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David Orange
11-23-2006, 10:20 PM
You basically just told me that your vision of Aikido is someone applying a technique well, David.

You have to start somewhere, Mike. Aiki can be done in the early stages with almost no kokyu at all. From there, technique advances as kokyu ryoku advances and sei ryoku advances.

I don't want to get off into a tangent from an otherwise basic discussion, David, but yes... "six directions" can be done and is done in "all directions", but the how's and why's are beyond this discussion. Let's just say that for training purposes, the progression normally goes 2 directions, then 4 directions, then 6 directions..... 3 planar directions which can be used to describe all directions.

I can appreciate it better as going back to basics to build up again to the limitless and omnidirectional. Definitely sounds like Akuzawa has found out how it works.

Happy Thanksgiving.

David

MM
11-23-2006, 10:56 PM
Just finished catching up on reading through the thread. More to think about ...

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful day. Mine was. :)
Gochisousamadeshita.


Thanks, Jun, for providing.
Domo Arigato Gozaimashita

Mark

Erick Mead
11-23-2006, 11:06 PM
Thanks Dan, for taking the time to gvie some very useful concrete description to these concepts.
When you hear discussions of resistence, bouncing off, casting, disruption, etc, you are hearing discussions of the "affect" on the opponent apllying force on us due to the "effect" that bujutsu training -in-our bodes has on that force. ... blending ... is so basic a movement principle as to be insulting ...it is full speed...in the wrong direction. You will forgive me, that all my Chinese sources on these points, academic though they may have been, were in line with Master Yao's statement explicitly predicating resistance.

.... As you pull around you on the right you are "pulling" with a straight arm keeping the triceps slack. Pay attention to the spine; head erect, sacrum dropped spine being stretched open. You are pulling away with your spine and drawing in on the inside lines of your body. ... As you push on the ground with your right and drawing away with the spine you are pushing across your lower center into your hips and activating/joining your left side. ... your right lower center is now activating your left lower center and you upper center is joined- your pulling force is connected to a pushing force across your spine. you are now using the power on the right to do the opposite on the left. Allowing it to push forward with your left hand as you pull with the right. This sounds like "prayer drum" motion, in slo-mo, with isometric attention to each joint force couple as it receives and is moved by the energy translated/trotated from the next joint in the path, and passes it on in turn. Because each joint is moved in translation and rotation slightly as it i movd by the impinging force, the line of force that each joint is responding to alters successively, forming a spiral of incremental translation/rotaiton. The same thing happens on the way back out from tanden to the point of extension, and this spiral, in both paths, is the shape of ikkyo.

In this mode of motion, as we use it, each joint in the path toward the tanden is progressively being moved, all the way to the tanden and then the tanden communicates that movement back along a path of extension. Sometimes the paths of connection and extension are in opposite sides of each force couple in the joints of the same limb. In others the points of connection and extension are in different limbs altogeher or merely the hips or belly, depending on technique.

Where you fall short Erik is thinking this work you see in testing is resistence training. When in fact the opposite is true its neutral training. If by neutral you mean mere inertia, well, even passive inertia is reaction force opposng the impinging force and is thus, resistance. To not resist, you must be moved. That movement may occur in the manner I described that is quite subtle but it must be movement, however small, or else there is resistance.

If, instead, this is simply a sequenced way of accepting force and being moved by that force -- in each joint couple in turn -- from point of connection to tanden and then back out again to point of extension -- well, it is kokyu tanden ho, and we do it all the time.
... you hear such critism of those Aikidoka who move all over the place just to "blend" and move an opponent. That is the thing, though, I do not move my opponent at all, he does; I merely serve as the amplifying instrument through which his own action feeds back to disturb itself. It involves some "feed forward" actually, but the principles are the same. In training we must set up some of those preconditions to make it manageable fro a givne skill level and yet still well-mapped onto motion in actual attack -- but that is it.


And I hope that a Happy Thanksgiving was had by all!!

My center has certainly developed -- to dangerous proportions at this point ...

DH
11-24-2006, 08:19 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,
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

Erick Mead
11-24-2006, 09:59 AM
Exerpt from an article in Aikido Journal online-
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=688

The kind of power through kokyu that Ushiro sensei has been teaching is completely different from what is usually thought of as kokyu. ... 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 ... ... Our challenge, then, is to take this inspiration and turn it into action. Isn't this the start of true shugyo (training)?[/i][/b] Neutralization of opponent, nullifying of power, zero power, (I call it zero balance) floating, Which is to say that there is a lot of BAAAD kokyu practice out there, a point I fervently agree with. Yes. Fine. What to do about it? One cannot rip and burn Ushiro Sensei's ki for general distribution. We need a more generally applicable condensation of this that can be interpreted properly, and consistently. In other words -- omote.

That is the reason for my approach from my own mechnical background (rotary and vibrational mechanics) to follow the physical intutiions that I have developed in my kokyu practice. It may not be as good or as consistent as some may have developed -- but I know what I am looking for when I feel it, and I can see it in others when it occurs, and it is very much what the article talks about. I am finding concrete (omote) ways of interpreting and communicating it

The following is also from the same article:
Using ki, you can enter into the opponent's center instantly, directing them at will through the hips and knees. In the case of throws, too, it is not an external rotation that breaks the partner's balance, but an internal one. Because it is applied internally, the opponent cannot feel it. There are two key points made here that I have written about elsewhere in this forum and which I am continuing to work out with greater rigor from an omote physical perspective:

1) gyrodynamics and the relationship of precession to O-Sensei's specific description of the art as "jujido" and

2) using sensation of the gyroscopic internal rotation/vibration of joints according to the principles of virtual work (ie. -- zero-motion).

Mike and others have (well, "derided" is a polite term) my thoughts on these issues -- but the idea of "six-direction springs" is a quintessential model of linear resistance (albeit in three axes) that Ushiro Sensei is very definitely NOT using. Whatever the usefulness of "six-directions" as a visualization tool or for other purposes, it is also and for that reason, most definitely NOT what Ikeda and Ushiro are speaking about and the participants have reported.

Juji presumes that interaction of forces occurs at 90 degree angles -- there is never any component of oppositional force if true juji is maintained. All forces developed by the human body rely on internal joint rotaiton and vibraiton (tone) to function. Even "explosive Okinawan punches" (as discussed in that article) involve necessary internal joint rotations, they are not immune to this approach at all.

That is also why I was intrigued by Master Yao's discussion of vibrations in the joints as a critical aspect of yiquan. Tone in a joint is a function of constant background neuro-muscular "buzz" of that joint's oppositional muscle groups oscilalting against one another. Vibration and rotation are equivalent for gyrodynamic purposes.
A gyro rate sensor can be made on the basis of either form of internal motion, to sense essentially infinitesimal induced precessions by an input force.

I interpret ikkyo (the first principle of aiki) as:

1) a spiraling chain of these physical joint precessions,

2) led by the "ki sense" (in this setting) disclosing by a complementary "virtual work" sensation of precession arising in each of the joints from the instant of connection (musubi) with the opponent's structure -- betraying its state and thus where the attack is prepared to go.

The first is seen (omote) -- the second is hidden (ura).

The overemphasis on omote in aiki practice ( a western prejudice, perhaps) has caused this, but it is also that same omote that has revealed the ura (hidden) problem. There is necessity, as in all things, for both an ura and omote approach, as there is necessity for balance in the binary vibrational tone of the joints

I realize it is just a repeat of much that has been said on these boards over the years. This is what I am trying to depart from. Ikeda and Ushiro are following ura waza (exploring the hidden) in dealing with these issues, and understandably so. Ura is a preferential response of Japanese culture. (not that there is anything wrong with that). But the problem has in part been created from the similiar omote preference of the West. I could be wrong, but I do not think that tendency is going to change any sooner than the ura preference of the Japanese. So, the remedy for us must also partake of something of the same thing as the disease -- the omote approach of the West. I am attempting that from my perspective. So are David, Ledyard Sensei and others.

There is no substitute for the necessary awareness, I agree. For practice purposes, this awareness classically progresses from seated kokyu tanden ho through kihon waza and on through full jiyu or randori application.

This, Dan, in an isometric form, is what I am seeing in the solo and partner practice as you you describe it. It is that similar isometric form that I interpret to operate in Shioda's heavy emphasis on kihon dosa. It is what I see in Akuzawa's demonstrations in a completely different sensiblity.

It is very much what I feel and work for in partnered kokyu tanden ho, techniques and jiyu waza.

MM
11-24-2006, 10:03 AM
All dangerous things are not dangerous for the same reasons...I do not deny the points Mike raises about internal arts (even while differing on our understadnig of the precise mechanics of them), they are just not aikido in the way he describe them and their use, and the way in which the nei-jia are typically explained to function.

Erick, you and I are definitely on the same page here. I've experienced things with Chinese martial artists that I never felt anything like from any Japanese artist. The nature of what they were doing was so completely different that I can't accept the idea that they are the same. I will admit that both work from the center and that there are some commonalities, but these are two very different cultures with very different attitudes and the martial arts are expressed in completely different ways, though we can find some common qualities at various points. But the concepts are not equatable. Relatable, but not equal.


I've got to disagree with both of you here. Although I haven't gotten to meet Mike, I did get a chance to meet Dan. And if you read through the posts, you'll find that Dan, Mike and Rob are pretty much on the same page when it comes to talking about this stuff.

And it is, IMO, most definitely what is missing from most everyone's Aikido. Read the entry on Aikido Journal about Ushiro. It's all internal stuff.

And from Ikeda sensei:

Even if the number of people practicing aikido reaches the tens of thousands, there is no meaning if we are fighting among ourselves. It only means we are moving in the opposite direction from O-sensei's philosophy. 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.

As a teacher, one of the most important considerations is how we are bringing up new people in the art, both now and into the future. 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.

If you can argue with Ikeda against all this, I'd certainly like to be there. :) I felt Ikeda and he's very good. If he thinks that that our kokyu should be changed ... I'm nowhere near a level to argue that point.

Mark

Rupert Atkinson
11-24-2006, 02:02 PM
Exerpt from an article in Aikido Journal online-
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=688
Dan

Nice article.

The only person I have ever met who popped my abdomen is Terry Ezra Sensei in the UK, who has been doing exactly the kind of stuff in that article as long as I can remember. And the only other people I have met with something special do not do Aikido. It is nothing new. What is new is that people are beginning to realise that they may have spent their entire Aikido life barking up the wrong tree.

Erick Mead
11-24-2006, 03:20 PM
If you can argue with Ikeda against all this, I'd certainly like to be there. :) I felt Ikeda and he's very good. If he thinks that that our kokyu should be changed ... I'm nowhere near a level to argue that point. Who's arguing with him?

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=159783&postcount=10

Mike Sigman
11-24-2006, 03:48 PM
Well, let's be honest, Erick. Essentially, you've posited that Ikeda's meaning is not clear and therefore his statement can be interpretted in terms of your "gyrational movement" theory, right? I.e., you're not "arguing", you're simply assuming, without support, that people are agreeing with you. Let's keep the conversation intellectually honest, please.

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
11-24-2006, 04:17 PM
Well, let's be honest, Erick. Essentially, you've posited that Ikeda's meaning is not clear and therefore his statement can be interpretted in terms of your "gyrational movement" theory, right? I've posited nothing of the kind. It is not what was said, on either reading. I made a simple statement illustrating that a public statement made by a Japanese person of any significant authority hides at least as much as it reveals. He has been in the States a long time, but he was speaking of Ushiro Sensei -- in public.

It says what it says. More or less.

MM
11-24-2006, 07:37 PM
... a public statement made by a Japanese person of any significant authority hides at least as much as it reveals. He has been in the States a long time, but he was speaking of Ushiro Sensei -- in public.

It says what it says. More or less.

True. I can concede to your point here.

And I can say that we differ on our views of Aikido. Nothing spectacular there, though, since I'm pretty much a speck on a flea on the dog that is Aikido. :)

It'll be interesting, though, to see how we change as time goes by.

Mark

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-25-2006, 04:39 AM
I really like Erick's attempts, because at one time or other, the understanding and thought he brings to the issues will be expanded and transferred to the exact same things Mike, Rob, and Dan are talking about. It's probably just a matter of time before a hand-on experience happens. I don't agree with Erick's views on juji (it's not as simple as you make out, I believe, but I'll leave Rob or Mike to comment on that), or on omote and ura, but I certainly agree that not much can be said in public by one senior about another. So that's just clues thrown out for the benefit of those who already know what's being discussed. How's this for a quote (from a section entitled "Judo and Jujutsu"):

"First, there is no se-oi [taking weight on the back]. There is no pull. One does not grip tightly the lapel or sleeve. Both feet must use fully the way of no-feet and therefore do not grip the tatami. One moves under those conditions. The other may be as strong or conditioned in a sports sense as can be, that only serves to accentuate his weaknesses. Just a drop in the hips takes his center without feeling his weight, and the other does not realize that his weight is no consideration as he falls head-first to the mat. This is dangerous so a supporting hand needs to be ready."

Thus, a way of training is emphasized here, more than a particular mindset of how the body movement can be rationalized (I think at present no theory can fully explain complex movements without actually duplicating them). Further quotes about the training is "the existing strength must be actively denied, refused to be used... the athleticism and mobility of the feet must be negated and not used.... a new body must be forged which does not look strong or conditioned... It looks like a normal body without excess muscles." Here we have Kuroda Tetsuzan talking about training in his book "Ki-Ken-Tai-icchi no bujutsu-teki shintai wo tsukuru" (On the creation of a martial body unifying Ki, Sword and Body.) The way of training he expounds comes from his family style, from the kata. Seated kata practice is the vehicle for creating a seichusen and floating body which then is present whether standing or lying down, sitting he says is a quicker way to learn and build-in the particular body coordinations. There's more, but this should do for now.

Upyu
11-25-2006, 08:49 AM
"First, there is no se-oi [taking weight on the back]. There is no pull. One does not grip tightly the lapel or sleeve. Both feet must use fully the way of no-feet and therefore do not grip the tatami. One moves under those conditions. The other may be as strong or conditioned in a sports sense as can be, that only serves to accentuate his weaknesses. Just a drop in the hips takes his center without feeling his weight, and the other does not realize that his weight is no consideration as he falls head-first to the mat. This is dangerous so a supporting hand needs to be ready."


Dizamn!
That's a good quote. Courtesy of Mifune??

:D

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-25-2006, 10:00 AM
Dizamn! That's a good quote. Courtesy of Mifune??
Hey Rob, no, it's Kuroda himself, and gives examples of his deshi to boot (some of who were doing this at school against judo people long before Kuroda got clues himself, he's not shy about pointing out that he only realized this stuff in his mid thirties after wasting years on the wrong stuff). I'll lend you the book as soon as I'm done, sure you'll enjoy it.
It's pretty funny: he says even if Kito-ryu resurrected their kata today, modern Judo would never accept now as it's too different from what they want to do in a sporting sense
.
Any chance you can provide a better translation of 無足の法 ? I've
got the explanation (a page or so) but no good translation for here.

Charlie
11-25-2006, 12:22 PM
Ok...if you say so!

cheers,

Charlie

akiy
11-25-2006, 01:39 PM
I have moved the posts regarding "To Slap the Ground or Not" into a separate thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11360

If people could please start new threads when a new topic is being introduced, I would appreciate it.

Thanks,

-- Jun

MM
11-25-2006, 03:04 PM
Just thought I'd add this little bit of info.

From here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=98


O-Sensei: In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in aikido.

Hmmm ... seems to me that Ueshiba could very well be talking about Internal Arts. It certainly does fit the concept of what I know about them so far. It's all about internal centering without relying on outside sources, it's about not really doing anything to uke so yeah that's absolutely no attack and it really is non resistance because you aren't doing anything to build any type of resistance.

Things that make you go hmmmm ...

Mark

Cady Goldfield
11-25-2006, 05:01 PM
Mark,
It's never about the other guy... it's all about -you-. So, there is never really an opponent. When someone else's energy comes your way in the form of an attack, you enter it whole-heartedly and make it yours. There is never a time at which you are resisting the other person. You are just doing what the zen monk asked of the hotdog vendor: make you one with everything. ;)

Erick Mead
11-25-2006, 10:04 PM
Just thought I'd add this little bit of info.
From here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=98
In aikido, there is absolutely no attack. To attack means that the spirit has already lost. We adhere to the principle of absolute non-resistance, that is to say, we do not oppose the attacker. Thus, there is no opponent in aikido. Hmmm ... seems to me that Ueshiba could very well be talking about Internal Arts. It certainly does fit the concept of what I know about them so far. It's all about internal centering without relying on outside sources, it's about not really doing anything to uke so yeah that's absolutely no attack and it really is non resistance because you aren't doing anything to build any type of resistance.

Things that make you go hmmmm ... To hazard a point on which Mike and I actually agree -- I do not think that aikido falls within "internal arts." I think this because my experience of aikido is open and receiving. And for this reason -- O-Sensei's sensibility was of very active engagement with the opponent -- but not in any spirit of opposition at all.

There are a number of accounts of his uchi deshi, especially in his later years, of him being rather -- well, really cranky -- until he stepped on the mat when he would immediately cheer up and be energized facing an opponent. It is a narrative that resonates for me perwsonally. The Doka echo this:
By means of the way
Call out the misguided enemy
Advance and persuade him with words of instruction
Through the Sword of Love.
---
Aikido!
With links and ties too numberless to be known
Is found in the body and souls of the people
They who will enlighten the world.
I like things to be judged on their objective merits, but subjectivity also has its place in qualitative judgment. Intuition from unconscious observations necessarily precedes both deliberated theory and evidence. Beauty may not be truth, nor truth beauty, but something that strikes one as just not pleasing always should cause a degree of reflection. One can be wrong objectively or subjectively, so it is important to critically view both aspects of judgment in looking at an issue.

One of the things in the discussion of these internal arts that puts me off (and has no basis in objectivity at all) is the sense of solipsism that I perceive in it. Being so internally oriented -- unaffected and unmoved -- in a sense that seems to bleed beyond the physical movement and into the spiritual movement.

That probably is an utterly and horribly wrong indictment of internal arts, from an objective standpoint, but one of the reasons I began the practice of aikido in the first place is to take me out of myself, and find humane connection even when in opposition to toher people.

It is a quality I have found that aikido, as it has been spread about the world so far, promotes remarkably well. The discussion on the application of the internal arts, with its internal orientation and movement, to aikido seems remarkably contrary to that spirit, at least to me. Aiki has been for me about expanding the sense and the meaning of the center of movement, physically, as well as spiritually, not turning it in further in upon itself. I would find deeply concerning anything that seemed to make a material change in that spirit.

Mike Sigman
11-26-2006, 06:45 PM
One of the things in the discussion of these internal arts that puts me off (and has no basis in objectivity at all) is the sense of solipsism that I perceive in it. Being so internally oriented -- unaffected and unmoved -- in a sense that seems to bleed beyond the physical movement and into the spiritual movement.

That probably is an utterly and horribly wrong indictment of internal arts, from an objective standpoint, but one of the reasons I began the practice of aikido in the first place is to take me out of myself, and find humane connection even when in opposition to toher people.

It is a quality I have found that aikido, as it has been spread about the world so far, promotes remarkably well. The discussion on the application of the internal arts, with its internal orientation and movement, to aikido seems remarkably contrary to that spirit, at least to me. Aiki has been for me about expanding the sense and the meaning of the center of movement, physically, as well as spiritually, not turning it in further in upon itself. I would find deeply concerning anything that seemed to make a material change in that spirit.Erick, you simply have some mixed up idea of what an "internal martial art" is ... you don't appear to understand. Let's say, for the sake of discussion that Aikido falls into being an "internal martial art" or an "external martial art"... take your pick. Let's say you decide that Aikido is an "external martial art". That puts it in the same category with Judo, Karate, Choy li fut, Pi Gua, etc., etc. None of those arts agrees totally in philosophy with Aikido. Some of the "internal martial arts" are actually very close in philosophy with Aikido, but they don't use quite the same body skills that Aikido does. So Aikido is not an "internal martial art", but that is solely because of the difference in body mechanics, not because of the difference in philosophy.

So what you're trying to say about Aikido and "internal martial arts" simply doesn't compute. You don't understand the topic.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
11-26-2006, 07:56 PM
Erick, you simply have some mixed up idea of what an "internal martial art" is ... you don't appear to understand. .... So what you're trying to say about Aikido and "internal martial arts" simply doesn't compute. You don't understand the topic.

無 .

Mike Sigman
11-26-2006, 09:00 PM
無 .Cool, but I made a very valid point about what "internal arts" means and you can't address it. Your ideas of "resistive", etc., as applied to "internal arts" are ludicrous and ill-informed. If you have something to repudiate that, fine. As it stands, you're still mixing some kind of "philosophy of Aikido", the training/conditioning that Ueshiba used, and CMA misunderstandings into one erroneous batch of vague ideas.

"Natural" movement, has, as noted previously, a connotation with the "natural laws of the universe"... and that includes the jin/kokyu forces/skills. "Jin" is not "li", whether there is force involved in either one, nor is there any reasonable cause to think that "jin" points to either a resistive on non-resistive philosophy. If you can't argue those points with support, then you shouldn't assert them.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
11-27-2006, 09:21 AM
Cool, but I made a very valid point about what "internal arts" means and you can't address it. Won't address any more, at the moment -- not the same thing, on several levels.

I am dealing in mechanics and mechanics only, at the moment, so as to have no further cause for these pointless semantic disputes between three language systems and three distinct banks of cultural assumptions underlying the points in question that have severe problems for mutual mappig of concepts.

We have more than proven here, I think, that the same law holds for argument as holds for orbital mechanics -- three body problems do not have discrete solutions after only a very few iterations.

When I have fleshed out the mechanics of the aiki interactions in those terms with those two reference systems to my satisfaction, I may get back to your system of references.

Until then, if you have anything to add along these lines, please do, or not, as you wish.
:)

Mike Sigman
11-27-2006, 09:43 AM
I think I've presented the "mechanics" as well as can be presented in a useable, general format. Obviously, resolving the full mechanics would be absurdly complicated, so a general idea is optimal.

In terms of the conventions I use and the terminology, it doesn't matter too much. I've found (and still have a few examples in my files) Asians who use the same examples and illustrations of forces that I do, so I'm not off on a limb by myself... I'm simply trying to voice the *general* mechanics of paths and sourcing forces that they do. I don't know what else to tell you. The key to understanding starts with mentally controlling your force-sourcing.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Michael Douglas
11-27-2006, 01:30 PM
I have moved the posts regarding "To Slap the Ground or Not" into a separate thread.
If people could please start new threads when a new topic is being introduced, I would appreciate it.
Thanks,
-- Jun

Thank you Jun, great new thread.

I'm way too shy to actually start new threads myself ...

David Orange
11-28-2006, 08:35 PM
...if you read through the posts, you'll find that Dan, Mike and Rob are pretty much on the same page when it comes to talking about this stuff.

Well, Mark, they do seem to be talking about similar phenomena, but Mike constantly derides Dan, so he doesn't seem to think they're doing the same thing. Second, Mike has much more CMA background than he has aikido. And Akuzawa's background also seems to be more Chinese than aiki-oriented, so I'm still not sure that this isn't something that's being adopted from Chinese arts and applied to Japanese arts--not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't think it's part of the original nature of the Japanese arts and so it's mistaken to say that "this" is what's missing from Japanese budo.

Read the entry on Aikido Journal about Ushiro. It's all internal stuff.

And from Ikeda sensei:

"The kind of power through kokyu that Ushiro sensei has been teaching...."


If you can argue with Ikeda against all this, I'd certainly like to be there. :) I felt Ikeda and he's very good. If he thinks that that our kokyu should be changed ... I'm nowhere near a level to argue that point.

Well, that's a couple of more points, Mark. Please note that Ikeda sensei said "power through kokyu." To me, this reinforces what I have said--that kokyu, itself, is NOT power and certainly not an "issued" power. You achieve power "through" kokyu, which is to say through integrating mind and body via the breath.

I'm also not sure what you think I would argue with him about. I don't think he would have told Mochizuki Sensei that his kokyu needed to be changed and that is what I know as kokyu. Real kokyu needs not be changed. False kokyu needs only be made into real kokyu, if that's what you mean. I can't see Ikeda Sensei saying that the kokyu of Morihei Ueshiba was wrong. What's wrong is the modern idea of kokyu.

Note also, how Ushiro Sensei developed his power: kata and kumite. He mentioned nothing about special exercises outside kata and free fighting. Clearly, the fighting is, to him, a very essential aspect of developing that special power. In Mochizuki Sensei's dojo, it was kata and randori--with heavy resistance and weapons. I think Ushiro Sensei is more likely to agree with my points than with some of the others that have been expressed, so I don't see myself arguing with him or Ikeda Sensei, either.

Also, please note that Ushiro Sensei spoke explicitly of "ki" as a matter of intent, and that its most important function is mind-to-mind, before any contact is made. If this were a physical thing, developed from the fascia or alignment of ground paths, how could it affect people at a distance with no contact?

"In order to address this limitation, it is necessary to find something that is not based on physical power - something not visible to the eye, something that controls the opponent even before contact is made. This is ki. If one can cultivate ki, then one can utilize it in all aspects of life, says Ushiro shihan.
.....
"Ushiro shihan states that ki solves everything. Ki is neither strength nor timing, but energy that spreads out from the hara to the entire body. Furthermore, there are levels of ki; from the most elementary, to levels that have no limit. All budo training begins from the starting point of learning to bring out this ki.

"Exactly how can one nurture ki? Ushiro shihan cultivated his ki by repeatedly practicing kata, and by the practice of free sparring.

"True ki emerges through practice. Ki is not just automatically there. Through the practice of free sparring, when your body cannot escape, your heart and mind cannot escape, when you notice that you can enter your opponent without being overcome, then ki begins to emerge. The necessary basis for entering is kata. However, it is not that kata comes first, nor is it that sparring comes first. Each must complement the other in order to begin to feel and develop ki."

But the greatest factor in cultivating ki is everyday, real-world practice, says Ushiro shihan. He not only practices budo but he also runs a successful company. As an electronics developer and researcher, he works with major entities such as Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Sony, NEC, Sharp, and even NASA. He has developed numerous integrated circuits based upon his own patents. He has amassed an extraordinary amount of business experience. The severity and competition in the business world is on an entirely different plane than that of competitive sports. Ushiro shihan practices and preserves the foundations of budo, by reminding himself of his experience in that strict, demanding, real-world business environment, even amidst our relatively peaceful modern times. He believes that is the way budo training in the modern world should be."

So ki is not primarily a product of mechanical alignment of the body but of involvement with life and traditional arts are very good for developing it.

Sounds like another guy I'd like to meet.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
11-28-2006, 08:53 PM
Well, Mark, they do seem to be talking about similar phenomena, but Mike constantly derides Dan, so he doesn't seem to think they're doing the same thing. I simply object to bragging.... that's not "derision". Insofar as different approaches, etc., I've said that is common. Heck, look at Ushiro... what he does is not the same usage of kokyu that Ueshiba used. Why is this a hard concept to grasp? Second, Mike has much more CMA background than he has aikido. And Akuzawa's background also seems to be more Chinese than aiki-oriented, so I'm still not sure that this isn't something that's being adopted from Chinese arts and applied to Japanese arts--not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't think it's part of the original nature of the Japanese arts and so it's mistaken to say that "this" is what's missing from Japanese budo. Really, this is an absurdity. Look at Ki and Qi... do you think these are 2 different things and that all the Japanese martial arts use different things called "ki" and all the Chinese martial arts use a number of things that are called "qi" arbitrarily? Start the chain of logic anywhere you want.... it's all the same complex subject. Ask someone like Abe or Inaba or whoever.... this idea that the Chinese qi things are different from the Japanese ki things, including "kokyu", is ludicrous except in a conversation where the level of understanding is very low. :rolleyes: Well, that's a couple of more points, Mark. Please note that Ikeda sensei said "power through kokyu." To me, this reinforces what I have said--that kokyu, itself, is NOT power and certainly not an "issued" power. You achieve power "through" kokyu, which is to say through integrating mind and body via the breath. So that effectively dismisses the term "kokyu ryoku" if you're correct, eh? And incidentally, "Kokyu" uses "breath", but not in the way a lot of people think. I've said that before. However, the *essence* of kokyu strength is jin. This is pretty straightforward and would make a great bet, if someone wants to bet on or against the obvious. (snip more "me and Mochizuki" stuff)Also, please note that Ushiro Sensei spoke explicitly of "ki" as a matter of intent, and that its most important function is mind-to-mind, before any contact is made. If this were a physical thing, developed from the fascia or alignment of ground paths, how could it affect people at a distance with no contact? (snip) So ki is not primarily a product of mechanical alignment of the body but of involvement with life and traditional arts are very good for developing it. Actually, I see where some of your errors are creeping in. "Ki" can really be several things, but I've explained that a number of times before. There is Ki that would be more or less the fascia stuff. There is ki that would be the mental manipulation of forces (that's the 'jin'). There is Ki that is "pressure" or "air pressure". But they're taken as a wholistic "ki" thing and the parts are more or less inextricable when you look at the whole. For instance, the pressure/fascia/jin things are all part of the complete "kokyu" term.... but the essence is still the jin, or at least it's the most tangible part of the whole force/skill. And 'jin' is considered to be "the physical manifestation of ki" and it involves this mental manipulation of forces; i.e., the "intent", the "yi".

What you need is for someone to lead you through the whole of it and you'll suddenly see it, David. It's fairly obvious when it's shown to you.

Mike Sigman

Tom H.
11-29-2006, 05:30 AM
Well, Mark, they do seem to be talking about similar phenomena, but Mike constantly derides Dan, so he doesn't seem to think they're doing the same thing.A while back I had pegged this stuff as Chinese, and was surprised to find someone with a Japanese background like Dan having it. After having met both of them, I'm pretty sure they are talking about a lot of the same things.

MM
11-29-2006, 06:28 AM
Mike has much more CMA background than he has aikido. And Akuzawa's background also seems to be more Chinese than aiki-oriented, so I'm still not sure that this isn't something that's being adopted from Chinese arts and applied to Japanese arts--not that there's anything wrong with that, but I don't think it's part of the original nature of the Japanese arts and so it's mistaken to say that "this" is what's missing from Japanese budo.


Hi David,
Your point is very well taken. So much so that it is one of the main reasons that this stuff hasn't been accepted very well in the Aikido world. It is coming from outsiders.

If any of this stuff had come from inside an Aikido organization, guess what ... we'd *still* have the same discussions going on now. Just a bit different in that it would be various schools defending their way of training/teaching/whatever from another school. Aikido is so splintered that to change the whole, one must change a multitude of parts. Er ... getting off subject here ... anyway, yes, this stuff is coming from outside the Aikido world.

It's understandable that people will say, hey, why do you think what your doing is missing in Aikido? Kind of presumptuous, don't you think? Well, yeah, in a way. But, not necessarily wrong, though. Once you get a feel for it, you realize that what they're doing can really be classified as "aiki". But it's an aiki that's done a different way than most Aikido schools practice.

And here is where people sometimes get bent out of shape. No one is saying that the current Aikido training is worthless and should be scrapped. Takeda and Ueshiba certainly had techniques that they taught. We still learn those techniques. But, what is being said is that there is another way of having "aiki" and there is a training program that is more efficient in gaining this internal skill. If you're doing Aikido, you still need to know and understand the techniques of the system. Ueshiba never dropped them, so why would we?

I don't know how you've trained, David. You may have learned some of this stuff, but coming from Mochizuki sensei, you may have been taught different terms. Dunno. One of these days, I'll make it down your way and we can get together and have some fun. :)


Well, that's a couple of more points, Mark. Please note that Ikeda sensei said "power through kokyu." To me, this reinforces what I have said--that kokyu, itself, is NOT power and certainly not an "issued" power. You achieve power "through" kokyu, which is to say through integrating mind and body via the breath.


Everyone is different. I've found that the English language can be easily translated into many definitions. For example, your last sentence. To me, I can take that as an internal skill. Mind and body integrated via the breath. It certainly captures some of the exercises I've been trying to do. But, you didn't mean it that way. So, through words, we come to various meanings. It happens all to often. I guess that's why seminars were invented. To get a feel for everyone's interpretation.

Mark

David Orange
11-29-2006, 07:47 PM
I simply object to bragging.... that's not "derision". Insofar as different approaches, etc., I've said that is common.

So you do feel that Dan is doing something in common with you?

Heck, look at Ushiro... what he does is not the same usage of kokyu that Ueshiba used. Why is this a hard concept to grasp?

It's not hard to grasp at all. But he's doing karate...so you would expect it to be different. I just don't agree with the idea that we should replace real aikido kokyu with real karate kokyu.

Really, this is an absurdity. Look at Ki and Qi... do you think these are 2 different things and that all the Japanese martial arts use different things called "ki" and all the Chinese martial arts use a number of things that are called "qi" arbitrarily?

Of course not. Ki and qi are essentially the same. However, just as the Japanese and Chinese develop different types of work and develop different ways of living, dressing, playing, making music and everything else, it should be clear that they developed two very different ways of expressing qi other than mere pronunciation of the word. Just as all alcohol is fundamentally the same, ki and qi are the same thing. But Japanese sake and Chinese soju are very different types of white liquor. And so the martial arts use qi very differently.

Ask someone like Abe or Inaba or whoever.... this idea that the Chinese qi things are different from the Japanese ki things, including "kokyu", is ludicrous except in a conversation where the level of understanding is very low. :rolleyes:

Sorry, but I've had too much personal experience to accept that. I've felt technique from hundreds of people and there is a distinct difference in what I've felt from Chinese stylists that I never experienced from any Japanese stylist. It's not the same, especially at higher levels.

So that effectively dismisses the term "kokyu ryoku" if you're correct, eh?

It doesn't dismiss the term. Kokyu Ryoku is power expressed through a mind and body integrated via the breath. As Ikeda Sensei said in the article, it is "power through kokyu," not "power of kokyu." But like I pointed out to Ellis earlier, if you want to define kokyu ryoku as "power of kokyu," then you have to define sei ryoku as "power of sei," (power of correctness) which should show you that that's not the correct usage. Even though there is power in correctness, the real power is "through" correctness.

And incidentally, "Kokyu" uses "breath", but not in the way a lot of people think.

Of course, but why focus on the common misunderstanding? I only want to discuss these things in the correct usage.

However, the *essence* of kokyu strength is jin. This is pretty straightforward and would make a great bet, if someone wants to bet on or against the obvious.

The essence of kokyu is integration of the mind and body through the breath. There would be a relation between jin and kokyu, but not equality.

"Ki" can really be several things, but I've explained that a number of times before.

The problem is that you are off on your explanations because of a biased belief that the Japanese and Chinese ways are equatable and that you can explain both ways through a rough approximation of Western scientific thinking--both premises being flawed. So while ki can be expressed in many ways and can take many forms, it still is only one "thing".

