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MM
10-22-2006, 04:33 PM
Work sent me to Boston for a few days. Before I left for Boston, I contacted Dan Harden and asked if he'd meet me. I said I'd like to start learning the internal stuff. Once in Boston, I met Dan at my hotel after work one day and we walked over to the Commons.

I ended up learning a lot of things. One is that Dan is a great guy. Working out with him for the short time I had was a pleasure. I went back and forth from, "Okay how did you do that" to laughing. Most of the time I forgot I was even standing in the Boston Commons.

Two is that I just couldn't push him over. And let me tell -- that was a very disconcerting feeling. I tried pushing with both hands on his chest, tried pulling him sideways using one of his arms, and then placing a hand on the side of his head and pushing. He just stood there relaxed. I don't know how to explain some of what I felt there. Part of it was just like pushing and nothing was budging. Almost like putting your hand on a wall, leaning into it, pushing, and it's just there not moving, but not nearly as hard or unyielding as a wall's surface. And parts of it I could feel that I'd lost my own balance as I started to push. In those instances, I was pushing and Dan was moving his center in such a way that he knew where I was losing my balance or what foot held most of my weight.

It was an eye opening display of some of what he can do. I say some because I also got to feel a small portion of the power he can generate. Another example of this relaxed power was that he held out both hands and asked me to throw him in a judo type throw. I grabbed both arms and that was as far as I got. There were no openings. I never got to the tsukuri, or fit, because I couldn't even get kuzushi. In fact, there was a kuzushi but it was on me. If you've ever seen some of these sayings, "keep weight underside", "extend ki", "keep one point", well, I got to experience them first hand. Dan also showed me the "push out exercise" where I had hold of him but couldn't step forward. Although I didn't feel like I was overly weighted down, I still couldn't take a step. My feet just felt rooted to the ground.

The no-inch punch was amazing. And yes, there was no distance but the force was definitely there. I wouldn't say it felt exactly like a punch, which is more of a percussive feel. No, this was more like a ball of energy/power hitting me and shockwaves vibrating out from where it entered my body. Next thing I know, I'm picking myself up off the ground a few feet away.

All the while, Dan is explaining how all of it is done. He was open and willing to share information on what he was doing and how it was done. He showed me some exercises to do and I tried some of them. Try is a good word. It'll take some time doing them, especially the hanmi. LOL. But in the short time I was there, I will say that they definitely helped.

The stuff Dan is doing is good stuff. I wish I'd been able to visit his dojo and meet everyone else, but I'm hoping that my next visit, I'll be able to do that.

Mark

NagaBaba
10-22-2006, 06:58 PM
No, this was more like a ball of energy/power hitting me and shockwaves vibrating out from where it entered my body. Next thing I know, I'm picking myself up off the ground a few feet away.
Wow,looks like we have new O sensei of Nord America! Amazing! :)
Now I can sleep peacefully.

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-22-2006, 08:09 PM
Hello Mark, lucky you! Hope you keep at the exercises Dan has been kind enough to show you. It's a relative thing after all - if you know nothing, the other guy seems amazing. When you start to find out how this works, then it becomes a matter of training disparity.

Upyu
10-23-2006, 02:33 AM
Wow,looks like we have new O sensei of Nord America! Amazing! :)
Now I can sleep peacefully.
The subtlety in your sarcasm is exquisite as always :D

Tim Fong
10-23-2006, 02:38 AM
Szczepan,
Right, because no one could ever even approach Ueshiba or any of his first generation acolytes. They walked like gods among men, some said, and rightfully so. Training to meet that goal, would be disrespectful because it shows a student who does not know his own place--to be a student. Teachers teach, and students learn. One should not confuse oneself as to one's true station in life. What kind of arrogant person wants to be as good or better than his teacher?

Americans are so damn arrogant, unlike Japanese people, who , as we all know , always strive to be a little less able than their teacher, in order to show proper respect.

Jim Sorrentino
10-23-2006, 01:47 PM
Hello Mark,

Thanks for the review! The next time you're in the DC area, please let me know --- maybe you can stop by the dojo and show me some of what you're working on --- unless Dan swore you to secrecy. ;)

Dan, my invitation to you still stands (see http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10287). At this point, it looks like we would have to do it in 2007. By the way, I asked about your rank and experience in Daito-ryu (in http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35461 --- now locked, alas) because in many of your posts on AikiWeb, e-budo, Aikido Journal, and other internet fora, you hint that you know something more, and that you have studied extensively with senior Daito-ryu teachers. You then imply strongly that this should give your opinion some additional authority.

A typical example is in the Iaido-L archives (March 1999, #229, http://listserv.uoguelph.ca/cgi-bin...-l&T=0&P=22915), in which you said, "As a student Of Kiyama Hayawo (North American Director Of Daito Ryu Kodo Kai) and Roy Goldberg (Shingen) East Coast director, I wish to shed some light on this person and his affiliation with the Kodo Kai. [...] As an aside, perhaps it would aid those in discussing the Kodo Kai, to realize that under Kiyama it may take fifteen years of supervised regular training to reach Mokuroku. For the fortunate few who have felt his technique, it can be quickly discerned that he is a man of outstanding character and humility, and excruciatingly effective."

For what it's worth, I'm satisfied with your answer to Roy Goldberg-sensei's question. As Fred Little noted, your definitive statement that your perspective is based on mixed martial arts is a welcome one. I'm far more interested in studying aikido, its antecedents, and related arts, than the various combat sports.

Also, Dan, as for your claim that you talked to my friends or seniors in aikido, well, please name them. Not one of our mutual acquaintances has contacted me about these exchanges. And as far as I know, they are not a tactful group. ;)

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

DH
10-23-2006, 03:32 PM
You know Justin... er, I mean, Jim
In the end you are going to get the opposite of what you hoped to accomplish. Either way this goes-few will be pleased.

For starters
That letter you linked too? Was written with the expressed permission of The East Coast director and was read to him prior. Surprise!......
As well, I was publicly thanked... both for -it- and a letter that appeared in Aikido Journal- with copies of that journal passed around at a private training session with Kiyama Shihan and others in the room.

Even that is more than you should be entitled to know or have been told.
1. You need an education in Koryu politics, relationships and being set-up.
2. As well as understanding, obedience, and loyalty.
You are talking about family business, and days gone by.

With that I'll remain silent.....Although there is so much more I can say.
All you are doing is to endear me to those who understand Koryu, and speaking volumes to those who knew me then, and know me now. By taking the hit.....I win.
You on the other hand, are hurting your reputation and comng across like a dullard.

I'm not interested in telling you where I was or those I was with who know you. Nor do I care if you dismiss it.
You can't do the jo work, push out exercises, or much of anything else in-depth that has been discussed on these forums.
So, just continue one with what you are doing.....Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow.

Dan

DH
10-23-2006, 03:51 PM
................ It's a relative thing after all - if you know nothing, the other guy seems amazing. When you start to find out how this works, then it becomes a matter of training disparity.


Gernot

I could not agree more and conveyed much the same thing to Mark.These are learned skills. Its a question of daily training. I hate hearing people act supprior about it. Anyone can learn them if they apply themselves. Although I do like the term "training disparity."
I'm going to steal that. I ask my guys how many times they did this or that exercise we are working on this week. Then I say how do you expect to progress?


Tim
But aren't many visionless and stuck? They cannot see beyond technique to principle. Further still, so many are still concentrating on responding to Uke and the prverbial blending, which leads them even farther away from ever getting this stuff internally.
For many Its full speed..............in the wrong direction.

Anyway. I'm outa here just thought I'd respond to Jim's hoo ha.
Cheers
Dan

Tim Fong
10-23-2006, 05:52 PM
Dan,

My post was pure sarcasm =)

I totally agree with you, people get caught up in the whole blending thing and miss the bigger picture.

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-23-2006, 05:59 PM
Dan, you're welcome! Every time I post here I am thinking of my betters who read this and shake their heads (or shake with laughter).

NagaBaba
10-23-2006, 07:06 PM
The subtlety in your sarcasm is exquisite as always :D
I tried to resist temptation, but when I read about ball of energy and shockwaves vibrating I actually felt some vibrating shock, my fingers suddelny wrote something on keyboard and computer sent it out as by Mortal Kombat magic. I don't really understand what happened, but sarcasm wasn't intended at all....... :eek:

Upyu
10-23-2006, 07:45 PM
I tried to resist temptation, but when I read about ball of energy and shockwaves vibrating I actually felt some vibrating shock, my fingers suddelny wrote something on keyboard and computer sent it out as by Mortal Kombat magic. I don't really understand what happened, but sarcasm wasn't intended at all....... :eek:
Dunno, it's not that hard to believe. He's simply describing how it felt. Not a literal "BALL OF En3RgIE OMFDFDFG"
There's other guys that can do similarly disconcerting strikes, I don't think Dan is the only one out there.
Like I said, when you're in the Tokyo area I'd be happy to show you some of this stuff one on one ;)

MM
10-24-2006, 04:42 AM
I tried to resist temptation, but when I read about ball of energy and shockwaves vibrating I actually felt some vibrating shock, my fingers suddelny wrote something on keyboard and computer sent it out as by Mortal Kombat magic. I don't really understand what happened, but sarcasm wasn't intended at all....... :eek:

Sorry you didn't like my description. I'm not the greatest at wordplay. I tell you what, take a visit to Dan or Rob and get first hand experience and then you can describe what it felt like. :) See if you can come up with a better description. As Rob said, it wasn't literal.

Course, if sarcasm wasn't intended in your first post, then that's kind of a scary thought for you, isn't it? Let's take a look at that post:


Wow,looks like we have new O sensei of Nord America!


If there was no sarcasm intended, then you can only mean one of two things. Either your view of O sensei is sooooo low that he wasn't this great martial artist -- or -- Dan is a supremely great martial artist on the level of O sensei. Either way, your training is sort of invalid now, isn't it? I mean, here you are training in a system where you don't believe the founder had any great skill buy you're trudging along in mediocrity -- or -- you're training in a system where there isn't a great martial artist to learn from. Hmmm ... what does one do? Oh, in case you haven't noticed, yes, sarcasm is intended. :)

Seriously, though, if you get a chance to train with one of them, my advice would be to take the opportunity. Just my opinion, though.

Mark

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2006, 05:04 PM
Jim may want to take note: just as there are individuals who may never have finished high school, but who take the world by storm with their natural intelligence, talent, vision and determination, there are also those who do not "earn rank" in martial arts by convential means, yet they excel and perhaps even exceed the abilities and skills of those who would rank them. They do not rely on just one source from which to derive their truths.

It is arrogance to adhere to the narrow view that rank-granting organizations, whether universities or martial disciplines, are the sole means by which a person may master their fields or arts.

In fact, in my observation, the best and most visionary advances made in any discipline, from science to martial arts, have seldom been made to the the adherants of in-the-box organizational associations. Rather, they come from those who came up in the conventional way, then followed their own vision. Not because they were arrogant, but because they had such a hunger to know, that they had to follow their own path. They build something better on the foundation they were given. They are seldom welcomed by those who remain in the box, but are respected and lauded by those who themselves have the vision to see past the limits of the systems from which they came.

The arrogance I see -- among aikidoka, purportedly the Harmonious ones! -- is appalling. Shame on your Sczcepan, after all these years. Here you have a first-hand report from someone who trained with and found Dan to be open, willing and in no way secretive about exemplary techniques that Mark was then invited to learn for himself, and you still can't accept Dan or his abilities.

The box is still full of people who are happy to wedge themselves in and contemplate only its corners. :rolleyes:

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2006, 06:37 PM
By the way, koryu themselves do not have formal rank, and some koryu-based arts retained that tradition and did not have or grant formal rank until fairly recently (some systems didn't start ranking until less than 10 years ago). A lot about rank is totally political and has little regard to actual ability or skill -- which is true in pretty much every discipline that has some kind of ranking system. You can get Grand Muckalucks who can do squat, and rankless individuals who have trained one-on-one with high-level practitioners and have superb skills.

In my experience over the past nearly-30 years is that the more importance an individual puts on formal rank, the less secure he is and -- in truth -- the less he knows. I'd put a lot more weight on what a person can do, and what he knows. Knowledge and skill do not materialize in a vacuum. They come from having had excellent teachers, and from being an excellent student -- to the point that they go beyond what they were formally taught and take their skills to new levels through intelligent hard training and study.

Rank means way too much to too many, and few have real understanding of what it all means.

Jim Sorrentino
10-24-2006, 07:21 PM
Cady,

I am aware that koryu budo do not issue rank in the manner that gendai budo usually do. I am also aware that rank (in any art) often has little to do with knowledge and skill. As I have said many times since I first invited Dan to teach at my dojo (sight unseen!), I asked Dan to state his rank and experience only because he has, on many occasions, implied strongly that he has knowledge and skill outside the realm of experience of many, if not most, aikidoka. Further, he has often implied that much of this knowledge and skill comes from his study of koryu --- specifically Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu (Kodokai) and Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu swordsmanship. So it seems to me fair to ask him: what did you study, for how long, and with whom? And since he has written in a public forum, it seems appropriate and fair to ask him these questions in that forum, rather than in private messages.

I have continued to pursue this matter because Dan writes to this forum, as well as e-budo and others, a lot. Since he has much to tell us, I have offered him the opportunity to show us. Here in the DC area, I could assemble a group of aikidoka, practitioners of Chinese martial arts, and others, many of whom would have at least 20 years of training. Many are in law enforcement, or are active-duty military. If Dan has something to show, if he has learned and/or developed methods of training that "cut to the chase" in the aiki world, then he should come on down --- we are waiting to see it, and learn it if we can.

I bear Dan no ill will, despite the fact that he seems quite upset with me, to the point of engaging in grade-school tactics such as saying that my friends and associates (all anonymous!) agree with him. If Dan does not want to show and teach what he knows, that is his choice. But if he values what he does, and values it enough to want to share it with experienced, enthusiastic, and dedicated learners, it is also his loss.

I agree that aikidoka are often an arrogant and smug lot. That is why I am willing to provide my dojo as a venue in which to test out our assumptions. If Dan were to come down, I hope that Szczepan (and other skeptics) would attend as well.

Alas, the latest thread concerning this matter, in the Aikijujutsu section of e-budo, has been merged and closed. I hope that this thread will not suffer the same fate.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

Cady Goldfield
10-24-2006, 08:34 PM
Just so you know, I have trained with Dan for some years. He'll likely be pissed that I'm even posting here and bringing more attention to this, but actually, he does have skills that have never been documented or observed in aikidoka. It's just not there. Dunno why, but that's just how it is. The holders of skills don't always pass them along, for whatever reason.

Some people just don't "do" seminars or drop in to teach at schools of other arts. They have nothing to prove, and what they do isn't for the entertainment or pleasure of those whose first admissions were of disdain. That Dan would openly offer to meet and train with anyone who would like to come out to his area makes it pretty clear that he isn't hiding anything or putting himself above anyone. He has trained with anyone who was open-minded and genuinely wanted to learn, and in fact sees that as opportunity for his own training, learning and betterment.

Mark Murray was particularly gracious to share his experiences and perspectives, which are spot-on for someone unfamiliar with that skill set. Skepticism accompanied not by rigidity, but by curiousity and humility, is what opens the door to genuine learning and opportunity.

DH
10-25-2006, 07:17 AM
Cady
That was a bit over the top. Several other guys wanted to write in as well and I said no. It was supposed to be a direct report from a stranger initially involved with the debate, not those who already know me.

Folks
What is the heart of the matter?
The history of these discussions, and the start of contention were the interjections intially put forward by Rob John, Sigman and I in many discussions of center, jo, the one point, Aiki, etc.
Many sceptics asked whether we were doing the same things or similar or not and if these things can or are done with non-students and if it works (this of course alluding to them being tricks instead of the real skills they are) on non-cooperating trained guys.

What we now are seeing is anything....anything... to hang on to instead of those sceptics and doubters admitting they were wrong. That there is a a skill as reported, in front of them and that is beyond most everyone in these discussions- even in these arts.Seniors, juniors or not.... they simply don't know them.
So.....
Who has held up their part of the bargain?
Who is lacking?

1. Rob Johns teacher did a seminar
Folks reported back that everything was true

2. Sigman met Ledyard
Ledyard reported back that everything was true

3. I was the hold out. But I agreed to meet Ron Tilsdale and Mark Murray from this list and they would report back here. Sadly Ron could not make it.
Mark did and reported back.....
That everything was true......

The real issue-obfuscated by off-topic nonsense- is since it -IS- true.
a. Why can't you do it?
b. Why don't you know this stuff?
c. Why is your art sorely lacking of these skills?
d. Why can't you even hold up your end an acknowledge the efforts and reports of those who pursued the answers up close and live?

Unless I see something on topic, like the sceptics and doubters asking or even acknowledging the existence of these skills, then I'm done.

There are others I have trained with in Aikido since this debate many months ago who have read this fall-de-rall, and I have more to go. Some of them-unlike the doubters and sceptics here- are now actively learning skills sets, instead of being gad flies on the internet, doubting things they do not understand.
The skeptics will stagnate or continue to slog through the box trying to find the pieces here and there, if they ever do.

What we have been discussing in these many topics, is the true bujutsu, the true source of Aiki, and the paths of power. It is the essence of Aikijujutsu, AIkido, Judo, and the Chinese martial arts.

Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
10-25-2006, 09:44 AM
I didn't know. I'm sorry.

David Orange
10-25-2006, 11:58 AM
Since he has much to tell us, I have offered him the opportunity to show us.

I have to weigh in here in agreement with some others who have provided historical, traditional precedent that if you want to see what Dan does, you need to go to his place and see. I don't know of anyone who would agree to go to you and show you their material and IF you like it, you will cover their expenses and maybe pay them something for their trouble.

Dan has offered to show you and some of your friends at his location for no charge. As someone else suggested, you can end all the back-and-forth and snide comments by taking the money you proposed giving Dan and using it to make the trip to him, as is the traditional way of handling these things. Dan has even offered to let you film the interactions.

Since you have made the challenge, it really is your responsibility to go to him. If you don't want to accept that, then you should let it go. Otherwise, it just looks worse and worse.

Best wishes.

David

Ron Tisdale
10-25-2006, 12:16 PM
Frankly, I respect both of the main players in this debate, though to date I have only trained with one. I'd like to consider both friendly aquaintences, and hope one day to be able to say more.

This is just my opinion, and you may both feel free to ignore me and it...

But this should be let go. Either one can travel...it makes no difference. Get together, sort it out, let it go. The training that each of you does is way more important than the bickering.

Best,
Ron

shodan 83
10-26-2006, 06:55 AM
I respectively disagree with the notion that this needs to be dropped, it is true that nothing will come of it; Dan will not accept the gracious offer to show the "jo trick" at Jimmy's dojo. Dan will continue to point out that all other MA do not possess what he has and are lacking, he'll continue to make the claims he has made in the past and cast disparaging remarks concerning others training and his ability to gather admirers from casual interaction at an assortment of venues. It has a certain entertainment value.

Ron Tisdale
10-26-2006, 07:10 AM
Hi Eric,

The shame of it is that the martial skills and how to train them (which in reality, you would think would be the focus) get lost in the bruhaha. That is everyone's loss. There are a lot of personalities in the MA world that I really don't care for...but if they have good skills and know how to pass them on to me, I'll deal with the personality to get the goods. Not in a slimy, kiss up way...just good honest training.

This other stuff is for the birds.

