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MM
09-24-2007, 06:59 PM
It's over at Aikido Journal. I can't reply there, so I'll post and reply here. :)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3821

Was a great article, Mike, but it seemed too short. For a second, I thought you were going to tell what the exercises were and then, ugh, the article ended. Is there a follow up?

Mark

eyrie
09-25-2007, 07:37 PM
Given that "the exercise tools are sitting right there already and all that’s missing is correct training in how to use those tools", especially since no one is explicitly saying "how to" and most plebes are expected to figure it out themselves…. the first question I had was HOW???... particularly, in regards to "first they should gain the full powers of Aikido".

Mike, myself and a few others have discussed this very issue before. The question is not what these exercises are, but how to do them correctly. I think Mike has sufficiently addressed the beginning principles of "how to" address the "needed changes" to "supplement" one's training in the article - vis a vis learning how to initiate the primary up/down forces from the ground and weight respectively using the lower body (i.e. the feet, legs and lower torso), and using the upper body, arms and hands merely to convey the forces.

I agree with Mike's point regarding the efficacy and self-defense portions of Aikido. I think the focus on Aikido technique as means to such ends is a distraction from the "form" as A method of practicing the functional aspects of AIKI. IOW, the solo-exercises (i.e. "warmups") of Aikido as tanren-ho, Aikido waza as tanren-ho, Aikido as tanren-ho. I believe this is the "do" in Aiki-do.

Form follows function. Function dictates form. Aikido techniques are merely expressions of functional ki, just as forms/kata/hyung/xing are respective expressions of functional ki within each art. Whether someone knows that, and knows how to, is quite another issue. As Mike says... "many people still don’t spot the functional use of ki in Aikido because their minds seem to register only the physical technique...".

The problem, as I see it, is that people are generally loathed to change. As Organizational Change Management literature seems to indicate, paradigm shifts of significant magnitude is essential as the first step towards change. Having the will to change on its own is insufficient. Without a significant paradigm shift to first create a strong motivational impetus to change, many will fail - no matter how strong they believe their will power to be. Just ask anyone how hard it is to quit smoking or drinking....

Ecosamurai
09-26-2007, 05:04 AM
Nice article Mike.

This bit:

"Koichi Tohei proposed an approach which is a great first-attempt for us to study. In my opinion, Toheiís general thesis of relaxation is very similar to Ueshiba Senseiís approach, although perhaps it deviates by being slightly more ďsoftĒ than the practices Ueshiba used for himself. Now, I have to admit that I never fully appreciated Toheiís attempted teaching method until I had acquired some skills and had attempted to acquire others; my views of his approach have matured over time. The only problem I have with Toheiís approach is that he appears, in my opinion, to attempt to explain how to do something while at the same time trying not to give away too much. Plus he tries to focus on many aspects of ki using some of the ancient ki-beliefs and some modern self-help schools."

I more or less agree with except for the 'not trying to give too much away' part, I think that if you took only a cursory look at it, read some books and watched some vids, went to a few seminars, maybe even trained regularly in a dojo for a year or so that's what you might think. Extensive study would suggest otherwise. IME.

Which is, by the way the only real problem I've ever had with what you've written over the years if you wanted to know :) Everything else I've always more or less agreed with.

Mike

Budd
09-26-2007, 05:28 AM
It's a slippery slope. Most folks seem quick to jump to the conclusion of 1) I don't need to do that OR 2) We already do that. I think the best thing that can happen is that people meet up and feel in person what other folks are talking about.

Ecosamurai
09-26-2007, 10:03 AM
It's a slippery slope. Most folks seem quick to jump to the conclusion of 1) I don't need to do that OR 2) We already do that. I think the best thing that can happen is that people meet up and feel in person what other folks are talking about.

I agree :) But I've seen the 'we already do that' mindset before off of the internet, guys telling me (or more commonly my teacher but it's been happening to more and more in recent years) they already do what I'm talking about and then being quite surprised to find they actually don't, and, more to the point, can't figure out how I made them fall down or why it hurt quite so much, or why they couldn't stop what I was doing.

So I like to think that that's not what I'm doing when talking about it on the web. But hey, could be wrong...

Mike

Budd
09-26-2007, 10:40 AM
do what I'm talking about and then being quite surprised to find they ... <snip> ... can't figure out how I made them fall down or why it hurt quite so much, or why they couldn't stop what I was doing.

Cool. Hopefully, I'll get to experience this in person someday . . . I love having people toss me around without being able to stop them or knowing how they did it.

Mark Freeman
09-26-2007, 11:03 AM
I agree :) But I've seen the 'we already do that' mindset before off of the internet, guys telling me (or more commonly my teacher but it's been happening to more and more in recent years) they already do what I'm talking about and then being quite surprised to find they actually don't, and, more to the point, can't figure out how I made them fall down or why it hurt quite so much, or why they couldn't stop what I was doing.

I'm sure that Mike S's experiences have led him to write what he does, and your ecxperiences illustrate what what he says is valid and important to those in aikido.

Students of Tohei, benefit from a teaching methodology that, as incomplete as Mike S thinks it is, is probably the most effective way that we have in aikido to achieve the mind body co-ordination required to perform the 'Ki Tricks' and therefore 'better' aikido as performed by Ueshiba, Tohei and many others. Sure we could go 'outside' of aikido to find them, Mike S has documented many good sources in other asian arts. Personally, I haven't exhausted exploring what I'm still getting from my own teacher, to go wandering off yet.:)

. But hey, could be wrong...

Mike

We could all be wrong Mike, but don't let it stop us!;)

regards,

Mark

Ecosamurai
09-26-2007, 11:47 AM
Sure we could go 'outside' of aikido to find them,

That's usually what's annoyed me. I find it difficult to figure out why you would want to, surely if you have to go 'outside' then it was never aikido in the first place.... we are talking after all about the very essence of the art. Aren't we?

