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Mike Sigman
03-30-2007, 12:42 PM
I wonder why Tohei, who focused on trying to get ki and kokyu skills to the forefront of Aikido again (even when he was still with Hombu Dojo as the head instructor), neglected to mention weight-training as an aid to Aikido and instead kept trying to get people to relax as they're beginning to learn?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

akiy
03-30-2007, 01:01 PM
I wonder why Tohei, who focused on trying to get ki and kokyu skills to the forefront of Aikido again (even when he was still with Hombu Dojo as the head instructor), neglected to mention weight-training as an aid to Aikido and instead kept trying to get people to relax as they're beginning to learn?
Maybe he had a different focus of his training and teaching than others? From what I have experieced, different aikido shihan have different approaches and emphasis (eg Morihiro Saito sensei and heavy suburito). So it goes.

In any case, please let's stick with the subject at hand which is aikido, weight lifting, and flexibility. Thank you.

-- Jun

DH
03-31-2007, 07:56 AM
Weight training as in power lifitng or isolated body sculpting lifting?
They really are two different things
Dead lifting can be done for whole body strength without that isolated "Hey ma look at my biceps!" thing.

But power lifing, and stretching-which need to go hand in hand-won't help your aikido one wit. May even harm it. I tried it:o
Aikido training should never be about physical muscle driven strength. Thats low, low level. Approaching aikido that way will slow down any real progress. The power is in relaxation yes. But it is in "using" that relaxation to both do things and allow things in your body to create aiki.

Mike Sigman
03-31-2007, 01:15 PM
The orginal question was not about how or whether weight training would take one's Aikido to some rarified level. In my view, it probably wouldn't help much in this respect, because that is all about skill, and there are no clearly defined performance goals to even test whether such a program works. The question was about "stiffness" and flexibility, and whether weight training might cause it and thereby hinder one's Aikido. The answer is clearly no, as most pro athletes do employ weight training and there are plenty of examples of these that are way more flexible, finely coordinated, and fluidly moving than most Aikidoists. The problem is that learning to use the ground, the weight, the "ki", etc., with the middle actively controlling these things, means that you have to extensively recoordinate the way you move. That's what the problem is. Different arts have different preferred approaches to this massive re-coordination (Tai Chi, for example, approaches the recoordination/re-training through slow movements, etc.). Aikido has some deliberate re-training-of-movement exercises, but most people slop through them as "warmup" exercises or vague ritualistic movements and miss the whole point.

The person who has been shown how to move in this new fashion has to spend a lot of time and focus re-learning how to move. Using weights in the same isolation fashion as his old movement is simply counter-productive for this because you never learn the new way of moving from the middle controlling the jin/kokyu.

But everyone should have known that. It is NOT a matter of "well that's your opinion". It's simply the basics, not some arguable opinion. If it is a matter of discussion and campfire opinion about how to build up kokyu power, etc., then maybe Ushiro puts it best: "No Kokyu; No Aikido". Period. I.e., if we're talking about using weight-training, we're not talking about Aikido.

Can someone who has learned this form of movement now use heavy implements and weights? Yes. But he'll use them quite differently from someone who doesn't know these movement skills.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Kevin Wilbanks
04-01-2007, 12:10 AM
Ridiculous. Do you find eating with a fork interferes with your ability to write with a pen? Human beings are not so badly designed as to be haplessly unable to keep from mixing up different movement patterns and skills. Power cleans and barbell squats are nothing like the movement patterns of dribbling a basketball and weaving through defenders, yet Michael Jordan did them, and both he and his strength coaches thought they were valuable.

You are correct that this is not a matter of opinion, nor is it a matter of self-evident proclamation from people claiming esoteric knowledge, it's a matter of scientifically established fact, and something easily verifiable by anyone's own experiences. I have never met nor even heard of a single person who uncontrollably mixed up skills in the way you are describing. Can you cite an instance of someone who went to write a letter yet couldn't help jamming the pen in his mouth? A runner who intended to do tenkan but instead uncontrollably sprinted across the mat?

DH
04-01-2007, 10:44 AM
Kevin
Mike is correct, you are not.
A very simple example is the upper body. Most men I meet and play with fire the familiar combo of pecs/delts/arms. Hence their whole upper center is hard and light. It takes years and years to reverse that and get your center in your hands. You can say "center is body mass" till we're blue in the face. I just did!! Most guys I've met- haven't a clue what that really means.
Lifting can really set you back if your not careful, and you will just be another "strong guy" whoopie.

And if you want to argue with Mike's idea your arguing with a thousand years of history of Asian arts all saying the same thing.
Ya might as well argue with Ueshiba.

As for the Saito example. I'd say outright "He just didn't get it at that point." Period. Want to argue with that too. Exaplin Uehsiba improving when He was small? Explain Sagawa a waif-trashing gold medal judoka. Takeda at 4' 11" trashing men all over. For the men who think lifting is the way to make better martial artists I say please continue. To those who can think past what they see and currently know, please reconsider.

I appreciate the "Show me" state of mind. But it has a false air of certainty. Maybe you guys should consider you don't know everything cause your dads, coaches and Arnold told you so, or you haven't felt it from somone who really knows what they're doing. Makes me wonder why folks are in an Asian art at all? They are willing to go lift and run and build up. And not train the body method that allowed the Asian artists to "tune" everyones butts in the first place. All they see and think of is muscle and technique.
Its like doing UFC 1 all over again. Bunch of yahoos counting on technique and muscle size wresttlers who power lifted, P/Kers who lifted getting absolutely tuned, owned... by a small guy with a method they did not know.
Here we are today. SSDD
Poor Morihei.

Aikido body and strength training should be of a different type. The internal one. The one advocated by?????????? Its founder
I'm pretty sure he knew better then Kevin.

Upyu
04-01-2007, 11:12 AM
Ridiculous. Do you find eating with a fork interferes with your ability to write with a pen? Human beings are not so badly designed as to be haplessly unable to keep from mixing up different movement patterns and skills. Power cleans and barbell squats are nothing like the movement patterns of dribbling a basketball and weaving through defenders, yet Michael Jordan did them, and both he and his strength coaches thought they were valuable.

You are correct that this is not a matter of opinion, nor is it a matter of self-evident proclamation from people claiming esoteric knowledge, it's a matter of scientifically established fact, and something easily verifiable by anyone's own experiences. I have never met nor even heard of a single person who uncontrollably mixed up skills in the way you are describing. Can you cite an instance of someone who went to write a letter yet couldn't help jamming the pen in his mouth? A runner who intended to do tenkan but instead uncontrollably sprinted across the mat?

