing what he considered to be "Aiki"?


What stuff would that be? The trashing people remark? You said that in Post #71: "Once they understood how to train it, it didn't take them very long to start trashing people." But you didn't even wait to understand it. You want to believe you can trash everyone, so you just badmouth without a foundation.

Actually I still hold to that. Not a very eloquent way to put it maybe, but I'm no poet :D

The fact that some of this stuff gives immediate returns to those that can already fight, and up their game is proof enough for myself.



You never showed up on the Kuzushi thread on E-budo, did you? On the Ki thread, you only wanted to babble about kuzushi, but when I opened the Kuzushi thread, I don't think you posted once. And you never addressed my specific examples--at least not until I had provided the full explanations for all of them. So why would I waste pearls on a little piglet like you?

Yawn,
because you were still going off on "technique" based kuzushi. Dan Harden already pointed out the difference between what you and I were talking. The kind of kuzushi you were talking about has its place, granted. But I think the "other" kind is more efficient in the long run.


You are still at the stage where you need someone to "teach" you how to walk.

I'd definitely agree with that ;)


You are still at the imitative stage. It will probably be 20 more years before you are able to let that go and even recognize the power of the natural impulses that arise and work from within the human body and nervous system. You'll spend all those years developing "second nature" responses which will fade and disappear if you ever stop conditioning them, and will leave you unable to get effective use out of the natural responses you should have been cultivating all along.


Oki :) We'll see where I land in about 20 years or so :D

Just for the record, not to quote Sagawa AGAIN,
(jesus that guy's book is so quotable...its too bad its not translated in english, 残念だね日本フェチさん :D )

"Aiki is based on logic and reason of the human body, it is NOT natural. An idiot will never be able to get it"

doh

David Orange
08-29-2006, 11:41 PM
As to the fact that some well-known teachers and authorities have been known to talk in terms of qi permeating the universe, connecting us with each other, etc - well, sure, I trust that they believe that and I respect many of them deeply for incredible martial prowess, but that doesn't stop me from thinking that their opinions are New Age-ish nonsense.

Yeah...the five-thousand-year old "new age?"

Having some training as a physicist, I expect physically measurable evidence for such claims. If you can't measure it, you can't apply it martially - because any interaction we have as people is ultimately physical.

First, ki exists originally without any martial application. The first big mistake is to think it only comes from or is only meaningful in a fighting context.

If you can't demonstrate a measurable physical effect from your 'leet qi abilities' that can't be explained by present science, you're fooling yourself.

"Fooling yourself?" First, you have to be making some claim or predictions to be "fooled" about it. Please tell me what claims I have made that need any scientific verification? And while you're at it, please explain in physics terms Mike's insistence that ki originates in the fascia of the muscles. That's like saying that electricity is produced by the insulation around an electrical wire.

That doesn't mean that I think 'qi skills' don't exist; it's just that I think a whole lot of people are mistaking incredible internal conditioning - and the human mind & body are capable of some incredible things - for mystic ability.

How does that relate to anything I've said? My only interest in ki is how it underlies the growth of plants out of the ground, the movement of animals in the world and the impulse for people to stand up and walk. If you want to call that mystical, I don't know why. I didn't say it was. I don't explain martial arts techniques by "ki" at all. My teacher didn't and I don't. He always used purely Newtonian physics explanations, like Jigoro Kano and those kinds of explanations are the only ones I find useful for examining technique. The things about kiai and aiki are mostly mental things about how people relate to one another, the way they approach one another and how they go about dealing with conflict.

It's a bit like the ancients hearing thunder and deciding it must be Thor striking his hammer, because they don't have the analytic and scientific training to figure out what's really going on.

"It's" a bit like that? What is a bit like that? Who has explained anything in that way? Mike talks about mechanistic movement, but he claims without any physics rationale that these mechanistic arrangements "produce" ki. He would be on much better ground simply to stick to physics terms and say that these alignments of the body give the best physical advantage. But he doesn't. He claims that they produce ki, but he can't explain how that relates to anything in the natural world that "naturally" has all the energy and power and strength it needs. My big problem with Mike is closer to what you're saying than you realize: without proper foundation in the Japanese arts or language, he's trying to define the longstanding definitions of those arts and the concepts behind them.

You don't need to understand how something works to use it.

What? Didn't you JUST say, "If you can't demonstrate a measurable physical effect from your 'leet qi abilities' that can't be explained by present science, you're fooling yourself."??

Which is correct?

I don't have an analytic understanding of why it pleasures me more to play the piano in one manner rather than another, but I can still intuitively play it the 'right' way.

Yes, and my position is that all living things have innate knowledge of the right way to live and move. The closer we are to nature, the truer that is. Who teaches a panther or a lion to move and fight? What is their training method? It is PLAY with others of their own kind. Who teaches a stalk of corn to grow out of the ground and how to stand up straight? Why should humans have to be taught "second nature" technologies of movement and self-defense except that they are so removed from nature that they cannot FEEL intuitively how to "play it the 'right' way"?

In the same way many martial artists may be able to _do_ qi skills, but they don't necessarily have the training or education to analyze the underlying physical structures.

What is all this nonsense about "doing qi skills"? It's a bad and unhealthy misinterpretation that Mike Sigman and Bob Job are spreading into aikido circles when they don't understand the fundamentals that make aikido different from karate or judo. Or tai chi for that matter. As I said, my sensei always explained everything in terms of physics as you can see in this clip:

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?rurl=www.ybmauricie.com&oid=e86fe9d57b8f73f4&

Copy the whole thing into your address bar, including the ampersand at the end. In the window that comes up, click on the play video button with "open in new window". This clip shows a real master of aikido explaining it in terms of physics, followed by free randori demonstrations. The third defender in that sequence is Washizu Sensei, demonstrating some of Sensei's signature sutemi waza. The last is Tezuka Akira Sensei, responding first to a sword attack, then to a knife attack. They could ALL do the things Mike and Bob Job call "ki skills" but they never explained any of it in terms of "ki".

More numerous in my experience, alas, are the individuals who _think_ they can do qi skills, having practiced in one New Age-ish framework or another - perhaps reciting a poem or two at the start of every class and spending more time meditating and _talking_ about martial arts than actually practicing - but who when it comes down to it clearly have no clue. (Just to be clear, neither do I - but I'm aware of this and have been working on it from the biomechanical perspective ever since I had the opportunity to see some individuals with great fajin who made no claims about mystic powers and universal energy fields).

Well, if you can open that clip, you will see the kind of practice in which I was uchi deshi for two years in Japan. I also taught at that dojo both before and after being uchi deshi there. None of it is explained in terms of ki, but entirely in terms of physics.

As far as the original topic goes - I saw Master Yang Jun do some push hands not long ago, and I was surprised how much like aikido it looked to me. I definitely thought to myself that I could use some of that kind of training in my aikido - not only for fajin, qi, etc, but also for the "sticky contact" and sensitivity that it teaches.

It gives an important perspective on aikido practice. I am the only person in my old style who did many years of tai chi. But I have found its greater benefits to be harmonizing my life with the natural world.

On a tangentially related note, it also occurred to me that constructing something like a "long form" of aikido for myself might also be useful, because of how such solo practice allows one to examine the biomechanics of technique without the distraction of needing to throw someone.

Mochizuki Sensei developed a two-man kata called "hyori no kata" which looks a lot like a tai chi form if you do it with only one person. It's a series of techniques, reversals and reversals of reversals, all the way through.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
08-29-2006, 11:51 PM
The Asian practices all have ki in them. It's the same mind, body, breathing, etc., etc., practices. It is a basic form of movement, training, use of the mind, etc..... all of those practices are simply various ways of utilizing these core skills.

What you don't want to recognize is that all these arts FIRST posit that ki/qi underlies all physical reality as an invisible, formless, untouchable field which is the source of life and from which all our power emerges. The physical methods do NOT generate the primal energy and they are NOT the source of it. And NONE of them are necessary for that energy to produce great power for living if one is simply very close to nature.

But it was people who were very close to nature who developed those practices. And why? NOT because they needed them: they developed those practice to teach other people, like yourself, who are confused because of their separation from nature and are fumbling for something solid to which they can cling.

Cling on as you need to and use them as a guide back to the formless, but you will eventually find that the formlessness is the source of it all.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:03 AM
I don't buy into the ki-paradigm. But to keep the accuracy of what's being talked about, I use the ki-paradigm-terms to delineate the particular topic.

But that's where you lose the way, Mike. You don't buy into "the ki paradigm" but you use the terms without understanding what they mean and also misrepresenting what they are even believed to mean. Admittedly, there are some people out there who try to explain everything purely in terms of "ki" without any real grounding in the body, but those are the elementary school children of aikido. It's like you're trying to attack biostatistics by criticizing your high school math teacher's inability to understand Einstein. You saw a little low-level aikido some twenty-five years ago and though you never sought out the real high-level aikido such as demonstrated in the clip I posted above, you base your lengthy misguided diatribes on that low-level stuff you used to do.

You need to find the real stuff before you try to criticize it.

The actual ki-paradigm was brilliant, but it was more of a meta-theory than anything else.

It "was"? It's not gone, Mike. It didn't disappear. It still IS and will be here long after you have gone with your body skills. It will dissolve your body skills when you are in the grave and will continue unchanged as long as the world spins in space.

There really is no "ki"..... what is meant by the body skills/attributes of "ki" though is very intriguing and there's been little or no real western study of it. Someone's going to be on the cutting edge of some interesting physiological research.

And the real cutting edge of the cutting edge is Sigmando, huh?

By trying to go forward, you are going backward. You need to go a long way back to catch up with yourself.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:06 AM
At least Justin his consistent in his excrement :)

You, too, Bob Job. You're more consistent than he is.

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:11 AM
I wonder if he was just training himself during this time, standing, breathing, and everyone just watched him and thought, "hum, haw, get on with it". Wouldn't be the first time! :)

You gotta think, what's this guy doing with his time?

In an Aikido Journal interview, Tohei said that the real principle that set him on his unique path was reading a statement that "The mind leads the body." Everything else, he said, followed from that.

Of course, he had high-level judo skills, then trained extensively with Ueshiba, but the idea that "the mind leads the body", he said, is what set him apart from other people with similar backgrounds.

An idea, completely immaterial, but able to make a huge difference.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:19 AM
"Aiki is based on logic and reason of the human body, it is NOT natural. An idiot will never be able to get it"

doh

So you don't get it? What do you think it means when I say that aikido is based on the reflexes a toddler demonstrates when he learns to stand and walk? THAT is the logic and reason of the human body, but I know you will NEVER get that.

Now go get someone to show you how to walk.

Duarh
08-30-2006, 12:37 AM
I guess I should have made it clearer that most of what I said about ki (anything after the first paragraph) was not aimed at you specifically, but rather pertained to views on ki generally popular among a certain kind of aikido practitioner - at the risk of offending, I will go ahead and say "New Age aikidoka". So, when asking for evidence, I wasn't saying that you in particular should back up some specific statements of yours, but rather that if people would have me believe they can "no-touch" throw or otherwise manipulate uke by KI, as opposed to timing, communicated mental intent, stance, etc, they'd better be able to demonstrate that such a physical phenomenon as ki, capable of physically affecting other individuals, exists.

Yeah...the five-thousand-year old "new age?"

'equivalent to New Age' if you will. At any rate, I don't have a lot of respect for tradition for tradition's sake. Most of what people believed about nature is 5000 years ago is quite unsubstantiated; (heck, most of what most people believe about nature today is unsubstantiated for that matter).

First, ki exists originally without any martial application. The first big mistake is to think it only comes from or is only meaningful in a fighting context.

If this is meaningful to you, great, and I have no intention of arguing the point since I'm not interested in such aspects of ki - what confuses me is why you consider it necessary to continue this endless argument with Mr. Sigman, who is manifestly _not_ talking about anything other than martial/body mechanical application. I guess your point would be that the two are inseparable - at which point I return to my argument about physical evidence.


"Fooling yourself?" First, you have to be making some claim or predictions to be "fooled" about it. Please tell me what claims I have made that need any scientific verification? And while you're at it, please explain in physics terms Mike's insistence that ki originates in the fascia of the muscles. That's like saying that electricity is produced by the insulation around an electrical wire. See above. As to the fascia-of-the-muscles argument, I don't necessarily understand what Mr. Sigman means, nor indeed believe that he is necessarily right in everything he says. All I know is that some of the things he has said about generating paths-to-ground, etc, has been useful in my own training. Therefore, I'm willing to hear what he has to say on other topics. To be sure, ultimately his specific statements about the physical generation of ki should be backed up by experiment.

To be honest, I don't even know why Mr. Sigman chooses to use the word 'ki' to describe the skills that he describes - but to me one name is as good as another; since I recognize a hint of skills that I have seen masters apply in his descriptions, I'm interested in hearing him out.

"It's" a bit like that? What is a bit like that? Who has explained anything in that way? Mike talks about mechanistic movement, but he claims without any physics rationale that these mechanistic arrangements "produce" ki. He would be on much better ground simply to stick to physics terms and say that these alignments of the body give the best physical advantage.

Well, I agree on that last point, but to me it does seem more like a matter of definition. For instance, I can think of ways in which simple biomechanics could bring about releases of power as in fajin, so personally until I have verified or debunked these I have no temptation to bring talk about 'ki' into my practice. But if someone else uses the word 'ki' while giving mechanistic descriptions, I'll listen. . .


He claims that they produce ki, but he can't explain how that relates to anything in the natural world that "naturally" has all the energy and power and strength it needs.

I guess that's the big difference; I simply don't have any reason to believe in any "ki in the natural world" so, as a result, I don't worry about non-mechanistic ki in my training either.

What? Didn't you JUST say, "If you can't demonstrate a measurable physical effect from your 'leet qi abilities' that can't be explained by present science, you're fooling yourself."??

Which is correct?

I'm talking about 2 different kinds of 'effect' here. One effect is demonstrated martial ability - here it is possible for one to think one is demonstrating ki when in fact all that's being demonstrated is biomechanics. The other effect is a 'physical effect' - ie, electromagnetic, strong/weak, gravitational, whatever force - effect _not consistent with our current understanding of biomechanics_. What I'm saying is, unless one can demonstrate the latter (using accurate measurement devices), one may indeed have excellent biomechanics but is probably fooling oneself if one thinks there's more than physics and mental conditioning to one's abilities.

Yes, and my position is that all living things have innate knowledge of the right way to live and move. The closer we are to nature, the truer that is. Who teaches a panther or a lion to move and fight? What is their training method? It is PLAY with others of their own kind.

Your profile says you work in epidemiology - you must have a good biology background, with some animal psychology perhaps? Mine is admittedly very limited, but as I understand it some of these 'innate instincts' are formed evolutionarily, by perfectly normal, if complicated, physical processes - it's not something handed down from the all-pervading energy field of Mother Nature or something. It may be perfectly true that we acquire some habits of movement as we grow older that are less efficient than those of toddlers, for instance, but this hardly requires any mystic explanation/doesn't have anything to do with "being closer to nature", as far as i can see. Except in the sense that these instincts were evolved over the millions of years before civilization evolved, when we were, in fact, all too cheek-to-butt close to nature - so they are better applicable in 'natural' settings.

Who teaches a stalk of corn to grow out of the ground and how to stand up straight?

I have to admit, at this point my New Age Early Warning System starts going off. . . Do you mean this as a rhetorical question or do you really want to know? A biologist would be the best person to ask this question. . .

Why should humans have to be taught "second nature" technologies of movement and self-defense except that they are so removed from nature that they cannot FEEL intuitively how to "play it the 'right' way"?

I have to agree with previous posters in that I don't think there's anything particularly "natural" about aikido. It does strip away a lot of "unnatural' (inefficient) movement, but it also adds a lot in terms of evasion/timing etc that isn't natural to humans at all and must be trained.

I guess I also have a different viewpoint on this because I never came to aikido seeking the art of peace and harmony, and harmonizing with the universe is nowhere on my to-do list, except in the immediate sense of not clashing with attack. I've always seen the art as a particularly sophisticated weapon that at the highest levels allows practitioners more complete control of a situation than others.

What is all this nonsense about "doing qi skills"?


Again, I don't care what it's called. A rose is a rose by any name.

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?rurl=www.ybmauricie.com&oid=e86fe9d57b8f73f4&


Thanks for the link; looks interesting; I'll look at it in more detail later when I can turn up the volume and piece together the Japanese.

Well, if you can open that clip, you will see the kind of practice in which I was uchi deshi for two years in Japan. I also taught at that dojo both before and after being uchi deshi there. None of it is explained in terms of ki, but entirely in terms of physics.

Glad to hear it. But this makes me feel like this is a squabble over nomenclature, then.

Mochizuki Sensei developed a two-man kata called "hyori no kata" which looks a lot like a tai chi form if you do it with only one person. It's a series of techniques, reversals and reversals of reversals, all the way through.

I'd be interested in seeing this if you have any links.

Cheers,

Toms

Upyu
08-30-2006, 12:40 AM
Lol.

David gone off the deep end yet again.

Counting the posts before this goes to the "open discussion" forum.



What is all this nonsense about "doing qi skills"? It's a bad and unhealthy misinterpretation that Mike Sigman and Bob Job are spreading into aikido circles when they don't understand the fundamentals that make aikido different from karate or judo. Or tai chi for that matter. As I said, my sensei always explained everything in terms of physics as you can see in this clip:

http://video.search.yahoo.com/video/play?rurl=www.ybmauricie.com&oid=e86fe9d57b8f73f4&

Copy the whole thing into your address bar, including the ampersand at the end. In the window that comes up, click on the play video button with "open in new window". This clip shows a real master of aikido explaining it in terms of physics, followed by free randori demonstrations. The third defender in that sequence is Washizu Sensei, demonstrating some of Sensei's signature sutemi waza. The last is Tezuka Akira Sensei, responding first to a sword attack, then to a knife attack. They could ALL do the things Mike and Bob Job call "ki skills" but they never explained any of it in terms of "ki".
To keep this slightly somewhat on topic,

Watched the video.