In any case, I've never been a member of the Ki Society and we've always done things differently than them anyway so my experience of ki-aikido isn't necessarily the same as that of your average ki soc member. But I really do think that Tohei's methodologies are very mis-understood outside of ki-aikido circles (and even inside too I'd bet) but I reckon he had 'it' and I reckon his way of teaching 'it' works just fine, though the beginner levels look quite basic perhaps to someone with Mike's experience, hence the reason I'd bet he's not seen all that much of the higher levels....

In any case all the discussion of internal skills lately is not really a new discussion. The things pointed out as the failings of aikido by various people were pointed out more than 35 years ago by Koichi Tohei, his attempts to make internal skills taught more widely and more prevalently lead to his leaving the aikikai, so not even the politics of it is new, and it still stirs up unpleasantness when these issues are discussed. So on that note I think I'll go and get some real work done... ;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
09-26-2007, 11:50 AM
The part about doing sit-ups differently piqued my interest a bit. Along that line I experimented a little while walking up the stairs at work. Normally I put my foot on the next stair above and "push," as in a "squat" type exercise to staighten my leg and give me the lift. This time I stepped up by placing my foot on the next stair and "pulled" my knee back to straighten my leg to give me the same lift. Same result but a very different feeling.
Nice food-for-thought article Mike.

grondahl
09-27-2007, 01:34 AM
So, if I want to get a taste of "high-quality" ki-aikido in europe, where should I go?

There is a Ki Society-instructor by the name of Yoshigasaki that does seminars in Sweden, anyone trained with him?

Ecosamurai
09-27-2007, 04:21 AM
So, if I want to get a taste of "high-quality" ki-aikido in europe, where should I go?

There is a Ki Society-instructor by the name of Yoshigasaki that does seminars in Sweden, anyone trained with him?

Yoshigasaki was the head of the ki-soc in Europe, but he's left the Ki Soc now. Never trained with him. I only really know about ki aikido in the UK, PM me about that if you like.

Mike

statisticool
10-02-2007, 05:30 PM
There is some issue with demonstrations between teacher and willing long-time students being called "archival data" of "actual applications". I mean, they are demos for pete's sake.

As far as Tohei's shortcomings the author opines about, I look at what Tohei has done, his own accomplishments in aikido and martial arts as well as his students' accomplishments. If Tohei believed in the "ancient ki belief", then Tohei is an endorsement for these types of beliefs. :)

Aran Bright
10-02-2007, 06:02 PM
So, if I want to get a taste of "high-quality" ki-aikido in europe, where should I go?

There is a Ki Society-instructor by the name of Yoshigasaki that does seminars in Sweden, anyone trained with him?

My advice is get on a train, bus, airplane and get over there, IF he is who I think he is he is one of Tohei's top student's, or at least was. :)

Aran Bright
10-02-2007, 06:26 PM
Furthermore, I would like to recommend training with Koretoshi Maruyama Sensei, he regularly travels the world to teach seminars in many countries and has a very pleasant, friendly manner of teaching with a large ki component to his training.

Also he teaches many exercises to help to gain a feeling for ki and solo exercises so that you can practice at home. Plus it's usually a load of laughs.

Mark Jakabcsin
10-02-2007, 07:17 PM
A quick FYI to let everyone know that Mike posted Part II over on Aikido Journal. Interesting stuff.

Mike, if you are reading this thread can you comment about #3 in your list of tips for breathing:

"3. The mouth should not be used for exhales."

Why should the mouth not be used for exhales? What specifically are the disadvantages to exhaling through the mouth?

Take care,

Mark J.

Mark Jakabcsin
10-03-2007, 06:26 AM
Mike,
One other quick question. In your blog you commented about doing the breathing exercises either standing or in seiza. How about doing the breathing drills while laying down? Comments positive or negative are appreciated. Thanks.

Mark J.

MM
10-03-2007, 07:05 AM
Mike, myself and a few others have discussed this very issue before. The question is not what these exercises are, but how to do them correctly.

Well, given that there are about a hundred or so exercises, are you saying that all of them are useful? There are exercises from Ki society, Yoshinkan, Tomiki, etc. All different. Did Ueshiba do all of them? There are some that Ueshiba did that aren't done now. What were those? I think the "what" is still relevant. :)

As for how to? I still think that takes hands-on experience and trying to describe it online is not very productive for the beginner. Someone who has already had hands-on, it might reinforce or remind some of what/how to do.

IMO,
Mark

eyrie
10-04-2007, 01:30 AM
Well, as Mike said in the article(s), the variations are based on the same basic principles, and could be viewed more as a "this is how I prefer to do it" than a hard and fast rule of how (as in, in "what" way) it should be done.

So, yes, to an extent, the "what" can be somewhat relevant... e.g. it could be sanchin kata or some other qigong if you preferred. But without the "how to", I think, progress and development would be somewhat limited, no?

Budd
10-04-2007, 06:11 AM
I think the "how" is going to be determined by who gives you the entry into these skills (meaning who allows you to explicitly feel - in them and yourself, what's going on - followed by being able to "honestly" reproduce it). There's a million variations of the same exercise, that should, no doubt, be trying to train the same skills. Just like people think about techniques, styles, etc., folks also have their own dogma about "how" to best train these things (assuming that people genuinely *are* training them, rather than just talking about it).

But at least it's refreshing to see the dialogue move past "do these things exist?" and now crossing more into "what's the best way to train them?" . . .

