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MM
02-26-2007, 08:04 AM
I was fortunate enough to get to attend a small seminar/workshop with Mike and Rob. And since I've posted my experiences before, I thought I'd continue.

First, Mike and Rob are great guys. I actually had pictured Mike a bit bigger from seeing a picture of him, but hey, we all picture people differently until me meet them. They were both open and helpful and very good at explaining/teaching the skills they were showing.

I'll let others talk about the aspects of what actually went on during the seminar/workshop because I'm not great at remembering details.

I did get a chance to push on Mike and I couldn't move him. It's a weird feeling and hard to describe. It's not exactly like pushing against a solid brick wall because you get a different feedback from that. It's more like a solid hole. yeah, weird. I can feel I'm pushing but I don't get much feedback and it feels like all my energy is going into a hole, yet there's definitely something there because my hands say I'm pushing against something.

I did a little push hands with Rob and it felt the same. The structure was there and I found myself using muscle to push rather than using my whole body and the ground.

I felt a no-inch punch from Mike that nearly put me on the ground. Mike reached out and grabbed me before I fell, though.

And I had Rob kick me using muscle and then using whole body. The difference is amazing. I was holding a pad, no less, and I still felt the whole body kick go through me. Hunter mentioned later that it's like a wave going through one's body. Speaking of, Hunter was also very open and helpful with showing exercises and how to work on these skills. Thanks to him, along with Mike and Rob for everything.

If anyone has the chance, I would definitely encourage them to meet Mike or Rob.

Mark

Don_Modesto
02-26-2007, 08:26 AM
Thanks for the report.

Sorry, who's Hunter?

Thanks.

Ron Tisdale
02-26-2007, 08:38 AM
Thanks for the report Mark! I was hoping to make it myself, but work and family got in the way. Next time...
Best,
Ron

MM
02-26-2007, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the report.

Sorry, who's Hunter?

Thanks.

Hunter Lonsberry. He's a friend of Rob.

Mark

eyrie
02-26-2007, 05:20 PM
I did get a chance to push on Mike and I couldn't move him. It's a weird feeling and hard to describe. It's not exactly like pushing against a solid brick wall because you get a different feedback from that. It's more like a solid hole. yeah, weird. I can feel I'm pushing but I don't get much feedback and it feels like all my energy is going into a hole, yet there's definitely something there because my hands say I'm pushing against something.

Tee hee.... there goes that "resistance" argument. :D

Mike Sigman
02-26-2007, 07:27 PM
OK, I'm back home, finally. DC has more snow than we do here in the Rockies. ;)

Frankly, I'm a little turned off with the "Mike and Dan" turn of the "Baseline Skillsets" thread.... it's complete bullshit, unless you want to write Tohei off as some Aiki-Fruitcake that really never understood Aikido the way some of these western "teachers" do. Tohei has basically said the same thing... "Hey folks, these skills are so important that I'm making them the basics of the Aikido that I'm teaching". Ikeda, Inaba, Abe, and many others see the same thing. For some western "teacher" to indicate that these things are only tangential and that the real stuff in Systema, etc., gets sort of bizarre. The worst thing is biting my tongue reading some of these guys who "teach their students the "ki, kokyu, and Internal stuff" but who obviously don't know what they're talking about.

My suggestion on that is to get your ducks lined up. It's not about what you think you know... it's what you really know. And the idea that every opinion is equally valid and that it won't cost your reputation to freely expound your ideas as a "teacher" is a little shallow. Let's get real... all of this ki and kokyu stuff is not different, it's all the same thing. Ushiro knows it. Ikeda knows it. Tohei knows it, but thinks he can slide by. I knows it. ;)

FWIW

Mike :p

Mike Sigman
02-26-2007, 07:39 PM
So.... back to the meeting thing.

It was nice to go to DC and meet a lot of people and also to kill off some meetings with my daughter in Germantown, my old college buddies, some karate friends, some members of the QiJing list and some of the AikiWeb guys... it was great fun.

Rob was a great guy. He transcends the usual martial-arts status stuff ("I am the BlackBelt!!!... OooooKoooKaJooooo!!!"... [borrowing from "I am the Walrus!!!"]). He's simply looking for the best way for all of these things to work. Watching his presentation at the mini-workshop, I got a good idea of the sort of shortcut that Akuzawa teaches. It's a good one. I learned stuff. I personally would add an opinion that a little more clearcut idea of the jin forces could be made, but we all have opinions, don't we? Just like armpits. ;)

I also met a number of other guys and once again it comes back to me that a lot of the people I enjoy in martial arts are the ones who ignore the fluff/flummery and who are honest seekers. It was a lot of fun.

One of the opinions I came up with is that there is always something new that triggers the thought processes of "there has to be an easier way to teach these things". I think a lot of us got new ideas on viable approaches.

There's also something to be said about competition. I think it's a good thing that some people are getting their ideas from Ushiro, some via Akuzawa, some from Dan, some from Abe, etc. I think an unspoken 'competition' is a good thing. The drive to be the best and to know the most sounds superficially penny-ante, but it can be a good thing. I encourage people to pick from what appeals to them and go out an get it.... and then try to beat it. Always watch a teacher not with adoration, but with the idea that "I can beat him with a little knowledge and a lot of practice". And then go for it. These are the good times. ;)

Best.

Mike

Tom H.
02-26-2007, 08:41 PM
Thanks for the comments.. I'm glad to hear the get-together went off well. :)

Aran Bright
02-26-2007, 11:14 PM
Hi all,

I am amazed that the whole base line skill thing was good for about four pages then went to poo and hasn't seem to come back since. And its by far the longest thread I've ever seen.

However this brings up the issue of where is a good place to discuss these ideas? I really feel that this deserves its own forum, a place where the principles can be discussed without the topic being high jacked by any one style of martial art.

You know, like an internal martial art utopia.

Aran

p.s. oh and I like the black hole thing, I had a similar experience with an aussie guy last weekend, except this black hole had arms!

Upyu
02-27-2007, 12:53 AM
Just noticed this thread!

Holla out to everyone that came out, good work, and I'm sorry we couldn't work out longer. A lot of material had to be compressed into a short time, but I hope people got more out of it than quads burning up from lactic acid (sorry chris, had to steal that line from you lol)

Likewise Mike's skill is awesome. I certainly got trounced when I got to touch hands with him later, but I learned a lot, and was especially struck by the way he managed to explain away a lot of the grounding concepts in a very easy to understand way.

Looking forward to the next time I get out there.

Oh and mad props to the Seattle Crew!
Chris, Kit, Jeremy, Josh and all, glad you all made it. Hopefully people were able to get a little bit of stuff out of my half assed "seminar".

Like Mike said, all of this induces healthy "competition", since I'm sure some people are going to be pounding away at the solo exercises...which gives me incentive to up my own game so I don't get my ass trashed next year ^^;

DH
02-27-2007, 07:10 AM
Good on you guys

One caution I'd make is the competition is good and healthy but we are trying to make a statement of values of internal training to many unbelievers. One hold up of progress is in the dichotomy of actual delivery. Lets say internal guy #1 gets trounced by good fighter #2
To the fighter and to the watcher it diminishes the value and only a few intelligent guys will get that... "Hey wait a minute!! Even though he lost, that's some power!" "What if fighter #2 had used both his fighting skills and that power?"

Many people still can't read between the lines and see the value over technique and skill. Its why I argue on two fronts and try to say this training helps "you" be a better "you" at what you do. Its tough to break through to fighters unless you can bring it. I think its what has held many back from pursuing this training.
Rob it didn't matter if you get trounced by some good grapplers. Other than for your personal training benefit-which is substantial. BTW did I tell you I am so glad you decided to pursue MMA type things as a venue to play in an explore? And for FWIW I hope you felt the relaxed power of "good" grappling. Some of them seattle boys know what they're about. It aint muscle-boys at play. For those who still dont get it yet-the physical game of chess attracts just as many feet-on-the-floor, intelligent researchers as any other martial art...hell..scratch that. Maybe more.

I'll be prejudice a bit here and say It doesn't matter as much with less able arts they are far more easily overcome. But they are more easily overcome by good grapplers anyway. So there is a bit of a complex element that may be being added here that will only serve to muddy the waters. We need to each think of trying to be better for ourselves in what ever it is "we" each shoose to do. And that may not incorporate fighting at all or be MMA type of training. These skills and the effect they have on your body are useful in anything.

Anyway, there are now some dozen or so guys who have felt Rob and me or Mike and me and handful who have felt Rob, Mike and me. Perhaps there is enough "validation by witness" here on Aikiweb that the AIkido folks can address some of these western teachers who have openly said
1. It isn't important to aikido
2. It is but you folks need to only find it in Aikido
3. We shoudn't be talking about it since only aikido people understand AIki in aikido..zzzzz!

Be prepared though. I'm starting to be convinced that no amount of evidence is enough. Aiki from DR (Ueshibas main study), Aiki from Chinese influences (possibly an offshoot study) all being displayed one on one, hand to hand. And still denied. Were he alive today, these modern teachers would probably be arguing with Ueshiba himself.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
02-27-2007, 07:28 AM
Like Mike said, all of this induces healthy "competition", since I'm sure some people are going to be pounding away at the solo exercises...which gives me incentive to up my own game so I don't get my ass trashed next year ^^;Yeah, me too. I'm too old to match the physical stamina, etc., of Rob, but I can sure give it a try for "next time". I saw several things I can use to modify my training to give me an edge for "next time". These kinds of meetings are great incentives.

I spent a number of hours working with both Aikido and Karate people and generally I think all of us could sense the lost abilities when the "internal" skills weren't being used. Besides.... O-Sensei, Tohei, Abe, and many others have all made it clear that this stuff is basic to Aikido. I really get annoyed at the marginalization by some Aikido people that this is a Rob or Dan or Mike or Ushiro or "nice hobby, but not really necessary" level of stuff. It's like the people who say those kinds of things are simply showing that they don't understand Aikido or that they think they're "close enough" so that they don't need to improve in skills that are mentioned over and over again in Aikido literature. And which 2 years ago these guys thought those skills were just exotic mouth-noises. ;) "Oh, but I met Ushiro as Summer Camp, so now I'm up to snuff on that 'internal' stuff". :p Heh.

But back to the point.... yes, I think the competition approach is a great motivator. And I'm glad Rob and I finally got to meet up and compare notes so that I could see what Akuzawa's approach was. Two acquaintances of Rob's showed up who did "Shaolin" and Rob conned me into tagging both of them quickly so that they could feel what no-inch or low-inch power felt like. The looks on their faces were priceless, BUT, you could tell that they were motivated to learn how to do that themselves now... and since the mood among all of us was friendly and sharing, it was the best of all good times for martial artists to be together. It was a classic meeting. Thanks to Rob and Hunter for setting it up. It motivated everyone.

Best.

Mike

MM
02-27-2007, 08:01 AM
I'm still amazed at the opportunities I've gotten. I sit here in the middle of West Virginia and I shake my head in disbelief because it's hard to wrap my brain around the notion that I got to meet all three of you. And I'm thankful to each of you for that, not to mention how open and helpful you all have been.

And I'm certainly not going to waste that. I've added some of those exercises to the aikido class and I'm doing solo training at home. I may not be a fast learner, but I'll struggle through eventually with tenacity. :) I have Scottish blood from both sides of my family and people say I'm beyond stubborn. LOL. Maybe I can finally use that to a good advantage. I'll put the aiki back into aikido.

Thanks again,
Mark

Josh Lerner
02-27-2007, 09:15 AM
I'm really sorry I couldn't be there for the East Coast seminar, since I haven't had a chance to meet Mike yet. But many thanks to Rob for the time he spent with us in Seattle - it was an eye-opener, and for those of us who had been struggling trying to figure out the solo excercises from written descriptions and a couple of Youtube videos, it was incredibly helpful to get some hands-on instruction. Great thanks to Chris for organizing it - it was great to be around so many people who were all interested in the same thing.

There are probably more little details than I'll be able to remember. Plus, everyone needs the experience of being pushed around by someone who weighs at least 50 lbs less than you. It's a bittersweet mixture of depressing and inspiring.

Now to get Mike out to Seattle . . .

And to get Mike and Dan in the same room . . .

Josh

DH
02-27-2007, 09:17 AM
I have Scottish blood from both sides of my family and people say I'm beyond stubborn. LOL. Maybe I can finally use that to a good advantage. I'll put the aiki back into aikido.
Thanks again,
Mark
From a Harden to a Murray I'd say "We're naturals." Kilts to Hakama..its all still "men in skirts" to us. You might want to fall in love with my clans weapon of choice-the spear. Must be in the blood.

You will get better with this, you just simply will. And without having to go back to the mysteries of endless forms and kata.
Hope to see ya soon
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
02-27-2007, 09:22 AM
Be prepared though. I'm starting to be convinced that no amount of evidence is enough. Aiki from DR (Ueshibas main study), Aiki from Chinese influences (possibly an offshoot study) all being displayed one on one, hand to hand. And still denied. Were he alive today, these modern teachers would probably be arguing with Ueshiba himself.
Cheers
Dan

I read about a study that was done... They took two groups and told them about an event. One group got a detailed account of the event from start to finish. The other group got only a sketchy version which left out substantial info. They were polled as to their opinions about the event. Then, gradually, the group that had started with incomplete information was given more info in stages and then polled after each instance. What they found was that new information only resulted in a 1 or 2 % change in opinion about what had happened. Better information does not change opinions.

