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raul rodrigo
01-26-2007, 01:54 AM
If I were to take a stab at it, it seemed that his fingertips came up under and inside the "sphere" of my grab; somehow this popped my elbows into the air, and then at that point I was so light that the slightest flick of his hands would knock me away. There were none of the large movements we normally see, eg, torso leaning forward, or elbows dropping to get underneath them my grab. There was no feeling of ordinary muscular strength in the forearms; i've done this long enough that i can tell whether tori is deriving power from his elbows, his shoulders, his biceps, etc. It was as if at the very moment of contact, he was already underneath my center--and that was all he needed. Don't know if this helps any.


R

eyrie
01-26-2007, 02:59 AM
The wrist rotation commonly taught is the easiest way to allow people to visualize and feel it. It is by no means the only way. It can be done with a wrist turn out, in up or down, an arm cut down, a cut across (in or out), diagonals and many more. When a well understood kokyu path gets good, there really is no more than a twitch of adjusting the connection and away we go..... I am merely observing the motion of the limb segments in proper kokyu and describing their motion. It is not a measn of power generation perse, but the motion that occurs in both low and high energy kokyu movement.

OK, I get where you're coming from now. I'm not sure how to say this, so I'll be blunt... but no offense intended. I think this is the problem with how aikido is taught. Essentially, a follow an example, try to copy it, learn by discovery. I'm not debating the validity of such a learning model... it has its place, and probably deserves a separate thread.

The problem is, people follow the motions without understanding the basis for motion. Doesn't help when you aren't told, even if you are shown it/feel it. Raul is a good example. (Sorry dude!). He got shown, he felt it, but I'll bet Kuribayashi didn't elucidate the how... (See also my original thread on "Stealing techniques"....)

So when faced with a strong, resistant uke, the natural tendency is to force the motion to conform to the demonstrated model, with more physical strength. Which leads us further and further away from what Raul described Kuribayashi did to him.

Obviously, some minute (or even overt adjustment) in motion is required, to find the correct path - for the average person. But if taught and shown correctly how to source the power for the motion from the ground, using the structure, it doesn't take long before a student can find the correct path to uke's center consistently, with and without following the prescribed motion and/or rotations. How well they can do it, then becomes a matter of degree and practice.... LOTS of practice.

Which is the reason why we're having this discussion in the first place. IMO, the motion is NOT what I'm talking about when I refer to baseline skill. It is the "source" of that motion, and how motion is given impetus (i.e. powered) that I'm talking about.

Can you see where I'm coming from?

raul rodrigo
01-26-2007, 03:14 AM
The problem is, people follow the motions without understanding the basis for motion. Doesn't help when you aren't told, even if you are shown it/feel it. Raul is a good example. (Sorry dude!). He got shown, he felt it, but I'll bet Kuribayashi didn't elucidate the how...

No, i'm not offended, Ignatius. And no, he didn't explain where the power came from. So I basically have two choices: search high and low for an explanation, even from outside conventional aikido thinking, or just bow my head and say, "He is a Hombu shihan, i am a mere mortal, and will never get it."

eyrie
01-26-2007, 03:40 AM
If one could find it in mainstream aikido, we wouldn't be having this discussion... ;)

My own instructor was very "strong", but no one within the group seemed to be able to replicate his strength, and nor was he telling how to... I suspect his various interests in iaido, kyudo, shintaido etc. led him to various practices that influenced his own practice. But he passed away quite untimely at the young age of 45, from a rather nasty flu virus.

So, we're all mere mortals.... even Hombu shihan... ;)

Erick Mead
01-26-2007, 09:11 AM
If I were to take a stab at it, it seemed that his fingertips came up under and inside the "sphere" of my grab; somehow this popped my elbows into the air, and then at that point I was so light that the slightest flick of his hands would knock me away. There were none of the large movements we normally see, eg, torso leaning forward, or elbows dropping to get underneath them my grab. There was no feeling of ordinary muscular strength in the forearms; i've done this long enough that i can tell whether tori is deriving power from his elbows, his shoulders, his biceps, etc. It was as if at the very moment of contact, he was already underneath my center--and that was all he needed. Don't know if this helps any. What you describe with the fingertips is very much the same sense of what I am talking about in terms of action "behind" him. It does not take much, because he is not defending that -- and cannot if he is really committed to the attack. The large movements of the body are superfluous to the kokyu at connection.

When you "get" the sense (and it is a sense, not technique), you literally "shake off" the attack while actually firming the connection -- if that makes any sense. His arm motion is a reflection of that same reciprocal motion as in tekubi furi -- like waves bouncing back off a hard surface. His arms become my arms as far as that the same instantaeous rotation/vibration/wave (all accurate physically) that occurs in tekubi furi or furitama -- the only difference in the kokyu tanden ho is that there is, at minimum, only a half-cycle of that reciprocal action, and then his center is going. The only large movement necessary is following uke in his fall to maintain the irimi in the kokyu.

Erick Mead
01-26-2007, 09:31 AM
My own instructor was very "strong", but no one within the group seemed to be able to replicate his strength, and nor was he telling how to... Which I suspect is not from a desire to hide it but from a fundamental lack of vocabulary to describe the intensity of duality (Western thought) that goes right down together to form the essential unity at the indivisible center (Eastern thought). That duality allows one to "walk" the student in to the central solution, like "too hot," "too cold." The holistic mode expands the indivisible unity to encompass and blend the duality at large scale. The reduction mode finely divides the duality until there is nothing left to divide and unity is realized at the central limit.

The traditional modes rely on metaphors such as "sourcing" because, while they can reconcile opposites holistically, they do not have a way good way to relate the two aspects together in rigorous detail for arbitrary interactions. Finer and finer degrees of "hotness/coldness."

It is as though saying that the hands should come together to make one fist, which is fine, but the detail in the interlacing of the fingers of the two different hands in becoming "one" is not captured in that entirely valid traditional prescription. That is not a criticism, merely an observation about the limitaitons of a given form of knowledge.

This results, in my view, in two perspectives, that on occasion diverge in understanding when the realization that they are merely perpectives of one reality is lost (or not gained to begin with). So tradition tends to default in teaching from one pole or the other (very loosely and way overbroadly) by example -- Ki Society approach versus Aikikai and the mix between the two poles is achieved by creative unifying imagery and the repetitive "feel" of practice.

It works, in both perpectives, and very well. I am not faulting either one, and the latter practice aspect can never be dispensed with. It is the former conceptual exposition (from both sides) that I am addressing.
OK, I get where you're coming from now.... I think this is the problem with how aikido is taught. Essentially, a follow an example, try to copy it, learn by discovery....
The problem is, people follow the motions without understanding the basis for motion. ... So when faced with a strong, resistant uke, the natural tendency is to force the motion to conform to the demonstrated model, with more physical strength. Which leads us further and further away from what Raul described Kuribayashi did to him.

Obviously, some minute (or even overt adjustment) in motion is required, to find the correct path - for the average person. But if taught and shown correctly how to source the power for the motion from the ground, using the structure, it doesn't take long before a student can find the correct path to uke's center consistently, with and without following the prescribed motion and/or rotations. How well they can do it, then becomes a matter of degree and practice.... LOTS of practice.

Which is the reason why we're having this discussion in the first place. IMO, the motion is NOT what I'm talking about when I refer to baseline skill.

It is the "source" of that motion, and how motion is given impetus (i.e. powered) that I'm talking about.

Can you see where I'm coming from? I do. And "source" of power is fine in the holistic mode. But to break it down -- which Japanese and Chinese traditional knowledge are not designed to do, some other approach is helpful. Substance without form is a shapeless goo, form without substance is a dessicated shell. That is why I put the point on two inseparable poles.

First -- the form of the essential movement -- which is in the kokyu tanden ho, and in the waza -- and it is essentially one form -- of endless variations.

Second, the substance of the connection which is sensed (best for me) in the tekubi furi exercise (and in furitama and torifune and funakogi undo and others).

They are fundamentally the same thing -- but again two perspectives, and they must be unified.

Making the form with that sensibility throughout the movement -- that is the essence of kokyu. If the same sense is there and the necessary form of movement is understood, that sense -- precisely followed -- in one small flick of the underlying form accomplishes the purpose entirely.

The endlessly fascinating thing for me is that the paths of that form and the sense of the interaction in a particular engagement are both so varied (and ultimately unique) and yet each instance is so fundamentally similar to every other.

The kind of detail to see both parts in their interaction simultaneously (thus showing their essential unity), requires a breakdown into constituents to see where the parts (the fleshy "substance" and the form-giving "bones") fit and nestle together. That kind of reduction approach is not really native to Japanese and Chinese traditional forms of knowledge.

It is intended not to irrevocably divide them or prioritize them, but to allow one to relate the two very different poles of understanding in a one fundamentally concrete way -- and at very fine detail of interaction.

I certinly do not have it all "right" yet -- but I think I have shown the possibilities of the fine detail that can be described.

statisticool
01-26-2007, 05:22 PM
While I chuckle at Justin's tagline ribbing on where to locate one's crotch area, I know enougth about classical Taoist writing to say that such an expression is hardly an odd image for that body of knowledge, and indeed, they get far more graphic than that and unshamadely so. So I cut Mike slack on things like that.


Any statement about physical things about the martial arts can be empirically tested and therefore evaluated.

One person using techniques that somehow result from believing the statement 'let your crotch weight be in his hands' can have a limited rules match against someone using techniques that do not result from believing in that statement.

This is so we can assess the statements' martial validity.

It also helps if the person endorsing the statement can simply rephrase the philosophy in normal terms. For example, 'oh, I mean, you employ your bodyweight against your opponent', instead of being cryptic.

statisticool
01-26-2007, 05:25 PM
I dunno, Erick.... the corroboration you're getting is so strong, maybe ..... Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. ;)

Conspiracy theorist, start your engine. ;)

eyrie
01-26-2007, 07:08 PM
Substance without form is a shapeless goo, form without substance is a dessicated shell. That is why I put the point on two inseparable poles.

First -- the form of the essential movement -- which is in the kokyu tanden ho, and in the waza -- and it is essentially one form -- of endless variations.

Second, the substance of the connection which is sensed (best for me) in the tekubi furi exercise (and in furitama and torifune and funakogi undo and others).

They are fundamentally the same thing -- but again two perspectives, and they must be unified.


Can I suggest the entire rationale for this thread is because there is too much focus on the FORM and next to none on the SUBSTANCE.

You know the old sales technique - sell the sizzle not the sausage?

Yeah, the sizzle (i.e. form) smells great.... BUT what I want to know is WHERE'S THE BEEF (i.e. substance)? I'm sure others do too...

If form was the be-all and end-all of aikido, then everyone practising the FORM of aikido would be great masters surely...

Wasn't it Terry Dobson who wrote: "The form of aikido is the enemy of aikido"?

Erick Mead
01-26-2007, 09:04 PM
Can I suggest the entire rationale for this thread is because there is too much focus on the FORM and next to none on the SUBSTANCE. Semantics, and a useful but ultimately false dichotomy, as I have discussed. Form and substance play equal parts in the strength of structure, but form predominates when it comes to stability, both static and dynamic. Aikido is not about breaking substance, but disrupting form.
Wasn't it Terry Dobson who wrote: "The form of aikido is the enemy of aikido"? Well, he was right, if you obsess only on the waza just as received (assuming one has at least learned it as received). If the form of interaction is established, and the sense of connection is sound, then spontaneous movement becomes possible. As Saotome said, any ikkyo is correct as long as it it is a spontaneous response to the moment of contact.

What do YOU mean by the "substance" so as to separate it from the form. I have made a case that it is not really separate, except in our various limited perspectives. The form is the means to extend the same substance to the actions of my partner as well as my own, to join them and bring his actions within my sphere of control.

I can do tekubi furi all day long and I am feeling the "substance" of kokyu, but it is not connected to anything but me. It is like an engine without an transmission, it needs appropriate linkage to engage that power. Form of movement gives that connection to my opponent -- the same essential form as the "substance" but never a fixed movement.

eyrie
01-26-2007, 09:27 PM
I get what you mean... but that still doesn't help in any way to advance the understanding of what we're attempting to discuss. I think it is necessary to separate the form from the substance for the purposes of discussion. To me, the substance is what we're concerned with when we're talking about "baseline" skills - the "engine" as you say. Obviously there must be some form, some structure for that transmission of power. But can I suggest, the form can be aikido waza, jujitsu waza, karate waza or whatever other form of movement, but the substance essentially remains the same?

Which is why IMO, form is irrelevant... knowing the substance brings all sorts of forms to fruition... vis a vis the techniques of aikido are limitless...?

Mike Sigman
01-26-2007, 09:39 PM
But can I suggest, the form can be aikido waza, jujitsu waza, karate waza or whatever other form of movement, but the substance essentially remains the same?Sort of like why Ikeda Sensei is bringing in Ushiro Sensei from karate to teach kokyu, eh, and teach it with the Sanchin kata? It has to do with a basics that preceeds "irimi", "tenkan", and all waza. But perhaps Ikeda Sensei is simply missing the point? ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

eyrie
01-26-2007, 09:49 PM
It has to do with a basics that preceeds "irimi", "tenkan", and all waza.

Including kata...er... form.... :p

DH
01-26-2007, 10:27 PM
Excerpt from a fellow trying to train in Daito ryu in Japan. He notes the following differences between two styles approaches.

Technique and form
"I will admit that X sensei's training methods (mainline) do differ from both Y and Z's, (X) focusing more on complete techniques, starting from the simplest Ikkajo techniques and moving up with rank, and usually only does some tai-sabaki and block/strike practice at the beginning of each class........."

Internal
Y and Z both start with very elemental "ki-hon" training to develop the aiki pathways out through the proper channels in the hands and to perfect that proper footwork to support these channels. (internal training)

Sound familiar?
The more things change- the more they stay the same. The only thing to do is to train. "Technique junkies" will always rule the arts. Ata point you just give up trying to change their minds. Conserve your energy for those who see.

Cheers
Dan

statisticool
01-27-2007, 07:38 AM
For 'power generation' one kicks into the ground, uses muscle, etc.

As a thought experiment, say we are floating in space. We cannot push off of the ground. If someone floats over to you and does a shomen uchi, is it no longer a shomen uchi because they cannot generate power entirely the same way as when on ground?

Mike Sigman
01-27-2007, 12:45 PM
Which is why IMO, form is irrelevant... knowing the substance brings all sorts of forms to fruition... vis a vis the techniques of aikido are limitless...?True. One thing that helps is to get a feel of a real expert, in order to even understand which way you should be aimed for higher-level skills. And trust me, there is a distinct difference in feel between people who have *some* skills and the higher end. Just as an example, I got an email recently indicating that Wang Hai Jun will be giving some more workshops in the US this Spring. Since Wang Hai Jun is one of the sources that Dan uses for information, it might be worthwhile for Aikidoists to go *just to get some data input on which way to go.* Who knows, you might get a chance to accomplish several things at once: get a feel for what Wang Hai Jun is like; get a feel for what Dan does, get some pointers on training approaches via Taiji the martial art, rather than the more typical "Taiji as the New Age Dreamzone". The baseline skills will be the same, although the usages may only be "similar". Same is true of Ushiro Sensei and other outside sources, BTW. All info helps.

http://www.wanghaijun.com/

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Eddie deGuzman
01-29-2007, 10:10 AM
Sort of like why Ikeda Sensei is bringing in Ushiro Sensei from karate to teach kokyu, eh, and teach it with the Sanchin kata? It has to do with a basics that preceeds "irimi", "tenkan", and all waza.

Mike, it's interesting you mentioned this. I was talking to a Jr. High School kid today who studies karate and mentioned this stance and kata, but she had no idea what I was talking about. I was showing her the, for lack of appropriate terms, centering stance of Mr. Sum, at least my version of it. Nice cowinkidink. I found it a bit odd she wasn't familiar with the stance or kata, though. Nonetheless, perhaps the substance does exist as a substrate of other arts, and as aikidoka absorb what they will and make aikido their own, other arts have done the same with this substance.

I had class tonight and lots of theory floating around in my head. I noticed there were but a few things that I conciously tried to do. Stand with better posture, release the tension in my shoulders, maintain better connection, keep my center/weight down, breathe and move smoother and try not to force techniques. These kinds of things seem so vague and yet seem so important to me. As others have said, you need to feel it to understand it. And if these ideas are internal and lacking substance, would it not, therefore, be virtually impossible to teach? How does one teach what lacks form? It seems to me, after having felt these things through technique, that we assimilate both(if we're lucky) and at some point are able to express to others through technique(be it complex or simple, our choice)how we feel aikido is to us.

Kind of like whistling in a way. I might be able to tell you to pucker up and blow and you might then whistle. But it's still gonna take you a little longer to zero in on how to change pitch and even longer to whistle in tune.

Still, nice to ponder. :)
Eddie

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 10:19 AM
And if these ideas are internal and lacking substance, would it not, therefore, be virtually impossible to teach? How does one teach what lacks form? Hi Eddie:

Yeah, but if the people you're talking never understand these things about connection and so forth, you can still teach them the "techniques", right? They'll never be doing them correctly, but what the hey, the techniques still "work", right? In a nutshell, that's what has happened in most western Karate, Aikido, "Koryu", jujitsu, etc. And because "the techniques still work" and there are "subtle ways to apply those techniques", most people are happy that they've arrived. :) They did, but at the wrong station.

Best.

Mike

Brion Toss
01-29-2007, 11:40 AM
Since my own mathematical skills are abysmal to the point of practical no-existence, I don't find any of the mathematical discussion helpful at all. The question is what is happening with your body and what is happening with your mind in the training or martial interaction.

Mike can "do" what he says he can. I have felt it. He is also capable of explaining what he is doing in such a way that, in a fairly short period of time, one can begin to get the skills he is teaching into ones own body.

Erick is one of the smarter folks with whom I am familiar (and I know some pretty smart folks). I am sure that he can do what he thinks he can do. He isn't the type of fellow to content himself with what we not so fondly refer to as "wishful thinking" Aikido.

So where is the disconnect? I think that the first issue lies in trying to define some aspect of the energetics as "not Aikido". For me, as a student of Saotome Sensei, there is very little that would be described as "not Aikido". Certainly there are attitudes which O-sensei would have condemned which he would have felt were not consistent with the moral and ethical principles of the art. But he was careful to say that one should not show the techniques of the art to people of bad character. In other words, the principles which underly technique are value neutral and could be misused.

But when it comes down to describing those principles, there is very little that I was taught not to include in my Aikido. Aiki seemed to include both that which was creative and life affirming and that which was destructive and life ending. The application of these techniques would be deteremined by the aforementioned ethical and moral considerations. As far as I was taught, about the only thing that one can pretty much say "isn't" Aikido is the use of pure muscle power to overcome the strength of the opponent. Taht would not be considered 'aiki" and therefore would not be part of Aikido.

But being able to join with the intention of the opponent in order to enter intside his attack and end the confrontaion with one strike would be part of the art. the ability to neutralize the power of an attack simply by directing ones attention and intention in various ways would be part of the art. Understanding how to relax ones body completely to abosrhbg and redirect the power of the opponent would be part of the art.

The way I have been taught, it's all Aikido on some level. The art is infinite, the ways in which one can manifest the principles is not limited. So arguments which say that one very succesful way of doing a technique is Aikido but another successful way of doing a technique is not don't make much sense to me. And they don'y help me in any way learn what I want to know.


Sorry for the delay in replying. I've been on the road.
Personal experience at the hands of Tohei, Saotome, and others has shown me that the kind of forces that Mr. Sigman is talking about are real, and valuable. And information from people I know and respect, such as yourself, convince me that Mr. Sigman can do what he says he can, and I'm sorry if I seemed to indicate otherwise.
But the basis of this thread is basic skills, and that was what I was responding to. I believe that any formally organized activity, be it Aikido or baseball or English composition is expressed in terms of basic principles that are more or less unique, at least in how they are combined. That's how we can tell them apart. All of these arts allow skilled practitioners to move outside the envelope, to varying degrees, but I think that one must first become competent and comfortable inside the envelope. The question, then, is what is inside it, what is basic and fundamental and gives a specific form to that art?
I am right with you in thinking that there is very little that could not be called Aikido, but I believe that accretions must relate to the core forms, whatever those are. Otherwise we just up the noise-to-signal ratio.
Whether or not I find Mr. Sigman's math compelling is really a side note, especially since that is not a language that I am particularly skilled in, either. I am simply saying that, to the extent that I understand the basics of Aikido, and the exercises he is talking about, I find them in conflict with one another.
Now, it is very easy, as we know, to practice the kihon waza in a not-terribly-meaningful way; the form does not guarantee the elicitation and development of substance. It reminds me of something Ken Kesey once said, something like, "If you want to find inspiration, you have to hang out in areas that inspiration has been known to frequent. There's no certainty that it will show up, but if you want to see it, you have to go there." For Aikido, I think that, if inspiration is going to show up, it will show up in the kihon.If we're good, and if we're lucky, the ki/kokyu/etc. that we have been talking about will manifest. It is up to us --- and our instructors --- to do the work that will reveal the power in the practices. Then maybe down the line we can relate things like Kali and Kung Fu to the basics.

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 12:00 PM
Whether or not I find Mr. Sigman's math compelling is really a side note, especially since that is not a language that I am particularly skilled in, either. I am simply saying that, to the extent that I understand the basics of Aikido, and the exercises he is talking about, I find them in conflict with one another. I'm not sure what "math" you're talking about, Brion, since I am the one who keeps trying to get the topic down to short, common-sense nomenclature. Remember the pictures and diagrams I've posted?

Here's the real problem. You're arguing often directly against me and my approach, so you go to the lengths (as you did in this thread) of sniping. You didn't argue the functional aspects of the discussion, you went into some vagary about what argument appears compelling to you. In doing that, and in doing as you did in the quote above, you take a publicly-stated position that you don't understand what I'm talking about and you disagree with it.

Fine. In a debate sense, I could be wrong. In a functional sense, though, I can and have shown these things well enough and with enough disparate people and groups over a long-enough time that I'm more than certain I can bet every dime I have that I am telling the functional truth, as it sits. This means that since you don't understand these fairly basic things we're discussing, you don't know them. It means that you have not been taught them, inferring that your teacher doesn't know them. In other words, when you go outside of the discussion of issues and attack the peripherals, it works two ways. Hopefully, based on the fact that you don't personally care for me (a totally useless tangent to *any* viable discussion, IMO), you want my discussion of basics to be wrong. What you've really done is signal to at least 40 to 50 fairly knowledgeable people that read this forum that there is a problem related to your teacher.

My suggestion is, and has been, that when debating such a basic topic as skillsets like the ki/kokyu things, people should question things that need questioning, comment intelligently, ask questions if something is not clear.... but be very cautious in asserting judgements, because the assertions themselves are telling.

I.e., if there is a conflict with "what you know" and the simple baseline skillset that I've mentioned... the same basics that Rob, Dan, Ushiro, etc., all seem to be focusing on... maybe the problem is closer to home?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
01-29-2007, 12:10 PM
Wang Hai Jun is one of the sources that Dan uses for information ... The baseline skills will be the same, although the usages may only be "similar". Same is true of Ushiro Sensei and other outside sources, BTW. All info helps. I read through the articles on the various chan si "reeling silk" exercises. What struck me were things described that I have trained to do -- in two different ways -- in my course of training. The figure eight free hip motion, the pushing with left leg to move someone from right to left, and the "coiling/uncoiling" strength that it delivers.

Overgeneralizing -- engaged:

In Saito's bukiwaza, particularly in the ken and jo suburi these things are very strongly developed in a small (dimensionally speaking) tight way (but never, ever stiff at all). That training is powerfully applied in the tai jutsu somewhat more expansively. This most obvious parallel to the initial example of the "fixed leg" article on Wang Hai Jun is particularly seen in irminage variations I was taught and had shown to me where seemingly contradictory hip movements result in very powerful destabilizing of uke. There are some marvelous videos of Frank Doran Sensei demonstrating some of these throws.

Conversely, in Saotome's bukiwaza, in the kumitachi and kumijo a rather larger partnered weapons movement encompasses the same body movement on more expansive terms. The training delivers that same motion somewhat more compactly in the tai jutsu. There are exercises that practice this larger flowing motion (really big flinging-arm tenkan stuff, and rotary "prayer drum" action with arms flinging back and forth). That is then captured in reduced scales of movement in the typical techniques.

I get every bit of what the articles on reeling silk are talking about, and they map very well onto what much of the trainig that I received actually does teach one to do. The weapons training was a very powerful part of that from my perspective -- and something that Saito's and Saotome's curriculum both focussed upon -- in their respective manner.

All of these operate in the same essential spectrum - just different choices of gradient.

The concepts about the uses of the hips in the "ordinary" and "contradictory" ways, (soto and uchi turns of the hips, respectively in regard to the point of conection) I have since discovered are addressed also in Muso Jikiden Eisshin-ryu iaijutsu in respect of two basic modes of cut. This adds more weight to the bukiwaza emphasis in developing properly connected movement.

I was often told that if one finds trouble in a particular technique, then put an imaginary sword in the hands at the point of the problem -- and then find the way to cut him with it, within the bounds of the technique given. It cures all sorts of problems in a very intuitive way -- and the "form" in that instance precisely channels the correct "substance" in the type of movement required.

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 12:20 PM
I get every bit of what the articles on reeling silk are talking about, and they map very well onto what much of the trainig that I received actually does teach one to do. The weapons training was a very powerful part of that from my perspective -- and something that Saito's and Saotome's curriculum both focussed upon -- in their respective manner.
Erick, no offense, but Aikido does not even come close to using reeling silk methods. I would suspect that you're interpretting "reeling silk" in terms of what you already know and understand... the common fault that I keep referring to and the one which has led so much of Aikido into a cul de sac.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
01-29-2007, 03:22 PM
Erick, no offense, but Aikido does not even come close to using reeling silk methods. I never take offense from you, Mike. ;) And I did not say that it did. I said that the points of movement and dynamics discussed as being taught by the reeling silk methods are are taught in Aikido in different ways, at least two of them which I alluded to, and are not , as you say, using the "reeling silk method" to teach that form of movement
I would suspect that you're interpreting "reeling silk" in terms of what you already know and understand... the common fault that I keep referring to and the one which has led so much of Aikido into a cul de sac. Actually, I do not travel on my suspicion, but what his observant student said about what Wang Hai Jun actually teaches: http://www.corniceengineering.com/wanghaijun/Articles/articlesbltao9.htm
[Describing use of chan si gong ] For example, if I were to consider pulling someone from my right to my left, typically I would push with my right leg to generate linear momentum to my body, which would be added to the strength of my arms. With good timing a significant amount of strength can be generated this way. This is the normal method of generating strength. A chan si gong might attain a similar strength for the same right to left pull by starting on the left (!) leg, using the push with the left leg to generate rotational (coiling) strength by driving the left hip back and right and the right hip forward and left.... In the example above, if I were to pull by shifting from right to left and the person I was pulling kept hold of me and pulled me (using the momentum I had provided their body,) I would have a limited ability to neutralise that pull. Using chan si jin in the above situation I would have much more opportunity to neutralise that pull. I would be better "balanced" in Taiji terms. This allows continuous access to this coiling strength. ... the whole body must coil or spiral as it moves. No part must move too much or too little to maintain optimum leverage. Some parts of the body move considerably more than other parts,
Oh, gee. ---Who was it who went on and on about hips and rotational dynamics some while back??? And energy generation from the uncoiling chains of the limbs ??? Lessee -- who was that again ???

I would call what he physically describes as a straightforward irimi/tenkan movement -- if the feet are fixed to the floor, FWIW. Carrying that all the way through and pivoting -- without lifting or sliding my feet from their initial position -- I can take a hand grab and turn 270 degrees in place and drop my partner in an iriminage, or kokyunage (depending on choice of arm position). I can reverse that position back 360 degrees on the return, if need be (i.e. 90 degrees past my initial kamae, the other way, again without lifiting or sliding the feet. Some call this "tenkan-tenkai" and may teach it as two movements at first -- but it is really one motion. I get the coiling thing fairly well, and that is from very mainstream aikido practice. Frank Doran is one the most effortless examplars of that particular use of the movement whom I have seen.
WHJ uses a wide stance circling exercise to train this. (feet slightly turned out) The legs are used in conjunction with the hips to generate a "figure of eight" type movement with the waist. I believe I even wrote some while back about the nature of the human stability system having the dual eccentic hips gyrating the center of mass in a chaotic orbit shaped roughly like a warped figure-eight, citing to some balance studies as support:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=154779&postcount=50
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=155086&postcount=122
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=155094&postcount=128

Ignatius bowed out at that point in the earlier conversation, as I recall. Perhaps he will reconsider, now.

My only comment on Mr. Gudge's excellent observation of Wang Hai Jun's chan si exercises is that I would qualify it to say that the legs "follow" or "capture" that natural 'figure of eight' type motion of the baalnce rather than "generate" it, exactly.

I am not saying you are wrong in applying or discussing the Chinese concepts, and never have (except on the "resistance" thing, and then only in reference to aikido).

I am simply saying there many more ways to also be right.

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 03:36 PM
I did not say that it did. I said that the points of movement and dynamics discussed as being taught by the reeling silk methods are are taught in Aikido in different ways, Well, not really. Not even close to the way you're imagining things, Erick.Actually, I do not travel on my suspicion, but what his observant student said about what Wang Hai Jun actually teaches: http://www.corniceengineering.com/wanghaijun/Articles/articlesbltao9.htm I doubt that Nick, whom I've known for years and who has hosted a number of workshops I've done, would agree with the way that you're interpretting this, Erick.
Oh, gee. ---Who was it who went on and on about hips and rotational dynamics some while back??? And energy generation from the uncoiling chains of the limbs ??? Lessee -- who was that again ??? :rolleyes: Well, if you're not really understanding what is involved in reeling silk, which I can tell you fairly casually that you're not, then your dancing a jig is premature. I would call what he physically describes as a straightforward irimi/tenkan movement I'm sure you would. Similarly, if my aunt had balls, I'd call her my uncle. ;)My only comment on Mr. Gudge's excellent observation of Wang Hai Jun's chan si exercises is that I would qualify it to say that the legs "follow" or "capture" that natural 'figure of eight' type motion of the baalnce rather than "generate" it, exactly.

I am not saying you are wrong in applying or discussing the Chinese concepts, and never have (except on the "resistance" thing, and then only in reference to aikido).

I am simply saying there many more ways to also be right.Similarly, there are many more ways to be wrong than even that, Erick. As I said, a conversation about reeling silk internal strength is not really germane to Aikido. It's particularly not germane to a thread topic about "Baseline skillset", IMO.

Regards,

Mike

Brion Toss
01-29-2007, 03:58 PM
I'm not sure what "math" you're talking about, Brion, since I am the one who keeps trying to get the topic down to short, common-sense nomenclature. Remember the pictures and diagrams I've posted?

I remember the pictures and diagrams, and so very much else. You might be being selective in describing the nature of your posts.

Here's the real problem. You're arguing often directly against me and my approach, so you go to the lengths (as you did in this thread) of sniping. You didn't argue the functional aspects of the discussion, you went into some vagary about what argument appears compelling to you. In doing that, and in doing as you did in the quote above, you take a publicly-stated position that you don't understand what I'm talking about and you disagree with it.

You do not get to say what the real problem is. You are mistaken in saying that I am arguing directly against you, or your approach, and I do not believe that I have been guilty of sniping ("malicious, underhanded remark or attack"]. And couching my terms with phrases like, "to the extent that I understand," is a long ways from saying that I don't understand; it is an attempt at humility.

Fine. In a debate sense, I could be wrong. In a functional sense, though, I can and have shown these things well enough and with enough disparate people and groups over a long-enough time that I'm more than certain I can bet every dime I have that I am telling the functional truth, as it sits.

As I stated in the post that you are refering to, " ... Mr. Sigman can do what he says he can, and I'm sorry if I seemed to indicate otherwise." I also stated that I have personal experience with the kind of forces you have described, and that I find them significant and valuable. I have no doubt that you can demonstrate them. I am glad that you are demonstrating them. I am not accusing you of overstating, let alone lying. I am only saying, in the context of this thread, that what you propose is not directly pertinent to a basic, fundamental set of Aikido skills.

This means that since you don't understand these fairly basic things we're discussing, you don't know them.

Conclusion based, once again, on an unproved assumption.

It means that you have not been taught them, inferring that your teacher doesn't know them.

And again.

In other words, when you go outside of the discussion of issues and attack the peripherals, it works two ways.

My original post was intended as an analysis of the preceding ten or so pages of posts, focusing on yours and Mr. Mead's opinions. As such, it was admittedly and necessarily peripheral, but I do not think that it was an attack on peripherals.

Hopefully, based on the fact that you don't personally care for me (a totally useless tangent to *any* viable discussion, IMO), you want my discussion of basics to be wrong.

Mike, I don't know you, except to the extent that I have read and pondered a tiny fraction of your posts here. I do not have a basis for forming a personal like or dislike. What you say often angers me, but just as often leads me to reevaluate my opinions. Sometimes simultaneously. So there's another "fact" that isn't a fact at all. As for wanting your discussion of basics to be wrong, I would like to believe that I have reason to disagree with you, based on information, not prejudice.


What you've really done is signal to at least 40 to 50 fairly knowledgeable people that read this forum that there is a problem related to your teacher.

Only if they are as talented at drawing shaky conclusions as you appear to be. And in any event, how is this spectral group of fairly knowledgeable peoples' opinion pertinent to the issues?

My suggestion is, and has been, that when debating such a basic topic as skillsets like the ki/kokyu things, people should question things that need questioning, comment intelligently, ask questions if something is not clear.... but be very cautious in asserting judgements, because the assertions themselves are telling.

Yes.

I.e., if there is a conflict with "what you know" and the simple baseline skillset that I've mentioned... the same basics that Rob, Dan, Ushiro, etc., all seem to be focusing on... maybe the problem is closer to home?