The answer to that, I suspect, is people continuing to meet up, get together and honestly try things out. Though I'm hoping that, at some point, the debt that's owed to folks that have more "feet in the doorway", so to speak, that have been adamant about sharing and encouraging others to go feel these things - my hope is that their contributions are not forgotten or downplayed.

My suspicion, though, is that there will continue to be people talking about it, people saying they "already do it" and others saying why it's "not important" or downplaying its relevance to what they "do" - for some time to come - and the only way to know for certain is to get hands on.

DH
10-04-2007, 07:15 AM
My suspicion, though, is that there will continue to be people talking about it, people saying they "already do it" and others saying why it's "not important" or downplaying its relevance to what they "do" - for some time to come - and the only way to know for certain is to get hands on.
The call to excellence is a tough call. Moreover, to set a path that requires, or better yet...demands..so much solo training is more than most folks can manage.
In truth, most people are not in Budo for their personal best. For the absolute perfection of personal skills. They are in it for a pastime, and an affiliation with some known teacher or organization. IMO most folks would willingly choose to learn lessor skills in a supportive, organized and recognized environment with other less skilled people -over excellence gained quietly, unrecognized, and with the only reward being results. Results are simply not the goal of most people.That much is obvious.;)
A good "snapshot" what many now call "budo" and why they are in it is in the attached picture below. Everyone's happy, happy, come join the fun.

I'm not as hopeful for any widespread change in anything to do with modern, established, Budo. I honestly think this old way of training Budo that some of us had caught on to and have been doing for years is only going to lead to its own conundrum. It may lead to real results or to many little dead ends with small cells of "teachers" working their asses off doing solo training to gain and maintain skill levels, being surrounded by... uhm..er, students.. NOT doing the work and coming back to "say" they train this way too. How will that be any different from what they use to do? It won't be.
Just as all these thousands of modern practitioners have served to ruin the reputation of effective Aikido, the same, lame, half hearted attempts will go on ruin the reputation of this kind of work as well.
No one can do the work for you.
Our understanding is in our own hands.

Budd
10-04-2007, 07:51 AM
I'm not as hopeful for any widespread change in anything to do with modern, established, Budo.

My opinion based on my own bias is that modern, established Budo can serve as an excellent gateway into developing your own personal practice. You need to have paid some dues in formal instruction somewhere to get a baseline (there's probably going to be holes to fill in, depending on where and/or under whom you've trained), but at some point you become responsible for your own training and you've got to do the work/research in order to continue to improve. A good "organized" budo setting allows for this.

For me, being exposed to new things and getting schooled by others is much preferred to being thought of as a "teacher". As was mentioned, some are in this gig to belong to something (may not necessarily be a bad thing on its own as long as it isn't the only reason). I think there are others that primarily look for the "fix" that being in charge gives them. You see them in the work world, in church/volunteer group settings and, unfortunately, on the mat. Continuous testing and striving to improve may be difficult for folks like this, because the starting point is an admission that there's always still a great deal to learn - no matter how good they become.

I honestly think this old way of training Budo that some of us had caught on to and have been doing for years is only going to lead to its own conundrum. It may lead to real results or to many little dead ends with small cells of "teachers" working their asses off doing solo training to gain and maintain skill levels, being surrounded by... uhm..er, students.. NOT doing the work and coming back to "say" they train this way too. How will that be any different from what they use to do? It won't be.


My cynical side agrees with you without any reservation. My optimistic side thinks that the great thing about modern times is the available avenues of information/access to the dedicated "seeker". Even though it takes a great deal of time/effort to filter through the muck to get to some of the good stuff, it's still out there for the folks that are dedicated to honest results and are willing to do the work to get to them (which includes getting to work in person with the right people). As you mentioned, excellence then becomes something of a solitary pursuit requiring an immense sense of personal responsibility and ownership. Having a solid dojo "family" behind you on this road does really help, though . . ;)

DH
10-04-2007, 08:32 AM
My opinion based on my own bias is that modern, established Budo can serve as an excellent gateway into developing your own personal practice. You need to have paid some dues in formal instruction somewhere to get a baseline (there's probably going to be holes to fill in, depending on where and/or under whom you've trained), but at some point you become responsible for your own training and you've got to do the work/research in order to continue to improve. A good "organized" budo setting allows for this.
Well, I agree with that. That wasn't my point. I don't think that many -not all- who will go down this road will stay with more traditional forms of Budo. The pursuit is more of a personal thing and I think one thing will lead to another- a personal expression
And traditional Budo has its own requirements and goals and training method. So they have their own hands full imparting whatever it is they each have to offer. How much tme will each teacher/student relationship have to train?

For me, being exposed to new things and getting schooled by others is much preferred to being thought of as a "teacher". As was mentioned, some are in this gig to belong to something (may not necessarily be a bad thing on its own as long as it isn't the only reason). I think there are others that primarily look for the "fix" that being in charge gives them. You see them in the work world, in church/volunteer group settings and, unfortunately, on the mat. Continuous testing and striving to improve may be difficult for folks like this, because the starting point is an admission that there's always still a great deal to learn - no matter how good they become.
Well you already know my opnion on these points. It's why I won't teach. I'm not good at it, and I don't have any interest in doing so. Your view of the need for people to get a fix by being in charge is unfortunately true for many,again not all...but man O' man..why do we see it so often?

