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Mike Sigman
07-05-2007, 04:06 PM
Mike, the whole thing with you and me started because you came into the conversation on e-budo in your inimitable know-it-all-and-I'm-also-better-than-you attitude and started making comments about me. Otherwise, I would never have addressed you. Your name meant nothing to me then, so why would I even have addressed you?

You are really the only person on these boards that I get pretty harsh with anymore--some because they quit posting, but others because they became more diplomatic and mostly because I prefer give-and-take conversations on the whole. My approach is to address people the way they address me--usually a little nicer and more patiently than they address me--until they prove that they're intent on being donkies. But as many, many people (apparently on many, many message boards) have noted, you just like to start crap with people, so you never run out of snappy responses to your statements. You do seem to take it a lot harder than you think other people should take your statements, too.See, David. I don't see it like that. Neither do some of the people that have watched your posts for a period of time. But I'm not going to devote posts to discussing your personality because of it. Certainly not whole posts, the way you do. The only reason you're on my radar now is actually because of a quite different "hot button" than discussing internal strength issues. And I've mentioned it before several times (numerous times, actually). When someone publicly posts that they're a teacher, we can play some silly game of "hey, give that guy respect because he's a teacher" or we can just assume that a guy claiming to be a teacher should know certain basics or they're fair game for getting called on it in public. That's the category you fit into. Nothing personal.

Back to the issues.

If you understood the basics, you would, IMO, easily concede that there is no real issue in talking about who refined what aspects of various internal strength components, since the "refinements" take place both between countries and within styles in the same countries. It's just a thing that happens... not something that separates China from Japan. It's a non-issue.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

SeiserL
07-05-2007, 04:35 PM
I guess my point is David is wrong when he says Mike, Rob and I haven't made any attempt at describing things. Yes I tell people they don't get it. But there are ways to tell folks they don't get it, while being civil and respectful. If you want to. It's a difficult position to be in, because we are right. Period.
Osu,

I, for one, don't partcipate in this thread because I don't conceptualize this way and know I don't know.

However, I do read and appreciate the description (not always the dialogue) and get curious about what I don't know and don't get, yet.

IMHO, the finer points are hard enough to get a glimpse of in training and are impossible to describe in words. Yet, the inadequate words get me interested in the new directions.

For even attempting it, my deepest appreciate to all.

Rei, Domo.

David Orange
07-05-2007, 04:55 PM
...When someone publicly posts that they're a teacher, we can play some silly game of "hey, give that guy respect because he's a teacher" or we can just assume that a guy claiming to be a teacher should know certain basics or they're fair game for getting called on it in public. That's the category you fit into. Nothing personal.

No probelemo. I don't mind at all being "called on" something, but you invariably do include a personal attack when you do it. And I invariably respond in kind.

If you understood the basics, you would, IMO, easily concede that there is no real issue in talking about who refined what aspects of various internal strength components, since the "refinements" take place both between countries and within styles in the same countries. It's just a thing that happens... not something that separates China from Japan. It's a non-issue.

First, that's your opinion and the forums are for exchanging opinions--not trying to blister others who have different opinions.

Second, it's less cut-and-dried than you'd like to make it. I've said many times that the CMA and JMA are both very similar and very different. I wouldn't try to call you on tai chi (much) and you're not really qualified to comment very much on aikido.

Third, the nature of "discussion" is to explore the fine distinctions between such matters as 'core skill' and 'technique', Chinese and Japanese, etc. I wouldn't mind reading tons of your thoughts on "how" to generate and employ jin. But you "call out" pretty much everyone who comments, including Dan, who seems to know tremendously more about the Japanese side than you.

Regardless of what you think you know or what you think you know about me or what I know, I was uchi deshi to one of Morihei Ueshiba's earliest uchi deshi. I was there over four years, actually lived in the dojo almost two years and got on the mat with people from all over the earth who came to find a tough aikido dojo. Mochizuki Sensei not only liked me, but he told me that I pretty well understood aikido and he told me that he wanted me to always teach his budo. Which, since I taught it in Japan, is only reasonable. If you don't like that, it's too bad.

You love to drop Chen Xiao Wang's name and tell us what he said to and about you. That's nice. Don't criticize me for doing the same with my teacher, and, moreover, for describing what I do in my own way. If you think it shows a lack of understanding, maybe you need to read into it as much as you read into Shioda's comments or Tohei's. Their descriptions are very simple and I've yet to see one that really "says" what you make it out to say. Their descriptions are closer to mine than to yours, which are closer to Chen's than to Shioda's or Tohei's.

Best to you.

David

Mike Sigman
07-05-2007, 05:43 PM
No probelemo. I don't mind at all being "called on" something, but you invariably do include a personal attack when you do it. And I invariably respond in kind. I disagree. I think your reactions are more because you've got some sort of pride about what you think you are and who you are and you want some sort of acknowledgement of that position. My position is bluntly discussing a key point in martial arts, particularly in Aikido, and you're upset that your version of the rules aren't being followed. So much so, that post after post you continue this "personal issues" crap. Or you use it to cover what you don't know. See if you can discuss actual facts... much like in the discussion of the useless "ura of kiai" that you seem to have quickly dropped (describe it physically, if that isn't the case). First, that's your opinion and the forums are for exchanging opinions--not trying to blister others who have different opinions.

Second, it's less cut-and-dried than you'd like to make it. I've said many times that the CMA and JMA are both very similar and very different. I wouldn't try to call you on tai chi (much) and you're not really qualified to comment very much on aikido. I'm easily qualified to comment on Aikido, David, despite any comments trying to say that I'm not. And if you feel it's germane, please feel free to drag Taiji into the discussion, since the basic principles are going to be the same. Logically, though, if you don't really understand the basics of Aikido... which a number of us have stated... then you cannot understand the logic of Taiji. So your statement is groundless. Instead of making your arguments on assertions and then complaining that you're being picked on when someone calls you on them, please try to win your arguments with well-founded and demonstrable facts. All of us have stepped up to the pump for public "give it a try" stuff and all you've done is some focused personality attack while pumping up the air in your own tires. Defeat my argument with cold fact, if you can.
Third, the nature of "discussion" is to explore the fine distinctions between such matters as 'core skill' and 'technique', Chinese and Japanese, etc. I wouldn't mind reading tons of your thoughts on "how" to generate and employ jin. But you "call out" pretty much everyone who comments, including Dan, who seems to know tremendously more about the Japanese side than you. "Call out"???? When I ask someone for specifics and they (like you) never give them, that's "call out"? Bullshit. You tried to talk knowledgeably about "reeling silk" and so did Chris.... I asked for facts/logic or I gave facts/logic. Your idea of "call out" is more like "not giving face". I give face not by playing some silly role-game of pretending that someone has a mystical rank in the Masons or Aikido, but by treating them as an equal in the discussions and asking blunt questions. You and a few others think that we should all be playing the Masonic Lodge version of Aikido and anyone who doesn't is "calling you out". What absolute hogwash. Regardless of what you think you know or what you think you know about me or what I know, I was uchi deshi to one of Morihei Ueshiba's earliest uchi deshi. I was there over four years, actually lived in the dojo almost two years and got on the mat with people from all over the earth who came to find a tough aikido dojo. Mochizuki Sensei not only liked me, but he told me that I pretty well understood aikido and he told me that he wanted me to always teach his budo. Which, since I taught it in Japan, is only reasonable. If you don't like that, it's too bad. And the reason you don't know this stuff is why? What you seem to miss is that any good teacher, whether Ueshiba or Yang Cheng Fu or Chen Fa Ke or whoever, has thousands of students who lean their reputation against the big name...... yet each teacher in reality only has a few really good students. The fact that you keep leaning your own reputation against some sort of nice and diplomatic remark your teacher made... instead of arguing facts... points out the whole problem. Try discussing facts instead of regaling us with Mochizuke Anecdotes from the Heart of Alabama. Please.
You love to drop Chen Xiao Wang's name and tell us what he said to and about you. That's nice. Don't criticize me for doing the same with my teacher, and, moreover, for describing what I do in my own way. If you think it shows a lack of understanding, maybe you need to read into it as much as you read into Shioda's comments or Tohei's. Their descriptions are very simple and I've yet to see one that really "says" what you make it out to say. Their descriptions are closer to mine than to yours, which are closer to Chen's than to Shioda's or Tohei's.Er, subtract out where I've used CXW's name as a counter to a "source" you have claimed. That leaves "love to drop"..... show me a few recent examples of my using Chen Xiao Wang's name as gratuitous, like your own repetitive posts about Mochizuki. You know, you make these silly remarks and then when you're told that you're being petty, you say "aha, I was being attacked!". It gets absurd.

Er,..... by the way ... where are these facts I keep asking you for, post after post?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
07-05-2007, 05:56 PM
Quoted for truthiness,

Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart), Harvey (1950): "Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be' - she always called me Elwood - 'In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

Mike Sigman
07-05-2007, 06:44 PM
I rest my case. If anyone else thinks that Mike has proved me wrong here, please clue me in. I don't see it. Unless he'd like to split hairs between "stupid" and "dumb" (they are listed as synonyms however, so that would be a pretty thin case).

[next post]
Exactly why I brought up the definition for "imply". For what I said to have actually implied that Mochizuki was dumb, there could be no other reasonable explanation for the scenario that I presented. I do not feel that anyone could make that argument, there simply was not enough information available.

[next post]

Well, it seems to me he wasn't attacking your teacher, but you.

David
(grabbing the opening)
No, that's impossible, he doesn't do that sort of thing.
Tell us again, Chris.... what is it you study and who is your teacher that you're so worried about getting besmirched? Let me tell you something... I'm not the one damaging either your style or your teacher. Let me assure everyone of one fact.... if you argue simply the facts, right or wrong, you do well by yourself and whatever you do.

Whenever you argue someone else's personality, you always run the risk of having your own personality examined. OK, you asked for any disagreements with your misreading of a conditional statement.... you got it. At least a public one. Privately, I doubt you'd want to know. But enough of that.

Please do me a favor and answer at least ONE of the questions you've been asked to respond to and which you've ignored in favor of the personality stuff. Unless you have some compelling "koryu secrets" or unnamed teachers or you're safe in quoting vague compliments from Asian teacher you have met, no matter how briefly... how about doing a comment on how something is done or do an explicit and on-topic sequel-question on how something is done?

Best.

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
07-05-2007, 07:37 PM
So, several post dedicated to simple personality attack by David (and this goes back to the beginning on E-Budo with David initiating exactly the same crap) aren't worth mentioning, but "productive ways that Mike S." could do things better are worth an off-topic post and mention of my name again?

Mike Sigman

Mike:

The reference was to "Mike S.--or anyone " (italics and bold added). I was referring to your post (#1226 on this thread) wherein you picked up on a point that Dan had made by saying that it appeared he acknowledges the importance of stretch/extension (to engage the fascia) . . . but then you discussed how he'd changed his position from a year ago. It was at that point that I think we all would have benefited from hearing more exchange about the how-to or technical description of the internal work (say, on the connection between breathing and stretch/extension), rather than discussing possible changes in Dan's Internet position from a year ago. I was attempting to bring the discussion back on-topic (baseline skillset), but apparently didn't succeed.

David Orange didn't have anything to do with the point I was trying to make. I'm sorry if you are feeling under attack from Mr. Orange, but I'm doing my level best to steer clear of personal attacks on this thread. Why? Because you and Dan both have experience, skills and insight that I do not have, and civil dialogue is my best opportunity to perhaps glean a few pearls of training value.

However, I understand Dan's reluctance to engage in detailed written description of practices that have to be shown in person, then trained and vetted and refined over months and years of consistent training to get right. Few get it even training directly with a good teacher and diligent practice on their own. You've made your own considerable efforts to describe the conceptual basis for what you do and how you've been evolving over the years . . . but the real progress for people working with your ideas seems to come more from hands-on time at seminars or visits than from Internet descriptions.

In any event, no post of mine on this thread intended or should have suggested a personal attack on anyone.

cheers,

Tom

statisticool
07-05-2007, 07:44 PM
I looked for some of these people on video on youtube demonstrating their skills, all the people in the thread arguing, but couldn't find any of them.

Maybe they could and make their skills more clear to us.

HL1978
07-05-2007, 08:26 PM
Chris,

Can you explain how silk reeling or pulling is performed within your style?

Im not trying to be confrontational, but as I study JSA as well, and train at the aunkai, I would appreciate your perspective.

I do not practice tai chi, and my silk reeling experience is limited to a single seminar with CXW (where no one explained what we were supposed to be feeling or doing, rather CXW would have us do the motions and he would push on us and correct our shape), where I tried to apply what I learned at the aunkai to the motions shown. I would not characterize myself as understanding silk reeling to any extent.

With regards to japanese sword arts, I will say that what I do apply to iaido now has been influenced by the anukai, but do note, that some exteremely basic IMA concepts were taught by my original instructor (being aware of how the weight of the sword effects your body on cuts, draws etc, being aware of how to shift your bodyweight on cuts etc, how to "push" without the legs in the kata from tatehiza or seiza, opposing tensions within the body on the draw etc). Rob and I discussed this on a couple of occasions.

HL1978
07-05-2007, 08:28 PM
I looked for some of these people on video on youtube demonstrating their skills, all the people in the thread arguing, but couldn't find any of them.

Maybe they could and make their skills more clear to us.

I think you found at least one poster, Justin, unless someone else uses statisticool as a user id on youtube.

David Orange
07-05-2007, 09:10 PM
Quote:
David Orange wrote:
No probelemo. I don't mind at all being "called on" something, but you invariably do include a personal attack when you do it. And I invariably respond in kind.

Mike Sigman wrote:
I disagree. I think your reactions are more because you've got some sort of pride about what you think you are and who you are and you want some sort of acknowledgement of that position. My position is bluntly discussing a key point in martial arts, particularly in Aikido, and you're upset that your version of the rules aren't being followed.

Come off it, Mike. I don't have any real "position. I only state where I've been and what I've done for reference. I don't think that makes me a saint. But if the discussion were science and I had graduated from Oxford, I'd mention that. The real problem is that you initiate personal attacks and belittlement, dismissiveness and general disrespect on a personal level because you feel like people won't take you seriously unless you do. I actually find it rather cute. I was just watching The Office, where Dwight leads the junior salesman around on a goose chase in the guise of "training" him for sales. And you take that kind of attitude, as if you're the master salesman and no one else has made a sale. If you didn't act like that, you'd get a lot better responses from everyone.

...post after post you continue this "personal issues" crap.

Let's seee.....that's you continuing "this 'personal issues' crap," isn't it? Isn't that you, right there? Like I say, your own comments are invisible to you.

Or you use it to cover what you don't know.

Hahahaha!!! See? What is that comment but a personal attack? Look in the mirror, Mike Sigman.

See if you can discuss actual facts... much like in the discussion of the useless "ura of kiai" that you seem to have quickly dropped (describe it physically, if that isn't the case).

First, that, too, is a personal attack and belittlement. See? You do it and you're not even, apparently, conscious that you do it. Are you even conscious at all?

And saying that I "quickly dropped it"??? What does that mean? Because I don't repeat it in every post, I've suddenly dropped it? I've used that definition of aiki several times on this board, in various threads. How many times do I have to repeat it? It's a direct definition of kiai as stated by someone who was senior to both Shioda and Tohei.

And obviously, you aren't conscious that I did describe "ura of kiai" in physical terms several posts back, replying to Rob. Read the thread.

I'm easily qualified to comment on Aikido, David, despite any comments trying to say that I'm not. And if you feel it's germane, please feel free to drag Taiji into the discussion, since the basic principles are going to be the same. Logically, though, if you don't really understand the basics of Aikido... which a number of us have stated... then you cannot understand the logic of Taiji. So your statement is groundless. Instead of making your arguments on assertions and then complaining that you're being picked on when someone calls you on them, please try to win your arguments with well-founded and demonstrable facts. All of us have stepped up to the pump for public "give it a try" stuff and all you've done is some focused personality attack while pumping up the air in your own tires. Defeat my argument with cold fact, if you can.

Errr....just what in that diatribe was "an argument"?

I'm as qualified to orate on tai chi as you are on aikido, okay? Which is to say, I know only a little bit about it. I will accept that you know a lot about tai chi, but you really didn't much scratch the surface on aikido. Basically, your claim is that you can use tai chi principles to do "the techniques" of aikido. But I don't agree. And as for "complaining that you're being picked on," you do that more than anyone. You attack everyone, then squeal when someone gives it back to you. If I get valid criticism, I consider it. I get invalid criticism, I shrug it off. I get criticism from you, it's just wind.

You know that song, "You didn't know it. You didn't think it could be done. In the final end, he won the war after losing every battle." So let it blow, man. But better, have a good, realistic look at yourself.

"Call out"???? When I ask someone for specifics and they (like you) never give them, that's "call out"?

I meant "call them on it." You would call Tohei if you didn't know it was him. If Shioda posted some stuff straight out of his books, under the screen name "Aikighost" or "Lilaikidoman" or something, your replies would invariably begin, "Lilaikidoman, you don't have a clue. You clearly don't understand how aikido works."

I give face not by playing some silly role-game of pretending that someone has a mystical rank in the Masons or Aikido, but by treating them as an equal in the discussions and asking blunt questions. You and a few others think that we should all be playing the Masonic Lodge version of Aikido and anyone who doesn't is "calling you out". What absolute hogwash.

As I say, I meant "calling them on it," the phrase you used in the post I replied to. But the fact is, you don't treat anyone as an equal in the discussions. You don't show anyone basic respect, so you just don't get much in return.

Quote:
David Orange wrote:
....he told me that he wanted me to always teach his budo. Which, since I taught it in Japan, is only reasonable. If you don't like that, it's too bad.

Mike Sigman wrote:
And the reason you don't know this stuff is why?

Why, it's simply because Mike Sigman says I don't know it, never having met me, never having visited the old dojo in Japan, never having gotten his own black belt in aikido and needing to belittle me to raise his own esteeem. Hey, belittle on, big man. It will make you feel much bigger.

What you seem to miss is that any good teacher, whether Ueshiba or Yang Cheng Fu or Chen Fa Ke or whoever, has thousands of students who lean their reputation against the big name...... yet each teacher in reality only has a few really good students.

Yes. And Ueshiba was one of Takeda's top students. And Mochizuki was one of Ueshiba's top students. And I knew and trained extensively with all of Mochizuki's top students. I never said I was one of his top students. . . but whose top student were you?

The fact that you keep leaning your own reputation against some sort of nice and diplomatic remark your teacher made... instead of arguing facts...

It wasn't a diplomatic remark to me when he told me he wanted me to always teach his budo. It was a request he made to me. He called me down to teach for him at his dojo and he wanted me to continue teaching for him through my life. So make of that what you will, picking your nose while reading it.


Quote: David Orange wrote:
You love to drop Chen Xiao Wang's name and tell us what he said to and about you. That's nice. Don't criticize me for doing the same with my teacher, and, moreover, for describing what I do in my own way. If you think it shows a lack of understanding, maybe you need to read into it as much as you read into Shioda's comments or Tohei's. Their descriptions are very simple and I've yet to see one that really "says" what you make it out to say. Their descriptions are closer to mine than to yours, which are closer to Chen's than to Shioda's or Tohei's.

Mike Sigman wrote:
Er, subtract out where I've used CXW's name as a counter to a "source" you have claimed.

Right. You've claimed CXW told you you were the only Westerner who knew how to move for tai chi....you claimed Liang Shou Yu as "your teacher," and so on. And I don't mind your doing it. Just don't criticize me for doing what you, yourself, do.

Er,..... by the way ... where are these facts I keep asking you for, post after post?

Well, I don't know. What facts do you keep asking for?

I did say that JMA doesn't use silk reeling. You said it does. Then you said Aikido uses silk pulling. Then you said silk pulling is basically the same as silk reeling. Then you admitted that silk pulling is a less sophisticated and refined level of ki work.....

You mean facts like that?

The main fact is that you will say anything to prove yourself right and a lot of the time you're just hoping somene hasn't read your earlier remarks on the subject.

But to be fair, give me a list of what facts you want and I'll see what I can do.

David

ChrisMoses
07-05-2007, 09:20 PM
Chris,

Can you explain how silk reeling or pulling is performed within your style?

Im not trying to be confrontational, but as I study JSA as well, and train at the aunkai, I would appreciate your perspective.



Unfortunately, the kata in question are from our uchi no kata series and are not taught to outsiders (that includes our own students until they have reached shodan when they are considered members of the actual ryuha). I would clarify too that we don't refer to the movements as silk reeling or pulling and they are not taught as such. My offhand comment was merely to demonstrate a similarity, a complimentary relationship if you will, between the internal dynamics I have been studying *but do not claim to have mastered in any way* and the small Japanese ryuha that I belong to. I believe that many Japanese arts are taught as external systems where the internal dynamics are not taught outright, but rather a shell of external understanding is formed with the hope that internal understanding will eventually develop. This is opposed to the internal arts which not only have a whole lexicon for these internal dynamics and skills, but exercises that are specifically targeted to teach those skills. I think both styles of teaching aim for the same underlying truth, the main difference being the methodology.

I can comment on some general *basic* themes, and would be glad to go into more detail off-line. Many of our kata involve exaggerated twisting motions between the upper and lower halves of the body. These tiwsting movements do not however lead to circular movements like you would expect from aikido, but those internal twists are almost always released in very linear movements. An analogy (basic, simple minded, gross, naive, whatever...) to the simple kick that Ark and Rob have demonstrated where a torsion or potential torsion can be released outwards in a straight line. I'm sure Rob probably has better words for the phenomenon in question, and no I'm not saying I get it, and no I don't have it mastered and yes, I'm probably stating the phenomenon incorrectly (honestly, it gets very tiring to qualify everything you're trying to say with what you're NOT trying to say every time you try to say anything...) Another example would be the way we draw. At the end of the draw, it is considered very important that the right arm is completely straight, that the shoulders form a continuous line with the arm and that the left hand has pulled back far enough (saya biki) that it too is in alignment with the shoulder/arm line. The hips are forced square to the line of attack however and are not opened into a hanmi. If you do this correctly, you feel something very much like the cross (or more specifically the preparatory movement before shiko where one arm is folded at the elbow, but not at the expense of the stability of the cross). Again since the hips are square to the direction of movement ( _ ) and the arm/shoulders are at an angle ( / ) you are creating a good deal of tension in the lower spine. There are a number of early kata that perform the draw with the left leg forward which I believe serves to exaggerate this twist, as it's much easier to let the hips drift out with the right foot forward. It is considered very important that the leading (in this case left) leg is not open, but pointed straight ahead. I believe this serves a few purposes, but one is to develop this torsion/tension skill of the torso.

Hope I don't seem to be avoiding your question, there are some aspects that I'm at liberty to talk about and others I'm not, it can also get pretty difficult to describe these things without any visual clues. Feel free to PM/email me if you were interested in discussing this stuff any further. What kind of JSA do you study, I should probably know, but can't remember.

Mike Sigman
07-05-2007, 09:42 PM
And saying that I "quickly dropped it"??? What does that mean? Because I don't repeat it in every post, I've suddenly dropped it? I've used that definition of aiki several times on this board, in various threads. How many times do I have to repeat it? It's a direct definition of kiai as stated by someone who was senior to both Shioda and Tohei. What did O-Sensei say about kiai in Aikido, David? And obviously, you aren't conscious that I did describe "ura of kiai" in physical terms several posts back, replying to Rob. Read the thread. I did. I agree with Rob. You haven't said anything other than vagaries.I'm as qualified to orate on tai chi as you are on aikido, okay? Which is to say, I know only a little bit about it. I did Aikido 7-8 years. I only went to college for 5 years.... want to toss that off, too? A lot of Aikido with a number of fairly well-known teachers. I know what the concepts and principles are and I can physically do them. Could you even do something basic like receiving jin, cold jin, fajin, etc., in Taiji? If so, this would be a good time for you and I to discuss how these things are done since they cross-apply to Aikido and a number of other arts, albeit with different nomenclature. Want to start? You just made the assertion, so let's see you step up. Shall I start a new thread somewhere I will accept that you know a lot about tai chi, but you really didn't much scratch the surface on aikido. Basically, your claim is that you can use tai chi principles to do "the techniques" of aikido. But I don't agree. I know, David. Time and time again over the last couple of years you've gone in and out of this discussion where you know all this stuff and then you admit you don't know it and then you know it again... and when someone presses you for answers, it cycles again. Why don't you just go visit Dan and see what he can do.... and also show what you can do? And as for "complaining that you're being picked on," you do that more than anyone. You attack everyone, then squeal when someone gives it back to you. If I get valid criticism, I consider it. I get invalid criticism, I shrug it off. I get criticism from you, it's just wind. I'm not complaining about being 'picked on'.... source, please. I am complaining about the fact that you and a select few on this forum will keep any conversation/issue that blows your cover full of discussion about personality. I keep pointing out that you have not responded substantively to any questions in many posts now. I meant "call them on it." You would call Tohei if you didn't know it was him. If Shioda posted some stuff straight out of his books, under the screen name "Aikighost" or "Lilaikidoman" or something, your replies would invariably begin, "Lilaikidoman, you don't have a clue. You clearly don't understand how aikido works." Actually, I'd ask them regardless. If someone says, "Just relax and let the Ki of the Universe flow through you and it will work", OF COURSE I'd question it!!!! I'd say "how does that work". If they tap-danced and bullshitted about "secrets" I'd keep questioning them. If they started talking about my personality flaws because I didn't treat them with enough respect and because I was rude enough to demand factual answers, I'd hold it up to the world to "beware of this man... he's only posting to get himself known". That's the way I am. Why do you think you're suddenly seeing a number of shihans suddenly talk about this stuff (well or not to well) in public? It's because people are questioning. The uncomfortable people seem to be the people who don't really know, as a lot of people have noticed. As I say, I meant "calling them on it," the phrase you used in the post I replied to. But the fact is, you don't treat anyone as an equal in the discussions. You don't show anyone basic respect, so you just don't get much in return. Exactly. That's your real problem, right there. People don't give you and some others "enough respect". The answer is this: people gave "enough respect" for years and all that happened was the same hierarchy and BS ruled. And that's what you want, as do a number of people..... you want somehow to keep the status quo the same and not have anyone rudely questioning. It's a real conundrum and I mentioned several years ago that's exactly what would happen. It's interesting to see. Why, it's simply because Mike Sigman says I don't know it, never having met me, never having visited the old dojo in Japan, never having gotten his own black belt in aikido and needing to belittle me to raise his own esteeem. Hey, belittle on, big man. It will make you feel much bigger. And again... the reason you can't physically describe how to do these things is??? Right. You've claimed CXW told you you were the only Westerner who knew how to move for tai chi Give me a quote on that one. I've never said that.....you claimed Liang Shou Yu as "your teacher," Go back a few posts to where you said I never said who my teachers were, David. Other than just nit-picking and staying on personality, what's your point? BTW.... what's the date of when I mentioned Liang Shou Yu and how many times have I done it? When's the last time you mentioned Mochizuki as your teacher and how often to you refer back to it?But to be fair, give me a list of what facts you want and I'll see what I can do.Just tell us physically how aiki functions as the "ura of kiai". And BTW..... you might want to go back and look at that interview with Inaba Sensei I pointed to a few times. See what he has to say about what aiki is. Think of Ueshiba's manipulating the Sumo player and saying how he did it as "the secret of Aikido". See if you can reconcile your "ura of kiai" with a physical how-to. That should explain pretty well why you're on one page and everyone else is on another one.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
07-05-2007, 10:16 PM
I don't want to interupt this love fest. But to clear up a few points Mike was not referring to a year ago but a direct reply I gave him to one of his posts right here. It's all right here to read -just follow along. Not that it matters, since I haven't "changed my mind" about any of this.
Chris, no one will be "doing" silk reeling in a kata or two. It's a very hard, long process of changing the way you move. You wouldn't "do it" here or there in a kata. Nor would it be included as part of a kata here or there. Winding the body is as relevant as a golfer winding "his" body. I know and train with golfers that blow me away on the golf course. Ask them and they will talk all day about relaxed extension and winding :rolleyes: But they ain't gonna throw me any day soon. Because they aint' doin what I'm doin.

Lynn
For my part you are welcome. I try -But it isn't easy. You really have to touch and feel and then bang and try to roll. Somewhere along in there when you like what you see and feel you start to work on changing your body. Chances are you could walk out the door of the dojo and quit Aikido, train solo for three years of really intense work, walk back in and probably "do" Aikido better then most senior folks you will ever meet.
Its not unbeatable or any of that claptrap. But its better real time skill then anything most will ever see in such short time. And it just keeps getting better.

David Orange
07-05-2007, 10:59 PM
What did O-Sensei say about kiai in Aikido, David?

I'm not familiar with anything he said about it. Why don't you supply the quote? Unless it's one of the doka you translated. You know how tricky those translators can be...

I do know that he said that atemi is 90%, was it? But I'm not sure what all he might have said about kiai. Did he say that aikido is actually kiai, but he called it aikido because he lost his train of thought while writing and accidentally wrote aiki?

I did. I agree with Rob. You haven't said anything other than vagaries.

Too bad for you. That's why no one answers you. You won't accept any answer but in Sigmango. If you want to reject whatever I say, that's fine. It's no different from my rejecting your smug comments.:cool:

I did Aikido 7-8 years. I only went to college for 5 years.... want to toss that off, too?

We're even on college.

A lot of Aikido with a number of fairly well-known teachers.

That's called scratching the surface--7-8 years with a number of different teachers. When I left Japan, I had 20 years in "ONE" system, five years of that at the hombu with a judan. Does your tai chi even go that deep? Not that I want to lord it over you, but you put yourself out as the big expert teacher, qualified to judge and dismiss anyone, but you're really more like a jack of all trades.

I know what the concepts and principles are and I can physically do them. Could you even do something basic like receiving jin, cold jin, fajin, etc., in Taiji? If so, this would be a good time for you and I to discuss how these things are done since they cross-apply to Aikido and a number of other arts, albeit with different nomenclature. Want to start? You just made the assertion, so let's see you step up.

I'll assert that I know tai chi as well as you know aikido.

I know, David. Time and time again over the last couple of years you've gone in and out of this discussion where you know all this stuff and then you admit you don't know it and then you know it again... and when someone presses you for answers, it cycles again.

Again, Mike, that's "you" repeating yourself, pointlessly.

Why don't you just go visit Dan and see what he can do.... and also show what you can do?

Dan and I have been discussing a trip. He's scheduled up for the next several weeks, as am I. It won't be before October. I'm looking forward to it because Dan just doesn't get offended by a persistent discussion. He's told me I'm wrong and I haven't gotten offended by that because his approach is totally unlike yours. There is a term I've used before, kichigai, which applies to you but doesn't seem to apply at all to him. Kichigai means "altered ki" or "unnatural ki," and basically refers to someone whose mind is unnatural...In martial arts terms it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with ki, but it can be developed by bad ki work. Whatever you're doing doesn't seem to affect your personality the same way his work affects him. Maybe it's because he's doing Japanese stuff and claims to be doing Japanese stuff, but you have this need to dominate the entire world of martial arts. It's too big even for a great master like yourself, though, so it's affected your personality.

I'm not complaining about being 'picked on'.... source, please. I am complaining about the fact that you and a select few on this forum will keep any conversation/issue that blows your cover full of discussion about personality.