There is Ki that would be more or less the fascia stuff. There is ki that would be the mental manipulation of forces (that's the 'jin'). There is Ki that is "pressure" or "air pressure". But they're taken as a wholistic "ki" thing and the parts are more or less inextricable when you look at the whole.

And that's why I always say you can't divide them into martial/metaphysical or any other dichotomy outside the whole.

For instance, the pressure/fascia/jin things are all part of the complete "kokyu" term.... but the essence is still the jin, or at least it's the most tangible part of the whole force/skill.

See, that problem of equating the "essence" with "the most tangible part" is where you lose my support. I liked your description of feeling the "suit" of fascia beneath the skin and I've been thinking about that, especially in relation to the push-out exercise. But I won't accept "the most tangible" as "the essence" even if it makes it easier to talk about it.

And 'jin' is considered to be "the physical manifestation of ki" and it involves this mental manipulation of forces; i.e., the "intent", the "yi".

No argument there. Maybe because you stuck to Chinese concepts within a Chinese framework. It's when you try to lay that over well-defined Japanese concepts that it comes off as if you're trying to say soju = sake.

What you need is for someone to lead you through the whole of it and you'll suddenly see it, David. It's fairly obvious when it's shown to you.

I do like your descriptions of things Chinese but your efforts at correlating them to the Japanese ways are not so skillful.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-29-2006, 07:50 PM
After having met both of them, I'm pretty sure they are talking about a lot of the same things.

How would you compare the experiences of training with both of them?

Thanks.

David

Mike Sigman
11-29-2006, 08:06 PM
Mike Sigman wrote:
Really, this is an absurdity. Look at Ki and Qi... do you think these are 2 different things and that all the Japanese martial arts use different things called "ki" and all the Chinese martial arts use a number of things that are called "qi" arbitrarily?

Of course not. Ki and qi are essentially the same. However, just as the Japanese and Chinese develop different types of work and develop different ways of living, dressing, playing, making music and everything else, it should be clear that they developed two very different ways of expressing qi other than mere pronunciation of the word. Just as all alcohol is fundamentally the same, ki and qi are the same thing. But Japanese sake and Chinese soju are very different types of white liquor. And so the martial arts use qi very differently. So basically, on alcohol you get drunk because it only works one way with the human body, David. Same way with ki/qi... it only works one way. To argue that sake and soju are different aspects of alcohol is to miss the obvious.
Mike Sigman wrote:
Ask someone like Abe or Inaba or whoever.... this idea that the Chinese qi things are different from the Japanese ki things, including "kokyu", is ludicrous except in a conversation where the level of understanding is very low.

Sorry, but I've had too much personal experience to accept that. I've felt technique from hundreds of people and there is a distinct difference in what I've felt from Chinese stylists that I never experienced from any Japanese stylist. It's not the same, especially at higher levels. David, this is completely wrong and I can demonstrate it. Even the "demo's" of qi abilities are the same in Chinese and Japanese. Every demo Tohei and Ueshiba did has an obvious counterpart in China. You simply are missing the obvious, no matter what you think you know of Aikido. How do you explain Ueshiba's demo's being pretty much exactly the same as the Chinese coincidence in every case? Coincidence?Mike Sigman wrote:
So that effectively dismisses the term "kokyu ryoku" if you're correct, eh?
It doesn't dismiss the term. Kokyu Ryoku is power expressed through a mind and body integrated via the breath. As Ikeda Sensei said in the article, it is "power through kokyu," not "power of kokyu." But like I pointed out to Ellis earlier, if you want to define kokyu ryoku as "power of kokyu," then you have to define sei ryoku as "power of sei," (power of correctness) which should show you that that's not the correct usage. Even though there is power in correctness, the real power is "through" correctness. David, you don't understand what ki and kokyu power really are. In other words, you don't understand the Yin-Yang of Qi and Jin. I can't help you here. The jin forces combined with the "breath" forces of the fasicial "qi" development are "kokyu". But you should know that if you're an expert in Aikido. I shouldn't have to explain the obvious. The problem is that you are off on your explanations because of a biased belief that the Japanese and Chinese ways are equatable and that you can explain both ways through a rough approximation of Western scientific thinking--both premises being flawed. So while ki can be expressed in many ways and can take many forms, it still is only one "thing". I give up. You seem to want to forget the almost complete dependence in Japanese lore and cosmology on the Chinese way of doing things.... including in the Kojiki. Not "equatable"????? This is crazy.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
11-29-2006, 09:03 PM
If any of this stuff had come from inside an Aikido organization, guess what ... we'd *still* have the same discussions going on now. Just a bit different in that it would be various schools defending their way of training/teaching/whatever from another school. Aikido is so splintered that to change the whole, one must change a multitude of parts.

Mark, I've experienced that for many, many years. There is such a wide variety of approaches to aikido that it becomes almost impossible to discuss it with people of another style. I go places and see people flying wildly through the air when the tori has merely gestured. And you hear all kinds of ridiculous statements about the deadliness of certain responses to attacks when you know that the speaker couldn't really do it. So it's not surprising that people (especially widely experienced martial artists) would think that something is missing in aikido. It was certainly a consistently devastating combat art before the war.

Many people try to excuse the modern stuff with simpering explanations of how O-Sensei "perfected" the art as he aged. They say "its' not about fighting," but they won't drop the trappings of a "martial art" and approach it as pure misogi. So people both inside and outside aikido are confused as to what, exactly, it is.

But I have had the perspective of other arts for a long time. Our system incorporated karate, judo and jujutsu from 1976 on and I started tai chi training in about 1979 and bagua in 1988. I found certain things common among them, but I also found that certain key aspects do not really overlay the Japanese way.

No one is saying that the current Aikido training is worthless and should be scrapped.

A lot of it should be scrapped, though. As you said, it's not a unified world. There is definitely some pure swishery being passed off as aikido these days. And then there are those who try to make up for that by just being violent with aikido-style movements, thinking they're "rediscovering" aiki-jujutsu.

But, what is being said is that there is another way of having "aiki" and there is a training program that is more efficient in gaining this internal skill. If you're doing Aikido, you still need to know and understand the techniques of the system. Ueshiba never dropped them, so why would we?

Well, Ueshiba did drop a lot of things that were in aikijujutsu and my attitude is that if something is missing in aikido, it's to be found in aikijujutsu. This is not to say that you can't gain a tremendous benefit from learning other arts and appreciating how they work and how they are applied. But I think it does a disservice to both sides to blend the parts that don't really belong together.

I don't know how you've trained, David. You may have learned some of this stuff, but coming from Mochizuki sensei, you may have been taught different terms.

Mochizuki Sensei's terms don't even work with other styles of aikido. He used traditional jujutsu nomenclature for all the techniques. I still have to check to make sure which technique sankyo and yonkyo actually relate to. I just try to use those names as a courtesy to people who only know those terms. Sensei called them yuki chigai (or kote mawashi) and te kubi otoshi, if I have the right techniques in mind. Instead of irimi nage, he said mukae daoshi. Instead of ikkyo, he called it robuse. And instead of omote shiho nage, he said mae shiho nage. Omote and ura meant an entirely different thing for him than just "in front" and "in back."

But a lot of what I read about on these threads, he never discussed in words. My Dutch friend, Edgar Kruyning, however, says that "Tanden training was not usually discussed directly or separately, but it was the core of all the training (in aikido, judo, karate, jujutsu and sword)." He has trained not only with Mochizuki Sensei, but with Sugino and Otake in katori shinto ryu. He's ranked in KSR and represents it in the Netherlands. And I don't think there's anyone on these boards who can push him around (or whom he can't push around and put on the ground, for that matter). But I'm not him, so I don't put him up for that kind of challenge.

What I will say, though, is that we developed a lot of things with no terminology at all. When I think of what's described and compare it to what I feel when I do techniques, a lot of it sounds familiar, but because of the terminology, I don't try to say I either know or do it. And some things, such as Dan describes, I would say I can't do. However, in certain circumstances, in a natural encounter (not a set-up situation), I might actually pull them off. I recently had a big old football player come to my class and it was interesting to see how much effect I could have on him.

And I have done some of the push-out exercise and found it interesting. My neighbor has had a good bit of JKD training and I got him to do a moment of the push-out exercise with me recently. I was surprised at how much power I had with him, considering how little I've done it. He wanted to bend his knees, but I didn't feel the need. I was concentrating, as Tim Fong said, on spreading the force through the whole body--but that's how you do kokyu ho.

So it should be clear that I have nothing against broadening my perspective or experiencing new arts or new ideas. I just don't like people thinking they can renovate an art in which they don't really have very deep experience. For instance, I wouldn't dream of telling tai chi people that they need to do aikido-style tai sabaki instead of roll-back kinds of receiving forces. And I don't accept that a lot of the core Chinese concepts equate to or are even compatible with certain core Japanese arts. That's disrespectful to both sides.

Dunno. One of these days, I'll make it down your way and we can get together and have some fun. :)

Sounds good.

Mind and body integrated via the breath. It certainly captures some of the exercises I've been trying to do. But, you didn't mean it that way.

But I did. I just don't accept that it equals "jin" as Mike says.

Best to you.

David

Mike Sigman
11-29-2006, 09:14 PM
For instance, I wouldn't dream of telling tai chi people that they need to do aikido-style tai sabaki instead of roll-back kinds of receiving forces. Oh, yawn. You can't distinguish between tactics/stregegy and core strengths... worse, you think that "rollback", a la Cheng Man Ching, is some shibboleth of Taiji. It's equivalent to someone saying that all attacks in Aikido are met with "turning".

Mike

David Orange
11-29-2006, 09:28 PM
So basically, on alcohol you get drunk because it only works one way with the human body, David. Same way with ki/qi... it only works one way. To argue that sake and soju are different aspects of alcohol is to miss the obvious.

But the qualities of the buzz are very different between sake and soju. Or take sake and Japanese shochu. Very different effects, though similar. But it's not mere coincidence that Japanese work and lifestyles, food, clothing, music and everything else express very different approaches to the world, and so do their martial arts. And my very point was that I have experienced remarkably different effects from Japanese and Chinese martial artists. The effects are not the same.

David, this is completely wrong and I can demonstrate it. Even the "demo's" of qi abilities are the same in Chinese and Japanese. Every demo Tohei and Ueshiba did has an obvious counterpart in China. You simply are missing the obvious, no matter what you think you know of Aikido. How do you explain Ueshiba's demo's being pretty much exactly the same as the Chinese coincidence in every case?

Not at all. The Chinese do things that make people pop up off the ground and fly backward several feet. The Japanese always do some kind of throw. I've never seen any Japanese (including Ueshiba and Tohei) throw anyone like a tai chi man who lets the attacker push on his forearm, then bounces him up and backward. Ueshiba and Tohei, Mifune et al, always throw.

On the other hand, I've never seen a Chinese do the unbendable arm, the jo trick or the unpick-up-able body and I've never seen Japanese demonstrate 'iron vest' things with swords or take spear points to their throats. The ki/qi demos, in fact, are one of the most obviously different aspects of the two cultures.

Coincidence?

No co-incidence at all. They're completely different.

David, you don't understand what ki and kokyu power really are. In other words, you don't understand the Yin-Yang of Qi and Jin. I can't help you here.

I concluded that you can't help me. You may understand what some of the Chinese concepts are, but you are really mistaken when it comes to the Japanese "counterparts" including kokyu.

The jin forces combined with the "breath" forces of the fasicial "qi" development are "kokyu". But you should know that if you're an expert in Aikido.

I can relate to what you're trying to say there, but it's not entirely accurate.

I shouldn't have to explain the obvious.

And you shouldn't try to explain things when you have a basic misconception about them.

You seem to want to forget the almost complete dependence in Japanese lore and cosmology on the Chinese way of doing things.... including in the Kojiki.

Well, the US is almost entirely derived from England. But there are other influences and we end up not really very much like the Brits at all. So the Japanese. They have heavy influence from the Koreans and also from the Russians. And then they were isolated so long. They developed their own very unique sword and sword arts. And aikido is very different from tai chi and even bagua. If what you're saying were true, the Japanese would use a straight sword and their arts would look like Chinese sword arts. But they don't, either on the surface or within. There are similarities, but the emerge and mature quite differently.

Not "equatable"????? This is crazy.

Yes. They are similar but not equal and not really all that similar. One big difference is that the Chinese artists tend to live longer and they tend to be much more flexible and softer at old age than the Japanese. How do you explain that?

Best to you.

David

David Orange
11-29-2006, 09:32 PM
Oh, yawn. You can't distinguish between tactics/stregegy and core strengths... worse, you think that "rollback", a la Cheng Man Ching, is some shibboleth of Taiji. It's equivalent to someone saying that all attacks in Aikido are met with "turning".

Mike

And you say Dan "brags." But at least Dan talks about what he can do. You are busy telling everyone else what they don't know and what they can't do. And the meaning is that you do know it and you can do it. How is that better than bragging? (Hint: it's not.)

David

Mike Sigman
11-29-2006, 09:44 PM
But the qualities of the buzz are very different between sake and soju. Oh stoppit, David. It all metabolizes into aceta-aldehyde, except of course, in people with Oriental Flushing Syndrome. Not at all. The Chinese do things that make people pop up off the ground and fly backward several feet. The Japanese always do some kind of throw. [QUOTE] This is absurd. You obviously don't know anything about Chinese martial arts or even karate, I guess. [QUOTE]I've never seen any Japanese (including Ueshiba and Tohei) throw anyone like a tai chi man who lets the attacker push on his forearm, then bounces him up and backward. Ueshiba and Tohei, Mifune et al, always throw. Gee.... ever seen a Sumo guy or a karate guy? :rolleyes: On the other hand, I've never seen a Chinese do the unbendable arm, the jo trick or the unpick-up-able body and I've never seen Japanese demonstrate 'iron vest' things with swords or take spear points to their throats. The ki/qi demos, in fact, are one of the most obviously different aspects of the two cultures. This is what I've been trying to tell you, David. You don't even know basic things.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Tom H.
11-30-2006, 06:32 AM
How would you compare the experiences of training with both of them?Thank you for asking. I want to get a disclaimer out early so no one thinks I'm talking with any authority yet. Mike and Dan, and Rob would all be able to comment on what little ki/kokyo skill I have, and I'll personally add that I have only three months of formal martial training. And I've never been in a fight. And I can't bench much more than the empty bar :). The only thing I've got going for me is that Rob has seen me go from *nothing* to *maybe something, sometimes* after three months of sporadic solo work.

I also wouldn't say I've trained with anyone. I've met them all, and tried to ask with an open mind, "show me what and how I should train to get started".

With all of that, I found the three of them open, friendly, intelligent, and strong. They have different frameworks they use to understand the internal stuff, but much of the physical skills are *exactly* the same. It kind of surprised me, really. If you want to know how they compare to each other or to what you can already do (whether aikido, taiji, karate, bjj, boxing, etc), I encourage you to meet them yourself with an open mind. It's easy for two people to talk past each other. It's possible to do something similar in person, but a little harder.

TAnderson
11-30-2006, 07:38 AM
Not at all. The Chinese do things that make people pop up off the ground and fly backward several feet. The Japanese always do some kind of throw. I've never seen any Japanese (including Ueshiba and Tohei) throw anyone like a tai chi man who lets the attacker push on his forearm, then bounces him up and backward. Ueshiba and Tohei, Mifune et al, always throw.
Actually, there is video footage of Ueshiba performing just such a technique but its from a push on the knee instead of the forearm. I am not sure which video series it is from but I am sure someone out there does.
On the other hand, I've never seen a Chinese do the unbendable arm, the jo trick or the unpick-up-able body and I've never seen Japanese demonstrate 'iron vest' things with swords or take spear points to their throats. The ki/qi demos, in fact, are one of the most obviously different aspects of the two cultures.
Again, I have seen video that contradicts this. I have also in person felt this so.....

I hope some people throw up video links because there is sufficient footage out there that contradicts these statements.

Tim Anderson

Cady Goldfield
11-30-2006, 08:33 AM
There are Japanese systems that "make people pop up off the floor and fly several feet backward" too. It's just not mainstream -- you don't see dojo on every block with that curriculum because the arts tend to be old bujutsu.

It is quite likely that these methods were obtained by Japanese people from Chinese sources a long time ago. It's too sophisticated to just pop up spontaneously, and the Chinese have a long history of such things. The Japanese practitioners since have adapted the methods to suit their particular environments, but the fundamentals don't change.

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 08:34 AM
They have different frameworks they use to understand the internal stuff, but much of the physical skills are *exactly* the same. Nice post, Tom. I think that the *basics* must be the same. The variations, add-ons, etc., will be there, though, so there can be quite a difference between 3 people whose basics are the same. As many people noted, Ushiro knows how to use kokyu power, but the way he does it, the number of variations, etc., will distinguish what he does from, say, Tohei.

But the point to focus on is that the basic skills are pretty fixed.

Regards,

Mike

George S. Ledyard
11-30-2006, 08:37 AM
Actually, there is video footage of Ueshiba performing just such a technique but its from a push on the knee instead of the forearm. I am not sure which video series it is from but I am sure someone out there does.

Again, I have seen video that contradicts this. I have also in person felt this so.....

I hope some people throw up video links because there is sufficient footage out there that contradicts these statements.

Tim Anderson
Actually, Saotome Sensei has an amazing pulse shoulder movement he does from Ryo Kata Dori. I've seen him shoot his uke back a good five feet. Shioda Sensei could do this pulse forwards or backwards... in his biography it recounts a time when he was garbbed from behind with Ryo Kata Dori and his pulse was so strong it knocked the uke out.

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 08:39 AM
There are Japanese systems that "make people pop up off the floor and fly several feet backward" too. It's just not mainstream -- you don't see dojo on every block with that curriculum because the arts tend to be old bujutsu.

It is quite likely that these methods were obtained by Japanese people from Chinese sources a long time ago. It's too sophisticated to just pop up spontaneously, and the Chinese have a long history of such things. The Japanese practitioners since have adapted the methods to suit their particular environments, but the fundamentals don't change.Wait a minute. Some of you guys need to get out and get a better feel for mainstream Chinese martial arts, not "the major CMA's that I've seen on the telly, etc.". Taiji is popular in the West and it's a moneymaker, so you see more of it *in the West* that you will see in China. "Popping people into the air" is something that catches a lot of westerners attentions, but it's not that big of a deal and it certainly wouldn't be my choice of things that are "common in Chinese martial arts", as much of them as I see. I.e., these types of remarks are simply ill-informed.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 08:42 AM
Actually, Saotome Sensei has an amazing pulse shoulder movement he does from Ryo Kata Dori. I've seen him shoot his uke back a good five feet. Shioda Sensei could do this pulse forwards or backwards... in his biography it recounts a time when he was garbbed from behind with Ryo Kata Dori and his pulse was so strong it knocked the uke out.That would be a good technique for people to develop, IMO. Get out there and practice it! ;)

MIke

Cady Goldfield
11-30-2006, 08:48 AM
Mike,
I don't recall saying that this was "common" in Chinese martial arts or that it is "common" today, only that they were the likely source for the Japanese at one point. I'm talking a thousand or more years ago. Japan was heavily influenced by powerful China for millennia, and there was cultural exchange on all levels, from music and art to medicine and fighting skills. The fighting skills and medicine may go back even further than other aspects of culture, with individual contact rather than mass public encounters.

Not much remains of anything, today. Given the Maoist revolution and WWII, I'm surprised we have anything at all now.

The skills are scattered in small pockets. I liken their perpetuation to the tiny factions of religions or ethnicities, most of whose members have largely assimilated into larger cultures. The traditions are carried on and survive through that miniscule handful.

Erick Mead
11-30-2006, 09:05 AM
Actually, there is video footage of Ueshiba performing just such a technique but its from a push on the knee instead of the forearm. I am not sure which video series it is from but I am sure someone out there does. It was described earlier as a "thigh push." David Skaggs clipped it out as an adjunct to my mechanical analysis of the video you mention.

He excerpted my analysis in toto and added the clip here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=154885&postcount=78

The direct link to the video is here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2218278502048697656

Erick Mead
11-30-2006, 09:15 AM
Actually, Saotome Sensei has an amazing pulse shoulder movement he does from Ryo Kata Dori. I've seen him shoot his uke back a good five feet. Shioda Sensei could do this pulse forwards or backwards... in his biography it recounts a time when he was garbbed from behind with Ryo Kata Dori and his pulse was so strong it knocked the uke out.
I wonder if it is analogous to the O Sensei "chest push" earlier discussed: It is here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7098967163735577821

My mechanical analysis of that is here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=154966&postcount=96

Upyu
11-30-2006, 09:31 AM
And Akuzawa's background also seems to be more Chinese than aiki-oriented, so

Not that it matters, I thought I'd set the record straight...
Ark's influence is primarily Japanese Koryu.
The Chinese influence was just him reverse engineering Chinese training methods and he found they meshed perfectly with the core training methods he got from the afore mentioned Koryu.

It really is all the same when you boil down to it ;)

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 09:35 AM
I wonder if it is analogous to the O Sensei "chest push" earlier discussed: It is here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7098967163735577821

My mechanical analysis of that is here:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=154966&postcount=96I think George's story is indeed analogous to O-Sensei's chest push in the video clip. I think you missed in your analysis, though. O-Sensei maintains a connection to the ground at all times via simple, straightforward jin. As the incoming force begins to reach his hand, O-Sensei bounces down than then up so that the is an upward-angled, ground-based force meeting uke's incoming (more or less horizontal) force. Meeting such a force, uke is propelled up and back and his angle of attack actually means that his own force adds to the forces pushing him away. This is a common stratagem. It doesn't take any rotational movement to explain it. It just takes a little relaxed jin through O-Sensei.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
11-30-2006, 09:38 AM
Thank you for asking. I want to get a disclaimer out early so no one thinks I'm talking with any authority yet. Mike and Dan, and Rob would all be able to comment on what little ki/kokyo skill I have, and I'll personally add that I have only three months of formal martial training. And I've never been in a fight. And I can't bench much more than the empty bar :). The only thing I've got going for me is that Rob has seen me go from *nothing* to *maybe something, sometimes* after three months of sporadic solo work.

I also wouldn't say I've trained with anyone. I've met them all, and tried to ask with an open mind, "show me what and how I should train to get started".

With all of that, I found the three of them open, friendly, intelligent, and strong. They have different frameworks they use to understand the internal stuff, but much of the physical skills are *exactly* the same. It kind of surprised me, really. If you want to know how they compare to each other or to what you can already do (whether aikido, taiji, karate, bjj, boxing, etc), I encourage you to meet them yourself with an open mind. It's easy for two people to talk past each other. It's possible to do something similar in person, but a little harder.

I thought it worthwhile to quote from Hong jun shen. Mindful that his observation was regarding a "single" arts use of internal skills.

"Some people believe that taijichuan skills and techniques are all the same. Whatever one master teaches should also be taught by others. Otherwise, the master will be regarded as incompetent. In fact this is a misunderstanding in Taiji chuan. Every skillful expert will have his own techniques, characteristics and understandings. It is normal to see variations in the techniques between different martial art experts. This is because everyone has his own unique physical condition and a different psychology……….
If one's techniques are exactly the same as the master, his gong-fu will not have reached a high level…."

If he can say these things about a single art (thought it is a complex one) imagine the further complexities of different arts and different countries. Unless of course you are of the persuasion that your art has it all.
He goes on to cite what any serious JMA adept will know-Shu-Ha- Ri. The point of understanding and personal journey and experimentation. Where the jump off point comes is anyones judgement. In old Japan it happened far quicker than today

As for Tom's opinion, is it any wonder that Tom and others who have felt these things finds similar physical results from different expressed methods to get there? Whether we are rebounding force, changing force, what have you, and how we are changing in it in us is the same or not-the results may be surprisingly similar. We just don't know yet.
My point being they can be expressed individually in different arts, but the body work remains the same. But the uses, expressions and skills can get complex and must be trained over years. As for "other uses? Hong mentions even Chen fake brought in and practiced applications from other martial arts.

Here? No one here is an expert to my knowledge. No one here claims to be anything but researchers. That we each, have our own understanding, is understandable. Not everyone is as skilled as the other. While some are, some are not as well. In truth the search for the skills that We have been discussing are the finest skills known. As a skill set, they can be used in anything. And it still doesn't mean anyone person can fight with them. But then again it is not worth much to "hide" behind fighting-skill sets either.
After years of agonizing sweat, many find it difficult to put things down and start fresh.
I hope the true students don't and are still looking.

Cheers
Dan

DH
11-30-2006, 09:51 AM
The movement, and more importantly the body method behind it is expressed in Shiodas technique ...ala Daito ryu. In fact the rebounding is from an establishment of a current- the same as Mike's "ground path" (can't find a TM font) description and using that path as an internal spring. It is a training tool in DR. Which Ark knows about as well.
Whether it is Hiriki or chest matters not. So is the knee technique he uses. Its DR. and.......its in Tai chi.Gee what a surprise. ;)
It also fits in with Hongs quote
"Without peng-jin, there is no taiji."

Sometimes I wish I were shorter though
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 10:11 AM
The movement, and more importantly the body method behind it is expressed in Shiodas technique ...ala Daito ryu. In fact the rebounding is from an establishment of a current- the same as Mike's "ground path" (can't find a TM font) description and using that path as an internal spring. It is a training tool in DR. Which Ark knows about as well.
Whether it is Hiriki or chest matters not. So is the knee technique he uses. Its DR. and.......its in Tai chi.Gee what a surprise. ;)
It's in most Chinese martial arts. It's the basis for "Swallow and Spit". I could point out 3 or 4 ways to really boost that power... i.e., there are variations of that one technique. Some of the variations are very powerful, some wind, etc., etc., etc.... that's where the names for the different jins come in. Variations of the core jin technique.

The core jin force that O-Sensei used is also the correct force that should be used in a "Kokyu Throw". As a matter of fact, this utilization of jin should be in ALL Aikido throws, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. ;)

The force O-Sensei carries through to his chest from the ground is exactly the same type of force/jin that Tohei uses in his "ki tests". A jin/kokyu-force deriving its support from the solidity of the ground (while the body simply channels that solidity) is what I tend to call a groundpath. A jin/kokyu-force that derives its power from the weight of the body (the body channels the center of weight over to where it's need... more 'mind-body' skills) is the other type of force and sometimes it is complementary (a "push" can be "out of the ground" and "down" at the same time, for instance).

The trick is often in the reflexes and in the methods that power is stored along the path. O-Sensei used a mild bounce into the floor, coupled with his forward, ground-driven body movement in his response to the chest attack (the one he signalled for, so he had plenty of time to set things up, BTW).

In other words, I'm saying that in that simple demo that Ueshiba did, you can see the core force of all of Aikido, Taiji, Xingyi, Bagua, Sword arts, Calligraphy, Ju-Jitsu, Daito Ryu, Ushiro's karate, and so on. It's a good thought starter for someone who thought all of this was a complex issue. Look at that video and learn.... all things are the same thing. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 10:14 AM
"Without peng-jin, there is no taiji."
It's the exact same meaning as Ushiro saying, "No kokyu, no Aikido".

In fact, most western versions of Asian martial arts are mainly external replicas of the techniques (no matter how smoothly done, good timing, etc.). However, we're on the cusp of seeing more and more of these skills returned to the Asian arts. Right now, it looks like Aikido may actually be in the forefront, if things continue.

Mike

Erick Mead
11-30-2006, 11:30 AM
For those who care to follow along or check me in my mechanical analyses of the foregoing videos, the physiological interpretation of postural control I have used is that of active, intermittent, cyclic exploitation of natural static instability for actively dynamic control.

My working mechanical model of natural movement and its relationship to aiki tai-sabaki and technique is along the lines of a double inverted pendulum, dual-eccentric center pivots, and a chaotic, cyclically actuated and damped balance system.

A nice summary of the state of knowledge I am relying on with regard to contending physical theories of human posture and balance control is found here (with further references cited):

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1456057

The state of the art described in that summary challenges seriously the thoughts that fascial mechanical stiffness or manipulations of tensions (respectively, -- passively, the "spring" model -- actively, the "actuated spring" model) can physically explain what some claim that it does in a static equlibirum forces model. There is diminishing support and increasing experimental contradiction of the mechanical stiffness or spring model as a physical theory of postural control.

The mind is an unavoidable component of the postural system's effectiveness, so as useful training imagery that model may well do the trick. A singing coach talks about singing "from the head" and "not the chest" (exceedingly useful stuff, BTW), to enable an unconscious kinesthetic adjustment by means of conscious imagery -- but it has no connection to anything physical that is occurring.

The more I look at it, the more I find that understanding how uchi and soto variations operate in performing responsive jiyu-waza technique, fundamentally illustrate how the kokyu principles tutilized in aikido operate -- at both an isolated joint/limb scale and at a global whole-body scale. (I do not debate that there may be other uses of kokyu principles, but that is not my concern). There are responsive and complementary rotations that can be met (irimi), matched (tenkan), re-oriented (juji) then driven (either tenkan ir irimi) -- to cascade through the entire system of articulation.

The observations from uchi and soto turn variations in tai-sabaki for given techniques are directly cognate (although different in detail) to the tanemura-ha and shimamura-ha variations in sword work. These also manipulate the dual eccentricity of the hip joints, and a complementary rotation cascade in the joints. Suri-age and suri-otoshi are ikkyo variations that play on these differential and eccentric rotations with an additional joint/limb extension (the blade).

That is why I see aiki principles and their intimate relationship with the innovative nature of Japanese sword-work parting company, at the very least at the descriptive level, from the interpretations according to traditional Chinese natural philosophy.

A very successful, and commonly used image (along the lines of the model I am using) is of performing technique "as if holding the sword" It usually corrects a host of problems with a given technique in a very intuitively satsifying way for the student. It can also typcially be demonstrated -- with the sword in hand.

I can see why the image of spring (fascial) tensions and manipulations is temptingly suggestive in interpeting action from grasp-to-joint-to-tanden. There is no such temptation in interpreting the sword-work, where there is only contact and differential rotation(s). The last thing I want my blade (or my connection with it) to become is any kind of "spring."

A significant problem with the fascial tensions or "springs" model is that it seems not to be intuitively obvious or easily described. Perhaps for this very reason, it is not very easily communicated conceptually. I do not debate that the "feel" of it as promoted by its various advocates here may be very effective in translating the imagery that they use, but it also has serious conceptual problems as a physical model, as critically illustrated in the summary cited above.

The imagery and the physicality along the lines of the rotational motion and cyclic stability control model allow for a closer to one-to-one comparison of image to mechanical theory, and which is not linguistically or culturally colored. That is very much not the case in attempting to utilize Chinese natural philosophy concepts and its attendant imagery, back-translated through two other languages (Japanese an English) and the attendant (and sometimes contradictory) imagery of those two other cultures, and the frequently arcane or specialized usage (compared with ordinary Japanese usage) of terminology of the martial arts (whether in Chinese, Japanese or English).

Whether a technical rendering of the physical model is more or less complex as the Chinese natural philosophy rendering is, is quite beside the point. The simplistic fact is that the imagery model of sword-work illustrates the kokyu principles of aikido better and more clearly, in ways that students find more intuitively obvious, and which corrects critically important, rotational and orientational control problems in movement and technique. This may be, quite simply, because they map better onto the actual physical interactions in the employment of kokyu principles in aikido tai-jutsu, in the first place.

I know, I know .. it's just "relaxed jin"... that explains everything. :p

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 11:38 AM
In other words, you don't understand what jin is or you wouldn't be off into these lengthy diatribes? It's just simple jin manipulation (although there are some cute ways to accomplish jin manipulation and there are some simple, less-powerful ones). Mind controls the sourcing and application points of a jin path. Too many people reading this forum and others can do this to make it such a lengthy, torturous process, Erick.

Mike

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-30-2006, 12:35 PM
Dan, don't worry. If it's any consolation, Kuroda Tetsuzan writes in his books that body shape and composition become irrelevant once the body has learnt the correct kata motions. :-) The same thing applies to weapon length...

Mike, I hope this isn't a tangent. But most of the JMA people who've displayed skills haven't been particularly large fellows - Ueshiba was reputed to have been very strong, but Shioda doesn't come across as a weighty man, nor does Sagawa (nor Abe Seiseki or Kuroda Tetsuzan, but I am not sure how "good" they are compared to the well-known guys). Akuzawa is pretty strong in the lower body, and you've mentioned the CMA people being very big there too. Do you think this is a variation/specialist use of the body that is making a difference here, or more simply a matter of us seeing the good people when they were already old and had lost a lot of muscle mass? (maybe in Japan although one can add and use extra muscle if one has the movements correct, it wasn't needed and emphasis was on technique, particularly sword?)

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 12:57 PM
Mike, I hope this isn't a tangent. But most of the JMA people who've displayed skills haven't been particularly large fellows - Ueshiba was reputed to have been very strong, but Shioda doesn't come across as a weighty man, nor does Sagawa (nor Abe Seiseki or Kuroda Tetsuzan, but I am not sure how "good" they are compared to the well-known guys). Akuzawa is pretty strong in the lower body, and you've mentioned the CMA people being very big there too. Do you think this is a variation/specialist use of the body that is making a difference here, or more simply a matter of us seeing the good people when they were already old and had lost a lot of muscle mass? (maybe in Japan although one can add and use extra muscle if one has the movements correct, it wasn't needed and emphasis was on technique, particularly sword?)I dunno, Gernot. I think a variety of factors enter here. In a lot of ways, we could say that the use of jin and ki-development is a sort of trick that gives you strength without requiring bulk and it utilizes highly efficient body-mechanics. So a person who is "not too physically big" only tells you something if you instinctively relate "strong" and "bulk", the way most of us automatically do.

The big thing is jin, in terms of a rapid advantage. If you know how to manipulate jin, even rudimentarily and with the addition of a lot of muscle, you have an advantage that the uninformed can't understand very well. This is a key point.... the reluctance to show people how to do the ki/kokyu things has to do with not giving away the edge to just anyone. Notice that Ueshiba famously didn't share how to do these things except with a very select few, and even then, I'd bet he kept a number of the skills to himself.

There are some pictures of some Chinese guys with "qi skills" that I think of. A surprising number of them are skinny (although an appreciable number can be bulky, too). The real ki skills can be thought of as necessarily tied to the type of fascia development done through breathing, beating the body, stretching (yes, that's almost definitely a part of the real Yoga tradition, Japanese dance, etc., etc.), and so on. If we make a sort of general comparison of the "fascia" as related to a piece of rawhide (the semi-translucent scraped raw hide that is stretched, for example, over the head of a drum), we can intuitively understand that for the toughest rawhide, we want a range-fed steer, not the plump, grain-fed family pet that live in the feed-yard. Fat in the tissue weakens the ki/fascia structure, so the really strong guys are almost always unusually thin, by most comparisons. It's that type of thinness that enters into the equationof what you're asking. Old age, deliberate thinness, etc., etc., is a question I often have when I'm trying to evaluate some "old master". Are they just atrophying or are they exhibiting the deliberate thinness of some of the qigong/martial practitioners who have sinews like steel?

Best.