Again, I have no conflict with the skillset you've mentioned, only a question as to its suitability as Aikido basics. And incidentally, I have no reports on Rob and Dan, but from what I've heard from Ikeda sensei and other practitioners, Ushiro is not focusing on the same thing at all.

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 04:27 PM
I remember the pictures and diagrams, and so very much else. You might be being selective in describing the nature of your posts. If you're talking about the use of the term "vectors", I used it descriptively, not as a part of any mathematics.Again, I have no conflict with the skillset you've mentioned, only a question as to its suitability as Aikido basics. And incidentally, I have no reports on Rob and Dan, but from what I've heard from Ikeda sensei and other practitioners, Ushiro is not focusing on the same thing at all.Precisely. If you knew or your instructor knew, this wouldn't be a "here's my opinion" conversation, Brion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
01-29-2007, 05:14 PM
As I said, a conversation about reeling silk internal strength is not really germane to Aikido. It's particularly not germane to a thread topic about "Baseline skillset", IMO. Great! We agree that it is not very germane to basic skills, and then we can ignore the recommendation that you just made that we ought to consider it.

Perhaps you would care to elaborate on a couple of minor points about "silk reeling," and the fundamentals of the fascial "skills" that you posit as basic to aikido (and all martial arts).
... there are indeed these skills/body-abilities, so we can still talk about them, whether we're using western terms like "ground path", fascia, etc., or to clarify that we're talking about the skills referred to traditionally, we can sparingly use the terms ki, qi, jin, kokyu, etc.
So, if I get this right, we can knowledgeably and rightfully talk about the ki/kokyu skills, because they can be shown to exist (IF someone knows how to do them), but all the other "things that are Ki", like the "Ki of Heaven", etc., from the old beliefs won't fly as "valid descriptions of Ki".... because they don't exist in reality. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=148012&postcount=144
"Silk", as in "Silk Reeling", "Pulling Silk", "Eight Pieces of Silk (brocade)", etc., refer to the fascia/connective-tissue/membranes. You work them with stretches, breathing, twisting (as in 'silk reeling'), but always in a way that does it from head to toe, fingertips and toes included.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151902&postcount=25

So, if the fascial "skills" you are talking about are so essential to jin/ kokyu, then I guess we need the most "pure" usages to train baseline skillsets to avoid belaboring my pointless "waza" and "techniques," I suppose. Obviously, that should not include "silk reeling," as you say:
... reeling silk winds the body in the way it naturally winds as the force behind its jin; pulling silk is a linear in-out usage of jin. Theoretically, for complex reasons I'd rather not try to write out, reeling silk is the only solution to "pure" usage of the jin, so anyone who uses jin/kokyu who doesn't use winding/spiralling would technically be admitting to a lapse ... http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=151941&postcount=28

And I guess my point about the ultimate evolution of the kokyu connection into into the "twitch" of kokyu tanden ho at contact -- once you "get" the applicaton of kokyu in its proper form -- is just completely off base:
Well, let me take out the "forces" part of ki, the "jin/kokyu" things for a second, in order to make things clearer. [It's a justifiable thing to excerpt because you can build up Ki and not have any 'forces' skills, as was demonstrated when Tohei pushed over those monks to prove god-knows-what] If you take that part out, you're left with an ability within the fascia and autonomic muscle functions that is somewhat related to the way a horse can quiver it's flanks, etc. (there's more to it than that, but I'm simply hurrying to make a point so I'm oversimplifying) http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=157570&postcount=115
Well it's one of those things that in order to understand what's happening, you'd have to already have acquired some jin/kokyu skills and some development of the "ki" structure in the sense of the fascia. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=165369&postcount=84

Apparently, this poor country lawyer cannot comprehend what you say when you say it.

Maybe we should talk about irimi/tenkan prinicples in kokyu instead, then. :D.

I'll start -- or perhaps I have already made a small demonstration.



No offense, Mike. :) I forget many things, but lines of argument are not among them.

Brion Toss
01-29-2007, 05:17 PM
Hi again,
Vectors not mathematics. Got it.
As for the "if you knew or your instructor knew," you are moving merrily between the particular and the universal, and leaving undefined references in your wake.
I was not offering an opinion, only offering some admittedly-secondhand-but-from-credtable-sources information which appears to contradict, at least in part, what you said. If you believe that information is incorrect, I'd love to hear about it. I haven't studied with Ushiro sensei, so all I can profer is what I have. In any event, that tidbit has no relation to what I or my instructor might or might not know in other contexts.
Regards,
Brion

eyrie
01-29-2007, 05:26 PM
I believe I even wrote some while back about the nature of the human stability system having the dual eccentic hips gyrating the center of mass in a chaotic orbit shaped roughly like a warped figure-eight, citing to some balance studies as support:....Ignatius bowed out at that point in the earlier conversation, as I recall. Perhaps he will reconsider, now.


If you're talking about this study: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/cond-mat/pdf/9908/9908185.pdf, I bowed out then because I could not fathom how you arrived at a conclusion of "dual eccentric hip gyrating the center of mass in a chaotic orbit shaped roughly like a warped figure-eight".

If you're referring to Figure 1. in that study, which plots the upper body's random meandering path in the plane of the anteroposterior (front-to-back) coordinate and mediolateral (side-to-side) coordinate over one minute.... I still don't see how you inferred that such a random chaotic front-to-back and side-to-side swaying (as in like a pendulum) as gyrational motion (i.e rotation on an axis) - much less a "figure of eight".

I'm going to avoid the math, coz like George, my math sux... but from what I've read and understand, the human balance system uses strategies based on simple harmonics - linear oscillations - not rotational oscillation.

But then again, we're talking about baseline skills and how to develop these baseline skills. So to me, anything discussing balance coping strategies, reeling silk, and gyrational motion are way off-base.

I believe Nick Gudge frequents Aikiweb, and it would be interesting to hear his opinion.

Meanwhile, I remain bowed out of that tangent discussion... ;)

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 05:49 PM
Apparently, this poor country lawyer cannot comprehend what you say when you say it. Apparently not, Erick, since you went to other threads to get those quotes and this thread is about what would comprise a baseline set of skills, not the topics on those other threads. Correct? Maybe we should talk about irimi/tenkan prinicples in kokyu instead, then. :D. No one has been able to stop you yet, it seems. I'll start -- or perhaps I have already made a small demonstration.

No offense, Mike. :) I forget many things, but lines of argument are not among them.I have no idea exactly what you THINK you've shown, Erick, but from the way you're mixing your subjects up, it's quite obvious that we're back in the territory of you not knowing what you're talking about... again.

Let me see if I can simplify and take a guess at where you're getting confused. There are essentially two things that comprise ki/qi: mental manipulation of force paths and the development of a facial-structure thingamabob that is fairly complex but which involves breathing exercises, stretches, etc. Those would, in essence, be part of the "baseline skills". "Reeling Silk" is a far more sophisticated process than you realize (and I'm not going to waste the time trying to explain it) and it's an extension of the fascial structure thingamabob and jin/kokyu thing combined. Aikido does not use it. Nor doe Aikido use "fa jin", although it is an extension of the same 2 items. See the point? There are a number of skills related to the arbitrary 2 basics that are simply not in Aikido. Trying to discuss them as part of Aikido, in a "baseline skillset" thread, would be extraneous, IMO.

Since the conversation was about baseline skills (in this thread... but not necessarily in the other threads you quoted from). I fail to see where you understand the "line of argument", if you don't understand a simple fact like that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
01-29-2007, 06:03 PM
If you're talking about this study: http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/cond-mat/pdf/9908/9908185.pdf, I bowed out then because I could not fathom how you arrived at a conclusion of "dual eccentric hip gyrating the center of mass in a chaotic orbit shaped roughly like a warped figure-eight".

If you're referring to Figure 1. in that study, which plots the upper body's random meandering path in the plane of the anteroposterior (front-to-back) coordinate and mediolateral (side-to-side) coordinate over one minute.... I still don't see how you inferred that such a random chaotic front-to-back and side-to-side swaying (as in like a pendulum) as gyrational motion (i.e rotation on an axis) - much less a "figure of eight".
It is not random, it is clearly chaotic, which is just a very, very complex order. Kinda like this -- different system -- same family of chaotic attractor:
http://www.exploratorium.edu/complexity/java/lorenz.html

In the phase space diagram (just go with it, really), the whorls you see in the linked Lorenz attractor and the rough radius of them, equate to the linear 2D depiction of the study I showed you (you are correct about figure 1) in the phase space. It would be (very roughly) as if you looked at that Figure 1 diagram edge on from the top of the page downward, in a plane that is horizontal to the page itself. Then you would see the repetitive, and dual ecccentric tendencies of the excursions shown in a shape very much like the Lorenz attractor.

You can see the realtionship between the two types of depictions in this link: The "X(t)" applet (the second one) shows what Figure 1 in the study shows, linear with respect to time. The first applet on the page (X-Z) shows the Lorenz attractor in the phase space. You should run the graphing applets at a fast speed to get the idea.
From what I've read and understand, the human balance system uses strategies based on simple harmonics - linear oscillations - not rotational oscillation. Sorry, but that is one of the points of the study, that it does not fit that. One of the other studies that I linked in an ealier discussion showed that the assumption of linear "spring-like" actuation by the leg muscles was actaully the reverse of the linear spring model. The hip orbit dynamic stability model fits with that, the linear static stability model does not.
But then again, we're talking about baseline skills and how to develop these baseline skills. So to me, anything discussing balance coping strategies, reeling silk, and gyrational motion are way off-base. More basic than balance. I am essentially saying that kokyu is just the extension of my balance control system into the other guy's balance system. Not as metaphor -- as physical reality.

Really, that is all I am saying.

Admittedly -- in too many words, but I try to back up my arguments.
I believe Nick Gudge frequents Aikiweb, and it would be interesting to hear his opinion. Look forward to it.

Mike Sigman
01-29-2007, 11:02 PM
I am essentially saying that kokyu is just the extension of my balance control system into the other guy's balance system. Not as metaphor -- as physical reality. You could say the same thing about a simple, muscular push, too.

Did I tell you the one about the professor who spent 40 years of his life trying to prove that the Odyssey was not written by Homer but by another Greek of the same name? ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
01-30-2007, 12:21 AM
I am essentially saying that kokyu is just the extension of my balance control system into the other guy's balance system. Not as metaphor -- as physical reality. You could say the same thing about a simple, muscular push, too. ... or a 9mm slug, or hitting him with a car at 40 mph, none of which is really aikido, either. In proper kokyu, I have his balance and he is not quite sure where it left his control and entered mine -- I have not merely knocked it over with an excess of energy.

Erick Mead
01-30-2007, 08:05 AM
In the phase space diagram (just go with it, really), the whorls you see in the linked Lorenz attractor and the rough radius of them, equate to the linear 2D depiction of the study I showed you (you are correct about figure 1) in the phase space. It would be (very roughly) as if you looked at that Figure 1 diagram edge on from the top of the page downward, in a plane that is horizontal to the page itself. Then you would see the repetitive, and dual ecccentric tendencies of the excursions shown in a shape very much like the Lorenz attractor.

You can see the realtionship between the two types of depictions in this link: The "X(t)" applet (the second one) shows what Figure 1 in the study shows, linear with respect to time. The first applet on the page (X-Z) shows the Lorenz attractor in the phase space. You should run the graphing applets at a fast speed to get the idea. Sorry. Left out the link:
http://www.cmp.caltech.edu/~mcc/Chaos_Course/Lesson1/Demo8.html
These are also helpful :
http://www.cmp.caltech.edu/~mcc/Chaos_Course/Lesson1/Demo1.html http://www.cmp.caltech.edu/~mcc/Chaos_Course/Lesson1/Demo3.html

Mike Sigman
01-30-2007, 08:57 AM
... or a 9mm slug, or hitting him with a car at 40 mph, none of which is really aikido, either. In proper kokyu, I have his balance and he is not quite sure where it left his control and entered mine -- I have not merely knocked it over with an excess of energy.I would have to see it, I suppose. Too often I have seen what I call "smoothe pickups" in Aikido, actually be more of a reflection of cooperative practice than a reality. Think of the video of Tohei wrestling with the dumpy American cameraman back in the 60's. No smoothe "cameraman not quite sure where it left his control and entered Tohei's". I.e., descriptions don't convey reality often.... so I would have to see it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Brion Toss
01-30-2007, 12:52 PM
Did I tell you the one about the professor who spent 40 years of his life trying to prove that the Odyssey was not written by Homer but by another Greek of the same name? ;)

I love that quote, though the way I heard it was that it was "another blind Greek poet of the same name." The added qualifiers, of course, intensify the seeming absurdity of the professor's pursuit. But the implied kicker is that, in the process of this absurd pursuit, that professor might produce an unintended but productive consequence: a clearer look at the big historical picture.
And what does this have to do with basic Aikido skills? Only that principles are very, very subtle things at heart, though the actualizations based on them can be so numerous and complex as to obscure this. That's one reason why this thread, though things can get contentious, is so valuable to me; it encourages me to look deeper.

Mike Sigman
01-30-2007, 03:01 PM
And what does this have to do with basic Aikido skills? Only that principles are very, very subtle things at heart, though the actualizations based on them can be so numerous and complex as to obscure this. Hmmmm.... maybe. I think that the principles are not "subtle", insofar as implying nearly "ethereal".... they're fairly straightforward, just like a magic trick after someone shows you how its done. THEN it gets subtle. The real problem that is now affecting a lot of readers on this forum is that they have a vague idea of how things are done, but they don't see the extended complexities and subtleties that they're missing.... i.e., they can't comprehend the idea of being able to miss a large issue in a field in which they've feel they're knowledgeable. IMO.

FWIW

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2007, 03:52 PM
Sounds like one of those classic paradoxes: Some of the things that are done in certain arts look (and feel) like magic if you don't know what the underlying principles and mechanics are. Then, once revealed, there's the tendency to say... "Oh, THAT'S all there is to it?!"... But then, when you pick apart those elements in earnest, the response is... "Oh, there's more to this than I thought"... and after you have mastered it, you think... "Oh, THAT'S all there is to it?!"... and so on. ;)

Like that old taoist story about "When I was young, a mountain was just a mountain..."

You might enjoy this (slightly OT, but definitely an illustration of the ""magic -> simple mechanics revealed -> sophisticated concept after all" idea:
http://www.handcuffs.org/pollard/

Mike Sigman
01-30-2007, 03:58 PM
Hmmmmmmmm, Cady.... so you're into handcuffs, eh? ;)

I agree with what you said, but the possibilities with these skills branch out like a bush, so there are few people who truly get to the "is that all there is to it?" stage. It's truly complex and deep, even though it appears to be just a puddle in the road to the uninitiated. That "puddle" can be the entrance to a set of underwater caves. ;)

Best.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2007, 04:21 PM
Hmmmmmmmm, Cady.... so you're into handcuffs, eh? ;)

No, I'm more interested in the mechanics of getting out of them (along with other classical forms of prestidigitation). :)

I agree with what you said, but the possibilities with these skills branch out like a bush, so there are few people who truly get to the "is that all there is to it?" stage. It's truly complex and deep, even though it appears to be just a puddle in the road to the uninitiated. That "puddle" can be the entrance to a set of underwater caves. ;)


I agree to a point (note the "And so on. ;)" at the end of my comment -- implying that the process of discovery continues). We can follow a process down to the molecular level, to the extent of it becoming absurd, or at least not of much practical use, but there is --and must be -- an endpoint at which the process is considered "complete" and there are no further depths to plumb. Unless you start to delve into peripheral realms that affect/inform the principles you're enacting, etc.

Sometimes a cigar really is just an exploding cigar. ;)

Mike Sigman
01-30-2007, 04:33 PM
I agree to a point (note the "And so on. ;)" at the end of my comment -- implying that the process of discovery continues). We can follow a process down to the molecular level, to the extent of it becoming absurd, or at least not of much practical use, but there is --and must be -- an endpoint at which the process is considered "complete" and there are no further depths to plumb. Unless you start to delve into peripheral realms that affect/inform the principles you're enacting, etc.

Sometimes a cigar really is just an exploding cigar. ;)Hmmmm.... well, I admit there are limits.... I didn't say infinite... but it still gets fairly complex. I realize that you are way above me with your ability to "get inside my body" and manipulate me at whim, but let me note for general comment the fact that the 2 basic criteria I've mentioned in a number of earlier posts can lead to some odd skills like:

Greatly enhanced personal strength, when done correctly and following a certain path;

The ability to put 2 fingers on top of a polished knife blade and lift up the knife;

Extraordinarily powerful "fa jin" and a number of tangents to that skill;

Difficult-to-puncture skin;

The ability to manipulate pressure pulses within the body;

And so on. I can think of several more, but that's enough. ;)

Best.

Mike

Brion Toss
01-30-2007, 04:37 PM
If you chase the word "subtle" down to its molecular level, or the etymological equivalent thereof, you will find that it is ultimately derived from "teks-", which also is the basis for words like tisse, context, architect, and, lo and behold, technical. That is why I used "subtle" instead of "insubstantial" or "ethereal"; principles are elusive, not because there isn't much to them, but precisely because there is so much.
Still, as Mike said above, principles are, "... fairly straightforward, just like a magic trick after someone shows you how it's done. THEN it gets subtle." Or, in Edisonian terms, that's where the 99% perspiration part kicks in.

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2007, 04:44 PM
Mike, you forgot to include:

-lifting a larger, much heavier man off his feet and lobbing him across the room without using any discernable effort
- taking full-power punches and kicks without harm
- not budging when pushed hard by a much heavier invididual, then sending him flying onto his butt when he does
- knocking out a person with the lightest of touches
- sending a person flying back and down on his derriere with just the lightest of touches

But yes, the depth and extent of the amazing things humans can do are considerable, once we understand the principles and put them into physical practice. Again, though, these things aren't magic, are rooted solidly in biomechanics and Newtonian physics, and there is a limit to their reach. That doesn't mean there isn't enough to them to make a study last a lifetime! I'm just saying that they don't merit the belief that their well is bottomless. There are limits to the human body's abilities, and baried limits of individual people to enact the functions of their bodies.

We'll save "getting into" and "manipulating" your body for another day, though, or leave it to your trusted proctologist. :D

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2007, 05:52 PM
Or, in Edisonian terms, that's where the 99% perspiration part kicks in.

I agree with you completely here.
Also, understanding comes in layers, too, and with each layer of physical accomplishment comes that deeper layer of comprehension.

Mike Sigman
01-30-2007, 05:59 PM
Mike, you forgot to include:

-lifting a larger, much heavier man off his feet and lobbing him across the room without using any discernable effort
- taking full-power punches and kicks without harm
- not budging when pushed hard by a much heavier invididual, then sending him flying onto his butt when he does
- knocking out a person with the lightest of touches
- sending a person flying back and down on his derriere with just the lightest of touches

But yes, the depth and extent of the amazing things humans can do are considerable, once we understand the principles and put them into physical practice. Again, though, these things aren't magic, are rooted solidly in biomechanics and Newtonian physics, and there is a limit to their reach. That doesn't mean there isn't enough to them to make a study last a lifetime! I'm just saying that they don't merit the belief that their well is bottomless. There are limits to the human body's abilities, and baried limits of individual people to enact the functions of their bodies.

We'll save "getting into" and "manipulating" your body for another day, though, or leave it to your trusted proctologist. :DI didn't forget anything you mentioned, Cady (with a caveat I'll get to in a sec), I was talking about things above and beyond those obvious basics. I will decline to accept your categorization of "the lightest of touches" to do what you describe. Don't you mean "with what appears to be a light touch"? Let's don't get all magicky, now.
;)

The things you're describing are pretty obviously from the basic usages. See if you can figure out the knife-lifting trick.

Regards,

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-30-2007, 08:03 PM
Never seen the knife trick, Mike, so I won't offer postulations. :)
As for the other stuff, of course they're "basic usages." Isn't that what was being discussed -- the basics that look like magic, then -once the principles behind them are revealed- everyone says "is THAT all there is," and then you find that refining them makes you subtler and leads you into more sophisticated understandings, and so on? And, who's being "magicky"? The hand itself provides the lightest of touches. Again, isn't this what we're talking about? What the eye perceives, what is then revealed, and then the process of Brion's sweat equity, and so on?

There are just so many principles, but lots of ways to manifest them - some more sophisticated than others. We start at the basics, then add to that foundation as we grasp each level. Again, it's the trip of a lifetime. To me, one of the most intriguing aspects is that there are ways of using the body that are counter-intuitive; internal movements that people wouldn't normally think to do, and applications of those movements to provide external results. While the magician in the Strand Magazine demonstrated a handcuff escape that was a fraud (concealed key, but a clever way to retrieve it), this skill set we're discussing is for real, and it's a blast to see how far one can go with it in a lifetime.

eyrie
01-30-2007, 11:09 PM
I'll have to see the knife trick too... but crap... do I have a looooong way to go... :(

Ian Thake
01-31-2007, 06:56 AM
Hmm, is the material that the knife's made from relevant here? Would the trick work with an equally hard and sharp plastic knife, for example?

Mike Sigman
01-31-2007, 07:06 AM
Hmm, is the material, that the knife's made from, relevant here?It's more the finish. I actually first saw this trick in maybe the 1960's from one of the perfpormers on the Beijing Acrobat Team, but I didn't understand what he was doing. He turned a large water-cooler jar (empty) on its side and placed his hand on the top side of the jar, palm to glass, and lifted the jar straight up into the air.

Like a like of the ki/qi tricks, you see 'em and you can decide on one or two ways that they're being done and sort of go, "Oh, good trick, but not very important". Because in a lot of ways, the ki/qi tricks are different from normal strength, but not all *that* different. If, for instance, Dan or Rob or Ushiro tossed someone up in the air who was pushing/resisting, it might look impressive, but not something you'd go call out your local physiology professor to look at. If you felt how it was done, you might go to the professor with a few questions.

Best.

Mike

Brion Toss
01-31-2007, 09:32 AM
[QUOTE=... the 2 basic criteria I've mentioned in a number of earlier posts can lead to some odd skills like:

Greatly enhanced personal strength, when done correctly and following a certain path;

The ability to put 2 fingers on top of a polished knife blade and lift up the knife;

Extraordinarily powerful "fa jin" and a number of tangents to that skill;

Difficult-to-puncture skin;

The ability to manipulate pressure pulses within the body;

And so on. I can think of several more, but that's enough. ;)

Best.

Mike[/QUOTE]
Hmmm, nice. But I am reminded of the punch line to an old Zen story:
"I don't know about your old fox, but my master's miracle is that when he's hungry he eats, and when he's tired he sleeps."

Eddie deGuzman
01-31-2007, 06:19 PM
If I were to take a stab at it, it seemed that his fingertips came up under and inside the "sphere" of my grab; somehow this popped my elbows into the air, and then at that point I was so light that the slightest flick of his hands would knock me away. There were none of the large movements we normally see, eg, torso leaning forward, or elbows dropping to get underneath them my grab. There was no feeling of ordinary muscular strength in the forearms; i've done this long enough that i can tell whether tori is deriving power from his elbows, his shoulders, his biceps, etc. It was as if at the very moment of contact, he was already underneath my center--and that was all he needed. Don't know if this helps any.


R
Well, if this was a punch and not a grab, would there be only one response to make? Certainly not. So why then is it so surprising that one may respond to this in different ways as well? There are several things to consider in this situation. How did you grab his hands, pressure on top or below, pulling or pushing, where was your balance at the point you grabbed his hands, where was his balance, were you applying strength, etc.

And these factors(and more) influence where the connection is made, i.e. the top, bottom, sides of one's wrist. Now the better one gets at this, the less time and effort it will take to unbalance uke. And it would appear that nage does almost nothing when, in fact, he is just doing everything really, really well. Why would one need spiraling hands, leaning, elbow fiddling, etc. when uke's center has already been penetrated?

Just a few thoughts,
Eddie

eyrie
01-31-2007, 06:53 PM
...So why then is it so surprising that one may respond to this in different ways as well? There are several things to consider in this situation.....these factors(and more) influence ....Why would one need spiraling hands, leaning, elbow fiddling, etc. when uke's center has already been penetrated?


Imagine for a moment that you're a complete noob... OR better yet, you need to explain this to a complete noob... would a simplistic basic exercise to get you (or them) to step 1 be helpful? Or would a semi-detailed consideration of the myriad factors involved be expected?

What does penetrate uke's center mean? I dunno... I'm a simple person... I like things simple... I rather have lots of little simple things than one big complex issue... if ya catch my drift...

FWIW... it doesn't make a difference how you are being grabbed... it works exactly the same way... ;) This is the CORE of what we're trying to get at...

raul rodrigo
01-31-2007, 08:07 PM
Eddie, I've been training ten years and yes, i do know there are many ways of doing this. I can do quite a few of them myself. I do more variations of this movement than most of the yudansha i train with. Kuribayashi's version stands out because of the mysteriousness of it. that was what i was trying to get at. and as ignatius points out, we are trying to get to the baseline skill at the bottom of this. Do you have anything useful to add in this area?

Eddie deGuzman
01-31-2007, 09:06 PM
Imagine for a moment that you're a complete noob... OR better yet, you need to explain this to a complete noob... would a simplistic basic exercise to get you (or them) to step 1 be helpful? Or would a semi-detailed consideration of the myriad factors involved be expected?

What does penetrate uke's center mean? I dunno... I'm a simple person... I like things simple... I rather have lots of little simple things than one big complex issue... if ya catch my drift...

FWIW... it doesn't make a difference how you are being grabbed... it works exactly the same way... ;) This is the CORE of what we're trying to get at...

True, but I thought we had veered into why the gentleman in question was able to topple the other gentleman without making extraneous gestures/actions. Actually I agree with your earlier post on connection in that once the connection is made and proper extension/breathing/posture, etc. exist, then it doesn't require, for example, elbows digging deep or wrist turning.

If seated kokyu is THE exercise to develop the substance beneath the skill, then certainly we have to examine it and explain it in more straight forward terms. Yet, as I'm sure you know, it still is not that simple. How far of a noobie have you regressed to? The concept of what one perceives to be aikido and its goal in response to an attack should be addressed. Even doing this, there will be a myriad of individual beliefs. Even one's frame of mind coupled with the instructor's will have an impact on how a beginner reacts to being grabbed.

But...One sits in seiza, allows one's hands to be grabbed, and with as little effort as possible attempts to topple the attacker. That's pretty much what's going on and simple enough. But if you want to have it explained further, and we all want that, then it starts to get complicated. Non-use of muscular power, good posture, extension, breathing, connection, awareness of uke's grab, center, relaxation, etc. And then there is all of the visual imagery out there, flowing water, a rock(which I believe you mentioned much earlier), etc. to help guide one to the correct feel. And all of these things take some time to sink in. Too long for most of us. I don't have a quick fix answer, and I lack words to describe it, and I don't understand it all to begin with. Any enlightenment and I'm for it. Any exercises to help me work it all out, give it to me. Any theory as to how all of this works, I'll read it. Cool video, I wanna see it!

As to the question of how or where one is grabbed, I beg to differ. There are a number points along the circle of my wrist and one is enough to form the connection. With so many points to choose from, shouldn't one point be tactically better than the rest...theoretically, of course? ;)
Thoughts?
Eddie

Eddie deGuzman
01-31-2007, 09:15 PM
Eddie, I've been training ten years and yes, i do know there are many ways of doing this. I can do quite a few of them myself. I do more variations of this movement than most of the yudansha i train with. Kuribayashi's version stands out because of the mysteriousness of it. that was what i was trying to get at. and as ignatius points out, we are trying to get to the baseline skill at the bottom of this. Do you have anything useful to add in this area?

Raul, I can add that it doesn't seem that mysterious to me, or at least not any more mysterious than kokyu in general. I will also note, however, that I did not see/feel what happened. Any video to comment on, or something similar to what you experienced? That would be useful to add.

Aikido...cool stuff, ain't it! :cool:
Eddie

Erick Mead
01-31-2007, 09:40 PM
Imagine for a moment that you're a complete noob... OR better yet, you need to explain this to a complete noob... What does penetrate uke's center mean? I dunno... I'm a simple person... I like things simple... I rather have lots of little simple things than one big complex issue... if ya catch my drift...

FWIW... it doesn't make a difference how you are being grabbed... it works exactly the same way... ;) This is the CORE of what we're trying to get at...Michelangelo famously said that sculpting a statue was very simple. You just take a chisel and remove everything that is not statue.

He did not wield a chisel differently than the lowest stonemason's apprentice. He simpy knew exactly what he was aiming for and had was able to consistently hit the mark.

The problem is not one of differential technique but of refinement of perception, sensitivity and precision.

And lots of busted rock and many marble chips later ...

eyrie
01-31-2007, 10:44 PM
If seated kokyu is THE exercise to develop the substance beneath the skill, then certainly we have to examine it and explain it in more straight forward terms.

kokyu-ho, whether standing (on one leg/2 legs) or seated (seiza/cross-legged/one butt cheek off the floor), makes no difference... It is A way.... one of many.... this is what we're trying to get at and examine and explain in straightforward terms....

Problem is... some people are missing the point and getting sidetracked into off-topic discussions about some other stuff pertaining to how wrists should rotate, and getting mired in the technicalities of how the waza is like this or that... etc. etc.

One sits in seiza, allows one's hands to be grabbed, and with as little effort as possible attempts to topple the attacker. That's pretty much what's going on and simple enough. But if you want to have it explained further, and we all want that, then it starts to get complicated.

Is it that simple really??? How does one not use muscle power? More pertinently, shoulder power? Define "good posture"? If "good posture" is sitting up straight, how is it possible to do it cross-legged, sitting on one butt cheek, whilst scratching your other butt? Define "extension"? Breathing...? How? Why can this be done breathing in, out or holding the breath? What purpose does imagery serve? If I imagine reaching out to embrace a Playboy PlayMate, would that work? Why?


As to the question of how or where one is grabbed, I beg to differ. There are a number points along the circle of my wrist and one is enough to form the connection. With so many points to choose from, shouldn't one point be tactically better than the rest...theoretically, of course? ;)


Theoretically? Practically it makes no difference.... that imaginary PlayMate could be holding anywhere any which way - even as high as up the forearm, or even restraining my elbows....or hands on shoulders.... if you understand how kokyu-ho can be applied in any and all of those situations, we wouldn't be having this conversation... ;)

eyrie
01-31-2007, 11:21 PM
Michelangelo famously said that sculpting a statue was very simple. You just take a chisel and remove everything that is not statue.

He did not wield a chisel differently than the lowest stonemason's apprentice. He simpy knew exactly what he was aiming for and had was able to consistently hit the mark.

The problem is not one of differential technique but of refinement of perception, sensitivity and precision.

And lots of busted rock and many marble chips later ...

I dunno Erick... the stonemason down the road has a pretty good replica of David standing in the paddock, which he carved out of sandstone using a mini-chainsaw....

Oh, the problem is not a difference in technique... or that one has a more refined technique, thru refinement of feel, perception, sensitivity and precision... that, merely is a result of constant refinement of practice.

So, essentially, what you're saying Erick, is just keep practising and one day you'll get to be like Michaelangelo? Hmmmm.... practising what?

You're still missing the point... the problem is learning how to wield the chisel and mallet correctly in the first place. ;)

Eddie deGuzman
02-01-2007, 12:26 AM
kokyu-ho, whether standing (on one leg/2 legs) or seated (seiza/cross-legged/one butt cheek off the floor), makes no difference... It is A way.... one of many.... this is what we're trying to get at and examine and explain in straightforward terms....

Problem is... some people are missing the point and getting sidetracked into off-topic discussions about some other stuff pertaining to how wrists should rotate, and getting mired in the technicalities of how the waza is like this or that... etc. etc.



Is it that simple really??? How does one not use muscle power? More pertinently, shoulder power? Define "good posture"? If "good posture" is sitting up straight, how is it possible to do it cross-legged, sitting on one butt cheek, whilst scratching your other butt? Define "extension"? Breathing...? How? Why can this be done breathing in, out or holding the breath? What purpose does imagery serve? If I imagine reaching out to embrace a Playboy PlayMate, would that work? Why?



Theoretically? Practically it makes no difference.... that imaginary PlayMate could be holding anywhere any which way - even as high as up the forearm, or even restraining my elbows....or hands on shoulders.... if you understand how kokyu-ho can be applied in any and all of those situations, we wouldn't be having this conversation... ;)

In a sense, things are that simple. Basketball...there's the ball, there's the hoop, throw the ball in the hoop. Simple, yet not so simple. The more you play, the better you get. But of course we're not all going to make it into the NBA, but it's still fun to play. You asked me to make it simple so I did.

As to all the questions you posed to me, let's just erase them from the equation and see how well we do aikido hunched over, scratching our butts, dreaming of playmates and holding our breaths(that last two being a set).

I understand the point, to not worry about endless techniques and focus on the underlying connection they all have. I get it. But the more everyone discusses it, the more I think that what we are all trying to describe, in itself, IS a technique and it involves many things. Mike started this all off with a stance that favored the rear leg and connecting uke with the floor, friction coming into play. Is this not technique? As much as seated, standing, one-legged, one-cheeked kokyu is also a technique?(But seriously, will you teach that way? I might come to your class if the playmate was there, though. ;) ) Body mechanics, physics, natural movement, it all seems to come into play, but is not anything we conciously do to improve our aikido, in essence, a technique for us to understand, assimilate and improve?

I entered this thread hoping to find words to describe what it is we do because I wasn't taught through words. I spoke no Japanese when I got here. I was thrown, and attempted to throw. Pretty much as simple as that. But over time, through guidance, and despite my own need to overanalyze, I learned something. We may not agree on what to call it or how to do it or why amazing things happen. It is what it is. Like a chair you call a stool, it's still something to sit on.