It's not that folks don't hear what you are saying... it's that most folks don't want to change. Look at the Expos. Only a small part of the Aikido community went. Of those went, most went home and continued to do exactly what they had been doing before. Only a very small group looked at what was presented and radically changed what they were doing.

You can't get Aikido folks to train with each other (outside their group or organization), why would you think they'd be willing to think outside the box and train with folks from outside? I think that most Aikido people feel overwhelmed by the art on some level. The average student is probably training twice a week. Serious folks are probably training 3 to 4 times a week. Very few people are training every day.

So these folks look at what is presented within Aikido proper, even just within the style they do, and they don't feel they are going to master even that. So why would they look for more info from outside? They already feel they have enough to work on. They think they'll get around to looking at what you guys are talking about when they get to some future level when it makes sense to look for more.

The fact that it would make things one hell of a lot easier for these folks if they understood what you guys are doing just doesn't come into play. What you guys are talking about should be considered a basic foundation, not the advanced stuff we can look into later in life. But folks won't see it that way.

It's like how folks make decisions in a company. It is virtually the definition of irrational for someone to make decisions that they know will not advance their careers. It does not advance your career to accomplish things which your boss doesn't think is in your job description. Most folks are busy getting along in some organization, moving up the totem pole by learning what that organization has set out as the criteria for advancement. Does anyone actually think that most organizations would reward their students for developing these skills? I suspect that it would be just the opposite.

Most organizations and most teachers are busy perpetuating their own systems. I don't believe that most would reward the efforts of someone who went outside and developed skills that the majority of the group, especially the seniors, might not have. i think that most folks recognize this, even if it only unconsciously. So they do what will get rewarded within the organization, not what might make them the best at their art.

I think that folks really should think about the political implications of just going off, willy nilly, and training with Dan or Mike or the Systema folks, or whomever. It will change your Aikido. Then what happens? This kind of thing could destabilize Aikido all over the country, all over the world, my God it could be a revolution... In fact, I think Dan and Mike are really a threat to Homeland Security and should be reported before the get a chance to REALLY screw things up. People were happy before THEY started stirring things up... This could just be the end of civilization as we know it...

DH
02-27-2007, 09:35 AM
Ah.... you're killing me.
If I really wanted to shake things up I'd say
"Who is-really- doing Aikido?"
Funny how Ueshiba recognized it early on huh? Saw people doing things with their bodies and said Thats Aikido, saw his own students doing things and said that NOT my Aikido!! He taught some outsiders rapidly, expounded on everyone doing "your Aikido." As we know ge taught Tenryu in three months!! With him as a model then- just who, is doing what, that he would be pleased with? Who can stand there and say "This is -my- Aikido?" Maybe everyone!

In all seriousness If I could say any one-thing these skills can do...it is to demystify and lay out more of a clear foundation of how the art works.
You're right about politics and baggage thing.
I call it men peeing on trees. For this reason I've told several people in various arts not tell anyone what they'e doing. Just keep training till your teachers can't throw you and are scared to get hit by you.
Then these guys who have been working hard face a choice of Character. Be like the bastards who lied to so many of us and keep it for yourself. Or teach.
Thus the credit stays within the art.
No matter what machinations you have to go through-if you can find sincere people-help them!

Dan

Mike Sigman
02-27-2007, 09:54 AM
There are probably more little details than I'll be able to remember. Plus, everyone needs the experience of being pushed around by someone who weighs at least 50 lbs less than you. It's a bittersweet mixture of depressing and inspiring.
Actually, I got a kick out of seeing 2 or 3 smaller women over the weekend who were sort of "naturals" in their ability to pick up some aspects of the kokyu forces stuff very quickly. To feel them collapse my ribs slightly with their early attempts at power releases was a lot of fun. These women didn't weight 150 pounds... closer to 120, at best. Seeing the development of appreciable, usable power in small people is inspiring to me. Now they can turn around and begin to practice using that power in their Aikido and karate, respectively.

Best.

Mike

Jim Sorrentino
02-27-2007, 10:17 AM
Greetings All,

Since my dojo and I hosted this meeting, my comments are long overdue. We met on Friday, February 23, from 6:30 to 9:30. There were about 20 people on the mat, mostly my students. The aikido experience ranged from 3rd kyu to 5th dan. A couple of local Uechi-ryu karateka joined us, as well as Mark Murray and Hunter Lonsberry.

Murry McPherson's reaction to working with Dan Harden (see Baseline Skillset thread) precisely describes my reaction to working with Mike Sigman and (to a lesser extent) Rob John:And the sad truth is that what I felt was so far removed from standard aikido (or judo, or karate, for that matter) that I had the not entirely pleasant sensation of feeling simultaneously excited by the possibility of it all, yet resentful and angry that these skills are not understood and/or taught as the essential building blocks of skill, from day one.It was a whirlwind tour, but quite valuable. Rob has a level of connectedness that I have felt in very few aikido people --- and certainly nobody who has trained for the relatively few years Rob has. It is quite clear to me that daily practice of several of Akuzawa's solo exercises will qualitatively improve my aikido, so I'm doing that. Rob has a great attitude, and led the class effectively. Thanks to Hunter Lonsbury for facilitating Rob's part of the meeting.

Mike Sigman is frighteningly good, and I do not use that adverb lightly. I've met people who can root themselves strongly, and he is certainly the best I have felt. The class spent a fair amount of time engaged in learning how to work on that ability, both statically and dynamically, and yes, Dan Harden is right --- it involves a lot of pushing on each other. But the truly impressive thing about is that he has the ability to put his power out explosively in any direction, either focused into a point, or spread out over his frame. He also was able to "merge" with incoming force immediately with no apparent effort. He was very generous with his time and skill, and provided a number of things for us to work on within an aikido context. He has a very clear way of illustrating and practicing Hiroshi Ikeda-sensei's oft-repeated admonition to "put the weight on" the place where uke makes contact. For the curious, it is the demonstration of how to "let the weight of your crotch be in your partner's hands."

Mike also met with me and a couple of other dojo members at my home for several hours on Sunday. This meeting demonstrated to me that learning and studying internal skills is best accomplished in small groups. (Dan Harden is right about that as well.:) ) It is clear to me that I will have to loosen my upper and lower back, as well as attend to my breathing, to make progress with the things that Mike taught. At the same time, it is quite clear to me that it is possible to learn these skills, and that they will significantly improve the quality of my aikido.

In sum, my dojo and I were quite pleased with both Rob and Mike. They have something to offer, and I am personally grateful that they agreed to share it.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

Ron Tisdale
02-27-2007, 10:22 AM
A true man finds truth where it is, and invites it in. I'm so glad that this event was at such a high level. Wishing even more I could have made it down.

Best to you and your dojo,
Ron

Robert Rumpf
02-27-2007, 10:55 AM
It was a great experience. You guys should come back again sometime when the weather is nicer.

Thanks for all the insight,
Rob

Mike Sigman
02-27-2007, 10:55 AM
For the curious, it is the demonstration of how to "let the weight of your crotch be in your partner's hands." No, no, no!!! The weight from your crotch shoule be in YOUR hands, or your elbows, or your shoulder, or wherever. Not HIS hands! That's obscene. :D :D

I had a great time meeting Jim, his wife, and his dojo-members. It was a good crowd. All we had time to do was a few things, but at least it's a pointer in which way to go. I engage in a lot of these conversations because they motivate me to get better, I get tidbits of interesting information, and so on...... but one of the things I always remember that made me bitter so many times when I was searching in Aikido practice was that it was hard to get information about these skills from anyone. Whenever I show what little I know, I remember that there are people who are just like I was, looking hard to find information in some pretty dry territory, so I always pretend it's me out there and I try to tell that "me" the things I would have wanted to know to get me started correctly. We each owe it to the selves of our past in the people we meet today.

Best.

Mike

Jim Sorrentino
02-27-2007, 11:11 AM
Hi Mike,No, no, no!!! The weight from your crotch shoule be in YOUR hands, or your elbows, or your shoulder, or wherever. Not HIS hands! That's obscene. :D :DWell, I always have had a problem with boundaries. ;)

Thanks again!

Jim

Luc X Saroufim
02-27-2007, 11:40 AM
I felt a no-inch punch from Mike that nearly put me on the ground.

go Mike! putting words into action...


And I had Rob kick me using muscle and then using whole body. Hunter mentioned later that it's like a wave going through one's body

impressive and thought provoking.

Mike Sigman
02-27-2007, 11:50 AM
I felt a no-inch punch from Mike that nearly put me on the ground.go Mike! putting words into action...
Well, I didn't do a no-inch punch on anyone, not really. I did a few no-inch power-releases but I was careful to only use my palm or my shoulder for those and I wasn't trying to do more than just demonstrate the idea. The point I'm making is that I discourage anyone from doing demo's that can potentially damage Uke and I wouldn't want anyone to think I revelled in that sort of thing. :)

Best.

Mike

ChrisMoses
02-27-2007, 02:52 PM
Just noticed this thread!

Holla out to everyone that came out, good work, and I'm sorry we couldn't work out longer. A lot of material had to be compressed into a short time, but I hope people got more out of it than quads burning up from lactic acid (sorry chris, had to steal that line from you lol)
[snippage]
Oh and mad props to the Seattle Crew!
Chris, Kit, Jeremy, Josh and all, glad you all made it. Hopefully people were able to get a little bit of stuff out of my half assed "seminar".


Well you're a day ahead of me! Steal away, I'm stealing all I can from you! I've said it privately, but here's a big public, "Thank you!" from Rain City (both to Rob and to those of you who came out). It was great to spend some time with you on the mat again and I've gotten nothing but very positive feedback from those who were able to make it, not to mention interest from those who weren't. Hopefully it showed that we've at least been TRYING to work on this stuff since we met in Tokyo, we just need to crank it up a bit, or is it *down* a bit... :drool:

I thought I should make the point to the general community that while Rob/Ark's stuff has had a very real, very significant impact on how I do my Aikido/budo/jutsu in a very short period of time, we have *never* talked about how I should be doing my aikido. Other than a couple of the "see why this doesn't work..." examples that Ark demonstrated (as long as I did my ikkyo 'like they do in aikido' anyway, lol), Rob hasn't attempted in any way to influence the strategies or specifics of our aikido waza. Perhaps that's something that should be made more clear to those who think that Rob (and by assumption, Dan and Mike) are attempting to tell us how to do our waza. That has not been my experience, but rather they're offering some better methodologies for how to move and organize oneself on a more fundamental level than, "no, put your hand here to do kotegaeshi." I'm not sure how much of that has come across to the general community.

Ron Tisdale
02-27-2007, 02:54 PM
I think many have missed that last point Chris...unfortunately. It is so easy to get tied up in pretzal logic.

Best,
Ron

ChrisMoses
02-27-2007, 03:02 PM
I think many have missed that last point Chris...unfortunately. It is so easy to get tied up in pretzal logic.

Best,
Ron

Come on, that was clear like mud.

Short version, Rob has never showed me how I should be doing my aikido. It has never come up. I think a lot of the push-back wrt the internal stuff and guys offering it is the knee jerk response to the idea that someone's going to come in and show you how your aikido should be done. That hasn't been my experience, but rather they're showing you how to structure your body so that you can actually do your aikido, something that most people are never taught in aikido, and why it may or may not be a 'baseline' skillset of the art itself. That any better?

Kevin Leavitt
02-27-2007, 03:20 PM
Good to hear things went well! I have been looking forward to hearing about this. Sorry I could not be there.

I look forward to learning in the near future!

Mike Sigman
02-27-2007, 03:20 PM
Short version, Rob has never showed me how I should be doing my aikido. It has never come up. I think a lot of the push-back wrt the internal stuff and guys offering it is the knee jerk response to the idea that someone's going to come in and show you how your aikido should be done. That hasn't been my experience, but rather they're showing you how to structure your body so that you can actually do your aikido, something that most people are never taught in aikido, and why it may or may not be a 'baseline' skillset of the art itself. That any better?I agree. My actual "Aikido" sucks, so I would never attempt to teach someone how to do Aikido. On the other hand, there is a conundrum. If real Aikido requires the use of the Ki skills (which Ueshiba and a number of others made clear as being the case), how can someone who "does subtle and sophisticated Aikido" really be doing Aikido if they don't have these body skills? See the problem? That's why it's a double-edged question for some of the people who insist that "people who don't do Aikido shouldn't post to this forum". :p

Best.

Mike

Franco
02-27-2007, 04:35 PM
Arggg. I'd really like to see what this "no-inch power release" feels like.

Mr. Sigman:

Any chance that you'll be giving a workshop, anywhere?

Mike Sigman
02-27-2007, 04:47 PM
Arggg. I'd really like to see what this "no-inch power release" feels like.

Mr. Sigman:

Any chance that you'll be giving a workshop, anywhere?Hi Franco:

You'd like to see what it feels like? ;) Good one. :D

I only do workshops on a whimsical basis, Franco. Impulse. They cut into my free time too much. But if I do one near Austin, I'll let you know. I have to admit that being caught in the Beltway traffic around DC did a lot for confirming my reclusiveness, again. :cool:

Best.

Mike

TAnderson
02-28-2007, 07:03 AM
Didn't even see this thread until this morning....