Mike

Mike Hamer
11-30-2006, 05:08 PM
Um, I'm pretty familiar with the term "Ki" and it's applications to martial arts........but what in the sam hill is Jin? Just another name for it?

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 05:17 PM
Um, I'm pretty familiar with the term "Ki" and it's applications to martial arts........but what in the sam hill is Jin? Just another name for it?Basically, "Ki" is a pretty generic term that can include doing things with no physical aspects, within the body. However, if you do something with a bona fide use of ki and someone can feel or test it, that physical manifestation is known as "jin" in Chinese. I use the term because "ki" is so non-specific it gets the anti-woo-woo guys all frothed up if I say something like "Tohei stopped the push with his ki". ;)

Mike

Erick Mead
11-30-2006, 05:34 PM
In other words, you don't understand what jin is or you wouldn't be off into these lengthy diatribes? It's just simple jin manipulation (although there are some cute ways to accomplish jin manipulation and there are some simple, less-powerful ones). Mind controls the sourcing and application points of a jin path. Too many people reading this forum and others can do this to make it such a lengthy, torturous process, Erick. My issue is not applicability. I have great respect for Chinese traditional knowledge in application. Maybe we are talking about the same things, maybe not, but jin (as you describe it) does not appear from all evidence I can gather to be mechanically sound -- if it is intended to be a mechanical concept.

I don't think it has to be in order to be useful as a concept, but I question the limits of it usefulness, either way. That does not mean that your imagery does not teach or that your methods are ineffective. I don't have to agree with one voice coach's imagery to learn to sing well, either.

The point is two fold --

1) Utility -- What is better to aid in teaching and transmitting the aiki concepts to the widest possible audience?

2) Corroboration -- Does the concept have corroborational support in a widely-understood field for reference to illustrate concepts in physical application, or to check or to suggest novel ideas of application?

In Shanghai, I might defer to you and the Chinese traditional approach on both points, (although, the Chinese do not fly planes that way). I am very sorry, but the concept and operation of jin as you describe it is not mutually intelligible to the concepts and operation of Western mechanics, and fails on both points when used over here.

Your "chest push" description approached it but then veered back in to the terms of art, instead of describing plain motion. There is another video of the same demonstration (maybe later on in the first one I linked) in which O Sensei is doing the same thing but nearly up on tippy-toes, so the "rooting" ground path you are talking about is not operating, or at least, not in the same way.

The rotational moment model I am talking about explains, mechnically, technique performed with nothing but one the ball of one big toe in contact with the ground. I think Shioda had some thing important to say about that in reference to chushin-ryoku, actually. The "center axis" image running though his works is much more in line with this mechanical concept than the jin model is.

Maybe you or someone else can persuade me from this model. I do many of the things you describe and have represented in various videos in this and other discussions as "relaxed jin" in operation. Whether I do them as well as, or better, or worse than others remains to be seen (as if I were competing here.). But that is hardly the point, either.

I just differ with you on my understanding of how or by what means they are done, or the means to describe or analyze how they are done. If I were not convinced that you all do them and have information to aid me in my attempts to better describe them I would, quite frankly, ignore you. Why the resistance to an expansion of knowledge or its comprehension in this manner?

I could be wrong in my assesment of the mechanics, but so far I see no evidence of it. I have said that my understanding of the Chinese concepts is academic, and my understanding of movement is mostly from aikido. While I understand the academic concepts you present, your images do nothing for me in terms of what I feel when I do the types of movements you speak of and which have been illustrated. What likelihood should I then ascribe to any other person, without such cultural familarity, ever finding them uesful in learning?

This is very much in keeping with the objections stated here about the uses of "kokyu" in common Japanese usage differing from its usage in martial arts circles. Terms of art require definition to be intelligbile outside the sphere of their application. The same is true in all three languages, much less between them. I doubt seriously you know what vortex ring state is either, but it will surely kill you just the same.

As some of you have described your reaction to such training, I, too, walk and feel very differently having handled a sword for lo these fifteen years, too. Is it the same as you feel differently from your jin training? Maybe, maybe not, as I have never understood what I know how to do in those terms, and find them less than useful in either furthering them in myself or in teaching them to others.

Notwithstanding these observations, if you or anyone else is willing to do so, I would love to engage the jin concept as you understand it to operate physically, in terms of its mechanics in this forum.

If not, by all means, please talk amongst yourselves in whatever terms seem pleasing to you.

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 06:09 PM
The point is two fold --

1) Utility -- What is better to aid in teaching and transmitting the aiki concepts to the widest possible audience? Hands on with clear instruction. Common sense. Not mathematics. 2) Corroboration -- Does the concept have corroborational support in a widely-understood field for reference to illustrate concepts in physical application, or to check or to suggest novel ideas of application? I think it's been pretty obvious to a number of people over a number of disciplines for many years, Erick. Of course, not everyone has the common sense to see beyond their own perspectives, so 100% is not the claim. Notwithstanding these observations, if you or anyone else is willing to do so, I would love to engage the jin concept as you understand it to operate physically, in terms of its mechanics in this forum. I dunno. I think you've seen reasonably clear explanations and you've also seen Rob, Dan, me, others, others by inference (like Ushiro) indicate fairly clearly that you need a personal hands on. Your focus on a mathematical or physics breakdown that will go hand in hand with your own perceptions is just more than I can respond to. This has dragged on too long. Maybe if you brought in someone like Akuzawa, Ushiro, etc.?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Gernot Hassenpflug
11-30-2006, 08:50 PM
I dunno, Gernot. I think a variety of factors enter here. In a lot of ways, we could say that the use of jin and ki-development is a sort of trick that gives you strength without requiring bulk and it utilizes highly efficient body-mechanics. So a person who is "not too physically big" only tells you something if you instinctively relate "strong" and "bulk", the way most of us automatically do.

Fair enough, I wasn't expecting a simple answer :-) I had the naive idea that once one develops jin and emphasizes the much higher ROI type training, then one can learn to "use one's body weight" more efficiently. So I assumed that meant one could use extra muscle better too in the paradigm of the jin training (but see below).

The big thing is jin, in terms of a rapid advantage. If you know how to manipulate jin, even rudimentarily and with the addition of a lot of muscle, you have an advantage that the uninformed can't understand very well. This is a key point.... the reluctance to show people how to do the ki/kokyu things has to do with not giving away the edge to just anyone./../

There are some pictures of some Chinese guys with "qi skills" that I think of. A surprising number of them are skinny (although an appreciable number can be bulky, too). The real ki skills can be thought of as necessarily tied to the type of fascia development done through breathing, beating the body, stretching /../ and so on. If we make a sort of general comparison of the "fascia" as related to a piece of rawhide (the semi-translucent scraped raw hide that is stretched, for example, over the head of a drum), we can intuitively understand that for the toughest rawhide, we want a range-fed steer, not the plump, grain-fed family pet that live in the feed-yard. Fat in the tissue weakens the ki/fascia structure, so the really strong guys are almost always unusually thin, by most comparisons. It's that type of thinness that enters into the equationof what you're asking. Old age, deliberate thinness, etc., etc., is a question I often have when I'm trying to evaluate some "old master". Are they just atrophying or are they exhibiting the deliberate thinness of some of the qigong/martial practitioners who have sinews like steel?

Aha, now I am beginning to feel the void :-) That there is a point of no return - you never go back to the previous type of body, ever! One continues to further and further develop these "ki" aspects of the body. Does that start to approach the "flip in thinking" and lifestyle that people mention when they progress on this path?

It's funny, because last month in ballet class I was mentioning how strong one of the young dancers is (hip, leg development). The reply from my senior was that yes, strong, but wrong: the "stretch training" of ballet needs to take over, and the muscle mass will shrink and his body will become thin - but much stronger. NOt "ki" or "jin" by any means, but certainly tendon and sinew-focussed training.

Thanks for the eye-opening pointers.
Gernot

Mike Sigman
11-30-2006, 09:03 PM
Aha, now I am beginning to feel the void :-) That there is a point of no return - you never go back to the previous type of body, ever! Exactly. That's why someone is being ludicrous if they say that they "do these things sometimes when everything clicks", etc. It doesn't work like that. You either do it or you don't. A guy doing obviously external karate can't seriously be "teaching Tai Chi" on the side.
One continues to further and further develop these "ki" aspects of the body. Does that start to approach the "flip in thinking" and lifestyle that people mention when they progress on this path? Personally, I think some people change, but a lot of people are still forever locked in the "Look at Me! Look at Me!" world. These things are skills... anyone can learn them. I know some very big name "masters" who are also self-centered people with "bad heart". I think we begin to grow up when we realize that life is not a fairly tale and there will always be good and bad. It's funny, because last month in ballet class I was mentioning how strong one of the young dancers is (hip, leg development). The reply from my senior was that yes, strong, but wrong: the "stretch training" of ballet needs to take over, and the muscle mass will shrink and his body will become thin - but much stronger. NOt "ki" or "jin" by any means, but certainly tendon and sinew-focussed training. I've thought about that sort of thing a bit and I agree that the tendon/stretch strength is not something that can only be developed one way. However, I think the Asians systematized it so that they found the most complete and effective ways to develop it all over and inside.

My opinion, FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 09:44 AM
I dunno. ...you need a personal hands on. ..... Your focus on a mathematical or physics breakdown that will go hand in hand with your own perceptions is just more than I can respond to. Hm. I gathered that. The same criticism may just as easily be made of the focus on Chinese natural philosophy "that will go hand in hand with your own perceptions."

I give the Chinese systems of knowledge credit on their own terms and that they can and do relate deeply to other spheres of knowledge. Chinese methods with mechanical effects ought to have mutual benefit by exploring them from a mechanical perspective to find those points of relation.

The point was about broadening and finding connections between very differing terms of reference. The point was to increase the possibilities of common understanding and communication of the basis of these types of movements.
Hands on with clear instruction. Common sense. Not mathematics. The thing about common sense is that it's not. Common. Whose terms of art are necessarily "better," or, for that matter, better for what purpose, which I think I made fairly clear, is a pointless debate. Every system of reference works in its own terms -- that's why they come into existence.

Breaking down categorical assumptions underlying any system of references is the way that knowledge expands. Physical mechanics has expanded its scope and depth in just that way. So has traditional Chinese knowledge, for that matter.

Given the responses refusing conceptual discussion of these issues in any terms other than your own and, from the first instance to the last, favoring of direct experience as the only guide, I seriously wonder why you are having any discussion at all.

"I know that you know that I know that you know that I know ... "

What can possibly be learned in that ?? It seems vain and pointless in that light.

But, do carry on. Please don't mind my occasional foreign-sounding noises over here in the corner. I am quite sure nothing that I say is likely to inform a discussion of that kind, anyway.

Mike Sigman
12-01-2006, 09:59 AM
The point was about broadening and finding connections between very differing terms of reference. The point was to increase the possibilities of common understanding and communication of the basis of these types of movements. Erick, I personally think that the point is to convey as much useable information as possible in the simplest terms. For the most part, my opinion is that the basic ideas can be conveyed with the ideas of "force vectors" ('jin', BTW, can also be translated as "force vector") and mental sourcing. I think that's really the first problem.... since you want to see your own theory reflected back to you in some form, you simply don't want to look at a simpler discussion of force vectors. To compound the problem, you want some form of mathematical modelling so that we can discuss this on some form of elitist plane. I simply avoid trying to describe relationships that get into orders of variable that go beyond common understanding... this is not the "let's impress 'em with mathematics" forum.

You need to find someone that can show you how to do these things correctly. And it's sort of like riding a bicycle.... trying to describe how to do it on paper is futile, even though it can be taught fairly easily.

Regards,

Mike

Cady Goldfield
12-01-2006, 10:40 AM
Erik, I agree with Mike here: these things have nothing to do with mystical "secrets," they are technical skills that can be learned. People have varying degrees of talent for learning them, but these biomechanics are within the realm of pretty much any normally-formed human body.

Michael McCaslin's basic, simplified overview of structural integrity and conveyance of energy through the bones (Training forum, "Opening the Joints" thread) might be a good starting point for you in understanding some of the fundamentals.

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 02:32 PM
... the basic ideas can be conveyed with the ideas of "force vectors" ('jin', BTW, can also be translated as "force vector") and mental sourcing. That is better. And this is how I have understood what you are talking about. I get your position, and I'll explain why it is right as far as it goes and why it cannot be applied to address the problems that concern me.

I get, and have always gotten, the points you have made about how this functions in jin terms, and my own conception of it in mechanical terms. I can do many of the things you represent as jin manipulation in just this way, understood mechanically. I have no problem generalizing the mechnical description of it in common terms. I just wanted your mechnical description for comparison. I would still like to hear your description of the manner of propagation or conversion of those vectors from input to output, if I have assessed your position incorrectly below.

We continue to talk past one another, nonetheless, because you all seem to equate these uses of kokyu and ki to their use according to the principles of aiki or aikido, as O Sensei developed it. And that just is not so.

As I was saying before, we are dancing around a category argument. Just because what you are doing is an exercise of kokyu and ki (or jin) -- does not mean, ipso facto, that it is sound as a desciption, mechnically or otherwise, of aikido or the aiki principles by which techniques function, even though they may incorporate some of the kokyu (jin) skills you are training in. This is so even if Daito-ryu or Angier Sensei teach related techniques from their branches of the jujutsu arts that do function in that way...

In that context, the kokyu practice you are illustrating with force vectors has a great deal of relevance, which I have never disputed. It is channeling the reaction of the ground from joint to joint according to the middle third rule, as an catenary (or inverted catenary) profile across linkages.

It would thus use, as you say, the inherent material tension strength or "spring" potential of the ligatures to constrain the forces ( like a hanging cable or catenary arch) within the equilibrated tension sheath of the joint connections, and thus guide the ground reaction directly back at the input vector - thus avoiding any force couple rotation at the point of contact, and keeping any mechanism (rotating hinge) from forming between the two bodies.
Michael McCaslin's basic, simplified overview of structural integrity and conveyance of energy through the bones (Training forum, "Opening the Joints" thread) might be a good starting point for you in understanding some of the fundamentals. Tohei Shihan supplied a number of ki exercises and related explanations of them for improvement of aikido training. That does not mean that the ki exercises, which do very well in training ki and kokyu skills, are themselves necessarily aikido technique, or that they themselves necessarily apply aikido principles when developing appropriate ki or kokyu skills. I will describe below my mechanical interpretaiton of the "opening the joints" image as the formation of a catenary path.

Weight training and stretching, and dancing for that matter, certainly all improve critical physical elements of the game of basketball and help increase the level of play. They are not basketball. That does not denigrate either weight training, stretching or dancing, each of which have merits in their own right.

Aikido is a particular applicaiton of ki and kokyu. Gravity is the same everywhere, but the uses of it differ markedly. A 747 and the Empire State Building both allow one to reach a height of some 1250 feet, so they are obviously equivalent, neh?

The problem with this as aikido is not with the channeling and intergation of the path of forces toward the center (which are very much part of kokyu and good training), but with the use of the ground reaction from the center by that means.

If O Sensei is to be believed, the practice you describe is certainly training in kokyu (or jin) and certainly ki -- but it is not based on aikido principles. Aikido does work on the basis of the proper shape and control of forces in the manner by which Mike seems to suggests in channelling ground reaction. Aikido just doesn't operate on the basis of ground reaction.

To do so requires there to be in-line resistance at the point of contact to oppose the input force. The rooting, grounding and vectors references seem to strongly suggest that. If you all mean otherwise, please elaborate. Ultimately, as you describe the grounding of forces or channeling the ground reaction -- there must be linearly opposed forces at the point of contact, and thus --- resistance.

In aikido there is no resistance. This statement is the key to the problem and the solution to it. If there were not this direct opposition, there would be a force couple, rotation and mechanism. And if there is rotation then the input force cannot be met with the ground reaction; there can be no ground reaction because there is no longer any direct force path to ground. That is where the aikido comes in, and what it in fact exploits.
... these things have nothing to do with mystical "secrets," they are technical skills that can be learned. People have varying degrees of talent for learning them, but these biomechanics are within the realm of pretty much any normally-formed human body. We agree on this.

Aikido technique and the kokyu involved there just isn't a statics ground reaction problem, is it is a dynamic angular momentum problem. There is turning about a center -- many centers, individual joints and tanden, and on more than one axis simultaneously since we have (relatively) flexible connections to work with.

Joints are tension strap-linked mechanisms. Those linkages are mostly all actuated on opposed ligatures (on several axes of different linear input capacities). They all form a number of potential force-couples at a joint. If there is a force couple it has a center of action, there is either a torque or angular momentum there, and it has an vector of orientation.

If there is any offset in the opposing forces at the point of contact (and thus no direct resistance), there is a force couple and a rotation occurs. There is, accordingly, no transmission of the input force linearly in the static middle-third path through the joints toward the ground since that force is being applied to the rotation of the joint couple.

If a torque (vice free rotation) is experienced in the joint, because the force couple is being countered by muscle or tissue tension, then the force is transmitted not linearly through the bone, as with the ahngin chain or stable arch, but by a lever moment from one joint to the next, which is created by the resistance of each joint to the applied lever moment.

If the joint maintains the catenary (or parabolic) path by means of the middle third rule (which you are training for in "opening the joints") then it produces no leverage or counterforce but merely communicates the free rotation along a progessively larger moment arm. That means more inertia for the input force to have to rotate, or conversely it diminishes the effective moment of the input force couple at the other end of the moment arm it is rotating.

Essentially, this uses the integration of the individual joint moments according to the training you are talking about but by moment conversion, not ground reaction -- distributing the applied moment to a progressively larger inverse moment arm on the other side of the force couple -- which it has to rotate. It is working towards the "whole-body" tanden-centered motion that requires but a very small out of plane moment to radically displace the incoming moment along that very large whole-body moment arm, and in a plane that the input force couple does not act on at all.

The final reversal of the moment arm occurs in the change of eccentricity from one hip to the other, either in the uchi or soto (tanemura-ha /shimamura- ha) motion of the technique. Thus the input moment is effectively reduced to nothing at the tanden of the intended victim, and reversed to transmit the moment back to the attacker from a different axis without any resistance developing anywhere, and without any resistance by the attacker because his force is necessarily occupied elsewhere.

Imagine a giant sphere in the bottom of a large bowl. If you try to push it straight out of the center it will freely rotate and roll up the side of the bowl as far the input force allows up the slope of the bowl. But if in the course of that push an internal mass damper inside the sphere shifts just slighty off-center, the new center of rotation causes the sphere to rotate laterally one way or the other as well as vertically and basically deliver all the pushing power back onto the pusher from the side, where he has no resistance, as it rolls around and spirals back into him toward the lowest point of potential energy, but all the while it is still rolling away from his push and not resisting at all.
... sort of like riding a bicycle.... trying to describe how to do it on paper is futile, even though it can be taught fairly easily. By definition, no forces involved in the couple operate in the plane of the torque or angular momentum vector. The angular momentum of a coupled rotation creates inertia about this axis vector that resists displacement in the plane of the axis vector -- even though no active forces operate their directly.

That is why a bike does not fall down and can be steered without hands, by the way. And that fact -- that riding bike can be learned easily says there is a fundamental relationship between the stability systems involved in both bicyclic and bipedal motion.

There is something exceedingly useful to be learned there about how ikkyo works , for instance, in communicating displacements through joint articulations without direct forces (resistance) being employed at any point -- even while standing (like a top) on the ball of one foot, a la Shioda's conception of chushin ryoku and the importance of the big toe as the axis of the chushin power. The mechanical "power" on that axis of the body is either applied torque or angular momentum about the tanden.
To compound the problem, you want some form of mathematical modelling so that we can discuss this on some form of elitist plane. ... this is not the "let's impress 'em with mathematics" forum. That's not what I'm talking about, nor is it necessary to get into diffy-q or higher algebra. What I have done here is the classical narrative approach to these types of mechanics. It is essentially a narrative form of dynamic geometry, more than anything. To see how that tradition has been revived in the feild of plastic mechanics and architectural engineering. read Jacques Heyman's "The Stone Skeleton" or "The Masonry Arch" That precise analysis according to Coulomb's method addresses what you are doing in channeleing ground reactions through an inverted catenary path formed at each joint successively. It has a definite shape, equivalent to tegatana, which you can manipulate mentally.

Heyman's approach, extended to the mechanisms of collapse, allows essentially non-linear moments and plastic mechanics to be assessed within useful confidence limits in situations where FEM or differential analysis cannot easily, if at all, generate instantaneous solutions across the same range.

billybob
12-01-2006, 02:39 PM
Hi Erick,

have you studied tensegrity principles or examples of tensegrity structures to help you understand human physiodynamics?

david

ps. challenge yourself to prove why a bicycle works. attempts to isolate 'the principle' have resulted in some comical bicycles - eg. a machine with a ridiculously small front wheel (moment of force principle) - the front wheel caught fire, but the bicycle stayed up. Good luck sir! dk

Mike Sigman
12-01-2006, 03:24 PM
That is better. And this is how I have understood what you are talking about. I get your position, and I'll explain why it is right as far as it goes and why it cannot be applied to address the problems that concern me. Yeah, but I'm not sure that you DO understand my position, Erick. You have said nothing to encourage me toward that conclusion. For instance, your unnecessary addendum of "how" a bicycle might work in usage does nothing to assure me that you can actually ride a bicycle. I'm talking about what "time" is; you're talking about how to build a watch. And I'm not being contentious... you're attempting to establish some terms to form a common vocabulary, which is fine, but I have seen nothing yet that indicates you really understand the subject yet, so your terms simply hang there neither accepted nor rejected because they appear to be, IMO, off the point. I get, and have always gotten, the points you have made about how this functions in jin terms, and my own conception of it in mechanical terms. I can do many of the things you represent as jin manipulation in just this way, understood mechanically. I have no problem generalizing the mechnical description of it in common terms. I just wanted your mechnical description for comparison. I would still like to hear your description of the manner of propagation or conversion of those vectors from input to output, if I have assessed your position incorrectly below. You seem to be saying that you understand my position (which implies my communication hasn't been in vain)... why is it that you can't simply start there and then work toward whatever your unclear goal is? What do you mean "propagation" or "conversion"? I've specifically laid out several attempts, including Inaba's which concurs with the way I look at it, of descriptions about how forces are used in "Aiki". I will take his concept of "Aiki", Sunadomari's concept, Abe's, and others, because they all generally agree with the way I look at it, over yours. They all were in a much better position to say what O-Sensei meant than you are.In that context, the kokyu practice you are illustrating with force vectors has a great deal of relevance, which I have never disputed. It is channeling the reaction of the ground from joint to joint according to the middle third rule, as an catenary (or inverted catenary) profile across linkages. No, I disagree with that description and some of your others, including the necessity for a catenary arch to be involved in the description. The mind leads the ki. I can form resultant force-vector paths that go out across the gap from my middle to my forearm and then, without moving shift it to my shoulderblade or to the sole of my foot, or whatever. I don't "resist" an incoming force; I simply vector-add to it in order to give me a resultant commensurate with what I want to do with Uke. Because he becomes a part of my force equations, he is part of my movement and we don't conflict. "Resistance"? I think at most you're quibbling with the idea that there is an origin to forces; they don't resist each other unless they are zero-sum equilibrium.

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 03:25 PM
have you studied tensegrity principles or examples of tensegrity structures to help you understand human physiodynamics? Statically, I know they have obvious application as to the integrity of limb structure and static stability, and much that seems counter-intuitive because most people's "force path" assumptions tend to be all of one sign rather than merely of one sign "on average" along any arbitrary load path as in tensegrity structures. They are really just complex space frames with dedicated tensile or compressive components, which can be seen if you recognize the irregular but still tetrahedral and octahedral nodes in those structures. Dynamically, I think other principles predominate.

ps. challenge yourself to prove why a bicycle works. attempts to isolate 'the principle' have resulted in some comical bicycles - eg. a machine with a ridiculously small front wheel (moment of force principle) - the front wheel caught fire, but the bicycle stayed up. Good luck sir! dk Bicycles stay up because they have sufficent angular momentum to slow (but not eliminate) lateral tipping forces caused by a certain allowable range of eccentric lateral loads from the rider, which allows the rider sufficent reaction time to adjust the load profile to maintain stability.

The slowing moment is provided because the input lateral tipping moment is translated gyroscopically by the momentum of wheel rotations from the transverse axis into the yaw axis and thus is mechanically countered by a moment arm of the frame formed between one wheel and the other, and a torque resistance against actual yaw rotation from friction with the ground, and the countering reaction forces created by that torque are translated back to the lateral axis by the same path.

QED

Turning is left as an exercsie for the class...

billybob
12-01-2006, 03:33 PM
Erick,

Beautiful explanation sir. But, as in the example of the reversible efficiency of engines being used to describe thermodynamic properties, can you build a bicycle that will Not stay up to prove your principle?

David

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 04:08 PM
For instance, your unnecessary addendum of "how" a bicycle might work in usage does nothing to assure me that you can actually ride a bicycle. ... What do you mean "propagation" or "conversion"? Read above how the bike works ...
The mind leads the ki. I can form resultant force-vector paths that go out across the gap from my middle to my forearm and then, without moving shift it to my shoulderblade or to the sole of my foot, or whatever. Of course -- like riding a bike -- :D
I don't "resist" an incoming force; I simply vector-add to it in order to give me a resultant commensurate with what I want to do with Uke. I thought we wanted to skip the higher maths. :D Will it be tensor equations next?

If I have your and Dan's description of the exercises right you are basically doing drills in using the joints' tensions as a kind of analog vector abacus. My issue is not with your method of computation or arrival at resultant, but the formal structure of the solution that you intend to compute.

If any component of your vector sum is parallel to and of opposite sign to the attacking vector you are addressing, you create one of two things:

1) If parallel but offset, a force couple in the plane (and either rotation or torque (if you apply countering leverage moment)), or

2) If parallel and in-line, a linear resisting thrust.

The principle of juji tells me that aikido technique is applied without any component of force in-line and directly resisting. Additive is permissible in linear parallel but not negative. A negative parallel componet of force (irimi) is not allowable unless it induces rotation (tenkan), ie. - is offset and forms a couple and thus potential rotation. Perpendicular components are allowed to directly engage to counter as they originate in rotation (tenkan). Negative parallel components (irimi) must be allowed to engage free of resisting moment or torque against the couple that results. Thus, are the two fundamental priniciples linked in my mind.

Potential rotation can be converted gyrodynamically if angular momentum in a complementary (90 degree) plane can be developed. (See the bike again). It can also develop torque if reaction force is allowed to develop. Axial torque resistance is the weakest aspect of almost any structure. As I interpret this, Aikijujtsu may well allow for the provocation and exploitation of that damaging axial torque -- and thus ground reaction is certainly in play as the reaction forms that torque against the rotation potential that is developed.

Aikido, in my mind, would interpret the sensation of developing torque as reaction or resistance, and once provoked, would shift juji (90 degrees) to convert that rotation potential (tenkan)or to initate further positive offset rotation (irimi) in a complementary plane.

Mike Sigman
12-01-2006, 04:19 PM
Read above how the bike works ...
Of course -- like riding a bike -- :D
I thought we wanted to skip the higher maths. :D Will it be tensor equations next?

If I have your and Dan's description of the exercises right you are basically doing drills in using the joints' tensions as a kind of analog vector abacus. My issue is not with your method of computation or arrival at resultant, but the formal structure of the solution that you intend to compute.

If any component of your vector sum is parallel to and of opposite sign to the attacking vector you are addressing, you create one of two things:

1) If parallel but offset, a force couple in the plane (and either rotation or torque (if you apply countering leverage moment)), or

2) If parallel and in-line, a linear resisting thrust.

The principle of juji tells me that aikido technique is applied without any component of force in-line and directly resisting. Additive is permissible in linear parallel but not negative. A negative parallel componet of force (irimi) is not allowable unless it induces rotation (tenkan), ie. - is offset and forms a couple and thus potential rotation. Perpendicular components are allowed to directly engage to counter as they originate in rotation (tenkan). Negative parallel components (irimi) must be allowed to engage free of resisting moment or torque against the couple that results. Thus, are the two fundamental priniciples linked in my mind.

Potential rotation can be converted gyrodynamically if angular momentum in a complementary (90 degree) plane can be developed. (See the bike again). It can also develop torque if reaction force is allowed to develop. Axial torque resistance is the weakest aspect of almost any structure. As I interpret this, Aikijujtsu may well allow for the provocation and exploitation of that damaging axial torque -- and thus ground reaction is certainly in play as the reaction forms that torque against the rotation potential that is developed.

Aikido, in my mind, would interpret the sensation of developing torque as reaction or resistance, and once provoked, would shift juji (90 degrees) to convert that rotation potential (tenkan)or to initate further positive offset rotation (irimi) in a complementary plane.Like I said, you need someone to show you what we're talking about. If I wanted to, I could insist that all this stuff is related to molecular vibration and I could prove my case in an explicative way to any solution you present me. But it's beside the point. If you understood the basics, there would be no need to focus on the exceptions and how they are contained by movement, technique, etc.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 04:20 PM
Erick,

Beautiful explanation sir. But, as in the example of the reversible efficiency of engines being used to describe thermodynamic properties, can you build a bicycle that will Not stay up to prove your principle? Two words.

Square wheels.

More seriously, wheels on the same axis -- no moment arm in the yaw axis, or more accurately, no torque can develop along the moment arm between the wheels along the axle offset, because there is (virtually) no frictional resistance in their line of roll.

No matter how fast they spin -- you will still face plant (forward moment from induced friction torque in the wheel axis. So buy a face guard. :D

And engine efficiencies are not reversible -- unless you have a pocketful of anentropy.

Mark Gibbons
12-01-2006, 04:25 PM
[QUOTE=Erick Mead]
...
The principle of juji tells me that aikido technique is applied without any component of force in-line and directly resisting. ...QUOTE]

Erick,

Could you give a little background on the principle of juji? New term for me and google wasn't giving anything that helped.
Thanks,
Mark

Cady Goldfield
12-01-2006, 05:48 PM
Erick,
Being that this thread is on learning natural movement, might I offer that physical arts such as aikido, Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, taiji and pretty much any other such discipline should be experienced, hands-on, before proceeding to analyze them? These are not armchair pursuits, but physical skills that must be felt, internalized and committed to neuromuscular memory. Discussion of their mechanics is more productive after you have a point of reference. Same reason why I don't read critics' reviews until after I've seen the movie.

Intellectualizing in a vacuum is a kind of mental-verbal masturbation. You have only your existing experiences from which to draw. There is no common ground on which others can connect with you.

Get thee to the dojo. Or go train with Mike. ;) Feel, do, learn. Then talk. Probably, your posts will then be more questions than statements.

Mike Sigman
12-01-2006, 05:50 PM
Get thee to the dojo. Or go train with Mike. ;) Feel, do, learn. Then talk. Probably, your posts will then be more questions than statements.Sorry, I'm out of this one. If Erick wants to explore, he'll have to do it with Dan or Akuzawa or whomever. I only do training when I feel like it.

Regards,

Mike "Burned Bridges" Sigman

Cady Goldfield
12-01-2006, 05:52 PM
Note the winking "smiley," Mike.

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 06:23 PM
...
The principle of juji tells me that aikido technique is applied without any component of force in-line and directly resisting. ...
Erick,

Could you give a little background on the principle of juji? New term for me and google wasn't giving anything that helped.
Thanks,
Mark Such a simple question ...

Juji [ 十 字 ] is the "cross shape." It means perpendicularity; the number ten; symbolizes connection without conflict; complementarity; the meeting of of heaven (vertical) and earth (horizontal), which intersect at the center.

Those all suggest the physical or mechanical manifestations of technique according to the juji priinciple. There are deeper and more psychological aspects of this teaching that confirm my interpretation, at least as I see it.

O Sensei, in one Doka, even referred to the art as [ 十 字 道 ]"jujido" "Way of the Cross-Shape" and mentioned the Cross-Shape in several other places in the Doka also.

From Abe Sensei's translation:
The spiritual essence of the Heavens and Earth
Congealing becomes the Way of the Cross-Shape +
Harmony and Joy make up the Floating Bridge
That binds this world together.

The "Cross Of Aiki" (Love-Ki)
Of the structure of the Great and Swift God
The meritorious deeds (samuhara) of the
God of the Eight Powers.

Ah, the precious Izu and Mizu
Together, the Cross of Aiki
Advance with courage
In the voice of Mizu

The eight powers are the hachi-riki. of the formula "ichi-rei, shikon, sangen, hachi-riki." "One spirit, four souls, three origins, eight powers." The One Spirit is the One Creator God (according to Omoto/Shinto metaphysical teaching) or the True Self according to other more psychological interpretations.

According to one interpretation (Stevens) Izu and Mizu symbolized by the joined lines are the male and female principles, in/yo, Mother and Father figures of creative aikido technique. According to another ( Abe Sensei) Izu and Mizu are the ura and omote principles of the Ichi-rei - Mizu is principle manifest, Izu is principle hidden. An image of Earth/Heaven or Tenchi intersecting at the center.

Juji can thus also be metaphysically (or psychologically) considered (based on the second Doka) to represent the intersection of the Shikon (four souls) as one Spirit. The four souls can be mapped onto the eight powers as an in/yo exposition.

The four souls are:

Ara-mitama -- prinicple of boldness, willingness, resolve, perseverance, diligence, and fortitude.
Nigi-mitama -- priniciple of affinity, peace, discipline, order, governance and association.
Sachi-mitama -- prinicple of love, benefit, creation, production, evolution, and nurture.
Kushi-mitama -- princple of wisdom, skill, sensibility, observation, awareness, and enlightenment.

The eight powers are (in roughly the same order as their relationship to the four souls)

Moving -- Stilling
Contracting -- Expanding
Dissolving -- Congealing
Combining -- Dividing

The sangen (three origins) in Omoto thought are aspects of this cyclic connection function of musubi:

Iku-musubi: harmonization, vapor, fluidity;
Tara-musubi: inhalation, liquid, unification;
Tamatsume-musubi: exhalation, solid, solidity;

O Sensei identified the image of juji with the concept of musubi "connection"

These map onto another formula of O Sensei's "Masakatsu Agatsu Katsuhayabi." "True victory. Self victory. Day of swift victory."
Masakatsu represents the masculine fire element of the left; Agatsu stands for the feminine water element of the right; Katsu-hayabi is the perfect combination of both that empowers the techniques. Musubi takes "self" (vertical) and "other" (horizontal) and joins them into a whole (juji) without destroying the essence of either.

Understood in this way, the juji + image ties the whole "Ichi-rei ..." formula together and links it with several other of O Sensei's prominent teaching concepts.

So to comport with the principle of juji from the metaphysical or pscychological interpretation - aikido movement and technique must be at once bold, orderly, accommodating and calculated.

Or expressed differently, determined, non-conflicting, accepting of change, and subtle.

Mike Sigman
12-01-2006, 06:58 PM
Note the winking "smiley," Mike.
Yeah, but I was replying to your initial post, before you editted it, suggesting Dan or me.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
12-01-2006, 07:07 PM
Oh. Oops. Sorry about that. :) The wink was indicating that either of you would likely not care for the prospect of going-round-in-circles chatter on the mats. I just yanked Dan on second thought because he wasn't part of this discussion. I see the discussion is still going on without either of you now...

