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Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 11:12 AM
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.

My last post in this particular thread I think before I unplug from aikiweb for a while and get back to work now all my simulations have been run. I'm sure you'll miss me Dan ;)

I've never been bothered hugely one way or another as to the precise nature of Ueshiba's internal abilities and am quite willing to accept that their one and only source was Takeda. I do still think that later methods he used for these things are of importance and worthy of study. My question would be. Did Ueshiba pass this stuff on?

Part of my point of view was that he did. Tohei got it, so why does everyone keep saying it was lost and needs reintroduction. You say that Tohei left Dan but he didn't leave the old man did he? He left his son and the aikikai so that he could teach this stuff that nobody thought was needed in the aikikai.

Anyway, that's all I really wanted to say on the subject in the first place. Probably hasn't been a great thing that I happened to be crunching numbers for the last few weeks and waiting for the PC to finish stuff so that I can come and argue with you here.... maybe see you in a few weeks.

Mike

Fred Little
03-19-2007, 11:37 AM
Part of my point of view was that he did. Tohei got it, so why does everyone keep saying it was lost and needs reintroduction. You say that Tohei left Dan but he didn't leave the old man did he? He left his son and the aikikai so that he could teach this stuff that nobody thought was needed in the aikikai.


Mike:

I've also heard it suggested that the split had much more to do with familial difficutlies arising from personal conduct than theory and practice of aikido.

And that version is so widely sidestepped in favor of overblown theories of high principles and theories of one kind or another by all factions that I think it likely to be closest to embarrassing and all-too-human truths that even the usual antagonists will unite to sweep them under the carpet.

Best,

FL

MM
03-19-2007, 12:28 PM
I've never been bothered hugely one way or another as to the precise nature of Ueshiba's internal abilities and am quite willing to accept that their one and only source was Takeda. I do still think that later methods he used for these things are of importance and worthy of study. My question would be. Did Ueshiba pass this stuff on?

Part of my point of view was that he did. Tohei got it, so why does everyone keep saying it was lost and needs reintroduction. You say that Tohei left Dan but he didn't leave the old man did he? He left his son and the aikikai so that he could teach this stuff that nobody thought was needed in the aikikai.

Mike

Mike,
You misunderstand about Tohei leaving to get it. That isn't in regards to the Tohei-Kisshomaru split, it's actually about his learning from Nakamura sensei after the war. Nakamura opened Tohei's eyes to what Ueshiba was doing. So, yeah, Tohei got it from outside rather than from Ueshiba. (Course, there's Tomiki. Where did he get it from? But that's another thread)

Try reading this:
http://www.b-smart.net/archive/tohei_intvw.html

Got a lot of good stuff in there. Things like, Tohei had no idea what Ueshiba was doing, so he just copied the movements.

Another interesting part is the translation of "non-resistance". Here, the translater translates it as "non-dissension". Hmm ... throws a wrench into Erick's posts over in baseline skills.

Or this part,
"Most people assume that if someone pushes on your body, you have no choice but to move or receive it. In fact, if you are relaxed and unified it is relatively easy to redirect the incoming force into your One Point and be stable as a rock, even with several strong men trying to push you over."

Fun stuff.

Mark

Ecosamurai
03-19-2007, 01:00 PM
I don't misunderstand and am more than familiar with what Tohei learnt and where he learnt it. Tohei got much of what he learnt from outside of aikido, but he got his aikido from the Founder and the founder recognised this. He recognised that Tohei had 'it' too. Even if he didn't expressly teach 'it' to him himself. The difference is semantics really, Tohei passed 'it' on within aikido.

Anyway I'm retired from this thread :) I'm off to the dojo to try the unbendable arm and the immovable one for you Mark. I'll pick the biggest guy there too, and tell you about it in the other thread when I get home. Like I said a few days ago, don't expect me around here much in the near future, too much work to do.

Mike

Erick Mead
03-19-2007, 03:00 PM
You misunderstand about Tohei ...

Try reading this:
http://www.b-smart.net/archive/tohei_intvw.html

Got a lot of good stuff in there. Things like, Tohei had no idea what Ueshiba was doing, so he just copied the movements.

Another interesting part is the translation of "non-resistance". Here, the translater translates it as "non-dissension". Hmm ... throws a wrench into Erick's posts over in baseline skills.
Well.. as Joshua might say -- show me the kanji. ;) "Dissent" means "to differ in feeling, disagree" which makes "non dissension" mean something far closer to "harmony" than to "nonresistance." Since O Sensei used both expressions on a number of occasions, either of which Tohei might refer to in giving a statement like this, you will have to hold up on the high-five/drop kick celebration -- for the moment. :D
More to the point, read a little further : The real meaning of non-dissension is to relax in the face of conflict, to respect the opponent's Ki, and to lead it to a non-harmful conclusion. Nearly everything I am working on is contained in that description.