As I stated earlier, I lean towards Mike's explanation of things. Yet of all things said thus far, I still haven't heard anything that explains what's going on in the background of technique that a complete noobie will grasp. Perhaps you can just describe it to us, as you would a complete noobie, and we will all instantly become enlightened. I don't expect you to be able to do that, nor anyone else. Whether I understand kokyu or not is really not the point, as far as I am concerned. I'm willing to listen. We all have different experiences and are at different points on the road of understanding/ability. I appreciate your insight, though, as I do everyone's.

Cheers,
Eddie

Erick Mead
02-01-2007, 01:05 AM
Problem is... some people are missing the point and getting sidetracked into off-topic discussions about some other stuff pertaining to how wrists should rotate, and getting mired in the technicalities of how the waza is like this or that... etc. etc. Point is, basics have to start at some point that is more easily grasped by a beginner. Thus, gross overt movements of proper form, like those of the wrist, progressing to the forearm and to the shoulder and to the spine and hips are easier to see and to adjust in gross scale, for the beginner. The shape of the movement is there, and is the saem whether my point of connection is the wrist, elbow, shoulder, chest or hip.

You all approach the teaching methodology for such basics from a different, and less conventional perspective, it seems to me. I don't agree with it, but the basic goal in the movment seems much the same (exlcuding again the resistance part) .

The exercises conintue to have relevant lessons even at more advanced levels because they are laboratories for study of variations of movement and nuances of contact at a scale where the interactions that can be unpacked and expanded for study and then packed up again for practical applications.
.... that imaginary PlayMate could be holding anywhere any which way - even as high as up the forearm, or even restraining my elbows....or hands on shoulders.... if you understand how kokyu-ho can be applied in any and all of those situations, we wouldn't be having this conversation... ;) Of course, trying to get beginners to understand the fundamentals that allow kokyu tanden ho to function from the shoulder grab or anywhere else for that matter, requires a simplfying assumption and a training scenario to expand the rterms of reference to a scale of comfort. It is not intuitively obvious to the beginner (if it were, then Aikido would have limited martial value to begin with). We create "handles" or perhaps the better image is from music -- "frets"-- to later dispense with them, because not every one gets the application of pure body "English" at the precise dynamic locaitons necessary to control the opponent's structure straightaway.

eyrie
02-01-2007, 01:26 AM
In a sense, things are that simple. Basketball...there's the ball, there's the hoop, throw the ball in the hoop. Simple, yet not so simple. The more you play, the better you get. But of course we're not all going to make it into the NBA, but it's still fun to play. You asked me to make it simple so I did.


How do you just "throw" the ball? What's the difference between using kokyu/jin to throw the ball and simply throwing the ball? Is there a difference?

eyrie
02-01-2007, 01:38 AM
Point is, basics have to start at some point that is more easily grasped by a beginner. Thus, gross overt movements of proper form.....You all approach the teaching methodology for such basics from a different, and less conventional perspective, it seems to me. I don't agree with it, but the basic goal in the movment seems much the same (exlcuding again the resistance part) .

Therein, I think, lies the problem... without any rudimentary body conditioning routine, the beginner is thus thrown in at the deep end of.... form and technique. Recall that Ueshiba M required students to have a foundation in another martial art before accepting them.

The problem is everyone glosses over the "warm up" exercises to get to the "meat" of the class - waza, waza and more waza.... when the real "beef" is in the "warm ups".

How many here actually do those "warm ups" outside of aikido classes? What sort of body conditioning do you use to develop "strength"?

raul rodrigo
02-01-2007, 08:46 AM
Eddie, I cant figure out if you're telling me that you know what happened and its no big deal. ("Its not mysterious to me.") Or that you don't know and are as mystified as the rest of us. Your posts seem to be going in both directions at the same time. Or maybe i am dense.

Erick Mead
02-01-2007, 10:13 AM
Therein, I think, lies the problem... without any rudimentary body conditioning routine, the beginner is thus thrown in at the deep end of.... form and technique. Recall that Ueshiba M required students to have a foundation in another martial art before accepting them. And the secrets are in the techniques -- he said that, too.
The problem is everyone glosses over the "warm up" exercises to get to the "meat" of the class - waza, waza and more waza.... Speak for yourself. Not here. Warmups are not really for "toning" the body anyway, so much as setting the limit governors on connection for the whole practice, so that each student feels in every joint the limits of the structure for that day, and feels in their own body the internal connections that he or she will be externalizing with the partner. We beat on the arms, legs and body to feel the internal atemi connection also. That is the point of the warmups, to draw attention to the sensations of the body in the various types of connection.

If you aren't going carefully enough to feel what is happening then you aren't learning anything. Note: I did not say slowly -- I said carefully. Nothing about aikido -- or any budo for that matter -- lends itself to empty-headed repetition. That's why I am still doing it. Sometimes the engaged dynamic teaches what the exercise simply cannot.

There are fairly immediate limits to the usefulness of training the fundamental motion of bicycling without actually being on a bike. In fact some of the more important fundamentals, like the nature of dynamic balance, you simply cannot learn on a static trainer or by "conditioning" spinning exercises for your legs to move the feet in ever more precise or efficient circles of the pedals.

Ushiro Sensei, whom you all point to as a guide from the 2006 summer camp, echoed my analogy in his comments leading to that training event: In the same way that you only truly appreciate the utility and enjoyment of riding a bicycle once you have mastered it, it is only when you are able to freely use the techniques contained within kata that you come to appreciate the profound nature of the kata themselves. However, unlike our bicycle analogy, because the kata are not purely physical constructs they are substantially more difficult to internalize.... Just as the multiplication tables form the foundation of basic arithmetic, kata form the foundation of bujutsu and budo. Only through repeated practice of these foundational elements can we arrive at an understanding of their essence. In turn, it is only from that point that we can begin to explore concrete applications. http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=690

Frank Doran Sensei quoted Yagyu Jubei in his commetns for the same event -- Principle and Technique are firmly tied together. At the very heart of every technique lies a basic principle. Look beyond technique and discover the principle that gives it life.
-- Technique is the hammer that drives the principle into our consciousness. Without technique - the principle has no way to express itself - it is just an idea.And lastly, Ikeda Sensei The attitude of many people studying martial arts seems to be that it is enough to train only techniques and not the fundamental martial spirit that vitalizes them.

When a large number of techniques and movements are understood only intellectually, the application of those techniques is diminished. Budo that is informed by purely cerebral understanding has a tendency to become a 'fantasy' budo. ...as we age our muscle strength wanes, ... The underlying principle of budo is that no matter how old one gets, one should be able to deal with a person of greater strength using the techniques and spiritual mastery one develops through training. The fact that the budo we are practicing does not lead in that direction or prepare us for when we get older tells us we are practicing something very different from the original martial arts. I am very comfortable with my arc along this spectrum as laid out by Ikeda Sensei -- in terms of my increase of ability and comfort in dealing with much greater strength -- at the same time that I begin to see my physical capacity waning. I must conclude therefore that I am doing something right.

James Young
02-01-2007, 03:26 PM
The problem is everyone glosses over the "warm up" exercises to get to the "meat" of the class - waza, waza and more waza.... when the real "beef" is in the "warm ups".

How many here actually do those "warm ups" outside of aikido classes? What sort of body conditioning do you use to develop "strength"?

I think we have to specify what "warm ups" would apply to say that was true. If I'm thinking about my current warm up routine I'd agree with your statement since by design my teacher is doing specific things to help condition us to improve our kokyu abilities. However, in other dojos I've been part of in the past, the warm up routine did not nearly as much contribute to that and was done more for the purpose of just warming us up and stretching us out for the keiko session. However, if one's teacher has designed "warm up" exercises to condition us to improve our kokyu abilities I totally agree that we need to be aware of that and feed on the "beef" as you put it rather than just focusing on the waza part of our training.

eyrie
02-01-2007, 06:05 PM
Quoting Ushiro Sensei...
Just as the multiplication tables form the foundation of basic arithmetic, kata form the foundation of bujutsu and budo. Only through repeated practice of these foundational elements can we arrive at an understanding of their essence. In turn, it is only from that point that we can begin to explore concrete applications.


There's nothing wrong with his statement...."kata [i.e 型 - mold/model/pattern of behaviour, NOT 形 (katachi) - shape/form] form the foundation of bujutsu and budo. Only through repeated practice of these foundational elements can we arrive at an understanding of their essence. In turn, it is only from that point that we can begin to explore concrete applications [i.e. waza].

You seem to be confusing kata 型 - a "behaviourial" model with 形 - the shapes or forms that such "behaviour" is manifested with waza 技 - technique (i.e. applications of such "behaviourial" patterns 型 within the shapes and forms of 形 ).

My question is "what are the foundational elements?"... and "what is the essence?"... to me, this "essence" is the baseline skills we are talking about....

Mike Sigman
02-01-2007, 10:16 PM
My question is "what are the foundational elements?"... and "what is the essence?"... to me, this "essence" is the baseline skills we are talking about....Incidentally, to get it on the record, someone sent me a copy of a breathing technique Tohei espoused in the 70's, I think. I actually have the book from which the technique(s) were copied, but I glossed over them in re-reads because they're surrounded by the "Ki of the Universe" stuff (which I don't quibble with; it comes from a legitimate early view of Ki/Qi... I'm just not interested in that perspective so I tend to ignore it). Anyway, I missed it and conversations with experts in Tohei's methods indicated that the breathing was more for mental stuff, so I missed that one until it was pointed out to me.

Tohei offers "Tohei Style Breathing Methods" which are (at least 2 of them) legitimate power-building gungs. The only problem is that he's not fully explicative about them so most people would just copy "deep breathing" and external stretching movements.

Oh... and although it's not obvious, the "Sanchin Kata" that Ushiro Sensei teaches is actually related to the breathing exercises and movements that Tohei teaches.... the underlying principles are the same.

Just to offer a perspective (an inescapable one to anyone with the background), the kokyu/jin stuff and the ki/breathing-exercises stuff are inextricably intertwined. There is a reason why "kokyu", though essentially the jin-forces, is also the breathing-skills-forces. One is the support of the other and therefore one of those strength-skills is bound up in the developmental level of the other.

So the "baseline skills" I'd suggest for any listing would include the sort of breathing training that Tohei suggested in his earlier book(s). Like the mind-manipulated forces, though, you can't just learn it from copying the poses of Tohei in books... you need someone to show you.

Anyway, my 2 cents FTR. ;)

Mike

jeff.
02-01-2007, 10:51 PM
mike...

to which book are you refering?

thanks!

jeff.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2007, 10:56 PM
Apologies, Jeff... I meant to put it in my message:

Ki in Daily Life
ISBN. 0-87040-436-9 Published in 1978 by Ki no Kenkyukai distributed by Kodansha International

Best.

Mike

eyrie
02-01-2007, 11:08 PM
Since I've had very little to do with "Tohei's Style Breathing Methods", I'll pass on commenting. What was interesting to me was the comparative "softness" of Ushiro sensei's sanchin, compared to, say the Goju guys that I've trained with from the Miyagi-Higaonna line. And what's up with the shime - where they smack the practitioner in various places???

Perhaps a question would be how is kokyu in aikido different or similar to say, punching and kiai-ing in horse stance???

Erick Mead
02-01-2007, 11:44 PM
There's nothing wrong with his statement...."kata [i.e 型 - mold/model/pattern of behaviour, NOT 形 (katachi) - shape/form] form the foundation of bujutsu and budo. Only through repeated practice of these foundational elements can we arrive at an understanding of their essence. In turn, it is only from that point that we can begin to explore concrete applications [i.e. waza].

You seem to be confusing kata 型 - a "behaviourial" model with 形 - the shapes or forms that such "behaviour" is manifested with waza 技 - technique (i.e. applications of such "behaviourial" patterns 型 within the shapes and forms of 形 ). I confuse nothing of the kind, nor could you possibly. The article was only provided in translation (and used 'kata,' not 'katachi'). It did not provide any kanji of the original but only Neville Nason's translation. I suggest you ask him. Of course, maybe he really meant 肩 :p sz
My question is "what are the foundational elements?"... and "what is the essence?"... to me, this "essence" is the baseline skills we are talking about....
The point of all three quotes, from their respective positions, is that budo is suffering from respective different tendencies to monism Both tendencies need reintegration. On the one hand, some karate has tended to go all physical toward striking in losing the cerebral strategic/philosophiical elements of its non-striking controls (Ushiro). On the other hand, some Aikido has tended to go toward the philosophical/ cerebral losing grounding in the concrete world of effective technique (Ikeda). Doran speaks to the need for reunifying both elements as parts of an irreducible whole, citing Yagyu Jubei Notably O-Senei also said in Budo Renshu, that Yagyu Jubei was a watchword for aikido and the required unificaiton of mind and body intraining.

My criticism is that the way to reintegrate body and mind from the soft cerebral form of aikido is not backwards -- but irimi. We should rejoin the concrete nature of practice with a rigorous intellectual exposition of the physical mechanisms of rigorous practice. If you reach the point of accumulating a certain amount of enthusiastic practice, when the real figtht comes, you will see the fallen form of the enemy there, beforeyou even raise a hannd... You should train with the belief that when you are enthusiastic the techniques come in this way

Eddie deGuzman
02-01-2007, 11:54 PM
Eddie, I cant figure out if you're telling me that you know what happened and its no big deal. ("Its not mysterious to me.") Or that you don't know and are as mystified as the rest of us. Your posts seem to be going in both directions at the same time. Or maybe i am dense.

Forgive me Raul if I made it seem like it was no big deal. It wasn't my intention. Keeping it simple for a noobie per eyrie's request was something of a different subject.

What I meant is that from what I understand of the description you gave, it sounded like the kokyu waza we do in the dojo every class. It's just that some people are better at it than others. But to say it clearly, yes, I think I can do what I believe you described.

But to describe how I do what I do without using the vocabulary that I am familiar with is difficult. It's like saying describe air without using the words oxygen, gas, breathe, etc. Perhaps someone else can do that. Fine, it's just an analogy and it doesn't really matter. As was the basketball comment.

And this is not to say that kokyu is an easy thing to do. It's not. I've been at this for while too. I just lack a way to describe it. I am interested in what Mike has to say about the Chinese arts and their way of explaining energy/forces/etc. A link to some supplemental reading would be nice. English books are a little hard to come by here.

Have a nice weekend,
Eddie

eyrie
02-02-2007, 12:11 AM
Well Erick... perhaps you should take Frank Doran's advice....
Look beyond technique and discover the principle that gives it life.

Because that is precisely what we're trying to do, amidst your interjections and tangential arguments...

Perhaps it maybe true that "technique might be the hammer that drives the principle into our consciousness. and without it (technique), the principle may have no way to express itself". But the time and place for that is on the mat. Yes, it (principle) may just be "an idea", but it is a idea that begs further exploration - off the mat. Which is what some of us are trying to do here, using the appropriate medium.

If you aren't interested in discussing the idea on its own merits, then perhaps you should take your hammer and go bang some nails... since it is quite obvious that you have NO IDEA what the principle is that we are talking about anyway.... ;)

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 12:20 AM
What was interesting to me was the comparative "softness" of Ushiro sensei's sanchin, compared to, say the Goju guys that I've trained with from the Miyagi-Higaonna line. And what's up with the shime - where they smack the practitioner in various places???

Perhaps a question would be how is kokyu in aikido different or similar to say, punching and kiai-ing in horse stance???

From memories of the wooden floor, I recall sanchin as an attempt to unify the mind and body and become rooted and immovable. The smacking/hitting/kicking is an attempt to knock them off balance or show that their body is not working in unison. Perhaps similar to pushing on Mr. Sum in various places and angles.

Cheers,
Eddie

eyrie
02-02-2007, 12:24 AM
...But to describe how I do what I do without using the vocabulary that I am familiar with is difficult. It's like saying describe air without using the words oxygen, gas, breathe, etc. Perhaps someone else can do that. Fine, it's just an analogy and it doesn't really matter. As was the basketball comment.

When I was much younger, my brother taught me how to shoot hoops... in 5mins... he demonstrated and explained how to use the ground as a springboard... how to use the elbow as a lever... how to transfer the throw from ground to elbow to fingers to hoop.... in 5mins I was getting the desired lift in the ball that I didn't have before. Sure my aim sucked at first, but half an hour of practice later, I sucked a little less...

So.... why can't kokyu-ho or any other "technique" be explained in the same way?

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 12:42 AM
When I was much younger, my brother taught me how to shoot hoops... in 5mins... he demonstrated and explained how to use the ground as a springboard... how to use the elbow as a lever... how to transfer the throw from ground to elbow to fingers to hoop.... in 5mins I was getting the desired lift in the ball that I didn't have before. Sure my aim sucked at first, but half an hour of practice later, I sucked a little less...

So.... why can't kokyu-ho or any other "technique" be explained in the same way?

A nice brotherly image. I envy you. :)

If kokyu is purely a visible physical skill, then I grant you that it should be easily explained. But if it involves things one cannot see, then it becomes much more difficult a task. Just what this task is will also become difficult to discern, as a blind man attempts to describe the color red to another blind man.

Cheers,
Eddie

eyrie
02-02-2007, 01:09 AM
If kokyu is purely a visible physical skill, then I grant you that it should be easily explained. But if it involves things one cannot see, then it becomes much more difficult a task. Just what this task is will also become difficult to discern, as a blind man attempts to describe the color red to another blind man.

So, are you saying that if something is happening externally it can be explained easily...and that something happening internally is harder to explain since it is also difficult to discern?

But... wait a minute... if you are cognizant and aware of what is happening internally, why would it be difficult to discern what it is... even if you have to use analogies and metaphors to point at it?

This is why we're only talking about baseline skill... and Mike has attempted to explain how someone can get their foot in the door to these baseline skills.

Are you saying that kokyu-ho is more than a baseline skill and that it defies explanation because there is more happening internally that cannot be adequately described?

raul rodrigo
02-02-2007, 04:09 AM
What I meant is that from what I understand of the description you gave, it sounded like the kokyu waza we do in the dojo every class. It's just that some people are better at it than others. But to say it clearly, yes, I think I can do what I believe you described.


So let me get this straight: the kokyu ho you do in every class runs like this--tori's hands are outstretched at chest height, palm down, fingers open. Back is straight, coccyx is tucked in. Tori will not rotate his forearms. Uke comes in with his hands grasping the sides of tori's wrists, trying to keep his own elbows close to his body so that he is harder to move. Nonetheless, tori can use the expansion of his hara to create the power (transmitted through his arms) to pop uke up, break his connection to the ground and make him easy to move. How does your sensei teach this? Sounds like an advanced dojo you've got there.


RAUL

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 07:50 AM
So let me get this straight: the kokyu ho you do in every class runs like this--tori's hands are outstretched at chest height, palm down, fingers open. Back is straight, coccyx is tucked in. Tori will not rotate his forearms. Uke comes in with his hands grasping the sides of tori's wrists, trying to keep his own elbows close to his body so that he is harder to move. Nonetheless, tori can use the expansion of his hara to create the power (transmitted through his arms) to pop uke up, break his connection to the ground and make him easy to move. How does your sensei teach this? Sounds like an advanced dojo you've got there.


RAUL

Hi Raul,

Sounds fairly right the way you describe it. "pop uke up" is a bit vague, but if you mean bring off balance and throw down usually to left or right and pin, then yes. We usually hold our hands vertically though.

I'm not really familiar with other dojo. I've only trained in two. My teacher supervises mostly these days and said he turns 79 this month.(I was wrong when I posted his age sometime back.) There are 5 7th dan and 5 6th dan who train regularly(Had to look that up.) Learning is sempai-kohai hands on and all in Japanese. So when I say I don't have the English words to impart "how" some things are done, it's true. I like it here at this dojo. It feels right and I consider myself lucky. :D I also CAN'T do everything my sempai do. But they try to teach me and I try to learn.

Cheers,
Eddie

Robert Rumpf
02-02-2007, 08:02 AM
Ki in Daily Life
ISBN. 0-87040-436-9 Published in 1978 by Ki no Kenkyukai distributed by Kodansha International


Out of curiosity, what do you think of Tohei's book: "Kiatsu"
http://www.ki-society.com/english/renew/book.html

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 08:15 AM
So, are you saying that if something is happening externally it can be explained easily...and that something happening internally is harder to explain since it is also difficult to discern?

But... wait a minute... if you are cognizant and aware of what is happening internally, why would it be difficult to discern what it is... even if you have to use analogies and metaphors to point at it?

This is why we're only talking about baseline skill... and Mike has attempted to explain how someone can get their foot in the door to these baseline skills.

Are you saying that kokyu-ho is more than a baseline skill and that it defies explanation because there is more happening internally that cannot be adequately described?

I believe there is more happening than can be seen. Yes. "...defies explanation" I didn't say. Try not to read more into what I say or don't say. I'm a fairly straight forward kind a guy. I said it is more difficult to explain, for me. And please, Ignatius, be realistic here, if it were easy to see and explain, there wouldn't be 15 odd pages here and no definitive answer?

At any rate, Ignatius, I did explain... the way I know how to. You disallowed me the use of my chosen vocabulary/imagery/ideas and suggest it is something else. Perhaps it is. Please tell me what. That's what I'm here for, to learn. I'm sorry you disagree with my choice of words, but that is how I learned so that is what I said. To me, it is a feeling. If it feels different to you, that's okay by me. If you have other words to describe it better, I'll listen.

As for Mike, I have said that I like his explanation and am interested in hearing more. I even like his exercise.

Cheers,
Eddie

Mike Sigman
02-02-2007, 08:49 AM
Since I've had very little to do with "Tohei's Style Breathing Methods", I'll pass on commenting. What was interesting to me was the comparative "softness" of Ushiro sensei's sanchin, compared to, say the Goju guys that I've trained with from the Miyagi-Higaonna line. And what's up with the shime - where they smack the practitioner in various places???

Perhaps a question would be how is kokyu in aikido different or similar to say, punching and kiai-ing in horse stance???It would be difficult to answer that accurately, Ignatius, because different people in Aikido use slightly different approaches to developing Kokyu; the range of "muscularity" will vary over a spectrum. Same is true of karate. Let's compare kokyu to some "muscle" in your body, as an example... different people will develop that muscle using different approaches, different amounts of stiffness, different amounts of integrating it into the movements of the rest of the body, etc. Regardless, at heart it's all the same principle, but one that can be cultivated and expressed in different ways. Ushiro's kokyu may feel quite different from anything Tohei does, but the core principle is the same.

That being said, Tohei's approach is radically different from Ushiro's in many respects.

One of the massive, unspoken aspects of all these discussions has to do with the hara and how it's used, but that would be outside of this thread and difficult to talk about without physically demonstrating things.

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-02-2007, 08:54 AM
Well Erick... perhaps you should take Frank Doran's advice.... I don't know Doran Sensei or what he can do. I had an opportunity to feel what one of his students could do and my extrapolation is that they're more mechanically oriented. The reason I'm saying that is not because of Doran or others, but because when someone is introduced into a conversation because they are a "name", I often am not convinced we should go there. If we stick to Ueshiba, Tohei, Abe, and a few other known quantities in terms of the ki/kokyu skills, I would personally feel more comfortable. (Feel free to raspberry me). ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-02-2007, 09:05 AM
Out of curiosity, what do you think of Tohei's book: "Kiatsu"
http://www.ki-society.com/english/renew/book.htmlWell, it's sort of like "Simplified Shiatsu with a Twist". I'm not a fan of it. Granted, Tohei is getting into more of how ki manipulation is done in real shiatsu (rather than just poking acupuncture points), but I don't think Kiatsu is very complete or effective. His anecdotals are fairly self-serving and not helpful, IMO. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-02-2007, 09:10 AM
From memories of the wooden floor, I recall sanchin as an attempt to unify the mind and body and become rooted and immovable. The smacking/hitting/kicking is an attempt to knock them off balance or show that their body is not working in unison. Perhaps similar to pushing on Mr. Sum in various places and angles.Hi Eddie:

The smacking of someone doing Sanchin from all angles has more to do with making sure that the practitioner is maintaining the 3 battling (contradictory) jin-force-planes while moving. The better you get at maintaining those forces (for all practical purposes, it's just a variation of "extend ki", BTW), the more forces can be dealt with.

Technically, the 6-directions exercises that come from Akuzawa via Rob are the same thing, except that they're static.

Regards,

Mike

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 09:57 AM
Hi Eddie:

The smacking of someone doing Sanchin from all angles has more to do with making sure that the practitioner is maintaining the 3 battling (contradictory) jin-force-planes while moving.

Technically, the 6-directions exercises that come from Akuzawa via Rob are the same thing, except that they're static.

Regards,

Mike
Hi Mike,

Are we in the same circle or what. I just looked into E-Budo and was reading what you wrote about sanchin. Tried to watch the linked video http://www.yongchunbaihechuen.com/videos.html but am lacking some quicktime plug-ins. Which, I'm not sure. Bummer, too.

Sorry to say I am unfamiliar with the 3 battling jin-force-planes. I do know that when I did it years ago, it felt like a battle. :dead: Haven't seen a clip, but I was smacked every which way until things just seemed to come together out of their own accord, and I was solid, in every direction. Then I must have blinked, and my arms were like spaghetti again. It would be interesting to try again at this point having studied aikido and feeling more centered than I did ages ago.

Is there a description/explanation on-line you could point me to? Also, I'm not familiar with this 6 direction exercise Rob speaks of. :blush:

TIA,
Eddie

Mike Sigman
02-02-2007, 10:27 AM
Tried to watch the linked video http://www.yongchunbaihechuen.com/videos.html but am lacking some quicktime plug-ins. Well, those are good clips of Sanchin (aka "San Jan" in the original Chinese that the Okinawans learned it from). Notice how soft it is. Ushiro Sensei is harder, but not as hard as the Uechi Ryu people on Okinawa. In other words, the "muscle-to-jin" ratio varies, according to the way different styles have interpretted, specialized, etc. The same question of "muscle-to-jin" ratio arises when learning the kokyu/jin skills of Ushiro Sensei and comparing those skills with what Ueshiba and others used in Aikido originally. Is there a description/explanation on-line you could point me to? Also, I'm not familiar with this 6 direction exercise Rob speaks of. :blush: Well, the 6-directions stuff is outside of the "baseline skills"... the point is that we can always point back to the ki and kokyu skills as baseline and develop all other skills, including whatever skills derive from techniques and motion, because the ki and kokyu skills MUST be the basis for all techniques or the techniques are wrong (no matter how "effective" someone describes certain techniques).

You haven't read Rob John's deathless prose??? Good heavens, that's tantamount to admitting you've never read a Superman comic book. ;)

I'll see if I can find some URL's and pm you with them.

Best.

Mike

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 02:35 PM
Well Erick... perhaps you should take Frank Doran's advice....
Look beyond technique and discover the principle that gives it life.Because that is precisely what we're trying to do, amidst your interjections and tangential arguments... Interjections (irimi) and tangentials (tenkan). Those are the principles. I have it on good authority, confirmed by experience.
Yes, it (principle) may just be "an idea", but it is a idea that begs further exploration - off the mat. Which is what some of us are trying to do here, using the appropriate medium. No actually, you are not using an appropriate medium. The appropriate medium is one in which the basic terms of reference are already clearly understood by the audience you are addressing before you begin the dicussion to elaborate their operation in particular circumstances.
... since it is quite obvious that you have NO IDEA what the principle is that we are talking about anyway.... ;) Please. The problem is that your desired audience has no idea what YOU are talking about. The terms of reference are too obscure.

Last night we did standing kokyu tanden ho -- from two hand grab as warmup for some rank beginners, as we have done in the past and in my own background. It is virtually indistinguishable from the main movement in the san jan/san chin, and probably for very good reason :D . We also did kokyu tanden exercise from a shomenuchi engagement posture as preface to shomenuchi ikkyo and iriminage.

If you want people like that to hear you -- you need to speak a language they are prepared to hear. Not one you prefer to talk in. Or, if the discussion does necessarily become detailed at least one they can learn with some reasonably available independent resources, so they can try to keep up.

You are obscuring your valid points by esoteric usage. MY point is that your discussion in an aikido forum of sanchin or sanjan or all the other Chinese stuff is misplaced (and I get it better than most here, since I studied for a degree in it). Valid though it may be so far as it goes, it will result in your continuing to bemoan the fact, five years hence that no one is listening to you -- and still labors in the sad error of their ways.

MY approach to common ground may be "technical" in looking to mechanics. But that has an utterly neutral and easily verifiable knowledge base. It is freely available online for the most part and is not metaphorical. It is not subject to differences of opinion about the root terms of discussion (avoiding the ceaseless debates about different flavors of jin and whether we are really "reeling silk" or "pulling silk.", for instance).

It IS in the aikido curriculum, but it is equally true that sloppy practice or sloppy teaching may overlook or skip over the significance of the things that are there -- if one is paying attention to what one is actually doing or teaching. There is no reason to be hunting underneath the street lamp across the road for the car keys you lost here in the bushes, merely because the light makes the search easier on your eyes. The keys are really still over here in the bushes, and any keys you do find over there are unlikely to fit the intended purposes as well, if at all, as the ones you did not look for hard enough over here.

Find some common ground for discussion and seeking here in the bushes, or find yourselves talking pointlessly amongst yourselves across the road by the lamppost -- there really is no other alternative.

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 02:37 PM
I just looked into E-Budo and was reading what you wrote about sanchin. Tried to watch the linked video http://www.yongchunbaihechuen.com/videos.html but am lacking some quicktime plug-ins. Which, I'm not sure. Bummer, too.

Try DIVX. It works.

Mike Sigman
02-02-2007, 06:11 PM
Find some common ground for discussion and seeking here in the bushes, or find yourselves talking pointlessly amongst yourselves across the road by the lamppost -- there really is no other alternative.Hmmmm.... how many people do you envision in this group that you've banished across the road, Erick? You realize that the number of people who understand the ki/kokyu/jin/etc paradigm is not just one or two readers of this list, don't you? Your views are quite a bit more singular and unique than those of the people you're figuratively banishing. :)

Mike Sigman

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 06:24 PM
Thanks Eric. The plug-in still didn't work with quicktime, but when I pasted the url in the divx player, I was able to see the vids.

Mike, other than the lighter stances and some larger circular moves, the movements remind me very much of the style of karate I learned a half-life ago, done a little softer. The hand techniques were quite crisp and everyone seemed very centered. The weapons kata was impressive. That thing must way a ton! Interesting to see how he wielded it with his body movement and not his strength. Although I have no doubt that he is one strong old man! The positioning of the arms reminds of aikido so it appears to me that there are hard and soft things happening simultaneously. Perhaps an overall kokyu feel/frame and localized harder technique. Kinda makes me wanna dust off my kata.

Good stuff,
Eddie

raul rodrigo
02-02-2007, 07:00 PM
Find some common ground for discussion and seeking here in the bushes, or find yourselves talking pointlessly amongst yourselves across the road by the lamppost -- there really is no other alternative.


No offense, Erick, but I find I have an easier time understanding people like Mike and Ignatius than you. Despite the fact that i don't have a background in the chinese internal arts. The common ground for discussion is in fact in the baseline skills and body training. I.e., you start with things like funekogi and kokyu ho and move forward from there. Your approach is harder for me to get. When I did, for instance, one of Dan Harden's body exercises, i got what he means. in my country, we have a saying: its hard to wake the people who are pretending to be asleep.

eyrie
02-02-2007, 07:17 PM
It would be difficult to answer that accurately, Ignatius, because different people in Aikido use slightly different approaches to developing Kokyu; the range of "muscularity" will vary over a spectrum. Same is true of karate. Let's compare kokyu to some "muscle" in your body, as an example... different people will develop that muscle using different approaches, different amounts of stiffness, different amounts of integrating it into the movements of the rest of the body, etc. Regardless, at heart it's all the same principle, but one that can be cultivated and expressed in different ways. Ushiro's kokyu may feel quite different from anything Tohei does, but the core principle is the same.

My bad, I realized how poorly framed the question was... but I'm glad you picked up on it, because the question is how does one know one is not using "muscle" and using "something else" (kokyu/jin/ki/wathaveyou). Obviously "some" muscle is involved, particularly in the beginning... and obviously the ratio of "muscle" to kokyu/jin would be different for different people - at different levels and stages.

Someone once told me it was easier to go from "hard" to "soft" than from "soft" to "hard". Is that relevant to what we're talking about in terms of baseline skill?

eyrie
02-02-2007, 07:29 PM
The problem is that your desired audience has no idea what YOU are talking about. The terms of reference are too obscure....If you want people like that to hear you -- you need to speak a language they are prepared to hear. Not one you prefer to talk in. Or, if the discussion does necessarily become detailed at least one they can learn with some reasonably available independent resources, so they can try to keep up.....You are obscuring your valid points by esoteric usage.

Hmmmm..... isn't it funny how people hear what they want to hear... interesting how others like Raul "get" this and you don't, Erick.

I'm not speaking Chinese or Greek... I'm talking about the CORE of funekogi, the CORE of kokyu-ho, the CORE of tekubi furi... if you understood what that CORE is, you would know that that CORE pervades every single Asian martial art... that is what we're getting at - BASEline skills. Maybe you simply don't understand the terms of reference?

It is the CORE that drives ALL aikido techniques from ikkyo to whathaveyou-nage.

I'm well aware of seeing the forest for the trees. The question is, can you see the solitary tree in the forest?

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 07:44 PM
Hmmmm.... how many people do you envision in this group that you've banished across the road, Erick? I didn't suggest any sort of fence. It was a voluntary migration all around.

I simply point out that the thing you are looking for outside of aikido (and for whatever reason you did not find it here) -- is in fact -- also here. Sanchin is merely the nmost recent example of things you keep saying we're missing, that I end up showing you are actually here in the traditional modes, and in the physcial action that thesearts do share. You just missed out on finding it here, and therefore looked elsewhere -- perhaps not unreasonably, given your experience -- but perhaps judging the situation a bit unfairly, if your experience was not necessarily representative.

