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Tijani1150
06-09-2007, 11:33 PM
Hi All

Could those Aikidoka's who practised Tai Chi share their experience/advice on wether this is something that would better one's Aikido?

Is it a waste of time?

Is it the way to go in order to develop/better one's Ki?

How did you find it helpful for your Aikido practise?

etc etc

Please share

Thanks

Tomlad
06-10-2007, 05:13 AM
Hello there,

I've practiced Aikido for eight-years, tai chi for fifteen and Qigong for about ten.

I find that while Aikido shows the value of Ki with un-bendable arm and with kokyu-ho it doesn't really go very far in explaining the importance of Ki and how it can improve your practice. Much of O'Sensei's later work and writings mentioned 'being at one with the Universe' and 'harmonsing with energy'. This might seem a little cranky however Tai Chi and/or Qigong will help you understand what he was referring to. I'm lucky in having a good teacher who is particularly interested in energy work as I am interested in the movement of energy - especially surrounding the opponent. You will become more aware of this 'field' if you practice Tai Chi/QG

Tai Chi will help you in a number of ways - your posture will improve and so will your stability, your Aikido will become softer yet more powerful - which is great for when you get older. You will have more awareness of how the energy and power in your body is transferred through the earth and out through your arms, you will become more sensitive to your opponent and his/her intention, your breath will become deeper, the energy flowing through your body will not be stagnant, you will have more vitality - - all this helps your Aikido as every move you do should require harmonising of breath when receiving and blending.

Qigong will help you better understand energy and how it makes you healthier. As the saying goes - A warrior should first learn to heal someone before he can learn to kill them (nice huh?)

The problem is that you will need to work at Tai Chi for at least 3-5 years before you will realise how its little intricacies make all the difference - then your Aikido will improve. Like Aikido, Tai Chi develops slowly, the temptation is to learn as many moves as possible but you are better learning very few and get them right.

If you are prepared to give Tai Chi some commitment you will definitely see an improvement in your Aikido. Whatever your reasons, Tai Chi (and I recommend Qigong too in case you hadn't noticed - some TC classes teach both) is great for your health, calmness of mind and depth of focus. Hope this helps.

H

jennifer paige smith
06-10-2007, 09:27 AM
Here is a link to a beautiful combination Kata of aikido and tai chi. If you follow the link you will find more information about the combination of the two (including an amazing book) and more video's.
I hope this adds something to your practice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFaEMvI8mXY

Haowen Chan
06-10-2007, 09:47 AM
I had similar questions not long ago:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12252

Based on my research on the literature of the systems it's clear that taichi and qigong approached internal skills in more systematic depth than aikido. So, it would be ideal to have good instructors in both styles....

Eventually what happened was I went and checked all the teachers out. The taichi instructor was a disappointment since he gave us very little useful instruction (I felt we were paying just to watch him practice) and I could see that most of his students were not at any level of skill despite some having had many years of training with him. The whole attitude of the sessions made it obvious that he was not treating his students as serious seekers of martial skill.

So, the answer to your question is that if you can find a good instructor then taichi is a perfect complement to aikido techniques. Unfortunately based on what people have been saying, real taichi instructors (who are BOTH willing AND able to teach their skills) are incredibly rare. So if there's one in the area, go check it out, but get ready to bail out if you're not feeling the connection.

P.S. Also I've found it's utterly pointless to discuss relative merits of "systems" if you don't have a good instructor available. In internal arts the teaching quality of the instructor is pretty much all that matters. So you have to really visit and train with them and check them out, research is not very useful.

Qatana
06-10-2007, 11:15 AM
Ok, this is Not about ki or internal anything. My Sensei teaches both tai chi and aikido and leaves it up to us to find out how they complement each other.
After four years I find that aikido applications are sneaking into my push hands practice, the exact parallels of technique-sayu-iriminage IS rill back except when it is diagonal flying.Fair Ladies becomes ikkyo,and suddenly being able to counter non-aikido-like attacks with aikido techniques.
Tai chi is anvaluable in learning to move from Center.
We do do some chi meditations and Extensive energy Awareness work but don't combine them. We aren't really a "ki-oriented" dojo in terms of Application. Just in terms of Evolution . But yeah, they Complement each other.

Tijani1150
06-10-2007, 01:51 PM
Heath

Thank you for this valuable input, now my question to you and Howard since you both experienced Tai Chi + Aikido - Being new to this art How would I be able to distinguish a good/genuine Tai Chi teacher specialy when the reults take 3 - 5 years to manifest?

:circle:

kironin
06-10-2007, 05:36 PM
I think you are much better off studying shin shin toitsu do than tai chi in relation to akido. And not having that some other form of yoga and breathing practices. I would put tai chi as a third choice, but there is so much bad tai chi out there including that pushed by the Chinese mainliand government that it's going to be hard for a new person to pick correctly. It's a different martial philosophy so it is at odds with aikido in that respect.

It's not a question of waste of time. It's more a question of how much time do you have? If you got the time, study tai chi for it's own sake, don't study it just to help your aikido, there are better uses of time.

gdandscompserv
06-10-2007, 05:49 PM
Heath

Thank you for this valuable input, now my question to you and Howard since you both experienced Tai Chi + Aikido - Being new to this art How would I be able to distinguish a good/genuine Tai Chi teacher specialy when the reults take 3 - 5 years to manifest?

:circle:
http://www.dynamicbalancingtaichi.co.uk/index.htm

Haowen Chan
06-11-2007, 12:26 PM
How would I be able to distinguish a good/genuine Tai Chi teacher specialy when the reults take 3 - 5 years to manifest?


I haven't ever found a good taichi teacher so I don't know how to find a good one. I only know a bad one when I see one. Some signs include only teaching the external form (intent and feeling should be taught from day 1), not vigilantly checking the mistakes of students, and not bothering to volunteer information but instead waiting for questions from students.

PS check out yiquan (not the same as xingyiquan) too if you have an instructor in your area.