David Orange
12-01-2006, 08:14 PM
Um, I'm pretty familiar with the term "Ki" and it's applications to martial arts........but what in the sam hill is Jin? Just another name for it?

Mikel,

Jin is a Chinese concept of martial strength. It refers to a combination of muscular power and ki.

It's a core concept of Chinese martial arts and relatable to Japanese arts.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
12-01-2006, 08:57 PM
Juji [ ? ? ] is the "cross shape." It means perpendicularity; the number ten; symbolizes connection without conflict; complementarity; the meeting of of heaven (vertical) and earth (horizontal), which intersect at the center.

Mochizuki Sensei used to talk about that, too. He phrased the vertical as the relation between Heaven, Earth and Man and the the horizontal as the relation between people.

He also had an interesting idea about yin-yang, expressed by triangles. Yang was the up-pointing triangle and yin the downward-pointing triangle. Combined, the form the star of David as a depiction of yin-yang.

Showing this, he mimed astonishment. He liked to clown around a little when telling stories, but he had an interesting one about Sarutan Hiko and the tengu.

David

David Orange
12-01-2006, 09:36 PM
Several posts back, the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman that China is the source of all things Japanese. Some others picked up on it with a few comments but I didn't have a chance to address those things at that time.

Since then, I got an advertisement from Amazon for a book on Judo and when I followed up on it a bit, it lead to a book called "Mind Over Muscle: Writings from the Founder of Judo ," in which Jigoro Kano dismisses the idea of Chinese martial arts being the source of Japanese arts:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/4770030150/ref=sib_dp_pt/103-9983392-5863045#reader-link

on that page, look to the box on the left and click on "excerpt" to read that section.

Also, undermining the idea of China as the source of the aiki arts is Ellis Amdur's blog on Aikido Journal called "Genesis - A Speculative History of Daito-ryu, Part I: That Dog Won’t Hunt," by Chris Laughrun and Ellis Amdur at:

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=2610

I won't summarize either argument but will give some comments of my own.

First, Japan was a very closed society and when they did go out, they usually went out to attack another country. And, most often, they conquered that nation. How many times did the jump on China and dominate it? And Korea?

Even if there were some technical martial influence from China, they would have modified it extensively for two reasons: first, to make it more powerful and effective; second, to make it inscrutable to the Chinese and Koreans, so that those nations would not know how to fight it.

Another very good reason is that the Japanese of that era really did believe themselves the land of the Gods and the people of the Gods. They believed that what the created was superior to anything anyone else had created. I believe that the greatest part of the Chnese influence on Japanese martial arts was purely philosophical. Samurai generals studied I Ching and Sun Tzu, but they created their own sword and their own way of using it, plus their own hand-to-hand fighting, based on an oponent wearing armor and with a first consideration that that oponent would be using a samurai sword.

Where is the Chinese equivalent of Sumo?

Mochizuki Sensei went to great lengths to state that jujutsu was an original, indigenous creation of the Japanese, illustrating how a "smaller people" used the cultural traits of "perseverence and creativity" to produce a means of overcoming and controling larger, stronger oponents.

In addition, I still maintain that I have never seen or experienced anything in Japanese martial artists like the things I have seen and experienced from Chinese martial artists.

Some people have referred to O-Sensei's and Shioda's chest-push as an equivalent to tai chi's push-hands maneuver which commonly sends the oponent up and backward several feet. While I will agree that there is some similarity there, the fact remains that these methods have very different qualities. For one thing, the aiki-influenced attackers generally go up, point head-down and fall to the floor, while the recipient of a Chinese-style repulsion tend to fly up and backward in an upright position, as if standing in the air, and they land on their feet, even if they have to take several staggering steps back to dissipate their momentum. Aiki recipients dissipate their momentum instantly in the ground.

Along with this, there is a different quality to their paths through the air. I once was repelled by a Chinese stylist and the feeling was like being picked up by an ocean wave, moved back several feet on a smooth curve, and deposited back on the ground. Obviously, he could have used a shocking method, but I have never felt anything like that from a Japanese martial artist in 34 years of meeting many, many of them.

Another example, I tried to enter for seoi nage on a Chinese stylist and felt something within him drop several inches. It felt as if an iron ball, weighing 80 or 100 pounds, dropped straight down inside him, about 24 inches, from about his upper chest to the bottom of his abdomen, and he was immovable.

I've never felt anything like that from a Japanese artist.

But using Chinese approaches from tai chi, I have "popped" a fellow effortlessly up and back across the hallway, just as I've seen in tai chi video clips, as if he were standing in the air, flying backward.

Another time, using a tai chi tactic in an aikido class, I received a middle punch with a rollback kind of shifting the weight to the back foot and moving my torso back several inches. I caught his punching wrist with my rear hand and looped my forward hand over his neck. I then moved his punching arm across his body as I turned his head in the same direction so that he was leaning forward with his arm crossing his body and his head turned in the same direction. To be able to continue those motions, I shifted my weight back toward him. His body popped off the floor and the coiling "unwrapped," so that he spun around horizontally as he rose up, then fell straight down. It was spontaneous improvisation on my part, but it was straight out of tai chi movement. And everyone who saw it knew that it wasn't aikido.

I once believed that the Japanese arts did sort of migrate from China, but after living in Japan, knowing and training with Mochizuki Sensei and understanding Jigoro Kano's ideas through him, I am well persuaded that the Japanese arts express completely different approaches to human movement and owe only a general philosophical approach to the Chinese arts.

Other than that, to get back to a common root, it's that both approaches can be seen in the movements of toddlers when they learn to stand and walk.

Best to all.

David

Mike Sigman
12-01-2006, 09:51 PM
Several posts back, the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman that China is the source of all things Japanese. David, if you want to debate the issue, move it to another thread. And don't start off with "the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman"... let's see the exact quote. And put on your padded underwear, because you're about to get spanked again. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 09:53 PM
Being that this thread is on learning natural movement, In an aikido forum, I might add.
... might I offer that physical arts such as aikido, Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, taiji and pretty much any other such discipline should be experienced, hands-on, before proceeding to analyze them? You may. I may not however, since I practice aikido and have struggled to keep the discussion of natural movement in that context. I have not ( and would not attempt) to analyze these other arts -- I have only noted that some reported differences between them and aikido demonstrate consistency with my understanding of the distinguishing features of aikido.

At the same time, I have attempted, at some length, to get their perspective of the finer points of taiji, the qigongs, and other arcane Chinese topics (for the average aikidoka), on some neutral cultural common ground -- such as physics or mechanical concepts, precisely to get apples to apples comparisons without the heavily culturally conditioned terms of art intervening or obscuring. To little avail with the acolytes of peng-jin, I might also add.
Intellectualizing in a vacuum is a kind of mental-verbal masturbation. To paraphrase Diogenes -- if only rubbing my stomach would likewise end my hunger...
You have only your existing experiences from which to draw. A limitation which I happily do not observe. Only the fool learns only from his own mistakes. There is no common ground on which others can connect with you. Physics is probably a good idea. Worked for the Chinese space program ...
Feel, do, learn. Yeah. Have done. in Aikido. Since about 1985.
Then talk. Probably, your posts will then be more questions than statements. Careful now. You are talking to a lawyer. You don't want me asking serious questions, them's the sharp knives. :D

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 10:22 PM
Several posts back, the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman that China is the source of all things Japanese.... Jigoro Kano dismisses the idea of Chinese martial arts being the source of Japanese arts.
...
Where is the Chinese equivalent of Sumo?
...
Mochizuki Sensei went to great lengths to state that jujutsu was an original, indigenous creation of the Japanese, illustrating how a "smaller people" used the cultural traits of "perseverence and creativity" to produce a means of overcoming and controling larger, stronger oponents. Japanese language is related, if is related to anything, to the Altaic tongues of Mongolia. Korean is likewise uncertainly placed in a language family but the Altaic languages are generally deemed to be most likely closest relation to it as well. The Japanese and Koreans have a consitutional dislike of each other that is just too intense for there not to be some close relation back there.

And oddly enough one can see in the movements of Boke, traditional Mongolian wrestling, strong elements that hark to both sumo and judo/jujutsu, and very much in line with David's observations on the differences between Chinese and jujutsu lineage arts.

Look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wB6WISba5M

It is not hard to see in this a harking back to some common progenitor.

There is even a very short tag clip, at the very end, of some of European sumo matches for comparison (Russian, by the look of it, I think).
Other than that, to get back to a common root, it's that both approaches can be seen in the movements of toddlers when they learn to stand and walk. Of course, Mongolians ride before they walk -- so that can't be it ... :D

Cady Goldfield
12-01-2006, 11:14 PM
Erick,
I come from a family of lawyers, including my mother. Believe me, I know. Western law attracts the verbose. ;)

Anyway, here's a tidbit of related advice from my notebook -- it's from Dong YingJie (T'ung Ying-chieh), one of two top disciples of taiji master Yang Chengfu. We may substitute "Taijiquan" with aikido or any other discipline:

Talking about Taijiquan in lieu of practicing apparently is not restricted to the state of the art here today. Tung Ying Jie advised students several decades ago that, in the beginning, a student should concentrate on listening and learning the correct forms from a competent master before getting too involved in pointless discussions on theory or the philosophy of Taiji. A certain maturity of practice is needed for one to be able to comprehend and discuss principles of the practice.
There is no shortcut around long, hard, lonely practice.

Erick Mead
12-01-2006, 11:37 PM
I come from a family of lawyers, including my mother. ... Then you must have a lovely mother .. :D
Western law attracts the verbose. The lonely words need friends, too ...
Anyway, here's a tidbit of related advice from my notebook ...
A certain maturity of practice is needed for one to be able to comprehend and discuss principles of the practice.
There is no shortcut around long, hard, lonely practice. And your assumption underlying that bit of advice, would be???
Do speak plainly.

On your main point, I simply refer you here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=160517&postcount=34

Mike Hamer
12-02-2006, 03:27 AM
Basically, "Ki" is a pretty generic term that can include doing things with no physical aspects, within the body. However, if you do something with a bona fide use of ki and someone can feel or test it, that physical manifestation is known as "jin" in Chinese. I use the term because "ki" is so non-specific it gets the anti-woo-woo guys all frothed up if I say something like "Tohei stopped the push with his ki". ;)

Mike


Thanks, kinda like the unbendable arm then, gotcha.

billybob
12-02-2006, 09:02 AM
Quoting myself: Beautiful explanation sir. But, as in the example of the reversible efficiency of engines being used to describe thermodynamic properties, can you build a bicycle that will Not stay up to prove your principle?

I asked that obtuse question to make a point:

Some fields of inquiry do not lend themselves to objective analysis. When you remove the principles from their context they lose their meaning. This is so true that, to my knowledge, no one has been able to Describe the Principle of why bicycles stay up well enough to Remove that principle from a "working" model such that the bicycle can not be ridden.

Many people call such fields of inquiry Arts.

David

Erick Mead
12-02-2006, 09:46 AM
Quoting myself: as in the example of the reversible efficiency of engines being used to describe thermodynamic properties, can you build a bicycle that will Not stay up to prove your principle? I asked that obtuse question to make a point:

Some fields of inquiry do not lend themselves to objective analysis. But aikido is an objective art as well as a subjective art. He left guidepposts of that endeavor as well, but it was never divorced from his objective art. O Sensei did not stop practicing the objective forms even while he delved into their subjective depths in his later years.

To extend your metaphor -- you need both wheels to stay up, both must be turning together and they must be in line with one another.
When you remove the principles from their context they lose their meaning. If that were so, then they would not be principles -- they would be mere description, limited to the things they specifically describe.

Valid principles are applicable well beyond the immediate context of their development.
Many people call such fields of inquiry Arts. Yes, science and mechanics are among those Arts. Not everything, even there, has ben reduced to mere computation.

The principles of aikido and physical mechanics have much to inform one another. Neither is, by any means, limited to that context.

DH
12-02-2006, 02:02 PM
Eric

I can't even slog through one of your descriptions. I left my slide rule at the office. :D
Without debating semantics and the varying cognative abilities to extrapolate just what the heck it is you are saying as oppossed to actually doing, I usually offer a simple test.
Its not high level or anything and it keeps the conversation friendly in regards to just who is understading what. I posted this on E-budo last year to try and end some squablling.

Kidding aside, and for curiousity sake.
1. Can you stand in a room and have a 225 pound guy push on your chest without you moving?
2. Can you let someone push on the side of your head while you stand there?
3. Let somone pile drive into you and they bounce off?

Again these are just some simple things I do at the gym and at constructions sites. How about at a dojo?
1. Can you let a judoka try and play you without you using any technique at all and when he tries to throw you he gets a feeling that he is locking himself up and he can't throw you?
2. give somone and arm and try to lock you up and they canlt do anything with it?

In the nicest, friendliest way....and I trust in most folks Honesty in these....If you can do these simple things, then I don't care who we are or what we do we... perhaps we are doing similar things. If not we shoud be asking more questions or visiting folks to find out it.

No lawyer speak now, I get enough of that at the office as well.

Mike
No mentioning they can be undone ...we both know that. But, thats not the point of the quesiton to Eric. ;)
cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 02:12 PM
Kidding aside, and for curiousity sake.
1. Can you stand in a room and have a 2225 pound guy push on your chest without you moving? Unashamedly, I have to admit that this one I can't do. You obviously have bigger guys in Massachusetts than we do here in backward, ignorant Colorado. :D Oh pooh, you caught your error and eitted it. Mike
No mentioning they can be undone ...we both know that. But, thats not the point of the quesiton to Eric. ;) Here's my problem, Dan. You know as well as I do that I can move you in these positions without any big deal.... and so can a number of other people. What you need to do is assume that the person you're talking to has reasonable intelligence and honesty (someone like Erick may try to split hairs, but that's just something you gotta live with).... when you say that you can stand there and a 225-pound man can't move you, etc., you need to simply say that it's a 225-pound person that doesn't understand jin.

Think of it like this: I happen to know a lot of people with jin skills and if I posted something like you did where I didn't stipulate that someone understanding jin could probably move me, etc., they'd think I'd lost myself deep inside my own press. Just state things straight-out and honestly. Everyone will appreciate you the more for it.

FWIW

Mike

billybob
12-02-2006, 02:51 PM
Erick,

I'm the fool, because I went around with you about this on another thread and in some private posts.

I'm trying to get across that it simply is not practical to delve into this topic at the level of analysis to which you are carrying it. Did I forget to capitalize Meaning when I mentioned the problem of pulling principles out of context? Diagramming sentences is fine, and art appreciation classes are fine, but there is a time to simply listen to the poem, or go to the museum and not read the titles or descriptions of the paintings on the wall -- something is lost when you do.

Fool that I am I'll try again - electricity can be mathematically described and used at very refined levels - but science can not really describe how it works, or even which way current flows in a wire.

Honor intuition. Understanding at detailed levels is not required for many things in life. I never took physics, but I'm a good driver.

How'm I doing? Still sounding foolish?

David

ps - Hope to see you at winter intensive in St. Pete.dk

DH
12-02-2006, 03:14 PM
Mike
Duh...Of course thats what I'm talking about!

Do I find IMA guys at the gym? :rolleyes: Thats playing.
Playing (with two guys who use internal skiills) is a different topic.
I have two guys who are a handful when we go at it. I still win, but not for long I'd bet. And further still I can teach someone to uproot a simple rooting test anyway, and better still ways to connect in motion that are pretty potent. My point is never about that. Its not about comparing or drawing you into it. I'm arguing for those who don't believe they exist at all.

Internal to internal becomes a test of who can use them better. But even then....TheSkills are the superior entity......... not us.

I applaud the skills,Mike... not us ....who are simply learning them.
In grand scheme... we don't matter

Dan

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 03:24 PM
Mike
Duh...Of course thats what I'm talking about!

Do I find IMA guys at the gym?
Playing (with two guys who use internal skiills) is a different topic.
I have two guys who are a handful when we go at it. I still win, but not for long I'd bet.
Internal to internal becomes a test of who can use it better. But even then..They are the superior skills......... not us.
I applaud the skills not us who are learning them.
DanHi Dan:

A couple of comments:

Many of your early examples indicate that your own students, etc., could not move you... in which case you were either not showing them how to do something or you were magical or they are slow-witted, etc. The "of course you're showing" has been obvious to me, but not to the dear readers of the forum.

It's not a case always of "who can do it better", because there are levels of skills and various tricks .... it's not some simple subject that someone can learn and add to their already fine martial arts. In many cases it takes a number of years to get beyond these simple jin tricks, so maybe "who can do it better" is sometimes applicable, but often it's "who knows how to do more skills with these things.... skills that are difficult to find out how to do, etc.".

My point is that, depending on what you know, you should at least be careful not to leave the impression that this is indeed some minor subset of skills. One would get the impression, for instance, that your skills were equal to Wang Hai Jun's because of the way you usually discuss what you can do and not what others can do. ;) Of course, maybe I misread your intent.


FWIW

Mike

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 04:26 PM
Stands to reason that students learn to do the stuff first, before they learn how to un-do them, Mike. Depending on their particular level of skill, they can reverse and un-do various things; others will take more time. It's not that students "aren't shown," but that they're not at that point of training yet. You know that, though.

In pretty much any art, skilled practitioners get to the point where they can "play" with others of their skill level, and it becomes a matter of who gets in first, who gets in the quickest, who's on his game better that day, etc. Just like chess masters. Sometimes you play to a draw, sometimes you win, some times you lose.

As an aside, why do you call everything "tricks," which implies some kind of deception. These are all viable exercises to develop skills and resources that can be applied to combat (or non-combat), not parlor games. Though of course they can be presented that way. Do you see them as deceptions, games and entertainment, or as part of viable integrated fighting skills? Or both?

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 04:52 PM
Stands to reason that students learn to do the stuff first, before they learn how to un-do them, Mike. Depending on their particular level of skill, they can reverse and un-do various things; others will take more time. It's not that students "aren't shown," but that they're not at that point of training yet. You know that, though. Hi Cady:

Well, I'll certainly consider your opinion. You have to understand that while I know what Dan, Rob, Ushiro, and others are doing in a general sense (because the basic principles can't be avoided), I don't know each person's general area of skill-levels unless I look, see, or get some clue, to some extent. It's fairly easy to rule out the ones who don't really have any skills in this area and it's fairly easy to tell who does have *some* skills. Exactly what those level of skills are can only be extrapolated by the things they claim, who they go see, tangential remarks, etc.... not desireably precise. What someone really knows and what their insight is into the training is a big guess. Take, for instance, Ushiro Sensei's approach through the Sanchin kata. I understand that approach, but I don't think it's sufficiently de-mystifying that a lot of people are going to get much useable out of it. So if you say that I understand generally what a westerner who is going to be *shown* the Sanchin approach will know at a given time, all I can say is "maybe" or "generally", depending on a few factors. Same with Dan's understanding... other than the indication that he has some grasp of jin skills and body structure, I really don't know much about his level. From a few things he has said, I would surmise (to a reasonable probability) that he has a different approach and interest than I do, overall. In short... no, I don't know what you're saying and it shouldn't take long at all to learn how to do and to defeat some of the things Dan has mentioned, *in my opinion*. As an aside, why do you call everything "tricks," which implies some kind of deception. These are all viable exercises to develop skills and resources that can be applied to combat (or non-combat), not parlor games. Though of course they can be presented that way. Do you see them as deceptions, games and entertainment, or as part of viable integrated fighting skills? Or both? I use the term in the sense that "many people can punch hard, but if they learn a few tricks of the trade they can learn to punch even harder". I.e., I don't use the term to imply a deception. HOWEVER.... if someone is dangling jin tricks as something otherworldly and as a "koryu secret", etc., I use the term to minimalize the importance. I am admittedly irreverent, sadly. ;)

Mike

David Orange
12-02-2006, 05:10 PM
David, if you want to debate the issue, move it to another thread. And don't start off with "the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman"... let's see the exact quote. And put on your padded underwear, because you're about to get spanked again.

Mike, I don't know what you're spanking but it's not me.

I don't know why that idea should be taken to another thread since you and others have already commented on it extensively on this thread--after hijacking it, as usual, from its true topic.

But here are the quotes to which I was refering:

Even the "demo's" of qi abilities are the same in Chinese and Japanese. Every demo Tohei and Ueshiba did has an obvious counterpart in China. You simply are missing the obvious, no matter what you think you know of Aikido. How do you explain Ueshiba's demo's being pretty much exactly the same as the Chinese coincidence in every case? Coincidence?...You seem to want to forget the almost complete dependence in Japanese lore and cosmology on the Chinese way of doing things.... including in the Kojiki. Not "equatable"????? This is crazy.

So that's exactly what I was refering to and I gave examples countering your claims. I don't see anything more than passingly similar in Ueshiba and Tohei's demos and Chinese-style exhibitions.

Now go spank yourself.

Cheers.

David

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 05:19 PM
But here are the quotes to which I was refering:Even the "demo's" of qi abilities are the same in Chinese and Japanese. Every demo Tohei and Ueshiba did has an obvious counterpart in China. You simply are missing the obvious, no matter what you think you know of Aikido. How do you explain Ueshiba's demo's being pretty much exactly the same as the Chinese coincidence in every case? Coincidence?...You seem to want to forget the almost complete dependence in Japanese lore and cosmology on the Chinese way of doing things.... including in the Kojiki. Not "equatable"????? This is crazy. But here's what you claimed for me:
Several posts back, the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman that China is the source of all things Japanese. Note that there is a difference between "all things Japanese" and Japanese lore and cosmology, David. I.e., you falsely attributed something to me.So that's exactly what I was refering to and I gave examples countering your claims. I don't see anything more than passingly similar in Ueshiba and Tohei's demos and Chinese-style exhibitions.So far your ideas of what "jin" are and a number of other things have turned out to simply be wrong, David. Same with you knowledge of what common Chinese demo's are. For instance, Tohei's demo's are and have been common demonstrations for centuries among qi afficionados in China. You simply don't know what you're talking about, but you get an "A" for your personal enthusiasm. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
12-02-2006, 05:24 PM
Japanese language is related, if is related to anything, to the Altaic tongues of Mongolia. Korean is likewise uncertainly placed in a language family but the Altaic languages are generally deemed to be most likely closest relation to it as well. The Japanese and Koreans have a consitutional dislike of each other that is just too intense for there not to be some close relation back there.

I think both genetic and archaeologic studies have found that the early Japanese imperial family was directly related to the Koreans. Mochizuki Sensei used to talk about the origin of the Japanese people in dim prehistoric times. The way he saw it, people from China, Korea, Russia and elsewhere found their several ways to the Japanese islands and slowly built a life there, finding, in the process, that they had to rely on one another to survive. The intermarriages of this group within a narrow geography largely isolated from everyone else, eventually resulted in the Yamato "race" that we think of today as the Japanese.

...oddly enough one can see in the movements of Boke, traditional Mongolian wrestling, strong elements that hark to both sumo and judo/jujutsu, and very much in line with David's observations on the differences between Chinese and jujutsu lineage arts.

Look here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wB6WISba5M

It is not hard to see in this a harking back to some common progenitor.

Yes, I think that Japanese arts and culture were strongly influenced by China and Korea as well as Mongolia (Mochizuki Sensei was deputy governor of three provinces in Mongolia during WWII). In fact, as you mentioned, those clips really looked more like judo to me than like sumo, but very interesting. And I do think that all those arts look as if they developed naturally from children's wrestling in their dim prehistory.

Still, my main point is that the Japanese developed/evolved their arts in a different way with different strategies and motivations than the Chinese, resulting in a very different general approach--though still based on the "center" and on ki.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
12-02-2006, 05:26 PM
...Tung Ying Jie advised students several decades ago that, in the beginning, a student should concentrate on listening and learning the correct forms from a competent master before getting too involved in pointless discussions on theory or the philosophy of Taiji. A certain maturity of practice is needed for one to be able to comprehend and discuss principles of the practice.
There is no shortcut around long, hard, lonely practice.

Cady, very true. Especially on learning the correct forms from a competent master.

However, Erick has over 20 years of experience. Why do you mention this to him?

Best wishes.

David

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 05:32 PM
Mike,
I realize that one of the shortcomings of these infernal Internet forums, is that a lot of words get bandied around, but there is no real way of knowing who's who, who can do what, and who talks a good game but can do nothing of substance. Of course I wouldn't expect you to have any grasp of Ushiro's or Dan's or anyone else's skill level if you have never met and trained with them. In turn, we know nothing of what you are physically able to do, or how you apply what you know, other than to make assumptions based on what you post (or have written in articles, etc.). A lot of assumptions and question marks would be erased by a congenial day on the mats together.

My comments were intended to be more in the general sense, that as an obviously knowledgeable/apparently skilled person with a lot of time-in, you would surmise that in a healthy training environment students would be introduced to progressively higher levels of challenge and method to push them to the next level. Unless the person running the show has the kind of delusional ego that makes him or her have the intent of taking students just so far, and presenting himself as some uber-goddess whose abilities those poor schmoes could never hope to attain. It happens. ;)

Then again, just because someone "knows stuff" doesn't mean they're obliged to share it; and if they do, they are not obliged to share it with everyone. I would not share information with someone whom I believed would abuse it. There are plenty of good, sound systems in which some people "have it," and others, no matter how long they train, never "have it." Sometimes it's lack of ability, other times, it's because their teachers don't let 'em have it, for whatever reason.

As far as people being able to learn it all in a short time, and the ability to reverse techniques, etc. maybe your curriculum is smaller than others'. We don't know quite how much you know or how you utilize it. The philosophy of "combat" is likely completely different than that of others here. If you're teaching little bits and pieces as "tricks," then sure, I'm certain one could quickly learn the individual action and its reversal. Hey, I was doing amazing "tricks" my first day in the dojo. They were explained them to me and why I could do them, but, those many years ago, at the time, they were about as disjointed and lacking in a realistic application, to me, as my high school courses had been (in which you're studying all these different subjects, but no one shows you the common thread that binds them as a holistic body of real-world knowledge).

To fully comprehend the full use of such a body dyamic and how to apply it in a freeform, less predictable "non-parlor" situation (e.g. combat) takes while. To someone unindoctrinated in an art, there are fundamentals to be learned and ingrained as a foundation first, before "higher" applications of them are introduced.

Thanks for your interpretation of "tricks" for me. I'd go along with the derision toward those who like hocus-pocus and pretent that they are the masterly possessers of "Seeeeeecret secrets."

Regards,
Cady

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 05:35 PM
Cady, very true. Especially on learning the correct forms from a competent master.

However, Erick has over 20 years of experience. Why do you mention this to him?

Best wishes.

David

Because it sounds like he likes to talk more than seek an experiential answer to his questions. He is trying to intellectualize his way into an understanding of principles and methods that are unfamiliar to him, and I am saying (as are others) that he really needs to feel and experience them, hands on, instead of creating lengthier and lengthier verbal interpretations of what he thinks he understands. :)

I'm saying, if you really want to understand, then seek a place to learn the answer, and DO. Thought the taiji fella said it better. :D

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 05:36 PM
I think both genetic and archaeologic studies have found that the early Japanese imperial family was directly related to the Koreans. Mochizuki Sensei used to talk about the origin of the Japanese people in dim prehistoric times. The way he saw it, people from China, Korea, Russia and elsewhere found their several ways to the Japanese islands and slowly built a life there, finding, in the process, that they had to rely on one another to survive. The intermarriages of this group within a narrow geography largely isolated from everyone else, eventually resulted in the Yamato "race" that we think of today as the Japanese. Actually, IIRC, there were genetic studies done about ten years ago and instead of a nod of archeological approval that the Japanese are indeed descended from Koreans, there was outrage. Not a calm nod of understanding at all, by the Japanese... they really believed that they were singular and had nothing to do with Korea. There was a very nice article covering the general points in "Discover" magazine at one time. I beleive all this stuff about the origins of Japan and the relationship of Japanese martial arts to Chinese, etc., stuff has been covered fairly completely in previous threads. Ellis contributed a sort of coup de grace with the mention of Chinese texts, etc. Don't forget that whatever you can find out about the earliest history of Japan will be written in Chinese characters. Sumo? Look at the characters. The "ju" arts refer to arts that used internal strength, at one time... not just "soft". Were there wrestling and fighting arts in Japan before that... yes, but they weren't the true "ju" arts and besides, remember the characters for "Sumo". There is a lot stronger argument for pronounced Chinese influence on Aikido than there is argument for the pronounced influence of children. :D
Still, my main point is that the Japanese developed/evolved their arts in a different way with different strategies and motivations than the Chinese, resulting in a very different general approach--though still based on the "center" and on ki. Sure... and the Japanese evolved their own customs and strategies for the use of chopsticks, too. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
12-02-2006, 05:43 PM
Many of your early examples indicate that your own students, etc., could not move you... in which case you were either not showing them how to do something or you were magical or they are slow-witted, etc. The "of course you're showing" has been obvious to me, but not to the dear readers of the forum.

How do you know that, Mike? You're assuming a level of naivete or stupidity to characterize everyone else on the forum.

However, with both you and Dan, the posts often read as if you can do your things with "anyone." Just a few posts back, you, yourself, said "Either you do these things or you don't." You specified that it wasn't a matter of circumstances. Either you do it or you don't.

That implies that it always works for you and leave no room for someone who "does it better." This is another case, as I have cited before, when you criticize Dan for something you frequently do, yourself. That's what I was talking about. Not bragging--just saying the same sorts of things you say, yourself.

It's not a case always of "who can do it better", because there are levels of skills and various tricks .... it's not some simple subject that someone can learn and add to their already fine martial arts. In many cases it takes a number of years to get beyond these simple jin tricks, so maybe "who can do it better" is sometimes applicable, but often it's "who knows how to do more skills with these things.... skills that are difficult to find out how to do, etc.".

There's really no distinction there. It's just a matter of who has more skill.

And on that line, nothing either of you has written convinces me that deeper skills cannot be developed, like Ushiro Sensei says, through dedicated training in the traditional methods.

Both of you refer to judo men, but which judo men? Of what level? Is there a level of judo man that you can't weaken on contact? Then maybe his judo taught him something as great as or greater than what you're teaching. Maybe you just stopped training the traditional arts before you reached that point.

Like Cady Goldfield said, you have to learn first from a competent master.

David

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 05:44 PM
As far as people being able to learn it all in a short time, and the ability to reverse techniques, etc. maybe your curriculum is smaller than others'. We don't know quite how much you know or how you utilize it. The philosophy of "combat" is likely completely different than that of others here. If you're teaching little bits and pieces as "tricks," then sure, I'm certain one could quickly learn the individual action and its reversal. Hey, I was doing amazing "tricks" my first day in the dojo. They were explained them to me and why I could do them, but, those many years ago, at the time, they were about as disjointed and lacking in a realistic application, to me, as my high school courses had been (in which you're studying all these different subjects, but no one shows you the common thread that binds them as a holistic body of real-world knowledge).

To fully comprehend the full use of such a body dyamic and how to apply it in a freeform, less predictable "non-parlor" situation (e.g. combat) takes while. To someone unindoctrinated in an art, there are fundamentals to be learned and ingrained as a foundation first, before "higher" applications of them are introduced. Thanks for the lesson, Cady. We are sort of ignorant out here in the sticks, but we apply our little noggins as best as we're feebly able to try and understand these things. A few pointers from the cognoscenti, such as yourself, does a lot to help us along and don't thing there's a lack of gratitude for your crumbs, either! ;)

BTW... what happened to our bet?

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 05:47 PM
you have to learn first from a competent master.This always assumes that a "competent master" never had any dumb students, inept students, or student whom he didn't show much to. What I just said is know as the bane of most "lineage" claims.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 05:50 PM
You're assuming a level of naivete or stupidity to characterize everyone else on the forum.That's not true, David. I wouldn't characterize everyone on the forum like that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 05:59 PM
I wouldn't consider Durango to be the "sticks." A lot of people would kill to live there (okay, maybe Telluride would get first dibs...). :)

"Our" bet? I don't remember spitting in my hand and shaking with you! :p And I don't claim to be an expert in anything, though I know what I know and I can do what I can do. When I wrote that earlier post, my intent wasn't to explain what -I- know or what -you- know, I was using "I" and "you" in the context of "in the system in which I've come up" and "collectively, you, the man on the street." My apologies for coming off as though I were braggin' on myself. I wasn't. Just trying to say, "in this system, one common method/fundamental is to enter and control..." etc.

Anyway, any curious student of any discipline might enjoy an opportunity to get on the mats and sample other people's skills. It's enormously educational, and usually fun. I wish I had the income right now to go the places and do the things that draw me in! But I haven't been to Colorado in 10 years, more's my misfortune.

Regards,
Cady

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:07 PM
Several posts back, the idea was brought up by Mike Sigman that China is the source of all things Japanese.

Note that there is a difference between "all things Japanese" and Japanese lore and cosmology, David. I.e., you falsely attributed something to me.

Well, I can hardly quote everything you've said on the subject. That little snip followed all you'd said about Japanese martial arts being essentially the same as Chinese arts, that ki and qi are the same, which I admit, but implying that the Japanese and Chinese expressions of that energy are the same, which they assuredly are not.

So far your ideas of what "jin" are and a number of other things have turned out to simply be wrong, David.

I said that jin is the Chinese concept of martial strength--not mere muscular power, but muscular power combined with ki. Or qi, if it's necessary to make the distinction.

Same with you knowledge of what common Chinese demo's are. For instance, Tohei's demo's are and have been common demonstrations for centuries among qi afficionados in China.

Can't accept that as neither you nor I have been watching qi demos in China for centuries. But when you say "common" Chinese demos, then you're undermining your own statement because the "common" demos are push hands, repelling, withstanding sharp edges and points, punches to the body, etc.

I don't recall Tohei's ever doing a demo of being punched in the stomach. Do you? And I've never seen a Chinese demo of the unbendable arm. Never seen the Chinese show "the jo trick." I've explained important differences in how Ueshiba and Shioda did the "chest push," which not only produce different effects in the attackers, but also require a good bit more movement from the defender and an obvious push. Also, Ueshiba and Shioda always show that when the attacker has a good bit of movement going already. I've seen the Chinese masters pop people up and back when there was almost no momentum to work with.

[quote=Mike sigmanYou simply don't know what you're talking about, but you get an "A" for your personal enthusiasm. ;)[/quote]

There you go again, Mike.

You're really one of the few on these boards who gets a lot of his validation from tearing others down. Almost everyone else, Dan included, manages to disagree and assert his own point without resorting to "You simply don't know what you're talking about." That's just a form of distorting what the other person has said and it reminds me of Neil Mick's methods more than anyone's.

You can dismiss what people say, but it doesn't actually get rid of the truth that was spoken. It's not something I expect to see you change because I mention it, but I did feel it appropriate to point it out just so you don't feel no one really notices. I think you know a good bit about Chinese arts but you weaken your position by over-reaching in your claims and the need to deny truth when it isn't signed "Mike Sigman."

