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George S. Ledyard
03-12-2007, 12:19 PM
When the Islamic invasion came to India, Buddhism was virtually eradicated. The Buddhist Canon of hundreds of volumes was lost in its original Sanskrit. Completely gone.

Scholars ever since have taken the Pali, the Chinese and the Tibetan versions and compared them in order to try to reconstruct what was in the original.

I think that much has been lost in the Aikido that has been transmitted around the world by the two Doshu subsequent to the Founder. The current program is to simplify the art. Weapons work has been deemphasized, martial application is not emphasized. techniques have been dropped from the repertoire.

In addition, Aikido expended at an extremely fast pace around the world. Most of the people running dojos out there did not spend fifteen or more years training directly with a Shihan level teacher. So Aikido in its broad sense has largely been spread by people who aren't that high level. This is not to diminish their contribution or efforts, it's just a statement. I've been teaching since I was a Sandan. There simply weren't many folks around senior to that when I started. That's the way Aikido has spread all over the world.

But if one looks at O-Sensei as the model, it is clear that something has been lost. Some of us are interested in preserving Aikido as the Founder presented it. That means doing the same kind of reconstruction I mentioned the Buddhist scholars doing to reconstruct original Indian Buddhism.

No knowledge is bad knowledge in this endeavor, although some would be more relevant than others. Clearly, Daito Ryu is the parent art of Aikido. All of the first generation of Aikido master instructors, Shirata, Inoue, Mochizuki, Shioda, Tomiki, etc had Daito Ryu as their foundation. That isn't disputable. What other elements were in their respective backgrounds varied from one to another. So if you want to start investigating what O-Sensei had that many of his post war deshi didn't, one should start by looking there.

The Chinese influence on the various principles in Aikido is also fairly clear, as Ellis pointed out. I think we can benefit from an understanding of these principles.

I think that the main reason for the general upset in the discussions with Dan and Mike is that they, with varying degrees of diplomacy have been insisting that, if you want to understand what O-Sensei was doing technically, you need to have an understanding of the principles they have been describing. Most people are not shooting that high. Most folks out there would be ecstatic if they could simply be as good as the fellow running their dojo. Those with a lot of ambition would like to find a Shihan level teacher somewhere and be as good as they are.

When guys from outside start pointing out that there are elements missing in our training, folks get uncomfortable. They are already finding their training challenging enough, putting in all of their spare time, working to master what has already been presented to them. They are not looking to redefine the art as being bigger than they thought it was. It already seemed impossibly big. So they don't want to hear it.

I have been trying to say all along that folks do not have to train more or harder than they currently do in order to start doing Aikido with some real depth. They just need to train smarter. Dan and Mike (and others) can throw these ideas out there and a small group of motivated Aikido folks will get together with them and take those concepts into their training. They will then take the concepts "on the road" and teach them in seminars etc.They will be the ones who change Aikido. I foresee a time when a greater focus on internal power development is the norm in Aikido. It will make everything we currently do in our art better. It will not mean losing site of where we have already been taking the art. Understanding of these things does not in any way detract from the spiritual side of the art. It doesn't move the focus away from spreading a vision of Peace in the world.

It simply means that we will be better able to do what we already are doing and that our practice will be healthier for us on any number of levels. And, most importantly, the average person out there in the Aikido hinterlands will be able to do an Aikido that actually has some relation to what the Founder developed and taught his original students.

Ecosamurai
03-13-2007, 03:43 AM
I think that the main reason for the general upset in the discussions with Dan and Mike is that they, with varying degrees of diplomacy have been insisting that, if you want to understand what O-Sensei was doing technically, you need to have an understanding of the principles they have been describing. Most people are not shooting that high. Most folks out there would be ecstatic if they could simply be as good as the fellow running their dojo. Those with a lot of ambition would like to find a Shihan level teacher somewhere and be as good as they are.

Snipped a chunk of a nice post. I also think that there are people who have been doing a lot of the things talked about by Mike and Dan for a long time within aikido already. My own irritation is that I have not gone to an MMA forum and told them that they're all wrong and need to do more aikido type stuff to make their training complete (the response would both infantile and ill-informed I expect). Nor have I gone to a Chinese martial art forum and done the same thing.

Not much of what they have added here has been new, I remember debates about internal 'stuff' happening plenty of times before, we used to call them 'ki wars', the MMA stuff used to be the 'hard vs soft debate', all of these have been done to death over the years by people within aikido. Ask the old-timers on aikido-l and I'm sure they'd tell you the same. All that they have added that is new is mostly the dimension that we're all doing something wrong if we're doing regular aikido, and like I said, I haven't gone to their forums and said the same thing.

I don't disagree with what has been said, I agree with most of it I have thought these things for years and it is what my teacher does too for the most part. You're welcome to discuss it with him, he's just dug out his aikiweb username and password so maybe he'll appear here from time to time. But I learned long ago that people who do aikido 'without ki' still have valuable things to tell me, people whose aikido is not 'calm and relaxed' (as in Tohei style) still have valuable things to tell me about my own practice.

Regards

Mike

MM
03-13-2007, 05:49 AM
Snipped a chunk of a nice post. I also think that there are people who have been doing a lot of the things talked about by Mike and Dan for a long time within aikido already.


Uh huh. Not in my experience. But hey, here's a list of things to try and you let us know if you can do them (I've modified the list from someone else's posting elsewhere)

Stand relaxed with feet side by side about shoulder width apart and do not use any waza, your hands, or any offensive techniques and remain that way while .....

1. Have someone push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over. Really push.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can. We're talking total 100% full force of whole body pushing you.
3. Then have him pile drive into you.
4. Then even casually.. increasing to severely- pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet. Let them have your wrist and let them pull you for all their worth.
5. Place your hand on his chest. Without moving your shoulders or body in any discernable way, send them 3-6' with your hand.

Before we go further, Mike Haft, please try those and post your results. In fact, video would be better. Because if you can't do *all* the above, then you're not doing what Mike and Dan are doing.


My own irritation is that I have not gone to an MMA forum and told them that they're all wrong and need to do more aikido type stuff to make their training complete (the response would both infantile and ill-informed I expect). Nor have I gone to a Chinese martial art forum and done the same thing.


You know what really gets to me? This hypocrisy about non-aikido people not knowing anything about aikido. It's simply amazing that all these naysayers jump all over Dan and Mike about them being outside of Aikido and not knowing anything about *their* Aikido because Mike and Dan don't *do* aikido. Yet, they'll turn right around and lap up everything Ellis posts about the history of Aikido and Daito Ryu. To coin a phrase from some teens, OMG!


Not much of what they have added here has been new, I remember debates about internal 'stuff' happening plenty of times before, we used to call them 'ki wars', the MMA stuff used to be the 'hard vs soft debate', all of these have been done to death over the years by people within aikido.


Not much new? Yeah, Dan and Mike have been saying these things for years, but this ain't "ki" wars. Did you not read Ron's posts? Have you not read all the back postings about what's really going on here? Or did you just skim it all? Do your research. Go to E-Budo. There were threads of stuff over there.


I don't disagree with what has been said, I agree with most of it I have thought these things for years and it is what my teacher does too for the most part. You're welcome to discuss it with him, he's just dug out his aikiweb username and password so maybe he'll appear here from time to time.


It'd be interesting to hear how you and your teacher fared on #1 through #5 above. In all seriousness. I don't think anyone can continue these discussions until they've tried at least those 5 things. If you can't do them all, then you don't know, nor do you understand what's being said here. It's that simple.

Mark

Ecosamurai
03-13-2007, 06:18 AM
Before we go further, Mike Haft, please try those and post your results. In fact, video would be better. Because if you can't do *all* the above, then you're not doing what Mike and Dan are doing.

With the exception of number 3 cos I don't know what you're on about there I'm willing to say I can do most of that, not prettily but I can do it. No I'm not gonna post video because I really don't care whether you believe me or not and I don't feel that having youtube footage of my crappy aikido floating around the internet is particularly a good idea. Say what you like about me not being up to the task, whatever....

Yet, they'll turn right around and lap up everything Ellis posts about the history of Aikido and Daito Ryu.

I don't agree with everything Ellis says either. But I find his posts to be less grating than others, perhaps he just writes in a nicer style. I don't know.

It'd be interesting to hear how you and your teacher fared on #1 through #5 above. In all seriousness. I don't think anyone can continue these discussions until they've tried at least those 5 things. If you can't do them all, then you don't know, nor do you understand what's being said here. It's that simple.

You done trolling now? I have better things to do than respond to this kind of crap to be honest but I thought you might appreciate a response. If you want anything else try a PM, you never know I might reply.

Mike

Upyu
03-13-2007, 07:25 AM
You done trolling now? I have better things to do than respond to this kind of crap to be honest but I thought you might appreciate a response. If you want anything else try a PM, you never know I might reply.


Taking this from a diplomatic perspective (wow, I can't believe I used that word) I think Mark's pov stems from the fact that maybe its not readily availble, and what information is available is scant and not directly taught.
That doesn't mean that there are exceptions. Maybe you got lucky ;)
I was on a thread at MAP (which I consider the lowest of the low as far as forums go :-D) and I was surprised to fish out some valuable info from one of the posters there about how he trained his "cross".
Funny thing is, he even said that the training was "too hard" so he rarely has his students do it, and he runs across a lot of high ranking dan peeps that have NO idea about some of these basic physiological properties. And that's not even getting into all the fun stuff involving power releases etc.

I think its good that the frustration comes out and people argue. The only people that drop out with a huff are people that weren't really driven to find what they don't have, or they already got all the goods and they stand back to have a good laugh at us teenageers bickering amongst ourselves :D
Somehow I find the latter less likely.

Its all in good fun, even if you get the occasional w"#$"ker like... oh wait I'm supposed to keep it clean, so I'll refrain from posting names:cool:

Qatana
03-13-2007, 12:03 PM
1. Have someone push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over. Really push.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can. We're talking total 100% full force of whole body pushing you.
3. Then have him pile drive into you.
4. Then even casually.. increasing to severely- pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet. Let them have your wrist and let them pull you for all their worth.
5. Place your hand on his chest. Without moving your shoulders or body in any discernable way, send them 3-6' with your hand.

How is this aikido, though? it looks and feels much more like tai chi. And while I am the first to admit that tai chi principles do help my aikido, its more the principle of rather than being a brick wall...
I prefer to have these principles taught to me by someone who actually Does practice Aikido; I am fortunate that my sensei Does concentrate on energetic principles of Both arts, and got his training pretty much At The Source, or as close as possible.

Ecosamurai
03-13-2007, 12:37 PM
How is this aikido, though? it looks and feels much more like tai chi.

That's what I thought too, I remember doing these things when I did Tai chi. I left tai chi because I felt aikido was better. I also haven't gone and found a tai chi forum to tell them all about how this tai chi stuff is missing essential principles only found in aikido. I'm happy to do my thing and let them do theirs. I have considered for a long time starting a thread to talk about the differences I've noticed between ki-aikido internal stuff and the tai chi type things, but I've never done it because I knew who would post on it and I couldn't be bothered to have those discussions to be honest.

Mike

Jeremy Hulley
03-13-2007, 12:45 PM
. And while I am the first to admit that tai chi principles do help my aikido, its more the principle of rather than being a brick wall...
.
But the ability to shift from brick wall to instant softness and back give the ability to take balance or avoid having balance taken. It all fits if you can see it...

Walker
03-13-2007, 12:48 PM
Hi Folks, I don't usually come around here, but things to have become interesting of late.

First off, I have to say thanks to Rob for a fun day. Specifically I want to thank him for his instruction in shiko 四股. Shiko is part of my dojo's tradition, but we didn't get the level of detail that Rob provided and had let practice lapse. Now it has been revitalized as a part of our kiso kunren. The rest was interesting too especially the stuff out of Yagyu Shingan ryu.

This all brings me George's post. Aikido is being critiqued from the inside, but it is a silent critique of practice. I happen to be in a line that descends from Takeda through Ueshiba to Shirata and to us. When we look at our curriculum we see several essential elements that we had little or no experience of in previous dojo's and organizations. A partial list would include: basic body conditioning and movement skills (kiso kunren), Daito ryu based (I say based because there are slight diferences e.g. hanmi from publicly available DR materials) kata, a high functioning sword practice that interfaces with and compliments the taijutsu (ours is Shochikubai Kenpo of unknown origin), similar jo practice, incorporation of various modalities of resistance training, and some form of mental/sprititual/psychological training (ours seems to be a syncretic mix of Shinto, Buddhism and yamabushi ideas i.e. Japanese Budo Mix). Anyway, it is a huge amount of stuff to work though and I know that quite a bit of the stuff we do and do to each other would not be tolerated in my former dojo.

So call it a silent critique. Our critique from the inside is to do our thing, look at whatever results we get, and evaluate them against our own criteria and whatever we can ascertain about the criteria in other dojos i.e. feeling it.

All I can conclude is that there was, at least at one time, a fairly complete curriculum in aikido. Maybe there are some nuances and nice tidbits that would be nice to know from sources such as Rob (ever know two martial artists to not talk shop when they get together), but it was all there. I believe that emphatically.

I used to think that O Sensei might not have taught everything, either holding back or leaving out what he thought wasn't important anymore. Well I don't think that any more. He must have, at some point at least, taught it or it wouldn't have survived.

As true victory is victory over the self then it follows that the individual is ultimately responsible for their own training and development. It is up to you to constantly evaluate the quality of your training and your performance in an objective manner and to act on the results of your evaluation -- that being the ultimate critique.

MM
03-13-2007, 12:52 PM
How is this aikido, though? it looks and feels much more like tai chi. And while I am the first to admit that tai chi principles do help my aikido, its more the principle of rather than being a brick wall...
I prefer to have these principles taught to me by someone who actually Does practice Aikido; I am fortunate that my sensei Does concentrate on energetic principles of Both arts, and got his training pretty much At The Source, or as close as possible.

Hello Jo,

Well, it's a good question that I think we can look to Ueshiba for the answer. Why did Ueshiba tell Tenryu to go ahead and try to push him? Or, is that not aikido? ;) Or when Ueshiba does the jo trick? Um, again, is that not aikido? Or other instances when Ueshiba has people pushing on him from different directions? It's all there, hidden in plain sight. Do any of those examples sound like tai chi?

Preferences are fine. If you're happy with your practice, that's great. But, don't discount things just because they seemingly aren't coming from some aikido person. If we did that, then Ikeda sensei would never have brought in Ushiro sensei. :)

Not only that, but we'd all have to discount Ellis Amdur's fine posts over on Aikido Journal because, really, he's not an aikido person, so why should we learn from him?

So you see, there are precedents all over the place for what's being shown. People just don't like being told that their aikido may be lacking or inferior, especially by people who are viewed as outside the aikido world.

Personally, I like Ikeda sensei's example. You're never too high ranking to learn from someone outside your realm and sometimes you have to put on a white belt. It's a fine example I think many have missed. Shame, really.

Mark

kironin
03-13-2007, 01:04 PM
WOW !!!

Excellent post George !

I think that is the first time I have ever read a post on here in the years since this forum began where I felt like someone was channeling thoughts from my brain and stating it far better than I ever could.

:D I agree completely!

When the Islamic invasion came to India, Buddhism was virtually eradicated. The Buddhist Canon of hundreds of volumes was lost in its original Sanskrit. Completely gone.

Ron Tisdale
03-13-2007, 02:52 PM
Doug,

Please post here more often. I've often wished to get together with your group (I think you know why :D). Don't be surprised if a PM comes your way!

Best,
Ron

SeiserL
03-13-2007, 03:39 PM
I sincerely like the idea of putting the internal concepts back into Aikido, because I agree that they appear to have been there and are not so slowly being lost.

I am training with more of this internal focus in mind and will share/spread it when I know more.

I will also try to do it without insulting anyone or their instructors.

MM
03-13-2007, 04:23 PM
I sincerely like the idea of putting the internal concepts back into Aikido, because I agree that they appear to have been there and are not so slowly being lost.

I am training with more of this internal focus in mind and will share/spread it when I know more.

I will also try to do it without insulting anyone or their instructors.

Hello Lynn,

Yes, I have nothing but the utmost respect for my instructors. It was really nice to see one of them at the AikiWeb seminar. It also reminded me of just how much I missed that part of my life. I'm hoping to see more of him in the future.

Mark

George S. Ledyard
03-13-2007, 04:31 PM
You know what really gets to me? This hypocrisy about non-aikido people not knowing anything about aikido. It's simply amazing that all these naysayers jump all over Dan and Mike about them being outside of Aikido and not knowing anything about *their* Aikido because Mike and Dan don't *do* aikido. Yet, they'll turn right around and lap up everything Ellis posts about the history of Aikido and Daito Ryu. To coin a phrase from some teens, OMG!


Actually, Ellis is a 4th Dan in Aikido, given to him by Kuroiwa Sensei. He was an original student of Terry Dobson Sensei as well both of which gives him a good solid take on Aikido. The terminology he uses in his discussions is familiar to Aikido practitioners; not technical jargon which Aikido people do not understand. The main thing with Ellis is that he will point you towards certain things, ask some thoughtful questions, and generally tries to get people thinking. But he always posts with great respect for others. He isn't aggressive about what he puts out there, you can take it or leave it. If he thinks you don't know what you are talking about, he just doesn't reply to you.I think his great skill in presenting his ideas is one of the reasons he has such influence. He knows better than to push too hard.

As for what Ellis has to say about about martial arts history and Daito Ryu in particular, like the other folks who did koryu in Japan. he was also a student on the academic side. He was a member of JMAS along with folks like Don Draeger, Phil Relnick, Meik Skoss, etc. He is a walking encyclopedia of info, so of course people pay attention to him. I fail to see how that makes anyone hypocritical.

Qatana
03-13-2007, 04:41 PM
Mark

I can't object to applying tai chi principles to aikido, I ALREADY DO IT.

What I object to is people do not Practice aikido telling how to do aikido.

And if one is going to use these tai chi principles, I really think they should describe their usefulness in how they apply to Aikido technique, not to simply be able to emulate O'Sensei's Performances. If he thought being Unpushable was essential to aikido, he would have taught it to Somebody, doncha think?

MM
03-13-2007, 04:57 PM
Actually, Ellis is a 4th Dan in Aikido, given to him by Kuroiwa Sensei. He was an original student of Terry Dobson Sensei as well both of which gives him a good solid take on Aikido. The terminology he uses in his discussions is familiar to Aikido practitioners; not technical jargon which Aikido people do not understand. The main thing with Ellis is that he will point you towards certain things, ask some thoughtful questions, and generally tries to get people thinking. But he always posts with great respect for others. He isn't aggressive about what he puts out there, you can take it or leave it. If he thinks you don't know what you are talking about, he just doesn't reply to you.I think his great skill in presenting his ideas is one of the reasons he has such influence. He knows better than to push too hard.

As for what Ellis has to say about about martial arts history and Daito Ryu in particular, like the other folks who did koryu in Japan. he was also a student on the academic side. He was a member of JMAS along with folks like Don Draeger, Phil Relnick, Meik Skoss, etc. He is a walking encyclopedia of info, so of course people pay attention to him. I fail to see how that makes anyone hypocritical.

Well, I certainly agree with all that. :) But, I was under the impression that Ellis isn't doing aikido currently. And that was one complaint -- that certain people weren't in aikido. So, to discount that in some yet not discount it in others seemed hypocritical to me. Course, I could be wrong.

Mark

MM
03-13-2007, 05:03 PM
Mark

I can't object to applying tai chi principles to aikido, I ALREADY DO IT.

What I object to is people do not Practice aikido telling how to do aikido.

And if one is going to use these tai chi principles, I really think they should describe their usefulness in how they apply to Aikido technique, not to simply be able to emulate O'Sensei's Performances. If he thought being Unpushable was essential to aikido, he would have taught it to Somebody, doncha think?

Hi Jo,

Well, that's the point. These aren't taichi principles in aikido. These are internal skills in aikido. And, yes, these internal skills can also be found in some taichi. But, that doesn't mean they are exactly the same. Similar, I think, but not necessarily the same.

You make a point that I was trying to convey to Ledyard sensei. People don't want to listen to outsiders not doing aikido. So let me ask you about Amdur sensei. Would you listen to him about aikido?

And I don't know about Ueshiba. Wasn't there, wasn't around any of his direct students, so I can't answer your question. But I do know that he told Tenryu to try to push him over and that he wouldn't be able to because he(Ueshiba) knew the secret to aiki. Pretty good indication what kind of emphasis he put on internal skills, don't you think?

Mark

Walker
03-13-2007, 05:24 PM
Please post here more often. I've often wished to get together with your group (I think you know why :D). Don't be surprised if a PM comes your way!

No reason that wouldn't happen some day. Call any time, so to speak.

There is one problem as I see it with "reintroducing." Once the thread has been broken we run the danger of creating something new and beyond the character of the original. Maybe not a problem in aikido which can hardly be said to have anything like a unified "character" these days. I reference Toby's fine article on creativity and change in the budo.

edit - I've even heard some say that Ikeda sensei isn't "doing" aikido anymore, cited just as an example of militant orthodoxy in the midst of general hetrodoxy.

SeiserL
03-13-2007, 06:00 PM
So let me ask you about Amdur sensei. Would you listen to him about aikido?
Absolutely. I have trained with him in the past and look forward to the next time.

Tim Mailloux
03-13-2007, 06:08 PM
[QUOTE=Jo Adell;171829]Mark

What I object to is people do not Practice aikido telling how to do aikido.

QUOTE]

I can see how that could bother someone. But remember that these are people that used to do aikido, and one of them also has quite a bit of experience with Daito Ryu, the root of all aikido.

3 year ago while i was still a gung ho aikidodoka, I would probably be making the same arguments as everyone eles here that has it out for Dan and Mike. But having left the fold, switched over to judo and now having the pleasure of training with Dan I am a true beliver. These skills do not exist in aikido today, or atleast the wide range of aikido I have been exposed to. When I was doing aikido I trained with a teacher that was just recently promoted to Shihan by Doshu and the aikikai. My teachers teacher, who I trained with frequently was an Uchideshi of O'Sensei and very well known for his powerfull waza. So i would say that I was training with people that knew what they were doing. While I respect these teacher very much and consider them to be some of the best aikidoka in North America. I have never felt in them what I have felt from Dan and his students.

At their best, I would describe my teachers as great technicians with the ability to blend with ukes center and work around ukes strength. Maybe this is what aikidoka think of as Ki. But with Dan and his guys it is much different. They don't blend with ukes center, they don't need to, they totally disrupt it from the instant you make contact with them. Its as if as soon as you touch them they suck in all you energy and then shoot it back at you two fold while at the same time being totally loose and relaxed. At times it can be quite startling.

statisticool
03-13-2007, 06:33 PM
Most of the people running dojos out there did not spend fifteen or more years training directly with a Shihan level teacher.


If we question aikido as done by those type of people, why would one accept the words on aikido from those who are not Shihans, teachers, have their own dojos, or have spent 15 or more years, in aikido? Especially when they are claiming that their things are the basis for aikido (not to mention a whole ton of other martial arts) ?

Because they can do impressive static drills/tricks?

mathewjgano
03-13-2007, 06:34 PM
Stand relaxed with feet side by side about shoulder width apart and do not use any waza, your hands, or any offensive techniques and remain that way while .....

1. Have someone push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over. Really push.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can. We're talking total 100% full force of whole body pushing you.
3. Then have him pile drive into you.
4. Then even casually.. increasing to severely- pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet. Let them have your wrist and let them pull you for all their worth.
5. Place your hand on his chest. Without moving your shoulders or body in any discernable way, send them 3-6' with your hand.
I'm a little confused:
In my young understanding, "waza" includes any method one consciously employs, hence the saying there are infinite techniques in Aikido...probably just splitting hairs, but "internal techniques" would be internal waza, wouldn't it?
It also seems to me that the ability corresponding toward "doing" the above is relative to who you're trying it on. I have no problem grounding out some people while others seem impossible. I can certainly do elements of the above mentioned, though not in all cases.