That's grade level physics he's describing. Everyone and their mother knows those things.

Take that example he gave but one further. As he leads the Uke's arm out of his structure (not to mention Uke was purposely standing in a manner so that he could be off balanced), what if Uke could direct that force to the ground. So that even if he pulled him to his weakest point he still wouldn't be able to pull him off balance ;)


Now things would start to get interesting.

Duarh
08-30-2006, 12:55 AM
;) to be fair, 'grade level physics' does tend to be some of the most relevant physics in many biomechanical applications

Gernot Hassenpflug
08-30-2006, 12:59 AM
Natural: I've seen documentaries on seals where the scientists claimed that baby seals had to be taught how to dive, and once they had mastered this specialist technique, then they were able to successfully swim to great depths and control their metabolism in a way that was completely unnatural, i.e., the baby seals would not be able to just come up with this in the process of growing up. Food for thought.

eyrie
08-30-2006, 01:12 AM
Who teaches a stalk of corn to grow out of the ground and how to stand up straight? Why should humans have to be taught "second nature" technologies of movement and self-defense except that they are so removed from nature that they cannot FEEL intuitively how to "play it the 'right' way"?

I think this is a poor example to highlight your point. Plants generally grow in the direction of sunlight. It's photosensitivity. Not all plants grow straight. Some grow in really odd ways and in odd directions, sometimes exhibiting too much growth on one side, over another.

In bonsai, plants are trained and "encouraged" to grow under specific conditions and in specific directions to cultivate specific aspects that would show off the plant's "natural" features and character.

I think martial arts, particularly the internally focussed arts, are like bonsai. It's called "cultivation".... Just a thought....

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:17 AM
what confuses me is why you consider it necessary to continue this endless argument with Mr. Sigman, who is manifestly _not_ talking about anything other than martial/body mechanical application.

Well, because he is defining ki AS those skills and applications. It's like saying that "string theory = cold fusion." If you know anything about the subject (and five-thousand years of traditional teachings is the subject), you can only say "WHAT?" And then he responds aggresively, rudely and irrationally and the thread is called a thread because it does go on and on.

As to the fascia-of-the-muscles argument, I don't necessarily understand what Mr. Sigman means, nor indeed believe that he is necessarily right in everything he says. All I know is that some of the things he has said about generating paths-to-ground, etc, has been useful in my own training. Therefore, I'm willing to hear what he has to say on other topics. To be sure, ultimately his specific statements about the physical generation of ki should be backed up by experiment.

I think his ground path ideas are relevant. It's his insistence that these ideas and the skills of generating them "are" ki that pollutes the discussion and disrespects five-thousand or more years of beliefs. It's like saying Buddha taught an eleven-fold path, and adding three of your own making to the eight that Buddha actually taught. So while it's his own thing, he wants to pass it off as "the real meaning" of tradition. Buddha was too stupid to know that there were actually eleven folds to his path and only said eight because he was a primitive. That kind of thing.

But how would you test "ki" being generated by the fascia? How would you know it was ki and not electricity or whatever?

To be honest, I don't even know why Mr. Sigman chooses to use the word 'ki' to describe the skills that he describes - but to me one name is as good as another; since I recognize a hint of skills that I have seen masters apply in his descriptions, I'm interested in hearing him out.

He uses "ki" to link his claims to something people believe in and are interested in. But it's a well defined concept and he violates the well established definitions for his own self-promotion.

I can think of ways in which simple biomechanics could bring about releases of power as in fajin, so personally until I have verified or debunked these I have no temptation to bring talk about 'ki' into my practice. But if someone else uses the word 'ki' while giving mechanistic descriptions, I'll listen. . .

He might as well call it cold fusion or "string" energy. It has nothing to do with those concepts, either. But wouldn't you be bothered if he were misusing physics terms to explain his "thing"?

I work in epidemiology and biostatistics, where there are clear rules for what we will accept as true and Mike's approach insults those rules as much as the ancient ideas of ki.

Your profile says you work in epidemiology - you must have a good biology background, with some animal psychology perhaps?

No, I came in as a very organized writer, able to read and assimilate the professionals' papers and help them polish them for smoother reading and understanding. AND I have the discipline NOT to try to define their concepts by my own terms or to interject "ki" theories into their studies. Over the past six years, I have had to assimilate a lot of their ways of thinking. But my foundation is through English language. Most of what I know about animal development comes through Moshe Feldenkrais' "Body and Mature Behavior" and other books, where he delineates the nervous system through vivisection of cats.

some of these 'innate instincts' are formed evolutionarily, by perfectly normal, if complicated, physical processes - it's not something handed down from the all-pervading energy field of Mother Nature or something.

Call it Mother Nature, call it Zero Point energy, call it the unified field, it results in a world with gravity and creatures that are born with an innate sytem of adjustment to the physical world as it is. If a physicist said that we adjust to the universal gravitational field, is it any different?

It may be perfectly true that we acquire some habits of movement as we grow older that are less efficient than those of toddlers, for instance, but this hardly requires any mystic explanation/doesn't have anything to do with "being closer to nature", as far as i can see. Except in the sense that these instincts were evolved over the millions of years before civilization evolved, when we were, in fact, all too cheek-to-butt close to nature - so they are better applicable in 'natural' settings.

Besides the universal field of gravitation, which is omni-present, we live in an equally omnipresent field of social stress to which we must adjust. And in most people that adjustment is what takes them far from nature--and by that I don't mean far from the trees and the little birdies, but far from their own nature as human beings. Our nature as humans contains the fundamentals of aikido and every other martial art. But when we are distorted by our adjustment to social pressures, we lose sight of those innate abilities and lose the ability to sense and connect with them. So we have to be taught how to move in methodologies and when we are shown natural movement, we can only conceive of it in terms of a "technology" that has to be imported into our systems--not something that emerges directly from our own being. And Mike's ideas, quite the opposite of Feldenkrais', encourage the belief that the truth must be brought in from outside through technology.

I have to admit, at this point my New Age Early Warning System starts going off. . . Do you mean this as a rhetorical question or do you really want to know? A biologist would be the best person to ask this question. . .

Why would you need to ask a biologist how corn knows to grow straight up? It's innate. That's all you need to know: nature provides the necessities for the corn and the panthers and for humans as well.

I have to agree with previous posters in that I don't think there's anything particularly "natural" about aikido. It does strip away a lot of "unnatural' (inefficient) movement, but it also adds a lot in terms of evasion/timing etc that isn't natural to humans at all and must be trained.

Most humans through history learned it through play and fighting. If not, where is the origin? What is as reliable as basing anything on truly and always consistent human nature? What conditioned reflex will not fade once conditioning is halted?

Thanks for the link; looks interesting; I'll look at it in more detail later when I can turn up the volume and piece together the Japanese.

You don't need to understand the Japanese. You can see what he's demonstrating. And more important, see the masters demonstrate where those basic ideas lead.

Glad to hear it. But this makes me feel like this is a squabble over nomenclature, then.

Would you say that if he were calling it "string theory energy"? You would KNOW he is a crackpot if he said that. But since you aren't as familiar with the long teachings of "ki", it doesn't seem to matter. But misrepresentation can never lead to the truth. In epi, we say that a conclusion is one of four things:

the result of chance
the result of bias
the result of confounding (failing to recognize an element which is causing an effect that is attributed to another element)
or the conclusion is true.

Mike has bias that is clear from the beginning. He is also confounded by his mishmash of Japanese and Chinese terms, at least one side of which he does not understand.

And his resulting conclusions are far off base. This board is called "AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information" so it is in the nature of the board to dispute untrue statements about aikido.

Best wishes,

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:24 AM
Watched the video.


That's grade level physics he's describing. Everyone and their mother knows those things.

Exactly. As I said. Newtonian physics. And he does NOT use "ki" to explain his techniques.

Take that example he gave but one further. As he leads the Uke's arm out of his structure (not to mention Uke was purposely standing in a manner so that he could be off balanced), what if Uke could direct that force to the ground. So that even if he pulled him to his weakest point he still wouldn't be able to pull him off balance ;)

LOL!!!! I see you STILL have not been to Shizuoka! That uke is TEZUKA. Go down there and show him what you say, whelp!

Of course he is standing so that he could be put off balance. It was a demonstration of the weak point of human structure. Of course, with a poor nage, even I could direct that force so that it wouldn't off balance me. And as old as Mochizuki Sensei was in that clip, Tezuka could probably have resisted him. But he wasn't fighting, Bob Jobber. He was illustrating a point of physics. The real stuff comes later, when his students show the non-stop techniques.

And of course, even those demos were demos. But in the dojo, they did the same things with full resistance.

Now things would start to get interesting.

Oh, yes! IF you ever go to Shizuoka and do your stuff for Akira Tezuka, interesting is the very LEAST of what it will be. Smart off to those folks and you will be lucky to walk out, Bobby.

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:26 AM
David gone off the deep end yet again.

That from one of the shallowest boys I've ever encountered.

Upyu
08-30-2006, 01:26 AM
And his resulting conclusions are far off base. This board is called "AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information" so it is in the nature of the board to dispute untrue statements about aikido.

Best wishes,

David

Or maybe you are ;)
Which is why this is a freely debatable topic right? :D

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:28 AM
;) to be fair, 'grade level physics' does tend to be some of the most relevant physics in many biomechanical applications

Absolutely. It did just fine for Mifune and Kano and you can see in that clip some of the levels to which they can take randori. What you can't see is how they did it in the dojo with full resistance. Now THAT was beautiful aikido.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:29 AM
Natural: I've seen documentaries on seals where the scientists claimed that baby seals had to be taught how to dive, and once they had mastered this specialist technique, then they were able to successfully swim to great depths and control their metabolism in a way that was completely unnatural, i.e., the baby seals would not be able to just come up with this in the process of growing up. Food for thought.

Who taught them? The scientists? Or the parent seals?

If it was the parent seals, then it was nothing but natural.

If it was the scientists, that I would have to see.

Best to you.

David

Upyu
08-30-2006, 01:35 AM
Of course he is standing so that he could be put off balance. It was a demonstration of the weak point of human structure. Of course, with a poor nage, even I could direct that force so that it wouldn't off balance me. And as old as Mochizuki Sensei was in that clip, Tezuka could probably have resisted him. But he wasn't fighting, Bob Jobber. He was illustrating a point of physics. The real stuff comes later, when his students show the non-stop techniques.


I'm not doubting Tezuka's skills dude. Just saying that the demo he was giving wasn't anything special. Its something you see in run of the mill Judo/Aikido/Karate hell even MMA.

I don't learn the more "advanced" stuff in a "ki" paradigm either, but it used to be explained as such, simply because it involves complex internal alignment/movement. In which case, "feelings" are often an easier venue to describe such things.

You can still describe the more complex stuff using newtonian physics, but first you have to have a deeper understanding of how the human muscular skeleto-system works, and maybe change some perspectives on how they've been viewed up until now.

Can you give me the kanji for yoseikan?
I'll definitely get up there at some point :)

My personal feelings are that your teachers wouldn't get nearly as personal as you get :rolleyes:

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:40 AM
I think this is a poor example to highlight your point. Plants generally grow in the direction of sunlight. It's photosensitivity. Not all plants grow straight. Some grow in really odd ways and in odd directions, sometimes exhibiting too much growth on one side, over another.

Each according to its nature. Corn grows straight up. Bamboo grows straight up, ordinarily. Some species "climb" and of course cucumbers sprawl all over. But no one has to teach them how to do that. Each knows innately what to do.

In bonsai, plants are trained and "encouraged" to grow under specific conditions and in specific directions to cultivate specific aspects that would show off the plant's "natural" features and character.

But you have to put "natural" in quotes because what you're really talking about is "artificial" nature.

I think martial arts, particularly the internally focussed arts, are like bonsai. It's called "cultivation".... Just a thought....

That's exactly what I said. You start with natural human responses and "cultivate" the ones that support your aim. Tai chi is based on some, karate on others, but all are nothing more than cultivations of natural movement. The prevailing thought in the West, and which Mike Sigman typifies, is that the arts are independently-invented technologies that have to be imposed on the human being.

For that approach, bonsai is a good analogy because it is artificial and stunted. And that is what you get with "second nature" condtioning. It looks great, but it's supposed to be even bigger and more powerful than that.

My Sensei's art was called "Yoseikan". We were taught that this meant "the place where what is right is taught," as if "what is right" is "taught" into the student.

After I lived with Mochizuki Sensei, I began to recognize that "Yo" does not mean "teach," at all. It means "cultivate" or "nurture" like a plant or a child. And "sei" is not "what is right" as in "2x2=4" but as in "tadashi" which means more of a unique individual correctness, which only you, yourself can express. Tezuka Sensei and Washizu Sensei both appear on the clip I posted. They learned side-by-side from Mochizuki Sensei for over twenty years, yet each has his unique way of doing each thing in the system. And both are perfectly correct because each is doing the techniques "tadashiku ni", which is correctly for their own nature.

So Sensei's entire art was to cultivate something that is natural in the student, to bring it up and out because the student, through social conditioning, had lost touch with how to express that, himself. If he had not lost that ability, he would not need a teacher at all.

I've said on this board a hundred times that we must learn to cultivate the arts from natural responses.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:43 AM
Or maybe you are ;)
Which is why this is a freely debatable topic right? :D

Sure, Bob Job. It's freely debateable, but I debate from 33 years of experience. Mike debates from eight and a mishmash of conflicting terminology. And you debate from...4 years of training?

And you've STILL never gone to Shizuoka. So you are all TALK and NO walk and very shallow experience. I'll believe you have some credibility when you come back from some training with Tezuka Sensei or Washizu Sensei. You afraid to get that? That's what it looks like.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:48 AM
Can you give me the kanji for yoseikan?
I'll definitely get up there at some point :)

Gooogle "yoseikan + Mochizuki" and it will be there.

My personal feelings are that your teachers wouldn't get nearly as personal as you get :rolleyes:

Well go in there and roll your eyes when they say something. You'll find out.

I treat you according to the way you act. Show your ass and I will kick it. Act with respect and you will get mutual respect.

One of those old koryu dojos had a sign near the door that said, "Watch your step." It's good advice IF you ever decide to go to the old yoseikan hombu, now Sei Fu Kai.

eyrie
08-30-2006, 02:03 AM
"natural" as in "as Nature had intended"....

Upyu
08-30-2006, 03:24 AM
Maybe its time to split the thread?
David's on another one of his rampages :)

Not that this isn't entertaining, but I think some of us would rather discuss what was originally on topic.
We'll be there to give attention to you David even if the thread is split :rolleyes:

dps
08-30-2006, 06:20 AM
Having some training as a physicist, I expect physically measurable evidence for such claims. If you can't measure it, you can't apply it martially - because any interaction we have as people is ultimately physical. If you can't demonstrate a measurable physical effect from your 'leet qi abilities' that can't be explained by present science, you're fooling yourself. .
Hi Tom,
Isn't this statement tied to classical physics not quantum physics?

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 08:49 AM
It dawns on me (from something mentioned in some PM) that I need to clarify something about Rob's (Akuzawa's) approach and my approach and others' approaches. This is a classical example of how people appearing to do very different things are actually working off the same principles.... that's how big this field of discussion is.

The stuff Rob is recommending for training, via Akuzawa, is intensely interesting to me to see, but it's very different from my own approach. My approach for training is more along the lines that George Ledyard and Richard Moore saw in our too-brief discussions in Colorado a few weeks back. Yet, as I say, we stem from the same basic principles of how the body works. I haven't felt what Rob does and he hasn't felt what I do.... yet just from the words he uses, I recognize the principles are the same.

However, what I have in mind for practice in "jin manipulation in push hands practice" may be different from what Rob has in mind for "jin manipulation in push hands practice". And Ignatius may well have a 3rd idea. No one is trying to force his own ideas of training suggestions... they're just laying out the discussion of principles. The fact that 3 or 4 people (incidentally, there are a *number* of lurkers reading these threads who know these things, so there's more than 3 people involved here) on 3 different continents are strongly suggesting the same ideas in principle is pretty interesting. But I wanted to make clear that Ignatius, Rob, me, Gernot, etc., etc., may all have different takes on the exact how-to's, particularly in regard to the thread topic of something like "push hands" as a supplement to ki/kokyu development.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-30-2006, 08:57 AM
David,

You'd convince me more if you dropped the juvinile name calling. Rob John is his name. Use it, dude. You make yourself look really bad when you don't.

Someone asked about Ki Society people who are martial and exhibit the skills under discussion. On the East Coast I'd recommend Terry Pierce. When I was exposed to him, he could toss myself and an ex-wrestler at will, with little effort. He could stand on one leg and not be taken off balance when we pushed hard on him. In freestyle, he had no problems handling our rough attacks. And he was in his 60's then.

Best,
Ron

shodan 83
08-30-2006, 09:18 AM
You are congratulating Orange for getting personal (you claim) but criticising me for doing it, and ignoring Sigman for doing it. Please be consistent at least with your praise or scorn.


Justin

I did not congratulate David Orange for personal attacks, only that he laid his thoughts out which concern the thread. If you are going to quote me Iíd at least like you to be accurate, Iíd like to read more about the thread and avoid these types of diversions so Iíll restrict further comments of a personal nature and attempt to learn at least a little from those possessing some knowledge.

David Orange
08-30-2006, 09:24 AM
we stem from the same basic principles of how the body works. I haven't felt what Rob does and he hasn't felt what I do.... yet just from the words he uses, I recognize the principles are the same.

When it comes down to pure physical movement, you'd find that I'm closer to that than you have been able to gather, though you've convinced yourself that what I have written shows that I don't know it. Look at my discussion with Rob on the aikido video.