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 06:08 PM
I wouldn't consider Durango to be the "sticks." A lot of people would kill to live there (okay, maybe Telluride would get first dibs...). :) Telluride is a beautiful place, but it's also small, isolated, and the repository for umpteen-zillion fourth or fifth homes for the very rich. I love driving through the villages around the ski-lifts and looking at the huge number of empty multi-million-dollar homes that might be used 2 weeks out of the year. Anyway, any curious student of any discipline might enjoy an opportunity to get on the mats and sample other people's skills. "Mats"??? I thought you were talking about "combat"? ;) I wish I had the income right now to go the places and do the things that draw me in! But I haven't been to Colorado in 10 years, more's my misfortune. Please... I heard that if I had your money, I could throw my money away! I know about you rich, educated folks in Massachusetts. You're legendary out here in the sticks. ;) Just kidding. Head on out here sometime and see if you can handle the altitude. :cool:

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 06:13 PM
But when you say "common" Chinese demos, then you're undermining your own statement because the "common" demos are push hands, repelling, withstanding sharp edges and points, punches to the body, etc.

I don't recall Tohei's ever doing a demo of being punched in the stomach. Do you? And I've never seen a Chinese demo of the unbendable arm. Never seen the Chinese show "the jo trick." I've explained important differences in how Ueshiba and Shioda did the "chest push," which not only produce different effects in the attackers, but also require a good bit more movement from the defender and an obvious push. Also, Ueshiba and Shioda always show that when the attacker has a good bit of movement going already. I've seen the Chinese masters pop people up and back when there was almost no momentum to work with.



There you go again, Mike.

You're really one of the few on these boards who gets a lot of his validation from tearing others down. Almost everyone else, Dan included, manages to disagree and assert his own point without resorting to "You simply don't know what you're talking about." That's just a form of distorting what the other person has said and it reminds me of Neil Mick's methods more than anyone's.

You can dismiss what people say, but it doesn't actually get rid of the truth that was spoken. It's not something I expect to see you change because I mention it, but I did feel it appropriate to point it out just so you don't feel no one really notices. I think you know a good bit about Chinese arts but you weaken your position by over-reaching in your claims and the need to deny truth when it isn't signed "Mike Sigman." David, I don't try to tell a long-time Japanese martial-arts expert the common demonstrations he's going to find in the small villages of Japan because I know I just might get told that I don't know what I'm talking about and it would be a valid point. You make assertions about things Chinese that are simply not true. What would you like me to tell... that they're true??? If I do, I look like a chump with no expertise and that goes against all my self-esteem training. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:19 PM
Because it sounds like he likes to talk more than seek an experiential answer to his questions. He is trying to intellectualize his way into an understanding of principles and methods that are unfamiliar to him, and I am saying (as are others) that he really needs to feel and experience them, hands on, instead of creating lengthier and lengthier verbal interpretations of what he thinks he understands. :)

Well, as long as we're on the net, none of us is "doing". It's all talk here. I don't really relate to most of Erick's mechanics explanations, myself, but he's talking about what he's got 20 years of experience in, so I don't discount it. By the same token, a lot of the other stuff that's said on here is "justified" by a claim to scientific or rational analysis as opposed to the traditional Asian ways of understanding. There is a current of thought that we can explain better than the traditional teachers did and I don't much accept that idea, either.

I'm saying, if you really want to understand, then seek a place to learn the answer, and DO. Thought the taiji fella said it better. :D

Yeah, but we can't be on the mat all the time and if we were, this net forum would not be here and none of us would be exchanging ideas on it. So....whatchagonnado?

Best to you.

David

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 06:26 PM
Telluride is a beautiful place, but it's also small, isolated, and the repository for umpteen-zillion fourth or fifth homes for the very rich. I love driving through the villages around the ski-lifts and looking at the huge number of empty multi-million-dollar homes that might be used 2 weeks out of the year. "Mats"??? I thought you were talking about "combat"? ;) Please... I heard that if I had your money, I could throw my money away! I know about you rich, educated folks in Massachusetts. You're legendary out here in the sticks. ;) Just kidding. Head on out here sometime and see if you can handle the altitude. :cool:

Regards,

Mike

Mats... just a figure of speech. I hear you guys have a lot of knock-down-drag-out saloons. Tell you what, we go into one, I go up to the biggest, meanest, drunkest guy in the place and point to you and say you're bugging me. Then you can show me your best stuff! :D

Money... you must be thinking about the OTHER people in Massachusetts. I am ed-jee-katud up the wazzoo, but have never earned squat because I'm a "creative" person, not a "High Tech" maven. If you work with stuff that isn't electronic, related to engineering and technology, or isn't real estate or contracting/development of some sort, you do not get rich here. At least, not by legal means.

I live at sea level. Colorado would probably give me nosebleeds... ;)

Best,
Cady

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:30 PM
...there were genetic studies done about ten years ago and instead of a nod of archeological approval that the Japanese are indeed descended from Koreans, there was outrage. Not a calm nod of understanding at all, by the Japanese... they really believed that they were singular and had nothing to do with Korea.

Yes, I think that came out while I was living there. It wasn't well accepted.

Don't forget that whatever you can find out about the earliest history of Japan will be written in Chinese characters.

Which the Japanese immediately proceed to pronounce in their own way and infuse with their own meanings in addition to their version of the Chinese pronunciations and meanings. There's no question that China is there at the root, just like Child movement is at the root of the Chinese methods. But it is refined into something so different that most will not only not see it, but will be shocked at the suggestion that it's even there.

Sumo? Look at the characters. The "ju" arts refer to arts that used internal strength, at one time... not just "soft". Were there wrestling and fighting arts in Japan before that... yes, but they weren't the true "ju" arts and besides, remember the characters for "Sumo".

Yes, but as Kano said, I think that any internal aspect to those arts was developed in a uniquely Japanese way for reasons including that they changed everything to fit their sense of superiority and also to make it "stronger" for fighting and conquering the people from whom it came.

There is a lot stronger argument for pronounced Chinese influence on Aikido than there is argument for the pronounced influence of children.

...except that child movement influenced the Chinese methods as well...so either way, it goes back to toddlers.

Sure... and the Japanese evolved their own customs and strategies for the use of chopsticks, too. ;)

One thing that wore me out over there was the relentless insistence on doing everything "just so." Whatever you were doing, there was a Japanese way for doing it and there was always pressure to enforce that.

But again, I do think that the Chinese methods reflect an older, broader culture with a deeper understanding and better results in the long term. I think that highly developed Chinese martial artists tend to live longer with better health than similarly developed Japanese martial artists, and I think that comes from the very different qualities of the two approaches to martial power.

Best wishes.

David

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 06:35 PM
David,
Erick may have 20 years "in" in his discipline, but not in the one being discussed. I have 25 years' professional experience in public relations/communications, but that isn't gonna make me conversant in mechanical engineering. :)

Erick -- sorry we're talking about you in the third person. Hope you're away for the weekend and having fun instead of hanging out on Internet forums like us poor schmoes. :p

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:37 PM
This always assumes that a "competent master" never had any dumb students, inept students, or student whom he didn't show much to. What I just said is know as the bane of most "lineage" claims.

But your saying it assumes that others can't recognize that fact. So you're passing on the crumbs as you say Cady is doing and its another example of a kind of distortion that you use to "weaken" a statement that disadvantages you.

The point is not that a competent master can't have unworthy students but that even a worthy "student" will not learn properly unless he first gets the basics from a competent master who really understands the whole picture where a given art is concerned.

The fact that one learned whatever he knows from a great master of an art does not mean that that person is a great master, himself, but if a talented person learned what he knows of an art from people who are, at best, mediocre in that art, then can he really claim to understand the art better?

It may be that weak students of great masters are the bane of "lineage," but how can one really comment on "what Ueshiba did" when he never really knew anyone who really knew Ueshiba?

In other words, just because there may be many weak students in a lineage it doesn't mean that someone outside that lineage really has a better understanding of it.

Regards.

David

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 06:46 PM
Mats... just a figure of speech. I hear you guys have a lot of knock-down-drag-out saloons. Tell you what, we go into one, I go up to the biggest, meanest, drunkest guy in the place and point to you and say you're bugging me. Then you can show me your best stuff! :D I dunno, Cady, you might just be being kind a letting me off easy out of politeness. I'm quite sure that in a one-on-one you'd be all over me like a Pit-Bull on Granny. ;) That is, if you didn't seize control of my body at the first move. :eek:


Mike

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:48 PM
David, I don't try to tell a long-time Japanese martial-arts expert the common demonstrations he's going to find in the small villages of Japan because I know I just might get told that I don't know what I'm talking about and it would be a valid point.

So have you traveled to these small villages in China and commonly witnessed such demos? If you have to go to China and visit remote villages, then those things are hardly common. There are hundreds if not thousands of Chinese martial artists who consistently demonstrate as I've said. What you're refering to now would have to be considered "rare".

You make assertions about things Chinese that are simply not true. What would you like me to tell... that they're true??? If I do, I look like a chump with no expertise and that goes against all my self-esteem training. ;)

Well, the fact is, you've referred very vaguely to "common" demonstrations without any specifics and you critique my examples as "assertions about things Chinese that are simply not true," but again, no specifics. At least when I contradict you, I have specific examples. If you think they're not correct, you should specify which you mean and explain what the real truth is.

For instance, the other day, I mentioned that, as an aikidoist, I would never tell a tai chi man not to use roll-back because in aikido we use tai sabaki. You replied that I was confusing tactics with the strategic methods. I was not. What you did was generalize my one example as representing my full understanding of tai chi. Of course tai chi is more than that one thing, but characterizing it as you did is a distortion that helps you to dismiss my statement without really addressing the substance.

Just the same, you've referred to "assertions about things Chinese that are simply not true," but that's only dodging the subject if you can't provide specifics and specific counter examples.

Best to you.

David

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 06:50 PM
Mike,
Well, I'd be sure not to use deoderant or to bathe for several weeks first, just to give myself an edge.

Dang. I just gave away my best secrets. :p

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:53 PM
Erick may have 20 years "in" in his discipline, but not in the one being discussed.

Aren't we discussing aikido? I see the title above this message is "Aikido: The learning of natural movement".

Erick -- sorry we're talking about you in the third person. Hope you're away for the weekend and having fun instead of hanging out on Internet forums like us poor schmoes. :p

You weren't supposed to let him know we were talking about him! :eek:

Indeed, I have to go make some eggplant chicken for my wife's birthday dinner in a moment. I didn't get to interact with this thread much during the week and I grabbed this hour between her coming home and my cooking dinner to catch up on some ideas.

Cheers.

David

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 06:55 PM
David,
Maybe I was hallucinating (at my age, it happens) -- but I thought we'd been discussing some physical principles that currently are outside the aikido curriculum. If that's not the case, then, in the words of the old Saturday Night Live character, Rosanne Rossannadanna (that dates me): "Nevermind." :confused:

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 06:56 PM
Yes, but as Kano said, I think that any internal aspect to those arts was developed in a uniquely Japanese way for reasons including that they changed everything to fit their sense of superiority and also to make it "stronger" for fighting and conquering the people from whom it came. David, this is absurd. The Japanese copied everything that the really Big Dog did... there was no sense of superiority by the Japanese. The hair-do's, the clothes, the systems of measurement, the cosmology, the building techniques, the swords, the naginatas, the writing system, the manufacturing techniques, the ceramics, etc., etc., were all copied from China. What "superiority" are you talking about from a people that copied everything they thought was worthwhile? Some interpretations and divergences from the Chinese? Yes. But on the whole the structure is so manifestly Chinese that any discussion of Japanese "superiority" is an empty rhetoric. ...except that child movement influenced the Chinese methods as well...so either way, it goes back to toddlers.
That's your theory, David, as everyone knows. We could argue that tennis-players use natural movement derived from children, too. One thing that wore me out over there was the relentless insistence on doing everything "just so." Whatever you were doing, there was a Japanese way for doing it and there was always pressure to enforce that. Weird how the ways they insist on doing things so often reflect the ancient Chinese ways, eh? But again, I do think that the Chinese methods reflect an older, broader culture with a deeper understanding and better results in the long term. I think that highly developed Chinese martial artists tend to live longer with better health than similarly developed Japanese martial artists, and I think that comes from the very different qualities of the two approaches to martial power.Not to be contrary, but I disagree with the idea that the Chinese longevity is any more than the Japanese martial artists'. Abe Sensei would be a good example. Ueshiba did quite well. I see an increase in expected longevity and quality of life through martial arts, but I have never seen anything to suggest that the Chinese ways of doing qi/ki exercises makes for any difference in longevity. Note, BTW, that Abe's "macrobiotic" lifestyle is really just a take-off on old Taoist stuff.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
12-02-2006, 06:59 PM
David,
Maybe I was hallucinating (at my age, it happens) -- but I thought we'd been discussing some physical principles that currently are outside the aikido curriculum.

Well, there has been some thread drift, but I think the main line has always been aikido and Erick has addressed how aikido (aiki) works according to his physics views, but it has been based on his 21 years of aikido training.

If that's not the case, then, in the words of the old Saturday Night Live character, Rosanne Rossannadanna (that dates me): "Nevermind." :confused:

Wasn't she also the one who said, "It's always something!"?

Okay. I'm off to cook dinner, no matter what else anyone else has posted by the time I post this. I may look in again later this eve.

Best to all.

David

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 07:01 PM
For instance, the other day, I mentioned that, as an aikidoist, I would never tell a tai chi man not to use roll-back because in aikido we use tai sabaki. You replied that I was confusing tactics with the strategic methods. No I did not reply that.

Besides, "Lu" does not really mean "rollback"... that's just an uninformed mistranslation. I can do "lu" with my knee, if I want to.

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 07:09 PM
Japan still has the world's highest life expectancy, I believe. But they eat way too much salt and have a high rate of high blood pressure. And the introduction of Western junk food isn't helping, either. I think both countries have problems with a tendency toward esphageal and stomach cancer.

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 07:10 PM
Wasn't she also the one who said, "It's always something!"?



Yup. And she once sang a song (to the tune of "We Gather Together") in which she prayed that she would never sweat like Dr. Joyce Brothers.

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-02-2006, 07:41 PM
Japan still has the world's highest life expectancy, I believe. But they eat way too much salt and have a high rate of high blood pressure. And the introduction of Western junk food isn't helping, either. I think both countries have problems with a tendency toward esphageal and stomach cancer.
I've been here 8 years and still have too many misconceptions, you are still a little baby learning what "misconception" means :D It's true about the salt and blood pressure, but there's way deeper problems with poisons in the earth, water and air. The new White Paper on Diet stats that since the 1970s the average diet has gone from good to mediocre, and that nowadays the majority of Japanese do not get the considered minimum of 350g of vegetables per day. This is very serious stuff, long-term effects and all. In Japan, if you pay for something, you get mediocre (less than adequate). If you pay a lot, you get adequate. And for high quality you pay through your neck. It's no wonder that putting economics first (most students, young people starting work) leads to poor eating habits.
Sorry for the diversion, but there are way too many misconceptions even about daily life floating around.

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 08:22 PM
Gernot,
Besides reading too much stuff off the Internet, I get most of my information from my Japanese fiance and future mother-in-law (who is 83 and lives in Tokyo on a widow's income and with government healthcare). :)

Cady Goldfield
12-02-2006, 08:59 PM
But your saying it assumes that others can't recognize that fact. So you're passing on the crumbs as you say Cady is doing and its another example of a kind of distortion that you use to "weaken" a statement that disadvantages you.


David,
You misinterpreted Mike here. He was heaping a Colorado-sized helping of sarcasm on me in that post, rather than just saying "Duh." But, sometimes he seems to forget the very stuff he's preaching and needs to be reminded by us "cognocenti." :rolleyes:

I think it's the altitude. ;)

Erick Mead
12-02-2006, 09:21 PM
In deference to David, I''ll indulge some analysis of the subjective aspects of this topic: If you can do these simple things, then I don't care who we are or what we do we... perhaps we are doing similar things. To be clear about what I am concerned with in this area -- I have watched video of Akuzawa "float" or drop people grabbing him -- that is what I am talking about - and that is kokyu tanden ho as well as aiki.

I have done the kind of rooting and neutralizing exercises you speak of seated or standing to the shoulders as kokyu tanden ho, with the partner seated or standing. Kokyu training -- not aikido.

I can irimi a straight chest punch and he stops dead, drops or bounces, not unlike the "chest push" video. Parlor trick, but closer to actual aikido; it merely helps illustrate the "bubble surface" "sphere of power" vulnerability of critically applied power, and the vulnerability of anticipatory structure to unanticipated disruption. Jedi mind tricks -- not aikido.

"Pile drives.... " I do try to be elsewhere than the point of applciation of those. Young associate came out of the copy room in a hurry to a phone deposition the other day, hooked the door with his arm to turn smartly around the corner and ran square into me coming down the hallway unprepared before I could look up to see him; he bounced back, I didn't. Evidence of some presence of chushin ryoku, I suppose, but not aikido -- unless you consider that to be ukemi to a hip check.

I'll generalize your examples to make my point:
1. push ... without you moving?
2. push ... while you stand there?
3. pile drive ... they bounce off There is a definite theme here. 1. when he tries to throw you ... he can't throw you?
2. arm ... they can't do anything with it That last item I generally have no problem doing, at all -- just good kokyu training -- maintaining the adaptive catenary curve. But the purpose you suggest actually illustrates my point all along here.

"Stopping" techniques or attacks that are being given is antithetical to the nature of aikido. Dissipating or neutralizing power is also not proper to aikido. If movement is "natural" to aikido it must be in accord with aiki principles.

The immovability you are talking about here is not aikido. Aikido does involve immovability, however -- but fudoshin, not what you describe.

Power does what it likes -- that is what makes it power. If I contend to stop power from doing what it likes, then I am opposing power with some other form of power.
In Aikido we utilize the power of the opponent completely. So the more power the opponent uses, the easier it is for you. Aikido cannot be about any power of mine. Owning the attack given to me, completely -- THAT is aikido. Throwing myself, quite literally, WITHIN the oncoming attack -- that is aikido, and it lives very much in the uke waza of practice.

What you are talking about is very much NOT uke waza.

Willingness to recieve -- to be moved, to not stay or remain with the attention or commitment to any fixed place. True fudoshin, in other words, as Takuan described it in his letter to Yagyu Munenori.

O Sensei is reputed to have attained menkyo kaiden inYagyu-ryu before he ever studied with Takeda. Which means he would have learned the Yagyo mu-to (no sword technique). That gives a different emphasis to the functional basis for aiki -- which was underlined by O Sensei himself.

When asked specifically whether he discovered aikido when studying jujutsu with Takeda, O Sensei said it was more accurate to say that Takeda opened his eyes to budo. Aikido was a revelatory happening -- encompassing all that he had absorbed to that point.

It is interesting therefore to see what he had to say of this experience: I suddenly realized that one should not think of trying to win. The form of Budo must be love. One should live in love. This is Aikido and this is the old form of the posture in Kenjitsu. In other words, life-giving sword of the Tai'a ki, which he would have studied in Yagyu.

All this attempt to tie the "natural" movement of aikido to the rooting-neutralizing-grounding arts of peng-jin are simply ill-placed in the context of aikido.

Bottom line, I get the aspects of The Skills you are talking about and the relationship to the bodily awareness that is proper kokyu. I do aspects of them and see what you are talking about in these rooting or neutralizing examples, and can envision their exceedingly useful application in other arts.

I am trying to point out, however, that to the extent the purpose of these Skills is to stop or dissipate applied power or attack it is just not movement that is "natural" to the practice of aikido. Aikido is not properly interested or concerned with dissipating or stopping applied power.

I want only a connection to that power and to fully and completely enter it and make it mine without undoing or diminishing its essence. It can be a powerful as it likes, but if I meet it in juji -- it does not matter a bit, it cannot affect me and I need not counter it -- I can use it.

Erick Mead
12-02-2006, 09:45 PM
Erick -- sorry we're talking about you in the third person. ... You weren't supposed to let him know we were talking about him! Shhhh!

[[ I won't tell! ]]
Maybe I was hallucinating (at my age, it happens) -- but I thought we'd been discussing some physical principles that currently are outside the aikido curriculum. If that's not the case, then, in the words of the old Saturday Night Live character, Rosanne Rossannadanna (that dates me): "Nevermind." :confused: Emily Litella.

But, I get your point. Even so any discussion that aids thought about or practice in aikido is worthwhile, -- even those that do so by inapplicable counterexample. :p

Mike Sigman
12-02-2006, 10:09 PM
So, Erick, let me ask you. Can you do these things really?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
12-03-2006, 12:47 AM
So, Erick, let me ask you. Can you do these things really? How many ways do you want that question answered? I can do what I see Akuzawa doing (leaving aside the kicks), but maybe not to that level. It's hard to tell what level of partner he is working with, but some don't look that knowledgeable.

I can do what I have described otherwise from the kokyu training that simply has been an adjunct to my learning of aikido. I can hold the line with my bokken without the "strength" or counter pressure that can be easily led by evaporating in front of it.

I am not anybody's idea of a bulked up guy. I can "not be moved" in many contexts in aikido training, when I plan it, particularly in limb techniques. But mostly that is just bad aikido, from my perspective, shown for demonstrative purposes. When acting as uke, to show nage why he ought to quit contesting with power and also perform his own uke waza to set up the technique -- finding the lowest energy path of the attack, instead of creating higher energy vulnerabilities he is not aware of, like those that push against a sword trying to hold the line. But that is the purpose of it -- to end it.

Answer me then. Where does the concept of not being moved and expressing internal power in response to attack or push fit "natural" movement aikido as O Sensei describes it ?

If the opponent's power in movment makes it easier for me to perform aikido, as O Sensei says (and I know that it does) -- why would I WANT to neutralize/ground it by internal manipulations??

DH
12-03-2006, 08:14 AM
Answer me then. Where does the concept of not being moved and expressing internal power in response to attack or push fit "natural" movement aikido as O Sensei describes it ?

If the opponent's power in movment makes it easier for me to perform aikido, as O Sensei says (and I know that it does) -- why would I WANT to neutralize/ground it by internal manipulations??
Eric
First up that was a long reply with no clear discernable yes or no.

I was looking for a simple yes or no.Can you do....listen carefully now...all....of the things I described?
Yes?
No?
Its for a common reference to discussion. I don't want to argue with ya bud. I'd rather get along. Its a simple example and simple answer.

That aside on to your question of value.
Where is it as Osensei described it. Exactly in what he was doing with it. As recorded on tape.
There are many videos of Ueshiba doing the very things we are talking about. He is both absorbing force without moving, and rebounding that force back at the guy. Then he is absorbing and manipulating and redirecting it. and (I am postulating) when there are many.... playing with movement between moving bodies with his body moving. otherwise its not needed and not used.
His presence on tape, showing force absorption. the record of folks who trained with him and were pushing on him along with HIS body method training regimen in Daito ryu, pretty much defines and solidifies everything Mike has been telling you.
I'd like to add to that the written works I have been citing on the net for years now when you guys were telling me -I- was nuts. And the method I was advocating was inferior.
They are from various sources including the interview quotes in Pranins "Aikido masters."
1. Shioda is quoted About pushing Osensei around.
Hmm?…Pushing on him?-what value was there to your founders training method that he was personally refining?
2. Tenryu. Quoted as pushing on Ueshiba pushing him around. Hmm..
I]Hmm?…Pushing on him?-what value was there to your founders training method that he was personally refining?[/I]
3. Fighting spirit of Japan Harrison quotes guy who gave large donation to the Kodokan he get introductions to who? To do what? As a "reward." He is introduced ot an aiki jujutsu master. Who does what? Has the guy push on him and pull him? To prove what?
Then he is introduced to a high level Judo guy and told to do what? Push on him and try to throw him. He is told by both men that few men in Japan have or even know of these skills. And when the Judo guy uses it in competition he …..cannot be thrown.
I]Hmm?…Pushing?-what value was there to this training method that --your founder was personally refining?[/I]
4.Draeger meets Wang shu shin and is tossed all over the place. Blumming can't touch him and gets wrecked for trying
I]Hmm?…Wangs training was all about push hands? Pushing?-what value was there to this training method that --he was personally refining?[/I]
Daito ryu
5. Takeda-recorded many, many, times about pushing on him, pulling him, etc. Then in fighting where he could not be touched or thrown.
6. Sagawa is recorded and filmed by Stan Pranin. When in his eighties he is tossing gold medal Judoka off him and is well known for? Not being able to be thrown.
7. Kodo recorded from many who touched him or felt his jo that at the moment of contact your were thrown. That he was not able --to be- thrown
I]Hmm?…Pushing?-Since Ueshiba came from Daito ryu….What value was there to this training method that --your founder was personally refining?[/I]


These are the high level body skills trained solo then under pressure, then refined, largely solo, then under pressure again to affect the body and change its connections through frame, tendon/fascia and breathing. It's the way of it Eric. Again, your own founders video record and the written record of this training method in Asia pretty much solidifies everything we have been saying.
And blows your theory all to hell.

Mindful of the fact that when Ueshiba came back from Iwama and saw his kid and all the young bucks training Aikido- he shouted "This is not my Aikido."
I'm starting to think if Ueshiba were alive today? You'd be telling him he is wrong too.

Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
12-03-2006, 08:22 AM
Erick,
You're right, of course -- it was Emily Litella. Roseanne Rossannadanna was "It's always something" and "I thought I was gonna throw up!" The years have a way of playing with the mind. ;)

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-03-2006, 08:35 AM
Mark, I'm with Mike, Dan and Rob on this topic (less the understanding, hehe): how do you propose to unbalance someone by your version of non-resistance? Assume the attacker is trained in a way that makes him balanced in all directions no matter what his attacking movement is. Thus if you move out of the way of the attack he does not become unbalanced. In fact, even if you bumb into him, he does not become unbalanced. How do you then guide such attacker without developing body skills along the lines pointed to by Mike, Dan et al here?

DH
12-03-2006, 08:36 AM
Mark removed his post but in it he agrees with Eric and questions again how all this applies to Aikido.
I am responding here to that idea
Ueshibas methods may in fact not be Aikido as it is known any more. So in that sense Eric and Mark are correct.
When Ueushiba decided to teach he did in fact only teach and hand out scrolls in Daito ryu. All the early guys got mokuroku in Daito ryu. Maybe what everyone is doing is in fact NOT what your founder was doing after all. That would account for
a. Few being able to do these things
b. Many not even knowing what they are

There is a video clip of Ueshiba being pushed on his hip and him sending the guy back. There is no tenkan.
Mindful of the fact that Kissomaru created much of the syllibus for modern aikisdo not his father Ueshiba M.
This could in fact account for the master and founder of your art now being wrong according to todays standards.
What was he doing in those tapes?
Why does it have value to a grappler trying to throw him by his keikogi?

Dan

Mark Freeman
12-03-2006, 09:55 AM
Mark, I'm with Mike, Dan and Rob on this topic (less the understanding, hehe): how do you propose to unbalance someone by your version of non-resistance? Assume the attacker is trained in a way that makes him balanced in all directions no matter what his attacking movement is. Thus if you move out of the way of the attack he does not become unbalanced. In fact, even if you bumb into him, he does not become unbalanced. How do you then guide such attacker without developing body skills along the lines pointed to by Mike, Dan et al here?

Boy you guys are quick :D

I did post ( and then remove ) an agreement with Ericks question at the end of his last post. As I posted I saw Dan's response, and wanted to amend mine in view of it. Unfortunately I got sidetracked by the fact that I am supposed to be working right now and not posting on aikiweb!

The questions you pose are good ones and deserve a decent response. I''m not sure I can give do them justice right now. However, there are concepts being discussed here that do not translate well into text. I'm sure that you will agree that the real place to explore these concepts is on the mat. I personally have a problem with the 'breaking balance' concept, I train not to be unbalanced ( even when being thrown :D ) Mind body co-ordination is for me an end in itself. I can choose to be solid ( as per all the 'party tricks' ) or fluid as per the aiki non resistance. Co-ordination is the prerequisite to do this. I do not practice tai chi but see this in its better practitioners.

How do you guide an attacker without developing the body skills that Mike / Dan are suggesting here?. I'm not suggesting you do/can. I try to work on the mind/intent of the attacker, if I can catch and lead this, their body will follow. I have no problem with much of the 'body skills' being discussed. I think that they are all valid, if they give the practitioner more stability and better co-ordination. I think some of the confusion comes when trying to shoe-horn them into the "this is what aikido should be" or "this is what Ueshiba was doing etc.

All this discussion is interesting but it seems to me that the only real place to find out about these things is "hands on" with someone who can do what they say they can do.

Back to work :(

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-03-2006, 10:16 AM
Answer me then. Where does the concept of not being moved and expressing internal power in response to attack or push fit "natural" movement aikido as O Sensei describes it ?

If the opponent's power in movment makes it easier for me to perform aikido, as O Sensei says (and I know that it does) -- why would I WANT to neutralize/ground it by internal manipulations??Why did O-Sensei show so many demo's where he could not be moved? You're too hung up with your personal definitions of what is and what's not "Aiki" and your definitions have gone from "tag" to "of course I can do the jin skills" after waiting far too long. I think you're beginning to grasp the idea and you'd like to prove that your "gyratonic motion" is somehow still valid (just like my "molecular vibration" theory is right if I stick to my guns).

I can appreciate that you're a smart man, Erick, but I think it's fairly obvious that these skills, which are basic to Aikido (and that's in all the lore), are something you need to work on. The problem in my mind is that I long ago learned that it's a waste of time to try and teach someone who already knows everything... the proverbial "cup is already full". You can continue now with the idea that you can do all these things (although I know someone in Central Florida that says you don't), but I'd suggest that you're just wasting time if you continue with that charade. Not that I don't wish you luck, either.... but time is a'wastin'.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
12-03-2006, 10:33 AM
The questions you pose are good ones and deserve a decent response. I''m not sure I can give do them justice right now. However, there are concepts being discussed here that do not translate well into text. I'm sure that you will agree that the real place to explore these concepts is on the mat. I personally have a problem with the 'breaking balance' concept, I train not to be unbalanced ( even when being thrown :D ) Mind body co-ordination is for me an end in itself. I can choose to be solid ( as per all the 'party tricks' ) or fluid as per the aiki non resistance. Co-ordination is the prerequisite to do this. I do not practice tai chi but see this in its better practitioners.

How do you guide an attacker without developing the body skills that Mike / Dan are suggesting here?. I'm not suggesting you do/can. I try to work on the mind/intent of the attacker, if I can catch and lead this, their body will follow. I have no problem with much of the 'body skills' being discussed. I think that they are all valid, if they give the practitioner more stability and better co-ordination. I think some of the confusion comes when trying to shoe-horn them into the "this is what aikido should be" or "this is what Ueshiba was doing etc.

All this discussion is interesting but it seems to me that the only real place to find out about these things is "hands on" with someone who can do what they say they can do. Let me toss in my two cents on the perspectives. It's a stunning surprise to most people in Aikido that there are these kinds of skills floating around and they didn't know about them. In nosing around (after years of focusing on what's happening in the Chinese martial arts) these last 2 years in the Japanese stuff (only superficially, I admit), I'm actually surprised at how widespread this information is. It's in Okinawan karate in the upper levels, it's in sword arts (I've seen it in several places, but think of the demo's on that sword videoclip I re-posted about 2 weeks ago), it's in ju-jitsu, the Koryu arts refer to it in their writings, Ushiro has it (and is showing his version to Aikido people), and so on.

What I'm getting at is that this stuff is far more common, and hence far less arguable, than many of the Aikido posters seem to think. It's so common that some BS about "here's my take on it" simply will not fly at all. It's so common that the idea of a totally secret understanding of "what is Aikido" doesn't really fly, either. The general principles of "Aikido" are understood certainly in all the other jiu-jitsu ryu, the sword ryu, etc. The general idea is common as the higher level of martial arts goals.

The idea that the Japanese arts are unique in some vague way so that only an "insider" can understand them is specious for the same reason.... these skills are too common in Asia. Only a child would try to argue that a specific version in Aikido or some Koryu or whatever is so secret that it can't be revealed to the world. An experienced Asian martial artist would just belly-laugh. It's time to drop the games and get down to business. In reality, I think most people will hang onto their world-view that they have some special religious-like insight into the True Way (tm) via O-Sensei... and a few of the really dedicated ones (to the essence of Aikido) will move on ahead. Those will be the ones that actually are following the spirit of martial arts that Ueshiba followed, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

billybob
12-03-2006, 10:44 AM
Morihei Ueshiba: Aiki!A way so difficult to analyse.(But one needs only to) followThe natural rotations of theHeavens. - OSensei

I knew a native american holy man when I was in the Navy. He told me his that in his youth his father could run along the top of a wire fence. Whether you believe the story or not - please don't believe that one race 'owns' the true teaching, or that your master/instructor/sensei knows something that only he or she knows. Knowledge comes from elsewhere - and Dan Harden said that he is the servant of the higher knowledge and argues for those who deny the internal arts exist at all. It's not worth much, but that statement makes me, for one, respect him more.

David

DH
12-03-2006, 11:34 AM
Hi Dave
Indians?.............
Interesting story that the hoplology files has is that of a passage from an 1800's calvary officer talking to an apache about wrestling. He goes on to say that the apache tells him of a power or skill -not to be confused with their descriptions of religous "power" in battle. This was something along the lines of a grappling skill.
"There is power that a man can have. A power that has no name but when the man uses that power he cannot be thrown not matter what the other tries.
Its more expansive than that. I just don't have it available at work. This "power" he goes on say, is developed. So he is discussing apache......fighting......and in it- some body, some where, tapped into and identified some internal skills and Aiki.

Another interesting effect since you brought up balancing on a wire is what this training does to your bodies ability to balance. Stance training with one leg raised and the body lines sinking and rising, then you switch.
Its a stillness while on one leg with the other raised without wobbling. The connection training of carrying the weight and of the fascia system being joined causes the body to move as a unit and to hold itself.
Most poeple....wobble and fall apart quickly. Its a real rush of concentration and connecting. And? Actually placing your center in your hands.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
12-03-2006, 11:39 AM
So he is discussing apache......fighting......and in it- some body, some where, tapped into and identified some internal skills and Aiki.Er,... don't you think that he may also be talking about something else, Dan? When you're a hammer, you tend to see nails everywhere you look. ;)

Mike

DH
12-03-2006, 11:47 AM
Well sure, no problem with that.
But just as well as not, he could be talking about discovering basic rooting and being able to absorb and rebound some one out. As you argue all the time they are simple basics. I argue that grappling was not and is not a refuge of moronic musclemen. There are and always have been, quite a few thinkers and innovators who enjoy the physical chess of grappling.
It easy to understand that on a course level if the one jin, was in place at various skill levels, others may be sure to follow. If, you are even mildly innovative and obessive.
I wasn't being definitve. It's just an interesting curiosity.
Dan

David Orange
12-03-2006, 01:41 PM
David Orange wrote:
For instance, the other day, I mentioned that, as an aikidoist, I would never tell a tai chi man not to use roll-back because in aikido we use tai sabaki. You replied that I was confusing tactics with the strategic methods.