You all still don't seem to get what I am about doing, for reasons I think that Tohei also touches on in this interview .
Many ancient oriental methods use exaggerated expressions to explain a natural state, and end up producing completely the wrong results. But I tested everything thoroughly in order to learn from experience. By following natural principles, and doing as Nakamura Sensei did, rather than as he taught, I learned how to do it correctly and consistently. He noticed this and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was doing Kumbahaka. He knew that and wanted to know how I was doing it. I showed him that even his senior students were easily pushed over because of the tension created in their bodies by trying to follow those complicated instructions. The first resistance to eliminate always lies inside. On this I think even Mike and Dan would agree.

Anything works with a modicum of training and a fundamental trust that it can be done. The mind finds the path regardless of the odd imagery it may use ot get there. It is easy, therefore when presented with the "This works -- that doesn't" in person to

1) see that it works
2) therefore trust that it works; and
3) therefore be able to find the flow that makes it work.

Now find a way to commmunicate and to define objective criteria of some realistic dimensions of 1-3 conceptually without "hands on." There's the hard part. It is necessary for students to be able to do proper correctives on their own, which even Tohei recognized, albeit with a different attempt at solution.
It bothered me that even these [taiso] exercises were not enough for people to remember it between my visits. They could do it correctly when I was there, but by the time I saw them next they had already lost it! It simply didn't stick. It then occurred to me what was missing. If the secret is that the mind moves the body, then just going through the physical motions is not enough.

Or this part,
"Most people assume that if someone pushes on your body, you have no choice but to move or receive it. In fact, if you are relaxed and unified it is relatively easy to redirect the incoming force into your One Point and be stable as a rock, even with several strong men trying to push you over." Really? I thought it was the ground and gravity they were using. Or else fascial strength.
As for me, and my interpretation of One Point, try "radius of turn reduced to zero, energy = ???" Do the math.

The basic principles of the universe apply to anything you do. The reason people get poor results is because they try to go against natural principles. If you remember the principles and apply them subconsciously, they work for you every time. However, people have the bad habit of forgetting the fundamentals as soon as they make a bit of progress. That is why you need to keep training. The bold portion is the key. Training is applying them. But Tohei recognizes you must have a statement of general principles that enables you to both remember them and then work out their applicaiton in novel cases.

Tohei's 4 principles do that, but they are not (nor do they attempt to be) a physical interpretaiton of what happens that can be used as an generally applied concept in the Western sense. They are a widely approved impression of feel for correct action -- they are not a rubric for detailed description of correct action. There are tools for doing this in physical terms, they just need to be applied correctly and consistently.

kironin
03-19-2007, 03:41 PM
Mike,
Another interesting part is the translation of "non-resistance". Here, the translater translates it as "non-dissension". Hmm ...

The term "non-dissension" is used it Tohei's books in the 1960's as well. Will Reed's translation is nothing new. That's the meaning in english that Tohei Sensei wants.

to quote Tohei from his sayings that have been around for decades, one has been titled "The Principle of Non-Dissension" ...

The true way to success is exactly one and the same as the principle of non-dissension, and that is the way to peace.
...
Mind and body coordination gives us the ability to lead others.
...
The principle of non-dissension means that we understand and practice non-conflict. This does not mean passivity. Non-attachment is different than detachment. We see that through mind and body unification we have a choice to follow the path of peace.

This is quite different than any idea non-resistance. You may run into me like running into a wall or I may plough through you like you weren't even there. I will join with you and move through you and I won't conflict with you in doing it. I need to however understand how to be unified/aligned and relaxed to do so. That's the principle of non-dissension as it manifests itself in waza rather than philosophy.

This to me is not just attempting to interpret words in an interview but from training and having experienced it. Having been trained by some including Will Reed Sensei.

best.

Ron Tisdale
03-20-2007, 07:24 AM
Very nice post Craig, Thanks!

Best,
Ron

DH
03-20-2007, 08:00 AM
This is quite different than any idea non-resistance. You may run into me like running into a wall or I may plough through you like you weren't even there. I will join with you and move through you and I won't conflict with you in doing it. I need to however understand how to be unified/aligned and relaxed to do so. That's the principle of non-dissension as it manifests itself in waza rather than philosophy.

This to me is not just attempting to interpret words in an interview but from training and having experienced it. Having been trained by some including Will Reed Sensei.

best.

The only thing I thought I'd add is thinking to join and create joining is where most go wrong in Aiki-do in the first place. Its mid level level.
Aiki is NOT manifested in the joining it has to be manifested in you. In yo or yin yang in you. Then when-they- contact you by their intent or you moving-things get interesting.
All of these "colorful" descriptions and "out there" notions of world peace are fine for some folks. But they get the average practioner as far as reading the words and meditating on the cosmic design.
Its all just colorful bullshit that teachers use and ner do wells keep sucking up and adding to their great eastern mystism model.
While the knowledge truly is profound- do we really need to be talked to like children? Some of these teachers really need to get a grip. I at least can handle someone holding back and while smiling knowing they ain't EVER gonna let go of the real stuff. But being led along some quasy new world religion while being spoon fed is a bit over the top.
You can teach it and have folks doing it in short order if they'll work hard.
Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
03-20-2007, 08:18 AM
Very nice post Craig, Thanks!