Mochizuki Sensei takes Tezuka Sensei's arm to the outside to demonstrate where the weak point of the standing human structure is. Rob says "What if the uke is able to direct that down to the ground so that he can't be moved?" Well, yes. We routinely did that in randori. Uke was NEVER easy to move. As I've said before, a good uke can be standing on one leg, head down by his foot, you have his arm and you STILL can't move him. Now what enables him to resist in apparently awkward positions like that? He's DOING what you're SAYING.

At the old yoseikan hombu, uke never just went over. As I told Rob elsewhere, the six-directions are just the normal force-counter-force directions that any human has to balance to exert any strength at all. Akuzawa's ways are intersting and undoubtedly develop subtle responsiveness. But they are not new. They come out of old practices such as sumo. You are just convinced that no one in aikido knows about those things. And your sticking point is language.

No one is trying to force his own ideas of training suggestions... they're just laying out the discussion of principles.

Well, you should use the correct terminology for those principles. You are quick to react when you think I have misrepresented your position, but you don't mind at all that you misrepresent the well-defined teachings of masters going back thousands of years. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for you.

When I first encountered tai chi, I had the misconception that it was a sort of "Chinese aikido," and when I began the study, it took me a while to recognize and admit that it was not so. My aikido experience helped me to learn, to some degree, but it also hampered me. Tai chi really does have different methods and approaches and uses of energy than aikido. You cannot just come into aikido and transfer whatever you know of tai chi or vice versa, because they are not interchangeable and neither are the words associated with them.

The fact that 3 or 4 people (incidentally, there are a *number* of lurkers reading these threads who know these things, so there's more than 3 people involved here) on 3 different continents are strongly suggesting the same ideas in principle is pretty interesting. But I wanted to make clear that Ignatius, Rob, me, Gernot, etc., etc., may all have different takes on the exact how-to's, particularly in regard to the thread topic of something like "push hands" as a supplement to ki/kokyu development.

I've always thought that tai chi, push hands and chi sao are excellent practices to get a deeper perspective on aikido--not because they are the same, not because they develop the same things, but precisely because they are DIFFERENT, yet similar.

Perspective, after all, is a matter of DIFFERENT angles. Our right and left eyes do NOT see the "same" things or we would have no depth perception. It's precisely because we see different things with each eye that we can piece together a 3D picture of reality instead of a 2D picture. But even then, the "picture" is not the thing itself. The map is not the territory.

The best way I can describe my problem with your approach is that you're trying to mark your map of Japan with the cities of China. They are not the same, they don't occupy the same places on the maps and the rivers don't match up.

The best thing you can do is carry on with your expositions on biomechanics, but drop the improperly used terminology. Then I think we could agree on the pure physics of what you are presenting. As Ron points out, it's not nice to call anyone or anything by the wrong name.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 09:32 AM
David,

You'd convince me more if you dropped the juvinile name calling. Rob John is his name. Use it, dude. You make yourself look really bad when you don't.

Thinking about it, you are right. I got that same feeling when the young feller persisted in calling Justin Smith "Justine." Since Rob and I sometimes have trouble communicating for some reason (LOL :rolleyes: ), maybe you should approach him on that. Maybe he will listen to you. I just try to work with a person on the terms they like to use.

Is Tony Pierce still teaching? Sounds great. You should have met Alex Marshall, of Birmingham, AL. He was a lot like that.

And thanks, Ron, for your balanced approach.

David

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 09:32 AM
When it comes down to pure physical movement, you'd find that I'm closer to that than you have been able to gather, though you've convinced yourself that what I have written shows that I don't know it. Look at my discussion with Rob on the aikido video. David, just to be clear, let me say once again.... I am more than sure that you really don't understand what we're talking about. That was clear back on E-Budo, too. I'm always open to someone showing me I'm wrong (heck, I *beg* for it), but considering the accumulation of data from your postings, I'd bet my house on the fact that you don't really know what we're talking about. Each to his own, though.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-30-2006, 09:39 AM
Mochizuki Sensei takes Tezuka Sensei's arm to the outside to demonstrate where the weak point of the standing human structure is. Rob says "What if the uke is able to direct that down to the ground so that he can't be moved?"

Actually, with aiki, if uke is good, when you attempt to take his arm down like that, he can throw you with your own movement. Mochizuki Sensei could easily do such things. That's the nature of aiki, which is to sense your opponent's intention and to utilize the weak area in his exertion of strength. That's the essence of his "hyori no kata"--that every effort has an empty area and we can exploit the empty side (ura) of his primary action (omote).

Most aikido styles seem to use ura and omote as Mochizuki Sensei used "mae" and "ushiro," to indicate the front side or the back side of the body. Using them to refer to the intended action and the weak point of that action is a koryu kenjutsu convention. I haven't seen any other aikido people use the terms as he did, from a classical kenjutsu perspective.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 09:45 AM
.... I am more than sure that you really don't understand what we're talking about.


You are the #1 "It has to be felt...can't be described in words..." guy, Mike...Nothing like having an open mind. Too bad the opening of yours is on the bottom...


David

TAnderson
08-30-2006, 10:20 AM
I work in epidemiology and biostatistics, where there are clear rules for what we will accept as true and Mike's approach insults those rules as much as the ancient ideas of ki.
No, I came in as a very organized writer, able to read and assimilate the professionals' papers and help them polish them for smoother reading and understanding. AND I have the discipline NOT to try to define their concepts by my own terms or to interject "ki" theories into their studies. Over the past six years, I have had to assimilate a lot of their ways of thinking. But my foundation is through English language. Most of what I know about animal development comes through Moshe Feldenkrais' "Body and Mature Behavior" and other books, where he delineates the nervous system through vivisection of cats.

David, I am surprised that you have this level of experience considering your very cursory explanation of how the body uses muscle vibration (toning) in maintaining posture. This was the basis for kokyu use. This explanation lacks many other elements used in maintenance of posture such as receptors in the ankle, neck muscle vibration, the specific involvement of Ruffini corpusles, GTO Complex, etc. I am curious, can you then in detail explain kokyu use when body position is horizontal, such as lying down?

I wish I had the time to go into it further but I am finishing up at work to prepare for a trip.... I will just add for the sake of terminology usage, below are some common descriptions for: connective tissue, and sensory receptors.

Connective tissue: Animal tissue composed of cells embedded in a matrix (gel, elastic fibers, liquid, or inorganic minerals). Includes loose, dense, and fibrous connective tissues that provide strength (bone, cartilage), storage (bone, adipose), and flexibility (tendons, ligaments).

Sensory receptors
exteroceptors: stimuli from outside: touch, light pressure, deep pressure, cutaneous pain, temperature, smell, taste, sight and hearing

proprioceptors: located within skeletal muscle; conscious and unconscious information about orientation, skeletal position, tension and movement; vestibular apparatus of ear, tendon organs and neuromucsular spindles

interoceptors: viscera; chemoreceptors of blood, vascular (pressure) baroreceptors, receptors for state of distension of hollow viscera (gastrointestinal tract and urinary bladder; visceral pain, hunger, thirst, wellbeing and malaise

Tim Anderson

David Orange
08-30-2006, 10:38 AM
David, I am surprised that you have this level of experience considering your very cursory explanation of how the body uses muscle vibration (toning) in maintaining posture.

Feldenkrais does go into a lot of what you are refering to, but my work in epi does not require extensive knowledge of biology. I mainly write protocols for procedures and documentation of research, which is mostly based on work records, personal history inerviews and industrial hygiene reports. I don't go into the chemical or biological levels much at all. That's for the doctors.

This was the basis for kokyu use.

Hmm...would you show me where Morihei Ueshiba (or Sagawa or Takeda) ever said that? I know Mike says it, but he almost always says he's "pretty sure" these things are related, etc. I've never seen where he went into documented biological dissertation on it, but I'd be glad to hear your explanation on that level.

This explanation lacks many other elements used in maintenance of posture such as receptors in the ankle, neck muscle vibration, the specific involvement of Ruffini corpusles, GTO Complex, etc.

I don't think Rob John's essays on the Training thread go into those details, either. Maybe you should check with him on that.

I am curious, can you then in detail explain kokyu use when body position is horizontal, such as lying down?

Feldenkrais goes into the difference between standing and lying down in his book "Higher Judo: Groundwork." The main thing I can say is that when one is a committed "stand up" fighter, it can be disastrous to find himself on the ground, especially on his back. His entire customary sensory orientation is ruined and he is pressed for space, as if fighting with his back directly against a wall. For an experienced ground fighter, the experience provides comfort and security on the ground. As for kokyu...

Oh. I see. Because I mentioned the nerve impulses from the feet...No, I didn't say that kokyu is dependent on that at all. I just said that good posture continually adjusts to the demands of the moment and maintains hip/shoulder harmony.

Kokyu on the ground is really no different from when you are standing. How you get leverage from the ground is another matter. And that is NOT kokyu. It's just leverage.

I wish I had the time to go into it further but I am finishing up at work to prepare for a trip.... I will just add for the sake of terminology usage, below are some common descriptions for: connective tissue, and sensory receptors.

Yes, I am familiar with all those ideas and structures, but knowing them does not equate to ki, the source of ki or development of kokyu. And one can have kokyu without knowing anything about those structures. Of course, they all become involved as one progresses. You can read extensive discussions of their role in the body in the works of Moshe Feldenkrais. Ueshiba Sensei seems never to have discussed them.

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 10:40 AM
David, I am surprised that you have this level of experience considering your very cursory explanation of how the body uses muscle vibration (toning) in maintaining posture. Well, to be fair to David, he indicates that he's really a "technical writer", not someone involved in research or who has degrees in epidemiology, etc. He's apparently trying to imply that because he's a technical writer he has a better comprehension of terms than most of us mortals. Maybe so, maybe not. I don't see it as a point worth debating, frankly. ;)

FWIW

Mike

DaveS
08-30-2006, 10:45 AM
Hi Tom,
Isn't this statement tied to classical physics not quantum physics?
I don't think so - quantum is just as much based in making testable hypotheses and testing them by measurement as classical physics. It's just rather different in how it arrives at its predictions.

gdandscompserv
08-30-2006, 10:46 AM
us mortals.
you're mortal?
:p

TAnderson
08-30-2006, 10:53 AM
Hmm...would you show me where Morihei Ueshiba (or Sagawa or Takeda) ever said that? I know Mike says it, but he almost always says he's "pretty sure" these things are related, etc. I've never seen where he went into documented biological dissertation on it, but I'd be glad to hear your explanation on that level.

Sorry David, I should have been clearer there... What I meant was that you defined kokyu not as a force but as an internal organization of the body then you provided posture as an example. I don't expect you to necessarily use very descriptive terminology but your explanations lack the details to make them plausible. This is what I meant by being surprised given your background. I am not agreeing or disagreeing with you, nor am I questioning your technical ability I just want more of a detailed explanation regarding your theories. I believe this would be constructive to the thread and help keep personal accusations from flying back and forth.

Tim Anderson

dps
08-30-2006, 11:12 AM
I don't think so - quantum is just as much based in making testable hypotheses and testing them by measurement as classical physics. It's just rather different in how it arrives at its predictions. Much of quantum physics is not measureable by current mehtods.

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 11:14 AM
Hmm...would you show me where Morihei Ueshiba (or Sagawa or Takeda) ever said that? I know Mike says it, but he almost always says he's "pretty sure" these things are related, etc. I've never seen where he went into documented biological dissertation on it, but I'd be glad to hear your explanation on that level. ...I don't think Rob John's essays on the Training thread go into those details, either. Maybe you should check with him on that.....Feldenkrais goes into the difference between standing and lying down in his book "Higher Judo: Groundwork." So where are the documented biological dissertations, peer reviewed and reproduced by objective third parties, for Feldenkrais' *theories*, if you want to hold others to those standards? Kokyu on the ground is really no different from when you are standing. How you get leverage from the ground is another matter. And that is NOT kokyu. It's just leverage. David, you simply don't understand how many times and how overtly you give away what you know. Seriously. Instead of getting defensive and name-calling, you should argue the issue. Problem is, you don't know enough about the issue to debate it. So what are you to do? I admit it's a puzzler, particularly if you think you have a reputation at stake as an expert. On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone sincerely interested in the topic engaging in all this fruitless frippery the way you do.

Regards

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-30-2006, 11:14 AM
Well, to be fair to David, he indicates that he's really a "technical writer", not someone involved in research or who has degrees in epidemiology, etc.

Well, that is mighty fair and gentlemanly of you as well, Mike, and I appreciate it. Actually, I'm a Project Coordinator in epi and a Study Coordinator in another study in Biostatistics. I am directly involved in the research, but not in the deeper technical or scientific rationale.

[qote=Mike Sigman]He's apparently trying to imply that because he's a technical writer he has a better comprehension of terms than most of us mortals.[/quote]

Well, no. That would have no bearing on the Japanese terminology. And I debate you on those points because I do speak a good bit of Japanese and Mochizuki Sensei often tutored me and went to a lot of trouble to explain a lot of the terminology to me. When I didn't understand a point, he would look up the word in the dictionary and show me the English translation.

What has affected my thinking from epidemiology is their rules for whether something should be accepted as true. We look exhaustively for the influence of chance, bias and confounding by unrecognized side elements. If all those influences can be rigorously discounted, then we cautiously accept the conclusion as being "true." And I like to use that perspective in any discussion of truth.

David

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 11:15 AM
you're mortal?
:p We all are. I don't believe in reincarnation, either. I used to, in a previous life, but I don't in this one.

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 11:20 AM
Well, that is mighty fair and gentlemanly of you as well, Mike, and I appreciate it. Actually, I'm a Project Coordinator in epi and a Study Coordinator in another study in Biostatistics. I am directly involved in the research, but not in the deeper technical or scientific rationale. Fine, David. However, as someone who is fairly rigorous about terms and implications, may I suggest that you distance yourself from giving the impression that you have some expertise in epidemiology if you don't have recognized degrees in epidemiology? "Project Coordinator" for scientific studies is fine... but your own words seem to want to give the impression that you're an expert in epidemiology. As long as you're arguing peoples' meanings and semantics, I'd suggest that you lead by example. ;)

Mike Sigman

DaveS
08-30-2006, 11:22 AM
Much of quantum physics is not measureable by current mehtods.
Well, a theory isn't measurable because it's an abstract thing. If you mean that there are competing theories whose predictions agree to beyond the accuracy of what we can currently measure then that's true, but that's why people work on improving experimental techniques. It's not a fundamental difference about quantum that absolves people from having to make predictions and take measurements if they live in a quantum universe, it just means that mathematical physics has developed faster than experimentalists can keep up with.

David Orange
08-30-2006, 11:23 AM
Sorry David, I should have been clearer there... What I meant was that you defined kokyu not as a force but as an internal organization of the body then you provided posture as an example.

No, sorry. I think you misunderstood. Rob John asked me to say what constitutes "good posture". I replied with a brief outline of how the body constantly adjusts to the environment to maintain balance and the ability to act.

Indeed, this description is straight from Feldenkrais, who really disliked the term "posture" because it implies "posing," while he was interested in action. So he liked to use the term "acture" because nothing is accomplished by posing. Posing is static. Acture is dynamic.

And acture is not at its best when it is based on some exterior set of rules. I went through $2000.00 worth of "Rolfing" in Tokyo, to get my fascia corrected. After that was when I got my really bad back injury. The rolfing people like to define the "proper" way to stand and show you diagrams and show you photographs of yourself. But then you have to remember those ways at all times and constantly adjust yourself to that external "form" of how to stand.

I overcame my back problem when I got some treatment in The Feldenkrais Method (R). There the emphasis is on developing the ability to sense your own tonus on very subtle levels throughout the body. There you learn to cooperate with the body/nervous system's natural impulses at readjustment. For most people, social stresses influence them to override the body's natural impulses in favor of trying to look "like" someone or something else, such as a certain actor or famous person, or like your martial arts teacher.

Still, when you really respond to and cooperate with the nervous system's innate imperatives, you gradually move into the real proper way your body should be organized. Then you can achieve kokyu by using the breath as a way to unite your mind and body.

Best wishes.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-30-2006, 11:23 AM
LOL...good one, Mike. ;)

I'm amazed that even with all of the side issues, I'm still getting useful information from these threads. Keep it up guys...somehow I can't help thinking that if the two of you ever got together and I got to witness it, I'd learn a whole heck of a lot. It would be a good combination of two different approaches, and coming at the topic from both sides would only enhance my understanding.

Best,
Ron

David Orange
08-30-2006, 11:28 AM
So where are the documented biological dissertations, peer reviewed and reproduced by objective third parties, for Feldenkrais' *theories*, if you want to hold others to those standards?

Well, read his books. He quotes well documented studies. He does lay out documented research for his theories. It's in "Body and Mature Behavior."

David, you simply don't understand how many times and how overtly you give away what you know. Seriously. Instead of getting defensive and name-calling, you should argue the issue. Problem is, you don't know enough about the issue to debate it.

That sounds defensive to me, Mike, and just a minor variation from name calling. But you don't understand how many times and how overtly you give away what you don't know.

So what are you to do? I admit it's a puzzler, particularly if you think you have a reputation at stake as an expert.

No. At most, I'm a well-informed and deeply experienced hobbyist.

On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone sincerely interested in the topic engaging in all this fruitless frippery the way you do.

Well, you're putting out the flippery. It's my choice whether to engage it or not. The real question is why do you put it out there? I engage it because this is a board for aikido information and you are intently spreading disinformation.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 11:33 AM
"Project Coordinator" for scientific studies is fine... but your own words seem to want to give the impression that you're an expert in epidemiology. As long as you're arguing peoples' meanings and semantics, I'd suggest that you lead by example. ;)

I don't think anyone has been mislead by anything I've said on the subject. I've made it clear that I don't have a degree in epi, just as you don't have one in aikido. However, in fact, you are notoriously sloppy in your use of terminology. Epi is the work I've done for the past 5-6 years. It does affect my approach to evidence, and yours fails all the "stink" tests.