No I did not reply that.

Besides, "Lu" does not really mean "rollback"... that's just an uninformed mistranslation. I can do "lu" with my knee, if I want to.

Mike, I didn't mention "Lu" at all. I just made an observation that I would not attempt to tell a tai chi man from my aikido perspective, that his mehtods were "wrong" because I do things a different way. Your reply:

Oh, yawn. You can't distinguish between tactics/stregegy and core strengths... worse, you think that "rollback", a la Cheng Man Ching, is some shibboleth of Taiji. It's equivalent to someone saying that all attacks in Aikido are met with "turning".

The point is that you tried to turn my general comment on one specific method into a statement on all tai chi. That's dishonesty, Mike. But you did it so that you could address something I didn't say and come out looking like a winner.

The point is that I would not judge tai chi by aikido standards, but you are judging aikido by tai chi standards. Further, and worse, you're judging the American aikido you have seen and attributing its failings to all aikido in the modern world. These are, indeed, the kinds of arguments I was seeing by someone else on the "Give Peace a Chance" thread--intentional distortions with the aim of scoring points rather than getting down to the bedrock truth.

It's an unfortunate thing to see in anyone. Whatever real skill you have is diminished by it.

David

Mike Sigman
12-03-2006, 01:49 PM
It's an unfortunate thing to see in anyone. Whatever real skill you have is diminished by it. It sad, indeed. Thanks for continuing to help me along the Way with your observations, David.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

billybob
12-03-2006, 04:41 PM
I knew the man I mentioned in navy boot camp. We had occasion to have some long chats. Besides spiritual discussions I was intrigued when he mentioned his father saw him at graduation and remarked - "Your posture has become unhealthy."

We talked about his father's ability to perceive what (some truly sinister military training, designed to cause pain, not train) had done to his son's body. That's when he told me of his father's balance and skill. I mentioned the Japanese and their studies, and my studies of them. My friend shrugged and said "Good posture is natural." That ended the discussion. Pity for me.

I'm intrigued by what Dan says because I had the kind of body and nervous system he is describing. This was ended by a psychopath wielding a pair of pliers and tearing the ligaments in my crotch in the fall of 1981. Read the sentence again if you need to. I said it.

Now I train to regain the body and nervous system I had. However Dan, as one who claims to understand what you're talking about, but can't back it up physically at this moment, how do you suggest people move into internal arts when they practice aikido? Do you have advice for me?

David

Thomas Campbell
12-03-2006, 06:14 PM
[snip] a psychopath wielding a pair of pliers and tearing the ligaments in my crotch in the fall of 1981. [snip]
David

I would say that qualified as "having a bad day." :(

Yikes.

Mike Hamer
12-03-2006, 06:40 PM
17 pages.....and going.....

Cady Goldfield
12-03-2006, 07:37 PM
So, does that make you feel like an Existentialist Creator, Mikel? You put the thread in motion and then left the universe. ;)

Erick Mead
12-03-2006, 10:42 PM
I was looking for a simple yes or no. :eek: From a LAWYER?!? You should know better. :D
I don't want to argue with ya bud. I'd rather get along. It is an argument -- but who says we can't get along?
Its for a common reference to discussion. No. It isn't. It is to have me implicitly validate or agree with some unstated premises of your questions -- which I don't. No one in this forum is a gatekeeper to observation or applicable reasoning from it.
Can you do....listen carefully now...all....of the things I described?
Yes?
No? That's called cross-examination, and I am not playing by those rules here. It underlines the nature of the argument we are having, however. I've played this chess problem once or twice before, you see.

I have answered you from what I do and my own experience. Plainly, it is not the answer you want, but it is your answer. I do not see any point in engaging with arguments about the latent ambiguities and assumptions in your own question. If I am inadequate on this basis, by all means, please let Mike continue with the ad hominem rope-a-dope, and let us give up pretense of reason.

I do not judge that you have done so. So I won't.

I'll make my point another way.

First, I make the point that I have never, never, never said that these things are not effective or do not work in their own terms. I question the mechanicla understnadings of them so far offered, and seek a better description. But, for purposes of this discussion are they "natural" to aikido and what do you have to show that they are?

Second, try your immovable Skills against a knife. I would really, REALLY, suggest being willing to move and be moved, if I were you.

These grounding, neutralizing Skills of yours, what do they do for you in NOT BEING CUT? Beautiful tactical theory slain by an ugly strategic fact. There is no such thing as a knife defense, there is only complete, full and direct irimi, when all other avenues are closed. O Sensei placed his Aikido in that mode by the specific reference to his Yagyu training at the time of its revelation to him -- not getting cut is winning in the Yagyu mu-to training. Despite the nature of the jujutsu techniques he chose to broaden the teaching of that premise, its fundamental strategic dimension must remain -- Don't be there to get cut.
There are many videos of Ueshiba doing the very things we are talking about. He is both absorbing force without moving, and rebounding that force back at the guy. Then he is absorbing and manipulating and redirecting it. If we are talking about the "thigh push", "chest push" "seated push" or similar video clips that supposedly illustrate "not moving" then I will paraphrase another empirical, objective dissenter -- since I have seen them and know better:

"Il muove."

Same as every other video offered for this "not moving" business. It may be subtle but it is motion, and that motion is from some point of rotation to a point of extension, in each case I have been given to analyze, and can be clearly seen if you look for it and slow the video down. Give me more to analyze and I'll obligingly confess error -- if there are any that truly show NO movement. None have been offered so far, and I've looked at all that have.

"Il muove."

What O Sensei has said about not being "pushed over" and "not being moved", are not the same (per the videos) as what you seem to be saying about static immobility under load. If you are saying otherwise and that you are moving your structure adaptively (which you certainly suggested in your earlier description of training) then
...
never mind.

We are not in disagreement in that case -- except as to rooting or neutralizing being an aspect of aikido, as opposed to kokyu training.
Mindful of the fact that when Ueshiba came back from Iwama and saw his kid and all the young bucks training Aikido- he shouted "This is not my Aikido."
I'm starting to think if Ueshiba were alive today? You'd be telling him he is wrong too. Since I doubt you are channeling O Sensei I'll simply say "No." I trained under an uchi deshi of Morihiro Saito. I'll note in passing the importance of buki-waza to the Iwama influenced schools to reinforce the point about the Yagyu as the strategic contribution to the approach of aikido that I have already pointed out.


And the method I was advocating was inferior. You'll get none of that from me. Any effective tactical regime can be devastating within its sphere of operation.
Aikido is, as a strategic matter, "denial of ground" in which power is simply ineffectual, not countered. Which is why Aikido is, among budo, properly not bujutsu, a tactical portfolio -- but heiho, a strategic art, learned within a portfolio of Daito-ryu jujutsu technieues, Yagyu-ryu sword and allied mu-to arts.

I do need to know how to hold myself together as one piece, and to form a certain progessively adaptive shape, (but the same essential shape with many aspects), and to use this integrated dynamic structure to blend with attack -- all of which require kokyu.

That is without question related to the skills you advocate, which I have continually said, all the while differing on the mechnical interpretaiton of their function. But the application to "not being moved" in the sense of rooting or neutralizing is not properly aikido, any more than weightlifting is basketball, however useful it may also be to improving physical fundamentals. And blows your theory all to hell. Only based on YOUR assumptions -- which I do not share. Anyone can disprove a proposition if he gets to select the assumptions to apply. I always question the assumptions first.

Erick Mead
12-03-2006, 11:00 PM
Why did O-Sensei show so many demo's where he could not be moved? To prove that any strength can be defeated by superior strength? (and the Old Man was frightfully damn strong). And thus to show that an art not premised on relative strength does not suffer such a inherent strategic vulnerability?

I can appreciate that you're a smart man, Erick, but I think it's fairly obvious that these skills, which are basic to Aikido ... Flattery is lovely, but don't argue past me... I've never disagreed with you that jin and kokyu are related if not the same basic operating principles -- I've only disagreed
1) about the mechanical interpretation of them ( which you contend must not therefore be jin/kokyu)

2) whether rooting/neutralizing is natural to aikido (which, as you describe it, violates juji and priniciples of non-resistance by channeling ground reaction, directly counter to an input force. Equipoise can only be achieved in that way.)

...it's a waste of time to try and teach someone who already knows everything... the proverbial "cup is already full". You can continue now with the idea that you can do all these things (although I know someone in Central Florida that says you don't), but I'd suggest that you're just wasting time if you continue with that charade. It is just as productive to write things to people who simply read what they want from it anyway, instead of what it says ...

Care to ask that person in Central Florida if rooting/neutralizing is proper ukewaza?? Let me know.

And like a certain Greek, I try to drink with cupped palms ...

Not that I don't wish you luck, either.... but time is a'wastin'. Some kind of hurry, here?

Ellis Amdur
12-03-2006, 11:16 PM
I can't stand it. Erick - Ueshiba never got a menkyo in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. He got one (a mid-level) after a few years studies in Yagyu Shingan-ryu, which doesn't have the muto principle whatsoever. Secondly, he apparently learned mostly jujutsu. He learned some Yagyu Shinkage-ryu in the mid-thirties, but he essentially cherry-picked information to begin to build his weapons theories and training that were not complete until after the war years. All lhis other studies were definitely augmentations in his development of his own art, but the core was clearly Daito-ryu. (plus supplemental, non-martial training from Shingon and neo-Shinto which he almost surely used to augment his power. I'm only jumping in because whatever the rest of your argument - which I'll honestly say I cannot understand - you are not factually supported in citing Yagyu Shinkage-ryu as a significant influence on Ueshiba's aikido.
BTW - to David Orange. I was walking thru a market in Taiwan one day and there was a medicine show - just like the old west in America, selling patent medicine that would cure anything and make you strong. Their demonstrators were a couple of kung fu guys, who did unliftable body, unbendable arm and some other of Tohei-type stuff - then a lot of other standard hard chi-kung stuff. Everyday stuff.
Best

Erick Mead
12-03-2006, 11:29 PM
How do you guide an attacker without developing the body skills that Mike / Dan are suggesting here?
The question for me is not the kokyu -- it is the application in stopping uke's intent. If done right, the attack is like surfing a wave, I don't guide it, I move within its energy, along it's surface to where I am not in danger from it and the attack is not effective on me anymore.
The connection training of carrying the weight and of the fascia system being joined causes the body to move as a unit and to hold itself.
Most poeple....wobble and fall apart quickly. See, that I agree with. That connection has a shape and a name and endless variations of form.
How do you propose to unbalance someone by your version of non-resistance? Assume the attacker is trained in a way that makes him balanced in all directions no matter what his attacking movement is. This is equivalent to positing perpetual motion. The point of an an attack is to create a critical imbalance of kinetic energy so that energy can be balanced by an impact, or failing that by an internal recovery reaction. There is absolutely no way to avoid that critical moment where the balance shifts sign (positive to negative) adjusting from energy balanced in the target to energy balanced by internal reaction. Aikido lives in that place -- adding to the positive if it arrives a tad early or to the negaitve if it arrives a tad late.
Thus if you move out of the way of the attack he does not become unbalanced.... [or bump him] And moving out of the way -- is not Aikido, in and of itself, if it is done without connection or kokyu.
How do you then guide such attacker without developing body skills along the lines pointed to by Mike, Dan et al here? If we except the rooting/neutralizing business from any thought that it is aikido then fine, great kokyu training. It's all good. Help him by giving more of what he wants, either more attacking energy or more recovery energy, but acting in another plane from the one he is acting in, and thus not requiring power of any significant degree at all.

Upyu
12-03-2006, 11:45 PM
Second, try your immovable Skills against a knife. I would really, REALLY, suggest being willing to move and be moved, if I were you.

These grounding, neutralizing Skills of yours, what do they do for you in NOT BEING CUT? Beautiful tactical theory slain by an ugly strategic fact. There is no such thing as a knife defense, there is only complete, full and direct irimi, when all other avenues are closed.

Thought I'd jump in here just to say that, these body skills were developed with edged weapons in mind. In fact its almost a necessity if you want a higher chance at surviving an encounter with one when you get older.
Grounding, neutralizing are simply results from having the body skill. They are not the ends themselves.
In JMA, one aspect of edged weapon combat is bounded to the concept of "setsuna" or moving instantaneously, such that your opponent can't pick up what you're doing until its too late. By the same token, becoming skilled in this stuff means it becomes easier for yourself to read other people's movements as well.

Hino Akira demonstrates a bit of this in the following video, though I've seen better. Kuroda Tetsuzan comes to mind. Though this demo is much more explicit.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On5eEyDvmLs


You can't irimi out of something you can't see or feel coming, because the movement literally starts from the "inside." There's no external manifestation till its too late. By the same token, if a regular guy, sans these skills, tries to cut you, its easier to see the movement as it comes and to take action accordingly. Consequently giving you the upper hand.
Really though, you need to experience it to understand how disconcerting it is. Video doesn't do it justice at all...nor does Hino Akira :D

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-03-2006, 11:47 PM
Erick, not perpetual motion: Imagine the center giving energy in all directions at the same time, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards. That's not imbalance, and to unbalance the partner, it now doesn't matter whehther he is giving or not, you need to break his center. It's not about any attack per se, and riding this doesn't enable you to control anything, it just saves you from oblivion temporarily :-)

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-03-2006, 11:52 PM
To latch onto Rob's post there: Kuroda Tetsuzan writes that the basic skills for techniques reside in developed "broken down control" (ability to control parts of the body separately). This makes a movement starting point invisible to ordinary persons, and adds to the illusion of super-high speed that masters seem to have (he makes a point of stating that the eyes lie, that what one sees is often illusory). He also says, as Rob does, that the skills are applied as though a sword was faced: he says there's nothing wrong with treating the opponent as a flesh and blood person if he is in fact on, but that is a lower level which seen from his sword tradition is not developed enough.

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 02:05 AM
I can't stand it. Erick - Ueshiba never got a menkyo in Yagyu Shinkage-ryu. He got one (a mid-level) after a few years studies in Yagyu Shingan-ryu, which doesn't have the muto principle whatsoever. I'll certainly defer on that since I hardly have any claim to the biographical detail on that score. Older sources reported it as kaiden, some discussions in the last few years have had it uncertainly as shoden. It was my understanding that it is the sword school in which he attained highest honors, whether he reached kaiden or not, and a debate that I had not seen resolved. Although, on your authority I'll assume it so.
I'm only jumping in because whatever the rest of your argument - which I'll honestly say I cannot understand - you are not factually supported in citing Yagyu Shinkage-ryu as a significant influence on Ueshiba's aikido. He surely studied Yagyu, well as several others, although what relative emphasis the others had on the jujutsu or sword elements I certainly cannot say. It doesn't make a bit of difference to my observation that the overemphasis on the Daito ryu aspect in this discussion on natural movement, where some have strongly argued regarding Daito-ryu and importing Chinese jin concepts of rooting and neutralizing should or do define the learning of "natural" aikido movement.

There is no debate that Daito-ryu techniques are translated into aikido. My contention is that in discussing principles of movement or approaches to how technique is selected or adapted, we are speaking of heiho, strategic questions. That is where aikido distinguishes itself, in my mind. Not in particular tactical application.

The contention against the Daito influence on this point (of adaptive movement) and the primacy of kenjutsu in the revelation of Aikido to him is reported from O Sensei's own mouth. When asked about the origin of aikido he said that Aikido was not revealed to him by Takeda's Daito ryu training, which he specifically disclaimed. Instead, he said thatThe form of Budo must be love. One should live in love. This is Aikido and this is the old form of the posture in Kenjitsu. http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html

Some school of kenjutsu is referred to, the question being, which one?

My extension of this statement to Yagyu has substantial internal support in O Sensei's statement itself. Apart from "kenjutsu" he refers to it as the "old form." Yagyu was senior in service to the Tokugawa Shogunate, adopted in the reign of Iieyasu; Ono-ha Itto-ryu came in with the second Tokugawa shogun. It would have been correct to refer to Yagyu, as distinguished from Ono-ha Itto- ryu, in this way.

Takeda is reputed to have been taught Ono-ha Itto-ryu kenjutsu, with whose doctrines I am unfamiliar. If it has demonstrable connections closer than those laid out here for Yagyu in terms of its strategic principles and those of aikido, I will gladly defer on that point as well, and will have learned something into the bargain.

"Budo as love" and the Yagyu doctrine of katsujinken "life giving sword" are a close fit. Similarly, the "posture in kenjitsu" in the Yagyu katsujinken doctrine was founded on shuji shuriken, an esoteric concept described cryptically in the Heiho Kaden. Munenori's text describes shuji shuriken as joining "being" in the upward palm, and "non-being" in the downward palm in to one. This describes the the in/yo joining of the juji + figure.

There is also a Doka of O Sensei's with that very image of taking "in" in the left hand and "yo" in the right hand. This is tenchinage. While Daito-ryu has a version of this technique they call it aikinage -- the tenchi Heaven/Earth image of the technique name is only in aikido and is directly related to the juji + in/yo figure.

According the annotations, Yagyu Mitsuyoshi explained the secret doctrine of shuji shuriken as learning an enemy's mind from the cross-wise block, i.e -- juji +, That is very likely the "Cross of Aiki" as O Sensei wrote in several of the Doka that I already laid out above. Also as I discussed above, he referred to his art in a Doka as "jujido."

As to my presumption that he got mu-to training whether legitimately (assuming the menkyo debate is resolved), the emphasis of Yagyu on its mu-to system (whether he was certified in it or not) certainly had to inform their curriculum otherwise. Munenori says precisely that in Heiho Kaden Sho, that postures, sword positions, distance, movement, mental focus, feints and attacks were all premised on mu-to. "No-sword is central to all important things." Hiroaki Sato, tr.

And O Sensei was nothing if not resourceful when it came to "stealing technique."

My level of reasoning on this point is at least as good as Dan's speculative leading questions about "Skills" that Kisshomaru Doshu is supposed to have dropped in transmission.

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 02:17 AM
Grounding, neutralizing are simply results from having the body skill. They are not the ends themselves. I never had a problem with that. That grounding/neutralizing aspect, however, seems to be the be-all and end-all of this discussion on "natural" movement, and which is a very problematic concept to apply in terms of aikido, not that it may be fine for other arts. For some reason, however, it seems nearly a formulaic ticket to admission to this discussion.

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 02:26 AM
Erick, not perpetual motion: Imagine the center giving energy in all directions at the same time, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards. That's not imbalance, and to unbalance the partner, it now doesn't matter whehther he is giving or not, you need to break his center. It's not about any attack per se, and riding this doesn't enable you to control anything, it just saves you from oblivion temporarily :-) Springs?
Criticality is the problem, not balance perse. A ball will balance on top of another ball or in a bowl. The ball-on-ball is supercritical, the ball-in-bowl is sub-critical. A flat surface is critical

A point of changing sign is (at least) a critical point in any energy system. Any continuous linear transition between two sub-critical stablity regimes, must pass through a region of super-criticality (the hill between the valleys). There is no other way to get there. It can be exploited because it can go either way with almost no input.

Upyu
12-04-2006, 02:34 AM
I never had a problem with that. That grounding/neutralizing aspect, however, seems to be the be-all and end-all of this discussion on "natural" movement, and which is a very problematic concept to apply in terms of aikido, not that it may be fine for other arts. For some reason, however, it seems nearly a formulaic ticket to admission to this discussion.

Well, it's being used simply because it's the easiest context to talk about these skills. Besides this stuff being grade school level assuming you have the "skills," regardless of whether "xxx art" places importance on such and such movement.

DH
12-04-2006, 06:03 AM
To add a correction Eric
No one but you was talking about static immovability "as a goal."
It is just one of many waysd to test ourselves here and there. No one advocated standing there like a dolt.

The body work expresses itself through movement. How you carry your weight and how you engage the whole of the body in movement; frame to tendon, upper and lower, side to side is a bound system. Everything moves...nothing moves. And...without moving you move on the inside.
Its better balance, rapid movement, unusual movement potential, heavy weighted hitting or moving ability, better overall strength and load carrying ability, better and more efficient movement overall, better ability to handle heavy weapons. It is these skills that allow me to cut through trees testing swords.

Its a whole body approach. And it was exactly these skills that enabled Ueshiba to be as you put it....freakishly strong. It had nothing to do with his using isolated muscle. It is the oft vaunted but rarely seen abiltiy of "putting your center.. in your hand."
Before you single him out and keep on going wiht this Yagyu thing and or the Ueshiba enlightenment phase.

Explain Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa
Why were all these...Daito ryu men.... acknowledged to have the same type of skills, only....better?
Did they do Yagyu or is your upside down and backward logic now having Ueshiba teaching them these skills?

Odd that Takeda made Sagawa-arguably the very best in the modern world
Takeda made Kodo-incredible power and skill
Takeda made Hisa -same skills and even Hisa himself a student of Ueshiba flat out states that Takeds was far superior in his interview at Aikido journal
And Takeda? Eric......he made Ueshiba.

And as for what all this has to do with Aikido?
It is my belief that at a point Ueshiba realized he no longer needed to fight. With these skills he could control those coming at him and could repel them. It was not a far fetched ideal to have himself feel the strength in having opponents rebound off him or spin away and feel untouched. And then for him to begin to believe it can allow the vagueries of this world to be of little effect to one centered in it. These very skills were the engine that drove his "vision."
They are and were...his...Aikido.
Without them you just have another martial art.
Cheers
Dan

Mark Freeman
12-04-2006, 06:26 AM
It is these skills that allow me to cut through trees testing swords.

While not disputing your undoubted body skills Dan ( I agree with much of what I read of yours ), I have to stretch my imagination to see you cutting through 'trees' with a sword.
What sort of trees? how thick? Wouldn't it be more efficient to use a chain saw? ;)

regards,

Mark

Mark Freeman
12-04-2006, 06:32 AM
Erick, not perpetual motion: Imagine the center giving energy in all directions at the same time, sometimes weakly, sometimes strongly, sometimes inwards, sometimes outwards. That's not imbalance, and to unbalance the partner, it now doesn't matter whehther he is giving or not, you need to break his center. It's not about any attack per se, and riding this doesn't enable you to control anything, it just saves you from oblivion temporarily :-)

Please humour me here Gernot, I am confused. How do you break someones centre? maybe it's just a missunderstanding of language (not uncommon on a forum) ;)

regards,

Mark

DH
12-04-2006, 06:59 AM
While not disputing your undoubted body skills Dan ( I agree with much of what I read of yours ), I have to stretch my imagination to see you cutting through 'trees' with a sword.
What sort of trees? how thick? Wouldn't it be more efficient to use a chain saw? ;)

regards,

Mark

I forge as a hobby Mark. Well...used to. I have no time these days.
I don't cut trees as a martial skill but to test the limits of what I make. Cutting 3" trees is quite a test for a blade. I've made swords, kukri, knives, machete for decades.
Cady's cut with me along with just about anyone who trained with me for a while.
Its always fun for me with those who think the katana is woo woo surpreme for cutting power to have them cut two handed with a 30" Katana, then I walk up with a 13" kukri and match them single handed cut for cut.
Blade shapes are an amazing thing. Anyone stuck on the Japanese way of things need look at yatagans and kukris and other Asian ideals for weapons and tools. Hmmm......just like internal power. Interesting.
Anyway thats forging and blade-making talk best kept for other forums or Jun will move it.
So back on track
It is the body skill training that allows for that kind of power. It's not muscle. The trouble I have in kata is that if you touch my bokken... you feel ground, folks assume its muscle or dedication of power. When in fact there is
a. No muscles being isolated and flexed
b. No dedicated-power
It's just movement
Having center in your hands is the same as having center in your monouchi. It's the same as if you push on someone. Its instant-on. Force in all directions.
With spear its even better. Tremendous power in a small area (point) of thrust.
Ever wonder why Ueshiba stabbed trees so much?
What was he doing? So many have assumed he was doing martial arts like they think of them. He was doing tenren of a different kind.

I gotta work
Cheers
Dan

Gernot Hassenpflug
12-04-2006, 07:25 AM
Hi Mark,

That's the discussion that Mike, Dan, Rob et al. are pursuing. The answer of course is to have a better center, but the how's of that are in the solo training and hand-on feeling of what one is aiming for. Don't know if that's enough to humour you?

Dan, you made me laugh. My head is going to mush: I misread your first line as "forage" :-)

DH
12-04-2006, 07:30 AM
Hi Mark,

Dan, you made me laugh. My head is going to mush: I misread your first line as "forage" :-)

Well I imagine a few would say that's more in keeing with their view of my personality. :eek:

Dan

Mark Freeman
12-04-2006, 07:51 AM
That's the discussion that Mike, Dan, Rob et al. are pursuing. The answer of course is to have a better center, but the how's of that are in the solo training and hand-on feeling of what one is aiming for. Don't know if that's enough to humour you?


I'm never quite sure if they are all pursuing the same thing ;)

I'm still not clear about how you break someones centre, maybe you could humour me some more. :)

I understand what it is to be 'centered' or my own prefered term is co-ordinated. I just can't quite get my head around how someone is going to 'break' it. I realise that if someone is not centered/co-ordinated, they are easier to move than one who is.

When I practice aikido I don't aim to break my partners centre, rather to join his to mine so that my movement becomes his.

anyway...

regards

Mark

billybob
12-04-2006, 08:23 AM
Dan,

I appreciate your candor.

You said that aikido would be no fun for you now basically because you are unchallenged because of the level of skill you have developed.

After three years of judo I could take two sharp breaths and enter a state of hyper awareness - I could see in slow motion. It is a known ability, and was mentioned by Sensei George Ledyard at a seminar - he called it 'time-slipping'. Should I train to recover this skill or just train aikido and not worry about it? It seems that if I take a leaf out of your book - if I heal my body, and can see in slow motion then why train?

(i think this is devil's advocate mode of questioning; not just being a jerk)

David

Cady Goldfield
12-04-2006, 10:19 AM
Mark,
The first time I cut with Dan (I'd been cutting air with bokuto/bokken for a few years, by that time, and had never held a "live" blade), he took an unmounted naginata blade he had forged, wrapped duct tape around the base for a "kashira" and handed it to me, pushed me toward a stand of white pine saplings and said "have at it." They varied in circumference from 1/2" to 3". Of course, I started with a half-inch trunk, being a bit apprehensive. When I cut through it easily, I moved on to 1" and eventually a 2" though it took me a couple tries to slice through that one (turned out it had a knot). Dan does 3" trunks easily, but he's a genuine Sword Guy (TM). :)

During the whole thing, I think my mouth was hanging open so wide the moths were flying in and out. I really didn't expect it to be that easy. You'd be surprised. I was. It gets addictive, by the way. Dan yelled at me and the other guys to quit cutting because he needed to keep some of the trees as a screen from the road. At that point, I realized he had just been using us as cheap landscape labor to thin out his pine grove. :D

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 10:21 AM
To add a correction Eric
No one but you was talking about static immovability "as a goal."
It is just one of many waysd to test ourselves here and there. No one advocated standing there like a dolt. The high flagpole you all place over that aspect of "The Skills" certainly leads one to that conclusion, though, since I am not hearing a serious distinction. Since we were talking about "movement" I stupidly thought we would talk about actually moving.
And it was exactly these skills that enabled Ueshiba to be as you put it....freakishly strong. ... It had nothing to do with his using isolated muscle. ...Explain Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo, Hisa -- Why were all these...Daito ryu men.... acknowledged to have the same type of skills, only....better? I read what he wrote, and I see what he did, on video, and it is a matter of exploitation of principles not "freakish strength" as in the "one finger" pin of the sumo wrestler that O Sensei has recounted -- after indulging him first in a strength contest.

I've seen one or two people in this art I would credit with some "freakish strength" (even after becoming seriously debilitated), but they do not seem express that at all in their aikido, -- quite the reverse. Clearly, that early brutish training gave O Sensei an ability to get around the apparently ubiquitous, "Well, can you do THIS...?" threshold. The he-man, chestly-beating dominance games seemed to impede discussion of his art -- even back then.
And Takeda? Eric......he made Ueshiba. And a good teacher has students that excel beyond him ... It is no criticism of Takeda or Daito-ryu to suggest that O Sensei did so. O Sensei did not give Takeda or Daito-ryu training credit for the revelation of aikido. He specifically idenitifed it with "the old form of posture in kenjutsu" -- Yagyu, I conclude from the evidence I have. Maybe otherwise, if Ellis Amdur or anyone else can enlighten anything on that question. But some evidence of what, exactly, would be nice. I tend to assume the Old Man's veracity unless it is disproved to me...
Ueshiba realized he no longer needed to fight. With these skills he could control those coming at him and could repel them. It was not a far fetched ideal to have himself feel the strength in having opponents rebound off him or spin away and feel untouched. And then for him to begin to believe it can allow the vagueries of this world to be of little effect to one centered in it. As for the unstated premise that he was a senile old man with vainglorious delusions ... well -- you have me there -- I bow to superior reasoning.

Really though, I would just rather have the ad hominem arguments left on me and my pathetic efforts to work out the movement principles involved and their origins (where relevant). I see little point, much less entertainment, in heaping insults on the supposedly pathetic dead man, and, more to the point -- trying to debate who gets to take credit for an art that has inspired and taught people around the world in this short time through his efforts and those who followed him.
And as for what all this has to do with Aikido? ... Its a whole body approach. Yes it is. And it is about being moved by superior force -- but not at all in the way that it would move you if did not act adaptively and creatively to that superior force.
.
I'll give you my simple test question -- It's at least as relevant as chopping trees.

Do you surf??

Board, body or boogie, makes no never mind.

Do you surf?

If you do, then you would have the basic whole-body movement skills I am talking about, which I see in the videos offered so far, and the strategic fundamentals that go with them.

Except as regards all this rooting behavior, you have not discussed the "The Skills" in terms of principles of adaptive movement as a strategic question ( 兵法 ) vice a comparison of suites of tactics ( 戦術 ). If you would broaden it beyond that that would be meaningful to see if we really are tallking about differnt thigns or not.

I do not debate that Aikido took the Daito senjutsu virtually wholesale. But that's like saying the Plains Indians learned Spanish warfighting by getting horses to ride from the Spanish. What matters is what they did with them strategically, and that strategy determines the use of the same tactical asset.

More pointedly, we observed no advantage or superiority in the contest of September 11, merely because we had more and better airliners flying at the time than did the enemy. It's how they chose to use the same tactical asset that was so unlooked for and devastating. We didn't even recognize them AS tactical assets. (Tom Clancy being the notable exception on this score.)

You have not suggested how Daito maps onto the strategic principles that O Sensei wrote about in describing the funciton of aikido. If it were to map as closely or better than the Yagyu heiho principles that I have cited to, that would be something.

Juji (cross-shape) application of in/yo principle runs through O Sensei's own thoughts in the Doka, in the portions of Omoto that he adopted, and in the Yagyu shuji shuriken doctrine that lies at the root of its tactical suite and strategic paradigm -- and which is interlaced throughout with their exclusive mu-to ("no-sword") teaching.

Give me a better fit than these strategic principles, if there is one, in the context of "natural" adaptive movement, between Daito-ryu and Aikido.

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 10:35 AM
I'm still not clear about how you break someones centre, maybe you could humour me some more. :)
...
When I practice aikido I don't aim to break my partners centre, rather to join his to mine so that my movement becomes his. See, Dan. Surfing.

Be one with the wave -- or the wave will be one with you ...

The wave is bigger, badder, stronger, more powerful (and better looking) than I could ever possibly be. I just move my whole body about as I wish with the wave's power propelling me in a super-critically unstable mode. To do what I wish within that regime, however, first requires that I place myself in a certain defined form (of great variation) that allows myself to move as the wave moves me. Eventually, the wave must hit the beach or dissipate itself in deep water.

Who or what is in control ? Of what or of whom? And does that set of questions really have any meaning in this context, or that of aikido? The dynamic and its conclusion are both uncertain and inevitable.

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 10:37 AM
Mark,
The first time I cut with Dan ... pushed me toward a stand of white pine saplings and said "have at it."
...
Dan yelled at me and the other guys to quit cutting because he needed to keep some of the trees as a screen from the road. At that point, I realized he had just been using us as cheap landscape labor to thin out his pine grove. :D OK, Dan. Now THAT is strategy ... :D

Cady Goldfield
12-04-2006, 10:43 AM
Erick's shortest...post...EVER. :D

We cleared out a pretty good swath of trees that day, I think there were 5 of us, counting Dan. The point was, the movement of cutting was natural and easily quantifiable in mechanical terms. It wasn't the blade doing the cutting. And, the movement was completely relaxed and natural.

It would be interesting to go to a sugar or bamboo plantation and watch how the most efficient harvesters cut. When I was in Nepal, I often watched women and men in the rice or millet fields, cutting the rice/millet straw with kukris. They could cut for hours with a relaxed posture and muscles, letting gravity do most of the work.

Mark Freeman
12-04-2006, 10:44 AM
Mark,
The first time I cut with Dan (I'd been cutting air with bokuto/bokken for a few years, by that time, and had never held a "live" blade), he took an unmounted naginata blade he had forged, wrapped duct tape around the base for a "kashira" and handed it to me, pushed me toward a stand of white pine saplings and said "have at it." They varied in circumference from 1/2" to 3". Of course, I started with a half-inch trunk, being a bit apprehensive. When I cut through it easily, I moved on to 1" and eventually a 2" though it took me a couple tries to slice through that one (turned out it had a knot). Dan does 3" trunks easily, but he's a genuine Sword Guy (TM). :)

During the whole thing, I think my mouth was hanging open so wide the moths were flying in and out. I really didn't expect it to be that easy. You'd be surprised. I was. It gets addictive, by the way. Dan yelled at me and the other guys to quit cutting because he needed to keep some of the trees as a screen from the road. At that point, I realized he had just been using us as cheap landscape labor to thin out his pine grove. :D

Hi Cady,

Nice story, the most efficient way to cut something - get someone else to do it. No flies on Dan then eh?

I have little problem with the concept cutting small pine saplings/trees with a blade, obviously good fun, but like the boards used for karate 'demos' not all trees are the same. Try cutting a 3" hardwood tree in africa and you will likely be repairing both your blade and your hands ;) Maybe Dan could prove me wrong, but I spent a fair amount of time out there and that wood is reeaally hard!

regards,

Mark

Cady Goldfield
12-04-2006, 10:52 AM
Mark,
The worst thing about pine is the resinous sap. I had to use paint thinner to clean my hands.

You are right, that young trees are much suppler than old, dense wood, and the density of wood varies by species. But I can tell you right off that in my practice, I quickly learned the consequences of not cutting with proper form or blade acceleration. If I was "off" my technique just a bit, the blade bounced off the tree, and I was hacking. I took a little poetic license in my anecdote above; I didn't "score perfectly" each time. There were times when my form was substandard and I couldn't make the cut. When I tried again, re-focused, I was successful.