Qatana
06-11-2007, 01:08 PM
Ahmed Altalib wrote:
How would I be able to distinguish a good/genuine Tai Chi teacher specialy when the reults take 3 - 5 years to manifest?

How are you able to distunguish a good aikido teacher when results take 10-20 years to manifest?

G DiPierro
06-11-2007, 02:32 PM
How are you able to distunguish a good aikido teacher when results take 10-20 years to manifest?

If the results 10-20 years to manifest, then it is very easy to distinguish: that is a bad teacher!

I recently reposted a guide on finding a teacher (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12720) that was originally written for forum devoted primarily to taiji and other internal Chinese martial arts. The main points were that, in addition to having a high level of skill, a good teacher also is hands-on and has a systematic approach towards teaching.

Although the more difficult part for a beginner can be recognizing a high level of skill, at this point there is enough information out there that anyone sufficiently motivated can find a decent teacher without just randomly choosing one and hoping that 10 years later they will have learned something. With the vast amount of information freely available on the Internet right now, there is really no excuse for not training with a good teacher other than your own lack of effort in finding one.

-G DiPierro

Qatana
06-11-2007, 05:35 PM
Depends on the results you are Looking For, doesn't it?

I have no way to know whether my tai chi training has accelerated my aikido abilities as I started them simultaneously. But haveing practiced both for four years and knowing exactly the results I AM getting, I believe I have chosen an excellent teacher. He certainly meets all criteria you posit.

But the mastery that I see most people seeking is a martial one. That's not what I train for.

Tomlad
06-11-2007, 05:53 PM
Hello Ahmed,

Okay - here are my thoughts and I'm sure not everyone will agree so take from them what you will...

Firstly, if you are learning a martial art to be able to handle a street fight situation I personally feel that you need to be at least 4th to 6th Dan to be able to cope with it using only your art. Expecting 'results' after five years will get your head mashed in.

Let's face it, Aikido (like most martial arts) teaches you very unnatural movements, they are techniques that aren't easy to master unlike the ability to kick, punch or bite somebody. So yes, getting a good teacher is important but I feel not that important - you need to not choose a bad one and that's different.

Getting you to black-belt in Aikido doesn't require a good teacher but it does need one that is not bad - see what I mean? You are learning basic techniques. After your first dan you begin to tailor these techniques to your personal physique and ability. We've all been in classes with students who are flexible, inflexible, slim, fat, strong, weak, young, old - therefore there is something in the art that has to come from yourself - something which can not be taught.

My Tai Chi teacher was good but not perfect. I trained with him for eight-years and then tried another two teachers after. My original teacher had the grace of a wild animal, he just took my breath away when I saw him practice, he'd position you correctly and sure, not everyone in the class looked the same. The thing is, I wanted to practice Tai Chi the way he did. It was after about five years that something changed inside me and I realised that whilst I knew the moves and thought I was moving the same - I in fact wasn't. I saw in the mirror, that I looked different and that gave me the ability to change and improve my technique. My Aikido is the same - after eight years of practice I still lean over too far after throwing someone, I occassionally start yokemen-uchi and show too much of my arm-pit to a potential attacker. So what?

My advice to you Ahmed is as follows:

1) I don't see Tai Chi as a martial art but as something to help your health and improve a martial art - it doesn't matter which style you go for just find one you like the look of.

2) Try any teacher you want. Get someone that is as convenient as possible and see if you like him or her. Are they approachable, can you talk to them after class to ask important questions etc?

3) Practice with them for a while until you feel that you aren't learning anymore - then look for another teacher or have some personal lessons to improve.

Let's look at this for what it really is....Tai Chi - you move your arms and legs around to improve circulation, you breathe deep to improve oxygen flow to your blood and improve energy. Tai Chi and Qigong originated from dances learned to improve the ailments of workers in damp and wet paddy fields 3,000 years ago. A lot of what was learned was through trial and error, consequently, if every teacher was perfect each art would not develop. So, however good or bad your teacher is, at least your health will be better. It only becomes an issue if you want to achieve a certain ideal or you want to learn more than your teacher can show you - so change.

Aikido in reality is a defense based on weapons attacks, it's long winded, probably no use to you at all unless you've been practicing 20 years but hey, it's beautiful, it makes us better people, it makes us fitter, and we socialise - you could be doing a lot worse!

Just try it Ahmed and if you don't ask too much of something you'll probably enjoy it and gain more from it.

Good luck,

Heath

G DiPierro
06-11-2007, 06:53 PM
Today there are essentially two types of taiji: the health practice, which is more popular, and the martial practice. Here's an interesting video on martial TJQ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmV7WL1A4Ww. I'd say that if your teacher doesn't do push-hands and qinna, then you aren't doing a martial practice. No problem not doing the martial applications if you are clear what you are and aren't doing, but it's not really taijiquan anymore at that point. Maybe this practice should be called "supreme ultimate relaxation (or health)?"

I would say that martial taiji can be as good as or better than aikido training in developing the skills that aikido purports to based on (depending on the teacher, of course). Health taiji probably would help your aikido somewhat, but if you enjoy that kind of practice and don't care about the martial applications of TJQ, then why worry about whether it will help your aikido?

Tijani1150
06-11-2007, 11:26 PM
Heath

Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts the last sentence however depresses me a bit :D

Aikido in reality is a defense based on weapons attacks, it's long winded, probably no use to you at all unless you've been practicing 20 years..

Tijani1150
06-11-2007, 11:31 PM
Today there are essentially two types of taiji: the health practice, which is more popular, and the martial practice. Here's an interesting video on martial TJQ: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmV7WL1A4Ww. I'd say that if your teacher doesn't do push-hands and qinna, then you aren't doing a martial practice. No problem not doing the martial applications if you are clear what you are and aren't doing, but it's not really taijiquan anymore at that point. Maybe this practice should be called "supreme ultimate relaxation (or health)?"