Just want to say thanks to Mike and Rob for taking some of their valuable time to provide some brilliant instruction.
Rob taught a very clear and concise class. One could really feel the body act as a single unit when performing the conditioning exercises correctly. The power generation when the body is in this cohesive alignment is impressive. This is from either a standing or prone position.
Mike provide some excellent down to earth no BS explanations. He can put you in a mindset and body alignment that allows you to start feeling these skills immediately. He also can show and help the person begin to feel the mental manipulation of forces i.e. without any or very little body movement. Its a very cool sensation to have his palms on top of your arms while your hands are underneath his elbows yet he is still be able to uproot ones center. I won't even begin to mention his power releases... the looks on peoples faces were priceless.

Thanks again guys, (Oh, and thank you Hunter and Jim)
Tim Anderson

Mike Sigman
02-28-2007, 08:11 AM
Did anyone see the bait.... er, I mean the potential discussion about Kotodama and Kiko in the "Training" session? Tsk. ;)

Mike

Guilty Spark
02-28-2007, 08:14 AM
So don't get in a fist fight with Rob or Mike, got it.
*writes that down*

MM
02-28-2007, 08:17 AM
Did anyone see the bait.... er, I mean the potential discussion about Kotodama and Kiko in the "Training" session? Tsk. ;)

Mike

I did, but kotodama and fascia development are new to me. I'm still trying to re-train. :)

Mark

Mike Sigman
02-28-2007, 12:44 PM
This meeting demonstrated to me that learning and studying internal skills is best accomplished in small groups. Incidentally, this topic of numbers is a good discussion. I don't have a perfect answer to any of this, but over a number of years I've come to feel that the best way to do these things are:

(1.) A 2-day workshop, 9am-3pm. It takes at least that much focus for it to begin to penetrate most people that you can't just temporarily change your movement and "get it".... it's a full-time practice so that kokyu and ki can thrive and develop in the body.

(2.) About 20 people is a good number because it allows you to work with everyone (it's 10 couples to move between; an easy number) and it gives the other people time to experiment longer with the newer concepts. When I show a lot of things quickly, it almost never sticks. The pace is important.

(3.) The approach has to be very logical and progressive. Each stage is based on knowing and understanding the previous stage (and that's why no one is allowed to come just to the second day of a workshop, BTW). The idea is that the progressive learning approach leaves you with that final stage(s) to work on.... you don't have to remember all the preceeding stages in detail.

(4.) A "Big Picture" is important so that people know and understand the overall logic and skills-development. However, beginning people should understand that their next few months should be focused only on imbuing basic jin/kokyu skills and some basic breathing/standing/moving exercises.... it takes a while to develop and complexities aren't important at first.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that in.

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
02-28-2007, 02:32 PM
I caught the Kotatama thing Mike. Curious about it, but I cannot even begin to comprehend what it is that you are talking about so cannot comment at all on it.

Would need to explore this more and be educated more in order to grasp the concept.

G DiPierro
02-28-2007, 04:05 PM
Murry McPherson's reaction to working with Dan Harden (see Baseline Skillset thread) precisely describes my reaction to working with Mike Sigman and (to a lesser extent) Rob John:
"And the sad truth is that what I felt was so far removed from standard aikido (or judo, or karate, for that matter) that I had the not entirely pleasant sensation of feeling simultaneously excited by the possibility of it all, yet resentful and angry that these skills are not understood and/or taught as the essential building blocks of skill, from day one."
...
Mike Sigman is frighteningly good, and I do not use that adverb lightly. I've met people who can root themselves strongly, and he is certainly the best I have felt.

So Jim, after feeling Mike for yourself, I'm curious whether you still think it would be impossible for someone like him or Dan to stop someone like Saotome or Ikeda? Or are you now ready to concede that the reason guys like you who have spent 20 or 30 years in your organization cannot do this yet people who have been training much less time but in different ways, like Rob or myself, can is that there is something important that they have not taught you?

I don't think Ikeda consciously chose not to teach these things, and he seems to be increasingly making an effort to try to get people in your organization to understand them. For most people, even in the ASU, his words just go in one ear and out the other. If he is able to develop some kind of pedagogy for teaching them over the next several years, that could change. In Saotome's case, I suspect there's an element he has intentionally withheld so that he would always be that much better than you. I guess it's lucky for you that you finally found someone to come out and teach you some of these things.

Regards,
Giancarlo DiPierro

Mike Sigman
02-28-2007, 04:19 PM
I don't think Ikeda consciously chose not to teach these things, and he seems to be increasingly making an effort to try to get people in your organization to understand them. I don't want to step on the toes of Jim's answer, but I'll say what I said before on this forum.... members of the ASU should get down on their knees at night and thank god they have someone like Ikeda Sensei looking out for their interests. It puts them well out ahead of many others.

Best.

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-28-2007, 04:56 PM
members of the ASU should get down on their knees at night and thank god they have someone like Ikeda Sensei looking out for their interests. It puts them well out ahead of many others.

Best.

Mike Sigman
And here I thought we were supposed to be thanking Him that we have someone like you looking out for our interests.:p

DH
02-28-2007, 06:34 PM
So Jim, after feeling Mike for yourself, I'm curious whether you still think it would be impossible for someone like him or Dan to stop someone like Saotome or Ikeda? Or are you now ready to concede that the reason guys like you who have spent 20 or 30 years in your organization cannot do this yet people who have been training much less time but in different ways, like Rob or myself, can is that there is something important that they have not taught you?

I don't think Ikeda consciously chose not to teach these things, and he seems to be increasingly making an effort to try to get people in your organization to understand them. For most people, even in the ASU, his words just go in one ear and out the other. If he is able to develop some kind of pedagogy for teaching them over the next several years, that could change. In Saotome's case, I suspect there's an element he has intentionally withheld so that he would always be that much better than you. I guess it's lucky for you that you finally found someone to come out and teach you some of these things.

Regards,
Giancarlo DiPierro


Interestingly enough I just got off the phone with Murray talking about these same things.
Guys
It isn't about who is better than who at what. Its about whether you "got it" at all? Are you working smarter, and in the right direction?
If you go back and read the "Meeting with Dan Harden" threads, and the many "Mike Sigman" threads and the several "Rob and Aunkia" threads-it should be clear that the people who have met all three or any combination thereof report similar or exact same phenomena.
So... the real question is "Does it have any value for you?"
Any value in Aikido?

So far in my limited experience, men in Aikido, Judo, Karate, Daito ryu, Taiji, Xing-I, and MMA seem to think so. Most in VERY definitive ways. But that' s their view.YMMV Some of your Aikido teachers here doubt it and have openly said so. So at some point in time, as George Ledyard pointed out. You may have to finally be the arbitor for yourself. Own your own training and decide. if you remain caught up in the "style only training within their own style" blinders-on game you get what you deserve.

Bully boys
Bleck! I don't really care who can stop who. That's more Martial Art Bullshit obviating the value of any type of training. These skills are ways to increase power management; both in delivery and receiving in any venue you choose. Fellas, the idea is about making YOU a better YOU.
The real questions you should be asking is similar to what Mark Murray did when he -very intelligently I might add-went from me to Ikeda in the same week. Do they have it at all? Can they do anything on par with us peons? Will they, or more importantly CAN they teach these things. Worse still, what if they really don't know much at all... past waza?

Those still in the bleachers may be ruminating over what the hell we're talking about. Most/ many/all (?) who have felt these skills who now least know what we have been talking about will be getting about in the next few years to "feel" these shihans. Both their abilities and their willingness to share what they know may be open to the scrutiny of a more educated audience.

Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
02-28-2007, 11:46 PM
In Saotome's case, I suspect there's an element he has intentionally withheld so that he would always be that much better than you. I guess it's lucky for you that you finally found someone to come out and teach you some of these things.

Regards,
Giancarlo DiPierro

I quite strongly disagree. I believe that Sensei has made every effort, according to his won thinking, to pass on what he knows. I have trained with him for thirty years and he has held nothing back. It's just that he teaches as he learned from O-Sensei. He shows... period. You can ask him questions and he'll show you. If he sees you are having trouble, he'll show you again. Unlike many of the old timers, he'll show you again if you ask him to. He simply has never developed a vocabulary to describe what he is doing. Only recently has he started to try to explain what he does. But his idea of an explanation almost requires that you understand what he is doing so that you can understand the explanation.

Many people have no idea of the burden that these former uchi deshi labor under. Teachers like Chiba Sensei and Saotome Sensei loved O-Sensei. He was like a father to them. They look at their experience training with the Founder as this great blessing which can never be repaid. So they have spent their entire teaching careers trying to live up to the investment which O-Sensei made in them. Their students are the tangible result of all those years of teaching over here. I guarantee you that they have both made every effort to pass on what they know. It's the only way that they can live up to their roles as direct students of the Founder.

ksy
03-01-2007, 01:23 AM
Likewise Mike's skill is awesome. I certainly got trounced when I got to touch hands with him later, but I learned a lot, and was especially struck by the way he managed to explain away a lot of the grounding concepts in a very easy to understand way.


Hey fellas that were there, mind sharing some "tips" or pointers on the grounding concepts for benefit of us who weren't there? thanks....

G DiPierro
03-01-2007, 06:59 AM
Many people have no idea of the burden that these former uchi deshi labor under. Teachers like Chiba Sensei and Saotome Sensei loved O-Sensei. He was like a father to them. They look at their experience training with the Founder as this great blessing which can never be repaid. So they have spent their entire teaching careers trying to live up to the investment which O-Sensei made in them. Their students are the tangible result of all those years of teaching over here. I guarantee you that they have both made every effort to pass on what they know. It's the only way that they can live up to their roles as direct students of the Founder.
Fair point. I'd agree that teachers like Chiba, Saotome, Yamada, and Kanai, did the best they could to transmit what they learned, and without them, guys like you and I would not have the opportunity to practice aikido. They sacrificed everything so that we could have this practice in America, and we all owe them a great debt for their efforts.

But I think the best way to repay this debt is not to raise them up on a pedestal and put them out of reach, but to acknowledge their shortcomings and collectively try to move beyond them. All of these men are human beings who are flawed in some way or another, and I think it's important to see how their personal limitations have affected our development so that we can understand what we need to do to improve in the next generation.

My comments about Saotome-sensei are based on my own experiences of him, which are certainly very different from yours. What I see as intentionally holding something back you might see more charitably as just teaching how he was taught. I don't think these perspectives are mutually exclusive, and I don't we have to say that one is right and the other is wrong.

The more we make the debate about personal issues and defending our teachers and ourselves against some perceived slight, the less we make it about the important issues that need to be addressed moving forward.

Regards,
Giancarlo DiPierro

Mike Sigman
03-01-2007, 07:27 AM
I quite strongly disagree. I believe that Sensei (Saotome) has made every effort, according to his won thinking, to pass on what he knows. I have trained with him for thirty years and he has held nothing back. Hi George:

Logically, your point is debatable. If Saotome Sensei showed everything *he* knew, then Ikeda Sensei wouldn't be bringing in Ushiro Sensei for the kokyu things. If the problem is only that Saotome Sensei is teaching it the way Ueshiba Sensei did, then by inference Ikeda Sensei is not as smart as Saotome Sensei, because Saotome didn't study with Ueshiba as long as Ikeda has studied with Saotome. ;) I love these little thought puzzles.

To get back to realism though..... I know people who have studied under Saotome just as long as you have and who are of the opinion that Saotome witholds things. So really it seems to be a matter of opinion. The way I do it is go up to someone and say, "Show my your Ki skills". They either have them or they don't. ;) I didn't have any for a long time and I kept looking. As soon as I could get real information, I did. And every year new vistas in these skills reveal themselves and I wish I'd been able to get started sooner.

Best.

Mike Sigman

DH
03-01-2007, 07:32 AM
I believe that Sensei has made every effort, according to his won thinking, to pass on what he knows. I have trained with him for thirty years and he has held nothing back. It's just that he teaches as he learned from O-Sensei. He shows... period. You can ask him questions and he'll show you. If he sees you are having trouble, he'll show you again. Unlike many of the old timers, he'll show you again if you ask him to. He simply has never developed a vocabulary to describe what he is doing. Only recently has he started to try to explain what he does. But his idea of an explanation almost requires that you understand what he is doing so that you can understand the explanation.

This is where it all gets Dicey.
Chiba didn't have it, neither did his students and one of his godans I felt at three seminars. Neither did Kannai and his in-house people. So to train with them and say you go it from them doesn't work.You would have had to go elsewhere. I don't know about Saotome.
What do they "have" that they taught someone for ten to thirty years, when that person doesn't get it? Are we left with having to compare student #12 with student #24, to Student #78 in an effort to be definitive. Or can we just simply touch the teacher. If they don't have it, they sure as hell ain't teaching it to anyone anytime soon. There are most assuredly some guys who have the stuff. It just remains dicey as to exactly just who will teach whom, the real deal. I can't see it opening up any time soon. It's not the way they have done it in the past, and there is no vested interest in seeing it change.

Next, vocabulary. I'll agree with that one. For many of us in the Japanese arts thing were just never explained well to us to begin with. It was done through touch and example with little explanation.
But here's the key. Even though we agree that terminology is and can be difficult-particularly if you learned the Japanese way- you may be able "opt out" for describing it well, but you can't escape the true test of someone who knows it coming up and touching you. You'll be discovered in an instant. There's simply no escaping it. My advice to teachers is to find it and start training it and get it into their bodies.
It's really only a matter of time before a new host of educated and experienced students start "judging" Asian martial art teachers by their knowledge and skills in the "basics"of......
The Asian Martial arts.