If you read Ushiro's comments for the summer camp in conjunction wiht those of Ikeda and Doran you will see that it represents a coming together and recognition of mutual need to deal with trends (institutional entropy essentially) in these arts toward their respective poles of emphasis, whereas their common ground is the root from which they all spring. I don't deny that there is that common ground. I just don't see any evidence there is anything wrong or deficient with aikido. There may be a lot wrong or defeicient with various people's aikido. And the rest of us should not be so parochial as to reject other experiences out of hand. But that does not mean we accept just anything uncritically as being appropriate to aikido training eitherYou realize that the number of people who understand the ki/kokyu/jin/etc paradigm is not just one or two readers of this list, don't you? Your views are quite a bit more singular and unique than those of the people you're figuratively banishing. :)I willl admit that I seem to be alone here in seeking a comprehensive mechnical description of the physical actions involved in aikido. A fact which I continue to find quite astonishing, actually. There certainly must be people in aikido with mechanical backgrounds deeper than mine who ought to be able to do better. That none have come to light in my research or turned up as referecnes from any of the people contesting (legitimately) technical points I have made here is nothing short of shocking to me.

This effort I see as part of what Doran Sensei and Ikeda Sensei are talking about. Points of view that take us away from preoccupation with airy metaphor (which I love as much as the next guy) and get some concrete description and rigorous physicality into the mix of understanding.

eyrie
02-02-2007, 07:45 PM
I believe there is more happening than can be seen. Yes. "...defies explanation" I didn't say. Try not to read more into what I say or don't say. I'm a fairly straight forward kind a guy. I said it is more difficult to explain, for me. And please, Ignatius, be realistic here, if it were easy to see and explain, there wouldn't be 15 odd pages here and no definitive answer?

At any rate, Ignatius, I did explain... the way I know how to. You disallowed me the use of my chosen vocabulary/imagery/ideas and suggest it is something else.

Hi Eddie, no offense given and none taken... I'm not sure that I "disallowed" you the use of your chosen vocabulary/images/ideas... I'm merely suggesting that such regurgitated explanations are becoming jaded for me, and that it is still at a level of describing the externalities of how the exercise is done.

Whilst I agree that the explanation and description of the internals might be more difficult, it is still possible to do so, as Mike has attempted to using the analogy of ground forces acting on a tensegrity structure.

What we're trying to get to is the CORE that is kokyu-ho (or whatever exercise) - i.e. the baseline skill. If we cannot even identify what this core is, how can we expect to teach this stuff effectively?

Are we then resigned to continue practicing without knowing indefinitely, until we "get" it???

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 08:38 PM
Hmmmm..... isn't it funny how people hear what they want to hear... interesting how others like Raul "get" this and you don't, Erick.

I'm not speaking Chinese or Greek... I'm talking about the CORE of funekogi, the CORE of kokyu-ho, the CORE of tekubi furi... if you understood what that CORE is, you would know that that CORE pervades every single Asian martial art... that is what we're getting at - BASEline skills. Maybe you simply don't understand the terms of reference?

It is the CORE that drives ALL aikido techniques from ikkyo to whathaveyou-nage. Yeah, so I do that. Ho-hum. The question is whether there is a more rigorous way to describe the prinicples of its operation .When the closest you all can come to actual physical description of the thing that is in tekubi furi and in kokyuho, and in funekogi is: "something else" (kokyu/jin/ki/wathaveyou) or resorting to "jin" or "kokyu" both of which are largely metaphorical even in their own context, then there is a plain problem in reaching people with these ideas in the terms of ordinary language. I frankly think ordinary language is not adequate to the task except in metaphor or metaphor reduced to jargon. Technical languge may not suffer the same deficits

Don't get me wrong, jargon is very useful, but only as a shorthand for what everybody in the discussion has already agreed on a meaning. So if you are irrevocably reduced to jargon, it might be nice to have a jargon that actually has a rigorous, physical basis that is universally available, and not reasonably disputabel,at least as to the terms of description. Especially when you are trying to discuss and describe the "something else" you are trying to promote to others who may not yet have experienced oit for themesleves, and thus have no basis to join or usefully engage the premises of the agreed terminology .
I'm well aware of seeing the forest for the trees. The question is, can you see the solitary tree in the forest? However, we are talking about the essential elements of what makes a "tree." Are you familiar with the Vitruvian Man? You can plainly see the circle, and the square. Look a little harder and you may see the triangles. Do you know where the spiral is represented? If you think this is irrelevant -- then you are focussed on but one branch of that one tree.

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 08:46 PM
I'm merely suggesting that such regurgitated explanations are becoming jaded for me, and that it is still at a level of describing the externalities of how the exercise is done.

Whilst I agree that the explanation and description of the internals might be more difficult, it is still possible to do so, as Mike has attempted to using the analogy of ground forces acting on a tensegrity structure. Which has some structural appeal, I'll admit. But only in static terms. Dynamically it is irrelevant, because the meta-structure of the connected parts, their degree of freedom and the means of control dictates the dynamic, not the structural nature of the connections.
If we cannot even identify what this core is, how can we expect to teach this stuff effectively? An excellent question.
Are we then resigned to continue practicing without knowing indefinitely, until we "get" it???Well, it worked for me and for generations before me. And it will have to continue working that way until a really rigorous mechanical basis is established. Bottom line, I trust the tradition until the physics catches up.

eyrie
02-02-2007, 08:59 PM
Dynamically it is irrelevant, because the meta-structure of the connected parts, their degree of freedom and the means of control dictates the dynamic, not the structural nature of the connections.

You still don't get it... that's why we're talking about BASELINE skills... based on CORE principles which are the same whether it is applied statically or dynamically...


Well, it worked for me and for generations before me. And it will have to continue working that way until a really rigorous mechanical basis is established. Bottom line, I trust the tradition until the physics catches up.

Thanks, but no thanks... I prefer not to wallow in mediocrity... nor do I expect that of the people that expect me to show them what Aikido is... should be and can be.

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 09:26 PM
I'm merely suggesting that such regurgitated explanations are becoming jaded for me, and that it is still at a level of describing the externalities of how the exercise is done.

What we're trying to get to is the CORE that is kokyu-ho (or whatever exercise) - i.e. the baseline skill. If we cannot even identify what this core is, how can we expect to teach this stuff effectively?

Are we then resigned to continue practicing without knowing indefinitely, until we "get" it???

Hello Ignatius,

"Regurgitated explanations" in and of themselves surely are of no practical use. I felt the same way at first. But the more I feel that I do right, the more I see why they are used. I didn't create them and I'm not even saying that it's the right way or even efficient.

I fully agree that this core is not easily defined and I make no claim that I can define it. It would be great to find the words, agreeable words to all, but I doubt that will happen. I don't fault anyone for trying to define it or create exercises to help develop it. I applaud them as diligent martial artists and conscientious teachers. But if someone doesn't agree with or understand a principle or definition or method, that doesn't mean that the discussion should be abandoned.

I find Mike's tensegrity structure appealing as a descriptor and I also find Eric's thoughts on biomechanics intriguing, especially the lever and movable fulcrum. Both seem like ways to describe certain aspects of what I am learning. And I find the two thoughts complimentary. They do not describe everything in aikido that I am studying, however(At least at my currrent understanding of it). And this in no way implies that I believe that what they have spoken about is the only thing they know. That would be a foolish assumption on my part.

Happy weekend :)
Eddie

Eddie deGuzman
02-02-2007, 09:38 PM
Eric's Quote:
Well, it worked for me and for generations before me. And it will have to continue working that way until a really rigorous mechanical basis is established. Bottom line, I trust the tradition until the physics catches up.

Thanks, but no thanks... I prefer not to wallow in mediocrity... nor do I expect that of the people that expect me to show them what Aikido is... should be and can be.

Come now, Ignatius, you are not seriously suggesting that in the long tradition and history of martial arts, everyone who has come before has been mediocre? Please. :rolleyes:

Eddie

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 09:40 PM
You still don't get it... that's why we're talking about BASELINE skills... based on CORE principles which are the same whether it is applied statically or dynamically... Statics and dynamics are not remotely the same things, a point drilled home to generations of pilots and winter drivers on ice...
Thanks, but no thanks... I prefer not to wallow in mediocrity... nor do I expect that of the people that expect me to show them what Aikido is... should be and can be.Thanks for that. You cannot describe the "thing" you seek and yet you will presume to tell others what it is and where to seek it. By what map? And by what warrant? If not in the traditional way, what other? By your own admission, you are uncertain.

You may have failed to take what traditional aikido training offers, but "it" is there in the traditional training if you approach it without preconceptions. You may choose to disbelieve me in what I tell you, in which you are again substituting your presumption of fact for my report of it. That and a distinct lack of trust, when I have given no cause for distrust That is a pattern to note, psychologically speaking. Both you and Mike share it. Get beyond it and take things on their own terms, not yours. Uke waza.

eyrie
02-02-2007, 10:18 PM
Here I was, sitting on the couch last nite, watching TV... and during an ad break, my 9yr old son and I started to play around a bit... he got into hanmi and with me sitting on the couch, and we did an exercise, where we would both try to maintain our structure without getting pushed over.

So, here we are, in a relaxed mood, gently but steadily pushing on each others palms, straight out in front of us, him in hanmi, me sitting... both of us feeling the push go to ground - him to his feet and me to my butt. Then as we both slowly and steadily increase the force of the push, he starts to slide along the tiled surface backwards...without breaking structure.

Were we using kokyu and testing each other's kokyu strength? If not, why not? If yes, why yes?

Tim Fong
02-02-2007, 10:59 PM
I don't see any Japanese college judo team captains , or championship level sumo players getting pwnd by aikido teachers. I don't see top ranked kendoka dropping their head in defeat to aikido teachers before the first cut either.

I don't see inconsistent Japanese baseball players going to aikido dojo and coming out phenomenal. Well unless you count Kono Yoshinori as an aikido teacher. And I think Kuwata was pretty consistently good too. Oh wait, Kono likes nanba wallking and works with Kuroda Tetsuzan. No gyros there. Forget I even brought it up.

So yes, by that standard, I'd say today's aikido is pretty mediocre.

Erick Mead
02-02-2007, 11:59 PM
I don't see any Japanese college judo team captains , or championship level sumo players getting pwnd by aikido teachers. I don't see top ranked kendoka dropping their head in defeat to aikido teachers before the first cut either. Why should they? Aikido does not seek to challenge them. Do you not get this yet?
I don't see inconsistent Japanese baseball players going to aikido dojo and coming out phenomenal. Well unless you count Kono Yoshinori as an aikido teacher. And I think Kuwata was pretty consistently good too. Oh wait, Kono likes nanba wallking and works with Kuroda Tetsuzan. No gyros there. Forget I even brought it up. Done. And not "gyros." Gyrodynamics of which gyros (gyroscopes) are but one special area of concern. If it turns -- it obeys gyrodynamic laws. Whether those laws predominate over other dynamic considerations in a given setting is a fair question, but those principles are operating wherever there is there is any motion about a center. To help you out here, your argument against my model must demonstrate that there is no motion about any center, or that in the setting concerned other dynamics principles are shown to predominate. Either way you need to show something definitive, and empirical. A string of anecdotes showing individual preferences and generalized and supposed consensus proves nothing of any use whatsoever. So yes, by that standard, I'd say today's aikido is pretty mediocre.By what standard? Whose standard? On what evidence? And who are you striving against ? And why? Surely, not me. There are far better people out there than me. But here you are.

Ushiro, who you quoted at length elsewhere, said that philosophy and experience go hand in hand, a principle that you apparently espouse. That is a Neo-Confucian principle -- the unity of knowledge and action. Wang Yang-Ming said that if you you do not act on what you know -- you do not really know. My principles of debate only echo my physical understandings of dealing in actual conflict (not voluntary contests), as I have alluded to. My knowledge and my action are as unitary as I can make it.

If it were true that aikido is so mediocre then you would leave it and not trouble yourself. You are still here. Your actions belie your statement of what you "know" about aikido, its standards and its potential. I maintain that these basic things are right there in the traditional modes of teaching, if any one cares to pay attention to them, which I certainly did. Apparently, in your experience many people have not, and apparently you have not, or else you would not, again be here asking or talking about it being lacking.

So harking back to Ushiro, is it a failing of the art in prinicple or just in your experience of it?

Mike Sigman
02-03-2007, 10:34 AM
I simply point out that the thing you are looking for outside of aikido (and for whatever reason you did not find it here) -- is in fact -- also here. Sanchin is merely the nmost recent example of things you keep saying we're missing, that I end up showing you are actually here in the traditional modes, and in the physcial action that thesearts do share. Well, you can put the whole topic to rest by explaining how kokyu and ki are developed in Sanchin, Erick. I notice that when you get into your gyrational rotation hypothesis, you get quite detailed. When you talk kokyu, etc., you tend to revert to "move from the center" and other vagaries. If you understand Sanchin, kokyu, ki development, you should be able to describe in detail how it works.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-03-2007, 10:52 AM
I find Mike's tensegrity structure appealing as a descriptor and I also find Eric's thoughts on biomechanics intriguing, especially the lever and movable fulcrum. Frankly, once you see and do even a little of this stuff, the kind of discussion that considers "gyrational motion" as anything other than a peripheral oddity goes out the window.

I said it before, but let me say it again. Ki and kokyu development go hand in hand. Power comes from them both and they are inextricably intertwined. That fact alone rules out the rotational movement as anything of import... and anyone with even mediocre skills already knows this. This "debate" is a waste of time, in that sense. A little debate is OK so that neophytes get an idea of which way to go. Unfortunately, the problem with espousing bum theories is that they do indeed influence some neophytes the wrong way. And I never forget listening to some of the older guys who have been doing martial arts for many years... when they see this stuff and the logic and utility is obvious, all the old sayings and legends fall into place, and they ruefully shake their head about the teacher who they have loyally followed down the wrong road for 20 years, etc. It's worth something to me to make that effort to curtail those lost years with misguided teachers.

And in regard to teachers... many "teachers" don't understand how these things work, in a number of Asian martial arts where westerners have become ensconced in the dues-paying hierarchies. Some Asians withold much or all of how to do these things, if they know. The problem on the western side too often tends to be that a "teacher" learned his ignorance from his own "teacher". And this stuff isn't so simple that it can be acquired in a few workshops and the loss never noticed by anyone. All of this is worth open discussion, IMO.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
02-03-2007, 12:53 PM
Well, you can put the whole topic to rest by explaining how kokyu and ki are developed in Sanchin, Erick. I notice that when you get into your gyrational rotation hypothesis, you get quite detailed. You will note that I said the main movement in the form was standing kokyu tanden ho. Everything I have said about that also applies.

Erick Mead
02-03-2007, 02:05 PM
I said it before, but let me say it again. Ki and kokyu development go hand in hand. Power comes from them both and they are inextricably intertwined. That fact alone rules out the rotational movement as anything of import... and anyone with even mediocre skills already knows this. ... Unfortunately, the problem with espousing bum theories is that they do indeed influence some neophytes the wrong way. When you get around to an actual "fact," especially one that may tend to show what you conclude in the absence of any fact, I may choose to respond in detail. The mode you are using is just as metaphorical as the one you are criticizing in traditional teaching.

Any motion about a center involves gyrodynamic laws of motion, including but not limited to: angular momentum (and its conservation), angular velocity, moments of inertia, and if force is opposed, bending, shear, and torque, torsional stress and strain. The laws hold equally well for large or minutely small motions. All limbs (and even spinal vertebrae) rotate about their own center of mass and hinge from an eccentric joint center. You cannot move your body without a rotation occurring, usually many of them in succession. Even by merely relaxed breathing you rotate your upper limbs away from and toward the body with the cycle of breath, and rotate your spine curling vertically around your cycling diaphragm. There is no more fundamental aspect to human dynamics than differential and sequential rotations.

Or are you positing that kokyu and ki -- even in the metaphorical conception -- do not involve circulation of energy about the center?

If you want to show a mechanical theory to be wrong, you have to meet and overcome it -- with a better mechanical theory, not with a change of metaphor. I may yet be proved wrong in my working model, analytically or empirically. You have not even attempted it. As I mentioned to Eddie, I believe, this requires you to show, first, that dynamics action without rotation occurs in the body and, second, that in a particular instance that action predominates in its mechanical action over the reotations that are occurring in any movement.

I welcome anyone to do so. I don't need any ego satisfaction. I am willing to take a position and if need be, receive a fall, in order to learn something useful from it -- which is the only purpose of this forum. And I never forget listening to some of the older guys who have been doing martial arts for many years... when they see this stuff and the logic and utility is obvious, all the old sayings and legends fall into place, and they ruefully shake their head about the teacher who they have loyally followed down the wrong road for 20 years, etc. It's worth something to me to make that effort to curtail those lost years with misguided teachers. Really, the amount of arrogance on a foundation of assumption and ignorance, just astounds. Are your "facts" as good as these unsupported presumptions of yours about me, or more importantly my teachers, not to mention my motivations and my place or purpose in the world? I have a tolerably successful law practice. I don't discuss these things to stroke egos or make money, but to work through specialized and difficult concepts in a place subject to legitimate and potentially, well-informed challenge.

Is that really the basis for your conclusions about me ? Then you have a very poor structure with which to frame any attack at all. I will charitably assume on Ledyard Sensei's testimony about you that the structure and assumptions of your argument are an aberration from the structure underlying your budo. ... westerners have become ensconced in the dues-paying hierarchies. I will now conclude my argument from the floor -- where I am spasming in helpless laughter at the premise of your statement.

eyrie
02-03-2007, 07:37 PM
It may well be true that joints rotate, and that the body goes thru a series of small rotations, but that is merely the effect of something else. It is not the causal action. Muscles stretch and contract, pulling the skeletal structure into place - that the joints rotate as a result, is due to the fixed length of the bone structures to which muscles, ligaments and tendons are attached.

That you effect rotational dynamics in performing techniques may well also be true, but it is due to basic linear forces acting on a spherical body. IOW, when you talk about rotations, gyrodynamics, and angular momentum, you are merely describing the effects - not the cause.

I think we're discussing causal action here in a basic linear form, in order for people to grasp the essence of the baseline skills we are discussing.

Erick Mead
02-03-2007, 08:39 PM
It may well be true that joints rotate, and that the body goes thru a series of small rotations, but that is merely the effect of something else. It is not the causal action. Muscles stretch and contract, pulling the skeletal structure into place - that the joints rotate as a result, is due to the fixed length of the bone structures to which muscles, ligaments and tendons are attached.

That you effect rotational dynamics in performing techniques may well also be true, but it is due to basic linear forces acting on a spherical body. IOW, when you talk about rotations, gyrodynamics, and angular momentum, you are merely describing the effects - not the cause.

I think we're discussing causal action here in a basic linear form, in order for people to grasp the essence of the baseline skills we are discussing. You are at the wrong level of analysis for the mechanics involved. The wing does not care what kind of propulsion provides the thrust. The aerodynamics of a given wing are the same for a given thrust/lift condition regardless of the means producing the thrust. Even mere gravity can produce thrust sufficient to generate lift. By and large, aerodynamics does not concern itself with any engine functions.

Kokyu is not at the level of physical function that you are addressing. It is a metafunction of the linear actuation that drive joints and the body into rotary motion. Like aerodynamics, kokyu does not care what causes the motive impulse, but what results from it.

The very fact that the mind can usefully process metaphorical knowledge at two or three removes from motive actuation means that the mind/body interface in fact operates at a level higher than the differential tension of muscles and tendons around a given joint. The linear processing requirements alone become prohibitively large to concsciously manipulate the sequence of muscular action necessary to receive a simple push. There are reasons why we evolved those complex adaptive physical functions long before the capacity for manipulative abstraction or even conscious thought.

eyrie
02-03-2007, 09:48 PM
Well, I guess you're right... kokyu = aerodynamics = rotational dynamics. You know, all we're talking about is straight line forces... at a really basic level. But I guess it takes a lawyer to twist and turn it, just for the sake of doing so... and since you can't explain it in straight forward terms, why not dazzle with verbosity and obtuse physics...

Gernot Hassenpflug
02-03-2007, 10:50 PM
I was tossing a toothbrush this morning, and as it hit the floor and bounced back into the air it was clear that it twirls around its long axis. This is clearly explainable by moments. However, the power to make it bounce and twist (both intrinsic responses) came from somewhere else. The motions are merely a particular characteristic response for a given physical configuration. Yes, and don't ask, I spend my time observing trivial things :-)

Eddie deGuzman
02-04-2007, 12:40 AM
Frankly, once you see and do even a little of this stuff, the kind of discussion that considers "gyrational motion" as anything other than a peripheral oddity goes out the window.

I said it before, but let me say it again. Ki and kokyu development go hand in hand.


Actually, I hadn't really thought on Eric's rotational motion theory because I got side tracked on other links he posted. There I found info on levers and movable fulcrums which I thought very interesting. But it does seem to me that our internal gyros must come into play with any movement we make, making continuous miniscule adjustments whenever we move and naturally affecting our aikido. But this seems to me to be more of a locomotor response wherein ki/kokyu lies more in the psychomotor realm.

I agree with you on ki and kokyu development going hand in hand.

BTW, did you find the info on the "3 battling forces". Looking forward to the read.

Cheers,
Eddie

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 01:05 AM
Well, I guess you're right... kokyu = aerodynamics = rotational dynamics. You know I didn't say that. Who is being obtuse now? You know, all we're talking about is straight line forces... at a really basic level. You wish it to be. Does not mean that it is. Even simple bending does not involve merely "straightline" forces, but moments and countering shear stress to stop rotation that would occur if there was a joint in the limb stressed in bending. To determine the static equilibrium stress requires the same basic math as the rotational dynamic even if nothing is actually rotating. Look up Mohr's circle.

I merely pointed out that it may not be as easy as you think to analyze it the way you are trying to do it. Is it more effective to analyze the motion of every speck of dirt moving around the center of the planet or to treat it as a single rigid body? All approaches are necessarily approximate. The question is -- which approximation is more useful. You may question the utility of my approach, fair enough, but do it on the merits. Pointless name-calling demeans the forum -- not me.
But I guess it takes a lawyer to twist and turn it, just for the sake of doing so... and since you can't explain it in straight forward terms, why not dazzle with verbosity and obtuse physics...I learned this stuff as a pilot long before I was a lawyer. This discussion calls on none of my lawyerly skills at all.

"IT" is a class of manipulations that avoid, in no particular order, resistance in bending, shear, or direct countering moment. Thus, these manipulations do not stress the receiving structure much, if at all. It is not that the structure is thus made "strong" to resist induced forces, it is that the manipulations of induced forces intentionally avoid stress on the structure, so that its strength is irrelevant (beyond maitaining its own integrity).

Every limb has its own center (around which it will rotate if it were a free body) and most have two eccentric hinges that it may rotate around in action. An induced rotation (push) would conventionally be resisted by resisting moment against the engaged joint (a reverse push), or by material stresses in bending, shear or torsion. He must also generally pin his joints in their succession of rotation from the center outward to generate the push, and thus conserve the momentum and increase the energy to apply to the target.

To push you he must select a certain center of effort for the induced moments he wants to apply, defining a circle, infact, several of them, centered on every joint in the chain of action. The nearest one is the joint nearest me in the attack.

As O Sensei said -- you draw a circle around him and remain outside this circle. Moving in complementary or non-contradictory terms, he cannot stop you as long as he intends to keep pushing. Thus you can redraw one of his his circles (and thus the center and orientation of all of his induced moments or rotations to make the push) creating a completely different center of effort. His push thus cannot be directed at you any more, and he is then powerless to affect you.

"It" (kokyu) works "behind" the push. "It" operates to induce a defeating moment -- either about the center of the limb itself, or about the opposite hinge center, by applying either a complementary in-plane (not contradictory) rotation to the pinned portion of the limb, (or a shift of center, which is equivalent to a rotation) or an out of plane rotation (which being perpendicular cannot be contradictory). This causes the system of moments and pinned joints that are necessary to "push" me to be completely disrupted. There is no more power left in the push to have to "resist." Done properly, I move him then nearly as easily as I move my own arm.

It is like disengaging the transmission from the engine. It can rev as high as it wants, but it has no traction any more.

Typically, to resist his intact push, I must take up in my structure the bending, shear or torsional stresses in my "straightline" parts by pinning my own joints, against him, and to carry his horizontal forces to ground reaction. That requires their material to be strong -- primarily in torsion and tension, which the stress-tube fascial model Mike has talked about or the tensegrity model he now favors may not be not too far off of in describing. It may be good as a model of traditional Chinese jin.

But it ain't what O Sensei discussed or taught as aikido, even if some significant root concepts are shared between them. It is not what I am talking about. The distinction is in the need (or the lack of it), for "strength" to provide this internal material resistance to force. As Ikeda says, loosely paraphrasing, if we are not practicing so as to be able to do this as doddering, feeble old men, we are probably not doing it right. The earlier video of the Chinese master demonstrated nothing answering to resistive strength, but rather of force manipulation keeping him from having to resist anything. "Supreme skill in war lies in defeating the enemy without fighting."

Practice is in learning which points, in various interactions to apply complementary or noncontradictory in-plane or out of plane inputs to accomplish this, and how to apply them.

The same essential shape of action, employed by different body parts in different orientations is evident in all of them, however, and we often term it "ikkyo," or the "ikkyo line." If you put your whole structure in a position to draw this line through him and around him, he cannot touch you and he cannot resist you.

Seeing or feeling that "baseline" in every situation is where the art lies, and is the point of practice.

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 01:12 AM
I was tossing a toothbrush this morning, ...Yes, and don't ask, I spend my time observing trivial things :-)Generally speaking, time well spent. Worked for Newton. :D
... The motions are merely a particular characteristic response for a given physical configuration. That is probably the best summation of the general nature of finding the ikkyo line shape in a movement -- adopting a given physical configuration that provides a particular characteristic response.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 12:36 PM
"It" (kokyu) works "behind" the push. Does kokyu work differently in Karate? In Tachi? In the the Koryu? In Sumo? Are there different kokyu's? No. So therefore the discussion of baseline skillsets involving ki, kokyu training, etc., has nothing to do with your persistent waza-based discussion or with your point that no resistance is ever used in Aikido. For the umpteenth time, Erick.... you need to go find someone that can show you these things and how to do them. *IF* they're even interested in showing you.

And incidentally, your idea of doddering weak old men ... this form of strength/body-skills gives you physical power that does not rely on muscles, etc., but it is still a measureable strength. There seems to be a great confusion among many westerners about "don't use muscle" aka "don't use strength"... it means not to use normal strength but to use the jin/kokyu and the ki-developed power. Not some slack-muscled, atrophied, dearth of power.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 02:24 PM
Does kokyu work differently in Karate? In Tachi? In the the Koryu? In Sumo? Are there different kokyu's? No. An unremarkable truth. They do, however, find definitive uses for it that differ in emphasis and attitude.

And then we get an immediate a conclusion that simply does not follow from the fact stated:.
So therefore the discussion of baseline skillsets involving ki, kokyu training, etc., has nothing to do with your persistent waza-based discussion or with your point that no resistance is ever used in Aikido. Show me an art where joints do not rotate to move the limbs. Acknowledging and closely studying this fundamental requirement of biomechanics, conceptually, and practically, and examining them in traditional movements is not "waza." And saying it does not make it so.

Saotome said we should do that: All creatures and all creation, visible and the invisible, whose workings and meaning are beyond human knowing, exist in accord with the laws of the natural world. By seeing clearly into these phenomena, we can begin to perceive the true meaning of budo.
Ushiro said we should do that by explorign the tradition with fresh eyes, not : Through the techniques that comprise our budo heritage, we have the opportunity, and at the same time the obligation, to seek answers to the same questions as did the founders. I believe that vitalizing this essence in the context of our life today embodies the meaning of budo origins .... in bujutsu karate, entering into the opponent - while at the same time removing the option for them to attack or defend - is our primary concern.... While striking blows involve the shock of a collision, non-strikes do not transmit any shock at all. In the latter, you find embodied the essence of unification that underlies true bujutsu karate.

This unification arises paradoxically from the power of a strong attack, or the potential of a strong impact. Unification or harmonization itself is not primary in this case. Rather, it is the absolute control of distance and timing that allows you to validate both yourself and your opponent. Kata practice in karate presents a particularly effective means to research these principles.
Ikeda said likewise: When studying a martial art, of course learning techniques is important; however, along with that, it is important to develop mental, energetic, and breath power through training and application. The attitude of many people studying martial arts seems to be that it is enough to train only techniques and not the fundamental martial spirit that vitalizes them. The most fundamental martial spirit is :: "to win without fighting." Resistance to force is the epitome of fighting. Kokyu training allows one to feel the practical reality of there being no opponent, of your training partner being absolutely no obstacle to your movement. Of there being no contest of strength from the moment of the attack.
And incidentally, your idea of doddering weak old men ... this form of strength/body-skills gives you physical power that does not rely on muscles, etc., but it is still a measureable strength. There seems to be a great confusion among many westerners about "don't use muscle" aka "don't use strength"... it means not to use normal strength but to use the jin/kokyu and the ki-developed power. Not my idea. Ikeda's idea. Read the article.

And Muscles? I never said "muscles" No. I said structure. Resistance involves all structure capable of taking strain, not merely muscular actuation to increase resisting strain with counter-force. In so many aikido techniques -- once the parties have engaged and beguna their struggle -- I point out that in doing it properly it is usually the first one to "give up" who wins.

The structure of the ninety year-old chinese gentleman in the video, or of O Sensei in his latter years, are unavoidably compromised by the rigors of age. They have a finite and severely diminished capacity to take up strain in their structure in resistance to force without breaking. If took strain in my shoulder now that I was capable of in my twenties, I would tear something badly. Fortunately, I don't have to. I can do far more now that I could then and my structure, while still pretty good for my age is still noticeably weaker in critical components than it was.
Not some slack-muscled, atrophied, dearth of power. You should feel my "slack muscled, atrophied, dearth of power" punch, or bokken strike, sometime. Maybe you would think better of me. :p

Power? You want power? The canonical definition in physics is the amount of work done or energy transferred per unit of time. The simplest way to inrease or dissipate applied energy is to change the geometry of the tranmission, as I have illustrated.

I can demonstrate that the kokyu action traditionally seen in aikido (and the related high level karate controls illustrated by Ushiro in his article) develop power by changing centers of action and thereby simultaneously adjusting inertial moment and angular velocity -- modulating kinetic energy by the product of the inverse square of the moment radius and square of the angular velocity involved. Halved radius squares the angular velocity and double the angular velocity you get the square of the velocity in energy increase

2^2 x 2^2 = 16

a 16-fold multiplier, without additional input energy, just by controlling the center(s) of action, which is the root concept of Aikido. Show me mechanics that gets you the same or better in more fundamental terms within our art or any art. Tendons will not do that.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 03:36 PM
I'll archive that one for posterity, Erick. As usual, you're missing the point. And once again, yes, your discussion about joints, torques, rotational moments is fine.... but unfortunately it also applies to everything, so in terms of jin/kokyu discussions it also talks about nothing.

Your quotes can be interpretted also in the same sense that you don't understand. I suggest once more that you go seek someone who can show you what you're so obviously missing.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-04-2007, 03:44 PM
I suggest once more that you go seek someone who can show you what you're so obviously missing.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
perhaps you could recommend someone.

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 04:16 PM
As usual, you're missing the point. And once again, yes, your discussion about joints, torques, rotational moments is fine.... but unfortunately it also applies to everything, so in terms of jin/kokyu discussions it also talks about nothing.Which response itself means absolutely nothing. If it is overbroad, which you imply, tell us why, in this context.
Your quotes can be interpretted also in the same sense that you don't understand. I suggest once more that you go seek someone who can show you what you're so obviously missing. Arguing, from assumption and innuendo, rather than any evidence, that I am not qualified or "worthy" to debate with the likes of you, is by way of ad hominem argument, fairly transparent.

It is not a substitute for actually answering the points I raised, or providing a mechnical model to show that mine is off-base if you disagree with it. One might reasonably infer from that response that you do not have any answer.

I'll wait and see. You can keep saying the rhetorical equivalent of "Shut up!" as long as you like. Or -- we can try to have a civil conversation on the merits of our respective positions.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 04:35 PM
Arguing, from assumption and innuendo, rather than any evidence, that I am not qualified or "worthy" to debate with the likes of you, is by way of ad hominem argument, fairly transparent. Hmmmm.... I don't think that's an accurate statement. What is really happening is that because you don't have the same baseline skills we're talking about, your arguments seem perfectly logical to me. I could make some perfectly logical-sounding arguments about torts which would indeed follow a pleasant-sounding logic but which would give away my lack of expertise to anyone with real legal experience. This is a good analogy for what is happening here... you sound pleasant and knowledgeable to your own ears, but your lack of experience is pretty obvious. Just as you wouldn't feel particularly motivated to give me long, detailed reasons of why my basic tort knowledge is lacking, I don't see where much would be gained in a prolonged discssion using your demand-rules of discourse about kokyu. Maybe that will help you understand my perspective. Or -- we can try to have a civil conversation on the merits of our respective positions. Or you can take my advice and go see someone who can provide you with some information. Frankly, I still fail to feel compelled to engage in a discussion that follows your insistant demands of conformity. You've pretty much balked yourself into a standstill.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 04:42 PM
perhaps you could recommend someone. Frankly, Ricky, I would suggest that people find someone who *can* show more than just basic-level stuff and then find out if those people are willing to show anything. At the moment, I'd suggest that people first go get a feel for what is happening... try visiting Ushiro Sensei.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 05:30 PM
What is really happening is that because you don't have the same baseline skills we're talking about...See, there is one difference between you and me -- I do not make the error of underestimating my opponents, especially in this setting.