Best,
RonDitto here.

kironin
03-20-2007, 09:51 AM
The only thing I thought I'd add is thinking to join and create joining is where most go wrong in Aiki-do in the first place. Its mid level level.
Aiki is NOT manifested in the joining it has to be manifested in you. In yo or yin yang in you.
...
You can teach it and have folks doing it in short order if they'll work hard.
Cheers
Dan

join may not be the right word to use but I couldn't think of another word that was better. I didn't mean to imply that one tries in any sense to join or that aiki which is not a term I use is the joining. More like joining, connection, or what have you happens as an side effect of what as you put it as being "manifested in you".

So I agree with you. It's what I am doing, the non-dissension that I manifest, that creates the effect.

I would add to "if they'll work hard" and that if they will be really honest with themselves and take their ego out of their practice.

Mato-san
03-20-2007, 09:58 AM
1) see that it works
2) therefore trust that it works; and
3) therefore be able to find the flow that makes it work.



Perfectly said...I will keep it short and sweet so no one here can pick on my grammar and tear strips off me but will say, my Sensei was Uchideshi of Tohei and I can feel hands on that "it" is definately alive "it" in our dojo is kind of unspoken but taught through physical application of the waza...and to be the largest strongest player in our dojo Sensei loves to demonstrate how "it" works on me, and "it" does work.We are not a Ki aikido club but Sensei was a Ki no kenkyukai instructor for many years before he broke away. To take seiza and have a 70 kg man push over a 90kg man with effortless motion (NOT WAZA) ...."it" is alive

Mark Freeman
03-20-2007, 11:49 AM
Its all just colorful bullshit that teachers use and ner do wells keep sucking up and adding to their great eastern mystism model.
While the knowledge truly is profound- do we really need to be talked to like children? Some of these teachers really need to get a grip.

Stop sitting on the fence Dan, why don't you say what you think!:D

cheers

Mark

shidoin
03-22-2007, 04:12 PM
I think that Gozo Shioda was one of the few that got it! it is very hard to say who is using internals without feeling it. I do not think that O'sensei's uke's were all just making him look good. If his students thought he was a fraud they would not have kept training. they felt it and the wanted it. Just as we all do. His great feats have been felt, seen and written about. he tapped into his internal strength, but I don't think it was passed on, and the Aikido of today is sooooo far from what he was doing, that Aikidoka may never be able to find it by just training in Aikido. I have contacted a Chi Gong instructor That was a student of Bruce Frantzis. Bruce trained with O'sensei for a few years before his death and saw and felt his power. But as he said, it wasn't passed down, so he looked in the internal chinese arts to find it. Ki, chi, or whatever you want to call it exists, but now we have the problem of finding how tap into it and use it it real time, in a real situation, not by doing exercises like the unbendable arm. Does anyone here have any real stories of a modern day Aikido instructor doing what O'sensei was able to do?

Aran Bright
03-23-2007, 12:13 AM
One of the reasons explained to me, by one of ueshiba's students, why many "did not get it" is that osensei just did technique and then said, "okay now you do it".

He didn't explain, he left his students to figure it out for themselves.

Some got it some didn't, sounds like a normal dojo to me.

Aran

mjhacker
03-24-2007, 03:29 PM
Does anyone here have any real stories of a modern day Aikido instructor doing what O'sensei was able to do?
Mr. Sloan,

What, specifically, do you mean by "what O'sensei was able to do?"

I was born after Morihei sensei's death, so I have no firsthand experience with how he felt. Only stories. However, I'm iconoclastic (read: prick) enough not to believe any stories until I prove them myself. Unfortunately, since he's gone... stories are just stories.

I will say without reservation, though, that I never felt anyone in Japan do the things that my teachers and seniors here can do.

shidoin
03-24-2007, 04:21 PM
Well they may be stories! but I, and many feel that he didn't pass along all of his teachings to his students. Many people believe great tales of the bible, and follow it page by page, but no one living has ever had fist hand experience of what was written. We do however have Living Uchi Deschi that have confirmed O'Sensei's Abilities. chances are you are still just doing waza.

(read prick)?

mjhacker
03-24-2007, 04:39 PM
Well they may be stories! but I, and many feel that he didn't pass along all of his teachings to his students.
My question still stands... what specifically was the Old Man doing that was special and that no one is capable of now? Upon what do you base your feeling that he didn't pass things along? My somewhat educated opinion is that several folks have surpassed him.

chances are you are still just doing waza.