Cheers
Dan

ChrisMoses
03-01-2007, 09:31 AM
I quite strongly disagree. I believe that Sensei has made every effort, according to his won thinking, to pass on what he knows. I have trained with him for thirty years and he has held nothing back. It's just that he teaches as he learned from O-Sensei. He shows... period. You can ask him questions and he'll show you. If he sees you are having trouble, he'll show you again. Unlike many of the old timers, he'll show you again if you ask him to. He simply has never developed a vocabulary to describe what he is doing.

I think what George is saying here (and what Dan and Mike might be missing) is that Saotome Sensei, while he may do a lot of what we're talking about, (haven't felt him directly, I was never 'in' enough to have that honor) didn't learn any of it in the way that we're talking about. He just trained really hard with an extremely skilled practitioner and now just does it. I've found the same thing with very skilled people in various disciplines, they often don't make the best teachers, because they just don't think about all of the many things that come together to make them what they are. That's been true for me in Diff EQ, snowboarding, motorcycling, martial arts, you name it. Anyway... since he was able to get it simply by training hard, why shouldn't we? This also goes back to my comments elsewhere about small class sizes. We all know that hands on informs better than all of the verbage one could ever read, particularly if you are a physical learner, but I also feel that the nature of aiki waza means that most people will mis-understand what nage is actually doing. Aiki by definition is disorienting to the person on the receiving end. (Another reason why I feel the role reversal in the uke nage roles has been extremely detrimental to aikido, but that's another can-o-worms). When I was teaching aikido, some people I could tell something and they could integrate it, others I would have to physically move or have them put their hands on me to feel what I was doing in order to drive home what I was getting at. Aikido (in general) has really favored those who learn physically. Personally I think most people benefit from multiple types of instruction: see it, feel it, talk it, draw it out, find an analogous solo exercise... Feel free to disagree, anyone who knows me knows that I'm not in Saotome's fan club. Just offering what I've observed over the years.

As for him not having the terminology, what about, "BIOPLASMA!" I really loved that when he was on the "BIOPLASMA!" kick. "Do you know BIOPRASMA?!?!" Um, no, not espescially... ;)

Mike Sigman
03-01-2007, 09:33 AM
Likewise Mike's skill is awesome. I certainly got trounced when I got to touch hands with him later, but I learned a lot, and was especially struck by the way he managed to explain away a lot of the grounding concepts in a very easy to understand way.Hey fellas that were there, mind sharing some "tips" or pointers on the grounding concepts for benefit of us who weren't there? thanks....You know, I missed that comment of Rob's, since I tend to skim for information and ignore the light chatter, but I need to go back and point out something I learned a long time ago from a Chinese friend of mine: "Push Hands is just exercise; if you want to really test someone, you have to fight". Rob's comments about push hands and "trounce" were meaningless diplomatic banter about someone more than twice his age. Very traditionally polite... don't take it as gospel. ;)

If it was possible to really share something on the web, it might be worth the effort. However, note that time and time again, the same people who have patiently read a lot of the chatter about "ki" skills have still had no idea of what was being talked about until they felt it. Unfortunately, that's the way it works.

Best.

Mike

Jim Sorrentino
03-01-2007, 10:06 AM
Giancarlo,So Jim, after feeling Mike for yourself, I'm curious whether you still think it would be impossible for someone like him or Dan to stop someone like Saotome or Ikeda? Or are you now ready to concede that the reason guys like you who have spent 20 or 30 years in your organization cannot do this yet people who have been training much less time but in different ways, like Rob or myself [emphasis added], can is that there is something important that they have not taught you?
Arrogant, clueless, and grandiose statements like that show why the late Mitsunari Kanai-sensei quite sensibly decided that you were not worth any of his attention. After this post, I will follow Kanai-sensei's example. If you are doing anything worthwhile, then I am sure that we in the aikido world will eventually hear about you, rather than from you. Until then, shame on you for using a dead man's reputation to enhance your own.

Jim

G DiPierro
03-01-2007, 11:44 AM
Giancarlo,Arrogant, clueless, and grandiose statements like that show why the late Mitsunari Kanai-sensei quite sensibly decided that you were not worth any of his attention.That's an interesting statement. Did you ask him yourself what his opinion of me was? Have you ever even spoken to the man at all, about any subject? My guess is that you haven't.

Maybe you deduced this based on seeing how he treated me in person, on or off the mat. Perhaps you overheard one of our conversations and, based on what he said, knew that this is what he thought. Since I never saw you at any of the classes I attended with him (including his seminar in DC in 2001), this also seems unlikely.

Let's assume you don't actually have any first-hand information but that you asked some people who knew both of us well and they told you this was their opinion. If so, then post their names and exactly what they told you so that their words can stand on their own merits.

Seeing as how I knew the man personally for six years, I doubt that you have any information whatsoever upon which to even hazard a guess about what he thought of me. Your claim is so ridiculously uninformed that it could only be something you made up based on your own speculation.

After this post, I will follow Kanai-sensei's example,Jim, your behavior is so far from Sensei's example that it would be best be described as its opposite.

Until then, shame on you for using a dead man's reputation to enhance your own.
I'm not the one using his reputation for anything in this discussion (or any other, for that matter). You are the one who keeps bringing up his name in a context in which it clearly has no role, apparantly so that you can avoid dealing with the content of my posts. Further, you continue to put forth your wildly incorrect assumptions about him as if they were fact. This is so obviously disrespectful to him that you should not need to have it pointed out to you.

-G DiPierro

George S. Ledyard
03-01-2007, 07:35 PM
Hi George:

Logically, your point is debatable. If Saotome Sensei showed everything *he* knew, then Ikeda Sensei wouldn't be bringing in Ushiro Sensei for the kokyu things. If the problem is only that Saotome Sensei is teaching it the way Ueshiba Sensei did, then by inference Ikeda Sensei is not as smart as Saotome Sensei, because Saotome didn't study with Ueshiba as long as Ikeda has studied with Saotome. ;) I love these little thought puzzles.

To get back to realism though..... I know people who have studied under Saotome just as long as you have and who are of the opinion that Saotome witholds things. So really it seems to be a matter of opinion. The way I do it is go up to someone and say, "Show my your Ki skills". They either have them or they don't. ;) I didn't have any for a long time and I kept looking. As soon as I could get real information, I did. And every year new vistas in these skills reveal themselves and I wish I'd been able to get started sooner.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Ikeda Sensei was taught the very same way I was taught, he's just had ten more years of it than I have. The idea that if Sensei had "shown" everything would mean that Ikeda Sensei wouldn't have needed to look so closely at what Ushiro Sensei is doing simply isn't true. Saotome Sensei is a creative genius when it comes to Aikido. I heard Chiba Sensei use those very words when he talked to me about Saotome Sensei. Sensei is an artist with an artist's temperament. But he does not present Aikido in a systematic manner and he definitely has the attitude that we have been discussing of expecting his students to make the effort to figure things out for themselves based on what he shows them and what they feel when they take ukemi and "feel" his technique. So he is completely generous about showing you what to do, but he doesn't say much at all about what you are doing that isn't right. For most people, that is a crucial piece of information... without someone telling them how what they are doing misses the mark, they do not make the jump to what Sensei is doing. But that doesn't mean that he isn't showing us everything. Ikeda Sensei himself said when referring to the classes Ushiro Sensei was teaching that, of course, Saotome Sensei had been showing us all along but we were too stupid to get it (he was including himself in this). There are only a handful of people in the country who have had more hands on time with Sensei than I have and of those, only Dennis Hooker Sensei posts. I honestly can say that, as I have figured various things out, often with the help of various other teachers from within and without Aikido, each piece that i have put together was invariably something that Sensei had done with us, usually over and over. So far I haven't really run into anything which wasn't there in Sensei's presentation to us all along.

Ikeda Sensei has always been fantastic and very dedicated to getting better. But it was the Aiki Expos which have changed his Aikido... He was in all the classes and took away an amazing amount from them. He was most effected by what Ushiro Sensei was teaching because it was exactly what Ikeda Sensei needed to make the jump to the next level. It was systematic, Ushiro Sensei has a very developed way of describing what he is doing, and it was compatible with our way of training. But the very fact that he has been able to take these ideas and run with them is a statement about the foundation he did get from Sensei.

As for the mis-comparison between Saotome Sensei training with O-Sensei and Ikeda Sensei training with Saotome Sensei.... I actually think that you are seeing precisely what proves my point. None of the post war students of the Founder felt that he got more than a portion of what O-Sensei was doing. As good as Saotome Sensei is, he still says he only got a little. He's very creative and has done things with his Aikido that he didn't get from O-Sensei so to that extent, he has added some of himself to Aikido. But he doesn't feel he made it to the Founder's level. But I think that with Ikeda Sensei you are seeing an example of the student who may surpass his teacher eventually. He will be able to do so because Saotome Sensei did show him everything and gave him the foundation required to see these other very high level folks and understand what they were doing and how to add it in to his training.

In my own case, when I hit the Aiki Expos, I met this amazing array of teachers. It was precisely the training I had gotten from Saotome Sensei which allowed me to take what these various people were teaching and make it part of my own Aikido. I have never seen any Aikido teacher anywhere who has the range which Saotome Sensei has. He has shown it all to his direct students...

Now, as you know, I am the very first one to criticize how Aikido is taught. As I have stated many times, I did require the input from a number of other teachers in order to be able to figure out what my own teacher was doing. But if he had been actively hiding things, I wouldn't have even known what it was I needed to be working towards. I saw plenty of people in those classes at the Expo who had no idea what was being taught and couldn't bring anything back in to their Aikido because they couldn't understand what was being done.

So are there folks who can explain the components of Aikido better than Sensei? Probably. But I haven't seen anyone who has shown more of the possibilities of what Aikido could be to his students.

DH
03-02-2007, 05:27 AM
So far I haven't really run into anything which wasn't there in Sensei's presentation to us all along.

Ikeda Sensei was most effected by what Ushiro Sensei was teaching because it was exactly what Ikeda Sensei needed to make the jump to the next level. It was systematic, Ushiro Sensei has a very developed way of describing what he is doing, and it was compatible with our way of training. But the very fact that he has been able to take these ideas and run with them is a statement about the foundation he did get from (Saotome) Sensei.

But I think that with Ikeda Sensei you are seeing an example of the student who may surpass his teacher eventually. He will be able to do so because Saotome Sensei did show him everything and gave him the foundation required to see these other very high level folks and understand what they were doing and how to add it in to his training.

In my own case, when I hit the Aiki Expos, I met this amazing array of teachers. It was precisely the training I had gotten from Saotome Sensei which allowed me to take what these various people were teaching and make it part of my own Aikido. I have never seen any Aikido teacher anywhere who has the range which Saotome Sensei has. He has shown it all to his direct students...

Now, as you know, I am the very first one to criticize how Aikido is taught. As I have stated many times, I did require the input from a number of other teachers in order to be able to figure out what my own teacher was doing. But if he had been actively hiding things, I wouldn't have even known what it was I needed to be working towards.

So are there folks who can explain the components of Aikido better than Sensei? Probably. But I haven't seen anyone who has shown more of the possibilities of what Aikido could be to his students.

Hi George
I had a great deal of difficutly making sense out of this. I'm not trying to do that ridiculous internet game of "trapping" someone with their words or tripping them up with continuity issues. I just can't make sense out of the ideas- as presented.
It sounds like your saying this:
1. Each of the postwar students of Ueshiba only -got it-in portions.
2. Saotome is very talented and Chiba acknowledged he was a genius, hence he is doing more, or getting it, more than other postwar teachers
3. Important point
Saotome is openly teaching and not holding back-anything-back from his direct students yet because of or in spite of (makes no sense to me) this......
4. His direct students (and you stated this means you as well) can or even needs-to go outside to learn things!
5. And from going outside and learning from others these direct students of Saotome have the ablity to understand these things because they found out it was there all along from Saotome teachings, but they could not see them, in spite of his not holding anything back....
6. Mostly because he can't explain what he does he just does it and you fathom the mysteries of his teachings-from others understanding of their own methods!!! All because of his brilliant teaching of you!! What?

That is a fair interpretation of what you wrote. It sounds ridiculous to me. I add to that the comments you made about Ikeda that "He may surpass his teacher."
Yet Ikeda stated
1. That Aikido was a mess and folks need to do something different to fix it.
2. This... after....he brought in Ushiro. Who, according to your...model...apparently only showed Ikeda....what he already supposedly knew from Saotome ..
4. But he just needed to go outside to learn something he already knew but didn't know he knew it from his teacher.
YIKES!!!!

I'm confused.
From any other person I'd say that sounded like the truest "true-believer" rhetoric I've ever heard. It doesn't sound like you.
But I may not know I am saying this until I check with someone outside to find out if I know that I really knew what I meant...only to discover I knew it all along.;)

Cheers
Dan

Ron Tisdale
03-02-2007, 06:35 AM
Hi Dan,

Replace Saotome with Ueshiba, and George with Tohei.

Make more sense now? ;)

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 07:03 AM
The idea that if Sensei had "shown" everything would mean that Ikeda Sensei wouldn't have needed to look so closely at what Ushiro Sensei is doing simply isn't true. Sure it is. Think about it. If he *really* showed everything, then no one outside could show you how to do more.