It is the same basic principle as board-breaking, Mass times acceleration, coupled with spot-on form and focusing the force/impact through the smallest possible point (in this case, a blade edge). But young pine trees, being fibrous, supple and full of sap, are a much more difficult subject than a nice kiln-dried peace of dead, 1" pine board. Even six or eight of them together. (I did my share of board breaking back in my karate days). Plus, when cutting a tree, you're cutting through (as opposed to with) the grain. I would rather punch or kick through those pine boards than a 1/2" pine sapling.

It would be unrealistic to try to cut through a mature baobob tree, of course. ;) Or any tree beyond a certain caliper. The larger the circumferance and denser the wood, the more friction. Keeping an adequate rate of acceleration, beyond a certain point, would be impossible, and the blade would end up stuck inside.

These little games are meant to be nothing more than a physical expression of the principles you're practicing. By the way, saplings of any species are much suppler and less dense than their mature forms. But again, they do vary according to species, and I'd expect an eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) sapling to have a somewhat different internal texture than, say, ebony of the same caliper (By the way, I'm a professional horticulturist, so bear with me. ;)). But dense wood trees like ebony grow more slowly than a pine, and thus a 3" ebony is going to be a somewhat older tree than a 3" white pine, and with denser wood. It would be interesting to do a comparison cut. That's a test for someone of skill!

Mark Freeman
12-04-2006, 11:14 AM
Cady,

trees are easy, try cutting an outstretched sheet of newspaper with a bokken, it's not as easy as it sounds - get someone to hold the sheet by the corners, creating a sharp tight line with the top edge, try cutting through the sheet with the bokken - if the cut is 'clean' the paper will part in two even peices, if not it will bunch up / or tear at the points being held. Trust me, you need alot of sheets to practice with. Using force makes for an awful mess, it really makes you concentrate on corect posture and letting the bokken do the work - even then, it is still more precise than it sounds.
Trees, pah, trees are for whimps :D

regards

Mark
p.s I wouldn't even try to cut a baobab with a chainsaw :crazy:

Mike Sigman
12-04-2006, 11:29 AM
trees are easy, try cutting an outstretched sheet of newspaper with a bokken, it's not as easy as it sounds - get someone to hold the sheet by the corners, creating a sharp tight line with the top edge, try cutting through the sheet with the bokken - if the cut is 'clean' the paper will part in two even peices, if not it will bunch up / or tear at the points being held. Trust me, you need alot of sheets to practice with. Using force makes for an awful mess, it really makes you concentrate on corect posture and letting the bokken do the work - even then, it is still more precise than it sounds.
Trees, pah, trees are for whimps :D Mark, Mark. That's one of the most subjective demonstrations I've ever heard... and I don't see any reason behind it, TBH. I think my next-door neighbor's kid could do that one, since it is highly dependent on how the paper is being held and tensioned.

What next? Kirlian photography? (The "aura" is a function of voltage and frequency... very different from what is being represented).

Regards,

Mike

Erick Mead
12-04-2006, 11:49 AM
trees are easy, try cutting an outstretched sheet of newspaper with a bokken, it's not as easy as it sounds - get someone to hold the sheet by the corners, creating a sharp tight line with the top edge, try cutting through the sheet with the bokken - if the cut is 'clean' the paper will part in two even peices, if not it will bunch up / or tear at the points being held. That is a very simple, effective and humbling exercise. Our iaijutsu instructor swears by it for correction of form. The rest of the dojo swears at the clean-up afterward.

Talk about criticality ... I tried improving my sense of that by cutting with the kissaki at a point below the top edge -- to get the aim point/arc path/hasuji better coordinated. You need to be closer than you might think you should be.

We haven't done it in a little while, but we did do test cutting tatami rolls last month -- clean cuts for the most part. Keep dropping the shoulder, though, and I still feel that long afterward. Flat cuts are still the absolute worst.

billybob
12-04-2006, 11:56 AM
East meets West - external vs. internal:

http://www.rhodesindia.com/news/index.shtml
(scroll down to metallurgy)

"After examining an iron bar that Richard cut in two with his sword, Saladin took a silk cushion from the floor and placed it upright on one end. "Can thy weapon, my brother, sever that cushion?" he said to King Richard.

"No, surely," replied the King, "no sword on earth, were it the Excalibur of King Arthur, can cut that which poses no steady resistance to the blow."

"Mark, then," said Saladin and unsheathed his scimitar, a curved and narrow blade of a dull blue colour, marked with ten millions of meandering lines and drew it across the cushion, applying the edge so dexterously that the cushion seemed rather to fall asunder than to be divided by violence. "

I heard a better version: Richard the westerner hued a mighty piece of wood in two with his broadsword. Saladin, the easterner, let fall a thin scarf of silk, and with a single stroke that scarcely disturbed the fall of the scarf - two pieces then fell to the ground.

Silk's expensive though......can i use rayon to train?

dave

Thomas Campbell
12-04-2006, 12:05 PM
The story comparing Richard's and Saladin's sword cuts makes for a nice comparison of force v. subtlety . . . but the ability of a blade to cut falling silk probably has more to do with the quality of the blade edge than the movement skill of the person wielding the blade.

I don't know about paper. I use scissors, myself.

DH
12-04-2006, 03:24 PM
The story comparing Richard's and Saladin's sword cuts makes for a nice comparison of force v. subtlety . . . but the ability of a blade to cut falling silk probably has more to do with the quality of the blade edge than the movement skill of the person wielding the blade.

I don't know about paper. I use scissors, myself.

There is only one type of steel capable of that and even that edge has to be prepared and presented. Hundreds of Smiths have tried it and failed. The old tests was a test done with wootz steel on silk. Everything else slides off. Thats a clue.
Wootz steel is a different process from mechanical damascus aa well as the Japanese folding process. In many respects Wootz was the finest steel in the ancient world.

And yes cutting oak is harder than cutting pine and cutting dry bamboo is a different creature than green.

Lets get off this "cutting trees" stuff. It really isn't a strong point. I shouldn't have brought it up. Its more swordsmith stuff for me.

The martial art internal aspects are my own interests. So is spear work, that is a related but a separate topic. Still its tough to get folk to offer anything interesting.
Why did Ueshiba and Takeda do so much spear work?
Why did takeda and Kodo do jo work?

For technique?
Or for power?

Dan

Mark Freeman
12-05-2006, 04:11 AM
Mark, Mark. That's one of the most subjective demonstrations I've ever heard... and I don't see any reason behind it, TBH. I think my next-door neighbor's kid could do that one, since it is highly dependent on how the paper is being held and tensioned.

What next? Kirlian photography? (The "aura" is a function of voltage and frequency... very different from what is being represented).

Regards,

Mike

Have you tried it Mike? if so then explain your contempt in detail, if not, your comments are not worth much :p

It is not for demonstration it is for practice, it is highly unlikely that your next door neighbours kid could do that ( although you can't exclude beginners luck!). Maybe I'm just a novice after many years of training, I really found this practice to be of great use and very humbling when first tried.

I'm begining to wonder...Kirlian photography? what are you on?

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 08:19 AM
Have you tried it Mike? if so then explain your contempt in detail, if not, your comments are not worth much :p

It is not for demonstration it is for practice, it is highly unlikely that your next door neighbours kid could do that ( although you can't exclude beginners luck!). I dunno, Mark... the fact that you allow for possible "beginner's luck" should be enough to answer your question. There are too many variables, including as I said, the tension and way the the paper is held. I'm not into "sword-cutting", "paper tricks", and so on. It's usually more role-playing than I have time for. ;) I suggest people practice the basics before they practice the gew-gaws.

Regards,

Mike

Mark Freeman
12-05-2006, 08:30 AM
I dunno, Mark... the fact that you allow for possible "beginner's luck" should be enough to answer your question. There are too many variables, including as I said, the tension and way the the paper is held. I'm not into "sword-cutting", "paper tricks", and so on. It's usually more role-playing than I have time for. ;) I suggest people practice the basics before they practice the gew-gaws.


I allow the 'beginners luck' only so not to be absolutist ;)

the fact that you see no benefit in sword cutting practice says nothing about the practice, more about you. As I said, it is not for demonstrating anything, only to help practice perfecting a type of cut. It is not a trick.
Role playing? what are you on? a question that seemed to pass by last time.

I'm all for practicing the basics, no points scored there :p

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 08:48 AM
As I said, it is not for demonstrating anything, only to help practice perfecting a type of cut. It is not a trick.
Role playing? what are you on? Do you carry a sword around with you, Mark? If not, why do you spend a lot of time perfecting your sword cut? BTW, I did western fencing for many years, so there are many things with swords which I practiced during most of my adult life.... so using a sword is something I can claim. However, generally I think that people should practice what they actually use. Why practice a correct sword cut, for instance, if someone only has marginal atemi skills? If you think about it like that, perhaps you'll see my point. Sword-cutting is cool, but not if one's other basics are not well-formed.

However, I will bear it in mind that you can do a cool newspaper cut with a bokken and I will tremble appreciatively. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Jim Sorrentino
12-05-2006, 09:23 AM
Hello Dan,The martial art internal aspects are my own interests. So is spear work, that is a related but a separate topic. Still its tough to get folk to offer anything interesting.
Why did Ueshiba and Takeda do so much spear work?
Why did takeda and Kodo do jo work?

For technique?
Or for power?Both --- but I bet you already knew that. ;)

Rather than start yet another thread, I recommend that people interested in this line of inquiry read Ellis' excellent 8-part article, A Unified Field Theory: Aiki and Weapons, on his blog on Aikido Journal at http://www.aikidojournal.com/?author=8. It is not necessary to subscribe, although in my opinion, this series alone is worth the subscription price.

Jim

Fred Little
12-05-2006, 11:15 AM
"Budo as love" and the Yagyu doctrine of katsujinken "life giving sword" are a close fit.


Erick:

Based on what little bit of exposure I have had to Yagyu Ryu Heiho -- of which I am not a student -- the Yagyu doctrine of katsujinken is not well-served by either the literal translation of "life-giving sword" or the formulation "budo as love."

It may be a fine "creative misappropriation" of a cryptic doctrine.

But that is a horse of a different color.

My .02 on a comparatively narrow point in this discussion, fwiw.

Best,

FL

Mark Freeman
12-05-2006, 11:51 AM
Do you carry a sword around with you, Mark? If not, why do you spend a lot of time perfecting your sword cut? BTW, I did western fencing for many years, so there are many things with swords which I practiced during most of my adult life.... so using a sword is something I can claim. However, generally I think that people should practice what they actually use. Why practice a correct sword cut, for instance, if someone only has marginal atemi skills? If you think about it like that, perhaps you'll see my point. Sword-cutting is cool, but not if one's other basics are not well-formed.

How can you pose the questions you do and then post the article on caligraphy and ki on the other thread, either you have two separate personalities or you are just yanking my chain for the fun of it :p
Of course I don't carry a sword, but I guess you practice with a shovel as that is what you seem to use the most ;)
I don't spend alot of time perfecting my sword cuts, but I do like to practice with people that can cut 'properly' not just wave it around in the air. I do this for fun, not for your approval.

However, I will bear it in mind that you can do a cool newspaper cut with a bokken and I will tremble appreciatively. ;)


Good :p

regards

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 12:01 PM
How can you pose the questions you do and then post the article on caligraphy and ki on the other thread, either you have two separate personalities or you are just yanking my chain for the fun of it :p Hmmmmmm.... bear in mind that I'm not assured your abilities in ki/kokyu skills are where Abe's are, Mark. Let's just put it delicately that I wouldn't ask Abe the same questions that I ask you. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
12-05-2006, 12:10 PM
I share Mike's philosophy of practicing only what you are realistically likely to use (well, to some extent; I don't intend ever to kill anyone if I can help it...but even skills capable of being lethal can be adjusted to be non-lethal; and sometimes one must learn the whole thing just to have a full comprehension of the lesser thing). For that reason, I've never been as much "into" practicing classical weapon arts and I do not pursue them passionately today. However, it is part of my foundation and I spent some years in that training before moving on. What I learned there still affects my movement and comprehension of empty-hand disciplines I pursue today.

Thus, I would point out that there is much of value in such arts (btw, don't confuse them with sport versions such as kendo or Western fencing) because they do teach you how to move from the hara (dantien) and to move as a unified body, among other things. There is much to be gleaned from classical sword. In the ancient koryu, one started learning with larger weapons and gradually graduated to smaller ones and ultimately to empty hand. The principles are applicable across the board, adjusted to suit the size and purpose of each weapon, or the unarmed combatant.

Pracitioners of Ono-ha Itto-ryu, TSKSR, Yagyu Shinkage-ryu and other old classical weapons systems gain a very different experience than practitioners of kendo or fencing. The sword skills, while archaic, are appreciated as art forms unto themselves, but also as vehicles to learning principles useful for other, more modern applications -- with or without a weapon.

Cutting silk, watermelons, trees, etc. -- like karateka breaking boards -- are just "games" and demonstration exercises. They are not representative or indicative of the content of the art itself.

Mark Freeman
12-05-2006, 12:17 PM
Hmmmmmm.... bear in mind that I'm not assured your abilities in ki/kokyu skills are where Abe's are, Mark. Let's just put it delicately that I wouldn't ask Abe the same questions that I ask you. ;)



I have no idea whether my ki/kokyu skills are anywhere near the person you mention, as I have had no contact with Abe. Are my skills to be determined on the Mike 'o' meter before they have any validity. As "most of the aikido world" rank very low on it I'm happy to live in the parallel universe of "all those who practice aikido but haven't been ranked by Mike yet" ( there are more than you'd like to think Mike )

Don't bother putting things delicately Mike, it is completely out of character and doesn't suit you. ;)

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 01:39 PM
I have no idea whether my ki/kokyu skills are anywhere near the person you mention, as I have had no contact with Abe. Are my skills to be determined on the Mike 'o' meter before they have any validity. As "most of the aikido world" rank very low on it I'm happy to live in the parallel universe of "all those who practice aikido but haven't been ranked by Mike yet" ( there are more than you'd like to think Mike )

Don't bother putting things delicately Mike, it is completely out of character and doesn't suit you. ;) Oh no... are you striking back at with an imaginary "Mike o meter" because your feelings got hurt??? I hope not!!! :) Let me say it once again, Mark. If someone does something well, I'm anxious to tell him. If someone does something poorly, I'll tell them. I said I haven't seen you, so I withold judgement and you turn it into a personal attack. Maybe you're right to do so; maybe not. But let me say this.... if someone came onto an Aikido, Karate, Judo, whatever list and said "Hey guys!!! Just checking around on the side, it appears that maybe we've been missing something!".... they'd get a very negative reaction. All of us know that. So a negative reaction is a probable in these sorts of discussions, UNLESS you want to be self-effacing and very polite... in which case you will simply get ignored by the established "teachers". That's a proven fact and I'm sure many others will support the contention.

Secondly, you're not even in the same breath with Seisaki Abe. You *may* have some skills, but I've seen nothing you've written to support that beyond the rudiments. Maybe I'm wrong. Let's say I am. I'd still be reluctant to say too much positive without seeing what you do because I've personally seen (over the years) that when you give a positive appraisal, too many people immediately think "Aha! I'm there already". And this goes along with my cautions about "Oh Yeah". So fine... you worry about the "Mike O Meter" and make clever comments, but also consider the idea that we might meet someday and those clever remarks could come back to haunt you. ;) And yeah... I'm goading to you to get better and better so you can impress the hell out of me. If I complimented you, you'd get lazy.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Tom H.
12-05-2006, 01:53 PM
And yeah... I'm goading to you to get better and better so you can impress the hell out of me. If I complimented you, you'd get lazy.One of my goals now is to be noticeably better every time I meet you :). Rob is also on this list, and he's only been working under Ark for three years now, so (and here begins the dewy-eyed dreaming) if he ever gets lazy, I may be able to pass him up.

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 02:05 PM
One of my goals now is to be noticeably better every time I meet you :). Rob is also on this list, and he's only been working under Ark for three years now, so (and here begins the dewy-eyed dreaming) if he ever gets lazy, I may be able to pass him up.Yeah, but now that you've had input from Dan, Rob, and me, I definitely *expect* you to be well beyond the theory stage. I.e., instead of compliments which might lull you into a sense of camaraderie by the water-cooler, the heat is on! ;)

I remember reading some posts on one of the other lists where the water-cooler syndrome had pretty much kept a few guys at wondering aloud for 15 years why they hadn't progressed much. I consider that part of my fault for having been too understanding.

You're on notice, Tom... and you helped put yourself there! This ain't no %#@*^ weenie-roast. ;)

Mike

Mike Hamer
12-05-2006, 02:17 PM
This thread......wow. I'm not even close to a point of understanding all of this talk, but I'm still proud of what my thread has turned into! Almost 19 pages!

Cady Goldfield
12-05-2006, 03:12 PM
Are you saying you're marking the quantity, not quality of it, Mikel? :p

Tom H.
12-05-2006, 06:59 PM
You're on notice, Tom... and you helped put yourself there! ;)Kinda scary.

Thomas Campbell
12-05-2006, 09:57 PM
[snip]
Lets get off this "cutting trees" stuff. It really isn't a strong point. I shouldn't have brought it up. Its more swordsmith stuff for me.

The martial art internal aspects are my own interests. So is spear work, that is a related but a separate topic. Still its tough to get folk to offer anything interesting.
Why did Ueshiba and Takeda do so much spear work?
Why did takeda and Kodo do jo work?

For technique?
Or for power?

Dan

hi Dan,

I wasn't trying to side-track the discussion, just making the point that the cutting-silk scenario seems more dependent on the quality of the swordblade's edge than it does on the internal body skill of the wielder. But I don't have much experience with the sword, in particular Japanese sword work. I'd be interested in hearing about differences and commonalities in the use of sword and spear to train internal body skill.

What aspects of internal martial arts are trained by sword work? What aspects are trained by spear or staff work?

I train with staff ("gun" in Mandarin, similar to the Japanese "bo") and with the long pole. I understand, in a very general way, the relation of that training with dantien (tanden) coordination, breathing and whole-body power. I can also see how the same training informs technique.

I don't train with sword. At the risk of stating the obvious, from what I've seen of aiki-ken and the kenjutsu of other schools, the movement and usage seem very different from spear and staff (including jo).

The "natural" movement (or movement learned and embodied so well it becomes natural) of sword and spear/staff seem very different. Does emphasizing sword over jo suburi, for example, make a difference in empty-hand technique? Does a particular emphasis affect how internal body connection is cultivated and trained?

Ellis Amdur's historical inquiry into the course of Ueshiba Morihei's personal development in weapons work is interesting. I wonder how people training today with both sword and spear/staff find the weapons training with respect to its usefulness in building internal body skill.

Erick Mead
12-05-2006, 10:11 PM
Do you carry a sword around with you, Mark? If not, why do you spend a lot of time perfecting your sword cut? ... Why practice a correct sword cut, for instance, if someone only has marginal atemi skills? If you think about it like that, perhaps you'll see my point. Sword-cutting is cool, but not if one's other basics are not well-formed. Here is a place where it is easy to illustrate why concepts matter to practice. Sword cuts are the basics. You do not display in that statement any understanding of the concept of hasuiji or how it relates to the extension of ki and expression of your kokyu skills in performing a sword cut.

The principle of hasuji is the complement, in the delivery of a cut, of juji (cross shape) in receiving it. Any blade entry angle other than absolutely dead on the perpendicular to the line of cut will stop it and dissipate the cutting energy.

Wielding the sword in this manner is the beginning of wielding your enemy in exactly the same manner, letting the willing instrument do the work for you -- under proper guidance.

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 10:18 PM
Here is a place where it is easy to illustrate why concepts matter to practice. Sword cuts are the basics. You do not display in that statement any understanding of the concept of hasuiji or how it relates to the extension of ki and expression of your kokyu skills in performing a sword cut.

The principle of hasuji is the complement, in the delivery of a cut, of juji (cross shape) in receiving it. Any blade entry angle other than absolutely dead on the perpendicular to the line of cut will stop it and dissipate the cutting energy.

Wielding the sword in this manner is the beginning of wielding your enemy in exactly the same manner, letting the willing instrument do the work for you -- under proper guidance.That's cool, Erick, but are suggesting that you do sword as a prelude to Aikido then? I don't want to get too deeply into cutting with a sword or the release of energy in strikes, etc., but I don't think you really understand what's going on. The essence of a proper sword strike is jin/kokyu. Same that it's the essence of calligraphy. You simply don't understand the concept.

Where have you seen that you need to do sword strikes in order to understand kokyu? Weapons are generally considered second to empty-hand understanding of power, except in pure weapons arts. If you think striking with a weapon is somehow a necessary pre-requisite for Aikido techniques, I think you're missing a tremendous area of knowledge.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
12-05-2006, 10:40 PM
That's cool, Erick, but are suggesting that you do sword as a prelude to Aikido then? Complementary. I used the word, even. A host of errors in aikido technique are corrected by putting a sword in the student's hands and performing the technique as a cut.

I don't want to get too deeply into cutting with a sword or the release of energy in strikes, etc., Probably wise of you.
... but I don't think you really understand what's going on. No. Evidently you don't.

Mike Sigman
12-05-2006, 10:46 PM
A host of errors in aikido technique are corrected by putting a sword in the student's hands and performing the technique as a cut. Ah... so putting a sword in a student's hand is all it takes to teach them kokyu and ki skills? I didn't know that. This is getting a little absurd, Erick.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
12-05-2006, 10:54 PM
Ah... so putting a sword in a student's hand is all it takes to teach them kokyu and ki skills? Again not what I said. And, generally speaking, while educated criticism is worthy, it is not a good idea to mock something you have not tried ...
This is getting a little absurd, Erick. Too true.

Upyu
12-06-2006, 12:24 AM
The "natural" movement (or movement learned and embodied so well it becomes natural) of sword and spear/staff seem very different. Does emphasizing sword over jo suburi, for example, make a difference in empty-hand technique? Does a particular emphasis affect how internal body connection is cultivated and trained?

Ellis Amdur's historical inquiry into the course of Ueshiba Morihei's personal development in weapons work is interesting. I wonder how people training today with both sword and spear/staff find the weapons training with respect to its usefulness in building internal body skill.

Sword and Spear/Staff work are inter-related, or at least I've found so in my own training.
The internal "saggital" plane work done with spear/staff is directly applicable to sword work, and its the stepping stone to examining other components of internal work.

Ever see some Japanese weapons practicioners hold their naginata above their heads (raised to the "heaven" position)? That's not a coincidence. Nor is the direct corallary in the sword, where all you're doing is moving (inside yourself) from "heaven" to "earth". IE dropping the dantien or whatever you want to call it. There's all sorts of other winding, coiling, storing etc that you can do, but with a weapon in your hands, it makes it that much more demanding to do internal practice properly.

Both Sagawa and Tohei mention that " You see plenty of people out there swinging a bokken like idiots a thousand times a day. All they're doing is building up a thousand differenent bad habits. "
(The only part where they differ is where Sagawa goes on to make the crack that people like are a) too stupid to practice MAs, and b) they should be cracked on the head to be given a reality check :D )

I use weapons work to train my body all the time, and it definitely has a direct carry over to my empty hands work, when I spar with mma kids.

Myself, training goes something like this:

Solo Work (non weapons) -> Builds physical realizations of certain properties/harmonies.

Said properties/harmonies are put into weapons work, such as spear or cutting. Test and train these realizations with the weapons, which again help the body to realize other factors

Said factors are then put into Solo Work(sans weapons) etc etc.
Its a never ending feedback loop.

Partner work and sparring fit into this feedback loop of course, but they're more of a barometer than a developer if you ask me.



My two cents anyways.

PS
Practicing with any kind of weapon should reveal any "imbalances" you have in your body movement/alignments. Which is why long weapons that exert leverage on the body are used since you can't use "muscle" to wield them. Practicing on a 6 foot bokken quickly whips the bodies alignments into shape :D

DH
12-06-2006, 12:39 AM
Well, as I mentioned I had a few more Aikido guys in to train tonight. I'll let them write in if they choose...but suffice to say they have followed much of the ________ written in on the forums doubting these skills and the validity of thier use in Aikido. Interestingly this is the second time I have met Aikido guys who have made the rounds and felt a veritible who's who of AIkido teachers and shihan....... Including having experience with some of the detractors here. ;)

We concentrated on training them in some basics and solo exercises.
Since they both teach I showed them things to work on including the Aikidoka's hanmi (a pet peeve of mine) a source of weakness for many. Since they both have teaching responsibilities, I reluctantly agreed to do a small....very small....seminar (for a donation to the dojo only.. no charge from me) in Conn. to help get Aikidoka going on some of these things. and to meet them every other month or so to go over things.
I must admit it was fun hearing his views after his reading all this ....er stuff .....then feeling it up close and personal.

Maybe its interesting that no one who has met Mike or Rob or me has reported back in yet anything....to counter the value in training. and have
a. reported a comfortable atmosphere
b. The openess of each of us
c. Their personal views that these skills have value in "thier" eyes for Aikido.

So, thier views were that it is not openly taught in Aikido , is rarely seen, and even their most trusted teachers do not teach the how to's. This was a very critical comment they stipulated. That here and there they felt some things... but that no one...no one.... taught the how to's.
Anyway.....as I said, one group at a time .
Cheers
Dan

billybob
12-06-2006, 07:48 AM
Dan,

For some reason this rankles me less than the last time you said something like it:
So, thier views were that it is not openly taught in Aikido , is rarely seen, and even their most trusted teachers do not teach the how to's. This was a very critical comment they stipulated. That here and there they felt some things... but that no one...no one.... taught the how to's.

I find your candor appealing - same reason I like to argue with Erick Mead, Nagababa, and yourself - because I'm cut from the same cloth: I'm sure I'm right and I love a good fight! Poor aikidoka, I know.

Won't speak to the 'rarely seen' portion, as seeing is in the eyes of the seer. I will say that the concept of 'center' was not spoken of in judo training AT ALL by my first Sensei. When I told her I felt my nervous system being rewired (I was 15) she smiled warmly and said "That's fine. Please continue practicing your techniques."

One more thing - I trained with a student of Akeda Sensei and when I gripped his wrist I was afraid - I felt like I had gripped a branch of an oak, but one that could both root and move with power. Twenty years ago I shook Akeda Sensei's hand - and I began trembling! I've never felt such power. He simply smiled and asked if I would be training at the seminar.

The internal is there in my instructors - you sir, don't own it, and talk is cheap.

David

billybob
12-06-2006, 07:52 AM
Erick Mead - Here is a place where it is easy to illustrate why concepts matter to practice.

I listen to you. I bust on you, but it's just training. I'm glad you're here, and I respect you. I post some weird stuff, but I'm in a different place.

Peace

David

Mike Sigman
12-06-2006, 07:57 AM
Again not what I said. And, generally speaking, while educated criticism is worthy, it is not a good idea to mock something you have not tried ... No, I know you didn't explicitly say that, but it's implicit in your remark..... you seem to think that proper sword cuts are a topic aside from ki/kokyu skills. Let me assure you that sword-cutting, *done correctly*, is based on kokyu power and ki development. You keep arguing around basics like you don't understand they exist.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
12-06-2006, 08:21 AM
Dan,

The internal is there in my instructors - you sir, don't own it, and talk is cheap.

David

Dave
What a ridiculous thing to say to me. Since ....you... finally get what we have been saying all along (did you have trouble reading?)
Then see if you can address the only problem we -do- discuss.
a. That it is not openly taught

What I wrote in was yet another experience I have had with Aikidoka now feeling it and either saying they have felt it here and there, or not all, but that the specific ways to do it and train it are not taught.
Those are their words Dave, not mine

This is great for you Dave that you have, as you say, a teacher who can do these things. If you have teachers who can demonstrate it- then I assume I can meet you and you can do these things? Answer______________ ?
So that was ten years ago?
So you're pretty well versed and capable with these skills... yes?
If not...why not?

Or if you like so many are being told it takes twenty years....or that it is in the techniques? You are not being told the truth. The basic bodywork can be taught as a separate adjunct to training....in any art...in a short period of time and it gets better the more you train it.

And Dave, my position continues to be supported and strengthened the more I continue to meet folks. They talk, but can't do, they defend a teacher (who supposedly can do) yet they cannot... because they were taught not....by the very teacher they defend.


And Dave talk isn't cheap. It can get very expensive when folks meet.... hands-on and they really have no skills to argue with.
What I say to those who meet me and comment on my power is don;lt bow to me.If you want to bow go bow to the pictures on the wall. I didn't invent this stuff.
Better yet, go ask....if they supposedly know... why you haven't been taught?
Dan

Ron Tisdale
12-06-2006, 08:30 AM
I think Dan is spot on here...either the teachers don't know how to teach it, or they save it for a special few, or they believe you have to figure it out for yourself...or they teach it, but not in a format like Akuzawa, or Dan, or Mike...something is usually amiss.

Or we students are just clueless (I opt for that choice in my case)...but it's not getting out enough.

I chastized Cady a bit for a similar statement yesterday...but Dan is essentially saying the same thing, but making it a bit more palatable. I think we just have to accept that there are some roadblocks in aikido today that don't necessarily *have* to be there.

Best,
Ron

billybob
12-06-2006, 08:36 AM
Thanks Ron.

Thanks Dan. If you can make aikido better by irritating the hell out of some of us sometimes, then so be it. Please don't be surprised when we are rude - we take some of your comments as rude. So be it.

Several of my posts indicate I was tortured by a psychopath to the tune of having the ligaments in my groin torn out with a channel lock. So, I can't do - right now.

Dan, did you read my post about 'the leverage provided by a slightly resistive uke' making it easier to do (a different) throw? I really would like to discuss along those lines as that is how I understand (feel) the internal. I think Erick Mead understands too, but a common language seems to be missing. Scientists have mathematics - we have only english, and limited patience with one another.

David

Mark Freeman
12-06-2006, 08:50 AM
Oh no... are you striking back at with an imaginary "Mike o meter" because your feelings got hurt??? I hope not!!! :)

No feelings hurt, just slightly bored with the predictability of respose.


Let me say it once again, Mark. If someone does something well, I'm anxious to tell him. If someone does something poorly, I'll tell them. I said I haven't seen you, so I withold judgement and you turn it into a personal attack.

You are making personal judgements all the time in print , up front, no holding back, surely pointing something out that you do for a past-time is hardly an attack?


Secondly, you're not even in the same breath with Seisaki Abe.
Most probably not, I don't claim to be, I do not know him and I'm sure he is very good. However, unless you've practiced with both him and me, you are not in a position to make the statement. Sorry Mike, that is just the ufortunate position one is in when sitting in judgement. Not that that will stop you ;)


You *may* have some skills, but I've seen nothing you've written to support that beyond the rudiments. Maybe I'm wrong. Let's say I am.

Yes, let's! What I chose to write is not the totality of my aikido practice. I personally think that the forums are the least useful place to discuss 'skills'. The only decent place to explore them is in the dojo.

Anyway, since when did you become the arbiter of what passes for skill in aikido? hence my comment about the Mike-o-meter. I understand that you do have had some aikido experience in the past but you no longer practice. Perhaps you have gone beyond what aikido can offer you, perhaps not. You do undoubtedly sit in judgement of aikidoka 'in general' and also when you chose to be, very specific.


I'd still be reluctant to say too much positive without seeing what you do because I've personally seen (over the years) that when you give a positive appraisal, too many people immediately think "Aha! I'm there already".

The day I start practicing with the thought of "looking for Mike's approval" in my mind is along way off. If I came to you and I found that you had as much to teach me as my present teacher, I may think differently. This remains to be seen ;)

I'm just like many aikidoka on on these fora and even those who aren't, we practice what we are taught with as much sincerity as possible, some of us reach the place where we pass on what we have gained. Most of us are happy that we have found an art that engages us so fully. Even though we know that there are those who think that aikido is "useless" in real combat, even though there are people who say that aikidoka are 'lacking' in all sorts of areas'. It doesn't stop us from continuing. We may be flawed Mike, but my guess is that you are no different.

I don't claim any position of authority, as I don't judge other aikidoka, other than those I teach and train with. I have much to learn and I am aware of my own shortcomings, which gives me plenty of material to work with for the rest of my time on the aikido mat.

So fine... you worry about the "Mike O Meter" and make clever comments, but also consider the idea that we might meet someday and those clever remarks could come back to haunt you. ;)

As I said I'm not worried, but it is true that everything we put out in the public domain could come back to haunt us, and that goes for you too :p

And yeah... I'm goading to you to get better and better so you can impress the hell out of me. If I complimented you, you'd get lazy.

Ah that's better, the subtle stuff was only a passing fancy ;)

I may chose not to respond to your goading in the future Mike, please don't take it personally. I know you are just thinking of my progress, but I'll stick with my current training, and as I said, I'm not in it to impress you.

Also most readers will be bored with my to-ing and fro-ing with you, cluttering up the thread.

Anyway back to you, Mike ;)

regards,

Mark
p.s. If anyone thinks I am being overly offensive to Mike please let me know. I am keen to maintain some form of balance, and would be happy to listen to any advice.

Mike Sigman
12-06-2006, 08:56 AM
Dan, did you read my post about 'the leverage provided by a slightly resistive uke' making it easier to do (a different) throw? I really would like to discuss along those lines as that is how I understand (feel) the internal. I think Erick Mead understands too, but a common language seems to be missing. Scientists have mathematics - we have only english, and limited patience with one another.I think Dan put it fairly clearly, Dave.... part of the problem is that the conversations get into cross-purposes where people are assuming that what they *think* is "internal" is not what Dan is talking about. So your jump-shift suddenly back into what you think is "internal" (I don't think this is the word to use, frankly) potentially takes us back again.

The best thing for people to do is go get a "feel" for what the discussion is about. People who studied at workshops with Ushiro got a "feel" for some of the ways he uses power. Tohei's "ki tests" focus on this way to use power. Ueshiba is shown on film using this kind of power in various formats. The idea is to establish a verified common vocabulary rather than talk past each other with various "feels" for what "internal" means or, worse yet, to continue on with the insistence that someone *knows* what this stuff is. I've seen this situation come up so many times where when you finally meet up with someone, what they think they can do has very little to do with the subject in reality.

And to use Dan for a scapegoat for a moment, what he said can be construed as somewhat rude in regard to the status and respect for some instructors, but let's turn it around for a second and think about what it's like for the person who is friendily showing people how to do something, but he keeps getting hammered with a lot of claims and arguments that experience has shown to be usually empty. After a while you develop a defensive reaction dealing with the people who "already know that stuff", when it's pretty obvious that they don't. So there's a question of, I'll forego someone's comment about ego, some people believing their own press that needs to be addressed.... and the best way is to just get out there and meet. ;) Time's a-wastin'.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

billybob
12-06-2006, 09:01 AM
Mike,

Thank you. On the surface I am trying to learn. It may be ego as you suggest.

David

Mike Sigman
12-06-2006, 09:01 AM
Anyway, since when did you become the arbiter of what passes for skill in aikido?I haven't made any claim to be "the arbiter of what passes for skill in Aikido", Mark, but like everyone else in various forums, I can offer my opinions. Most of my response has been to your fairly regular indications that you've "been there; done that already". Maybe you have. As I stated fairly clearly, though, despite your continued insistences along those lines, I've seen no real indications of it. That's an opinion... not a claim to be "The Arbiter".