Best,
Ron (entertainment? that's what the Ron Duncan vids are for) ;)

DH
10-26-2006, 07:17 AM
Interesting Eric
I continually point out that this knowledge -is- out there in various places and is just not -commonly-known by men (of all styles). And of those that have met those of us who can do these things-What do....they...say? They can't do these things either. How'd that happen Eric? Is it a conspiricy?

If you can't...you can't. The only thing remaining is whether or not you care-most don't.
And whether or not you doubt it...most do.
And then whether or not you pursue training in it to improve your own arts. Most won't.

Those that do... are and will remain... superior artists.
Still doesn't mean they're better fighters. Thats a whole different topic-one that I also enjoy. Just that they will be far more efficient players in any venue they choose to use these skills in. Further if you read various things I have written I said I hate seeing it mentioned without adding that anyone can train this way. Its out there for anyone who will pursue it. I've also said I hate to see the last vestige of what is truly great in these arts bandied about and used to beat people over the head. The only truck I have is with those who say these skills don't exist? Why? Cause it isn't true.
I'd like to see consistency in a debate.
First it was stated clearly...here....that these skills weren't true.
Then various people got to feel it and reported back that it was.
Now its back to personality bashing. You might want to also note Marks comments about laughing and having a great time. I think the sour grapes are entirely with your side. I'm enjoying life and making friends. I hope you are too.

There's nothing wrong with you just writing this off. Maybe there is nothing here for you.

Dan
.

shodan 83
10-26-2006, 08:23 AM
Interesting Eric
I continually point out that this knowledge -is- out there in various places and is just not -commonly-known by men (of all styles). And of those that have met those of us who can do these things-What do....they...say? They can't do these things either. How'd that happen Eric? Is it a conspiricy?

If you can't...you can't. The only thing remaining is whether or not you care-most don't.
And whether or not you doubt it...most do.
And then whether or not you pursue training in it to improve your own arts. Most won't.

Those that do... are and will remain... superior artists.
Still doesn't mean they're better fighters. Thats a whole different topic-one that I also enjoy. Just that they will be far more efficient players in any venue they choose to use these skills in. Further if you read various things I have written I said I hate seeing it mentioned without adding that anyone can train this way. Its out there for anyone who will pursue it. I've also said I hate to see the last vestige of what is truly great in these arts bandied about and used to beat people over the head. The only truck I have is with those who say these skills don't exist? Why? Cause it isn't true.
I'd like to see consistency in a debate.
First it was stated clearly...here....that these skills weren't true.
Then various people got to feel it and reported back that it was.
Now its back to personality bashing. You might want to also note Marks comments about laughing and having a great time. I think the sour grapes are entirely with your side. I'm enjoying life and making friends. I hope you are too.

There's nothing wrong with you just writing this off. Maybe there is nothing here for you.

Dan
.


Dan I’m well aware of these things and I’m searching them out and I’ll find them, you don’t know me so please don’t presume to lump me into the category of those who presume to hold themselves or their art in an air of ignorance or superiority. I’m not taking anyone’s side just putting in a contrarian point of view. I’m sure you and Mark had a great time, he had nothing but positive things to say. Hopefully our paths will cross one day and you and I can share some training.

DH
10-26-2006, 08:32 AM
I'd probably enjoy that Eric, and make it enjoyable for you. I can't stay serious for very long though.

There are dozens of folks reading this...er...stuff... who know me, and cannot figure out why I bother. I returned as It was agreed about 6 months ago that Mark and Ron would come from the list and report. Its the only reason I'm back here again-in support of that commitment. I wish you good luck in pursuing these skills. The Mind/body is an amazing, time consuming, play ground to live in. Even more so in connection with others intent.
Cheers
Dan

shodan 83
10-26-2006, 08:43 AM
I look forward to the opportunity.

E

MM
10-26-2006, 08:53 AM
I respectively disagree with the notion that this needs to be dropped, it is true that nothing will come of it; Dan will not accept the gracious offer to show the "jo trick" at Jimmy's dojo. Dan will continue to point out that all other MA do not possess what he has and are lacking, he'll continue to make the claims he has made in the past and cast disparaging remarks concerning others training and his ability to gather admirers from casual interaction at an assortment of venues. It has a certain entertainment value.

Hello Eric,

I'm hoping that one day you'll get a chance to experience some of this "internal stuff". Reading words on a screen doesn't convey anything near what it's like for real. And in that perspective, I can understand why so many are skeptical.

But it is at that point where people are separated. You can remain skeptical (and there are infinite reasons which are neither good nor bad so don't take being skeptical as a negative thing) or you can put forth an effort to experience "internal stuff" first hand.

For the former, being skeptical has no negative connotations. It merely is a state of being. However, to cast aspersions, IMO, is where it starts to go wrong. Yes, Dan declined Jim's offer. Dan has his reasons. But you forgot to mention that Jim declined Dan's offer. And Jim has his reasons. We should respect both and not post in a way to make one seem wrong.

So if you're skeptical, at least have enough of an open mind that if a chance does come along to experience things, take it. It may or may not live up to your expectations, but at least you'll either have a basis for your skepticism or a new way of training.

As for your next to last sentence ... I see nothing wrong with it. Dan has that Right. And if you find that you take offense to someone, anyone, telling you that your training is lacking in anything, then you might want to take a look inside yourself to see why. What does an outsider's words really mean to your training? People from karate, taekwondo, BJJ, etc have ripped apart Aikido yet I see very few take offense at that. Would you take offense if some karate person said your aikido training was fluffy bunny unrealistic hype? But yet, here are Dan, Mike, and Rob saying that aikido training is missing something and it's created a windstorm of talk. Why is that?

Oh, as to your last sentence ... in some aspects, I take my training seriously. So, if the topic is about something that can alter my training in depth, I take it seriously. To devalue it to entertainment value ... well, as I said at the beginning, I hope you get a chance to experience this "internal stuff".

Mark

DH
10-26-2006, 09:07 AM
I think both of your posts crossed, so there is a bit of innocent cognative dissonance there.

Mark
May I add the discussion we had about you remaining with Aikido and including this training into -your- aikido? I think that is a bit of a point here is well.

Cheers
Dan

shodan 83
10-26-2006, 09:09 AM
Mark, you are being far too presumptive about me, my training, my skepticism, etc. My only purpose was to provide a contrarian point of view to ending the thread, if you find no entertainment in this discourse, perhaps you and I read in a different light. As far as people ripping Aikido, most of it is dead spot on, I'm comfortable in my art and my ability, so those throwing stones don't bother me, but I’m constantly looking for new things and better ways to improve myself and my training. So don't think I discount the internal arts, quite to the contrary. I'm glad you enjoyed your training and I take your post at face value.

MM
10-26-2006, 09:33 AM
Mark, you are being far too presumptive about me, my training, my skepticism, etc. My only purpose was to provide a contrarian point of view to ending the thread, if you find no entertainment in this discourse, perhaps you and I read in a different light. As far as people ripping Aikido, most of it is dead spot on, I'm comfortable in my art and my ability, so those throwing stones don't bother me, but I'm constantly looking for new things and better ways to improve myself and my training. So don't think I discount the internal arts, quite to the contrary. I'm glad you enjoyed your training and I take your post at face value.

Hi Eric,
My apologies. Posts were crossed as I was replying and if I had read your later posts, I wouldn't have responded the way I did.

Thanks,
Mark

MM
10-26-2006, 09:36 AM
I think both of your posts crossed, so there is a bit of innocent cognative dissonance there.

Mark
May I add the discussion we had about you remaining with Aikido and including this training into -your- aikido? I think that is a bit of a point here is well.

Cheers
Dan

Dan,
Sure. No problem at all adding that in here.

Mark

shodan 83
10-26-2006, 09:40 AM
No apology necessary; if we all bury ourselves in our respective dojos our art is doomed.

E

Tom H.
10-26-2006, 02:55 PM
Mark
May I add the discussion we had about you remaining with Aikido and including this training into -your- aikido? I think that is a bit of a point here is well.I'm interested in hearing about that. I stopped doing aikido after I went through Tokyo this summer; Rob got me hooked on Akuzawa's stuff. Aikido would take free time, which I think would be better spent on shiko, body axis training, or whatever solo work. But I'm not sure, so I pay attention to threads like this.

Tom

DH
10-26-2006, 10:01 PM
I'm interested in hearing about that. I stopped doing aikido after I went through Tokyo this summer; Rob got me hooked on Akuzawa's stuff. Aikido would take free time, which I think would be better spent on shiko, body axis training, or whatever solo work. But I'm not sure, so I pay attention to threads like this.

Tom

Hi Tom
I wouldn't either, but that's me. If folks love it I say let them be. I try to encourage them to "see" Aikido differently, as I think its the first step to -doing- aikido more effectively. The only issue I have is, as I explained, then showed Mark, is that this work is just about opposite the intent in aikido. Blending is a disaster as far as I'm concerned. I imagine the hardest part would be having to let people do things to you, as over time we both know it becomes damn difficult to impossible to move you or lock you any other way.
I think leaving it, fixing yourself on the inside, and going back to it is difficult also but still the best course. You can then move others and throw and lock but how are you going to get thrown? I'd not want to break my structure that way. What for? Your not gonna get led-out or redirected any day soon, and they're only going to redirect themselves by trying.
But that goes back to what I said to Mark. Aikido is fun to do if you cooporate and feel that exchange. This training will virtually nullify that play and sort of change your view of Budo forever. It makes cooperation hard to so since your body will not react that way anymore.
I recently got a letter from a Chiba/ Di Anne/ Aikikai guy who just felt a friend of mine in the CMA. He is now asking all the same questions and is realzing the dilema of facing internal power. And this CMA guy wasn't high level at all in the CMA.

Anyway, you now know as well as me that the true work is on you by changing you on the inside so you can change forces on the outside-and you don't need other people for the majority of that work. The rest is just testing work and experimenting and trying out your progress. Shiko? Yes!....one of my long time favorites. Oh the thousands of em. We have any number of various solo exercises as well, and the results are rather obvious (over time) for power delivery. We all know ya can't lie about your solo work.
The answers are right in your hands ;)

When are you going to be in the states?
Dan

Mike Sigman
10-27-2006, 02:40 AM
I'd probably enjoy that Eric, and make it enjoyable for you. I can't stay serious for very long though.

There are dozens of folks reading this...er...stuff... who know me, and cannot figure out why I bother. I returned as It was agreed about 6 months ago that Mark and Ron would come from the list and report. Its the only reason I'm back here again-in support of that commitment. I wish you good luck in pursuing these skills. The Mind/body is an amazing, time consuming, play ground to live in. Even more so in connection with others intent.I'm out of town at the moment and just browsing various forums, but I'll toss in 2 cents here. It's hard to judge what anyone knows or can do based on internet comments about physical things that happened to someone because we didn't see it happen and we have no idea of the experience or skill level of the commenter, often. What we *can* do is read someone's explanation of the theories and see if they jibe. Continued comments like "I told you so" are simply meaningless.

It's good that Dan finally met up with someone, but I don't see how it tells much more than that. There are all sorts of levels of skills with these things.... rooting and releasing some power (amount unknown) are just parts of the whole equation. Probably it would be more illuminating if Dan could describe how he does a few of these things.... because there are all sorts of varieties of usages of the basic skills, from the hard Shaolin/karate things to the softer Taoist, etc.

What I'm still waiting on is for Dan to clarify his last boast before he jumped ship in the last episode, where he claimed to have stupified Chen Zheng Lei at one of CZL's workshops.... something that appears to be patently false, from a comment made by the host of that event on the QiJing list.

Maybe if you would tie all of these things together, Dan? Why a person of your oft-touted abilities is bothering to go to simple Tai Chi workshops is a real puzzle to me.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
10-27-2006, 06:42 AM
I'm out of town at the moment and just browsing various forums, but I'll toss in 2 cents here. It's hard to judge what anyone knows or can do based on internet comments about physical things that happened to someone because we didn't see it happen and we have no idea of the experience or skill level of the commenter, often. What we *can* do is read someone's explanation of the theories and see if they jibe. Continued comments like "I told you so" are simply meaningless.


Hello Mike,

I'd agree with you only up to a point. It doesn't take much experience or skill to use basic physical muscle. I'm 5'7" and weigh 195 pounds. Got about 5-10 pounds (at a guess) of fat around the belly but other than that, it's muscle. I can use basic muscle and push a good bit. That's all without adding in any skill or experience. So, to a point, people can judge. In fact they can try it at the dojo or home. Just stand relaxed and let someone push on you. It's what I did before I met Dan. lol, I still do it. For another test, let someone push on the side of your head, just using muscle, and see how you fare. At a base level, people can understand and judge some of what is going on.


It's good that Dan finally met up with someone, but I don't see how it tells much more than that. There are all sorts of levels of skills with these things.... rooting and releasing some power (amount unknown) are just parts of the whole equation. Probably it would be more illuminating if Dan could describe how he does a few of these things.... because there are all sorts of varieties of usages of the basic skills, from the hard Shaolin/karate things to the softer Taoist, etc.


There were three main voices: you, Rob, and Dan. As I understand it, there was a seminar with Rob's teacher. Ledyard sensei met you. But Dan was still an unknown, per se. Granted, I'm not as skilled as Ledyard sensei by a long shot nor am I a host of attendees at a seminar. :) But now, all three voices have been experienced outside their own realms. And the results are pretty much the same. So, in that aspect, it reinforces, yet again, what all three of you have been saying.

As for describing ... What good is describing it? What one person uses as descriptors, another would find confusing. And for most of us out here, the description would be useless. It would be like me asking Ikeda sensei to describe how subtle he was. He probably could, but it would be useless to me. I probably wouldn't understand it correctly. IMO anyway.

On the other hand, I'd really like to hear your opinion on how or if one could use this "internal stuff" and incorporate it into Aikido? Dan's given his opinion. I'm going to try to post my thoughts on it, too.


What I'm still waiting on is for Dan to clarify his last boast before he jumped ship in the last episode, where he claimed to have stupified Chen Zheng Lei at one of CZL's workshops.... something that appears to be patently false, from a comment made by the host of that event on the QiJing list.

Maybe if you would tie all of these things together, Dan? Why a person of your oft-touted abilities is bothering to go to simple Tai Chi workshops is a real puzzle to me.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ah, and that gets a bit too off topic for me. If there's another thread on this, could we please use it and not this one? Thanks.

Mark

Robert Rumpf
10-27-2006, 09:10 AM
Blending is a disaster as far as I'm concerned. I imagine the hardest part would be having to let people do things to you, as over time we both know it becomes damn difficult to impossible to move you or lock you any other way.
I think leaving it, fixing yourself on the inside, and going back to it is difficult also but still the best course. You can then move others and throw and lock but how are you going to get thrown? I'd not want to break my structure that way. What for?

This is the problem that I have with this idea of training (or at least, with pursuing this idea exclusively), and to some extent with training in Aikido, martial arts, or any form of contention in general. Its very hard to take bad technique seriously, but that is what is required for a certain type of training that I find a lot of wide applicability for, both on and off the mat.

There is this admonition to "be the water, not the rock" but this type of body work and the capability to redirect and resist forces (and for that matter the capability of an advanced Aikidoka to resist a novice Aikidoka, the strong to resist the weak, or the logical to refute the illogical) trains you to be the rock. The idea of the blending I'm talking about, and that I am currently really interested in, is to spout another idea whose origin I can't recall is that "the horse moves before it feels the whip."

I'm not talking about rigidity here (although that is one example) - I'm talking about a lack of blending, a lack of acceptance, and moving only when you're being polite and feel like it as opposed to following cues or anticipating. Being fixated on internal strength instead of examining our partners and what they want and need. There is a weakness in this attitude in the long term, from what I have observed. It leads to complacency, stagnation, and lots of self-satisfied smirking and dismissal of other ideas. What can follow from this is an ambush, circumvention, or asymmetrical warfare either metaphorically or literally.

There are reasons to learn and train yourself to blend with a force, ANY force, no matter how inexpert and ineffectual. It helps in terms of training the mind and body to be able to blend with anything. It teaches you how to accept others and understand them, instead of being so strong and confident in yourself. I realize that this flies in the face of much of what people try to learn in martial arts, but... <shrug>

Still, its a moot point... both types of training have value.

So Dan (and Mike), what are you working on currently in your training, I might ask? Are you moving further in the same direction, or is there other new stuff that you're working on? Are you satisfied with what's in your toolbox and are just polishing the tools, or are you trying to get new tools? What's a weekly or daily training regime like for you two? Are you teaching or are you also taking class?

Rob

DH
10-27-2006, 10:22 AM
Rob
I've never been satisfied with my what's in my toolbox, nor how I use the tools. By this time next year I hope to have yet again, learned more, as I will be traveling to train with a seriusly good practioner of this stuff. But here's the point. This type of traning is....the toolbox. Then you have things you can do which are the tools in the box. But I remain open as to where the knowledge comes from and who has it.

That said your question is still really more applicable to the box- not the tools in it. Even down to minute levels everything is still based on the bodywork (tool box). The rest is application.
If I can use outside-lines of my body to absorb your force while attacking you with the insides, then the incoming force feels neutral and I can read what you are doing to me ina flash. THis is what Mark felt then I can maintain that force or load on me and instantly cut your center away without having to move...at all.
Even someting as simple as your legs or feet have outsides and insides. Mark wonlt publicly discuss it but I showed him how to identify that "feeling" in him and how to transfer the load carrying ability down the putside of his leg while attacking with the inside.

Your argument or question (argument sounds harsh) is why not give them what they need or blend and it helps in life etc.

All I can say is that the healther Martial artists I've met were guys in wrestling, BJJ Judo and MMA where your fight you win you lose you fight. Not to be too condeming but there is a handicapp in only facing cooperation or mild resistence.
All that said, we don't train this to ...have to...hurt/ harm. The body skills can be as ooey gooey as you please or as violent as needed.
But you cannot -find it- by blending. You find it in you first.
Hell on another level I could say I am blending but it has nothing to do with the blending oft seen. Why canlt we blend by not moving and changing your force on me internally. It goes where I will it to go, not where you want it to go. Then I can rebound it back at ya coming up to take your base away. Aiki-age
Or absorb down my front and come back at ya over the top to compress you.

In fact I believe it was Ueshiba coming into his own who realized for the first time that he could truly "stop the spears" (Budo definition) with these skills thus not ever N-E-E-D to fight anymore.
But the path to get there is learning what I call "paths of power" in your own body first-not blending with anyone.

Cheers
Dan

MM
10-27-2006, 10:31 AM
This is the problem that I have with this idea of training (or at least, with pursuing this idea exclusively), and to some extent with training in Aikido, martial arts, or any form of contention in general. Its very hard to take bad technique seriously, but that is what is required for a certain type of training that I find a lot of wide applicability for, both on and off the mat.

There is this admonition to "be the water, not the rock" but this type of body work and the capability to redirect and resist forces (and for that matter the capability of an advanced Aikidoka to resist a novice Aikidoka, the strong to resist the weak, or the logical to refute the illogical) trains you to be the rock. The idea of the blending I'm talking about, and that I am currently really interested in, is to spout another idea whose origin I can't recall is that "the horse moves before it feels the whip."

I'm not talking about rigidity here (although that is one example) - I'm talking about a lack of blending, a lack of acceptance, and moving only when you're being polite and feel like it as opposed to following cues or anticipating. Being fixated on internal strength instead of examining our partners and what they want and need. There is a weakness in this attitude in the long term, from what I have observed. It leads to complacency, stagnation, and lots of self-satisfied smirking and dismissal of other ideas. What can follow from this is an ambush, circumvention, or asymmetrical warfare either metaphorically or literally.