My cynical side agrees with you without any reservation. My optimistic side thinks that the great thing about modern times is the available avenues of information/access to the dedicated "seeker". Even though it takes a great deal of time/effort to filter through the muck to get to some of the good stuff, it's still out there for the folks that are dedicated to honest results and are willing to do the work to get to them (which includes getting to work in person with the right people). As you mentioned, excellence then becomes something of a solitary pursuit requiring an immense sense of personal responsibility and ownership. Having a solid dojo "family" behind you on this road does really help, though . . ;)
Well I still think its so individualized that it simply will always end up a personal thing. In the fullness of time, you will see people here and there, who trained with someone, did the work, and "got it," and they will spin off their own groups who will want to train with them but many won't do the work. Maybe one or two will, and they will spin off...and so on, and so on.
I can't see any groups going down that road-it's too time consuming. You can't get together a couple hours twice a week and get it. But that's the long road. See what I mean?
You said Dojo support?
You would have to be a little self absorbed and have a "job/family support" structure to allow that much solo time-not the dojo.
Anyway...hope to see ya soon.

Budd
10-04-2007, 09:35 AM
I can't see any groups going down that road-it's too time consuming. You can't get together a couple hours twice a week and get it. But that's the long road. See what I mean?

Yep, but heck, even if only one or two people get it in a given dojo/group, that's still more potential for transmission/continuity than if it gets lost completely. Especially, if it's better understood within the overall group that these things are real and require enormous effort to obtain (as well as ability, intelligence, creativity, etc.) and are not automatically gained with rank/licensing.


You said Dojo support?
You would have to be a little self absorbed and have a "job/family support" structure to allow that much solo time-not the dojo.

Well, yah! Call me selfish, crazy, obtuse, whatever, but I think the goal is to have it all . . . and eat cake, too. Sometimes some things suffer when you have to concentrate on other things, but that's life, I suppose . . . ;) . . . keep on keeping on towards the top of the mountain.

Anyway...hope to see ya soon.

Ditto! :D

gdandscompserv
10-04-2007, 09:56 AM
I don't know who you guys are talking about. I train 24-7.;)
And it still aint enough.
:D

Budd
10-04-2007, 10:39 AM
There's never enough time. Which is why "how" one trains seems to be so important.

Mike Sigman
10-04-2007, 04:27 PM
Ah Jeez.... I'm on vacation and traveling and I've been sporadically checking Aikido Journal so I could answer any questions and not get behind. Suddenly I look at AikiWeb and all the questions about the blogs seem to be over here and I'm too far behind to even start. I can't win. ;)

I basically planned to do 3 very basic but very solid how-to blogs on Aikido Journal and just leave them for people to do with whatever they want. In other words, the fun assumption is that most people won't do anything with a completely beneficial and productive gimme. I'll do the third one when I get back home.

If someone wants to ask a question related to the actual blog, I'll be glad to do it on Aikido Journal. Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman

statisticool
10-04-2007, 04:31 PM
So there you have it, a suggested clarifying addition to the breathing aspects in order to help get ki back into Aikido practice.


Am I the only one wondering where the support is for the ki supposedly being gone from Aikido practice?

Justin

gdandscompserv
10-04-2007, 05:51 PM
"I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman
Which begs the question; do your 'senior students' demonstrate it?

Mike Sigman
10-04-2007, 06:43 PM
Good experiment comes to mind. Why don't you ask your usual insulting questions (Ricky and Justin) on Aikido Journal in the blog commentary that I posted and let's see if the moderator over there has the sense to bounce your posts? Let's see which Aikido web-forum starts blocking the nonsense-artists.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
10-04-2007, 07:13 PM
Ah Jeez.... I'm on vacation and traveling and I've been sporadically checking Aikido Journal so I could answer any questions and not get behind. Suddenly I look at AikiWeb and all the questions about the blogs seem to be over here and I'm too far behind to even start. I can't win. ;)

I basically planned to do 3 very basic but very solid how-to blogs on Aikido Journal and just leave them for people to do with whatever they want. In other words, the fun assumption is that most people won't do anything with a completely beneficial and productive gimme. I'll do the third one when I get back home.

If someone wants to ask a question related to the actual blog, I'll be glad to do it on Aikido Journal. Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman

Thanks Mike. It's interesting stuff. :)

The only downside is that you have to have a paid subscription to Aikido Journal to comment on the blog entries. Many don't have that. Here, it's free to register and comment.

Mark Jakabcsin
10-04-2007, 08:50 PM
FYI I started a thread over on the Aikido Journal forum. Please add your questions and insights. For those that have neither questions or insight please visit another forum and another thread. I.E. if you can not find it in yourself to contribute in an constructive manner please be an adult and do not contribute at all. Thanks in advance.

Take care,

Mark J.

gdandscompserv
10-04-2007, 09:00 PM
I.E. if you can not find it in yourself to contribute in an constructive manner please be an adult and do not contribute at all. Thanks in advance.
Please explain what you mean by "an constructive manner?"

Mark Jakabcsin
10-04-2007, 09:03 PM
If you do not know what I mean by constructive then you are not doing it. Simple as that. Move along, move along.

MJ

Ecosamurai
10-05-2007, 05:47 AM
Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Fair enough. I'm guessing then that we disagree on what exactly 'it' is.

Mike

Aran Bright
10-05-2007, 07:07 AM
Ah Jeez.... I'm on vacation and traveling and I've been sporadically checking Aikido Journal so I could answer any questions and not get behind. Suddenly I look at AikiWeb and all the questions about the blogs seem to be over here and I'm too far behind to even start. I can't win. ;)

I basically planned to do 3 very basic but very solid how-to blogs on Aikido Journal and just leave them for people to do with whatever they want. In other words, the fun assumption is that most people won't do anything with a completely beneficial and productive gimme. I'll do the third one when I get back home.

If someone wants to ask a question related to the actual blog, I'll be glad to do it on Aikido Journal. Comments like Mike Hafts that I should stick around and see what Tohei's senior guys can learn if they spend the time, I'll answer shortly with this: "I've felt too many of Tohei's 'senior students'... it ain't there, so indeed he must not be clear enough".

Best.

Mike Sigman

I guess this question may not ever get answered but could you tell us more about the experience with the aikido sandan that got you started on your *quest*?