You know what really gets to me? This hypocrisy about non-aikido people not knowing anything about aikido.
I didn't read anything as saying non-Aikido people know nothing about Aikido. We're all learning how to move the same human form, after all, but maybe I missed it.
We often read and inject our own connotations into the areas not addressed directly. If the interlocutor included every caveat which applied to the things they say, they probably would never finish a post. Initially, I recall Mike bugging the heck out of me. I'd always arrive in the middle of a conversation (dangerous in it's own right) where he was describing some negative thing and after a while he just seemed to have nothing positive to say about Aikido. Over time, I began to realize he wasn't criticizing "Aikido," only what he had specifically witnessed and was addressing. When people make strong assertions, unfortunately, I think we humans tend to look for ways we might be under attack and respond to what WE read into the message more than what is actually said, some of us more than others, I know.
If you can't do them all, then you don't know, nor do you understand what's being said here. It's that simple.
Ok but is it a matter of an "on-off" type of ability, or is there a gradient of ability? Aren't the skills used to do any one of those the same or similar skills used to do the others? I don't see how being able to do #1 but not #3 precludeds any understanding of this topic.
It certainly makes a difference whether or not one can feel it or not (talking is pretty useless comparatively). I recall telling one newer student that the feeling they had just experienced for the first time should be repeated to some degree every time they did that technique. I had felt her suddenly ground out my efforts and the look of pleasant surprise dawned on her face as she realized she had just taken control of the situation. I could have told her all day about what it feels like, but she never would have had an idea what I was talking about (and I assume this is what you're really trying to say), but I don't think any of us can say specifically what another of us is lacking in their training without witnessing it directly.

statisticool
03-13-2007, 06:42 PM
Stand relaxed with feet side by side about shoulder width apart and do not use any waza, your hands, or any offensive techniques and remain that way while .....

1. Have someone push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over. Really push.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can. We're talking total 100% full force of whole body pushing you.
3. Then have him pile drive into you.
4. Then even casually.. increasing to severely- pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet. Let them have your wrist and let them pull you for all their worth.
5. Place your hand on his chest. Without moving your shoulders or body in any discernable way, send them 3-6' with your hand.

Before we go further, Mike Haft, please try those and post your results. In fact, video would be better. Because if you can't do *all* the above, then you're not doing what Mike and Dan are doing.


But why would one want to? This is a martial art, not 'do a bunch of static drills/tricks'. Stay in the same stance? Don't use any techniques, or hands, or do any offense. This is about as divorced from a martial art as one can get. We might as well be talking about duplicating the feats of the Magnetic Girl (http://ofinterest.net:16080/mg/) in order to talk on this thread; it just doesn't make sense.

Cady Goldfield
03-13-2007, 06:49 PM
Why do karateka do kata and punch-kick drills, etc., Justin, or kungfu practitioners do their various exercises and drills? Those things are intended to build a particular foundational skill set -- a skill set which later can be applied to fighting (or avoiding fighting, as the case may be).

mathewjgano
03-13-2007, 06:50 PM
They don't blend with ukes center, they don't need to, they totally disrupt it from the instant you make contact with them. Its as if as soon as you touch them they suck in all you energy and then shoot it back at you two fold while at the same time being totally loose and relaxed. At times it can be quite startling.
Of course it's hard for me to be sure of the distinction you're making without experiencing it, but I thought this description fit what I consider to be the Aikido method. At my dojo I've heard mention of yin and yang qualities. From what I've been able to experience, grabbing a good nage can sometimes feel like you're being crushed through the palm of your hand all the way through your center...it's a whole-body sensation of being smothered, and then all of a sudden the pressure releases and you feel light as air and completely disoriented.
Anyway, I'm babbling like usual, but I've always been under the impression that "de ai" is central to Aikido and that "de ai" essentially means you're disrupting uke at or before the moment of contact, like with your description. So I wonder if the distinction really just boils down to a matter of one's dedication toward training.
So after reflecting on this post i can't help but feel like you'd reply that you weren't saying Aikido doesn't include these things, or that I'm missing a key point. :uch: What do you think? Does my experience sound similar to what you're thinking of?
Take care,
Matt:D

MM
03-13-2007, 06:51 PM
Absolutely. I have trained with him in the past and look forward to the next time.

Me, too, Lynn. Me, too. :)

Mark

mriehle
03-13-2007, 06:51 PM
I will also try to do it without insulting anyone or their instructors.

This statement is key. Really.

mathewjgano
03-13-2007, 07:02 PM
As true victory is victory over the self then it follows that the individual is ultimately responsible for their own training and development. It is up to you to constantly evaluate the quality of your training and your performance in an objective manner and to act on the results of your evaluation -- that being the ultimate critique.

I really liked this! To me, this is the essence of any ability and talent. Certainly it helps to work with the highly proficient, but I think it takes a good student far more than it takes a good teacher, to become good at anything.
Take care,
Matt

Walker
03-13-2007, 07:25 PM
I really liked this! To me, this is the essence of any ability and talent. Certainly it helps to work with the highly proficient, but I think it takes a good student far more than it takes a good teacher, to become good at anything.
Take care,
Matt

Glad it meant something for you. I see the hardest part is objectivity and for that a teacher is very important. For the most part you can't see you and must rely on another to tell you what is happening. Accepting that builds the habit within the self and you find your perceptions moving closer to reality in my experience.

Upyu
03-13-2007, 09:09 PM
And while I am the first to admit that tai chi principles do help my aikido, its more the principle of rather than being a brick wall...


and

But why would one want to? This is a martial art, not 'do a bunch of static drills/tricks'. Stay in the same stance? Don't use any techniques, or hands, or do any offense. This is about as divorced from a martial art as one can get. We might as well be talking about duplicating the feats of the Magnetic Girl (http://ofinterest.net:16080/mg/) in order to talk on this thread; it just doesn't make sense.

Sure it would be stupid if those skills were relegated to simply static tricks/drills. That's why you train them in movement.
Stillness in Motion, Motion in Stillness.

I dug up some interesting stuff on MAP the other day from some Aikido dan ranker who learned from Saito and Chiba sensei:

KAMAE
In the early years of training late 50s earlt 60s we had a number of solo exersises to develop proper kamae. A few of us were chosen to be fukushidoin (translates as pioneers)so we got quite a lot of personal training. A bokken would be slipped down the rear of the collar of our kit and thrust into the belt.Then another belt tied criss cross across the chest to secure the bokken in place. Then we had to perforn happo undo moving from the same spot in eight directions maintaining an erect spine and moving the body as a unit. Any loss of posture or balance and the bokken dug into your spine.happo undo has you sliding one foot forward and drawing up the rear foot while raising the handblades forward and out retaining the natural curve of the arm .
It was stressed never to move one foot at a time (as in plodding) but to move from the hips and maintain about shoulder width between the feet and always move in triangular posture. The arms were "thrust out and up" but never "away from the body as in overextending.It was torture.Breathing exercises were introduce including poweful kiai and short sharp strikes and thrust again done alone from happo undo.

I shall put myself on the spot here. Below is a photo from a demo (so not posed) I cosider this to be proper kamae. Even though I have just entered and executed quite a powerful technique i have maintained my natural kama. This could be considered "rooted" (not stagnant) centered (I hate that word) but capable of movement in "eight directions" (all directions)


and from a later post after watching some clips of Ark in london:

Managed to download those clips and they had me grinning like a monkey. I remember similar exercises with Saito shihan (the father) and he would have you doing them on him quite successfully then suddenly with no change in posture he became like a rock and moving him was impossible.
When you went to train with others afterwards they felt like butterflies by comparison.The training with someone piggy backing as well and moving across the mat with a belt looped round your waist with a couple of guys restricting your movement forward. ALL GOOD.
The rowing exercise with the shoulders above the koshi I understand as well again I feel it is to do with the arch of the knees and although the whole body must be moved as one we must not allow incorrect use of the knees (locking out) to inhibit out movement.Allowing the shoulders to align above the feet would break my kame. I do not do that .Except when my body is passing over the foot as in stepping.
In regards to aikido and the rather flamboyant movement seen. I was told that we must have maximum mobility but use minimum movement. Something else I see missing in much of modern aikido.

regards koyo

Edit
still smiling like a monkey :)

Seems like training of the middle within a store/release paradigm wasn't taught (though who knows I've never met the guy), but just reading some of his training regimine there's parallels in what he does with what we do, and I've never officially trained Aikido. He understands connection and obviously was doing connection training exercises. We had no problems communicating certain things because we both have an understanding of some basic principles.

Of course he's just one guy... but I found it interesting that they got the ub3r training, and not many others get subjected to it anymore.:D

DH
03-14-2007, 12:36 AM
[QUOTE=Jo Adell;171829]Mark

What I object to is people do not Practice aikido telling how to do aikido.

QUOTE]

I can see how that could bother someone. But remember that these are people that used to do aikido, and one of them also has quite a bit of experience with Daito Ryu, the root of all aikido.

3 year ago while i was still a gung ho aikidodoka, I would probably be making the same arguments as everyone eles here that has it out for Dan and Mike. But having left the fold, switched over to judo and now having the pleasure of training with Dan I am a true beliver. These skills do not exist in aikido today, or atleast the wide range of aikido I have been exposed to. When I was doing aikido I trained with a teacher that was just recently promoted to Shihan by Doshu and the aikikai. My teachers teacher, who I trained with frequently was an Uchideshi of O'Sensei and very well known for his powerfull waza. So i would say that I was training with people that knew what they were doing. While I respect these teacher very much and consider them to be some of the best aikidoka in North America. I have never felt in them what I have felt from Dan and his students.

At their best, I would describe my teachers as great technicians with the ability to blend with ukes center and work around ukes strength. Maybe this is what aikidoka think of as Ki. But with Dan and his guys it is much different. They don't blend with ukes center, they don't need to, they totally disrupt it from the instant you make contact with them. Its as if as soon as you touch them they suck in all you energy and then shoot it back at you two fold while at the same time being totally loose and relaxed. At times it can be quite startling.

Hi Tim
I think I'm finally getting a handle on why just about every single post from you guys about what you've experienced gets ignored. They can’t respond, to you, their peers, their fellow members with any integrity. Now that so many members of their community have felt these skills and totally disagree with the Aikiweb naysaers and have adamantly stated so, they are left with few options. Collectively call you liars, stupid, or lacking in an ability to judge, or to accept the overwhelming evidence. It is easier to do what they have chosen to do-ignore your words.
1.They question martial veracity VS static pushing –you answer it is martially viable, that you felt it
2. They question fluidity and movement –you answer it is highly mobile
3. They mention weapons-you answer with clear examples
4. They question its relevance to Aikido you state in no uncertain terms it is extremely relevant to aikido
5. They question your ability to state same-you answer years of experience feeling the top shihans in the art.

It is clear- startlingly clear- that they have no basis to counter their own members, from diverse backgrounds, most of whom do not know each other and didn’t know us, all returning with the same or similar peer reviews.
They are now left with, as a group either accepting what you say-which is unacceptable, or ignoring you all together. There is simply nothing left for them to say to you. So instead they turn back to Mike and I and never having felt what we do –they attack or endlessly debate from afar.
I am convinced the majorty never were interested in an honest exchange. Just as the two high level teachers warned me-It is agenda and protectionism. As one said pointedly
Ikeda's words -you like to cite-were ignored, what makes you think anyone is interested in what you can do or say. They are going to go back to what they know, and nothing will change

So if the peer reviews are ignored, and Ikedas words are ignored, and George miquotes us and thinks only Aikidoka can change it.
We should just leave them alone.

Dan

SeiserL
03-14-2007, 06:36 AM
IMHO, as well discussed and illustrated, both strength and change comes from within.

Enter, blend, and incorporate. Steal the techniques and principles.

Budd
03-14-2007, 07:42 AM
I've been doing a lot of what you and Mike have been talking about for years

That's excellent! Could you describe some of the exercises you do to train and isolate these skills, either solo or with a partner (or do you do it through your practice of waza), as others have shared? I'll admit that I don't know much about this stuff and am trying to learn all I can.

If aikido is so great and so in need of having these principles put back into it (which I think it is, so I agree with you)

Can you share some of your experiences that led you to the conclusion that aikido needs these principles put back into it? Or am I misunderstanding and you're saying that aikido is just fine the way it is?

Hope I'm not coming across as being too 'wolfish', but I'm genuinely interested in your responses . . .

Marc Abrams
03-14-2007, 07:45 AM
George raises a powerful point (as usual!). This thread is not about Dan and Mike. This thread is about helping Aikido remain as a viable and powerful martial art (some would say- and I would agree to a limited point- that it needs to return to this state).

People need to put their petty egos aside and be honest with themselves as to the state of THEIR Aikido. The relevancy of THEIR Aikido does not rest in the art itself, but in the unique application of Aikido by that person. Dan, Mike and other people raise good arguments. It is not their obligation to open an Aikido school and teach what they say that they know. It is the obligation of the Aikidoka to work on realizing the potential of Aikido within one's self.

Next year will be my 20th year directly studying with a direct student of O'Sensei (Imaizumi Sensei). It has been, and is an honor to continue to directly study under him. I have watched him continue to evolve his Aikido. At 69 years of age, I still observe the rare person who chooses to attack him (as uke) in an unexpected, and/or severe manner. The person typically runs into a wall, shaped as a fist, and is then sent to the ground in a ground-shaking manner. I have no question about the efficiency and efficacy of Aikido, as taught by my teacher. HOWEVER, his teaching methodology is limited. He has, and still encourages me to work on MY Aikido in what ever manner possible (that includes training with other people). It has been through my training experiences with Koroda Sensei, Systema, Ushiro Sensei, Williams Sensei, and yes, Ledyard Sensei, that have enabled me to better understand and learn the principles that Imaizumi Sensei is teaching in class. I am in the process of re-evaluating how I personally train, and how I am teaching at my own school.

My limited understandings have led me to re-focus my training and my teaching to become principle based. I truly believe that when the students (including myself) can develop stronger "basics" that are the underpinnings of Aikido, the techniques that evolve are efficient, highly effective, and practical.

I truly appreciate the input from Dan, Mike, and others who ask us to question what we do and how we do it. If we can separate our egos from the art, maybe we, as an art, can more honestly represent the art of Aikido.

George, as always- thank you for helping the art through your teaching and writing. I look forward to learning more from you at the summer camp.

Marc Abrams

DH
03-14-2007, 07:55 AM
Hey Mike
"Why don't you just leave and go do this..."
Ahh isn't that exaclty what we have been doing?
If you really wanted to change things why not teach it
Last night I spent another 5 hours teaching three AIkidoka
I lost track of how many have come....I give my time for free. I understand your thinking little of my efforts though. Thanks for the positive advice.;)
Your opinion that I am not teaching Aikido is your own. It is apprently not shared by those who have felt me.
You are now free to try to convince them.
I'll be happy to meet you and do Aikido with you. I did it off and on for years and I am quite converscent Mike.Your syllabus just isn't that hard and once you have these skills they really aren't need much anymore. But if you show up I'll teach you many more ways to do just about any lock you know and teach you quite a few more throws. All with aiki all with aikido principles.
These guys who've come? They know it's Aikido. You will too.
The only way you'll have left to deny it...is flat out denial.
You will laugh and have fun and find yourself agreeing with them.
Or you'll be left just standing there scratching your head.

Tim
If you notice, once again "they" don't address you or the dozen other folks who wrote lengthy personal reviews directly. They come after us. It must be something they teach in Aikido.
The question overshadowing all others should be is this relevant to Aikido. Those in Aikido -who have experienced them- many of whom are teachers themselves- have determined that they are, and they too now write back they are at the core.
They are ignored.
The good news is that those that feel it, get it, are training it and going back to aikido. They will be the news masters of Aikido. It is the very heart of all that is Aiki-do.

See ya on the mats Tim.
Dan

statisticool
03-14-2007, 08:17 AM
Your opinion that I am not teaching Aikido is your own. It is apprently not shared by those who have felt me.


aikido + MMA = aikido

Got it.

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 08:23 AM
That's excellent! Could you describe some of the exercises you do to train and isolate these skills, either solo or with a partner (or do you do it through your practice of waza), as others have shared? I'll admit that I don't know much about this stuff and am trying to learn all I can.

SNIP

Hope I'm not coming across as being too 'wolfish', but I'm genuinely interested in your responses . . .

Many of the standard training exercise used by Koichi Tohei are aimed at developing the same things as CMA internal practices such as Tai Chi. Much of what Mark Murray listed in his rather trollish post is done in ki society circles although with different emphasis.

As an example I recall Ellis Amdur writing something around here about Tomiki having a bunch of young judoka trying to move his arm and not being able to. He made note that it was not the Tohei style 'unbendable arm' exercise and described unbendable arm (but inaccurately). It was in fact exactly what you should be doing if you do unbendable arm. only beginners let their elbow remain unmoved while their arm wobbles all over the place. If you are using weight underside these things do not happen. If you compare it to such CMA terms such us 6 directional pushing (I forget the exact terminology) then it is the same exercise entirely. at the higher levels of the test for unbendable arm the arm is moved at different angles and the only way to pass these tests is to create some of those internal pathways much discussed by Mike et al.

Koichi Tohei often said "No unbendable arm, no aikido". There's a reason he is ranked 10th Dan, some of that is politics and some of it is ability. There are many many other exercises like this. Part of the problems I have with all this is that I figured out long ago that telling people they needed to do things like this to do aikido properly was just trolling. I'd rather politely listen to them and learn from them even if they don't wish to do things the way I do. After all who am I to be teaching the world, I'm no great master.

As an example of the way we practice, my senior student spent last year studying in Germany, there she practiced aikido nearly every day of the week. They often called her stubborn, awkward and other such things, the instructor told her that she was awkward but she was worth it because she practiced so hard. For awkward read: uncooperative. Meaning 'No, I'll not move until you take my center, I'm not giving it up freely to massage your ego'. When I visited her there (she's my girlfriend too) I was cooperative and polite and tried hard to fit in to the way they did things. I didn't go to their dojo and behave like a pain in the ass, I was there to learn after all not to teach, I perhaps should have made it more obvious to my girlfriend that they would find her awkward. But I didn't. My bad...

As you asked, here's something for you to practice and think about.

Fight or flight responses. All predatory animals respond to fight stimulai by clenching the rectum and digging their claws in. If you're brave enough try an experiment at home with the cat. Sit it on your lap and lift its tail up. Get your friend to open the door and let a dog in, watch the cat's backside as it digs it's claws into your lap. Next time your practicing some of the internal stuff discussed here (if you do so) ask yourself if you're clenching your backside, if you are you aren't relaxed properly and you'll have difficulties acheiving some of what has been discussed. It's kinda crude to describe it like that but it's a really simple thing you can ask yourself during training in order to assess whether you are tense or not (sometimes it's hard to tell). The other really hard thing to learn is to use weight underside, but I've got work to do now and have wasted my time on the internet for too long this lunch break already. Maybe some other time I'll talk about it.

Mike Haft

Tim Mailloux
03-14-2007, 08:28 AM
Last night I spent another 5 hours teaching three AIkidoka
I lost track of how many have come....Dan

Dan,

Did Stan, Eric and Tom train with you last night? Shoot me an email, I would like to hear how it went.

DH
03-14-2007, 08:46 AM
Thank for walking into that open door.
So you can discuss me and mine and why what I do IS aiki...just how?

Dan

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 09:05 AM
Thank for walking into that open door.
So you can discuss me and mine and why what I do IS aiki...just how?

Dan

You're welcome, thank you for holding it open. But I think that you typed that one a bit too quickly or something, please be more specific?

Mike

mjchip
03-14-2007, 09:25 AM
Dan,

Did Stan, Eric and Tom train with you last night? Shoot me an email, I would like to hear how it went.

Tim,

Are we talking about the Tom we all know and love? :) I'd love to hear his take on it also. Maybe I'll call him.

Mark

Tim Mailloux
03-14-2007, 09:30 AM
Tim,

Are we talking about the Tom we all know and love? :) I'd love to hear his take on it also. Maybe I'll call him.

Mark

That would be the one :)

I doubt he will chime in, but you never know. I am just really PO's that I wasn't there to watch. Tom has been wuppin my but for years and I would have loved to watch him get stuffed by Dan.

I just talked to Stan B. and heard it was pretty intresting!

Tim

mjchip
03-14-2007, 09:43 AM
That would be the one :)

I doubt he will chime in, but you never know. I am just really PO's that I wasn't there to watch. Tom has been wuppin my but for years and I would have loved to watch him get stuffed by Dan.

I just talked to Stan B. and heard it was pretty intresting!

Tim

Dang, I missed it too. :(

Mark

MM
03-14-2007, 09:50 AM
Of course it is my own I speak for nobody but me :)

You have not seen my syllabus it does not look anything like what you would expect it to based on your average aikido syllabus. Please be careful about such assumptions if you are going to use them to discuss things with me.

Again, for someone who has yet to see a copy of my syllabus and who has no knowledge of the technical content of our teaching curriculum these are looking like quite arrogant and presumptious statements. And Dan, I do agree with much of what you say about these things, and I also think that if we ever trained together there would be much more in common than you might think and I would hope it will be fun.

But no, based on what you have written on these forums and elsewhere it's not aikido and I dislike that you have come here to say these things. Take it or leave it, I have no problem with you talking about the martial arts you do and even teaching people things that will help them improve their aikido (hell I positively encourage it). But these are aikido forums and you're being rude and presumptious IMO, that is all I've been trying to say, probably less than politely myself unfortunately. But then that's another lesson I need to learn amongst many.

Mike

Heh. Dan's reply was actually pretty nice. Me? I'd ask if you ever looked into the mirror recently. You've pretty much assumed Dan's syllabus, what he does, how he does it, and discounted it before Dan ever got to what you're doing. That ain't even the pot calling the kettle black syndrome, rather it's intellectual dishonesty. Especially in light that you're being presumptuous about what Dan is doing, but you were there first in that category.

Oh, but wait. I forgot, I'm a troll. Well, yeah, i have been on a bit of a snark recently.

Mark

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 09:57 AM
Heh. Dan's reply was actually pretty nice. Me? I'd ask if you ever looked into the mirror recently. You've pretty much assumed Dan's syllabus, what he does, how he does it, and discounted it before Dan ever got to what you're doing. That ain't even the pot calling the kettle black syndrome, rather it's intellectual dishonesty. Especially in light that you're being presumptuous about what Dan is doing, but you were there first in that category.

Oh, but wait. I forgot, I'm a troll. Well, yeah, i have been on a bit of a snark recently.

Mark

I looked in the mirror this morning while brushing my teeth. If you weren't quite so busy vocally telling me I'm wrong you'd see that I haven't discounted what Dan does, I know only what he posts here concerning his syllabus. No pot calling the kettle black. I think that from what he's posted here he probably does many of the things I do.

I just think he's being a bit egotistical in coming to an aikido forum to correct our aikido.

Mike

PS - You're starting to sound like you're sleeping with him or something, you might want to look into that before you flame me again in his defense, he's a big boy and he can take care of himself I'm sure.

M. McPherson
03-14-2007, 09:58 AM
Oh, but wait. I forgot, I'm a troll. Well, yeah, i have been on a bit of a snark recently.

Mark

Maybe, but it's been a really productive and engaging one. Sorry we didn't get to make that trip up together - hopefully next time. Troll away, as far as I'm concerned.

Kind regards,
Murray McPherson

akiy
03-14-2007, 10:02 AM
Hi folks,

Can you watch your tone, please? Things are getting personal here.

-- Jun

Ecosamurai
03-14-2007, 10:04 AM
Sorry Jun

My fault

Mike

MM
03-14-2007, 10:08 AM
Maybe, but it's been a really productive and engaging one. Sorry we didn't get to make that trip up together - hopefully next time. Troll away, as far as I'm concerned.

Kind regards,
Murray McPherson

Hi Murray!

Great name. :) Yeah, I was looking forward to meeting, but hopefully it won't be too long before I make it up to your area again. Sounded like you guys had a lot of fun and some great training.

Mark

kironin
03-14-2007, 10:23 AM
And if one is going to use these tai chi principles, I really think they should describe their usefulness in how they apply to Aikido technique, not to simply be able to emulate O'Sensei's Performances. If he thought being Unpushable was essential to aikido, he would have taught it to Somebody, doncha think?