David

"The term "stink test" is not an officially recognized term of the International Epidemiological Terminological Identification Association or any of its branches, offices or agents." :p

raul rodrigo
08-30-2006, 11:35 AM
Well, you're putting out the flippery. It's my choice whether to engage it or not. The real question is why do you put it out there? I engage it because this is a board for aikido information and you are intently spreading disinformation.
David

The word "disinformation" implies that Mike S knows better but is deliberately not telling us the truth because he has some evil agenda. Why go there? Why not assume that he is simply misinformed? (Not that I do, because I have learned a few things from him.) If he is misinformed, show me how. "Disinformation" requires from you a much heavier burden of proof.

R

dps
08-30-2006, 11:36 AM
;) to be fair, 'grade level physics' does tend to be some of the most relevant physics in many biomechanical applications My apologies for not getting your name right. I missed this post before I asked the question. " Grade level physics" is classical physics as is the science in this thread.

Duarh
08-30-2006, 12:14 PM
Much of quantum physics is not measureable by current mehtods.

Please be explicit. Quantum mechanics makes precise predictions about the _statistical_ outcome of experiments and, as such, is fully measurable. If it's not measurable/falsifiable, it's not accepted as physical fact (for instance, string theory is a physical theory, but hasn't been confirmed as physical fact). The predictions of quantum mechanics have been confirmed in a wide range of experiments, and no known contradictions have been reliably observed. That not every single expression of quantum mechanics hasn't been tested, while true, doesn't mean very much - the same holds for classical mechanics (not every possible physical situation has been examined experimentally). And there are _always_ technological bounds on what experiments we can perform - this is as true in QM as in classical mechanics. That the many experiments that we _are_ able to perform have been in accordance with theory leads us accept quantum mechanics (in its relativistic form) as the best understanding of the small-scale universe that we have at the moment, nothing more, nothing less. edit: the point is that in QM we've done due diligence in performing physical experiments, while in 'ki research' no one has

Trust me, physicists would _love_ to do away with QM if they could do so by showing it's not measurable/falsifiable. No one likes having our science be statistical rather than deterministic. Alas, experimental results come back in favor of it time and time again.

edit: ;) and yeah, I don't think quantum mechanics is necessary for describing the phenomena we're talking about here. classical mechanics & electrodynamics are quite sufficient

---

David Orange - I appreciate your overall point that Mr. Sigman may be mis-using the term "ki" to describe what he does (hehe, though the comparison with string theory is less than perfect, because a lot of us are still not convinced it's any more valid than magical fairy dust theory). This may be true; indeed I don't have the expertise to evaluate this fully. However, the terms in which you talk about ki keep me from taking your interpretation too seriously in a MA context, even if they're age-old - I guess I'm just more interested in the things that Mr. Sigman is talking about.

I think part of Mr. Sigman's contention is that the physical effects some MA practitioners ascribe to the influence of this all-pervasive "ki" field can in fact be explained by nothing more than biomechanics. In this sense, perhaps he's not failing to acknowledge that the common interpretation of ki is different, but rather claiming that it's flawed?

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:15 PM
The word "disinformation" implies that Mike S knows better but is deliberately not telling us the truth because he has some evil agenda. Why go there? Why not assume that he is simply misinformed? (Not that I do, because I have learned a few things from him.) If he is misinformed, show me how. "Disinformation" requires from you a much heavier burden of proof.

R

Raul, that's a good point. As for misinformation, all I can say is that the Japanese have established what kokyu is for a long time and that ki is also a well understood idea. And Mike's usage of the terms is not consistent with those things. I guess I say disinformation because I think Mike does know that he is misusing the terms. He wants to redefine them. He says this is because he understands "subtle shades" of meaning behind the Japanese terms that other people don't grasp. And I say he is wrong to appropriate those terms for his own agenda, whatever the heck that is.

But I will leave it with "misinformation."

Thanks.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:40 PM
David Orange - I appreciate your overall point that Mr. Sigman may be mis-using the term "ki" to describe what he does (hehe, though the comparison with string theory is less than perfect, because a lot of us are still not convinced it's any more valid than magical fairy dust theory).

Well, it's only a comparison for analogy's sake, for some perspective of the relation of the claims. The point is, if you redefine well-known concepts to support your claims, then you should expect them to be rejected.

However, the terms in which you talk about ki keep me from taking your interpretation too seriously in a MA context, even if they're age-old

Well, much of the problem comes from trying to separate "the martial arts context" from the greater human context. Our society is a technological monster. We do send men out into danger, but whereas the enemy goes out in sandals and robes, carrying any kind of weapon from a rock or a knife to an RPG, our men are preceded by remotely targeted artillery and missiles and they are supported by electronics, jamming equipment, night vision equipment and stuff we don't even know about. So it is much harder for us to connect our warfare directly with our experience as human beings in a context of family and home. The insurgents kiss their babies goodbye and go out in their sandals, wage war, and return home in their sandals and robes.

Likewise, the old samurai generally walked into battle on straw sandals, carrying their equipment, and most of their weapons struck the enemy while still in their own hands. So their approach to fighting was directly from the human body to the human body. It was person-to-person and not very technological at all. So they created their martial arts from human nature.

Now, how can we separate the nature of human being from the nature that supports that humanity?

Recently, I've been transplanting bamboo from a field near my home and into my garden. I have come to appreciate the fine system of roots and rhizomes which join all the stalks below the surface. Moreover, if you cut these roots too close to the single stalk, it will almost certainly die. You can only keep it alive with very careful and constant attention. If you cut far enough around the stalk, you just put it into a new hole and you don't have to do anything to it at all--just place it in a good location relative to the sun and where it won't get too much wind.

"Cutting" the "martial context" out of the greater "human context" is very much the same. All this talk about "generating" qi/ki is like having a spring of water at your back door, but only using the water you get from the water company. It's like having solar electric cells on your roof, but failing to connect them and getting all your electricity from the power company.

Why would you do that if you knew you could get FREE water and FREE electricity, directly from nature? Cutting "the martial context" from the "human context" (which is to say, from the human in natural interaction with nature) makes the task much more obscure instead of clearer. It makes it an externally imposed technology instead of an internally known natural ability.

I guess I'm just more interested in the things that Mr. Sigman is talking about...the physical effects some MA practitioners ascribe to the influence of this all-pervasive "ki" field can in fact be explained by nothing more than biomechanics.

Well, in my experience, the ONLY people who attribute martial arts' physical effects to the all pervasive ki field are the fluffy bunnies and the frauds. And that level is a phony level anyway. Why even address that when the REAL martial arts address ki in a powerful and subtle way? The koryu context of jujutsu and kenjutsu deals with ki as the underlying source of all things, but it never postulates somehow "using" pure, formless immaterial ki for anything.

EVERYTHING in that context is physical technique, but you can clearly see the roots of all those techniques in babies (toddlers) struggling together. Yes, to refine it to a high level, there are all kinds of things you must do. Just as you have to add yeast to grape juice to make wine. You still begin with pure grape juice--not some kind of chemical concoction. You start with nature and even the yeast is another natural element. You don't have to go outside human nature at ALL to create every martial art known to man. But human nature is inextricably rooted in and connected to the environment, which is nature that has no concern whatsoever for the "martial context".

In this sense, perhaps he's not failing to acknowledge that the common interpretation of ki is different, but rather claiming that it's flawed?

Well, in a sense. He claims to teach you how to generate and brew up something that comes freely to you anyway. You have to work to refine it and transform it to higher levels, but you don't have to generate it at all. And that's his big error.

David

dps
08-30-2006, 12:44 PM
edit: ;) and yeah, I don't think quantum mechanics is necessary for describing the phenomena we're talking about here. classical mechanics & electrodynamics are quite sufficient It seems to me that in David Orange and Mike Sigman's argument, Mike is using more classical mechanics and electrodynamics and David is using more theoretical physics' "underlying connectedness of of all things" like string theory.

Thank You

TAnderson
08-30-2006, 12:46 PM
No, sorry. I think you misunderstood. Rob John asked me to say what constitutes "good posture". I replied with a brief outline of how the body constantly adjusts to the environment to maintain balance and the ability to act.

Indeed, this description is straight from Feldenkrais, who really disliked the term "posture" because it implies "posing," while he was interested in action. So he liked to use the term "acture" because nothing is accomplished by posing. Posing is static. Acture is dynamic.

And acture is not at its best when it is based on some exterior set of rules. I went through $2000.00 worth of "Rolfing" in Tokyo, to get my fascia corrected. After that was when I got my really bad back injury. The rolfing people like to define the "proper" way to stand and show you diagrams and show you photographs of yourself. But then you have to remember those ways at all times and constantly adjust yourself to that external "form" of how to stand.

I overcame my back problem when I got some treatment in The Feldenkrais Method (R). There the emphasis is on developing the ability to sense your own tonus on very subtle levels throughout the body. There you learn to cooperate with the body/nervous system's natural impulses at readjustment. For most people, social stresses influence them to override the body's natural impulses in favor of trying to look "like" someone or something else, such as a certain actor or famous person, or like your martial arts teacher.

Still, when you really respond to and cooperate with the nervous system's innate imperatives, you gradually move into the real proper way your body should be organized. Then you can achieve kokyu by using the breath as a way to unite your mind and body.

Best wishes.

David

David, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that either you do not remember what you posted or you intended what you posted to have a different connotation. Here is what was previously posted (I added the bold for emphasis)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
See, Mike? How is that an "arguing" or "debating" technique? How many times have I posted the answer to that question? Kokyu is coordination of the mind and body through the breath. Now what does that mean? It means to use the breath to focus the mind to permeate the body so that the mind doesn't go off in one direction while the body does something else and the breath is ragged. Kokyu means to consciously breathe smoothly and bring the body into correct alignment through that mental/physical action. Nothing more. It is not an "issued power" that you can hit someone with.

and then....

Baloney, Mike. You don't know what he was talking about. Sure, he pushed them, and sure, he had kokyu. But he could have stood there with kokyu or he could have kicked them or whatever. No matter how you pat yourself on the back, you are misinterpreting what he said. He could have said, "Look what happens when I stand in good posture and hit them" and you would interpret it as "good posture" being some kind of power that he issued when he hit them. So yes, he hit them while he had kokyu, but no kokyu came out of him and hit them. The kokyu remained with him. It's nothing more than a high degree of organization of the body--NOT an issued force as you STILL seem to be trying to prove.
and you have the NERVE to demand that I tell you where you have defined kokyu as an issued force. KOKYU is NOT a FORCE. It is a high degree of organization of the mind and body through the medium of the breath.

and then ...

David, to give you the benefit of the doubt, what constitutes "good" posture? Phsyiologically speaking.

and Finally....

Well, I know you have a whole set of phrases and terms you like to hear, but I am not familiar with that whole lingo, so I will explain it by the nerve processes.


So if I came to an incorrect conclusion as to what you believe kokyu is than I apologize. Could you then provide an explanation as to what kokyu is/used?

On a side note where did this concept of what natively the CNS/PNS does = good. There seems to be this corresponding relationship people have (especially new age) that what is natural to the body must be good for the body. This is verifiably incorrect. The CNS/PNS knows nothing of good and bad it only knows function and operations. Environmental imprints can improve or degrade CNS/PNS efficiency (this is excluding disease).

Regards,
Tim Anderson
Who really needs to get back to work...

David Orange
08-30-2006, 12:49 PM
It seems to me that in David Orange and Mike Sigman's argument, Mike is using more classical mechanics and electrodynamics and David is using more theoretical physics' "underlying connectedness of of all things" like string theory.

Well, that's not really my intention. Everything we do to achieve an effect in aikido must be a "PHYSICAL" thing and it won't work if it violates fundamental biomechanics.

My dispute with Mike is on two points:

He claims that the biomechanics "are" or "generate" ki/qi. I simply say that ki/qi is the life that is in us. Nothing more or less. What we do, we do with life.

Mike claims that kokyu and jin are very closely related. While this is largely true, he has in many instances implied with greater and lesser degrees of specificity, that kokyu is an "issued force" more or less equal to the "jin" of Chinese martial arts, which is an "issued force."

From my perspective, these are the two points on which we disagree.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 12:52 PM
I think part of Mr. Sigman's contention is that the physical effects some MA practitioners ascribe to the influence of this all-pervasive "ki" field can in fact be explained by nothing more than biomechanics. In this sense, perhaps he's not failing to acknowledge that the common interpretation of ki is different, but rather claiming that it's flawed?Hi Toms:

Basically, the idea of "Ki" is very smart. It is the original "Unified Field Theory". All unknown forces/phenomena were simply accounted for by the proposition of a universal force, "Ki". Unfortunately, while "ki" certainly fits everything in an explicative sense, it's predictive qualities and reproducibility are not enough to sustain it, given modern scientific methodology and measurement.

So if you didn't eat breakfast this morning and you run out of energy, it's "no ki". If you were unusually strong as a young boy, you had "good hereditary ki". If you warm up with your exercises, you "get the ki flowing". And so on. All phenomena relate to ki.

However, just because Ki fails as a true and verifiable fact, that does not mean that all the phenomena that were being described by "ki" don't exist. They still exist. Most of them we have names and descriptions for in the western-science paradigm. The amalgam of body attributes encompassed by "ki", we don't normally describe well in western physiology, at least not fully.

For all practical purposes the body phenomena encompassing "ki" involve

(1.) a musculo-fascial relationship that assists strength by increasing the thickness of the fascia and supporting the body structures (becomes hard to cut, abrade, puncture, too). The subconscious plays some sort of undefined role in some of the musculo-fascial relationships.

(2.) a "magnetic" feeling that has something to do with the increased conditioning of the fascia (although we all have this already and it's a mainstay of "Reiki", "Healing Hands of Touch", etc.). The electro-magnetic thing is where the "woo-woo" ki stuff comes in, in part. The other half of the woo-woo stuff comes with the "subconscious" and suggestibility factors, but that's another discussion.

(3.) An ability to expertly source and manipulate forces with the body. This manipulation ties into the "subconscious", the "mind", the "intent", etc., that is also part of the musculo-fascial thing.

What I'm saying is more along the lines that the bodily phenomena described by "ki" aren't 'flawed', but that they represent an area in which investigation is just beginning, in some aspects.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 12:54 PM
Mike claims that kokyu and jin are very closely related. While this is largely true, he has in many instances implied with greater and lesser degrees of specificity, that kokyu is an "issued force" more or less equal to the "jin" of Chinese martial arts, which is an "issued force." I've asked you to cite that one before, David. I haven't implied any such thing. What appears to be happening instead is that you're confusing "jin" with "fa jin". I.e., you don't know the very terms you're complaining about.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-30-2006, 01:05 PM
David, I will give you the benefit of the doubt that either you do not remember what you posted or you intended what you posted to have a different connotation. Here is what was previously posted (I added the bold for emphasis)

((David Orange wrote:
He could have said, "Look what happens when I stand in good posture and hit them" and you would interpret it as "good posture" being some kind of power that he issued when he hit them."))

I can see where you might misinterpret that, but it was not to say that kokyu equates to good posture. Of course, it is generally necessary to have good posture to have kokyu, but not always. I have refered to being in an awkward position and still being able to exert resistance or force.

((and then ...
Robert John wrote:
David, to give you the benefit of the doubt, what constitutes "good" posture? Phsyiologically speaking.

and Finally....
David Orange wrote:
Well, I know you have a whole set of phrases and terms you like to hear, but I am not familiar with that whole lingo, so I will explain it by the nerve processes.))

Those lines only refer to posture. Neither post mentions kokyu.

So if I came to an incorrect conclusion as to what you believe kokyu is than I apologize. Could you then provide an explanation as to what kokyu is/used?

As stated above, kokyu is using the breath as a medium to bring the mind and body into unison for the purpose of taking action. It is a high degree of internal organization. WITH that organization in place, you can then issue power smoothly. But issuing power is issuing "power". It's not "issuing kokyu."

For instance, you can strike "intelligently," but it is not the "intelligence" itself that strikes them. And you can strike with "determination" but it is not the determination itself that hits them. And so on. You can hit someone "with" kokyu, but it is not the "kokyu" that hits them any more than it is the "good posture" that hits them. Is that clearer?

On a side note where did this concept of what natively the CNS/PNS does = good. There seems to be this corresponding relationship people have (especially new age) that what is natural to the body must be good for the body. This is verifiably incorrect. The CNS/PNS knows nothing of good and bad it only knows function and operations. Environmental imprints can improve or degrade CNS/PNS efficiency

Exactly. The natural nervous system has gotten the majority of people from infancy to old age and through a full life without any training. The environmental imprints are caused by social stress. If one fails to adjust properly to social stress, those imprints lead to bad health, etc. And Mike's concocted exercises, based on the idea that he "generates" ki from his fascia or wherever else, are a type of that environmental imprint. Feldenkrais' method showed that we can access a level of CNS function at which the CNS will "reset" itself and drop those environmental imprints which hamper our natural impulses and distort our posture, resulting in inhibited action.

By "resetting" the CNS to its natural state, we can act spontaneously, freely, creatively and powerfully to the demands of the moment. The environmental imprints you mention amount to "habitual" forms of behavior, which, ultimately amount to static electric patterns in the brain which do not respond to the reality of the moment but continually reproduce static behaviors regardless of whether they are appropriate responses or not.

Thanks.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-30-2006, 01:40 PM
Along with Mike's point, I thought Fa Jin was issued force, Jin is just force...

Best,
Ron (I could be entirely wrong about that...but I've been meaning to post that for about half a day now...)

Ron Tisdale
08-30-2006, 01:44 PM
WITH that organization in place, you can then issue power smoothly. But issuing power is issuing "power". It's not "issuing kokyu.