Actually Ark's mentioned that he regrets ever having done gymnastics. A lot of the exercises that he did caused him to ingrain some bad habits that cause the shoulder muscles to flare up a bit. Ideally you want to cut down any unwanted firing of the muscles down to a minimum. Strength training/lifting does exactly the opposite. All of my mma friends that life have a hard time improving on connection exercises until they stop lifting.
If they bitch and moan I point to them and say, look, you're built like a friggin freight train, but I let you try and double leg me but you can't take me down...but I'm skinny as "#$k compared to you so why am I so hard to take down? :D
Then they bitch and moan saying the connection exercises are too taxing on the body, then they suffer a brain fart and collapse in a heap on the ground...ayyayyay can't win either way:p

Mike Sigman
04-01-2007, 11:22 AM
Ridiculous. Do you find eating with a fork interferes with your ability to write with a pen? Human beings are not so badly designed as to be haplessly unable to keep from mixing up different movement patterns and skills. Power cleans and barbell squats are nothing like the movement patterns of dribbling a basketball and weaving through defenders, yet Michael Jordan did them, and both he and his strength coaches thought they were valuable.

You are correct that this is not a matter of opinion, nor is it a matter of self-evident proclamation from people claiming esoteric knowledge, it's a matter of scientifically established fact, and something easily verifiable by anyone's own experiences. I have never met nor even heard of a single person who uncontrollably mixed up skills in the way you are describing. Can you cite an instance of someone who went to write a letter yet couldn't help jamming the pen in his mouth? A runner who intended to do tenkan but instead uncontrollably sprinted across the mat?Maybe your first example with the pen is a good one. Doing correct calligraphy involves changing one's movements to exactly the same kind of movement I'm talking about. People who do calligraphy like that use their chopsticks (forks) in a different way than people who don't understand kokyu movement.

You're saying "ridiculous". I'm saying that this is all about something in which you have no experience or you'd know I'm simply saying something fairly basic. To follow your line of thinking, even the discussion about "use your hara for movement" is meaningless and your perception of "using the hara" indeed doesn't ring a bell as being substantively different from normal movement. But you can't bring yourself to say "hmmmm... I'd need to see it". You simply gainsay everything with the idea there can be nothing under the sun you don't already know.

But then, that's why I'm contributing less and less to this forum. The number of people who already know everything is too high and the people who have been interested enough to explore have pretty much already done so. Go your own path. Remember though that I have 7-8 years of experience in Aikido and a large number of years in a number of other martial arts, not to mention a lot of years chasing down the fundamentals of this odd type of movement. You have zero real experience in this type of movement yet you're quick to poo-poo it. I'd simply suggest you go get some bona fide experience in it before you make pronouncements about it.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
04-01-2007, 11:26 AM
The story Saito Sensei told was that he used to accompany O-Sensei on many trips. In the beginning he wasn't that strong, and had trouble handling some of the trainees in the places they visited. So, he took up weightlifting to build himself up. He couldn't afford a barbell of his own, so he worked out using a railroad rail that he got from work.Heck, I use weights, too. But I use them in a quite different way from what a weight-lifter does. Your story is good, but you have no real idea of whether Saito (1.) had good internal skills or not (notice that none of us hold him up as an examplar of internal skill; we don't know or (2.) whether O-Sensei coached Saito in using weights correctly or not.

I.e., this is a more complex discussion that a few simple anecdotes are going to cover.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Pete Rihaczek
04-01-2007, 12:40 PM
I used to be an avid weightlifter, but I've also come to believe that typical weightlifting is actually counterproductive if you want to develop the sorts of body skills coveted by the Asian masters. The science of sports training is not laid in stone, and the carryover and risk/benefit of particular forms of training to a specific sport is a topic of hot debate. One thing that is fairly well established is the principle of specificity, and clearly if the old masters lifted weights their bodies would look like weightlifter's bodies, and they don't. You can see in YouTube videos that someone like Chen Xiao Wang has noodle arms. I went to a seminar with Chen Bing, the body type is a result of specific kinds of training, same with Akuzawa, Ushiro, etc. Mixing weightlifting with Aikido will produce more reliance on muscling technique and typical external movement. If that's all you want to do or all you believe Aikido is (then why bother? there are plenty of more combative arts to choose from), then it should improve that. But if you're after what Ueshiba had, you would likely be heading in the wrong direction.

DH
04-01-2007, 12:56 PM
This is the powerhouse that wasted Judoka and Aikidoka alike in his eigthties-Sagawa Yukiyoshi

I think we should have advised a western personal trainer to teach him how to lift properly. Then he could have been more powerful. Afterall, of course we know best.
I wonder why the wieghtlifing Judoka who got trashed didn't win?
Ahh!!! must have been technique.
Gotta remember
Lifting and technique
Lifting and technique

mjhacker
04-01-2007, 01:32 PM
Ideally you want to cut down any unwanted firing of the muscles down to a minimum.
YES!

Any muscles that are firing when they don't need to be are off the reservation, so to speak. In order to redeploy a firing muscle, it must first be relaxed. This takes up extra time, creates slack, and can be easily felt by those who know what they're feeling for. If it can be felt, it can be foiled. Any muscle that doesn't need to be firing as per the job order at hand shouldn't be. This, I think, is what Tohei sensei really meant when he said "relax completely" (which you can't literally do and still remain standing): relax every muscle that doesn't need to be firing.

One of our dōjō family is a very accomplished bodybuilder. He's incredibly strong, but his weightlifting makes it very hard to do Aiki. (Although, it does seem to help him get women... hmmm...)

The type of force generated by firing muscles in a sport like basketball is quite different from the subtle, almost imperceptable, yet very forceful stuff going on here. This is why sport Judo sucks when compared to what Mifune sensei was doing... it's the exact opposite.

paw
04-01-2007, 05:12 PM
One of our dōjō family is a very accomplished bodybuilder. He's incredibly strong, but his weightlifting makes it very hard to do Aiki.

I would expect that a bodybuilder would have a hard time with aikido --- to me, it would unusual if they didn't. Of course a bodybuilder would have trouble, since bodybuilding's most common training methodologies and practices are all about muscle isolation, rather than using the body as a single unit.

And...now a rant. I have a pet peeve with the use of "weightlifter". I sincerely doubt that people have trained or do train aikido with a weightlifter --- that is to say someone who competes in weightlifting (clean & jerk, snatch --- Olympic weightlifting). Weightlifters are phenomial athletes; matching gymnasts in flexibility and sprinters in speed in addition to being frighteningly strong.

I suspect when people say "weightlifter" they are referring to someone who weight trains, and frankly, that could mean anything at all.

Regards,

Paul

HL1978
04-02-2007, 05:15 PM
Digressing from body building and developing kokyu/internal power, I thought I might share something from the BBC series, "Mind Body and Kickass Moves" which I thought might be appropriate.

It was mentioning that when developing a martial body it was more important to have developed triceps, than biceps, and that large biceps would inhibit power (particularaly striking power,but the same in grappling as well), in that in more techniques your arms extend out/ push out than pull in.

Perhaps this is why some people with bodybuilding techniques have some difficulties with MA?

Ecosamurai
04-02-2007, 06:40 PM
Digressing from body building and developing kokyu/internal power, I thought I might share something from the BBC series, "Mind Body and Kickass Moves" which I thought might be appropriate.