He did. for example to Koichi Tohei Sensei who then taught it to quite a lot of people in his own way. Many of whom later due to history did not pass it on.

and I say that from personal experience as an Iaido teacher. I have had iaido students from many styles of aikido, because Iaido is another thing outside of aikido politics. It's made me appreciate the focus on mind and body coordination even when I didn't appreciate the lack vigorous practice sometimes. I am sneaking in internal stuff all the time from Tohei Sensei and elsewhere, because it's universal in having effective technique. Whether it bleeds back into their aikido I don't know.

-Craig

kironin
03-14-2007, 10:27 AM
But the ability to shift from brick wall to instant softness and back give the ability to take balance or avoid having balance taken. It all fits if you can see it...

yes

excellent point!

exactly.

kironin
03-14-2007, 10:43 AM
Well, I certainly agree with all that. :) But, I was under the impression that Ellis isn't doing aikido currently. And that was one complaint -- that certain people weren't in aikido. So, to discount that in some yet not discount it in others seemed hypocritical to me. Course, I could be wrong.

Mark

Actually Ellis still does Aikido if you count the seminars he has done at various aikido schools, the active relationships he has with various senior aikido teachers, the Aikido instructional DVD he put out, the aikido classes he taught at the Aiki Expo. I have participated in Aikido classes taught by him. It was quite obvious that he had a great deal of experience in aikido waza and he had something interesting things to say, show, etc. I may not agree of everything he says but he doesn't ask you to and what he shows provides interesting productive IMO lines of thought and practice.

One of senior students who had a injury that was turning out to be chronic was able to continue because of stuff he adapted from Ellis's DVD in the discussion of ukemi.

DH
03-14-2007, 06:57 PM
That would be the one :)

I doubt he will chime in, but you never know. I am just really PO's that I wasn't there to watch. Tom has been wuppin my but for years and I would have loved to watch him get stuffed by Dan.

I just talked to Stan B. and heard it was pretty interesting!

Tim

Tom Was fun. I'll let him tell you guys about it. I did all the blah blahs… The training was fun. Tom had a good body sense and I felt he got a good basic feel for both absorbing, weight transfer and actively moving under continual stress load. Pretty good for one night. On top of all that he’s Special forces so he’s aready A-1 in my book. I did the typical let them try to throw me using any Aikido waza or blend or irimi. Had some fun with Nikkyo and Sankyo and particualty kotegaeshi They both came along nicely so we played a bit on the ground and what not.

I tell ya the conversation after was most interesting. They both were looking at a model Of how this will change their aikido. Tom was chewing things over about how to have it effect his dojo, considering its effect on his personal aikido. There was a logic string to the discussion (got to love the military mindset) Him thinking things through, to training himself before his students, or to training with them, what effects, what’s more efficient for transmission. His mind was whirling and planning in such a way and with such intriguing questions that brought in single individuals-to-dojo to multiple ramifications of what this Aiki does to Aikido. He was a real thinker. I was impressed.
I just talked with Stan and they’re coming back in a couple of weeks so I’ll let you know.

In the greater topic of the thread this is just another example of Aikidoka making their personal choices of what to do. Its really not about me. As Ron so aptly quoted me- I care more about what you guys are going to do on your own turf and in your own personal expression. Each of you becoming somebody substantial to reckon with- though your personal expression of your Aikido.
Should be an interesting couple of years
Cheers
Dan

DH
03-14-2007, 07:32 PM
Everyone I've met in Aikido- just like everywhere else-is up to the challenge. Its just up to all of us to do the work. For some reason-I don't know why-I have a dojo lately full of currently practicing AIkido folks -several of whom are teachers-doing just that.

I suggest if you have a problem with them talking about both their Aikido and their training, here, on this forum, just tell them so. I'm sure they would like to hear your thoughts. I'll continue to talk to them about the Aiki-do we did just last night for 5 hours.
I thank you for once again sharing your wonderful, uplifting, and swell contributions. And thank you ever so much for your kind words.
Good luck in your training
Dan

eyrie
03-14-2007, 07:41 PM
I only question why you need to come here as a non-aikido person and tell us about it all and imply that we're not up to the challenge.

I wonder what kind of ego it takes to do that and I wonder whether it is someone I would want to listen to? I'm sure I risk missing interesting insights but.... respectfully, can you understand this point of view?
IIRC, Dan IS doing aikido.... just not what many here would define as their "aikido" or their perception of "aikido".

For someone who has yet to touch hands with Dan, Mike or Rob (one days guys, in this lifetime), I understand perfectly where they are coming from. I have tested my aikido against taiji, karate, jujitsu, judo, you name it.... and failed miserably. I had to do it the hard way and go back to the drawing board, working from first principles, starting right back at the basics, and even beyond the basics to arrive at where I am, where I can start to grasp the gist of what Dan and Mike are really saying and how it is particularly relevant to MY aiki training. IOW, I arrived at this (level of) understanding quite independently of knowing Dan or Mike.

Whilst I don't claim to be able to fully understand, know or even do what Dan and Mike (or even Rob) are saying to whatever level of competency, I do know that is where I want to take my aikido to the next level.

If you have no desire to accept what Dan or Mike are saying, then tune out. But for the rest of us that do... they are an important part of our own learning and development process.

"Teachers" come in many forms... they don't all have to be dressed in the appropriate attire or have the charisma and charm of Tony Robbins. That said, I don't believe that either Dan or Mike are "teaching" anything, much less proselytizing. They're simply sharing and exchanging information... or debating the validity of that information... as we all are.

On a metaphorical level, I see what they are doing as creating aiki in that they are playing uke... it's what you do with that "gift" that's important.... ;)

mjchip
03-14-2007, 08:24 PM
I tell ya the conversation after was most interesting. They both were looking at a model Of how this will change their aikido. Tom was chewing things over about how to have it effect his dojo, considering its effect on his personal aikido. There was a logic string to the discussion (got to love the military mindset) Him thinking things through, to training himself before his students, or to training with them, what effects, what’s more efficient for transmission. His mind was whirling and planning in such a way and with such intriguing questions that brought in single individuals-to-dojo to multiple ramifications of what this Aiki does to Aikido. He was a real thinker. I was impressed.
I just talked with Stan and they’re coming back in a couple of weeks so I’ll let you know.

Well, now we have 4 of us from the same aikido lineage training with you. We all are equally impressed with your skills, method of teaching, and general character. I'm stoked to be "in the mix" with Tim, Stan, and Tom (not sure if you met Eric yet). I predict that good things will come out of this experience and I'm looking forward to the future for "my" aikido.

Best,

Mark

Budd
03-15-2007, 08:18 AM
Many of the standard training exercise used by Koichi Tohei are aimed at developing the same things as CMA internal practices such as Tai Chi. Much of what Mark Murray listed in his rather trollish post is done in ki society circles although with different emphasis.

Thanks for your response.

If I'm understanding you correctly (as well as the terminology others are using), are these exercises primarily aimed at creating pathways within yourself to deal with incoming forces? Do you also train your body's structure to store and release power? Can you give any specifics on the drills (solo or paired, etc.) that you do (I'm not super familiar with Tohei's drills other than what others have mentioned on boards like these) to train these things within yourself? What kinds of benchmarks for success or failure do you use?

As an example I recall Ellis Amdur writing something around here about Tomiki having a bunch of young judoka trying to move his arm and not being able to. He made note that it was not the Tohei style 'unbendable arm' exercise and described unbendable arm (but inaccurately). It was in fact exactly what you should be doing if you do unbendable arm. only beginners let their elbow remain unmoved while their arm wobbles all over the place. If you are using weight underside these things do not happen. If you compare it to such CMA terms such us 6 directional pushing (I forget the exact terminology) then it is the same exercise entirely. at the higher levels of the test for unbendable arm the arm is moved at different angles and the only way to pass these tests is to create some of those internal pathways much discussed by Mike et al.

Out of curiousity, what specifically are you doing (to yourself or the other person) to use/maintain 'weight underside'? Is it strictly a matter of pathways? From your perspective, how are they directed/maintained in accordance with your structure?

Koichi Tohei often said "No unbendable arm, no aikido". There's a reason he is ranked 10th Dan, some of that is politics and some of it is ability. There are many many other exercises like this. Part of the problems I have with all this is that I figured out long ago that telling people they needed to do things like this to do aikido properly was just trolling. I'd rather politely listen to them and learn from them even if they don't wish to do things the way I do. After all who am I to be teaching the world, I'm no great master.

Understood, I also happen to most definitely not be a great master, which is why I like to ask questions! If you had to pick the key exercises that train the internal skills that you feel are important, which would those be and why?


As you asked, here's something for you to practice and think about.

Fight or flight responses. All predatory animals respond to fight stimulai by clenching the rectum and digging their claws in. If you're brave enough try an experiment at home with the cat. Sit it on your lap and lift its tail up. Get your friend to open the door and let a dog in, watch the cat's backside as it digs it's claws into your lap. Next time your practicing some of the internal stuff discussed here (if you do so) ask yourself if you're clenching your backside, if you are you aren't relaxed properly and you'll have difficulties acheiving some of what has been discussed. It's kinda crude to describe it like that but it's a really simple thing you can ask yourself during training in order to assess whether you are tense or not (sometimes it's hard to tell). The other really hard thing to learn is to use weight underside, but I've got work to do now and have wasted my time on the internet for too long this lunch break already. Maybe some other time I'll talk about it.


Cool. Do you practice tensing and untensing your buttocks as a separate drill (I think Ravishing Rick Rude used to do that in the ring in the 80's) or combine it with others? When you're willfully releasing certain areas in that region, are there others that you're willfully activating (the back, the legs, etc)? If so, how?

Thanks in advance for your responses. I also want to repeat a HUGE thank you to EVERYONE that's contributing their thoughts/experiences. It's been a very lively and informative discussion to be privvy to, but again, as a very small fry in this happy meal, I'm gonna bow back out and return to lurkdom.

Ellis Amdur
03-15-2007, 08:45 AM
Mike Haft wrote: "As an example I recall Ellis Amdur writing something around here about Tomiki having a bunch of young judoka trying to move his arm and not being able to. He made note that it was not the Tohei style 'unbendable arm' exercise and described unbendable arm (but inaccurately)." It was Tomiki - not Tohei. The real issue was that the people were free to do ANYTHING to the arm, and couldn't. And - he then threw them - judoka - with just a subtle movement of the wrist.
Best

Ecosamurai
03-15-2007, 09:03 AM
If I'm understanding you correctly (as well as the terminology others are using), are these exercises primarily aimed at creating pathways within yourself to deal with incoming forces? Do you also train your body's structure to store and release power? Can you give any specifics on the drills (solo or paired, etc.) that you do (I'm not super familiar with Tohei's drills other than what others have mentioned on boards like these) to train these things within yourself? What kinds of benchmarks for success or failure do you use?

Ki development is assessed in a variety of ways. With regards to pathways, these things happen anyway but are not specfically trained for, described or aimed for in detail, but you develop a lot of this stuff along the way regardless. In my experience no, we don't specifically try to store and release energy with the body in the manner often described but it often happens anyway. We tend to focus more on using the other guys energy than explosive release of our own power, more efficient and more in line with what aikido is all about. In other words evasive body movements rather than standing there like a muppet and letting people hit you to prove that you can absorb the shock of it by routing it to the ground. If an attack is coming don't be there is usually the best option. Never did see the value in hitting myself with an iron bar just to prove a point.

As to the rest your best bet it to read one of Tohei's books. IMHO Chinese style internal arts are very good, but they are out of step with aikido because they do not aim to train fudoshin in the same way. I think that fudoshin is probably the most important aspect of ki-aikido, again, IMHO. Like I said, similar to the Chinese stuff but also slightly different in aim and focus.

Back to making pathways for a minute, I recall people over on aikido-l telling a story of the late George Simcox Sensei sitting on a wheelie chair (typical office type chair) and having people push on his shoulders only to discover he didn't move or slide across the floor but stayed rooted to the spot. Like I said, plenty of this stuff been happening in aikido for decades if you look for it. Simcox Sensei is sdaly missed. I think the last time I wrote anything to him over on aikido-l I was less than polite, I can't even recall why now, I just hope I've lived and learned since then. I wish he was still here to talk about these things.

Out of curiousity, what specifically are you doing (to yourself or the other person) to use/maintain 'weight underside'? Is it strictly a matter of pathways? From your perspective, how are they directed/maintained in accordance with your structure?

I find that excruciatingly difficult to explain, you kinda have to feel it to know it. It involves relaxing your weight downwards whilst maintaining an upright and strong posture. It's very difficult to get your head around it at first. I think that's mostly because we're so used to carrying our own weight around from the time we learned to walk that we don't really appreciate how to use it to our advantage. I like to try getting people to do say.. kotegaeshi, slowly but with someone elses hands on their shoulders applying all their weight stright downwards. It gives you an appreciation of how weight is transferred through your own body when you apply techniques. It's a start, nothing more :)

Understood, I also happen to most definitely not be a great master, which is why I like to ask questions! If you had to pick the key exercises that train the internal skills that you feel are important, which would those be and why?

All of them, over and over again because they're all about the same thing, just from different perspectives. Sorry, lousy answer but I can't think of one in particular, though I am becoming more and more fond of the rowing exercise lately for some reason, but that may just be a phase I'm going through.

Cool. Do you practice tensing and untensing your buttocks as a separate drill (I think Ravishing Rick Rude used to do that in the ring in the 80's) or combine it with others? When you're willfully releasing certain areas in that region, are there others that you're willfully activating (the back, the legs, etc)? If so, how?

LOL. Nope :D It's not a training exercise but I've discovered that tension has a way of sneaking up on you, just checking to see if you've clenched those muscles is a good way to check to see if it has or not. It's definitely not a training exercise of any sort. Lol, how embarassing :blush: That's not what I meant.

Anyway, other computer is done with the simulation now so back to the grind.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-15-2007, 09:09 AM
Mike Haft wrote: "As an example I recall Ellis Amdur writing something around here about Tomiki having a bunch of young judoka trying to move his arm and not being able to. He made note that it was not the Tohei style 'unbendable arm' exercise and described unbendable arm (but inaccurately)." It was Tomiki - not Tohei. The real issue was that the people were free to do ANYTHING to the arm, and couldn't. And - he then threw them - judoka - with just a subtle movement of the wrist.
Best

Thanks for that. As I was saying, the Tohei unbendable arm exercise when done correctly should be the same as the example you gave of Tomiki doing it. Not only should the elbow be unbendable, but the wrist and the fingers and the arm should be immovable too, in any direction. The owner of the arm however should be able to move it at will in spite of what is being done to it. So, pretty much the same as the Tomiki story IMO.

Apologies for any confusion.

Regards

Mike

akiy
03-15-2007, 09:37 AM
I have moved many posts from this thread to the "Why are you here on his forum?" thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11423

-- Jun

Avery Jenkins
03-15-2007, 11:30 AM
Uh huh. Not in my experience. But hey, here's a list of things to try and you let us know if you can do them (I've modified the list from someone else's posting elsewhere)

Stand relaxed with feet side by side about shoulder width apart and do not use any waza, your hands, or any offensive techniques and remain that way while .....

1. Have someone push your chest with one hand in an attempt to push you over. Really push.
2. Then two hands as hard as he can. We're talking total 100% full force of whole body pushing you.
3. Then have him pile drive into you.
4. Then even casually.. increasing to severely- pull you and push you around while you stand there without moving your feet. Let them have your wrist and let them pull you for all their worth.
5. Place your hand on his chest. Without moving your shoulders or body in any discernable way, send them 3-6' with your hand.

Mark

Parlor tricks. These have little to nothing to do with martial skill. Remember, you fight as you train, and if you train to stand around while somebody takes whacks at you, guess what will happen...

MM
03-15-2007, 12:03 PM
Parlor tricks. These have little to nothing to do with martial skill. Remember, you fight as you train, and if you train to stand around while somebody takes whacks at you, guess what will happen...

Hmmm ... well, if you're training to fight, yeah, in certain circumstances, I guess I can agree with your post. I certainly wouldn't want to just stand there empty handed while someone tries to use a baseball bat to hit a home run using my head as a baseball.

However, if this is about fights, then heck, why not just pull out my trusty Sig, point it between the person's eyes and stop them in their tracks? Heck, if it's about fights, I can stand there all day long and let my buddy whump on them. Ooooh, wait, if it's about fights, I can practice my ninjer skills and throw knives and shuriken at them and not have to move. If it's about fights, I can have my 125 pound wolf at my side and then I really wouldn't have to move. ;)

If you want to talk about fighting, that's fine. I can do that. But, really, sarcasm aside, I was talking about base training skills. Even if you are applying things to fighting, you don't just jump into the UFC ring with a Gracie and expect to hold your own. There are methods used. And if you've been using internal skill methods all along, for years, then you should have some measure of skill, right? That was what I was getting at. If you can do those things, hey, that's great.

As to martial skill? Well, I guess we disagree there, too. I think they add to training. But, hey, it's all IMO.

Mark

HL1978
03-15-2007, 01:01 PM
Parlor tricks. These have little to nothing to do with martial skill. Remember, you fight as you train, and if you train to stand around while somebody takes whacks at you, guess what will happen...

What if the same guy can do the same things while in motion? What about if they can do the same thing in the ring? What if they feel unmoveable when preforming a technique and all of that energy is redirected into you?

Isn't that when it becomes interesting?

Josh Reyer
03-15-2007, 01:24 PM
Or more to the point, the ability to properly hit a speed bag is a parlor trick. You fight as you train, and if you train to rhythmically hit an air filled bag over and over again while somebody takes a whack at you, guess what will happen...

Avery Jenkins
03-15-2007, 01:34 PM
What if the same guy can do the same things while in motion? What about if they can do the same thing in the ring? What if they feel unmoveable when preforming a technique and all of that energy is redirected into you?

Isn't that when it becomes interesting?

Yeah, now you're talking!

mjchip
03-15-2007, 01:40 PM
Yeah, now you're talking!

Well, you have to crawl before you walk. The static tests are only the beginning. No one was ever claiming they were the "end all be all".

Mark

DH
03-15-2007, 05:38 PM
Yeah, now you're talking!

Avery
Just to be clear those were my examples. From the very first night, when folks are juuust begining to learn, I have them start to feel it and do some small things in motion.
I understand the confusion. Rest assured these skills are free form and fluid in motion; whether expressed in Aiki-do Aikijujutsu or freetslye fighting. Static dills are for training only. Its like hitting a bag or rolling with a bag. In one way its training to change your body, in another just to test what your training. The rest is in motion.
Usually the first time I meet folks I have them try to throw us or lock us anyway they wish. Its not for a "look at me!" exibition- which are really bothersome and a pain- they are to show fellows that your not leading them-on into some dumb "ki" demonstration that is uselss in a fight.
My goals are to get folks doing these things then and there and give them ways to start to practice.
As for the practical uses usually me or one of my guys will start hitting a heavy bag or tossing follks. If it is AIkido folks-maybe showing various free relaxed movements and lock resistance. In MMA we do other things. One stellar by-product is heavy hands and an ability to resist takedowns. Realize that much of the training inlvoves exercises as well. THink of it like core training.
There is No corellation to core training- but it helps to think of it like that. Its like building the body... on the inside.
And it is the cornerstone of how Aiki is made. In-yo ho
Too many folks think of leading a push in a movement and call it aiki.
Aiki is first made in us
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
03-15-2007, 06:17 PM
Realize that much of the training inlvoves exercises as well. THink of it like core training.
There is No corellation to core training- but it helps to think of it like that. Its like building the body... on the inside.
And it is the cornerstone of how Aiki is made. In-yo ho
Too many folks think of leading a push in a movement and call it aiki.
Aiki is first made in us
Cheers
Dan

Hi Dan,
I liked your description... I realize that much of this stuff has to be shown and felt but I'd be interested to hear about the exercises you do to develop the body structure (to the extent that you can explain it verbally). My own experience with what I think you are talking about is actually via Systema. I did have some very brief instruction from Mike but only enough to leave me hungry for more.
- George

DH
03-16-2007, 09:29 AM
Hi George
It has been my experience that writing and video....don't work. Even hands-on is often overwhelming. That said the only way I can share this stuff is hands on. Its small changes, over time. Even with guys now coming every month or so-the're sill doing things only in pieces. As you do things you realize as you were sustaining this or that-you left out this other piece. While stretching here- your weren't winding there. Or while moving you suddenly realize you were all in your thighs and forgot your spine. The funny part is the mental focus and the buzz, gives out before the body does. The one benefit I can guaranty- is that if folks do the work -they will change. Period.
As Murray and Ron have stated about my guys- "They all can do it to a degree and explain it- hands on." On recent visitor said it best at dinner. "It isn't you, Dan that gives me hope. Its your 28 yr old guy who got me to be able to do things I can't believe, your one year student, your dojo full of folks who can do.. We've all met or felt some incredible expert here or there-with skills we know we'll never achived. Your students, not you, made it real for me." I thought that was pretty cool. For the first time (though my guys trounced me quickly) I felt like a teacher.

So teaching on the net just doesn't work. But at least -as many know after asking for years- for the first time I'm willing to share. It was a certain mutual friend (a teacher himself) who made change my mind about sharing with people. I still haven't decided whether or not to thank him or kick him for that. I know I'm not up to the job-I suck at teaching, and I'm a nobody so I have to figure out how to grow into the job. As we all know at this age, it just means more screw ups, false starts and frustrations for moi....
I think it may be fitting that it is Aiki folks who are searching this out. And I think I am enjoying that so far. Its still new though. Lets see if I can avoid it screwing up my own goals.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
03-16-2007, 11:09 AM
Hi George
It has been my experience that writing and video....don't work. Even hands-on is often overwhelming. That said the only way I can share this stuff is hands on. Its small changes, over time. Even with guys now coming every month or so-the're sill doing things only in pieces. As you do things you realize as you were sustaining this or that-you left out this other piece. While stretching here- your weren't winding there. Or while moving you suddenly realize you were all in your thighs and forgot your spine. The funny part is the mental focus and the buzz, gives out before the body does. The one benefit I can guaranty- is that if folks do the work -they will change. Period.
As Murray and Ron have stated about my guys- "They all can do it to a degree and explain it- hands on." On recent visitor said it best at dinner. "It isn't you, Dan that gives me hope. Its your 28 yr old guy who got me to be able to do things I can't believe, your one year student, your dojo full of folks who can do.. We've all met or felt some incredible expert here or there-with skills we know we'll never achived. Your students, not you, made it real for me." I thought that was pretty cool. For the first time (though my guys trounced me quickly) I felt like a teacher.

So teaching on the net just doesn't work. But at least -as many know after asking for years- for the first time I'm willing to share. It was a certain mutual friend (a teacher himself) who made change my mind about sharing with people. I still haven't decided whether or not to thank him or kick him for that. I know I'm not up to the job-I suck at teaching, and I'm a nobody so I have to figure out how to grow into the job. As we all know at this age, it just means more screw ups, false starts and frustrations for moi....
I think it may be fitting that it is Aiki folks who are searching this out. And I think I am enjoying that so far. Its still new though. Lets see if I can avoid it screwing up my own goals.
Cheers
Dan

I get it... Kaizen is going to try to get us together when you are out here. He wants to see how you guys train this stuff and compare it to what they do in Systema. I'd definitely be interested as well. Don't some too son as I just had hernia surgery Friday and am a bit of a gimp at the moment. A few weeks and I should be good. Ikeda Sensei's here this weekend and for the first time since 1989 when I opened I will sit out a seminar I hosted... oh well. Talk to you soon.
- George

DH
03-16-2007, 01:25 PM
... Ikeda Sensei's here this weekend and for the first time since 1989 when I opened I will sit out a seminar I hosted... oh well. Talk to you soon.
- George

Now ...that.... would be really interesting and fun. Touching hands and playing with him with no one else in the room to bother us but you!
Dan

DH
03-16-2007, 03:59 PM
I posted this in the External VS internal thread But thought better of it. I thnk it addresses Gerges comments...and my confusion over many conflicting statements given by those in AIkido.