I would say that martial taiji can be as good as or better than aikido training in developing the skills that aikido purports to based on (depending on the teacher, of course). Health taiji probably would help your aikido somewhat, but if you enjoy that kind of practice and don't care about the martial applications of TJQ, then why worry about whether it will help your aikido?

NiCe video.. all that guy needs is a Hakama and no one would tell that these beautiful techniques were actualy Tai Chi and not Aikido.

:)

Tomlad
06-12-2007, 03:07 AM
Good video although I personally don't see this as Tai Chi. My class used to teach "Chinese Aikido" although it wasn't called Chin Na, can't remember it's name, we also learned a soft style of Kung Fu called Fung Shou - hand of the wind boxing - but again that wasn't Tai Chi.

Pushing hands helps develop sensitivity but I'd question its value as a martial art on its own merits - helping a martial art, maybe. At the end of the day Ahmed it's really up to you to choose. If you want an instructor to show you the martial side of Tai Chi then I personally feel you might as well learn Kung Fu but for developing energy, posture, balance, chi and breath TC is v.good.

As for your comment about my depressing line lol, I meant it in as much as every martial art has weaknesses but I think they tend to diminish when you get to an extremely high level of skill. As a practitioner you need to be aware that in the street over elaborate movements that require a huge degree of precision are difficult to perform; unless you know them inside out I think they'll let you down. For example, I find Kote Gaeshi to be fairly easy but I wouldn't bet my life on it working for me in the street. It doesn't mean to say that in future I will feel the same. My point being - not to expect too much from a martial art or Tai Chi until you are highly skilled, just practice and enjoy knowing that if you keep it up you will surely get to where you want to be.:)

David Yap
06-12-2007, 04:28 AM
Hi All

Could those Aikidoka's who practised Tai Chi share their experience/advice on wether this is something that would better one's Aikido?

Is it a waste of time?

Is it the way to go in order to develop/better one's Ki?

How did you find it helpful for your Aikido practise?

etc etc

Please share

Thanks

Hi Ahmed,

I don't do Tai Chi but occasionally I do pushing hands with a group of Tai Chi enthusiasts in a public park. There aren't much talking let alone instructions from these guys but I do pick up some tips once in a while. Like some who have posted, the key things that you can apply from Tai Chi or just pushing hands are centering and rooting. These, you have to find yourself from constant practice. IMHO, once you are centered and rooted, Ki will come naturally.

I agree with some posters - you don't need to do Tai Chi to improve your Aikido. What's the point? Seeking a good Tai Chi instructor is like seeking a good Aikido instructor. If your current Aikido instructor is not guiding you to the level you seek, then find someone else who can. A good analogy of aikido is the story about the blind men and the elephant. Each blind man would have a different description of the elephant depending which part of the elephant he has touched - each of them is right and each of them is wrong. Everyone of us on the path of Aikido is blind (instructors included). Some of the instructors can only guide our hands to the one spot that they have touched, while some would guide us to all the spots they have touched and some would guide us to spots they have yet to touch but yet pretending that they have been there before. As for me, I wish to remain passionately blind, hoping to touch the elephant all over. Does the elephant have a form? Most us do started out seeking its form but after a long while no one really care - as long as the elephant is warmed and resonating with life.

Happy training

David Y

jennifer paige smith
06-13-2007, 02:29 PM
Here is a link to a beautiful combination Kata of aikido and tai chi. If you follow the link you will find more information about the combination of the two (including an amazing book) and more video's.
I hope this adds something to your practice.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFaEMvI8mXY

Just wondering if anyone saw this video yet.
:)

Lyle Bogin
06-13-2007, 03:17 PM
Jennifer - I enjoyed that vid a lot.

Tijani1150
06-13-2007, 06:42 PM
Just wondering if anyone saw this video yet.
:)

Yes I did its a beautiful video and I wished there was a Sensi like this in my town.

Thanks Jennifer

Tijani1150
06-13-2007, 06:48 PM
Here is a description on how they approach Tai Chi training in the local Chinese Center:

At the Chinese Culture Center, Tai Chi is developed in three phases, beginning with "formation", where the student learns the individual structure of classic Tai Chi postures, such as "Wood Cutter Climbs Mountain" and "White Stork Spreads Its Wings" and how to tie individual postures together to create forms. Phase two is "precision", when the student is introduced to the multiple self-defense applications of the individual classic Tai Chi Chuan postures. Sifu says, "if you don't know applications, you only know half of Tai Chi". Phase three is "expression", when you have practiced the forms long enough to commit them to muscle memory and they become like walking or driving a car. It is said, "you must practice a form one thousand times to make it yours". When you can do your forms without conscious thought, your mind is free to focus and direct the body's "Chi" at will, and this personal energy will give your forms the true expression of Tai Chi Chuan.

what do the experienced think?

Upyu
06-13-2007, 09:12 PM
Just wondering if anyone saw this video yet.
:)

Its purrttyy...but that's about all that could be said about it.

On the plus side I've heard Sugawara has some command of Jin skills which is awesome.
On the negative, the long-ass form he does doesn't really give a hint as to what kind of developmental practice he's aiming for. Really that kind of long strung form is useful to a semi-advanced practicioner that has a command of Jin/Kokyu in short solo exercises, like Fune-kogi etc.

The forms and silk reeling/solo exercises were all part of developing a "martial" body skill that was then injected into whatever flavor/technique of the period. Goes for JP or CMA arts.

Also, this particular issue was done to death earlier, use the search function Ahmed ;)

Haowen Chan
06-14-2007, 08:17 AM
Here is a description on how they approach Tai Chi training in the local Chinese Center: ...


Well it doesn't sound encouraging at all, but blurbs like that tell you nothing. You have to go and look. My local taichi teacher wrote bunches of articles on jin and chi saying all the right things but was either unable or unwilling to teach the details when it actually came down to practice. The reverse may also be true; the blurb may seem to say they're focused on teaching the external form but maybe during the teaching they're carefully telling the students how to feel and focus their intent.