There are reasons to learn and train yourself to blend with a force, ANY force, no matter how inexpert and ineffectual. It helps in terms of training the mind and body to be able to blend with anything. It teaches you how to accept others and understand them, instead of being so strong and confident in yourself. I realize that this flies in the face of much of what people try to learn in martial arts, but... <shrug>


Rob,

Hello. Um, I read your post three times. I think I have an idea of what you're conveying, but if not, please correct me.

What I'm understanding as your view of "internal strength" isn't the same as what I'm talking about with "internal stuff". The "internal stuff" that I'm talking about is one of the true ideals of aiki. (I say one because there may be others.) At its core, there is a process of blending with a force.

When Dan showed/explained what he was doing and then the resulting feel and/or off balance that I felt; there *had* to have been blending and/or aiki at its core. I don't think it is the same thing as being a rock or the "capability of an advanced Aikidoka to resist a novice Aikidoka".

If I've misunderstood your post, please let me know.

Thanks,
Mark

MM
10-27-2006, 10:36 AM
I was replying when you were - again. LOL. I should start checking the thread before I hit submit.

I think that you are blending forces. But yes, it isn't in the same way that some of us are doing it in Aikido. I guess this could be a splitting off point for another thread to talk about external blending (which some of us in Aikido do) and internal blending (which is what I view you as doing).

Mark

DH
10-27-2006, 10:38 AM
Rob
Just want to add we are not the rock but are the -ultimate- water. This is soft, very soft. The hardness you sense or feel is the result of the ground not the body being flexed. Because everything goes to ground it feels hard. How do you make it so? By being very soft and pliant. But pliant, with no base, so you have to blend with force, worse having to move all over.... is not a way I'd go. Being able to change the direction within my body-which Mark felt:
a. lets me read you
b. lets me direct you
There is no time lag- it just is.

The flip side is generating power, which can be substantial.
But you need this essential basic structure to do everything else. Otherwsie...wham you go over or are yourself manipulated.
When Mark was tring to throw me and I felt "hard" I wasn't. It just felt that way to Mark. But I was letting him lift his feet to try Tsukuri and Kake. But the hard rubber feel can be offered or taken away. So......... I then I switched and when he tried to throw me I was softer still... but then he couldn't lift his feet off the ground. That's done with breath work supported off my structure supported from the? ......ground, and me using his own feet.
But in all? The ultimate water........heck you can even apply a base wave (unseen travelling base-of-the-wave which is a weight/vector transfer from underneath) to rise up and take the feet.
Cheers
Dan

DH
10-27-2006, 10:44 AM
Sorry Mark

I was working and kept going back to try and finish the post...duh!

Gees I gotta work :eek:
Dan

Robert Rumpf
10-27-2006, 11:12 AM
Let's see if I can characterize what I'm trying to say better...

Situation: Someone tries to push you.

Its the difference between the following responses:
1) Letting the push be redirected through you to the ground (dissipating the push)
2) Letting the push be redirected through you (or the ground) back at the person (redirecting the push)
3) Disrupting the push through mechanical (or other) means
4) Letting the push move you
5) Moving ahead of the push

All are useful areas of study, I think. It seems like what Dan is interested in is (1) and maybe (2) and maybe even (3). I'd say that many Aikidoka I've seen are interested in (2) and (3) and maybe (1). I'm currently interested in (5) and to some extent (4) because I can't do (5).

The reason for this is that I've realized that being right or strong in myself, my opinions, or my techniques doesn't help me deal with others, or at least with others who are the most circumspect, dangerous, or powerful, especially off the mat, and that's the part of training that I'm currently interested in.

Rob

David Orange
10-27-2006, 11:22 AM
It's hard to judge what anyone knows or can do based on internet comments...What we *can* do is read someone's explanation of the theories and see if they jibe.

Mike,

I don't think you'll find anything in the comments of people like Gozo Shioda and Morihiro Saito that meet your requirements for indicating that a given person "knows" anything or "can do" anything. I never read any comments by either of them that sound anything like what you seem to require.

It's good that Dan finally met up with someone, but I don't see how it tells much more than that. There are all sorts of levels of skills with these things.... rooting and releasing some power (amount unknown) are just parts of the whole equation.

Well, Mark is a moderator on at least one of the forums and he is an established judo guy and, I think, an aikido practitioner. That is the nice thing about rank (in judo, at least) and it's why I've said before that I would like to see claimants to the "internal stuff" get some rank in judo so that we can see on an impartial scale what kind of power they generate, just how immovable they really are. With judo, at least, you don't get a sixth dan except by overcoming a number of fifth dans. So you get a lot of consistency and an objective comparison. With aikido, the ranks are so diverse from dojo to dojo that they tell absolutely nothing about actual martial skill. Some places actually disdain martial application altogether and you can find highly ranked people who are relatively easy to push around, while they can have no effect on you. But in judo, we at least have some idea of what power and moveability mean. Mark has that background, and he says Dan was really impressive, so that says a lot for me. Also, Chuck Clark has spoken well of Dan and Dan seems to be on pretty good terms with Ellis Amdur...so he's not travelling with wannabes.

Probably it would be more illuminating if Dan could describe how he does a few of these things.... because there are all sorts of varieties of usages of the basic skills, from the hard Shaolin/karate things to the softer Taoist, etc.

As you've always said, it has to be felt to be known. And you are well-known for disdaining "whatever" anyone else uses as a description, so why do you keep calling for "descriptions" from people? Just so you can shoot down their words? Frankly, what you and Dan "say" on these boards seems to be so similar that if your names were taken off, I doubt many people could say which of you made the statement, outside general attitude in the statement.

What I'm still waiting on is for Dan to clarify his last boast before he jumped ship in the last episode, where he claimed to have stupified Chen Zheng Lei at one of CZL's workshops.... something that appears to be patently false, from a comment made by the host of that event on the QiJing list.

I never saw such claims from Dan on this board or on e-budo, either. Maybe I missed it. But why don't we keep the conversation to what's been posted here, to avoid confusion?

Best.

David

MM
10-27-2006, 11:28 AM
Let's see if I can characterize what I'm trying to say better...

Situation: Someone tries to push you.

Its the difference between the following responses:
1) Letting the push be redirected through you to the ground (dissipating the push)
2) Letting the push be redirected through you (or the ground) back at the person (redirecting the push)
3) Disrupting the push through mechanical (or other) means
4) Letting the push move you
5) Moving ahead of the push

All are useful areas of study, I think. It seems like what Dan is interested in is (1) and maybe (2) and maybe even (3). I'd say that many Aikidoka I've seen are interested in (2) and (3) and maybe (1). I'm currently interested in (5) and to some extent (4) because I can't do (5).

The reason for this is that I've realized that being right or strong in myself, my opinions, or my techniques doesn't help me deal with others, or at least with others who are the most circumspect, dangerous, or powerful, especially off the mat, and that's the part of training that I'm currently interested in.

Rob

Rob,

If you go by that list, then what Dan is doing using 1, 2, and/or 3 is very definitely NOT what Aikidoka are doing using 1, 2, and/or 3. At least not the ones I know/train with. So if you're using the Aikidoka version of 1, 2, and/or 3 and trying to apply it to what Dan is doing, you're not getting it right. IMO, there is a profound difference, not only in execution but in intent, physiology, flow, and center. Although being a beginner at the "internal stuff", one must take my views with a grain of salt. :)

Mark

Ron Tisdale
10-27-2006, 11:28 AM
There is a certain amount of "gotcha" that goes on on all sides of these conversations. I assume that it is inevitable. I wish it were otherwise.

On judo rank, I don't think the rank enters into it at all. What matters is the format...judo's format lends itself to certain truths...and they are pretty much irrefutable. I think that is very refreshing.

Best,
Ron

Robert Rumpf
10-27-2006, 11:38 AM
Rob,

If you go by that list, then what Dan is doing using 1, 2, and/or 3 is very definitely NOT what Aikidoka are doing using 1, 2, and/or 3. At least not the ones I know/train with. So if you're using the Aikidoka version of 1, 2, and/or 3 and trying to apply it to what Dan is doing, you're not getting it right. IMO, there is a profound difference, not only in execution but in intent, physiology, flow, and center. Although being a beginner at the "internal stuff", one must take my views with a grain of salt. :)

Mark

Of that I have no doubt, for better or for worse, from what I've seen and heard. My imagination tells me it is like the Ki Aikido that I've seen (at least in terms of Ki tests) or that it is to produce a solid capability in that department. That said, its a functionally solo affair, with the exception of testing, at the static level.

I was mainly responding to this comment.. and asking Dan how he addresses the other items on my list.

I'm interested in hearing about that. I stopped doing aikido after I went through Tokyo this summer; Rob got me hooked on Akuzawa's stuff. Aikido would take free time, which I think would be better spent on shiko, body axis training, or whatever solo work. But I'm not sure, so I pay attention to threads like this.

I was merely saying that I've personally found that there is more than can be gained by practicing Aikido than just (1), (2), and (3).. I guess it was more of a comment with respect to Dan's understandable difficulty in going to an Aikido class to work on those skills. It just doesn't help the partner dynamic, unless everyone else is on the same page. Being too strong in those skills can complicate learning others.

I think with that list that I provided, all of the different areas need to be developed in concert or in sequence, but that becoming too good at any one area makes one too reliant on that as a response.

Rob

David Orange
10-27-2006, 11:45 AM
The only issue I have is, as I explained, then showed Mark, is that this work is just about opposite the intent in aikido. Blending is a disaster as far as I'm concerned.

Dan,

I've enjoyed these threads immensely. I have to say, it looks to me like someone tried to burn you and you just glowed more brightly. Mark's comments have really gotten me interested, but your overall positive attitude is the real key.

However, I think your statement that "blending is a disaster" needs some further consideration. It seems that all you guys are talking about a kind of "immoveability" and "overpowering strength" kind of thing that causes uke to fall or lose his balance or strength on contact with you.

But that's why I always ask, "How does this relate to the sword?"

The essence of aiki, to me, is in the unarmed defender facing the sword-wielding attacker. And I think that in that case the disaster would be failing to blend.

Much is made of how quickly Ueshiba told Tenryu that he had learned all he needed. Again, that followed literal decades of severe sumo training, yet there was still something he had to learn from Ueshiba and that was "technique". So while I am convinced that tanden development is central (and that's always been stated by the masters), there is still an important place for technique.

Best to you.

David

shodan 83
10-27-2006, 11:47 AM
Mike,


I never saw such claims from Dan on this board or on e-budo, either. Maybe I missed it. But why don't we keep the conversation to what's been posted here, to avoid confusion?

Best.

David

See Dan and Mike's thread.
just proverbial fuel..................
E

Ron Tisdale
10-27-2006, 11:55 AM
Hi David. I'm trying to think of a classical ryu that uses "blending"...I'm coming up empty. I think aikido is often wrong to translate awase as "blending"...not that I have a translation to offer. At least, nothing better than "matching"...

As for Tenru...I would postulate that "technique" or waza is the last thing Tenru needed to learn from Ueshiba. The stories of Tenru having trouble pushing that old man up a hill are probably told for a good reason. I can't think of why or how that would have to do with "technique"...

Best,
Ron

MM
10-27-2006, 12:02 PM
Dan,

I've enjoyed these threads immensely. I have to say, it looks to me like someone tried to burn you and you just glowed more brightly. Mark's comments have really gotten me interested, but your overall positive attitude is the real key.


David, just a quick note. I sent you a PM about it.

I'm not an established judo person. I've trained in it (no rank) and played with some judo people (up to yondan), but my main focus at the time was Aikido. That was back when I was actively training in the Jiyushinkai. Thanks.


However, I think your statement that "blending is a disaster" needs some further consideration. It seems that all you guys are talking about a kind of "immoveability" and "overpowering strength" kind of thing that causes uke to fall or lose his balance or strength on contact with you.


You've hit the nail on the head. :) In my training, I've been told that you must have kuzushi the instant you touch uke. Well, why not the other way around, too? Isn't kuzushi a key aspect to aikido training? Which brings me to your next points.


But that's why I always ask, "How does this relate to the sword?"

The essence of aiki, to me, is in the unarmed defender facing the sword-wielding attacker. And I think that in that case the disaster would be failing to blend.


Not failure to blend. But rather a different aspect to training. This "internal stuff" will get you the center, one point, kuzushi, aiki, etc. But once you've gotten good at it, you can apply it to anything you want: BJJ, karate, judo, underwater basket weaving, etc.

This is where it finds a place among Aikido. Or rather, in my view, one trains in something that should have been there all along. :) Where Dan and I differ is that he can't see how one can have this internal knowledge and train in Aikido. I do (I'm still writing that post).


Much is made of how quickly Ueshiba told Tenryu that he had learned all he needed. Again, that followed literal decades of severe sumo training, yet there was still something he had to learn from Ueshiba and that was "technique". So while I am convinced that tanden development is central (and that's always been stated by the masters), there is still an important place for technique.

Best to you.

David

Yes, but the technique will be changed/adapted because of knowledge of internal training. Doesn't mean you'll disregard the external training. IMO, anyway.

Mark

MM
10-27-2006, 01:40 PM
Not the best with words or explanations... here's my rambling post.

Let me start with Aikido. We all start learning how to roll and fall. We start learning how to move. We learn the forms and the katas. You can't just do nikkyo without learning some kind of hand placement. So, there's a basic training here that all of us go through.

Internal. Again, we start learning from the beginning. There are exercises. We build our center. It's a long process.

If you are studying aikido, you need to learn a few skills for safety. Ukemi is one. Being soft and able to feel, rather than using muscle is another.

Now, let's say we start adding internal skills to aikido training. As tori/nage, you find things starting to become a bit easier. Easier isn't the right word, but it's the best one I can find. Next, you have to understand and know your own center to bring about the desired effect in uke. In that, you'll have to not only understand how the internal stuff works but also how the aikido part works. You just wouldn't stand there and sankyo falls into place. Not at this level anyway. Let me put it another way. If you're working on nikkyo and sankyo, your hands have to end up in different positions. In other words, there is a level at which you have to work on technique. This is tsukuri, where we learn how to fit.

As uke, you'll need to learn how to fall safely and how to receive energy. Otherwise you are going to hurt yourself. I don't see how learning internal stuff will help with ukemi as it relates to safely falling onto the ground, rolling, etc. Internal training would help with other aspects of ukemi, though. At more advanced levels, one might not need to fall, but definitely receive the energy.

As it is right now, if someone of Dan's or Mike's skills came to Aikido, it would be a little like Saotome sensei coming to a new dojo. Neither would be there to take the falls, really. They're there to teach. To bring students up to their level or surpass it. To show just what level students can attain. However, if you started with someone who is also learning the internal training at the same time, then as that person progresses, hopefully, the dojo would progress also.

In the end, though, it's really a matter of what the person wants to do. Given that Ueshiba had these skills, and a person who loves Aikido learns them too, there really isn't any reason he/she can't follow in the footsteps of Ueshiba. If that person loves Daito Ryu, they'd do that. Takeda showed the way.

We have quite a few examples of people who have learned this internal stuff and took it to various arts. I'm sure there's examples in the Chinese martial arts as well. And should you run into people who train and don't like what you're doing, there's always people around that will. :)

Mark

DH
10-27-2006, 01:51 PM
Hi Ron
No one has to play "I gotcha." Thats a choice. And..... it speaks volumes of the people doing it.
With any luck we might be able to have a decent discusion without turning into a personality bashing fest again. Why you guys continually put up with it is beyond me. It would get blown up in a heartbeat over at E-Budo. Jun is veery tolerent.
The whole idea was-I thought-to find out if any one can really do any of this stuff and then....if this stuff is relevant to Aikido, or could be made relevant, or in my view was the core of Aikido to begin with. And...as Aikidoka for you guys to make that call on a personal level. I don't use it in any traditonal art- but mores the point...can you if you want to?
The real discussion you guys should be having amongst yourselves is-if this stuff is in fact real.... as the guys have come back and reported.... what does that mean to you? If anything?
The second half of the question is whats relevant to your practice?
Leave off that I do MMA and Rob does MMA ..I dunno what Mike does. Forget that alltogether.
What can this stuff do for you. That's the discussion fellas

I think it is tailor made for Aikido but will make doing it on a student level difficult. If you are progressing steadily in your solo training your are just naturally not going to be the one falling down. And no one wants to be a ninny in the Dojo causing trouble. And the only to...fall down willl be then breaking structure and taking a dive.
If you're the teacher maybe that fine, but then again you aren't going to be moving ir flowing. So where then is the "Model" for students to follow? I dunno, thats up to you guys, I can't see it.

I'd suggest asking folks like Rob and Mike who have shown this stuff in the past to come down and do workshops. Anyone can learn these skills if they apply themselves and have someone who will work with them. It takes years, no one is going to get it overnight. The good news is that you can do the majority of the sweat work alone.

I'm still not interested in teaching. But, if anyone wants to meet me, write me at E-budo P.M. I don't come here much anymore. If we can, maybe we can hook up if you are in Mass. If you are willing to commit and are not overly serious and boring, maybe we can have some laughs and good training. I'm really not interested in "people with issues" Life's too short.
Cheers
Dan

Ron Tisdale
10-27-2006, 01:58 PM
Hey Dan,

I really think folks are asking the questions, and trying to find out how to integrate this into their current skills, dojo, life...etc. Like anything else old/new...its a process. I can wait for it to play itself out, now that some headway is getting built up. Sooner or later someone will be close that can do the hands on coaching. In the meantime, I try to do what I can while my neck heals, and look forward to getting with you once that's happened.

Best,
Ron

DH
10-27-2006, 02:05 PM
Thats what I hope.
It will be great fun... say ten years out to see what various guys have done with it in their chosen arts. Meet up with Mr. X in Aikido and have him show this or that as internal skills in his art. Or with Mr. Y in MMA, or Mr. Z in Judo. Then its just what level of understanding is in their hands, not about which art is better.

Better yet to see who knows various health aspects of it. I still have a lot to learn with various aspect of this stuff myself. And the healing aspects? I haven't a clue! But I am hoping to fix that this year with a Pro. Someone I met who does both the martial end and the healing end and offered me some serious instruction.

Cheers
Dan

MM
10-27-2006, 02:25 PM
Thats what I hope.
It will be great fun... say ten years out to see what various guys have done with it in their chosen arts. Meet up with Mr. X in Aikido and have him show this or that as internal skills in his art. Or with Mr. Y in MMA, or Mr. Z in Judo. Then its just what level of understanding is in their hands, not about which art is better.

Better yet to see who knows various health aspects of it. I still have a lot to learn with various aspect of this stuff myself. And the healing aspects? I haven't a clue! But I am hoping to fix that this year with a Pro. Someone I met who does both the martial end and the healing end and offered me some serious instruction.

Cheers
Dan

Wow, that sounds great, Dan. Would be really neat to learn the health aspects, too. Guess in ten years when I've got one part down, you can teach me the other. As long as the person you're learning it from isn't named Vader. ;) LOL.

Mark

DH
10-27-2006, 02:28 PM
David
Those were some kind words. Thank you so much. I have been surprised by not only the emails I have received, but from who sent them. Some guys I don't even know- others I haven't heard from in years from a previous art.