It was mentioning that when developing a martial body it was more important to have developed triceps, than biceps, and that large biceps would inhibit power (particularaly striking power,but the same in grappling as well), in that in more techniques your arms extend out/ push out than pull in.

Perhaps this is why some people with bodybuilding techniques have some difficulties with MA?

Interestingly, Korestoshi Maruyama head of aikido yuishinkai (ki soc offshoot) often discusses using the triceps in relation to internal power.

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-03-2007, 08:04 AM
The true hubris here is from people who may have some experience in "internal skills" that pretend this makes them experts on subjects with which they obviously lack even passing familiarity: exercise science, neurology, physiology... not to mention basics of reasoning or problems of knowledge. I already posted at least twice in passing years that I did an in-service for the teaching staff in physical therapy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I led them through some basic jin things. When I asked several of the doctorate level people if they had ever seen anything like it before, they hadn't and didn't know what to say about it since it was outside of their experiences. You, on the other hand, with nowhere near their credentials and teaching experience, are ready to talk about the "hubris" of anyone who doesn't let you argue by reason of authority, even when you're pontificating on something you've never seen. Why don't you go look before you disparage? Try Dan. After watching your superior posts a couple of times before, I already made up my mind that it won't be me. The people at UCHSC.... the ones with twice your credentials... are a lot less supercilious when they talk to people and I'm a delicate soul.

This is NOT some new coordination like ice-skating. It's a different way of coordinating the body entirely. IF you ever get to see it, you'll begin to understand it. The science shows that there is no basis for the claim that lifting weights interferes with learning relatively dissimilar skills or movement patterns. In fact, the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. All the world's best athletes in every kind of competitive athltetic activity - from biathalon, to marathon running, to water ballet - now use at least general weight training to some extent - even if it is just to provide a minimal base of stength and injury prevention.

The claim that engaging in a few resistance training exercises a few times per week necessarily interferes with motor learning is beyond false. It is evidently absurd to anyone who has a body, as I have pointed out. I challenge anyone to recount a single instance of one exercise or activity confusing or disrupting a dissimilar one. I've seen people go nowhere for years because they thought they could just mix this stuff in with normal movement. Even people with a few basic skills often only go a little way because they never fully commit to changing the way they move/coordinate. It's part of the big spectrum of skills thing that I've mentioned before.

Even better.... there are people that don't get even the first skill because they're so convinced that there can be nothing they don't know that they just talk themselves into a standstill and don't even go look. The real thing that is going on is that Asian martial arts, including Ueshiba's stuff, has a very clever set of movement mechanics at its core.... i.e., the heavy-duty level of Asian arts is even brighter than we thought. Aikido is even cleverer than you think.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
04-03-2007, 08:23 AM
Someone wrote about triceps
Using the triceps as islotaed firing in relation to internal power is most assuredly a misunderstanding. I'd guess that teacher was trying to describe the inner lines of the arms down to the elbows. Flexing and isloting your triceps will lead to the upper body getting lighter and at least more easly controlled in grappling. The function of drawing down on something "like a tricep exfension" is best done with the body. There are different ways to do that including a simple non dedicated weight transfer to cause down weight that is relaxed, heavy and more controlling to a grappler -and harder to float or manipulate back to boot.

DH
04-03-2007, 08:58 AM
Sagawa Yukiyoshi senior to Ueshiba in Daito ryu

".....At twenty I had built up my body to a beautiful inverted triangle proportion, much like a body builder’s. However this body did not do much for my techniques so I had to change /adjust my training methodology. The training needed to strengthen the parts needed for Aiki is different from “Normal” training. However, if you are passionate enough you’ll realize what this means, since I drop hints on how to train during our normal practice.

...... relaxing the shoulders is an extremely hard thing to do and requires a long amount of training/tanren. (It is easy to relax them initially, but should you ever find yourself in a real situation you will most likely find that they will tense up.)"

He goes on to talk about the back and the legs and how the movement is not natural and not normal training.

Much the same advice you will find in many if not all Asian MA teachers. Odd that those who were classified as truly great seem to be of a similar mindset. Hmm....

Most will keep doing what they do.

Ecosamurai
04-03-2007, 09:05 AM
I'd guess that teacher was trying to describe the inner lines of the arms down to the elbows

Pretty much spot on. He (Maruyama Sensei) talks about triceps in relation to the 'unbendable arm' exercise. Or so I'm told by those who attended that particular seminar anyway. I couldn't make it.

Mike

Aran Bright
04-03-2007, 09:26 AM
Aikido is even cleverer than you think.

Mike Sigman

I think I'm going to get this made into a t-shirt

Pretty much spot on. He (Maruyama Sensei) talks about triceps in relation to the 'unbendable arm' exercise. Or so I'm told by those who attended that particular seminar anyway. I couldn't make it.

Mike

Hi Mike (Haft),

Actually 'hi' to both Mikes.

Maruyama sensei was indeed talking about the line along the underside of the arm but not only in extesion/contraction of the triceps but in any arm movement.

He had an interesting way of explaining it. If you think about it all animals attack with claws or teeth (excepting rhinos and elephants maybe) and they rip and tear, using biceps, only humans punch and extend throught arm. I think he wants to emphasis an expansive structure (like and A-Un statue perhaps) rather than a bent over one, like a monkey for example.

If we always concentrate on the triceps, stretch or flex, we maintain a more upright structure and don't compromise on stability.

I love watching that old footage of mifune jumping around the place like some sort of pogo stick, never once saw him bent over unless there was someone flying over his shoulder. Look at most judoka nowadays, very different.

DH
04-03-2007, 09:51 AM
I've problem with that except I'd take out the reference to the tricep "muscle." The inner lines as horizontal or downward extension need not fire the tricep at all so why bring it up?;)

Aran Bright
04-03-2007, 10:01 AM
I've problem with that except I'd take out the reference to the tricep "muscle." The inner lines as horizontal or downward extension need not fire the tricep at all so why bring it up?;)

Thanks Dan,

Its little tidbits like that confirm my suspicions, Rob said something similar before and I have read others describing arm movement without use of the triceps and biceps which muct be generated via lats/rotator cuff and pecs.

Of course in your own very special way.

;)

Ecosamurai
04-03-2007, 10:34 AM
I've problem with that except I'd take out the reference to the tricep "muscle." The inner lines as horizontal or downward extension need not fire the tricep at all so why bring it up?;)

It was basically in the context of someone mentioning which muscles it might be useful to develop. FWIW I don't really think that muscle strength is needed to make this stuff work. But any level of increased strength and fitness is always good IMO. Just so long as you make sure you know that the 'internal' skills are not the 'external' ones and you don't need one to do the other.

As I said in another thread. If you take the internal stuff and pour it into a DRAJJ cup you get DRAJJ, and aikido cup you get aikido, same for anything including BJJ, MMA, flower arranging and making cups of tea. Pour it into a broken cup and it leaks out the sides. In other words having a basic amount of physical fitness and strength is needed IMO. No point in trying to 'extend ki' through a broken arm.