Ok, what then is "kokyu ryoku"? Or is the entire yoshinkan (and some other styles) talking out of it's hat when it refers to kokyu ryoku (breath power)?

Best,
Ron

David Orange
08-30-2006, 02:42 PM
Along with Mike's point, I thought Fa Jin was issued force, Jin is just force...

That's how I understand it, too. But Mike specifically referred to the e-mail description of a sensei's "using" kokyu and interpreted it as an "issued" force.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
08-30-2006, 02:48 PM
Ok, what then is "kokyu ryoku"? Or is the entire yoshinkan (and some other styles) talking out of it's hat when it refers to kokyu ryoku (breath power)?

I would never say that the yoshinkan is talking out of its hat on anything related to aiki.

However, as I've understood it, you can have kokyu with no movement. You can issue force without kokyu. But you can issue force better, more smoothly and more effectively when your mind and body are united through the breath with kokyu than you could with a "disorganized" or "otherwise organized" mind/body.

In any case, I've never felt the kind of effects from a Japanese expert in any art that I've felt from experts in Chinese arts. There is a different quality of a whole different character, not unlike the difference between sake and cabernet, in wines. Not that one is better than the other. Both are made in similar fashion, but they are made differently and they are not the same.

But it is an interesting and important point you have made.

Thanks.

David

TAnderson
08-30-2006, 02:56 PM
As stated above, kokyu is using the breath as a medium to bring the mind and body into unison for the purpose of taking action. It is a high degree of internal organization. WITH that organization in place, you can then issue power smoothly. But issuing power is issuing "power". It's not "issuing kokyu."

For instance, you can strike "intelligently," but it is not the "intelligence" itself that strikes them. And you can strike with "determination" but it is not the determination itself that hits them. And so on. You can hit someone "with" kokyu, but it is not the "kokyu" that hits them any more than it is the "good posture" that hits them. Is that clearer?

I hate to be nit picky but I do not believe this is a detailed enough description to counter arguments by Mike S and others. I have seen many a definition of Kokyu that relates the ebb and flow of life force (in the respiration sense not mystical). This in turn means that kokyu is the movement of life force. So, you disagree that kokyu is a means of conveyance?

Also you said "And you can strike with "determination" but it is not the determination itself that hits them." I can counter by saying one can strike with intention and that intention can be tangibly felt by an opponent before the strike ever lands.

Exactly. The natural nervous system has gotten the majority of people from infancy to old age and through a full life without any training.

I desagree. Everything from the point of actualization in the womb is an imprint as far as CNS/PNS functions go. Whether the imprint enhances or degrades ones neurophysiology is the question. Locomotion to speaking and eating requires imprints.


The environmental imprints are caused by social stress. If one fails to adjust properly to social stress, those imprints lead to bad health, etc. And Mike's concocted exercises, based on the idea that he "generates" ki from his fascia or wherever else, are a type of that environmental imprint. Feldenkrais' method showed that we can access a level of CNS function at which the CNS will "reset" itself and drop those environmental imprints which hamper our natural impulses and distort our posture, resulting in inhibited action.

Again, you are not dropping environmental imprints you are just replacing them with another imprint. A true example of dropping an environmental imprint is someone that has had some sort of trauma that affects CNS functioning. Say, head trauma, where the patient has to relearn to walk, speak and eat. That is someone dropping an imprint.

By "resetting" the CNS to its natural state, we can act spontaneously, freely, creatively and powerfully to the demands of the moment. The environmental imprints you mention amount to "habitual" forms of behavior, which, ultimately amount to static electric patterns in the brain which do not respond to the reality of the moment but continually reproduce static behaviors regardless of whether they are appropriate responses or not.

Thanks.

David

The brain responds to perception which is gathered by evaluated by CNS/PNS functions. To the brain this perception is reality. Functions such as rationalization can override perception but not always. There are some interesting case studies involving the brain literally slowing time in order to process information. That is a function not an imprint and you cannot live on function without imprint unless you want to be a vegetable.... Gotta stop now. This is definitely thread drift.

Best,
Tim Anderson

Ron Tisdale
08-30-2006, 02:58 PM
Thanks for the answer.

Best,
Ron

statisticool
08-30-2006, 04:08 PM
I did not congratulate David Orange for personal attacks, only that he laid his thoughts out which concern the thread. If you are going to quote me I'd at least like you to be accurate, I'd like to read more about the thread and avoid these types of diversions so I'll restrict further comments of a personal nature and attempt to learn at least a little from those possessing some knowledge.

I didn't "quote" you. I opined about what you wrote. CArry on.


Justin

statisticool
08-30-2006, 04:11 PM
I'm always open to someone showing me I'm wrong (heck, I *beg* for it), but considering the accumulation of data from your postings, I'd bet my house on the fact that you don't really know what we're talking about.


You know, the term peng jin is not mentioned in the taijiquan classics, Ueshiba, Kano, and other founders do not make the jin/kokyu connection, and many taijiquan practicioners have said other things besides peng jin are the foundation of taijiquan.

So we have that accumulation of data too. ;)


Justin

statisticool
08-30-2006, 04:12 PM
Cite? Who translated? Etc.


You're asking me to cite a book when you don't cite the book that you claim says that qi is best translated as ground strength?

Moving on..

Spirit of Aikido is a cite. Google it to get info on it. And read through Kiss. Ueshiba's discussion on ki if you'd like.


Justin

Mike Sigman
08-30-2006, 04:36 PM
If anyone wants my opinion on this topic, please start a thread on AJ. I'm pretty much tired of the prolonged stalking by this moron "Justin Smith" and the way it keeps breaking the train of the thread.

Mike Sigman

Adman
08-30-2006, 04:48 PM
Given what Mike wrote in post #173 (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151947&postcount=173), which appears to me to be a pretty clear explanation on his stance on how he uses "ki", I'm not sure what all the side debates are trying to accomplish. But like Ron has said, at least some useful nuggets are leaking out.

Back to push-hands. Never practiced it. What I've seen looks pretty neat. It seems kokyu-dosa (or kokyu-ho) has some similar elements. However, I think the "body-skill" training, such as Rob John has outlined, and what Mike and others talk about, goes a long way in helping us learn our own "push-hands" in aikido. Provided of course, you've done enough of the prep work.

Side note: I've been incorporating what I've learned (or have hoped to) from these discussions and what I have been taught in my regular training. It seems things are meshing quite well and I've had a few moments when I thought, "... oh that's what sensei meant!" :cool: I've also become a lot harder to move in kokyu-dosa, while not resisting. Apparently, I've gotten better at maintaining. So, thanks for the interesting discussions, I've been learning a lot. Keep it coming!

thanks,
Adam

David Orange
08-30-2006, 04:52 PM
I hate to be nit picky but I do not believe this is a detailed enough description to counter arguments by Mike S and others. I have seen many a definition of Kokyu that relates the ebb and flow of life force (in the respiration sense not mystical). This in turn means that kokyu is the movement of life force. So, you disagree that kokyu is a means of conveyance?

A means of organization. And its use, as far as movement is concerned, is far more often for things like walking, standing, sitting, gardening etc. than it is for fighting. How much of your life have you ever spent fighting another person? And how much have you spent walking, standing, sitting, etc.?

The purpose of kokyu is primarily to unite your mind and body and make you more efficient in ordinary life. If you are a paranoid, uptight, wacko crank in ordinary life, do you suppose you can suddenly become a smooth, effortless and tadashiku fighter? You might be very skilled but you'll still be basically whatever you are in ordinary life.

...one can strike with intention and that intention can be tangibly felt by an opponent before the strike ever lands.

Exactly. THAT is kiai and you can interact with the opponent through that medium. And the opponent can sense your intent and move in time with your movement to the weak spot (ura) of your kiai movement (your omote). So you and I are now very close.

I desagree. Everything from the point of actualization in the womb is an imprint as far as CNS/PNS functions go. Whether the imprint enhances or degrades ones neurophysiology is the question. Locomotion to speaking and eating requires imprints.

Well, when I say your nervous system will "reset," I don't mean that it wipes your mind completely clean of all previous learning: it wipes the static electrical pattern of habitual behavior and tonus from your brain and body. It sets you back to "optimal tonus," which is what a toddler has if he has not been unduly traumatized and shocked into a lasting state of maladjusted tonus.

And from optimal tonus, which Feldenkrais called "the neutral position" and which I call "Zero Stance," you are ready and able to act spontaneously to the demands of the moment, very creatively instead of habitually.

The brain responds to perception which is gathered by evaluated by CNS/PNS functions. To the brain this perception is reality. Functions such as rationalization can override perception but not always. There are some interesting case studies involving the brain literally slowing time in order to process information. That is a function not an imprint and you cannot live on function without imprint unless you want to be a vegetable....

But you can drop static habitual patterns and work from optimal tonus. And that, I believe, is the real goal of tai chi. And I believe that tai chi and bagua are BETTER at helping us to reach that state than aikido or any of the other Japanese arts, though I think you can do it with aikido, too, once you get past the imitative stage and learn to think, feel and move for yourself.

Good evening.

David

shodan 83
08-30-2006, 04:54 PM
Justin, you are simply not worth the effort!

David Orange
08-30-2006, 05:02 PM
If anyone wants my opinion on this topic, please start a thread on AJ. I'm pretty much tired of the prolonged stalking by this moron "Justin Smith" and the way it keeps breaking the train of the thread.

Mike Sigman

Mike, that sounded like name calling. And regardless of what Justin has said, I've never seen him call you a name. He has been persistent, but he has been consistent and I don't think I've ever seen him post anything harsh.

So why call him a name?

David

raul rodrigo
08-30-2006, 05:21 PM
Why don't we just ignore Justin Smith and keep on going?


R

shodan 83
08-30-2006, 05:30 PM
Mike, that sounded like name calling. And regardless of what Justin has said, I've never seen him call you a name. He has been persistent, but he has been consistent and I don't think I've ever seen him post anything harsh.

So why call him a name?

David

Because unlike you, he brings nothing to the table. He feast on that which is provided by others and offers absolutely nothing in return. I do not agree with all your post, but you are thoughtful enough to bring something of value forward. Don't defend this person just because he lurks in Mike's shadow and then springs forth with juvenile comments.

Sincerely, E

raul rodrigo
08-30-2006, 05:37 PM
Raul, that's a good point. As for misinformation, all I can say is that the Japanese have established what kokyu is for a long time and that ki is also a well understood idea. And Mike's usage of the terms is not consistent with those things. I guess I say disinformation because I think Mike does know that he is misusing the terms. He wants to redefine them. He says this is because he understands "subtle shades" of meaning behind the Japanese terms that other people don't grasp. And I say he is wrong to appropriate those terms for his own agenda, whatever the heck that is.

But I will leave it with "misinformation."

Thanks.

David


You can't have it both ways. You accept "misinformation" and then say that Mike does know that he is wrong and has his own agenda.
My trouble is that it seems you are reacting so strongly because you have a quasi-religious definition of ki/kokyu (a bit Jedi-Knightish, if you'll forgive me for saying so) and Mike's mechanistic, empirical approach makes a more cosmic approach to ki/kokyu irrelevant/unnecessary. If a biomechanical approach can produce ki/kokyu in the standard tests we know (the jo trick, the push trick, or the one inch punch), then there need be no appeal to higher powers to make it work. Its like having a mechanistic explanation for the movement of the planets or for the evolution of species. God/Amaterasu/Allah get written out of the picture. Is this a fair restatement of the argument thus far?


R

statisticool
08-30-2006, 06:38 PM
If anyone wants my opinion on this topic, please start a thread on AJ. I'm pretty much tired of the prolonged stalking by this moron "Justin Smith" and the way it keeps breaking the train of the thread.


You asked me about the book, I told you. Please, don't play the 'he's stalking me' routine after you directly ask me a question and I respond to you.

It tends not to be a credible complaint.


Justin

statisticool
08-30-2006, 06:56 PM
Because unlike you, he brings nothing to the table. He feast on that which is provided by others and offers absolutely nothing in return. I do not agree with all your post, but you are thoughtful enough to bring something of value forward. Don't defend this person just because he lurks in Mike's shadow and then springs forth with juvenile comments.

Sincerely, E

Eric, your opinions are noted, but it is noted that they are just opinions. If you consider asking people for evidence for their many claims as "juvenile" and "absolutely nothing", you are certainly entitled to your belief. I personally consider claims that are unsupported to be "junenile" and "absolutely nothing". :)

Where's actual evidence of the "most westerners..." oft-repeated claim? It is arguable that it is bordering on racist, and it is certainly a vague argument by geography (what constitutes "west"?).

I've also made the point that people who talk about different/unusual/etc/ kinds of strength might just really just waxing poetic about "normal strength", and what they do might also really just be "normal strength". I don't consider that "asbolutely nothing", but a rational way to explain the "unusual" force that people say is different from normal strength but yet they want to talk about it using physics vectors.


Justin

kelvinyu
08-30-2006, 10:21 PM
Is it likely that Mike and David Orange are talking past each other due to different definitions and understanding of "ki" / "kokyu" etc ?

Here's my humble contribution.

I've had some experience (albeit limited) with Japanese style martial arts, including ki-Aikido. What strikes me about them is the unusual emphasis placed on the mind. There are key concepts like "miai", "zanshin", "mushin", "fudoshin" etc which are found in Karate, Judo and Aikido.

In some the most celebrated classics like "Go Rin No Sho", "The Unfettered Mind" and "The Life Giving Sword", the primary emphasis on the use of a clear, uncluttered mind is obvious.

Perhaps Aikido, being heavily influenced by sword, weapon arts and daito-ryu, has a similiar emphasis ?

Thus the explanation of "ki" in Aikido is primarily through the paradigm of how the mind and body can be integrated (the Aikido version of total body integration), and how the "intents" of the opponent and self can be sensed, merged etc.

There are many references to the highest state of mental development, such as "haragei".

But Mike is talking about something very different in my opinion. I've also trained in bagua and taiji for some time now, and I understand his opinions on the concept of "ground path".

The Chinese IMA tend to look at "qi"/"jin" a little differently. They are really "body arts" or "身法". Their way of understanding "qi" is though the paradigm of training method to use the body differently, to move, attack and generate power.

There is breathe, standing and all sorts of stuff, but basically, the end result is to built greater power. To us, "qi" CAN indeed be stored, can be increased. (I.e the more you do these basic exercises, the more power your body can generate).

Is is possible that while the Japanese and Chinese CHARACTERS for "ki"/qi" is essentially the same (气), there are fundamental differences in the way they are interpreted in both martial cultures ?

If you adopt this perspective, then it becomes possible to reconcile both points of views:

- I.e. Aikido's definition of "ki" (David) follows from the use of the mind and intent to merge with an opponent's incoming force. From this perspective, yes, nothing is being "issued".

- The development of "qi" (Mike), "body art" power, is a useful adjunct to an Aikido practionner. Body power can be increased, can be "issued" as "fa-jin".

- So, while an Aikido man may be able to avoid/evade/merge an attack successfully, he may not be able to consistently increase high levels of "body power", unless trained correctly as pointed out by Mike.



Just my 2 cents.






From this perspective.

David Orange
08-31-2006, 08:30 AM
Because unlike you, he brings nothing to the table. ...I do not agree with all your post, but you are thoughtful enough to bring something of value forward. Don't defend this person just because he lurks in Mike's shadow and then springs forth with juvenile comments.

Well, I appreciate your comments there. I know not everyone likes what I say or how I say it. It causes me trouble sometimes.

On the other hand, I think Mike has that problem, too, and Justin is part of that. I have people who sometimes follow me around because they like to snip at little points I make. Maybe I should ignore them, but I tend to snip right back. I don't PM the administrators or call anyone for help. I leave it to others to draw their own conclusions about the discussion and the participants' methods. And I think Mike needs to work it out with Justin, whatever he has done that Justin continues to respond to.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 08:46 AM
My trouble is that it seems you are reacting so strongly because you have a quasi-religious definition of ki/kokyu (a bit Jedi-Knightish, if you'll forgive me for saying so) and Mike's mechanistic, empirical approach makes a more cosmic approach to ki/kokyu irrelevant/unnecessary.

I think the root of that problem is that the ki concept has become loaded with a lot of baggage from the New Age movement and the frauds who claim they can knock people out from a distance by throwing ki balls or whatever. I don't make such claims and I don't explain technique that way. I'm mechanistic with technique, but how can you be mechanistic with "life"? "Life" is not generated by the fascia of the muscles. And it isn't generated by mechanics of the body.

Let's look at it in terms of electricity. Ben Franklin theorized long ago that the power of lightning was the same as the power that shocked your finger when you touched a doorknob after walking on a carpet. He claimed that the vast power of nature is the source of that tiny power generated when we walk on carpet.

For an analogy, Mike would have to say that the electricity in a radio, for instance, or any electrical mechanism, is generated by the insulation wrapping the wires in that device (i.e., the fascia wrapping the muscles). To keep the relations, he would have to say that electricity is produced when you hook up all the wires in the circuit in the optimal way (align the body with the correct "ground paths"). But the fact is, the electricity must come from OUTSIDE that device or it remains dead and empty. The correct formation of circuits (biomechanical alignment) ONLY allows a clear and complete pathway for the electricity to flow through the circuits, but it must come into the circuits from outside.

Since I associate ki and kokyu with things like walking, breathing, clipping okra in the garden, plants growing and climbing a trellis, I don't see how you get the "jedi knight" association. Everyone has ki, but it comes from their being in the world. Put any human being in the vacuum of space and let him generate his own ki out there, independent of all natural supports. What will happen?

If a biomechanical approach can produce ki/kokyu in the standard tests we know (the jo trick, the push trick, or the one inch punch), then there need be no appeal to higher powers to make it work.