Where do you find your answers if its not OK to train with Mike, rob or or me?
Where is the interal skills in Aikido's past? Where does the past lead?
You had a plethora of men surrounding Ueshiba, sitting there under his direct tutelage and many lectures. Yet oddly enough, probably his two best; Tohei and Shioda, went elsewhere for their own enlightenment. With those that remained clearly stating they did not understand him. What remains of Ueshiba is his pointed to two places. Daito ryu and esoteric Shinto practices.

On Aikiweb we read these arguments put forth by many in Aikido that only Aikidoka can really speak to Aikido issues. People are being told by teachers to look to Aikido teachers for their answers. Yet if we research and read even here we see:
1. Tohei pointing and even going elsewhere and then?
He left and started his own art.
2. Shioda pointing and going elsewhere and then?
He left and started his own art.
3. Ueshiba pointing and stating clearly that Takeda opened his eyes to true Budo. Then?
Ueshiba pointing and training esoteric Shinto and solo training- and then?
HE- left and started his own art.
Were one to follow the logic one would jump ship, find internal skills and then?
Leave and start their own art.

I’m still ruminating over George and Dennis’s many comments about only Aikidoka being able to fix/work-on/adjust/modify or alter Aikido. Then being told to look back to the masters in Aikido. Many of whom are pointing everywhere else BUT Aikido. All while the student is being told …they…of course must not look anywhere else.
Where do they go to get a straight answer?
Now I read where some teachers are openly stating “Go train and steal it. And bring it back to alter/fix/adjust that.... which they- by their own admonitions state doesn’t need to be fixed to begin with.”
All while I read where Ikeda is now looking elswhere -like to Ushiro- for internal coaching
And now....just recently I read where some, George included, are stating it finally is ok to go get and bring back.
I think that's a pretty fair take on many of the positions written here. So, just who, is stating Aikidoka should do... what?
And what harm is there in a student openly admitting theyt went elsewhere?
Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
03-16-2007, 05:08 PM
Dan, please check PM. Thx
Sorry all, it's the only way I can get through, sometimes. ;)

Ecosamurai
03-16-2007, 05:56 PM
1. Tohei pointing and even going elsewhere and then?
He left and started his own art.

Could you please explain to me how shin shin toitsu aikido is not aikido.

Mike

SeiserL
03-17-2007, 06:05 AM
IMHO, I would have to agree that sometime we need to look external to find the internal, outside of Aikido to find what is inside of Aikido.

An outside perspective can see where our blind spots are as individuals and as an art.

I welcome to "content" comments and it has impacted by training and my search.

I am curious, there is a lot of mindreading and interpretation to support one's own view about why and for what reasons Pranin and Ikeda have invited Ushiro into our training. But, have they told anyone themselves, in their words, in their thinking, exactly why and for what reasons they did?

Josh Reyer
03-17-2007, 06:11 AM
Pranin, at least, has said he brought Ushiro in to improve striking in aikido. An explanation of why Ikeda has invited Ushiro can be found here (https://bujindesign.com/seminar_reviews/2005_9_article_1.html).

DH
03-17-2007, 07:30 AM
Ikeda Sensei prefaced the talk by explaining why he invited Ushiro Sensei to be an instructor this year. He said that aikido will stagnate if it is not open to many different points of view, and that Ushiro Sensei's approach to karate provides a valuable approach to the study of aikido. .....
....
Mr. Pranin pointed out that O Sensei studied other arts, as has Saotome Sensei, and suggested that students of aikido who avoid exposure to other arts are missing an important opportunity.

Interesting title of one of Ushiro's book. The Foundations of Budo and Knowledge and Practice of Karate as Bujutsu.

Ikeda states in the Japanese magazine "Do"

"The kind of power through kokyu that Ushiro sensei has been teaching is completely different from what is usually thought of as kokyu. All of the people who came to this camp experienced this. It may have been only an introduction to this kind of practice and this kind of power, but I think it was a real plus for people to be able to experience it.
As a teacher, one of the most important considerations is how we are bringing up new people in the art, both now and into the future. There will be no growth if we just repeat what is currently being done.
For ourselves and for the Aikido of the future, it is necessary to completely change the way aikido is practiced. I think we have come to this critical crossroads."

I found these worthy of note
1. "..There will be no growth if we just repeat what is currently being done. ....
2. "...For ourselves and for the Aikido of the future it is necessary to completely change the way aikido is practiced....

I've said it before "The picture of Ikeda at the Aiki expo putting on a white belt and taking a Systema class should accord him the deepest respect."

When I join these with others in Aikido looking outward it seems, that to say "Aikido needs nothing more." or, "Only those IN Aikido, can help Aikido." is a loosing proposition.
Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
03-17-2007, 09:31 AM
"No matter how much they mimic their teachers, those who can't control the movement of their center of gravity are headed for disaster."
Gozo Shioda

Erick Mead
03-17-2007, 10:01 AM
I am curious, there is a lot of mindreading and interpretation to support one's own view about why and for what reasons Pranin and Ikeda have invited Ushiro into our training. But, have they told anyone themselves, in their words, in their thinking, exactly why and for what reasons they did? Try here: https://bujindesign.com/seminar_reviews/2005_9_article_1.html
and here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=11
Ikeda Sensei prefaced the talk by explaining why he invited Ushiro Sensei to be an instructor this year. He said that aikido will stagnate if it is not open to many different points of view, and that Ushiro Sensei's approach to karate provides a valuable approach to the study of aikido. He also reminded the students that Saotome Sensei has always promoted this idea. This point was supported a few minutes later, when Saotome Sensei made the light-hearted observation that he had been teaching karate and Ushiro Sensei had been teaching aikido, the point being that at the highest levels, there is little difference between the martial arts. Mr. Pranin pointed out that O Sensei studied other arts, as has Saotome Sensei, and suggested that students of aikido who avoid exposure to other arts are missing an important opportunity.

Ushiro Sensei related that he had never met Saotome Sensei before this week, and that he was very pleasantly surprised to learn how alike were their martial arts philosophies and practices. And when Mr. Pranin asked Ushiro Sensei what suggestions he might have that might help the students improve their aikido, he replied: "Things will change if you learn how to attack better. And that's pretty much it." The reaction of the audience to this discussion was one of appreciation, fascination and thoughtfulness. (An audio replay of the entire discussion may be heard at http://www.aikidojournal.com/download_media.php?media=radio&id=7.)
(Audio link seems dead, sadly.)

Also Ushiro himself here: https://bujindesign.com/seminar_reviews/2005_12_article_1.html
and here:
The overall issue was a disparity between the words that represent the ideal of aikido, "harmony" and "unification," and the technical aspect. This disparity was clearly evident in practice - specifically, the attacks were weak and not really attacks, and not only responded to the partner (nage) to accommodate or collude with them, but responded in such an extreme manner that they (uke) fell down or were thrown all by themselves. I started in Saotome's lineage, with a lengthy tour through Saito's, and then returned. We, in our dojo, do not practice in the weakly compliant manner noted by Ushiro Sensei. Attacks are attacks and we correct bad attacks.

When I was training in San Diego, and in my deployments working solo during the first dust-up in Iraq, I began to see the exact same principle operating in both concentration and dissipation, I also saw that many people coming along in training do not always readily perceive that.

Ushiro and Saotome seem to have gone around the circle in opposite directions to come to much the same place. Ushiro's critical observation is on the lack of expression of the concentraion part of the principle, thus the serious risk of missing one half of the whole operating principle involved.

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 10:13 AM
When I join these with others in Aikido looking outward it seems, that to say "Aikido needs nothing more." or, "Only those IN Aikido, can help Aikido." is a loosing proposition.

I understand your point of view. I would like to ask why people outside of aikido are the ones to redeem aikido? Why not inside? What makes outside so much better than inside?

I suspect that when you say aikido you actually mean 'quite a lot of aikido but not all of it'.

Mike

kironin
03-17-2007, 10:17 AM
Try here: https://bujindesign.com/seminar_reviews/2005_9_article_1.html
and here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=11
(Audio link seems dead, sadly.)


This audio link is working fine for me right now.

SeiserL
03-17-2007, 10:30 AM
Thanks for the clarification on inclusion.

Cady Goldfield
03-17-2007, 10:32 AM
I understand your point of view. I would like to ask why people outside of aikido are the ones to redeem aikido? Why not inside? What makes outside so much better than inside?


Maybe these "outsiders" can provide an informed perspective that people inside the art can't have, being too "enmired" in the milieu. Keep in mind that these "outsiders" were once "inside" -- trained in aikido. Maybe as former-insiders, and now having found something that once was part of and crucial to aikido, they have a perspective that aikidoka do not.

I have worked as a communications professional, writer and editor for many years. One thing I've learned, is that you can read your own manuscript a dozen times and still miss typographical errors each time. But hand the 'script to another editor for peer review, and they immediately find the typos.

When we are too immersed in our own "thing," we lose the ability to see objectively. That's when these outsiders can be a help. Not just because they are a fresh set of eyes, but because they also were in your art, and know its history and function. I believe they bear listening to, even if you choose not to take their advice.

Marc Abrams
03-17-2007, 10:34 AM
Dan:

Your point is well taken. I return to the issue of EGOS. There are a lot of instructors who view seeking knowledge from a variety of sources as some sort of insult and/or disloyalty. Some of those teachers can teach "internal" aspects and others cannot. Regardless of that ability to teach that essential element, the benefits of seeking knowledge from a variety of sources FAR out-weigh the costs (purely my opinion). I have found it remarkably helpful to see the "internal" aspects that I am learning from my teacher presented in another manner and another art. It is easy to become inured by the same training regime. Seeing the "idea" from another perspective can help to better understand and emulate that aspect. If the teacher is unable to convey certain important aspects, then (in my opinion) it is our obligation to ourselves and the art to find that component and incorporate it into our training and application of the art.

Dr. Seisert raised another critical component. An art studied in the vacuum created within itself stands the risk of becoming overly stylized and unrealistic. We should have an obligation within our art to see how it "fits" in the larger world. It comes as a surprise to many that what does work, typically does not resemble the waza, which is essence is kata practice, that happens with set attacks and responses.

marc abrams

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 01:04 PM
Maybe these "outsiders" can provide an informed perspective that people inside the art can't have, being too "enmired" in the milieu. Keep in mind that these "outsiders" were once "inside" -- trained in aikido. Maybe as former-insiders, and now having found something that once was part of and crucial to aikido, they have a perspective that aikidoka do not.

Perhaps, but I've not seen anything they've said so far that is not still a part of aikido (admittedly not all of it perhaps, but its still here, hence the other thread I started). Having an outside perspective can be helpful but there seem to me to be plenty of insiders with a similar perspective. Given that I've not heard Dan or Mike say anything much more than what I already knew to be true and given that I am an aikidoka (i.e. an insider) I find myself once again wondering why they are here standing on the edge pissing in my pool. Just seems plain rude to me, even if they have good aim.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
03-17-2007, 01:26 PM
Could it also be possible that what they are describing only sounds like what you are thinking of? It's natural for people to look for a common point of reference. Unfortunately, words are often limited in their ability to describe physical sensations and effects.
The cry that keeps coming up on these forums is "You really just have to feel it" to have a true common point of reference. There is a lot of veracity in that exhortation.

As for rudeness, these infernal internet forums are notorious for being poor vehicles of emotion and sentiment. Things said bluntly but without malice, often come out sounding hostile or rude. I have met people who seemed obnoxious online but, when I encountered them in person they were kind, pleasant people. Open and honest, pulling no punches in what they think, but never intentionally unkind or rude. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt until proven sorely mistaken and grossly naive. :)

Cady Goldfield
03-17-2007, 01:29 PM
Could it also be possible that what they are describing only sounds like what you are thinking of? It's natural for people to look for a common point of reference. Unfortunately, words are often limited in their ability to describe physical sensations and effects.
The cry that keeps coming up on these forums is "You really just have to feel it" to have a true common point of reference. There is a lot of veracity in that exhortation.

As for rudeness, these infernal internet forums are notorious for being poor vehicles of emotion and sentiment. Things said bluntly but without malice, often come out sounding hostile or rude. I have met people who seemed obnoxious online but, when I encountered them in person they were kind, pleasant people. Open and honest, pulling no punches in what they think, but never intentionally unkind or rude. I tend to give the benefit of the doubt until proven sorely mistaken and grossly naive. :)

Josh Reyer
03-17-2007, 01:45 PM
Given that I've not heard Dan or Mike say anything much more than what I already knew to be true and given that I am an aikidoka (i.e. an insider) I find myself once again wondering why they are here standing on the edge pissing in my pool. Just seems plain rude to me, even if they have good aim.

Mike

Sounds like you're taking their necessary generalizations far too personally.

If you understand what they say to be true, and you have the abilities they speak of, obviously they aren't talking about you when they say, "These skills aren't in Aikido like they should be." Frankly, Mike, even if these skills are common and developed throughout all of the KNK and its off-shoots, that still leaves the majority of aikido practioners: the lion's share of those under the Aikikai umbrella, Yoshinkan, and Shodokan. Respected practioners and teachers in those organizations have met Mike, Dan, Ark/Rob, Ushiro, and others, and said, "This is something that should be part of aikido, and is not as much as it should be." Does it matter that people ostensibly outside the fold do the convincing, as long as it's done? IMO, not really.

One could say that internal skills were always a part of the KNK, and so people in other organizations should have been looking there. But that's the beauty of outsiders. They are outside the politics. Tohei's been saying what Mike and Dan are saying for 35 years now. But the KNK and the Aikikai have essentially tuned each other out, each believing they were doing the "right" aikido. If Mike et al had never come on AikiWeb, and you said the same things that they have, do you think it would have been accepted? Some would have said, "Yeah, we already do that." Others would have said, "It's just parlor tricks; it's not martial enough." A lot would have said, "Well, it's all aikido; the only difference is the politics." Why is the KNK so conspicuously absent from the Aiki Expos/Friendship Demos, despite the presence of so many "outsiders"? I'm not casting blame there; I truly don't know why top KNK shihan weren't there. But I suspect whatever reason it is, is also why Mike, Dan, and other "outsiders" have proven to be the catalyst, at least in a small way, for many to re-examine their aikido, and what they should be able to do.

If you agree with Dan and Mike, and understand what they are talking about, then there should be no need to argue with them. You're in a position to help translate what they are saying into an aikido idiom. Blend and redirect, is that not the aikido philosophy?

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 01:49 PM
That is of course entirely possible but please bear in mind that I did Tai Chi before aikido and am familiar with a lot of what has been described by Mike Sigman. I also cross train regularly so I'm not particularly inclined to think I'm misconstruing their words.

As to the rudeness issue I agree with you totally as I've had similar experiences meeting people in the real world who I've first encountered online. However I do still find myself wondering who appointed these guys as chief redeemers and saviours of aikido. My own teacher has said often enough that that task is one for Doshu really, until he leads the way the rest of us just have to muddle along as best we can.

Mike

DH
03-17-2007, 02:26 PM
Perhaps, but I've not seen anything they've said so far that is not still a part of aikido (admittedly not all of it perhaps
So you once again agree

Having an outside perspective can be helpful but there seem to me to be plenty of insiders with a similar perspective. Given that I've not heard Dan or Mike say anything much more than what I already knew to be true.

It will be interesting to meet and see if that is indeed true. I've heard it before. So far, sadly, its always been dissapointing. I've not met anyone in Akido who -actually- has the level of skills I am pursuing. But I am hopeful. I'll research and find some Ki society people. Then see if they can use it in motion in full resistance, then with kicks, punches, chokes and body slams, and maintain it. You know Like you and I do with guys slamming us in MMA attacks and groundwork. You know, the level of understanding that you and I both share from experience.........
As I said , I'm excited. Any suggestions? Since you know everything I discuss- and really haven't heard anything new-
Can I start with you?
Do you know anyone over here in New England who trains like you and I, who also knows everything you know? Seeing how there are so many on the "inside" of Aikido -as you say- they must be all over the place. I was actually a bit shocked to hear this, but hey-good news for me. Do you know where they would be? I'm always up for good training.

I find myself once again wondering why they are here standing on the edge pissing in my pool. Just seems plain rude to me, even if they have good aim.

1.First you agreed that what we are discussing is not in all Aikido Meaning others do not know this
2. Then you argued that Tohei is in fact Aikido- not something different so that makes -all- in aikido your peers

As for me doing Aikido and discussing it.
Last time I checked you didn't own the pool. You're just a small fish in it. I find it interesting that so many of YOUR peers disagree with you. In fact we-are training together regularly.... doing Aikido.
I think I will continue to practice Aikido any time I wish, and with whomever I wish. I don't really think you have the authority to govern who trains here. Is that your function in Europe or the UK? I don't think these Aikido teachers who are your seniors do either. I'll have to check. I don't want to step on toes


You are a rather young man. Most of the Aikido practitioners training with me are older then you and many are teachers. You're speaking above your pay grade and being rude at that.
Again, thanks for the uplifting and postive interaction your Aikido teachers have instilled in you. Always nice to read your words about your knowledge and training. Thanks again for your positive contributions here at Aikiweb.
When do you think we can meet and you can show me your Aikido. I'd be happy- at my poor level to learn more of Aikido from you. In fact I look forward to it. There are more then a few fifteen years guys who train with me who would be thrilled with nay new information I can bring back from you Mike. Maybe they would like to come see your stuff and maybe even see us train together too.
Thanks again.
Dan

Budd
03-17-2007, 02:30 PM
I did Tai Chi before aikido and am familiar with a lot of what has been described by Mike Sigman. I also cross train regularly so I'm not particularly inclined to think I'm misconstruing their words.

As to the rudeness issue I agree with you totally as I've had similar experiences meeting people in the real world who I've first encountered online.

That's excellent! Have any of these folks posted reports of what they've felt from you? Would love to read them as well. Maybe you'll do what others have done and have folks come visit to get a hands on sense of what's been discussed.

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 02:35 PM
Sounds like you're taking their necessary generalizations far too personally.

SNIP

If you understand what they say to be true, and you have the abilities they speak of, obviously they aren't talking about you when
they say, "These skills aren't in Aikido like they should be." Frankly, Mike, even if these skills are common and developed throughout all of the KNK and its off-shoots, that still leaves the majority of aikido practioners: the lion's share of those under the Aikikai umbrella, Yoshinkan, and Shodokan.

Perhaps I am taking things too personally, but when I get PMs from people telling me that I simply don't understand, that Dan Harden is the worlds greatest living budo master I begin to question what exactly he is teaching people really.

As to the rest, as I said in my other post, my teacher has often said that these things are for Doshu to do. I agree with him too, it is the job of the leader of the way to lead. If the Aikikai hasn't listened to these things for the last 35 years what makes anyone think they'll start listening now?

As I said before this basically is just one more in a long series of Ki wars. Been done, many many many times before now.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 02:47 PM
It will be interesting to meet and see if that is indeed true. I've heard it before. So far, sadly, its always been dissapointing. I've not met anyone in Akido who -actually- has the level of skills I am pursuing. But I am hopeful. I'll research and find some Ki society people. Then see if they can use it in motion in full resistance, then with kicks, punches, chokes and body slams, and maintain it. You know Like you and I do with guys slamming us in MMA attacks and groundwork. You know, the level of understanding that you and I both share from experience.........
As I said , I'm excited. Any suggestions? Since you know everything I discuss- and really haven't heard anything new-
Can I start with you?

WTF? I've never actually said I can do all of this stuff. Only that I know what you are talking about. I'm trying, trying really hard to get better at it too, and like you say I'm not very old.

Why do you think that being sarcastic reflects well on yourself or your training? Do you think that such petty behaviour endears you and what you do to the people here? As to the rest, if you are as great as you and your supporters around here seem to think you are I've no doubt that you could beat the crap out of me, what would that prove? Only that I'm younger and less experienced than you. So again I ask what sort of ego driven ride you are on coming to an aikido forum to tell everyone that you practice the one true aiki way. That we should all be trying to do what you do (perhaps that is what I'm doing after all in my own way?)

If you really want to stretch yourself go to Exeter in south-west England, my teacher lives near there and I'm sure he'd be happy to show you what I'm talking about. I'll come and watch and hopefully learn something.

It is not an unreasonable question to ask why you are here and what you hope to achieve by being here. You have not answered those questions. Why? What has aikido done to you that you want to change the art to suit yourself? Like you said it's not my pool, but I'm pretty sure it ain't yours either, it's a public one and polite people don't piss in public baths.

Mike

DH
03-17-2007, 02:48 PM
Mike
I've only been polite to you and you push and push.
Your words culled in response include-pissing, rude, petty ego-driven etc etc. I suggest you review your replies and the way you comport yourself.


As for the fellows writing you?
I've only ever said I'm a nobody. I talk about Aiki and what it can do. Then I show what I was talking about
I'm confused. You just said you know what Mike and I do.
Are you mad at folks for telling you they now agree with you?
Are you mad because what I have been saying for 12 years on the net is proven to be true?
Are you mad because these Aikido teachers who have trained with me miraculously agree it is Aiki-do?

Pick one issue to be mad at. You're all over the place.
I'm a white belt. Have pitty on us low lifes.

I'll try one more time
listen carefully Mike......
I....Do.....Aikido..
Slow down, slow down
I....Do.....Aikido..

With teachers... your senior... of many years.
We don't care what you think

Again, thanks for the uplifting and postive interaction your Aikido teachers have instilled in you. Always nice to read your words about your knowledge and training. Thanks again for your positive contributions here at Aikiweb.
And thanks for allowing us to do Aiki-do together and learn it.
Good on ya Mike.
Dan

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 03:11 PM
Huh?

What part of 'I agree with you on most points' failed to sink in?

Calling someone rude when they are being rude isn't rude in itself. It's honest. I've only really questioned your purpose in being here on an aikido forum. Never your ability. I've also never said I'm particularly great, never said that I can do all the things you guys say you can. I've only said that I understand what you are talking about. Some of which I can do, some I'm sure I can't do.

As to being uplifting and positive, you've not exactly been a beacon of light recently have you? Sarcastic and dismissive aren't exactly uplifitng and positive.

I'm tired of this crap to be honest with you. If you want to 'feel' what I'm talking about I'd suggest a holiday to south-west England in the near future. Like I said before, I'll come and meet you, by you a beer or two after we've trained and hopefully learn something to go along with it. I agree with you Dan in most ways, I also happen to think you're not the only one who can do this stuff and that your presence on an aikido forum smacks of ego driven need to tell everyone else they are doing things wrong and we should be doing it all the way you do it. Perhaps you'd like to post a sarcastic and dismissive response to my valid point about your need to tell the aikido world it is wrong and you are right? Perhaps some of your students and supporters would like to send me PMs indicating that I'm a lowlife and your the greatest martial artist in the world? Does what you teach them make them feel that such behaviour is acceptable? What ever happened to the importance of etiquette in budo? Do you teach that? If not why not?

Mike

Josh Reyer
03-17-2007, 03:18 PM
As to the rest, as I said in my other post, my teacher has often said that these things are for Doshu to do. I agree with him too, it is the job of the leader of the way to lead. If the Aikikai hasn't listened to these things for the last 35 years what makes anyone think they'll start listening now?

Well, for one thing "Doshu" doesn't mean "leader of the way", and his job is not necessarily to lead. "Doshu" basically means "owner of the way". "Master of the Way" in the same sense as "master of the house". The nuance of the word is that he is at the center of the Way. In other words, his office is largely symbolic, and administerial. It's fairly obvious that Doshu does not set policy, at least not by himself beyond his own dojo. Looking to Doshu to make sure ki and aiki skills are properly transmitted is not likely to be a fruitful endeavor. Particularly when his own skills in this area are in doubt.

As I said before this basically is just one more in a long series of Ki wars. Been done, many many many times before now.


And so, what's the problem? Let Mike, Dan, and others fight the ki war. Let them take the heat for bluntly saying the things that may need saying.

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 03:26 PM
Well, for one thing "Doshu" doesn't mean "leader of the way", and his job is not necessarily to lead. "Doshu" basically means "owner of the way". "Master of the Way" in the same sense as "master of the house".