Weight lifting isn't counter productive I don't think, just so long as you know enough to not confuse big muscles with strong ki. I wouldn't recommend someone try lifting weights in order to develop ki cos it doesn't work.

Regards

Mike

Haowen Chan
04-03-2007, 10:48 AM
For that to occur at the most basic fundamental level the postural muscles of the body must be dominant over the more superficial mobilising muscles.

Great tip, thanks! So that's why everyone keeps chanting, relax, relax, relax...

DH
04-03-2007, 11:10 AM
So in a sense I believe you are right, weight training doesn't stop 'aiki', but it doesn't allow it either.
Kind Regards,

Aran

Hmm....Stop Aiki? Maybe not in an -absolute- sense.
But I'd go as far as saying that weight training- at least while one is tryng to learn these skills-is most likely the worst thing you could do. I'd spend all that time on bodywork-re-wiring.

It is a simple as this
Go lift that thing...."Errcchk!! Wrong."

Go lift that....."Errcchk!! Wrong."

All them Chinese and Japanese may have known best after all.
Every guy I've heard who said its natural. Doesn't get it.
No master level teacher I have ever ment who had it or I have read who others knew had it. All agree its an unatural and highly trained skill.
I think I'll bet on them-not us.

G DiPierro
04-03-2007, 02:13 PM
I've been considering posting these clips in a few recent threads discussing what internal strength is and how it differs from external. Well, here they are. The first clip is internal strength, the second is not. If you look at their bodies it's pretty clear the second guy does serious weight training but the first does not. His arms are like toothpicks, yet he is performing feats of strengths comparable to the second, who has a much more developed physique. I'd say he is also doing them with much more relaxation.

Even though neither of these guys are martial artists, the debate between whether internal strength is better than external strength (or even pure technical fighting skill) is similar to a debate about which of these guys is "better." They are both very good at what they do, and very few people reading this could replicate either demonstration. However, what they do, and how they train, is very different, even though it might look somewhat similar on the surface.

Internal Strength:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=5f0O39nerAw

External Strength:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=eqh3gSwo4Wk

Mike Sigman
04-03-2007, 03:58 PM
I'm having this sort of smiley kind of day because the stuff on ki/kokyu has been split off from Aikido discussions and weight-lifting is kept as an Aikido topic, with most of the "Aikido people" on the forum being happy about it. Ellis, I rest my case. Your "Hidden in Plain Sight" is not cynical enough. Maybe O-Sensei was simply objectively cynical enough to understand that the material was wasted on the masses. ;)

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
04-03-2007, 04:17 PM
Again, a false correalation. If you would have presented videos showing two people doing the same things under the same conditions and then could demonstrate a distinction it would be a correalation.

Both represent core strength from a different set of physics because the dynamics of the situations are different, one uses the floor for support, the other guy, on the rings has a very tough situation to deal with with the rings moving and being suspended from the ceiling etc.

If you showed the yoga guy doing the rings in a different manner, then i'd be really impressed.

Both examples represent a mastery of many things physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I don't understand really how you draw a correalation or distinctly divide one into external the other into internal.

Yes, it is the same old argument, much in line with those that like to say that sport forms of jiujitsu and grappling cannot be internal or budo simply based on affinity.

Emotionally we'd like to believe that the yoga guy is doing internal stuff and the gymnast is external...based on affinitiy and identification with the labels we like to put on things...however, I don't think it is quite that simple.

Both are impressive athletes that have mastered things that require a command and certain level of mastery of the mind, body, and spirit.

Different set of parameters though!

DonMagee
04-03-2007, 04:43 PM
I did aikido, lots of ki exercises, lots of rolling, lots of retraining my movement. I gained weight, felt sluggish, groggy, had stomach issues, and soreness in general.

I did bjj, did proper weight training (targeting improving strength in muscles using exercise that is directly related to what I am trying to do, like resistance bands on shoots, lunges, benchpress, kettlebells, etc. I started running, I have lost a LOT of weight. I'm healthier then I ever was, I no longer have the doctor telling me I'm a diabetic waiting to happen, I'm faster, stronger, more stable, I no longer hurt, I'm awake though the day, happier, I have more confidence, etc.

I can't find a single fault in strength training. I of course do not train to get bigger muscles, in fact, I want the opposite. I want the maximum strength I can get under 165 pounds. I also work lots of flexibility exercises using yoga movements (Although I don't take yoga because the instructors generally annoy me.)

I don't think lifting weights is the problem here. I think the problem is people reverting to the wrong ideas about lifting weights. Would you say that someone needs to not be a stock boy to build internal skill? Their job is similar to lifting weights. Part of my training was just simply lifting heavy things. It's one thing to say static weight lifting might be bad. It is another to say that building external strength is a bad thing. Is shrimp crawl drills with a 250 pound man on my chest weight training? I think it is. Is it counter productive to my training? Defiantly not, it build my endurance to the situation I find myself in. Of course the problem is balancing proper fitness with just becoming an over muscled troll.

But telling people not to peruse good fitness is rather silly.

Haowen Chan
04-03-2007, 05:00 PM
Mike Sigman didn't say everyone should stop weight training.

He said, if you're starting on a program of internal skills development, you should put your weights on hold for a while until you have internalised the skills to a high level, or it may confuse your body and slow down your study.

Thats very useful advice to newbies like me. I knew that weight training can increase muscle tension, which may possibly hinder the pursuit of "relax completely".... so when Mike says, better not (in the beginning), I think, yup, ok. The logic of it is totally self-evident.

The advice totally doesn't apply to anyone who is not actually deliberately training internal skills. In fact it may sound completely backwards and nonconstructive.... but it's that the reader is not in the right context to receive the message.

In that sense I think the thread split is good, to separate the different messages for the different audiences.

statisticool
04-03-2007, 05:50 PM
Aikido has some deliberate re-training-of-movement exercises, but most people slop through them as "warmup" exercises or vague ritualistic movements and miss the whole point.


Can we see the data you use to come to the "most people" conclusion? If not, please restate the above as your opinion.

Justin

G DiPierro
04-03-2007, 06:39 PM
Both represent core strength from a different set of physics because the dynamics of the situations are different, one uses the floor for support, the other guy, on the rings has a very tough situation to deal with with the rings moving and being suspended from the ceiling etc.

I just picked that video because it was the first one I found. Nothing special about the rings. If you want something on solid ground you can find plenty of clips of men's floor exercises on youtube.

I don't understand really how you draw a correalation or distinctly divide one into external the other into internal.Well there are a number of factors. The main one I mentioned was the noticeable difference in physique, since the thread was about weight training. I also stated that the yoga guy is more relaxed, as the question of relaxation was also brought up. But there are others as well. For me it is not so much a matter of individual elements as it is of watching the overall body movement.