Cheers
Dan

David Orange
10-27-2006, 02:29 PM
On judo rank, I don't think the rank enters into it at all. What matters is the format...judo's format lends itself to certain truths...and they are pretty much irrefutable. I think that is very refreshing.

Well, what I'm referring to is the objective standard of skill level. Let's say I claim powers. I have proven them against a judo brown belt. Well, you know about how good the brown belt will be, but it doesn't tell you much about my skills. But then I tell you I bested a sandan. That's getting more respectable. Then I tell you I can consistently toss around Japanese 6th dans....welll....if that's true, you have a good indication of some very meaningful power.

That's what I mean.

Best.

David

David Orange
10-27-2006, 02:53 PM
David Orange wrote:
But that's why I always ask, "How does this relate to the sword?"

The essence of aiki, to me, is in the unarmed defender facing the sword-wielding attacker. And I think that in that case the disaster would be failing to blend.


Not failure to blend. But rather a different aspect to training. This "internal stuff" will get you the center, one point, kuzushi, aiki, etc. But once you've gotten good at it, you can apply it to anything you want: BJJ, karate, judo, underwater basket weaving, etc.


My point here is that there is a definite technique to avoiding the sword, quite apart from the waza of taking the sword away from the attacker. I can relate to the idea of uke's being ubalance at the moment he touches you, but a sword will not be unbalanced on contact. If it contacts you, you're dead.

Of course, technique with tanden is entirely different from technique without it. I think the real problem here is that, in transplanting martial arts to the West, it was just simplified, especially in language, but anyone who goes really deep into judo or aikido has to encounter and develop tanden to proceed further.

The problem with that is that it is so profound even at the shallow levels that few people can conceive that it could possibly go even deeper than that. Anyway, I have enjoyed conversing with Dan over time and I find his maerial intriguing. So I want to know more.

Thanks,

David

Tim Fong
10-27-2006, 03:27 PM
David,
Nice to see you posting again. I have done judo in the past, and will return to it in a few months after I take care of some other academic matters. I think that the 6 directions training I have done made a big difference--I found that randori was a good labratory to determine how much "stability" my body has. It has been about 6 months since I have done judo, though I've been doing the solo training and kickboxing in the interim.

I completely agree with you that it's about results. I'm curious to see what happens when I restart judo again in another 5 or 6 months.

David Orange
10-27-2006, 03:39 PM
David,
Nice to see you posting again.

Tim,

Thanks. I do see judo as a very stable and consistent background against which all kinds of things can be compared and weighed. Pure tanden training is bound to help that and/or aikido/sword, etc. And I think that, more than aikido or other things, judo (or sumo) is a great place to see just how real perceived gains are. It's one thing to feel that you've made vast progress, but getting on a mat with a good judo man can be both humbling and inspirational.

Best to you.

David

Tom H.
10-28-2006, 08:56 AM
It just doesn't help the partner dynamic, unless everyone else is on the same page. Being too strong in those skills can complicate learning others.But these skills (at the level I know them) are very easy to get after you've been show how to train -- it just takes thoughtful, dedicated hard work over time. Why aren't they more common?

It aggravates me that this stuff was not openly taught when I was trying out Aikido or Taiji. It's not impossible-to-understand hard, and it's foundational. Maybe the training was there, maybe I was blind to it. Looking back, a lot of stuff that didn't make sense now makes sense. Maybe I wasn't ready until this April for such an immediately eye-opening experience (as being shown how to generate connective tension from hand to hand across the upper body, which is itself just a foot in the door).

Part of me really wants to return, but I can't walk back into a classroom in as an unranked student who only trains on the side now because it's fun to play with technique and touch other people, then show everyone else what they are missing. Not yet, anyhow :)

I think with that list that I provided, all of the different areas need to be developed in concert or in sequence, but that becoming too good at any one area makes one too reliant on that as a response.I suspect that one of the strengths of the kind of training I'm talking about is that it forces you to evaluate your own body and discover what you need to train and where you are weak. That's all inside yourself. Plugging your body into a martial setting (e.g. Aikido, grappling, MMA) is another matter. I'm willing to sacrifice a couple years developing my body (rewiring movement) before trying to do anything with it, and I'm betting that because of the apparent rarity of this kind of training, it will have been worth it.

I think leaving [Aikido], fixing yourself on the inside, and going back to it is difficult also but still the best course. You can then move others and throw and lock but how are you going to get thrown? [...] This training will virtually nullify that play and sort of change your view of Budo forever. It makes cooperation hard to so since your body will not react that way anymore.But if you're playing with other people who have the same type of body, the interplay would be much more valuable. That may be the answer to the problem that upsets me in my meandering response to Robert.

Tom

Tom H.
10-28-2006, 09:01 AM
The good news is that you can do the majority of the sweat work alone.The bad news is ... you have to do the majority of the sweat work alone :)

Tom

DH
10-28-2006, 09:34 AM
QUOTE=Tom Holz]

But if you're playing with other people who have the same type of body, the interplay would be much more valuable. That may be the answer to the problem that upsets me in my meandering response to Robert.

Tom[/QUOTE]

Hi Tom

At a particular point people will realize whats happening inside of them by everyone's reactions around them. If they're doing their bodywork- then the only way they are going to get along is by purposely trying to wreck or at least give up the integrity of their training so they can be locked or thrown. For people that have spent agonizingly long periods alone working on various connections...ya just want to go out and test it, You sure as hell don't want to go out and give it up.
I'm fortunate enough to have a group who trains this way and we keep testing each other. You can still go out to meet other MA'ers. I do. There are also more than enough guys who will take you up on outside training if you ask.You can also go to gyms and ask big guys there to push and pull you or pile drive you. I still do it and now they ask their friends to do it on me so they can watch the reactions. I tell them its yoga, so they don't get wierd. I've had more than few light up and say "Couldn't you use this for fighting?"

Perhaps the greatest curiosity is why- even in the arts that have correct internal training- men don't ever get it. Why? They want so much to be strong, and able, but don't have the mental fortitude and willful discipline to spend hours alone... where there is no glory, no recognition, no acknowledgement of effort. Only the work. I have looked men the eyes when they have failed and said "I don't want to hear it. Don't compliment me-I don't need it. Instead ask your self ...Why.... you say you want it-But you aren't doing the work?"

I have come to believe that although anyone can indeed learn- it takes a certain type of man to harness these abilities. They not only have to see the long road they have to be able to think and put together chains in their bodies. Otherwise you can't build on connections.
We have an exercise where you deal with force from left to right on the opposite "outsides" of your body lines left to right/ right to left while we are free to use the insides to the front and back. I've seen men get the first steps and yet be stymied by the next set in the chain. Without exhaustive private mental training- it just isn't going to come together.
Sweat is a wonderful thing
Cheers
Dan

Tom H.
10-28-2006, 04:36 PM
They want so much to be strong, and able, but don't have the mental fortitude and willful discipline to spend hours alone...That would explain the kung-fu scenes where a skilled outsider charges into a dojo and takes on two dozen students with no effort. Just like the archetype of the old teacher.

I think I'm going to set some arbitrary goals for this winter, just to see if I'm the kind of person that can keep it up. Something like "six days every week: 100 of X, 40 of Y, and 15 of Z".

Tom

DH
10-29-2006, 10:20 AM
That would explain the kung-fu scenes where a skilled outsider charges into a dojo and takes on two dozen students with no effort. Just like the archetype of the old teacher.

I think I'm going to set some arbitrary goals for this winter, just to see if I'm the kind of person that can keep it up. Something like "six days every week: 100 of X, 40 of Y, and 15 of Z".

Tom

Well I think facing multiple experienced "fighters" is a fools game. Most can't handle even one.

I got your email .I think it will be great fun comparing notes in person finally.

Cheers
Dan

shodan 83
10-30-2006, 07:19 AM
What I’d like to see here and it would up to Mark or Dan to provide is a narrative of their interaction as it relates to specific skills that Dan imparted to Mark. Either one of you willing or able to provide a narrative of the specific skill sets derived from your meeting, and specific exercises to continue the development of “internal strength”?

Thanks, E

DH
10-30-2006, 08:56 AM
Hmmm....My version is more expansive then Marks as it was standard shtick for me. In fairness to Mark it is usually quite bit to take in, in just a few hours. Its an information dump with many things being strange, and new.

Sharing how to do it on the web? No, not really. If someone wants to train with me they can come see me. The only person I asked Mark to share some things with was Ron Tilsdale-as he was originally supposed to be the other tester from the debate here. Besides the fact that I like the guy. There really isn't any point in all this other than to let folks know its out there and to search it out. It takes years to get this stuff. I have guys that have been with me for twelve years who no one is going toss anytime soon. But they sure as hell didn't learn it on the internet or through reading about it.

A narrative of what happened in our interaction from my end? I had Mark push me with on hand, then two and really shove. And dropped him here and there.
Then I instantly starting showing him how to do some things and use his will and visualize transfering the horizontal load to the ground. He...got in the way of himself, I showed him again and again till he could feel it and in a way do it right there.. After him feeling it in himself I had him push me again so he could, in a sense feel it in me. Then I showed him how to receive it and rebound it...snip.... lots of attempts...Then he shoved me and I bounced him away.
Then I showed him how to deliver without any movement by touching him.... and lifting and casting him off. that was soft, then I did a no inch punch that knocked him to the ground.
Then a short kick to his thigh...which I don't think he liked all that much.
With these we talked about Connection of the uppper body and how it breaks in most people...snip.... lots of demonstration.
Then I started to sho him about zero balance. How to maintain a center point with someone coming at you from any direction with ground arriving at at various points in the body....snip...I showed him specifically what I was doing on the inside against his pushed and pulls. He noticed that his pushes were in fact casting himself off and that I could feel where his weight was, even what foot he was about to lift. This led to him laughing as I said push me hard and steady, and I started sending my breath to split him, compress him, lift him, and nuetralize his push so he found it hard to push. I used my hands to demonstrate what Iwas doing on the inside. lifting, compressing, splitting etc.
Next I showed him hoe to support load across his back and chest with him pushing on my arm held out to the side (like the jo trick) and my other arm foward. I let him feel the transfer from the side arm to the forward arm and the interplay then to ground and out.
It was then That I said let up the ante and try to lock me, then try to throw me anyway you can think off. Don't say anything just take me down....snip...Mark down....snip...Mark down..... Then I showed him what I was doing. Last I showed showed him the same thing but I would'lnt let him lift this feet. Then how it is done with my version of Arkuzawas push out exercise. The way I do it is I let Mark get in a power stance (hanmi) and put his hands out. I stand feet squared to shoulders, knees locked, amrr locked. Its perfectly ridiculous looking as it is obvious I should go over. Then I had Mark push straight at me through his hands and try to step forward through me.
He couldn't lift his feet. He just stood there.
The rest of the time was me not showing, but having Mark go through individual exercises to understand how the peices work together. Even the common fallacies and mistakes in Hanmi. Which what he was laughing about here. IMO most Hanmi is weak and will not sustain load from a dedicated shove or pile drive. It takes the load in the wrong way. I showed Mark how to stack and leave his joints to compress and expand without transfering the load to his back quad. Then how to "think" of the outside of his legs as separate from the insides and how you can create what I call a base wave. This kept lifting him up
Then more discussion of the pieces at dinner and some basic understanding of how things tie together when you are working at home.
This is standard shtick for me, but it lets someone get a feel.
Again. It isn't about me. What if Mikes better? What if Arkuzawa's better? What if there are a hundred CMAers that are better? It was and is supposed to be about you guys finally believing in... it...., not me or others.
The more you keep letting it be about "people," the less you will believe it can be yours. Let it be about ....you. And then getting iit for yourself. For you to own and work in your art. Get it where you can find it. It is out there in various places and you can use it in what ever manner you choose.

Cheers
Dan

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-30-2006, 09:11 AM
Hear hear! This should be in a "sticky" on this forum. Thanks Dan, every time I read a post like this, I get more confidence.

shodan 83
10-30-2006, 09:40 AM
Thanks Dan i appreciate the effort.
E

Tim Fong
10-30-2006, 09:50 AM
Dan,

Great write up. I agree , from the perspective of a beginner (me) it's about who can demonstrate the best set of exercises or training protocol that I can use to develop skills.

Tim

Tom H.
10-30-2006, 06:20 PM
I agree , from the perspective of a beginner (me) it's about who can demonstrate the best set of exercises or training protocol that I can use to develop skills.Me, too :), especially if you've also got the driven discipline to re-build your body. Fortunately for us beginners, there are people who have been openly showing the hows. I've been amazed how far I've been able to run solo with the small amounts that I picked up from Rob a couple months ago. I hope that pattern continues.

(Me "running far" doesn't mean much ... I am probably one of the least martially experienced people trying to do this. But that's my own fault; I sat on my butt for almost a decade after my first exposure to this internal material.)

DH
10-30-2006, 06:41 PM
... ... I am probably one of the least martially experienced people trying to do this. But that's my own fault; I sat on my butt for almost a decade after my first exposure to this internal material.)

It doesn't need to be expresssed martially. That's just a choice.

I'd say again that I Postulate that it is the ultimate form of stopping the spears (Budo). The best potential to stop harm against you without cauing it. I believe it was this that allowed Ueshiba's "vision" to match what he learned from Takeda-
"That Takeda opened his eyes to true Budo."

Cheers
Dan

David Orange
10-30-2006, 10:05 PM
I believe it was this that allowed Ueshiba's "vision" to match what he learned from Takeda-
"That Takeda opened his eyes to true Budo."

Cheers
Dan

Very interesting, Dan. This relates to so many things. Your references to making the "connections" through the body also reminds me very much of Feldenkrais, which is very small, subtle movement that forces the attention down to very small details of how one is using the various parts of his body and how that use causes greater stress or cumulative power. Feldenkrais was a judo teacher in Europe from the 1920s or so. He got his first lesson from Jigoro Kano, in person after having some fighting jujutsu experience. Surely what you're doing also relates directly to "maximum efficient use of effort," wouldn't you say?

Another thing, though: I've been corresponding with Jim Sorrentino and while I said earlier that he "tried to burn you," I don't think now that that's what he was doing. I think he is just very passionate about his art and was passionately defending its reputation. This old internet give us fantastic interconnectivity, but so often,we still don't understand each other and we wind up like those guys tied together at one wrist with a knife in the other hand. I have gotten a much better view of Jim and I have admired the way you've handled yourself through these discussions. I'm looking forward to meeting both of you, whenever, wherever.

Best to all.

David

Joe Bowen
10-31-2006, 01:57 AM
...At a particular point people will realize whats happening inside of them by everyone's reactions around them. If they're doing their bodywork- then the only way they are going to get along is by purposely trying to wreck or at least give up the integrity of their training so they can be locked or thrown...Dan

Dan, I'm curious, when you teach your technique or style for lack of a better word, all you do is throw around or knock around your students? Are you ever thrown? Do they keep trying until eventually they can throw you? Is that the end state or goal of the training methodology?

Joe

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 05:34 AM
I'd agree with you only up to a point. It doesn't take much experience or skill to use basic physical muscle. I'm 5'7" and weigh 195 pounds. Got about 5-10 pounds (at a guess) of fat around the belly but other than that, it's muscle. I can use basic muscle and push a good bit. That's all without adding in any skill or experience. So, to a point, people can judge. In fact they can try it at the dojo or home. Just stand relaxed and let someone push on you. It's what I did before I met Dan. lol, I still do it. For another test, let someone push on the side of your head, just using muscle, and see how you fare. At a base level, people can understand and judge some of what is going on. Depends on what people know and what they don't know, Mark. Just as a quick, off the hip comment, what would have happend if you had pushed *upward* at 45-degrees in a direction to Dan's back, on a line orthogonal to a line drawn between Dan's two feet? He would have gone straight over, I'll be willing to bet. So it gets back to how you push and where, with jin/kokyu, with muscle, etc. In other words when you say you "pushed" Dan and couldn't move him, already I'm beginning to question why you didn't know enough to include basic comments like I'm making. And I'm just being clinical. On the other hand, I'd really like to hear your opinion on how or if one could use this "internal stuff" and incorporate it into Aikido? Dan's given his opinion. I'm going to try to post my thoughts on it, too.
Sure, these things can be used in Aikido, Mark. What I'm very carefully trying to say... and I've said it a number of times before... is that while the basic principles are the same, there are variations; and some of those variations are not useful or complete enough for Aikido.

This thing about Dan saying he's "just letting people know" (with the inference that he's in the know) is fine, but my comment repeatedly (the same comment I think Jim Sorrentino is trying to make) is that Dan seems more intent on saying "look at me, look at me" than in truly being helpful.

Hiroshi Ikeda unabashedly brought a karate guy (Ushiro Sensei) in order to provide Aikido people with some hands-on, useful information that Ikeda Sensei thought was beneficial for progress in Aikido. Ikeda didn't learna few bits and pieces and then present himself as a "knowledgeable expert".... he made every attempt to get information out there. He paid his dues.

Rob John tells specific exercises in his posts. I try to say what I can about *How To* and even provide illustrations and diagrams. Dan tells us about his feats of strength and how good he is. There's a very big difference, in my mind, in Dan's approach and other peoples'.

The idea that Dan is "prohibited" from telling "Koryu Secrets" has pretty much been shot down by Jim's discussion with Goldberg (or whoever). If Dan wants to say this stuff is useable for Aikido... we all agree and have agreed for years (with caveats on exactly how). If he wants to contribute something really useful that doesn't smack of another "advertisement about Dan Harden", he should do it. That's my challenge to Dan.

Same thing with some of these teachers that know the *real* secrets and subtle ones of Aikido. If they really know those things, they should be chiming into this conversation... because there's no way to avoid the fact that all of these things go hand in hand.

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 05:44 AM
I don't think you'll find anything in the comments of people like Gozo Shioda and Morihiro Saito that meet your requirements for indicating that a given person "knows" anything or "can do" anything. I never read any comments by either of them that sound anything like what you seem to require. What you mean is that you don't recognize the common information when you see it, David. Yet you "teach", so you can't conceive of the idea that you may be missing basic information. Therefore you continue to teach rather than search.
Well, Mark is a moderator on at least one of the forums and he is an established judo guy and, I think, an aikido practitioner. That is the nice thing about rank (in judo, at least) and it's why I've said before that I would like to see claimants to the "internal stuff" get some rank in judo so that we can see on an impartial scale what kind of power they generate, just how immovable they really are. I did judo for a number of years, David, and I competed in various cometitions when I was in the Marine Corps. So let's assume for discussion purposes that you're not telling me anything new. Insofar as anyone being a moderator of some internet talk-group, I have no idea what that signifies that is germane to this conversation.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 06:11 AM
Just a last comment about Dan's lengthy post on what he did with Mark. Dan, that's all fine and good (although I can't imagine me ever posting something like that... so maybe that's the difference in our personalities), but if you look at your descriptions you didn't tell anyone anything useable. It comes off as just another Dan Harding anecdote about Dan Harding.

Let me digress a minute and discuss some people I met who were "senior students" of Mantak Chia. Mantak Chia is the son of some wealthy Thai merchants (IIRC) and he went around Hong Kong and other places paying to learn how to do a number of qigongs, theory, etc. If you read some of his books, they're interesting because they contain a number of Shaolin and Taoist stuff mixed up as a sort of hash that he calls "Taoist" (his students actually write the books, so their "understanding" has a creep factor). A lot of the theory is mostly correct (there are some errors, too), but some things are missing and a lot of the "foot in the door" initial definitions are missing (or not known). The students of Mantak Chia can demonstrate certain tricks/demo's and they have some skills.... although I would say they're limited. A good example would be that when they "root", his people tend to do it with a palpable tension. They also do not understand basic jin, so they have some weird ideas. The worst thing is that although some of what they know "could be used in Aikido", it's potentially going to lead people down the wrong path if they try to stick it in their Aikido.