Notice that never happens with Dan? Get a clue.

...If someone says, "Just relax and let the Ki of the Universe flow through you and it will work", OF COURSE I'd question it!!!!

But that's not really the problem, is it? Earlier, I describe meeting a student of tameshigiri who had trained under Toshishiro Obata, uchi deshi to Gozo Shioda in aikido and student of Taizaburo Nakamura in Toyama-ryu sword. We discussed sword-taking by an unarmed defender and I showed him a method we called te kubi otoshi. He said I was the only person other than Obata who had ever done that technique effectively on him.

Now, if I wanted to explain how that technique was done, why would it be wrong or insufficient for me to say, "as the attacker cuts, move up beside him and take the sword from his hands by appling pressure to the pulse side of his wrist."?

Should I say "Use the outer edge of the first knuckle of the index finger to apply the pressure"? Or do I have to describe it in Sigman-speak, explaining how the internal power of peng-jin makes him release the sword?

I'd say "how does that work". If they tap-danced and bullshitted about "secrets" I'd keep questioning them. If they started talking about my personality flaws because I didn't treat them with enough respect and because I was rude enough to demand factual answers, I'd hold it up to the world to "beware of this man... he's only posting to get himself known".

Which might be valid......unless your being "rude enough to demand factual answers" was actually expressed as, "BS! Why don't you admit that you don't know how that technique works? You obviously don't understand the first thing about it or you could explain it in concrete terms!"

THEN is when you'd get the personality comments, don'tcha think? That is how you get those comments, by the way. Who has said anything like that to Dan? I mean, other than you?

And my first sense of you from the early days, when I was quoting your claimed teacher, Liang Shou Yu, on matters of qi, was "This guy is just posting to get himself known." And I still think that. Selling tapes and seminars, yeah?

That's the way I am.

That's what I said.

The uncomfortable people seem to be the people who don't really know, as a lot of people have noticed. Exactly. That's your real problem, right there.

If I were uncomfortable, I just wouldn't post. As it is, I only post when I have some loose time. But I see you on here every day and night.

People don't give you and some others "enough respect". The answer is this: people gave "enough respect" for years and all that happened was the same hierarchy and BS ruled. And that's what you want, as do a number of people..... you want somehow to keep the status quo the same and not have anyone rudely questioning.

Status quo has never been my image anywhere I've gone. Ask around.

And again... the reason you can't physically describe how to do these things is???

I describe sword taking above and the technique I did on the swordsman. What's wrong with that description?

Give me a quote on that one. I've never said that.

That is the quote. At least, it's an accurate paraphrase. Who knows what thread that was on? But you said it and it stimulated several posts of comment. Don't say you didn't say it. Someone will link to it. Like I said, your own comments are invisible to you.

Go back a few posts to where you said I never said who my teachers were, David. Other than just nit-picking and staying on personality, what's your point? BTW.... what's the date of when I mentioned Liang Shou Yu and how many times have I done it?

You think I keep an index of all the stuff you say and when you say it? Isn't that part of your tactic, though? You say so much no one can keep up with all of it, then you demand to know the date you said it. You must make 60 posts a day to various boards and groups, don't you? No one with a serious occupation and a family could really keep up with that kichigai kind of verbal diarrhea.

Just tell us physically how aiki functions as the "ura of kiai".

Okay. What did I say before? "Blocking" a punch is "ura" of kiai but because it still conflicts with the strength of the punch, it's not "pure" ura and therefore doesn't rise to the level of aiki. Aiki goes to the real weakness, the void of strength, which, typically, but not exclusively, is "behind" the punch. Isn't that what I said. So you need it more physical than that? Okay, the way you do that is irimi, which is entering the rear of your attacking partner. That will get you out of danger not only in one-to-one encounters, but also when you're surrounded by multiple attackers. Of course, irimi is more than just entering the rear. It can become atemi, nage waza, sword-takng, etc.

How's that?

And BTW..... you might want to go back and look at that interview with Inaba Sensei I pointed to a few times. See what he has to say about what aiki is.

Again, I know it amazes you that people don't index all your posts and read them on their knees before bed, but if you want to make a reference like that, you need to supply the link. I read the interview but I don't recall anything specific he said about aiki. Of course, my source was far his senior....as well as senior to Shioda and Tohei....

Think of Ueshiba's manipulating the Sumo player and saying how he did it as "the secret of Aikido". See if you can reconcile your "ura of kiai" with a physical how-to. That should explain pretty well why you're on one page and everyone else is on another one.

Well, if I'm on the same page as Mochizuki Sensei, you can keep your page.

I think, from Tenryu's description, Ueshiba did aiki age on him. You say that the "secret" was that he was immoveable. I say that the secret is in aiki age, which saps the strength with which the opponent would move you. Making him weak is the same as making yourself strong. You like to appear to make others weak, but it doesn't really affect the truth.

David

DH
07-05-2007, 11:29 PM
I think, from Tenryu's description, Ueshiba did aiki age on him. You say that the "secret" was that he was immoveable. I say that the secret is in aiki age, which saps the strength with which the opponent would move you. Making him weak is the same as making yourself strong. You like to appear to make others weak, but it doesn't really affect the truth.

David

Hi David
Actually Ueshiba did quite a bit of having folks pushing him now didn't he?
Pushing his head, waist, chest and knees etc etc. As for immovability what you fail to get is why that is such a profound step, David. And AIki age is a huge mistake to bring up bud. Aiki age IS peng jin. And its tough to say "sap your energy" to me. Do you know "Why" its "saps your energy? Thats a bad terminology but I'll use it for the argument.
More fun is anti-aiki. Not playing the Japanese game and stopping or stalling the possibility of it being used on you. These are not strategies or tactics they are body conditioning and rewiring. Some of which you then don't have to think about in use , others you choose to use.
And immovability is the source for all the other things that are highly mobile and retain the essence of the immovability in -your own- heightened and faster ...mobility. The central pivot is patently useless without the essence of immovability. And all the later fun stuff still starts with that building block. There are means and methods to putting this stuff together. Like most things you need to get 1.. before 2... then 3... and so on.
Other than insulting Mike I don't get what you mean by unnatural though. This stuff -is- unnatural in every way. And the hardest thing -which most new guys who have met us will tell you -is that the mind gives out before the body.

See ya this fall

Upyu
07-05-2007, 11:35 PM
<snip>

I can comment on some general *basic* themes, and would be glad to go into more detail off-line. Many of our kata involve exaggerated twisting motions between the upper and lower halves of the body. These tiwsting movements do not however lead to circular movements like you would expect from aikido, but those internal twists are almost always released in very linear movements. An analogy (basic, simple minded, gross, naive, whatever...) to the simple kick that Ark and Rob have demonstrated where a torsion or potential torsion can be released outwards in a straight line.
<snip>


Ok, just to clear up some stuff, that torison that Ark and I were talking about was "torque" in the body. Its the thing that Dan described where you torque the two centers against each other creating an internal tension which you can direct.

It isn't silk reeling, as far as I know, just another method of internal manipulation. In a sense it's a "quick n dirty" way to generate internal tension. There is a "spiral" nature to it that eventually gets refined, but I do believe its fundamentally different from what Mike has been talking about since it isn't necessarily sourced from the lower dantien.

Upyu
07-05-2007, 11:49 PM
Kichigai means "altered ki" or "unnatural ki," and basically refers to someone whose mind is unnatural...
Actually...it just means "crazy," and its a "housoukinsiyougo" ie, you're not allowed to use it on public television or radio.

Most japanese people dont pay attention to the meanings of "ki" in words. ^^;


How's that?

It's still vague David and still not talking about the Baseline skillsets that are the topic of this thread.

Dude, the only reason why Mike, despite his assholishness towards others gets respect from some because he has the skills and has demonstrated them...
I've felt it, Jim has felt it, George Ledyard made a post about it and no one came away saying "actually you were full of "#$#t "

Also, I seem to remember originally when I came onto this board, I had no idea who Mike Sigman was. But the concepts he put out to me clicked immediately and I was able to describe what I was training and doing in my body to a certain degree.

Sure there was stuff that was nebulous (there's only a bit of basic stuff that can be covered verbally...and you havent even been able to cover that much) but there are certain key things you can place a safe bet on as to whether the person knows about certain things.
Final check has to be in person of course, but still, if you have these goods, you should be able to describe them in physical components, simply because there are physical movements "inside" your body that are NOT vague at all

Best to you ;)

Mike Sigman
07-05-2007, 11:51 PM
When I see posts getting longer and longer, I know from experience that someone is defensively picking the fly-specks out of pepper to maintain a defense. Pass. And when it gets to David Orange and his ole pal Dan Harden being the souls of non-offensive posting, I have to admit that I have probably been blind all this time. Heh.

But enough of that. So you've got this general description of a couple of "techniques" with no explanation of how they work in terms of the forces generated. I notice you try to make the request for a mechanical description some quirk that only Mike Sigman has, but let me assure you that many people work from those kinds of descriptions, David. And a lot of Asians do. If you can't really explain things, please don't try to make it somehow a failing on my part. Take your example, if that's the one you want to use, that's great.... and tell us *why* and how such a technique works physically.

Let me point back to the example of someone standing in a so-called "immoveable" stance, in a "relaxed" way, ground a steady push of limited magnitude. No matter what term they use to describe such a force-equilibrium situation, the analysis is going to force the descriptions into only one or two possibilities, all factors being equal. There are even a few different ways of approaching the analysis, but real-world physics is still going to rule. A Ki-Society guy may think he is "just relaxing", but we can hold him to details and ultimately he's going to have to acknowledge that there are some real and describable mechanics involved in what he does. He cannot "resist an incoming force" and not put his own forces into play, even if he thinks he's just relaxing.

Someone may "sap the attacker's strength" or they may "neutralize the opponent" or they may "aiki" the attack.... but if you rigorously follow the descriptions, you'll find that most of these things are just terminology differences, IF we're talking about the same actual forces in all the discussions. Notice how I avoid discussions, as an example, of "unbendable arm". I know from experience that too often people are not talking about the same forces setup, so I avoid discussing "unbendable arm" unless they want to be fairly detailed in the exact forces. You see why. So asking for detailed force information is not some sneaky Mike Sigman trick.... it's what anyone with any sense would ask for.

Granted, someone could counter with "some of these things must be shown and felt to be understood". I agree with that in relation to establishing a baseline understanding for communication, generally, but notice that Rob, Dan, Tohei, Shioda, Inaba, and many others make complete sense to me with their descriptions (and vice versa in many cases, without doubt) .... if you know how to do it, the communication isn't that difficult. And people learn through communicating; that's the whole point.

Last time I'll ask. See if you can give a physical, factual description to support the physical examples I named like Ueshiba/SumoPractitioner or your wrist example... and try to reconcile your "ura of kiai" with practical mechanics. Here's your chance.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
07-05-2007, 11:53 PM
Hi rob
I also could say that -that-twisting I was referring to just now isn't a local core thing at all. It's the limbs and center, dantien if you will, working as a taught unit. It gives winding a whole different feel. Its worth noting facial sheets surrounding the dantien and the organs then on to the lungs spiralling out and up and down. Its interesting to have a greco roman guy or a judoka trying to work your upper body and you being able to draw-down and weight them without moving. All done with fascia. Having that continual non-slack non opening (covered in all directions) feel that makes very fast change ups and hits or shoves or the rapid quick reversal or "shake" of Daito ryu possible..

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 12:01 AM
More fun is anti-aiki. Not playing the Japanese game and stopping or stalling the possibility of it being used on you. These are not strategies or tactics they are body conditioning and rewiring. Some of which you then don't have to think about in use , others you choose to use.
And immovability is the source for all the other things that are highly mobile and retain the essence of the immovability in -your own- heightened and faster ...mobility. The central pivot is patently useless without the essence of immovability. And all the later fun stuff still starts with that building block. There are means and methods to putting this stuff together. Like most things you need to get 1.. before 2... then 3... and so on.Hi Dan:

OK... it's a coincidence that we both used "sap your energy" (I said "sap the opponent's strength" but it's the same thing). But why does the opponent feel like his strength has been sapped? He pushes, but it goes nowhere and he can't apply any more strength it seems. What happens? (Incidentally, I already answered that question in a previous post, so I'm not just being rhetorical). Those are the kinds of details that will help beginners IF people are really interested in helping beginners and not just in grandstanding.

This idea of "secrets" that people are sworn to uphold, yada, yada, yada, is interesting to me, but frankly in this sort of "Baseline Skillset" discussion, I'm curious why such basic concepts are treated like some deep, dark koryu/masonic-lodge technology.

Your second-paragraph in the quote above is spot-on. That's where everything starts. Right there.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 12:10 AM
Its interesting to have a greco roman guy or a judoka trying to work your upper body and you being able to draw-down and weight them without moving. All done with fascia. Well, just to play the Devil's Advocate.... is that really true? "It's all done with fascia"? How about a simple example of trying to lift someone's arms who has ki/kokyu skills and it's very difficult (it's never "impossible") to raise them... is that just fascia?

Regards,

Mike

DH
07-06-2007, 12:17 AM
Hi Dan:
This idea of "secrets" that people are sworn to uphold, yada, yada, yada, is interesting to me, but frankly in this sort of "Baseline Skillset" discussion, I'm curious why such basic concepts are treated like some deep, dark koryu/masonic-lodge technology.

Your second-paragraph in the quote above is spot-on. That's where everything starts. Right there.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I help beginners in person, not on the net.
I know the idea of Koryu must bother you because you are so sarcastic about it. Its as simple as your word. I presume that most guys are fairly honest. In some schools you have to pledge to not discuss the schools "goods" in public. So you're really a scum bag if you break your word. At least to me they would be. Other schools don't require an oath but you know they don't like things being taught openly. Its a relationship thing. There is a host of men in Japanese Koryu who take umbrage to your insulting those ideals and models. I think I understand where you're coming from, But I understand a koryu relationship as well and I respect it.

Why would you knowingly choose to use a word like grandstanding? Why...throw that out there? There are actually very few people reading these forums, and the majority of them really don't give a crap about this stuff. So who is grandstanding to whom. I think its "tempest in a tea cup" all the way, and I frequently feel the fool for even caring to write in. Grandstanding is certainly an interesting word that denotes importance. I feel no sense of importance nor even positive affirmation here. So other than a hobbyist interest..... I feel disinterest both to and from the community, never mind - approval. Yet I try to remain as respectful as I can manage and write if I care to do so.

Upyu
07-06-2007, 12:42 AM
Hi rob
I also could say that -that-twisting I was referring to just now isn't a local core thing at all. It's the limbs and center, dantien if you will, working as a taught unit. It gives winding a whole different feel. Its worth noting facial sheets surrounding the dantien and the organs then on to the lungs spiralling out and up and down. Its interesting to have a greco roman guy or a judoka trying to work your upper body and you being able to draw-down and weight them without moving. All done with fascia. Having that continual non-slack non opening (covered in all directions) feel that makes very fast change ups and hits or shoves or the rapid quick reversal or "shake" of Daito ryu possible..

Well I was talking more about the IMA "101" stage as well, just to be clear.
But even at that stage you can have some results in that context providing you have a connected body.

I agree with you on the more overall connection, being more important which I'm finally getting myself.
Its a continual process of "well I think it's like that" and 6 months down the road going "uhh...wow that was such an amateurish take on it"
The Aun statue I posted before from Kofuku temple is a pretty good example of the windings I *think* you're talking about.

DH
07-06-2007, 12:47 AM
Hi Dan:

OK... it's a coincidence that we both used "sap your energy" (I said "sap the opponent's strength" but it's the same thing).
Regards,

Mike Sigman

Uhm...no coincidence as my post #1266 was quoting David's post #1265 which referred to "sapping the opponent's energy"
Does it really matter that -you- chose to use the same term as me quoting David? What's up with that? I'm not keeping score or trying to arrive at a concensses here. We don't get along, and everybody else hates us both...er...yeah us!

gdandscompserv
07-06-2007, 07:47 AM
Now, now, what's with the hate talk.:D
I think Thomas and I are tracking fairly close on this; we read this thread to learn and we're all ears! So, my question is; are you here to teach us or to taunt us?

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 07:50 AM
Uhm...no coincidence as my post #1266 was quoting David's post #1265 which referred to "sapping the opponent's energy"
Does it really matter that -you- chose to use the same term as me quoting David? What's up with that? I'm not keeping score or trying to arrive at a concensses here. We don't get along, and everybody else hates us both...er...yeah us!No, I just meant that "sapping the strength" would be a good baseline skill, now that we've both brought it up within a few posts of each other. The topic has been discussed a few times in the past and, as I noted (I wasn't even thinking about David's comment), I mentioned once how it was done, but it's not that big of a deal because it still uses the same basic skills you mentioned.

And it's done the same whether in Chinese or Japanese martial arts, too. My beef in the recent flurry was this idea that Chinese and Japanese arts are somehow "different".... not in basics, they're not. And if anyone wants to name an example of something really different in principle, I'd be happy to hear it.

There's a saying: "There are many jins; but there is only one jin". The basic neijin (which is called a number of other things) is the core jin from which all other jins derive, and they are only variations of that one jin. This is the same jin that is the core of the Japanese arts (assuming the person knows how to do this) and the Chinese arts (assuming again it's not just some external techniquey thing). How could it be otherwise? Does someone think that "Ki" is somehow some different animal than "qi"? ;)

FWIW

Mike

gdandscompserv
07-06-2007, 07:54 AM
All done with fascia.
Dan,
Would you be kind enough to explain "fascia" for me.
Please?
Thank You,
Ricky

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 08:14 AM
I know the idea of Koryu must bother you because you are so sarcastic about it. Its as simple as your word. I presume that most guys are fairly honest. In some schools you have to pledge to not discuss the schools "goods" in public. So you're really a scum bag if you break your word. At least to me they would be. Other schools don't require an oath but you know they don't like things being taught openly. Its a relationship thing. There is a host of men in Japanese Koryu who take umbrage to your insulting those ideals and models. I think I understand where you're coming from, But I understand a koryu relationship as well and I respect it. Fair enough, but look at it from my side, too. There are "Koryu" guys doing a lot of role-playing and you need to look at them as reason why the term "koryu" doesn't mean much to me.

Also look at the number of "koryu" guys who have posted on this and other forums who have all these "secrets", yet who obviously are clueless about basic ki/kokyu skills.... are they worthy of respect for only knowing part of the game, yet acting very lordlike in their "koryu" mantle?

You state that a lot of your skills come from your own research and experimentation. Fine. Good for you. But why didn't you get them from the "Koryu" whose secrets you make such a big deal of. Does that make me want to respect what's in Koryu? Think about it. I'm a true "outsider" and ritual relationships, particularly when they appear more assumed (the Masonic Lodge jape I made is pretty accurate about the way I feel) and they're inconsistent from group to group... seem like a waste of time to me.

And of course, people who are enthralled by being in a "group" with certain rituals, required protocols, pecking-order, etc., are disturbed by someone not adhering the rituals, etc. I mentioned that as a problem 3 years ago. If you think about it, the source of conflict is all the ritual stuff. When guys break down and visit people and start picking up skills, the first thing you'll notice is that in a *real* aura of friendship, everyone drops the ritual and protocol things. Do I think all the "Koryu" stuff is productive? No. And I'm not denigrating it nor do I have particularly strong feelings about it; I just don't see that it's very important. No offense meant. [/QUOTE] ;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
07-06-2007, 08:51 AM
Dan,
Would you be kind enough to explain "fascia" for me.
Please?
Thank You,
Ricky
From a budo perspective I mean.
And how you train/condition it.

David Orange
07-06-2007, 09:00 AM
Actually Ueshiba did quite a bit of having folks pushing him now didn't he?

That is true, Dan. And a friend of mine, whose wife is Japanese, recently described meeting her uncle, an aikido teacher, who can sit on his butt, raise both feet in the air and you still can't push him. That's pretty incredible, but this guy personally tried to move him and he couldn't.

As for immovability what you fail to get is why that is such a profound step, David.

No, obviously, if you can do that and you can move at will, it's no joke.

And AIki age is a huge mistake to bring up bud. Aiki age IS peng jin. And its tough to say "sap your energy" to me. Do you know "Why" its "saps your energy? Thats a bad terminology but I'll use it for the argument.

If aiki age is peng jin, I must have peng jin because I could do it to some pretty hefty people and Sensei (I can hear Mike passing blood at this moment) told everyone there, concerning me, "That guy is good at this!"

As to why it saps your energy, I understand it as a combination of firm posture and technique. When he grabs you, he's pressing you down: the next instant, he's hanging off the thing he was pressing down. With a firm posture (I never called it peng jin, nor did Sensei) and good timing, that would screw up the effort of some pretty big guys.

More fun is anti-aiki. Not playing the Japanese game and stopping or stalling the possibility of it being used on you. These are not strategies or tactics they are body conditioning and rewiring. Some of which you then don't have to think about in use , others you choose to use.

Well, as I've said before, we had a lot of resistant randori, so I was used to advanced people stopping my technique, which you don't ordinarily see much in mainstream aikido, from my experience. And I could stop the technique of most people I worked with, if that was what I was trying to do....

Of course, I never thought about just trying to stand still and be immoveable. So I really have no clue how you would do that. And you are correct. I shouldn't say that no one has really provided any clue about...."what you're doing..." (why is it still so hard to put a name on it, though?). I appreciate your efforts and your attitude quite a lot.

And immovability is the source for all the other things that are highly mobile and retain the essence of the immovability in -your own- heightened and faster ...mobility. The central pivot is patently useless without the essence of immovability. And all the later fun stuff still starts with that building block. There are means and methods to putting this stuff together. Like most things you need to get 1.. before 2... then 3... and so on.

I'm looking forward to feeling what you do. I don't doubt you. But no one I ever trained with ever did it.

Actually, when I first started training, 1974-75, they were doing an exercise called tai atari, where the attacker would rush at the defender with both arms extended, like rushing at a door to shove it open. The defender would stand in place. The attacker would hit (atari) the defender's body (tai) in the upper/outer chest area with both arms outstretched and with the power of his whole body. The defender wouldn't "move" but did sort of shrug off the hit....

Of course, in those days, they were doing a whole different set of tai sabaki and the curriculum included no judo, karate or sword. They went to a less complicated tai sabaki and dropped the tai atari from the training around the same time.

Once in Japan, I was doing some of the old style tai sabaki and Sensei saw me and asked what I was doing. I told him this was what I had originally learned in yoseikan aikido. He just said, "Don't do that stuff." He seemed to think it was unnnecessary. It was a lot more complex than what he was teaching then.

Other than insulting Mike I don't get what you mean by unnatural though. This stuff -is- unnatural in every way. And the hardest thing -which most new guys who have met us will tell you -is that the mind gives out before the body.

Well, we have to remain human and that's the essence of what I mean by unnatural in the sense of kichigai. It really means "crazy".

And "the mind giving out first" is part of that. There is a way that the mind gives out that we have to overcome. But there is a point of the mind "giving out" that should not be crossed. In the first case, you toughen your mind and discipline yourself. In the second case, you go crazy. Obviously, going crazy is not to the benefit of oneself or one's family. But even then, it might be necessary for a given individual to go beyond all bounds in order to get through that, back to real nature.

Zen devotees may go through that: "First a mountain was a mountain and the sky was sky....then the mountain was not just a mountain...the sky was not just sky. After enlightenment, the mountain was a mountain and the sky was sky."

"My miracle? I cut wood and carry water."

So there is a kind of unnaturalness that supports nature and a kind of unnaturalness that destroys nature. You can go a long time with the second kind of unnaturalness, but eventually, it leads to ruin.

Is what I was saying.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
07-06-2007, 09:14 AM
Actually...it just means "crazy," and its a "housoukinsiyougo" ie, you're not allowed to use it on public television or radio.

I didn't know it wasn't allowed on air. Makes a bit of sense, though.

Most japanese people dont pay attention to the meanings of "ki" in words. ^^;

Not a lot, but it's there and it's important to know why it's there. You can't understand western culture if you don't undertand that holiday comes from holy day, but we just had July 4 and it's a holiday even though it isn't a holy day.

Still, when the Japanese say someone is kichigai, they know what that means and it means what they say. Kimochi, kibun, kigen, all refer directly to ki as in feelings. Do they "mean" ki as in a mystical, mighty force of nature? No, they just mean feelings. But that's a big part of what ki is to the Japanese. And that's a big part of what it means in aiki and kiai.

It's still vague David and still not talking about the Baseline skillsets that are the topic of this thread.

I know it's vague. There's a reason I posted it as that.

Dude, the only reason why Mike, despite his assholishness towards others gets respect from some because he has the skills and has demonstrated them...
I've felt it, Jim has felt it, George Ledyard made a post about it and no one came away saying "actually you were full of "#$#t "

I knew a really kichigai fellow whom we called Burly Sam. No one disrespected Burly Sam because when he cut loose, you'd better not be around. I suppose if you can deflect a bokken, you can deflect a pool cue. But Sam would throw the pool balls at you: and not one, but ten or twelve in a matter of three or four seconds. In that sense, he was close to something Mochizuki Sensei told me. Fortunately for the world, he didn't have the discipline to make that a truly sustaining way of life. Last time I saw him, he was pretty broken down--though he was lashing a dagger to the end of a stick, which he intended to whirl around his head on a thong.....

Also, I seem to remember originally when I came onto this board, I had no idea who Mike Sigman was. But the concepts he put out to me clicked immediately and I was able to describe what I was training and doing in my body to a certain degree.

I could see that he had a grasp of some principles of CMA, though he disputed direct quotes from Liang Shou Yu, whom he later claimed as a teacher. But even that skill doesn't entitle him to bull over everyone he comes into contact with. He could make most of his points without being...so....what was that word you used????

Final check has to be in person of course, but still, if you have these goods, you should be able to describe them in physical components, simply because there are physical movements "inside" your body that are NOT vague at all

But even if someone makes vague descriptions, it doesn't mean that they don't understand--or even if they don't even think about what they're doing internally past a very basic level. Which is why I posted the particular comments I did. We'll go back to that in a post or two.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
07-06-2007, 09:16 AM
When I see posts getting longer and longer, I know from experience that someone is defensively picking the fly-specks out of pepper to maintain a defense.

Yes, Mike. I noticed that your last post was a lot longer than usual.

I'll be back.

David

David Orange
07-06-2007, 09:31 AM
So you've got this general description of a couple of "techniques" with no explanation of how they work in terms of the forces generated. I notice you try to make the request for a mechanical description some quirk that only Mike Sigman has, but let me assure you that many people work from those kinds of descriptions, David. And a lot of Asians do.

But why isn't that good enough for you, Mike? Isn't that what you do for that technique? That's how I applied it to the swordsman who visited and he responded. Isn't that response all I really care about? Who cares how I hold my tongue if the other guy jumps?

David

David Orange
07-06-2007, 09:36 AM
Notice how I avoid discussions, as an example, of "unbendable arm". I know from experience that too often people are not talking about the same forces setup, so I avoid discussing "unbendable arm" unless they want to be fairly detailed in the exact forces. You see why. So asking for detailed force information is not some sneaky Mike Sigman trick.... it's what anyone with any sense would ask for.

As far as unbendable arm, you simply "extend" the arm rather than "resisting" the bend. People apparently find it easier to "extend" the arm if they visualize ki flowing "forward" out their arm. At least Tohei felt that it was good to describe it that way. But the truth is, you just extend the arm.

Now you can get into all kinds of things about how the body maintains its balance while you do that, but we've seen an example of where someone got Tohei off balance in that very thing so I don't see a need to go there. As far as the "unbendable arm," it's just extension.

David

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 09:43 AM
As far as unbendable arm, you simply "extend" the arm rather than "resisting" the bend. People apparently find it easier to "extend" the arm if they visualize ki flowing "forward" out their arm. At least Tohei felt that it was good to describe it that way. But the truth is, you just extend the arm.

Now you can get into all kinds of things about how the body maintains its balance while you do that, but we've seen an example of where someone got Tohei off balance in that very thing so I don't see a need to go there. As far as the "unbendable arm," it's just extension.OK, I have a friend visiting at the moment and I just walked out in the living room and asked him to just extend his arm. Then I pushed down on it in the approved manner. His arm bent. I followed your directions, so I don't know what went wrong. You got any ideas why that description didn't work?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 09:51 AM
It isn't silk reeling, as far as I know, just another method of internal manipulation. In a sense it's a "quick n dirty" way to generate internal tension. There is a "spiral" nature to it that eventually gets refined, but I do believe its fundamentally different from what Mike has been talking about since it isn't necessarily sourced from the lower dantien.

I was not claiming that this was silk reeling, just throwing out some stuff to think about.

DH
07-06-2007, 09:56 AM
Fair enough, but look at it from my side, too. There are "Koryu" guys doing a lot of role-playing and you need to look at them as reason why the term "koryu" doesn't mean much to me.

Also look at the number of "koryu" guys who have posted on this and other forums who have all these "secrets", yet who obviously are clueless about basic ki/kokyu skills.... are they worthy of respect for only knowing part of the game, yet acting very lordlike in their "koryu" mantle?

You state that a lot of your skills come from your own research and experimentation. Fine. Good for you. But why didn't you get them from the "Koryu" whose secrets you make such a big deal of. Does that make me want to respect what's in Koryu? Think about it. I'm a true "outsider" and ritual relationships, particularly when they appear more assumed (the Masonic Lodge jape I made is pretty accurate about the way I feel) and they're inconsistent from group to group... seem like a waste of time to me.

And of course, people who are enthralled by being in a "group" with certain rituals, required protocols, pecking-order, etc., are disturbed by someone not adhering the rituals, etc. I mentioned that as a problem 3 years ago. If you think about it, the source of conflict is all the ritual stuff. When guys break down and visit people and start picking up skills, the first thing you'll notice is that in a *real* aura of friendship, everyone drops the ritual and protocol things. Do I think all the "Koryu" stuff is productive? No. And I'm not denigrating it nor do I have particularly strong feelings about it; I just don't see that it's very important. No offense meant.;)


Mike
I gotta work so I can't yak.
I understand all that, thanks. It confirms what I "thought" you thought. Koryu is many things but no one I have EVER met...ever..thought they were oh so cool or special or above everyone else for being in a koryu. Honestly Mike, I just haven't seen that attitude. If you notice most refuse to ever talk about it. I think sometimes that I can see you trying to break barriers to get information-If I'm wrong just tell me so. But the culture of a koryu just isn't condusive to someone thinking "they're all that." It wouldn't fit and they'd get set straight or set aside pretty fast.

David Orange
07-06-2007, 10:01 AM
OK, I have a friend visiting at the moment and I just walked out in the living room and asked him to just extend his arm. Then I pushed down on it in the approved manner. His arm bent. I followed your directions, so I don't know what went wrong. You got any ideas why that description didn't work?

Have him open his mouth when he does it and check very carefully for how he is holding his tongue. Also, make sure he's lifting one of his big toes.:yuck:

Seriously, I'd tell him to put more attention to really extending his arm, as if he's pushing against a wall behind your shoulder. That has worked for me against some humongous guys and that is the essence of what I do.

David

David Orange
07-06-2007, 10:07 AM
Koryu is many things but no one I have EVER met...ever..thought they were oh so cool or special or above everyone else for being in a koryu.