Emotionally we'd like to believe that the yoga guy is doing internal stuff and the gymnast is external...based on affinitiy and identification with the labels we like to put on things...however, I don't think it is quite that simple.That really has nothing to do with it. Most people that do "yoga" don't have much in the way of internal skill. That yoga video I specifically selected because it's an example of someone who does. I would say that if you did a search on youtube for yoga the number of results that I would put in that category would be less than ten percent (perhaps much less).

Both are impressive athletes that have mastered things that require a command and certain level of mastery of the mind, body, and spirit.

Different set of parameters though!

Exactly my point!

George S. Ledyard
04-03-2007, 06:56 PM
I'm having this sort of smiley kind of day because the stuff on ki/kokyu has been split off from Aikido discussions and weight-lifting is kept as an Aikido topic, with most of the "Aikido people" on the forum being happy about it.

Mike,
This simply highlights the fact that people still do not understand exactly what goes into developing the structure you are talking about for internal power. It's a particular kind of conditioning.

I was talking to my Systema friends about this and the subject of kettle bells came up. Apparently Michael and Vlad don't recommend them. Some of the senior Systema guys use them but in very specific ways. It is my understanding that if used differently they can actually interfere with developing the kind of structure which the Systema guys are trying to develop.

I am assuming that you are pretty much saying something along those lines.

Mike Sigman
04-03-2007, 07:18 PM
I was talking to my Systema friends about this and the subject of kettle bells came up. Apparently Michael and Vlad don't recommend them. Some of the senior Systema guys use them but in very specific ways. It is my understanding that if used differently they can actually interfere with developing the kind of structure which the Systema guys are trying to develop.

I am assuming that you are pretty much saying something along those lines.I'm sort of saying the same thing, George, but allow me the caveat of not being sure that it's what the Systema guys are talking about. Bear in mind that I've made the point many times that there are many levels and grades of ability to do these things and it's quite possible to have some limited aspects in boxing, Systema, Judo, karate, you name it, and my main focus/worry would be whether those aspects were complete enough to warrant a viable comparison as an "internal strength" art.

That being said as a caveat, I would tend to agree. O-Sensei's jin-kokyu skills are pretty apparent in some of the videos (it's almost impossible to tell about the functional "ki" development since it would have to be felt). So undoubtedly O-Sensei's use of heavy garden implements included the use and practice of that strength... not the 'normal' strength that would be used in weight-lifting. Same with kettle-balls.... if someone knows how to use jin/kokyu, they're going to use the kettleballs in that specific way, not in the way a normal strength-and-conditioning person is going to use the kettleballs.

The idea is to change over from "normal" local use of limbs and power to the mind-directed jin/kokyu method which combines with the ki-development stuff. You can never make that change-over to a new way of moving if you practice a little bit of this and a little bit of that... you have to make the full commitment, even to lifting a coffee cup with jin, stirring the soup with jin, etc. That's essentially why I said (and it's not just me that has said it, by any means) that weight-lifting is simply counter-productive when you're trying to learn to move kokyu and ki with the hara. The problems with these conversations is that they're so incredibly obvious and basic that some of the rebuttals, etc., get a little hysterical. ;)

Best.

Mike

Michael Mackenzie
04-04-2007, 10:16 AM
Same with kettle-balls.... if someone knows how to use jin/kokyu, they're going to use the kettleballs in that specific way, not in the way a normal strength-and-conditioning person is going to use the kettleballs.


Hi Gang,

Well I'll put my butt on the line on this one...

I've been training kettlebells for about six months now, and while I agree with Mike that they in no way indicate internal martial art practice (if one were to do that one might consider training an internal martial art...) there are some interesting principles at work that might be worth a good debate.

So here goes....

Weight through heels - we tend to keep our weight back and in the heels.

Legs and hips drive the movement - any of the standard kettlebell movements (swings, cleans, snatches) are solely powered by the legs and hips. My kettlebell instructor is forever yelling at me to "stop using your arms" or "let your legs do the work"

"Reverse" Breathing - We do a ton of it to stabilise the torso and help drive the movement.

So that's just a few thoughts. That being said, like anything (look on youtube, for example) there are tons of examples of how not to do it that are super-muscley, with people using way too much weight etc...

Any thoughts on how these principles might apply to aikido practice or where lifting in this fashion diverges and contraindicates IMA practice?

Best,

Mike

Mike Sigman
04-04-2007, 10:30 AM
Hi Gang,

Well I'll put my butt on the line on this one...

I've been training kettlebells for about six months now, and while I agree with Mike that they in no way indicate internal martial art practice (if one were to do that one might consider training an internal martial art...) there are some interesting principles at work that might be worth a good debate.

So here goes....

Weight through heels - we tend to keep our weight back and in the heels.

Legs and hips drive the movement - any of the standard kettlebell movements (swings, cleans, snatches) are solely powered by the legs and hips. My kettlebell instructor is forever yelling at me to "stop using your arms" or "let your legs do the work"

"Reverse" Breathing - We do a ton of it to stabilise the torso and help drive the movement.

So that's just a few thoughts. That being said, like anything (look on youtube, for example) there are tons of examples of how not to do it that are super-muscley, with people using way too much weight etc...

Any thoughts on how these principles might apply to aikido practice or where lifting in this fashion diverges and contraindicates IMA practice?Let me make 2 points, Mike. One, when I meet up with people who claim that they're practicing some aspects of "internal strength", "moving from the hara", etc., it only takes a couple of seconds to see what they've got. And I should note that even a good "external" Chinese art is going to use jin... so people need to broaden their horizons about this whole "internal" discussion.

So I feel for those skills. It's pretty rare that someone has them, out of all the talk about how to do it, special training methods, etc. Or, if someone has some aspects of internal strength, often it is quite limited to linear jin skils; the dantien stuff is non-existent (even though many people are sure that they are "using the dantien"... it turns out to just be their limited interpretation in most cases).

I'm not saying you can't use kettleballs to build up some aspects of internal strength.... I'm just saying you have to know how before you do it. You have to know how to do it before you use a bokken, too. I know from long experience that some of the posters who are "already doing this stuff" will be very embarrassed if they to to show their stuff to someone who really already knows. And I think they may have that suspicion..... hence the lack of people rushing to go compare notes.

O-Sensei used some heavy implements, but I have no doubt that he used them in specialized ways. If you watch his jo-kata where he pokes the jo up to heaven and moves it in a circle, you can see how completely he uses his dantien and his whole-body connection. He didn't get that from ordinary weight-lifting; it's more complicated than that.

Best.

Mike

Mark Mueller
04-04-2007, 10:36 AM
Mike said

"Can someone who has learned this form of movement now use heavy implements and weights? Yes. But he'll use them quite differently from someone who doesn't know these movement skills.'

What if it was quite the opposite.....Moving and using heavy implements and tools develeped strong movement skills "intutitively and unconscouisly."