HL1978
10-05-2007, 09:03 AM
Am I the only one wondering where the support is for the ki supposedly being gone from Aikido practice?

Justin

The fact that senior teachers are bringing in outsiders from their system to teach it? Perhaps you disagree, but there seems to be some acknowledgment that things could be improved by some senior instructors.

Ecosamurai
10-05-2007, 10:47 AM
The fact that senior teachers are bringing in outsiders from their system to teach it?

Not where I train they aren't ;)

It's a messy subject. I've often thought (when visiting other aikido dojo) that it was absent and should have been taught more. I put that down to my point of view being biased towards our version/interpretation of ki aikido.

In the end, I like being able to go to any aikido dojo regardless of style/affiliation and learn something, even if they aren't doing aikido the way I think it should be done. Everyone has something to offer. to say 'it' is absent from aikido is patently false. To say 'it' can be taught better is something I think everyone everywhere would agree with, IMHO. There are many different ways of training and manifesting this power I think. I think we're all guilty of preferring the approach we're more familiar with, whether it be Tohei's ki development. Aunkai, Bagua etc etc... I also think there's a lot of overlap with all of these approaches.

The perceived 'decline' in the effectiveness of aikido because of the absence of these skills is nothing new, Koichi Tohei said it would happen decades ago. The fact that this debate is happening at all just goes to show how right he was about it all. It caused a lot of bad feeling when he left the aikikai, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that it still does really. Like I said, messy :(

Mike

HL1978
10-05-2007, 12:46 PM
Not where I train they aren't ;)

It's a messy subject. I've often thought (when visiting other aikido dojo) that it was absent and should have been taught more. I put that down to my point of view being biased towards our version/interpretation of ki aikido.

In the end, I like being able to go to any aikido dojo regardless of style/affiliation and learn something, even if they aren't doing aikido the way I think it should be done. Everyone has something to offer. to say 'it' is absent from aikido is patently false. To say 'it' can be taught better is something I think everyone everywhere would agree with, IMHO. There are many different ways of training and manifesting this power I think. I think we're all guilty of preferring the approach we're more familiar with, whether it be Tohei's ki development. Aunkai, Bagua etc etc... I also think there's a lot of overlap with all of these approaches.

The perceived 'decline' in the effectiveness of aikido because of the absence of these skills is nothing new, Koichi Tohei said it would happen decades ago. The fact that this debate is happening at all just goes to show how right he was about it all. It caused a lot of bad feeling when he left the aikikai, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that it still does really. Like I said, messy :(

Mike

Mike, thats why I said some instructors :D

statisticool
10-05-2007, 03:05 PM
Which begs the question; do your 'senior students' demonstrate it?

Or even actual names (gasp!) of these anonymous people that he refers to who don't have 'it' would be helpful.

I only ask because the naming of anonymous mystery people ('this person said, that person said, I tested these people'-type of stuff) doesn't really do anything.

Justin

statisticool
10-05-2007, 03:07 PM
Why don't you ask your usual insulting questions (Ricky and Justin) on Aikido Journal in the blog commentary that I posted and let's see if the moderator over there has the sense to bounce your posts? Let's see which Aikido web-forum starts blocking the nonsense-artists.


I think to some the idea that questions can only be addressed in a certain place is nonsense.

You talk about putting ki back in aikido. A sensible question, definitely not nonsensical, is what makes you believe ki is missing? Please let us know,

Justin

Kevin Leavitt
10-05-2007, 03:48 PM
An observation.

I don't think it is so much who has it an who doesn't. I haven't met anyone that I would consider to necessarily be "complete" that is, you can quantify with any kind of litmus test..."yep, he has it."

That said, there are many people I have trained with that martially have various parts of what I consider to be "IT".

Some are beginners, or junior to me, others senior.

Martially I would consider myself superior to many, however, there seems to be some people that do somethings better than I.

I try to identify it, and work with them as I work with myself.

This way, I don't have to worry about studying with the right teacher, or wasting my time chasing a "holy grail". I simply train whenever the opportuntiy arises, always seek to improve and grow, and constantly look introspectively and extrospectively...careful to avoid the dissonance that is ever present in the dojo environment.

MM
10-06-2007, 12:14 PM
An observation.

I don't think it is so much who has it an who doesn't. I haven't met anyone that I would consider to necessarily be "complete" that is, you can quantify with any kind of litmus test..."yep, he has it."


Another observation. Perhaps you should get out more. :)

In regards to what Mike is talking about, yeah, some people have it and some don't. And there are litmus tests to show it.

Mark

George S. Ledyard
10-09-2007, 07:48 PM
Another observation. Perhaps you should get out more. :)

In regards to what Mike is talking about, yeah, some people have it and some don't. And there are litmus tests to show it.

Mark

I've been quite busy, traveling etc. I just had time to read Mike's tow part article. Very excellent. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to write such a clear explanation. Hope we can get together again sometime, sooner rather than later.
- George

Mike Sigman
10-09-2007, 08:07 PM
I've been quite busy, traveling etc. I just had time to read Mike's tow part article. Very excellent. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to write such a clear explanation. Hope we can get together again sometime, sooner rather than later.
My pleasure, George. Although by now it's a 3-part article. My main moan during my Aikido days was that no one gave me the honest-to-god truth-information about how to start doing these things. I tried to lay it out for someone who has no access to a physical demonstration and I hope it helps those very few who are looking for the same thing.

All the Best.

Mike

MM
10-09-2007, 08:07 PM
I've been quite busy, traveling etc. I just had time to read Mike's tow part article. Very excellent. Thanks, Mike, for taking the time to write such a clear explanation. Hope we can get together again sometime, sooner rather than later.
- George

There is a third part on Aikido Journal now. Did you get a chance to read it?