You had a chance to find out first-hand...

shidoin
03-24-2007, 04:57 PM
if people already surpassed him, we wouldn't be having discussions on these boards about it. People like tohei, said he didn't teach it, so he had to look elsewhere to find it. I speak of his internal skills that he applied in conjunction with his Aikido. I am familiar with your Dojo, I am not Familiar with you however. I have had the experience to feel the power of Aikido and internal arts combined. I have felt and seen the real deal. Most schools that I have had the pleasure of training and/or observing are just doing waza. Ukes bail out way before they should, instructors techniques are weak, and the students seem to be afraid to ask what if! O'Sensei was challenged by some of the best martial artists of his time, and he beat them, Aikido waza alone was not responsible for the feats he did. Chuck Clark is a Good instructor, you are very lucky to train with him, I have not had the pleasure of training with him, however, if someone from your dojo would care to invite me to train for an hour or two I would jump at the chance.

OSU!

shidoin
03-24-2007, 05:09 PM
you never explained the (read prick)!

mjhacker
03-24-2007, 05:24 PM
if people already surpassed him, we wouldn't be having discussions on these boards about it.
Mr. Sloan,

This is, unfortunately, a logical fallacy which, if I recall correctly, is known as "denying the antecedent." Lots of things in this universe have been "proven" and "disproven," yet people still keep talking about them.

I speak of his internal skills that he applied in conjunction with his Aikido.
Thanks for the clarification. I still don't what you specifically mean when you say that, though.

At the risk of feeling like a schmuck for posting a quote... this is a favorite and somewhat appropriate to this discussion:

"He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars; general good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, for art and science cannot exist but in minutely organized particulars." ~ William Blake

Ukes bail out way before they should, instructors techniques are weak, and the students seem to be afraid to ask what if!
This isn't how our dojo operates. I'm always open to questions when I'm teaching, providing the question and timing are appropriate. Students are not only allowed, but expected to test me (when appropriate).

O'Sensei was challenged by some of the best martial artists of his time, and he beat them
Please tell me their names and by what standard they were judged to be "some of the best."

Aikido waza alone was not responsible for the feats he did.
Then what (specifically) was?

Chuck Clark is a Good instructor, you are very lucky to train with him
Luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. I moved from my home in Tōkyō on my own volition specifically to learn from him. (Yes, I made sure to ask about how hot it gets here during the summer first.)

I am curious, though... if you've never trained with him or any of the rest of us... how do you know he's a good instructor?

if someone from your dojo would care to invite me to train for an hour or two I would jump at the chance.
If memory serves, you chose to uninvite yourself.

Best of luck in your training.

mjhacker
03-24-2007, 05:28 PM
you never explained the (read prick)!
Sorry... I was under the impression that it was fairly common in (American) English.

As I use it, it's a modifier that adds flavor or clarifies the previous word or phrase. I'm a bit embarrassed that I don't know the grammatical term (if, indeed, there is one) for it.

For example:

Girl: I'm really not dating right now (read: not dating YOU).

HTH

shidoin
03-24-2007, 05:30 PM
well if you have to ask what O'sensei was doing, and you have not figured it out you are just doing waza. if you don't know what internal arts are or what they feel like you are just doing waza. As far as training at your dojo, I discussed this with chuck Via private message, which is between he and I not u.

mjhacker
03-24-2007, 05:37 PM
well if you have to ask what O'sensei was doing, and you have not figured it out you are just doing waza.
I think it's safe to say at this point that you don't have an answer for me. There's nothing wrong with that... just be honest with yourself. When someone asks you a question, sometimes they want to see what you know.

As far as training at your dojo, I discussed this with chuck Via private message, which is between he and I not u.

Considering that (in sensei's absence) I'm the senior person currently teaching during the week, you may find this isn't quite the case.

Best of luck.

shidoin
03-24-2007, 05:57 PM
Well I know what I have read I know what I have felt, and I know what I have seen. it is not very hard to see if someone is controlling another person is it? Could I resist most of the the Aikido instructors techniques, Yes! Would I in front of a class, NO! You missed my answer to the question, O'Sensei was using internal power in conjunction with his waza! not sure how I could explain it any better. Also I really don't care if you are the acting instructor or the president of the U.S.A. when two people have a conversation, via (private) that's what it is. As far as your dojo, I don't care to be a part of it. You get all pissy because I didn't join? you don't even know the reason why. Also I can tell if someone is a good instructor or if they suck by watching, I have seen alot of shit schools, when you have been in this a a while I think we can determine what is good and what is bad. As far as u finding out what I know! I Guess i know more than u about O'sensei and his Students. Perhaps u should get O'sensei's bio, by john stevens, if you are going to train in the art u should probably know the history of the founder

Chuck Clark
03-24-2007, 06:02 PM
Mr. Sloan,

I provided information for you about why you were not invited onto our mat the one time you came into our dojo without an invitation or prior notice. I remember wishing you good luck in finding a place to train.

(By they way, meeting me on one brief occasion wasn't an invitation to call me by my first name. I'm relatively old fashioned.)

Sincerely,

shidoin
03-24-2007, 06:10 PM
Mr. Sloan,

I provided information for you about why you were not invited onto our mat the one time you came into our dojo without an invitation or prior notice. I remember wishing you good luck in finding a place to train.