I stand corrected.

And so, what's the problem? Let Mike, Dan, and others fight the ki war. Let them take the heat for bluntly saying the things that may need saying.

The problem is I'm a stubborn guy as is Dan. I still don't quite understand how this all happened when we basically agree. I do think that what Dan does is valuable, but I don't think it is aikido. I don't think that someone with the ego to tell others that what they are doing is wrong and that we should all be doing his stuff is doing aikido at all.

Mike

Ellis Amdur
03-17-2007, 03:34 PM
Mike H. wrote:
I don't think that someone with the ego to tell others that what they are doing is wrong and that we should all be doing his stuff is doing aikido at all.


That's not my aikido!Shimizu Kenji quoting Ueshiba Morihei yelling at the assembled uchi-deshi when he unexpectedly dropped by practice (and given time period - mid-sixties - your teacher's teacher - Murayama - would have been part of the assembled throng).

Now let's not get our knickers in a twist. I'm not saying Dan or Mike is Ueshiba. Who knows, they might be better. :)

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 03:41 PM
Mike H. wrote:

Shimizu Kenji quoting Ueshiba Morihei yelling at the assembled uchi-deshi when he unexpectedly dropped by practice.:straightf

Lol, you got me. Eloquently put as ever.

I do think that logic dictates that the founder is a special case with regards to that, after all he was aikido until he died and what he said it was was the definition I suppose.

In either case it would beg the question. Was Morihei Ueshiba 'outside of aikido' when he said that?

Mike

MM
03-17-2007, 03:58 PM
The problem is I'm a stubborn guy as is Dan. I still don't quite understand how this all happened when we basically agree. I do think that what Dan does is valuable, but I don't think it is aikido. I don't think that someone with the ego to tell others that what they are doing is wrong and that we should all be doing his stuff is doing aikido at all.

Mike

Hi Mike,

Gotta disagree with you here. The base skills Dan uses are, in effect, aiki. Now, you can find aiki in a whole lot of places used in a whole lot of manners. I'm sure you'd even find it in some koryu. You can definitely find it in some Daito ryu.

And yes, how one uses internal skills is different among the various martial arts and artists. Takeda used it differently than Ueshiba. Shioda wasn't a mirror of his teachers, neither was Tohei. Tomiki went completely in a different direction, but they all had it.

As Ueshiba hinted at, each person will find their own way. His way was more spiritual and I actually find Ledyard's posts very informative in that area.

Is it aikido? Yeah, just as much as what Shioda, Tohei, Tomiki, Ueshiba, Takeda, etc used. Just varying degrees of skill and personal interpretation in action are the differences. Or do you think Shioda, Tohei, Tomiki, etc all looked the same when they did aikido? For that matter, if they're doing it right, why is all their techniques different? Hmmm ...

Mark

Ellis Amdur
03-17-2007, 03:59 PM
I speculate that he found himself so.

Best

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 05:50 PM
Hi Mike,

Gotta disagree with you here. The base skills Dan uses are, in effect, aiki. Now, you can find aiki in a whole lot of places used in a whole lot of manners. I'm sure you'd even find it in some koryu. You can definitely find it in some Daito ryu.

And yes, how one uses internal skills is different among the various martial arts and artists. Takeda used it differently than Ueshiba. Shioda wasn't a mirror of his teachers, neither was Tohei. Tomiki went completely in a different direction, but they all had it.

Some interesting things to think about. I'll sleep on it and maybe reply tomorrow.

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-17-2007, 05:55 PM
I speculate that he found himself so.

Best

In which case how would you go about distinguishing between aikido-1 as the art and skills practiced by the founder and aikido-2 the organisational beast that commonly bears the name 'aikido'?

Mike

kironin
03-17-2007, 07:52 PM
Why is the KNK so conspicuously absent from the Aiki Expos/Friendship Demos, despite the presence of so many "outsiders"? I'm not casting blame there; I truly don't know why top KNK shihan weren't there. But I suspect whatever reason it is, is also why Mike, Dan, and other "outsiders" have proven to be the catalyst, at least in a small way, for many to re-examine their aikido, and what they should be able to do.


It is actually politics, big time. So you are right "outsiders" would be necessary for many who have drank the kool-aid of their organizations that what Ki Society does is extra and not needed to do aikido well. So while I sometimes wonder if Mike, Dan, and others don't have cajones bigger than Dennis's cantalopes for the the tone they take, I also remember the Ki wars on Aikido-L in the 90's especially for years before any cross style Aikido-l seminars. There was a great deal of hostility on that list that anything on here pales in comparison to. Those aikido-l seminars were small affairs, more low key, and the participation of a KNK Shihan who believed in being open and that communication and exchange of ideas was very worthwhile.

While Stan Pranin and his family in Japan certainly had social relationship with Tohei's family privately, when it came to aikido publicly he was very much on the other side of the divide having been closely associated with the Aikikai through Iwama. Though Stan's four part interview of Tohei Sensei in AJ definitely was long overdue you definitely saw that he caught a great deal of flack for it. Stan had zero communication or relationship with high ranking ki society shihan on this side of the Pacific. It also certainly didn't help that shihan from groups splintered from Ki society like AAA and Shin Budo Kai were there. So for Ki Society being there officially, I think it was a matter of trust. Is also is that many in KNK are getting internal aspects in their practice so they don't see a great need to go looking for it. Others like me just like playing with and meeting different people, so while a number of us KNK yudansha have gone we definitely have kept a low profile and that's not a problem.

Also by having Imaizumi Sensei, head of the Shin Budo Kai, featured at one of the Aiki Expo's, there was essentially a top Ki Society Shihan featured. Doing a seminar with Imaizumi Sensei for is essentially coming home to the way I started my practice.
It should be noted that he simply taught waza and demonstrated waza and he neither shared nor was he solicited to share any of the internal stuff which he knows. Now that I am thinking about it, it was a bit sad that people were falling over themselves to pick up stuff from outsiders like the Systema guys but essentially ignoring someone like Imaizumi Sensei. So I don't think there was much upside for KNK Shihan to be there given what I saw.

kironin
03-17-2007, 08:07 PM
Now let's not get our knickers in a twist. I'm not saying Dan or Mike is Ueshiba. Who knows, they might be better. :)

Oooooohhhh

I am going to have to test your Araki Ryu for that !
:D
time for a sword duel!

Thomas Campbell
03-17-2007, 08:42 PM
Oooooohhhh

I am going to have to test your Araki Ryu for that !
:D
time for a sword duel!

Try his Toda-ha Buko-ryu naginata instead. It's more elegant.

DH
03-17-2007, 09:30 PM
I speculate that he found himself so.


He was retired and came back from outside, looking back in, at his own creation.

In which case how would you go about distinguishing between aikido-1 as the art and skills practiced by the founder and aikido-2 the organisational beast that commonly bears the name 'aikido'?
Mike

Aikido 1
Daito ryu based Aiki-no-jutsu. With Ueshiba now doing aiki without drawing men in -which is the DR way. Instead, in keeping with his new vision, he casts out his ukes and projects. He found a way to stop attacks without harming those attacking. His ukes jumping and avoiding the power and being cast-off start to roll more then breakfall. The resultant "shape" of their bodie's being controlled- largely shaping the syllabus from one setting to the next.
With Ueshiba -all the while knowing- the real art? Didn't have a friggin thing to do with one, single, waza. The waza are essentially meaningless and secondary. Moreover he knew the real source was to develope in-yo ho (DR) in you. Morihei had now realized technique was not not needed, and this realization allowed his vision of peace. His internal skills were already prevelant wherever and whenever he chose. When someone came into contact with that?
It.... made aiki happen.
Oddly according to some witnesses it was during this period he himself left....and went to the Kodokan to train with Judo guys. Who apparently couldn't throw him.
Hmm............biting my tongue;)

Aikido 2
Ueshiba Kissomaru codifying the waza and fornally setting up a collection of techniques into a set of waza to be practiced. The external expressions now takng aiki for the first time-outside the body- and degenrting it into large external "connection movements" noe called Aiki. These circles, whether large or small were simply not the interal skills of the real Aiki of Ueshiba. They were contrary to what Ueshiba was expressing in his body. Many/most/all of the young toughs-freely admitting they couldn't wait for the old man to shut-up so they could train- and they went on to do weak semi-cooperative jujutsu. What was he to do? They said they didn't want to listen and even couldn't understand him. So I'd guess, he played with them and did Koryu Ukemi. With them confusedly trying to figure it all out. Then he'd leave them. With them going back to do more Kotegaeshi, Shhonage or what have you.
To coin a phrase. The engine left the station.....and the train.
Thus Aiki-do was born.
And both Tohei and Shioda....left.

So maybe some listened- Like Tenryu, maybe most didn't. Who can really say. There were plenty of talented men. But the old crew, who had done DR with him had mostly left before the NEW Aikido was born. Men being men I'd bet more then afew sought out old timers looking for wisdom.

Dan

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 04:38 AM
So while I sometimes wonder if Mike, Dan, and others don't have cajones bigger than Dennis's cantalopes for the the tone they take, I also remember the Ki wars on Aikido-L in the 90's especially for years before any cross style Aikido-l seminars. There was a great deal of hostility on that list that anything on here pales in comparison to.

I remember the Ki-wars well. Which is why I've said time and time again that Dan and Mike being here and saying such things is essentially just another Ki war. I've seen it all before, seen everything they've said before. I suppose that explains some of my feelings towards it all, I've been involved in this stuff before on aikido-l, ten years ago. I learned eventually that it was better to keep quiet and just keep doing what I do, try to make myself better at it and occasionally take the opportunity to learn from people who do other things as it can be very enlightening.

But if Dan and Mike want to fight Ki War XXXVII. Then I suppose they can....

Regards

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 04:47 AM
Aikido 1
Daito ryu based Aiki-no-jutsu. With Ueshiba now doing aiki without drawing men in -which is the DR way. Instead, in keeping with his new vision, he casts out his ukes and projects. He found a way to stop attacks without harming those attacking. His ukes jumping and avoiding the power and being cast-off start to roll more then breakfall. The resultant "shape" of their bodie's being controlled- largely shaping the syllabus from one setting to the next.
With Ueshiba -all the while knowing- the real art? Didn't have a friggin thing to do with one, single, waza. The waza are essentially meaningless and secondary. Moreover he knew the real source was to develope in-yo ho (DR) in you. Morihei had now realized technique was not not needed, and this realization allowed his vision of peace. His internal skills were already prevelant wherever and whenever he chose. When someone came into contact with that?
It.... made aiki happen.
Oddly according to some witnesses it was during this period he himself left....and went to the Kodokan to train with Judo guys. Who apparently couldn't throw him.
Hmm............biting my tongue;)

Aikido 2
Ueshiba Kissomaru codifying the waza and fornally setting up a collection of techniques into a set of waza to be practiced. The external expressions now takng aiki for the first time-outside the body- and degenrting it into large external "connection movements" noe called Aiki. These circles, whether large or small were simply not the interal skills of the real Aiki of Ueshiba. They were contrary to what Ueshiba was expressing in his body. Many/most/all of the young toughs-freely admitting they couldn't wait for the old man to shut-up so they could train- and they went on to do weak semi-cooperative jujutsu. What was he to do? They said they didn't want to listen and even couldn't understand him. So I'd guess, he played with them and did Koryu Ukemi. With them confusedly trying to figure it all out. Then he'd leave them. With them going back to do more Kotegaeshi, Shhonage or what have you.
To coin a phrase. The engine left the station.....and the train.
Thus Aiki-do was born.
And both Tohei and Shioda....left.

So maybe some listened- Like Tenryu, maybe most didn't. Who can really say. There were plenty of talented men. But the old crew, who had done DR with him had mostly left before the NEW Aikido was born. Men being men I'd bet more then afew sought out old timers looking for wisdom.

Dan

For once I've found nothing to disagree with you on :) A perfect illustration for you or anyone else: Go find aikido journal footage of O Sensei practicing the rowing exercise with Terry Dobson and watch how he does it. Then find footage of the second Doshu doing same exercise and note how he is not using his centre. Watch Tohei doing the same exercise.

From what I understand the rowing exercise is one of the fundamental ones that the founder used to develop his internal skills. I would definitely recommend anyone look up 'The Rites of Spring' as preserved by Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei. I believe that these exercises probably contain many of the essential methods used by the Founder to develop his internal power, he practiced them daily aparently (Some of these breathing methods and exercises are preserved in Ki Soc exercises, but notably not all of them). Fascinatingly they seem to be very Oomoto Kyo in essence, which perhaps explains why Hikitsuchi Sensei kept them in their entirety and nobody else did (at least as far as I'm aware anyway, but don't take my word for it as I'm not a historian).

Regards

Mike

Marc Abrams
03-18-2007, 07:26 AM
Craig:

I was one of Imaizumi Sensei's "crash-test dummies" and worked hard to get him to participate in the expo. Stanley gave him permission to do what ever he wanted to do. It is not that Imaizumi Sensei does not share his knowledge of the "internal stuff" it is simply in the manner that he does so that is difficult for people to "get." He is a very private/quiet man who allows his application of waza to demonstrate and teach what he knows. He teaches the "internal stuff" through his teachings of waza. Out of respect for Ki Society, his direct curriculum of "ki exercises" is now taught under the rubric of "Genkido." His emphasis on this foundation was clearly noted when he said at the public dinner that the emphasis should be on senior instructors teaching beginners. By the same token, he has always been open to my exploring aspects of other instructors (regardless of the art), and viewed it as a good thing that I took time out to work with the Systema people. He does not have the ego problem that results in a message being sent out that you should not venture out of "his circle." He is very careful to say that he teaches what has been taught to him (as opposed to what he knows) and expects his students to be open to learning and sharing.

Dan:

It is my understanding that senior instructors (not O'Sensei's son) were responsible for codifying waza. I also think that some of O' Sensei's later students were able to both project the uke away from an attack and also bring them in to control them. Imaizumi Sensei demonstrates both. My own personal preference is to keep the person within with space to control them on the way down, and when they are down. As an old wrestler, I know full well that the person going down is still a real threat. In my own training, I am working hard at what Ushiro Sensei talked to me about in regards to receiving technique in a manner that allows me to find openings to attack.

Hope everybody had a safe and not too intoxicated St. Pat.'s Day.

Marc Abrams

M. McPherson
03-18-2007, 07:40 AM
From what I understand the rowing exercise is one of the fundamental ones that the founder used to develop his internal skills. I would definitely recommend anyone look up 'The Rites of Spring' as preserved by Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei. I believe that these exercises probably contain many of the essential methods used by the Founder to develop his internal power, he practiced them daily aparently...Fascinatingly they seem to be very Oomoto Kyo in essence, which perhaps explains why Hikitsuchi Sensei kept them in their entirety and nobody else did.


Mr. Haft,

Funakogi undo, as well as furitama, were (are?) practiced at the Kumano Juku Dojo each keiko, without fail. By one and all. And with a religious fervor, too, as I remember it. (My time in Shingu was in the early/mid-nineties, so I'm not sure what's going on there, post-Hikitsuchi S.)
The shihan there were all amazing technicians, and very capable. But I can tell you without reservation that none of them felt anywhere close to what Dan and his students are able to do (although I've heard relative comparisons, I can't add Akuzawa or Mike Sigman into the mix. I just haven't felt what they can do). Were they holding out on me? It's possible. But why hold this stuff back?
Do I think that the exercises taught at Shingu (and elsewhere, mind you) can work internal skill? Probably, but you need to have the engine to do so, and *that* wasn't taught in Shingu, as far as I could tell (feel) from those around me.
Consider it like Taiji forms - lots of people know them, and are probably incredibly dilligent about practicing them. But what can they do? (Sorry, but I've felt enough push-hands from Taiji folks...consider me underwhelmed).
So there is great value in funakogi undo, etc, but only if the (sorry, can't resist) baseline skills are taught first.

Also, it is possible that Omoto Kyo seeped into these exercises (or might have been the origin of), but the only team Hikitsuchi was rooting for was the Shinto home team. Best to get in touch with either Anno Motomichi about that, or even Clint George.

Sincerely,
Murray McPherson

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 08:52 AM
The shihan there were all amazing technicians, and very capable. But I can tell you without reservation that none of them felt anywhere close to what Dan and his students are able to do

I'm afraid I know nothing of the people or place you mention. I only sought to point out that these exercises were of importance to the Founder and that some of his most senior students kept them in some fashion. I'm still trying to understand their worth and value for myself, but that's just me.

Mike

DH
03-18-2007, 09:12 AM
Although I state it often enough that folks are bored hearing it-never-the-less it bears repeating.
Ueshiba's defining skill, his core material was, Daito Ryu's methods. To ignore it is intellectually disshonest and a form of intellectual thievery.
Ueshiba's internal skills exhbited during the period when all these incredibly experienced martial artists were initially "ooohing" and "ahing" and deguchi was stumped were... Daito ryu's Aiki-no jutsu- the art of Aiki.

Regardless of whether or not he added other things later it remains that his skills on display at that time were nothing else but Daito ryu. Odd that his contemporaries; Sagawa and Kodo were each blowing away those who touched them as well. The common source to them all was...Takeda. It also remains interesting that many of Ueshiba's own students-including those who openly stated they didn't even like him- none-the less considered him superior to Ueshiba.

Ueshiba had nothing when he met Takeda. Witnesses reported him actually crying when he felt Takeda's power. This after his "supposed" collection of Koryu training and his Judo training under a shodan.
With Takeda he could do nothing.
Cut to five or six years later when Deguchi and everyone else is flipping out over him.
What changed?

What changed was a great deal of hands-on with a Daito ryu master, and a great deal of training time when Takeda was away. With Ueshiba learning...the Aiki-no-jutsu of the Daito school. Something which is almost never taught openly either.
Now this was before a Omotokyo, before great balls of fire in big gaseous clouds, before rummbling mountains talking to him, and bullets sending out auras of thier trajectory.
All that came came later.
What initially made him the darling of all those budo men who were quite stumped was Takeda's Aiki-no-jutsu. Also worthy of note was that when asked, all saw a natural correlation between what Takeda was doing and what Ueshiba was doing. What? Did they both fart golden clouds together?
Was Sagawa's silver and Kodo's platinum?

Or was it that all these witnesses were simply seeing a common bond. A secret. Taught to these students of Takeda. Of Daito ryu.
They weren't feeling Taiji or bagua or any thing of the CMA internals. Nor were they feeling Ueshiba's later "purported" exercises a a source of his power. They were feeling Daito Ryu's Aiki-no-jutsu.

Disclaimers
Am I saying there is no other way? Of course not!
Am I saying Taiji or Xing-! and Bagua don't have it...no not at all.
Am I stating that the CMA have many shared common internal mechanics? Yes!
Will a deep understanding of Taijij get you "there." Yes.
But will that all look like Aikido or a Japanese based weapon art? Yes if you train it and want it to.
But I am stating that Ueshiba's source was- as he himself claimed openly- Takeda. "Takeda opened my eyes to true budo." It is that simple and everyone keeps trying to complicate the matter. Also after years of pissing off Takeda because he left with the goods, in the end he never really taught anyone how to do it anyway.
Are their other methods? Most assuredly.
But his was Aiki-no jutsu. In-yo ho.
Its also why he looked decidedly Japanese in his execution instead of adopting Chinese style movements and waza in paired form.
Japanese budo was all he knew and did.
The internals almost assuredly originated in China and were filtered through years of Japanese weapon work to arrive as a distinct Japanese flavor.
It was Daito ryu's method taught to Ueshiba
Aiki-no-jutsu to Aiki-do
That gave birth to Ueshiba's vision.
There is no other way to explain Takeda, Sagawa, Kodo and Ueshiba. To look at the them separately is flawed logic. Good research would lead you down a path to common origins.

I said all that to once again explain what folks like Murray, Ron and Mark and others are saying and why many are a bit puzzled. Anyone who understands and can do Aiki-no-jutsu to whatever degree they can do it, can also do Aiki-do. Usually better then most-in-Aikido can do it themselve's, mudansha, yudansha, and shihan alike. Those who didn't know-simply were shocked to feel it.
Why? they didn't know it existed. It's also why they greater community flops around speculating and trying to force fit all kinds of whacko, crazy connections from everywhere else to explain Ueshiba. When Stan finally met those in Daito ryu who know these things, they simply looked at Ueshiba's skills and went "Oh yah. Aiki-no jutsu! What about it? And some, like Sagawa, said "Here, like this..." wham!!
Or maybe he farted a silver cloud.
Dan

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 09:49 AM
The common source to them all was...Takeda. It also remains interesting that many of Ueshiba's own students-including those who openly stated they didn't even like him- none-the less considered him superior to Ueshiba.

SNIP

What initially made him the darling of all those budo men who were quite stumped was Takeda's Aiki-no-jutsu. Also worthy of note was that when asked, all saw a natural correlation between what Takeda was doing and what Ueshiba was doing.

SNIP

Or was it that all these witnesses were simply seeing a common bond. A secret. Taught to these students of Takeda. Of Daito ryu.
They weren't feeling Taiji or bagua or any thing of the CMA internals. Nor were they feeling Ueshiba's later "purported" exercises a a source of his power. They were feeling Daito Ryu's Aiki-no-jutsu.

Disclaimers
Am I saying there is no other way? Of course not!
Am I saying Taiji or Xing-! and Bagua don't have it...no not at all.
Am I stating that the CMA have many shared common internal mechanics? Yes!
Will a deep understanding of Taijij get you "there." Yes.
But will that all look like Aikido or a Japanese based weapon art? Yes if you train it and want it to.
But I am stating that Ueshiba's source was- as he himself claimed openly- Takeda. "Takeda opened my eyes to true budo." It is that simple and everyone keeps trying to complicate the matter.

Yet there is also evidence to the contrary. That Ueshiba didn't develop these abilities until he became involved in Oomoto Kyo. If this is the case then investigating some of the things he did on a regular basis bears merit. As was covered in that whole Hiden in plain sight thing, maybe he was doing it all the time but nobody (well not many people anyway) noticed. Basically 'yeah shut up old man so I can go practice more waza'. I'm not entirely convinced that what constitutes aikido (or aikido-1 as referred to above) is totally and completely aiki/in-yo ho derived from Daito Ryu and Takeda. I am in agreement with you however that organisationally promoted pyjama-dancing (aikido-2) is not what the Founder did or wanted others to do.

The only way I know of to achieve aikido-1 is via the Ki Soc derived methodology, possibly with a good measure of resistive training thrown in too, I am as yet unable to comment on this as fully as I would like as I am not particularly experienced. I notice that you tend to skip over such exercises in favour of Taiji type exercises. Why? Especially when the founder awarded the highest rank possible to Tohei, the man who devised these methods.

Regards

Mike

ChrisMoses
03-18-2007, 10:19 AM
I would definitely recommend anyone look up 'The Rites of Spring' as preserved by Michio Hikitsuchi Sensei. I believe that these exercises probably contain many of the essential methods used by the Founder to develop his internal power, he practiced them daily aparently (Some of these breathing methods and exercises are preserved in Ki Soc exercises, but notably not all of them).

Interesting you bring Hikitsuchi Sensei, after starting to work on solo exercises and having a better idea what to look for internally and how to look, the whole shin kokyu practice takes on a whole new meaning.

Ellis Amdur
03-18-2007, 10:28 AM
Essentially, the shift to Misogi exercises had several motivations. First of all, some of the exercises, chanting, for example, allow one to emphasize certain aspects of breath control that Ueshiba was, I believe, particularly interested. SECOND, old wine in new bottles. The DR training in a different vessel. Why? Perhaps political - "see, I'm doing something different." Perhaps religious - the misogi exercises were directly associated with the second leg of his interests, spirituality. (BTW - Tada Hiroshi states that there is a third leg, the mikkyo he learned as a youth, which introduced him both to austerities and to social consciousness).
However, this does beg a question - let us say that one is a star athlete, someone who has given decades of one's life to train every aspect of one's soma to an incredible peak. Once there, one develops a "maintenance" training method that doesn't tear you down, but keeps you there. Is it possible that Ueshiba's shift to the Misogi exercises was his maintenance training - and that such training, alone, could not transmit what he learned from Takeda?