But please, continue.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 05:41 PM
See, there is one difference between you and me -- I do not make the error of underestimating my opponents, especially in this setting. Ah..... could you suggest the name of someone that will vouch for your having these baseline skillsets, Erick? I know some of your mutual acquaintances and they have not been quietly emailing me to assure me that you have these expertises. Maybe all of us are underestimating you and you've been hiding these skills? Whaddya think?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-04-2007, 06:18 PM
Frankly, Ricky, I would suggest that people find someone who *can* show more than just basic-level stuff and then find out if those people are willing to show anything. At the moment, I'd suggest that people first go get a feel for what is happening... try visiting Ushiro Sensei.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
thanks Mike but Ushiro Sensei doesn't happen to have a dojo in my neck of the woods. and since the only way i know to improve my aikido is through daily training, i'm afraid i'll just have to muddle my way through.

gdandscompserv
02-04-2007, 06:36 PM
i did however read this (http://www.uk-jj.com/news/e_06_colorado.html). i would love to learn from Ushiro Sensei so i will keep an eye open for that opprtunity.

Michael Young
02-04-2007, 06:51 PM
Ricky,

He'll be at Summer Camp in the Rockies again this year. Excellent opportunity to not only see Ushiro, but if you seek it out, you'll get your hands on him. He changed my entire outlook on things the second I got to experience hands-on with him. Check out http://www.boulderaikikai.org/ for details.

Best,

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 07:00 PM
i did however read this (http://www.uk-jj.com/news/e_06_colorado.html). i would love to learn from Ushiro Sensei so i will keep an eye open for that opprtunity.What he says and did (as related) in the article is true. This is the baseline skills that we were trying to talk about earlier in the thread.

From what Rob John relates of things they have done in practice, I know that he does some of these things and that Akuzawa is teaching those things (the fine details of level, direction, etc., I can't tell of course). From what Dan and Cady say, they are doing some of these things. And there are others. The baseline skills are easy to spot by what someone says and what they don't say.

Just to throw in a caveat, I can't be really sure of what Ushiro knows versus what he teaches. What he says is true. What he demonstrates is true. But there seems to be a disconnect in exactly how he is teaching it and how well people are able to "steal his technique".

But anyway, you're looking in the right direction.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 07:40 PM
Ah..... could you suggest the name of someone that will vouch for your having these baseline skillsets, Erick? When you get around to defining them as anything other than kokyu tanden ho, let me know. You have not so far. I have nothing I need or wish to prove to you. My arguments stand or fall on their own merits, and no amount of "vouching" will make them stronger or weaker. I do what I do, and vouching won't change that either, for good or ill. Is budo a popularity contest?

Is "I double-dog-dare-you" far behind? Or can we move on to some useful discussion.
I know some of your mutual acquaintances and they have not been quietly emailing me to assure me that you have these expertises. This is about the fourth or fifth time you purport to have secret connections to people who "know me." It was tiresome and misguided the first time. I do not depend on my arguments for the people that I know or don't know, much less those who know you.

I know what I know and I can describe it in detail. You cannot, apparently, without resorting to Chinese esoterica. Maybe that (and devolving into the dozens when asked to respond to specific assertions) is limit of your vocabulary, maybe not. On Ledyard's Sensei's voucher for you, and I have met him exactly once, but enough to respect his opinions, I have assumed that it is not. I would really not like to have to conclude otherwise from what I see here. Let's see.

And come visit, anytime. We play nice. And we have the nicest beaches. Accept no substitutes.

Erick Mead
02-04-2007, 08:02 PM
Just to throw in a caveat, I can't be really sure of what Ushiro knows versus what he teaches. What he says is true. What he demonstrates is true. But there seems to be a disconnect in exactly how he is teaching it and how well people are able to "steal his technique". And yet you can speak about what I know from a few pixels ona screen. Really, Mike, does no one measure up to your standards, whatever they are ? Of course, Ushiro believes in the value of working faithfully through traditional forms for the continuity and realization of deep knowledge. You apparently don't. I do.

Eddie deGuzman
02-04-2007, 08:36 PM
i did however read this (http://www.uk-jj.com/news/e_06_colorado.html). i would love to learn from Ushiro Sensei so i will keep an eye open for that opprtunity.

Quote from article:
A frequent scene at the camp was the involuntary smile that lit up the face of an attacker the moment they were "floated" by Ushiro shihan.

Still not having seen or felt Ushiro sensei's technique, I am nonetheless certain it is similar to what is being taught at my dojo. The smile on the attacker being the clue. Working out with the higher ups every week will invariably leave a smile on your face. Throwing and being thrown, both equally enjoyable.

There are definitely invisible lines drawn that distinguish those who can from those who are trying, those who want to, and those who just don't get it and are finding their own way. It is not required to believe any one way is correct. Even the higher ups are slightly different in what and how they do things, but they barely even talk about it. They just train. It's all good. It's all fun.

Cheers,
Eddie

Mike Sigman
02-04-2007, 09:01 PM
And yet you can speak about what I know from a few pixels ona screen. Really, Mike, does no one measure up to your standards, whatever they are ? Of course, Ushiro believes in the value of working faithfully through traditional forms for the continuity and realization of deep knowledge. You apparently don't. I do.Wait a minute.... none of MY descriptions suit you, although you don't want to consider the fact that your "theory" doesn't ring anyone's bell, even though you are trying to be "exact" and demand that everyone meet your standards of acceptable discourse... and NOW you're saying that you and Ushiro "value traditional forms for the continuity and realization of deep knowledge"????? No one can win with you unless you say they can win, right? :)

And BTW, it's not the few pixels on the screen that give you away... it's the many pixels that are simply not there; pixels that would be there if you really understood. Give it up.

BTW, Ushiro's descriptions are intriguing. I haven't seen them before, but I continue to be surprised at how so many Japanese use the same traditional pictures the Chinese still use.... yet supposedly they haven't had any real contact for centuries. There's something amiss with the popular histories.

Frankly, Erick, if you know what you're trying to say you know, you could explain how the "floating" works. I've already done it in an earlier, archived post on AikiWeb. It has nothing to do with rotational movement, but everything to do with kokyu.

Mike Sigman

eyrie
02-04-2007, 10:17 PM
The smile on the attacker being the clue. Working out with the higher ups every week will invariably leave a smile on your face. Throwing and being thrown, both equally enjoyable.

Hmmm.... maybe I'm doing it wrong.... usually I get a look of consternation, followed invariably by "WTF! How the @#$% did you do that????"... oh.... and then the "ouch ouch ouch tap tap..." :D
:rolleyes:

Eddie deGuzman
02-04-2007, 11:29 PM
Hmmm.... maybe I'm doing it wrong.... usually I get a look of consternation, followed invariably by "WTF! How the @#$% did you do that????"... oh.... and then the "ouch ouch ouch tap tap..." :D
:rolleyes:

Hi Ignatius,

I wouldn't(and didn't) say you were doing it wrong. What I was commenting on was the earlier post describing Ushiro sensei's kokyu technique. The description sounded similar to what I learn, and the "smiling" reaction from the article makes it sound extremely similar to my training here.

In my opinion, yours may vary, aikido technique encompass a wide range of things. Very wide. I do not believe there is one answer to describe ALL things that happen in aikido. I believe, from my experience, that there is a gradual progression of understanding and ability. Some techniques hurt. Others do not. Some "ways" of doing things hurt and others do not. Some are easier to do and explain, others are not.

Last year, for example, I was home for a few months and practiced at a small dojo. We were doing shiho-nage. I did it using kokyu. The yudansha who was teaching(not the main teacher who has a good understanding of kokyu in my opinion) stopped me and said that I was not "working the joint" so that uke really feels it throughout the technique. I briefly mentioned I was focusing on centers and manipulating uke's balance at that fine edge just before falling. And as if he hadn't heard a word, showed me the "correct" way of doing it. And since it wasn't my regular dojo, I did it his way, the way I learned first ages ago. I could tell it hurt him. He prefers that. I don't. The same thing happened when I tried to show a lower belt a different, softer way to do another technique. The older gentleman, very set in his ways, quite in my face said that is NOT how he learned it. And I said ok, I'll try it your way, and when he got up off the floor, pissed, said I didn't have to rip his arm off. And then I said maybe I should go back to my way of doing things which also put him on the floor, just with a better atittude afterward.

The "smile" is the awareness that something else is happening. It's weird, hard to describe, absolutely nothing I can do to fight it, and yes, it makes me smile and wonder and reassess my way of thinking/doing aikido. And it is what keeps me here. I should also note that not everyone in the dojo can make me smile like that, just the ones on the far side. :D

Cheers,
Eddie

Mark Gibbons
02-04-2007, 11:43 PM
.... The baseline skills are easy to spot by what someone says and what they don't say.
......

Maybe for you that's easy. But I've heard the same words used to describe ki related skills in your posts and at a couple dojos. From your descriptions of the lack of these skills in the aikido community at large I've got no way to spot them by what folks say.

As for hands on, I've felt folks that can just bounce me off them (what I think is part of your emphasis) and I've experienced the folks I just can't touch or that can take me over without apparent effort (what I think is Eric's emphasis). Still no way for the less experienced to tell if any particular type of training is good aikido, superb fighting skill, mystical healing energy, or bogus.

Regards,
Mark

eyrie
02-05-2007, 12:07 AM
I wouldn't(and didn't) say you were doing it wrong. What I was commenting on was the earlier post describing Ushiro sensei's kokyu technique. The description sounded similar to what I learn, and the "smiling" reaction from the article makes it sound extremely similar to my training here.....The "smile" is the awareness that something else is happening.

Eddie... I was being facetious. :) Obviously it's got nothing to do with smiling or not smiling.... as I illustrated.

Awareness? Everybody seems to have an "awareness" of it... when it happens... IF it happens. But no one else seems to be able to cogently explain how to get to "first base".

So, for example when you say you're "using kokyu", what does it feel like? To you... to the other person? How do you, within a short period of time, teach/show someone how to "get" this "feeling" that they can easily understand? How do you know if they've "got" it or not?

It should be pretty obvious to "see" and feel whether someone's "got" it or not... how much they've got... to what degree... and what they need to "correct" and enhance what they've got.

Eddie deGuzman
02-05-2007, 11:21 AM
Eddie... I was being facetious. :) Obviously it's got nothing to do with smiling or not smiling.... as I illustrated.

Awareness? Everybody seems to have an "awareness" of it... when it happens... IF it happens. But no one else seems to be able to cogently explain how to get to "first base".

So, for example when you say you're "using kokyu", what does it feel like? To you... to the other person? How do you, within a short period of time, teach/show someone how to "get" this "feeling" that they can easily understand? How do you know if they've "got" it or not?

It should be pretty obvious to "see" and feel whether someone's "got" it or not... how much they've got... to what degree... and what they need to "correct" and enhance what they've got.
Hard to tell you were being facetious, since I can't see it. ;) And true, the smile is not necessary, just a bonus. :D

Had class tonight, lots of good stuff all around. The best partner of the night definitely works in the kokyu realm. I only visit it. I wish I knew what it was and how to teach it in a short time, but I don't. I only know when he's got me dead to rights. And I smile. And I try to mimic what he does, and he guides me until I hit the sweet spot, so to speak. It feels...effortless. And I know that explains nothing, yet that's what it feels like. Blending with uke, softly, kinda floating, guiding, and uke is down. One description. It feels a little different with other technique. And this description is of no real value to anyone if they can't relate.

A note about Ushiro shihan. I mentioned him after workout and one of the guys knew a little about him. He said that Ushiro is working with kokyu, but different from what we do. Yet he also said that everyone is different, and their views and how they apply kokyu are also different. So perhaps I was wrong. But a little of his theory sounds a lot like what they say in my dojo:

"Using ki, you can enter into the opponent's center instantly..." and "When one is thrown by such an internal nullification, the throw betrays no sense of direction and uke cannot tell which direction he or she is being thrown. Also "the ability to "enter into the heart" of the opponent ."

Sounds along the same vein of many things said in my dojo, but practically, not a lot of help. Would be nice to see a little video, and nicer to grab his wrists.

I asked a 7th dan tonight after workout how he would describe kokyu and it kept me an hour and a half after class. He said that many things were kokyu, not just one thing in particular. Breathing, zanshin, heightened awareness, good posture, etc. And stilll nothing you can sink your teeth into. But he also said it is impossible to describe to anyone who has not had some experience with it. And he said that there are many walls/barriers that we run up against in training. And everyone faces them. Our responses to hitting a wall will determine if we progress or not.

I asked about exercises to help develop kokyu skill and got the expected answer that all waza should be done with kokyu.(Like that one Eric? ;) ) But also that any motion that one would like to do, as long as one maintains the kokyu "feel" as in seated kokyu ho, will help develop kokyu/ki.

Are there any particular exercises out there people like other than what has been mentioned? Would like to hear more about how it is done in the Chinese arts if anyone has experience.

Thank you and good night! :)
Eddie

Erick Mead
02-05-2007, 04:37 PM
Frankly, Erick, if you know what you're trying to say you know, you could explain how the "floating" works. I've already done it in an earlier, archived post on AikiWeb. It has nothing to do with rotational movement, but everything to do with kokyu. Happy to oblige. First, I will make what I perceive to be your case (mechanically) to distinguish it.

In order for your "grounding" to occur a load path is established between the point of input and the ground. It is basially creating arching action through your structure. You have specifically illustrated this on your website and posted it here before. On that I have never disagreed with you. It is entirely mechanically correct to do that. I just have cause to know that it does not capture the dynamic of kokyu.

Much of kokyu lies not in establishing that path -- but in preventing it from being established in the first place. Once you "fix" me to the ground with a load path -- it is just a question of how much horizontal thrust is necessary to topple me. That may be effective in a brutal sort of way, but it is certainly not kokyu. If do not allow you to "fix" me in that condition, then you have a problem.

First, some simplifying assumptions. Disregard uke's elbow. Disregard uke's hips and knees. Assume that they are rigid and not bendable. You'll see why in a moment.

Draw two stick figures each made of two lines one line with the node at the ground and a node at the shoulder with the second line from that to a node at the wrist. Connect them at the wrist. You now have a figure that looks roughly like an "M." From the hand grab, uke pushes me. Pick oneside of the "M" -- label him the attacker. Draw an arrow along the line of his "arm" pointing at the wrist connection. That is his push. Note: I eprcieve a linear push, but remember that he generates it with a rotation of his shoulder (or from his support at the ground, or both).

One way to maintain my stability is to resist directly, that is, put another arrow head-to-head against his arrow of force -- maybe even a larger arrow so as to topple him backward. It might be applied by causing my arm to rotate from the shoulder into and against his push. Problem with this is the large torque involved on my shoulder joint. (Remember we are disregarding the elbow for this simplified construction.)

It might also be applied by fixing my shoulder rigidly and moving my whole body inward at the support node (and upward if we let Mike have his linear springy legs) That also creates a component of force back up uke's arm against his arrow. This is less direct, and some force is not opposed directly, but there is still force on force resistance.

I interpret Mike's "bounce jin" to be in this mode of the mechanics. But it is resistive. Although the forces on the shoulder are lower and more distributed than trying to lever the shoulder to rotate the wrist upward, they are, in fact, still quite high in order to maintaining rigidity. Thus, if I were to resist in this way -- the equivalent of arch action -- I would ground that force to resist the horizontal thrust backwards, precisely as Mike describes.

I have to make my body essentially rigid, as I indicated. No bendy bit (hinge) at the shoulder. Then there would be three hinges, the grab and the two respective points of connection at the ground. Potentially stable. Hinges can open in a variety of configurations, but typically, if four hinges form, an arch fails. This paper in Figure 1 (p.2) shows a four hinge arch failure. http://www.dur.ac.uk/charles.augarde/pubs/c10.pdf. Problem is, we are full of bendy bits (hinges) to exploit, but the shoulder is the only one I need in order to show this in simple exercise how to destabilize structure without the previously mentioned resistance. You will note that in the "M" simplified diagram I described there are five (5) hinges potentially already operating.

There is another way. Instead of putting your arrow head to head, place that arrow perpendicular to his arrow going down the "arm." He can't stop me because it is perpendicular to his force. I therfore don;lt have to be rigid just be easily able to move the connection around. This causes his arm to tend to rotate from the shoulder, back and downward. If I move my support inward the same amount as I extend his arm perpendicularly, then my condition of vertical support has not changed but his has changed radically. What I have done is to apply a moment to his shoulder, using his outstretched arm to do it.

The problem for him is that he is fixing his shoulder to apply the equivalent moment in the way that allows it to press down and forward at the wrist, which is the same direction of rotation that I am applying by taking his arm down and back toward him. The result is that he cannot stop his shoulder from popping out and turning into my need hinge, since he is setting it to go the way I am taking it. This means all his force that was going down and forward in the push has been instantly transferred to his shoulder going up and forward, literally lifting his own center with his own push rotation that I have just relocated to his shoulder with that famous "pop" of the center rising.

I have thus "floated" him by manipulating the rotational moments of his body, without any component of resistance.

Now in the more conventional seated kokyu tanden ho, the rotation of my wrist is accomplishing that same dynamic at a smaller scale. His grab at my wrist defines a tangential radius. If I rotate my wrist around that radial connection it is the same as the perpendicular tangential force applied at the wrist of the "M" diagram. The combination of wrist rotation (tenkan) and extension (irimi) results in the same reversal of his applied moment as shown in the more simplified model.

The seated kokyu tanden ho exercise does not remove the support hinges entirely, since you can still lift a hip, but it severly restricts them, forcing you to address the moment manipulaiton at the point of connnection rather than just by moving in or down with the whole body rigidly, and missing the necessary alteration of his structure.

Once we move from the simplified model to the fully articulated body, I have even more options for hinges, adn they are fully three dimensional hinges to work with. The 2D arch thrust line becomes a 3D spiral line. The possibilites become far more complex, but the mechanics of ultimate hinged collapse are the same.

Basically, form primarily controls stability (as opposed to strength.) The substance does not really matter to stability (assuming a minimal material strength.) Any place where the thrust line of the applied load moves to the outside line of the arch (above or below) inside or outside, a hinge forms -- hinging at the point where the thrust line intersects the edge of the structure the thrust line, and opening (in tension) at the perpendicular point opposite that. If I locate that thrust line (ikkyo line) at a potential hinge (joint) that is already trying to rotate the way I want it to go, then it instantly enters a progressive structural collapse and I just have to follow it through (irimi), so that he has no room to recover.

I start with two "gimme" hinges at our respective points of support, I get the third by entering (irimi) his attack a,d Connecting ( musubi) with it, and the fourth by displacing (tenkan) his attacking rotational moment using tangential and perpendicular manipulations. The sum of this in intuitive terms is applied kokyu. I can with more experience control where that thrust line (ikkyo line) is felt in order to form one more hinge somewhere in our joint structure (sometimes I volunteer to be the extra hinge -- think kaitennage or koshinage) altering the existing moments by perpendicular/tangential forces (irimi/tenkan) applied at the point of connection (musubi), in the manner described.

For those that want to dig deeper :

Here is a description of a short program that allows you to visualize the load conditions that lead to hinge formation. http://www.brantacan.co.uk/archsim.htm and the link to the simple DOS program that allows you to play with it. http://www.brantacan.co.uk/ARCHSIM.EXE. You can play with the shape of the necessary arch funicular shape (i.e. -- to match the thrust line for a given load under different load conditions) here: http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/simong/statics/ (click on the "hanging cable/arch," and be sure to turn off your pop-upblocker.) If you take that funicular load map and place it on a actual structure you can tell where potential hinges will open.
Both are perfectly safe.

You cannot do aikido with them, by any means, but you will gain a better idea of the concepts that are operating in in these mechanics.

Mike Sigman
02-05-2007, 05:27 PM
Happy to oblige. First, I will make what I perceive to be your case (mechanically) to distinguish it.

In order for your "grounding" to occur a load path is established between the point of input and the ground. It is basially creating arching action through your structure. You have specifically illustrated this on your website and posted it here before. On that I have never disagreed with you. It is entirely mechanically correct to do that. I just have cause to know that it does not capture the dynamic of kokyu.

Much of kokyu lies not in establishing that path -- but in preventing it from being established in the first place. Once you "fix" me to the ground with a load path -- it is just a question of how much horizontal thrust is necessary to topple me. That may be effective in a brutal sort of way, but it is certainly not kokyu. If do not allow you to "fix" me in that condition, then you have a problem.

First, some simplifying assumptions. Disregard uke's elbow. Disregard uke's hips and knees. Assume that they are rigid and not bendable. You'll see why in a moment.

Draw two stick figures each made of two lines one line with the node at the ground and a node at the shoulder with the second line from that to a node at the wrist. Connect them at the wrist. You now have a figure that looks roughly like an "M." From the hand grab, uke pushes me. Pick oneside of the "M" -- label him the attacker. Draw an arrow along the line of his "arm" pointing at the wrist connection. That is his push. Note: I eprcieve a linear push, but remember that he generates it with a rotation of his shoulder (or from his support at the ground, or both).

One way to maintain my stability is to resist directly, that is, put another arrow head-to-head against his arrow of force -- maybe even a larger arrow so as to topple him backward. It might be applied by causing my arm to rotate from the shoulder into and against his push. Problem with this is the large torque involved on my shoulder joint. (Remember we are disregarding the elbow for this simplified construction.)

It might also be applied by fixing my shoulder rigidly and moving my whole body inward at the support node (and upward if we let Mike have his linear springy legs) That also creates a component of force back up uke's arm against his arrow. This is less direct, and some force is not opposed directly, but there is still force on force resistance.

I interpret Mike's "bounce jin" to be in this mode of the mechanics. But it is resistive. Although the forces on the shoulder are lower and more distributed than trying to lever the shoulder to rotate the wrist upward, they are, in fact, still quite high in order to maintaining rigidity. Thus, if I were to resist in this way -- the equivalent of arch action -- I would ground that force to resist the horizontal thrust backwards, precisely as Mike describes.

I have to make my body essentially rigid, as I indicated. No bendy bit (hinge) at the shoulder. Then there would be three hinges, the grab and the two respective points of connection at the ground. Potentially stable. Hinges can open in a variety of configurations, but typically, if four hinges form, an arch fails. This paper in Figure 1 (p.2) shows a four hinge arch failure. http://www.dur.ac.uk/charles.augarde/pubs/c10.pdf. Problem is, we are full of bendy bits (hinges) to exploit, but the shoulder is the only one I need in order to show this in simple exercise how to destabilize structure without the previously mentioned resistance. You will note that in the "M" simplified diagram I described there are five (5) hinges potentially already operating.

There is another way. Instead of putting your arrow head to head, place that arrow perpendicular to his arrow going down the "arm." He can't stop me because it is perpendicular to his force. I therfore don;lt have to be rigid just be easily able to move the connection around. This causes his arm to tend to rotate from the shoulder, back and downward. If I move my support inward the same amount as I extend his arm perpendicularly, then my condition of vertical support has not changed but his has changed radically. What I have done is to apply a moment to his shoulder, using his outstretched arm to do it.

The problem for him is that he is fixing his shoulder to apply the equivalent moment in the way that allows it to press down and forward at the wrist, which is the same direction of rotation that I am applying by taking his arm down and back toward him. The result is that he cannot stop his shoulder from popping out and turning into my need hinge, since he is setting it to go the way I am taking it. This means all his force that was going down and forward in the push has been instantly transferred to his shoulder going up and forward, literally lifting his own center with his own push rotation that I have just relocated to his shoulder with that famous "pop" of the center rising.

I have thus "floated" him by manipulating the rotational moments of his body, without any component of resistance.

Now in the more conventional seated kokyu tanden ho, the rotation of my wrist is accomplishing that same dynamic at a smaller scale. His grab at my wrist defines a tangential radius. If I rotate my wrist around that radial connection it is the same as the perpendicular tangential force applied at the wrist of the "M" diagram. The combination of wrist rotation (tenkan) and extension (irimi) results in the same reversal of his applied moment as shown in the more simplified model.

The seated kokyu tanden ho exercise does not remove the support hinges entirely, since you can still lift a hip, but it severly restricts them, forcing you to address the moment manipulaiton at the point of connnection rather than just by moving in or down with the whole body rigidly, and missing the necessary alteration of his structure.

Once we move from the simplified model to the fully articulated body, I have even more options for hinges, adn they are fully three dimensional hinges to work with. The 2D arch thrust line becomes a 3D spiral line. The possibilites become far more complex, but the mechanics of ultimate hinged collapse are the same.

Basically, form primarily controls stability (as opposed to strength.) The substance does not really matter to stability (assuming a minimal material strength.) Any place where the thrust line of the applied load moves to the outside line of the arch (above or below) inside or outside, a hinge forms -- hinging at the point where the thrust line intersects the edge of the structure the thrust line, and opening (in tension) at the perpendicular point opposite that. If I locate that thrust line (ikkyo line) at a potential hinge (joint) that is already trying to rotate the way I want it to go, then it instantly enters a progressive structural collapse and I just have to follow it through (irimi), so that he has no room to recover.

I start with two "gimme" hinges at our respective points of support, I get the third by entering (irimi) his attack a,d Connecting ( musubi) with it, and the fourth by displacing (tenkan) his attacking rotational moment using tangential and perpendicular manipulations. The sum of this in intuitive terms is applied kokyu. I can with more experience control where that thrust line (ikkyo line) is felt in order to form one more hinge somewhere in our joint structure (sometimes I volunteer to be the extra hinge -- think kaitennage or koshinage) altering the existing moments by perpendicular/tangential forces (irimi/tenkan) applied at the point of connection (musubi), in the manner described.

For those that want to dig deeper :

Here is a description of a short program that allows you to visualize the load conditions that lead to hinge formation. http://www.brantacan.co.uk/archsim.htm and the link to the simple DOS program that allows you to play with it. http://www.brantacan.co.uk/ARCHSIM.EXE. You can play with the shape of the necessary arch funicular shape (i.e. -- to match the thrust line for a given load under different load conditions) here: http://acg.media.mit.edu/people/simong/statics/ (click on the "hanging cable/arch," and be sure to turn off your pop-upblocker.) If you take that funicular load map and place it on a actual structure you can tell where potential hinges will open.
Both are perfectly safe.

You cannot do aikido with them, by any means, but you will gain a better idea of the concepts that are operating in in these mechanics.Ah.... I get a little clearer idea of your apparently evolving ideas, Erick, but no, you're off base. The reason you're off base boils down, in a couple of quick extrapolations that I'm running through my head, to the simple reason the your perspective of all that happens is limited. You're attempting to explain car while not really knowing what a transmission, a hydraulic clutch, a differential, etc., are. You've got an idea of a car and how it can be used... and even some engine mechanics... but you just miss. Incidentally, I hate to miss out on opportunities, but if you'd like to make some sort of substantial bet and are willing to have a mutually acceptable person hold the dough, let me know. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-05-2007, 06:11 PM
I'll hold the dough. :D

Erick Mead
02-05-2007, 08:01 PM
Quote from article:
A frequent scene at the camp was the involuntary smile that lit up the face of an attacker the moment they were "floated" by Ushiro shihan.

Still not having seen or felt Ushiro sensei's technique, I am nonetheless certain it is similar to what is being taught at my dojo. The smile on the attacker being the clue. Working out with the higher ups every week will invariably leave a smile on your face. Throwing and being thrown, both equally enjoyable.Consider this from an interview with Ushiro Sensei. He gives a five level progression of learning in budo, really almost irrespective of art. It is interesting in that it is largely defined in the first two stages from the perspective of the person applying the art, but in the higher stages more from the person receiving the applicaiton of the art, rather than the person applying it. I know I don't feel the "hardness and rigidity" he speaks of inside or out. I cannot say what people feel like when I apply the art to them, so I could not begin to classify myself otherwise, which would, among other things, also be both presumptous and rude.

The next to highest level he describes as:
You react to your opponent's attack with softness and flexibility and maintain that state for the duration of your response and counter-attack. From start to finish it will feel to the opponent as if he is simply being lightly touched all over. The full interview is here: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=152

Since I can speak in this context as to what I have experienced as uke, this description of Ushiro's next to highest category resonates very much with my experience of most accomplished aikidoka I have known. In contrast, I have grave difficulty reconciling Mike's depiction of "bounce jin" with Ushiro's description of the most advacned physical development of the art as the proper means of kokyu in that context.

Ushiro is at pains to make clear that the "baseline" is not something you "go beyond" or outgrow, but an integral part of the development that remains with you and that you still work with and work on even at the highest levels. In his description the "baseline" runs throughout the progression, merely with grreater and greater realization.

The highest category he describes as "your opponent attempts to attack, but you check, stop, or control him using your ki (energy, intention)." There are only a few I have known enough that I would be able to personally put in the highest category. My first teacher, Hooker Sensei among them, for instance. I would rather get hit multiple times by some people with bokken than be on the recieving end of a harsh glance from that man -- teddy bear though he is in many other respects, his nature remains -- all bear.

Lastly, Ushiro speaks about the integration of theory and practice, a point worthwhile to our discussion:To formulate a valid theory you first have to consider actual usability, that is, whether you can or cannot actually do something. Only from that perspective can you start building a true theory. Only from there can you ask, "Okay, I can really do this thing; now, why am I able to do it?" That is the question I dwell on. Anyone here is free judge the specificity of my descriptions, or those of anyone else posting, whether we are asking Ushiro's practical question about an empirical theory or merely an academic, theoretical one.

Erick Mead
02-05-2007, 08:31 PM
Ah.... I get a little clearer idea of your apparently evolving ideas, Erick, but no, you're off base. The reason you're off base boils down, in a couple of quick extrapolations that I'm running through my head, to the simple reason the your perspective of all that happens is limited. Thanks Mike, for that carefully reasoned, thorough and well thought out rebuttal.

DH
02-05-2007, 09:46 PM
Eric
I don't like to get in the middle of your debates simply due to the fact that your responses are overly long and don't work as models for these skills. They are a waste and the wrong direction for folks to take if they are intent on getting to the heart of these arts.

I did follow your links. I read Ushiro's two interviews. I see them as more in keeping with both what I do, and know. And I find it odd that you quote him.... as he is an advocate for being able to train these skills outside of waza.
You have repeatedly stated to Mike, that you think they are to be learned -in- Waza.

As for your theories. No man I know who can -actually exhibit these skills- discusses your ideas. Odd that of 4 world class teachers in 4 different arts, and now one who felt Ueshiba-all agree and openly talk about the commonality of things on very concrete and (here's a tip) easily understood terms. Ya might wonder why none of them share your theories.

As for WAZA and base skills?
I teach these skills completely outside of any waza and they -in the end- enable folks to capture center at a touch and to make it extremely difficult for folks to get theirs and to throw them in anyway. It is a very effective means to get soft and responsive, and powerful all in one. Taiji, Xing-I, Bagua, Daito ryu, and Aikido, at their highest levels do not exist without them. Neither it appears does Ushiro's Karate.

I know I am sounding flat. Please don't misinterpret that as adversarial. I mean no disrespect. I just think it is perfectly clear what direction to take.
I have previously outlined various examples to you of displays of martial strength, as a foundational basis for more advanced moving, capturing connection. The kind of skills discussed by Ushiro and displayed on video by Ueshiba and many Chinese artists. I asked if you could do those examples. You honestly answered that you could not. All due respect, if you cannot do what we are talking about then you simply don't know "what" we are talking about. Your skills are in your hands. I am quite sure that if we meet you will fail and not know what to do. Why? These things only work certain ways. Yours aint it.
Those who know......Know.
You don't.

Its nice to see the internet actually doing something worthwhile-that being- getting folks into places where they can truly learn from folks who will share what they know to tune the basics and reinvogorate their individual arts. It may be a fun decade when we look back. We'll have to see.
Cheers
Dan

Eddie deGuzman
02-05-2007, 09:52 PM
Consider this from an interview with Ushiro Sensei. He gives a five level progression of learning in budo, really almost irrespective of art. It is interesting in that it is largely defined in the first two stages from the perspective of the person applying the art, but in the higher stages more from the person receiving the applicaiton of the art, rather than the person applying it. I know I don't feel the "hardness and rigidity" he speaks of inside or out.Ushiro is at pains to make clear that the "baseline" is not something you "go beyond" or outgrow, but an integral part of the development that remains with you and that you still work with and work on even at the highest levels. In his description the "baseline" runs throughout the progression, merely with grreater and greater realization.

The highest category he describes as "your opponent attempts to attack, but you check, stop, or control him using your ki (energy, intention)."

Lastly, Ushiro speaks about the integration of theory and practice, a point worthwhile to our discussion: That is the question I dwell on. Anyone here is free judge the specificity of my descriptions, or those of anyone else posting, whether we are asking Ushiro's practical question about an empirical theory or merely an academic, theoretical one.

Hi Erick, I read the same article last night after class. The hard/soft theory is interesting. Also interesting is that he numbered them first to fifth, but then says "it's not necessarily a logical progression". It's certainly hard to get a feel for what he means. "hard" could mean strong, solid, centered or even more powerful kokyu as opposed to light, effortless, guiding. Would have to talk to him about it to have a clue.

His thoughts on useability go right to the heart of the matter though. Does it work, and does it work consistently, and does it work in response to any style of attack? If I critiqued my aikido, I would say yes, it works. Consistently, no. Not yet because I need more training, IMO. With any style attack, no, not yet. As Ushiro said, irrespective of aikido, higher level budo doesn't involve technique. The mere extension of one's ki is sufficient. I'm not there...yet. :)

He says learn through the body, not through the mind. Perhaps the answer lies in more practice.

Cheers,
Eddie

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 12:00 AM
And I find it odd that you quote him.... as he is an advocate for being able to train these skills outside of waza.
You have repeatedly stated to Mike, that you think they are to be learned -in- Waza. Aikido is an extended set of paired kata. That is the reason it gets criticized for "lacking martial effectiveness" by the guys that Ushiro also criticizes on the karate side of the aisle. What we do is almost completely kata.

And what did Ushiro say about that? Instead of letting you recraft his statements to make your point (and since Mike chooses apparently not defend his own position on the technical merits) -- Let me quote Ushiro Sensei, again: Over time, the various techniques and secret teachings (gokui) that have emerged from this kind of training have been compiled, and these compilations of physical knowledge gradually led to the formation of the kata (forms) we practice today.

The question we have to ask now is what kind of approach and thinking should we adopt today in order to learn these kata and all that they have to offer?