(By they way, meeting me on one brief occasion wasn't an invitation to call me by my first name. I'm relatively old fashioned.)

Sincerely,

As stated before I did come to your dojo 3 times, I did contact you before I came for an invite, I was invited to observe not to train! Sorry for the first name thing, I am going by what others call u on this board. If your seniors would like me to discuss our conversation Via private message, I would be happy to do so with your consent.

OSU!

kironin
03-25-2007, 12:56 AM
ummm

this thread seems to have devolved into private matters.

I don't know what this is all about, but it's getting off topic.

Mr Sloan, you are always welcome to come by when I am teaching a class and try to resist my techniques. I love that. Helps me keep it real and could learn something. My students are always giving me no respect in that regard. Wouldn't have it any other way.

Clark Sensei and Mr. Hacker, as always my utmost respect.

as to doing it real time.
unbendable arm is just a beginner's step. Tohei Sensei always said that you can teach unbendable arm in a few minutes. Learning to apply unbendable arm feeling/internal aspect dynamically is what we spend the rest of our time doing.

mjhacker
03-25-2007, 01:19 AM
Clark Sensei and Mr. Hacker, as always my utmost respect.
Good to "hear" from you [ahem] Mr. Hocker! :-) Long time, no chat. Feel free to ping me privately and let's catch up.

unbendable arm is just a beginner's step. Tohei Sensei always said that you can teach unbendable arm in a few minutes. Learning to apply unbendable arm feeling/internal aspect dynamically is what we spend the rest of our time doing.
When I asked my first teacher whether he recommended I take up meditation, he said (paraphrased) "Yeah, it's good stuff... but it's easy to keep your center when someone isn't trying to disturb it."

Ecosamurai
03-25-2007, 05:21 AM
Oh dear. Think I'm gonna kick back with a few beers or some popcorn for this one. Mr Hacker makes me look positively diplomatic when he gets going :D :D

Craig Hocker said:

"My students are always giving me no respect in that regard. Wouldn't have it any other way."

Neither would I. If I had a for every time I've had to say 'stop being so nice to me'.....

The other Mike H

Edwin Neal
03-25-2007, 05:42 AM
i like many others are still curious about exactly what this internal power is and is it any different than the ki (and ki development) that many of us have practiced for years... as for the source of OSensei's internal power, i would give more weight to his studies of Shingon than to Omotokyo, i would also give plenty of credit to his study of DRAJ, but none of these are the whole answer... again what examples of practices to develope and/or manifestations of this internal power can you provide...

mjhacker
03-25-2007, 11:14 AM
Oh dear. Think I'm gonna kick back with a few beers or some popcorn for this one. Mr Hacker makes me look positively diplomatic when he gets going :D :D
Sorry to disappoint, Mr. Haft, but Mr. Hacker isn't going anywhere.

Neither would I. If I had a for every time I've had to say 'stop being so nice to me'....
... you'd need to go on a diet?

Ecosamurai
03-25-2007, 12:36 PM
Sorry to disappoint, Mr. Haft, but Mr. Hacker isn't going anywhere.

... you'd need to go on a diet?

<puts popcorn away sullenly> Nope, I'd be free of 10 years of university debt :)

Mike Haft

Ecosamurai
03-25-2007, 02:26 PM
i like many others are still curious about exactly what this internal power is and is it any different than the ki (and ki development) that many of us have practiced for years... as for the source of OSensei's internal power, i would give more weight to his studies of Shingon than to Omotokyo, i would also give plenty of credit to his study of DRAJ, but none of these are the whole answer... again what examples of practices to develope and/or manifestations of this internal power can you provide...

I sometimes feel that with all this talk of internal skills thats been around recently it reminds me of a guy I went to school with. He came into the classroom one day and loudly declared that he had 'discovered jazz' and that all our music was rubbish, we should stop listening to rock music and all listen to jazz, cos it was better.

At first we thought it was funny because we all knew and liked jazz but wanted to listen to rock anyway. Eventually it became annoying and we just decided he was an obnoxious guy who we didn't want to spend time with.

I personally have been working on 'internal skills' ever since I started aikido. I also remember about 6-7 years ago that if you dared to say you thought that 'internal' or 'soft' arts were better or even just plain effective then you were roundly set upon and dismissed as some sort of tree hugging weirdo.

Seems there are some MMA/UFC types who have just recently 'discovered jazz'

IMHO YMMV

Regards

Mike

tarik
03-25-2007, 04:10 PM
I also remember about 6-7 years ago that if you dared to say you thought that 'internal' or 'soft' arts were better or even just plain effective then you were roundly set upon and dismissed as some sort of tree hugging weirdo.

I don't see the same pattern in these conversations about internal stuff that you see and I do remember having a few of these conversations with Dan (and others) almost 10 years ago on aikido-l (and reading MANY more).