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 10:43 AM
However, this does beg a question - let us say that one is a star athlete, someone who has given decades of one's life to train every aspect of one's soma to an incredible peak. Once there, one develops a "maintenance" training method that doesn't tear you down, but keeps you there. Is it possible that Ueshiba's shift to the Misogi exercises was his maintenance training - and that such training, alone, could not transmit what he learned from Takeda?

If that was the case then it would link in fairly nicely with some of the comments made in this thread:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12141

concerning Ki Society derived methodology. I know from my own experiences that sometimes it can be difficult (for me at least) to understand what exactly it is I'm supposed to be feeling when performing a certain exercise. You need help from an instructor who can explain and describe these things, which is why intellectually dismantling their efficacy is easy to do on paper but not in practice (I've seen them done too often and by too many people to discount the methods).

But we still really don't know if that is not how Takeda himself might have taught these things or a method similar to it, i.e. an expectation that they need to steal the technique through regular practice of a form or forms which require the 'secret' to be known in order to be correctly practiced. It would also explain why some of Takeda's own students did not 'get it' in just the same way that some of Ueshiba's students also didn't.

Regards

Mike Haft

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 10:56 AM
Interesting you bring Hikitsuchi Sensei, after starting to work on solo exercises and having a better idea what to look for internally and how to look, the whole shin kokyu practice takes on a whole new meaning.

I'm afraid that I don't really know too much about Hikitsuchi Sensei, I only think it worth mentioning him in this discussion because he seemed to be held in high esteem by O Sensei and because I've heard interesting stories, so I reason that he must have something worth looking at.

A few people have asked me about the Rites of Spring via PMs. They can be found in #52 of Aikido Today magazine.

Mike

DH
03-18-2007, 03:33 PM
Yet there is also evidence to the contrary. That Ueshiba didn't develop these abilities until he became involved in Omoto Kyo.
That’s simply not true.
Cite______________________________________
What is key here is that his skills were in evidence WHEN he was doing nothing but DR. There are many interviews to support that. It is worth differentiating that single point.
Why? Because anyone who gets this or has train in other arts with internals will continue to grow incrementally, sometimes in leaps from one level to another. At a certain point you just grasp things you couldn’t figure out. It is this that accounts for his noted increase later. But the point being it happens WITHOUT ANY OTHER ADD-ONS. Just sticking to the method- will cause great changes over time.
Unfortunately with Ueshiba you have these true believers who misunderstood his religious practices and falsely attributed his physical growth with a sort of physical manifestation of those beliefs. For them, for some reason they just could not correlate his or accept his Aiki-no-jujutsu skills with his vision. For them it just had to be something different. It had to come from somewhere else.;)
All to better support the legend I guess.

The only way I know of to achieve aikido-1 is via the Ki Soc derived methodology, possibly with a good measure of resistive training thrown in too, I am as yet unable to comment on this as fully as I would like as I am not particularly experienced. I notice that you tend to skip over such exercises in favour of Taiji type exercises. Why? Especially when the founder awarded the highest rank possible to Tohei, the man who devised these methods.

Regards

Mike

You only know what you know. But the question at hand is not what you know but what your willing to consider.

Taiji exercises? You must be confusing me with someone else. I don't know taiji. And the reason I skip over those Ki exercises is that I didn’t need them. There are other ways to train that I found to be far more beneficial. Resulting in power and control in a shorter time frame. Then on to others that take far more time.
In the end the Daito ryu method, once you get past, and dump the wrist grabs, works rather well.

If I may, why are talking to me?
Have you decided that I -do- have something to say or contribute about Aikido after all? Or did my natural charm and wit win you over? :D

Cheers
Dan

DH
03-18-2007, 03:39 PM
But we still really don't know if that is not how Takeda himself might have taught these things or a method similar to it, i.e. an expectation that they need to steal the technique through regular practice of a form or forms which require the 'secret' to be known in order to be correctly practiced. It would also explain why some of Takeda's own students did not 'get it' in just the same way that some of Ueshiba's students also didn't.

Regards
Mike Haft
Perhaps that is better written like this

But those who never learned these things still really don't know [/i]what Takeda, Sagawa or Kodo did or what Aiki-no-jutsu or In-yo ho is and if and how they may have taught, and if that is[/i] how Takeda himself might have taught these things or a method similar to it, i.e. an expectation that they need to steal the technique through regular practice of a form or forms which require the 'secret' to be known in order to be correctly practiced. It would also explain why some of Takeda's own students did not 'get it' in just the same way that some of Ueshiba's students also didn't.

That seems a bit more accurate and reasonable to me
Dan

DH
03-18-2007, 04:22 PM
Thought it mught prove interesting
Is Osensei really the father of modern Aikido?

full article here
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3057

...... I want to make my point perfectly clear. What I mean to say is that Morihei Ueshiba was NOT the main figure at the Hombu Dojo who taught on a day-to-day basis. O-Sensei was there at unpredictible intervals and often his instruction centered on philosophical subjects. Tohei and Kisshomaru Ueshiba are the persons most responsible for the technical content and development of aikido within the Aikikai Hombu system. As before the war, the uchideshi of later years would teach outside the Hombu Dojo in clubs and universities after only a relatively short period of apprenticeship. Also, this period was characterized by "dan inflation," many of these young teachers being promoted at the rate of one dan per year. In a number of cases, they also "skipped" ranks. But that is the subject of another article!

What does all of this mean? It means that the common view of the spread of aikido following the war taking place under the direct tutelage of the founder is fundamentally in error. Tohei and the present Doshu deserve the lion's share of the credit, not the founder. It means further that O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba was not seriously involved in the instruction or administration of aikido in the postwar years. He was already long retired and very focused on his personal training, spiritual development, travel and social activities. Also, it should be noted that, despite his stereotyped image as a gentle, kind old man, O-Sensei was also the possessor of piercing eyes and a heroic temper. His presence was not always sought at the Hombu Dojo due to his critical comments and frequent outbursts....

A sharp guy might be drawn down several divergent paths just from these two paragraphs alone.

As Mike and I have said many. many times.
Who is doing Kissomaru's Waza
Why did Tohei leave?
Who is -really- doing Ueshiba's Aikido?
Cheers
Dan

Thomas Campbell
03-18-2007, 04:23 PM
[snip]

You only know what you know. But the question at hand is not what you know but what your willing to consider.

[snip]

Well spoken.

Ecosamurai
03-18-2007, 06:03 PM
Well spoken.

Not especially. If I wasn't considering these things I wouldn't be a part of this discussion.

Mike

Thomas Campbell
03-18-2007, 06:23 PM
Mike, my comment was to that specific phrase of Dan's . . . I think it is a pithy summation of the tenor of this and related threads. The fact that he made the remark in the context of replying to you is beside the point of my observation.

DH
03-18-2007, 07:15 PM
I dunno, on the other hand it may be more hopeful than ever. And yet again many will say they're happy just as they are.
I think allot of folks enjoy the energy exchange and that "ride." And really don't give a hoot that its not martailly sound. They're any number of folks who aren't interested in real power.
I say good on them....let em have fun.
Its the ones who are interested in fluid power and the foundations of Japanese bujutsu that might be looking at the beginings of change-and the sharing of some good informaton if they go looking.
They first had to know it was real. That part may be mostly over. Now they just have to go find someone who will share.
Now if ya meant the Aikido make believe dream...I think most people never really bought into it anyway. Most guys I know saw right through it.
Dan

Tim Mailloux
03-18-2007, 07:33 PM
Now if ya meant the Aikido make believe dream...I think most people never really bought into it anyway. Most guys I know saw right through it.
Dan

Dan,
Most guys you know may have seen right through it, but the overwhelming majority of aikidoka still buy it lock stock and barrel.:confused:

Tim

DH
03-18-2007, 08:20 PM
Well you won't believe what it does for cutting. Not that you ever really need that much power to cut with a sword anyway. Its just that there really isn't much effort exerted to get that power in use. After a while its just your body doing its thing with little dedication. Its the same for all weapons-particulalry large weapons like Naginata and spear-or taijutsu. Its all the same. Just you being you, and them encountering -you.
This training is tailor made for bujutsu. And just might have been more prevelant than we know. In Bujutsu you didn't want to be on a battlefield all day carrying loads, like armor and weapons and hikiing cutting, stabbing and what not using 100% of external muscular effort. Fundementally at any point in time, you'd want to be using small percentages of your power to do any given task. That is the essence of bujutsu. Whether with Kogusoku, Sword, spear etc. The ideal was for maximum efficiency in the body for minimum effort in the field.
This type of training- albeit a killer in practice- gives you much greater inherent martial strength and in other ways more usable strength, without exerting yourself so much. Its yet another critisism I have with so many in Aiki-do. All that hopping around and "energy exchanging" is martially stupid. Also others claiming their style is "based on weapons" while being fundementally clueless about how to use them with any degree of efficiency.
Dan

David Orange
03-18-2007, 11:04 PM
You had a plethora of men surrounding Ueshiba, sitting there under his direct tutelage and many lectures. Yet oddly enough, probably his two best; Tohei and Shioda, went elsewhere for their own enlightenment. With those that remained clearly stating they did not understand him. What remains of Ueshiba is his pointed to two places. Daito ryu and esoteric Shinto practices.

Interesting thread going, Dan. A lot has been happening on Aikiweb since I was able to log in.

I am convinced that you have something very worthwhile and I'm trying to work out a way to come and see you.

Meanwhile...

You left out one big fellow who was close to Ueshiba for many, many years. I speak, of course, of Mochizuki Sensei, whom the daito ryu regards as a daito ryu master--one of only two men, including Tomiki, to get a scroll from Ueshiba.

Of course, Mochizuki did go elsewhere and he did start his own style--but to the very end, he had pictures of two men on his dojo wall: Kano and Ueshiba. And like all the others, he did call his art aikido.

These discussions go back and forth on the matter of technique and fighting. And I understand that fighting is not the end-all, be-all for any kind of training, but usefulness is the ultimate purpose.

I can say that Mochizuki Sensei had plenty of choku fudo, but he never made a big deal out of being "immoveable". He never demonstrated the unbendable arm, the jo trick, standing and being pushed, sitting cross-legged and having people push against his head--none of that. The fact is, while Ueshiba agreed to "show the lie" to the Emperor, Mochizuki Sensei preferred not to show it. And while the things mentioned above are not lies, he did consider them, more or less parlor tricks in that context. In other words, if he wanted to show an ability, he showed it in his technique--his sword work, his aikido, his judo, jujutsu, karate or whatever else he was doing. I never saw him give any kind of demonstration of anything like Tohei did.

The point being that, as everyone has agreed, the skills you describe do have limits--when they run up against someone else with the same kinds of skills, developed to a similar or slightly higher level. And I think that those powers were relatively common when Mochizuki was young, but relatively uncommon the older he got. Many of those with the abilities died well before the war. Many were killed in the war. Japanese society, moving fruther from the samurai times, lost the mindset and deadened the ability of the Japanese youth to learn them. And the Japanese budo, having come through the SCAP restrictions, either lost the necessary elements or hid them where few have found them since.

But if they are core elements of budo, largely based on skills trained through sumo methods, then we get to a point where they are, indeed, baseline skills and not unique to any art. However, there is a reason that the arts have different names. They take very different approaches to using the human resources of mind, two arms, two legs and a head. There is a big difference between karate and aikido, between karate and ken-jutsu and between ken-jutsu and ju-jutsu.

And I do believe that, as Ushiro Sensei said, the traditional training methods contain all that is necessary to develop the skills he has--which have been repeatedly presented as representative of the "baseline skills" of so much recent discussion. Ushiro Sensei said that he got his skills by practicing the kata of Okinawan karate.

And I believe that the traditional training methods of judo will develop similar power and immoveability. And if you can find someone who goes deep enough to the really traditional training methods of aikido, those will develop it, too.

In my opinion, the problem is that those methods are not known by many people and they are not dilligently followed enough to produce the results. In modern judo, for instance, there is a big emphasis on sport and training specialized techniques, emphasizing the right or the left side of the body, while in traditional training, the emphasis was to develop all the techniques and to be able to do them with both right and left and without weight classes.

Deemphasizing equal right and left-side training could, alone, be what takes modern training away from teaching what you do.

Anyway, Mochizuki Sensei taught in the very traditional way. He didn't like to see anyone develop too much of a "tokui" specialty waza. I remember one guy at the dojo who had a beautiful technique that he could do almost at will on almost anyone. I remarked on that to Sensei and he seemed to disdain it. He said, "Yeah, but that's the only technique he has." The guy had developed that one thing so far. He could probably do all the other techniques in the judo repertoire but apparently none of his other techniques approached the level of naturalness he had with that one technique. And the original intent of the judo method was that a high-level man would reach that level of naturalness throughout a broad range of hand techniques, hip techniques, leg techniques and sutemi waza. And when he had that, he would have the kind of thing you're talking about.

And so, since "the skills" alone were beatable by someone else with "the skills," his approach was to develop those skills by a broad development of the full range of technique--and in his case, not just judo techniques, but judo, aikido, karate, ju-jutsu, etc., all informed by ken-jutsu and backed up by koppo.

Now, it's rare to find anyone with that kind of breadth and depth because society now does not much allow it and it provides so many distractions and undermines all serious self-development. So we find judo people who are good with particular techniques on their right side only, with other techniques on their left side only, and not very good at many other aspects of judo. We find aikido people who have trained for twenty or more years who would be in big trouble if a really dangerous kind of person attacked them.

So I think it's a good thing you're doing and it's good to see that so many people are making that accessible. But I guess I'm saying "Don't throw the master out with the baby and the bath water." Aikido has something real and deep and powerful. But it may not be in the techniques you can find at a local dojo. You might have to go to Japan to find techniques that even contain that essence anymore. So when I say you have to look deeply, that may mean that you have to look somewhere else. But these days, even if you go to Japan, there aren't many left who ever saw those old times and the people that came from those times.

So I'm certainly not against you. It has always been the duty of a budoka to develop himself as deeply as he could. And that has always meant to "find out for yourself" what is real and develop yourself in truth. Those who are guardians of hierarchy won't like it, but KFC doesn't like it when you go to Arby's for lunch. Who cares?

Best to you.

David

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 04:46 AM
Mike, my comment was to that specific phrase of Dan's . . . I think it is a pithy summation of the tenor of this and related threads. The fact that he made the remark in the context of replying to you is beside the point of my observation.

Fair enough.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 04:58 AM
That's simply not true.
Cite______________________________________

I'm at work so I don't have the references to hand, they are at home. But, there is the account of Ueshiba's friend from back home who said that he wasn't so special when it was just Daito Ryu, it was the Oomoto Kyo that changed him. Also Ueshiba's former judo teacher once told Tohei that it was after Oomoto Kyo that he became powerful. This doesn't necessarliy mean however that the essesnce of his skill did NOT come from Takeda, only that it was the Oomoto Kyo that (for want of a better word) awakened it.

Like I said there isn't great evidence either way. I think your giulty of choosing to interpret it in a way that suits you best rather than interpreting it fairly. I am quite willing to explore either (or both) possibility, which is the answer to this question:

If I may, why are talking to me?
Have you decided that I -do- have something to say or contribute about Aikido after all? Or did my natural charm and wit win you over? :D

Exploring these things with you, despite your choice to behave in an abrasive and haughty manner is of interest.

In the end the Daito ryu method, once you get past, and dump the wrist grabs, works rather well.

Dumping the wrist grabs may suit what you wish to achieve but not me. I suspect that your definitition of 'effective' (could you please supply us with it as it seems crucial to your arguments?) is not the same as mine. I personally find these of great interest. I would however not be stupid enough to offer my wrist to an attacker in a UFC style situation unless I was planning something rather sneaky.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 07:53 AM
To bring this back around I heard Dan say (I'm going to paraphrase because my memory sucks) "Don't mistake this internal stuff for fighting. The body training can definitely improve your martial skill but if that's all you have, you're going to be immovable/unthrowable/etc. right until you get your ass knocked out. You need more."

I think that's a valid point. I know that my own physical fitness levels and body conditioning would need to be much better to enter such a competition. They aren't at present because I'm not training to enter competitions seeing as I have no interest in them. Which is also a valid point.

DH
03-19-2007, 07:57 AM
Mike
Yest another wonderful communication from your keyboard.
ILets see, you talked to me with phrases like I'm petty, ego-driven, rude. Now your back with prhases like, abbrassive, haughty and now "guilty of having a position?"
And you think I'm the one with the problem?

Lighten up.
I hardly see where you're "exploring" anything "with" me. Examine your approach, Is this the way you handle yourself in a conflict? You're not coming off looking very well here. We all can understand it if you're furstrated son, even angry, but set a game plan or gioal for a debate. One where you can move a conversation forward. Otherwise you look like your ill-prepared and shooting from the hip. Never a good sign for a Budo guy.
But thanks for your attempts at expressing yourself. Its nice to see how young budo men interact nowadays.
Dan

akiy
03-19-2007, 08:07 AM
Gentlemen,

Please take your personal disputes offline.

-- Jun

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 08:25 AM
We all can understand it if you're furstrated son,

I am not your son, please don't patronize me.

even angry, but set a game plan or gioal for a debate. One where you can move a conversation forward. Otherwise you look like your ill-prepared and shooting from the hip. Never a good sign for a Budo guy.
But thanks for your attempts at expressing yourself. Its nice to see how young budo men interact nowadays.
Dan

You seem to be saying that being young (by which I take it you mean younger than you rather than young) means I cannot have a point of view or intelligent questions to ask. Quite an arrogant view. I call you rude and abrasive because you are. You respond by telling me I am young. A cheap debate tactic enabling you not to answer questions I ask. I have asked questions that I believe are valid. I also believe that amongst the hubris you do actually have some interesting things to say, which is why I am here.

I'll move the conversation forward when you do. Let me ask you this. You claim that what you do is aiki, and also therefore aiki-do, the implication being that most aikido people do not actually do aikido:

If you had to pay for an advertisement for your dojo would you advertise it as Dan Harden's Aikido Dojo or Dan Harden's MMA school and why?

Please don't try something so cheap as saying that 'I don't advertise my dojo, I don't need to'. I believe the answer to this question will be quite illuminating as to your view point and motivation for holding it, both of which are related to the title of this thread, questions of 'does Dan do aikido?', if so is what we (the majority of the aikido, or, as you like it Ueshiba-ha Daito Ryu world) do aikido? Are these things the same? If they are different how are they different? Why are they different? Is this difference something that needs to be 'fixed'? Or is it fine as it is? How do we judge the criteria for assessing the need to 'fix'?

Please answer the question without resorting to cheap debating tactics and patronizing comments. I, and I suspect others would appreciate it. Nor do I think we need a round of replies and PMs from your friends and supporters telling us that you're a really great guy and really talented. I have never questioned your skill. Only your motivation.

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 08:26 AM
Sorry Jun, I didn't see your post before my reply. feel free to delete my relpy if you think you need to.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
03-19-2007, 08:51 AM
Hey now, since you posted your note to Jun just one minute after that prior post, you could simply have gone back and deleted or altered it on your own. ;) We get 15 minutes to edit posts, and the "Edit" box remains in the lower right corner of the posted comment for the duration of that time. Play nice! :)

Ellis Amdur
03-19-2007, 08:51 AM
Gotta return to a couple of posts back. Mike H. referred to Ueshiba's skill jumping after Omotokyo - and not having the reference at hand. That was me, in Hidden in Plain Sight. I'm in the process of extensively revising that essay, btw - my perspective has somewhat changed - is amplified, actually.
The essential question is if Ueshiba's skill jumped due to some kind of training in Omotokyo, OR whether it jumped because things happened to come together for him at that time (the training in DR took root), the experience at Omoto provoked something that enabled Ueshiba to put things together that he'd learned, OR it was after Takeda lived with him for six months at the Omoto headquarters. (My current perspective is that it is one of the latter two alternatives - not the former. The proof is that anyone that we know of who did get internal strength who did Misogi exercises was a student of Ueshiba - those who were not are not recorded as possessing such power. Therefore, I believe that Ueshiba either used the exercises to pour old wine - DR - into new bottles - Misogi - , or that these exercises offered him some variant training methods which might have taken him in some different directions - nonetheless, still fueled by DR.
Bad metaphor, but - one buys a new car, but still uses gasoline. The Sagawa model gets 20 miles a gallon, goes 0 - 60 in 4.6 seconds, and tops out at 150 mph. The Horikawa model is quiet, nondescript, gets 50 miles a gallon, is good in city traffic and urban traffic jams, and surprises at 110 mph. The Ueshiba model gets 40 miles a gallon, can switch to biodiesel, and is especially good, off-road - and occasionally stuns by being possessed by the spirit of departed Masaratis and acting like a sports car when you least expect it.
More recently, the Harden model is seen at Monster Truck rallies, runs at 150 decibels, where it recently crushed "Grave Digger" on the ramp jump. :) The Haft model is, by report, a good little road model, able to take one from Portsmouth to Cornwall on a single tank of gas, but the driver tends to lay on the horn just a bit too much. ;)

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 09:08 AM
Hey now, since you posted your note to Jun just one minute after that prior post, you could simply have gone back and deleted or altered it on your own. ;) We get 15 minutes to edit posts, and the "Edit" box remains in the lower right corner of the posted comment for the duration of that time. Play nice! :)

I didn't know that, thanks for the tip.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 09:12 AM
The Haft model is, by report, a good little road model, able to take one from Portsmouth to Cornwall on a single tank of gas, but the driver tends to lay on the horn just a bit too much. ;)

Such kind words Ellis :D When I can afford it I'll upgrade, until then I'm content to muddle along just fine. I suspect that many younger people tend to drive such cars ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
03-19-2007, 09:44 AM
I didn't know that, thanks for the tip.

Mike

You've been on AikiWeb since 2002 and you don't know about the "Edit" function?! :confused:
Do you guys in Scotland still use an abacus to count your sheep, too?! :eek:
:D

Ellis, that was...just...fabulous. The rest of us weigh in as mopeds and motorized tricycles!

DH
03-19-2007, 10:00 AM
Hmmm....very interesting indeed. You and I have talked this to death up close and personal, so I’m not addressing this to you-rather to the general audience.
And just what sort of precedents are there from within Daito ryu that would corroborate Ellis’s hypothesis?
For me it isn’t a theory, it isn’t guess work. I’ve seen video footage of Daito ryu Shihan training and then seen their breakthroughs ten years later. I’ve felt it happen, I’ve spoken with men who’ve experienced it, and last It’s happened in my own body three times. You can look at CMA internal training and talk to fellas who have had the same things happen to them.
It’s not about technique and getting a deeper understanding of movement per se.
It’s about internal skills. There is a gradual learning curve and realization. You can’t really tell someone to “Just do this.” And they say “Oh, great, Thanks that’s all I needed. You train things for years (not techniques) then you see windows and things come together in your body (not techniques) then you are ready and start to feel other things happening so when you connect with force you can all of a sudden do other things (not techniques) after doing things for years and still doing your own training you jump and can do something, then you “lose it”, then you can do it again, then you fail. This goes on and on. Then in the middle of really doing things you yourself can’t believe…you lose it again. This goes on for years till of a sudden you “see” what you were missing. Then you have more to work on.
That Shioda jumped ship and went to the Kodokai to learn is hypothesis for one and fact for another. I find it comical that by his own students admission he “made these leaps” and I sit there and watch him doing straight out of the box kodokai expressions of internal skills verbatim. Gee, how’d that happen.
That Takeda went to the Deguchi compound and trained intensively with Ueshiba, when Ueshiba was ready to receive and Deguchi was so impressed with the results that he asked Takeda to change the name to Aiki-jujutsu ….is a surprise…… to just who? Why was it after this that Ueshiba received permission to teach.
The only folks who keep trying to find “other” influences are folks who don’t know and can’t see its Takeda’s Aiki-no-jutsu all the way. And just how good is good? How good did Ueshiba really get comparatively? Just how much did Ueshiba really “have it” compared to his contemporaries? The other masters of Daito ryu? Why did two of the schools not look so favorably on his later efforts? How many students of Kodo and Sagawa felt his stuff and felt their own teachers, and characteristic of Koryu of that day just didn’t write about it. Who felt Ueshiba’s skills later in life and judged them as still needing work? Sagawa stopped a 68 year old Ueshiba… dead in his tracks.
Does it reduce the veracity of these skills. Not in the least. The skills speak for themselves. It just means Sagawa was better at them then Ueshiba, So was Takeda so was Kodo. Something that many folks in DR have always known.
It’s easy for new folks to write-off these discussions. Its equally hard for most to even consider that among his contemporaries in internal skills (O)sensei had his betters –in the art he got it from. Daito ryu. Most folks have never encountered the real internal masters of the art or what they can do in a modern contemporary venue. The “mystery” of Ueshiba is best addressed in his own words.
“Takeda opened my eyes to true Budo” and then we see the following ….all his students who met Takeda considered him Ueshiba’s superior…all the later folks are looking to a mixed bag for Ueshiba’s skills.
Suffice to say the internal arts are what is Aiki. And endless repetition of waza ain’t gonna do it.
Dan

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 10:03 AM
You've been on AikiWeb since 2002 and you don't know about the "Edit" function?! :confused:
Do you guys in Scotland still use an abacus to count your sheep, too?! :eek:
:D

Yeah, I actually feel quite embarrased. I usually just preview my posts and edit them that way before pressing send, that's why I've never paid attention to the edit button :sorry:

Mike

Walker
03-19-2007, 01:51 PM
You left out one big fellow who was close to Ueshiba for many, many years. I speak, of course, of Mochizuki Sensei, whom the daito ryu regards as a daito ryu master--one of only two men, including Tomiki, to get a scroll from Ueshiba.