I personally have found it best to view kata not simply as forms to be learned, but rather as "tools" for studying how to deal with critical situations, and more specifically how to keep myself out of harm's way in those situations. This is how I think about kata, and this is also how kata are viewed within the Shindo-ryu tradition.
O Sensei said, very specifically that the secrets are in the omote forms. I see them there, and have for quite some while now. Increasingly, I can use them with facility from the forms I have learned and unceasingly find new variations from those now that the root forms are clearer. I therefore have reason to trust his assurances on this point.

You and Mike -- not so much. Whatever else may be said -- you do not deliver in kind when pressed. And what sort of budo shrinks from engagement? This is not a fight, but it is supposed to be an honest conflict. And you are trying to lead a contingent of aikidoka toward your promised land of "skills." Things you cannot desribe in modern terms to a modern audience, and which you cannot fit within a coherent tradition of the forms of aikido you both consistently deride as useless "waza."

Nor, do you come to speak with me. Rather you speak at me, to condescend. It is is disrespectful. I say this not to claim any respect that I am due, for I am not. But disrespect of an opponent, even an opponent you believe to be lesser than you -- that is serious suki. That betrays a serious weakness of budo, and confirms my other, lesser opinions about this particular engagement.
The kind of skills discussed by Ushiro and displayed on video by Ueshiba and many Chinese artists. I asked if you could do those examples. You honestly answered that you could not. I have analyzed every single vidoe offered in the mechanical terms I see in action. You cannot describe what these skills are in terms that have been common since Sir Isaac Newton got bonked on the head.

And when you purport to say what I "said" -- you quote me.

Otherwise -- it ain't what I said. 'Nuff said.

Your opinion of whether I meet functional "tests" you even cannot adequately describe, is most entertaining. I've read some of Mike's other descriptions of "teacher tests" and entertaining as they are, I am well-satisfied I have your measure. And, no I cannot do some of the nifty gee whiz things I see that O Sensei does on film. And gee, gosh, boy, howdy that really proves somehting doesn't it? But I have learned enough of what he handed down to see how he is doing it when I have stop-motion film to help me out, and thus can explain it to you.

Neither you nor Mike are bothering to rebut me on my descriptions of what they are, and how they fit the forms of aikido as received in tradition. Ushiro's observations from a differnt stream of tradition, only confirm me to return, again and again, to the root forms where the secrets lie. And to oppose your efforts to lead others away from them, for reasons that are most unclear to me.

But better yet, since I remain in my sin, why don't you stop refusing and take up Jim Sorrentino's expense-paid invitation and come down show us the error of our ways down at Shobukan in Washington, since we obviously are not going to be led to the light over the internet.

I am pretty sure the offer is still open.

Tim Fong
02-06-2007, 12:37 AM
Erick
When Ushiro is talking about kata he is talking about karate kata. Like their Southern Shaolin ancestors, the Okinawans generally practice their basic kata without a "technique partner." As solo exercise.

Especially Sanchin, which is what I understand he is teaching folks in the aikido community. Of course someone can parse my words and claim that the person testing the shime of the Sanchin practitioner is a partner, and thus, Sanchin practice is like aikido waza practice. It's not. It's building the right kind of body to support Ushiro's karate technique.

Too many people have raised "technique" up as some kind of false god, as superior to "strength" which is denigrated. Ridiculous. Any technique's success or failure is based on the conditioning (strength, flexibility, cardiovascular, etc) of the practitioner, as well as her/his timing to apply the technique. The stronger you are, the better the technique works. Everyone wants timing and "smoothness" but it's not about that....no conditioning, no technique. Strength and conditioning are the foundation for everything. One can have all the timing in the world, and all the smoothness in the world and _still_ fail in application against resistance. The question is, what kind of strength? That is what the solo practice is for, developing the special kind of strength and conditioning. Who cares what something is called...resistance, non-resistance, ultimately what matters is human performance. Although, if one wants to take an Idealistic stance (the capital I is intentional), I can see that performance might not be very important.

Remember-- your legal training teaches you to make procrustean arguments for your client, who must, be definition be correct. In contrast, science is empirical and biology, non-deterministic. You make a lot of bold argument-by-analogy claims about the physics of kokyu etc, yet, you have yet to show _one_ instrumented test or even a proposal for _how_ you would measure and gather the data to either support or falsify your claim. Another key part of any scientific undertaking is reproducible results. You put out a protocol, then see if other people can reproduce the experiment.

Funny thing-- Dan, Mike and Akuzawa (through Rob) have put out protocols which _people who have never met them_ have tried and used to develop results consistent with what the proponents claimed the protocol could develop. I wouldn't have taken Rob seriously, or bought tickets to Japan otherwise. I want you to think really hard about what I'm going to say next.

Your protocols on the other hand, have not had that kind of success, at least, from what I can see here. Maybe the reports of the success of your gyrodynamic training method are simply getting lost in the chatter. That should tell you something-- either your protocol is _wrong_ or you're explaining it poorly.

Now you may not like this and you may think it's a personal attack. It isn't. I'm critiquing your methodology. You have repeatedly said that you are doing things from a western, scientific perspective. I have a lot of friends and family who work as university or graduate level scientists and sometimes they tell me about their research and what goes on during their symposia. I can assure you that from all accounts it is sharp, highly critical, and completely unforgiving.

Probably way more unforgiving than the discussion here on Aikiweb.

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 12:51 AM
Another pointed quote from Ushiro on the usefulness of paired "step by step" forms such as those used in aikido training. ... bunkai kumite (step-by-step sparring) based on kata as a system for getting feedback about the usability you've achieved. Techniques that take kata as their starting point can be evolved limitlessly. And limitlessness [in terms of what could happen] is definitely a feature of any real combative encounter.

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 12:52 AM
His thoughts on useability go right to the heart of the matter though. Does it work, and does it work consistently, and does it work in response to any style of attack? If I critiqued my aikido, I would say yes, it works. Consistently, no. Not yet because I need more training, IMO. With any style attack, no, not yet. As Ushiro said, irrespective of aikido, higher level budo doesn't involve technique. The mere extension of one's ki is sufficient. I'm not there...yet. :) O Sensei said in one of the Doka to treat everything he throws at you as "merely seigan." Something that is an idle threat -- not even a real attack -- to be put out of your way to get to the heart of the matter. One thing I have learned is that if you are dealing with the attack then you stop at dealing with the attack, and do not get to the mind/body that is wielding it. If you are dealing with HIM then the attack does not matter. It is merely seigan, becasue the attack will abrely slow you down. Flick away everything that is in the way to get in to deal with the heart of the problem. In kokyu tanden ho, you don't want his arms -- you want him. So shake off the attack, immediately, without losing his connection and just get in and get him. I would paraphrase Ushiros five steps in this way: The first step is learning that you can. The second step is learning how you can. Third step is forgetting that you ever doubted you could. The fourth step is knowing that you will no matter what. And the fifth step is him knowing that without you having to do it.

That is defininitely NOT waza. That is fudoshin -- nothing, absolutely nothing, gets in the way of or slows down your immoveable intent to GET HIM! Then you do the form correctly, and the form increasingly does not matter or is the same essence in everything you do, whichever you prefer. I see this now, and manage to do it more and more. but I still have to DO stuff. That practice of the form with proper intent ultimately becomes the ki extension (intent/energy as Ushiro says) that I palpably sense from people like Hooker Sensei. I know, viscerally, when he looks at me that nothing I threw up in his way would possibly keep him from getting through to deal with ME. And he is sickly old man, too. (Please, nobody tell him I said that.)
He says learn through the body, not through the mind. Perhaps the answer lies in more practice.Actually, he said more to practice with the body and then apply the mind to what you did, and then more practice, and then ..., etc. ... first you have to have practical fighting experiences, and then it takes time to build words and theories around those experiences. There's also the fact that I've also spent a lot of time testing and verifying the universality of these things from every angle I can think of. Even if you can do something with your body, you still have to do a lot of confirmation work if you want to build it into a theory. I've just recently come to a good stopping point in that process, to the end of one phase in my analysis, so only just now has it seemed a good time to share my findings with others. Empirical correction combined with conceptual critique, in other words, and it never stops. Both are equally important. As Ushiro said, forms are "processes to be unfolded." And that means a critical component as much as consistent drill. Doran Sensei quoted Musashi in the introductory article to the 2006 Summer Camp as follows:"The purpose of today's training ... is to defeat yesterday's understanding." An endless and virtuous cycle.

eyrie
02-06-2007, 01:20 AM
O Sensei said, very specifically that the secrets are in the omote forms.

True... the secrets are there... hidden in plain sight.... but certainly not what you think they are.

Tim and Dan are on the money... you OTOH are not... or at least your explanation and dissection of what is happening is not. Clearly from your exposition of Ushiro's words, you don't really understand what he's REALLY saying either. As Mike, and Dan and whoever else has said it... it's pretty clear who knows and who doesn't.

I think it was very clearly established at the beginning of this thread, that we were discussing body conditioning "how-to" to develop baseline skills. You don't seem or want to understand the importance of such conditioning, choosing instead to disavow it on the basis that it is "resistant" - according to your definition.

Yes, the secrets are there... and you may have stolen it... but what have you stolen? Certainly not the understanding that it is the body skills that Ueshiba had and is there for everyone's taking.

As I said before... if the "form" and "kata" provides the secret, then everyone practising the form and kata would be of Ueshiba's ilk. Are they?

BTW, this is not directed at you as an attack, but out of a genuine concern for all those who follow a path... that goes nowhere...

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 01:53 AM
When Ushiro is talking about kata he is talking about karate kata. Like their Southern Shaolin ancestors, the Okinawans generally practice their basic kata without a "technique partner." As solo exercise. See my earlier quote of him rearding bunkai kumite -- which is what aikido training is, based on well-understood forms, with many variations.
It's building the right kind of body to support Ushiro's karate technique. And what is that budo body, exactly? He said that too: For example, what do you do when your opponent suddenly comes at you with a strong attack? Do you respond to it by clashing with equal ferocity? Or somehow absorb it? Or let it flow by? Or do you use some even more advanced means, like predicting the attack early on and controlling it with your ki? How you respond to a serious attack depends on what your body remembers, which depends on what level of training you've reached, or in other words the degree of usability you've achieved.

If, for example, your body is equipped to "catch" all of the information about the opponent at the moment of contact and use this to formulate a correct response on the fly, then I think you can say you have "usability." At that point you can start using bunkai kumite (step-by-step sparring) based on kata as a system for getting feedback about the usability you've achieved.
The principles I learned involve abosolute non-resistance, which is a funny thing because in order to NOT resist an actively applied force, I have to first know where it is going, so as to not conflict with it.

With that in mind my body is reaching for that flow of information to process and then act on. As Ushiro says, to "catch" all of the information about the opponent at the moment of contact is much easier when my concern is not in applying my "strength," but at first merely following whatever force pattern his attack has established and only then adapting it. That's one of the more powerful reasons we seriously practice the role of uke, and not merely the solo forms as nage.
Any technique's success or failure is based on the conditioning (strength, flexibility, cardiovascular, etc) of the practitioner, as well as her/his timing to apply the technique. The stronger you are, the better the technique works. Everyone wants timing and "smoothness" but it's not about that....no conditioning, no technique. Strength and conditioning are the foundation for everything. Ikeda Shihan, who is pointed to as being one the chief aikidoka taking this approach discussed by Ushiro is saying precisely the opposite, that as we age our budo should get better and be the better of stronger opponents and not be contingent on our waning strength or loss of condition. The underlying principle of budo is that no matter how old one gets, one should be able to deal with a person of greater strength using the techniques and spiritual mastery one develops through training. I know for a fact this is severely true with Hooker Sensei, and just as severly tested given his physical condition. So, no, I do not agree with your take on the points that Ushiro is making, and not just becasue I want to be contrary about it. There is a real difference in goal and training involved.
One can have all the timing in the world, and all the smoothness in the world and _still_ fail in application against resistance. That is a logically flawed premise. It is not true if you never offer force against restance to begin with. Which is sort of my point all along in reasserting throughout this discussion O Sensei's "principle of absolute non-resistance."
Remember-- your legal training teaches you to make procrustean arguments for your client, who must, be definition be correct. Non-lawyers always misunderstand what we do. The law is THE LAW. I do not get to change what the law is. I do not get to misrepresent or fudge it. I get to argue its application in circumstances that may not yet be factually certain or its extrapolation to novel circumstances. The "law" in this circumstance is "the principle of absolute non-resistance" and the ramifications of applying that law, rigorously and forcefully, to our practice in Aikido.
In contrast, science is empirical and biology, non-deterministic. You make a lot of bold argument-by-analogy claims about the physics of kokyu etc, yet, you have yet to show _one_ instrumented test or even a proposal for _how_ you would measure and gather the data to either support or falsify your claim.
Another key part of any scientific undertaking is reproducible results. You put out a protocol, then see if other people can reproduce the experiment. Applied mechanics has gotten a good deal past the experimental verification stage in the last four hundred years. The only queston is the accuracy of the observed movements to which it is being applied, which no one here has seriously challenged, yet.
Funny thing-- Dan, Mike and Akuzawa (through Rob) have put out protocols which _people who have never met them_ have tried and used to develop results consistent with what the proponents claimed the protocol could develop. I wouldn't have taken Rob seriously, or bought tickets to Japan otherwise. Then by all means carry on, and with my blessing. Metaphorical methods are very vlauable if the metaphor worls to engage things for you. These are not mutually exclusive approaches, a point I keep making and the other folks keep ignoring, apparently because to them it is a mutually exlcusive thing. That air of exclusivity is what causes me such serious concern for those early on within aikido who come ot place like this trying to learn what they need to learn. The issue of resistance also concerns me in the 'protocols' that have been given.
I want you to think really hard about what I'm going to say next. Your protocols on the other hand, have not had that kind of success, at least, from what I can see here. No, I suppose not. Newton. Coulomb. Euler. -- Pikers.
Maybe the reports of the success of your gyrodynamic training method are simply getting lost in the chatter. That should tell you something-- either your protocol is _wrong_ or you're explaining it poorly. There is no such thing as "my protocol," or any different training method, which if you would read what I write, you would understand. I have stated, again and again, (and somewhat vigorously defended) the validity of teaching the kihon and kokyu undo that I was taught in the progressions and the manner of attention to variations as I was taught. Mechanical observaiton is something I work on for descriptive and analytical purposes -- for evaluating and critiquing training, not for doing it.
I have a lot of friends and family who work as university or graduate level scientists and sometimes they tell me about their research and what goes on during their symposia. I can assure you that from all accounts it is sharp, highly critical, and completely unforgiving. All of which is fair game. Misstating facts is not, which others have done when it suits their agenda.

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 02:14 AM
Clearly from your exposition of Ushiro's words, you don't really understand what he's REALLY saying either. True. I simply read and understand what he actually wrote.
As Mike, and Dan and whoever else has said it... it's pretty clear who knows and who doesn't. Are you all going to keep saying that until I quit laughing at it?
I think it was very clearly established at the beginning of this thread, that we were discussing body conditioning "how-to" to develop baseline skills. You don't seem or want to understand the importance of such conditioning, choosing instead to disavow it on the basis that it is "resistant" - according to your definition. Since we differ on what the "baseline skills" are or are designed to allow one to do in Aikido, then we can by no means agree on the needed training or conditioning for them.

As I said before... if the "form" and "kata" provides the secret, then everyone practising the form and kata would be of Ueshiba's ilk. Are they?Of course not, as Ushiro said, it will accomplish little if it becomes the mere "repetition of technique","becomes more and more superficial," and "vital aspects such as breath and ki energy become topics for study in word only."
He and I agree on that. Rigorous practice with the proper mind and heart is crucial. The internal arts parallel of "iron body" training that you all seem to be in for is not the same thing, at all.
BTW, this is not directed at you as an attack, but out of a genuine concern for all those who follow a path... that goes nowhere...Oh really. You have been to the end of that path to bring back reports, have you? Ushiro is fairly clear that he has not and as he described it, is unlikely ever to be. O Sensei has been a good bit farther, and he says this is the guide to hew to. You alll have done nthign to rebut or really even to address his points, that I ahve rasied. To be perfectly blunt, mostly Mike and Dan have dismissed him as irrelevant other than for the occasional video cameo. To be frank, I would prefer the straight attack -- it makes one's positions and intentions more clear.

eyrie
02-06-2007, 03:00 AM
Suit yourself Erick... and good luck with that...

Eddie deGuzman
02-06-2007, 07:24 AM
...to be put out of your way to get to the heart of the matter.

If you are dealing with HIM then the attack does not matter.

That practice of the form with proper intent ultimately becomes the ki extension (intent/energy as Ushiro says)

Doran Sensei quoted Musashi in the introductory article to the 2006 Summer Camp as follows:"The purpose of today's training ... is to defeat yesterday's understanding." An endless and virtuous cycle.

I agree with all of this. And not bad advice in general.

I took a walk today, a kokyu walk. I looked a little strange, but it felt good. :)

Cheers,
Eddie

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 08:39 AM
Neither you nor Mike are bothering to rebut me on my descriptions of what they are, and how they fit the forms of aikido as received in tradition. Ushiro's observations from a differnt stream of tradition, only confirm me to return, again and again, to the root forms where the secrets lie. And to oppose your efforts to lead others away from them, for reasons that are most unclear to me. The reason I am not "bothering to rebut" is because you're wrong AND your analyses are too simplistic. You have complained over and over about my analyses, yet I still think that for descriptions of fairly complex movement those descriptions are more enlightening to the average reader than your focused discussions of an incomplete and simplistic explanation. That's part of it. Part of it is that to some extent, once I get past what I personally consider the foot-in-the-door stuff that most people can use to get started in the right direction, I tend to not want to go off onto the more complex tangents. It's a waste of time, in some respects, and in other respects I want to personally choose the "good guys" (in my opinion) who I want to give those head-starts to. It's a personal choice.

Of course, if someone knows enough to start a conversation about how to do more advanced things, I will be happy to join in.... stipulating that I am not claiming to be advanced, but only mediocre at best.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
02-06-2007, 08:46 AM
Until Erick gets on the mats with one of them, further talk is absurd. Just what a friend of mine calls a "masturbatory excercise." ;) And any continued attempts to explain things to him would be such an excercise, too. Although I can understand why one might keep trying to break through to him -- if for no other reason, then to make sure that newcomers to aikido/MAs here don't see just Erick's misguided hypotheses and tacitly accept them as fact for lack of better information.

Get on the mats with one of these experienced, knowledgeable people, Erick -- Mike, Dan, Rob -- then write more about your ideas. Now -that- will make for some fascinating reading.

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 08:53 AM
O Sensei has been a good bit farther, and he says this is the guide to hew to. You alll have done nthign to rebut or really even to address his points, that I ahve rasied. To be perfectly blunt, mostly Mike and Dan have dismissed him as irrelevant other than for the occasional video cameo. Oh, stoppit. I haven't "dismissed" O-Sensei. In your zeal to score points you're misstating the case. Frankly, my perspective, if you'll note it from previous posts and threads, is more along the lines that what O-Sensei did, what Tohei does, what Ushiro does, what Abe does, what Inaba does, what Sunadomari does, what Akuzawa does, what Dan does, etc., etc., are all pieces from the same puzzle. None of the quotes you've used does anything more than reinforce what I just said, although you're trying to warp those quotes to mean something different.

It's all part of the same thing, Erick. That's why Ushiro's Sanchin Kata is sort of interesting to me as a facet he would offer to Aikidoists, but while I see it as having the same parentage, I'm not sure I recommend it. That's more where the discussion should be, BTW. Not in this constant insistence that your "theory" has a rightful place in a bona fide discussion of baseline skills.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 08:57 AM
Although I can understand why one might keep trying to break through to him -- if for no other reason, then to make sure that newcomers to aikido/MAs here don't see just Erick's misguided hypotheses and tacitly accept them as fact for lack of better information.That hit the nail precisely on the head. It's why I will sometimes continue to respond to otherwise inane posts...... newcomers don't have the information to decide what is right and a continued wrong theory or a continued denial of basic skills by one or two Yudansha can be enough to wreck the career/practice of a newcomer-student. And I've seen the sad end to some of those careers that were ruined by "teachers" who thought their own dignity and status were more important than a non-ranked beginner's right to correct teaching.

Regards,

Mike

TAnderson
02-06-2007, 09:29 AM
Erick,

I applaud the level of thought you have put into all of your posts but I do not believe it is very helpful or accurate for you to be using Ushiro's text to argue your point when you have not felt him in person. The written page is often only meaningful with some hands on experience. This is especially true when we deal with translations. I believe Stan Pranin once said something akin to all of the English translations of O-Sensei should not be considered totally accurate in message let alone detail.

Now if you have felt Ushiro my apologies.

Regards,
Tim Anderson

Upyu
02-06-2007, 09:34 AM
Until Erick gets on the mats with one of them, further talk is absurd.
Yawn, I'd have to agree with Cady on this.

Besides, a bunch of people have met Mike, Ark, Dan and myself, but no one's met Erick... :D

gdandscompserv
02-06-2007, 09:35 AM
Erick,

I applaud the level of thought you have put into all of your posts but I do not believe it is very helpful or accurate for you to be using Ushiro's text to argue your point when you have not felt him in person. The written page is often only meaningful with some hands on experience. This is especially true when we deal with translations. I believe Stan Pranin once said something akin to all of the English translations of O-Sensei should not be considered totally accurate in message let alone detail.

Now if you have felt Ushiro my apologies.

Regards,
Tim Anderson
The "no feel no quote" policy has been invoked. :D

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 10:07 AM
The "no feel no quote" policy has been invoked. :D

Oh come on now, do you know what you are saying! No Buddha feel not quote! No Jesus Christ feel no quote! No Mohammed feel no quote! No Hooker feel no quote! Oh -Oh, most of you guys have probably felt a Hooker so forget the last one!! ;)

Tim Fong
02-06-2007, 10:30 AM
Cady,
That's good advice. I've said what I wanted to say. I'll let it go. I think a motivated beginner (like me, I'm a beginner ) can judge for herself/himself based on the dialogue so far.

Thanks.

Cady Goldfield
02-06-2007, 10:40 AM
Oh come on now, do you know what you are saying! No Buddha feel not quote! No Jesus Christ feel no quote! No Mohammed feel no quote! No Hooker feel no quote! Oh -Oh, most of you guys have probably felt a Hooker so forget the last one!! ;)

Sorry, Dennis, but your analogy doesn't fly (except for the Hooker one. I felt a Dennis Hooker waza once, many years ago. :D ). All of the above are examples of philosophical, intellectual and spiritual thought, not the concrete, tangible applied science of a physical skill set. You don't need to physically grapple with Jesus, Buddha, or Hillel for that matter, to get a sense of their spiritual and philosophical principles. And even with such intangibles, it still would help to see these teachers acting as examples of their beliefs -- being able to observe them in their daily lives to see the "living word." Who knows, maybe we are missing something we will never know from them because we didn't see these things and learn from them in the context of their flesh-and-blood daily lives and cultures.

With MAs, we're talking about the practical application of biomechanics and physical laws, which must be experienced to be understood. Not the communing of human minds and spirits, but concrete, sensory-dependent mechanics.

To try to understand these principles without feeling them in your body -- learning how to identify the sensations, effects, even the actual muscle groups (with tendons and fascia, etc.) -- you are flying blind. It would be like trying to learn to cook only from words, without ever having tasted the ingredients required or witnessing first-hand the effects of heat, water, freezing and other processes on those ingredients, or tasting the finished results.

There comes a point when words alone no longer serve.

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 10:42 AM
Let me say that Mike and Dan are extremely skilled and both have very good knowledge to impart. I know I have learned a few things. I do not see the need to be confrontational nor belligerent here. Yes I have ask ďWhy are you here?Ē the question was ligament and I got ligament responses that helped me form opinions. It is my belief that most posters here are truly interested in gaining and sharing knowledge. I am not very good at talking about baseline skill sets, I am more of a hands on type of guy but to those that have the communication skills to operate in this forum I say go for it. We are all better off for the effort.

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 10:46 AM
But Cady some people only offer words. To some on this forum the ability to lay hands on the principles involved is as unlikely as laying hands on those I mentioned.


Sorry, Dennis, but your analogy doesn't fly (except for the Hooker one. I felt a Dennis Hooker waza once, many years ago. :D ). All of the above are examples of philosophical, intellectual and spiritual thought, not the concrete, tangible applied science of a physical skill set. You don't need to physically grapple with Jesus, Buddha, or Hillel for that matter, to get a sense of their spiritual and philosophical principles. And even with such intangibles, it still would help to see these teachers acting as examples of their beliefs -- being able to observe them in their daily lives to see the "living word." Who knows, maybe we are missing something we will never know from them because we didn't see these things and learn from them in the context of their flesh-and-blood daily lives and cultures.

With MAs, we're talking about the practical application of biomechanics and physical laws, which must be experienced to be understood. Not the communing of human minds and spirits, but concrete, sensory-dependent mechanics.

To try to understand these principles without feeling them in your body -- learning how to identify the sensations, effects, even the actual muscle groups (with tendons and fascia, etc.) -- you are flying blind. It would be like trying to learn to cook only from words, without ever having tasted the ingredients required or witnessing first-hand the effects of heat, water, freezing and other processes on those ingredients, or tasting the finished results.

There comes a point when words alone no longer serve.

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 10:53 AM
The reason I am not "bothering to rebut" is because you're wrong AND your analyses are too simplistic. ... It's a waste of time, in some respects, and in other respects I want to personally choose the "good guys" (in my opinion) who I want to give those head-starts to. It's a personal choice. Well, that settles me then. Mike, Dan and Ignatius say I am wrong -- and who can argue with that? :hypno:

I have just wanted to see if you all could come up with any useful rebuttal or not. You have answered my question, thoroughly.

Of course, if you set the terms of debate then no one can challenge you. I get it. That's why I like neutral ground for an honest engagement on the merits. You know -- like physics that has been around for, well, three hundred thirty years since the publication of Principia. Not novel "protocols" in the least. Maybe not the lengthy pedigree of Taoist knowledge of jin, but not too shabby either. Last I heard, the Taoist masters did not make it to the Moon, so maybe there might be something to this newly-minted mechanics stuff. Maybe it's too early to tell?

And as for my being "off-base" on my thoughts of shifting centers of action, this cropped up in an earlier discussion of the vaunted "jo trick" discussion, that I thought would be worth requoting: But I've seen Sensei Baker at Norfolk Virginia Aikikai doing a similar technique against 3 ukes. His explanation is that he pretends like the jo is twice as long and the pivot point is not at his hands, but at the end of the jo. By pivoting around that point everyone is on the same side of the jo as he is and he claims it's really easy. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=112598&postcount=139That is not a far cry from the moment mechanics I diagrammed for you above. Now, I have never met Jim Baker, but I find it interesting that his description and mine of what goes on in kokyu action, even in the vaunted "jo trick" are pretty much spot-on.

His attitude about training and the world, which I have read in his own words, is, strangely enough a lot more of what I have come to expect from those who practice Aikido in the tradition as it has been given -- as it is as opposed to those of you who are so disaffected with it as a "dead-end" road and want to lead people, like those who come here, away from it.

I hear one of Baker Sensei's companion instructors, AaaRk Sensei, has trained with my old teacher, Hooker. Maybe he has a few pointers for "bounce jin" on ice. :D

FWIW.

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 11:14 AM
Now, I have never met Jim Baker, but I find it interesting that his description and mine of what goes on in kokyu action, even in the vaunted "jo trick" are pretty much spot-on.

His attitude about training and the world, which I have read in his own words, is, strangely enough a lot more of what I have come to expect from those who practice Aikido in the tradition as it has been given -- as it is as opposed to those of you who are so disaffected with it as a "dead-end" road and want to lead people, like those who come here, away from it.You're still under the general impression that your simple physics must be covering the ground, but it doesn't. The actions are more complex than you're making them. I can't mathematically model everything that is going on, so I'm fairly safe in assuming you can't either, based on what I've seen of math displays. I.e., the modelling would be too sophisticated, given the number of factors involved, so your calls for more rigorous description are more of an indicator that you don't see the principles and hence you don't see the problems with your desired approach.

The best suggestion I can give you, once again, is that you meet up with someone that can show you. As a further suggestion, don't do what I've seen from a great number of teachers in other arts... they go looking only for justification that what they already know is the end-all... and sure enough, what they already know becomes their end-all.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 11:24 AM
I do believe that Aikido is complete in and of its' self and is lacking nothing with the right instruction. Now I have been labeled by Dan and others as "a true believer" mea culpa mea culpa, mea culpa. That is not to say I do not believe there is value in other training as I obviously do because I train in other things. Many of the lessons within Aikido transcend the labeling and when presented from other viewpoints can at times flip the cognitive switch. Everyone here that presents a good argument for their standpoint has a right to do so. I don't like to see it get personal but then who am I but another voice in the wilderness.

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 11:31 AM
Well, that settles me then.
I hear one of Baker Sensei's companion instructors, AaaRk Sensei, has trained with my old teacher, Hooker. Maybe he has a few pointers for "bounce jin" on ice. :D

FWIW.

Erick what are you talking about? Who or what is AaaRK Sensei? Jim Baker has attended my seminars as well. A very nice fellow and good teacher. I am slow but I do not know what is being said here. Do you still train under Frank Calhoun and/or at the Pensacola dojo? I am sorry but I have been gone from there for 22 years and have not been back for at least 5.

Dennis

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 11:39 AM
With MAs, we're talking about the practical application of biomechanics and physical laws, which must be experienced to be understood. Not the communing of human minds and spirits, but concrete, sensory-dependent mechanics. A simple question then. If this is so, why the resistance to use the language that addresses these things in the most culturally neutral way possible? I value the traditional Chinese and Japanese views of the world. Heck, I got a degree in it. But, the Chinese also shoot satellites out of orbit now. I have an idea or two about what concepts they used to do that, and that the average high school physics class can graps them without grave difficulty.
To try to understand these principles without feeling them in your body -- learning how to identify the sensations, effects, even the actual muscle groups (with tendons and fascia, etc.) -- you are flying blind. Amen, and amen. Who said lack of awarenesswas a basis for anything? Not me. One can argue about the approriate level of detail down to "muscle groups" being useful or not.
There comes a point when words alone no longer serve. If that were really true then this thread would be utterly blank.

What is the reason for the resistance to this approach to proper mechanical description and analysis of what is felt and what is done? Say I am wrong all they want, but show the goods and argue the darn point. Toss me with it if I am indeed so gravely mistaken or so lacking in reality-based comprehension. Saying it does not make it so. It ought not be too hard if they are right and I am wrong. Caustically dismissing a legitimately framed issue only causes further doubt as to the substance of the contrary position. When three guys respectively answer the same question, "No." "No." and "Hell, No!" the short money says the third one's hiding something.

Hide the ball tactics after a while looks like mere shiftiness, which, duly acknowledging Hooker Sensei's regard for what these guys actually do (as I have previously acknowledge Ledyard Sensei's similar comment), only demeans their ideas and the very skills they are advocating in the eyes of those who have not met or dealt with them except here. Improve your image a little and try to make me look bad on the merits.

Answer up. It doesn't hurt. Really. I've never broken anything in Net ukemi yet. You might even learn something in the course of knocking my ideas into the shattered pieces they apparently deserve. But you have to connect with me first. There is no substitute for musubi.

Ron Tisdale
02-06-2007, 11:44 AM
only demeans their ideas and the very skills they are advocating in the eyes of those who have not met or dealt with them except here.

Uh, speak for yourself. I have not met them (yet), but I find a great deal of value in their approach and descriptions. I'm afraid less so, for yours...but that might be my own laziness, so feel free to ignore that.

Best,
Ron

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 12:11 PM
AaaRK !! OK I just got it. Where did this come from. I am sure I would have remembered this fellow.

http://home.earthlink.net/~jimbaker6/aa/aaark.htm

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 02:12 PM
Do you still train under Frank Calhoun and/or at the Pensacola dojo? I am sorry but I have been gone from there for 22 years and have not been back for at least 5. You were my foundation in Aikido. I won't say much for the superstructure added since then but I still think the underpinnings are pretty sound. Frank was a yellow belt then when I started Aikido at UWF in ~ '83 - '85. (Yes, you had colored belts then. shudder.) Your son was 1st Kyu at the time. I'd been a wanderer since, in college, the Navy, law school, mostly on the West Coast (San Diego) or deployment until coming back home about ten years ago.

I saw you last in Tallahassee, before the fire. I am fairly unremarkable. You, on the other hand, always make something of an impression.

Well ... dent, really. :D

Dennis Hooker
02-06-2007, 02:16 PM
Eric I tried sending you a private message and it came back. I will be in Tallahassee in June. Any chance we can get together?

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 02:42 PM
You're still under the general impression that your simple physics must be covering the ground, but it doesn't. The actions are more complex than you're making them. Freely admitted. All mechanics works from simplifying assumptions to describe the basic operating principles of the observed motion (or equilibrium, in the case of statics). Those simplifying assumption may be validly attacked if in error. I have tried to make my assumptions as explict as possible for that purpose.

First you define the mechanical problem, which done is by careful observation, (objectively and subjectively, both of which are critical) and then classification of the motion. The definition of the problem drives the form of the measurement. Then a quantitative result might be obtained. I am only setting about trying to define the mechanical problem and giving different ways to observe and to think about the motion we are observing.

Once the problem is defined it is quantifiable to the measurement limits of the observed motions. The computers that got Lovell et al. to the Moon and back would not fit in my house, but several times that computing power now fits in my briefcase. But none of that is necessary to define the nature of the mechanical problem. But defining the problem is absolutely necessary to determine what to measure -- and only then can you model quantitatively. GIGO.

I am just trying to cover some significant ground on the basic, often counter-intuitive, set of physical mechanics in aikido that, it seems, has not been covered by many, if anyone else, to my understanidng. If someone has a reference that has already been there, tell me, but I have looked for a good long while now, before picking up the hammer and saw myself.