I do know from some of my experiences that talking about it online only gives you a few hints until you've had enough exposure to actually feeling what people are talking about.

In my own case, I found that a lot of my training and teachers SOUNDED like they were talking about the same thing, but when I felt it, the difference was.. some people can talk about it.. and claim to be able to do it.. and it feels ok and maybe even good.. until you finally meet other people who can do it on levels you never experienced before and didn't realize were possible.

It is not so much a matter of being deliberately misleading as it is a matter of not having the actual physical experiences of just how deeply these principles can be applied.

A lot of the reaction I've read on here in the last few years is, IMO, due to a sense of feeling both threatened and being frankly disbelieving because, after all, we all like to think we're studying aiki and the fundamental principles (physical and spiritual) of what we all think aikido is and can be.

shidoin
03-25-2007, 04:52 PM
I don't see the same pattern in these conversations about internal stuff that you see and I do remember having a few of these conversations with Dan (and others) almost 10 years ago on aikido-l (and reading MANY more).

I do know from some of my experiences that talking about it online only gives you a few hints until you've had enough exposure to actually feeling what people are talking about.

In my own case, I found that a lot of my training and teachers SOUNDED like they were talking about the same thing, but when I felt it, the difference was.. some people can talk about it.. and claim to be able to do it.. and it feels ok and maybe even good.. until you finally meet other people who can do it on levels you never experienced before and didn't realize were possible.

It is not so much a matter of being deliberately misleading as it is a matter of not having the actual physical experiences of just how deeply these principles can be applied.

A lot of the reaction I've read on here in the last few years is, IMO, due to a sense of feeling both threatened and being frankly disbelieving because, after all, we all like to think we're studying aiki and the fundamental principles (physical and spiritual) of what we all think aikido is and can be.

Well Said Bravo!, couldn't Have said it better myself!

matt

kironin
03-25-2007, 11:20 PM
I don't see the same pattern in these conversations about internal stuff that you see and I do remember having a few of these conversations with Dan (and others) almost 10 years ago on aikido-l (and reading MANY more).

I do know from some of my experiences that talking about it online only gives you a few hints until you've had enough exposure to actually feeling what people are talking about.


I have to say that 10 years ago, my memories are more in line with Mike's. Maybe being on the ki - kiwee - tree hugging labeled side of the fence might have colored our experience of those conversations a bit differently than some one coming from an Aikikai training culture.

My very first Aikido seminar was with an old tiny little Hawaiian guy that started with Tohei Sensei back in the early 50's. He could do some weird stuff like drop you like a sack of potates without you feeling it and pin you with just his thumb. He tossed the big guys around with ease. The fun was he wanted to show you exactly what he was doing. Having only started a few months before I certain didn't get it all in that one seminar. However it was made pretty freaking clear from the beginning that internal stuff was important and vital in Aikido.

If Dan's approach is going to become all the rage by MMA/UFC types, that would be pretty cool. If he gets some Aikido people to start thinking about internal stuff in a more sophisticated way, that's cool too. And I mean by that, in person. I don't think that it could happen online.

tarik
03-25-2007, 11:38 PM
I have to say that 10 years ago, my memories are more in line with Mike's.

Perhaps what colors my perceptions is that the only significant difference I personally see between now and then is the number of people who are participating in the conversation and the number of people who are actually trying things out.

In both cases, there are plenty of interested skeptics, believers, and outright disbelievers. Nothing has really changed except perhaps the scale.. that and the improvement of the descriptions..although that could easily be attributed to my own personal growth.

Maybe being on the ki - kiwee - tree hugging labeled side of the fence might have colored our experience of those conversations a bit differently than some one coming from an Aikikai training culture.

The dojo I started in is independent. While I've spent a fair amount of time visiting and training with various Aikikai organizations, I've never been a member and I seriously doubt that will ever change.

Edwin Neal
03-25-2007, 11:53 PM
"Internal stuff"... "but when I felt it, the difference was.. " ??? what? how about some examples please... saying someone has strong waza that has this internal power, and that you can feel the difference is not very helpful unless you can explain what that difference is and how it measure against waza without "it"...

tarik
03-26-2007, 12:50 AM
"Internal stuff"... "but when I felt it, the difference was.. " ??? what? how about some examples please... saying someone has strong waza that has this internal power, and that you can feel the difference is not very helpful unless you can explain what that difference is and how it measure against waza without "it"...

Edwin, I don't think I'm talking about "strong waza", nor am I talking about anything any more mystical or magical (IMO) than the birth of a child. For that matter, what I've experienced may not be this 'it' that everyone seems to be talking about although there are consistencies with how they talk about this and explain themselves.

I probably shouldn't even try to answer you as I'm hardly skilled at this sort of thing. I *think* I've experienced a taste of "it" while training with one of Okamoto sensei's students who is also a friend and from other people whom I actively seek to train with now.