Part I:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3821

Part II:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3838

Part III:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=3884

And the AJ Forum thread:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11100

MM
10-09-2007, 08:08 PM
Well, Mike, it seems you posted right before mine. :) I could have saved some typing.

Mike Sigman
10-09-2007, 08:13 PM
Well, Mike, it seems you posted right before mine. :) I could have saved some typing.Well, as my wife says, I'm one of the quickest men she's ever met. Whatever that means. ;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
10-09-2007, 08:28 PM
Those really are very informative articles Mike.
Thank you.

Kevin Leavitt
10-09-2007, 10:12 PM
Thanks Mike for the information and exercises.

Dan Bixler
10-12-2007, 05:21 PM
I am new here on Aikiweb and this is my first post. Forgive me if I "hijack" this post by getting off topic.

First of all, I would like to say that I enjoyed the articles by Mike Sigman. I've been a long-time admirer of Mike Sigman and his work. Several years ago, I ordered his Internal Strength videos. Though I learned a lot from them, I knew I wasn't quite getting "IT" in some areas.

I started Aikido when I was in the Marines, stationed in Okinawa, Japan about 12 years ago. After I got out of the Marines, I joined a local Aikido club that was connected to the British Ki Society. I stayed with the group for about 3 years. My sensei often had his sensei come up from Maryland to teach us. His sensei was Wayne Thomas who studied under Yoshigasaki(sp). Sensei Thomas was the most amazing martial artist I've seen in person to date. When I told him that, here's the conversation that ensued:

Wayne: "I'm nothing. You should see my teacher. When I once told him he was great, he told me. "I'm nothing. You should see my teacher." You know who his teacher was?"

Me: "No."

Wayne: "Tohei Sensei"

Wayne was an awesome teacher. Not only could he do the stuff, he could teach it better than anyone I've ever met. And, although I progressed quickly and got pretty good at Aikido,(due to great teachers) - I was young, immature, and impatient. I didn't think it should take so long to learn Aikido. So, I started internal CMA, hoping to get better at Aikido. Eventually, I stopped Aikido. (I really miss it, too.)

I always thought I'd learn some chi secrets from some master, someday. I e-mailed Andrew Nugent Head of Yin Style Bagua, and this was a part of his reply that really stuck with me:
"If you can lose the idea that there is some sort of power or force that comes from outside or through only meditation or via some secret given by a teacher, you are already far ahead of the game of most people interested in Chinese arts." I agree with him.

I do however, feel that one needs to be shown by a teacher exactly how to move correctly. I've recently been studying by video from Master Stephen Hwa. He is far better at articulating how to move internally than any other teacher I've seen since my Aikido teacher. I can't wait to study with him in person. He was so generous as to go out of his way twice in an attempt to meet with me in my hometown, while he was travelling through PA. Unfortunately, I was too busy to meet with him at those times. Soon, I will finish school and make sure that I meet him. Here is the web site for Master Hwa and Classical Tai Chi. There are also several good videos on Youtube. However, I feel the videos I purchased from Master Hwa were much better, as they cover much more.

http://www.classicaltaichi.com/

I was curious what Mike Sigman thinks, and if he's heard of Master Hwa. I'm very impressed with Master Hwa's knowledge and his ability to convey it. No mystical chi mumbo jumbo from him. Just plain, easy to understand explanations of how you should move and why. Tai Chi is really tough if practiced this way. His videos are by far the best martial art instructional videos I've ever seen. There is many years worth of learning on 5 DVDs. Incredible stuff, IMHO.

I'm also wondering if Mike Sigman has found that the internal discipline is pretty much the same in Tai Chi, Bagua, XingYi, and Aikido?

Thanks for reading my long, rambling post.

Dan Bixler
10-12-2007, 05:42 PM
Here I am replying to my own post already. :o

When I said " no chi mystical mumbo jumbo", I didn't mean that Master Hwa doesn't talk about chi, or that I don't believe in it. It' s just that so many Internal CMA teachers try to make their art so mystical that it's hard to understand, let alone learn. They try to tell you that you have to meditate to get the chi to move, or that there are 50 different types of jings that you can only learn after many years of studying with a teacher. I don't think this is right. I think the reason is because some teachers don't know anything about internal movement themselves. Master Hwa definitely knows, and he can teach it.

I also had great improvements in health regarding a back and hip problem, after I began doing Tai Chi the way Master Hwa teaches it in the videos. He has a martial art application video coming out soon.

Just wanted to clarify my earlier statements.

Mike Sigman
10-12-2007, 05:54 PM
IFirst of all, I would like to say that I enjoyed the articles by Mike Sigman. I've been a long-time admirer of Mike Sigman and his work. Don't be. I remember Abbie Hoffman and his book, "Steal this Book". Don't admire me at all... get what you can from me and then beat me at my own game. You're a Marine... so was I. When I once told him he was great, he told me. "I'm nothing. You should see my teacher." You know who his teacher was?"

Me: "No."