The closest I've come to koryu was that we did katoris shinto ryu in the yoseikan hombu in Shizuoka. That and Sugino Sensei used to come around, or we went to his place. And I did not see any weird attitudes there.

But I've run into some weird attitudes from people in almost every kind of organization here in the states. Rather than koryu, per se, I think it's organizations and rank that are the root of such attitudes.

Part of it is the secrecy, part not being allowed to give away the teacher's special teachings, but to me, most of it comes from people thinking they have the right to police other people and attack and harass them for what they say about the holy art their organization represents. Of course, you can get that with a one-man-band kind of organization, too.

Best to you.

David

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 10:19 AM
Chris, no one will be "doing" silk reeling in a kata or two. It's a very hard, long process of changing the way you move. You wouldn't "do it" here or there in a kata. Nor would it be included as part of a kata here or there.

I've already stated that my previous posts should be disregarded, I'm not trying to justify that my school 'does' silk reeling. I'm not making that claim. I have never equated simple winding motions with silk reeling, that was Mike's assumption of what I was doing. The examples I gave to Hunter were basic and general examples of places I have applied what I have gotten from the Aunkai (and other sources, yes like Andy Dale) to deepen my understanding of possibly why some things are done as they are in my ryuha. Isn't that the whole point of this baseline skillset stuff? Funny how the big premise seems to be, "You guys (meaning Aikidoka in particular) don't get what your art actually is or how to do it correctly, here this is what you're looking for!" That's awesome, thanks. But if that's the case, as people start to do this stuff more, it should be expected that that new knowledge is going to generate deeper understanding of what they have already been doing. This is exactly what I was talking about in the post where Mike decided that the only logical reason for this phenomenon was that my teacher's teacher was dumb. Is that the cost of agreeing with Mike? That as payment for some knowledge we must denigrate and insult those who have helped us come to where we have in our training? I don't accept those terms, and I don't think you're asking that of people either. But then, I'm not selling anything either and never have. My teachers pay dues and rent just like the rest of us, sometimes they wind up paying more because at the end of the month the bills have to be paid. I'm not on here to drum up students, or promote myself for seminars. And just to be clear, I don't think you are either Dan, it's completely obvious to me that you've been extremely generous with your time and attention. It sounds like your group works a lot like ours, a few guys from various backgrounds just trying to suck a little less every week. No big claims, no big demos, no patches, just a good amount of keiko, a lot of brutally honest feedback and liberal amounts of adult beverages to wash it all down. Check your ego at the door. The only people thrown out were those who either couldn't keep their ego in check or just didn't have the maturity yet to handle this kind of training environment.

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 10:19 AM
Mike
I gotta work so I can't yak.
I understand all that, thanks. It confirms what I "thought" you thought. Koryu is many things but no one I have EVER met...ever..thought they were oh so cool or special or above everyone else for being in a koryu. Honestly Mike, I just haven't seen that attitude. If you notice most refuse to ever talk about it. I think sometimes that I can see you trying to break barriers to get information-If I'm wrong just tell me so. But the culture of a koryu just isn't condusive to someone thinking "they're all that." It wouldn't fit and they'd get set straight or set aside pretty fast.Dan, if you've been on forums all these years and you've never heard the term "Koryu Snobs", I don't know what to say. Trust me, it's a common idea and far from unique to just me.

I can think of a number of "koryu" people who I have seen post on a number of forums. Frankly, if I sense there is useable information that is outside of what I already know, I will simply ask. I have seen no koryu guy post on any forum who appears to know much in the narrow but crucial field we're discussing. And I've looked, just as I look at all sources. The idea that I'm trying to beat down barriers to get at heightened role and ritual games is ludicrous. Trust me. There are indeed information sources that I query out of curiosity, but I haven't seen anything in a koryu along those lines.

Did you see the koryu guy on this forum that opined that ki was "intention" and not worth much thought? Would you be interersted in studying with him, after that comment? Have you read any of the currently available books by western koryu guys and seen what they have to say about these skills? There's nothing there about the core skills that makes the read worthwhile, unfortunately.

I've seen what you've posted and not posted and later posted, etc., over the last couple of years and I've noted your comments about how you've worked things out on your own, etc. Think about that for a second..... just knowing that the koryu is not where you're getting most of your information, do you think anyone would be encouraged to go into your "koryu"? If you yourself have had to go outside of it to get your information? Absolutely not.

I'm interested in hearing your perspective develop just as I'm interested in hearing everyone's descriptions in case they come up with a better way, but I couldn't care less about koryu stuff, as I said. It adds nothing to this field of information, in my opinion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 10:32 AM
I
Not a lot, but it's there and it's important to know why it's there. You can't understand western culture if you don't undertand that holiday comes from holy day, but we just had July 4 and it's a holiday even though it isn't a holy day.



Are you sure you're in the south? Last I heard BBQ was still a virtual sacrament down there (I'm from VA) and nothing says BBQ like the 4th of July. :cool:

(That was humor, trying to lighten the clouds around here...)

Adman
07-06-2007, 10:43 AM
Seriously, I'd tell him to put more attention to really extending his arm, as if he's pushing against a wall behind your shoulder.

Does that "extension" or "push" involve any actual muscular firing? I'm sure when people hear "extension" they might think to reach more physically (like straightening the arm). I'm assuming you mean to reach more mentally (so-to-speak), to the point that you really are reaching, without actually contracting any of the muscles? Or am I off base?

thanks,
Adam
(back to lurking)

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 10:54 AM
And of course, people who are enthralled by being in a "group" with certain rituals, required protocols, pecking-order, etc., are disturbed by someone not adhering the rituals, etc. I mentioned that as a problem 3 years ago. If you think about it, the source of conflict is all the ritual stuff. When guys break down and visit people and start picking up skills, the first thing you'll notice is that in a *real* aura of friendship, everyone drops the ritual and protocol things. Do I think all the "Koryu" stuff is productive? No. And I'm not denigrating it nor do I have particularly strong feelings about it; I just don't see that it's very important.


Well Mike, if you want to talk about how you can tell so much about what people actually know by what they post, you're making it pretty clear that you don't have much (if any) actual experience with any real koryu or traditional gendai budo ryuha. What you wrote there just doesn't describe the way *any* traditional or koryu ryuha that I have dealt with actually works. It sounds a lot like the fakers who like to talk up their histories, but that's not how it works in Japan or here. Koryu are like families not military units, there is a hierarchy of *respect* and trust but it is much more flexible than people who have not actually experienced that kind of relationship would realize. A lot of what is mistaken for tradition in modern Japanese arts and Karate actually came out of the militarization of the country between WWI and WWII.

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 11:13 AM
Well Mike, if you want to talk about how you can tell so much about what people actually know by what they post, you're making it pretty clear that you don't have much (if any) actual experience with any real koryu or traditional gendai budo ryuha. What you wrote there just doesn't describe the way *any* traditional or koryu ryuha that I have dealt with actually works. It sounds a lot like the fakers who like to talk up their histories, but that's not how it works in Japan or here. Koryu are like families not military units, there is a hierarchy of *respect* and trust but it is much more flexible than people who have not actually experienced that kind of relationship would realize. A lot of what is mistaken for tradition in modern Japanese arts and Karate actually came out of the militarization of the country between WWI and WWII.Er, that wasn't my point. My point was that I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had, so I simply haven't been interested.

In terms of "no one is like that", I'll repeat the same question I made to Dan.... you've never heard people talk about "koryu snobs"? I certainly have, and from numerous sources. I don't get involved, but I'm certainly aware from that comment that not all people agree with your down-home, friendly assessment of "koryu". But then, that parts a side issue that I have little interest in because my interest is generally not in what skills anyone has, it's more along the lines of how they do any variations (if they know some, which is rare, on the whole) and how they describe things. Martial techniques within koryu or any other martial art can be excellent and I'm aware of a lot of that stuff, but that's not really my interest.

My position is more that the qi and jin skills are held up as the *basis* of Asian martial arts and that's why you see the Yin-Yang, the A-Un, and all that in every Asian martial art of substance. I look for that. I run into a martial group, style, ryu, "koryu", etc., where the members have little knowledge of the qi/jin/ki/kokyu stuff, I know immediately that whatever "secrets" they have within the organizations are going to be hollow. So why spend my time there? The traditional sayings about "self-cultivation" override the study of technique. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 11:33 AM
Er, that wasn't my point. My point was that I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had, so I simply haven't been interested.



And again, you demonstrate a lack of understanding about the koryu. Where would you, an outsider, have an opportunity to experience and evaluate these skills? *Japanese arts hide things.*

Here's some logic for you:

You say, "qi and jin skills are held up as the *basis* of Asian martial arts." but you also say, "I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had..." How do you reconcile that? If "qi and jin" skills are the foundation which all "Asian" martial arts are based, why don't you think they exist (your premise, not mine) in the arts that form the basis for *Japanese* martial arts? Wouldn't that be a real difference between Chinese and Japanese arts? What evidence do you have besides your word that all Asian martial arts consider ki/qi and jin skills as their core skillset? You seem to be refuting your own assertion.

DH
07-06-2007, 11:36 AM
Thanks
I disagree with the snob comment-which I really think is a biased view from folks outside in. I know some of the top folks in the country, if not the planet and I see folks willing to share, open up their homes and lives, genuinely open attitude and most even hate to be called sensei!! Just can't see the point is all.
I agree with everything else. Including the martial skills vs body skills commentary. I think it makes your interest and obversely the lack of interest, clear.
Back to work.

Ellis Amdur
07-06-2007, 12:16 PM
It is very likely that several hundred years ago, these skills were quite prevalent, and varied considerably from ryu to ryu (with, I will agree and emphasize, the same core). One bit of evidence for this is that there are a number of stories of sword masters - with no major record of jujutsu training - who get in a beef with sumo wrestlers and dominate them. There are vague references in these stories to body skills, etc. An example would be an account in Lives of Master Swordsmen, regarding the founder of Hokushin Itto-ryu. I can think of almost no koryu practitioners today who would have any ability to stand against a medium level amateur sumo player.

It is very fair to say that these skills were almost completely lost by the end of the 19th century - otherwise, Takeda Sokaku would not have been regarded as unique and remarkable. (BTW - I believe I have traced where Takeda got these skills - I'll be releasing this info soon on Aikido Journal and then later in a book, Hidden in Plain Sight:cool: )
Evidence that the frame without the heart is still there is Akuzawa - in what he's "recovered" from Yagyu Shingan-ryu. I'd seen the top folks in most of the lines many times, and it was obvious that they just had motions, not the essence. I do not know if Akuzawa has actually recoved pure Yagyu Shingan-ryu essential training, or if he used the kata (shape) of their basic movements and "filled" them with discoveries of his own, an amalgam of all he's trained.
There are also a few schools which have extant bodyskills training - Kuroda Tetsuzan, for one. I can think of several others - and honestly, I would be breaking a promise to even mention the names of the ryu - without trust, the people in question would not have even told me anything about it. But I can think of a few schools that actively and dedicatedly train in solo breath work.
But most have totally lost it. Several generations ago. And it is unlikely that it could be recovered - at least as it was.
The whole secrecy issue - the dilemma is that if someone is taught something under a promise of secrecy, then one is a betrayer to reveal it - unless one has the authority to do what one wants with the tradition, being a lineal successor. A dilemma, nonetheless - because, there can also be a faux-secrecy, "clubbish" clique in many koryu, when they have little to nothing worth hiding. Having no fear of being tested, one rests on one's assumed laurels. Hence "koryu-snob" - which I've seen both in Japan - (a lot) and on the internet, as well as "koryu-wankers" (my term - I DO have a legacy!)
BTW - "Aiki as ura of kiai." This formulation is Mochizuki's - and further, kind of common in aikido circles. But it is not general, and is kind of a "throw-away" line, to attempt to distinguish "aiki" from kiai, a concern of aikido folks more than any others, and comes from a limited understanding of kiaijutsu.
Much more common in koryu is a more sophisticated and detailed delineation of kiai, using gogyo (five element theory), for example, with variations of yin/yang, etc., association of kiai with seasons, body parts, etc. See Jikishin Kage-ryu, for an example. Again, a lot of this info has been lost, but it is intimately related to the development of body skills - what is emphasized in kiai, as opposed to kokyu or ki cultivation is a simultaneous organization of one's own body and psychological effect on the opponent at a distance - as should be the emphasis is in weaponry.
Bottom line - most koryu are truly Kage-ryu - mere "shadows" of their former selves. Further, those few ryu that do still have that knowlege are usually quite protective of it - which is probably the reason it survived in the unique permutations of the basic skills that they developed. Further, a lot of ryu are running on fumes - claiming special status or skill based on what people used to know and be able to do - not what they can do.
My final evidence - it was my firm conviction that the two ryu which I am licensed to teach had no history of "bodyskills," in the manner that is being discussed on this forum. But as I am learning a little about these skills elsewhere, I am starting to see, inherent in some things I took for granted, that these skills might have "used to" have been there. It must have been a long time ago, however, as Sagawa Yukiyoshi, a menkyo in Araki-ryu, dismissed it because it didn't have, in his view, "aiki."

Best

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 12:21 PM
Here's some logic for you:

You say, "qi and jin skills are held up as the *basis* of Asian martial arts." but you also say, "I hadn't seen any refined knowledge of qi and jin skills in what little "koryu" exposure I've had..." How do you reconcile that? Think of it like this. I meet some guys who do "Lost Track" (hidden stuff) Taijiquan. I talk to them and see what they have to say. I touch hands maybe, if someone wants to do it. They didn't understand basic talk and when they meet someone who does know the basics they can't demonstrate the basics. But they have "secret forms" that they're forbidden to show. Do you think I'm interested in seeing the "secret forms" that produced these guys?

Qi and Jin skills are the basis of Asian arts, but that doesn't mean everyone that does Asian arts knows how to do them. Do you see the logic now of why the "koryu" (and a lot of other things) don't interest me much? If, on the other hand, I met of, heard of, talked to, whatever, some koryu guys (or other guys from some discipline) and they had some intriguing information *distinctly derived from their koryu studies*, I'd be interested and I'd be tolerant and more amenable, even if they were a bit of self-horn-blowers. ;) But I'd still question them. Most of my questions are not offensive to someone who can really walk the walk and who is really interested in pursuing the arts to the limits of knowledge.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 12:29 PM
I do not know if Akuzawa has actually recoved pure Yagyu Shingan-ryu essential training, or if he used the kata (shape) of their basic movements and "filled" them with discoveries of his own, an amalgam of all he's trained.
Great post, Ellis. My opinion, from personal observation (i.e., write it in pencil, not in pen) is that even within a small, but knowledgeable community, there is always some degree of adding and borrowing to the core knowledge, so if someone's "got it", the question of where they got it can become an interesting but not really resolveable discussion. Look at some of the better-known names in Aikido... some had it, some didn't, and many of them got their information from different sources and perspectives.... and the degree of "aiki", it's sophistication, etc., often varied considerably. One reason, IMO, why it's better to just encourage people to get what they can where they can and sort it out later. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 12:33 PM
Thanks
I disagree with the snob comment-which I really think is a biased view from folks outside in. I know some of the top folks in the country, if not the planet and I see folks willing to share, open up their homes and lives, genuinely open attitude and most even hate to be called sensei!! Just can't see the point is all. Don't get me wrong, Dan... I'm not saying that most people aren't nice guys, by any means. I'm just saying that koryu people aren't immune to human foibles anymore than the rest of us. But notice how you're defending koryu, etc., as somehow special and different, even as we speak. I understand it, it doesn't bother me in the least... but it's nothing but the information that interests me.

Best.

Mike

DH
07-06-2007, 12:53 PM
But notice how you're defending koryu, etc., as somehow special and different, even as we speak. I understand it, it doesn't bother me in the least... but it's nothing but the information that interests me.

Best.

Mike

Interesting. You said Koryu folks were snobs, I said no, they are not, They were nice, even warm people.
Now I am supposedly defending Koryu AND saying they are special?????
Sigh.:confused:
I have seen far more formality and snobishness in Aikido and Iai, then in Koryu, Judo, or jujutsu dojo.
I even coined a phrase.
In lue of substance you frequently find formality."
I dropped it because I started meeting some nice folks in Iai and Aikido.
But hands down the best atmoshperes I have seen were in judo, BJJ, and in Koryu.

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 01:11 PM
Thanks Ellis, that was a great post.

But as I am learning a little about these skills elsewhere, I am starting to see, inherent in some things I took for granted, that these skills might have "used to" have been there.

This is basically what I have been talking about in my posts that have caused Mike so much concern. I don't feel that it implies that your teachers were dumb, any more than it does mine. Dead horse? Perhaps.

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 01:19 PM
Sigh.:confused:
I have seen far more formality and snobishness in Aikido and Iai, then in Koryu, Judo, or jujutsu dojo. Like I said, Dan, I'm more interested in where the good info is and not so interested in the personality aspects. My comment was more along the lines of koryu not being much different than anything else. Others' comments on other forums (and this one) support the idea that "koryu" can often be used as a trendy label, so I'm done arguing the point.

What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
07-06-2007, 01:19 PM
But I think Ellis point is that he didn't know they were there and neither did his teacher. Again, you have to be shown how certain things work before others things start to make sense. Ellis can clarify but I think that's what he's saying. Its one of those "Aha!" moments. I had one five years after leaving a certain art. Sometimes you just arentl ready to hear or recieve things. I've said stuff to people over and over for 5 years.. only to have them look at me one dayt and say "Aha, I need to do this!" "Why didn't you just say so?"
I refrain from throwing chairs or shooting myself at those moments.:freaky:

DH
07-06-2007, 01:23 PM
Like I said, Dan, I'm more interested in where the good info is and not so interested in the personality aspects. My comment was more along the lines of koryu not being much different than anything else. Others' comments on other forums (and this one) support the idea that "koryu" can often be used as a trendy label, so I'm done arguing the point.
Fine with me. I didn't bring it up.

[QUOTE=Mike Sigman;182842] What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?

Regards,

Mike Sigman [/QUOT
Its been talked to death. But help yourself. Hasn't seemed to go far on this forum. Most don't know what to make of it as far as I can see. Help them out.

Mike Sigman
07-06-2007, 01:25 PM
What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Its been talked to death. But help yourself. Hasn't seemed to go far on this forum. Most don't know what to make of it as far as I can see. Help them out.No, no... I was talking about one particular incident that you mentioned about using the fascia to handle someone.
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=182785&postcount=1272
Regards,

Mike

Ellis Amdur
07-06-2007, 02:27 PM
Hi Chris - Well, let's imagine that there was bodyskills training inherent in the 8th gneration of Araki-ryu. And the teacher taught his 9th gen. students. And all of them thought - "why do I have to waste time on all these breathing skills, this stretching and coil and stance training, because I can really be an effective, quite violent fighter without that tedious practice? I'll just do more of the other training." And they'd be really good - there is historical evidence of that. (But they, like me, probably showed a lot of joint damage in their mid-fifties, if not earlier). AND - 10 generations down the line, I'd say, "Why were you so STUPID as to let this good stuff go!" Or, if the teacher decided not to teach it to the 9th generation because he wanted to keep some goodies to himself so he remained the alpha dog thruout, I'd say, "Why were you so SELFISH as to keep this good stuff to yourself." With absolutely no imputation of anything towards Mochizuchi, whom I've only seen a couple of times, I think the former question could be asked of a LOT of the 2nd generation-onwards-aikido shihan and the latter question very possibly asked of Ueshiba himself.
Then again, when I read that some of the greatest swordsmen of the Sengoku period received menkyo kaiden in two or three years, it is possible that a lot of teachers, concerning most students, thought, "pearls before swine," because one can certainly learn everything that "fast" if one puts in the mileage. Ten miles in one day, or ten miles in one month - the same ten miles. Why waste time teaching anyone who hasn't put in the miles - all they'd have then is an interesting allegation. And the more peaceful the era, the more one has the luxury of being lazy and thinking one can take 20 years to learn something.
All of which relates to a) Dan's frustration of repeating oneself to a student who can't grasp or won't listen b) and if things go to a certain point, Nishioka Tsuneo's statement to me is apropos. "'Hamon,' for me, is when a student obviously can't learn or is not willing to learn. In that case, I simply tell him he's doing great."

Best

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 02:36 PM
Ellis, just to be clear, my comments were about Mochizuki Takashi of Shinto Ryu Iaibattojutsu and not Mochizuki Minouru of the Yoseikan. I think your comments are completely valid in the context you present, but unfortunately don't really reflect the kind of teaching relationship that I enjoy with Mochizuki Sensei (that is to say your scenarios presume a long term, direct relationship with frequent instruction).

Ellis Amdur
07-06-2007, 02:45 PM
Chris - Wow, I had no idea there were two. I thought Minoru was the person who developed Shinto-ryu. Anyway, as I said, my comments have nothing to do with any relationship you have with your instructor or ryu - just that you included me in the "dead horse" post above re "dumb." To tell you the truth, I have thought of some of my predecessors in exactly these terms. And looking around at extant koryu in Japan, I've frequently thought someone(s) somewhere were very cavalier if not stupid - because they must have been quite smug to settle for what they have, given what they could have had. In certain areas, I've gotten a beautiful zircon - and it angers me that I could have had a diamond, but for the choices of others before me.

Best

gdandscompserv
07-06-2007, 03:01 PM
What happened to my question about fascia and someone being hard to lift?
Perhaps you would tell us what you know about it.
Please?
:)

ChrisMoses
07-06-2007, 03:16 PM
Chris - Wow, I had no idea there were two. I thought Minoru was the person who developed Shinto-ryu.

Easy mistake to make since Robby studied with both Mochizuki Takashi in Shinto Ryu and Mochizuki Minouru at Yoseikan while he lived in Japan. The Shinto ryu I study is not based on the KSR portion of the Yoseikan curriculum, but an older (than Yoseikan, not Katori Shinto Ryu obviously) art founded by Hibino Raifu around 1890. Much of that early curriculum has been lost however in Japan though there is a small group in Brazil who still study the older curriculum including the kenbu portion. Something I hope to get to see in person sometime.

Franco
07-06-2007, 05:58 PM
Dan Harden:

Your PM inbox is full again.

Mike Sigman
07-07-2007, 12:44 PM
Dude, the only reason why Mike, despite his assholishness towards others gets respect from some because he has the skills and has demonstrated them...
I've felt it, Jim has felt it, George Ledyard made a post about it and no one came away saying "actually you were full of "#$#t "

Also, I seem to remember originally when I came onto this board, I had no idea who Mike Sigman was. But the concepts he put out to me clicked immediately and I was able to describe what I was training and doing in my body to a certain degree.You lead 'em with carrots and I'll smack their butts from behind, Rob. ;) I guarantee you that some people have gone to see Dan *partially* because I got 'em so riled that they want to kick my butt. Regardless, most people will learn a little bit of basics (still using a lot of muscle, undoubtedly) and few will go on to real accomplishment. And few of that few will go to true whole-body skills. No matter how you manipulate them psychologically. It's up to them and few can understand what a big undertaking it is (why else would Ueshiba make such a big deal of it if anyone could and did get it?).

Maybe a good illustration of the common attitude is in a story like this: A couple of years ago, a woman who had been "teaching" Taiji for 14 years and who had "studied Taiji" for many more years came to see me and ask if I'd help her with her push hands. I worked with her nicely, led her through Jin 101, etc., but I explained that if she didn't change ALL of her Taiji into using this form of basic strength, none of her Taiji would be correct (recall to mind, if you will, Ushiro Sensei saying "no Kokyu, no Aikido). I was telling her the truth, as is obvious to the readers who have these skills, but she hit the roof suddenly. She said, "You can't tell me that everything I've been teaching and doing for 14 years is wrong! Some of it is right!".

What I'm getting at is almost no one is going to accept these things as more than a sort of interesting curiosity in "their Aikido" that is sort of like "Oh, Technique Alpha Bravo... yes, you must know that one in order to round out your already-fine Aikido, but you can get by without knowing it.". That's the natural attitude. What the hey.... we're safe, right, because none of our buddies can do that stuff, either, so there's no need to make an effort.

So the trick is how do you get people to make an effort, particularly when you know that even the people who make an effort only have a limited chance at success.

Incidentally, that woman I mentioned above had an assistant that started coming to our weekly push-hands gathering. Very smart lady... a bookkeeper by trade. She more than anyone else kept asking questions and trying to do things. About a month ago, things clicked for her and suddenly she started pushing all the guys around (and I had to be more careful!) and is easily the best push-hands person there. Her previous "teacher" cannot possibly do anything with Sarah, now, and Sarah also now realizes that she learned BS from the previous teacher for many years. It's a rare person that suddenly grasps and coordinates things, but when I've seen it happen, it's great to see. Some people get mad when they're challenged, but some people wind up getting there in spite of all else. ;)

FWIW

Mike

DH
07-07-2007, 08:28 PM
You lead 'em with carrots and I'll smack their butts from behind, Rob. ;) I guarantee you that some people have gone to see Dan *partially* because I got 'em so riled that they want to kick my butt.
Well actually I have now trained with maybe half a dozen folks who have trained with you and they have good things to say about your presentations and willingness to share. I have trained with maybe a dozen more who know about you and think you are difficult on the net but they have listened to those who say you are giving and nice in person. I've not met anyone who wants to get good just to kick your butt, whatever that means. Don't know why you brought that up, But folks who come to see me are clearly here for skills they don't have but want to learn.
That's all.

No matter how you manipulate them psychologically. It's up to them and few can understand what a big undertaking it is
I tell them what they need to do and leave them alone. There's no money involved, rank, style what have you , so they can do what they want. Those who have trained here for up to 14 years do so with their own determination. I'd be embarassed to even think of trying to manipulated them in any way. I've never even thought in those terms.

So the trick is how do you get people to make an effort, particularly when you know that even the people who make an effort only have a limited chance at success.
Some people get mad when they're challenged, but some people wind up getting there in spite of all else. ;)
FWIW
Mike

You can't make people make an effort. They do or don't. I don't challenge. I just do. They decide if it's something they want or not. In the mean time I just keep laughing, huggin em and making more friends. Just a view, FWIW.

Mike Sigman
07-07-2007, 08:44 PM
:)

Thomas Campbell
07-07-2007, 11:47 PM
:)

Most eloquent remark I've seen from you in a long time, Mike.

Thanks.

;)

David Orange
07-09-2007, 01:05 PM
Does that "extension" or "push" involve any actual muscular firing? I'm sure when people hear "extension" they might think to reach more physically (like straightening the arm). I'm assuming you mean to reach more mentally (so-to-speak), to the point that you really are reaching, without actually contracting any of the muscles? Or am I off base?

Adam, I mean actually pushing with the arm, lengthening it. Not a mental image.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
07-09-2007, 01:36 PM
"Aiki as ura of kiai." This formulation is Mochizuki's - and further, kind of common in aikido circles. But it is not general, and is kind of a "throw-away" line, to attempt to distinguish "aiki" from kiai, a concern of aikido folks more than any others, and comes from a limited understanding of kiaijutsu.

Ellis, an interesting comment, but I have to say I've never heard that definition from any other aikido teacher or group.

Second, I wouldn't think it really comes from a limited understanding of kiaijutsu because Mochizuki Sensei was a hard-line karate man as well as a swordsman and he did believe in kiai. He didn't think you could have aiki without it. So it had to be developed. He defined aiki as the ura of kiai when I asked him to explain aiki. I think it was at that same time that he saidthat if one has aiki, he does not shrink back from a surprise attack but attacks the attack. But he attacks specifically the ura of whatever attack form the attacker uses--be it a kick, punch, sword strike, whatever.

I think it would be mistaken to characterize him as having a limited understanding of kiai/kiaijutsu.

Much more common in koryu is a more sophisticated and detailed delineation of kiai, using gogyo (five element theory), for example, with variations of yin/yang, etc., association of kiai with seasons, body parts, etc.

Almost everything in human life is basically "kiai" oriented. You mention very specific and rather esoteric examinations of kiai (gogyo, yin/yang, etc.) that do seem to come directly from the Chinese. But these are esoteric refinements of what is effectively the omote of human life.

Aiki is the ura of all of that--the ura of everything.

And as for being able to affect the mind and body of the opponent at a distance, remember Takeda's statement that aiki overcomes the opponent mentally, at a glance, to win without fighting.

It may be a throwaway statement to say that aiki and kiai are omote and ura, but the fact that they are is worth deep consideration.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
07-09-2007, 01:50 PM
Chris - Wow, I had no idea there were two. I thought Minoru was the person who developed Shinto-ryu.

Ellis, that's probably because he was a big student of katori shinto ryu and was known for developing a lot of things in his own way. In fact, he did continue teaching the major kata of katori shinto ryu throughout his life, but, unkike Sugino Sensei, whom he says he introduced to KSR, Minoru Mochizuki modified the KSR forms rather substantially. But he never called it anything but katori shinto ryu.

I've frequently thought someone(s) somewhere were very cavalier if not stupid - because they must have been quite smug to settle for what they have, given what they could have had. In certain areas, I've gotten a beautiful zircon - and it angers me that I could have had a diamond, but for the choices of others before me.

Having read of Yoshio Sugino's phenomenal ability in judo despite his small size (and before there were weight divisions), then having seen his performances of katori shinto ryu, I have to believe that he was conveying every drop of what was to be had in that art. And I cannot believe that Minoru Mochizuki's was lacking, either.

Best wishes.

David

David Orange
07-09-2007, 02:03 PM
Let me give a very crude and incomplete *illustration* (nothing more than that and not all that accurate except as an illustration) of pulling silk and reeling silk: Have someone grab 2 or 3 fingers of your extended right arm and right hand in their fist and hold them firmly so that you can pull back with your body (not your arm or hand). Pretend your arm and hand are nothing more than a towel or piece of cloth and move your torso backward slowly until you can feel the stretch in your fingers, hand, arm, shoulder, and across your back. Your partner holding your fingers is now connected to your middle via a slight tensile stretch. No connection, no way to control the fingers with your middle except with normal muscle, right? So somebody who "doesn't use that extension of the body" for dantien control is blowing smoke. OK, so that's a crude example of "pulling silk" or "chousi jin".

Yes, it is, but you know what? That description EXACTLY covers the way a CHILD pulls against force. A CHILD uses "pulling silk" or "chousi jin" in his movement....

And the child will naturally add body twisting and turning to that energy, connected through the center to the ground.

What you describe above is exactly what I described in my Aikido Journal online blog about toddler movement. I took my daughter's outstretched hand, she pulled back and sank her weight as she stepped back. She had a direct line connection, extending my arm and connecting to my center.

So thank you for reinforcing my information on that subject.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
07-09-2007, 02:15 PM
Yes, it is, but you know what? That description EXACTLY covers the way a CHILD pulls against force. A CHILD uses "pulling silk" or "chousi jin" in his movement....

And the child will naturally add body twisting and turning to that energy, connected through the center to the ground.

What you describe above is exactly what I described in my Aikido Journal online blog about toddler movement. I took my daughter's outstretched hand, she pulled back and sank her weight as she stepped back. She had a direct line connection, extending my arm and connecting to my center.

So thank you for reinforcing my information on that subject.
Ah, Jeez. This is ludicrous. You need to get someone to show you, David. A child does NOT use this kind of jin. I had 2 children and I'm a body-watcher-for-movement anyway. A toddler does whatever it takes. It puts a pacifier into it's mouth with just arm. It individually motivates limbs because reeling silk and pulling silk require levels of coordination that a child does not have. "These strengths must be learned; they are not intuitive". Old saying.