I come from a family of farmers and blacksmiths (but alas I was rasied a suburban kid for the most part.) I am close to 50 myself and I always love to listen to my dad and his 8 brothers discuss the chores that were a daily part of thier life which included moving full milk cans from the barn to the dairy house (Carrying one in each hand)......working for 8 straight hours in the heat of summer tossing 40-60 lbs bales of hay 6 - 8 feet onto the hay wagon., using a heavy blacksmith hammer to improvise a peice of equipment that needed to be replaced and all the hundreds of other physical jobs that running a tenant farm entailed.. None of these men were built like wegiht lifters or bodybuilders but I still see them today as some of the most solid individuals I have ever met....they scoff at exercise because why do that when you can be doing something useful ( my father dug a swimming pool usng only a shovel one time because he was concerned he was getting soft).

The point to all this was there was no conscoious thought on their part of connecting vectors, powers of force, ki or chi, etc. It was just work and their bodies adapted to the tasks in the most appropriate manner. In our modern lives we don't have the occasion to do a lot of physical tasks on the scale that they did ( and to some extent what a lot of the old japanese and chinese folks did). It was a hard life and our modern life is EXTREMEMLY less labor intensive.

So in listening to all these discussions I am beginning to think it is not about some super secret techniques or feel....but rather a way of life that these old masters lived that contributed to thier power (walking everywhere, carrying water, etc, etc. actually using their bodies.).

If I were a betting man (and had a time machine) I would bet there would be very few people on this board who could have put my grandfather (in his prime) on his keester regardless of their martial skills (he had none) but he could move a stubborn 1500 lb draft horse, swing a 9 lb hammer over a hot forge )(with either hand) all day and still work and maintain a farm.

And at the end of the day he was too f*cking tired to philosophize about how it all worked. He just got up and did it again the next day.

So how does that help us all? Not a damn bit....I just liked telling the story.

Mike Sigman
04-04-2007, 11:05 AM
Good points, Mark. My comment would be that the same thing happened in China, India, etc...... but in those cultures, there was an unbroken tradition of thousands of years that allowed them to come up with even more sophisticated tricks of movements than you normally will see in hard-working farmers. Some of those clever tricks got converted to martial skills, particularly the jin/kokyu manipulation stuff. I think if you saw/felt it, you'd see the point immediately and agree that it's a sophisticated movement trick and that my theory of it coming from agriculture is probably not too far-fetched.

Good points.

Best.

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
04-04-2007, 02:41 PM
Interesting discussion. It made me think of a few things. Hi Mark how's it going? Haven't heard from you for a while!

Mark probably recalls working with Bob Galeone when he would work the crap out of us for most of our practice time and THEN would start training. I remember my 4th Kyu test with Bob where I had to excuse myself to prevent from puking, then we began the test.

Bob from time to time would also make us carry around a cement popsicle Uechi Ryu style to learn how to center and move while carrying these things. I still do this from time to time.

My BJJ teachers do the same thing. We train to the point of failure, THEN students will stop using muscle and begin to relax and use something other than muscle to move and be effective.

Same thing happened when I used to work back on a potatoe farm as a teenager growing up in Maine slinging and balancing barrels.

Also during my Ranger training you'd train past the point of exhaustion then "let go" and give into the pain. It was amazing to see how far I could push past what I thought was humanly and muscularly possible.

Not sure if this at all related to internal skills that Mike is training, but it seems to work for me.

I think weight training and physical conditioning to develop core strength can be applied in the same manner.

While I am a big guy, I am not built like a body builder...more like Tim Sylvia to be honest!

I have this one 23 year old Lieutenant that I just started training that wants to be a UFC type fighter....he is built like a body builder. Funny you'd look at him and say he was in great shape, yet he cannot last 1 minute fighting without gasing out. I found it interesting that he could look so good, yet be in such poor condition to fight.

We discussed his lifting routine, he does it Arnold style. Isolating muscle groups and doing high weight, low reps.

Since I found crossfit it changed the way I think about developing strength.

Kevin Wilbanks
04-04-2007, 03:06 PM
I already posted at least twice in passing years that I did an in-service for the teaching staff in physical therapy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I led them through some basic jin things. When I asked several of the doctorate level people if they had ever seen anything like it before, they hadn't and didn't know what to say about it since it was outside of their experiences. You, on the other hand, with nowhere near their credentials and teaching experience, are ready to talk about the "hubris" of anyone who doesn't let you argue by reason of authority, even when you're pontificating on something you've never seen. Why don't you go look before you disparage? Try Dan. After watching your superior posts a couple of times before, I already made up my mind that it won't be me. The people at UCHSC.... the ones with twice your credentials... are a lot less supercilious when they talk to people and I'm a delicate soul.

This is NOT some new coordination like ice-skating. It's a different way of coordinating the body entirely. IF you ever get to see it, you'll begin to understand it. I've seen people go nowhere for years because they thought they could just mix this stuff in with normal movement. Even people with a few basic skills often only go a little way because they never fully commit to changing the way they move/coordinate. It's part of the big spectrum of skills thing that I've mentioned before.

Even better.... there are people that don't get even the first skill because they're so convinced that there can be nothing they don't know that they just talk themselves into a standstill and don't even go look. The real thing that is going on is that Asian martial arts, including Ueshiba's stuff, has a very clever set of movement mechanics at its core.... i.e., the heavy-duty level of Asian arts is even brighter than we thought. Aikido is even cleverer than you think.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

I have tried to reason with you in the past, but found you unwilling or incapable of sticking to the point, understanding basic concepts or employing basic logic. In this very post you accuse me of employing arguments from authority, completely obvlivious to the head-exploding irony that these are the only kind of arguments you make, and I have not made one. Emotive, fallacy-ridden rhetoric reminiscent of AM radio hosts is not going to pursuade me of anything.

I probably haven't seen these 'internal skills' in person. I have read nothing from you that would make me interested to seek out such an experience. I am only a hobbyist when it comes to Aikido, and given what I do and what I get out of the practice, I don't see how developing the abilities you and others describe would be of any interest to me. Most of what I find interesting in nage's role has to do with not needing to use much force to unbalance and throw uke, so I'm not about to go to great lengths to develop strength - "internal" or "external" - for Aikido purposes.

My purpose in these discussions has been to object to claims that are plainly false or possibly even harmful to people. Discouraging people from healthful exercise is irresponsible. Telling people that dissimilar movement skills interfere with one another is false.

Your claims that the type of movement you describe is completely different from every other type of movement, exercise, and activity that has ever been studied, and that current knowledge of how neuromotor skills work does not apply, sounds extremely dubious to me. No matter how amazing I found it that someone was hard to knock over or could push me around in person, it would not change my views on this, as they are not based on emotion or anecdote.

The way to convince me would be to develop a clear way to measure or test the performance of these skills, then organize a controlled study showing that lifting weights or going for a run inhibited learning them or decreased performance. If it held up to scrutiny, you would not only prove your point, but probably revolutionize the world of exercise science and possibly neurological medicine itself. Good luck with that.