Over the years, I've heard time and time again that "my teacher is very open and shows everything" from people. I always say "show me". "Show Me" are the two greatest words in the martial arts. Money talks; bullshit walks. Whenever I think I can or could do something, my first words to myself are "Show Me". I don't ever want to bullshit myself about my real abilities. The Walter Mitty ideas that we often use to kid ourselves about what we can do are the first step on the road to lying to ourselves, IMO. Saotome Sensei is a creative genius when it comes to Aikido. I heard Chiba Sensei use those very words when he talked to me about Saotome Sensei. Sensei is an artist with an artist's temperament. I'm guessing he's your teacher, right? ;)

I met Saotome when he came to the US and set up his dojo in Sarasota. I used to hang around with Tony Tartaglia, who knew and trained with Saotome at Hombu Dojo. Tony told me that Saotome used to give ki lessons on the side to some of the Japanese. Saotome ever give you ki lessons so that you can manipulate kokyu forces mentally, George? Frankly, I simply don't believe he shows people everything, but I could be wrong. You'll have to show me. And seriously, I mean that in a friendly, not derisory way. :) Meantime, back at the ranch, I'm going to do what I can to show some of the few things I know in an explicative way to a few people in western Taiji, Aikido, Karate, etc., and see if I can honestly help boost the level of discussion and ability in western martial arts above the abyssmal level it is right now. It's just a hobby of mine.

Best.

Mike

ChrisMoses
03-02-2007, 09:36 AM
That is a fair interpretation of what you wrote. It sounds ridiculous to me.

Yo Dan. I think George is expressing a very real phenomenon that exists due to a number of factors. I've had, and continue to have, similar experiences over the years, and I'm sure you have too. Just last night while practicing the uchi no kata version of our ukenagashi, I was stuck by how the whole thing works the exact same body dynamics that Rob had demonstrated during part of his Seattle workshop. When I started using what I'd learned from Rob everything clicked, but to do the movement correctly became much harder (if that makes any sense). Now I don't believe Mochizuki Sensei held anything back from us when he taught us this kata. In fact, it was the very specific nature of his teaching that led me to make the comparison and feel confident that I was merely seeing what was already there, not adding some new component. He was not holding back from me, but rather making sure that she shell of understanding was in place, and it was up to me to fill in. I've had the same experience with Neil's stuff (both informing other things I do, and being informed by new information). I'm sure you've had the same experience, where you think, "Oh man, THAT'S what xxx-sensei was doing! I am such an idiot!" That's the biggest thing I've taken from the Aunkai stuff I've been exposed to, as Neil says, "It fills holes." It's amazingly efficient at building the body skills necessary for martial movement. Some people come to the table doing a lot of this stuff automatically, and often they don't really make the best teachers. Because they just do something internally, they don't know what it's like not to do that. I suspect this is what people in the ASU (I'm singling them out due to familiarity, nothing more by the way) have to deal with, *both* with Saotome Sensei and Ikeda Sensei. There's a lot of stuff that they both just do, and if you don't, they're going to be hard pressed to tell you how because they don't know how not to do those things, they may not even know that they're doing it.

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 11:39 AM
When I started using what I'd learned from Rob everything clicked, but to do the movement correctly became much harder (if that makes any sense). Now I don't believe Mochizuki Sensei held anything back from us when he taught us this kata. In fact, it was the very specific nature of his teaching that led me to make the comparison and feel confident that I was merely seeing what was already there, not adding some new component. He was not holding back from me, but rather making sure that she shell of understanding was in place, and it was up to me to fill in. Hi Chris:

Pooh. ;) What you're saying implies that Mochizuki was too dumb to realize that you didn't get it. Or that Saotome is too dumb to realize that people don't it. The old "Show 'em But Don't Show 'em" thing is legendary in Asia. Yes you show them correctly, but you never explain it, so in effect you didn't really show them. I'm actually stunned that there are people who don't know this ancient Asian old-saw. :rolleyes:

Best.

Mike

ChrisMoses
03-02-2007, 12:22 PM
Hi Chris:

Pooh. ;) What you're saying implies that Mochizuki was too dumb to realize that you didn't get it. Or that Saotome is too dumb to realize that people don't it. The old "Show 'em But Don't Show 'em" thing is legendary in Asia. Yes you show them correctly, but you never explain it, so in effect you didn't really show them. I'm actually stunned that there are people who don't know this ancient Asian old-saw. :rolleyes:

Best.

Mike

I only get the chance to train with Mochizuki sensei for a few days every 3-4 years. He's my teacher's teacher, and we milk him for everything we can get whenever we see him. It would do your online presence a lot if you stopped insulting everyone without understanding the full scenario.

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 12:56 PM
It would do your online presence a lot if you stopped insulting everyone without understanding the full scenario.You brought up Mochizuki in the context of whether Asian teachers actually "show everything". Do you want to discuss the subject or just change the subject to me and character flaws?

Mike Sigman

Alfonso
03-02-2007, 01:07 PM
Aren't we back to the old " Stealing -Knowledge " vs "Teaching" disconnect?

I think the joy of finding out by yourself those hard earned nuggets of information is overrated. The confidence acquired by self-discovery pales before the conviction that there's nothing more to it than the realization made.. or that you're always right and that is the best and only way to go about things.

However, this is has been the traditional way to do things, and I think there are plenty of discussions about this before.

Why is this better? FWIW I've also had the experience of having the information that Mike , Dan , Rob provide filling out gaps and making things make sense to me.

I don't think this is a sign of willful negligence on the part of my teachers; I think it has to do with them being in the same boat as me and a certain amount of scruples regarding teaching what you're not sure about yourself.

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 01:22 PM
Aren't we back to the old " Stealing -Knowledge " vs "Teaching" disconnect? It is, indeed. However, when O-Sensei says "figure it out for yourself", that is a case of "showing, but not showing", which is the traditional approach. However, O-Sensei and other teachers know/knew full well that not everyone can get it from just watching, so it is a matter of willfully obscuring. It cannot be couched into the idea that "he is showing us everything"... that would be a lame joke, at best.

And trust me, it's very naive to think that there are just one or two things somewhat hidden in a simple demonstration and that all you have to do is figure it out and you "stole the secret". Aikido will never regain all the secrets the Ueshiba had unless he showed them all to someone.... the ki skills are too complex to just be figured out.

You have to be told and deliberately shown a lot of it. That's why there are Hiden and Gokui topics. That's why as a general rule the sons of Asian teachers mysteriously know more than their classmates (the daughters are usually not shown all that much because they tend to marry and thus might start a competing line if they're able to show their husbands all the goods). I'm just hoping we're not really heading toward a discussion where anyone is thinking it's an insult in the implication that "their teacher" in "their style" might have not been totally forthcoming with all the secrets. I'm a little past the "my guys are the bestest" stuff. ;)

Best.

Mike

ChrisMoses
03-02-2007, 01:27 PM
You brought up Mochizuki in the context of whether Asian teachers actually "show everything". Do you want to discuss the subject or just change the subject to me and character flaws?

Mike Sigman

We were discussing openness and I believe teaching methodologies when your character flaw decided to discuss the mental abilities of my teacher. Don't be such a prick.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but in all Asian cultures of martial arts there are two competing theories of instruction, or perhaps better said, development of skills. Internal styles develop a core internal skillset and then later develop those skills into applicable techniques. On the other side of the fence you have external styles that believe that techniques come first and that eventually those techniques will develop the internal skills. It's been my experience that the vast majority of Japanese budo use an external teaching methodology.

The point I was making was that there is not an incompatibility between these systems, that for every 'internal' thing I have learned I have found the lesson waiting for me within Shinto Ryu if I had eyes to see it. In other words, it is an *external style* and I am reaching a point that I am starting to find the internal lessons. You are obviously from the internal to external camp and that's cool. I try to learn whatever I can from whoever has something to offer. I think that it's silly however to hold one teaching paradigm up to the standards of another. Just like in competitive fighting, whoever makes the rules generally wins. If you judge everyone you meet by the tests that you practice, they will most likely come up lacking. You have mentioned that your aikido is lacking, does that mean that your teachers were stupid? When I met Rob the first time in Tokyo, he could move me at will using the push out exercise, and had to back way off for me to do it. I was deeply humbled, but I also realize I was doing something new and he had studied it for years. After class he had me mount him to show how the same exercise could be used on the ground. I dropped into a top mount and do you know what happened? Nothing. When I was in a position that I was familiar with, I did OK. Same thing when Ark asked me to do shomenuchi ikkyo on him to show how it doesn't work on him. Guess what? It worked. He stood up laughing and said to Rob (basically), "Wow, he actually knows how to do ikkyo! OK, do it like you were in Aikido so I can make my point..." :) I hope it's clear that I'm not tooting my own horn or dismissing Rob or Ark in any way. I am trying to point out that all tests are not created equal and not all methodologies are the same. You consistently judge aikido by the standards put forward in your own art without regard for the possibility of different teaching methodologies/paradigms or goals. I recall a story about a certain Don Draeger who met with a Tai Chi master (someone please fill in the details here). Long story short, the master was able to launch Draeger backwards a great distance with his fa jing. Unfortunately, Draeger held onto him and took him with him. ;)

Long story short. Mike, quit being a prick.

Mike Sigman
03-02-2007, 01:34 PM
......Don't be such a prick.
[[snip several paragraphs that don't make any coherent sense in the light the issue, but assertions about my perspectives which are not true]]
Mike, quit being a prick. :straightf

Mike

ChrisMoses
03-02-2007, 01:42 PM
:straightf

Mike

Well at least you understood the important parts.

statisticool
03-07-2007, 01:52 PM
I always say "show me". "Show Me" are the two greatest words in the martial arts. Money talks; bullshit walks. Whenever I think I can or could do something, my first words to myself are "Show Me". I don't ever want to bullshit myself about my real abilities.


Can you "show us" actual sparring using the skills you teach I mean give seminars on?

How about would they work against a MMA practitioner in a limited rules match? (as opposed to static drills one constantly sees)

The question applies to anyone else teaching ki (or what they call ki anyway) skills.

Justin

Upyu
03-07-2007, 07:19 PM
Can you "show us" actual sparring using the skills you teach I mean give seminars on?

How about would they work against a MMA practitioner in a limited rules match? (as opposed to static drills one constantly sees)

The question applies to anyone else teaching ki (or what they call ki anyway) skills.

Justin

Arf arf!
What the hell, I'll throw the dog a bone.

Here's miyagawa (one of our guys) doing groundwork for the first time against a fairly experienced (bluebelt) bjjer in a ground only setting.
Mind you this is like after 10 minutes of rolling, and he's pretty beat but handles himself fairly well. (Man I hate that butt scooting crap in the ground game) :D

Just demonstrates good use of structure/connection in a very basic way.

eyrie
03-07-2007, 08:55 PM
Hey Rob,

Not sure if you intended to post the video link (and/or you forgot to... again...:rolleyes: ).... but in case anyone was wondering WTF Rob's talking about... here's the vid....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuoO1xl9s_o

Personally, I thought your craptastic vid of you "sparring" with a kickboxer was far more illustrative.... :D

Upyu
03-07-2007, 09:11 PM
Doh! Thanks!! :p

Adam Alexander
03-07-2007, 09:41 PM
Most organizations and most teachers are busy perpetuating their own systems. I don't believe that most would reward the efforts of someone who went outside and developed skills that the majority of the group, especially the seniors, might not have.

I think that folks really should think about the political implications of just going off, willy nilly, and training with Dan or Mike or the Systema folks, or whomever. It will change your Aikido.

Maybe the reason certain skills aren't taught at earlier stages is to benefit the student, not because of lack of knowledge or other personal agendas of instructors. In the same way that one must have a level of understanding of weapons forms to develop open hand forms, perhaps one needs a quality of values/emotion/intellect before they're ready for those other skills.

Look what happens when some of us see things before we're ready to be responsible for it.

Humbly,
J

Pete Rihaczek
03-07-2007, 09:49 PM
Arf arf!
What the hell, I'll throw the dog a bone.


Rob, don't bother with this chihuahua. ;) He knows nothing, but has an obsession with Mike to the point of an insulting sig (which is supposed to be an amusing quote from Mike, but actually just points out that he doesn't understand what "keep weight underside" means), insulting references on his web site about Mike, and links to another know-nothing jerkoff's old opinions-from-afar about what Mike does.

Dan talks about training MMA every other post, it's beyond obvious to any normal person that we're talking about real skills and enough people have met up to verify this stuff, yet he still has the nerve to ask questions that have been answered repeatedly, and even more nerve to expect answers from people he insults for knowing something he doesn't. People who keep talking when they have nothing substantive to say have an agenda, and his transparent agenda in continuing to participate in these threads is to hope against hope that you don't actually know anything good.

Why talk to a guy who shows blatant disrespect for you, Mike, Dan, or anybody else working to make this stuff accessible? Your call, but to me a dog doesn't deserve a bone when his actions have earned him nothing but a kick in the yap.

eyrie
03-07-2007, 10:09 PM
Chihuahuas, especially small, hairless, gelded ones are only good for one thing.... in a stew. :drool:

Upyu
03-07-2007, 11:28 PM
Why talk to a guy who shows blatant disrespect for you, Mike, Dan, or anybody else working to make this stuff accessible? Your call, but to me a dog doesn't deserve a bone when his actions have earned him nothing but a kick in the yap.