The one thing you have to remember when observing practice is this: Just learning the external form is not enough. Yes, theoretically you can self-derive internal skills by practicing the external form for a long time but that's a real dumbass route, like reinventing calculus when the textbook was already written a hundred years ago. If the teacher only teaches the external form then you're out of luck, check out the next guy. A big warning sign is if the teacher takes a really long time to teach little details of the external form while ignoring internal concepts. That's when they're trying to bilk you out of the maximum money by stringing you along, giving you a little bit of useless info each session. A typical long form is learnable in a couple of months at most.

Qatana
06-14-2007, 11:44 AM
My teacher charges ten dollars a month and takes a year to teach the CMC 37 move form.Is he stringing along or is he making sure that each step is performed accurately in relation to the previous and subsequent step?
learning the form is nly the first step in tai chi practice, jut as shodan is only the first step in aikido. Which is why I say that they BOTH take ten-twenty years to be 'effective".

Haowen Chan
06-14-2007, 02:03 PM
Sorry I meant just the gross external movements are learnable in a couple of months. But if you only teach those movements without referring to correct intent and feeling then they're all useless no matter how surgically precise the movements look.

Upyu
06-14-2007, 06:14 PM
My teacher charges ten dollars a month and takes a year to teach the CMC 37 move form.Is he stringing along or is he making sure that each step is performed accurately in relation to the previous and subsequent step?
learning the form is nly the first step in tai chi practice, jut as shodan is only the first step in aikido. Which is why I say that they BOTH take ten-twenty years to be 'effective".

I definitely disagree on that one.
No MA should take 10-20 years to be "effective."
If it really is taking that long maybe the teacher is not giving out the goods. Internal skills are learnable and useable within a couple of years if the student practices diligently. That's assuming the teacher is actually doing his/her duty and "teaching" you what you need to know. (And not playing show and tell all the time)

Qatana
06-14-2007, 08:37 PM
I find it extremely interesting that everything I say in this thread is being challenged and that when a male says the same thing it is accepted as a matter of course.

So you are assuming my Sensei is playing show & tell? It is commonly agreed that aikido doesn't become effective <ahem> on the street until well past shodan. So lets say anywhere from 6-10, how's that?

If, as I have said before, one is training for street effectiveness.
Next time you are in California, I invite you to come and watch my teacher show off. And watch me get confused in push hands and use aikido technique on my partner just because "it was there".

eyrie
06-14-2007, 10:04 PM
Instead of taking a defensive posture, Jo, perhaps turn the question around and ask how to become effective in a shorter amount of time, or even better, how to teach people effectively so that they can be effective from day dot.

Or, as they say in most kung-fool movies, keep practicing for another 10 years and we'll see...

Qatana
06-14-2007, 11:11 PM
But the question is, what is it that Jo wants to become effective at!? I'm not particularly in a hurry. In all actuality I train for trainings sake, and argue for argument's sake.
So the thing I hope to become effective at isn't physical at all, its to develop the presence to not need to argue, and I'm pretty sure that I will be getting into arguments for many years after I pass shodan.
In terms of self defense? To be the girl tht nobody wants to attack.Then there is no argument!

Tim Fong
06-15-2007, 01:15 AM
RE: Decades of training.

It certainly didn't take Zheng Man Qing (yes I'll spell it that way, and no, I'm not a Communist) 10 years.

Check out:
http://www.sinobarr.com/cheng/cheng_life_bio.htm

I'm not 100 percent sure of the accuracy, but it claims that Zheng started at 27 and was teaching by the age of 32. And interestingly, that "In little more than a year Professor Cheng had gained an understanding of the main principles of t'ai-chi-chuan." Also, Zheng was basically a skinny guy with lung disease , so it's not like he was an amazing physical specimen either.

And, by all accounts it didn't take Tohei a decade either:
"According to Tohei himself, when he first met with an aikido instructor and practised some techniques at the Ueshiba dojo, he had doubts about aikido and its value to him. That changed however, when Ueshiba entered the Dojo and started to perform his techniques on the instructors. Tohei was still not entirely convinced until Ueshiba asked Tohei to step unto the mat and try to grab him. Tohei's attempts were unsuccessful, and after this personal demonstration by Ueshiba, Tohei asked to enroll on the spot. Tohei would also continue to train his mind as well as his body with meditation, misogi and aikido.
Tohei trained with Ueshiba for six months before being sent as a representative (dairi) to teach at the Shumei Okawa school and the military police academy." [from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koichi_Tohei]

Tohei did have a judo background, but my understanding is that he had suffered a pretty serious illness as well as a back injury. This is all before he studied aikido, as well as his yoga studies with Nakamura Tempu.

Jo, if you train for trainings sake, don't you want to reach your maximum physical potential with the least amount of effort? What could be wrong with that? And for the folks who say they train for the love of the art and to venerate those who came before them, what better way to show respect than to, you know, reach the maximum limit of your physical potential?

eyrie
06-15-2007, 01:32 AM
But the question is, what is it that Jo wants to become effective at!? I'm not particularly in a hurry. In all actuality I train for trainings sake, and argue for argument's sake. Fair enough...
In terms of self defense? To be the girl tht nobody wants to attack.Then there is no argument! Don't be so sure... there are way too many psychopaths out there...

Upyu
06-15-2007, 01:40 AM
I find it extremely interesting that everything I say in this thread is being challenged and that when a male says the same thing it is accepted as a matter of course.

Jo, it has nothing at all to do with your gender. I've said the same thing to other guys on this board that made the same speal :D
(I think I might've been a bit harsher even)


So you are assuming my Sensei is playing show & tell?

No, but from the content of your posts its obvious he isn't teaching the kokyu/jin skills in a curriculum based manner. (Assuming he has these skills)


It is commonly agreed that aikido doesn't become effective <ahem> on the street until well past shodan. So lets say anywhere from 6-10, how's that?