Wayne: "Tohei Sensei" Beat those guys, too. Once you accept the idea that so-and-so was some impossibly great because he was Japanese (or Asian or whatever) and White Guilt gives you an insurmountable disadvantage, you're done. You can beat everyone if you try hard enough and you're smart enough. That's the attitude that the old guys had.... have it yourself. ;) Wayne was an awesome teacher. Not only could he do the stuff, he could teach it better than anyone I've ever met. I think I can kick his butt and I can teach better than he can.... but we don't know that until we put it on the line and try it out, do we? So let's accept that as the correct attitude to have because it moves us onward and upward. THAT'S the way do it! I e-mailed Andrew Nugent Head of Yin Style Bagua, and this was a part of his reply that really stuck with me:
"If you can lose the idea that there is some sort of power or force that comes from outside or through only meditation or via some secret given by a teacher, you are already far ahead of the game of most people interested in Chinese arts." I agree with him. I haven't met Andrew, but I saw him on video with the guy he studied with, Shi Ming. I think I know stuff that Andrew was never shown. But I could be wrong and be a buffoon to boot... you need to check it out and see, right? ;) I've recently been studying by video from Master Stephen Hwa. He is far better at articulating how to move internally than any other teacher I've seen since my Aikido teacher. I can't wait to study with him in person. He was so generous as to go out of his way twice in an attempt to meet with me in my hometown, while he was travelling through PA. Unfortunately, I was too busy to meet with him at those times. Soon, I will finish school and make sure that I meet him. Here is the web site for Master Hwa and Classical Tai Chi. There are also several good videos on Youtube. However, I feel the videos I purchased from Master Hwa were much better, as they cover much more.

http://www.classicaltaichi.com/

I was curious what Mike Sigman thinks, and if he's heard of Master Hwa. I'm very impressed with Master Hwa's knowledge and his ability to convey it. No mystical chi mumbo jumbo from him. Just plain, easy to understand explanations of how you should move and why. Tai Chi is really tough if practiced this way. His videos are by far the best martial art instructional videos I've ever seen. There is many years worth of learning on 5 DVDs. Incredible stuff, IMHO.

I'm also wondering if Mike Sigman has found that the internal discipline is pretty much the same in Tai Chi, Bagua, XingYi, and Aikido?Fair enough. You're asking blunt, honest questions that show you're focused on what's real and what's not real. Certainly the common perception of guys kicking butt because they wear black culottes is not true... so keep looking. P.M. me and I'll give you some suggestions of what *I* think... but don't take anything I say as the final word in anything.

Best.

Mike

Thomas Campbell
10-13-2007, 07:36 PM
[snip] I haven't met Andrew, but I saw him on video with the guy he studied with, Shi Ming. [snip]

Andrew trained in Yin shi baguazhang with He Jinbao:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn2FAkTprlo&mode=related&search=

[Andrew is translating/narrating the video clip]

The late Shi Ming was a taijiquan student who trained with Wei Shuren and others:

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

Thomas Cleary translated a book that Shi Ming cowrote several years ago, called "Mind Over Matter: Higher Martial Arts"--
http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Over-Matter-Higher-Martial/dp/1883319153/ref=sr_1_2/102-8298396-0552959?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192325396&sr=8-2

Andrew did not study with Shi Ming.

Mike Sigman
10-14-2007, 01:32 PM
Andrew trained in Yin shi baguazhang with He Jinbao:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dn2FAkTprlo&mode=related&search=

[Andrew is translating/narrating the video clip]

The late Shi Ming was a taijiquan student who trained with Wei Shuren and others:

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

Thomas Cleary translated a book that Shi Ming cowrote several years ago, called "Mind Over Matter: Higher Martial Arts"--
http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Over-Matter-Higher-Martial/dp/1883319153/ref=sr_1_2/102-8298396-0552959?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192325396&sr=8-2

Andrew did not study with Shi Ming.In the famous Bill Moyers video about qi, etc., Andrew is shown as one of Shi Ming's students in the buffoonery in the park where Andrew was "student" who couldn't throw Shi Ming, went flying back at Shi Ming's gestures, and so forth. I've always heard that while he certainly studied other arts, he was also a student, at least to some degree, of Shi Ming's. I'll bet YouTube or someplace like it has some of the Moyers clips of Shi Ming with AN-H assisting.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Thomas Campbell
10-14-2007, 07:39 PM
In the famous Bill Moyers video about qi, etc., Andrew is shown as one of Shi Ming's students in the buffoonery in the park where Andrew was "student" who couldn't throw Shi Ming, went flying back at Shi Ming's gestures, and so forth. [snip]

I stand corrected. I'd forgotten about the clip you mention, which can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzIjUR-mHCY

Andrew is the taller American man with the ponytail, who first appears in the line of students pushing on Shi Ming at about 3:34 of the clip. Bill Moyers identifies him as Andrew a little later in the clip. I also checked independently.

Mike Sigman
10-14-2007, 08:20 PM
I stand corrected. I'd forgotten about the clip you mention, which can be seen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzIjUR-mHCY

Andrew is the taller American man with the ponytail, who first appears in the line of students pushing on Shi Ming at about 3:34 of the clip. Bill Moyers identifies him as Andrew a little later in the clip. I also checked independently.My point was only that I don't particularly put weight on anything Andrew says, given his on-record self-immolation of credibility.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
10-15-2007, 12:32 AM
I don't think it is so much who has it an who doesn't. I haven't met anyone that I would consider to necessarily be "complete" that is, you can quantify with any kind of litmus test..."yep, he has it."

That said, there are many people I have trained with that martially have various parts of what I consider to be "IT".
...
I try to identify it, and work with them as I work with myself.
I am always struck by the reversion to this two letter word as substitute for the property of movement "that dare not speak its name."

This argument about "it" -- who has "it" and what "it" is -- cannot be answered in terms of "it." "IT" has not been defined in terms that are generalizable, but only exists in terms that are specific and subjectively verifiable. You know it when you feel "it." At least that is what we are left with in the terms that are being used to frame the diiscussion.

For this reason, I forgive the inevitable throw-down challenges on this topic of those who want to "feel it" from others as a preliminary to discussion about "it" so as to know that they are speaking in the same terms and not at cross purposes. Their point is well-taken in traditional terms. I am not working the way forward in entirely traditional terms, so that aspect is of far less concern to me, although it does usefully inform the basis for their discussion in their terms.