This is the reason why I keep trying to get away from the "here's what I did to Joe Blow" stuff. There are *wrong* ways to do these things that can cause you to waste time. So it's worth trying to pin someone like Dan down to details to make sure that he's doing something that is honestly useable in Aikido in the way he is showing it to Aikidoists. When I question him, it's purely for that reason.

In Mantak Chia's group, I saw the results of 2 very serious mistakes in what was being taught. One of them led to the death of a woman by cancer because she felt assured the "qigongs" would protect her. The other was a way of training the qi that will almost undoubtedly lead to hypertension problems. In fact, I would not be surprised to hear that some people have had strokes or burst aneurisms with the particular approach they use, but I'd have to show you why I have that opinion.

Lastly, there is a lot more to these topics than we ever get to on this list. Some people have the idea that there are a couple of insights that they can learn which they then can add to their already smashing martial-arts knowledge. I thought that, too, at one time. It's deeper than that. So if you pick a route to go into these things, you need to have a good overall picture before you pick the door you go in through. All these discussions, whether it's Dan, Ushiro, Rob John, etc., etc., are good (regardless of any bickering content.... hey, that's just life), and if you look, the level of the conversations has been going up the last 2 years. That's good!

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
10-31-2006, 07:22 AM
Depends on what people know and what they don't know, Mark.


Hello Mike,
That's true of everything. :) As for me, I don't know anything about the internal arts.


Just as a quick, off the hip comment, what would have happend if you had pushed *upward* at 45-degrees in a direction to Dan's back, on a line orthogonal to a line drawn between Dan's two feet? He would have gone straight over, I'll be willing to bet.


I don't think it would have mattered. I tried a straight push backwards and one using my center diagonally downward through Dan's center. Those were just on the push to the chest.


So it gets back to how you push and where, with jin/kokyu, with muscle, etc. In other words when you say you "pushed" Dan and couldn't move him, already I'm beginning to question why you didn't know enough to include basic comments like I'm making. And I'm just being clinical.


I'll agree that it does matter on the how and with what. Since I'm not practiced in internal arts, I had to use what I knew. Granted, it's limited but certainly not a beginner's level. And it definitely illustrates that there are things missing in the internal aspect to Aikido. That's the biggest and most important point here. As for why I didn't know enough ... well, that's a point you and Dan have been making for awhile now. Why isn't this stuff in Aikido? It's a question I can't answer right now. But it's one I hope to correct one day. :)


Sure, these things can be used in Aikido, Mark. What I'm very carefully trying to say... and I've said it a number of times before... is that while the basic principles are the same, there are variations; and some of those variations are not useful or complete enough for Aikido.


Could you explain in more detail, Mike? That's an interesting tidbit. :) Which variations do you think aren't useful or complete enough for Aikido. Remember, a lot of us reading this are beginners in the internal arts.


This thing about Dan saying he's "just letting people know" (with the inference that he's in the know) is fine, but my comment repeatedly (the same comment I think Jim Sorrentino is trying to make) is that Dan seems more intent on saying "look at me, look at me" than in truly being helpful.

[snipped the rest]

Best.
Mike

IMO, everyone is entitled to their own way of life. So, the way I view it is that you, Dan, Rob, Jim, etc have your own way of training and your own way of talking about martial arts and your own way of doing things. I've read the explanations and exercises by Rob, I've read your posts and links and diagrams, etc. But my own opinion on the subject of internal arts is that this is one area where you really have to experience it and have someone show you how to do it in person to get a start on it. And 90% of us out there in the Aikido world are beginners. IMO anyway.

So I have no problems with how Dan approaches internal arts and the Internet. Whether or not he wants to detail things is up to him. I'm certainly thankful that he met me and showed/explained/answered all the things that he did.

The same goes for you, too. I'm thankful for everything you've put out there. And if I'm ever in your neck of the woods, I hope that I can stop by and say hello. Would be nice to meet you.

I've briefly met Jim at the Amdur seminar. I got to meet Dan for a few hours. I've talked to both on the phone. I've found both to be passionate about the martial arts and great people to know. I'm glad I met them.

My view, then, is that I don't really care all that much about how the Internet presence is shown, not shown, told, written, etc. Everyone (me included) has an opinion and something to say (I am writing a post :), but I have enough trouble with this blasted hanmi exercise that I really don't need to add any more from the Internet. LOL!

Thanks,
Mark

MM
10-31-2006, 07:31 AM
What you mean is that you don't recognize the common information when you see it, David.

Regards,

Mike

I can't speak for David, but, I'll own up to this one. I definitely didn't recognize the common information and I teach Aikido. Moving with center now means a whole world of new things to me. That goes for a lot of the Aikido phrases that I've been told and taught. LOL. I never, ever, saw them in the light that I now see them. And I'm sure that'll change over time, too. It seems to me that the Aikido world is full of information about internal arts but the direct corollary to the physical world is/was/has been lost. The question is why? Any thoughts on that, Mike?

Mark

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2006, 07:33 AM
Good on you Mark. I agree...jetison the posturing, meet who you can, try it out for yourself. Two people you respect don't get along? Who CARES? Train with anyone you can who has more of a clue. Something they give you doesn't fit or add up to where you're going? Move on down the road...there's a biscut that will work lying there for you to pick up.

Best,
Ron (I especially second the thanks to Mike, Rob, Dan and anyone else who ponies up the goods)

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 07:44 AM
I don't think it would have mattered. I tried a straight push backwards and one using my center diagonally downward through Dan's center. Those were just on the push to the chest. Well, that tells me something, Mark. I never met anyone I couldn't push over with 2 fingers (or pull if they lean to resist it... and so many do). ;) ....is that while the basic principles are the same, there are variations; and some of those variations are not useful or complete enough for Aikido.....

Could you explain in more detail, Mike? That's an interesting tidbit. :) Which variations do you think aren't useful or complete enough for Aikido. Remember, a lot of us reading this are beginners in the internal arts. Many people can root and can release some power (think, for instance, of Bruce Lee's 1-inch punch).... not many people can really move from the hara, though. They still use their shoulders. That would be the start of where a lot of things are missing. Someone can read Mantak Chia's book on "Iron Shirt Chi Kung" and get a reasonable idea about what Dan's discussion of "structure" is about and where the relationship of Rob's exercises come in to the picture. But like I said, even knowing those things, Mantak Chia's people were not doing anything that would long-term lead to the kind of Aikido that Ueshiba was doing because they lead down a somewhat different path of Shaolin practices. I.e., this stuff is more complex than it appears.... it's easy to learn a little bit and think you know a lot. When you learn of lot of this stuff you begin to realize that you only know a little. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 10:01 AM
It seems to me that the Aikido world is full of information about internal arts but the direct corollary to the physical world is/was/has been lost. The question is why? Any thoughts on that, Mike? You've hit on a question that I still haven't resolved after many years. Just a month or so ago I asked, once again, to a visitor of the Chinese persuasion ( ;) ) where it is that so many Chinese, Japanese, etc., learn not to openly tell things to foreigners. I just don't get it.

Still, the information is out there and there are certainly clues to any long-term practitioner that he may be missing something basic. My too-often mentioned philosophical question is whether there is an ethics problem to any "expert" who didn't seriously follow the too-numerous-to-be-ignored leads or whether simple arrogance and assumption of knowledge blocked their progress.

And I say it without any false humility.... this stuff is more complicated than it appears on the surface. I only know a small amount. This is a complex subject of training and the majesty of it gave it an almost religious significance throughout Asia. But still... I think we're making progress. The only thing that will block progress will be the "hierarchies" stymying progress because they cannot accept the fact that there may be something out there that they don't already know. In fact, one of the most common heart-sinking responses I hear from long-term teachers who obviously don't know this stuff is "Oh yeah... we've been doing a lot of that for years and include it in every practice". So why, I always quietly ask myself, don't you have the skills to show for it???? Or why can't you easily explain it, along with all the connected phenomena? ;)

Best.

Mike

MM
10-31-2006, 10:53 AM
You've hit on a question that I still haven't resolved after many years. Just a month or so ago I asked, once again, to a visitor of the Chinese persuasion ( ;) ) where it is that so many Chinese, Japanese, etc., learn not to openly tell things to foreigners. I just don't get it.


LOL, well so much for finding an answer any time soon. The related question to this is , How do we bring it back? Or put it back? For those non-aikido people, it isn't near as important a question as those of us who are aikido people. :)


Still, the information is out there and there are certainly clues to any long-term practitioner that he may be missing something basic. My too-often mentioned philosophical question is whether there is an ethics problem to any "expert" who didn't seriously follow the too-numerous-to-be-ignored leads or whether simple arrogance and assumption of knowledge blocked their progress.


The info is there, yes. But, it is deceptive. No, strike that, it is very, very, deceptive and oft times misleading. Keep one point, move with center, relax completely, kuzushi on touch, unbalance uke, etc, etc, etc. There are tons of things said in the Aikido world that can be defined in multiple ways, layers, and meanings. I think the most significant aspect of all of this is that most of the attention has been upon uke and upon primarily influencing uke. Attention to internal roles of nage/tori have become secondary.

My theory is that influencing uke is easier to do than internal arts for tori. It's easier to understand and teach how to influence an uke. The internal aspect sort of got skipped for whatever reasons. And then as people branched out to form sub schools and sub branches, the watering down of the internal aspect was even greater. So, when things were said, such as move with center, the internal part of that was lost. In place, we find tori actually moving and attempting to keep center as he/she unbalances uke.


And I say it without any false humility.... this stuff is more complicated than it appears on the surface. I only know a small amount. This is a complex subject of training and the majesty of it gave it an almost religious significance throughout Asia. But still... I think we're making progress. The only thing that will block progress will be the "hierarchies" stymying progress because they cannot accept the fact that there may be something out there that they don't already know. In fact, one of the most common heart-sinking responses I hear from long-term teachers who obviously don't know this stuff is "Oh yeah... we've been doing a lot of that for years and include it in every practice". So why, I always quietly ask myself, don't you have the skills to show for it???? Or why can't you easily explain it, along with all the connected phenomena? ;)

Best.

Mike

Eh, well, there are always people around that block progress. In all facets of life. :)

IMO, my thoughts are that to most of us, we have been doing "a lot of that" for years. But, the internal meaning and direction was lost and something else was placed there. We don't have the skills to show for it because that part (internal arts) wasn't taught. It was thought that they were, because the meanings got inter-related and mixed together. We've never felt what true internal stuff feels like.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2006, 11:05 AM
I don't know about that last sentence Mark. Agreeing that there are levels and qualities that may differ somewhat from one internal tradition to another...and yet, I would class (from my meager base of experience) quite a bit of what Ikeda Sensei does as internal, wouldn't you? You touched him within a week of touching Dan...could you speak to what you think were the differences? Difficult question, I know...

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 11:11 AM
I don't know about that last sentence Mark. Agreeing that there are levels and qualities that may differ somewhat from one internal tradition to another...and yet, I would class (from my meager base of experience) quite a bit of what Ikeda Sensei does as internal, wouldn't you? Hi Ron:

So *why* would you say that about Ikeda? Not saying you're right or wrong... just suggesting that everyone needs to think more clearly about *why* they think they know something, already know something, already do something, understand something, etc. One of the reasons why there is so little "internal" skills in Aikido is because so many people are already so sure they understand them. And each time someone learns some little bit more than they already knew, they are too ready to say, "Aha!!! Now I *really* understand.... I think I'll start being a teacher! Heck, I even speaka da Japaneesa." ;)

FWIW

Mike

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2006, 11:27 AM
I would class (from my meager base of experience) ...

Uh, nope, clearly not ready to teach yet. I specified my lack of qualifications quite clearly. I'll let Mark answer if he chooses...without stirring the pot, or prejudging what he does or doesn't know.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 11:46 AM
I wasn't asking you to defend your qualifications, Ron, I was simply asking for the reasoning behind why you think some things are "internal". What is your basis for making that call? I hear it all the time... "So and so has some *real* internal skills", etc. Yet when pinned down, most people can't really quantify why they made that judgement call.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2006, 12:01 PM
I didn't say that though...I simply asked Mark a question. I'll let him answer it, and see where the discussion goes...

But I'll give my base qualification for internal from what I've felt from Ikeda Sensei...I grab him, he makes no or little external movement, and my balance is disrupted. Sometimes not even enough to make me take a fall...but enough that he could then drive a train through the openings it presents him.

Best,
Ron

MM
10-31-2006, 12:22 PM
I didn't say that though...I simply asked Mark a question. I'll let him answer it, and see where the discussion goes...

But I'll give my base qualification for internal from what I've felt from Ikeda Sensei...I grab him, he makes no or little external movement, and my balance is disrupted. Sometimes not even enough to make me take a fall...but enough that he could then drive a train through the openings it presents him.

Best,
Ron

Hi Ron,

Wow, I step away and the discussion continues without me. LOL.

It's a very good question, though. It is also one I've asked myself. :) What Dan did and what Ikeda did *felt* different. And that's a can of worms for me because I already have a hard time describing things, let alone something subtle, internal and new (to me).

I wouldn't, personally, classify what Ikeda did as "internal stuff" because I don't have the experience, the knowledge, and Ikeda never said it was. So, it could have been and it couldn't have been.

Now, to the tough part. How it felt. What Dan did was, IMO, extremely subtle. I know that I can push. I know I can use center to affect balance. Beyond that, I couldn't for the life of me feel where my energy was going when I pushed Dan. I didn't feel like my energy was going into the ground, but something happened because I couldn't move Dan. When he told me to move my foot, I didn't feel any different than normal but couldn't lift my foot. I didn't feel heavy, or weighted or grounded, I just couldn't move that foot. Weird.

Ikeda was subtle and skilled. But there were slight differences in my body. I grabbed his wrist and held strongly with muscles (he set up that condition). He said to not let him move (so I added center -- my definition). He tested it with his muscles and you could feel the struggle. Then he relaxed (never moved) and said he had my balance. I knew it because the toes on my front foot were digging into the mat ever so slightly. I never felt the shift to take my balance, but I could feel my toes digging in.

That's the best way I can explain.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2006, 12:57 PM
Hi Mark, thanks for the answer. I'm going to mull it over befow answering though.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 01:55 PM
What Dan did was, IMO, extremely subtle. I know that I can push. I know I can use center to affect balance. Beyond that, I couldn't for the life of me feel where my energy was going when I pushed Dan. I didn't feel like my energy was going into the ground, but something happened because I couldn't move Dan. When he told me to move my foot, I didn't feel any different than normal but couldn't lift my foot. I didn't feel heavy, or weighted or grounded, I just couldn't move that foot. Weird.

Ikeda was subtle and skilled. But there were slight differences in my body. I grabbed his wrist and held strongly with muscles (he set up that condition). He said to not let him move (so I added center -- my definition). He tested it with his muscles and you could feel the struggle. Then he relaxed (never moved) and said he had my balance. I knew it because the toes on my front foot were digging into the mat ever so slightly. I never felt the shift to take my balance, but I could feel my toes digging in.

That's the best way I can explain. Hey! The conversation just moved forward. :)

OK. So would you say what you described was "internal"? If what you're calling that is "internal", then you are making a distinction between what is called the "internal ki" and the "external ki", not the difference between the "internal" and "external" martial arts. That is, what you're describing is the manipulation of forces, or "jin" or "kokyu".... one of the two major features, as I've labeled them from the beginning.

Tell me how your feet were lined up, and Dan's, which foot you "couldn't move", etc., and I'll tell you how he did it. It is not what I say is particularly "internal", but it shows a basic control of jin forces. If you had had some control of jin/kokyu forces, you could have turned it back on him.

Incidentally, I'm unclear why you can't describe how this was done.... didn't he tell you how to do it? ;)

Regards,

Mike

shodan 83
10-31-2006, 02:20 PM
Please keep this going, this is fascinating!

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 03:03 PM
Please keep this going, this is fascinating!It is fascinating, Eric. This idea of taking Mark's "untrained" force and adding to it in a certain way to negate it, lead it to a "hole" (we've mentioned this before) as a part of a waza, etc., is what is really meant by "Aiki". But doing it in a more or less static situation against someone who can't manipulate kokyu forces, etc., is (IMO) just the start of what "aiki" can do. In other words, we're discussing what I would consider to be the real door in Ueshiba's art. This is what Tohei and others were forced to go outside the art to learn, or at least to get the rudiments, so that they could begin to work it into the waza of Aikido.

The only objection I've made to some of the things Dan has said is against the potential idea that these things can be used as a "carrot" to entice others into your lair. Rob tells his exercises, the part that's needed to get your foot in the door; Ikeda brings in someone who knows kokyu and will at least show the beginnings of how to get there, etc., etc., and I can't fault that. In some ways, a teacher has to guide his students there in the best sequence/progression that he can, but having been on the receiving end myself of some teachers who know a little and dangle it like a carrot, I tend to object to any appearance of enticement for enticement's sake. So I tend to encourage Dan to say more. I encouraged Shawn Ravens to say more for exactly the same reason, if anyone remembers. Aikido wil stay mired if at least the basic information isn't shared around.

Want to have a special edge in the home dojo that other dojo's don't have? There are plenty of other skills hidden in this bag of skills so that the revelation of basic material won't hurt. The point is to move things forward. Even if the established "hierarchies" in the various Asian martial arts would prefer the status quo, where they're the "Big Dogs". ;) I personally respect the ones of us in the martial arts that are smart enough to admit we're all beginners and who make every effort to continue to improve rather than sitting on laurels.

Best.

Mike

MM
10-31-2006, 04:08 PM
Hey! The conversation just moved forward. :)

OK. So would you say what you described was "internal"? If what you're calling that is "internal", then you are making a distinction between what is called the "internal ki" and the "external ki", not the difference between the "internal" and "external" martial arts. That is, what you're describing is the manipulation of forces, or "jin" or "kokyu".... one of the two major features, as I've labeled them from the beginning.


Uh, you're losing me. Remember, beginner. LOL. I've only heard about "jin" in the last year or so.


Tell me how your feet were lined up, and Dan's, which foot you "couldn't move", etc., and I'll tell you how he did it. It is not what I say is particularly "internal", but it shows a basic control of jin forces. If you had had some control of jin/kokyu forces, you could have turned it back on him.


Ugh. Well, I'll actually have to refer back to Dan's post and his memory because we went over a lot of things in a short amount of time. :) And right now, my memory is jumbled on where the feet were and when.


Incidentally, I'm unclear why you can't describe how this was done.... didn't he tell you how to do it? ;)

Regards,

Mike

Yeah, but you're talking to the beginner. :) What was explained to me -- I'm never going to get right explaining it back to anyone. Give me a year or so and maybe. Also, as Dan posted, there are some things I won't talk about.

Mark

MM
10-31-2006, 04:26 PM
It is fascinating, Eric. This idea of taking Mark's "untrained" force and adding to it in a certain way to negate it, lead it to a "hole" (we've mentioned this before) as a part of a waza, etc., is what is really meant by "Aiki". But doing it in a more or less static situation against someone who can't manipulate kokyu forces, etc., is (IMO) just the start of what "aiki" can do. In other words, we're discussing what I would consider to be the real door in Ueshiba's art. This is what Tohei and others were forced to go outside the art to learn, or at least to get the rudiments, so that they could begin to work it into the waza of Aikido.