Hell, if he doesn't want it, someone else that's smarter will pick it up :D
Smarter than a statistical analyst <gasp>! (Ok, that's mean, since that's probably doing a diservice to all smart statistical analysts worldwide over :D )

gdandscompserv
03-08-2007, 05:22 AM
Arf arf!
What the hell, I'll throw the dog a bone.

Here's miyagawa (one of our guys) doing groundwork for the first time against a fairly experienced (bluebelt) bjjer in a ground only setting.
Mind you this is like after 10 minutes of rolling, and he's pretty beat but handles himself fairly well. (Man I hate that butt scooting crap in the ground game) :D

Just demonstrates good use of structure/connection in a very basic way.
Rob,
If you really want to test your skills in groundwork, next time your in America, stop by one of the colleges in the midwest and try out your skills on some of their wrestlers. I'm sure they'd love the workout and perhaps you could teach them a thing or two.

HL1978
03-08-2007, 06:14 AM
wow I just found this thread.

It was a pleasure to meet Mike and see and feel a different approach from Akuzawas. When I tried pushing Mike I actually had no idea what to do, other than an idea of "how" to push. I can't say I have done a pushing exercise in that manner before, but the results would still have been the same. He easily took out my base whenever he wanted, and it felt as though I was pushing a telephone pole. I couldnt feel any weak points in his structure.

I don't have much in these skills, as I have only been doing the Aunkai exercises for about a year, so it was quite interesting to be able to touch someone else of considerably higher skill level than myself.

I did like Mike's exercises, I think they can quickly demonstrate to someone without much experience in this area the differences between using the body to generate power and just simply moving the arm.

I'm glad people could make it out on saturday, too bad my original plans to work inside were foiled by the judo tournament. My friend who showed up was quite impressed, he had a shorin ryu background and hadn't felt anything at all like this before. The only downside was that I spent a lot more time showing exercises/demos with him and didn't get to follow some of Mike's power generartion discussion with Rob and the others towards the end of the meeting.

Hunter

Upyu
03-08-2007, 10:09 AM
Rob,
If you really want to test your skills in groundwork, next time your in America, stop by one of the colleges in the midwest and try out your skills on some of their wrestlers. I'm sure they'd love the workout and perhaps you could teach them a thing or two.

If you can hook me up I'm all for it!
Actually if you can hook me up with any wrestling champs I'll owe you more than a couple beers :D
Most likely I'll be in either east or west coast, but if you know any peeps that have an in on that scene in the area let me know :)

KIT
03-08-2007, 11:46 AM
OK, I'll chime in here now that my e-mail problem has been rectified.

Frankly, folks, on the Internet it is perfectly reasonable to question ANY talk of "real skills" when applied in a "real" context. Posting about MMA, BJJ, Judo, whatever is rather easy, is it not? In some circles it seems to be enough simply to conjure up that you have "worked with" someone that practices these things as "proof" of some special TMA, Internal, or modern combatives skillset. Hence the "I've gone against a BJJ-trained guy and did well..."

Okay, How many? Who were they (what club)? What rank? Were they competitive? Or was it just some guy in your aikido dojo who has done a little cross training in BJJ?

Go to one of the MMA or BJJ forums and start talking about "what you can do" and you'll be laughed off the board unless you present evidence of exactly whom you learned it from, and whom you've done it to. No offense is intended, but giving the names or testimonials of aikidoka or Taiji practitioners doesn't hold much weight. Nor will the names of white belts or soccer moms that train at the local "cardio-MMA" outfit.

Talk is cheap, internet blather cheaper still. Besides, all the internal power in the world doesn't mean you can fight, and it doesn't mean that it is even the most efficient or practical way to train to fight, either.

Now I will say this - Rob John is a man of action, not words, or bandwidth. At least he willingly puts it on the line outside of the scripted exercises, and let's the chips fall where they will. I want to give him his props publicly.

I had a great time at the seminar in Seattle. I was reminded of some things from my past CMA training (Josh Lerner and I had a few sympatico moments where we were thinking the same things out loud), and got some new things.

Not that I am going to run out and start doing internal arts again - I was only half joking when, during some of the particularly painful adjustments of posture and movement here and there, I groaned that I remembered why I didn't do internal arts anymore.:o

Rob is more than willing to take solid hits, telling you to strike or kick him harder during demos. For a little guy, he has great structure. That in and of itself isn't fighting, but some of that static skill will no doubt transfer. Lots of internal guys do this kind of thing, but Rob goes further.

He was more than up for rolling and several of us took the opportunity at the end of the day. Rob readily admits he doesn't really grapple much, and he has only been training with Ark for three years (correct me if I am wrong, Rob, I thought that is what I heard.) Rob and I got to roll a few times, then did some standup with pulled striking. I got to watch him roll with other folks as well.

My exact words were that he is "squirrelly." He effectively uses his skills to evade bad positions, not get tied up, and does some unusual things that you don't expect from a more "conventional" grappling standpoint.

Here is where I think the real gem in what he is doing may lie. There is a foundation of effective "anti-grappling" within his skill set that would work well in an MMA or real world self defense context if done along with effective striking and movement. I'd love to roll again with him in a few more years and see where he has gone with it, or with Ark if he makes it out to the West Coast of the USA, as is being talked about.

I think we agreed that once tied up, in a clinch, or on your back with a guy on top of you, you are better off with a technical basis in grappling skills to make the internal stuff work You need to know the set ups for submissions and how to escape when a strong position or sub is being consolidated.

In a way it is kind of like the old "foul tactics" argument. The gouges, the pressure points, the biting, and the titty twisting and gonad grabbing will not be effective in an actual clinch or ground fight with a skilled practitioner unless you have a concomitant technical grappling base to work from - either using them to make space or from a dominant position.

Anyway, that's the .02 from a BJJ/Judo guy who is generally not very impressed with all the talk of "baseline skills" as applied to resistive fighting/combatives. I think doing this kind of work is valuable, moreso from a sports performance and injury prevention and maintenance (posture and structure go a long way towards minimizing the latter) perspective. But it has a tendency to become a fetish unto itself, with the combative application taking a back seat.

Lastly, I would like to add one more name to the list of "modern internal" exponents - Tim Cartmell. Tim comes regularly to Seattle now for seminars, teaching both standing and ground grappling as well as applications of internal fighting arts. His focus is much more on practical application versus the internal development exercises, but he can and will teach the latter in privates.

gdandscompserv
03-08-2007, 12:07 PM
If you can hook me up I'm all for it!
Actually if you can hook me up with any wrestling champs I'll owe you more than a couple beers :D
Most likely I'll be in either east or west coast, but if you know any peeps that have an in on that scene in the area let me know :)
Robert,
My wrestling days are long over and my old wrestling friends are all out of the game as well. However, if you really are interested, go to just about any major university during wrestling season, (around November thru March) show up at the mats and let them know you would like to work out with them. I'm sure they will be most happy to accommodate you. We use to have the occasional "walk-on" come through. If you have never tangled with a "wrestler" at the collegiate level, I'm sure it will be an eye opening and educational experience.

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 12:35 PM
Kit, I am with you man! my feelings on this subject almost verbatim!

Ron Tisdale
03-08-2007, 01:02 PM
I'm confused...How is what Kit stated different from what Dan states on a regular basis...Fighting is one thing, training in internal arts another, and sometimes the two can meet in the right person in the right venue?

So, out of 3 strong proponents of this training, two measure up to the whole wrestling, bjj, judo experiences on the mat. But we keep hearing people ask the "how does this measure up, why don't you try it on" question. And yet the people asking the question won't step up THEMSELVES and try it out. Go ask this person, go see the wrestling club here, go to the bjj dojo there...but THEY won't step up?

Sorry, but I see a disconnect here.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 01:20 PM
Go to one of the MMA or BJJ forums and start talking about "what you can do" and you'll be laughed off the board unless you present evidence of exactly whom you learned it from, and whom you've done it to. No offense is intended, but giving the names or testimonials of aikidoka or Taiji practitioners doesn't hold much weight. Nor will the names of white belts or soccer moms that train at the local "cardio-MMA" outfit.

Talk is cheap, internet blather cheaper still. Besides, all the internal power in the world doesn't mean you can fight, and it doesn't mean that it is even the most efficient or practical way to train to fight, either. I tend to avoid these types of conversations, really for no other reason than that I used to fight/compete a lot and I don't say that no one can teach me anything about martial arts unless he can kick my butt. I just know better. I can learn to hit harder from some old guy who can no longer do it very well and not worry that I've lowered my standards. And so on. Not that I don't agree with a large part of what Kit is saying, I just think it closes out too many options.Lots of internal guys do this kind of thing, but Rob goes further. I don't know "lots of internal guys" in the U.S. I know of almost none, in fact. I know a lot of people who claim to be "internal guys", but I would suggest that you go to a workshop with someone like Wang Hai Jun, Chen Xiao Wang, Li Tai Liang, etc., and see if your personal definition of what an "internal guy" is doesn't change. Seriously. You can't take someone like Rob John who publicly broadcasts that he's just learning a lot of stuff, and extrapolate what an "internal guy" does.Here is where I think the real gem in what he is doing may lie. There is a foundation of effective "anti-grappling" within his skill set that would work well in an MMA or real world self defense context if done along with effective striking and movement. I like MMA. I watch it. I think sport martial arts are *really* improving and I'm honestly tickled to death about it. But think back a second to the past: The judo/karate/TKD/WC/etc. guys all thought they were the last word in martial arts (forget CMA guys... I have yet to meet a single westerner that really does CMA's, despite all their uniforms and words). Then along comes Royce and Bros and it all changes. BJJ was the last word. Then some people starting compounding skills and you get MMA's... they're now the latest word. You think it's the last word? I don't.

I only have a mainly hobby interest anymore in martial arts and I tend to focus on learning how these odd body skills are done. I don't worry about whose butt I can kick anymore.... but not from the position that I've never done it; because I have done it and it doesn't have that testosterone Macho Banty Rooster appeal anymore. There are still some skills that I see hidden in some of the CMA's that are not in MMA's yet and they would be more than "anti-grappling". I've seen guys put their hands through the sides of 55-gallon drums. I've been hit by guys that have trained some way I still can't decipher but it's definitely one-punch-and-you're-done stuff. MMA's haven't got that, even though they're progressing.

But hey, maybe I'm wrong and this latest hot trend is what the guys in the Tang Dynasty were too dumb to figure out. Who knew? Grappling and punching and kicking. Novel idea. Surprised they didn't figure it out. ;) Lastly, I would like to add one more name to the list of "modern internal" exponents - Tim Cartmell. Tim comes regularly to Seattle now for seminars, teaching both standing and ground grappling as well as applications of internal fighting arts. His focus is much more on practical application versus the internal development exercises, but he can and will teach the latter in privates.I've heard a lot about Tim, since I'm friends of a number of friends of his. I'd like to hear his definition of "internal skills", since I've seen the skills of a number of guys who trained alongside him in Taiwan, Kit.

It's an interesting discussion and you're right to call people out, but still it's also a deep discussion without necessarily short, obvious answers.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 01:23 PM
I would not say I would STEP UP, as that I think is the wrong attitude. I will meet them if and when I have the chance.

Two fold, one to be open to listen and to feel what they have from their context.

Second, to have them work within my context to see how it applies.

If we cannot establish the common ground of the second context, that is, to apply the skills within the context that I find useful as criteria to apply...then we are both wasting our time getting together and training.

Personally I don't really think it is fair to put a wrestler per se into the context of internal training and then say wrestlers don't get it, same with BJJer, or Aikidoka.

I have decent High School and College Wrestlers show up all the time to train with me in MMA. Even some decent Greco Roman Guys on occasion. They get thumped hard by submission grappling rules, because their habits don't consider things that are allowed in grappling.

It doesn't mean they don't get baseline skills, only that they have no experience in grappling and must be shown how to do this properly as it is different than grappling.

I think this is what frustrates me so much about this discussion of baseline skills. we can never really define what is baseline, as their are so many perspectives on baseline, we can never agree.

You know watching that guy in the BJJ video earlier today that was a defined as a blue belt (he was wearing a white belt...but okay), I watched him reach out while sitting on the ground and grab the standing internal guys collar. Poor BJJ, very poor in my book, as he over extended and was off his center, easy to take advantage of.

I applaud Rob's efforts at posting a video in response to Justin's challenge, however, as offered, the 1 mn video did not demonstrate much (how could it in all fairness).

I did though see that the so-called internal guy did do many things that were correct and impressive. I especially liked how he moved in to pass the open guard my placing his forearm on the neck and positioning his weight properly to establish a strong base. The guy must have felt like a ton of bricks on the BJJ guy.

Anyway, my point is, we all have a set of criteria upon which we judge things on. Rob offers this as a demo of internal skill against a BJJer. I look at it and say, the guy was NOT a good BJJer, Rob says well you can see the internal skills, I say, yes, but it doesn't count cause he was not a good bjjer...so the argument goes on!

I don't necessarily agree with everything concerning the value of this, or as it is defined as being different, or special, as you know, but Ron, you are correct, at some point we do need to put up or shut up, I do agree with that. Agreeing on the criteria upon which to base the PUT UP, is difficult.

Ron Tisdale
03-08-2007, 01:28 PM
I don't necessarily agree with everything concerning the value of this, or as it is defined as being different, or special, as you know, but Ron, you are correct, at some point we do need to put up or shut up, I do agree with that. Agreeing on the criteria upon which to base the PUT UP, is difficult.