And how do you define "commonly" agreed?
Let's say 90% out there weren't being taught the goods...then maybe that estimate is one being subject to lackluster training methods. (And not necessarily lackluster teachers)


If, as I have said before, one is training for street effectiveness.
Next time you are in California, I invite you to come and watch my teacher show off. And watch me get confused in push hands and use aikido technique on my partner just because "it was there".
Actually we'll (the Aunkai and Akuzawa) will probably be in Cali (SF area) at some point in the near future. I encourage you to check us out ;)
But I'll take you up on the push hands invitation if its an open session :D

Honestly I think the whole "well it'll just take another decade or so, and I'm sure I'll get a tenth of what my teacher has, but its all good"
is the acceptance of subpar instruction of a concrete set of skills which are supposed to be part of the Aikido, Tai Chi, KF, CMA, whatever curriculum.
The skills don't have to be applied to fighting. But you should be fairly competent in them and have a clear idea of "what" it is you're training within the first couple of years.

I realize I might come off as sounding a little harsh, but I call it as I see it.

No hard feelings ;)

Esaemann
06-15-2007, 08:38 AM
My thinking is that progress mostly lies with the student. Yes, having competent instruction is important too, but haven't figured a percentage either (50/50? who cares).

Being able and willing to practice every (or at least 5 days/wk) day for an hour or two would be good. Even with a competent and sharing teacher, the student's own practice (or lack of) would limit progress. Maybe I'm deluding myself, because I tend to take much responsibility on myself.

When I've eliminated the problem of my own lack of practice time, then I'll look at my teacher. As long as I'm growing and picking up concepts to work on myself, its all good.

Eric

Haowen Chan
06-15-2007, 10:09 AM
My thinking is that progress mostly lies with the student. Yes, having competent instruction is important too, but haven't figured a percentage either (50/50? who cares).


Splitting up 100% is the wrong way to think about it.

You need a dedicated student matched with a able+dedicated teacher. Fail on either one and you'll have slow/nonexistent progress.

The big tragedy of taichi is that there's a whole lot of dedicated students but almost no dedicated teachers.

Upyu
06-15-2007, 10:13 AM
Splitting up 100% is the wrong way to think about it.

You need a dedicated student matched with a able+dedicated teacher. Fail on either one and you'll have slow/nonexistent progress.

The big tragedy of taichi is that there's a whole lot of dedicated students but almost no dedicated teachers.
Actually make that dedicated analytical student :D
Ark often says "Bujutsu isn't for stupid people" ...
and come to think of it most of the "greats" were great "problem" solvers when it came to human movement. Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa etc.

oh wait...Sagawa also said "The problem with all of you morons is that you don't think! or train enough...! And none of you think enough!!" :D

Qatana
06-15-2007, 10:32 AM
"Jo, if you train for trainings sake, don't you want to reach your maximum physical potential with the least amount of effort? What could be wrong with that? And for the folks who say they train for the love of the art and to venerate those who came before them, what better way to show respect than to, you know, reach the maximum limit of your physical potential?"

Well, I do that, never denied it.I put out 110% physically. But my personal goals aren't physical ability!
Now, not reacting the way I have been on this thread just because I got a button or two pushed,that is a goal! I have a feeling that I will be way past shodan and pushing around 200 pound guys well before I reach that goal!
However - how can one interpret my sensei's teaching skills or intentions when you haven't seen or felt him in action? Maybe instead of assuming that he is ignoring Internal Principle, maybe it is simply that *I* don't yet get what he is talking about?

Saturn
06-15-2007, 05:07 PM
I'm about to go to an Aikido/Tai Chi Dojo that offers both, and given the slight similarities it should be interesting to see what effect there is.

My old teacher added sticky hand stuff to our training, which of course made alot of sense given the nessecity of feeling and absorbing. So I am interested to see if it might improve my Kokyu Nage.

DH
06-15-2007, 06:01 PM
Well, I do that, never denied it.I put out 110% physically. But my personal goals aren't physical ability!
Now, not reacting the way I have been on this thread just because I got a button or two pushed,that is a goal! I have a feeling that I will be way past shodan and pushing around 200 pound guys well before I reach that goal!
However - how can one interpret my sensei's teaching skills or intentions when you haven't seen or felt him in action? Maybe instead of assuming that he is ignoring Internal Principle, maybe it is simply that *I* don't yet get what he is talking about?
Buttons pushed on a discussion board is meaningless.
Your personal goals -should- be about ability or you should get the hell out of the martial arts and go do Yoga. There is little good to "playing budo" while in Budo. Anyone who does just allows themselves to become a contributory factor to the ruination of Budo. To become the lowest common denominator, dragging everyone else down. A caricature of the real thing.

As far as you and your teacher. Yes we can judge. Anyone can. I've got a 125 lb women lifting 220lb men off the floor after 5 months training. Were you to meet and train with a cross section of "all" who train with me..."all" have power to varying degrees. Replicable results is how I judge who knows what. Teachers are supposed to teach.
To coin a phrase from "the departed"
"Who am I? I'm the guy doing his job. You must be the other guy."
The power in Daito ryu IS the power in Aikido.
The power of Taiji IS the power in Aikido.
The power in Karate IS the power in Aikido.
The fact that this is not known speaks for itself and all the ignorant teachers and students out there who seek to be validated...by their very same ignorance. Since this power and knowledge exists and has now, in these past three or so years been demonstrated and proved, to many doubtful Aikido readers here, there is but two questions to ask.
1. Who has it?
2. Who can teach it?
Everything else is just more martial art bullshit that has been perpetrated on an ignorant public.

There is an approach and a language among those seeking the truth of the martial arts. For those that don’t get it, little can be done if they are content. Whether they even get the fact that they simply "don't get it" or have been misled, changes nothing. They simply don’t get it.

Of course you can just eat more rice and do more Kata and forget you ever read this. Dream of being a shodan for whatever that means to you and in twenty years you will be yet another cookie cutter martial artist.....without a clue.