Not to get all picky or anything, but many students received such a scroll -- Tomiki, Mochizuki, Yonekawa, Shirata, Shioda, Kunigoshi, Yukawa and I'm sure plenty of others. Many of them remarked later that they didn't think they were important or didn't understand what they were at the time. Ms. Kunigoshi said that at the time she thought that hers was just some kind of notes.

DH
03-19-2007, 01:58 PM
Not to get all picky or anything, but many students received such a scroll -- Tomiki, Mochizuki, Yonekawa, Shirata, Shioda, Kunigoshi, Yukawa and I'm sure plenty of others. Many of them remarked later that they didn't think they were important or didn't understand what they were at the time. Ms. Kunigoshi said that at the time she thought that hers was just some kind of notes.

True.Also true is that there is a great deal of information in that paragraph. More than many will ever realize.
Dan

Walker
03-19-2007, 02:22 PM
Not to add fuel to the fire or anything, but while checking my facts I came across this little gem from Akazawa -- "O-Sensei never taught exactly how to become strong or things such as that. This was not because he was worried that the students were trying to become stronger than him, however. There is simply no way around it, if you want to be strong you have to single-mindedly push yourself into that state known as muga no kyochi, that is, the realm of no-self."
:hypno: Very "if we become blond, we will rule the world."

SeiserL
03-19-2007, 03:40 PM
I have had to go to outside seminars/reading/viewing to see what my Sensei was already showing me. It was "hidden in plain sight".

We can debate where its there or not, or whether I have the ability to perceive it. The further down the path I go, the more I see.

DH
03-19-2007, 08:13 PM
1. Not to add fuel to the fire or anything, but while checking my facts I came across this little gem from Akazawa -- "O-Sensei never taught exactly how to become strong or things such as that. This was not because he was worried that the students were trying to become stronger than him, however.

2. There is simply no way around it, if you want to be strong you have to single-mindedly push yourself into that state known as muga no kyochi, that is, the realm of no-self."
:hypno: Very "if we become blond, we will rule the world."

Well I think the first part is pretty much been the point of most of these discussion-the fact that he didn't teach it. We're postulating that -while not much ourselves- we might be able to help here or there by sharing. Something which I've not previously ever been willing to do before.

The second part. To all those who have chosen that long "do more kata" road, I'd say in my best Doctor Phil voice: "How's that workin out for ya?"

The idea that you have to work harder at something to suddenly get them is baloney. They are teachable on their own and always were. My guys learn these skills day one, week one, and it builds from these. They are the foundation of all budo. Period.
For Budo they make you stronger, tougher to throw and lockup and they are great for power generaton and weapons.
For MMA they make you stronger and tougher to throw and lock up and they are great for power generaton and weapons.
They're just a great body training for fighting
They work and are viable in any art
And the Asians knew that.
How come for the most part, so few non-Asian students knew or know them in any depth- with all these tens of thousands of Foreigners learning?
There's another interesting question.
So where is it in Aikido?
Can it be trained seperately and used in Aikido?
Is it in fact, the core of Aiki-do?
Dan

statisticool
03-19-2007, 09:02 PM
And endless repetition of waza ain't gonna do it.


Neither will endless static drills and parlor tricks.

DH
03-19-2007, 09:04 PM
Which is why you shouldn't do them in the first place. Leather and canvas settles allot of doubts and questions. Or we can do Aikido, or push hands
MMA can be both a great equalizer or a sifter... of men and their opinions.

One line drive by's won't help much on that day. Neither will your opinions. But since you seem to be strong on them -come prove your point. Dinners on me. Show me what I'm doing wrong. And again pick a format
MMA, push hands, or straight Aikido
Come play and prove this method is flawed. It will help in the discussion more than drive bys. We can experiment to help others using you in person instead of in keyboard. I promise I'll make you laugh and have you smiling in no time
When you coming?

David Orange
03-19-2007, 09:41 PM
Not to get all picky or anything, but many students received such a scroll -- Tomiki, Mochizuki, Yonekawa, Shirata, Shioda, Kunigoshi, Yukawa and I'm sure plenty of others. Many of them remarked later that they didn't think they were important or didn't understand what they were at the time. Ms. Kunigoshi said that at the time she thought that hers was just some kind of notes.

No, what I'm talking about only Tomiki and Mochizuki received.

No one would mistake these scrolls for "notes." They're the official transmission scrolls of daito ryu. Of course, if you have some citation that anyone else got them, I'd be glad to review it.

David

Walker
03-20-2007, 12:35 AM
Are you serious? What do you think a mokuroku is? Rhetorical question as it is literally a list, catalogue, inventory, index.

The easy answer for me would be to tell you to look in the index of "Aikido Masters" for Mokuroku -- pages 98, 145, 151, 178, 247, 248. Should be easy to find it's next after Mochizuki.

For the benefit of all, though, I'll type out some of the most relevant from page 247:
Takako Kunigoshi (illustrator of "Budo Renshu")
The first thing I received was a scroll called a mokuroku. Ueshiba sensei said to me, 'Actually I should copy this out and give it to you, but I don't have any time so please take mine and write it yourself.' I wrote out everything and when I told Sensei that I had finished he told me to write my name. I wrote my own name and all Ueshiba sensei did was affix his seal. So I have a scroll which I copied out myself. If I were asked just what the scroll meant I guess we could say it was the equivalent to some dan grading... When I was training, though, there was nothing like dan grades...

Intr. -- I see. Was the scroll you received like this one?

Yes, this is the one.

Intr. -- It is definitely the first level scroll. It's called the hiden mokuroku.

...at that time I didn't consider it to be a kind of certification or diploma. I thought it was something like a set of notes. I didn't pay particular attention to writing it.

PeterR
03-20-2007, 12:43 AM
Um Doug - I don't think David was talking about the hiden mokuroku.

Walker
03-20-2007, 12:56 AM
Hi Peter, does this thing have a name? It would really help the discussion as the hiden mokuroku is a DR scroll.

Chris Li
03-20-2007, 01:15 AM
Hi Peter, does this thing have a name? It would really help the discussion as the hiden mokuroku is a DR scroll.

It's a lower level DR scroll - I assume that he's talking about "goshin yo no te", which was the highest level scroll being given out at the time (the same one that Ueshiba himself got from Takeda).

Best,

Chris

DH
03-20-2007, 07:26 AM
I thought you might find these interesting in regards to a Chinese Martial artists experience in learning Daito ryu’s internal aspects. Once again, to express the commonalties of all the Asain arts- from an internal point of view. This fellow, like myself, draws corollaries between CMA and Daito ryu and internal body methods. Some of the things he discusses have been brought up by Rob, Mike and I. think of how it can and should relate to the internals of Aikido.
I just thought it valuable hearing it forn someone else to add to any debate or research. Neither Rob, Mike or I know these men. Yet miraculously here they are with the same statements and comparisons.

This is from a Chinese internal martial arts forum
In my opinion Daito ryu is, at it's highest levels, as "internal" as it gets.
Daito ryu basically consists of three types of technique or three methods of using ones own body and manipulating another persons. Jujutsu, (edited) aiki-jujutsu: the relaxation gives the opponent has nothing to push against while the spiralling movements twist and lock up the joints up to the spine.
and then aiki no jutsu:
Taking control of the opponents spine, breaking their root and throwing them using any point of contact. like a hand on the shoulder, a forearm touching an elbow or whatever. a tiny, fast, barely perceptible circle and you get lifted onto your toes and thrown on the ground. i think a lot of it is to do with subtle and rapid manipulation of a persons natural reflexes. (ie their "intent"....i guess i'll write here what i've been thinking about so i can use the word "intent"...: i'm starting to develop an idea of intent as being something which is happening outside of our conscious control most of the time, for example: when eating and trying to observe, i discover that i am chewing but not deciding when to chew, i reach for another bite without thinking about it, my hands and body shift around all over the place, and very interestingly my eyes move by themselves and also in response to sounds/shapes/movements, before i have time to notice. so now i think this is "yi", and although "yi" can be focused and trained, still a lot of it - most of it - will inevitably be going on constantly responding to the infinite and ever-changing external and internal environment. so talking of sensing and manipulating someone elses "yi" can simply mean feeling and manipulating their bodies' natural reactions - and if you're sensitive enough you can then move them around freely while they are basically powerless since their bodies' inbuilt compensation mechanisms are trying to keep or regain their balance with tiny pushes and pulls that are then manipulated to keep them off balance!!!! hahahaha i think i might have got that out in a way which makes sense!)

soooooooooooooooooo ANYWAY! i realized last night that my daito ryu training has had a huge effect on my IMA, especially in what I am working towards.

Then…………………….
in my opinion the aiki no jutsu skills are exactly what should come from taiji or bagua training (or any IMA "whole body" training) - the ability to instantly feel and control the opponents spine/balance/intent from the moment of contact, using any part of the body - if we train with this in mind.

Then…….
Yes the daito ryu stuff i find very very similar to yiquan, believe it or not. the aiki-jujutsu spiralling body methods are pretty bagua-esque. great combinations. i'm looking forward to revisiting the daito ryu methods once i'm stuck into the bagua

Again I bring this here only to -once again- add support for a position of commonalities between the internal skills in all Asian arts. Here is a CMA artist discovering what I have been talking about for ten years on the net. These skills are real and viable in which ever method you choose to use them in. Whether it be CMA, or Daito ryu or Aikido. The internals are the engine. WIthout them you have an external shell dependant on technique only. Which does work mind you. MMA is proof enough of that. But MMA an virtually anything else- can be improved with these skills.
Once we can get Aikido folks past all this naysaying-they can move forward and empower their own Aikido greatly with Internal skills which were and are the source of what the art was meant to be in the first place.
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
03-20-2007, 08:32 AM
Once we can get Aikido folks past all this naysaying-they can move forward and empower their own Aikido greatly with Internal skills which were and are the source of what the art was meant to be in the first place.

Dan,
Who is naysaying? I certainly am not. I'm on record consistently in agreement with you about this.

I think we past the point in the discussion in which you have to "sell" the idea that Daito Ryu has elements in this training which develops these skills and that O-Sensei probably developed at least the Foundation of his internal skill by doing Daito Ryu.

The issue whether, as Ellis maintains, O-Sensei's skill increased after his exposure to the Omotokyo exercises is a good discussion. It seems likely to me as additional training tends to layer on top of whatever one has done before and things continue to change in interesting ways. Certainly, the Omotokyo training changed how he thought about his Daito Ryu training... that's what led to his moving in his own direction.

But I simply see no substantial or informed resistance to the ideas you are putting out there. O-Sensei had the skills. I think we are in pretty much complete agreement that he did not get these by simply doing waza or running around in circles taking ukemi. If anyone disagrees, then let them say why, with countless Aikido practitioners out there putting in decades of what has passed for conventional training, don't we see these skills widely developed? The answer is clear, no amount of simply doing conventional training will accomplish this. I believe that this is what you have been saying and I think that it is clear that you are correct.

The issue at this point is how we develop a system of training which systematically incorporates the exercises designed to develop internal power into our Aikido practice? We've bought the concept, now it down to the "how to" part. And, in terms of the forums, apparently we can't get there. Both you and Mike have consistently said that it has to be experienced and can't effectively be described, at least in a way that would be of much help.

I think you and Mike have done the Aikido folks a great service (however diplomatically at times) in raising their consciousness. I see a huge shift in progress in which people start to look for opportunities to get this exposure. People who have these skills will be in increasing demand on the seminar circuit, folks will be seeking them out and bringing what they learn back in to their Aikido.

I think that this process could be accelerated if perhaps someone like Jun or Stan Pranin could organize an event or two in which the emphasis was on this type of training. Perhaps the organizers of various Aikido events might be willing to include some training in this area in their camps or seminars, just as Ikeda Sensei has been bringing Ushiro Sensei to the Rocky Mountain Summer camp to broaden our perspectives.

Anyway, however it goes, I think that the need to "sell" the program is over. I really don't see who is in disagreement with you on this.

Jim Sorrentino
03-20-2007, 08:53 AM
Greetings All,

On March 18, in the e-budo thread entitled Decline of truly effective Aikido?, at http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showpost.php?p=439003&postcount=23:, we find I've come back and begun to practice Aikido again after a long absence. In my entire experience with it, Mudansha to shihan, I've not been impressed.
I will be around over the next few years, here and there, showing up at seminars to train with teachers and people who have made themselves a presence on the net just to do Aikido with them. To see what's out there.
I want to see if it's changed any in all these years.I am sure that many of us look forward to hearing more specific details on which seminars you plan to attend. I hope you will provide us with enough notice so that we may meet.

Sincerely,

Jim Sorrentino

Jorge Garcia
03-20-2007, 09:30 AM
This is from a Chinese internal martial arts forum
[b][i]In my opinion Daito ryu is, at it's highest levels, as "internal" as it gets.
Daito ryu basically consists of three types of technique or three methods of using ones own body and manipulating another persons. Jujutsu, (edited) aiki-jujutsu: the relaxation gives the opponent has nothing to push against while the spiralling movements twist and lock up the joints up to the spine.
and then aiki no jutsu:
Taking control of the opponents spine, breaking their root and throwing them using any point of contact. like a hand on the shoulder, a forearm touching an elbow or whatever. a tiny, fast, barely perceptible circle and you get lifted onto your toes and thrown on the ground. i think a lot of it is to do with subtle and rapid manipulation of a persons natural reflexes. (ie their "intent"....i guess i'll write here what i've been thinking about so i can use the word "intent"...: i'm starting to develop an idea of intent as being something which is happening outside of our conscious control most of the time, for example: when eating and trying to observe, i discover that i am chewing but not deciding when to chew, i reach for another bite without thinking about it, my hands and body shift around all over the place, and very interestingly my eyes move by themselves and also in response to sounds/shapes/movements, before i have time to notice. so now i think this is "yi", and although "yi" can be focused and trained, still a lot of it - most of it - will inevitably be going on constantly responding to the infinite and ever-changing external and internal environment. so talking of sensing and manipulating someone elses "yi" can simply mean feeling and manipulating their bodies' natural reactions - and if you're sensitive enough you can then move them around freely while they are basically powerless since their bodies' inbuilt compensation mechanisms are trying to keep or regain their balance with tiny pushes and pulls that are then manipulated to keep them off balance!!!!

This is an exact description of the training we have received in Daito ryu Roppokai. I am a bit surprised because I have never related anything that Dan is saying to this. I will say that I do not claim to know anything about Daito ryu Roppokai being a novice after two years. They are a bit secretive and seminars are closed except to students. They have higher level techniques they do not reveal to the public and I have already typed enough here to warrant an email from my Sempai. I will say that I have always thought that Okamoto Seigo could have a complete second career doing only Aikido Seminars. Aikido people would love him and they would only see things they have never seen before. .

Jorge

DH
03-20-2007, 09:44 AM
Hi George
Just quick I have to get back to work.
I'm not so sure you get what I have been saying (selling? nice:( ) all these years.
Everyone thinks because I strongly advocate a position FOR Daito ryu's historical role in Ueshiba-ha Daito ryu. More importantly in his Aiki way that I'm a Daito ryu guy. And I'm not. I see what I see. I don't care WHO is right, I care WHAT is right. Stan blew up up the technical fallacy foisted on the early students but he coudn't address the power and internal skills because he doesn't know them. So we had everyone now "corrected" about the techncial syllabus go on tol spout the same crap about the internals. Once again minimizing Takeda's role almost to nothin, to the point of evern denying Daito ryu has any internal skills. So for me reading all this in the last year was -SSDD.

So....whenI read Ueshiba "created" this power by adding "other things after. I say its bullshit. Ueshiba was a Daito ryu man through and through. His method is Aiki-no-jutsu exrpessed in a more gentle manner. Period. His sudden "spurt" was as explicable as Shioda's. They both, at a point in their careers, had the higher evel stuff shown to them and they got it......spurt.
That point is not widely accepted, at all.
The only difference is how he "expressed it and his Ukes responded. That is a choice of finishing, not the art. CMA internal methods will work just fine but historically it wasn't CMA internal methods that created Ueshiba at all. It was DR's.

Point two is that that doing waza ain't ever gonna get you there in anything and they teachers were and are holding out on us. I think your right on that we now agree there as well. I'm not a waza guy I long left the wrst grabs and Shomens behind for MMA so I can't really address it anymore.

How to fix Aikido?
Well, I'm confused here. As recently as yesterdy Mike Haft tells me this stuff is "all over the place in Aikido." So, what are those-who have slammed Mike, Rob and I,and told us flaltly that these things are, after all this, already in your art gonna do about it?
Are you gonna demand your teachers teach?
Are you gonne look em in the eye and say "I don't wanna wreck my body anymore-where's the beef?"
What?
I'd say why would you need Mike or me or Rob...at all?

We pointed out some facts.

It needs to be taught in small groups. Seems those who got up off their asses and went to feel it all have said-at least to our faces-they have not felt anything as good IN aikido but it is most assuredly AIkido and needed in the art.

Last up. Rob and Mike can speak for themselves. I was critisized stronger them most and non-directly called a liar... yeah me. I have never received an single apology, nor even a begrudging acknowledgement for stepping up. Thats fine, its not needed nor asked for. But when I couple that behaviour with the letters I have recieved from Aikido's own teachers warning me about the smiles to my face and the backstabing it goes along way to solidifying Mikes point about the passive/ agressive personalites so prevelent in Aikido.
I'm going to be "drawn" to help these folks -enmasse-exactly why?

I am teaching small groups of Aikido people who seem to be sincere. It doesn't hurt my primary role of husband and dad. So I am helping.
Selling? Well I can at least say I -honestly- care for those who ask and I -actually- teach what I am talking about....and that.... for free.
I care more for those who were like me, But who were not as fortunate. they came honestly seeking and were lied to and held back from and were sorted out to play a roll and wreck their bodies hoping to reach the carrot...firmly held out of reach by a smiling teacher.
Cheers
Dan

David Orange
03-20-2007, 10:31 AM
Are you serious? What do you think a mokuroku is? Rhetorical question as it is literally a list, catalogue, inventory, index.

Doug,

You are correct in that Ueshiba O-Sensei did give "scrolls" to other people than Mochizuki and Tomiki, but my point is that Mochizuki was recognized by daito ryu as a master of the system. I have a nice booklet produced by the daito ryu for a major celebration (maybe the 50th anniversary of Sokaku's death). This booklet shows Sokaku, Tokimune, Hisa, Ueshiba and a few other direct students of Sokaku's---and Minoru Mochizuki among very few others.

And the point of that is that, whatever Ueshiba gave Mochizuki, it wasn't lacking much. There is also a video of the demo at the 50th Anniversary of Sokaku's death, and Minoru Mochizuki is one of about six demonstrators. So it's not like there was some gulf between his aikido and the daito ryu.

And the point of all that is that Mochizuki was a firm believer in the traditional transmission of the inner secrets through the outer techniques. While he trained with Kano, Mifune and Toku in ju-jutsu, Shiina in katori shinto ryu, and Funakoshi in karate, as well as many other great masters of Japanese budo before the war, he kept Ueshiba's picture on the wall of his dojo. And while he also had a picture of Kano (Ueshiba and Kano on either side of his kamiza), he had a driftwood dragon head IN the kamiza representing Ueshiba.

And Ueshiba said, basically, "the secrets are all right there in the omote waza."

But since the omote of aiki is the ura of everything else, of course, the secrets of everything else would be on the surface of aikido.

The problem is to look at them correctly: to know what you're looking at, to begin with; then to know how to look--not attempting to do the techniques "harder" but how to see to their microscopic levels, which cannot be found anywhere but inside yourself.

My ultimate point in my earlier post was to say that, following the traditional method to its ultimate end produces the desired result. But in the modern world, the real traditional way is pretty well inaccessible. So my approach is to go the microscopic way and try to find it from inside myself, which is why I do want to meet up with Dan and see what he's doing.

Best wishes.

David

Walker
03-20-2007, 11:15 AM
David, thanks, I get that thanks to you and Chris giving the name of the scroll. I just read "scroll" in you original post and my brain said that's not true. So really it was the scroll thing and not anything else in your posts. I don't have any problem with the rest other than personal interpretation stuff.

This does bring up a feeling that I've had for a long time that there was some contact over the years (50s, 60s, 70s) between the DR and at least some in aikido that would have acknowledged their shared heritage. This during the years when the outside story from the aikikai honbu was DR is dead/unimportant.

Mike Sigman
03-20-2007, 11:23 AM
I thought you might find these interesting in regards to a Chinese Martial artists experience in learning Daito ryu's internal aspects. "intent"...: i'm starting to develop an idea of intent as being something which is happening outside of our conscious control most of the time, for example: when eating and trying to observe, i discover that i am chewing but not deciding when to chew,.... Dan, someone who is that unclear about what "intent" is should not be indicated as a "CMA" representative able to compare Daito Ryu to CMA's. It's a bit like someone in Aikido or DR being clueless about the skills in "ki", yet voicing an opinion on Taiji, ne c'est pas?

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
03-20-2007, 11:48 AM
The issue at this point is how we develop a system of training which systematically incorporates the exercises designed to develop internal power into our Aikido practice? [[snipsky]] I think that this process could be accelerated if perhaps someone like Jun or Stan Pranin could organize an event or two in which the emphasis was on this type of training.
Hi George:

I really don't think it's much of a matter of "how we develop a system", in reality, nor do I think it's going to be a matter of an event or two under the auspices of Jun or Stan.

Although some aspects of the jin/kokyu skills can be taught fairly rapidly, the general corpus of information is too broad to comfortably fit into a particular "emphasis" in one or two seminars. I've tried to say it before that shifting over to this way of movement involves a pretty radical re-coordination of movement. Only the dedicated are going to do it and of those, only a few will go the Full Monte and not drop off at some muscular, showy levels of skill ability.

Ted Ehara made an interesting comment the other day to the effect that one of the now-dropped Ki Breathing exercises in the early Tohei books came from O-Sensei. That's interesting because, as I'd noted in an earlier thread, that particular method was a recognizable part of a power gong. I.e., this facet of Aikido will by necessity need to go into power gongs, jin/kokyu manipulation, and a few other things, in order to be more than a lick and a promise. I suspect that in reality this sort of stuff is only going to be the purview of a limited few in the current generation of Aikido and won't come to fruition until the next generation. It means that, like Ikeda Sensei does in his relationship with Ushiro, this needs to be viewed as more than a matter of a couple of seminars worth of focus. ;)

My opinion, FWIW

Mike Sigman

George S. Ledyard
03-20-2007, 12:25 PM
Hi George:

I really don't think it's much of a matter of "how we develop a system", in reality, nor do I think it's going to be a matter of an event or two under the auspices of Jun or Stan.