Hi Kevin, perhaps it is difficult...but then again perhaps not. I have personally heard some of these folks say come...whatever venue, criteria you want...Including 5 ounce gloves...just come. So...I don't think you'll have an issue with the criteria if you show up at the door.

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 01:29 PM
Mike,

This is really the crux of the whole problem for me in this statement. Really, really the ONLY thing I have a hard time understanding.

I've seen guys put their hands through the sides of 55-gallon drums. I've been hit by guys that have trained some way I still can't decipher but it's definitely one-punch-and-you're-done stuff. MMA's haven't got that, even though they're progressing.


So are you saying that there are guys that have evolved PAST what MMA guys are doing? Guys in China that could possibly render MMA obsolete and useless with their internal skills?

I am reading this wrong?

My logic would be in my basic Infantryman logic, that if it were indeed true, then it would follow that one of thes CMA guys could climb into the ring and demonstrate this.

Is it that they would not want to? Is the reason they have transcended the very need or desire to do this? Money is not important? Fame? Promoting these skills? Or is it that they are so dangerous or secret that they don't want them to get out?

What don't I see in the logic that I am missing?

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 01:39 PM
So are you saying that there are guys that have evolved PAST what MMA guys are doing? Guys in China that could possibly render MMA obsolete and useless with their internal skills?[QUOTE] See, they wouldn't look at it like that, Kevin. Your statement about "evolved past" tells us that you think this recent phenomenon of MMA is the greatest fighting that the planet has ever seen. I thought they had rules in MMA. [QUOTE]My logic would be in my basic Infantryman logic, that if it were indeed true, then it would follow that one of thes CMA guys could climb into the ring and demonstrate this. Yeah, but your "logic" assumes that the whole world thinks like a westerner and has the same values that you do, Kevin. That's a little arrogant. I suggested to you 2 years ago that you go see Chen Xiao Wang the next time he's in Germany. He's been there. You didn't go. You still post that someone has to "show you", but you don't go to where you can be shown.

Regards,

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 01:47 PM
Hi Kevin, perhaps it is difficult...but then again perhaps not. I have personally heard some of these folks say come...whatever venue, criteria you want...Including 5 ounce gloves...just come. So...I don't think you'll have an issue with the criteria if you show up at the door.

Best,
Ron

Thanks Ron. BTW, just for the record, I don't want to give the impression that I am so shallow that I judge everything by 5 oz gloves and/or BJJ/grappling. I do understand that there is a much larger perspective and many more things and criteria in which to judge things on.

Simply that my criteria may be different than the guy than the other guys.

One thing I find challenging, like yesterday, I had a Hung Gar/JKD guy show up to train with us. we discussed over many months respectfully why he did not agree with grappling/clinching. I sought hard to understand his paradigm and how he thought you should fight. We set up the criteria for sparring in which was an acceptable format, and we rolled.

Impressively, he did many things very well and I could not defeat him as easily as I thought I'd be able to. However, he too was impressed that I was able to control him at will and take him down, get back up, keep him down over and over.

I let him play by his rules and by the end he had accepted the fact that grappling/BJJ was more than just laying on your back and that there was relevance to learning basc ground skills in order to "anti-grapple".

Incidently there where lots of things that would be considered aikido thrown into the mix as we proceeded through the various ranges of fighting.

What I learned that was important, is that I needed to be able to reach him and be able to discuss within his own context of understanding and conditions to show him how what knew applied to his paradigm.

this is MMA if you ask me! and the right way to train.

There is nothing to be gained through an outright challenge. I could have simply gone toe to toe with the guy, trashed him, and I walked away going, hehehe showed him. and he walks away going well....that wouldn't work if we did it like your supposed to.

Just wanted to let you know that I don't view this as a big challenge bunch of garbage.

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 02:02 PM
Mike how is it arrogant? i didn't establish the criteria that compared CMA to western MMA, you did!

I simply posed the question to see if I understood you correctly?

So, if there is arrogance, I see it as yours sense you brought it up :)

I don't see it as arrogance on your part if you honestly beleive this to be true. Why even make the comparison of CMA to MMA??? that is what I don't get.

Your basic premise I used to think that MMA can learn something from CMA. I am okay with that.

This claim now states that MMA is somehow not as evolved as CMA. That logic proposes a connection of evolution, which would naturally lead to the conclusion that a CMA guy could defeat a MMA guy with one punch and proper internal skill.

Again, where is my arrogance, and what am I really not understanding about this. It seems simple to me.

I am not the one proposing that an MMA guy could beat a CMA guy, you are seemingly presenting the converse.

It ain't up to me to prove it, cause I don't personally have a dog in this, other than a genuine curosity like most people that would love to see a small asian man walk into the ring with say, a 43 year old Randy Couture and blast him across the ring.

If there is evolution past it, I say prove it.

Yes you did offer to me to train with him. I think in the last year, it wasn't two years..but that doesn''t matter. Okay, you got me there, I did not have time. Just like I could not make it to Virginia when you were there. (I was also invited ahead of time btw.)

You had me convinced with all the good things that people are saying about you, including my own instructors!!! guys I respect immensely...but now you bring this into the mix...why go there???

As I just stated in the post above. I am not so shallow as to propose a challenge to anyone, this stuff is a little more complicated than that.

Buuuutttt, if what you are inviting is a challenge in such away, I would love to attend such an event and participate. It would not be the first time that I had my ass handed to me. Frankly the last guy that did, I ended up studying with him, and sitll do! So no big deal to me.

Jim Sorrentino
03-08-2007, 02:11 PM
Hi Mike,

I believe you are misreading Kevin, and hence, misjudging him. He certainly does not believe that "MMA is the greatest fighting that the planet has ever seen." As for seeing CXW in Germany, would "seeing" him be sufficient? Wouldn't it be necessary to feel him? And what do you think the chances of Kevin getting to do that would be in a typical large CXW seminar? If I misunderstood you, and in fact it would be possible for Kevin (and I, as well), to feel CXW the next time he comes to DC, then we will be there.

I see that Stephan Berwick is hosting Chen Xiaoxing in early May, but only for weapons training (http://www.truetaichi.com/truetaichiv03_seminars.htm).

Jim

PS To Ron: Please... ease up... on your use of... ellipses. You're beginning to write... like... Dan. ;)

Ron Tisdale
03-08-2007, 02:22 PM
Oh ... NO!!!...run...away...!!!!

Got it. ;)

Best,
Ron

Kevin Leavitt
03-08-2007, 02:22 PM
Oh please don't assume that I don't understand Chinese culture. I do have somewhat of an understanding of it, as much as I can being an American. My young daughter is Chinese, so chinese culture is very important to me and my family.

I also used to work with a Chinese company that did contract work for my company back when I was a civilian many years ago.

I have been to China and have worked with Tawanese military in the past.

Oh forgot to add, my wife and I also regularly communicate with and support my daughter's orphanage in Guixi province. Wonderful people there!

Upyu
03-08-2007, 07:27 PM
I did though see that the so-called internal guy did do many things that were correct and impressive. I especially liked how he moved in to pass the open guard my placing his forearm on the neck and positioning his weight properly to establish a strong base. The guy must have felt like a ton of bricks on the BJJ guy.


Kevin,
I agree that that particular video isn't exactly a sterling example,
that being said, I thought the fact that it being Miyagawa's first time ever going to the ground, would illustrate my point just a bit. Generally people with no grappling experience get tooled on the ground, and Miyagawa can pretty much hang with people that have several more years experience of him.

Glad you liked some of his movement, he never learned them as "techniques" persay but they'Re simply a result of him moving according to maintaing principle within his body.

About him placing his hand on the guys neck, he wasn't actually placing his weight there ;)
(Though you can do that too) Generally we try and "ghost" on top of the guy, and control him without him realizing it. (He doesnt know he's being controlled until he tries to move)

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 07:48 PM
This claim now states that MMA is somehow not as evolved as CMA. That logic proposes a connection of evolution, which would naturally lead to the conclusion that a CMA guy could defeat a MMA guy with one punch and proper internal skill. Oh, I don't want to get into this since it becomes obvious you weren't paying attention to what you said. Chinese martial arts were the famous "Chinese Hand", the "Tang Shou Dao" which conquered pretty much all of Asia and their martial arts were brutal, the most powerful the world had seen. Other styles in Asia based off of them and the pedigree of the Chinese arts was measured in thousands of years. Your question was whether Chinese arts had been able to evolve past MMA, this sport style that's been around about a decade. See the implication you made?

Secondly, China is still barely coming out of extreme repression. Millions died from starvation. Martial arts were outlawed and only practiced secretly. They haven't fully recovered and no one puts his family at risk by raising their head too high. This idea I often hear that "well all I've seen is bogus white guys doing kungfu and they don't win at MMA" is a little absurd. It will take time for them to see much value in a fight with some sort of arbitrary rules. Instead of dissing "internal guys" and things like that, maybe it's better to sit back and wait. Things will happen.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

KIT
03-08-2007, 08:37 PM
I tend to avoid these types of conversations....

LOL, yeah, I can see that...

Mike Sigman
03-08-2007, 09:10 PM
I believe you are misreading Kevin, and hence, misjudging him. No, I read him correctly, but I don't think he meant what he wrote. It's not a big deal... cross communications. I generally avoid the style wars, but the "internal guys" versus MMA stuff was a little silly. What happens is that some guy claims he's "internal", mixes it with somebody, loses, and next thing you know it's the same old situation of people talking about things they don't know about.

There was a guy who talked his way into doing some Summer training for some of the Broncos players. Claimed he taught "Tai Chi". It was crap. Later you had Broncos players talking about what crap Taiji was. Happens in all the arts, though, I suppose, where guys claim expertise in something. Certainly happened in some of the earlier UFC fights and got some heated discussions going about who was really qualified for what. ;)

Regards,

Mike

davidafindlay
03-09-2007, 05:33 AM
...I thought the fact that it being Miyagawa's first time ever going to the ground, would illustrate my point just a bit. Generally people with no grappling experience ...Hey Rob, is this a distraction for you... conning standup people onto the ground? :D ...wish I hadn't caught that cold when visiting you guys. Next time I guess.

(Rob suggested I mess around with one or two of the MMA guys from a guard posn. Pretty much all new to me, and I don't think they were necessaily stellar at groundwork, but still good fun.)

Currently visiting the local judo club to remind myself of tatami close up again. :)

Best,
Dave.

Upyu
03-09-2007, 06:24 AM
(Rob suggested I mess around with one or two of the MMA guys from a guard posn. Pretty much all new to me, and I don't think they were necessaily stellar at groundwork, but still good fun.)


Ooooh... the honest truth hurts :D
Yeah they were kind of like "wtf, why does he feel so heavy and why can't I break his guard???!! muhahaha"
Dave, even though they weren't stellar at ground work one of them has been in the game for at least 6 years or so ;)

I agree with Kit that the skills need to be polished to be used within the given situation. If you ask me it is still a major leg up though :)

davidafindlay
03-09-2007, 07:15 AM
... the skills need to be polished to be used within the given situation. If you ask me it is still a major leg up though :)Totally; otherwise it can easily become a bit of a self-congratulating distraction (like push hands for push hands sake), and then be quite uncomfortable in an unfamiliar situation.

One of the challenges when stepping into the technique oriented enviroment is trying to maintain a handle on "the way I want to do it" when all the other people are out there just trying to rip your arm off. Not taking "short cuts" forces you get happy with getting chucked around real quick, but I think its going to be better in the long run. Touch wood.

DH
03-09-2007, 07:52 AM
I've been grappling in one form or another longer then some folks here have been alive. I was a strong advocate for it at the dawning of the first list servers. I just wish these world class guys were out and about then!! Oh to be 30 again!
I don't like seeing the new form of ignorance being spouted by folks just "discovering grappling" now who are mixing in a little BJJ or Judo ne-waza with their aikido.
Grappling is a specialty game with its own weaknesses and strengths-just like any-other- traditional art. And guess what? They- just like everyone else- had to learn. Even BJJ has had to evolve and learn the truths of MMA.
As much as the traditional arts-of all kinds- were shocked to see how easily they could be taken apart by a good grappler and taken to the ground and then tuned to a fair-thee-well by those intimately aware of that venue gapplers had to learn too. Grapplers (more particularly wrestlers) were equally shocked to see themselves screwed up, stymied, knock out by good strickers, or unable to "postion- for-a-submission"
Funnier still was watching wrestlers trying in vain to get locks or chokes and all while they were in a superior ground and pound postion!! They simply didn't know what the hell to do with it didn't strike once. I've seen and also experienced a wrestler giving me thier back and being unconcerned with a rear choke. Or they hit with amazingly weak power from the ground.
I've lost track of the wrestllers and Judoka I've played with who were euqually unprepaired for folks trained in resisting and reversing takedowns and kicking and punching the shit out of them for their efforts.
For the newly minted "true believers of grappling" I'd suggest you review the progress of the UFC from submissions to more and more TKO and KO's.You need to spend just as much, if not more, in your stand up as rolling and takedowns. I'd tell any BJJ'er to go ask Lidell, or Crokop what they think.
MMA is superior to just mat work, and will always be.
But mat work rocks!!
There is a reason I argue on two fronts here. The first proirity, and the most superior game, is stand up. In Japanese bujutsu as well as modern warfare or LEO, you don't, by choice; roll around on the ground in web gear, or close quarter grapple wth a weapon belt. You learn and truly undestand the ground game and concentrate on being better able to avoid it. You don't go there as a first choice.
In Bujutsu and JMA you focus on standing up thoughout an encounter and to stay mobile. Most tradional martial artists I have met simply can't cope with that envronment with grapplers fighting back. Grappling and MMA win as they are single greatest equalizer. Period. But the goal was and is to remain standing and move
As for internal skills they make any single person stronger, more sensitive and responsive and in any equal setting pound-for-pound- a better striker and grappler -for their current level.
But they don't teach you how to fight.
Combine the two? Very potent stuff.