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 02:47 PM
Eric I tried sending you a private message and it came back. I will be in Tallahassee in June. Any chance we can get together?I will plan on it.

Please, don't hit me too hard. :)

Cady Goldfield
02-06-2007, 03:46 PM
A simple question then...(big snip)

Erick, I thought the language being used was quite "culturally neutral." And furthermore, no one is "hiding the ball." What they are saying though, is that they cannot and will not talk specifics on a public forum. That is understandable, in my opinion. I get the sense, though, that they would gladly SHOW you what they are talking about, if you were inclined to seek out the answers in earnest.

Just...get...on...the...mats if you really, truly want to know what these people are getting at. If you just want to keep jawin' because you enjoy reading your posts, then by all means, keep posting. But you will keep going in circles, and Mike will keep chiding you. I can hear his next "Oh, stoppit..." already. ;)

eyrie
02-06-2007, 04:44 PM
Interesting, how in all of this, no one has mentioned mind-willed forces... well, except Mike. Maybe we could get back to the regular programming and talk about this... or would that be considered "above the baseline"?

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 05:09 PM
What they are saying though, is that they cannot and will not talk specifics on a public forum. That is understandable, in my opinion. Perhaps you can explain why that is understandable? It most definitely is not from my perspective. You touch on a fundamental disconnect in these ongoing discussions on this topic.

Law, for instance, is open knowledge. Anyone can acquire it to any degree of depth and use it for themselves. It is out there to be had with the mere effort to learn it. The only limitation is when you are asked to render advice to other people. That is not a limitation of knowledge, but of social function. Particular facts may be private knowledge, but principles are open knowledge.

Aikido is intended to be open knowledge. O Sensei said the secrets are in the omote forms. The position of withholding knowledge regarding principles to be applied to Aikido while at the same time continuing to try to speak about them, you find understandable. Maybe you can explain. It is incomprehensible to me, because the point of this forum, this art, this form of communication and the medium in which it exists is open knowledge.

I think we all acknowledge that if one does not have a basis in understanding the rudiments of the subjective feel of the movements, that the descriptions are not divulging anything that could be very usefully applied without that foundation. So, why the reluctance to speak plainly and meaningfully, rather than cryptically?

The point of communicating at all in such a setting escapes me. Thus, their approach immediately begs the question of the motivations of the speaker from the standpoint of one who works in an open system. That question may seem unfair from your perspective, but that is the impression their approach creates, from an open knowledge perspective.

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 05:11 PM
Interesting, how in all of this, no one has mentioned mind-willed forces... well, except Mike. Maybe we could get back to the regular programming and talk about this... or would that be considered "above the baseline"?Well, I think it is basic, Ignatius (just out of curiosity, WHAT does your wife or your friends call you????).

One of the big problems, IMO, is that a lot of people use different terms for the same things, so there needs to be some reconciliation of terms and approaches and exceptions need to be noted. For instance, I break things down, for convenience, into the idea of "qi" and "jin", or "ki" and "kokyu-essence". The Ki-Society more or less simply uses the all-encompassing term "ki", which in traditional terminology is perfectly legitimate, although vague.

My suggestion would be that a good baseline could actually and legitimately be Tohei's "Four Basic Ki Principles". Tohei was the head instructor at Hombu Dojo and his principles are useful in examining these baseline skills.... the very things which Tohei used as his banner when he separated from Hombu Dojo.

The "Four Basic Ki Principles" are:

Keep One Point;
Relax Completely;
Keep Weight Underside;
Extend Ki.

In essence, these four principles are Tohei's version of the basic gateway into the "mind-willed forces". It's all the same thing. I could probably describe the same 4 points using, for example, 3 different approaches that would sould like 3 different things, but which in reality would be the same basic principles. Even in the Ki Society training sessions you will hear different visualizations used to cue beginners etc., into getting the right response. Those different visualizations are just different tricks to get the responder to implement the use of the "mind-willed forces" that I talk about, the "jin" described in CMA's, and so on.

So... the short answer is yes, the mind-willed forces would be baseline skills, just as Tohei's society envisions them. ;)

Best.

Mike

eyrie
02-06-2007, 05:51 PM
Well, I think it is basic, Ignatius (just out of curiosity, WHAT does your wife or your friends call you????).

The wife calls me "hon" or "honey"... you can too if you like :p
My friends call me.... what you'd usually do with nicknames... perhaps shortening it, and suffix it with a 'y'. ;)


The "Four Basic Ki Principles" are:
Keep One Point;
Relax Completely;
Keep Weight Underside;
Extend Ki.

In essence, these four principles are Tohei's version of the basic gateway into the "mind-willed forces"....different visualizations used to cue beginners etc., into getting the right response. Those different visualizations are just different tricks to get the responder to implement the use of the "mind-willed forces"....

So is it important that these visualizations and "keywords" create the right "intent"?

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 06:06 PM
So is it important that these visualizations and "keywords" create the right "intent"?Yeah... that's the whole point. To run around the dojo in your white ice-cream-man suit (suitably accoutered with a black culotte) and *imagining* that you're "extending ki", etc., won't get you anywhere worthwhile. Heck, I can close my eyes and "imagine" that I'm on Saturn, but if I have any sense, I'll crack open one eye and see that I'm kidding myself.

The "Four Basic Principles" are about actual skills that the words "ki", "extend", "weight underside", yada, yada, yada, are supposed to evoke.

What I'm suggesting is that to a certain extent we can describe fairly accurately (at the risk of being hooted at by future generations) what the Four Basic Principles are supposed to reference. By doing that, we are taking a first step toward beginning to reconcile a number of the different traditional descriptions out there. If we reconcile, we begin to clarify. Not that clarifying will do away with the need for the preliminary "hands-on" that gives people the needed foot-in-the-door.

Probably one of the very first things I did on this latest gambit on AikiWeb was to outline the physical basis behind the "Four Basic Ki Principles", because that's a good place to start. I still think it's a good place to start... and I ain't no flower-child. ;)

One point I think that should be stressed for most people is that "extend ki" is like saying "play the piano"... you can't really do it unless you've practiced a bit. :)

Best.

Mike

eyrie
02-06-2007, 06:19 PM
What I'm suggesting is that to a certain extent we can describe fairly accurately (at the risk of being hooted at by future generations) what the Four Basic Principles are supposed to reference. By doing that, we are taking a first step toward beginning to reconcile a number of the different traditional descriptions out there. If we reconcile, we begin to clarify. Not that clarifying will do away with the need for the preliminary "hands-on" that gives people the needed foot-in-the-door....Probably one of the very first things I did on this latest gambit on AikiWeb was to outline the physical basis behind the "Four Basic Ki Principles", because that's a good place to start.

OK, let's reconcile and clarify then...since I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about... perhaps you can start the ball rolling on that....
One point I think that should be stressed for most people is that "extend ki" is like saying "play the piano"... you can't really do it unless you've practiced a bit. :)
Guitar's more my thing... ;) ... not that I'm any good at it... (more practice needed). But I guess we all gotta start somewhere... hmmm... like doing "scales".... :D

Cady Goldfield
02-06-2007, 07:06 PM
Perhaps you can explain why that is understandable? It most definitely is not from my perspective. You touch on a fundamental disconnect in these ongoing discussions on this topic.

Law, for instance, is open knowledge. Anyone can acquire it to any degree of depth and use it for themselves. It is out there to be had with the mere effort to learn it. The only limitation is when you are asked to render advice to other people. That is not a limitation of knowledge, but of social function. Particular facts may be private knowledge, but principles are open knowledge.

Aikido is intended to be open knowledge. O Sensei said the secrets are in the omote forms. The position of withholding knowledge regarding principles to be applied to Aikido while at the same time continuing to try to speak about them, you find understandable. Maybe you can explain. It is incomprehensible to me, because the point of this forum, this art, this form of communication and the medium in which it exists is open knowledge.

I think we all acknowledge that if one does not have a basis in understanding the rudiments of the subjective feel of the movements, that the descriptions are not divulging anything that could be very usefully applied without that foundation. So, why the reluctance to speak plainly and meaningfully, rather than cryptically?

The point of communicating at all in such a setting escapes me. Thus, their approach immediately begs the question of the motivations of the speaker from the standpoint of one who works in an open system. That question may seem unfair from your perspective, but that is the impression their approach creates, from an open knowledge perspective.

Erick, I appreciate your frustration. I can only offer my own observations in explanation, and hope that those who are in a better position to speak from expertise will jump in.

Law is something that can be more easily discussed, because the principles are "accessible and comprehendable by reading, thinking, and discussing, even if one never does litigation or stands in a courtroom. Martial arts, being physical in nature, can only be discussed to a certain point before they must be demonstrated and felt.

Unfortunately, when this thread (and the original thread it split from) about "baseline skills" came up, it quickly became evident that the basic skill set being discussed here by Mike and others is obviously not "open knowledge," since few if any contemporary aikidoists know of it. Yet, variations of it were part and parcel to aikido's founder's skill set, and were obtained from the art from which he extracted and adapted aikido. Where the confusion began was when a handful of individuals who do know this skill set began to discuss it, but the rest of the thread's readers were left out in the cold, so to speak. It seems kind of like having a roomful of relatives talking about a cousin you've never met, in cryptic terms, and not letting you in on who the heck this elusive cousin is. You figure, you're entitled to know because, dammit, you're related to him. :^/

Also unfortunately, those discussing the skill set are currently outside of contemporary aikido, and obtained their skills from other sources. And yet, the skills they are referring to belong within and were once part of aikido. How to encourage aikido to take it back in, in a diplomatic way that does not upset the delicate balance of power and "religious faith" within the current status quo? And, how to broach the topic without breaking confidences and giri to the (usually) traditional systems where they obtained their knowlege? Unlike the field of law, ancient Chinese, Japanese and other arts from which this skill set arose were not open in sharing knowledge to the general public, on an open forum. (Remember that old article on the handcuff escape I linked to earlier in this thread? The magician who sold the secret to the Strand Magazine probably caught hell from his fellow illusionists and prestidigitators for divulging one of their secrets!) Guilds, brotherhoods and societies are very ancient in origin, and their expectations of "giri" hold even today. Knowledge that is dearly acquired is not cheaply tossed out for anyone to glean from the internet. And yet, if someone really wants to learn and to pursue the knowledge, many of these individuals will gladly show you privately, or even in a seminar for numerous interested individuals. But they won't discuss details publicly.
Too, as has been expressed many times here, words do not always serve in place of the experience. Erick, again, it's something you (and all of us) really just need to get on the mats and feel if you are so inclined.

I believe that the reason this subject has been coming up on this site is because some people feel it's time for aikido to regain what it has lost. The intent is not to try to spoon-feed information, but to alert aikidoka to its existance, then let the motivated individuals take their own initiative. No one is being secretive about who can offer hands-on experience and learning in this area: Akuzawa, Wang, Ushiro... et al... the resources are out there.

My take, anyway.

Gernot Hassenpflug
02-06-2007, 07:32 PM
The "Four Basic Principles" are about actual skills that the words "ki", "extend", "weight underside", yada, yada, yada, are supposed to evoke.

What I'm suggesting is that to a certain extent we can describe fairly accurately (at the risk of being hooted at by future generations) what the Four Basic Principles are supposed to reference. By doing that, we are taking a first step toward beginning to reconcile a number of the different traditional descriptions out there. If we reconcile, we begin to clarify. Not that clarifying will do away with the need for the preliminary "hands-on" that gives people the needed foot-in-the-door.

Difficult but perhaps doable. in the sense that all of us could agree on a common and very basic understanding to guide practice. In other words, the understanding required to comprehend why the 4 points are the same (IIRC, hence if you have one, you have all, and inversely without one you lose all).

Since all of us are getting different realizations during training, which ones are the basic ones and which build on those or are merely interesting side-effects?

My take based on exercises from Akuzawa sensei is that the most important realization is that practitioners reference their movements internally, not with visual cues about external shape. As a first step, before people can develop a connection throughout the whole body, perhaps a realization of a vertical relationship between the top and bottom of the spine is a good start - like a vertical spring which is kept extended. (How to practice this probably covers a variety of hard and soft methods). Through this the workings of the chest, hips and their effects on the arms and legs, and the connections between them can slowly be realized, and how the hara manipulates the connections. Again, specific exercises are probably manyfold.

Disclaimer: the above represents speculation on my part based on where I find myself now.

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 08:56 PM
My take based on exercises from Akuzawa sensei is that the most important realization is that practitioners reference their movements internally, not with visual cues about external shape. As a first step, before people can develop a connection throughout the whole body, perhaps a realization of a vertical relationship between the top and bottom of the spine is a good start - like a vertical spring which is kept extended. Well, let me take a stab at it.

Let's take something simple like grounding a push to your forearm that is held in front of you. So if we take 3 different ways of visualizing how that push is "grounded":

(1.) You relax and let the body form a connection that most directly lets the push be accepted by the back leg... the rest of the body between the push and the ground is ignored so that the "mind" sets up the requisite tensions, etc., that convey the push to the ground. Yes, the "control point" nexus that the push goes through is the "middle", hara, dantien, tanden, etc.

(2.) You let the body "structure" hold the push. This is the general range that Akuzawa's approach falls into. It seemingly derives from the Shaolin viewpoint of "frame" and "axis". The general idea is that if the "structure" of the body is reasonably cohesive but not stiff, the mind/structure will place the push at the feet; a push on the forearm is conveyed so well that it is actually a push at the feet. The middle/hara/etc., is in this model but the emphasis on the middle as a "force-control-nexus" is not so high as in #1. Working on structure can also develop, if one is not careful, a more muscle-based "connection" of the body and less dependence on the pure ground and pure weight inceptions for work done.

(3.) The more mystical approach is to "relax" and let the push be accepted by the middle via a "ki of the universe" paradigm or equivalent. What *can* happen with this visualization is that (using more experienced practitioners to copy from) a learner will gradually by default allow the feet/ground to accept the push, also, but it can be a somewhat more ambiguous approach. The Ki-Society uses some of these visualizations that call on the practitioner to accept and respond to forces in certain whole-body ways. Ultimately, pushes are held by the ground though and uplifts are held by the weight at the center of the body. Functionally, the principles of the body mechanics is the same.

My suggestion is that the most direct approach is to understand that any jin/kokyu force upward and outward from the body is a specialized aiming of force directions which is based on the ground at the feet; any downward force direction is based on the weight at the center of the body. The body cohesiveness has to be improved to relay these forces well. Akuzawa's approach strengthens the cohesiveness. Correct breathing exercises strengthen the specialized cohesiveness. Standing exercises strengthen the cohesiveness. Correctly-done exercises that focus on using the shortest ground-path or the shortest weight-path strengthen the cohesiveness (e.g., Aiki Taiso).

What I'm getting at is that one's preferred visualizations of path, structure, "ki of the universe through a relaxed body", or whatever are fine, but ultimately at high-skill-levels these are all going to turn out to develop the same or near-same basic body mechanics. The subtle differences in the approaches are the things of argument between "Shaolin" and "Taoist", in a lot of Chinese perspectives.

Another thing to be considering is that the use of the body's muscles will change greatly, if one wants to use this form of strength. Just as a basic example, think about extending the arms/hands out in front of the body (at chest level) and then lifting the arms an inch or so up to shoulder-level. The normal way is to simply lift the arms up using the shoulders. The other way would be to subtley "get under" the weight of the arms so that the hips and legs are holding the weight as directly as possible, and then *push* the arms up, maybe slightly unbending the back. With practice, you can't tell the two methods apart, but you can use the second method to ultimately "push" great weight upward, using the subtle movements of the whole body working in unison.

The point in the above paragraph is to indicate just how different this mode of movement can be. It's not something someone shows you how to do and you "got it". It's difficult to explain in just words, so a lot of "feel this" is often involved. Of the 3 methods of approach, up at the top of the post, notice how none of them is clear enough where someone can just read it and do it. But if people grasp the fact that the 3 methods are really just different visualizations and conditioning methods to arrive at the same general set of skills, some of the murky water begins to clear up.

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
02-06-2007, 10:09 PM
Erick, I appreciate your frustration. I can only offer my own observations in explanation, and hope that those who are in a better position to speak from expertise will jump in. Thank you for your observations. I have asked for the latter.
... those discussing the skill set are currently outside of contemporary aikido, and obtained their skills from other sources. Which is of course a chief cause of skepticism. What they suggest Ushiro meant is not what he said, and what he said can support a more traditional view. What they suggest Ikeda meant, is also not what he said. Wang has things (e.g.-- figure eight stability path of the center) that are very close in physical decription but from a wholly differnt source than my description of the mechanics of dynamic stability. Yet this and other correlations with what they claim is "lost" in aikido are disregarded. That degree of selective lensing combined with the lack of transparency in their approach, raises legitimate suspicions -- which they do little to quell. In some ways they seem to tweak it intentionally.
And yet, the skills they are referring to belong within and were once part of aikido. ... I believe that the reason this subject has been coming up on this site is because some people feel it's time for aikido to regain what it has lost. That is a case that has not yet been made, and one of the reasons I have taken every challenge to describe O Sensei's movement on video to show that what they are doing, so far as they are willing to describe it, is not what he was doing, or at least, what they say is the way is not the way he was doing it.

From all evidence, and in my experience, which is reasonably varied across the Aikido spectrum, so far as they have described what they are doing, these things are not by any means lost. Mostly it is kokyu tanden ho. Things like this recent one in this thread only confirm that their sense of certain things is precisely the same as mine. ... the use of the body's muscles will change greatly, if one wants to use this form of strength. Just as a basic example, think about extending the arms/hands out in front of the body (at chest level) and then lifting the arms an inch or so up to shoulder-level. The normal way is to simply lift the arms up using the shoulders. The other way would be to subtley "get under" the weight of the arms so that the hips and legs are holding the weight as directly as possible, and then *push* the arms up, maybe slightly unbending the back. With practice, you can't tell the two methods apart, but you can use the second method to ultimately "push" great weight upward, using the subtle movements of the whole body working in unison. And yet we differ on some very critical things, even given the lack of transparency in what they are delivering. The most imporatant exception may be the resistive elements, which as I have laid my case out for, may be unproblematic for yiquan, bagua or taiji, but is very problematic for aikido given the unequivocal statements of the Founder.

I find no discrepancy between the practice of Aikido handed down, both kihon and kokyu undo, and that principle of non-resistance. Mike and Dan seem to see resistance playng a key role in their application of what may well be related skills (even if aiki has dropped the resisistve elements). That's why I keep prodding hard for more transparency to delineate the boundaries of this problem.

Maybe kokyu undo are not observed in isolation and in the perforrmance of kihon as much, or as consitently or as thoroughly as they should be. The important things are still there in the kihon, and the kokyu undo, as they are for Ushiro in kata, and they are not lost.

Brion Toss
02-06-2007, 10:15 PM
I am generally in agreement that many Aikidoka are missing some of the skills that Ueshiba and others displayed. But I firmly believe that those skills can be derived from the practices of the kihon waza. Those practices are, of course, no guarantee that one will become proficient in Aikido, or anything else, any more than esoteric Chinese practices are any guarantee that one will become proficient in Chinese arts, or anything else. But I have Ueshiba's word on the primacy of the kihon, so I'm inclined to go along.
As I stated in a much earlier post, I have had the good fortune of "feeling" the power of K. Tohei and others on the Aikido side, and my Tai Chi teacher Michael Gilman ( just in case he meets Mr. Sigman's criteria) and others on the Chinese arts side. But why should I have to bring these people up? The original question was about what we thought basic skills were for Aikido. It appears that we disagree on the answer.
The proponents of non-waza exercises cannot or will not make a convincing argument about why their view should prevail. They keep telling Mr. Mead to get out and feel what they are talking about. Well, I believe that I have gotten out and felt what they are talking about, over the course of the last, um, almost 40 years, and I'm still practicing Aikido. It has developed my spirit in the dojo, and saved my ass on the street. So where does that leave us? One tack would be to dismiss my experiences as invalid, the idea being that if I really, really had experienced what they were talking about, I would agree with them. Is it not possible, instead, that I might have made an informed decision?
Mr. Mead's arguments are not easy to follow; several people have expressed difficulty with his mathematics. So let's just assume for the moment that his math, rigorous and thorough though it seems to be, is in fact erroneous. Let's just set it aside. That leaves us with his insistence that O Sensei knew what he was talking about. Can we agree on that? If not, then perhaps some of us will develop those basic skills, or ones like them, by other means. Or not. And perhaps some of us will find them by the means recommended by the Founder. Or not.

Gernot Hassenpflug
02-06-2007, 10:21 PM
Mike, that's a very helpful post, thanks. For (3), according to the practice under Abe sensei, it seems to me that the importance of keeping the tanden area (visualized as a point) hard is to prevent the "relaxed body" simply compressing under stress. Akuzawa's method in (2), as you say, may not place so much emphasis on the tanden area because the body is stretched out in 6-directions rather concretely and diffuses forces through and along that structure. As a result, "piano-wire-like lines" begin to be realized, but these are also realized by method (3) if the hara is working hard enough to support the structure against stress.

(1) is a great mind model. What would be a representative exercise that is done with that model foremost? (in contrast to, say, Abe sensei and Akuzawa sensei's currently-preferred approaches).

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 10:41 PM
Mike, that's a very helpful post, thanks. For (3), according to the practice under Abe sensei, it seems to me that the importance of keeping the tanden area (visualized as a point) hard is to prevent the "relaxed body" simply compressing under stress. Gernot, some of this is tricky to describe in a logical order because the different approaches usually have different steps that they consider important of logical in the development of the ki skills. I should have remembered your telling me about Abe Sensei's emphasis on the hard tanden area. That's another of the old approaches and it's true. What it represents though is more of a sophisticated model than just the "forces" comparison I did in my post.

Originally, "Misogi" referred to the basic step of building the ki by "condensing the breath behind the navel".... i.e., one of the packing methods using either reverse breathing or "Buddhist" breathing. For the Japanese, I suspect most of the martial styles, koryu included, developed via the Buddhist methods. I.e., "Shaolin".

What happens after a lot of correct breathing practice is that the middle becomes very hard and becomes the nexus of the fascial structures/layers emanating out from the middle to the extremities. So that "hardness" actually becomes more or less a fairly common aspect of the "connection" I referred to in (2.). Note however, that you can develop just a "connection" strength (and you will be strong, assuredly) without necessarily developing the augmentive strength related to the hara. Akuzawa's method in (2), as you say, may not place so much emphasis on the tanden area because the body is stretched out in 6-directions rather concretely and diffuses forces through and along that structure. As a result, "piano-wire-like lines" begin to be realized, but these are also realized by method (3) if the hara is working hard enough to support the structure against stress. Oops... we're saying the same thing, more or less.(1) is a great mind model. What would be a representative exercise that is done with that model foremost? (in contrast to, say, Abe sensei and Akuzawa sensei's currently-preferred approaches).That's the kind of stuff that would take pages and pages and really it needs to be shown. I may run into Rob shortly and I'll try to give him an idea of what I mean so he can pass it on to you. :)

Best.

Mike

miratim
02-06-2007, 10:55 PM
The proponents of non-waza exercises cannot or will not make a convincing argument about why their view should prevail.

Hi Brion -

Do you think that non-waza exercises, as you call them, include ki development exercises as commonly practiced in several styles of aikido?

Mike Sigman
02-06-2007, 10:59 PM
And yet we differ on some very critical things, even given the lack of transparency in what they are delivering. The most imporatant exception may be the resistive elements, which as I have laid my case out for, may be unproblematic for yiquan, bagua or taiji, but is very problematic for aikido given the unequivocal statements of the Founder.This one seems to be your mantra and you can't be reasoned with. You, a westerner, take a translation of a common Asian saying about not using resistance/muscle/strength and you make it into some self-styled Aikido shibboleth. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you and I had a quick contest, you'd find that I use less "resistance" than you do. Most Aikido people (including teachers) are far more resistive than I am. So you just keep muttering to yourself about this one little point that relies purely on your idee fixe... but bear in mind that it's been addressed a number of times in various threads and relegated to at most an "opinion" that you're unable to weight convincingly.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Eddie deGuzman
02-06-2007, 11:31 PM
Hi,

I've met Jim Baker, nice guy, funny, light touch, good aikido. Haven't seen the jo trick. Interesting the way it was explained, but that would be visualization and some people have a hard time buying into that. I don't mind so I'll think on it.

Mike, thanks for something concrete to work with!. Interesting, the idea of foot/ground for up and hara for down. I usually think hara, musubi and then work with the technique in relation to uke and his energy, more like 3. Yet if there is a strong foot ground connection, I am not aware of it. I feel more balanced than anything, a heavyness/lightness equilibrium, so to speak.

The 6 directions thing again. Hmmm, still clueless. Typically there are four, divided to corners makes eight. Take the four and add up and down, that gives 6, but with the corners would be 10. Or would this include inward and outward? And what are Abe and Akuzawa sensei's currently-preferred approaches?

I couldn't tell you if Eric's theories are sound or not. Brion's suggestion was interesting but made me think of what it would be like if we assumed the opposite. What if he is right? What if all of the minute calculations contained in a moving body, speed, weight, distance, power, muscles, joints, linear and rotating forces both, hearing, seeing, feeling and intent were then combined with the data of another person and then everything was balanced out in one sleek, slick equation? I presume it would be one hell of an equation. And something that I in no way would be able to begin consider in the small amount of time it takes for someone to attack me. And since the human brain is a superduper computer, what if it takes all the necessary input and for simplicity sake says, "Move like this? " Would it hurt so much if you were both right? Seeing as there are different roads to the top of the mountain, and happening to meet at a crossroads holding different maps, I don't see it as necessary to try and throw each other off.

Cheers,
Eddie

Tim Fong
02-07-2007, 12:21 AM
Eddie
6 directions is just the a way of saying the standard cartesian x,y,z system. It counts each axis as two directions.

Tim Fong
02-07-2007, 12:48 AM
editing timed out:
Eddie
6 directions is just the another way to describe co-ordinates. Look at it like the standard cartesian x,y,z system.

So 6 directions is
up-down
front-back
side-to-side.

You can break down any motion into an x, y and z component. I use this to look at ranges of motion.

As far as baseline skillset, this is why I think in my own practice I look at moving in straight lines first before I even think about spirals. For example, the rowing exercises are mostly translation along the z-axis. My goal is to develop the awareness of connection/pressure in every axis of every joint in my body. Obviously I have a ways to go =)

Whenever I see a new solo kata or form (from any system) I look at the ranges of motion that they strengthen. I tend to be very granular and look at the joints involved, and what the range of motion is. Then I think about how to develop the pressure feeling/connection feeling in the joints, or try to feel what triggers it by moving other parts of the body.

Back to baseline skills-- I am very curious to see Ushiro's sanchin. I've seen other versions and apparently they are isolating the shoulder and elbow joint with no involvement by the waist. There is some involement of the legs as the feet step forward for each set.

For a contrast, if you see something like taiji/bagua/xingyi you'll probably notice that they use the waist/back/knees. Interestingly sumo also uses a knees-out position as does judo.

If Ushiro's version also uses the pigeon toed stance then I think the following is applicable:

Throwing technique in aikido would apparently use knees in a rotated out stance. Sanchin, since it uses the knees turned in stance, would not develop stability/connection in the knees turned out position (rotated along the y-axis that is). However it would build a strong connection in the shoulder and arms, (potentially spine???) which would at least give people a chance to feel the breath/connection/pressure and then play around with it. I've found in my own practice that getting the back connected and geting stability in the knees rotated out position is ....challenging.

If you stand with the knees turned in (get up and try it!) you'll see it limits the range of motion of the waist. If you have no waist connection, then using the pigeon toed stance would let you use the upper body/arms connection on top of a very limited stance. Considering that it might take up to a year or more to gain the pressure feeling in the legs, some systems probably decided that it wasn't worth the trouble, since they needed to field fighters more quickly.

There's another Southern Shaolin system that is even more stripped down than karate/white crane, and can get beginners to use some degree of connection in only a year or so. Lest I send anyone off on a wild goose chase, it uses a very limited range of motion in only a few joints, and certainly not as many as aikido.

Anyway I hope folks find this interesting. I may be wrong about some of it...been wrong before. I'm all for iteration though :D

eyrie
02-07-2007, 01:04 AM
I couldn't tell you if Eric's theories are sound or not. Brion's suggestion was interesting but made me think of what it would be like if we assumed the opposite. What if he is right? What if all of the minute calculations contained in a moving body, speed, weight, distance, power, muscles, joints, linear and rotating forces both, hearing, seeing, feeling and intent were then combined with the data of another person and then everything was balanced out in one sleek, slick equation? I presume it would be one hell of an equation.

Tell you what... if it was one slick equation, it would make the nerdy math guy on Numb3rs look like a positive geek... uh... wait a minute... he IS a geek... :D

You know how his FBI brother always turns around and says to him... "English... please...?"

To be honest, Erick could be right for all I care.... I'm just not interested in his exposition of rotating joints and what not. At the end of the day, it's not about who's right or not... it's about whether you can take this stuff and easily learn it, and use it. Sure, there's a lot of practice involved - like playing guitar, or playing piano... we're not all going to be virtuosos, but that shouldn't stop us from trying to be.

As far as I'm concerned, if you can't get people to first base or show/tell them in a simple way to get to first base, even if you have the slickest mathematical equation that fully and functionally describes the mechanics involved, then so what? People aren't machines, and don't move within the defined parameters of some "neat" equation.

Gernot Hassenpflug
02-07-2007, 02:40 AM
Mike that was all rather enlightening, especially re-reading the part about "packing". I suspected you would be forced to forego an explanation to my question, but I'll be able to train again in Tokyo soon if the work negotations don't kill me first. Thanks again. Gernot

Brion Toss
02-07-2007, 07:23 AM
Hi Brion -

Do you think that non-waza exercises, as you call them, include ki development exercises as commonly practiced in several styles of aikido?
Yes. I began the art in a style that stressed ki development exercises. Still practice those exercises, and it is hard to find a dojo in which some of those ideas are not touched on, to some degree. But I see the exercises as means to amplify/focus on/elaborate on principles and skills contained in the waza. Tohei famously stated his four principles, famously and wonderfully demonstrated the potential of ki. But in every one of his classes that I had the good fortune of attending, he stressed basic waza.
Allow me to put it in another context. I am a rigger by vocation. There is a certain, limited amount of math involved in doing my job well, in my estimation, so I study it to the best of my limited capacity. But no amount of familiarity with the works of Euler and Pythagoras is, by itself, going to make me a good rigger; in fact there are lots of very good riggers who have little or no notion of math, in a formal sense. The math is still there, but they don't deal with it on a descriptive level. Even riggers of extreme, bountifully-calculated racing yachts don't always participate in those calculations. But those same riggers know, on a visceral level, the effects of diminishing staying angles, the consequences of unsupported length, the relative unimportance of mast wall thickness, and all of the other things that calculations might tell them. And they know these things because they get immediate, profound feedback from the act of rigging: fabricating the pieces; installing them on the boat; and adjusting as needed to make an integrated system.
I find, then, that the study of math, in my professional context, is like ki exercises in an Aikido context: useful, and perhaps even essential at some level, but not a basic skill.
And just to confuse things a bit, I find the study of math in an Aikido context also to be like ki exercises: not required as a basic, but extremely useful, and perhaps inevitable, at some point.

Dennis Hooker
02-07-2007, 07:49 AM
This one seems to be your mantra and you can't be reasoned with. You, a westerner, take a translation of a common Asian saying about not using resistance/muscle/strength and you make it into some self-styled Aikido shibboleth. I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you and I had a quick contest, you'd find that I use less "resistance" than you do. Most Aikido people (including teachers) are far more resistive than I am. So you just keep muttering to yourself about this one little point that relies purely on your idee fixe... but bear in mind that it's been addressed a number of times in various threads and relegated to at most an "opinion" that you're unable to weight convincingly.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike most of my personal Aikido training has been based in nonresistance or elimination of as much resistance as possible. In very unscientific terms when a person attacks all their internal gyroscopes are set to meet resistance and when they meet it they find stability from which to base another attack. My goal has always been to let them find as little as possible. When I was young and in very good health I found that core strength training and core strength assisted me in developing non resistance. As I became very ill with Myasthenia Gravis I had to find other ways because core strength training was not an option. Do you have an opinion on this? I would surmise that large wagon wheel is there for you to develop core strength or am I wrong?

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 08:49 AM
I had to find other ways because core strength training was not an option. Do you have an opinion on this? I would surmise that large wagon wheel is there for you to develop core strength or am I wrong?Hi Dennis:

Well, the body has to be taught to do the mind-manipulation of the kind of forces that Tohei and Ueshiba and others showed. That skill blossoms and develops into some fairly complex skills, over time.

The body "structure" has to be trained into a cohesive whole so that it can transmit the mind-controlled forces (and use its own forces that develop, too). The middle/hara/dantien part of the body is the natural control center of the "connections" that reach out to the extremities of the body... at the same time, the hara, etc., is the natural control-point for the forces that go from the ground through the middle to the hands (not to mention the forces derived from the weight of the body, when those are needed).

Your forces control has to be practiced and developed and the body has to be conditioned so that the middle becomes a practical control-point AND so the jin forces can be conveyed without loss through the joints. One of the big points of this kind of training is the idea that you "do things from the center". Most people do *some* things from the middle, although most use a sort of fixed parody of shoving things from the middle occasionally.... not anywhere near what they need to do.

To "use the middle" means using those forces and the body in such a way that *everything* is honestly done by the middle. The middle and legs power everything, not just some things. If you pick up a can of soda and put it on the table, it should ALL be done with the legs and waist manipulating the slightly stretched "connection" of the body/arms out to the can.

I made a number of goes at these things over the years and I had some good jin skills, etc., but each time I finally got to where I knew I had to start all over again and go to the point where the middle does *everything*. I kept being stopped by the fact that I hadn't made a full-enough commitment and my middle wasn't really controlling everything.