What you're saying is the equivalent of saying that a toddler naturally does polynomial equations, but forgetting that a child's brain is not that developed, even though it sounds cool. Pulling Silk and Reeling Silk are NOT "natural" movements in the sense that they're intuitive. "Natural" refers to following/in-harmony with the laws of physics. Attributing this type of movement to an immature human is far off the mark.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

statisticool
07-09-2007, 02:22 PM
I wish some qi/pengjin guru would step up and post a video of this 'low level' stuff that has been kept secret from Westerners who couldn't figure out the correct way to practice in a million years.

It would set aikido, taijiquan, and all other internal martial arts learning ahead by decades!

David Orange
07-09-2007, 02:57 PM
A child does NOT use this kind of jin.

They do what you described in your 'illustration'--"Have someone grab 2 or 3 fingers of your extended right arm and right hand in their fist and hold them firmly so that you can pull back with your body (not your arm or hand). Pretend your arm and hand are nothing more than a towel or piece of cloth and move your torso backward slowly until you can feel the stretch in your fingers, hand, arm, shoulder, and across your back. Your partner holding your fingers is now connected to your middle via a slight tensile stretch."

Of course, they do it in a very subtle way and it's as easy to miss that as it is to break a strand of silk......

I had 2 children and I'm a body-watcher-for-movement anyway.

How long ago was that, Mike? Were your movement watching skills as highly developed then as they are now? Were you as attentive of them as you were other things? I've been watching children specifically for this kind of movement for about fifteen years, now.

A toddler does whatever it takes. It puts a pacifier into it's mouth with just arm. It individually motivates limbs because reeling silk and pulling silk require levels of coordination that a child does not have.

But the illustration you gave doesn't really require any special coordination. You just let the arm be like a towel and let the whole system connect. Children do that all the time. Of course, that is not the highest level, but it's consistent with your illustration.

As I've always said, this will not develop far unless we cultivate it in them and teach them how to cultivate it in themselves. But the "stuff" is there to be cultivated from the beginning.

"These strengths must be learned; they are not intuitive". Old saying.

That's why we have to cultivate it in them--but it's already "there" to be cultivated.

Pulling Silk and Reeling Silk are NOT "natural" movements in the sense that they're intuitive.

No, not intuitive: innate--at least at the very fundamental levels as described in your illustration.

"Natural" refers to following/in-harmony with the laws of physics. Attributing this type of movement to an immature human is far off the mark.

But to say that the roots of it don't exist in human beings from birth is much further off the mark.

David

Ellis Amdur
07-09-2007, 05:51 PM
David, Mochizuki was remarkable, and I am not saying that his statement reflects that HE had a limited understanding of kiaijutsu. But he did choose to give you a very limited definition, one that is, in fact, rife in aikido circles. If we postulate that he was as knowlegeable as the best, then I'm curious why he chose to give you the definition he did.
You are simply incorrect that the Araki-ryu formulation of kiai (which is only one unique example) is the "omote of human life" with aiki as the ura. The "ura of everything"??????
That's simply an assertion, that illustrates limited to no understanding of what such a ryu meant by kiai.
Having read of Yoshio Sugino's phenomenal ability in judo despite his small size (and before there were weight divisions), then having seen his performances of katori shinto ryu, I have to believe that he was conveying every drop of what was to be had in that art. And I cannot believe that Minoru Mochizuki's was lacking, either.

I ordinarily wouldn't even get into this type of discussion, but your post illustrates a problem. You state something that sounds like it makes sense regarding kiai, but it does not conform to the information that is actually passed down within classical ryu. By bringing up Sugino and Mochizuki's sword, you are apparently saying that, unlike my assertion of getting a transmission in which vital information was probably lost, you are claiming that they each got the entire transmission of TSKSR, all generations' knowledge intact. Implicitly, you are saying that the proof of this is that you have the eyes to see such perfection in classical kenjutsu.
I knew Sugino and he invited me, on several occasions, to join his dojo. I tactfully refused because, although an estimable man, with a great history of judo, some real skills at aikido (which I saw) and skill at his version of TSKSR, the flaws in his version of the latter were also manifest. To give just one example, he always telegraphed his cuts with weapons by thrusting out his chin, which also "broke the line" of his physical organization, tensing his upper back muscles, and leading him to lock his elbows and cut with the arms extended away from his body. Unlike the best practitioners of the mainline, who were just as fast or faster, his way of cutting therefore lacked power, and locked him into moves making it hard to respond omni-directionally to counterattack.
I'm also familiar with the justly-called mainline of TSKSR of Isaza and Otake, and have observed multiple practices at both the Sugino and Otake dojos. I've also seen the two groups demonstrate more-or-less side-by-side at various shrines. I've also seen a video of Mochizuki in 1951 doing TSKSR and then viewed it with a menkyo of the school, who critqued all the ways that it "no longer was TSKSR," because of what he either left out or was doing differently.
In short, my point regarding your knowlege of kiai is illustrated in your assertion that you can see that Sugino and Mochizuki "conveyed every drop that were to be had in that art." That's like asserting that Robin Trower was playing as good guitar as Jimi Hendrix. Or if you prefer classical, that Kuhlau equaled Chopin. You would be right to praise the attainments of the former musician in each formulation. But to assert that they were the equal to Hendrix or Chopin would give evidence to one's ignorance of the possibilities of music, not one's knowledge. Similarly, in this area, at least . . . .

Best
Ellis Amdur

Mike Sigman
07-09-2007, 06:58 PM
They do what you described in your 'illustration' Balderdash. You're arguing by assertion again. Children don't have full reasoning abilities when they're toddlers and children don't have fully developed brains, nervous systems, and muscular coordination to do "reeling silk" or any of that. You're trying to use the fact that most people don't know much about these things to pull of your theory... sort of like the techno-babble about "quantum theory" people interject for "ki"... and it simply doesn't work. If you want to say, "I have this theory that....". Fine. Don't assert if that's all you can do.

Regards.

Mike

statisticool
07-09-2007, 07:12 PM
Children don't have full reasoning abilities when they're toddlers and children don't have fully developed brains, nervous systems, and muscular coordination to do "reeling silk" or any of that.


At what age, do you conclude based on your extensive scientific research, do children make the transition to adult that they are capable of doing these amazing things?

Upyu
07-09-2007, 09:20 PM
Actually that brings up a good point...

A lot of kids in CMA are pushed towards doing Shaolin, Lost track and other foundational boxing methods when they're young. Not the internal stuff. I remember hearing all sorts of vague references to their "Chi" being disrupted etc if they were to commence hard core internal training at an early age, but what I think it boils down to is that the body isn't physically ready yet to undergo the kind of training that IMA requires.
Which is why you see so many of the country side kids focusing on just the rote movements in the beginning with a focus on stretching the kua(crotch area) out as well as strengthening the legs in preparation for the training that comes later on...

Mike, comments??

I don't know of any similar paradigm in the JMA tradition though, is someone knows something, it might be interesting to comment on.

Mike Sigman
07-09-2007, 09:52 PM
Actually that brings up a good point...

A lot of kids in CMA are pushed towards doing Shaolin, Lost track and other foundational boxing methods when they're young. Not the internal stuff. I remember hearing all sorts of vague references to their "Chi" being disrupted etc if they were to commence hard core internal training at an early age, but what I think it boils down to is that the body isn't physically ready yet to undergo the kind of training that IMA requires.
Which is why you see so many of the country side kids focusing on just the rote movements in the beginning with a focus on stretching the kua(crotch area) out as well as strengthening the legs in preparation for the training that comes later on...

Mike, comments??

I don't know of any similar paradigm in the JMA tradition though, is someone knows something, it might be interesting to comment on.Well, regardless of Chinese or Japanese martial arts, they both used the same yin-yang and ki/qi paradigm in the old days to explain how things worked.

The suggestion that babies move "naturally" at a very young age goes to the "pre-birth" strength versus "post-birth" strength dichotomy (everything is always a dichotomy).

A foetus has "pre-birth" strength and the idea is that after birth it quickly loses that primal ability in man, although many animals are said to retain this "pre-birth" or "earlier heaven" strength. "Proof" that foetuses are naturally endowed with the natural ki flows along the meridians is seen by the fact that foetuses are curved over with the Yang energy going up the back and the yin energy pulling down the front. This is how jin works with the Ki of Heaven and Ki of Earth flowing through the body, too, so it must be natural, right? And babies grip softly but so strongly, right? (Unfortunately, I've seen that theory shot to hell by a number of doctors, etc., so it's really not very convincing in terms of kinesiology).

The problem is that the particular aspect of "natural" that I just described has got nothing to do with someone having whole-body movement that is connected via the fascia/ki and actively moved by the dantien. That must be learned and it takes a lot of time to develop the coordination. It's just simply a misuse of the "natural" term to suggest that an infant has the "pulling silk" or "reeling silk" (even worse) as part of its "natural" movement.

Anyway, my 2 cents worth.

Mike

HL1978
07-09-2007, 09:57 PM
I wish some qi/pengjin guru would step up and post a video of this 'low level' stuff that has been kept secret from Westerners who couldn't figure out the correct way to practice in a million years.

It would set aikido, taijiquan, and all other internal martial arts learning ahead by decades!

Justin, I believe you live right outside DC in northern virginia? I am out in Fairfax and know of other people in the area, who meet up and train on a regular basis in these skills (I had the opportunity to meet a few when Mike and Rob were in town). If you are interested, I am sure they would be willing to meet with you (there are a couple groups around DC/MD and in NoVa). I would be happy to show you some of the aunkai exercises (in a completly non-confrontational manner, I have a couple people who practice them with me twice a week in Fairfax and are all very friendly guys who aren't out to prove anything), and hopefully clarify some of what Mike, Rob and others are referring too. If it is easier we can meet sometime in the evening after work at a local park/rec center/public place.

I am not a great example of what these skills are like, but I can demonstrate them to a very minor extent, and if you can't really feel the difference, I'd be happy to buy you a beer afterwards.

Perhaps then some of the videos which are available on youtube might make a bit more sense? As everyone else here says, you really need to see/feel it in person.

Regards,

Hunter

David Orange
07-09-2007, 10:21 PM
David, Mochizuki was remarkable, and I am not saying that his statement reflects that HE had a limited understanding of kiaijutsu. But he did choose to give you a very limited definition, one that is, in fact, rife in aikido circles.

I've just never heard anyone else express it that way. Of course, I don't pretend to have studied very widely--just with Mochizuki Sensei and his students.

If we postulate that he was as knowlegeable as the best, then I'm curious why he chose to give you the definition he did.

I think it's the purest definition of aiki, in a way.

You are simply incorrect that the Araki-ryu formulation of kiai (which is only one unique example) is the "omote of human life" with aiki as the ura. The "ura of everything"??????
That's simply an assertion, that illustrates limited to no understanding of what such a ryu meant by kiai.

I'm not saying anything about what Araki-ryu or any other meant by kiai. I believe that what you describe are esoteric refinements of something that is very fundamental to human nature. Of course, most everyone associates kiai with a shout, but I consider the shout to be a side-effect and not always present. I read your recent article on kiaijutsu and had no complaint with that. But I believe that in essence, kiai and aiki are analogous to yin and yang, aiki being the yin of the two, and kiai being the more obviously accessible to natural human observation.

It's much easier to see the effectiveness of the yang and kiai attitude. It's easier to see strength and big action than it is to observe silence--or more appropriately, listening.

That's why I say the "Almost everything in human life is basically "kiai" oriented."

Everyone can see the primal energy of action, so everyone works toward power and the mighty shout. This natural tendency is so strong and reliable that military training is based on it. I recently saw a young man's commemorative DVD of his unit's basic training in the Army and the training is tailored to cultivate natural human tendencies in the outward kiai fashion. And aiki (at least aikido) is tailored to work with the ura of all those natural human efforts.

So I say that kiai is the omote of human life--not that Araki-ryu says it.

And that is why I say that aiki is the ura of all of that--the ura of everything.

By bringing up Sugino and Mochizuki's sword, you are apparently saying that, unlike my assertion of getting a transmission in which vital information was probably lost, you are claiming that they each got the entire transmission of TSKSR, all generations' knowledge intact.

Well, I did rather have that impression of their training. I do think that they got the best that could be gotten from that art at that time.

Implicitly, you are saying that the proof of this is that you have the eyes to see such perfection in classical kenjutsu.

Sorry if I gave that impression.

I knew Sugino and he invited me, on several occasions, to join his dojo. I tactfully refused because, although an estimable man, with a great history of judo, some real skills at aikido (which I saw) and skill at his version of TSKSR, the flaws in his version of the latter were also manifest.

Not that he didn't have flaws, but I found him admirable.

To give just one example, he always telegraphed his cuts with weapons by thrusting out his chin, which also "broke the line" of his physical organization, tensing his upper back muscles, and leading him to lock his elbows and cut with the arms extended away from his body. Unlike the best practitioners of the mainline, who were just as fast or faster, his way of cutting therefore lacked power, and locked him into moves making it hard to respond omni-directionally to counterattack.

I can't say I would have spotted that if I had watched him more. I didn't see him often and never trained with him. I know that he and Mochizuki Sesei often argued, sometimes heatedly, over matters of the sword.

I'm also familiar with the justly-called mainline of TSKSR of Isaza and Otake, and have observed multiple practices at both the Sugino and Otake dojos. I've also seen the two groups demonstrate more-or-less side-by-side at various shrines. I've also seen a video of Mochizuki in 1951 doing TSKSR and then viewed it with a menkyo of the school, who critqued all the ways that it "no longer was TSKSR," because of what he either left out or was doing differently.

I have heard that Mochizuki Sensei's practice was often criticized by TSKSR masters. I know that he mad numerous modifications. But you have clearly learned much more about it than I.

In short, my point regarding your knowlege of kiai is illustrated in your assertion that you can see that Sugino and Mochizuki "conveyed every drop that were to be had in that art."

Well, you have convinced me on TSKSR, but Mochizuki Sensei did have a powerful grasp of kiai and he didn't speak shallowly of it or think shallowly about it. He didn't discuss the esoteric levels you have referred to, but your descriptions don't imply any necessary departure from the basic nature of kiai as the ura of aiki.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
07-09-2007, 10:33 PM
"Balderdash. You're arguing by assertion again," Mike Sigman asserted with an exclamation mark!

Get it, Mike? That is your assertion and it does nothing to refute the substance of my statements.

Children don't have full reasoning abilities when they're toddlers and children don't have fully developed brains, nervous systems, and muscular coordination to do "reeling silk" or any of that.

No, not "fully developed and refined" silk reeling or any of that. Neither does a fully-grown adult who starts lessons. For any living person, those skills are refined in a process that takes time. So what? The child moves exactly as you described: "pull back with your body (not your arm or hand) ...[as if] your arm and hand are nothing more than a towel or piece of cloth...move your torso backward slowly until you can feel the stretch in your fingers, hand, arm, shoulder, and across your back..."

That's exactly how my toddler pulls away from me when he doesn't want me to pick him up. He doesn't isolate his arm and just pull with his arm. He uses his whole body and I can see and feel him doing it just as you describe there. That's not assertion, that is close observation. Care to relate any of the close observations you made of your own children?

You're trying to use the fact that most people don't know much about these things to pull of your theory...

au contraire, King Louis. I'm using the words of the most learned master among us to prove my statements true. The point is that if we start with what people naturally do, it will be easier to refine it to its highest potential.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
07-09-2007, 10:47 PM
The problem is that the particular aspect of "natural" that I just described has got nothing to do with someone having whole-body movement that is connected via the fascia/ki and actively moved by the dantien.

It also has nothing to do with anything I mentioned. What I described is a toddler's natural use of whole-body movement connected by the fascia and actively moved by the dantien. And that's why I have always replied that "relaxation" is not what makes toddler movement the root of aiki. They use strength and their whole day tends to be extensive experimentation with adjustment to gravity and exertion of effort to achieve goals. I find my two-year-old standing with one foot each on two bottles of apple juice, working at something on top of the table and you tell me he doesn't have coordination and intent? Children have both. They simply need refinement: but they're more perfectly refined than most twenty-year-olds who have learned twenty years of "might makes right" and developed external strength because it appears to be the winning hand.

That must be learned and it takes a lot of time to develop the coordination. It's just simply a misuse of the "natural" term to suggest that an infant has the "pulling silk" or "reeling silk" (even worse) as part of its "natural" movement.

It's the most correct use of the term "natural" to watch what children really do and can do instead of blanking over that reality with your own preconceived notion.

In "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain," the author shows examples of how most people draw with "symbols". The have a "symbol" for "eye" or for "nose" in their minds and when you ask them to draw a face, they don't draw what they see, but make an oval for the face and put a "nose" symbol and two "eye" symbols in the oval, some "ear" symbols and a "mouth" symbol and they come out with a goofy drawing that looks nothing like the subject.

Your assertions of what children can and cannot do or how they think or act does not come from what they really do but from your mental "symbols" of what they can do. Watch before you assert, huh?

David

Ellis Amdur
07-09-2007, 11:33 PM
David - Araki-ryu uses the five elements as a schema the same way it is used in China - although the way they use it is different in detail, given the different parameters of combat and movement that they were focused on. And one thing about the five elements, they are also broken down as variations of yin-yang. (As are the eight trigrams, btw). The five aspects are yang internal and yang external, yang external and yin internal, yin external with yang internal, yin internal and external, and something else as the fifth - yin "rising again" to yin. If you will, kiai or aiki means "a particular organization of ki." You can see each of these five aspects in the classic yin-yang sign (the fifth is the line between the two symbols), where there is a "dot" of the other color in each half (think of two fish with an eye). The formulation you suggest with kiai as yang and aiki as yin is similar to the type of yin-yang you seen on the Korean flag, two solid fish with no "eyes." So if you make kiai and aiki synonymous with yin and yang - which is not their classical usage, the understanding being that each tinctures the other to varying degrees - you have a much simpler formulation of reality. I'm not saying it's wrong - but I'm saying it does not reflect the interplay of "energy" - "force dynamics" - however you want to call it - that is inherent in discussion of internal training (ki/kyoku) and kiai (the additional aspect of manipulation and control of the other.

Best
Ellis Amdur

David Orange
07-09-2007, 11:39 PM
I have always replied that "relaxation" is not what makes toddler movement the root of aiki. They use strength and their whole day tends to be extensive experimentation with adjustment to gravity and exertion of effort to achieve goals. I find my two-year-old standing with one foot each on two bottles of apple juice, working at something on top of the table and you tell me he doesn't have coordination and intent? Children have both.

Here, at age 18 months, my baby hangs from the lawnmower handle as I cut the grass. Note how he uses his arms.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJIpFObblGs

Here, at age 23 months or so, he has climbed up on top of two bottles of apple juice. Note how he manipulates the bottles with his feet when they start to tip. He doesn't even look down but handles it while he is busy looking at something on the table and using his arms and hands. That's total body coordination. And his control of his lines of gravity look like peng jin to me:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHPLKk99cmQ

David Orange
07-09-2007, 11:53 PM
David - Araki-ryu uses the five elements as a schema the same way it is used in China - although the way they use it is different in detail, given the different parameters of combat and movement that they were focused on.

I was fascinated by your description of this in your article. I have read that the old generals studied I Ching and Sun Tzu but I haven't seen such a detailed example of how those Chinese ideas carried over into a thing like kiai. I have seen them applied to accupuncture and shiatsu, though both of those are obviously sourced in China.

And one thing about the five elements, they are also broken down as variations of yin-yang. (As are the eight trigrams, btw). The five aspects are yang internal and yang external, yang external and yin internal, yin external with yang internal, yin internal and external, and something else as the fifth - yin "rising again" to yin.

That's something I'd like to hear more about.

The formulation you suggest with kiai as yang and aiki as yin is similar to the type of yin-yang you seen on the Korean flag, two solid fish with no "eyes." So if you make kiai and aiki synonymous with yin and yang - which is not their classical usage, the understanding being that each tinctures the other to varying degrees - you have a much simpler formulation of reality.

I only understand yin and yang with the eyes--as parts of a whole, which aiki and kiai would be--omote and ura. Mochizuki Sensei made a kata called "hyori no kata" or "omote/ura kata". Every attack had an ura, which led into a counter technique--which had its own ura and led into a counter-counter technique, which had its own ura, and allowed yet another counter technique. A fantastic kata. He meant, by that kata, that aiki and kiai are in constant interchange, which is like yin and yang--when considered as parts of a whole. Mochizuki Sensei did sometimes use the Star of David—upright and inverted triangles united—as another symbol of yin and yang.

I'm not saying it's wrong - but I'm saying it does not reflect the interplay of "energy" - "force dynamics" - however you want to call it - that is inherent in discussion of internal training (ki/kyoku) and kiai (the additional aspect of manipulation and control of the other.

I hope these comments made that clearer. I think I understand your point. But we have many examples of kiai, even silent, being able to stop or control someone at a distance. And we have Takeda's statement that aiki overcomes the opponent mentally at a glance. Peas in a pod, hand in a glove...it seems to me that kiai and aiki must go together and that the nature is that aiki follows and clings to kiai.

Thanks.

David

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 08:02 AM
"Balderdash. You're arguing by assertion again," Mike Sigman asserted with an exclamation mark!

Get it, Mike? That is your assertion and it does nothing to refute the substance of my statements. What you're implying is that if you make a statement I'm obligated to prove that it's not so. I.e., suggesting that I'm supposed to prove a negative. That's childish, David. Part of the "big boys forums" I mentioned to Dan.... no one plays those kinds of games in a legitimate discussion. No, not "fully developed and refined" silk reeling or any of that. Neither does a fully-grown adult who starts lessons. For any living person, those skills are refined in a process that takes time. So what? The child moves exactly as you described: "pull back with your body (not your arm or hand) ...[as if] your arm and hand are nothing more than a towel or piece of cloth...move your torso backward slowly until you can feel the stretch in your fingers, hand, arm, shoulder, and across your back..." David I made a caveat indicating that sometimes child will do things like that. But that's not the essence of the way they move. What happens is that yes, sometimes babies move like or in ways that resemble what you're talking about, but the part you glibly leave out is that many/most of their movements are not like that at all and are isolated and inefficient movements. You want to make your case on one type of observed movement while glossing over the fact that that's not what always happens. If you're not honest enough to mention something that obvious, why should we prolong the discussion?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
07-10-2007, 08:45 AM
What you're implying is that if you make a statement I'm obligated to prove that it's not so. I.e., suggesting that I'm supposed to prove a negative. That's childish, David. Part of the "big boys forums" I mentioned to Dan.... no one plays those kinds of games in a legitimate discussion.

.......what's that???? What????

Can't hear anything of substance.....some vague buzzing.....noise....sounds like an empty assertion, maybe.....sounds like the same repetitive noise I've been hearing from that direction for months, now........

Guess it's nothing.

David I made a caveat indicating that sometimes child will do things like that. But that's not the essence of the way they move.

And sometimes lightning strikes in nature. But that's not the essence of weather. We discovered electricity in nature. Aiki is also hidden in plain sight, playing at our feet if we're not too big to notice it.

What happens is that yes, sometimes babies move like or in ways that resemble what you're talking about, but the part you glibly leave out is that many/most of their movements are not like that at all and are isolated and inefficient movements.

As most weather is not lightning. But I didn't say that all children's movement is pure aiki. I said aiki can be observed in children's movement and that that is where jujutsu masters, already adept at fighting, joint locks, etc., recognized the tremendous power of acting against the ura of a larger opponent's strength--that there are points where the strength turns to weakness and that children naturally find those directions and positions and exploit them.

Children are the ura of adults.

You want to make your case on one type of observed movement while glossing over the fact that that's not what always happens.

I've given examples of many kinds of toddler movement that illustrate aiki, peng jin, fascial connection, coordination, intent--all separate illustrations through specific actions. It's far less important that it doesn't always happen. The important thing is that, if we watch, we will see virtually all children naturally demonstrate some pretty fantastic things. Then, recognizing when and how they do that, we can cultivate those things before they are erased by the overwhelming societal focus on strength and mundane standardized movement.

If you're not honest enough to mention something that obvious, why should we prolong the discussion?

Maybe because you know that each time you try to shoot it down, it keeps on flying....and maybe I'm not the one being dishonest.

Best to you.

David

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 08:55 AM
Ah.... so now we're down to "aiki can be observed in toddler's movements", but you agree it's not what happens full time. OK, in that case, let me regale the list for a few months about how aiki can sometimes be observed in pet chihuahua's movements, if that's the case. Granted they don't always do it, but they're cute and cuddly and the chihuahua discussion could probable go on as meaningfully as the toddler discussion for a great many months.

Of course, if that gets tiresome, you can use one of your silent kiai's from a distance and halt me.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
07-10-2007, 09:17 AM
Ah.... so now we're down to "aiki can be observed in toddler's movements", but you agree it's not what happens full time.

No, Mike: that's where we started. Go back and read the Aikido Journal blog: it's what I've said from the beginning and in virtually everything I've ever posted on the subject.

This is more evidence that you don't read what people post but simply skim for key words you can rail against, rendering your opinions shaky on every subject because that's also how you interpret the writings of the masters: you see a word and you draw a conclusion.....very shaky, dude.

OK, in that case, let me regale the list for a few months about how aiki can sometimes be observed in pet chihuahua's movements, if that's the case. Granted they don't always do it, but they're cute and cuddly and the chihuahua discussion could probable go on as meaningfully as the toddler discussion for a great many months.

Patrick Auge used to talk about how dogs never fight straight-on but always circle around each other and, even when engaged in the fight, the "roll" around the other dog's jaws to get to the side of his neck.

Why would it be surprising that animals express nature, Mike? A cat can generate enough static electricity to give you a jolt. And you can see lots of aiki and kiai in those funny videos of kittens.

But the useful part for human purposes is that human children also display these abilities and that it's better to cultivate what they have in nature than to try to force something artificial on them as "second nature".

Of course, if that gets tiresome, you can use one of your silent kiai's from a distance and halt me.

No, it's more entertaining to watch you tie yourself up in contradictions. Please go on.

David

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 09:31 AM
Why would it be surprising that animals express nature, Mike? A cat can generate enough static electricity to give you a jolt. And you can see lots of aiki and kiai in those funny videos of kittens.

But the useful part for human purposes is that human children also display these abilities and that it's better to cultivate what they have in nature than to try to force something artificial on them as "second nature".Chinese and Japanese martial arts are fraught with borrowings from the animal world: white crane, tiger, eagle, snake, chicken, duck, bear, fish (there's even a "fish fist" style), and so on. However, your contention was about "pulling silk" and that children do it. They can't. It takes coordination, not natural/instinctive movement. You have a disconnect built around the mistaken idea of what "natural" means: "natural movement" is not the same thing as "instinctive movement", but you seem to miss that point repeatedly. "Natural" has to do with "following the natural laws of the universe".... that's why O-Sensei mentioned "harmony with the universe". He didn't mean instinctive behavior and he didn't mean you have to talk nicey-nice to everyone (his temper was famous) in order to "be in harmony".

FWIW

Mike

David Orange
07-10-2007, 10:04 AM
...your contention was about "pulling silk" and that children do it.

No, my contention was that my children (and others) have moved and generally tend to move as you described in your description of silk pulling. They do aiki, but it doesn't rise to the refined level of aiki-"do". They use fascial connection, but not the specifically refined methods of silk pulling and reeling. But they're closer to these things than most adults.

You have a disconnect built around the mistaken idea of what "natural" means: "natural movement" is not the same thing as "instinctive movement", but you seem to miss that point repeatedly.

No, you miss the point by trying to reframe my statements to fit the mistake you want me to be making. And that's your mistake.

"Natural" has to do with "following the natural laws of the universe".... that's why O-Sensei mentioned "harmony with the universe". He didn't mean instinctive behavior and he didn't mean you have to talk nicey-nice to everyone (his temper was famous) in order to "be in harmony".

Yes. I think Tohei specifically said he was "child-like". Or maybe Stan Pranin translated it that way because the behavior Tohei described might be better called "childish."

Why do I feel that this does not help any of your arguments?

Fish follow the natural laws of the universe from birth. So do dogs, cats, horses, the wind, waves, sunlight and everything else in nature. The only thing unnatural about humans is that we reject nature and try to replac it with something "better." The only way to improve on nature is to "culitvate" it. And that means "develop what is there," not replace it.

David

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 10:19 AM
No, my contention was that my children (and others) have moved and generally tend to move as you described in your description of silk pulling. They do aiki, but it doesn't rise to the refined level of aiki-"do". They use fascial connection, but not the specifically refined methods of silk pulling and reeling. But they're closer to these things than most adults. I thought your thesis was that Aiki came from children's movements? If the movement is just "close to", that's not the same thing, David. The only thing unnatural about humans is that we reject nature and try to replac it with something "better." The only way to improve on nature is to "culitvate" it. And that means "develop what is there," not replace it.Again, you're looking at instinctive behavior as the definition of "natural" that gets so confused by westerners. But that's a natural mistake.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 10:23 AM
I do wonder how, in cultures where people (notably, women and girls) carry enormous loads on their heads or with tump lines, how they come to understand the "correct" structure that allows them to do so. Maybe what is needed to learn something "intuitively" is some outside stimulus, such as the introduction of a heavy load, which one could say is not "natural" -- after all, it's not part of the person's body, but a temporary attachment.

A child with no such stimulus would have no reason to "intuit" anything other than the bio-mechanations needed for unaided movement, etc. But one given a load might eventually figure out how to stucture himself to bear it efficiently.

I don't know whether adults in agricultural/pastoral, non-industrial cultures actively teach their children how to load-bear. The many times I was in Nepal and India, I saw young (often -very- young) girls carrying heavy bundles of firewood using a tump line over the forehead, but I never saw an adult teaching them how to shift their body structure, or any such lesson. It's the sort of thing you can't really learn from watching someone, and no one seems to have documented whether there is any way that this is actively taught, so I'd have to assume that children "teach" themselves.

Necessity being the mother of invention, maybe it is the necessary presence of a stimulus, as I'd posited, that forces the person to adjust her body and to wire it by trial and error. Those of us sitting at computers are so far removed from a life in which the body must be used as a machine to do work daily, that perhaps we simply can't imagine such things. ;)

David Orange
07-10-2007, 10:39 AM
I thought your thesis was that Aiki came from children's movements?

Well, the key there is "Mike thought" which came from Mike's skimming of other people's written comments. It's all written and most of our back-and-forth would have been avoided if you had carefully read instead of just looking for key words to resist.

If the movement is just "close to", that's not the same thing, David.

No, the movement is aiki. It's small and is similar to Franklin's recognition that tiny sparks from static electricity are the same energy as lightning from the sky and that, knowing its nature, we can harness it. Much as I said for children's movement: people already familiar with fighting recognized the tiny spark in children's movement as something that could be capitalized on in the adult realm.

Again, you're looking at instinctive behavior as the definition of "natural" that gets so confused by westerners.

It's instinctive if it's somewhat inventive. It's natural if it follows the nature of the being that's doing it. We have bones, muscles and fascia and we are built to stand upright. So the primary functions, such as using the fascia are innate in children. That's very different from "instinctive." It's natural.