Ha, yes. Lead it to a hole. LOL. Must have missed those posts, but that's a good answer to my question of where did my energy go? Don't know if it's the right answer, but it sounds good.

And, IMO, this internal stuff is what is needed to be put back into Aikido, where it belongs.


The only objection I've made to some of the things Dan has said is against the potential idea that these things can be used as a "carrot" to entice others into your lair.


I never, ever, got that feeling from Dan. Actually, it was probably more the opposite effect. I got information overload. :) In getting shown this stuff, having it explained, showing how to do it, talking about what's going on internally, etc, etc, etc, I only remember one question I asked that Dan said he wouldn't talk about. And that question pertained to history and not any of the Internal stuff that we did.


Rob tells his exercises, the part that's needed to get your foot in the door; Ikeda brings in someone who knows kokyu and will at least show the beginnings of how to get there, etc., etc., and I can't fault that. In some ways, a teacher has to guide his students there in the best sequence/progression that he can, but having been on the receiving end myself of some teachers who know a little and dangle it like a carrot, I tend to object to any appearance of enticement for enticement's sake.


My opinion is that Dan isn't like that. While he isn't posting stuff like Rob did or talking about it the way you are, he has his own way of presenting himself. If it looks that way on your end, I can definitely say from my experience that it isn't. No carrot and no appearance of enticement.


So I tend to encourage Dan to say more. I encouraged Shawn Ravens to say more for exactly the same reason, if anyone remembers. Aikido wil stay mired if at least the basic information isn't shared around.


You can only say so much, though. Rob's pretty much given us exercises for a foot in the door. Everything else, for a beginner, is going to have to be a physical training session to actually get pointed in the right direction. To borrow a phrase from Amdur, it really is hidden in plain sight. But you'd need to be a genius to actually know how to read it and pick up the internal stuff on your own. :)

Mark

Tom H.
10-31-2006, 04:55 PM
Some people have the idea that there are a couple of insights that they can learn which they then can add to their already smashing martial-arts knowledge. I thought that, too, at one time. It's deeper than that.I can feel my body changing, already affected by daily training in ways that talking about peng jin and kokyo online never could have :).

These skills required re-training your body to stand and move differently -- I'd bet if you're only training a couple hours a couple times a week during a class you probably won't get your body to switch over. And if you don't get that new body, there are whole classes of foundational skills you will only be able to hypothesize about.

Mike Sigman
10-31-2006, 05:09 PM
Also, as Dan posted, there are some things I won't talk about.So what if we all do that? As a matter of fact, it's already been done and Aikido as an art suffers from it. So does Daito Ryu suffer. So does karate, judo, the koryu, etc., etc. What is the point in Dan even discussing these things if "all he wants to do" is to tell people there is something missing? He's been doing that for years, so the job is done... why even bother to post????????????

Based on some of the posts Dan has made about things he can do and on the stress he puts on certain things, I feel like I can extrapolate comfortably that he's missing a lot of things that even an amateur like me knows. How about if I just say I'm going to make sure that Dan never has an avenue to find out these things? That's basically what this "sworn to never tell" stuff is, for all practical purposes, to a neophyte desperately searching for information. Is that the game we want to continue playing????? If even the basics can't be established as a talking point (mainly because the "basics" represent "high level" to some people), then what are we to do?

Of course, there are a number of things that must be personally shown and felt and explained before someone "gets it", so for most people it's pretty safe to talk about general principles and not feel like you're giving away the farm. However, there are things that if you're not told they exist, you never get a clue... how about if Rob or I or Ushiro, etc., etc., etc., all play that game? You can see logically that it leads to the same sort of dead-end that currently exists in a number of arts. We have to do more than this silly role playing and status-protection.

Time passes. This stuff is not easy to learn or to find information about. All the consequences of our egos, what we say and what we don't say need to be thought out carefully.

My opinion.

Mike

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-31-2006, 07:50 PM
/../ What Dan did and what Ikeda did *felt* different. /../

What Dan did was, IMO, extremely subtle. /../ When he told me to move my foot, I didn't feel any different than normal but couldn't lift my foot. I didn't feel heavy, or weighted or grounded, I just couldn't move that foot. /../

Ikeda was subtle and skilled. But there were slight differences in my body. /../ Then he relaxed (never moved) and said he had my balance. I knew it because the toes on my front foot were digging into the mat ever so slightly. I never felt the shift to take my balance, but I could feel my toes digging in. /../

I can only add an anecdote, with the proviso that I know at least one person on this forum who has (with reason) a not very high opinion of the person in my story. One of the seniors at Abe Seiseki's dojo could take my balance in the same way as Mark described Dan doing (I do not imply that they are doing the same thing). I used to grab him (wrist, elbow, shoulder) for example, and he said "all your balance belong to us", although for me there was no difference in how I felt or in particular how I felt wrt the ground. But very slowly he would move just a millimeter to show me and I would feel that I had no leverage whatsover to resist. That was about a year ago. My opinion is that my "listening" skills were (are) not anywhere near enough developed to realize what was happening inside me. After all, balance does not need to mean "on the verge falling over and actively trying to stay upright", it may simply mean "aligned such that I am weak in a given direction". In particular, most of us are stiff in some part of our bodies (unable to relax), and if the partner can feel that hardness and push against it (presumably from a lower position inside their own body, and via the ground) then I cannot "relax and sink" to recover, but need to move the feet (or other joints fairly obviously) to get leverage to resist. If the partner's alignment is such that he can push through the hardness in my body into my feet, then persumably I cannot lift at least one of them.

MM
11-01-2006, 04:39 AM
I can only add an anecdote, with the proviso that I know at least one person on this forum who has (with reason) a not very high opinion of the person in my story. One of the seniors at Abe Seiseki's dojo could take my balance in the same way as Mark described Dan doing (I do not imply that they are doing the same thing). I used to grab him (wrist, elbow, shoulder) for example, and he said "all your balance belong to us", although for me there was no difference in how I felt or in particular how I felt wrt the ground. But very slowly he would move just a millimeter to show me and I would feel that I had no leverage whatsover to resist. That was about a year ago. My opinion is that my "listening" skills were (are) not anywhere near enough developed to realize what was happening inside me. After all, balance does not need to mean "on the verge falling over and actively trying to stay upright", it may simply mean "aligned such that I am weak in a given direction". In particular, most of us are stiff in some part of our bodies (unable to relax), and if the partner can feel that hardness and push against it (presumably from a lower position inside their own body, and via the ground) then I cannot "relax and sink" to recover, but need to move the feet (or other joints fairly obviously) to get leverage to resist. If the partner's alignment is such that he can push through the hardness in my body into my feet, then persumably I cannot lift at least one of them.

My listening skills are also not anywhere near good enough to realize what either Ikeda or Dan did. One person's sublte is another person's Godzilla. :)

Ikeda could be using internal skills. I really wouldn't know at this point. I know I'm not close to his level of skill, at the very least.

After thinking about it some more ... I'd characterize another slight difference between Ikeda and Dan. How to explain it, though. As uke, when working with some higher level Aikido people, the feeling I'd get when technique was done was more of a "pit of the stomach" or hara or center kind of feeling. Sort of like that feeling you get when you're on a roller coaster and dropping down the incline. Sort of. Well, on a subtle level, I kind of felt that with Ikeda. Sort of my center being rolled. With Dan, it felt more like my whole body being affected, or my entirety being affected rather than my center being rolled. Not sure if that explains it well, or not. And it wasn't a big difference, we're talking subtleties (at least for me).

Just a disclaimer to make sure everyone understands my thoughts. I'd be happy to be able to do half of what Ikeda or Dan can do. :) I've talked about meeting Dan, so I'll say a short bit about Ikeda. He was very friendly and a good instructor. He seemed to want everyone there to be able to get what he was doing. He went around and had pretty much everyone, at some point, get a chance to feel his technique. And I'll reiterate that his level of subtle was very good.

Thanks Ron for introducing me to Ikeda sensei and Utada sensei after the one session. It's greatly appreciated.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
11-01-2006, 07:01 AM
Hi Mark, always glad to do things like that. Just sad I couldn't train. Working on that though.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
11-01-2006, 07:04 AM
In particular, most of us are stiff in some part of our bodies (unable to relax), and if the partner can feel that hardness and push against it (presumably from a lower position inside their own body, and via the ground) then I cannot "relax and sink" to recover, but need to move the feet (or other joints fairly obviously) to get leverage to resist. '

I think this is what I've felt from Ikeda Sensei and my own teacher. Although Utada Sensei often gives me the feeling of being stretched out, so that I can not sink my weight to maintain my balance. It's as if he draws me out of my center, often upwards, and at that point, resistance is futile. ;)

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
11-01-2006, 07:26 AM
My listening skills are also not anywhere near good enough to realize what either Ikeda or Dan did."Listening" is an offshoot of having jin/kokyu skills. Of course many people think "listening" is the normal tactile skills we have, but it actually means something fairly sophisticated and that skill develops as your jin/kokyu skills develop. Watching Shioda, Sunadomari, and some others, it was apparent that they could "listen" to feel where the "holes" in the opponent's balance were. So they could "aiki" by blending mind-controlled force directions, but they could also "listen" with the jin/kokyu/'ki' of their bodies when the touch the opponent.

FWIW

Mike

MM
11-01-2006, 02:23 PM
A very interesting post over on E-Budo about Akuzawa.

http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?p=427129#post427129

It ties in to what Rob, Dan, and Mike have been saying. :)

Thanks to Christian Moses for posting!

Mark

Mike Sigman
11-01-2006, 03:10 PM
A very interesting post over on E-Budo about Akuzawa.It's interesting to read it from Chris. I also notice that you, Mark, seem to be one of the few active moderators (besides Ellis when he sometimes speaks) on E-Budo that doesn't seem to have a fixed idea that what you know about martial arts is the be-all and end-all of martial knowledge. Nathan Scott seems like a nice-enough guy, but he's so far off-base about Ueshiba and Aikido and "outside skills" that it's ridiculous.

There are indeed some differences in what Ueshiba did, for instance, in his usage of ki/kokyu skills for Aikido and what someone like Ushiro does with his accomplishments of ki/kokyu... but the resounding theme in Asian martial arts is that they all use these skills. This hierarchy of "teachers" who don't know enough about the basic skills to understand that commonality throughout the Asian arts is what is slowing progress in Asian-derived martial arts.

So probably the answer is to do what Chris Moses did... just skirt around the hierarchy and look for yourself. When someone gains the basic skills they can modify them to fit in with what Ueshiba taught, etc.

Regardless, all of these conversations, looking and seeing, comparing notes, etc., is good. Like Ueshiba said... "figure it out for yourself". I.e., don't be a sheep; do some thinking. ;)

Mike

Jim Sorrentino
11-02-2006, 05:58 PM
Greetings All,

I just want to make it clear, after all this very helpful discussion, that my invitation to Dan is still open.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

MM
11-02-2006, 06:50 PM
Hello Jim,

If I'm down your way, I'll say hello. Or maybe make the next seminar.

Thanks,
Mark

Jim Sorrentino
11-05-2006, 06:10 AM
Hi Mark,

I hope so --- see you on the mat!

Jim

DH
11-10-2006, 10:23 AM
Dan, I'm curious, when you teach your technique or style for lack of a better word, all you do is throw around or knock around your students? Are you ever thrown? Do they keep trying until eventually they can throw you? Is that the end state or goal of the training methodology?

Joe

Hi Joe
Guys who train with me learn the gammut of jujutsu; striking, kicking, chocking, various joint locks, then knife work etc. The body skills are a separate thing. Yes I do take Ukemi from them with the goal of identifying and correcting various points. Usually I do this to also show reversals and ways out of things. Actually I hate it because the only way I am going to get thrown is by breaking my structure.
And we freestyle it -gloves and no gi-no I am not thrown. But its still just sweat and hard work; solo training then paired. No one, and no thing, is magic or unstoppable.

I have no issues with failing, Joe, since there is always more to learn. I am an advocate of "The one word definetion of success? Is "failure." And I love experimenting, researching, and learning.
If you attach ego or "needing" to win to fighting, it can get in your way. Cold analysis is always best.

The end state you asked about has never arrived. How depressing a thought would that be? That I don't have more to learn, Yuk!
I hope to be 80 and still call myself a student.

Overall I think the whole martial schtick of taking ukemi is a failure anyway. The real goals of training the body for bujutsu has all but been abandoned. You should be training to be unthrowable not perfecting falling down. Yeah yeah, dare to say it and the ukemi freaks jump all over you about safety.
So Ok, you can learn ukemi in a very short time. Why..........Why....... after that- aren't you spending the rest of your time being thee absolute safest. That being? To develope a body that it unthrowable?
Why?
a. Very few know and train it.
b. Doesn't make for rank and file "followers" and systems.

For most guys- they have to get out of the training box they're in- to look ahead- to not playing the game That's when you start to see. The idea of Budo was always to learn what the other guys were doing ....not....to be a part of the game in the first place- but to learn to take them apart. I had this discussion with a friend- a long time Koryu guy. Its the essence of why things were hidden. We have devoloped that... into these twenty year indentureships that only serve to indoctrinate the men into conditioned "respondies." Exposure to repetative and known techniques and principles produce-rather nicely I might add- conditioned responses to same. Involving ourselves and indoctrinating ourselves in "a way" actually contributes to setting us up for the techniques of the art we are in. Thus it weakens us from our true potential.
Many so called masters we like to read and write about have written about a vision past the art they studied. In fact we have a legacy of innovators who have left the arts or never joined them in the first place. They saw past technique and rank to true budo.
Many modern guys have no vision at all past their next technique or rank.

Cheers
Dan

James Davis
11-10-2006, 10:36 AM
Overall I think the whole martial schtick of taking ukemi is a failure anyway. The real goals of training the body for bujutsu has all but been abandoned. You should be training to be unthrowable not perfecting falling down. Yeah yeah, dare to say it and the ukemi freaks jump all over you about safety.
So Ok, you can learn ukemi in a very short time. Why..........Why....... after that- aren't you spending the rest of your time being thee absolute safest. That being? To develope a body that it unthrowable?
Why? Doesn't make for rank and file "followers" and systems.


Hi Dan. :)

Ukemi definitely has its uses in, and outside, the dojo. When I resist, it's very difficult for my students to throw me, but I can stll be thrown.

Ukemi waza played a major role in saving me from injury when I fell...

...from a truck. :)

With respect,

James

Mike Sigman
11-10-2006, 10:46 AM
Actually I hate it because the only way I am going to get thrown is by breaking my structure. Er, Dan, that's a pretty hefty brag. You understand some jin. A lot of beginners are going to be buffaloed by it. However, people who are used to dealing with jin are not going to be stopped by it.... they'll use it against you in an instant. While a lot of this stuff in "new ground" for a lot of westerners, you should probably consider that there are things which might be "new ground" to you, as well... unless, of course, you already know everything.

Frankly, and I realize that I'm repeating myself once more, I think you can discuss these things outside of the context of personal brags.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
11-10-2006, 12:00 PM
Mike
Its not a brag
Read
I was referring to training with my own guys. But I have also been training out of the loop with various CMA people and have yet to be thrown. I will be more than happy to report back when it occurs. Why? No one will be more pleased than I. It's not a matter of winning or losing Mike..... its research.

I have been training with the best I can find. Most recently with Wang Hai jun and I spent the day with him one-on-one and later privately discussing things with ground work with Pride fights on the TV and hands on in the living room as well as tactical uses in more combative formats. He was funny and very open with his hands on me and mine on him and answered more quesions than I asked, and asked me to describe in detail what I was doing with his hands on me. Asking me to repeat and explain. I'm having a blast learning and researching. He was a great guy. The second I have met.

Funny, but isn't that just what you said was so great about what Chris Moses was doing? Getting out there and feeling?

First you told me I don't know anything about the internal arts. Remember that?
Then I didn't know any of the jins
Now YOU tell me I know the basic one jin?
What kind of car do I drive?
What am I wearing ;)

You're the one wanting to discuss how these things are done-with llittle or no informaton given on your part that I have seen beyond very basic stuff. So, like you, I don't talk about it while talking about it.
Unlike you I don't claim to have talked about while not. :D

Dan

DH
11-10-2006, 12:05 PM
James
Where did I say not to learn Ukemi?
Where did I say it has no use?

What in fact "did" I say in your view?
What was the actual thrust or overall point about the topic of Ukemi and the way we have all trained in the arts?

Dan

Mike Sigman
11-10-2006, 12:29 PM
Mike
Its not a brag
Read I did. Your posts always read too much like brags, to me, Dan. But others have publicly noted the same thing, so instead of trying to turn it back onto me, maybe you should temper your posts a bit? I have been training with the best I can find. Most recently with Wang Hai jun and I spent the day with him one-on-one and later privately discussing things with ground work with Pride fights on the TV and hands on in the living room as well as tactical uses in more combative formats. He was funny and very open with his hands on me and mine on him and answered more quesions than I asked, and asked me to describe in detail what I was doing with his hands on me. Asking me to repeat and explain. I'm having a blast learning and researching. He was a great guy. The second I have met. Last time, you were bragging how Wang Hai Jun's teacher could do nothing to you, Dan. Remember? Hello? Chen Zheng Lei? Now you are learning so much from the student? I'm sure WHJ is friendly, Dan, but my suggestion is that you try to just learn rather than go around name-dropping on this forum, Empty Flower, and others.Funny, but isn't that just what you said was so great about what Chris Moses was doing? Getting out there and feeling? Chris doesn't brag about what he could do and how others were stunned. Chris talks about the issues. First you told me I don't know anything about the internal arts. Remember that?
Then I didn't know any of the jins
Now YOU tell me I know the basic one jin? No, that's a misquote. I said you know some basic jin. I.e, you have some elementary jin, Dan. I did not say that you know all about jin. You don't know all of it. And once again, Dan, if you quote me for saying something, provide the quote. In the past, when I've asked you for quotes, when you attribute something to me, you duck and run. Do not tell me what I've said unless you can provide the quote, since you seem to always fabricate it.You're the one wanting to discuss how these things are done-with llittle or no informaton given on your part that I have seen beyond very basic stuff. So, like you, I don't talk about it while talking about it.
Unlike you I don't claim to have talked about while not. :D I'm not sure what you're saying, Dan. Maybe ask Ron Tisdale, who is a pretty fair list observer, if I provide information on how-to. Do NOT start telling me what I say and don't say, Dan, since you tend to just make it up.

Did you tell Wang Hai Jun that you publicly bragged that his teacher couldn't budge you, etc.? I suspect not.

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
11-10-2006, 12:50 PM
While I appeciate being seen as impartial, I really don't want to come between you two. I like and respect you both for your diffent perspectives as well as where you agree. So...have at it! ;) I learn more that way...

Best (I really mean that),
Ron

DH
11-10-2006, 01:07 PM
You know Mike I denied that in thread it appeared on, I explained it there and to you privately about the error in the post relating to "their teacher(s) meaning the admittedly low level teachers (I had mentioned again in a following post- and not their (teacher) You even know who they are. I went back read and caught the error, it was an innocent error in a long post about being able to use Internal sills even if you don't know the art and how I could toss their teacher(s). I apologized to Herb for the screw up and sent him copies and denied it back at you in that same thread from long ago. Why are you bringing it up again and making a fuss over an admitted error. In fact why are you doing this at all? I explained it then, explained in a private email to you. Yet you want to keep bringing it up ...
Oh well.