Mike Sigman
04-04-2007, 03:32 PM
I have tried to reason with you in the past, but found you unwilling or incapable of sticking to the point, understanding basic concepts or employing basic logic. That's nice, but you don't address at all the fact that I've done this (well, some of it, since I only spent an hour and a half and was trying to give a thumbnail of the more interesting bits) in front of well-credentialed group of physiologists, kinesiologists, and so on. I get out and demonstrate, research, look for holes in the logic, etc, just to be sure that I'm not spouting malarkey; you critique from your keyboard. My purpose in these discussions has been to object to claims that are plainly false or possibly even harmful to people. Discouraging people from healthful exercise is irresponsible. Telling people that dissimilar movement skills interfere with one another is false. First of all, no one has been "discouraged from healthful exercise". At best, counter-productive exercise has been discouraged. So your insinuation is false. Dissimilar movement skills is where your problem is... you just can't picture it because you're unfamiliar with it, yet, thinking back over posts to AikiWeb, I've made more than a few fairly clear comments about what is going on. You either don't remember them or you didn't pay attention when I said it. Rather than waste any more time, let me suggest... once again.... that if you have some interest, get out and see before you start arguing. If you don't have any interest, why are you even bothering to post on the issue? Your claims that the type of movement you describe is completely different from every other type of movement, exercise, and activity that has ever been studied, and that current knowledge of how neuromotor skills work does not apply, sounds extremely dubious to me. No matter how amazing I found it that someone was hard to knock over or could push me around in person, it would not change my views on this, as they are not based on emotion or anecdote.

The way to convince me would be to develop a clear way to measure or test the performance of these skills, then organize a controlled study showing that lifting weights or going for a run inhibited learning them or decreased performance. If it held up to scrutiny, you would not only prove your point, but probably revolutionize the world of exercise science and possibly neurological medicine itself. Good luck with that.Well, I stand by what I say. I demonstrate it. I know reasonably well what is going on in most cases, although some of the so-called qi/ki development stuff (in relation to fascial structures, beathing exercises, etc.) I'm not totally clear on because they're somewhat less explainable than I thought they'd be. However, a lot of it is uncharted indeed in terms of western physiology. Not unexplainable, just uncharted waters.

In terms of convincing you, I think I could do it pretty easily... but I don't want to, in your case. Your archived comments are enough for the moment.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
04-04-2007, 04:24 PM
my theory of it coming from agriculture is probably not too far-fetched.

I saw a documentary where a Shodokan teacher (back in the 1970s IIRC) expressed similar views when describing the difference between eastern and western MA. He said he thought eastern MA movements came from farming where you stayed relatively still and repeated movements often using tools. Whereas western ones were based on hunting, which is why you see boxers dancing around etc etc...

Interesting theory. Wish I could remember the documentary.

Mike

Ecosamurai
04-04-2007, 04:40 PM
My BJJ teachers do the same thing. We train to the point of failure, THEN students will stop using muscle and begin to relax and use something other than muscle to move and be effective.

Same thing happened when I used to work back on a potatoe farm as a teenager growing up in Maine slinging and balancing barrels.

Also during my Ranger training you'd train past the point of exhaustion then "let go" and give into the pain. It was amazing to see how far I could push past what I thought was humanly and muscularly possible.

I think that maybe this is the sort of thing that was being experienced by Koichi Tohei when he would stay up all night practicing misogi and then go to the dojo so tired that nobody in the dojo could throw him except..... O Sensei.

My teacher does things like this to us, the idea being to remove the students ability to use physical 'strength' and have them only able to use coordinated 'internal strength'. It doesn't work however if you don't have any understanding of the internal stuff, cos if you take away strength and have nothing there to use instead then you just fall down ;) So I don't think it trains ki/qi in itself, it's just a tool to force you to use it, i.e. to change your body/muscle memory or something like that.

Mike

Marc Abrams
04-04-2007, 05:04 PM
I have not seen anywhere in this thread where Mike and Dan say that weightlifting is not good for you. They are saying that it will almost definitely interfere in your ability to be "soft" so as to be able to utilize internal energy. This does go directly to the issue of "muscle memory." If you are trying to teach yourself not to tighten your muscles when faced with a force vector, then you must practice developing the sensitivity to maintaining your softness (lack of muscle tension, particularly in the arms and upper body) when responding to force vectors.

When you lift weights, the first thing that you do is to grip the weight. This is causing a contraction of the muscles far away from your center. This is starting a process that Mike and Dan are talking about learning NOT to do. There are many ways to keep one's muscles tone without having to resort to weight lifting. If you are trying to develop good "muscle memory" in order to learn the "internal aspect" of an art, then it takes intense practice without having your body experience another type of "muscle memory" that runs directly opposite to what you are trying to achieve.

I frankly am amused at the decidedly negative reactions and responses that Dan and Mike receive. These guys are sincere in trying to help us improve our Aikido. You don't have to like the messenger or the manner in which the message is conveyed, in order to still be able to take in the information that they are providing us. I wish people would stop trying to reflexively defend against what they are pointing out to us. O'Sensei was always open to being exposed to other martial arts. Why is it that people need to try and be so insular regarding Aikido? Are these people who need to always disagree with Dan and Mike so insecure? People could agree to disagree, but they should at least try and experience the message before simply discounting it as something that you do not want to hear.

Marc Abrams

Haowen Chan
04-04-2007, 05:38 PM
I saw a documentary where a Shodokan teacher (back in the 1970s IIRC) expressed similar views when describing the difference between eastern and western MA. He said he thought eastern MA movements came from farming where you stayed relatively still and repeated movements often using tools. Whereas western ones were based on hunting, which is why you see boxers dancing around etc etc...

Interesting theory. Wish I could remember the documentary.

Mike

Was it "way of the Warrior"?

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+way+of+the+warrior+aikido+kendo

Ecosamurai
04-04-2007, 05:39 PM
I frankly am amused at the decidedly negative reactions and responses that Dan and Mike receive. These guys are sincere in trying to help us improve our Aikido. You don't have to like the messenger or the manner in which the message is conveyed, in order to still be able to take in the information that they are providing us. I wish people would stop trying to reflexively defend against what they are pointing out to us. O'Sensei was always open to being exposed to other martial arts. Why is it that people need to try and be so insular regarding Aikido? Are these people who need to always disagree with Dan and Mike so insecure? People could agree to disagree, but they should at least try and experience the message before simply discounting it as something that you do not want to hear.


Marc Abrams

Not sure if that's the whole issue. I've been reading aikiweb since it started. Was a member of aikido-l for years before that. The aikido internet community is amusingly reminiscent of an AA 12 step program sometimes I think. How would your average alcoholic take it if a clean and sober guy walked into their meeting and started criticizing them for being alcoholics? They might have a point, they may even be completely right, but they'd still be doing something rather rude.