Well, but it CANNOT "produce" ki. All it can do, at best, is channel ki. And the methods he promotes do sound like the best way to CHANNEL ki that the body gets from OUTSIDE, through its being in a world with gravity, air, water and sunlight. Again. "IF" the body can "produce" ki (life force) and kokyu (breath), then it should be able to do that in a total vacuum. I challenge anyone anywhere to get in a vacuum chamber, have a complete vacuum produced, and show me the "jo trick" or any other "ki trick" you can name. Now THAT is a bet I will put my house on.

Its like having a mechanistic explanation for the movement of the planets or for the evolution of species. God/Amaterasu/Allah get written out of the picture. Is this a fair restatement of the argument thus far?

Well, IF you can actually create a planetary system or a number of species to evolve. Otherwise, it's just talk.

But taking that a bit further, it's not enough to create a little model of a solar system. You have to create the whole universe to balance even the small number of objects in a single solar system. The bamboo has to be connected to the grove. The human being MUST be connected to nature.

Thanks for the insights.

David

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 08:49 AM
Is it likely that Mike and David Orange are talking past each other due to different definitions and understanding of "ki" / "kokyu" etc ?Hi Kelvin:

Got out of the office long enough to visit AikiWeb? You must be moving up! Long time. ;)

I understand the *possibility* you're offering, but it doesn't really work. As you know, there's no one set concept of what ki/qi is or what it does in either Japan or China. In fact, there are a lot of views that are congruent.

The point, though, and the subject at hand, is a very limited set of physical skills, not "the meaning of ki". And David clearly doesn't know what those skills are, regardless of his definitions. Even if he called those skills "Oogum-Boogum Power", he would have recognized what was being talked about from the definition, IF he understood how to do them. He doesn't, so I tend to discard the face-saving option you tried to offer.

Insofar as "physical skills" goes, a quick look at Tohei's books and illustrations, O-Sensei's ki demonstrations, etc., shows immediately that the idea of ki and physical skills had been there all along... using the word "ki". So to imply that David's lack of understanding of ki in terms of physical skills is because he's never been exposed to it, or something along those lines, simply won't work from that angle either. He doesn't know.

I realize David gets emotional about the idea of not being an expert, but I'm not sure he should expect people to pretend regardless of the obvious lack... I don't see any point in playing games. Besides, the first time I ever saw David posting, he was posting in his current manic vitriol on EBudo to Rob John because Rob was nicely trying to tell him these same things and David was doing nothing but denigrating Rob, left and right. This is his normal reaction, the name-calling and put-downs, regardless of his talk about the improvements to his mind and personality that he learned in Aikido. Let's just accept it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-31-2006, 09:04 AM
You can't have it both ways. You accept "misinformation" and then say that Mike does know that he is wrong and has his own agenda.

I think, actually, that Mike was dissatisfied with the abilities he found in his aikido teachers. I never said they were bad. I just played back Mike's statement that none of them had the complete picture of what aikido is reputed to be. But rather than go to someone who did have the whole picture, he seems to have decided that the image of aikido was entirely false and he moved on to the Chinese martial arts.

After some years of that, he began teaching seminars (for which he charges money) in which he teaches a summation of things that he has "figured out" for himself. He threw out all the established teachings on the subject, that have supported the formation of all the arts, and developed his own set of definitions, drawing in some words from aikido, some terms from CMA, others from Western scientificish attitudes and put them together into a package that few people have been willing to challenge simply because he's a hefty booger and can produce a lot of power.

But even if he can do that, I don't see how he should get a pass on answering legitimate questions or on being challenged on the definitions he uses. Since he gets defensive and goes on the attack when you question his definitions or statements, I take that to mean he sustains them by wishful thinking. Since no Chinese teacher has called him on these things, he figures he must be correct. The fact that I challenge him on them and that people like Justin Smith continue to demand the sources of what he says really seems to burn him even though his frequent reply to detailed, rational statements is "cite sources." and nothing more. If you can't cite your sources, he dismisses you entirely and, in fact, if you do cite sources he pooh-poohs and ridicules the person you cite.

I think that's why Justin follows him around. I know that Mike inevitably turns up on threads that I start, and just dismisses what I say with a wave of his hand. I don't care. People can read for themselves and judge what's correct. It's the way life is.

So that's why I say what I say about Mike. Maybe it's misinformation, maybe it's disinformation, maybe it's just wishful thinking. But I would have to toss out 5000 years or so of history to say that he is correct and I don't think I'll do that.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 09:12 AM
The fact that I challenge him on them and that people like Justin Smith continue to demand the sources of what he says I think the two of you belong together, David, frankly. You make quite the couple: same interests, same knowledge.I think that's why Justin follows him around. I know that Mike inevitably turns up on threads that I start, and just dismisses what I say with a wave of his hand. I don't care. People can read for themselves and judge what's correct. It's the way life is. True, very true. As you've seen by the reception to your threads on how Aikido comes from a baby's movement.
So that's why I say what I say about Mike. Maybe it's misinformation, maybe it's disinformation, maybe it's just wishful thinking. But I would have to toss out 5000 years or so of history to say that he is correct and I don't think I'll do that. Great. I don't think anyone misses the character assassination from you who is trying to act morally superior... but now let's see you explain Tohei's "ki tests", many of them the same ones that Ueshiba did. Those are "mechanistic" demonstrations, not visual fantasies. Tell us how to do them, David, in terms of your explanations of ki and kokyu. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

Mike Sigman

raul rodrigo
08-31-2006, 09:40 AM
Well, I say Jedi Knight-ish because you explain ki as a cosmic force (as Ben Kenobi said: "Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.") and Mike dispenses with the field altogether. He stays within the realm of directly observable phenomena.

If he throws out 5,000 years of teaching on ki and comes up with an alternative explanation for ki phenomena, it seems to me that he is perfectly free to do so. And what matters to me is if he can do the known ki/kokyu "tricks" and even more important that he can teach others to do so. Apparently he can do so. There seems to me to be little value in arguing cosmic vs mechanistic definitions ("i use 'ki' this way, you use it this other [heretical] way"). First, one must manifest the power, and then prove that one's methodology for transmitting that knowledge works. It doesnt seem to matter which of the alternate paradigms of his ki/kokyu powers such a man believes in. ("Boy, that Mike Sigman can do the jo trick really well, but sadly his views of ki are really unorthodox by traditional Chinese standards, and so he must be a total fraud.") Or is there some insidious danger to his views that I am missing?


R

David Orange
08-31-2006, 09:55 AM
Is it likely that Mike and David Orange are talking past each other due to different definitions and understanding of "ki" / "kokyu" etc ?

Kelvin, I think that really is the crux of the problem.

Perhaps Aikido, being heavily influenced by sword, weapon arts and daito-ryu, has a similiar emphasis ? (on the mind/body relationship--d.o.)

Yes, I think so.

Thus the explanation of "ki" in Aikido is primarily through the paradigm of how the mind and body can be integrated (the Aikido version of total body integration), and how the "intents" of the opponent and self can be sensed, merged etc.

Yes.

But Mike is talking about something very different in my opinion.

My position is that he should not use established Japanese terms to support that different thing when it requires changing the long established definitions of those Japanese terms.

The Chinese IMA tend to look at "qi"/"jin" a little differently. They are really "body arts" or "身法". Their way of understanding "qi" is though the paradigm of training method to use the body differently, to move, attack and generate power.

Well, the Japanese arts do do that as well. And the Chinese are the source of the idea that the universe begins with formless qi (wu ji?), divides into the polar forms of tai ji (yin and yang), which divide into the four seasons, which divide into the eight trigrams (bagua) and so on. This is the basis of Chinese medicine. And I first encountered Mike Sigman when I posted these ideas, paraphrased from "Emei Baguazhang," by Yang Jwing-Ming and Liang Shou-Yu, on a thread called "What is Ki?" on E-Budo.

Mike politely summarized these ideas as baloney (to paraphrase).

So it's not really a difference between Chinese and Japanese arts.

There is breathe, standing and all sorts of stuff, but basically, the end result is to built greater power. To us, "qi" CAN indeed be stored, can be increased. (I.e the more you do these basic exercises, the more power your body can generate).

The Japanese do believe that as well. But they do it in somewhat different ways and the results have a different quality, in my opinion. As I've said before, the type of energy I've felt from masters of Chinese martial arts was very different from the energy I've felt from Japanese masters. Ultimately, to me, it seems that the Chinese energy may feel more natural and "healthy." My take only.

Is is possible that while the Japanese and Chinese CHARACTERS for "ki"/qi" is essentially the same (气), there are fundamental differences in the way they are interpreted in both martial cultures ?

I've said that from the beginning, but Mikes terminology (frequent references to "kokyu/jin") indicate to me that he believes they can be used pretty much interchangeably and I don't accept that.

Aikido's definition of "ki" (David) follows from the use of the mind and intent to merge with an opponent's incoming force. From this perspective, yes, nothing is being "issued".

Well, actually, "ki" can be "issued." What I say is that "kokyu" is NOT a "force" that can be issued. Much of our disagreement revolves around whether kokyu is a "force" and whether the existence of ki of the natural world has any relation to ki in a "martial context." I say it does. Mike says that it does not even exist, if I understand him correctly, and that "martial ki" is entirely generated within the body, from the fascia of the muscles, I think he contends.

The development of "qi" (Mike), "body art" power, is a useful adjunct to an Aikido practionner. Body power can be increased, can be "issued" as "fa-jin".

I largely agree with that statement except that ki/qi is not generated purely by the body. It is brought in from outside and mixed with the ki/qi that the body itself has in being alive. I don't think it is possible to "generate" ki/qi by any means--only to open one's body to allow ki to circulate freely and, by not wasting it, let it accumulate in the dan tien, from which it can be issued as force. And this view is supported by Liang Shou-Yu, whom Mike calls his teacher.

So, while an Aikido man may be able to avoid/evade/merge an attack successfully, he may not be able to consistently increase high levels of "body power", unless trained correctly as pointed out by Mike.

Well, I think it should be clear that people like Gozo Shioda and Minoru Mochizuki had tremendous body power and demonstrated it in many ways. Also people Morihiro Saito had those powers and they developed them through "kokyu ho" or "methods" of developing mind/body connection through integration with breath.

I think Mike's contention is that those types of training are missing in aikido, that masters like Shioda, Mochizuk and Saito did not pass them down to their students and that his self-made concoctions of Chinese/Mike ideas amount to the same thing as those supposedly missing elements in aikido.

I say they are not missing at all, but that Mike just didn't look far or deeply enough to find them in aikido and that he didn't fully accept the Chinese methods, either. Now he is like a man with one foot on the boat and one foot on the dock, standing solidly on neither ground. That he is able to generate great power, reputedly, tells us perhaps that he is a very strong person, perhaps that even a little of those methods develop great strength. But do his mixed methods develop one as well or as healthily as either way fully and correctly understood?

Not having met him or felt his power, I cannot say, but I do think he has some real issues of misunderstanding both ways and the unfortunate insistence on propagating that incorrect information.

I appreciate your efforts to mediate.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 10:05 AM
Mike politely summarized these ideas as baloney (to paraphrase).
David.... do NOT ever again assert what I have said, implied, or whatever. You simply lie and then you do not provide a cite when you are called on it. Do NOT characterize in writing anything I have said unless you provide a cite (not an implication as you are reading it). I have asked you to stop politely and to provide cites. You're not doing it. I consider it now a personal attack.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-31-2006, 11:08 AM
((D.O. "People can read for themselves and judge what's correct. It's the way life is."

True, very true. As you've seen by the reception to your threads on how Aikido comes from a baby's movement.

I think it's been very good. I'm happy with the majority of the comments I've gotten and I've replied reasonably to those who disagreed. But no one has given any solid, rational arguments against the idea. At most, they have simply rejected them. None has even approached deconstruction or disproving the ideas with any "reasoning" and I continue to stand behind them.


((D.O. So that's why I say what I say about Mike. Maybe it's misinformation, maybe it's disinformation, maybe it's just wishful thinking. But I would have to toss out 5000 years or so of history to say that he is correct and I don't think I'll do that.(D.O.)

Great. I don't think anyone misses the character assassination from you who is trying to act morally superior...

Yeah. Well if not, then they surely see far more of it in your posts.

As to "morally superior," I don't know where you get that from my arguments on linguistic points. I don't make any moral claims from correct usage of Japanese language and concepts of aikido.

but now let's see you explain Tohei's "ki tests", many of them the same ones that Ueshiba did. Those are "mechanistic" demonstrations, not visual fantasies. Tell us how to do them, David, in terms of your explanations of ki and kokyu. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.


Well, to begin, "kokyu" means "breath." Nothing more. To ordinary Japanese people it means "inhaling and exhaling" or "breath."

The Japanese have a saying in ordinary life: "kokyu ga au," "breath meets," or "breath blends," which means that two people are "in tune" or "on the same page," more or less. So you should be able to see that these concepts are based on ordinary life, and that kokyu is a matter of ordinary people with no training at all.

Now, for aikido, kokyu means to use breathing as a way to integrate the mind and body.

To develop that coordination and to begin to develop power, they use "kokyu ho" or "breath methods," which lead to "kokyu ryoku" or "breathing power". So kokyu is related to developing power, but it is not power in itself. What you are really looking for when you say "kokyu/ki" may be "shuuchuu ryoku," or "concentrated power," by which full power of the integrated body can be focused in any part of the body. It seems you may have developed that kind of power but you shouldn't confuse it with "kokyu" itself.

As for "Tohei's ki tests," they are not something that we ever did in the yoseikan when Minoru Mochizuki was running it, so I'm not sure if they were a standard set of demonstrations or just a varied group of things he did from time to time, but if I'm not mistaken, one of them was "unliftability," which OSensei often used. He let people try to pick him up by getting their hands under his arms.

As to that one, as I've said, that's the FIRST way a toddler expresses the natural root of aiki. He sinks toward the floor, lowers his center or whatever you want to call it. He lets the heavy be heavy and sinks his weight.

The other "ki test" I'm familiar with is the "unbendable arm," which I was doing in 1975. All you do for that is to extend the arm. You never try to use "strength" muscles to resist the bending: you just extend the arm continuously, as if pushing past the bender's head and the arm won't bend without tremendous power exerted against it.

As for the "jo trick," again, Sensei never fooled around with anything considered a trick. His opinion of Tohei's performances was that they largely consisted of "saimin jutsu" or "hypnotism" and he said that was unreliable. He would sometimes lie on the floor and let two people press a bo down onto his throat and escape that but he never explained it and I don't claim to be able to do it.

And I've never tried things like "the jo trick," so I'm not really familiar with it, either. But I would say it's an expression of shuuchuu ryoku, or "concentrated power", which I think does come close to equating with "jin".

Hope that spins your beanie around, Mike.

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 11:21 AM
Mike dispenses with the field altogether. He stays within the realm of directly observable phenomena.

The natural world is a directly observable phenomenon. I have yet to hear Mike say that he can generate ki and kokyu in a total vacuum. He just doesn't acknowledge how interconnected he is and MUST be with the world and the energy of the world.

It doesnt seem to matter which of the alternate paradigms of his ki/kokyu powers such a man believes in. ("Boy, that Mike Sigman can do the jo trick really well, but sadly his views of ki are really unorthodox by traditional Chinese standards, and so he must be a total fraud.") Or is there some insidious danger to his views that I am missing?

I'm not saying he's a fraud, but he is using well-established words in the wrong way. Does that matter?

I think it does. Wouldn't you laugh if I said it's an "alternate electronics" to believe that electricity in a radio is actually generated from the insulation around the wires and that the plug in the wall is immaterial to my claim?

That's what Mike is doing: denying that he is plugged in and that all his force is generated by his own doing. If that's okay with you, I won't try to force you to change your mind, but please don't protest if I continue to point to the plug in the wall.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 11:37 AM
But no one has given any solid, rational arguments against the idea. At most, they have simply rejected them. None has even approached deconstruction or disproving the ideas with any "reasoning" and I continue to stand behind them. David, you should understand that if someone propounds an idea that doesn't, on the face of it, really answer a series of complex factors in a given situation, and people "simply reject" the idea, it doesn't mean that it was them that have a reasoning problem. If someone proposes a shallow idea that only applies at best to a few situations, why bother to comment? There's a certain arrogance to "none has even approached deconstruction"... the idea isn't worth a heavy debate, David. It's a kitschy idea, David; nothing else.Well, to begin, "kokyu" means "breath." Nothing more. To ordinary Japanese people it means "inhaling and exhaling" or "breath." See some of Jun's previous posts. See comments about Ushiro Sensei's use of "kokyu". Either you or Ushiro is wrong about what Kokyu type power is. Now, for aikido, kokyu means to use breathing as a way to integrate the mind and body. Then why the spurious comment above that "kokyu means breath nothing more"?To develop that coordination and to begin to develop power, they use "kokyu ho" or "breath methods," which lead to "kokyu ryoku" or "breathing power". So kokyu is related to developing power, but it is not power in itself. What you are really looking for when you say "kokyu/ki" may be "shuuchuu ryoku," or "concentrated power," by which full power of the integrated body can be focused in any part of the body. It seems you may have developed that kind of power but you shouldn't confuse it with "kokyu" itself. Great, but notice you can't seem to tell us *HOW* this power works, David. That's what I asked for. As for "Tohei's ki tests," they are not something that we ever did in the yoseikan when Minoru Mochizuki was running it, so I'm not sure if they were a standard set of demonstrations or just a varied group of things he did from time to time, but if I'm not mistaken, one of them was "unliftability," which OSensei often used. He let people try to pick him up by getting their hands under his arms.

As to that one, as I've said, that's the FIRST way a toddler expresses the natural root of aiki. He sinks toward the floor, lowers his center or whatever you want to call it. He lets the heavy be heavy and sinks his weight.

The other "ki test" I'm familiar with is the "unbendable arm," which I was doing in 1975. All you do for that is to extend the arm. You never try to use "strength" muscles to resist the bending: you just extend the arm continuously, as if pushing past the bender's head and the arm won't bend without tremendous power exerted against it.