As for the posts. I write about what I do. In fact I took your advice about toning it down and trying to write more about what the skills can do for anybody- not just what I am doing with them.

I will most assuredly write in the time, place and person who tosses me. I am looking forward to it happening in China as I know it will. I'll be -quite- happy about it. You attach semblances of ego and bragging to it, I don't. It's about learning and testing yourself.
It has a long history in the arts. Losing is winning,

I'm glad to see you explain your views on me and jins. You seem to skip over and miss all my comments and denials of mastery, teaching, of this being shop talk, and research, and that no one is unstoppable, etc etc...you skip right on by.
I'll be happy to keep on making friends and researching with those interested. In fact it appears many are.

Dan

DH
11-10-2006, 01:11 PM
Thanks Ron.
We don't get along. Have you noticed?

Dan

Ron Tisdale
11-10-2006, 01:22 PM
Yeah well...my mom and my brother don't get along either...I love em both dearly, but don't want to be in the mix...if you know what I mean... ;)

I've generally found that if I stick my nose in too close, it get's bloodied....

B,
R

Cady Goldfield
11-10-2006, 05:16 PM
Oy. I thought this thread was finally finished, like, over a week ago... :p

Jim Sorrentino
11-13-2006, 10:30 AM
Hi Cady,Oy. I thought this thread was finally finished, like, over a week ago... :pThanks for doing your part to keep it alive! ;)

Are you back in the Mass. area? If so, you might want to check out Hiroshi Ikeda-sensei this coming weekend in Boston. Since you have studied with Dan for a while, I'd be interested to hear your take on what Ikeda-sensei is doing. For that matter, if Dan or any of his other students make the scene, I'd be interested in hearing their opinions as well. There is more information on the seminar at http://www.shobu.org/fliers/fall2006.pdf.

Sincerely,

Jim

MM
11-13-2006, 06:26 PM
Hi Cady,Thanks for doing your part to keep it alive! ;)

Are you back in the Mass. area? If so, you might want to check out Hiroshi Ikeda-sensei this coming weekend in Boston. Since you have studied with Dan for a while, I'd be interested to hear your take on what Ikeda-sensei is doing. For that matter, if Dan or any of his other students make the scene, I'd be interested in hearing their opinions as well. There is more information on the seminar at http://www.shobu.org/fliers/fall2006.pdf.

Sincerely,

Jim

I would agree with Jim's recommendation. I found Ikeda sensei to be friendly, skilled, and a very good teacher. I'm very glad I made the Friendship Seminar. I'm hoping that I can make another of his seminars sometime in the future to figure out just what he's doing.

Mark

Joe Bowen
11-14-2006, 07:07 AM
Hi Joe
Guys who train with me learn the gammut of jujutsu; striking, kicking, chocking, various joint locks, then knife work etc. The body skills are a separate thing. Yes I do take Ukemi from them with the goal of identifying and correcting various points. Usually I do this to also show reversals and ways out of things. Actually I hate it because the only way I am going to get thrown is by breaking my structure...And we freestyle it -gloves and no gi-no I am not thrown. But its still just sweat and hard work; solo training then paired. No one, and no thing, is magic or unstoppable....Cheers Dan

Dan,

I wasn't trying to dig into you, just curious on how you structured the learning process. I recently attended a seminar here in the UK were everything from the warm up stretching through the technique into the cool down were all geared to proper understanding of the underlying principles. Everything dovetailed nicely together to emphasis the principle. It was marvelously structured.
Thanks for answering my question. I'm sure you would be fun to train with....

joe

DH
11-18-2006, 09:20 PM
Dan,

I wasn't trying to dig into you, just curious on how you structured the learning process. I recently attended a seminar here in the UK were everything from the warm up stretching through the technique into the cool down were all geared to proper understanding of the underlying principles. Everything dovetailed nicely together to emphasis the principle. It was marvelously structured.
Thanks for answering my question. I'm sure you would be fun to train with....

joe

Joe
I didn't think you were digging. I was just trying to give you an all around view of goals. There are still plenty of exercises people could do at home for power once they learn them, But there are other things we do as well to teach you how to fight with them. That's a whole other topic. Everything we do dovetails in as you say. Though I prefer to think of it like building links. Training sessions are linked week by week and month by month with goals.
Since I don't teach seminars- I don't even think about a "structured learning process" in that "single visit" venue. Nor, do I want to. I think relationships where you learn and know and then develop programs for people on an individual basis are better. Since my time is precious to me- I think its more productive for both parties.
Hope that explains it better
Cheers
Dan

DH
11-24-2006, 07:22 AM
Exerpt from an article in Aikido Journal online-
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=688

From Ikeda Sensei after hosting Karate teacher Ushiro at Aikido summer camp In Colorado for the second time. His excellent observations

.............Peace cannot be made unless we all come together - not just karate and aikido, but all budo.

The kind of power through kokyu that Ushiro sensei has been teaching is completely different from what is usually thought of as kokyu. All of the people who came to this camp experienced this. It may have been only an introduction to this kind of practice and this kind of power, but I think it was a real plus for people to be able to experience it.


There will be no growth if we just repeat what is currently being done. For ourselves and for the Aikido of the future, it is necessary to completely change the way aikido is practiced. I think we have come to this critical crossroads."

Needless to say, how to work through this crisis, as Ikeda shihan describes, is the next problem. Any practitioner can have as their goal controlling and overcoming the opponent without using strength, without touching. However, we must ask ourselves if practice that entails only technical explanations and mindless repetition provides us with the necessary tools for achieving such a goal. The circular movement of aikido at first glance appears to be soft, but the fact is, that there is still a collision of forces, and anyone who has practiced has felt this collision.

By seeing and experiencing Ushiro shihan's nullifying "zero power" techniques and feeling zero-power in their own techniques when Ushiro shihan extended his ki through them, many of the camp participants realized just how much they had been depending on strength in their efforts to make the techniques martially effective.

Many people called Ushiro shihan's instruction "eye-opening", "innovative", and "new territory". However, a way of training that would promise future progress along this same path was not so clear. The inspiration, and the accompanying uncertainty put us at the crossroads, and the beginning of a revolution in the way we think about training. Our challenge, then, is to take this inspiration and turn it into action. Isn't this the start of true shugyo (training)?

Nuetralization of opponent, nullifying of power, zero power, (I call it zero balance) floating,etc.
I realize it is just a repeat of much that has been said on these boards over the years. Maybe the fact of "who" is finally saying it publicly and is now pursuing it himself will get more folks attention, and interest them in finding instructors capable of both doing and teaching it.

Cheers
Dan

DH
11-24-2006, 07:44 AM
For myself this comment from Ikeda was the most encouraging
"For ourselves and for the Aikido of the future, it is necessary to completely change the way aikido is practiced. I think we have come to this critical crossroads."

I have observed and have been saying for years that Aikido is going "full speed in the wrong direction." Now that top people -in it- are seeing it as well, it will move "forward" by going "backward" to its roots.

It could be a great time for Aikido.

Dan

DH
11-24-2006, 07:51 AM
I wonder if for those in attendance, Ushiro outlined exercises to his method? It sounded oddly like..."its in the kata" again to me.
Mark you are reading this and you were there. Thoughts?

Dan
P.S. high Josh, Hi Tom. Happy thanks giving to the lurkers

MM
11-24-2006, 08:26 AM
Dan,
Which Mark? Unfortunately, I wasn't there. I would have liked to have been there, though.

Mark

DH
11-24-2006, 08:33 AM
Hi Bud

I thought you trained with him. My mistake. Was it just that once in Nov.?
I thought it would be interesting to see what Ushiro was doing to instill it in others. Whether he taught what was behind the sanchin kata...things like that.
And more interestingly.why....would ikeda be making this "observation" now? Is it ...after feeling Ushiro?
What has brought him to this "Critical time or juncture in AIkido?"
Now that certain people are speaking up about whats missing? That he has actually felt things that are out there? What?

Cheers
Dan

MM
11-24-2006, 08:49 AM
Hi Bud

I thought you trained with him. My mistake. Was it just that once in Nov.?
I thought it would be interesting to see what Ushiro was doing to instill it in others. Whether he taught what was behind the sanchin kata...things like that.
And more interestingly.why....would ikeda be making this "observation" now? Is it ...after feeling Ushiro?
Cheers
Dan

Yeah, I only trained once with Ikeda. Haven't made it to see Ushiro yet, but from the sounds of things, I'd say he's doing some interesting things. I thought I read a report (other than the one you quoted) on one of Ushiro's seminars and his sanchin kata. Can't find it now, though.

What gets me the most -- That all this "stuff" is being mentioned by people *outside* of Aikido. You, Mike, Rob, Ellis, and Ushiro. Hopefully, Ikeda will be able to help shape a new direction. Otherwise, we'll just get the same old "That stuff ain't Aikido" rhetoric.

Mark

Mike Sigman
11-24-2006, 10:35 AM
What gets me the most -- That all this "stuff" is being mentioned by people *outside* of Aikido. You, Mike, Rob, Ellis, and Ushiro. Hopefully, Ikeda will be able to help shape a new direction. Otherwise, we'll just get the same old "That stuff ain't Aikido" rhetoric. I think the culture of "AikiSpeak" basically crippled Aikido. Aikispeak is not a bad idea in itself, but it is very easily (and too often) warped into a passive-aggressive method of making people conform to some ideas held by the New Age inheritors. That's why Aikido became known as a California-martial-art so early on.

The more I look into Aikido books and sources, the more I realize that there actually was a lot of material offering clues. The problem was that these clues were different from the creed of many of the hierarchical western figures in Aikido. You only hear what you want to hear. And since being "confrontational" or "inquisitive" is immediately put under pressure as being wrong.... progress is stopped. I know. I watched it time and time again. So did many others. The question is whether anyone seeking progress can get past the juggernaut of the established hierarchy. Frankly, my opinion is that the mood to shift is there and is strong enough, among a reasonable number of practitioners. And sure, there will be people who will continue to make Aikido a "peace and love" role-playing game, but who cares? The equivalent progress is beginning to bloom in other martial arts, too... and not everyone will change-over in those either. Yet. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
11-24-2006, 10:39 AM
It really does seem that there is an undercurrent going through the Aikido world that has the capacity to:

A - completely change current training methods (either back to what was originally there or to include elements that should be there -- however people want to view it).

B - to wreak havok among Aikido schools (and in some small part, you can see it happening here where people argue about what aikido really is)

or

C -- both A and B.

But, neither is not an option at this point. Things have been introduced in a fashion that Aikido will change. The question remains on whether your school will change or whether your school will remain as it is.

This isn't something that will change over night. It's something that the next generation of Aikido students will face. IMO, anyway.

Tom H.
11-24-2006, 11:47 AM
Dan
P.S. high Josh, Hi Tom. Happy thanks giving to the lurkersThanks, and ditto.

I'll lurk less maybe when I can verify that I've got something real.. a year or two maybe? After having met Mike, Ark, and you I'm personally convinced that there's a common fundamental skill set that is "very different", but I don't think any one else should listen to me yet. I've got enough to work to keep myself busy anyhow :)

DH
12-04-2006, 04:10 AM
Thanks, and ditto.

I'll lurk less maybe when I can verify that I've got something real.. a year or two maybe? After having met Mike, Ark, and you I'm personally convinced that there's a common fundamental skill set that is "very different", but I don't think any one else should listen to me yet. I've got enough to work to keep myself busy anyhow :)
I'd say the value in contributing is that most folks have never- even once- felt these skills. Others may have felt them from high level teachers but were and are not shown how to train these skills. Instead they are dragged into a twenty years long apprentiship and told they cannot but learn the real body skills except through technique. When in fact the opposite is true. The body skills can be taught and trained in...and its they...that drive the technique.
You, have felt the body skills from three very diverse approaches. A continent apart, and a world apart yet as you say strangely there's a common fundamental skill set, that is very different from what people normally see.
That experience alone has value .Both for you and others. And writing of it- lets others hear from a fellow searcher who's been there and back as it were.
And hey...it's kept you looking, and that places you a mile ahead of those still stuck with their heads in the sand refusing to look, and even others hoping it will go away. ;)

See ya on the mats Tom
Cheers
Dan

Pauliina Lievonen
12-04-2006, 08:26 AM
After having met Mike, Ark, and you I'm personally convinced that there's a common fundamental skill set that is "very different", but I don't think any one else should listen to me yet. I've got enough to work to keep myself busy anyhow :)I think it's nice to hear from other people who are just starting to work out this stuff. I'm likely even more clueless about all this that you are, because I'm so terrible about solo training. But every time I read another discussion I get an urge to go and do shiko. :D It really helps with my motivation to not feel so alone about this stuff.

Maybe we should start a thread called "Internal Skillz Kindergarten" :D :p

kvaak
Pauliina

Tom H.
12-04-2006, 08:46 AM
I think it's nice to hear from other people who are just starting to work out this stuff. I'm likely even more clueless about all this that you are, because I'm so terrible about solo training. But every time I read another discussion I get an urge to go and do shiko. :D It really helps with my motivation to not feel so alone about this stuff.The bad news is that AFAIK, the only way you will make progress is by yourself. I currently think a good teacher should be able to show you a glimpse of the next level, and explain how to train for it, but if you don't do the work to rebuild your body...

FWIW, the more solo work I do, the more interesting it becomes. I'll start by telling myself, "Ok, Tom. Pull yourself together. We're going to do twenty shiko now." By the time I'm done I want to do twenty more to explore some new feeling or aspect.

Jeremy Hulley
12-04-2006, 09:51 AM
Twenty.....Cool!!!!
I'm dead by ten...

Pauliina Lievonen
12-04-2006, 11:03 AM
Yeah I was just going to say.. if I even get to twenty, I just want to lie down on the floor in a little wet heap... :p

kvaak
Pauliina

Tom H.
12-04-2006, 11:12 AM
Twenty.....Cool!!!!
I'm dead by ten...I know the kind you are talking about. I do Akuzawa's tenchijin exercise that way--fifteen kills me now, but when I started I was hitting muscle failure after only three . I do the shiko much "softer", partly because I'm aiming for high-reps (100 per training session, split up by other exercises into groups of 20 or 25).

Tom H.
12-04-2006, 11:24 AM
And hey...it's kept you looking, and that places you a mile ahead of those still stuck with their heads in the sand refusing to look, and even others hoping it will go away. ;)My plan is to get a decent foundation that someone like you, Rob, or Mike would recognize as basic competence. Then I'm going to put myself in contact with "non-believers" to confirm that there really is something here, and that I've started getting it. I don't really care about style as an end now; I'll go wherever I can pick out the best training methodology (xingyi, sumo, yoga, bjj, wherever), but I do have a soft spot for aikido.

Upyu
12-05-2006, 08:26 PM
I know the kind you are talking about. I do Akuzawa's tenchijin exercise that way--fifteen kills me now, but when I started I was hitting muscle failure after only three . I do the shiko much "softer", partly because I'm aiming for high-reps (100 per training session, split up by other exercises into groups of 20 or 25).

15 Kills you?
Doing 6 in a row will leave me in a wreck
Actually, I just "realized" some other alignment property recently, and three reps in a row done slow will tax me :)

The deeper you dig, the harder the exercises become...

Thomas Campbell
12-05-2006, 09:03 PM
15 Kills you?
Doing 6 in a row will leave me in a wreck
Actually, I just "realized" some other alignment property recently, and three reps in a row done slow will tax me :)

The deeper you dig, the harder the exercises become...

That's a good pointer for beginners with these exercises. If they are seeming easier, check your alignment. And it's a good incentive to dig deeper. Thanks, Rob.

Joe Bowen
12-06-2006, 03:05 AM
We're going to do twenty shiko now...Akuzawa's tenchijin exercise

Can you describe these exercises? I'd like to try a little experimentation as well. "Shiko"?

Joe

Ron Tisdale
12-06-2006, 06:58 AM
Sumo leg lifting / weight shifting exercise...search on it and some sites describing the trad. practice will come up...

B,
R

DH
12-06-2006, 07:32 AM
I've not read one that describes what you should and could be doing with it.

Dan

Ron Tisdale
12-06-2006, 08:04 AM
Heh, well, I wouldn't know it if it bit me in the butt! ;) Could you elaborate? Maybe take the basic gross motor motions first, then describe what you add? I for one am all ears...

Best,
Ron

Joe Bowen
12-06-2006, 08:16 AM
Sumo leg lifting / weight shifting exercise...search on it and some sites describing the trad. practice will come up...B, R

Ron, Not trying to be a pain, but I don't understand. Are you telling me that "Shiko" is the Sumo Leg Lifting exercise, like what they do in the beginings of the matches? Are the individual exercises I can do to try and lay some sort of physical ground work for the development of these "internal" skills tied to Sumo wrestling?
Can I get a description of a basic simple drill which I can possibly do some self exploration with?

Joe

PS. Taking your advice I ran a search on "sumo" exercises. Are these the things you had in mind?

http://www.sumo.or.jp/eng/kyokai/kenko_taiso.html

Thomas Campbell
12-06-2006, 09:25 AM
'Thomas Campbell wrote:
We're going to do twenty shiko now...Akuzawa's tenchijin exercise

Can you describe these exercises? I'd like to try a little experimentation as well. "Shiko"?

Joe'

Joe,

I think you inadvertently placed someone else's post in a quote from me, above.

The exercises I believe you're interested in come from the Aunkai training of Akuzawa Minoru. Robert John has posted an article on a previous thread about some of these basic exercises:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=152407#post152407

The article was originally posted at bullshido.com in two parts.

The "shiko" as it's been explained to me differs from the traditional sumo exercise. Akuzawa's version may be derived from his Daito-ryu training at the Sagawa dojo . . . Rob can certainly feel free to correct me on this.

Ron Tisdale
12-06-2006, 10:13 AM
Here is a description from Dan on e-budo:

I think the Sumo shikko work is two fold though. The arch for shikko can be used to drive a ground path one side to the other but also in a stand up form to divide and weight drop. One has more significant advantages in a grappling format over the other. But you already know this I think.
Ground work and using the same connections in different planes.
If you are in a top mount ground-and-pound; First try setting up a path from your knees to your shoulders so when he pulls he gets zip- all while your arms are free to whip him or drill. Then if he wins and he does a pull to bring you down to avoid the punches? Use the path from your knee to your arm or hand as he pulls and “ground” through him in his face or neck. It being a new definition to heaviness.
If you have a four corner top mount do the same thing one path to the other criss-crossing. You can also use the ground path to do chokes that most MMA guys can’t make work so they throw them away and won’t train them. Also to “punish” a guy while working him. With very small movement in a clinch you should be able to use a path to generate power and wind-in at the same time right? If you can- you can do a hell of a lot of damage with your head and hands using your legs and hips. Think about it.
As you have learned it isn’t a panacea to all physical dilemmas- but as I have always maintained “It is the best way to train in the world.”

If you go to this link http://www.e-budo.com/forum/archive/index.php/t-31125.html there are some fairly extensive conversations about it.

Best,
Ron

ChrisMoses
12-06-2006, 12:07 PM
I know the kind you are talking about. I do Akuzawa's tenchijin exercise that way--fifteen kills me now, but when I started I was hitting muscle failure after only three . I do the shiko much "softer", partly because I'm aiming for high-reps (100 per training session, split up by other exercises into groups of 20 or 25).