Although some aspects of the jin/kokyu skills can be taught fairly rapidly, the general corpus of information is too broad to comfortably fit into a particular "emphasis" in one or two seminars. I've tried to say it before that shifting over to this way of movement involves a pretty radical re-coordination of movement. Only the dedicated are going to do it and of those, only a few will go the Full Monte and not drop off at some muscular, showy levels of skill ability.

Ted Ehara made an interesting comment the other day to the effect that one of the now-dropped Ki Breathing exercises in the early Tohei books came from O-Sensei. That's interesting because, as I'd noted in an earlier thread, that particular method was a recognizable part of a power gong. I.e., this facet of Aikido will by necessity need to go into power gongs, jin/kokyu manipulation, and a few other things, in order to be more than a lick and a promise. I suspect that in reality this sort of stuff is only going to be the purview of a limited few in the current generation of Aikido and won't come to fruition until the next generation. It means that, like Ikeda Sensei does in his relationship with Ushiro, this needs to be viewed as more than a matter of a couple of seminars worth of focus. ;)

My opinion, FWIW

Mike Sigman

I didn't mean to imply that there was any quick fix. What I meant to say that the process of getting an increasing number of people started on some sort of systematic program would be accelerated if there were some larger events in which people started to see what this training entails and what the benefits are.

If it's left to individual teachers scattered around the country to decide to incorporate these new ideas into their training, it will be a long time before things in general will take a jump upward, quality wise. Things need to reach a sort of critical momentum before large scale shifts are seen.

DH
03-20-2007, 12:31 PM
George
Why wouldn't that best be accomplished on a small scale?
What physical model shows otherwise? The boys next door to you can testify to that. It's hard to cast a big net with something that needs one-on-one training. Why not teach teachers that you know will actually teach and share and be able to coach? The relationship is already in place. It might involve less running around for everyone.
I've wondered about Ikeda's goals and model? What is his folllow up with Ushiro? Did you ask?
Dan

mjchip
03-20-2007, 12:51 PM
I didn't mean to imply that there was any quick fix. What I meant to say that the process of getting an increasing number of people started on some sort of systematic program would be accelerated if there were some larger events in which people started to see what this training entails and what the benefits are.

If it's left to individual teachers scattered around the country to decide to incorporate these new ideas into their training, it will be a long time before things in general will take a jump upward, quality wise. Things need to reach a sort of critical momentum before large scale shifts are seen.

This begs a question: How far and how quickly do you actually want to propagate these skills? Should they be accessible to everyone in aikido? How about outside of aikido? How about tennis players, bowlers, javelin throwers, etc.?

Dan? George?

Mark

Lee Salzman
03-20-2007, 12:55 PM
Although some aspects of the jin/kokyu skills can be taught fairly rapidly, the general corpus of information is too broad to comfortably fit into a particular "emphasis" in one or two seminars. ...<snip>... It means that, like Ikeda Sensei does in his relationship with Ushiro, this needs to be viewed as more than a matter of a couple of seminars worth of focus. ;)

That point is worth elaborating on. Who teaches the teachers? It's not like you can go to your local xingyiquan or baguazhang or random koryu group and have any guarantee of learning the subject matter in question. Many accumulated miles of doing piquan and hours of circle walking on my part later, I became pretty convinced they were just repeating the same, "Just do it for 20 years and you'll figure it out" mantra.

And even when I did get a line on some people, I have also been flat out told, "If you were to spend a month studying directly under <insert one of greatest living practicioners of art here>, you wouldn't learn much of anything." And further, that many of these teachers won't even warm up to you until after you've spent significant time showing your dedication to practice. It was going to have to be a very long-term, on-going relationship.

So after all that, after finding someone who was willing to have an ongoing teaching relationship with me, it's still going to cost me a very significant recurring sum of money in travel/living expenses to somewhere pretty far away.

It's no walk in the park, even if you really really really want to learn from somebody.

Mike Sigman
03-20-2007, 01:31 PM
It's not like you can go to your local xingyiquan or baguazhang or random koryu group and have any guarantee of learning the subject matter in question. Many accumulated miles of doing piquan and hours of circle walking on my part later, I became pretty convinced they were just repeating the same, "Just do it for 20 years and you'll figure it out" mantra. ---snipsky-- It's no walk in the park, even if you really really really want to learn from somebody. Heh. Exactly. In fact, if you read many things posted by a lot of teachers, they've already got the goods. And as Dan points out, then you meet them......

It's really a crapshoot. "You pays your money, you takes your chances..... step right up folks!" There's not going to be any effective systemization, even though that may be possible (Tohei, in essence, attempted to do just that). I personally see it as something that is going to be difficult to manage successfully for any large group of people.

First of all, even though there are these ongoing discussions and they started, to be fair, with Tohei, there aren't that many people whom anyone can go to for information. If it was that easy, there would not have been as much difficulty in obtaining information as there obviously has been. We don't really know who, if anyone, "has the goods", do we? Tohei has them, it would appear, but could he release power in the way that Ueshiba could do it? I'm not sure, either way. Abe Sensei... same question. Inaba. Sunadomari. Shioda. At the highest level, it's difficult to really say and that will be a conversation for people to puzzle out in the future as skills get more widespread.

Ushiro Sensei? He's got demonstrable jin-skills and undoubtedly a certain amount of the breathing, etc., skills.... but how much does he have and how much of it is congruent with the soft-approach training that Ueshiba had? Any port in a storm, I allus sez, but still, all these things have to be considered. Akuzawa's approach? Dan's approach? Mike's approach? These are all different approaches to the basics and each person has his own skill(s) to show for them, but a consideration of learning the basics versus "how do I mesh this into Aikido" has to go on in peoples' heads. Or at least that would be my caution. The cat is coming out of the bag, but there are all kinds of breeds of cats. If it's left to individual teachers scattered around the country to decide to incorporate these new ideas into their training, it will be a long time before things in general will take a jump upward, quality wise. Things need to reach a sort of critical momentum before large scale shifts are seen. I think many people are into Aikido (and other arts... this will happen in many different arts before it's all said and done) for many different reasons. Many people are into Aikido for more socially-oriented reasons and they're not going to be part of any large-scale shift toward these skills. It's too much trouble and they're not really that motivated. Their schools will continue and their offshoots will founder if and when these changes are made, but only over a period of years. Time passes; things change. ;)

Best.

Mike

Ecosamurai
03-20-2007, 01:52 PM
Tohei has them, it would appear, but could he release power in the way that Ueshiba could do it? I'm not sure, either way.

Coming out of retirement for this bit now that the thread has moved. I'm not sure that the release of power you talk about is actually necessary to execute the waza commonly found in aikido. I'd need to spend a loooong time messing with it to begin to have an idea for sure and I'm mostly guessing from the point of view of my experience, but I think that it would be fair to say that if Tohei didn't have it, it's because he didn't train for it because he didn't need it. Whether it is actually needed to execute effective aikido waza is an entirely different and distinct debate and is related to other issues raised around here.

It would certainly chime a chord with Tohei saying that he only kept 30% of the techniques. Maybe he couldn't make the other 70% work without it? Who knows....

Regards

Mike

statisticool
03-20-2007, 02:13 PM
This begs a question: How far and how quickly do you actually want to propagate these skills? Should they be accessible to everyone in aikido? How about outside of aikido? How about tennis players, bowlers, javelin throwers, etc.?


The latter aren't marketed as 'internal', so probably not. It is a great question though, especially since a few theorists put such emphasis on utterly trivial things called 'vectors', which are part of all movement everywhere in every subject.

Erick Mead
03-20-2007, 02:43 PM
I thought you might find these interesting in regards to a Chinese Martial artists experience in learning Daito ryu's internal aspects. Once again, to express the commonalties of all the Asain arts- from an internal point of view. ....

Daito ryu basically consists of three types of technique or three methods of using ones own body and manipulating another persons. Jujutsu, (edited) aiki-jujutsu: the relaxation gives the opponent has nothing to push against while the spiralling movements twist and lock up the joints up to the spine.
and then aiki no jutsu:
Taking control of the opponents spine, breaking their root and throwing them using any point of contact. like a hand on the shoulder, a forearm touching an elbow or whatever. a tiny, fast, barely perceptible circle and you get lifted onto your toes and thrown on the ground. So glad, Dan, to see you coming over to my way of seeing things ... :D

Ron Tisdale
03-20-2007, 02:50 PM
The latter aren't marketed as 'internal', so probably not. It is a great question though, especially since a few theorists put such emphasis on utterly trivial things called 'vectors', which are part of all movement everywhere in every subject.
Dude, do you have ANYTHING to contribute??

Ron

statisticool
03-21-2007, 04:07 PM
Dude, do you have ANYTHING to contribute??


Do you have a specific point you wanted to raise? I'm not sure how to respond to a general complaint.

George S. Ledyard
03-21-2007, 04:36 PM
This begs a question: How far and how quickly do you actually want to propagate these skills? Should they be accessible to everyone in aikido? How about outside of aikido? How about tennis players, bowlers, javelin throwers, etc.?

Dan? George?

Mark
My position on this is that the ability to use these skills, at least at a rudimentary level, should be part of ALL Aikido training, right from the start.

As for outside of Aikido, I suspect that these types of skills might be of value just about anywhere but coaches will tune in if it looks like it will provide a performance edge for their athletes. Someone simply has to expose them to the skills and the training methods.

mriehle
03-21-2007, 05:05 PM
As for outside of Aikido, I suspect that these types of skills might be of value just about anywhere but coaches will tune in if it looks like it will provide a performance edge for their athletes. Someone simply has to expose them to the skills and the training methods.

You know, when I started Aikido I was always told "extend ki" and I understood that I was being asked to perform a specific action that I did not yet grasp. Each time I did the exercises I came a little closer to actually grasping them, but it wasn't really sticking.

Then another aikidoist who was pretty good at extending ki saw me playing bass. He pointed out that my ki was extended the whole time I was playing.

DINGDINGDINGDINGDING!!!!!! :cool:

Okay, no, I didn't have an instant epiphany and master ki extension at a single stroke, but it made a huge difference in my training because I had a frame of reference.

FWIW: I've decided that "mastery" is a pretty slippery concept. Every time I become able to do the things some of my teachers did all those years ago (that I saw as evidence of mastery at the time) I realize that I still have a long way to go to mastery. The upshot is that I can extend ki - or whatever you want to call it - way better than I did then, but I still find places where these skills need work.

DH
03-22-2007, 05:23 AM
My position on this is that the ability to use these skills, at least at a rudimentary level, should be part of ALL Aikido training, right from the start.

As for outside of Aikido, I suspect that these types of skills might be of value just about anywhere but coaches will tune in if it looks like it will provide a performance edge for their athletes. Someone simply has to expose them to the skills and the training methods.
Hi George

All to true. But in the end I think-utterly meaningless. It's still a lively debate as to who is even doing these things. You've seen the reaction AFTER folks felt it up front. Even they aren't interested in discussing it much in detail. all. They saw it, and felt it and were dumfounded by it. And most realized its start-over time.
So we agree that serious debate over these things is probably over-the how-to is what becomes dicey.
First, someone who can impart the skills they know is needed.
Second, someone who will give the time.
Third, a student willing to devote countless hours of alone time working.
So in the end few- Mikes 2% suggestion- will likely achieve good results.
Everyone wants it described and spelled out for them here. While the ways and ideals can be spoken in a few paragraphs, there is little point. Even single sentences can take years of effort. The work takes much concentration and inglorious alone time. For most the wisest choice would be to stop practice for years to rebuild, rewire. Few will.
It has long been spoken, long been written and recorded that few did achieve it. Everywhere it's mentioned it is likewise mentioned as a rarity. Again I am reminded of the story in the "fighting spirit of Japan" when after gifting a large cash donation to the Kodokan a Judo man is given a "gift" in return by being brought an Aikijujtsu master. He was likewise dumbfounded by the skills. He asked the Aikijujutsu master about these skills (this was early twentieth century Japan) "Who knows them?" "Where are they taught?" His reply was that few know these things anymore. They are not openly taught. If it was that way in the country of their origin a hundred years ago-we shouldn't be surprised at their rarity today.

Then you have the guys, the masters, comparing levels. Like the older Sagawa testing the 68 year old Ueshiba and stopping him dead. One master to another. Same skills different levels of development.

Here's a bit of a change of subject
I've often wondered why the masters of this stuff were all said to ab a bit wierd. Were they wierd before hand? Self absorbed, odd ducks? Or did the hours and hours of work, and failure, then these "masters in the making" the facing all the other budo-johnies so ill equiped to face THEM that gave them a bit of low opinion of others efforts? A little research shows the personaliteis of many of the known masters was a litany of strange behaviour.
I know my comment can offer some comical comebacks, but it is interesting when you read story after story.
Cheers
Dan

Tom H.
03-22-2007, 06:35 AM
For most the wisest choice would be to stop practice for years to rebuild, rewireI can't wait until I retire -- right now I have a hard enough time carving out even 7-10 hours a week, which is maybe barely enough to do the solo work, much less anything fun like aikido waza.

Tom

SeiserL
03-22-2007, 07:01 AM
Here's a bit of a change of subject
I've often wondered why the masters of this stuff were all said to ab a bit wierd. Were they wierd before hand? Self absorbed, odd ducks? Or did the hours and hours of work, and failure, then these "masters in the making" the facing all the other budo-johnies so ill equiped to face THEM that gave them a bit of low opinion of others efforts? A little research shows the personaliteis of many of the known masters was a litany of strange behaviour.
I know my comment can offer some comical comebacks, but it is interesting when you read story after story.
IMHO, its not a change of subject at all. Besides the internal physical skills, there are certainly the internal attitude (for lack of a better word) skills that also direct energy (ki).

Mike Sigman
03-22-2007, 07:23 AM
For most the wisest choice would be to stop practice for years to rebuild, rewire. Few will. Although I agree with most of what you say, I'm of the opinion that an intelligent and practical teacher can learn enough of this stuff to get his foot in the door and then he can alter the practice in his dojo to focus on these skills rigorously for a year or two. With some outside assistance and this focus, I don't think they have to "stop practice"... but they do have to alter it.

The alteration I'm envisioning is to spend more in class doing Aiki-Taiso and other basic-movement exercises to burn in kokyu/jin, movement, ki-exercise/tests, and so on. (I'm agreeing on the personal work aspects, but let's leave that as a given). Then I see a teacher only doing a few basic waza in each class, doing them slowly and analysing them closely for continuous, unbroken usage of this type of power. Gradually, the techniques can evolve back to more complex and realistic Aikido techniques, but always with an eye to doing them completely through with correct power.

I also think that as power grows, some direct and powerful sudden techniques like Ueshiba and Shioda used occasionally should be introduced. Not ones that "look" like what they did, but ones that are capable of putting a grown man down. I.e., I think a little Ai-yai-yai should be put back in Aikido. ;) Here's a bit of a change of subject
I've often wondered why the masters of this stuff were all said to ab a bit wierd. Were they wierd before hand? Self absorbed, odd ducks? Or did the hours and hours of work, and failure, then these "masters in the making" the facing all the other budo-johnies so ill equiped to face THEM that gave them a bit of low opinion of others efforts? A little research shows the personaliteis of many of the known masters was a litany of strange behaviour.
I know my comment can offer some comical comebacks, but it is interesting when you read story after story. Most people are weirder under the surface than you think (look at the overwhelming number of porn sites on the internet.... who do you think they're making money from? Your neighbors). When you can kick butt, you can afford to let your natural weirdness off the leash, in too many cases. ;)

Mike

Timothy WK
03-22-2007, 07:37 AM
I've often wondered why the masters of this stuff were all said to ab a bit wierd. Were they wierd before hand? Self absorbed, odd ducks? Or did the hours and hours of work, and failure, then these "masters in the making" the facing all the other budo-johnies so ill equiped to face THEM that gave them a bit of low opinion of others efforts? A little research shows the personaliteis of many of the known masters was a litany of strange behaviour.IMHO, its not a change of subject at all. Besides the internal physical skills, there are certainly the internal attitude (for lack of a better word) skills that also direct energy (ki).
What about systema, Mikhail & Vlad? If what they say on the 'net is true, these guys got some skill at least, and Vlad at least seems to be genuinely nice and all that (not that I've met him).

I wonder how much of this is just related to general aristocratic culture and/or a general drive to succeed. There are plenty of examples of quirky millionaires.

Also, it's worth noting that there are plenty of stories of monks--from all religions, east and west--who display "quirky" attributes. I read something (I forget where) that stated that the type of long periods of isolation and meditation that monks undergo leads to mental issues in some people. It suggested that simply maybe not everyone has the mental endurance & will power to undergo such practices.

I also read a story a year or two ago about a hardcore endurance bicyclist from Russia, I believe. He would participate in races that were 500-2000 miles long, such as the Race Across America (west to east coast, stopping only for sleep). Anyway, his training involved long periods of isolation and physical hardship. He began developing weird obsessive behaviours and other mental issues. The story ended with him going to see a doctor because the mental & social stuff was beginning to interfere with his personal life.

So maybe there's some of that in play as well in those masters' lives.

DH
03-22-2007, 08:07 AM
Although I agree with most of what you say, I'm of the opinion that an intelligent and practical teacher can learn enough of this stuff to get his foot in the door and then he can alter the practice in his dojo to focus on these skills rigorously for a year or two. With some outside assistance and this focus, I don't think they have to "stop practice"... but they do have to alter it.
..... Gradually, the techniques can evolve back to more complex and realistic Aikido techniques, but always with an eye to doing them completely through with correct power.

Mike
Well actually we agree there. I should have said stop practice as it is now done. The exercises done just when training are the slower road still. I also think that getting folks to be able to move with structure is essential. Its where most fall apart and resort to what they know to compensate.
I don't know if we agree or I am understanding you about complex movements though. I just never have bought into complex movements of any kind; Aikido's, Daito ryu's or Koryu jujutsu. It's pretzel logic is only viable when one can capture and draw their energy and even then it offers too many chances. Good grappling I agree with, and "downing a man" (good choice of words BTW) striking him or projecting is a better choice. Or we can opt for everything like MMA.
Even when a certain level of skill is achieved I hate seeing guys get to crazy over themselves in what it does in cooperative play. Broken rythm attacks, feinting and change-ups with full force offer a more intense test. Better still go to a gym or fight club and try it out In a strictly Japanese MA perspective like Aikido's- I'd remain simple and direct both in training and in use. It's why I think adopting these skills in a dojo setting and having slow drills with serious attacks like MMA style would greatly increase the skill level of Aikidoka in using their art. Cases in point would be learning how to stop standup grappling attempts, or takedown attempts with the aikido practioner doing little to make a sucess of it. Then learning to be the agressor. Side benefits being the ability to absorb blows while handling someone. I can see a great deal of benefit to a syllabus with both an actual reduction in complexity and an increase in power at the same time. All down safely and slowely
Cheers
Dan

George S. Ledyard
03-22-2007, 12:15 PM
So maybe there's some of that in play as well in those masters' lives.
The fact is, regular people don't do this stuff... so you start with a group which is already a bit out of sync with their fellows and then a very small group of them are the geniuses and the obsessives who will take their arts to the highest levels or even create something new. Those are the folks you read about many years later not the regular, run of the mill students.

There have always been folks who managed to be this obsessive but also pretty complete as individuals... Yamaoka Tesshu would have been one. But normally these amazing people are not the ones you look to for models you might want to use for your own life (unless you ar equally obsessive).

Gary David
03-22-2007, 01:19 PM
The alteration I'm envisioning is to spend more in class doing Aiki-Taiso and other basic-movement exercises to burn in kokyu/jin, movement, ki-exercise/tests, and so on. (I'm agreeing on the personal work aspects, but let's leave that as a given). Then I see a teacher only doing a few basic waza in each class, doing them slowly and analysing them closely for continuous, unbroken usage of this type of power. Gradually, the techniques can evolve back to more complex and realistic Aikido techniques, but always with an eye to doing them completely through with correct power.


Mike
I agree with this and I am trying to head this way. The difficulties I see revolve around a true understanding on the part of the teacher as to what full body movement, movement with structure, feels like so you can back engineer it into your aiki taiso to get the kind of practice results you have been talking to. Another difficulty lies with the numbers involved, and by this I mean the number of teachers teaching in a given dojo. Slow moving repeated practice of the kind being talked about will drive many students into other classes and away from yours if there are multiple teachers in the dojo and if there is only one that teacher may get bored with it also. I think we are back to only limited numbers are willing to seek the training and even more limited numbers are willing to put the time into getting it. As for me when I get a chance to touch bases with you I can see were I am and what it is I might have missed. I may also rediscover some of the things I was shown in the 70's and may not have picked up on or have forgotten.

Still moving after all these years......
Gary

eyrie
03-22-2007, 10:51 PM
The alteration... to spend more [time] in class doing Aiki-Taiso and other basic-movement exercises to burn in kokyu/jin, movement, ki-exercise/tests, and so on. ...only doing a few basic waza in each class, doing them slowly and analysing them closely for continuous, unbroken usage of this type of power. Gradually, ... evolve back to more complex and realistic Aikido techniques, but always with an eye to doing them completely through with correct power....some direct and powerful sudden techniques... should be introduced.... ones that are capable of putting a grown man down. I.e., I think a little Ai-yai-yai should be put back in Aikido. Heh heh... I hope you don't mind if I steal... er.. borrow... that as my new slogan... "putting the Ai-yai-yai back into Aikido.".. :p

One of the benefits of focusing mainly on basic body movement, body conditioning and basic techniques done with the correct body mechanics, is that students tend to pick up the more complex techniques a lot quicker. Plus, the smarter ones will tend to extrapolate stuff and be more capable of responding with the appropriate technique - thus seemingly "creating new forms".

This would seem like a good motivation for reducing the focus on waza, to the extent that whatever basic waza is introduced, it's treated more as an exercise in reinforcing proper body mechanics and effective/efficient use of "effortless" power.

However, the "change" also necessitates a change in the student's mindset. The ones that can't see the immediate benefits of such a practice modality, in terms of gaining any real or perceived fighting abilities, tend to drop out very quickly.

DH
03-23-2007, 06:16 AM
It's pointless to try and convince everyone. At a point you need to concentrate on your self. Perhaps some folks are getting a clearer understanding of why there all these stories of man going off to train alone and they coming back "masters" with a vision.

So why consider leaving Aikido? Change just you!
There's no point in driving / flying out to meet certain folks if your not going to do the work when you are alone. The real test is going to be finding folks who will train and focus. This training is harder in the sense that it requires an active mind in prolonged training. We have a saying that "The mind gives out before the body." It sounds perfectly goofy to say in writing-as do the descriptions of what the mind is doing to the body in the first place. It also sound goofy to say "You sweat your butt off standing more or less still." Or "Wind through the body." But to those who have tried to do the work-they know exactly-what we're talking about.
The first order of business is feeling it first hand and having it explained to you, then training at home alone, then going back to train and test and correct, then back alone, and so on and so on. At a point in time you will say "My body is changing" Its just the way of it. At least I can say as much as you power lift your body will strengthen-as much as you body condition internally -your body will strengthen as well. And your sensitivity will go through the roof.
"Going back to do complex techniques?" complex techniques really aren't budo to begin with- and never were. They are an artiface, an after effect of too much dojo training. That said if folks get their jollies by doing them, yes, they will be easier. In fact drawing-in and gaining a magnetic feel as the opponent is drawn to you will increase with this training. You're really controlling you and just being you not trying to really control them. But even with all that- I always advocate simple techniques in budo.

It may still be brighter days ahead for those seeking the heart of the old budo.
Cheers
Dan

SeiserL
03-23-2007, 06:31 AM
So why consider leaving Aikido? Change just you!
IMHO, besides the relaxed alignment and mechanics, this is where internal strength comes from.

Compliments and appreciation.

thisisnotreal
12-13-2009, 10:47 PM
great thread.