Have you ever experienced an arm wrestling match wherein you simply relaxed and, without moving or pushing back redirected your opponents power and prevented them from moving your hand down. It's the most mundane (and probably piss poor) example I can think of that you may have played with yourself and it only begins to touch on the feeling.. in my limited experience.. and it perhaps is a poor example at that since that is relatively static in comparison.

I think that what I am talking about is the difference between saying and _really_ doing many of these various aiki principles that are constantly talked about in almost any seminar and class I've attended, but really only practiced in a fairly superficial way.

How to really explain what I mean by that? Honestly, I think the best thread I've seen about it in a long time is the ukemi thread. I think the idea of being uke and receiving when I am tori is the first time that I began to get a taste for how to make some of this happen in my own training.

Once I began to watch my training partners ukemi and comparing it to their ukemi when practicing kaeshi-waza I began to see a disconnect in many people's training that reflects a difference in their ukemi and their nage-waza that is, to me right now, symptomatic of the problem.

However, unless you're some kind of special genius (and I'm not), it's not very helpful to talk about it when you don't have a shared experience since the language used to talk about aikido is so similar. I've had many conversations with people and realized that we were saying very similar things that ultimately ended up feeling SIGNIFICANTLY different when we finally met on the mat.

So there's a lot of words when I really conclude that it's rather a waste of time asking someone who can't really do this. Ultimately, you're asking the wrong person. Go and experience it for yourself with people who claim to be pretty good at it.

mjhacker
03-26-2007, 10:28 AM
Ultimately, you're asking the wrong person. Go and experience it for yourself with people who claim to be pretty good at it.
You're selling yourself short, Tarik. I've had hands on you enough in the past couple of years to know that what you're saying and what you're doing are getting pretty damn close.

I sure hope you can make it to Shochugeiko this year.

tedehara
03-26-2007, 06:07 PM
...Tohei's 4 principles do that, but they are not (nor do they attempt to be) a physical interpretaiton of what happens that can be used as an generally applied concept in the Western sense. They are a widely approved impression of feel for correct action -- they are not a rubric for detailed description of correct action. There are tools for doing this in physical terms, they just need to be applied correctly and consistently.When you say "detailed description" are you talking about a verbal/written description or some video/computer simulation? What sort of "tools" are you talking about?

What sort of advantage do you see in the above type of description, rather than what K. Tohei did?

Just curious. :confused:

DH
03-30-2007, 06:58 AM
You're selling yourself short, Tarik. I've had hands on you enough in the past couple of years to know that what you're saying and what you're doing are getting pretty damn close.

Close to whom?
Close to what?
Have you experienced the level of "internal" skills we are discussing? Or are you discussing technical skill? Which is fine- just not what I am interested in- as it's in a lot of places.
So far I've not seen, nor felt and high level internal skills or "Aiki" in Aikido. I'd be interested in where to go see. Point the way.

mjhacker
03-30-2007, 07:36 AM
Close to whom?
Close to what?
Have you experienced the level of "internal" skills we are discussing? Or are you discussing technical skill? Which is fine- just not what I am interested in- as it's in a lot of places.
So far I've not seen, nor felt and high level internal skills or "Aiki" in Aikido. I'd be interested in where to go see. Point the way.
Mr. Harden,

Perhaps I miscommunicated. I'm not comparing what Tarik is saying and doing to anyone, but rather to each other. I'm opining that what he is starting to become capable of doing is comparable to what he is saying.

As to what I'm doing or talking about... I think it's pretty easy to figure out who my teacher is. :-)

DH
03-30-2007, 07:44 AM
My Bad
I didn't even look- and its in your signature line.
Hey I had a late night.

mjhacker
03-30-2007, 09:36 AM
I didn't even look- and its in your signature line.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that line in a bar...

Of course, what my teacher can do isn't necessarily an indication of what I can do... yet. :-)

Hey I had a late night.
You and me both. After about 3 hours of class last night, I was tired, sore, and hungry. Bad combination. Needless to say, after a few hours of pizza and conversation, I was falling asleep in my hot tub. (Don't worry... I use it only for medicinal purposes.)

shidoin
03-30-2007, 06:07 PM
I would love to feel you technique Michael! you speak very highly of it

OSU!

shidoin
03-31-2007, 12:27 PM
I thought I should rephrase my last post because it didn't sound (well) very good. Your techniques, IE: the way you do Nikyo sounds fascinating to me.

mjhacker
03-31-2007, 12:35 PM
I thought I should rephrase my last post because it didn't sound (well) very good. Your techniques, IE: the way you do Nikyo sounds fascinating to me.

I appreciate the clarification and the private messages.

Erick Mead
03-31-2007, 10:20 PM
When you say "detailed description" are you talking about a verbal/written description or some video/computer simulation? What sort of "tools" are you talking about?

What sort of advantage do you see in the above type of description, rather than what K. Tohei did?