I'm glad that Jun made these non-aikido forums, it's kinda like having a good chat in the doorway to the room the aikidoholics are having their meeting in :) Mike and Dan have interesting things to say and I find it interesting reading them. I don't think they mean anything other than good. I just think that it's important to understand there's a community that has plenty to offer in terms of knowledge and advice freely shared and accepted, a community that may or may not think there are more important things to aikido than martial effectiveness and internal power. If you come to an aikido forum you should respect those views IMHO, even if you disagree with them.

YMMV

Mike

EDIT: I should add that by respect I don't mean that Dan and Mike don't necessarily respect them. Just that I sometimes find it hard to understand the motive for their postings. Or understand what they are hoping to achieve (if anything at all, might just be intellectual curiosity rather than an agenda, depends how you read things I suppose...).

Ecosamurai
04-04-2007, 05:41 PM
Was it "way of the Warrior"?

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+way+of+the+warrior+aikido+kendo

Yup, that was the one. Thanks!

Mike

Gernot Hassenpflug
04-04-2007, 06:28 PM
In Japan (don't know about other Asian countries) there is a fairly standard theory that the difference in the culture of Asian nations, including Japan, China, and Korea, compared to Western European nations, is owing to the communal nature of the culture of rice cultivation. That this led directly to the cooperation among individuals, to the specific walk (toe down first, shoulders back) and various other "natual" movements.

statisticool
04-05-2007, 06:48 PM
I probably haven't seen these 'internal skills' in person. I have read nothing from you that would make me interested to seek out such an experience.


I think that has to do with the fact that some internal gurus flat out refuse to showcase their amazing skills in UFC, or heck, even much more tame events like sumo or taijiquan push hands contests.

I mean, if they can't be pushed over, you think it would be easy for them, and besides that, a great venue to get people interested in developing their brand of internal strength.

Justin

Kevin Wilbanks
04-06-2007, 01:20 AM
That's nice, but you don't address at all the fact that I've done this (well, some of it, since I only spent an hour and a half and was trying to give a thumbnail of the more interesting bits) in front of well-credentialed group of physiologists, kinesiologists, and so on. I get out and demonstrate, research, look for holes in the logic, etc, just to be sure that I'm not spouting malarkey; you critique from your keyboard.

OK, I'll bite once more. What the hell. This is a perfect example of the kind of fuzzy rhetoric that shows a complete lack of basic thinking skills I was pointing to. To start with, this is an argument from authority. Google a logical fallacy site and look it up. The argument is made all the more flimsy by the fact that these credentialled authorities remain nameless. Things really take a dive from there. What does the fact that you did something impressive in front of some nameless authorities prove? I'm sure they were impressed. I'm even willing to believe they had never seen anything like it and were mystified. So what? Did you write out explicit propositions on a blackboard that were directly contrary to basic principles of neuroscience and get them to agree they were true? That's what we are talking about here.

Even then, it would still be a fallacious argument from authority, but it would be one that would carry some small weight. Find me one credentialled authority that is willing to claim that doing a few basic resistance training exercise sessions for 20-30 minutes two or three times per week will interefere with the performance of any kind of movement skill whatsoever, other than movements extremely similar to the resistance exercises themselves, and sign his or her name to the statement. One. Then you will at least have a halfway credible-sounding fallacy. If you got that much, maybe you could also get this authority to explain why, and then we'd really have something.

You seem to have this simple-minded, irrational mindset that anyone who disagrees with you on any point no matter how particular, disagrees that whatever you are doing in terms of internal skills is good or real or something, and then it's all about a referendum on the value of internal skills. You can't simply wipe out all opposition to every particular claim you make by asserting the goodness or realness of your practice, or dispel all counterarguments by showing someone something impressive.

It's all colossally beside the point. I have no opinion about most of the 'internal skills' debate. You have made very specific claims about very specific things that you obviously don't understand anything about. It's clear that you don't even understand the epistemological issues involved in making such a claim, or how you would go about validating one. What you have are hunches based on your own anecdotal experience, but nothing remotely approaching proof or even a half-assed attempt at conducting a disinterested study. No control group. No placebo group. No account for stastical significance. Have you ever even heard of observer-expectancy effects or subject-expectancy effects?


You've got nothing but arguements from authority - mostly that of your own judgement. This might be sufficient basis for teaching people how to do some internal skills, but it is miles away from sufficient basis to be making anti-scientific claims regarding something as specific as whether or not someone spending less than 1% of their time doing an activity interferes with doing another unrelated one. While you are Googling the logical fallacy page, look up 'unwarranted generalization'.

Gernot Hassenpflug
04-06-2007, 03:59 AM
Kevin, I don't think anyone in the group of Mike, Dan, Rob and others who are training a specific skillset and change of body, has said anything about this being contrary to very basic science. The fact is, that bodies change through this practice, and the results, in terms of what is possible as a side-effect of the body change, is counter-intuitive. Western sports medicine has much evidence of how bodies change according to the excerice regime followed. Ballet pratice changes round leg cross-section into oval cross-section and allows practitioners to perform interesting and stunning displays that appear effortless on the outside, but require steel on the inside. Then, the practice of which is being spoken here, this too makes some serious changes to the body, many of them invisible on the mere surface muscles. If you want to get such changes, there is a certain way that needs to be followed to achieve it, whereas other methods do other things to the body. That's pretty much the logic of it, the other part is explaining the various levels of goals of the various levels of such practice.

Mike Sigman
04-06-2007, 09:16 AM
Find me one credentialled authority that is willing to claim that doing a few basic resistance training exercise sessions for 20-30 minutes two or three times per week will interefere with the performance of any kind of movement skill whatsoever, other than movements extremely similar to the resistance exercises themselves, and sign his or her name to the statement. See, the problem is... and other people have pointed it out specifically... that you simply haven't read what was written and you've made a complex and emotional strawman argument. Let me phrase it another way using weights as an example:

Let's say you want to learn to lift weights in a new and unique method of using the body, one which changes the way force-directions are generated by the body and also a way which develops some of the fascia and myofascial layers so that they in effect become a body-global type of "weight-lifter's belt". The movement system is unique also because the middle of the body has to be trained to manipulate the force directions without letting the shoulder muscles initiate forces (that would disrupt the forces you're trying to generate). And the big criterion on top of that is that you want this to become your new, instinctive way of moving.

So you start off moving with no weights, but only with the efforts to coordinate this new form of movement. You pretty much lose your ability and power in some things while you're re-coordinating this, but it's worth it (although you can of course do it in half-measures and wind up with a lesser final product) to re-pattern your movements.

What you're suggesting (and which I'm speaking against) is that several time a week you should break your re-patterning attempts and simply go back to the old way of movement. My comment was that it was counter-productive to do that. Your "muscle memory" stuff was your own schtick and it misses the point.

Mike Sigman

Tijani1150
04-10-2007, 02:25 AM
Greetings All

It seems to me that no one can realy define and clarify what this internal power/ki realy is nor be able to present at least a basic program of semi spiritual excercises that would bring results to the seeker after a specific length of time, so there is a gap/thirst that is not being filled therefore people are resorting to alternatives which is weight lifting/external power in this case