Qatana
06-15-2007, 06:35 PM
Thank you Dan for putting this all in perspective.

David Yap
06-15-2007, 11:27 PM
... Dream of being a shodan for whatever that means to you and in twenty years you will be yet another cookie cutter martial artist.....without a clue.

Hi all,

Just expanding on Dan's post. In about 10 years of ones training, one would think about becoming a teacher. At the 20th year of training, one cookie cutter martial artist (teacher) would have turned out another 10 or more cookie cutter martial artists (teachers).

You need a dedicated student matched with a able+dedicated teacher. Fail on either one and you'll have slow/nonexistent progress.

Agreed absolutely. An able+dedicated teacher always started out as a dedicated student. A slow and non-existent progress will lead to the eventual death of the art. :dead:

For the thread starter, Ahmed.

Perhaps you will find some value to your aikido from this "The Song of 13 Postures of Tai Chi" by Chang San-feng

T'AI CHI CH'UAN CHING

In motion the whole body should be light and agile,
with all parts of the body linked
as if threaded together.

The ch'i [vital life energy] should be excited,
The shen [spirit of vitality] should be internally gathered.

The postures should be without defect,
without hollows or projections from the proper alignment;
in motion the Form should not become disconnected.

The chin [intrinsic strength] should be
rooted in the feet,
generated from the legs,
controlled by the waist, and
manifested through the fingers.

If correct timing and position are not achieved,
the body will become disordered
and will not move as an integrated whole;
the correction for this defect
must be sought in the legs and waist.

The principle of adjusting the legs and waist
applies for moving in all directions;
upward or downward,
advancing or withdrawing,
left or right.

All movements are motivated by I [mind-intention],
not external form.

If there is up, there is down;
when advancing, have regard for withdrawing;
when striking left, pay attention to the right.

If the I wants to move upward,
it must simultaneously have intent downward.

Alternating the force of pulling and pushing
severs an opponent's root
so that he can be defeated
quickly and certainly.

Insubstantial [empty; yin] and substantial [solid; yang]
should be clearly differentiated.
At any place where there is insubstantiality,
there must be substantiality;
Every place has both insubstantiality and substantiality.

The whole body should be threaded together
through every joint
without the slightest break.

Chang Ch'uan [Long Boxing] is like a great river
rolling on unceasingly.

Happy training

David Y

Tijani1150
06-15-2007, 11:57 PM
Thanks David

how is the Aikido scene in Malaysia by the way?

I think Silat is the pre dominant art there right?

David Yap
06-16-2007, 01:26 AM
Thanks David

how is the Aikido scene in Malaysia by the way?

I think Silat is the pre dominant art there right?

Ahmed,

My pleasure.

The aikido community in Malaysia is a very small community - not more than 300~400 active practitioners at any one time. There are three different lines being taught here - Aikikai, Yoshinkan and, latest addition, Iwama-style (affiliated to a Danish dojo). Even within the Aikikai styles, there are 5 diffferent bodies and independents (we are very far away from discarding our ego:D ).

Silat and TKD are the pre dominant arts here mainly because they are practised as a sport and strongly promoted and supported by the government in the educational curriculum.

David Y

G DiPierro
06-16-2007, 02:14 AM
Your personal goals -should- be about ability or you should get the hell out of the martial arts and go do Yoga. There is little good to "playing budo" while in Budo. Anyone who does just allows themselves to become a contributory factor to the ruination of Budo. To become the lowest common denominator, dragging everyone else down. A caricature of the real thing.

What is the problem with people playing at vaguely martial-looking practices if they are clear that skill in fighting is not one of their goals? Health taiji is not martial taiji, nor is it budo, and I don't see anything wrong with it as a pure movement practice. Yoga is not really a comparable alternative; it is a much more physically challenging practice and it takes a lot more work in yoga to be able to even approximate the same kind of smooth, effortless flowing movement that a relative beginner can achieve in taiji.

That said, once you address the effectiveness issue then you are talking martial arts with martial artists. I don't think practitioners of non-martial styles of taiji can usefully comment on whether or when something is or is not effective, but of the taiji teachers I have met, most are either clear about not doing it as martial art or willing to demonstrate the martial applications of what they do. Aikido teachers, on the other hand, frequently aren't too sure whether they are doing a martial art or just a martial-looking dance.

I like that you have high standards but not everyone in the so-called "martial arts" does. That's OK since this is just a hobby -- nobody here is cage-fighting for a living or relying on hand-to-hand combat skills for daily survival. For me the most important thing is to be honest about what you are trying to do and about how well you are doing it. I personally have a lot more respect for a teacher who is not training to fight and admits it than I do for one who can fight a little bit but passes himself off as some kind of invincible action hero. The latter is unfortunately very common in aikido.

Tomlad
06-16-2007, 08:07 AM
I sympathise a lot with Jo's view and am impressed with her ability to calmly react to Dan's response.

The funny thing is, is that I practice Aikido and a lot of the time I think this or that move I am doing is a complete waste of time, it is over elaborate, tries to create too much movement and defends against an attack that I hardly expect anyone to hit me with.

Then I look at some of the 5th and 6th Dan practitioners and I think I pity the idiot that attacks one of those. Somewhere in between the two extremes of useless moves and highly skilled practitioners is a useful art. Our need to keep the 'traditions' of Aikido alive can sometimes damage it as we teach people moves that are impractical. For example - Irimi nage, probably my favourite as I think it has real merit in a street situation - the aikido version spins the attacker around 360 degrees and then throws them. A more effective street version would be to step behind your attacker pull his shoulders/neck back and when he falls on the floor kick him hard and run. Both are Aikido. I don't need ten years to practice the street version but it certainly took me a while to realise the over-elaborate moves wouldn't really work - or need to be done. I often ask myself why we learn these big flowing moves which often demand a high level Uke when we can learn the simple practical stuff instead - even so, I have learnt it, so maybe it is teaching me right?