Part of learning to control with the middle is strengthening it. I use a number of training devices to train the middle in different ways. The wagonwheel you're talking about (I had to think about it... then I remembered this last weekend seminar and who was there that might have told you about it. ;) ) is something I use essentially to train a certain direction of middle movement. I have other methods that train all the other possible directions of power and strength. One of the very important methods I use is Bokken swinging.

I use Bokken, a long pole for shaking, the wagonwheel, some very heavy-duty bungee cords for another direction, and some other things. I'd be happy to show you sometime if you ever get out here to God's country and see what he could have done for Florida if only he'd had the money. ;)

One of the things I use for middle development is a cellcore Mini-cycle:

http://www.promedproducts.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2064/.f?sc=2&category=192

I put this mini-cycle up on a kitchen counter about stomach-chest level and turn the pedals with my hands (I used some lead-shot weights to hold it down firmly). The tension can be changed; I use a very light tension so I won't be tempted to use my arm/shoulder muscles. I turn the pedals using only my middle and legs. It's awkward for people at first, but after not too long they learn to do it with the middle; the body/hands are slightly extended out so that there is a tiny tension that connects to the hands so that the middle can legitimately turn the pedals via that connection.

I can also turn sideways and turn only one pedal with one arm and use the middle and body connection. And so on. I really like that rig. If you use it correctly, you'll strengthen the legs and the middle and you'll begin to learn to use the middle to do things.

Hope that helps. ;)

Best.

Mike

Eddie deGuzman
02-07-2007, 08:57 AM
Hi Tim, thanks for the directions...on the directions :) And the new perspective on watching kata. I think I tend to view harder styles through the eyes of my older karate-doh-self and softer stuff in my newer aikido-self. Thanks for giving me MORE to think about. :hypno:

Iggy :D , math has never been my strong point. I like easy, but I also like the imagery/visualization/projection/mysterious ki talk. It sets me to thinking about stuff... :freaky: I also fiddle with the guitar. :cool:

Brion, anyway you could share those ki development exercises without breaking some aiki secret law? Anything I can do in my shoebox of a room? Just not enough mat time during the week.

I don't know about you guys, but I sense a little progress here. Cool.

Eddie

Dennis Hooker
02-07-2007, 09:17 AM
Anything I can do in my shoebox of a room? Just not enough mat time during the week.

I don't know about you guys, but I sense a little progress here. Cool.

Eddie


This may sound trite but it is not meant to be. Learn to breathe again. Unlearn bad habits we assimilate as we mature into adults. Breath control is a mighty thing in budo. Mind body and breath should move as one. Rediscover your Makoto No Kokyo or true breath. It is not just an Aikido thing and it is not a passive activity. It takes a good deal of hard work but you can do it in your room. I bet if you go to your local library there will be a number of books on breathing.

Erick Mead
02-07-2007, 10:00 AM
This one seems to be your mantra and you can't be reasoned with. You, a westerner, take a translation of a common Asian saying about not using resistance/muscle/strength and you make it into some self-styled Aikido shibboleth. ... So you just keep muttering to yourself about this one little point 也許佛他自己可以尿 我 的背脊 也不是 雨量吧.

And that's all I'll say about that.

:)

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 10:06 AM
BTW, you must also be completely relaxed. But wait, if you're standing up, you must be using muscle so you can't be completely relaxed. Therefore, Erick, you should abjure any pretender to Aikido who stands up.

O-Sensei used "resistance" to hold a push to his head, to his chest, to bounce people off, to *apply force* to his kokyu throws, to chop with his sword, etc. If the common-sense level of Aikido is hidden to you, why discuss the deeper levels?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Dennis Hooker
02-07-2007, 10:24 AM
Lord have mercy you guys wear me out. I'm going back into hibernation until spring. Wake me when it thaws around here.

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 10:55 AM
I'm with you Hooker sensei. I learned aikido from a man who spoke very little English, and never spoke it while explaining aikido. I spoke very little Japanese. He did spend time talking about things as I remember my legs falling asleep and my feet turning blue due to extended periods in seiza. Many times I would ask my Japanese friends for translation and they would reply that the things he was saying was difficult for them to understand, let alone translate. So I learned by doing and feeling. All of these mathematical models and esoteric explanations of aikido principles do not seem to help me understand aikido. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy reading the stuff, I just don't think it helps me understand aikido. Maybe I'm just old school. :D

Erick Mead
02-07-2007, 11:02 AM
Throwing technique in aikido would apparently use knees in a rotated out stance. Sanchin, since it uses the knees turned in stance, would not develop stability/connection in the knees turned out position (rotated along the y-axis that is).

Anyway I hope folks find this interesting. I may be wrong about some of it...been wrong before. I'm all for iteration though :DIt is a good point to discuss. There are two (basic) turn (tenkan) variations used in throws -- uchi (inward) and soto (outward). It is not always necessary that the feet move, although they often do, and so the leg posture you speak of is often obscured in the motion.

In soto mawari the hip is opening, and thus the knees are slightly outward. In uchi mawari the hip is closing and the knees are slightly inward. Neither one is static there for very long, however, even in kihon. All movement properly resolves to center, which is what effects the throw. Either turn can be used in either order, or the same one twice in succession.

So both leg posture variations are used throughout the forms of movement in aikido.

I have descibed elsewhere that I find that most techniques when observed in kihon have two fundamental beats, first "receiving" and then "sending away" as O Sensei said. Neither one, alone, is a complete "waza." This may some bearing on Hooker Sensei's point about training for Makoto no Kokyu (or at least what I have come away with in looking at breath in training) --

One typically "receives" breathing in, gathering "strength" as the oppponent is expending his, and then one "sends away" breathing out. In flowing, these syllable beats of motion are often "elided" (the musical expression) and can become one unbroken pulse. Think of singing -- where "hea-ven," may become "heav'n."

Kihon essentially unbundles the phrasing, and the isolated elements thus availble for "dissected" training are not what I would describe as "waza." In the kihon therefore you can see (and correct) things like the leg postures you describe that are hard to pick out in the bundled "waza" proper. That may help people understand what I am looking at when I think of a "basic skill" / "waza" distinction.

Along these lines in ki no kokyu terms the technique may be performed with an rather large intake of breath and a sudden reversal of the diaphragm with the final irimi or turn, but may only be a very small controlled exhalation. Think of the sudden intake of breath at being surprised and the "stop" that occurs with a small puff of air outward, but not a full exhale. Other rhythms also occur that are more balanced, or even shifted the other way, such as the sharp intake and slow, easy release of the large spiralling iriminage movements.

I would be very curious about the recommended breath in the sanchin, which the videos typically do not show, or at least not in detail.

I did a lot of solo kihon training aboard ship by myself over several deployments (shadow boxing waza and receiving waza and doing weapons forms). The thing that most struck me in that training is was how natural and fundamental the breath rhythm was to the movement of the waza. I still may screw it up after a few passes in randori, when focussing on a given technique in that class, and lose focus on the breath, and then I may get winded very fast. But if I focus on the breath rhythm of my movement instead of the technique, I have much easier time of it, I don't get too winded, although I often find myself doing something else other than the "designated" technique when contact is made in that setting. So I do find the actual breath, not merely the figurative or conceptual "breath" to be a fundamental skill.

Erick Mead
02-07-2007, 11:13 AM
BTW, you must also be completely relaxed. But wait, if you're standing up, you must be using muscle so you can't be completely relaxed. Therefore, Erick, you should abjure any pretender to Aikido who stands up. Aha! AaaRk Sensei doesn't have this problem. Penguins can't bend at the waist --- so his blubber holds him up. So THAT's what you meant by "fascial strength." I get it now.

http://home.earthlink.net/~jimbaker6/aa/aaark.htm

I guess with Mike's insight, now we know why O Sensei made his Antarctic expedition (see the link).

I suppose we also have to be left to wonder what AaaRk Sensei sought to learn from Hooker Sensei in Orlando. (Middle of the page -- "venerable old teacher" )

Probably makoto no kokyu. (Belly-laugh waza? If so, he aced the lesson).

And I obviously need more beer waza to get me into proper shape, and to develop a deeper, more expansive center.
:D

Dennis Hooker
02-07-2007, 11:41 AM
Eric, am I misreading this or do you have a problem with me? I have reread my post and I canít imagine what I might have said that you took offence at.

Dennis Hooker
02-07-2007, 12:22 PM
Eric I am trying to remember you. You were a nave pilot right? Were you a flight instructor at the base? Did you at one time have a broken clavicle due to an accident?

Erick Mead
02-07-2007, 12:23 PM
Eric, am I misreading this or do you have a problem with me? I have reread my post and I can't imagine what I might have said that you took offence at.Not at all. By no means whatsoever. I thought the penguin thing was a more gentle gibe at Mike's sarcasm in his post. And the picture of you with AaaRk on the website was a hilarious juxtaposition. I just like Jim Baker's clever (and very extensive) trope on the penguin, and his approach to humor, which is Very Obviously far more adroit than my own. :(

The belly laugh waza was directed at the website, not at you.

Any whupping you choose to give me, I very likely deserve and will take with the spirit intended.

No offense taken here, and none, I sincerely hope, perceived from your end.

Erick Mead
02-07-2007, 12:25 PM
Eric I am trying to remember you. You were a nave pilot right? Were you a flight instructor at the base? Did you at one time have a broken clavicle due to an accident?Right on the first one, not on the second or third.

I am unremarkable, like I said. For better or worse.

statisticool
02-07-2007, 04:57 PM
Just...get...on...the...mats if you really, truly want to know what these people are getting at. If you just want to keep jawin' because you enjoy reading your posts, then by all means, keep posting.


And Erick, never ever criticize movies unless you have been a director yourself. And never criticize a book unless you have been an author. Or never say your mechanic did a crummy job unless you have built a car from scratch. ;)

Cady, you seem to make the assumption that because people criticize they haven't seen any of the theorizers in action. That is probably false. In my own case, I've touched with a few people who theorized about vectors. And you know what? It felt like regular ol' non-special stuff; just given a fancy name. Maybe I wasn't sensitive enough? ;)

statisticool
02-07-2007, 05:07 PM
Let's take something simple like grounding a push to your forearm that is held in front of you. So if we take 3 different ways of visualizing how that push is "grounded":


In the first sentence, grounding is not in quotes. In the second sentence, grounded is in quotes. Are you saying the force is really grounded, or not?


(3.) The more mystical approach is to "relax" and let the push be accepted by the middle via a "ki of the universe" paradigm or equivalent.


Maybe "the more classical approach" would be more accurate.


With practice, you can't tell the two methods apart, but you can use the second method to ultimately "push" great weight upward, using the subtle movements of the whole body working in unison.


It is not clear that the first method, when done in real life not just a static demo, is not using the body working in unison. For example, in picking up a box, no one really just uses their shoulders. They'd bend their knees, hold on to the box, unbend, use their shoulders, biceps, abdomen, and back.

statisticool
02-07-2007, 05:08 PM
One of the big problems, IMO, is that a lot of people use different terms for the same things, so there needs to be some reconciliation of terms and approaches and exceptions need to be noted. For instance, I break things down, for convenience, into the idea of "qi" and "jin", or "ki" and "kokyu-essence". The Ki-Society more or less simply uses the all-encompassing term "ki", which in traditional terminology is perfectly legitimate, although vague.


How about using terms from a standard physics course. Would that clear things up since not everyone can translate Japanese and Chinese philosophical concepts and terms?

statisticool
02-07-2007, 05:11 PM
You, a westerner, take a translation of a common Asian saying about not using resistance/muscle/strength and you make it into some self-styled Aikido shibboleth.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're a westerner, and you take your translations of ki/qi/jin/kokyu and make it into your theories as well. Hey, we all do, it is OK.


I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that if you and I had a quick contest, you'd find that I use less "resistance" than you do.


Are you talking about actual resistance, or something else? It is hard to tell since you put so many things in quotes.

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 05:16 PM
In my own case, I've touched with a few people who theorized about vectors. And you know what? It felt like regular ol' non-special stuff; just given a fancy name. Maybe I wasn't sensitive enough? ;)Names? Your qualifications to comment on anything? So far you appear to be nothing more than some weird Cheng Man Ching cultist that haunts this list only to snipe.

I'll be in DC this month Justin... want to meet up and show my your qualifications?

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
02-07-2007, 05:25 PM
Justin, certainly everyone is entitled to an -opinion- regardless of their knowledge level. But the depth and veracity of that opinion will vary with the degree of knowledge the person has.

When it comes to internal physical skills, opinion from those who have not experienced them doesn't really hold any sway until they have felt them. Such observers don't know what they are looking for or at, so how can they have an opinion? How much truck would you give an opinion about colors given by a person who has been blind since birth? He can express opinions based on his observations of comments from others who have experienced such things, or from scientific or literary writings about them, but he can't speak from the first person about what these things are and truly -know- them.

I don't automatically assume anything; however, having touched some people who DO have certain skills, I can recognize the words of someone who has not yet felt them. From Erick's words, it is pretty obvious that he has never encountered the basic skills being discussed. I believe it would be to his advantage to get out there and have encounters with some of the key people in the world who are recognized to have the basics that are being discussed.

Erick Mead
02-07-2007, 05:49 PM
... I can recognize the words of someone who has not yet felt them. From Erick's words, ...Actually, I think I'll get back the practice of aikido ... and the law ... where one really does judge by both words and other evidence -- but even so, that judgment is always flawed, in one way or another, which is why even "final judgments" expire ...

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 05:56 PM
cultist that haunts this list only to snipe.
Whew! For a minute there I thought you were describing yourself. :p

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 06:45 PM
Hmmmmmm..... Ricky, can you point me to a post of yours that contributes any useable information? Thanks.

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 07:26 PM
Hmmmmmm..... Ricky, can you point me to a post of yours that contributes any useable information? Thanks.

Mike Sigman
The one right above yours. ;)
Oh settle down Mike. You take this forum a bit too seriously. :p
Truthfully, though, I cannot say any of my posts have "contributed any useable information." I am not very good at translating what I do on the mat into "useable information." If I could do that with any degree of skill I would be writing books on aikido rather than ribbing you in this forum. :D
However, you seem to think that your posts are full of "useable information." I hate to break it to you Mike, but your posts haven't helped me understand aikido. I seem to be limited to learning through training.
Reading your long-winded posts, while most entertaining, just don't seem to help me with my aikido skills. Not to say that many here have not benefited from them, I just haven't been one of them. I'm sure that's because you're on such a higher plane of understanding than I am though so it's not your fault. :cool:

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 07:37 PM
Oh settle down Mike. You take this forum a bit too seriously. :p
Truthfully, though, I cannot say any of my posts have "contributed any useable information." You mistake me completely, Ricky. I take this forum (and most martial arts forums) for exactly what it is. I have respect for a certain small number of people that do Aikido. The rest are role players with hokey sigs.

Mike

eyrie
02-07-2007, 07:49 PM
Moving right along... perhaps it would be helpful to discuss what are some of the things people could do (or are already sorta doing, but should be doing differently) to start learning how to move from the middle and feel the connections - i.e. feet to middle to hands, same-side/opposite sides?

Mike Sigman
02-07-2007, 08:32 PM
Moving right along... Actually it's good for a lot of the peanut gallery to realize that their silly-shots have a cost by getting their actual worth highlighted. Maybe they'll grow up... maybe not. Most of these 'martial artists' would be stunned to have someone physically call them out for loose lips. ;) I.e.... maybe it's good for any martial art to quit the pretend nicey-nice and get serious. ...perhaps it would be helpful to discuss what are some of the things people could do (or are already sorta doing, but should be doing differently) to start learning how to move from the middle and feel the connections - i.e. feet to middle to hands, same-side/opposite sides? What's interesting is to note that even though you're making a sane comment on the forum, there are a large number of people that would have no idea why you'd ask a question like that. :D Or if they had a vague idea, they'd maybe remember that their sensei read to them something about that one night, so therefore that's already been covered. Next. :D

The real problem with your question is that "moving with the middle" (IMO) means nothing without some understanding of what jin/kokyu force is. For instance, when Ushiro Sensei pushed his fingers, backed by jin, into peoples' throats at the Summer Camp, he was maintaining the basic (baseline) skill while he extended it straight ahead (the easiest way to move with it). His middle backed it up. In fact, the middle movement and the force were one thing... and both of them were developed at the same time in Ushiro's training by the use of the force and the breath training in Sanchin kata. So there you have fullblown "kokyu". You see my drift.... just "moving from the center" can be a start, but there are a lot of caveats to it.

My best recommendation? Suburi/bokken-swinging. But someone should be clear in how to start or it just becomes another movement that has the magical hope of producing something. Sort of like Dorothy closing her eyes and wishing she was back home. ;) Most of the suburi I've seen is about as useful as for tanden development as a workout with dumbells at the gym.

Best.

Mike

gdandscompserv
02-07-2007, 08:48 PM
Most of these 'martial artists' would be stunned to have someone physically call them out for loose lips. ;)
Has this happened to you?

Jim Sorrentino
02-07-2007, 10:21 PM
Hello Cady,When it comes to internal physical skills, opinion from those who have not experienced them doesn't really hold any sway until they have felt them. Such observers don't know what they are looking for or at, so how can they have an opinion? How much truck would you give an opinion about colors given by a person who has been blind since birth? He can express opinions based on his observations of comments from others who have experienced such things, or from scientific or literary writings about them, but he can't speak from the first person about what these things are and truly -know- them.

I don't automatically assume anything; however, having touched some people who DO have certain skills, I can recognize the words of someone who has not yet felt them. From Erick's words, it is pretty obvious that he has never encountered the basic skills being discussed. I believe it would be to his advantage to get out there and have encounters with some of the key people in the world who are recognized to have the basics that are being discussed.Erick has seen and felt Dennis Hooker-sensei. If I remember correctly, you have also been on the mat with Hooker-sensei. Are you saying that Hooker-sensei does not have these skills? I look forward to your reply!

Jim Sorrentino

Cady Goldfield
02-07-2007, 10:32 PM
Jim,
The brief moment I got to spend with Dennis (back in 1998, I think, when we had the first Aikido-L meet in San Antonio) and the other things I got to observe him doing over the course of the seminar were not related to the things Mike and company are discussing here. However, back in 1998, I was not yet familiar with this skill set and would not have been in a position to make any sort of evaluation. In retrospect, though, I'd say no -- it wasn't in what he was doing then.

I do know that when I watch those old archived films on YouTube of M. Ueshiba and some other key individuals, I see the tell-tale external effects of some of those internal principles being discussed here.

Dennis Hooker
02-08-2007, 07:53 AM
!998? Is seems longer ago than that. Jim I do remember Cady and we all had a delightful time together there in Texas, but I donít remember we ever physically interacted on the mat. I am not good at this written Aikido or dialog budo I am more of a hands on guy. So I am not surprised some folks would surmise my skills as lacking if the key to understanding is the written word. I also would hope that my ego is not such that I would assume I am the vessel of all knowledge in these matters and capable of judging others by what they write. I am no where near that good. My mat is always open to anyone wishing to train in a friendly manner and that includes my dojo and seminars. I am open to learning from anyone and I often do. I think I have a body of work out there that would not be hard to tap into if anyone truly wished to know my skill level. Frankly I canít evaluate my own skill level; I will have to leave that up to others. I am what I am and at this point in my life that is good enough. I will leave it to others to talk about how good they are, I defiantly am not that good. Hell I may be no good at all. I have been accused of being a no good bastard from time to time.

Dennis Hooker
02-08-2007, 08:10 AM
p.s. I would like to publicly apologize to Eric for not remembering him on this list. My old memory has been stimulated and I do remember him. In fact I tested him last summer and I found him to be both warn and friendly and his Aikido good. I can't judge you folks by what you write I am not good enough and frankly some of it is over my head. I take my friends word at face value and trust my own judgenent when meeting people Friends I trust tell me both Dan and Mike are the real deal and I accept that. I can't tell you if I am the real deal or a poor knockoff.

Cady Goldfield
02-08-2007, 08:25 AM
Nope, you're right, Dennis -- it was Jim Baker (the notorious AaaRk Sensei) I felt on the mats, briefly, during that weekend. (You were both handsome bearded devils... what can I say? Now that I'm old and befuddled, I got you mixed up!)

I did observe, in their entirety, the sessions Dennis taught that weekend. It was informative. And yes, it was a delightful time. Though I recall that it took longer to get the rental car than it would have taken Dennis to walk to his hotel room! (You were a good sport!)

Please don't misinterpret my response to Jim Sorrentino's pointed question, which, frankly, I should not have responded to, in hindsight. Furthermore, I can only respond according to what little I know now compared to what I recall from then, when none of this was known to me at all. Note that in my prior post, I said "doing then." Again, based on my observations -then- and my experiences -now-, I do not recall seeing enactions of the things Mike is discussing on this thread. But I have no idea what Dennis is doing -now-, nor would I be so presumptuous as to hazard a guess.

DH
02-08-2007, 08:39 AM
It remains diffcult to qualify-yet when we say that we can touch someone and in a moment we know! We mean it.
Further, as wierd as it sounds, there are many things that can be seen just from watching. Its all in how you carry your wieght, how you move and what your body does when pressed. No you can't catch it all on video but many things are able to be judged.
And Yes. It is THAT different.

Then again, Jim, since your asking Cady publicly, Why not ask Mark Murray, Murry McPherson, Rob Liberti, Stan Baker, Tom Holtz, Chris Moses, Gernot H., Gerge Ledyard, or any other of the men who have felt Me, Mike or Rob and Ark. Several of -them- have felt Aikido's and many other arts.... top dogs. What is it they have been sayng, Jim?
Seems to me that they have all marked a difference in feel as well. And several wrote of it here.
In fact it seems strange that all of them reported the same things. You could win a case with this much personal witness testimony.

Since your talking personal witness, I've felt some of the highest ranked folks in aikido and many middle and lessor lights. I have never felt anyone in Aikido who can do this or exhibited these skills in any real way. I aint much, But I wouldn't trade my skills for theirs for any amount of money.

But again, we're not talking about the second coming. They're great skills, in my view they are the best there is and much can be built off of them. But they should be used as an enticement to move forward into excellence, not a bludgeon to beat folks down with. Hopefully they will be disseminated with a measure of grace, sincerity and good humor. In the end I don't begrudge the Asians for withholding. The older I get, the more I hesitate. The more I think they may have been right all along. To reserve these skills as an edge. And to judge through personal relationship.
Dan

Dennis Hooker
02-08-2007, 09:39 AM
Jim, a budo man (or any man) is made of parts both tangible and intangible. Some parts are stronger in some men than others. This thread is talking about a part that is perhaps both tangible and intangible but it is still a part. It is a part I believe we all have in some manner of fashion. It is much more developed in some than others. Some may believe what is being discussed here is the foundation of a budo man. Others may have vastly different opinions as to what that foundation should be. There are other elements that make up a budo manís character and skill set which together define him as a warrior, philosopher or layman. It is easy to read a thread like this and become consumed with the topic. This is the baseline skill set as seen by a few skilled individuals. A person can become myopic when consumed by that which they believe is most important. I can, you can and so can we all. Remember the old saying ďwe canít see the forest for the treesĒ well that is what is happening here. We are standing in front of a very old and rooted tree contemplating its power and we are missing the forest. However, I believe this topic was meant to address only this part of a budo man and somewhere along the line some have defined it as the most important part. How well does this serve you in battle? I donít know, I have been in battle and survived and I am sure I didn'tít have this type of skill at that time. Do I possess this skill now? I donít know I have never laid hands on Dan and Mike so how can I judge what they are talking about. How can anyone judge me or you if we have not interacted in a physical way. There are a lot of people that want me to teach them what I do and very-very few are capable of doing it once shown. Is this the skill being talked about? I donít know! Do I have a desire to test myself against the baseline being discussed here? Not in the least. Either I have it or I donít and it will not change me. If I donít have it I will get it or I wonít, but it will not change who I am one way or another. I make no assumptions about the budo people I interact with. I know some hign ranking budo men will never show me their good stuff and I have interacted with them. It is not in the nature of some high ranking individuals to show you what they got unless you are one of the inner circle. You can like it or not but that is the way it is.

Kevin Leavitt
02-08-2007, 03:00 PM
Dan wrote

Since your talking personal witness, I've felt some of the highest ranked folks in aikido and many middle and lessor lights. I have never felt anyone in Aikido who can do this or exhibited these skills in any real way. I aint much, But I wouldn't trade my skills for theirs for any amount of money.


So are you saying that you have not met anyone in aikido that has any real internal skills, (however it is that you define it). So what does aikido, or better yet those that teach us aikido have to offer if this is the case in your opinion?

Mike Sigman
02-08-2007, 03:06 PM
So are you saying that you have not met anyone in aikido that has any real internal skills, (however it is that you define it). So what does aikido, or better yet those that teach us aikido have to offer if this is the case in your opinion?Not to leave Dan hanging, but I'd have to point out that I only joined Aikido *after* I felt some Aikidoist (from Hombu Dojo) that had this "weird strength" that I wanted to learn how to do. And over the years, I have felt various Aikidoists (always Japanese) that had some varying degrees of that strength. YMMV.

Mike

Eddie deGuzman
02-08-2007, 04:56 PM
Mike, that's exactly what happened to me. When I visited home last year, a newer yudansha from my old dojo said I move differently from everyone else. I guess that sums it up.

Cheers,
Eddie

eyrie
02-08-2007, 07:03 PM
...a newer yudansha from my old dojo said I move differently from everyone else. I guess that sums it up.

That doesn't really tell me anything... ;)

I think what Mike is implying is that the varying degrees of "strength" is probably nowhere near what Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda and others (my apologies if I've left any big, and not so big, names out), and perhaps nowhere near some of the big, and not so big, dogs in taiji that he's touched hands with since.

Moving "differently" really means squat. For instance, when I last visited my sempai, he wasn't moving at all when he threw me - actually, it was more like me throwing myself. He was merely standing there with arm outstretched, and as I connected with his hand, it felt like whatever force I was putting into him, came back at me.... kinda like pushing on a wall.

Eddie deGuzman
02-08-2007, 11:15 PM
That doesn't really tell me anything... ;)

I think what Mike is implying is that the varying degrees of "strength" is probably nowhere near what Ueshiba, Tohei, Shioda and others (my apologies if I've left any big, and not so big, names out), and perhaps nowhere near some of the big, and not so big, dogs in taiji that he's touched hands with since.

Moving "differently" really means squat.
I've thought from the get go that there are varying degrees of ability level. Just makes sense to me. And if you are on the right track, the longer you work at it, the better you get and the "stronger" your technique becomes. I tend to think that the quality of your movement IS the quality of your aikido. But then again, maybe that yudansha was just being nice and didn't want to say I suck. :eek:

What I find odd is that you allow Mike his insight after coming to Japan and feeling this technique yet disallow the nearly 23 years I have on the mat, the last thirteen and counting of which have been here in Japan. As Mr. Hooker said earlier, "I don't know I have never laid hands on Dan and Mike so how can I judge what they are talking about. How can anyone judge me or you if we have not interacted in a physical way. The same holds true for everyone here. I hope everyone training moves differently after every 10 years, hopefully for the better.

I wouldn't say my "moving differently" means squat. I would say it is a vague description. But that was NOT a post defining the method of my movement, it was merely sharing a similar circumstance. As a result of Mike's experience, he began studying aikido. As a result of mine, I began studying aikido...again. And I 'll bet you a doughnut that we both move differently now. ;)

Cheers,
Eddie

raul rodrigo
02-08-2007, 11:25 PM
I certainly move differently now than i did a year or two ago. That doesnt necessarily mean i'm any better. Although i would hope so. the question is, "different" how?

Upyu
02-09-2007, 12:38 AM
What I find odd is that you allow Mike his insight after coming to Japan and feeling this technique yet disallow the nearly 23 years I have on the mat, the last thirteen and counting of which have been here in Japan.

Words say a lot though. And anyone that's called me out hasn't made me eat them so far :)
To put things into perspective, about a month ago I met an old guy that was a headhunter for my friend. He was pretty old, in his 50s maybe and turned out had been practicing Aikido for 30 some years. He'd even taken Uke for both Tohei and Ueshiba back in the day. He was telling me about Ki this, and Ki that, and immovable body this and that. Yet, he couldn't give me concrete physical descriptions of what he did to achieve these things (we were still in a coffee shop at this point.) Actually by this time I'd pretty much surmised from the way he walked that he didn't have anything, but I figured I'd feel him out anyways since talk is cheap.
Did the pushout exercise which I elaborated on another thread with him which the guy failed miserably.
Then tried to do the Kokyu Age exercise. He couldn't take my balance at all. Nor was I resisting very hard.
And, while it was probably bad manners on my part, I did the index finger parlor trick and threw him around a bit.
Of course this all ended nicely and I let him save face, but it led me to the conclusion that:

Time on mat + time with "experts" = Potentially Zip, if you have a student that just "didn't get it."
Actually my first impression of how his body was connected was only reinforced by the discussion we had in the cafe, which was then sealed by the hands on session after we got outside.

eyrie
02-09-2007, 12:44 AM
Thanks for rephrasing the question Raul. :)

Yes, Eddie... "moving" and "different" how? Vague descriptions mean squat to me... :D

The example I used clearly illustrates that "different" can mean different things... whether one is moving or not. ;)

What I find odd is the need to justify your mat time to me, when it was neither requested nor relevant to my question. ;)

What would be more helpful to the discussion is, if you could not only do what was illustrated in my example, but also explain how it works... :)

George S. Ledyard
02-09-2007, 01:21 AM
To put things into perspective, about a month ago I met an old guy that was a headhunter for my friend. He was pretty old, in his 50s maybe and turned out had been practicing Aikido for 30 some years.
Rupert,
You're killing me...
- George

Upyu
02-09-2007, 01:48 AM
Rupert,
You're killing me...
- George
Ah...ok, I meant relative to myself :dead:

...great, now I know I'm going to catch flak from Ark for that comment if he reads this thread ^^;

Btw, I realize 50s isn't old in a MA career, I'm still a youngin' :D

DH
02-09-2007, 07:11 AM
50's? Old man?
Ya young pipsqueek!! I'll remember that comment when we meet. You can do the pushout test and then you may freely "unload" on me as well. Then it will be my turn. :cool:
50's.....old man...mumble...mumble
Well to be fair the same can be said for all the guys I've met in their twenties and thirties who've no idea of what connection even is, much less how to achieve it.
Sadder still is to have struggled in vain for half a life to try to get the secrets and find out you've been duped.

So, to the general crowd.
1. Just who -do you suppose- invented the idea or model of "Stealing technique"
2. Why?
3. Was it ever a "Japanese" idea or is it Chinese as well?

4. Here's another flip side to all the teacher comments. Years ago and again recently I stood in a room with master level teachers with their own students there. After much testing and feeling for hours I was shown things with actual hands-on-bodies that these students had never seen their teacher do with someone.
Why?

We can slam the teachers for holding back, but how much of a pain is it to be a teacher and see so much half-assed effort made by folks. How funny is it to watch them keep coming back and paying to get nothing, because they do nothing -to- get it.
How truly odd is the average students attempts to stumble through.
And how about the folks who truly do try hard but due to language or lack of raw talent have trouble absorbing the material?

I say it is no small wonder why Sagawa yelled at people to "Use you head!" "Think!"
Why Ueshiba told people "You're not doing my Aikido!"
Why Takeda never repeated techiques and said "Did you see it?" "Did you get it?"

So what are folks achieving for base line skills?
A bujutsu body?
Or technique?
In my experience- its technique all the way. Its easier, less painful, and more sexy. These type of folks want to "do" cool moves and copy what they see on the tee vee.
Then you have men who want power. You let them feel you they go bug eyed. Yet they won't do what I did to get there. The same guys will gladly go to the gym and lift in ways that will wreck their real strength, yet won't spend anytime bodybuidling and exercising and standing for martial strength. So much wasted effort. Who would want to help someone who thinks that way. They're not budo men.

So, its not always about the teaching, or lack of it. A good student can be just as precious.
As one teacher said to me "All I need is one good student."

Owning your own training is a task most simply cannot bear. Not being able to lead, yet unwilling to follow, they are in Dojo's everywhere and won't get out of the way
Cheers
Dan

Dennis Hooker
02-09-2007, 07:37 AM
Ah...ok, I meant relative to myself :dead:

...great, now I know I'm going to catch flak from Ark for that comment if he reads this thread ^^;

Btw, I realize 50s isn't old in a MA career, I'm still a youngin' :D


You damn kids!! Wait tell I take my Metamucil and liver pills get my teeth in and my joints moving an I'll give you something to think about. Damn Kids anyway. Shit I can't move myself how the hell you gonna move me. I get put I stay put and ain't no young whippersnapper gonna move me either. Ya Damn Kids ya! All these experts give me a damn headache, damn kids. And that damn Mike he ain;t no spring chicken either. He's damn near gray as me. Did I say damn kids already?

Ark

gdandscompserv
02-09-2007, 08:08 AM
Shore enough Robert. You invoked the wrath of Ark.
I hope you plan on taking ukemi, cause I sure aint.
Nice to hear from you Ark.
BTY,
Is Ark your name, or a sound?

A Fan
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/peace.gif

Dennis Hooker
02-09-2007, 08:22 AM
Shore enough Robert. You invoked the wrath of Ark.
I hope you plan on taking ukemi, cause I sure aint.
Nice to hear from you Ark.
BTY,
Is Ark your name, or a sound?

A Fan
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/peace.gif


I am the Ark of the Aikido Covenant. In me resides all knowledge I am also known as the All Knowing Ark. Have we successfully high jacked this thread yet? I expect Jun to kick us off forthwith.

Ark

Mike Sigman
02-09-2007, 08:48 AM
Time on mat + time with "experts" = Potentially Zip, if you have a student that just "didn't get it."
Very true, Rob, as anyone with any exerience knows. You gotta meet the guy and feel him.

;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
02-09-2007, 08:53 AM
In me resides all knowledge
So that's what the Metamucil's for.
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b379/deserthippie/peace.gif