Regards,

Mike Sigman

TAnderson
12-06-2006, 09:10 AM
The problem for the vast majority of Aikidoka out there is that we have been told what we are doing or what our teachers are doing is internal and comes from the center. Naturally, when we feel what our instructors do we assign their mechanics to the moving from the center category because that is what we are told they are doing. In other words we have been dictated to what the center should feel like without really knowing if that is truly what the center should feel like. Most Aikidoka have no comparable frame of reference. Of course, there are the students out there that get up in arms with even the hint that they and/or their instructors are not truly moving from their center.

These threads always seem to get to the same sticking points. I encourage people to get out there and find these people so you can put your hands on them and feel what they are talking about. Trust me you are going to be surprised and a lot of realizations will come to you about how this art developed and may have gotten off course. Maybe the next Aikiweb workshop can include an "internal" guy or two.

Theories on paper are nice but the lab is where the work is done.

Best,
Tim Anderson

Mark Freeman
12-06-2006, 09:13 AM
Most of my response has been to your fairly regular indications that you've "been there; done that already". Maybe you have. As I stated fairly clearly, though, despite your continued insistences along those lines, I've seen no real indications of it.

I don't remember ever having said "been there done that" I have however practiced the Tohei ki exercises for the last 14 or so years, which is about the limit of my claims. I'm not insisting anything, and I wonder what you need to see in print to be able to judge whether someone is genuine. Pretty odd in my mind.
I've seen pretty inexperienced aikido people post on thse forums with greater eloquence than me. What does ones typing ability say about their ki/kokyu skills?

This is a daft exchange and I will bow out at this point.

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
12-06-2006, 09:21 AM
Thank you. On the surface I am trying to learn. It may be ego as you suggest. Hi Dave: Well, I'm trying to be somewhat ambivalent. I think you can see by our posts that although we're both very different people, Dan and I for some reason similarly bristle a little bit at some of the side-issues in these discussions that have to do with "can already do that", "my teacher is great at it", "we've discussed and practiced this stuff for years" (and yet when you meet them they've got nothing but muscle, etc.). There's a reason, at least on my part (since I don't want to speak for Dan), for the bristling..... years of experience has shown that most of the claims about "already do that" are a waste of time. If you tolerate it nicely, you wind up in most meetings trying to massage someone's ego instead of saying, "Hey.... look at what you can do... you simply can't do it".

It's just better to cut to the chase. But just cutting to the chase doesn't always work either. Let me think of an example to put into words. OK, let me switch to Taiji for a second to make it clearer, although I've seen exactly the same thing happen in Aikido a number of times, as well:

I can remember meeting up with a guy who took falls, dives, and pushes from his teacher to the point where his teacher barely had to move his hand and the guy was bouncing away. When this guy came and met with me privately, he wasn't cooperative at all and attempted to resist. I still continued to handle him fairly easily (not because I'm great but because he had no jin skills) and gradually he kept increasing his resistance, telling me that I simply couldn't handle him as easily as his teacher did. So suddenly in the middle of his strong resistance, I released a large shaking-power and it threw him down and shook him up. But he left and forever was convinced that despite handling him from very soft to very rough, no one else really had the "magic" that his own teacher did. In other words, there will always be a potential in these discussions for a certain amount of teacher-student relationship that will unconsciously be affecting the conversation. The best way to avoid it is to keep the discussion very much on the how's and why's of these things, not on the "you hurt my feelings", "ego", and "you said something that implicates my teacher and therefore I hate you" stuff. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
12-06-2006, 09:27 AM
The problem for the vast majority of Aikidoka out there is that we have been told what we are doing or what our teachers are doing is internal and comes from the center. Naturally, when we feel what our instructors do we assign their mechanics to the moving from the center category because that is what we are told they are doing. In other words we have been dictated to what the center should feel like without really knowing if that is truly what the center should feel like. Good point, Tim. I stopped by a Pilates place and talked to some Yoga people, etc., etc., recently, and I find that they teach how to do things "from the center" and "breathe to strengthen the center" and "move from the center",etc., and it boils down to the fact that they've usurped the trendy term/phrase of "move from the center" and interpretted it as they feel like it... since they don't know any better.

So the error is probably back to being partially mine for not factoring in the point that many people aren't wrong because they're dummies, but because they've been educated into a belief that may not be accurate. I can accept that.

Regards,

Mike

DH
12-06-2006, 09:50 AM
Wow....I can't keep up with you guys. I have to go work.




Thanks Dan. If you can make aikido better by irritating the hell out of some of us sometimes, then so be it. Please don't be surprised when we are rude - we take some of your comments as rude. So be it.

Scientists have mathematics - we have only english, and limited patience with one another.

David
Dave
This is what ...I.... try to do to make Aikido better
Go to open discussions and read.

My experience with Dan Harden

-I spent the night from 7:30 -midnight. With a couple of guys to get them started on basics. And put my own guys aside.

Read
Meeting with Dan Harden in Boston
I drove for and hour taught, and took Mark to dinner.


I am offering to put my body where my mouth is the best I can manage...free of charge... to help. Say what you will. And I'll let you be the judge of what I get and have gotten in return.
Re-read Mikes replies. He gives a fairly even handed assessment of what it is like to be looking.... from this end.

I know I am messing with folks art and their teachers. But honestly. I think in the end, it will help.
As Ikeda pointed out in his article I posted here about summer camp..... "We need to start doing things completely different."
Go yell at him too.
As I said many times.
Aikido....full speed...in the wrong direction.

Dan

billybob
12-06-2006, 10:15 AM
Thank you Sir.

Sometimes detractors are those most passionate for the object of their criticism.

David

Thomas Campbell
12-06-2006, 11:27 AM
Sword and Spear/Staff work are inter-related, or at least I've found so in my own training.
The internal "saggital" plane work done with spear/staff is directly applicable to sword work, and its the stepping stone to examining other components of internal work.

[snip]
Myself, training goes something like this:

Solo Work (non weapons) -> Builds physical realizations of certain properties/harmonies.

Said properties/harmonies are put into weapons work, such as spear or cutting. Test and train these realizations with the weapons, which again help the body to realize other factors

Said factors are then put into Solo Work(sans weapons) etc etc.
Its a never ending feedback loop.

Partner work and sparring fit into this feedback loop of course, but they're more of a barometer than a developer if you ask me.



My two cents anyways.

PS
Practicing with any kind of weapon should reveal any "imbalances" you have in your body movement/alignments. Which is why long weapons that exert leverage on the body are used since you can't use "muscle" to wield them. Practicing on a 6 foot bokken quickly whips the bodies alignments into shape :D

Rob,

Thanks for taking the time to detail your experience. The point about emptyhands and weapons training forming a feedback loop in training internal connection is a good one . . .maybe it is a basic idea, but sometimes the two types of training seem taught in a disconnected manner, as if one doesn't have anything to do with the other, even though the training is for the same body/mind.

billybob
12-06-2006, 04:01 PM
Sensei Harden,

Thanks for your time. I read as much of the open discussions as I could today.

I won't apologize for pushing you. I will say that I feel a growl deep down and feel encouraged to continue the very painful work of rehabbing my body.

I hope some day to meet you and have you push me - with your hands on my chest, and just smile - because I got it. Either way, the beer is on me that day.

Keep challenging the status quo. It needs to be done. Please be as gentle as you can with those who yell at you, as you have been with me.

David

DH
12-06-2006, 04:13 PM
Hi Dave
No worries there. I'm nice.... by nature.
I wish we lived closer. I'd be happy to be part of your rehab. Imagine coming out stronger after that ordeal?

Just a quick heads up. Tisn't all about being pushed. The physical aspects of this body training makes you strong in unusual ways. Ways that just so happen to be very useful in martial pursuits.

Gotta git to a meeting
Dan

George S. Ledyard
12-06-2006, 05:14 PM
I think Dan is spot on here...either the teachers don't know how to teach it, or they save it for a special few, or they believe you have to figure it out for yourself...or they teach it, but not in a format like Akuzawa, or Dan, or Mike...something is usually amiss.

Or we students are just clueless (I opt for that choice in my case)...but it's not getting out enough.

I chastized Cady a bit for a similar statement yesterday...but Dan is essentially saying the same thing, but making it a bit more palatable. I think we just have to accept that there are some roadblocks in aikido today that don't necessarily *have* to be there.

Best,
Ron

This is absolutely true. The real problem is that there are actually a number of different aspects of "aiki' which we are all talking about. For the greats, like O-sensei, they were not separate, they were completely integrated. But the discussion is coming at these things from different angles without most of the folks being very clear about what the actual principles are that we need to be discussing.

Mike and Dan, each in his own way, are talking about the power aspect of the art. This power should be "internal power", not just muscular strength. Mike comes largely from the Chinese martial arts background and his descriptive vocabulary is based on that background. Dan comes from a Japanese martial arts background and his descriptive terminology reflects that. I think it is clear however, that they are talking about the same things. It really isn't productive to spend a lot of time in these discussions debating whether these guys know what they are talking about. I've met and trained very briefly with Mike and I can assure folks that he does know what he says he knows. Dan and I have conversed and I know a number of people who have trained with him. He also knows what he say he knows, by all reports.

The issue in these discussions is whether you have to know what they know to be doing Aikido. I suspect that in order to be as good as someone like O-Sensei you do... but there is plenty to work on in Aikido aside from the power aspect. Neither of these guys is a senior Aikido practitioner. I suspect that most of the senior folks in Aikido can do various things that these fellows can't do or can't do any where near as well. (We'll leave aside the question of whether they would even want to do these things).

In my own case, I have pursued the aspect of "aiki" which allows someone like Kuroda Sensei, Angier Sensei, Endo Sensei, Saotome Sensei, etc to drop you without you even feeling it coming. I am largely interested in the aspect of Aikido which allows one to completely neutralize the attacker's strength before or at the instant of contact, as Ushiro Sensei has been explaining. The principles which govern the physical and mental "musubi" are an integral part of great aikido and are a separate area of study for the Aikido student.

As in the area of internal power as described by Mike and Dan, the aspect of "musubi" is not systematically taught by most Aikido teachers. I do not believe that this is a conscious decision in most cases. The post war generation of Aikido teachers did not receive systematic, principle based instruction from O-Sensei. Some, like Tohei Sensei, tried to develop some form of this for themselves. Others, like my own teacher, Saotome Sensei, developed very high skill levels but did so largely in an intuitive manner. Attempts to break the various principles at work in the technique have been successful only in the most limited way because these teachers never had a vocabulary which served to organize their understanding of what they were actually doing.

The good news is that there are folks around who do have some knowledge in these areas. Efforts by folks like Mike, Dan and Ellis are serving to give Aikido folks a more systematic way of approaching various aspects of their training. To the extent that I now understand what Kuroda Sensei, Ushiro Sensei, and others have taught me, I have been able to develop a very systematic approach to teaching what I have gotten from Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei. There are other folks around who are doing the same thing.

It is important that people start getting past the need to keep pissing at each other and acting like it somehow diminishes us to admit that someone else has something we don't. I have been doing aikido for thirty years. It's what I do. These guys don't really do Aikido. But could my Aikido be better if I knew what these guys know? Absolutely, without question. I have a whole list of areas which I want to investigate before I expire and the aspects of internal power and kokyu training these guys are talking about are high on the list. But I don't sit up late worrying about the fact that these guys know something I don't. Lots of people know things I don't; that fact does not diminish what I do know. I don't have to dispute their knowledge in order to feel secure about I know.

What we need to do is develop opportunities to share this knowledge. The Aiki Expos started that process. But now there won't be any more Expos, so how do we make that process continue for ourselves? I think a process of open exchange by way of Aikido folks inviting some of these folks to share their knowledge is crucial to the growth of the art. There's a movement within the Aikido community which is actively engaged in simplification. The spiritual side of the art is being removed or at least made "contemporary". The martial aspect of the art is being downplayed to the point at which it really is in danger of not really being a form of Budo any more. Someone needs to adding knowledge back into the art of Aikido to counter what is being lost. These folks who post are at least making an effort to point out that there are aspects of their experience that could be of great help to Aikido folks who wish to make their Aikido more like what the Aikido greats could do. If their delivery of that information pisses people off, I think folks should just get over it. No one is asking these guys to be in the Diplomatic Corps. I mean, I don't see Mike or Dan as Ambassadors to any place... If someone's ego gets a bit twinged by their delivery, well, suck it up, this is Budo. Look at the content, forget about the delivery and make your Aikido better.

ChrisMoses
12-06-2006, 05:30 PM
Nice post George. I was posting this (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?p=161064#post161064) at the same time (post 66). Looks like we covered some common ground.

Mike Sigman
12-06-2006, 06:24 PM
The real problem is that there are actually a number of different aspects of "aiki' which we are all talking about. For the greats, like O-sensei, they were not separate, they were completely integrated. [[snipsky]]

Mike and Dan, each in his own way, are talking about the power aspect of the art. This power should be "internal power", not just muscular strength. Mike comes largely from the Chinese martial arts background and his descriptive vocabulary is based on that background. George, I can appreciate what you're saying, but let me add that

(1.) I agree that it should be all integrated... however, integrated Aikido is sort of like integrating the alphabet, spelling, and novel writing; it's all one thing, not 3 possible things you can add at whim. Is novel writing an art that stands by itself without the alphabet or spelling? No. Neither is Aiki without technique or internal strength really a stand-alone concept.

(2.)I realize that my 7-8 years in Aikido is not the same as 30-40 years doing it, but neither is it the same thing as some guy who went to a few classes and then left for the Chinese martial arts. ;) My descriptive vocabulary is really not all that shabby... heck, I was pretty fluent in Japanese at one time, for a yagi-no-mei. The issue in these discussions is whether you have to know what they know to be doing Aikido. I suspect that in order to be as good as someone like O-Sensei you do... but there is plenty to work on in Aikido aside from the power aspect. Neither of these guys is a senior Aikido practitioner. I suspect that most of the senior folks in Aikido can do various things that these fellows can't do or can't do any where near as well. (We'll leave aside the question of whether they would even want to do these things). This is really the heart of the matter. Speaking strictly for myself, I do and have always made it very clear that I consider the "internal strength" aspects to go like this: "Aikido without kokyu strength is no good; Aikido without proper Aikido technique and only kokyu strength is no good either". I've never said otherwise. The worst-case implication of what I have to say is that Aikido is an integrated art and without internal strength, it's not really Aikido. Period. That says nothing about any claims to Aikido knowledge on my part, but it certainly concurs with Ushiro's offhand observation that "no kokyu; no Aikido". Ushiro doesn't claim to be an Aikido expert and neither do I... but we (and a number of others) recognize that there is something drastically missing. And it ain't Systema. ;)What we need to do is develop opportunities to share this knowledge. The Aiki Expos started that process. But now there won't be any more Expos, so how do we make that process continue for ourselves? I think a process of open exchange by way of Aikido folks inviting some of these folks to share their knowledge is crucial to the growth of the art. I agree with that totally, George. A lot of the musing I do on the side with Ellis and others is to try and understand how this stuff got dropped so badly. Once I get a feel for what actually happened, I'll probably be on my way... but I would encourage everyone to look very hard. I remember repeating a superficial explanation of some of the ki/kokyu skills to an Asian expert I knew and he laughed and said, "If it was that simple, why would the old people have made such a big deal about it? Do you think they were stupid?". I certainly don't think that Ueshiba was stupid or was doing "parlour tricks" with his ki demonstrations. He was stressing the core of Aikido.

Good post, George.

All the Best.

Mike Sigman

DH
12-06-2006, 08:51 PM
George
I hesitate to respond as I feel the post was squarely aimed at others. But I feel compelled to point out that you seem to have somewhat compartmentalized these skills as
a. Internal strength as sort of static strength against a push.
b Use of Martial skills, and Japanese format in particular- as a separate entity.

The Internal skills-are- Aikido.........
Pushing? Is a test. Not the real use of these skills in motion.

I will only speak for myself in that I would be willing to "do" Aikido as a fighting form along side anyone. I have been using these skills and others in a fighting form for a very long time. It is my view that these skills are at the core of higher level technical skill often seen. And to use them in an art like Aikido; capturing someones center in motion on contact, while it is coming in-in either a punch or grab and manipulating it is standard fair and a fairly rote way to express these skills. And doing so with less agressive attacks of Aikido is easier than in a more intense format.
.
Even things oft seen in Aikido like being magnetic, and not being able to help but to follow. Them feeling as if they cannot let go. etc etc..many of the things you see mainifested IN Aikido you will see and feel in those who start to understand these things. They are in the Chinese arts As well.

And as umpopular as it sounds... I wonder just how many there are who don't know how to teach these skills outside of their technique.

For me the real issue is
a. Whether or not a person has the skills.
Then.....
b. Wether or not they can access and use them in a freestyle fighting format
Then.....
c. Whether or not they can teach

So strictly in an academic sort of question of the practical values in a fighting sense; I'd postulate that anyone with a measurable level of these skills could do aikido with perhaps a very surprising level of competency.

Does that sound awful. It really isn't.
Why?
The Internal skills-are- Aikido.........
Pushing is a test. Not the real skills used in fluid motion and connection.
Ueshiba was fluid. So was Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo etc. And so are others with any measure of these skills.
Should we expect less of ourselves?

If I misunderstood your meaning....my apologies
Cheers
Dan

Thomas Campbell
12-06-2006, 08:51 PM
[snip]If someone's ego gets a bit twinged by their delivery, well, suck it up, this is Budo. Look at the content, forget about the delivery and make your Aikido better.

Amen.

Mike Hamer
12-07-2006, 03:26 AM
Are you saying you're marking the quantity, not quality of it, Mikel? :p


Er.....both.

davidafindlay
12-07-2006, 08:13 AM
<Left Field>

Hi Thread,I know I am messing with folks art and their teachers. But honestly. I think in the end, it will help. As Ikeda pointed out in his article I posted here about summer camp..... "We need to start doing things completely different." Go yell at him too. As I said many times. Aikido....full speed...in the wrong direction....There's a movement within the Aikido community ... <snip> ... The martial aspect of the art is being downplayed to the point at which it really is in danger of not really being a form of Budo any more... <snip> ... If someone's ego gets a bit twinged by their delivery, well, suck it up, this is Budo. Look at the content, forget about the delivery and make your Aikido better... amen to all of the above, and those who are willing to help with the "how to".

For those spectating this thread and thinking something like "Man, I'm never going to learn <Th3 R3aL W1Ng cHUn> " ;) ... well, to those who might be feeling like that...

- give some thought to why you're training what you're training.
- be honest.
- if it really does involve any of the stuff being discussed in this thread, then get out there and start to nose around.

There are certainly numerous dead ends, but the internet is making these days a brave new world. Its not that hard. I suggest that the more people who improve, the more people in general will improve. Which makes it all the more fun for everyone :)

And as George L mentioned, there is plenty more in aikido than just the (internal) power stuff. Just depends what you're looking for. But if I were going to class because I liked the drinks afterwards, I'd be sleeping better at night if I said I was more involved with a social club than learning bujutsu... :)

(Not meaning to come across as a @#$%, but just trying to call a spade a spade.)

</Left Field>

Best,
Dave Findlay

DH
12-07-2006, 11:03 AM
Not to put too fine a point on it.
But I'm really starting to question folks understanding of the phrase internal "power." Its not always about pushing you off or rebounding you. It is THEE finest way to connect and be ghosty, or connect and carry/lead their intent around with you or lead it off that I know of.
Power ? Yes?
But, for many uses.
And fighting if you have the skill and experience and train becomes a connected whole. Mind/.body/fighting accumen all in one.
The -way-you choose to fight is up to you. No matter what your choice intense or casual you will just be more efficient, controlling of their efforts, and very difficult to stop for average Martial artists.
Cheers
Dan

Nick Pagnucco
12-07-2006, 03:07 PM
Not to put too fine a point on it.
But I'm really starting to question folks understanding of the phrase internal "power." Its not always about pushing you off or rebounding you. It is THEE finest way to connect and be ghosty, or connect and carry/lead their intent around with you or lead it off that I know of.
Power ? Yes?
But, for many uses.

Is there a better term?
In your view, not to put a fine point on it, etc.

davidafindlay
12-07-2006, 05:01 PM
Not to put too fine a point on it.
But I'm really starting to question folks understanding of the phrase internal "power." Its not always about pushing you off or rebounding you.But I'd say the skill is useful - for the rebounding, and also seems to be a pretty standard ticket to show who has at least their foot in the door.It is THEE finest way to connect and be ghosty, or connect and carry/lead their intent around with you or lead it off that I know of.Yeah, and even when someone's "ghosting" they still have a grounded, connected body... or perhaps a controlled "disconnected" body, if things get into a fix.Power ? Yes?
But, for many uses.I especially like the speed that seems to come with the skills. The whole body moving and connected. Watching Akuzawa move across the floor was very impresssive. And that sometimes things are *fast* and other times it might not be fast, but seems wholly unstoppable.

I'm also a big fan of the resulting realising a better daily posture, less wear on the body, and starting to learn of the body's systems which would normally seem spntaneous or automatic.And fighting if you have the skill and experience and train becomes a connected whole. Mind/.body/fighting accumen all in one.
The -way-you choose to fight is up to you. No matter what your choice intense or casual you will just be more efficient, controlling of their efforts, and very difficult to stop for average Martial artists.
Cheers
DanAbsolutely! :) And its a fascinating study.

Best,
Dave Findlay

statisticool
12-11-2006, 09:21 AM
If their delivery of that information pisses people off, I think folks should just get over it. No one is asking these guys to be in the Diplomatic Corps. I mean, I don't see Mike or Dan as Ambassadors to any place... If someone's ego gets a bit twinged by their delivery, well, suck it up, this is Budo. Look at the content, forget about the delivery and make your Aikido better.


On the other hand, the gurus shouldn't get peed off, when people do things like point out that the vector stuff that some always stress as the basis for everything martial are in a judo book from the 1950's, The Secrets of Judo (p. 48 pic 22, p. 63, pic 34) and that there's nothing special about them- they are just one of many things.

They are simply a natural product of physics that occur even when we just walk. So training in aikido techniques, for example, is more important than theorizing about vectors, IMO.

DH
12-11-2006, 09:47 AM
Justin
I don't get upset and have remained positively engaged throughout these various exchanges. It is my view that the ones who have felt these strengths...(now in the dozens here) all are, or were, in Aikido. Thus had felt many shihans. They ...........noted the superiority of these strengths.
I also note -with few exceptions- that the pissyness has been pretty much from the aikido folk.

I find it interesting that you quoted George Ledyard. One of the folks who met Mike. Was Mike Pissy?
You did not quote Mark Murry, Or Rob Liberti. Was I pissy?
And since we are willing to show, and teach for free where does that leave your argument?

What are your views on Ikeda's comments in the Aikido Journal Blog entry I re-posted here?
All of these men have felt many Shihan- curious that they noted a usable strength that could benefit Aikido.

I can go along with your Judo argument but it is missing many key things not spoken. Since we are on the topic. How about you respond to the quotes from Fighting Spirit of Japan where it cites old school Judo players meeting Aikijujutsu men who they.... try to push and pull to no avail
Why try pushing and pulling?
And of the 6th dan judo guy who says when he uses these skills he cannot be thrown

Again and -with any luck for the final time-no one is claiming ownership of these things. Seems many go out of their way to say over and over you can find them in other arts. But they are not openly taught
So, I've no trouble with Judo. Particulary on the edge of Mifunes Aiki-Judo. But vector work doesn't cover it-not by a long shot. You can play vectors with some fols all the day long and it will have minimul results.
1. You need to have a clear path inside you
2. That is enhanced and made potent by connections you have worked and strengthened-inside you.
3. It helps to be able to use breath -power supported by your spine
4. You need to have years of practice to be able to sustain these things in motion
5. Once the above are in place you can have both a sensitivity to contact and manipulation and a power delivery.
6. To be able to access and use them naturally in fighting against trained fighters

It would be my pleasure to meet an Aikido teacher who meets all these condtions. More so, to meet one who can teach it.
I don't think anyone has a corner on these skills. I just argue that few openly teach them

Don't get pissy on me now....
Cheers and happy holidays
And to those like me...Merry Christmas
Dan

George S. Ledyard
12-11-2006, 09:51 AM
Not to put too fine a point on it.
But I'm really starting to question folks understanding of the phrase internal "power." Its not always about pushing you off or rebounding you. It is THEE finest way to connect and be ghosty, or connect and carry/lead their intent around with you or lead it off that I know of.
Power ? Yes?
But, for many uses.
And fighting if you have the skill and experience and train becomes a connected whole. Mind/.body/fighting accumen all in one.
The -way-you choose to fight is up to you. No matter what your choice intense or casual you will just be more efficient, controlling of their efforts, and very difficult to stop for average Martial artists.
Cheers
DanHi Dan,

Without actually getting a chance to actually feel what you are talking about, I can only judge what your intent is from the discussions I follow. Most of what has been emphasized in the previous posts I have read have concerned issues like the so-called jo-trick, being difficult to throw, having explosive power etc. I finally got the cahnce to train a bit with Mike this summer and he was kind enougth to outline his descriptive vocabulary for me and show me exectly what he meant. So I have a much clearer idea what he means when he posts now. I have not had that with you so it is still unclear to me. I suspect that we have many of the same ideas about the principles but have not yet achieved a common descriptive basis for talking about it.

It is THEE finest way to connect and be ghosty, or connect and carry/lead their intent around with you or lead it off that I know of.

If there could be more discussion about this aspect of what I would call "aiki", I'd have a better picture of what you are doing. Thanks.

Mike Sigman
12-11-2006, 10:20 AM
So, I've no trouble with Judo. Particulary on the edge of Mifunes Aiki-Judo. But vector work doesn't cover it-not by a long shot. You can play vectors with some fols all the day long and it will have minimul results. I think the negative implications of most of Justin's posts are fairly obvious. I'd say leave him in the ignore file. He's basically a Cheng Man Ching practitioner and they have a reputation for this sort of attitude.

The judo book with "vectors" I haven't bothered to look up, but I'm pretty sure I know exactly which one he's talking about. It's fairly well known, has drawings, etc. The unfortunate problem is that the forces in that particular judo commentary are the normal, "external" forces of technique, not the type of forces we're talking about here. Since Justin is openly indicating that he doesn't understand the jin/kokyu forces as being different from the normal "li" forces, what's the point of engaging in a wasted discussion? Just ignore him, Dan.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
12-11-2006, 10:30 AM
I finally got the chance to train a bit with Mike this summer and he was kind enougth to outline his descriptive vocabulary for me and show me exectly what he meant. So I have a much clearer idea what he means when he posts now.Hi George:

I enjoyed it, too. Let me try to interject something here about the language and descriptive vocabulary. There are a number of approaches to these body-strength skills. Ueshiba had one. Tohei had one, but it is slightly different. Good karate has a related usage of these skills, but it is different and "harder". I have one... but I keep trying to get softer and softer in my movement-training because I now understand how that works and why it is important. Dan has an assuredly different approach than I do. Akuzawa, from what I can gather in reading and watching vids, has a somewhat different approach based on the old Shaolin tenets ("Shaolin" is NOT a bad word).

The point I'm getting at is that the basic principles are going to be the same in all the honest examples of these skills, but then there is going to be some divergence. I think the first thing everyone should do is get a grasp of the core vocabulary about the basic "mind-directed forces" and the development of the "ki" part of the body. Then and only then should the different divergences get much discussion. What I'm afraid of is an example of some Aikido practitioners grabbing a few ki/kokyu skills, maybe mixing them with a little of the muscular stuff they already do, and then passing it on to an unwary group of up-coming students.

I.e., this is not a simple topic and it's worthwhile taking some time to get the alphabet and terms right, as you suggest. Very worthwhile... almost imperative.

My 2 cents.

Mike

DH
12-11-2006, 10:31 AM
Hi George

I think we are going to be meeting this year-once the schedule is announced ;)
Wasn't much chance last year.
I agree with what Mike wrote before- that it is not constructive to post much in detail. You yourself just validated it by saying you didn't get the gist of what he wrote about-it till you felt it.
I think folks like Mark Murry and Rob Liberti, and the two Aikido Guys who now train with me regularly (you know their teachers) who have felt it would agree with you. They didn't get what the heck I was talking about either. The capturing center-on-contact and magnetic feel were quite interesting to them. More so to Rob and this other guy who I showed how to *actually* start doing it.

Overall, I'd say the key is to forget the other guy and stop doing things with him. We need to focus on us and what we are doing on the inside. The effect of that work, has and *affect* on everything they do to us. It becomes easy to feel their efforts. I am drawing-in and concentraining on me-not them. I don't ....do...techniques. I am, my space. I occupy it they enter it then depending on what I do we play. It's more fun to play with guys who are training these things themselves. Its more of a contest and feel.

The Aiki aspects
A simple example that may help, is if someone is standing and sinking and spreading while winding up at the same time. Anyone who makes contact feels like they hit a wall. The guy didn't *do*.anything to the person attacking him and is relaxed and moving without moving. Because he is neutral he can be highly sensitive. And if they are playing, they may feel like they are being *drawn* in and down and they start to rise. That can lead to an expulsion or rebound. Or if there is no force we can apply force, from us to them in a throw or strike. Or what cracks up some guys as it feels odd- is you let them push- and inside, without moving, you let them feel the changes you are making to their directed force.
I show simple steps to first identify it -in you- with shoulder pushes and receiving and rebounding. then the next time with way to absorb the same force just using parts of your body axis that remains absorbing while another part is projecting all at the same time. Makes for a fun weekend.
This is simple stuff and the same I'd do in fighting with some key differences
I'm sure we can manage a hands on this year. After feeling each other out we can work and have fun. With any luck at the end of a an afternoon When I write you will say. "I understand what Dan is talking about."
Its not rocket science. It's my belief that anyone who will actually train VS train when they see me ;) can learn to do this stuff.
It just takes adults with an inquisitive dispostion and focus to do these things.

At the end of the day, if this stuff is "natural"- I'd like to see the guy-untrained-who can pull these things off. I must be stupid. It' taken me years. And if it is in fact a trained and learned skill.
From whom?
Where?
Cheers
Dan

DH
12-11-2006, 10:56 AM
Just thougt I'd add that I don't pretend to know what other folk are doing by things they write on the internet. I've had a belly full of internet experts and ranked guys who can't do...what they say they can do.
Folks have met Mike, met Rob and met me. No one...not one. has reported back that we are huff and puff. So while we may have distinctly different approaches ...I've no idea...we may have similar results.
Mike has this idea that it is premissed off of the same basics and it builds from there. He may be right.
I think his idea of the one jin...and I had no idea what the heck HE was talking about last year....is correct. In functional body use it is Aiki-age. Though if you don't know what to do with that-you can end up playing Hiriki games- through wrist grabbing, till the cows come home and you won't get far.

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
12-11-2006, 11:03 AM
I think his Idea of the one jin...and I had no idea what he was talking about last year....is correct. In functional body use it is Aiki -age. OK, thanks. So maybe now I have a better feel for what "Aiki-age" is. The idea of many jins all coming from one jin is, unfortunately, not just my idea. It is a ancient core tenet that's fairly obvious once you begin to pick up skills. It's part of the whole cosmology bandwagon that permeates Asian martial arts and, as such, is part of what Ueshiba was referring to cryptically (but using the standard cryptic phraseology) in the douka.

FWIW

Mike

DH
12-11-2006, 11:43 AM
You're welcome...except you still don't know what Aiki-age or Aiki-sage is either. You can't even get folks in the art who have it to agree! Here we can say Peng-jin and lu. And then argue for daring to use that. Or we can say how An is taught clearly to inside people in certain Japanese arts both in the touch of hands and in body -to read and control an attackers force. But it really is just going to progress to more argument there as well. Its easier if you touch, and someone "knows."
It's very frustrating in that there is little agreement in the Japanese arts and from what I am seeing the Chinese arts as well. You get a feeling that it has to -be- concrete and understandable. But then the higher ups say no one should dare say what *X* is because they don't know either. Or (typical) after twenty years they are getting it a little bit. How is that different from the way Chinese arts are taught? I agree and understand that "Ideal" or "model" as well. I have felt and still feel that way- that I am just scratching the surface. But, you still need to train and discuss it in actual hands -on an explicable means. Not hiding the truth buried in techniques that are by an large ancillary to whats *really* going on in the first place. Then ytou get the "we train by principles" guys who take a good idea but can't do a damn thing either. They're just good fighters.
So you either get off the elevator and take the stairs up and upset folks or you get lost on the staircase "to the top"and end up in the basement. Either way you're not on the elevator.
So in the end I think we're still stuck in terminology.
Its why I use hands on to test. Then I feel better asking someone just what the heck they "think" they know.
If it works, it works. If not I just keep on going.
Then we have to consider is the information valuable- but the egg head who has it ...can't use it.
Or is the information *bupkis* and a wrong direction in the first place and not worth considering.
And in the end we are back to discussing that it must fit an Asian model that is known. But that is largely known and yet not known and not openly taught......argh!
And folks who know parts argue over semantics and understanding of what they know and thet tell everyone its known in Asia and agreed to and there is no argument as they argue. ;)
Challenging waters.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
12-11-2006, 12:08 PM
You're welcome...except you still don't know what Aiki-age or Aiki-sage is either. You can't even get folks in the art who have it to agree! Here we can say Peng-jin and lu. And then argue for daring to use that. Or we can say how An is taught clearly to inside people in certain Japanese arts both in the touch of hands and in body -to read and control an attackers force. But it really is just going to progress to more argument there as well. Its easier if you touch, and someone "knows." Well, notice that I just said I get a better feel for what you mean. I did not say that I "know". And from everything I've seen and that I'm hearing, it's not fully peng jin, but probably one of the less-complete versions of top-line, single-rice-grain jin. But the essential principle will have to be the same.... there is only one jin. Line up everyone you want who uses "kokyu", "aiki-age", kei, jin, shakti, and so on.... they will all be using some variation, some mixture of muscle/jin, etc. So I really don't get too interested in arguing what color pants someone has on as long as it's obvious they're wearing pants. ;)

Mike

DH
12-11-2006, 12:16 PM
Nah you took that the wrong way...or I worded it poorly.
I was joking in that everyone argues on the Japanese side as to what "they are." So...still kidding...you still don't know...cause they don't agree either. Nor will they.
Rob has some great stuff from Sagawa on that.
Just as you can see many Chinese guys arguing on what the core things in their art are.

I was kidding as well that one the one hand many just get lost in arguing-the other half says its in the techniques and it takes twenty years to figure out and only a very few concentrate on forgeting the waza and JUST train the body.
Hope that makes more sense.
Dan

Dennis Hooker
12-11-2006, 12:17 PM
Good God Almighty. You two are the wordiest people I ever ran across. And the words you use are strange too. Hell, listening to you to talk is as confusing as trying to order coffee at Starbucks. Anyway I prefer my jin with a g not a j.