David

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 10:39 AM
I don't know whether adults in agricultural/pastoral, non-industrial cultures actively teach their children how to load-bear. I don't either, Cady, but it's a good question and I've wondered about it before. I suspect there's verbal and subliminal correction, not to mention trial and error... but I don't know for sure. Doing a quick thought-puzzle about adopting a child from rural Nepal (was that redundant?) and raising them from infancy in the US, can we imagine that child automatically handling a load with a good groundpath? I can't, so I *assume* there some element of training involved and not much more. I could be wrong, though (as my wife and mother often mention). ;)

Best.

Mike

David Orange
07-10-2007, 10:44 AM
...in Nepal and India, I saw young (often -very- young) girls carrying heavy bundles of firewood using a tump line over the forehead, but I never saw an adult teaching them how to shift their body structure, or any such lesson. It's the sort of thing you can't really learn from watching someone, and no one seems to have documented whether there is any way that this is actively taught, so I'd have to assume that children "teach" themselves.

Children's lives are a continual process of experimentation which only ends, in fact, when someone "teaches" them "the right way" to do it and enforces their doing it that way.

I certainly didn't teach my 18-month-old to stand on two bottles of apple juice and work with his hands and eyes on something on a table top. And I couldn't have taught him the little adjustments he made not only to keep himself from falling when one bottle shifted, but to correct the falling bottle with his foot without even glancing down at it.

This level of learning is ignorantly overlooked and it's something that Feldenkrais is great about pointint out.

Best wishes.

David

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 10:53 AM
Mike,
The model of the Nepalese child raised in America echoes my question and point -- that it is the daily exposure to such a physical task as load-bearing that forces individuals, perhaps by trial and error, to discover for themselves the ground path. Growing up in a culture where no such responsibility is present means not having the stimulus needed to make oneself learn. Again, necessity being the mother of invention.

Similarly, innovative ways to use the body to "solve a problem" seem to pop up in settings where a specific problem is offered. F'rinstance, I've noticed commuters on the subways in Boston who have learned how to shift with the lurching subway cars, and so are able to maintain their balance in situations where you'd expect they'd be thrown to the floor or sides of the car. These people are able to stand in a crowded train without holding a germy sidebar (my guess is that's why they would rather risk the lurching car!). No one taught them how to "subway surf" -- they wired themselves. Hey, I used to do it myself when I worked in the city, and the first dozen times I ended up having to grab a bar... but eventually even I wired myself to "surf." :)

I live in an area where fishing is still a regional industry. Often, I see lobstermen pulling up pots, fishermen hauling lines and nets, and shoremen lugging huge, heavy hoses to wash down the docks. The experienced ones are not pulling from the shoulders or depending on muscle. Did someone teach them this, or did they figure it out intuitively through constant body use?

Someone had to be the first to discover "silk reeling" or winding. My hunch is that it came from some homely activity such as net hauling, or heavy skein-winding, and not from martial roots, but was later applied by some bright mind who saw the usefulness. Maybe they were able to break down the process into excercises that could be orally transmitted. But my guess is that for the other uses of these body mechanics, the discovery was an intuitive one, again, spurred by the -need- to use the body in an efficient way to accomplish a specific task.

It is an interesting question, and one I've been pondering lately.

gdandscompserv
07-10-2007, 11:44 AM
I'm tracking with Cady here. I saw an episode on "Dirty Jobs" where they were filming the crew on a lobster boat. Mike Rowe did his thing for a bit and soon realized how inept he was, stepped off to the side and let the boys work. They were brothers I believe but it was pure poetry in motion. Every movement was synchronized and no movement wasted. I mentioned before in this thread how we farm boys learned to toss very heavy bales about, almost effortlessly. We were never "taught" these skills. We acquired them through repetition of movement and self correction. Interestingly, the value of these skills were not realized until after a few days of complete and total exhaustion from trying to muscle hay bales around. Once our bodies were completely worn out we would learn the body skills required to make our movements more efficient. Hell, I remember a guy with a steel rod in his back, who because he couldn't bend over, utilized a pitchfork to throw bales of hay high in the air. If you haven't tried handling a bale of hay with a pitchfork, you should try it sometime. I also remember a friend's father, who had lost an arm in a hunting accident, perform absolutely amazing feats. Who taught them how to do those things? The unique skills acquired were largley self taught.

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 01:27 PM
The model of the Nepalese child raised in America echoes my question and point -- that it is the daily exposure to such a physical task as load-bearing that forces individuals, perhaps by trial and error, to discover for themselves the ground path. Growing up in a culture where no such responsibility is present means not having the stimulus needed to make oneself learn. Again, necessity being the mother of invention. I see your point, Cady, but I'd say that probably no Nepalese child gets a load thrown on them without the mother giving some directions or without other people serving as examples, and so forth. Same with your subway problem, although I'd admit that germy possibilities have forced me to invent innovative ways to use public restrooms, their door handles, and so forth. ;) Someone had to be the first to discover "silk reeling" or winding. My hunch is that it came from some homely activity such as net hauling, or heavy skein-winding, and not from martial roots, but was later applied by some bright mind who saw the usefulness. Maybe they were able to break down the process into excercises that could be orally transmitted. But my guess is that for the other uses of these body mechanics, the discovery was an intuitive one, again, spurred by the -need- to use the body in an efficient way to accomplish a specific task.

It is an interesting question, and one I've been pondering lately.Hmmmmm.... maybe. I just don't have any idea beyond the speculative probability that both jin and qi development help me so much in chores, that I feel almost absolutely sure that they're labor-assisting devices from long ago. Some of the developments (such as reeling silk) *may* have been labor-related or they just may have been logical tangents to the original skills. Too far back in time to do anything but guess.

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 01:34 PM
I'm tracking with Cady here. I saw an episode on "Dirty Jobs" where they were filming the crew on a lobster boat. Mike Rowe did his thing for a bit and soon realized how inept he was, stepped off to the side and let the boys work. They were brothers I believe but it was pure poetry in motion. Every movement was synchronized and no movement wasted. I mentioned before in this thread how we farm boys learned to toss very heavy bales about, almost effortlessly. We were never "taught" these skills. We acquired them through repetition of movement and self correction. Interestingly, the value of these skills were not realized until after a few days of complete and total exhaustion from trying to muscle hay bales around. Once our bodies were completely worn out we would learn the body skills required to make our movements more efficient. Hell, I remember a guy with a steel rod in his back, who because he couldn't bend over, utilized a pitchfork to throw bales of hay high in the air. If you haven't tried handling a bale of hay with a pitchfork, you should try it sometime. I also remember a friend's father, who had lost an arm in a hunting accident, perform absolutely amazing feats. Who taught them how to do those things? The unique skills acquired were largley self taught.I agree that someone can develop a certain skill out of necessity, Ricky. My input would be that not everyone can develop every skill and there's always that innovative, trick discovery that only a few can make.

The helpful thing about a place like China, which is the longest extant agrarian culture, is that once something good has been discovered, it will get passed down and improved upon by many succeeding generation. So a rare discovery is kept by the value of tradition (although I think that the ki and jin things were perhaps Indian discoveries, not Chinese).

I notice that when I carry loads, like for instance flagstones for the patio I'm building, I just trigger my ki strength (of course jin/kokyu is there, too) almost automatically and it strikes me that long ago someone discovered this same thing..... and the ONLY reason I know it is because his discovery got passed down for many generations. I would never have even known where to look nor would I have imagined it, so I don't think it's one that just anyone is going to stumble into.

Best.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 01:44 PM
I notice that when I carry loads, like for instance flagstones for the patio I'm building, I just trigger my ki strength (of course jin/kokyu is there, too) almost automatically and it strikes me that long ago someone discovered this same thing..... and the ONLY reason I know it is because his discovery got passed down for many generations. I would never have even known where to look nor would I have imagined it, so I don't think it's one that just anyone is going to stumble into.


But, Mike, have you been carrying flagstones since you were a child in Nepal? ;) Seriously, this is my posit -- people in labor-intensive cultures use their bodies in ways that post-industrial peoples have rarely, if ever, done. An occasional hardscape project in your yard is not akin to daily tasks over a lifetime. Girls start load-bearing when they are 6 years old, in countries such as Nepal (although it's hard to tell how old a child by looking at them in such a place...the lack of nourishment can stunt grown, and a 12-year-old can look like an 8-year-old). I saw unsupervised children carrying loads up steep mountain trails, for long distances (deforestation forces villagers to walk farther for firewood, and outside of the valley areas in Kathmandu and Pokhara, trails to and from villages are all up-and-down, for miles. Often, the girls would be carrying an infant sibling in a sling, too!

One thing I observed, is that occasionally an elder woman would add sticks to the child's load. I don't know whether they were just seeing how much they could pack on to save another trip, or whether they were testing to see how much more the child could carry. Probably the former, but you never know.

Your trip to Home Despot was likely in a pickup truck, and your engagement with flagstones, brief. But if you had grown up in Kenya, carrying water jugs on your head for 5 miles to and from the river, maybe you would have had to discover the "skills" for yourself.

It would be interesting to research as to whether village elderwomen have a codified oral teaching tradition for load-bearing, or whether they start their daughters with small containers and let them gradually teach themselves with increasing loads.

David Orange
07-10-2007, 01:47 PM
Someone had to be the first to discover "silk reeling" or winding. My hunch is that it came from some homely activity such as net hauling, or heavy skein-winding, and not from martial roots, but was later applied by some bright mind who saw the usefulness.

Cady,

How about maybe it came from reeling silk?

It's been a huge industry in China for centuries. Doesn't it make more sense that when a master says to move "as if you're drawing out a silk thread" that his many references really are to silk manipulation than that it's a wholly "invented" activity that just happens to be exactly what's best for working with silk?

And compare that with your example of the lobstermen doing heavy work. in my experience, some of the toughest people to deal with are physical laborers who use power tools and have to learn to survive those dangers. It's easy to let a power tool pull your hand into a blade or a gear if you don't develop the kinesthetic sense and reflexes to know you're being pulled off balance and let go before it's too late. And that can be a milisecond. People with that kind of strength and responsiveness, taught an art like aikido, can be very powerful.

But while self-taught strongmen can accomplish great tasks with their coordinated whole-body usage, they might find it difficult to move as subtly as needed to draw out a thread of silk from a cocoon. That's the kind of thing Feldenkrais helps: people are used to doing big, heavy stuff, but Feldenkrais makes them work on a very tiny, subtle level. That's why I think it's highly applicable to internal mechanics. Like silk reeling, it helps you see more subtle interactions in the body. And it may make it possible to peform even better at the big, heavy stuff.

David

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 01:57 PM
But, Mike, have you been carrying flagstones since you were a child in Nepal? ;) They only let me carry the water for many years, so I'll have to say, "no". ;) Seriously, this is my posit -- people in labor-intensive cultures use their bodies in ways that post-industrial peoples have rarely, if ever, done. Regardless, not all labor-assisting tricks are equally obvious, Cady. Some people discover better tricks than other ones. Obviously the ki/qi and kokyu/jin tricks are not obvious because there's many a hard-working farmer or dedicated martial artist who hasn't a clue. So this one (well, the ki one, at least.... a lot of jin stuff is fairly common among Asian farmers in certain areas). Notice that various solutions to the ki/qi stuff were found sporadically in China, India, etc., and there was a great seal of secrecy about not telling people.... if these things were so easily discoverable by hard-working others, that wouldn't be the case, would it?

Best.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 02:05 PM
They only let me carry the water for many years, so I'll have to say, "no". ;)

Liar! Boys do exactly "SQUAT" in Nepal. They play while their sisters work. They even get carried around by their sisters while the girls are also hauling firewood and water. Go play with you flagstones now. ;)

Rgardless, not all labor-assisting tricks are equally obvious, Cady. Some people discover better tricks than other ones. Obviously the ki/qi and kokyu/jin tricks are not obvious because there's many a hard-working farmer or dedicated martial artist who hasn't a clue. So this one (well, the ki one, at least.... a lot of jin stuff is fairly common among Asian farmers in certain areas). Notice that various solutions to the ki/qi stuff were found sporadically in China, India, etc., and there was a great seal of secrecy about not telling people.... if these things were so easily discoverable by hard-working others, that wouldn't be the case, would it?

Best.

Mike

I think the "great seal of secrecy" was more likely to be employed when a particular body skill had a direct martial or "magical" (as in, doing a public demo of "supernatural" skills for the purpose of advertising and selling potions, healing sessions or whatever) use. The everyday skills that people perhaps intuitively developed to carry loads, haul nets and wind big skeins of silk, etc., may have been pretty mainstream, but their possessors never put two-and-two together to associate those skills with any activity other than the one they'd wired themselves for. Average Joe fisherman, compared to someone with a spark of genius who saw the other possibilities.

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 02:15 PM
Liar! Boys do exactly "SQUAT" in Nepal. They play while their sisters work. They even get carried around by their sisters while the girls are also hauling firewood and water. Go play with you flagstones now. ;) Omigod! Is Nepal the only country where the correct laws of Nature are diligently observed?!?! That is the way it should be, Cady. You may not appreciate the demands on the human body, but as much work as we men do having to sire children, we deserve a rest whenever we can get it. :p I think the "great seal of secrecy" was more likely to be employed when a particular body skill had a direct martial or "magical" (as in, doing a public demo of "supernatural" skills for the purpose of advertising and selling potions, healing sessions or whatever) use. The everyday skills that people perhaps intuitively developed to carry loads, haul nets and wind big skeins of silk, etc., may have been pretty mainstream, but their possessors never put two-and-two together to associate those skills with any activity other than the one they'd wired themselves for. Average Joe fisherman, compared to someone with a spark of genius who saw the other possibilities.Well, I'm just saying that these skills don't arise when you need them. They have to be trained in every case I've heard of, so the discovery was not something that happens very much. Besides, if you look at how 99% of the literature about qi/jin is from apparently the same ancient sources, that's an indicator that it was a great and almost singular occurrence.

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 02:18 PM
How about maybe it came from reeling silk?Actually, I'm quite sure that it came from silk-reeling toddlers after they'd been Feldenkraised. Or something like that. Hmmmmm.

"Silk reeling" describes what a caterpillar's body looks like as it lays out the thread on the inside of a coccoon. Picture the worm body turning and twisting as the spinneret lays out the silk. It looks like an arm doing a silk-reeling exercise.

FWIW

Mike

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 02:21 PM
But doesn't it just seem weird that that team of Belgian anthropologists simply couldn't figure out how Nepalese porters and African women carried those heavy loads? (reference to a NY Times article on the topic)? Something that was mainstream wiring for the people doing the tasks on a daily basis, was beyond the ken of individuals from a culture where they likely spent their lives using their intellectual skills more than their bodies.

You'd think they'd have the good sense to have a translator ask how they were doing it. It would be interesting to hear any responses.

Just sayin'.

Thomas Campbell
07-10-2007, 02:59 PM
[snip](reference to a NY Times article on the topic)? [snip]

To wit:

The New York Times June 17, 2005

Why the sherpas of Nepal would leave our fittest soldiers standing
By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent

NEPALESE mountain porters who climb steep Himalayan slopes carrying more than their bodyweight are the fittest and most efficient load-lifters in the world, scientists have found.
Their combination of technique and physical ability makes their performance far more effective than that of Western soldiers marching with backpacks, according to research. It even surpasses the most efficient carrying methods studied to date: those of African women whose loads are balanced on or suspended from the head.

A study by Belgian researchers has quantified the remarkable efficiency of Nepal's porters, most of whom come from the sherpa, Rai or Tamang ethnic groups, for the first time. They carry huge loads in a basket known as doko, which is supported with a strap looping around the top of the head.

A team led by Norman Heglund of the Catholic University of Louvain, in Brussels, conducted tests on eight porters travelling to a bazaar in the town of Namche, which lies 3,500m (11,500ft) above sea level close to Mount Everest.

The dirt-track route from the Kathmandu Valley to Namche covers 62 miles (100km), with combined ascents of about 8,000m and descents of about 6,300m, and takes seasoned porters between seven and nine days to complete. Hundreds of porters make the trek every week; on the day before the bazaar, the scientists counted 545 men and 97 women, along with 32 yaks, with many more passing earlier and later in the darkness. The youngest porter was 11 and the oldest 68.

All were carrying loads that seemed unfeasibly heavy to Western observers. The men bore an average of 93 per cent of their bodyweight and the women an average of 66 per cent. A fifth of the men were carrying 125 per cent of their bodyweight and one managed an astonishing 183 per cent.

By contrast, the greatest loads carried by African women, such as those of the Kikuyu tribe in Kenya, amount to 60 per cent of bodyweight, and the loads typically included in military backpacks are lower still.

Dr Heglund, whose results are published today in the journal Science, recruited eight of the porters for further investigation, which has shed some light on the nature of their amazing skills. The porters were asked to walk along a 51m flat track at five different speeds, carrying six or seven different loads, while their oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output was measured.

The tests revealed that loads of up to 20 per cent of bodyweight were carried "for free" — meaning that the porters' metabolic rate did not increase at all compared with an unladen walk. With higher proportional loads, their energy efficiency was far greater than seen with the most efficient head-based carrying techniques used in Africa.

Previous research comparing Kikuyu women with army recruits found that the former carried heavy loads much more efficiently. For loads of 20 per cent of bodyweight, Kikuyu oxygen consumption rose 2 per cent compared with 13 per cent for the soldiers. The difference was even greater for 70 per cent loads: the soldiers used 100 per cent more oxygen, but the women only 50 per cent more. The porters did even better. While they were not subjected to quite the same tests, they were able to carry an extra 30 per cent of bodyweight, on average, while maintaining the same metabolic rate.

Their secret seems to rest on three factors. The first is physiology: the combination of a short but powerful stature and a high red blood cell count evolved as a result of living at high altitude. Also critical is their carrying technique, by which a strap around the head bears the majority of the load. The final element seems to be the regular rests that they take during their climbs.

TAKING THE STRAIN

SHERPA

Technique: doko basket on the back supported by namlo strap around head

Load and efficiency: male porters carry average of 93 per cent of bodyweight, females 66 per cent. Maximum was 183 per cent. Can carry 100 per cent of bodyweight for same energy used by an African woman carrying 70 per cent

AFRICAN WOMEN

Technique: loads balanced on the head or suspended from it using straps. The most efficient method, used by the Kenyan Kikuyu, uses bindings across the forehead to support a load on the back

Load and efficiency: Loads do not generally exceed 60 per cent of bodyweight

SOLDIER

Technique: backpack with shoulder and waist straps

Load and efficiency: US Army guidelines say that a backpack should weigh no more than 15 per cent of a soldier's weight. A 70 per cent load raises oxygen consumption 100 per cent

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 03:09 PM
Thanks, Tom. Their "hypotheses" of short stature, high red blood cell count (what about the low-altitude Kikuyu, who have far fewer red blood cells than high-altitude Sherpa, and who also are tall and slender?), and "regular rests" are just silly. Little girls and old women were blowing past me on mountain paths, and they had twice the burden I was carrying! They weren't taking frequent rests.

Then these researchers vaguely mention "technique" and the tump line that crosses the forehead -- but they have no clue as to what that "technique" might be. Instead of researching that deeply to see what's being done and what's going on in the load-bearers' bodies, they drop the ball. That is the first thing they should have been analyzing and studying.

Flawed scientific process from start to end.

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 03:14 PM
But doesn't it just seem weird that that team of Belgian anthropologists simply couldn't figure out how Nepalese porters and African women carried those heavy loads? (reference to a NY Times article on the topic)? Something that was mainstream wiring for the people doing the tasks on a daily basis, was beyond the ken of individuals from a culture where they likely spent their lives using their intellectual skills more than their bodies.

You'd think they'd have the good sense to have a translator ask how they were doing it. It would be interesting to hear any responses.

Just sayin'.Well just what makes a "Belgian Anthropologist" any different than the average educated individual on an Aikido forum but who has never experienced these skills and who assumes that they certainly know everything any primitive farmer knows. ;)

Note, BTW, that despite your implication that male children did "squat", someone apparently raised them little boys to carry heavier loads than their sisters. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 03:17 PM
Little girls and old women were blowing past me on mountain paths, and they had twice the burden I was carrying! Satan, get thee behind me!!!!! :D

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 03:21 PM
Note, BTW, that despite your implication that male children did "squat", someone apparently raised them little boys to carry heavier loads than their sisters. ;)


Note, BTW, ;) that the porterage done by men from Sherpa, Garung and other ethnicities in Nepal are -paying- jobs. Boys who want to earn money, start apprenticing in their early teens. Girls and women are expected to haul loads from age 6, on, for no pay, as part of daily housework. They don't have a choice.

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 03:35 PM
Note, BTW, ;) that the porterage done by men from Sherpa, Garung and other ethnicities in Nepal are -paying- jobs. Boys who want to earn money, start apprenticing in their early teens. Girls and women are expected to haul loads from age 6, on, for no pay, as part of daily housework. They don't have a choice.Well, your argument seems to be that men go to work to earn money and women stay home and do the housework but they don't get paid directly. Both genders apparently work, unless you're positing that Nepalese men don't work. I'm not sure what the beef is other than it's a male-dominated society. Life isn't perfect, I s'pose, but generally the least inefficient systems in a given environment fail and the most efficient (not perfect) come out on top. C'est la vie.:)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 03:47 PM
Not a beef, Mike, just repartee. ;)

David Orange
07-10-2007, 04:09 PM
"Silk reeling" describes what a caterpillar's body looks like as it lays out the thread on the inside of a coccoon. Picture the worm body turning and twisting as the spinneret lays out the silk. It looks like an arm doing a silk-reeling exercise.

Then why don't they call it "spinning silk?"

And isn't it odd that the movement looks just like someone turning a silk reel, which actually "reels" silk?

Maybe there's a reason for that.

David

David Orange
07-10-2007, 04:14 PM
Well, there's your answer, right there:

Also critical is their carrying technique, by which a strap around the head bears the majority of the load.

The porters themselves bear very little weight since the strap bears the majority of the load.

Now if I only had a strap like that....

:D

David

David Orange
07-10-2007, 04:17 PM
Little girls and old women were blowing past me on mountain paths...

I've heard that the old ladies who bring snacks and drinks up to the rest stations on Mt. Fuji are like that. Hikers think they're doing something big, carrying maybe a sleeping bag, while the old ladies are carrying boxes of food and stuff, blowing them off the trails!

Thomas Campbell
07-10-2007, 04:21 PM
[snip]
Then these researchers vaguely mention "technique" and the tump line that crosses the forehead -- but they have no clue as to what that "technique" might be. [snip]

Having been to Nepal myself and made a careful study of the load-bearing issue (I couldn't afford a porter), I noted that the primary training technique appears to be hoisting a basketful of chorten stones on one's back, securing it with a tump-line over the forehead, then doing Daito-ryu shikkos without losing one's balance or the basket on the back.

:straightf

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 04:24 PM
Then why don't they call it "spinning silk?"

And isn't it odd that the movement looks just like someone turning a silk reel, which actually "reels" silk?

Maybe there's a reason for that.They don't call it "reeling silk". They don't call it "spinning silk". They don't call it "winding silk". Those are just translations that people have picked for "chansi", which is what they call it. You're not the first person to base a theory (and often teach) on a loose English translation and I doubt you'll be the last.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
07-10-2007, 04:41 PM
Well, there's your answer, right there:

The porters themselves bear very little weight since the strap bears the majority of the load.

Now if I only had a strap like that....

:D

David

Yesindeedido. ;)
You'd think the researchers had forgotten that the strap is connected to something (the person), which in turn is connected to something (the ground), and that even a Magic Tumpline can't suspend itself in the air, free from the pull of gravity. Oy.

David Orange
07-10-2007, 04:49 PM
You're not the first person to base a theory (and often teach) on a loose English translation and I doubt you'll be the last.


Probably not. And you may not be the last to make your own loose translations between Chinese and Japanese.....

So what's a better translation for the term?

David

David Orange
07-10-2007, 04:50 PM
Yesindeedido. ;)
You'd think the researchers had forgotten that the strap is connected to something (the person), which in turn is connected to something (the ground), and that even a Magic Tumpline can't suspend itself in the air, free from the pull of gravity. Oy.

No, I'm thinking it's probably made from the same stuff as those ropes they charm out of the basket, then climb to the top of and disappear. We don't give magic enough credit in this society. I would really like to get one of those dang straps!

David

statisticool
07-10-2007, 05:38 PM
I would be happy to show you some of the aunkai exercises (in a completly non-confrontational manner, I have a couple people who practice them with me twice a week in Fairfax and are all very friendly guys who aren't out to prove anything),


Thanks for the offer, but we've been down that road before. I'm frankly still wondering why lunges and turning the body suddenly becomes axis training and 'internal' strength and when it is Japanese or Chinese natural suddenly people don't know about it except for a select few.

DH
07-10-2007, 06:23 PM
Thanks for the offer, but we've been down that road before. I'm frankly still wondering why lunges and turning the body suddenly becomes axis training and 'internal' strength and when it is Japanese or Chinese natural suddenly people don't know about it except for a select few.
Because turning suddenly isn't axis training, winding your body the way I've seen people do isn't silk reelling either. And you can touch someone and feel the difference. As many here have reported...Hmm.. maybe all.
Since you continually reveal you don't have clue-I think you don't have a chance to do much of anything to someone who does understand the difference. Since you tell us we're nuts, why not put your body where your mouth is and stop the stalking.
We did.

HL1978
07-10-2007, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the offer, but we've been down that road before. I'm frankly still wondering why lunges and turning the body suddenly becomes axis training and 'internal' strength and when it is Japanese or Chinese natural suddenly people don't know about it except for a select few.

That is exactly what I could help show you ;)

The lunges/turning the body in shintaijuku isn't just lunging/turning the body, that is simply copying the shape without the intent. If you do that exercise correctly, you will find that the body starts to push/pull itself as you "open" and "close". That is to say you aren't mentally telling the legs to push, they just start to move as though it was of their own accord.

for example in shiko (the sumo stomp exercise), when closing the right arm, you start to find the left side of the body turning. If you don't have the right alignment/structure etc, you don't feel any of these sensations and as a result each part of the body starts to move independently of the other instead of as one unit.

When each part moves independently instead of as a whole, the resultant strike/throw etc isn't quite as powerful.

If you want to check out the swordfest 2007 demos in Alexandria this weeked (http://capitalareabudokai.org/swordfest.html demos of eastern and western sword styles, chinese, german, italian, japanese etc), I will be there and if you have 10 minutes to spare I can hopefully answer the above question for you.

Timothy WK
07-10-2007, 09:24 PM
Setting aside the issue of the Nepalese/African/Sherpa porters (who probably display some sort of jin/ki skill, I guess), normal muscle is capable of an awful lot all by itself. I would be leery of automatically assuming that fisherman and farmers are using jin/ki.

I worked for a number of years as a bicycle messenger and then loading trucks for UPS. In both jobs, I reached a level of conditioning where my muscles just stopped getting tired. I never considered myself exceptionally "strong", but I could push myself well beyond what any of my non-manual labor friends could.

Loading trucks, I certainly learned how to hold the weight in my core and load up my legs, but I still used a helleva lot of muscle. Maybe I gained a minimal amount of body connection, but I certainly didn't learn the type of body skills I'm learning now. And the guys that worked those jobs for 10, 15, 20 years didn't display the type of body skills my teacher has, either. Their broad shoulders, backs, and thighs suggested they used muscle, too. But they could do that work for 5-8 hours at a stretch, day in and day out.

You don't need big bulky muscle to be really strong. But anyway, that all is the long way of me saying that the body skills I'm learning now are different from what I did doing manual labor.

Mike Sigman
07-10-2007, 09:25 PM
Probably not. And you may not be the last to make your own loose translations between Chinese and Japanese.....

So what's a better translation for the term?One of the real problems with a lot of the terms and phrases is that the literal translation (the "better translation") has little to do with it. That's why it's a common statement that only an experienced martial artist can translate the idiomatic meaning and references in many terms. The "best translation" turns out to be the idiomatic translation.... which refers to the windings of a silk worm as it lays out the cocoon. Probably the best translation is still going to be vague and not very explicative: chansi gung would be "winding exercises".

Mike

David Orange
07-10-2007, 10:38 PM
The "best translation" turns out to be the idiomatic translation.... which refers to the windings of a silk worm as it lays out the cocoon. Probably the best translation is still going to be vague and not very explicative: chansi gung would be "winding exercises".

Right, you twister. That's why "CHINESE" sources have been saying "reeling silk" for decades when they were using English. That's why they all describe pulling the silk from the coccoon: they are referring to the worm putting the silk on the coccoon. It makes sense...in Sigmanland.

Chan
to bother; wind around; wrap round; coil; involve; annoy; tangle

Si
Silk, thread, trace

The detailed description of the effort always refers to drawing the silk from the coccoon and onto a "reel."

So yes, "they" do "call it reeling silk" when they're speaking English, and their illustrations prove that they're not talking about the worm, you silk producing fellow.

David

Mike Sigman
07-11-2007, 08:14 AM
Right, you twister. That's why "CHINESE" sources have been saying "reeling silk" for decades when they were using English. That's why they all describe pulling the silk from the coccoon: they are referring to the worm putting the silk on the coccoon. It makes sense...in Sigmanland.

Chan
to bother; wind around; wrap round; coil; involve; annoy; tangle

Si
Silk, thread, trace

The detailed description of the effort always refers to drawing the silk from the coccoon and onto a "reel."

So yes, "they" do "call it reeling silk" when they're speaking English, and their illustrations prove that they're not talking about the worm, you silk producing fellow.WTF? I already said they call it "chansi" = "silk reeling". But it's not about actually reeling silk. I gave you the discussion/explanation from Chen Xiaowang (and I said that's where I got it, in addition to other sources) and you continue to fight, fight, fight. Do it your way, since you already know everything.

BTW, the "BaDuanJin", the one everyone calles "Eight Pieces of Brocade" isn't about crochetting, either, as it would seem using your logic. But I'm sure you'd argue it to a fare-thee-well, assuming, as usual, that if you don't know it, know one else could possibly know it, so any guess is a good one. This is completely amateurish. Go back to learning Aikido from your kid.

Mike

David Orange
07-11-2007, 08:36 AM
WTF? I already said they call it "chansi" = "silk reeling". But it's not about actually reeling silk.

No, you said "they" don't call it silk reeling, silk winding, silk pulling or anything else, it's chansi.....

Well, yes, it is chansi, but in English they have consistently called it "reeling silk," including Chen Xiao Wang, and all the explanations have been that it is "like" drawing the silk from a coccoon, but you have been trying to turn it around backward and portray it as the motion of the worm secreting silk to make the coccoon. Why do you need to do that? You would rather obscure the real meaning than admit that everything I've said about it has been factually correct. The whole thing is that you don't want to admit that the movement did develop from silk workers in China and that it was refined into a martial method. That's your problem.

I gave you the discussion/explanation from Chen Xiaowang (and I said that's where I got it, in addition to other sources) and you continue to fight, fight, fight.

No, you didn't give the discussion/explanation from CXW. You mentioned his name in passing and said that the movement doesn't come from the occupation of reeling silk. But everything I've seen from CXW includes the standard illustrations of pulling the silk from the coccoon: too fast and it breaks, too slow and it tangles. Does that sound like a worm applying the silk or like a worker reeling the silk?

Do it your way, since you already know everything.

I'm just going by the research and you are the only one who tries to portray it as the actions of the worm, which is really appropriate.