My reason for practice has changed from wanting to learn to defend myself in the street, to wanting to learn Aikido because I like it, then again to because it makes me a better person. Whatever your reason doesn't matter as long as it keeps you practicing.

This notion of students learning poor technique from bad instructors isn't a problem specific to Aikido but I also feel it is not a widespread issue - not in the UK at least and I have practiced with dozens of them.

I couldn't disagree more with the thought that you must practice Aikido with a martial, fighting mindset as much of Aikido is not about this. For me, Budo means far more than learning to hurt someone.

Keep going Jo, your thinking is correct at least in my eyes and will see you enjoying much from your time learning Aikido.

Take care.

H

Qatana
06-16-2007, 10:13 AM
Thanks Heath! I certainly intend to!

Haowen Chan
06-16-2007, 11:15 AM
To get the discussion back on topic:

I respect the view of the previous posters. But, Taiji is only beneficial to aikido if you are learning internal principles (that are common to both arts). If you're not concerned about martial skills underlying of taiji then it is wholly irrelevant to your study of (martial or nonmartial) aikido. Internally they are related but externally they are two different systems. Remove the internal and you sever the link.

jennifer paige smith
06-16-2007, 12:02 PM
To get the discussion back on topic:

I respect the view of the previous posters. But, Taiji is only beneficial to aikido if you are learning internal principles (that are common to both arts). If you're not concerned about martial skills underlying of taiji then it is wholly irrelevant to your study of (martial or nonmartial) aikido. Internally they are related but externally they are two different systems. Remove the internal and you sever the link.

I am very good friends and colleague with a man who trains in and teaches Tai Chi and Choy Li Fut. We often work together to complement our lessons with teachings from each others arts.He brings the lessons to his Chinese Martial Arts Academy, I to my Japanese Arts Academy. It is incredible how often we are able to communicate the power and reasoning for our independent arts through the mindful inclusion of the other. I have shown him many blends to follow up on his 'living horse' practices. He has shown me powerful and devistating atemi to add to my blends. We are both involved in outer and inner inquiry and practice, and the philosophies are congruent.
Like good martial arts; it is in the blend.

Tijani1150
06-16-2007, 01:49 PM
To get the discussion back on topic:

Taiji is only beneficial to aikido if you are learning internal principles (that are common to both arts).

very good point Howard

Qatana
06-16-2007, 04:23 PM
Ya know, I don't believe I ever said we don't practice internal principles. I said my personal goals are not martial.And since I can see and feel a Very Strong Link between the principles both arts have in common, it appears that the internal development must be a side effect of the process in training for my own presonal reason. Just like physical self defense is something I consider a side effect to my training.
It is a fact that my aikido has had a positive efect on my tai chi, and that my tai chi has had a positive effect on my aikido.But my goal is not in the pushing, my goal is in the yielding.Which seems much more aiki than being able to launch a 200 pound guy across the room.A good yield leaves nothing to push on.

Thomas Campbell
06-16-2007, 10:19 PM
[snip]The power in Daito ryu IS the power in Aikido.
The power of Taiji IS the power in Aikido.
The power in Karate IS the power in Aikido.
[snip]

With all due respect, Dan . . . it's erroneous to conflate these arts like that. Even for rhetorical purposes.

jennifer paige smith
06-17-2007, 10:53 AM
Instead of taking a defensive posture, Jo, perhaps turn the question around and ask how to become effective in a shorter amount of time, or even better, how to teach people effectively so that they can be effective from day dot.

Or, as they say in most kung-fool movies, keep practicing for another 10 years and we'll see...

Because, to my ear, that isn't what she is talking about. That is what is important to you. The way I've come to learn aikido is to take your own advice and correct yourself.

Qatana
06-17-2007, 12:26 PM
I have no idea what he is talking about here....

Qatana
06-17-2007, 12:44 PM
Darn, too late to edit! What I was attempting to add is that I am perfecly happy with the speed of my progress in both aikido and tai chi. It is Other People who have a problem with the speed of my development,or my personal motives in training and not anybody whose approval is the least bit important to me.

M. McPherson
06-17-2007, 04:52 PM
With all due respect, Dan . . . it's erroneous to conflate these arts like that. Even for rhetorical purposes.

With all equally due respect, Mr. Campbell, the conflation is intentional, and is far from rhetorical in purpose. Unless, of course, you are suggesting that, say, Kimura Tatsuo, Chen Xiao Wang, and Ushiro Kenji are not utilizing the same model of internal structure and power transfer in their respective arts. Please note that I'm offering living, breathing examples; no dead, sacred cows offered to whip up frothing and emotional argument/counter argument as to whose kung fu was best. Although not so much with Kimura Sensei, these gentlemen are fairly open about demonstrating and sharing their skills, which are widely agreed to be amazing, and (by degree) similar in feel. Three different arts born and bred in three different cultural matrices, and yet what is commonly remarked upon is the similarity in execution and effect of technique. Probably best not to be dazzled by the different paint jobs - it's the same engine and transmission under the hood.

Sincerely,
Murray McPherson

Upyu
06-17-2007, 10:48 PM
To sum up, I don't think anyone has a problem with Jo's goals or motivations.

However, the original point of this thread was


Is it a waste of time?

Is it the way to go in order to develop/better one's Ki?

How did you find it helpful for your Aikido practise?


In short answer

a) no, not necessarily, depends on the teacher
b) yes maybe, depends on the teacher

c) this question assumes that you grasped the basics of what is the basic building block of tai chi. if you didn't then the point is moot.

Simply making comments of "well I do Tai CHi...and its wonderful, i dont really know what I'm learning, but it makes me feel good" and passing them off as advice buys the ire of some of those on this board that are actually in the "know."

Put simply, if you don't know and aren't really addressing the points in the thread, maybe you should think twice before posting.