As for the "jo trick," again, Sensei never fooled around with anything considered a trick. His opinion of Tohei's performances was that they largely consisted of "saimin jutsu" or "hypnotism" and he said that was unreliable. He would sometimes lie on the floor and let two people press a bo down onto his throat and escape that but he never explained it and I don't claim to be able to do it.

And I've never tried things like "the jo trick," so I'm not really familiar with it, either. But I would say it's an expression of shuuchuu ryoku, or "concentrated power", which I think does come close to equating with "jin".

Hope that spins your beanie around, Mike. So, after reading all the way through, all I see is a re-affirmation of the idea that you can criticize and vaguely theorize, but you can't tell anyone HOW to do these things, David. That's exactly what I've been talking about. You don't know how. You lash out defensively toward Rob, me, and others, but the fact remains that you don't know how.... and that's not the fault of the people you're lashing out at and it's not their fault that you're the one bragging about your credentials and using Mochizuki's name.

And sure, you want to try to dismiss your lack of knowledge under the BS idea that what I've said is "mechanistic". Tell me why you think Ueshiba and Tohei's demonstrations/tests were always with hands-on contact. That's horribly "mechanistic", isn't it? Can you tell me why they did such "mechanistic" things with physical actions and contact? Is "mechanistic" the Aikido equivalence of saying someone is "racist"???? ;) Tell me how to do a "ki test" in with a non-physical (i.e, non-mechanistic) way of showing it, David.

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-31-2006, 11:41 AM
David,
I think your analogy is false on several points, but I'll let someone else go there.

I think one problem with the over arching Ki cosmology is that I know very few people from Asia who would even try to justify what they do martialy with that...they tend to be pretty rigorous scientifically now.

Well, to begin, "kokyu" means "breath." Nothing more. To ordinary Japanese people it means "inhaling and exhaling" or "breath."

Hmm. Well, in martial art circles (the ones I am aware of) the word seems to have other connotations. Using the breath to steal power from uke, using the breath to ground uke's power, Using the breath to seal your own power, using the breath to add to your own power, etc. Too many times the context is what counts...and using the common language for a complete translation of a word which is best used in a specific context doesn't often work.

I did like your points about focused power though...that might be worth exploring (in a civil way) with Mike. That is one way in which Gozo Shioda's books correspond with a Fa Jin, or issued power. Folks can quibble about the difference between focused and issued...

Best,
Ron

David Orange
08-31-2006, 12:40 PM
David.... do NOT ever again assert what I have said, implied, or whatever. You simply lie and then you do not provide a cite when you are called on it. Do NOT characterize in writing anything I have said unless you provide a cite (not an implication as you are reading it). I have asked you to stop politely and to provide cites. You're not doing it. I consider it now a personal attack.

Okay, Mike. I will endeavor only to quote your direct comments and paraphrase. I will, however, note again, that you are calling for a citation and will remind you of that when others ask you for the same. I will admit that I may have misunderstood some of your statements in the past, but you shouldn't consider it a personal attack. Call it insecurity on my part or a bad memory, but I'm not here to destroy you. I, too, have feelings and sometimes I act on those instead of he absolute black and white of what you say. I will try to watch that.

And by the same token, I will ask you from now on to provide the citation WHENEVER anyone, no matter whomever, asks you for it.

And I will also call you on any name-calling you do and note any statements I see that I consider to be your personal attacks on others (or on me).

Fair enough?

David

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 12:49 PM
Okay, Mike. I will endeavor only to quote your direct comments and paraphrase. I will, however, note Don't try to confuse or dilute the issue, David.

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-31-2006, 01:15 PM
if someone propounds an idea that doesn't, on the face of it, really answer a series of complex factors in a given situation, and people "simply reject" the idea, it doesn't mean that it was them that have a reasoning problem. If someone proposes a shallow idea that only applies at best to a few situations, why bother to comment?

Indeed. Why bother to comment at all? But you have commented and others have, as well, without even mentioning any of the many complex factors you claim are involved. So if you can't actually REASON against it, you shouldn't comment at all. Therefore your statement is nothing more than evasion. If you have "reasons," state them or just keep quiet.

There's a certain arrogance to "none has even approached deconstruction"... the idea isn't worth a heavy debate, David. It's a kitschy idea, David; nothing else.

The majority of comments I've received, including from Ellis Amdur, do not agree with you. Ellis said:

It's amazing that this set of posts has gone right by everyone. David, what I would recommend is that you patch them back together, do a little editing, and send it to Aikido Journal as a blog entry. This deserves to be widely disseminated...I think you've truly hit on a vein of gold here - and this may be directly tied to Osensei's ranting at students that they weren't doing "aikido."

Now, one of the heaviest pieces of evidence I have in favor of not writing you off as a complete nut job is that Ellis Amdur has spoken well of you. Let's just say he's right in both assessments and you just haven't looked very deeply at the idea that aiki and other martial arts are ALL based on natural movements visible as early as the toddler stage.

See some of Jun's previous posts. See comments about Ushiro Sensei's use of "kokyu".

Cite them, Mike. I'm not here to dig up your claims for you. I made my statements and they have good grounding. If Jun and Ushiro Sensei made such statements, "QUOTE" them here. Don't just refer to them. That's just more evasion.

Either you or Ushiro is wrong about what Kokyu type power is.

Since you don't quote Ushiro Sensei, I have no way of knowing to what comment you are refering. Don't evade, Mike. QUOTE the arguments you claim were made.

Then why the spurious comment above that "kokyu means breath nothing more"? Great, but notice you can't seem to tell us *HOW* this power works, David.

Since you can't tell us what it IS, I don't think you can really speak to how it works, either. If you have a source that kokyu is other than breathing, then show it.

Tell me why you think Ueshiba and Tohei's demonstrations/tests were always with hands-on contact. That's horribly "mechanistic", isn't it? Can you tell me why they did such "mechanistic" things with physical actions and contact? Is "mechanistic" the Aikido equivalence of saying someone is "racist"???? ;) Tell me how to do a "ki test" in with a non-physical (i.e, non-mechanistic) way of showing it, David.

Show me where I said that aikido is done with anything other than physical contact, Mike. You are mischaracterizing and misrepresenting.

The fact is, in ordinary human life, the Japanese meaning of Kokyu is breath. In aikido, it is coordinating the mind and body through the breathing. It is developed in kokyu ho and expressed in kokyu ryoku through shuuchuu ryoku.

What does that mean? Well look in any book at what the kokyu ho are: they are exercises working hands-on, one-to-one, to reverse the partner's grip and power, put him off balance and move into a controlling position. Kokyudosa is one (a whole set), hiriki is one (another set), and there are others. Practice those and you develop the power. In the old yoseikan hombu, Sensei didn't even use the term kokyu dosa. He called those exercises "suwari waza". They were the same as others call kokyu dosa.

I do know that when I have done these things in ordinary aikido classes, I have usually gotten extraordinary results and that people who have trained with me after training with other American aikido people have often told me something like an Army Colonel once said: "I've had people show me this thing before, but when you do it, I can feel that you really know how it works."

And similar comments. So think what you like. At least I did try to find the heart of the matter and did not base my comments on a short-term look at the subject.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 01:22 PM
Hmm. Well, in martial art circles (the ones I am aware of) the word seems to have other connotations. Using the breath to steal power from uke, using the breath to ground uke's power, Using the breath to seal your own power, using the breath to add to your own power, etc. Too many times the context is what counts...and using the common language for a complete translation of a word which is best used in a specific context doesn't often work.

I didn't use the common context as a complete translation. I used it as the root to show that the idea was first in ordinary life, then adopted with some refinements for the martial arts. And "using" the breath moves beyond mere "kokyu" to "kokyu ho" and "kokyu ryoku".

I did like your points about focused power though...that might be worth exploring (in a civil way) with Mike.

I put it out there for him, but he chose to skip that part in his response.

That is one way in which Gozo Shioda's books correspond with a Fa Jin, or issued power.

I think it's clear, though, that the issued force is not kokyu but shuuchuu ryoku.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 01:25 PM
Don't try to confuse or dilute the issue, David.

I'm dealing directly with it, Mike. The fact is, you're guilty of everything you complain about. I will try to restrain myself and will appreciate your doing the same. And I will call you on it when you don't.

Best.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-31-2006, 01:31 PM
I think it's clear, though, that the issued force is not kokyu but shuuchuu ryoku.

Not trying to be definitive here, but just mussing...In Total Aikido or Dynamic Aikido (1st one I think), Shioda talks about all the powers (or the sum of them) leading to what he calls mastery of balance or ki. Mike often makes the point that it is the balancing of these different powers. I guess in my mind I kind of see these different powers as attempts to describe one thing by it's parts. So I try not to get too dogmatic about the separation of breath power vs focus power vs concentrated power, etc. It's all dealing with the power of the body...if you don't have the root, there's nothing to focus, nothing to concentrate. Just some thoughts...

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 01:50 PM
Now, one of the heaviest pieces of evidence I have in favor of not writing you off as a complete nut job is that Ellis Amdur has spoken well of you. Let's just say he's right in both assessments and you just haven't looked very deeply at the idea that aiki and other martial arts are ALL based on natural movements visible as early as the toddler stage. Ellis can say what he wants when he's giving an opinion. The problem with the old saw that a child's movement is the basis for Aikido or Taiji or whatever movements (it *is* an old, idea) is that there are far too many "natural" movements that an infant makes that simply don't nicely comport with the theory. I think we had this discussion a few times on the Neijia List long ago and a few doctors and physiologists jumped in pointing out that while there were a few things in favor of the theory, too many movements an infant makes blow the theory out of the water. And guess what... movement with this kind of power has an old saying behind it that says that "natural" movement (which is being misconstrued in your comparison) "is not instinctive and must be learned".

Your theory is sort of like the old saw that if you give little girls toy guns to play with and boys dolls, etc., etc., they all turn out the same. Now everyone who used to proclaim that one takes pains to distance themselves from a neat-sounding idea that turned out to be incorrect. A lot of these "too cool to be true" ideas simply don't pan out.Cite them, Mike. I'm not here to dig up your claims for you. I made my statements and they have good grounding. If Jun and Ushiro Sensei made such statements, "QUOTE" them here. Don't just refer to them. That's just more evasion.http://testing.ubernet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=985&sid=7149f2996e382089cc0b8dc479792231

and from:http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8531&page=8&pp=25&highlight=kokyu
I've only trained with Ushiro sensei a few times during the past three Aiki Expos, but I'll get the chance to do so again in a couple weeks at the Summer Camp in the Rockies. I've also read a bit from his books (in Japanese), although not enough to make much comments. Mike, if you have any specific questions that you would like me to ask of him, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. (One clarification I did get from him a few years back was whether he meant purely "breathing" when he talked about "kokyu," since so many of the translators kept using the term 'breath" whenever he used that term. His answer was, as I expected, "no.")
really speak to how it works, either. If you have a source that kokyu is other than breathing, then show it. Gernot and others have seen "kokyu" used as the power behind a posture, etc. But Gernot can speak for himself. Show me where I said that aikido is done with anything other than physical contact, Mike. You are mischaracterizing and misrepresenting. Really? Tohei demonstrates "ki" with physical contact. You disparage physical usage in ki and call it "mechanistic". Do you think Tohei is doing things wrong? The fact is, in ordinary human life, the Japanese meaning of Kokyu is breath. In aikido, it is coordinating the mind and body through the breathing. It is developed in kokyu ho and expressed in kokyu ryoku through shuuchuu ryoku.

What does that mean? Well look in any book at what the kokyu ho are: they are exercises working hands-on, one-to-one, to reverse the partner's grip and power, put him off balance and move into a controlling position. Kokyudosa is one (a whole set), hiriki is one (another set), and there are others. Practice those and you develop the power. In the old yoseikan hombu, Sensei didn't even use the term kokyu dosa. He called those exercises "suwari waza". They were the same as others call kokyu dosa. How "mechanistic", David! Can't you give us an example that doesn't use the tangible universe so much? Or do you think your disparaging comment about "mechanistic" was simply, well... a little silly and petty? I do know that when I have done these things in ordinary aikido classes, I have usually gotten extraordinary results and that people who have trained with me after training with other American aikido people have often told me something like an Army Colonel once said: "I've had people show me this thing before, but when you do it, I can feel that you really know how it works." Another fine personal anecdote, David.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
08-31-2006, 02:20 PM
The problem with the old saw that a child's movement is the basis for Aikido or Taiji or whatever movements (it *is* an old, idea) is that there are far too many "natural" movements that an infant makes that simply don't nicely comport with the theory.

And in a vinyard, there are lots of little weeds and twigs that are not cultivated into the wine, aren't there? Yet wine does originate in the vinyard. Or if you want to talk about sake, there are worms and straw in the tanbo that are not brewed in with the drink.

Just so, we recognize certain elements in a child's movement and we see that they are almost always expressed by children, thus innate parts of the human nervous system which we can cultivate to a higher level. In my blog entry on AJ, I outlined how some innate impulses are the root of kiai, others the root of aiki. Some innate impulses that don't support aiki are noticed by other types of masters and are cultivated into karate, etc. There IS, as Ellis described, the universal tendency of children to show the overhead flailing motions like monkeys when they really start fighting. Children often use the straight-arm, too, which is effectively te gatana.

So again I think you just haven't thought this through honestly or completely at all.

http://testing.ubernet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=985&sid=7149f2996e382089cc0b8dc479792231

and from:http://aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8531&page=8&pp=25&highlight=kokyu

Mike: those are NOT citations. You might as well say "It's in the Bible," or "It's in the Kojiki."

A citation is specific and a quote is even more specific. Also, you can't post Jun talking generally about what Ushiro sensei says and call it a quote by Ushiro Sensei unless it's a direct quote. Show specifics if you want to play.

Mike, if you have any specific questions that you would like me to ask of him, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. (One clarification I did get from him a few years back was whether he meant purely "breathing" when he talked about "kokyu," since so many of the translators kept using the term 'breath" whenever he used that term. His answer was, as I expected, "no.")

And who was that supposed to be? See, that's not a citation OR a quote. Please identify. And further, I never said that kokyu """In the Aikido Context""" is "just breath." In DAILY JAPANESE LIFE, where it ORIGINATED, it does mean only breath, but as I said above, in the aikido context, it is use of the breath to coordinate and integrate the mind and body. Nothing in Jun's post contradicted that. If you think it did, "QUOTE" it.

Tohei demonstrates "ki" with physical contact. You disparage physical usage in ki and call it "mechanistic".

Cite it, Mike. With an exact statement. I said you cannot create, generate, or produce ki with your movements or methods. You can allow it to move in your body more freely, you can accumulate it in your body by not wasting it, you can channel it with ground paths, but you CANNOT CREATE KI with any method, mechanical or otherwise.

I've only explained technique through Newtonian physics. Ki, in and of itself, like electricity, is immaterial. What Tohei "demonstrates" is a TECHNIQUE that uses ki.

Do you think Tohei is doing things wrong? How "mechanistic", David! Can't you give us an example that doesn't use the tangible universe so much? Or do you think your disparaging comment about "mechanistic" was simply, well... a little silly and petty? Another fine personal anecdote, David.

The only thing I reject is the idea that human beings can GENERATE or PRODUCE ki from mechanistic training or movement. ALL we can do is move or work in such a way as to get the most support we can from the ki that flows through the whole universe, including our bodies. But if you are sure you can mechanically GENERATE ki and kokyu with your methods, you will be willing to demonstrate them in a complete vacuum, won't you?

Please do.

David

Ron Tisdale
08-31-2006, 02:36 PM
But if you are sure you can mechanically GENERATE ki and kokyu with your methods, you will be willing to demonstrate them in a complete vacuum, won't you?

I've been trying to find where Mike says this...haven't found it yet...

B,
R

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 02:49 PM
In my blog entry on AJ, I outlined how some innate impulses are the root of kiai, others the root of aiki. Some innate impulses that don't support aiki are noticed by other types of masters and are cultivated into karate, etc. There IS, as Ellis described, the universal tendency of children to show the overhead flailing motions like monkeys when they really start fighting. Children often use the straight-arm, too, which is effectively te gatana.

So again I think you just haven't thought this through honestly or completely at all. This is what I'm talking about, David. You "outline" a pretty far-fetched, kitschy theory and anyone who disagrees with you simply is by default not much of a thinker or is dishonest. Do you really think that everyone else is coming up short if they don't go along with your idea that certain movements by infants are "te gatana", "karate", or "aiki"?????

I'm from Colorado, David, and that's where my heart is. I think you might be from Uranus, because that's where your head is.

:p

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-31-2006, 02:55 PM
Is that what Bush means when he talks of "winning hearts and minds"? If so, I don't want any, thanks... ;)

B,
R

David Orange
08-31-2006, 03:20 PM
This is what I'm talking about, David. You "outline" a pretty far-fetched, kitschy theory and anyone who disagrees with you simply is by default not much of a thinker or is dishonest.

I didn't say that. I just said they haven't posted any "reasoning" as to why they disagree.

I've only said "YOU" aren't honest or much of a thinker because you have attacked the idea and have not put out any "reasoning" why. Well, okay, you put out some reasonings, but I answered every one of them and all you are left with is the above: belittling the idea.

Ellis thought it was a great idea and he actually has formal training with masters and the rank to go along with it, so I'm far more pleased with his response than I am concerned by yours. Can you deal with my responses to your reasoning, or are you out of third-party references to throw out? I can support all my ideas and counter all your arguments.

I guess what I see with you is that you hear that someone heard someone say something about something and you perk up and say "Aha! A clue!" and add this vague reference to your collection of clues from which you piece together ideas that a good sensei could have straightened you out on a long time ago. You've wasted many long years speculating on bits of things that you've read about what aikido masters supposedly said instead of finding a 1st class master and learning from him.