I'd love to hear Rob's take on this, but I've found that in order to do higher reps, I need to soften up what I'm doing internally, which seems to be counter to the intent of the exercises. Unlike say suburi, where you can find yourself in a zone where you're able to do higher reps after eliminating a lot of the unnecessary muscle groups, the Aunkai exercises seem to be designed to force various muscle groups to work against each other. So the stronger you get, and the more you do them the more you have to work at it to do the same thing. For the shiko, I'm doing sets of 10 but holding the top of the movement for a 10 count, then trying to lower myself slowly while still driving my weight into the 'stomp' and maintaining the cross (not to mention keeping the lower back straight/tucked). Blech, they are teh suckay... :freaky: And don't even get me started on the weird store/release whip over thingy (although I think it might help me with my backside 3's in the park this year...) :p

DH
12-06-2006, 12:18 PM
It ight help to understand that instead of opposing muscle groups you whould have opposing, contridictory tendon/ fascia and.....intent.
Holding opposing muscle tension may help you to feel some things at the very first but it really isn't going to help much in the long haul. I'd concentrate on stillness and holding frame, stabilize upper cross to hips and legs then, tendon/fascia, then movement with contridictory tensions and frame in place. Then breath power.
Shiko is about axis and same side connection, and opposite cross body line connections. Added things I'd say would be each axis itself (left, right, center) divided into outer and inner work.
But hey...thats just my opinion.
Dan

ChrisMoses
12-06-2006, 12:39 PM
It ight help to understand that instead of opposing muscle groups you whould have opposing, contridictory tendon/ fascia and.....intent.
Holding opposing muscle tension may help you to feel some things at the very first but it really isn't going to help much in the long haul.

Yeah, I didn't phrase it very well. The exercises seem to teach you how to create internal tension against your own frame/support structures. I find that if I'm trying to create the maximum ammount of tension, this takes a great deal of mental concentration and very specific muscular movements. But it seems that you only progress by butting up against your own limits for tension creation. If I was doing the form without hitting that limit, I don't know if I would be getting anywhere near the same benefit. By opposing muscular groups, I was thinking more about how in some exercises you are twisting your lower body one way, and in order to maintain the upper structure, you have to work very hard with the back and shoulder muscles not to be pulled around. This in turn creates tension through the fascia connecting these two parts of the body. So it's these opposing groups I'm talking about rather than say the biceps vs. the triceps. I should have made that clearer.

Upyu
12-07-2006, 02:02 AM
The exercises I believe you're interested in come from the Aunkai training of Akuzawa Minoru. Robert John has posted an article on a previous thread about some of these basic exercises:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=152407#post152407

The article was originally posted at bullshido.com in two parts.

The "shiko" as it's been explained to me differs from the traditional sumo exercise. Akuzawa's version may be derived from his Daito-ryu training at the Sagawa dojo . . . Rob can certainly feel free to correct me on this.

Rmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Shiko is easy to show, difficult to describe.

I agree with Dan that the things that you can develop doing Shiko correctly are not necessarily available in modern day Sumo. IE I rarely see anyone in Sumo doing Shiko the way I do it. (That isn't to say the way they do it is wrong though, just different.)

In the beginning, it is essentially a way to

a) Develop the arch in the legs (known as "dang" in chinese, it supports and sends power up the spine)

b) Seperate, develop awareness in three axis of the human body.
Center, Left and Right. Left and Right axis refer to a perpindicular imaginary line running from shoulder to hip/knee. (Its different from the axis mentioned in the "cross" etc.) Awareness/ development of these axis along with the development of the dang teach proper weight transfer.

c) Its an easier version of developing up/down front/back connection.

If anyone wants to attempt doing Shiko, I'd say go ahead and do it, but you need some other tanren (solo training) to develop your bodies structure so it changes in nature.
Within what I do, I'd suggest Mabu and Ten-chi-jin along with the Raising legs exercise. Other people may have different suggestions, and that's definitely alright, so long as they can tell you how and what is exactly being trained.

Chris:
From my experience, don't drive your weight into the stomp. (If you're doing what I think you're doing) The "drop" will develop naturally so long as you develop the connections.
Keep up putting the foot down softly, but don't exaggerate. Put it down naturally, and try to keep the "dang"/arch in place between the knees.

Other things you might want to play with:
When you're tilted at that 45 degree angle, play around with sending power through the front of the chest, and alternatively through the scaps. From one end to the other. Play with how it affects your body. Later that stuff will be fun to play around with in striking :D

All the exercises feed into each other.
So anything you realize in one exercise should be immediately transferable to another exercise. (Which is great, since a lot of thigns aren't immediately apparent when doing certain exercises)


Thomas:
Not sure where Ark picked up his way of doing it. I'm pretty sure he developed it on his own. His way of doing it is even more "advanced." (I can tell just by looking) I'm still at the beginning stages myself :crazy:
In the end though, it all boils back to the Ten-Chi-Jin concept.
Raise to Heaven, Sink to Earth, all the while Bringing back to the self.
Btw, that last part, "Bringing back to the self" is hugely important in Ark's book. (Just to be clear this is a physical concept, not some LSD induced hippy fantasy). Intent, focus is directed inward inward inward. This becomes especially important when interfacing with someone in sparring :)

Upyu
12-07-2006, 02:09 AM
I was thinking more about how in some exercises you are twisting your lower body one way, and in order to maintain the upper structure, you have to work very hard with the back and shoulder muscles not to be pulled around. This in turn creates tension through the fascia connecting these two parts of the body. So it's these opposing groups I'm talking about rather than say the biceps vs. the triceps. I should have made that clearer.

Later, it'll soften up ;)
You'll be able to relax those opposing muscle groups while keeping a "piano wire" of tension running through the body. Keeping only those parts that need to be tensed just enough.

I just had a breakthrough in the twisty exercise. (The one that develops torque directly) Gained a more concrete understanding of how to "sit" within the pelvic region, without relying on the leg muscles (I already knew how to do this, but it was taking way too much intent), and was able to relax/sink down all the while torquing my body...of course then that achievement simply rewarded me with the fact that now I can do even harder lower basin training (read: stance lowered even further and made more compact = torture +500 status)
oh joy....

No doubt Ark's also going to reward me with
"Oh, looking good, now lower, lower, <shove shove>"
<insert "oh holy #$ck" look of despair on my face>

Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I should just up and go join the Capoeira club at the Sports center, at least they got hotties working out in tights :D

ChrisMoses
12-07-2006, 08:33 AM
Chris:
From my experience, don't drive your weight into the stomp. (If you're doing what I think you're doing) The "drop" will develop naturally so long as you develop the connections.
Keep up putting the foot down softly, but don't exaggerate. Put it down naturally, and try to keep the "dang"/arch in place between the knees.



God this stuff's hard to describe...

Sounds like I'm on the right track here. I'm trying to maintain the shape/structure of the body as I lower the leg, but also allow the natural ammount of weight to transfer into that side of my stucture (as opposed to keeping my weight balanced on my standing leg in order to place the descending foot totally softly on the ground but sacrificing the integrity of the body structure). In our stuff we make a distinction between a weight drop and a stomp, I'm trying to do this as a controlled weight drop, rather than a stomp (which tends to cause you to use the muscles of the leg to hit the ground). That make any sense to anyone? :hypno:

ChrisMoses
12-07-2006, 08:42 AM
Later, it'll soften up ;)
I'll take your word on it. ;) (just kidding, I can already feel this happening in some stuff, like getting the arms behind the head in the tenchi exercise, it's still hard, but not like pulling cold taffy.)


I just had a breakthrough in the twisty exercise. (The one that develops torque directly) Gained a more concrete understanding of how to "sit" within the pelvic region, without relying on the leg muscles (I already knew how to do this, but it was taking way too much intent), and was able to relax/sink down all the while torquing my body...of course then that achievement simply rewarded me with the fact that now I can do even harder lower basin training (read: stance lowered even further and made more compact = torture +500 status)
oh joy....

Are you talking about the standing cross double kick around spin thingy or the bent forward swinging the arms slappin doohickey? (How you like my t3knikal jargon yo?) I'm guessing you're talking about the standing cross double kick around spin thingy. I'm still fighting the natural tendancy to arch the back when the first leg comes around, but I generally don't stumble and sway with the second 1/2. That one is really hard to maintain the cross throughout, but it's also one of the exercises that I've found the most obviously applicable (my uchimata and makikomi have both changed from this exercise for example).




Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I should just up and go join the Capoeira club at the Sports center, at least they got hotties working out in tights :D

I miss training with women... Buncha sweaty men in a basement, people might start to talk... :p

Tom H.
12-07-2006, 10:31 AM
I can already feel this happening in some stuff, like getting the arms behind the head in the tenchi exercise, it's still hard, but not like pulling cold taffy.)The last time I did a good set of tenchi, I was playing with how to hold the shoulders (I've been out of the gym for two weeks :( but I'm fixing that today). A week before that I was doing something strange that pulled a bunch of muscle in that spot between the shoulder blades and the spine. Ouch. Since then I've also learned that I've been doing everything with a collapsed neck, which makes vertical tension in the spine nearly impossible.
Are you talking about the standing cross double kick around spin thingy or the bent forward swinging the arms slappin doohickey?I had to read that twice.. I thought you were talking about the hands out front drop and spin the low kick exercise. You're ahead of me if you can already spin with some decency, and I'm excited to hear that you've found it so applicable. But I think I've figured some lower-body stuff out that has been keeping from being able to do anything but kick straight out.
Buncha sweaty men in a basementWhich Reminds Me. I'm rather looking forward to grappling with the well-toned young men that the BJJ scene attracts. As an objective test of my body development. :confused:

ChrisMoses
12-07-2006, 10:57 AM
I had to read that twice.. I thought you were talking about the hands out front drop and spin the low kick exercise. You're ahead of me if you can already spin with some decency, and I'm excited to hear that you've found it so applicable.
Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha.... I can't do that one to save my life. I think I came close once, yeah, that's it...

Which Reminds Me. I'm rather looking forward to grappling with the well-toned young men that the BJJ scene attracts. As an objective test of my body development. :confused:
Just don't make eye contact and it's all good. ;)

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-07-2006, 06:49 PM
Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha.... I can't do that one to save my life. I think I came close once, yeah, that's it...

Haha, good to know all the tough talk is just that, talk,.... and we're in the same boat! Don't you also feel that if you could get control of your lower body all your problems would go away? :D

Upyu
12-07-2006, 07:54 PM
Are you talking about the standing cross double kick around spin thingy or the bent forward swinging the arms slappin doohickey? (How you like my t3knikal jargon yo?) I'm guessing you're talking about the standing cross double kick around spin thingy. I'm still fighting the natural tendancy to arch the back when the first leg comes around, but I generally don't stumble and sway with the second 1/2. That one is really hard to maintain the cross throughout, but it's also one of the exercises that I've found the most obviously applicable (my uchimata and makikomi have both changed from this exercise for example).


Rmmm, sorry it's not that one, nor is it the "sweep" exercise.
(But both of those are alternative exercises of the torquing exercise im talking about)
Remember the one where you stand in wide mabu (about twice your shoulder width) hold your hands out to the sides, shoulder blades touching, then twist yourself around? Rear knee should be down, but not touching the floor. It's a static posture we hold for about 30sec-minute, and then switch to twist to the other side.

hopefully that made it clearer? :p

Jeremy Hulley
12-07-2006, 08:06 PM
AW Crap!!!!
Forgot about that one.....

Haole
12-07-2006, 09:08 PM
just did the twisty thing twice, hahaha that burns.

Couple of questions for you.

When you say arms out shoulder blades touching are the hands held palms facing outward and fingers straight up?

Is part of the focus of this excerise to maintain the intgerity of the three upper axis?

Someone needs to make a video of all these exercises.

Upyu
12-07-2006, 10:09 PM
just did the twisty thing twice, hahaha that burns.

Couple of questions for you.

When you say arms out shoulder blades touching are the hands held palms facing outward and fingers straight up?

Is part of the focus of this excerise to maintain the intgerity of the three upper axis?

Someone needs to make a video of all these exercises.

Nope, fingers are held straight out, not up. (Kind of like kids playing "airplane" )

Essentially you're correct.
If by three upper axis you're referring to up/down, left/right/ front/back then yes. But they also exist in the lower part of the body as well. Actually the goal is to manifest it in all parts of the body.

What the exercise works to do is "twist" the upper and lower portions of the body against each other creating a "torque" in the body, all the while you strive to maintain the u/d, l/r, f/b pulls in the body.
Really all it is is the shaved down version of this:
http://www.kuoshu.net/Pics/hsing-i6.gif
th3 ub3r DRAg0N stance in Hsing-yi :D
Which I'm sure you've seen countless variations in chinese fist styles. Ark's mentioned it's also in Japanese Kenjutsu, though the external shape is different.
(Shape/Frame is just a training tool afterall)

More video??? jk
I'll see what I can't get up on Youtube at some point :p

DH
12-07-2006, 10:24 PM
Hah!!.... ya baby

We do a low to high standing version of that. They end up with the arm fully extended on say the right side with it pulling up the entire side with the leg lifted and held with the tension out into the hand. The left is pushing down with tension running down on the other side. You end up looking like one of those Japanese statues.
We hold it and play the tensions in the spine, while working the upper cross across the opposite hands. You can actually work it back to front, and feel it change.
Then have guys start to push on you.

Rob Tom showed me the upper cross arm movement. I guess thats only for someone starting the upper work.
We do a version of that but it uses far more of the lower body.
You start with a right arm right leg forward. With a pulling in.
The left is being fed and wound in from the right and when they meet you hold it in the chest.
Now the pull on the right feeds the push on the left and from no movement you are loaded and launched. In slow motion we have someone hold your pulling hand anf you feed into it with the other hands intent. Suddenly they lose all abiltiy to pull on you as you are pulling, pushing out, while sinking, while windsing in and up.
Then back to going across the floor.....lower...lower

Dan

ChrisMoses
12-07-2006, 11:03 PM
Rmmm, sorry it's not that one, nor is it the "sweep" exercise.
(But both of those are alternative exercises of the torquing exercise im talking about)
Remember the one where you stand in wide mabu (about twice your shoulder width) hold your hands out to the sides, shoulder blades touching, then twist yourself around? Rear knee should be down, but not touching the floor. It's a static posture we hold for about 30sec-minute, and then switch to twist to the other side.

hopefully that made it clearer? :p

I think my pain receptors blocked that one completely from my memory... :yuck:

Jeremy Hulley
12-08-2006, 12:11 AM
I could cry just thinking about it.... :(

Tom H.
12-08-2006, 04:17 AM
Rob Tom showed me the upper cross arm movement. *snip*Dan's talking about shintaijiku. I'm doing a pretty limited set of exercises: shiko, leg raises, shintaijiku, and tenchjin. Tenchijin is the only place I get into really low stances right now--yesterday I made it through approximately 5 without dying. The thought of being held accountable for understanding what I'm doing or showing (e.g. in a situation like this) drives me into the gym :).

Tom H.
12-08-2006, 05:10 AM
I should have added: Dan was showing me something he though was similar. I roughly remember it as stepping forward from one hanmi to the other, with the arms stretched out over same-side feet at waist height. I like it.

DH
12-08-2006, 07:29 AM
Gees Tom...
Is that all I was doing?
And all Shiko is-is lifting a leg at the fire hydrant :D

I seem to remember me having you hold my arms and showing you the push-pull power in both hands. That was to demonstrate the frame being supported by windings happening in the body. There is a moment where the connection of the right line coming in and down feeds the left side coming up and out. it is not a first step exercise.
1. Without the upper cross it won't work
2. Without the uppercross working in unison with the lower it wont work -under stress you will break at the middle
3. Without keeping the kua open, and then being able to move with it open your power is reduced
4. Without being able to twist at the waist and keep it open your hip flexors will kick in and you will close and just use muscle.
5. The windings go from the feet to the finger tips and have to be worked exhaustively. And if you are doing them right they are fairly painful and exhausting.
6. Carrying tension in the spine while maintaining the connection across the scapular chest while moving, while holding it all together with winding loads the body to instantly luanch the move. You don't move or just walk. You connect and launch, connect then launch
Building those connections till they becom natural under normal movement and motion.
I don't imagine you remembered the front sinking back rising work?
So your sinking and rising on the vertical plane twisting and opening closing in the horizontal plane, and pulling and pushing at the sametime in the saggital plane. All at the same time. I'm probably stupid but it took me a long time to get there. To be able to generate whole body power in a conitnuous flow in motion.

But you're right in how this is like the Aunkia's exercises I've no idea at all. And I for one am looking forward to finding out. :D I intend to find out next year and go play with Rob and Ark.

Cheers Bud
Dan

Ron Tisdale
12-08-2006, 07:50 AM
http://www.kuoshu.net/Pics/hsing-i6.gif

Hi Rob,

Are you familiar with the sokumen posture from Daito ryu / Yoshinkan? This reminds me of that...I had a Japanese sempai who used to do the sokumen posture / xstep / sokumen all the way across the dojo and back repeatedly. He is one of the folks in aikido that I really feel has the internal connections down...

Do you think there is a relation?

Best,
Ron

Tom H.
12-08-2006, 08:14 AM
Is that all I was doing?
And all Shiko is-is lifting a leg at the fire hydrant :DSorry, I don't mean to short-change you. I deliberately cut all the internal goings-on. Given the external form of an exercise, I figure both Rob and you can deduce more about what's being worked on the inside than I could explain. I'm reluctant to translate for anyone until I'm at least conversationally proficient.

DH
12-15-2006, 08:24 AM
If you find that you take offense to someone, anyone, telling you that your training is lacking in anything, then you might want to take a look inside yourself to see why. What does an outsider's words really mean to your training? People from karate, taekwondo, BJJ, etc have ripped apart Aikido yet I see very few take offense at that. Would you take offense if some karate person said your aikido training was fluffy bunny unrealistic hype?
But yet, here are Dan, Mike, and Rob saying that aikido training is missing something and it's created a windstorm of talk. Why is that?
Mark

As I wrote in the Boundless aikido thread I have been talking with a series of Aikido people lately. Its always interesting to hear others takes on whats been written. Things we miss -that are pertinent to them -and then their reasons why things of no consequence to us, captured their attention.
Once person picked this out of Marks comments and had a response that I asked if I could steal and post here.

They feel the reason that this "talk" has created "a windstorm
over typical aikido bashing" is that it is different. The guys talking about it are not bashing aikido as useless but stating clearly that it both can remain true to its own roots and be superior as an art. They went on to say that it caused them to drag out their vidoes and also go to Aikido journal and watch and they suddenly saw with different eyes and..."knew"..... what we have been saying is true.
This stuff......is.....what Ueshiba was doing.
How many, I wonder, have that same needling, sneaking suspicion?

Anyway, I agreed and added that without it.... there is no "Ueshiba Aikido" Its all Kissomaru Aikido.
And it is the reason Tohei and Shioda left. Its also the reason they look "different."

Cheers
Dan

Thomas Campbell
12-17-2006, 03:26 PM
[snip]And all Shiko is-is lifting a leg at the fire hydrant :D

[snip]

Some guys seem like they are pulling the hydrant out of the ground then replanting it. :cool:

DH
12-17-2006, 04:51 PM
Look Ma...
My feet are in my hands.
My hands are in my feet.
My neck is my butt.
I have this wierd feeling in my spine..........

"Johnny, We already know that. Your father always said your head was up your.... And don't forget to take your halldal. You're talking wierd agan."

:D
Dan