Haowen Chan
06-18-2007, 08:31 AM
My comment was not directed at Jo, apologies for any misinterpretation. My point is, if you have some spare time, and by some stroke of amazing good fortune have no shortage of excellent instructors, depending on your goals you can choose:

(a) if you goal is strongly spiritual, you can maybe take up zazen (I believe the meditation methodology has great benefits even for non buddhists).

(b) if you don't care about this "ki" rubbish except as a side effect of lots of practice and your goal is to know many techniques very well, just practice more aikido. Taiji is not a great choice for a complement art since it teaches you to do the same things in a (externally) different way. Good complements teach you to do different things to round out your skill set. Maybe judo or maybe some kind of grappling art (BJJ?), I dunno, ask the MMA experts.

(c) if you really want to know more about the principles behind the physical power demonstrated by the great masters, some taiji or yiquan or shinshintoitsu-do or some internal art may help round out your study of ki... assuming you have a good instructor.

It's quite simply an opinion, and has absolutely nothing to do with the specifics of any one single individual's practice.

Thomas Campbell
06-18-2007, 05:59 PM
With all equally due respect, Mr. Campbell, the conflation is intentional, and is far from rhetorical in purpose. Unless, of course, you are suggesting that, say, Kimura Tatsuo, Chen Xiao Wang, and Ushiro Kenji are not utilizing the same model of internal structure and power transfer in their respective arts. [snip] Probably best not to be dazzled by the different paint jobs - it's the same engine and transmission under the hood.

Sincerely,
Murray McPherson

Murray,

My post was directed to Dan Harden . . . but thanks for your opinion.

M. McPherson
06-18-2007, 10:29 PM
Murray,

My post was directed to Dan Harden . . . but thanks for your opinion.

Di nada, Thomas. And thanks for your clarification, but my post was directed at your argument. You might want to consider private messages if you're not keen on people responding to what you post on a message board, regardless whom it's posted to. I happened to agree with Dan's point regarding the original poster's questions, disagreed with what you wrote, and replied in kind. That dynamic is par for the course on this and other message boards, and respectfully done, why shouldn't it be?

raul rodrigo
06-18-2007, 10:34 PM
I think that Howard C laid out the decision tree pretty clearly. It all depends on what you are after. and if you're lucky enough to find someone who can actually teach it.

Thomas Campbell
06-18-2007, 10:40 PM
Don't tell me whether to post or PM, Murray, and I won't tell you to STFU. I'm interested in Dan's response, not yours. If he chooses to respond on the public forum, fine. If not, fine. I'm not interested in your argument or your experience on this issue, or I'd be responding to your earlier assertion.

Kent Enfield
06-18-2007, 11:20 PM
Don't tell me whether to post or PM, Murray, and I won't tell you to STFU.Ah, aikido, a way to reconcile all humans . . .

*plonk*

akiy
06-19-2007, 12:34 AM
Can people here please stay away from discussions of a personal nature? Thanks.

-- Jun

Thomas Campbell
06-19-2007, 12:53 AM
[snip]
Tai Chi will help you in a number of ways - your posture will improve and so will your stability, your Aikido will become softer yet more powerful - which is great for when you get older. You will have more awareness of how the energy and power in your body is transferred through the earth and out through your arms, you will become more sensitive to your opponent and his/her intention, [snip]
H

I enjoyed your whole post, Heath, but found that this paragraph rang particularly true in my experience.

One caution I would add for Ahmed is that the external practices obviously differ, and you want to train so as to avoid confusion. For example, aikido footwork is more dynamic than typical taiji practice. One of the taiji tuishou/push-hands practices that can help bridge that is Da Lu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXFZsSq2qAQ

Thomas Campbell
06-19-2007, 12:54 AM
Ah, aikido, a way to reconcile all humans . . .

*plonk*

:)

M. McPherson
06-19-2007, 07:16 AM
Can people here please stay away from discussions of a personal nature? Thanks.

-- Jun

Sorry, Jun - I thought we were, initially. This will be my last post on the thread.

"STFU"? Yikes! Check your pm box, Tom. I'll see your disinterest, and raise you some scorn and amusement...

Esaemann
06-19-2007, 08:24 AM
Jo,
"But my goal is not in the pushing, my goal is in the yielding.Which seems much more aiki than being able to launch a 200 pound guy across the room.A good yield leaves nothing to push on."

Another way I've put it (to my wife) is you can't push a string. Also, "Be water my friend" - Bruce Lee.

What style (school) Tai Chi do you practice?

Eric

Qatana
06-19-2007, 11:42 AM
Hi Eric

I practice the Chen Man Ch'ing 37 Yang form. My teacher (and sensei) studied directly with Professor Chen and with Robert Smith.
I like the string analogy. Particularly as I am a pearl stringer by profession, this is a thing I know fundamentally!

Thomas Campbell
06-19-2007, 01:40 PM
Sorry, Jun - I thought we were, initially. This will be my last post on the thread.

"STFU"? Yikes! Check your pm box, Tom. I'll see your disinterest, and raise you some scorn and amusement...

I called your scorn and amusement, and played a PM of vitriol followed by a better-considered missive. I'm folding, with an apology to you and to any others detracted from the topic of this thread.

Cheers.

Tomlad
06-19-2007, 01:54 PM
I like Thomas more than I like Murray:p

Tomlad
06-19-2007, 01:57 PM
...on a serious note and back to the topic.

Don't practice Tai Chi if you are looking to improve your Aikido techniques or tai sabaki blah blah.

TC will make a subtle difference. I suggest you go to a class and see if you like it and do it for the sake of itself not for Aikido.

By the way -- I love you all really

M. McPherson
06-19-2007, 04:29 PM
I like Thomas more than I like Murray:p

I don't know if ego allows me to agree with you, but given the benefits of one-on-one communication, I can tell you I like Thomas. Also, that it's mutually agreed we both need to either get more sleep, or settle down with a gin and tonic in hand and breathe deeply. Hendrick's with a slice of cucumber suits me nicely.