Internal skills in Aiki-do. They are the source of aiki. The moving for "blending" and moving from bigger to smaller circles and all the shapes and timing like Erice mentioned in the basline skills thread....isn't. THats just more waza stuff. The internal skills are the single thing needed to give Aikido back what it needs- both in power and sensitvity to create Aiki- for it to be anything more than just another weak and palid jujutsu.
Dan

DH
03-09-2007, 08:17 AM
Rob
I'm glad you finally got your wish to play with both bigger and more experienced players. You picked a good group with the Seattle crowd. I'll bet you also learned first hand that grappling isn't a bunch of meat head muscle boys.

For those still suffering under that dellussion, many-not all- but many are intimately aware of weight, postioning, relaxation and sensitivity. For allot of TMA'ers it comes as quite surprise to both feel and see us relaxed and thinking while your sweating your ass off trying to figure out what to do next, and frequently opt go for an opening we provided for your viewing pleasure....bang!
Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
03-09-2007, 09:06 AM
I feel like many of the skills I learned in wrestling are applicable to my aikido. Nevertheless, aikido is what I am passionate about.

Kevin Leavitt
03-09-2007, 10:17 AM
Mike, I am not dissing internal guys and what they do. Only asking for a clarification concerning your hypothesis concerning the evolution of external, to BJJ as seen in the UFC, to MMA, to internal arts of CMA.

That is all.

I have never said there was no value in the skills.

I don't agree witht the delineations that you place on the skills as being separate from things. Nor do I see how the hypothesis that this delineation of internal CMA applies. If it did, we'd be seeing it in some distnct way that would cross the boundaries of age, size, and so-called style/methodology of engagement.

We do see MMA guys getting better in their skills over all from striking, kicking, closing distance (maŠi), timing, grappling, use of body, center...all that good stuff.

So, do the exercises you teach and have obvisouly done quite successful apply. I absolutely think they do.

I just don't understand why you have to go so far as to lay claim that they are so materially important that they will transcend and greatly change what is already being done in MMA.

I don't think we will ever see such a distinction as you state, only MMA guys evolving to be more efficient. However, because we have to have rules in training and in competition, that evolvement will always be somewhat stunted, as it will gravitate to not the BEST way to fight, but one that is simply good enough to win.

Actually Patton said it best. We don't need the best plan, only one that works.

Mike Sigman
03-09-2007, 10:39 AM
Mike, I am not dissing internal guys and what they do. Only asking for a clarification concerning your hypothesis concerning the evolution of external, to BJJ as seen in the UFC, to MMA, to internal arts of CMA. Well, the "internal guys" marginalization was actually in Kit's post, Kevin... and you may not have understood my reference to it if you didn't see my comments in reply to his post. My main point was that I doubt that he's actually seen a good 'internal' martial artist and I encourage him to go see one of the better ones so that he can understand what he so casually included in his comparison. I have never said there was no value in the skills.

I don't agree witht the delineations that you place on the skills as being separate from things. Nor do I see how the hypothesis that this delineation of internal CMA applies. If it did, we'd be seeing it in some distnct way that would cross the boundaries of age, size, and so-called style/methodology of engagement.

We do see MMA guys getting better in their skills over all from striking, kicking, closing distance (maŠi), timing, grappling, use of body, center...all that good stuff.

So, do the exercises you teach and have obvisouly done quite successful apply. I absolutely think they do.

I just don't understand why you have to go so far as to lay claim that they are so materially important that they will transcend and greatly change what is already being done in MMA.

I don't think we will ever see such a distinction as you state, only MMA guys evolving to be more efficient. However, because we have to have rules in training and in competition, that evolvement will always be somewhat stunted, as it will gravitate to not the BEST way to fight, but one that is simply good enough to win.Kevin, I feel like we have the same discussion over and over with you and it cycles from you finally saying that you'll have to go look while witholding your opinion to your re-start with where you don't see the value in it. The same thing has been explained over and over again.... it IS NOT a sure-fire fight ender, but it's a great aid. You need to go see it and decide if it is an aid. Ueshiba and 3 Bazillion other Asians thought it was such an aid that they made almost a religion out of it for about 3,000 years, but who knows.... MMA may have surpassed it. ;)

Rather than go through the same conversation again, why not let's wait until you can meet someone and discuss it. Bear in mind that my perspective is from what I have seen (and learned a tiny part of) in some of the world's big names in these skills, but I have not personally met Dan and some of the others, so I'm remaining neutral about exactly who you meet (although Dan's description indicate very strongly that he can use jin and I'd put my chips on that bet). Still, you need to go get an idea of what we're talking about before we start another round of discussions about the same subject and then end up in the same place again.

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
03-09-2007, 11:08 AM
Mike Sigman Wrote:

like MMA. I watch it. I think sport martial arts are *really* improving and I'm honestly tickled to death about it. But think back a second to the past: The judo/karate/TKD/WC/etc. guys all thought they were the last word in martial arts (forget CMA guys... I have yet to meet a single westerner that really does CMA's, despite all their uniforms and words). Then along comes Royce and Bros and it all changes. BJJ was the last word. Then some people starting compounding skills and you get MMA's... they're now the latest word. You think it's the last word? I don't.

I only have a mainly hobby interest anymore in martial arts and I tend to focus on learning how these odd body skills are done. I don't worry about whose butt I can kick anymore.... but not from the position that I've never done it; because I have done it and it doesn't have that testosterone Macho Banty Rooster appeal anymore. There are still some skills that I see hidden in some of the CMA's that are not in MMA's yet and they would be more than "anti-grappling". I've seen guys put their hands through the sides of 55-gallon drums. I've been hit by guys that have trained some way I still can't decipher but it's definitely one-punch-and-you're-done stuff. MMA's haven't got that, even though they're progressing.


Based on what I bolded the inference is there is it not?

it IS NOT a sure-fire fight ender, but it's a great aid. You need to go see it and decide if it is an aid. Ueshiba and 3 Bazillion other Asians thought it was such an aid that they made almost a religion out of it for about 3,000 years, but who knows.... MMA may have surpassed it.

Your confusing me Mike.

I agree, I am going to train with you or somewhat like you.

Your simply confusing me with all this other static.

The only reason I keep saying we keep having the same conversations is that you guys have this pack mentality towards this stuff, jump off the cliff with it, then someone says...what the ****. Then you say "just kidding"." that is not what I said"., "you don't get it".

Just discuss the salient issues at point without all the other hype and stuff and I am good to go with it.

Kevin Leavitt
03-09-2007, 11:21 AM
Dan overall I agree with your post.

What exactly do you mean by this?

I don't like seeing the new form of ignorance being spouted by folks just "discovering grappling" now who are mixing in a little BJJ or Judo ne-waza with their aikido.

What are the forms of ignorance as you see them?

Defaulting to the ground as the only solution?

Fuly committed throws? Sacrifice throws?

I also see your last paragraph concerning blending, moving, timing, irimi and all that being just waza. I think I see your perspective a little clearer on this. You isolate the internal from this.

I think the difference in us is that I cannot see how you can separate any waza or form of appropriate response from the internal, movement and response must be apart of it.

As a training methodology, I can visualize how you might isolate movement such as in kokyu tanden ho exercise so you can work on internal movement. Absolutely.

It makes a little more sense to me at this point.

Kevin Leavitt
03-09-2007, 11:34 AM
Rob wrote:

Kevin,
I agree that that particular video isn't exactly a sterling example,
that being said, I thought the fact that it being Miyagawa's first time ever going to the ground, would illustrate my point just a bit. Generally people with no grappling experience get tooled on the ground, and Miyagawa can pretty much hang with people that have several more years experience of him.

Glad you liked some of his movement, he never learned them as "techniques" persay but they'Re simply a result of him moving according to maintaing principle within his body.

About him placing his hand on the guys neck, he wasn't actually placing his weight there
(Though you can do that too) Generally we try and "ghost" on top of the guy, and control him without him realizing it. (He doesnt know he's being controlled until he tries to move)

Knowing that bit of knowledge about being his first time down on the ground is respectful how he handles himself. Normally you see guys spaz out and start pulling away, or moving their hips away.

Personally I love it when guys move their hips back out of the way and fail to stay in correct alignment. All kinds of fun things you can do at that point.

As far as the ghosting thing goes. I have been spending some time working with my guys on that very thing. It freaks them out when they cannot reference you anywhere. You are free to move around them and they do not know how to respond! I try and do this without using my hands or feet to lock them down or grab, simply use my body.

Unfortunately, I simply do not possess the teaching skill or have the time to teach them how to do this, I learned this from doing aikido mainly. They want to know how, and I can only show them some rudimentary aikido exercises, but they cannot see the connection to ground fighting.

One thing that has been helpful in having them roll in contact with one of those big exercise balls, maintaining contact and balance as they move around the ball, shifting weight in different planes and connecting breathing.

statisticool
03-09-2007, 03:43 PM
Rather than go through the same conversation again, why not let's wait until you can meet someone and discuss it.

I wonder if you'll say that he didn't really meet the 'real deal' if he sees an internal martial artists in action and comes back unimpressed?

statisticool
03-09-2007, 05:12 PM
He knows nothing, but has an obsession with Mike to the point of an insulting sig (which is supposed to be an amusing quote from Mike, but actually just points out that he doesn't understand what "keep weight underside" means), insulting references on his web site about Mike, and links to another know-nothing jerkoff's old opinions-from-afar about what Mike does.


Pete, I'm wondering why you view it as insulting (at the same time throw several of your own insults in the mix)? I'm also wondering how you know it is "from afar" as you claim. The person in question actually went to several workshops.
.
Then of course, since you are apparently concerned about insults, you should actually have a (critical) look at what the person who you claim is being insulted has said -which are much worse things than mere skeptical criticism.


Why talk to a guy who shows blatant disrespect for you, Mike, Dan, or anybody else working to make this stuff accessible?


I'm more concerned about blatent disrespect for martial arts, like claiming something like one must master these qi/ki/jin/kokyu skills to really be practicing taiji, for example, from people who don't have taiji lineage or permission to teach, and don't even attend formal aikido or taiji classes at all or on a regular basis.

One might as well go to an auto mechanic for experience on Nascar racing.


Your call, but to me a dog doesn't deserve a bone when his actions have earned him nothing but a kick in the yap.

How very aiki of you? ;)

Mike Sigman
03-09-2007, 05:28 PM
The person in question actually went to several workshops. That's a lie. Stephen J. Goodson, a Cheng Man Ching fellow-cultist of yours, never went to a workshop of mine. He based his silly analysis on his website purely on the comments of a beginner who actually was at a workshop.... but a beginner who publicly repudiated and chastised Goodson as a moron for posting such drivel. I'm more concerned about blatent disrespect for martial arts, Oh stoppit. No one watching you stalk me around this forum is going to do anything but chuckle at you and Cheng Man Ching cultists when they read that inanity.

Mike Sigman (Yes, I know, I'm not being "respectful" of his comments)

statisticool
03-09-2007, 08:17 PM
That's a lie. Stephen J. Goodson, a Cheng Man Ching fellow-cultist of yours, never went to a workshop of mine.


That's the strangest defintion of cult I've ever seen. I'd think a smaller group who gets more agitated when examined would tend to fit the bill a little closer.

I don't know about a "lie". I heard it from a source I consider valid. You know, just like when you make some pronouncements based on a non-revealed source that you consider valid.


No one watching you stalk me around this forum is going to do anything but chuckle at you and Cheng Man Ching cultists when they read that inanity.


Again, a strange definition of 'stalk'. I'm not sure how responding to Pete or you on a public bulletin board, especially when I am directly asked questions, is stalking.

But I think even you can see why the claim of something like one must master these qi/ki/jin/kokyu skills to really be practicing taiji, coming from people who don't have taiji lineage or permission to teach, and don't even attend formal aikido or taiji classes at all or on a regular basis, doesn't hold much weight.

Upyu
03-09-2007, 09:35 PM
That's the strangest defintion of cult I've ever seen. I'd think a smaller group who gets more agitated when examined would tend to fit the bill a little closer.

I don't know about a "lie". I heard it from a source I consider valid. You know, just like when you make some pronouncements based on a non-revealed source that you consider valid.

Again, a strange definition of 'stalk'. I'm not sure how responding to Pete or you on a public bulletin board, especially when I am directly asked questions, is stalking.

But I think even you can see why the claim of something like one must master these qi/ki/jin/kokyu skills to really be practicing taiji, coming from people who don't have taiji lineage or permission to teach, and don't even attend formal aikido or taiji classes at all or on a regular basis, doesn't hold much weight.
Yap yap yap, all day long, yap yap yap while I sing this song... :rolleyes:

So uh Justine,
How come you didn't show up to the Seminar in Virginia and crash the party?
Or even show up with some backup? I mean, since you're so chivalrous and about about setting us wayward asses straight on MAs. :D

akiy
03-09-2007, 09:36 PM
This thread has gone too far into discussions of a personal nature.

Thread closed.

-- Jun