Just curious. :confused: Tohei, in my limited experience with his students provided a guide to appopriate "feel" of disposing the body in relation to the dynamic of the interaction. "Relax completely; Keep one point; keep weight underside;and extend ki". These are all pointers to internal cues of adjustment. They make sense to my thinking and practice even though I have never trained in a Tohei lineage. They are not physical descriptions of what is mechanically occurring that produces the subjective feedback that he describes and advises seeking in those terms.

They are, by all accounts, reliable self-referential guides to the proper feel of correct "doing." They are not and do not pretend to be an explanation of "what is done" in an objective, mechanical sense, when done correctly. Saying that we need more of the latter does not diminish the importance of the former.

As to descriptions, videos -- I have said before -- they do not tell the entire story either. Go look at a Necker cube for while; your eyes often see what you choose to tell them to see. Both subjective impressions and objective visual or verbal depictions have to be tested against known and proven mechanical concepts to ensure consistency and generality of observation and conclusion.

In this way a reality can be checked physically, internally and externally, as well as conceptually, at that same time. Any of the two alone could well be faulty. All, all three agreeing together are unlikely to be wrong.

My internal sense of what it means to "extend ki" does not immediately translate at present into any reliably repeatable mechanical principle. It also is only translated, rather haltingly, into some one else's external observation of what I mean when I demonstrate extension in a given interaction. Thus, they may repeat what they remember seeing, or what they think they see from external observaitons -- and still miss it.

Indeed, extension may seem very different externally in different settings, when internally it feels very much the same to me. A sound description of the mechanical concept in play would more easily communicate the commonality between seemingly different things, when viewed externally as opposed ton internally.

Similarly a certain concept of mechnical action may seem inviting from an internal sense standpoint, but when compare with external observaiton it may be seen to be mechnically wrong. The internal sense does not need correcting, only the mechnical concept to come into agreement with both the internal and external observations of what is occurring.

Right now we lack a good effort at describing the movements and principles in their mechnical aspects. That needs to be done. I am trying to do some of it. I urge others to give their own thoughts the same rigorous attention.

Stephen Webb
01-27-2008, 11:49 AM
Mr. Sloan,

My instructor lived with Tohei sensei for I believe two years in the late 60s, and served as a translator for O'Sensei during some interviews done with an American reporter.

At 72 years old, I have seen him do some freaky stuff that I've also seen video of Tohei Sensei do. There is a video on YouTube of Tohei Sensei holding up his pinky finger, and two men trying to bend it with their forearms, and not being able to do so. Similarly, there is a video of I presume Barry Bernstein trying to lift Tohei up. At first, he can, and then Tohei changes how he's centered (for lack of a better explanation), and suddenly he can't.

I have been witness to or heard stories of my instructor doing these exact things. These "abilities" have been passed on, it's just that it is not disseminated throughout Aikido as a whole for reasons that I'm not certain of.

George S. Ledyard
01-29-2008, 08:52 AM
When you say "detailed description" are you talking about a verbal/written description or some video/computer simulation? What sort of "tools" are you talking about?

What sort of advantage do you see in the above type of description, rather than what K. Tohei did?

Just curious. :confused:

Hi Ted,
In my opinion, Tohei Sensei's principle based instruction was a revolution in teaching the art. These guys trained with an old man who never explained anything. Saotome Sensei says that in fifteen years of training with the Founder, he can remember three times in which O-Sensei talked about "how" to do something.

So Tohei Sensei develops a teaching methodology which actually says to someone, this is what YOU should be feeling. Not what you are doing to the other guy but how it should feel to you. It was a huge step forward.

For myself, I have tried to work much the same way but get more specific. Each technique has two main elements... what you are doing with your body and what you are doing with your mind. So I have been trying to expand on the relatively simple principles which Tohei Sensei outlined to develop a way to give very specific feedback to the student about how he or she places their attention, what effect a shift in the attention has on what one is doing physically, etc.

For example, when you grab someone you can tell exactly where their attention is placed. For most folks their attention or energy immediately goes to the place where they are grabbed. For most folks, this is the number one reason their technique fails to work. It's not that they don't know where to put their feet or what they are trying to do with their body movement.

So I think an expanded range of principle based instructions is what is needed to start raising the level of what one sees in Aikido. What are you doing with your body, what are you doing with your mind, and how should it feel; that's what effective instruction should have in my opinion. I have been trying to teach this way since the first Aiki Expo when I encountered teachers who instructed in this manner and it is working really well. My students are literally decades ahead of where I was at the same rank in terms of understanding what they are trying to do. It remains to be seen whether they train enough to get to a high level, but the training they do is taking them in the right direction.

I think many of us from my generation trained in a way that would never have developed an understanding of what our teacher was doing. We trained hard but we trained stupid. A small number of us have completely redone our Aikido as a result of different influences we have encountered. I think that twenty years from now, the Aiki Expos will be considered seminal events in the development of Aikido in this country. I think we have the potential to reverse the decline we have seen in the art by improving both our own Aikido and, even more important, how we teach it. I think that Tohei started this process but I also think we can expand and improve on it ourselves.