BTW, the "BaDuanJin", the one everyone calles "Eight Pieces of Brocade" isn't about crochetting, either, as it would seem using your logic. But I'm sure you'd argue it to a fare-thee-well, assuming, as usual, that if you don't know it, know one else could possibly know it, so any guess is a good one. This is completely amateurish.

What's amateurish is your attempt to worm out of accepting the truth. Assuming is something you're especially good at. I haven't guessed at anything so far in the discussion. I've used only long-accepted Chinese sources against your own twisting fabrications.

David

Mike Sigman
07-11-2007, 08:59 AM
The whole thing is that you don't want to admit that the movement did develop from silk workers in China and that it was refined into a martial method. That's your problem. Source? It's a freakin' metaphor, for chrissake. You don't even have a remote clue how to do reeling-silk exercises or what reeling-silk jin is and you'll devote post after post to insisting some superficial blurb you read in a book by some wants-to-appear-knowledgeable writer is credible. Give us the source's name and let's compare him/her's credentials to Chen Xiao Wang's.No, you didn't give the discussion/explanation from CXW. Go back and look. But everything I've seen from CXW includes the standard illustrations of pulling the silk from the coccoon: too fast and it breaks, too slow and it tangles. Source? I've never seen anything from Chen Xiao Wang himself showing those kinds of standard illustrations and I tend to read everything he and a number of others put out.I'm just going by the research and you are the only one who tries to portray it as the actions of the worm, which is really appropriate. This is insanity. You'll argue any topic, even one you've blatantly been shown not to have even superficial knowledge about, to the bitter end.

And incidentally, the "don't break the thread strand" stuff is one "common consumption" explanation that is seen, but there are indications it's an after-the-fact reaction to the metaphor and that it may wrongly focus on the "silk". "Silk" is an old and well-known martial reference to the fascia, as well, and "fascia winding exercises" is a very accurate way of describing what's going on.

Mike

MM
07-11-2007, 09:48 AM
If you want to check out the swordfest 2007 demos in Alexandria this weeked (http://capitalareabudokai.org/swordfest.html demos of eastern and western sword styles, chinese, german, italian, japanese etc), I will be there and if you have 10 minutes to spare I can hopefully answer the above question for you.

Well, shoot. I'd come down and say Hi again, but that saturday is booked with a family thing. And as I've been told, priorities are: Work, Family, Budo. Er, wait, maybe that's Family, Work, Budo. LOL!

Maybe I can catch up with you some other weekend?

Thanks,
Mark

Budd
07-11-2007, 10:03 AM
Well, shoot. I'd come down and say Hi again, but that saturday is booked with a family thing. And as I've been told, priorities are: Work, Family, Budo. Er, wait, maybe that's Family, Work, Budo. LOL!

Maybe I can catch up with you some other weekend?

Thanks,
Mark

Mark, just remember, even if you're told, "Yes, you can go to Swordfest!", the correct response is: "No way, I'm gonna stay here with you!"

Me, on the other hand, my wife likes sword stuff even more than I do, so that helps . . .

MM
07-11-2007, 10:14 AM
Mark, just remember, even if you're told, "Yes, you can go to Swordfest!", the correct response is: "No way, I'm gonna stay here with you!"

Me, on the other hand, my wife likes sword stuff even more than I do, so that helps . . .

ROTFL!!!

(Yeah, a couple of "you had to be there" jokes.)

Mark

HL1978
07-11-2007, 10:19 AM
Well, shoot. I'd come down and say Hi again, but that saturday is booked with a family thing. And as I've been told, priorities are: Work, Family, Budo. Er, wait, maybe that's Family, Work, Budo. LOL!

Maybe I can catch up with you some other weekend?

Thanks,
Mark

sure!

David Orange
07-11-2007, 01:53 PM
Source? It's a freakin' metaphor, for chrissake. You don't even have a remote clue how to do reeling-silk exercises or what reeling-silk jin is and you'll devote post after post to insisting some superficial blurb you read in a book by some wants-to-appear-knowledgeable writer is credible. Give us the source's name and let's compare him/her's credentials to Chen Xiao Wang's.

Adam Hsu was the first writer I read who mentioned it. And I've never seen anything that substantially contradicts him. Even Chen's material all says "silk reeling" that I've seen. Show me something different. Otherwise...you...are....just....asserting

I've never seen anything from Chen Xiao Wang himself showing those kinds of standard illustrations and I tend to read everything he and a number of others put out.

Then you should easily be able to quote and link to the quote where CXW says anything different...shouldn't you? You demand it from everyone else.

[This is insanity. You'll argue any topic, even one you've blatantly been shown not to have even superficial knowledge about, to the bitter end.

You are the one who has reversed yourself on this topic, not I. And my main point is that it's not part of JMA. You've never shown that it is though you've tried to substitute other things and you've done your best to distort the translation....

[And incidentally, the "don't break the thread strand" stuff is one "common consumption" explanation that is seen, but there are indications it's an after-the-fact reaction to the metaphor and that it may wrongly focus on the "silk".

Let's see..."there are indications...." that's a powerful citation of source. And the source of those "indications" is....Mike's opinion???? We've seen how you skim over material, pick out a word you think you understand and build a whole schematic from that. And you've proven that you will distort concepts to keep from appearing incorrect about something...So I don't see any reason to take your protestations too seriously.

"Silk" is an old and well-known martial reference to the fascia, as well, and "fascia winding exercises" is a very accurate way of describing what's going on.

Could be conceivable...but what's still fishy is the outward resemblance to the actual work of reeling silk, the fact that these concepts arose in a silk manufacturing culture and the rest, and your continuing insistence that there is no relation between the two--that in fact, it refers to the worm making the silk.

You really should join some sort of clinical trial, but I don't think there is one for your very unusual condition.

Good luck with all that.

David

Mike Sigman
07-11-2007, 03:39 PM
Adam Hsu was the first writer I read who mentioned it. And I've never seen anything that substantially contradicts him. Great, you quote a Taiwanese Baji guy for a source. You are the one who has reversed yourself on this topic, not I. And my main point is that it's not part of JMA. You've never shown that it is though you've tried to substitute other things and you've done your best to distort the translation.... You know, there's going to come a time when you'll wish some of your comments had been expunged from the archives. The basics are the same. You don't know the basics; you don't know of any substantive differences between Chinese and Japanese martial arts. You're reduced to telling "Mochizuki tole me..." anecdotes.

:rolleyes:

Mike

DH
07-11-2007, 03:47 PM
LMAO
You guys don't forget anything!!!:cool:

David
Not to get in the middle of you and Mike's love fest.....
Your not going to get it from trying to copy some motion of fishermen or silk drawing in a river of even in the Taiji exercise. The motion without mentally moving and connecting things is pointless -other than getting some mild exercise. What is connecting and moving is not in "winding your muscles" while pulling on something. In fact were you to do that for five years and I put some load on you- chances are you'd fall apart even quicker than a good judo player. Done right and you'd give anyone who wants to throw you a real hard time. The winding isn't some "body shape" you take, in motion.
When it comes to this topic, don't hate the message because of the messenger. Try to look at it instead with a joy of learning something new. There's nothing wrong with not knowing a thing or two, right? Even when we learn things by rote, there is always a definable mark of individual accumen. Look forward to breaking new ground and gaining power for yourself in your old age...Hah!

Mike Sigman
07-11-2007, 04:12 PM
Not to get in the middle of you and Mike's love fest..... Hmmmm.... well, I'm not the one waiting anxiously to meet up with Daving and talking about hugging and making friends, Dan.:D In fact, somehow I don't think that was the traditional approach to martial arts at all!!!!

:p

Mike

David Orange
07-11-2007, 04:19 PM
Not to get in the middle of you and Mike's love fest.....Your not going to get it from trying to copy some motion of fishermen or silk drawing in a river of even in the Taiji exercise. The motion without mentally moving and connecting things is pointless -other than getting some mild exercise.

I think it's like everything else: there's a source, an inspiration, and then there's development. I don't have the slightest illusion that the surface movement is the inner depth. The problem for me is Mike's changing stories--throw the insult, then, when the proof emerges, disparage it and throw another insult--and all really unnecessary because we did get back to the likelihood that the movement was originally derived from laborers, then refined. So I know that silk reeling is internal and very subtle. Mike just isn't.

What is connecting and moving is not in "winding your muscles" while pulling on something.

Those comments all relate to Mike's "crude" illustration of what he meant by "pulling" silk as opposed to "reeling" silk--which was just some obfuscation to cover his being caught in a weak spot.

The winding isn't some "body shape" you take, in motion.

From looking at the videos, it's obvious that it's not just external movement and that that form of movement is very important in tai chi. I have no argument against that.

When it comes to this topic, don't hate the message because of the messenger.

Not at all. Most of the past several comments have just been chastening the messenger for muddying up the message--and apparently intentionally.

Try to look at it instead with a joy of learning something new. There's nothing wrong with not knowing a thing or two, right? Even when we learn things by rote, there is always a definable mark of individual accumen. Look forward to breaking new ground and gaining power for yourself in your old age...Hah!

I'm with you there. I've gotten a lot to think about in the last several days. I'm setting up a "nine-palace" post formation in my back yard to work with.

Thanks.

David

David Orange
07-11-2007, 04:20 PM
Go back to learning Aikido from your kid.

He taught you a lesson about whether toddlers have balance, coordination and intent, didn't he?

Don't stay dumb forever.

David

DH
07-11-2007, 05:37 PM
Hmmmm.... well, I'm not the one waiting anxiously to meet up with Daving and talking about hugging and making friends, Dan.:D In fact, somehow I don't think that was the traditional approach to martial arts at all!!!!

:p

Mike
Well, I can understand your approach and your humor in doggin me whenever I say it- as if its something anathema to Budo. I've met plenty of capable guys who have no trouble being nice- till its time to play, and I've met a few others who were very capable and were perfect asses. There really isn't any distinction either way that I've seen. Its simply a choice.
Like the story Ellis likes to tell of O'Sullivan, who was verbally accosted on a train. He was nice and magnanimous to the twerp giving him a hard time. A reporter said something like "You're Champion of the world you don't have to be nice. O' sullivan said. "I -AM- champion of the world. I can afford to be nice."
Again, its just a view. It doesn't validate anyone's training either way.

Mike Sigman
07-11-2007, 06:35 PM
Well, I can understand your approach and your humor in doggin me whenever I say it- as if its something anathema to Budo.Well, given the penchant of some people to worry about "koryu" tradition and secrets, in relation to other people and not being "open" because it was traditional to be reserved until you knew someone, etc., it's just a minor point of inconsistency (nothing at all to do with anathema). Hence, it's worth a mild, humorous remark. I'm sure a friendly guy like you sees the humor. ;)

Regards,

Mike

DH
07-11-2007, 06:39 PM
:)

Upyu
07-11-2007, 09:17 PM
Could be conceivable...but what's still fishy is the outward resemblance to the actual work of reeling silk, the fact that these concepts arose in a silk manufacturing culture and the rest, and your continuing insistence that there is no relation between the two--that in fact, it refers to the worm making the silk.


David, the thing is... Mike's explanations make sense, for someone that has these skills.
Sure he might be postulating, but having silk reeling refer to the worms actual movements to produce silk make sense, as well as the reference to not pulling silk too hard etc etc.

Asians love to make metaphores. The japanese and chinese are especially guilty of it, even if the metaphore used didn't have any direct relation to the actual skill.
The reeling silk metaphore certainly fits the bill and stinks more of someone simply coming up with a multi layered metaphore ;)

Ark loves to make all sorts of raunchy metaphores when it comes to describing some of the skills.
Does that mean that the skills were created while doing it d%#$y??

Maybe 1000 years down the line if "Ark's style" is still popluar, somebody that's on the same wave length as you might say how the skill was deriven from long nights in the red light district...:D

Another thing, the pulling silk vs reeling silk makes perfect sense as well. (Mainly becaus up until now I've been more of the "pulling silk" variety..which is slowly changing)
In one way it goes back to the Shaolin styl3 vs. 6 harmonies/reeling style.
Its not one is better than the other, but rather which approach is more suited to that person.

PS
Adam Hsu is a ...bad... bad example to bring up.
I mean, he's ..."ok" as far as Baji goes, but I wouldn't quote him as an expert. He's a good salesman as far as CMA goes, but even in Japan he doesn't have a very high reputation as being skilled.:straightf

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 08:37 AM
having silk reeling refer to the worms actual movements to produce silk make sense, as well as the reference to not pulling silk too hard etc etc.I think it's easy to get lost in generalities. For instance, "Misogi" is not just about "cleansing" by any means and "breathing exercises" are not just about breathing. General terms don't necessarily connote the full implications of what is going on, in many descriptions. When someone says "reeling silk", the uniformed picture some sort of arm/hand movement, etc., and actually you can do reeling-silk exercises separately for the head, neck, arms, torso, waist, hips, knees, ankles, or whatever. It's the way the power is used that defines the "reeling silk", not the particular movement of any body part.

I posted several times in the past that for all practical purposes, the equivalent to "silk reeling exercises"in Aikido was in the Aiki Taiso. Now most Aiki Taiso don't have silk reeling, but I've never been able to say that with complete certainty in some of the old films of O-Sensei.... there are a couple of videos where I had to go "maybe-maybe not" because I just couldn't tell for sure what he did to get to some of the places he got in his movements. Tohei I would say no... he uses only the pulling silk, although I don't think he really teaches what he knows about this area (just an opinion, not a judgement).

Ultimately, at the level we're discussing these things, it simply doesn't matter much. My point is that if you boil down correct Aikido and you boil down correct Taiji (or other arts, Chinese or Japanes), after everything boils off, you'll have the same principles left in the bottom of the pan.

FWIW

Mike

MM
07-12-2007, 08:58 AM
I posted several times in the past that for all practical purposes, the equivalent to "silk reeling exercises"in Aikido was in the Aiki Taiso. Now most Aiki Taiso don't have silk reeling, but I've never been able to say that with complete certainty in some of the old films of O-Sensei.... there are a couple of videos where I had to go "maybe-maybe not" because I just couldn't tell for sure what he did to get to some of the places he got in his movements. Tohei I would say no... he uses only the pulling silk, although I don't think he really teaches what he knows about this area (just an opinion, not a judgement).

FWIW

Mike

Hmmm ... speaking of Aiki Taiso. So, you're saying that exercises like Udefuri, Funakogi, and shomenuchi should all be done with silk reeling?

For those who want to see vids of two of the above (but please don't read the descriptions):

http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/KiEx/Udefuri.html
http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/KiEx/Shomen.html

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 09:09 AM
So, you're saying that exercises like Udefuri, Funakogi, and shomenuchi should all be done with silk reeling? Er, no... I didn't say that at all, Mark. ;)

Regards,

Mike

MM
07-12-2007, 09:45 AM
Er, no... I didn't say that at all, Mark. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Silly me. :)

Now I'm confused. Would you care to explain a bit more on Aiki Taiso and silk reeling?

Thanks,
Mark

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 10:49 AM
Now I'm confused. Would you care to explain a bit more on Aiki Taiso and silk reeling?What I said was that "the equivalent to "silk reeling exercisesin Aikido was in the Aiki Taiso". In other words, the exercises that are purely to work the ki/fascia and kokyu/jin are the Aiki Taiso, in Aikido. If you do them correctly. Unfortunately, the Aiki Taiso have become abbreviated warmups using external-mode of strength in too much of Aikido.

Don't forget that specific exercises are nice to build/focus-on specific parts of the body skills, but ultimately everything should be contained, at all times, in your normal practices and usages. Even in walking down the street.

Best.

Mike

David Orange
07-12-2007, 11:06 AM
Ultimately, at the level we're discussing these things, it simply doesn't matter much. My point is that if you boil down correct Aikido and you boil down correct Taiji (or other arts, Chinese or Japanes), after everything boils off, you'll have the same principles left in the bottom of the pan.

Yeah....if you boil it down. If you boil it far enough, you end up with hard tar.

But in their "natural" state, where one is aikido and the other is tai chi, they're still different things.

It's a little like reading in the paper that Mifune beat all his opponents with karate or "kung fu". Well, yesssss....you have to say...."it's all pretty similar," but Mifune used judo.

I don't like someone to say they have no commonalities and I don't like someone to say they're all the same. You can't really control fascia, after all. You can control muscle. Whatever you can do with the fascia is done through the muscles. But that doesn't mean that muscle and fascia are the same.

It's as much a failure of understanding to fail to differentiate as to over-differentiate.

David

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 11:27 AM
Aikido derives from ju-jitsu ryu. But then, as I've mentioned before, the usage of ki, etc., is obviously the same in the Chinese and Japanese martial arts. What appears obvious is that at the higher levels there's no substantive difference in the core principles in Chinese and Japanese martial arts. Are the core principles in Chinese martial arts different from what you do, David? Undoubtedly.

From: http://www.judoamerica.com/coaches/kano-kata.shtml

In passing, Gleeson introduces Shao's cosmological structure, making a point of the dichotomy of the static universe into ju (soft) and go (hard) elements. Historically, from the martial arts perspective, this turned out to be less important than the holistic mind-body relationship emphasized by Shao's successor Wang Yang Ming, especially his notion of ju as making the body "soft" or "pliant" to the will 5. This concept was one of the many
faces of ju perceived and embraced by Kano. Gleeson makes this allusion, but never offers these details, and to the extent that it does succeed, it misleads. Having introduced the subject, Gleeson fails to offer more critical, more relevant information from Kano's own martial arts lineage. So the reader is left with a shaded, incomplete picture.

Kano extensively studied the Tenjin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu which is a fusion of Shin no Shindo Ryu and Yoshin Ryu. Yoshin Ryu (Yo, meaning "willow tree,"and Shin, meaning "heart or spirit") was de-vised by a doctor from Nagasaki named Shirobei Yoshitoki Akiyama. Akiyama had studied battlefield and healing arts in Japan, and is thought to have been accomplished in Jujutsu.
Wishing to extend his knowl-edge, Akiyama went to China to study in the 1600s. There he studied medicine, katsu (life-restoring tech-niques), and various martial arts, especially striking arts and their use as applied to vital areas (kyusho-jutsu). He also studied Taoism, Taoist healing and martial arts, and acu-punc-ture. The centerpiece of the art he created by incorpor-ating his training in China with Japanese methods was a syllabus of 300 techniques. This represented an infusion of the "soft" or "internal" martial arts of China into Japan 6.

The soft or internal arts were known popularly in China as jou-chuan, the characters for which are read in Japanese as "ju-ken," meaning "soft fist." It was common throughout that period to refer to all internal arts by this name. This may have played some role in the eventual popularity of the term jujutsu for these rough-and-tumble martial arts. Kano and others argued that there was nothing "gentle" or "soft" about Jujutsu, and that ju was hardly
the over-riding principle of the arts.The arts were called "ju-arts" or jujutsu because they were based on internal methods and ki (internal energy), not because they employed no strength or force 7.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
07-12-2007, 11:49 AM
What I said was that "the equivalent to "silk reeling exercisesin Aikido was in the Aiki Taiso". In other words, the exercises that are purely to work the ki/fascia and kokyu/jin are the Aiki Taiso, in Aikido. If you do them correctly. Unfortunately, the Aiki Taiso have become abbreviated warmups using external-mode of strength in too much of Aikido.

Don't forget that specific exercises are nice to build/focus-on specific parts of the body skills, but ultimately everything should be contained, at all times, in your normal practices and usages. Even in walking down the street.

Best.

Mike

Ah, okay.

Thanks!

David Orange
07-12-2007, 12:09 PM
David, the thing is... Mike's explanations make sense, for someone that has these skills.
Sure he might be postulating, but having silk reeling refer to the worms actual movements to produce silk make sense, as well as the reference to not pulling silk too hard etc etc.

But 1) they don't call it anything similar to "applying" silk and 2) it does resemble the work of reeling silk from the coccoon and 3) there are the many descriptions that support its origin in industrial silk making.

Asians love to make metaphores. The japanese and chinese are especially guilty of it, even if the metaphore used didn't have any direct relation to the actual skill.
The reeling silk metaphore certainly fits the bill and stinks more of someone simply coming up with a multi layered metaphore ;)

This is true. And I don't see any problem with "silk reeling" referring to "winding the fascia". However, look at some common metaphors in martial arts:

Tiger style: source: tiger movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm

Crane style: source: crane movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm movement

Monkey style: source: monkey movement--source according to Mike Sigman: derived from worm movment

Snake style: source: snake movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm attack movements

dragon style: source: dragon movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm

Of course, these are all pretty much "external" systems, but it shows pretty clearly that, even in metaphor, the Asians tend to be pretty direct.

Ark loves to make all sorts of raunchy metaphores when it comes to describing some of the skills. Does that mean that the skills were created while doing it d%#$y??

I'd say it means the skills are pretty close to that activity and are performed in a similar way.

David

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 12:11 PM
BTW, speaking of the fascia training as part of breathing exercises (and other things), it's common in a number of Asian disciplines and religious regimens, showing how important these body skills were. In Buddhism and martial-Buddhist training, the idea of strengthening the fascia part of the ki (ki is a number of things; the fascia stuff is only part of it) was important and often shown only to a few proven people within a discipline. Here's some pictures of a Danzan Ryu adept showing part of his accomplishments in the "secrets":

http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG
http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK2.JPG

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 12:18 PM
This is true. And I don't see any problem with "silk reeling" referring to "winding the fascia". However, look at some common metaphors in martial arts:

Tiger style: source: tiger movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm

Crane style: source: crane movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm movement

Monkey style: source: monkey movement--source according to Mike Sigman: derived from worm movment

Snake style: source: snake movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm attack movements

dragon style: source: dragon movement--source according to Mike Sigman: worm

Of course, these are all pretty much "external" systems, but it shows pretty clearly that, even in metaphor, the Asians tend to be pretty direct.
You know, David. Seriously. You should quit while you're behind. Anyone with a moderate understanding of Chinese martial arts or Asian martial arts in general has written you off long since. In some way, each one of your posts is trying to disparage me personally, but the reverse happens when you talk about things that you clearly don't know.

I can see where a beginner would fixate on the idea that the martial arts you named above tend to copy the movement of the animal named, which is slightly true, but it misses the deeper meaning of the type of qi and the way it's utilized that they're referring to, as well. You might be interested to pick out snake-style and tiger-style to pursue if you're ever interested in some very clever ways of training the qi.

Regards,

Mike

Erik Johnstone
07-12-2007, 12:19 PM
http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG[/url]
http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK2.JPG

FWIW

Mike

Very nice. I may be mistaken, but that Danzan-ryu adept looks awfully like Henry Seishiro Okazaki, the Founder of Kodenkan Jujutsu/Danzan-ryu. I've assisted as uke for his daughter, Imi Okazaki-Mullins, at a few seminars. Wonderful lady!

Thanks!

EAJ

David Orange
07-12-2007, 12:21 PM
Aikido derives from ju-jitsu ryu. But then, as I've mentioned before, the usage of ki, etc., is obviously the same in the Chinese and Japanese martial arts.

er....you've asserted that.

What appears obvious is that at the higher levels there's no substantive difference in the core principles in Chinese and Japanese martial arts.

Yes, but it also appears to you that toddlers have no coordination, balance or intention. I have shown that you were guessing and making assumptions.

Your quoted article shows an influence of Chinese internal arts on Japanese jujutsu, but not a direct transmission....if much can be missed between a Chinese teacher and a Chinese student, why would we expect a full transmission from a Chinese master to a Japanese doctor when the Japanese were not well-liked in China?

Further, though aikido does derive from a type of jujutsu, it's very different from the jujutsu that led to judo. It's far more closely associated with the Japanese sword and the specific methods of everything in it are specialized. So while I have never denied an influence of Chinese thinking in Japanese culture and arts, you still have not proven that they are the same or even essentially the same.

If you only had more knowledge of Japan, I would give you more credit on that, but....alas! Earwax!

David

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 12:23 PM
Very nice. I may be mistaken, but that Danzan-ryu adept looks awfully like Henry Seishiro Okazaki, the Founder of Kodenkan Jujutsu/Danzan-ryu. I've assisted as uke for his daughter, Imi Okazaki-Mullins, at a few seminars. Wonderful lady!Hi Erik:

Please don't mistake me for being blunt or rude (I tend to speak casually like we're sitting around the cracker barrel), since you and I have not really talked on the internet before, but I'd like to ask if you were shown how to train the ki like Okazaki is showing?

The name "Imi Okazaki-Mullins" may be one of the top-ten names I've ever heard. Great name. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 12:28 PM
Yes, but it also appears to you that toddlers have no coordination, balance or intention. I have shown that you were guessing and making assumptions. Never said that. You made it up by deliberately misconstruing previous remarks.

Mike Sigman

Erik Johnstone
07-12-2007, 12:28 PM
Hi Erik:

Please don't mistake me for being blunt or rude (I tend to speak casually like we're sitting around the cracker barrel), since you and I have not really talked on the internet before, but I'd like to ask if you were shown how to train the ki like Okazaki is showing?

The name "Imi Okazaki-Mullins" may be one of the top-ten names I've ever heard. Great name. ;)

Best.

Mike

No problem, Mike.

To answer your question, no; I was never shown such things, nor did I hear Okazaki-Mullins Sensei discuss them either. She started training with her father as a young girl (along with her sisters), so she may have had or been exposed to ki training. I will certainly have to ask her!

Thanks again for posting the photo!

David Orange
07-12-2007, 12:35 PM
You know, David. Seriously. You should quit while you're behind.

Sure, Mike. Sure.

Don't forget that the one who is last will be first.

In some way, each one of your posts is trying to disparage me personally,

Don't take it too hard. It's just an echo of your own comment earlier: "BTW, the "BaDuanJin", the one everyone calles "Eight Pieces of Brocade" isn't about crochetting, either, as it would seem using your logic. But I'm sure you'd argue it to a fare-thee-well, assuming, as usual, that if you don't know it, know one else could possibly know it, so any guess is a good one."

See how that works? You make a comment like that, then squeal like a pig when someone ribs you back. Grow up.

I can see where a beginner would fixate on the idea that the martial arts you named above tend to copy the movement of the animal named, which is slightly true, but it misses the deeper meaning of the type of qi and the way it's utilized that they're referring to, as well. You might be interested to pick out snake-style and tiger-style to pursue if you're ever interested in some very clever ways of training the qi.

I'm not fixated on anything, but it's clear that Asian metaphors are frequently pretty straightforward. Like comparing "ju" to the yeilding and springing back of bamboo. Fine on the surface, but yeilding much more subtle meanings if you know something about the actual bamboo plant. It doesn't get that strength purely from itself, but largely from its underground connection to the entire grove. And this implies the unseen, the esoteric, occult, time and space, and more. Further, though bamboo may appear to be dead, it may suddenly put out all new leaves, or a shoot will appear to prove that the underground network remains vital.

Tiger style was based on tiger movement.
Snake style was based on snake movement, etc., etc., and "reeling silk" is undoubtedly based on industrial silk manufacture and, particularly, inspired by the unique physical movement of reeling the silk strands from the coccoon to the reel. If you have some links to "quotes" from CXW or anyone else (except Master MS), you could bolster your position by posting them.

David

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 12:37 PM
I was never shown such things, nor did I hear Okazaki-Mullins Sensei discuss them either. She started training with her father as a young girl (along with her sisters), so she may have had or been exposed to ki training. I will certainly have to ask her!Hi Erik:

Well, I'd be interested in hearing the comments that are pertinent, if you ever do ask her. On the other hand, the warning flag in my mind (from years of experience) is that often the female child, no matter how dear, is not shown many of the so-called "secrets" for the simple reason that females marry into other families and the lineage could be disrupted, with the husband of a founders daughter (for example) suddenly claiming that he got all the original stuff, and so on. So there's that possibility to consider, also (whether it's germane in this case, I certainly haven't any idea, though).

Incidentally, that photo came from a guy who has done DZR and I'd normally give someone credit, but in this case I don't want to expose him to any factional frowning. ;)

Best.

Mike

Haowen Chan
07-12-2007, 12:37 PM
Here's some pictures of a Danzan Ryu adept showing part of his accomplishments in the "secrets":

http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG
http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK2.JPG


I can't make that out. Is that an icepick stabbed through his arm?

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 12:41 PM
I can't make that out. Is that an icepick stabbed through his arm?Yes. Also, although it's not a definitive factor and we don't know the full particulars of that incident, notice that no blood is seen.

Best.

Mike

David Orange
07-12-2007, 12:59 PM
David Orange wrote:
Yes, but it also appears to you that toddlers have no coordination, balance or intention. I have shown that you were guessing and making assumptions.

Mike Sigman wrote:
Never said that. You made it up by deliberately misconstruing previous remarks.

As you misconstrued my remarks to indicate that I had said a child has fully developed "silk reeling" and aikido skills.

I've said they have the fundamentals but that those must be cultivated and refined.

David

Josh Lerner
07-12-2007, 01:33 PM
Yes. Also, although it's not a definitive factor and we don't know the full particulars of that incident, notice that no blood is seen.

Best.

Mike

One thing I noticed about that picture, Mike, is that the pick is going between the two straps that hold up the vase. I wonder if the straps are working partly like a tourniquette, given the amount of weight presumably being suspended from them. You can see in the second picture that the pick is going through an area where the straps are putting enough pressure on the arm to displace some flesh. In other words, would there have been blood if he just jammed the pick into his arm without the vase? Or if the pick was either distal or proximal to the straps?

Josh

David Orange
07-12-2007, 01:40 PM
In other words, would there have been blood if he just jammed the pick into his arm without the vase? Or if the pick was either distal or proximal to the straps?

Or if he were using internal power or not?

Many people do these body piercing demonstrations with bicycle spokes or similar things without bleeding. I'm more impressed with how relaxed the man looks holding up that metal brazier with his arm.

David

David Orange
07-12-2007, 01:47 PM
Also notable: the wall hanging next to him says "kiaijutsu."

Mike Sigman
07-12-2007, 01:54 PM
One thing I noticed about that picture, Mike, is that the pick is going between the two straps that hold up the vase. I wonder if the straps are working partly like a tourniquette, given the amount of weight presumably being suspended from them. You can see in the second picture that the pick is going through an area where the straps are putting enough pressure on the arm to displace some flesh. In other words, would there have been blood if he just jammed the pick into his arm without the vase? Or if the pick was either distal or proximal to the straps? Hi Josh:

Like I said, it's difficult to tell, not knowing any more than what we can see in the picture. There would be a tearing effect on the upper protrusion of the icepick, but the weight via the cord would tend to clamp down on it. I just don't know.

My point about the blood was an oblique reference to a known phenomenon (even in the West) of the ability to control vascular and subdermal musculature by some people. It may be a relevant factor in the whole qi/ki thing, but then again, it may not be in this particular case that was photographed.

Best.

Mike

Josh Lerner
07-13-2007, 01:46 AM
Hi Josh:

Like I said, it's difficult to tell, not knowing any more than what we can see in the picture. There would be a tearing effect on the upper protrusion of the icepick, but the weight via the cord would tend to clamp down on it. I just don't know.

My point about the blood was an oblique reference to a known phenomenon (even in the West) of the ability to control vascular and subdermal musculature by some people. It may be a relevant factor in the whole qi/ki thing, but then again, it may not be in this particular case that was photographed.

Best.