For the average person, any old teacher will pretty much do because very few people are going to go to great depths in aikido. But for someone as powerful and smart as you, it's real waste to speculate on third-party hearsay comments instead of getting real, direct experience such as Ellis Amdur did and, to a lesser extent, I did.

Sincerely,

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 03:32 PM
I've been trying to find where Mike says this...haven't found it yet...

I haven't found where he says anything actually useable as to "how" he really generates his great power. You say it's out there, but I haven't seen it.

All I can say is that he constantly refers to the biomechanical exercises and rejects the idea that ki exists outside the body. He has said it comes from the fascia and that it won't do that unless you do the right biomechanics.

I guess it's Rob John who says that the biomechanical things "ARE" ki, that ki is just a word for what the biomechanics do.

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 03:36 PM
I've only said "YOU" aren't honest or much of a thinker because you have attacked the idea and have not put out any "reasoning" why. Well, okay, you put out some reasonings, but I answered every one of them and all you are left with is the above: belittling the idea.Ah. I see. You have a malleable "theory" and that dispenses with the doctors and physiologists with whom I've discussed the idea before. Land Sakes, David.... how you do carry on. Ellis thought it was a great idea and he actually has formal training with masters and the rank to go along with it,...(snipsky)... it's a real waste to speculate on third-party hearsay comments instead of getting real, direct experience such as Ellis Amdur did and, to a lesser extent, I did. You and Ellis, eh? Or should I say "First Mochizuki and now Ellis"? ;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
08-31-2006, 03:44 PM
I just don't see the need to "supplement" aikido training with anything. Aikido for me is all encompassing, so if I end up doing something akin to "push-hands," I would consider it more aikido training. Of course, for me, walking, talking, biking, stretching, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. are all just more aikido training. In fact, I can think of nothing in my daily activities that I don't relate to aikido somehow.

statisticool
08-31-2006, 04:09 PM
The other "ki test" I'm familiar with is the "unbendable arm," which I was doing in 1975. All you do for that is to extend the arm. You never try to use "strength" muscles to resist the bending: you just extend the arm continuously, as if pushing past the bender's head and the arm won't bend without tremendous power exerted against it.


It is also important I think to point out that while Tohei has some ki tests, and Ueshiba did some ki-stuff, nowhere did they say anything about vectors, nor make the kokyu/jin connection, and most importantly, they did not go around saying so and so doesn't understand, or is bordering on fraud, or has a lousy teacher if so and so doesn't use those terms, or if so and so has a different opinion or factual support.

That is, Ueshiba says more about ki and love than ki and vectors. :)


Justin

David Orange
08-31-2006, 04:18 PM
Ah. I see. You have a malleable "theory" and that dispenses with the doctors and physiologists with whom I've discussed the idea before.

Well, let them come and make their arguments to me and we will see if I can answer them. I've posted it on e-budo and AJ as well. I reply.

Or if you can quote their arguments to me, I will explain to you.

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 04:23 PM
It is also important I think to point out that while Tohei has some ki tests, and Ueshiba did some ki-stuff, nowhere did they say anything about vectors, nor make the kokyu/jin connection...

Some people have pointed out that the Asian masters are teaching a lot of Western science explanations for the old ki things now.

Others have pointed out that there are no old masters like Ueshiba, Mochizuki, Shioda and Saito anymore.

Hmmmm....maybe those two facts are related.

In the old ki paradigm, people knew they were connected to nature and they had to understand by "feeling" things.

In the "alternative" paradigm, they have to understand by explanations.

Maybe the new explanations are just wrong?

Best to you.

David

Ellis Amdur
08-31-2006, 05:48 PM
I just saw this whole thread today, read through it and find my name. Other than that, I've little of relevance to contribute. To clarify what I think the "vein of gold" is (and I posted this elsewhere - somewhere on AJ), I think the title "Aikido is Toddler Movement" is a great image. What I think David does highlight is that babies do baby movements without reflection, and until made rigid or stereotyped by ordinary life, the baby tends to find the most efficient and relaxed way of moving APPROPRIATE TO THE BABY'S FUNCTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE. And that if we, as adults can carry out our goal-directed movements (including martial) with the relaxed efficency of a toddler sitting down or rolling over, that would be "gold," and it is a very useful image to work with. What relation this has, however, to jin/kokyu/ki/chi, etc. is not something I'm qualified to expound on because, honestly, I don't understand those things very well. I can't do any of them. That's why I read posts by Mike and others - hoping to learn - although I know I really need to learn first hand - a new project for my upcoming years. (Who I train with is irrelevant, btw, unless I start expounding knowledge I claim I've acquired - and then and only then - antecedents and teachers will become germane).

Best

statisticool
08-31-2006, 06:43 PM
Some people have pointed out that the Asian masters are teaching a lot of Western science explanations for the old ki things now.

Others have pointed out that there are no old masters like Ueshiba, Mochizuki, Shioda and Saito anymore.

Hmmmm....maybe those two facts are related.

In the old ki paradigm, people knew they were connected to nature and they had to understand by "feeling" things.

In the "alternative" paradigm, they have to understand by explanations.

Maybe the new explanations are just wrong?

Best to you.

David

Hi David,

It is certainly an interesting area!

Like anything IMO, both approaches have good and bad. I do think the scientific sounding (stress on "sounding") one has more bad, at least as expounded by its loudest proponents.

Some points as I see them:

-this was not the way many awesome martial artists past and present, including the originators of some martial arts, thought or wrote about things (even in times with scientific knowledge being abundant).

-there's somewhat of a 'who cares?' feel to it. For example, do we need vectors to describe the basis for sweeping the floor or understand how it is done? And how is analyzing vectors important when someone is coming to attack you? It is not, paralysis by analysis. You have to 'feel' the situation there, so why not 'feel' to begin with?

-not all people are vector math and physics minded. This approach can impede learning, especially in beginners. It can actually turn people away from taijiquan and aikido.

-despite claims of unusual strength, its promoters might just be waxing romantic about efficient use of normal strength, timing, balance, and relaxation.

-consider punching a bag in a good front stance. Then deliver the same push, but only standing on one foot. This second push is simply not as strong or as easy to do. The vector people would have to explain how the vector strength has decreased even though the same foot is on the ground making the ground-path connection in both cases (http://www.iay.org.uk/internal-strength/issue-4/p21.gif).

-if this scientific sounding qi is present, then it, like all things IMO, can factually be described as an expression of the etheric qi, which is what most traditional and modern sources talk about.


One training partner described his view to me as relaxing every cell of his body. I love that image!! I described my view to him as being what is not allowed in an arm-wrestling match. In a typical match, you basically only use your arm, while it is a foul to use your whole self to efficiently get your opponents' hand on the table. One seeks to put this arm wrestling cheater relaxed whole self into every part of their body. We agreed to postpone our no holds barred match over it. ;)

Some other ones I like to some degree are:

-'external' arts are like getting $100,000 dollars right now, while 'internal' ones are like putting it in the bank.

-'external' arts are self defense, 'internal' arts are heath defense (which includes the self).


Justin

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 06:49 PM
Once again, Justin only critiques, while having no knowledge or solutions.... but certainly with a one-minded vengeance, for some bizarre reason, to chase "Mike Sigman".

Justin.... are you really in Virginia, as you posted, or in Oregon, as your ISP shows?

Mike Sigman

statisticool
08-31-2006, 08:02 PM
Once again, Justin only critiques, while having no knowledge or solutions.... but certainly with a one-minded vengeance, for some bizarre reason, to chase "Mike Sigman".

Justin.... are you really in Virginia, as you posted, or in Oregon, as your ISP shows?


Some points, then I have more important things to do, like wash my hair (and I'm bald!):

-I did not "only" critique in my previous post, which is obvious from reading the post.

-As usual, you or anyone is invited to comment on the critiques I did present.

-I did not mention you in my post, so you have, again, no basis to claim vengeance, chasing, or anything similarly silly, nor claim it if I reply to your direct comments and questions about me.

-What did the moderators say when you reported me? Do let us know. I'm curious to see how they treat a 'He asks me questions I don't like and he disagrees with most of what I have to say. Ban him.' type of approach...

-Hey, since we are talking about taijiquan, do please check out my new short article: http://www.statisticool.com/taijiclass.htm You might even claim it is only critiqing! ;)


Justin

gdandscompserv
08-31-2006, 08:08 PM
Justin.... are you really in Virginia, as you posted, or in Oregon, as your ISP shows?
Mike,
How would you know what ISP Justin is using?http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/eye.gif
Just curious.

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 08:15 PM
Oregon or Virginia as you claimed in your opening post, Justin?


Mike Sigman

statisticool
08-31-2006, 08:31 PM
Oregon or Virginia as you claimed in your opening post, Justin?

Mike Sigman

Just take the average and say Nebraska.


Justin

Mike Sigman
08-31-2006, 08:34 PM
Just take the averageI will. Thanks.

Mike

David Orange
08-31-2006, 09:43 PM
Once again, Justin only critiques, while having no knowledge or solutions.... but certainly with a one-minded vengeance, for some bizarre reason, to chase "Mike Sigman".

Mike, didn't you notice that Justin replied to "me"?
And he was replying to my post to him--a closed loop which included you nowhere in it. By what logic do you derive that he was chasing you? Is he not allowed to answer "others," now, when they directly address him, without it being "chasing Mike Sigman"?

Or are you just yanking his chain?

Justin.... are you really in Virginia, as you posted, or in Oregon, as your ISP shows?

Why did you go to the trouble of tracking his IP?
And why does it matter where he's posting from? Talk about apropos of nothing...

David

David Orange
08-31-2006, 09:58 PM
I just saw this whole thread today, read through it and find my name. Other than that, I've little of relevance to contribute.

Ellis, I quoted from your PM to me on e-budo when Mike Sigman insisted that no one took my idea about "Aikido Comes From Toddler Movement" with anything but ridicule.

To clarify what I think the "vein of gold" is...I think the title "Aikido is Toddler Movement" is a great image. What I think David does highlight is that babies do baby movements without reflection, and until made rigid or stereotyped by ordinary life, the baby tends to find the most efficient and relaxed way of moving APPROPRIATE TO THE BABY'S FUNCTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE.

And I don't claim that aikido is simply reverting to baby movement, but that you can see babies doing rudimentary aiki movement all the time. And they do other things that can be seen as rudimentary forms of other arts. I think I was able to perceive this mostly because Mochizuki Sensei's teaching comprised the essence of all the major Japanese martial arts, combined through the elements of human movement common to all of them. Applying that experience with the observation skills developed in Feldenkrais study, I concluded that toddler movements are one major source of the techniques of all those arts but that they have to be recognized and guided to refinement for mature development.

What relation this has, however, to jin/kokyu/ki/chi, etc.

I don't know why Mike brought it up on this thread. It's part of his general effort to reject my ideas on any subject, I suppose. I hope I did not offend you by posting those statements from a private messsage. It was, in part, another attempt to reach some common ground with Mike since your positive comments about him have tempered my approach toward him--if you could imagine it being worse.

(Who I train with is irrelevant, btw, unless I start expounding knowledge I claim I've acquired - and then and only then - antecedents and teachers will become germane).

Again, please excuse me for bringing you and your experience into the discussion and thank you for your tolerance and consideration.

Best wishes,

David

kelvinyu
09-01-2006, 01:05 AM
Hi Mike,

Not sure about me moving up.....but the clutter on my desk IS definitely piling up ...

always nice to read your commentaries....until all hell breaks loose that is.... :)

best regards,

Kelvin

Esaemann
09-01-2006, 07:47 AM
Any thoughts on this?
I read in a book, can't remember the author, (paraphrasing) that when a fly (read a bird somewhere else) cannot alight (successfully land) or take flight from you, you will have achieved a high level in Tai Chi.
I understand the reasoning. If even the weight/force of a fly can be grounded, then the force of another person can be also. I.e. if someone pushes or hits at you, there is nothing there for them to push/hit against; like hitting air.
I'd be happy to achieve that with one pound of pressure, someday after a couple hundred years of practice. That is one of the goals in our push hands class.
Anybody believe this is possible (with a fly)?

Mike Sigman
09-01-2006, 08:08 AM
always nice to read your commentaries....until all hell breaks loose that is.... :) Sometimes that's when it gets constructive and little bits of knowledge come out. You never know. I long ago learned to be patient and not just drop a thread because of bickering (unless it's too-badly deteriorated).

Are you still on the other list or did you get dropped because you were always "out of the office"? PM me if there's a problem.

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
09-01-2006, 08:10 AM
Any thoughts on this?
I read in a book, can't remember the author, (paraphrasing) that when a fly (read a bird somewhere else) cannot alight (successfully land) or take flight from you, you will have achieved a high level in Tai Chi.
I understand the reasoning. If even the weight/force of a fly can be grounded, then the force of another person can be also. I.e. if someone pushes or hits at you, there is nothing there for them to push/hit against; like hitting air.
I'd be happy to achieve that with one pound of pressure, someday after a couple hundred years of practice. That is one of the goals in our push hands class.
Anybody believe this is possible (with a fly)?Hi Eric: Two different things. The bird thing where it can't fly out of your hand... no resistance to any forces. The fly alights on your body and the body automatically readjusts its balance... that has to do with the six-directions of force/balance.

Best,

Mike

David Orange
09-01-2006, 09:59 AM
I read in a book...that when a fly...cannot alight (successfully land) or take flight from you, you will have achieved a high level in Tai Chi...Anybody believe this is possible (with a fly)?

Actually, Richard Kim wrote in The Classical Man about meeting a monk who sat meditating in a public park (in Shanghai, I think it was) and was covered up with mosquitoes. But as Kim watched, the mosquitoes fell dead around the man. He talked to the man afterward and began "training" with him. They would meet every day and do nothing but walk a circle for about an hour each time. After about a year of that, the monk told him it was enough and they stopped training together.

FWTW

David

Mike Sigman
09-01-2006, 10:05 AM
Actually, Richard Kim wrote in The Classical Man about meeting a monk who sat meditating in a public park (in Shanghai, I think it was) and was covered up with mosquitoes. But as Kim watched, the mosquitoes fell dead around the man. He talked to the man afterward and began "training" with him. They would meet every day and do nothing but walk a circle for about an hour each time. After about a year of that, the monk told him it was enough and they stopped training together.
Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just buy some "Off" spray?

It's sort of like the story of the man who came back to his first teacher and told him that he'd just spent 20 years learning to walk on water. His teacher said, "All those years just to save a few bucks on the ferry?"

David Orange
09-01-2006, 10:09 AM
Wouldn't it have been cheaper to just buy some "Off" spray?

It's sort of like the story of the man who came back to his first teacher and told him that he'd just spent 20 years learning to walk on water. His teacher said, "All those years just to save a few bucks on the ferry?"

I think Kim continued to use the "Off."

I find that when I'm in the company of a Japanese person, the mosquitoes go to them and leave me alone, for some reason.

gdandscompserv
09-01-2006, 11:06 AM
I find that when I'm in the company of a Japanese person, the mosquitoes go to them and leave me alone, for some reason.
Ahh...but Mike is a mosquito of a different breed. :p

Mike Sigman
09-01-2006, 11:28 AM
Ahh...but Mike is a mosquito of a different breed. :pActually, I think I'm more of a gadfly than a mosquito. :cool:

Mike

David Orange
09-01-2006, 02:27 PM
Well, I say Jedi Knight-ish because you explain ki as a cosmic force (as Ben Kenobi said: "Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.")

It only occurred to me much later that you might not realize that the whole jedi thing was based on the samurai.

Did you realize that? The whole "force" idea is modeled directly on the culture of ki?

I don't mean to sound rude, but it occurred to me that these days some people don't know that. Not long after the Star Wars series began, just as I was getting out of college, I mentioned this to a young woman at my church. "The Jedi are based on the Samurai and all the light-saber fighting is based on the Samurai sword."

"No, it's not!" she said. She was not a Zen-dog type. She had never been exposed to any of that culture. But I thought by now that everyone was aware of this.

David

Mike Sigman
09-01-2006, 02:35 PM
It only occurred to me much later that you might not realize that the whole jedi thing was based on the samurai.

Did you realize that? The whole "force" idea is modeled directly on the culture of ki? I agree with Raul that your idea of "Ki" seems to be modeled on the idea of the "Force" in Star Wars and I agree that that Hollywood idea was in turn based on a misunderstanding of what "Ki" is.

You treat Ki as a form of "The Force" and that's exactly the kind of "ki" that does not sustain any support with even casual examination in light of today's western technology. As I noted though, some of the esoteric discussions in Asia do indeed exist as tangible issues, even though they are/were commonly addressed as "ki". The phenomena exist; Ki does not. The use of "ki" and "kokyu" and "jin", etc., are strictly matters of convenience, from my perspective. I look at the phenomena, measurement, and reproducibility... without meaning any disrespect to anyone's closely cherished beliefs and surrogate gods. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

raul rodrigo
09-01-2006, 08:31 PM
It only occurred to me much later that you might not realize that the whole jedi thing was based on the samurai.

Did you realize that? The whole "force" idea is modeled directly on the culture of ki?

David


I do realize that, David. Please give me a little credit. "Jedi Knightish" was only a flippant little phrase.


R

raul rodrigo
09-01-2006, 08:36 PM
Well, there you go. Mike says the cosmic force of ki does not exist; David says its does. And never the twain shall meet.

dps
09-01-2006, 09:48 PM
Well, there you go. Mike says the cosmic force of ki does not exist; David says its does. And never the twain shall meet. Maybe, if there is an episode VII. :)

Michael Douglas
09-02-2006, 05:18 AM
For most people, social stresses influence them to override the body's natural impulses in favor of trying to look "like" someone or something else, such as a certain actor or famous person, or like your martial arts teacher.

That can't be right.
Could this possibly be true? Most people?
Nah, I don't buy that.
David, you are wrong.

(Some pages back, right? Never mind, I just had to reply)