Mike

Well, either way, I agree that it is an interesting demo for a early 20th century jujutsu teacher to be doing. The closest thing I can think of in Japanese culture is the shugendo "walking up the ladder of swords" feat, though that has more to do with keeping the pressure of your feet at exactly 90 degrees to the sword blade than it does with toughening the fascia or controlling micromusculature and vasculature. Does anyone else know of similar demonstrations in pre-WWII Japanese MA? It's the kind of thing I would normally associate with Chinese and Indian arts, not Japanese ones.

Josh

Tim Fong
07-13-2007, 02:34 AM
One of the things that I'm curious about is how much of the Danzan Ryu syllabus was influenced by the fact that it was developed in Hawaii. There was all kinds of mixing and blending going on -- you had Southern Chinese, Okinawan, Filipino and Japanese systems all in one small place, plus the native Hawaiian wrestling stuff from lua.

If you take a look at any of the Hawaiian systems --, Danzan Ryu, K.S. Chow's system, Parker's kenpo, Villabrille Kali, or Kajukenbo are prime examples, you see that there was a lot of cross training and borrowing going on. And in fact, I would argue that on some level all of the top level guys were using qi/ki development exercises. If a person were in a position to speak the language(s) and also see pieces of systems from all the Asian countries I listed, then he or she would certainly have enough to understand how to "composite" your own training, or fill in the gaps. I suspect that's what the founders of these systems were doing in Hawaii. This is based on my own inferences from watching various exponents of said systems over the years.

To answer Josh's question about Japanese systems and body conditioning against sharp objects, there is some information about Fujita Seiko in one of the interviews that Meik Skoss conducted with a shurikenjutsu teacher. I think Fujita was doing stuff like eating glass and body hardening. There's some info here, though I don't know how credible it is:
http://fujitaseiko.tripod.com/

The article descibes a lot of the abilities such as "light body" that have often been associated with Shaolin in fictional literature. I'd be curious to know if the characters were "輕功" because if they are...it would seem to strongly imply that the phrase came from Chinese martial arts terminology.

There are some other notable things in the article: Fujita's participation in various Shugendo esoteric rites, as well as the extreme body conditioning.

People should really think, about what is going on and why there are certain commonalities through various top level guys in koryu, the Shaolin tradition, the big three ''internal'' styles, Okinawan karate, silat and eskrima/kali/arnis. Take a look at Mark Wiley's inteviews with Tatang Ilustrisimo and the videos of Ilustrisimo from the early 90s, the video interviews of Higaonna Morio done in the 70s by the BBC, and some of the written interviews with the Luohan guys from Malyasia that Draeger met. Dig up an interview that Halford Jones (I think) did with Hadji Yasser Tanadjalan from Mindanao, who I think is still coaching in Manila. Try checking out the National Geographic special where the reporter goes to train with Saito Hitohiro, and he makes her stand under a waterfall. Try to find some Shaolin videos of guys from the mainland, like Shi De Yang. Or check them out when they come to the States. Regardless of what some people think, that the monks "only do modern wushu," this is incorrect. I've seen them do sanda (Chinese rules kickboxing) as well, and teach southern conditioning forms, traditional northern forms, modern wushu. No seriously. They are professional martial artists.

Then dig up the third volume of Deity and the Sword and flip through the section that discusses 5 element theory, inyo, and it's relation to what they're doing. I understand the new book published by Koryu Books in close collaboration with Otake Risuke is excellent, though I haven't had a chance to read it yet. Maybe watch this video:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3592341485993959661&q=otake+tenshin&total=8&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=3

Look at the iai portion. See how Otake moves , looking at the left and right axis of his body. Think about the "samurai walking" stuff that we've kicked around here quite a bit. Also, take a look at the spear movements. See how the hands are linked together, and the left and the right sides of the body move around the central axis of the spine. Looks familiar?

Finally after all this, go back and check out Ueshiba's misogi and his various "warmups," and all his spiritual talk.

It should all make more sense in context. With Youtube and the internet, and access to a decent public library, you could do all of this in about 3 months.

Mike Sigman
07-13-2007, 09:12 AM
Good post, Tim. I think most reasonably knowledgeable martial artists in the Pacific Theater are generally aware of the "big picture" scene.

Ki/qi and jin/kokyu-force are the basics, but there are a number of slightly different approaches (hard and soft) to developing them, obscuring the fact to some outsiders that it's all the same thing. Then, when you take the various ways to develop these body skills and you compound them with various approaches to fighting and all the technique permutations, it looks like a complex picture, but everything is still built around the favored approach to the basic body skills.

There's actually not as much variation as I used to think. The logic of these body skills was codified to a fair degree, many centuries ago. Tang Dynasty or before. So a lot of variations are constrained by traditional directives for the best results, Chinese metaphysices being blindly adhered to, and so forth. Over and over again I see the same general directives from the ancient times stuck in some supposedly remote martial art, indicating that much of the logic and training is de rigeur. A good example would be the koryu stuff that Dr. Karl Friday shows in his book Legacies of the Sword includes Five-Element theory and other remarks that are straight out of the traditional tenets that surround ki/kokyu training.

Best.

Mike

Tim Fong
07-13-2007, 10:27 AM
Thanks Mike.

Correction: My post should say Villabrille-Largusa Kali. Sorry about that.

Josh Lerner
07-13-2007, 11:05 AM
One of the things that I'm curious about is how much of the Danzan Ryu syllabus was influenced by the fact that it was developed in Hawaii.

Hi Tim,

I had forgotten that it was developed in Hawaii - that probably explains it, given all the cross-fertilization that you mentioned.

Josh

George S. Ledyard
07-13-2007, 01:06 PM
One thing I noticed about that picture, Mike, is that the pick is going between the two straps that hold up the vase. I wonder if the straps are working partly like a tourniquette, given the amount of weight presumably being suspended from them. You can see in the second picture that the pick is going through an area where the straps are putting enough pressure on the arm to displace some flesh. In other words, would there have been blood if he just jammed the pick into his arm without the vase? Or if the pick was either distal or proximal to the straps?

Josh

Virtually all over the world you can find shamanic rituals which mortification practices take place with identical result. I have pictures of Taiwanese shaman piercing their bodies with iron spikes. Not only is there no blood, but the wounds are healed very quickly with no ill effect... These folks use trance type technique to achieve this but there's no reason that other methods could not be used to achieve the same skill while maintaining something closer to normal consciousness. I'm sure that's what you are looking at here.

Mike Sigman
07-13-2007, 01:25 PM
Virtually all over the world you can find shamanic rituals which mortification practices take place with identical result. I have pictures of Taiwanese shaman piercing their bodies with iron spikes. Not only is there no blood, but the wounds are healed very quickly with no ill effect... These folks use trance type technique to achieve this but there's no reason that other methods could not be used to achieve the same skill while maintaining something closer to normal consciousness. I'm sure that's what you are looking at here.Hi George: This sort of control is considered a quintessential part of the whole qi-paradigm. Body-Mind. Add to that the actual exhibited strength (look back at some previous posts I've made where one of half-dozen defining characteristics of ki/qi is "skin that is difficult to lacertate or tear") and a nice part of the whole picture of "ki" resolves itself.

Best.

Mike

Pete Rihaczek
07-13-2007, 04:19 PM
You know, David. Seriously. You should quit while you're behind. Anyone with a moderate understanding of Chinese martial arts or Asian martial arts in general has written you off long since. In some way, each one of your posts is trying to disparage me personally, but the reverse happens when you talk about things that you clearly don't know.


Gotta agree. But then Mike, you're arguing with a guy who posited that Aikido people really could take swords away from swordsmen, which is about where I tuned out. ;) Add the whole toddler thing and it's over. I thought this thread was long over, but it seems to have resumed it's former shape; some guy who doesn't know what you're talking about, but acting like he's coming off as more knowledgeable. I must say, it seems to be a successful mix of ingredients for keeping a thread going forever. ;)

I'll make one comment before finding better things to do, but the kind of movement Mike, Dan, Rob(tm) talk about is simply not natural. Natural movement evolved to conserve calories. If I can pick up an object mostly with arm motion, that's what I do because it costs me less than using my whole body. Using my whole body to do something I can do with a part is not natural. If the load increases beyond what I can do locally, I involve more of my body naturally, in the most energy efficient manner. The more I practice, the more energy efficient I become, whether running, throwing bales of hay, etc. An elite runner is more efficient than I am at running, and old farmhand is more efficient at throwing hay bales. That's the way we're wired: practice makes us economical and efficient. The Nepalese example or whatever is also a matter of conserving energy and being efficient. None of it is the same as this martial movement, the purpose of which is specific to martial usage, at the expense of "natural" calorie efficiency. It uses more energy than needed, to accomplish a martial purpose. Period, end of story. All talk about "natural" is an immediate three strikes you're out, you don't know this stuff.

If anyone wants to pervert some definition of "natural" to better fit their view, the bottom line is that unless they can actually do what Mike, Dan, Rob(tm) can do, it's empty talk. Which, not coincidentally, is why this thread is so long. ;) But there's the occasional 1% of interesting material, so it's good that it keeps going. Carry on.

Mike Sigman
07-13-2007, 04:29 PM
I'll make one comment before finding better things to do, but the kind of movement Mike, Dan, Rob(tm) talk about is simply not natural. Natural movement evolved to conserve calories. If I can pick up an object mostly with arm motion, that's what I do because it costs me less than using my whole body. Using my whole body to do something I can do with a part is not natural. If the load increases beyond what I can do locally, I involve more of my body naturally, in the most energy efficient manner. The more I practice, the more energy efficient I become, whether running, throwing bales of hay, etc. An elite runner is more efficient than I am at running, and old farmhand is more efficient at throwing hay bales. That's the way we're wired: practice makes us economical and efficient. The Nepalese example or whatever is also a matter of conserving energy and being efficient. None of it is the same as this martial movement, the purpose of which is specific to martial usage, at the expense of "natural" calorie efficiency. It uses more energy than needed, to accomplish a martial purpose. Period, end of story. All talk about "natural" is an immediate three strikes you're out, you don't know this stuff.Good point. I've said things sort of along the lines that it's not really efficient, is awkward at first, etc., but you articulated it better than I ever have. Thanks.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
07-13-2007, 05:17 PM
My citing of the Nepalese load-bearers wasn't really to discuss natural vs. unnatural movement, but simply to raise the question of how individuals learn to do body adjustments that might be considered unnatural because they must solve a specific problem that a body might not ordinarily be confronted by (such as carrying great weights, or maintaining an upright position in a lurching subway car). How is this information taught to others, if it is at all?

But how do you know that the internal mechinations used in this load-bearing activity -don't- have any potential martial applications?

The Nepalese example or whatever is also a matter of conserving energy and being efficient. None of it is the same as this martial movement, the purpose of which is specific to martial usage, at the expense of "natural" calorie efficiency. It uses more energy than needed, to accomplish a martial purpose. Period, end of story. All talk about "natural" is an immediate three strikes you're out, you don't know this stuff.

If anyone wants to pervert some definition of "natural" to better fit their view, the bottom line is that unless they can actually do what Mike, Dan, Rob(tm) can do, it's empty talk. Which, not coincidentally, is why this thread is so long. ;) But there's the occasional 1% of interesting material, so it's good that it keeps going. Carry on.

Mike Sigman
07-13-2007, 05:34 PM
But how do you know that the internal mechinations used in this load-bearing activity -don't- have any potential martial applications?Hi Cady:

I think I posted here (it may have been on a few other forums, too) within the last few years that jin (at least the ground jin) almost certainly derives from the same mechanics as weight-bearing-on-the-head. Of course it's not as efficient, since it doesn't have the length of a vertebra behind it in all directions, but the principle is the same, I would argue (fairly easy argument, if you think about it).

Best.

Mike Sigman

Cady Goldfield
07-13-2007, 05:55 PM
Mike,
I remember that post, and that is pretty much what I was thinking as well.

Pete Rihaczek
07-13-2007, 06:29 PM
My citing of the Nepalese load-bearers wasn't really to discuss natural vs. unnatural movement, but simply to raise the question of how individuals learn to do body adjustments that might be considered unnatural because they must solve a specific problem that a body might not ordinarily be confronted by (such as carrying great weights, or maintaining an upright position in a lurching subway car). How is this information taught to others, if it is at all?

But how do you know that the internal mechinations used in this load-bearing activity -don't- have any potential martial applications?

Hi Cady,

I added your example because it is an example of natural movement, not unnatural movement. Over time the porters learned what was most efficient. "Load bearing" is a general concept that applies to many things, but just because it does, doesn't mean all things that it applies to are the same. If you put a weight on a taiji master's head, he would still walk with it differently because he uses his legs and torso differently, and it would not be as efficient since his movement is based on martial purpose and not energy efficiency. If he were standing still, it might be closer, but then it would be close for everyone; it's not exactly a very flexible or meaningful scenario to equate one thing with another.

I can't vouch for this guy's skills, but he shows clear examples of movement that is not natural in any way, and has to be deliberately learned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIcstWYHW5w

In the opening he explains not to focus on the shoulder muscles to raise the arms, which would be the natural way, at 3:26 he shows exaggerated motion of the torso to move the hand, etc. This is the *kind* of thing under discussion, things that go on inside the body that are not usually visible by outward appearance, that can't be learned unless someone really shows you, that can be taken to very advanced levels of conditioning and usage - and not a lick of it is in any way natural, childlike, or something that will just happen by itself via endless repetition of other movements.

Anything to do with "natural" is a non-starter. That's my 2 cents, I won't get sucked into endless side topics and banter, it's well over my patience threshold. ;)

Mike Sigman
07-13-2007, 07:28 PM
I can't vouch for this guy's skills, but he shows clear examples of movement that is not natural in any way, and has to be deliberately learned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIcstWYHW5w
Good example of why it's not natural. Not that I fully agree with him, BTW (not to argue; just to set a limit to agreeing with that sort of movement). His explanation of the abdominal muscles pulling the back muscles and then raising the arms is in the right direction, but if that's all there was to it, it would be highly inefficient, as you're indicating, Pete.

Best.

Mike

DH
07-13-2007, 08:09 PM
Pete touched on a topic I frequently discuss in-house with those who are of the aiki persuasion who always ask what "power" has to do with Aiki at all?.
Why Power building?

The power in Kicks punches and the ability to withstand throw attempts is clear enough for most who have felt it. But what isn't clear for many I have met was where and how it can make aiki happen? Where and how does it enable an increased sensitivity, -not the fuity B.S. sensitivity- I mean real ability to read and react in a freestlye environment. How does the resolving of in/yo in oneself produce aiki in us? How does that effect.....affect those who come in contact with it? How and why does it make the body heavy and then amazingly light in motion-say floating off of uchi mata to re-engage and be heavy again? Why would that be two sides of the same coin in body conditioning?
Why does breath-power make the Japanese term "the living center" a reality? Why would it be meaningful to move your center, without moving. How is it moving? What is "it" moving? and can it be demonstrated and felt.
Most folks I have met still are stuck in the external mode of definitions offered for aiki. The all too typical turn-when-pushed or enter-when-pulled as the ideal. In my mind, they actually don't even know what they are saying as they are saying it. "Turning" is a whole, big, whopping idea in a single word. So is entering. And neither of which has to do with moving in any large way, though of course you can.
I only offer the questions to those who have started to recondition their bodies .To start to think of how the conditioning can manifest real-world, real-time, martial results. I do think you'de already have to be training this way to get a glimpse of the body connection being a sort of management-system in motion.

Aran Bright
07-16-2007, 07:26 AM
BTW, speaking of the fascia training as part of breathing exercises (and other things), it's common in a number of Asian disciplines and religious regimens, showing how important these body skills were. In Buddhism and martial-Buddhist training, the idea of strengthening the fascia part of the ki (ki is a number of things; the fascia stuff is only part of it) was important and often shown only to a few proven people within a discipline. Here's some pictures of a Danzan Ryu adept showing part of his accomplishments in the "secrets":

http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK1.JPG
http://www.neijia.com/ICEPICK2.JPG

FWIW

Mike

I actually saw a demonstration of someone putting a steel bar through their arm exactly the same as the photo. Then a leather strap placed over the bar. He then lifted a pile of house tiles and his partner, his son, did the ' and now I'll break them with the sledge hammer' thing.

At the time he talked about the importance of ki and that he felt no pain as long as he used ki. There was no blood until he took it out, and then not much after that either. He actually said that he ended up in hospital last time as he punctured a vein. Maybe showmanship, I don't know.

Thing was he was an australian, seemed like he had been involved in the koryu arts for years, rough as guts (as we say) and generally pretty scruffy. Thing is, if that is some test of real ki skill then I guess I have to review my opinion of that guy. And next time I see him ask a lot more questions.

Mike Sigman
07-16-2007, 07:56 AM
I actually saw a demonstration of someone putting a steel bar through their arm exactly the same as the photo. Then a leather strap placed over the bar. He then lifted a pile of house tiles and his partner, his son, did the ' and now I'll break them with the sledge hammer' thing.

At the time he talked about the importance of ki and that he felt no pain as long as he used ki. There was no blood until he took it out, and then not much after that either. He actually said that he ended up in hospital last time as he punctured a vein. Maybe showmanship, I don't know.

Thing was he was an australian, seemed like he had been involved in the koryu arts for years, rough as guts (as we say) and generally pretty scruffy. Thing is, if that is some test of real ki skill then I guess I have to review my opinion of that guy. And next time I see him ask a lot more questions.Well, I know guys who can break coconuts with their hands, puncture their skin as you described, break bricks, etc., but they're more demonstrating "street tricks" than showing that they've got any real ki.

There was a book called "Beyond Biofeedback" by Elmer and Alyce Green of the Meininger Institute (which is sort of New Agey) many years ago. They did empirical studies on 3 guys: Swami Rama (a yogi), Rolling Thunder (an Indian Shaman... guy seemed like a waste of time to me), and Jack somebody. Jack had been injured in a motorcycle accident overseas in WWII and he had some sort of innate way of controlling pain and stopping bleeding. He demonstrated to lots of people the piercing sort of trick and he could close up the wound and control the blood mentally pretty good. Technically, that would of course be termed as "using his qi" because the feat is certainly what would fall into the purview of qi/ki and that's an example of the body mechanisms that are involved in the actual qi/ki mechanics. But Jack whats-his-name could only demonstrate this trick, so it wouldn't be the full body-skills arena that would be considered martial qi/ki.

Remember the example of Koichi Tohei showing that even though some Buddhist monks practiced their qi/ki, he could push them over easily. Well, they may well have developed some aspects of ki and better than Tohei, for all we know, but they didn't know how to practice the martial usage of jin/kokyu-power, so their martial powers weren't complete (this is not always the case, since the martial skills are/were common in many Buddhist Temples but reserved for only select people).

I listed the martial skills/abilities that are commonly associated with ki/qi (maybe I did it early in this thread) and generally, someone is going to be able demonstrate all of these skills. Problem is that there are always people who do hokey physical tricks that rely simply on normal conditioning and physics who claim to be showing ki/qi and it's not really the same animal, or it's just a limited version of the animal. I'd have to see what someone could really do before I'd jump to conclusions.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
07-16-2007, 07:58 AM
Speaking of that Meininger Institute book, the common thread between Swami Rama, "Rolling Thunder", and Jack was that they all had demonstrable abilities of using voluntary controls over normally autonomic parts of the body. That seems to sum up a lot of the intriguing stuff, right there.

Best.

Mike

Thomas Campbell
07-16-2007, 01:20 PM
[snip]
There was a book called "Beyond Biofeedback" by Elmer and Alyce Green of the Meininger Institute [snip]


http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Biofeedback-Elmer-Green/dp/0940267144/ref=sr_1_1/103-3171406-2213405?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1184609918&sr=8-1

Menninger Foundation.

Mike Sigman
07-16-2007, 01:30 PM
Menninger it is. Picked the wrong mental choice. Prices are good. Unbelievably good. Last time I looked that book up on Amazon and Alibris, it was going for $40 minimum. I think the "Jack" guy is "Jack Schwartz", but I still can't find my copy that I thought I had, dangit.


Mike

MM
07-17-2007, 08:22 AM
We were just talking about this in the dojo the other day. It really does get weird here doesn't it. Over the years I most certainly have talked about things;both some of the ways to do certain things and some times the results and given descriptions. It's pointless to describe actual details that even folks who come and train here have difficulty with one-on-one. I can talk about lets say, central pivot all the day long. So what! I have yet to meet guys who can do it well after several trips here.

Hmmm ... so, the saying "when they push, turn. When they pull, enter" ... that's all about the central pivot, right?

Mark

DH
07-17-2007, 08:00 PM
Hi Mark
I'm in Bar Harbor at an internet cafe while my wife is shopping:(

My point was really addressing the typical misunderstanding of turn-when-pushed, enter-when-pulled (lets call it TWP/EWP) . The idea itself is an external fighting principle that can be managed externally or managed internally. Internally it can done with aspects that can be both capturing or disruptive in a far more efficient manner than external methods. OK, to be honest I think there are things that can done with an internally driven CP that simply cannot be duplicated with an external mode of movement

So, to answer your question-The central pivot, and the proper support of it, addresses a beginning stage of getting that idea (TWP/EWP) to work in a far more efficient manner involving internal movement as its source. As you know, it is hard enough to start to get the body to even think of moving this way as it isn't natural at all (no matter what Dave says), and quite another to build the necessary connections to support such movement. No trained connections, no trained support,..... you have an empty theory.
FWIW, there are several stages of body conditioning that support the body movement involving C.P. . You were in a room with several people who were doing different things internally, with different results to effect that same exercise goals... "outcome".
Some with more demonstrable results than others. Some of the aspects you "felt" in the twin sticks play were from what I do with CP to handle instantaneous loads and create immediate openings with no slack or lag time in weapons work. Because of the nature of the connections, it is very fast, when it is fast, and even fast when its slow... But there are better ways.
Again, it is a movement "principle" that without years of internal connections is an empty theory.
So, that's just a limited start up way to begin to access and use some of the connections you are striving for. The real fun starts later when you involve more of your body tied to a central "point." It's more powerful, mobile, and responsive than the pivot... and muuch harder for someone to capture and play you with.

MM
07-17-2007, 08:39 PM
Hi Mark
I'm in Bar Harbor at an internet cafe while my wife is shopping:(


Wow, and you're online reading and answering questions. That's dedication. :) Or is that boredom?


My point was really addressing the typical misunderstanding of turn-when-pushed, enter-when-pulled (lets call it TWP/EWP) . The idea itself is an external fighting principle that can be managed externally or managed internally. Internally it can done with aspects that can be both capturing or disruptive in a far more efficient manner than external methods. OK, to be honest I think there are things that can done with an internally driven CP that simply cannot be duplicated with an external mode of movement

So, to answer your question-The central pivot, and the proper support of it, addresses a beginning stage of getting that idea (TWP/EWP) to work in a far more efficient manner involving internal movement as its source. As you know, it is hard enough to start to get the body to even think of moving this way as it isn't natural at all (no matter what Dave says), and quite another to build the necessary connections to support such movement. No trained connections, no trained support,..... you have an empty theory.
FWIW, there are several stages of body conditioning that support the body movement involving C.P. . You were in a room with several people who were doing different things internally, with different results to effect that same exercise goals... "outcome".
Some with more demonstrable results than others. Some of the aspects you "felt" in the twin sticks play were from what I do with CP to handle instantaneous loads and create immediate openings with no slack or lag time in weapons work. Because of the nature of the connections, it is very fast, when it is fast, and even fast when its slow... But there are better ways.
Again, it is a movement "principle" that without years of internal connections is an empty theory.
So, that's just a limited start up way to begin to access and use some of the connections you are striving for. The real fun starts later when you involve more of your body tied to a central "point." It's more powerful, mobile, and responsive than the pivot... and muuch harder for someone to capture and play you with.

Hmmm ... okay, it seems that I have a little ways to go before understanding all of that. But it's a start. Thanks.

Mark

Cady Goldfield
07-17-2007, 09:13 PM
You saw the "frowny face" after the mention of his wife "shopping," didn't you, Mark? Obviously, Dan is distracting himself from the thought of impending credit card bills... ;)

Al Gutierrez
07-18-2007, 02:35 AM
Dan, if you have a moment, could you respond to my questions in the Understanding Fascia thread?

I'm really curious if you'd be willing to post some clips of the exercises you describe here - for example the twin sticks mentioned just above, or the wall pushing exercises you descibed earlier. This would be quite helpful in helping to visualize and put into context what your describing.

Many thanks,

A.G.

MM
07-18-2007, 09:39 AM
You saw the "frowny face" after the mention of his wife "shopping," didn't you, Mark? Obviously, Dan is distracting himself from the thought of impending credit card bills... ;)

LOL! Well, since he didn't say it was a major city, I figured how bad could it be?

Although, for all I know, Bar Harbor could be some upscale shopping extravaganza in a major metropolitan district. eek. ;)

MM
07-18-2007, 09:47 AM
Dan, if you have a moment, could you respond to my questions in the Understanding Fascia thread?

I'm really curious if you'd be willing to post some clips of the exercises you describe here - for example the twin sticks mentioned just above, or the wall pushing exercises you descibed earlier. This would be quite helpful in helping to visualize and put into context what your describing.

Many thanks,

A.G.

Not to answer for Dan, but this is my personal take from experience and being a beginner. Videos won't help a new person at all. The only thing videos might accomplish is to jog the mental and muscle memory of a student who's already had some hands on training.

So, no, they aren't helpful at all, either with visuals (how do you get internal actions into a video?) or context (how do you get hands on feeling of this stuff into words?). I know that all sounds uncomforting, but unfortunately, it's the truth.

But, don't take just my word for it. Ask the others who have been there, too.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
07-18-2007, 09:59 AM
In complete agreement with Mark. Basically, to train this particular physical skill you need hands on, at some point, preferably for a sustained period of time.

My own personal hurdle is that what little hands on I have was some time ago and too brief. And my schedule recently hasn't allowed me to change that. Yet.

Best,
Ron

Budd
07-18-2007, 10:43 AM
I'm going to chime in and agree with Mark and Ron. Basically, people seem to be bringing their own "baggage" to this topic (echoing an offline discussion I've been recently having) and applying what they think they know, after already having been told that "it has to be felt" and experienced hands-on.

Does it make you invincible? I don't think so (based on my limited exposure, but I don't think anyone's really saying that, despite what some people seem to "want" to hear - besides, there's always someone "better" than you). Does it make you more effective martially? I strongly believe so (I grew up playing martial sports and still periodically train boxing and bjj). Does it (as Dan has said) make you "a better you"? Absolutely seems so to me.

It's much more comfortable to pick at and examine some of these things from a distance, because then we don't have to be (or admit to being) challenged by something outside the realm of our experience. Personally, I like jumping in the deep end and getting schooled as a newbie.

It seems that some folks are invested as coming across as "knowledgeable" (this also includes the, "I suck but my teacher can beat you up" crowd), that if the stuff that has been written hasn't already enticed you to try to feel this for yourself (which ain't necessarily gonna be on "your terms", you should expect to "give up" something - at least time and effort - to get something back) -- or you're already of the mindset that "we already do that", then maybe you should just be happy knowing what you know and not worry about what other people are doing or saying. Maybe you're right and this won't really matter one whit to what you're doing anyways.

I'm happy to admit that I don't know jack and keep learning new things. The amount of (at times, obsessive) work it takes to be good seems like it will preclude most folks from really getting anywhere (besides an enjoyable activity - plenty of merit in that as it is) anyways.

Timothy WK
07-18-2007, 12:26 PM
So, no, they aren't helpful at all, either with visuals (how do you get internal actions into a video?) or context (how do you get hands on feeling of this stuff into words?).
I don't necessarily think it's impossible for a new student to learn this stuff from a video or pictures, but I think it would be really, really difficult. I wouldn't recommend it. I tried and couldn't.

But anyway, I wanted to illustrate how it's easy to copy form without the feeling. I took karate for a number of years. I was shown to tuck my butt & flatten my back by pulling with my abs and tightening my glutes. Then, awhile ago I started talking with a taiji friend. I was amazed to find they held the same "tucked butt" position---only, they achieved the position through relaxing the lower back and glutes. Same form, different feeling.

Even if someone took the time to describe all that went into their practice, it would still be difficult for a new student to get it without hands on experience because minute differences in posture and alignment engages different muscle groups & fascia connections differently. Small errors might cause the student to miss the intended lesson.

G DiPierro
07-18-2007, 04:51 PM
I give Rob credit for posting videos of not only his teacher but also himself learning the movements. He has posted enough material at this point, including solo work, paired exercises, and applications, for someone to have a reasonably good idea of how they are training. That doesn't mean people are going learn to train like them from watching the video, but in my mind it is much better to see what someone is doing and read the description than just read the description alone. Obviously feeling it in person is best, but I don't see how writing thousands or tens of thousands of words could do a better job of explaining what is happening than the words together with the some video. If someone doesn't want to post video, that's their choice, but I think there is enough video out there (not just of Akuzawa but also of pretty much every well-known TJQ and aikido teacher) that it is clear that video is not a worthless medium.

Mike Sigman
07-18-2007, 05:52 PM
I give Rob credit for posting videos of not only his teacher but also himself learning the movements. He has posted enough material at this point, including solo work, paired exercises, and applications, for someone to have a reasonably good idea of how they are training. That doesn't mean people are going learn to train like them from watching the video, but in my mind it is much better to see what someone is doing and read the description than just read the description alone. Obviously feeling it in person is best, but I don't see how writing thousands or tens of thousands of words could do a better job of explaining what is happening than the words together with the some video. If someone doesn't want to post video, that's their choice, but I think there is enough video out there (not just of Akuzawa but also of pretty much every well-known TJQ and aikido teacher) that it is clear that video is not a worthless medium.Well, I put out a couple of 3-video sets (the last one around 10 years ago) and they were my best attempts to show what I thought was the shortest way to do and understand these skills of jin (I didn't do much breathing stuff for liability reasons). A lot of people told me how well I explained things, but I never met anyone who had really even learned to do a good, relaxed jin-path/ki-strength from the videos. Not even that simple basic. So even though the videos made pretty good money, they weren't doing the job and I quit selling them for that reason (I allowed Plum Flower to continue and to buy the rights only because of a personal relationship with someone).

In other words, I think videos are fine to give you a vague idea of what's going on, but if you haven't felt it and discussed it with someone who really knows, you're going to guess at the wrong thing and wind up sure that some external counterpart is the same thing. It's not... so videos can be misleading, too.

FWIW

Mike

G DiPierro
07-18-2007, 06:06 PM
I would never suggest trying to learn how to do anything from video alone any more than I would suggest learning how to do something from reading a web forum alone. However, if there is a value to discussing things verbally without being able to physically demonstrate them, and think everyone posting here agrees that there is or they wouldn't be posting here, then I think there is also a value to demonstrating them on video. How much of a value depends on a number of things, including how much the viewer already knows, either from training with the person in the video or from training with someone else.

At this point I would imagine that the people who are still reading these threads have enough interest in the subject to get something useful out any videos that could be posted. Many of them have also already had hands-on time with some of the people posting here, so it should help those people even more. However, this does not mean that someone who does not want to post video should do so. That's a personal decision. But the request does have merit, and I think the videos available now (including videos of people posting here and ones from other teachers in various arts) have undoubtedly raised the general level of understanding of what is out there.

PS - Mike, I notice that Plum Flower (http://www.plumflower.com/internal_strength.htm) has your videos but does not have preview clips. I'd be interested to get an idea of what is on them without having to buy one first. Are there any excerpts out there?

Budd
07-18-2007, 09:17 PM
The argument I keep seeing as a result of the videos, from various sources on the net and in person is either, "Oh, they're doing XYZ" or "We do that, too" -- both of which allude to an understanding of what's being demonstrated as a "I relate to it this way from my own experience". Individual folks have to evaluate whether or not they understand what's being demonstrated or might be looking for a reason to dismiss it as unimportant or something they already know.

Personally, I found the videos interesting, but didn't really draw any conclusions, other than that they represented something I'd have to feel to gain any real understanding -- and then made it a priority to do so.

clwk
07-19-2007, 09:59 AM
Just to reiterate something which may or may not be obvious: the problem with using video to communicate something which is primarily tactile is that *the information is not there*. Of course every viewer has an experience of the relationship between what they see people doing and what they believe that 'feels' like -- but a critical aspect of martial skills built on the 'concealed strength' is that these expectations are violated.

To make a crude analogy, if I have 'video' in the form of an old film strip without sound, it won't really help me to understand how different instruments sound. If all I have ever experienced is a piano, and I then watch film of someone playing a harpsichord -- that film is not going to help me know what a harpsichord sounds like *at all*. More to the point, if I somehow mistakenly think that watching silent film of a harpsichord *might* give me a feeling for what a harpsichord sounds like, then I'm *already* a little confused; and the most likely outcome of watching such a film is that I conclude that harpsichords and pianos are essentially alike and differ only in minor construction details.

That is not to say a great deal of information may not be contained in video *for those who already know what to look for*. Knowing the difference between a harpsichord and a piano, I may 'hear' the appropriate sound when I see each being played on film. But, importantly, I could *never* establish the basis for that perceptual trick solely through watching video. Tactile introduction is like being taught what words like 'red', 'green', and 'blue' mean by being shown colored objects. Without a visual referent, the real meaning of those words can never be understood -- even if I come to a complex understanding of their relationships and contextual meanings.

Wanting to read books written in a language you don't know is an exercise in futility. As Budd pointed out, that futility might have a silver lining if you recognize it and are inspired to learn the language. But if instead you squint your eyes and 'make sense of' the words and constructs you don't understand, the result might be worse than never picking the book up in the first place. If I build a house based on instructions I pretty much *think* I understand, I might get some important details completely wrong and never be the wiser.

-ck

Mike Sigman
07-19-2007, 10:54 AM
PS - Mike, I notice that Plum Flower (http://www.plumflower.com/internal_strength.htm) has your videos but does not have preview clips. I'd be interested to get an idea of what is on them without having to buy one first. Are there any excerpts out there?I don't know of any previews, Geiancarlo. Once I washed my hands of it, I've never even really looked to see what they were doing with the tapes (I know he later converted them to DVD's). Generally speaking, the jin stuff is pretty much in line with how I would still start people, so it's probably an OK *start*. Still, without the feel and some discussions, there's a lot of room for error.

Best.

Mike

G DiPierro
07-19-2007, 12:06 PM
Mike,

I am mainly interested in seeing what your DVDs contain out of curiosity and to put what you write here in context, but $30 per DVD is a pretty high price to satisfy that curiosity, especially not knowing at all what is on them. If someone had taken a workshop with you and wanted them to reinforce what they had learned, then it might be worth the price, but otherwise I'd agree with you that they would have limited value as a learning tool.

My point (which I thought I had already made clear enough) was not that video could teach anything useful anymore than words posted in a forum could teach anything. They are both means of communication, and each has certain strengths and weaknesses. Obviously there are good enough reasons for a sizable number of people to post a lot of words in this forum, so I don't buy the claim that video, by contrast, has no value, particularly when what is being discussed is a movement discipline.

I'm not going to respond individually to the arguments various people have made against posting video. Most of them are concerned mainly with potential problems that different types of viewers might or might not have. There is a lot of speculation about who could be watching the videos and what they might be trying to do with them. It seems like a lot of people are reflexively against video because they are afraid that some people somewhere might get the wrong idea. Of course, the fact that the same problem exists with words doesn't seem to stop them from posting here (nor should it).

-Giancarlo

David Orange
07-21-2007, 12:44 PM
...Mike, you're arguing with a guy who posited that Aikido people really could take swords away from swordsmen, which is about where I tuned out. ;)

Yeah, you should tune into some easy listening, muzak or something.

Like it or not, whether you believe anyone can, ever could or ever did do it, sword-taking is integral to daito ryu and it's the technical basis of aikido. Moreover, the description I gave earlier of sword-taking comes straight from Morihiro Saito's book...so...I guess you know better than Morihiro Saito.

Add the whole toddler thing and it's over.

Yeah, you do need to get on over to an EZ-listening site somewhere and just give up.

Of course, I'm talking to a guy who would refuse to believe that a "human" martial art could be influenced by innate human movements observable in human children--as adult tiger fighting movements are observable in tiger cubs' play-fighting, panther fighting movements in panther cubs' play-fighting, dog fighting movements in puppies' play-fighting, etc., and would instead accept that samurai fighting arts were derived from worm movements.

Yeh.....toddlers don't have the necessaries to illustrate the roots of Chinese and Japanese arts, but......worms do......???

That's called "straining at a gnat but swallowing a camel."

Or should I say, "Swallowing a worm????"

Yeh. You need to get somewhere quiet. You and Mike, both.

Using my whole body to do something I can do with a part is not natural.

There you are wrong. Toddlers use the whole body for everything, as well as being able to coordinate all the parts of their bodies without having to look at what they're doing.

David

DH
07-21-2007, 07:52 PM
I know more than a few folks who bought those videos and they can't do anything of any real value. And it has nothing at all to do with Mike or his various products. Find a teacher to explain things and that knows where to have you start and how to move forward. Hopefully it will be someone who gives a rip about you making progress. And I'd say research and train with others as well.
Just here on Aikiweb there are more than a few guys who have felt, Ikeda, Saotome, Ushiro, Chiba, Okomotto, Kiyama, Goldberg, Kondo, Two who even trained with Ueshiba. Then these men and women have felt various combinations of / or; Mike, Me, Rob, Ark, and virtually dozens if not hundreds of Aikido and Daito ryu practitioners of all ranks.. All you have to do is ask their opinions and go train and research.

Videos
There is nothing..no thing, to compare to hands on. And no one has to talk you into, or convince you of, anything. You decide.

David Orange
07-22-2007, 12:40 AM
Just here on Aikiweb there are more than a few guys who have felt, Ikeda, Saotome, Ushiro, Chiba, Okomotto, Kiyama, Goldberg, Kondo, Two who even trained with Ueshiba. Then these men and women have felt various combinations of / or; Mike, Me, Rob, Ark, and virtually dozens if not hundreds of Aikido and Daito ryu practitioners of all ranks.. All you have to do is ask their opinions and go train and research.

Looking forward to meeting, Dan.

Thanks.

David

DH
07-22-2007, 11:58 AM
Looking forward to meeting, Dan.

Thanks.

David
I just hope you have a good sense of humor. :D I hate guys that are all serious. Life's too short. We never stop smilin.
I know this is going to be different for you. I just hope you're like me, in that "different" isn't an insult. Think of it like research and then you can let go and have fun doing somethin different. Or maybe some things will be familiar-.I seriously doubt it by your writing though. Personally, -if I read you right- I think you are going to find a whole new world to go play-in and get old in and have in ....even more fun than before. Could be a whole new set of possibilities, bud.

Jerome Braun
07-22-2007, 02:43 PM
Momentary thread hijack... :)

Hi Dan! Any chance to set up a meeting sometime later this summer or fall?

Think of it like research

Yes. I'm also very curious to make some comparisons among the approaches that I've seen and am training (previous yoshinkan, current wing chun, studying Aunkai exercises, some Brazilian jiu jitsu, some exposure to Chinese internal MA principles and practitioners) and your training methods.

I do wonder whether your training methods might "empower" the aikido I worked on, and which I dropped due to disbelief :D Your comments about jiu jitsu are very interesting too, though somewhat mysterious to me at present.

DH
07-22-2007, 03:11 PM
Momentary thread hijack... :)

Hi Dan! Any chance to set up a meeting sometime later this summer or fall?

Yes. I'm also very curious to make some comparisons among the approaches that I've seen and am training (previous yoshinkan, current wing chun, studying Aunkai exercises, some Brazilian jiu jitsu, some exposure to Chinese internal MA principles and practitioners) and your training methods.

I do wonder whether your training methods might "empower" the aikido I worked on, and which I dropped due to disbelief :D Your comments about jiu jitsu are very interesting too, though somewhat mysterious to me at present.

Yes for sure. I am not into theory that does not transfer to actual execution myself. As far as empowering Aikido? I'm interestd in knock-out power, throw resistence and the slam and bang. You can have all the reiki, chi-flow and Aikido "ki" flow- crap. I'm not interested either. Quite frankly I think its a flat out lie. Not a belief system or view, just a ftat-out lie being perpetrated on an unknowing populace..

We just need to find a date. There are a a whole bunch of "out of state" folks trying to set up a weekend. We need to figure it out how to do it is all. I got your many P.M.'s. I just need help in putting a time slot together.:o

Jerome Braun
07-22-2007, 04:54 PM
I got your many P.M.'s.

<ahem> Well, yes, just being persistent... :rolleyes:

I just need help in putting a time slot together.

My feeling is that it is at your convenience, and I'm quite happy to join up with others, if that would help, and if they're open to it.

Please let me know what sort of help you would like. E-mail or phone is fine for me, too, if that works better.

I'll take it back off-line after this :D

David Orange
07-23-2007, 11:09 AM
I just hope you have a good sense of humor. :D I hate guys that are all serious. Life's too short. We never stop smilin.

My sense of humor is one of the things I'm best known for, though it doesn't always come through in postings on the internet.

I just hope you're like me, in that "different" isn't an insult. Think of it like research and then you can let go and have fun doing somethin different.

Being able to stand in a shoulder-width stance and be immovable to someone larger who's trying to push you is undeniably "different," and if I can learn to do it, I don't see how I could find it insulting--unless that means I try to push you and twelve of your guys jump on me with bokken.

Or maybe some things will be familiar-.I seriously doubt it by your writing though.

That may just be my niggling interest in precision--trying to get precise agreements on some fairly moveable topics, and that paired with some people who will tie themselves in knots to avoid agreeing on anything. Yes, there is a central essence that is "the same" between all arts, yet; yes, there is a real difference between all the arts as visible in the techniques, which wouldn't exist except for some difference in the fundamental approaches...

Personally, -if I read you right- I think you are going to find a whole new world to go play-in and get old in and have in ....even more fun than before. Could be a whole new set of possibilities, bud.

I'm with you on that. Sensei said "Truth can only be built on truth" and I don't want to deal with any delusions. So I will bring an open mind and all the endurance I can muster and we'll see where it goes.

Thanks again.

David

statisticool
07-26-2007, 05:35 PM
As many here have reported...


Again, I'm not interseted in what people report.


Since you continually reveal you don't have clue-I think you don't have a chance to do much of anything to someone who does understand the difference. Since you tell us we're nuts, why not put your body where your mouth is and stop the stalking.
We did.

Better than making false accusations ("you tell us we're nuts") and challenges of physical encounters, why don't you post a video of yourself doing it for us to see? Then us unknowledgeable would know for sure if it is even worth spending resources to check out in person, and that it is different than regular ol external movement.

Budd
07-26-2007, 08:43 PM
Justin, if you really are interested in finding out about this stuff, then surely you know that it isn't all necessarily going to be on your terms, right?

Mike Sigman
07-26-2007, 08:53 PM
Budd, you obviously don't know how many of Justin's generation were raised. ;)

Best.

Mike

statisticool
08-03-2007, 06:49 PM
Justin, if you really are interested in finding out about this stuff, then surely you know that it isn't all necessarily going to be on your terms, right?

But how is it on "my terms" when I'm just asking if video, anywhere, heck, even before my time, exists, of people claiming these amazing skills that are so vital, they claim, to understanding aikido, taijiquan, and other arts?

Justin

Cady Goldfield
08-03-2007, 08:20 PM
There are a bunch of those videos, and links were posted ages ago. All on YouTube -- of Ueshiba, Shioda and Mifune -- and Liu Chengde, who is still very much alive and teaching, all showing some form of ki/kokyu/aiki, right in front of our very eyes. Though just how they are doing them is "hidden in plain sight," since you really do have to feel them firsthand to understand what's going on. That's why everyone who has gone and felt it firsthand keeps telling you that you need to do that too. And it will be on the skill-possessor's terms (as Budd says), not yours.

Mike Sigman
08-03-2007, 08:51 PM
There are a bunch of those videos, and links were posted ages ago. All on YouTube -- of Ueshiba, Shioda and Mifune -- and Liu Chengde, who is still very much alive and teaching, all showing some form of ki/kokyu/aiki, right in front of our very eyes. Though just how they are doing them is "hidden in plain sight," since you really do have to feel them firsthand to understand what's going on. That's why everyone who has gone and felt it firsthand keeps telling you that you need to do that too. And it will be on the skill-possessor's terms (as Budd says), not yours.Frankly, there are a lot of people that I'm quite happy don't have any clue about these things, Cady. There's a phrase from Chinese that translates about someone having a "bad heart". Why try to show someone with a "bad heart" how these things are done? In the old days, these techniques and skills were important to the survival of ones family and friends.... why would you show someone who might misuse the skills and harm your own family and friends, unless you seem to be suicidal (about the ones you care for) in some way?

In my experience there are a lot of people who will glad-hand you, be your pal, give you a hug, etc., and yet who are really into these things strictly for their own self-aggrandizement or for some sociopathic reason. That's why the phrase "you're known by your friends" is also balanced by the sheer fact that you're always known by the type of person who is your enemy, too. ;)

FWIW

Mike

statisticool
08-04-2007, 05:48 AM
There are a bunch of those videos, and links were posted ages ago. All on YouTube -- of Ueshiba, Shioda and Mifune -- and Liu Chengde, who is still very much alive and teaching, all showing some form of ki/kokyu/aiki, right in front of our very eyes.


The people in this thread, for example, who claim amazing skills, are the ones I am referring to.

I have no doubts about the skills of Ueshiba, Mifune, etc.

tarik
08-04-2007, 08:50 AM
The people in this thread, for example, who claim amazing skills, are the ones I am referring to.

I have no doubts about the skills of Ueshiba, Mifune, etc.

I have amazing skills.

Just ask my wife. ;)

Regards,

Cady Goldfield
08-04-2007, 09:37 AM
Quote:
Justin Smith wrote:
The people in this thread, for example, who claim amazing skills, are the ones I am referring to.

I have no doubts about the skills of Ueshiba, Mifune, etc.

I have amazing skills.

Just ask my wife.

Regards,

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tarik Ghbeish
MASAKATSU AGATSU -- "The true victory of self-mastery."



I don't think you'd want to put them in a video on YouTube, Tarik. :D
Er, at least I hope not. :p

Thomas Campbell
08-04-2007, 10:14 AM
[snip]
In my experience there are a lot of people . . . who are really into these things strictly for their own self-aggrandizement or for some sociopathic reason. [snip]

FWIW

Mike

I know someone like that.

gdandscompserv
08-04-2007, 11:19 AM
I know someone like that.
Me too.

Mike Sigman
08-04-2007, 12:11 PM
I know two or three, myself. You can spot a lot of them because they never have anything substantive to contribute... but they want "respect" for the role they're playing.

Mike

tarik
08-06-2007, 09:54 AM
Hi Cady,


I don't think you'd want to put them in a video on YouTube, Tarik. :D
Er, at least I hope not. :p

It's unlikely that there'll ever be a video of me on YouTube. :cool:

Reading some of these threads is sometimes like wading through cesspool, isn't it? It makes even some of the golden nuggets stink so that you have to wash them off. ;)

Regards,

HL1978
08-07-2007, 10:59 PM
But how is it on "my terms" when I'm just asking if video, anywhere, heck, even before my time, exists, of people claiming these amazing skills that are so vital, they claim, to understanding aikido, taijiquan, and other arts?

Justin

I'm puzzled when I have offered to work out with you in the past, and as many others have noted, these skills are not readily apparent with video if you are not familiar with them.

Tim Fong
08-08-2007, 02:17 AM
Hunter,
I don't know why you waste your time talking to Justin. Obviously he isn't really interested in learning anything. He's interested in taking his ''skeptic' pose, and in waiting for someone ''famous'' to tell him what to believe. Preferably in a book somewhere.

It's a classic argument in bad faith.

statisticool
08-19-2007, 09:52 AM
Hunter,
I don't know why you waste your time talking to Justin. Obviously he isn't really interested in learning anything. He's interested in taking his ''skeptic' pose, and in waiting for someone ''famous'' to tell him what to believe. Preferably in a book somewhere.

It's a classic argument in bad faith.

Yeah that annyong skepticism. It's much better to believe everything 100% that people tell you, especially when they say they are unable to be moved, or they have the secrets that weren't even written/talked about by the founders of the art.

Budd
08-19-2007, 10:39 AM
No, it's better to go see what people are doing in person, feel what's actually happening and be in a better position to make an informed decision whether or not it's worth additional time and effort.

Tim Fong
08-19-2007, 12:10 PM
No, it's better to go see what people are doing in person, feel what's actually happening and be in a better position to make an informed decision whether or not it's worth additional time and effort.

But Budd, if you do that you could be humiliated or [gasp] injured. Oh no.

Thomas Campbell
08-19-2007, 02:03 PM
It is curious that Mr. Smith didn't make the effort to go work with Rob and Mike when Jim Sorrentino hosted them earlier this year, almost in Mr. Smith's backyard.

Classic frog-in-the-well syndrome.

statisticool
08-19-2007, 02:31 PM
It is curious that Mr. Smith didn't make the effort to go work with Rob and Mike when Jim Sorrentino hosted them earlier this year, almost in Mr. Smith's backyard.

Classic frog-in-the-well syndrome.

This has already been answered.

HL1978
08-19-2007, 05:18 PM
Hunter,
I don't know why you waste your time talking to Justin. Obviously he isn't really interested in learning anything. He's interested in taking his ''skeptic' pose, and in waiting for someone ''famous'' to tell him what to believe. Preferably in a book somewhere.

It's a classic argument in bad faith.

I try to be a very helpful guy :)

Justin, my invitation still stands. You can even borrow my copy of Tomei no chikara if you want and copy the passages. Asuming you can find a 3rd party translator, you will find the same things written that have often been spoken in this thread, if you want reassurance from a far more authoritative figure than myself. Feel free to PM me.

That being said, Justin, I would not act surprised if people interpret your motives to be something else when there have been opportunities to feel this stuff first hand.

Thomas Campbell
08-19-2007, 05:36 PM
This has already been answered.

By a frog in a well.

Nevertheless, given your own repeated criticisms of the good-faith attempts of several other people on this forum to verbally describe the practices, the internal proprioceptive feeling, the results, it should be quite clear that hands-on empirical investigation is critical to understanding, to prove or disprove. Unwillingness to engage in that kind of hands-on investigation belies your own pretense of good-faith curiosity. Skepticism without the willingness to test one's own questions and assertions is the refuge of a passive-aggressive fool.

Here Hunter, right in your general area, repeatedly and civilly offers to show you what he's been shown and the kind of work that goes into this training and investigation. You decline--no good reason offered--or remain silent, occasionally popping in with a verbal needle or a reiterated question for which you won't show up to get an answer.

A frog croaks in the bottom
Of a well, "Show-me"
"Show-me Show-me" Splash!

gdandscompserv
08-19-2007, 07:26 PM
But Budd, if you do that you could be humiliated or [gasp] injured. Oh no.
If I must be humiliated or injured to learn something I think I'll pass.:D

statisticool
08-19-2007, 07:37 PM
Nevertheless, given your own repeated criticisms of the good-faith attempts of several other people on this forum to verbally describe the practices, the internal proprioceptive feeling, the results, it should be quite clear that hands-on empirical investigation is critical to understanding, to prove or disprove.


It is more along the lines of people claiming special skills, but only demonstrating in a non-sparring format, or with a not fully resisting opponent, or not at all, or just exercises, or not on video.


you decline--no good reason offered--or remain silent, occasionally popping in with a verbal needle or a reiterated question for which you won't show up to get an answer.


It is your opinion that the reason is not good, of course. If you've been to many of these 'come and I'll show you' things, and when you show up it is something you already know or something you don't want to be 100ft near, you wouldn't be interested in the 'same ol same ol'.

Hunter asked me to do a bench press exercise several ways. It was not claimed at the time that he needed to be present for me to do them. I did them (despite you wanting to believe I don't try stuff out). And now it is 'come see me I'll show you' type of thing.

Any physical skill can be reasonably shown on video. If it is claimed it can't be shown or can only be shown if you stop your life and spend resources on it, the only technique I will practice is 'hold the wallet'.

Mike Sigman
08-19-2007, 08:15 PM
I try to be a very helpful guy :)

Justin, my invitation still stands. You can even borrow my copy of Tomei no chikara if you want and copy the passages. Asuming you can find a 3rd party translator, you will find the same things written that have often been spoken in this thread, if you want reassurance from a far more authoritative figure than myself. Feel free to PM me.

That being said, Justin, I would not act surprised if people interpret your motives to be something else when there have been opportunities to feel this stuff first hand.Of course, whatever you know, big or small, is your business, Hunter.... but in reality why would you show someone like Justin anything? Do you think he is someone who would be changed and whose personality would change if he knew the truth? What about any potential students Justin might have in the future... would you think that you are helping those people by showing Justin a few bits and pieces or would it be better for those imaginary students if you simply worked to keep Justin out of the teaching ranks of various arts? I'm just curious about what your motivation is. Justin's personal characteristics are pretty well-delineated by now and he's probably a good example to use in discussion about baseline skillsets (and who should be shown) as well as the baseline skillsets themselves. What I'm interested in is considering some of the reasons for why these skills are not very widespread and whether maybe that's not always a bad thing. For instance, do you think O-Sensei would have openly told a Justin Smith anything important about these skills? ;)

Best.

Mike

HL1978
08-19-2007, 08:47 PM
Of course, whatever you know, big or small, is your business, Hunter.... but in reality why would you show someone like Justin anything? Do you think he is someone who would be changed and whose personality would change if he knew the truth? What about any potential students Justin might have in the future... would you think that you are helping those people by showing Justin a few bits and pieces or would it be better for those imaginary students if you simply worked to keep Justin out of the teaching ranks of various arts? I'm just curious about what your motivation is. Justin's personal characteristics are pretty well-delineated by now and he's probably a good example to use in discussion about baseline skillsets (and who should be shown) as well as the baseline skillsets themselves. What I'm interested in is considering some of the reasons for why these skills are not very widespread and whether maybe that's not always a bad thing. For instance, do you think O-Sensei would have openly told a Justin Smith anything important about these skills? ;)

Best.

Mike

Hi Mike, you have felt me, so you know the very little of this skillset that I posses. Whatever I do have, might seem impressive to someone who has yet to feel this stuff, but far less so to anyone familiar with it. This isn't an attempt to be humble on my part, but the truth, there are people with significantly more skill out there than me.

As you well know, anything that I do show or have shown to others, would be worthless unless that person has the interest and dedication to stick with the training to really change their body and how they move, which is a multi year process in which I myself am only in the beginning stages. I understand where you are going, but feel that this stuff should be talked openly, but recognize that only to someone who is truly interested will put the pieces together and only the very dedicated will actualy be able to change their body and make it work.

From a "quality control" standpoint, I tend to agree with you, based off of seeing what has happened to people with an incomplete understanding of martial arts who have taught others. I am probably not the best example of these skills and shouldn't be one to demonstrate them, but if I do happen to get someone interested, then perhaps they will seek out someone to teach them properly.

Mike, you raise some very valid points which I had not considered and I think you are correct with your train of thought, but I am a man of my word, and if I made the offer I will stand by it if Justin approaches me (I merely wanted to offer him a way out and show him that these skills do exist and it is a different mode of movement. I'm in no position to be teaching anyone.). That being said however, I won't make the offer in the future to anyone else until I can better demonstrate this stuff.

Regards,

Hunter

Mike Sigman
08-19-2007, 09:12 PM
Hi Mike, you have felt me, so you know the very little of this skillset that I posses. Whatever I do have, might seem impressive to someone who has yet to feel this stuff, but far less so to anyone familiar with it. This isn't an attempt to be humble on my part, but the truth, there are people with significantly more skill out there than me.Hi Hunter:

Well, seriously, I was just bringing up the valid point about this complex part of the phenomenon that revolves around Ellis Amdur's "Hidden in Plain Sight" thesis. There's one question about "how was it missed", but there's another question of "who should you show?". It relates to the idea of martial virtue and whether, if someone really cares about any specific martial art, they should show someone something in that art which might be used in a way that despoils the art.

As you know there is a broad spectrum of personalities in martial arts. Should everyone be shown everything? Obviously not. So the question would be to start looking at some extreme personalities (on either end) and try to find where one should draw the line at showing something. Pretty obviously Justin didn't come onto the AikiWeb forum to learn anything or to do any good ... so the question is why, even to satisfy curiosity or to make a point ... would someone think it was worth the trouble.

Of course, Justin just happens to be a convenient extreme from which to start the reasoning, but the reasoning needs to be examined across a wide spectrum of people. I think *some* basics should be more freely disseminated, but I certainly don't think all basics should be given to everyone. In other words, I'm looking at this a good discussion about baseline skillsets... nothing more.

Best.

Mike

Thomas Campbell
08-19-2007, 11:17 PM
I thought I heard a frog croaking . . . maybe just an echo.

[snip]
Any physical skill can be reasonably shown on video.

Actually, not quite true. The internal connections and movement most emphatically do not come across well, or at all, on video. They have to be felt, hands-on . . . both to feel what the effect on the opponent is, and to feel how the exponent of the skill is working. Without that proprioceptive understanding informing the practice of specific exercises, you will not gain insight or progress.

For example, people can copy some of the basic Aunkai exercises that Akuzawa demonstrates on video clips. But without having a proprioceptive understanding of (for example) the "cross," alignment, what it feels like to be working with the Aunkai concept of axis, the exercises may provide some cursory benefit but no real long-term progress will be made. Akuzawa or Rob John can show, hands-on, the feeling and correction that can launch you on a fruitful, if hard, path of training.

If it is claimed it can't be shown or can only be shown if you stop your life and spend resources on it, the only technique I will practice is 'hold the wallet'.

Hunter, and Dan in other circumstances, offered to demonstrate and show some of what they know and can do for free. Jim Sorrentino's seminar basically just tried to help cover some of Rob's expenses coming halfway around the world to introduce Aunkai practices--if you think Rob or Ark are making money off of this, you forget that they both have regular day jobs. I don't know the specifics of Mike's arrangement with the Sorrentinos, but I was under the impression that he just came there to see what Rob was showing and to show--hands-on--a little of what he works on. The point is that these folks are serious about internal skill practice and are open about sharing at least their basics . . . and all I've ever seen them ask is an open-minded, respectful approach to what they demonstrate, and a commitment to try to consistently practice afterwards (without such a commitment, their time and effort is wasted).



You'll stay where you are. That circular piece of sky up above you must be fascinating.

Budd
08-20-2007, 07:30 AM
If I must be humiliated or injured to learn something I think I'll pass.:D

The quote was actually 'could be' rather than 'must'. You 'could be' injured or humiliated in your regular training class. I suppose it partly depends how you present yourself and how you train with others.

Budd
08-20-2007, 07:56 AM
Interesting further discussion on who "should" get access to this stuff. My little side question for those working on these things - isn't there kind of a filter in place already as far as who is going to be able to develop these skills?

It's not as if a seminar (or two, or three) is going to make anyone come away with magic powers. From my very limited understanding, the basics can be shown in person, but then it's up to the practitioner to put in immense quantities of time rewiring the body.

If someone is already putting on the pose of "yeah, I do that", how likely are they to be putting in the work to legitimately get somewhere (or recognize that they've got a long way to go or be willing to accept the feedback that they've got a long way to go OR -- accept the possibility that they may NEVER get there)?

Or on the other side of the coin, if someone is flat-out in denial that these things exist and are valid - such folks are often very good at applying their "filter" to demonstrations or hands-on work so that they coincide with their worldview/belief system. In other words, you can lead a horse to water . . . but you know the rest . . . .

In either case, I don't see a willingness to actually "forge" the skills/body. But I guess I'm asking you folks with more experience - have you seen examples where people were shown these skills, worked on them to develop actual ability and then somewhere else it went badly?

Mike Sigman
08-20-2007, 08:41 AM
Interesting further discussion on who "should" get access to this stuff. My little side question for those working on these things - isn't there kind of a filter in place already as far as who is going to be able to develop these skills?

It's not as if a seminar (or two, or three) is going to make anyone come away with magic powers. From my very limited understanding, the basics can be shown in person, but then it's up to the practitioner to put in immense quantities of time rewiring the body.

If someone is already putting on the pose of "yeah, I do that", how likely are they to be putting in the work to legitimately get somewhere (or recognize that they've got a long way to go or be willing to accept the feedback that they've got a long way to go OR -- accept the possibility that they may NEVER get there)?

Or on the other side of the coin, if someone is flat-out in denial that these things exist and are valid - such folks are often very good at applying their "filter" to demonstrations or hands-on work so that they coincide with their worldview/belief system. In other words, you can lead a horse to water . . . but you know the rest . . . .

In either case, I don't see a willingness to actually "forge" the skills/body. But I guess I'm asking you folks with more experience - have you seen examples where people were shown these skills, worked on them to develop actual ability and then somewhere else it went badly?Good points, Budd. I'll usually prod people a little bit who already claim expertise to see exactly what their motivations are. Only a few people are really interested in exploring an art to these depths unless they have a reasonable body of their peers doing the same thing. In other words, the herd instinct is one of the main factors at work.

The second thing is that there is an IQ threshold to all of this. Not everyone can get it (have the day-to-day insights from smarts and hard work) or would be willing to devote the time and effort. You kind of have to watch people and separate the possibles from the "probably nots" in order to maximize any efforts you're going to spend with the ones who have the right qualities. It would take a special reason (I can't think of one, TBH) to devote time to someone with an obvious personality deficiency.

Personally, I'm old enough to know how many times we misjudge people, etc., so I'm usually willing to show just about anyone the starters, but if they don't show any results and personal insights after a period of time, I quit bothering with it. The ones I watch for ask questions which show they've been thinking and that they've figured a few things out alread *and* they show an increase in skills from the last time I saw them. If people can't get the basics, then it's doubtful that they'll get much else (not that I know much else) beyond that in a reasonable amount of time.

I.e., it's a crap-shoot. Only bright, motivated people will really get it. People who have a "bad heart" shouldn't be even bothered with, in my personal opinion (recognizing that others have their own standards, of course). So generally, the traditional ways of "who to teach" are not that far off, in principle, from the selection processes I sort of fall into with common sense. ;)

Best.

Mike

Budd
08-20-2007, 09:04 AM
Thanks for the response, Mike.

Upyu
08-20-2007, 09:11 AM
The second thing is that there is an IQ threshold to all of this. Not everyone can get it (have the day-to-day insights from smarts and hard work)

Ouch... but oh so true