To make a poitn I will refer to PBS special this past Sunday that detailed the crafitng of the Japanese sword, its historical origins, and a modern, traditionally made sword from the tatara to the art house display case, and all points between, in terms of both its manufacture and its traditional uses. An excllent documentary.

It was stressed with the traditional methods of crafting the blade that their uses of "subjective feel" formed by decades of apprenticeship and hard practice was rigorously attended by the intensive religious rituals that formed and preserved that process in its reproducible integrity.

There was also a parallel engineering discussion describing the aesthetic beauty of the tool in its shaping and substance for efficiency and performance its designed function. There are things that we can know about how they are constituted and how their function is altered in various ways, that was able to expand upon the traditional understanding in very important and informative ways.

The engineers were able to explain, in functional physical terms WHY some things were done a certain way and the changes in the material that resulted in the alteration of its functions. They were able to explain WHY some things were done as a matter of interim results in the process as it continued, that were originally done simply because they provided an acceptable ultimate result by the traditional ritualized method shaped by educated trial and error in a more evolutionary process.

Nothing substitutes for craft, but adding new dimensions of understanding can only add to knowledge and facility in doing things with it. In light of the present discussion, here are then two alternatives (by no measn mutually exlcusive) to address in correcting the observed technical concerns of modern aikido in the teaching process that are the subtext of this discussion. They are in parallel with the ways in which swords are made and understood. Either one would help.

The first alternative is a more rigorous acceptance of traditional religiously guided ritualized learning in non-explanatory ways. This was an obvious focus of O Sensei, even as he explicitly accepted its limited utility for others. This adherence to the religiousity of exacting detail in the production of the blade with a limited understanding of the nature of interim results is the key to the survival of sword technology today in Japan as a rigorously reproducible technological feat in its ultimate achievement. It is a way of teaching that is unlikely to be usefully duplicated outside of Japan. It is in short supply and increasingly lacking broad understanding even there. It is too specific, too implicit in its assumed references and the non-analytic nature of its process for Westerners to take in everything that the ritualized observance actually does encode and transmit. Useful efforts have been made to adapt and explain these concepts to Westerners. We are, generally speaking however, simply ill-fitted to accept what it has to teach in those terms. For that matter exceedingly few Japanese today are so equipped, either.

The second alternative it is lacking is a generalizable, objective physical description of its functional dynamics. This is something that Westerners are good at and have haltingly attempted, (as well as many Japanese uchideshi coming here originally) often in metaphorical terms or "recipe" terminology that serves as guide for the subjective "feel" meant to be attained after sufficient training.

But no one has yet provided a rigorous, objective physical description of what is occurring and how it functions. I have developed my thought going along here, subejct to legitimate ( and illiegitimate) attacks, precisely in order to be challenged conceptually by those here who would do it constructively ( or otherwise). My effort is bearing fruit, at least for me. Whether I can adequately encapsulate and expound it as well as others might do remains to be seen. Once all my ducks are lined up, and some remaining ends tied up, I may give it a try intended for the use of persons rather than merely to better inform my own practice.

But whoever most clearly accomplishes this objective, it MUST be done in terms that are generally accepted because they are not subject to any objectively reasonable dispute from those who are capable and can critically observe. Until then, these discussions will continue, less usefully, to my mind, in this mode: The "it" that dare not speak its name.

While "it" is obviously serving at present as an ad hoc, third alternative to those I have outlined, it is not really working very well for purposes of critical description or comparison. "It" (as a conceptual framework, anyway) causes more arguments than "it" resolves

Some of us are striving to give "it" a proper name, in objective physical terms. That will make it far more generally transferable across culture boundaries, as rocket technology is now transmitted without regard to such boundaries. This does not diminish the value of craft, tradition or the need for hard work to do it -- it merely give its a different set of definitions to explain its functions in objective terms and thus provide some tools now missing in explaining more easily how to achieve them.

Terms slightly better, in any event, than merely "IT."

G DiPierro
10-15-2007, 01:40 AM
But whoever most clearly accomplishes this objective, it MUST be done in terms that are generally accepted because they are not subject to any objectively reasonable dispute from those who are capable and can critically observe. Until then, these discussions will continue, less usefully, to my mind, in this mode: The "it" that dare not speak its name.
...
Some of us are striving to give "it" a proper name, in objective physical terms. That will make it far more generally transferable across culture boundaries, as rocket technology is now transmitted without regard to such boundaries. This does not diminish the value of craft, tradition or the need for hard work to do it -- it merely give its a different set of definitions to explain its functions in objective terms and thus provide some tools now missing in explaining more easily how to achieve them.

Terms slightly better, in any event, than merely "IT."

If you are looking for a more objective approach to what the "it" in this discussion is, you might start here (http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/Qi_Press/TaiChi%20Stanford.pdf). While the Japanese sword has already been studied in depth from by Western metallurgy, this form of movement seems to be still something new to researchers. So while I would agree with you that more scientific knowledge of "it" would be useful, I think it is going to have to come from laboratory research in the form of peer-reviewed studies of the those who have "it", not from posts on discussion forums from people with no qualifications, either scientific or martial, speculating about what they think "it" is.

dps
10-15-2007, 03:45 AM
More empirical evidence and less " leap of faith".

David

Kevin Leavitt
10-15-2007, 08:07 PM
Erick,

Not sure I can follow everything you are saying, but this thought comes to mind.

Driving a car.

There is a certain amount of knowledge one needs to drive or sustain driving a car. When you get down to it, really one really need to know very little to complete the task.

As a society to get to that point, a bunch of things had to happen. Combustion theory, understanding laws of inertia, thermodynamics, physics, math...lots of complicated things.

Heck, I can even build a pretty darn good race car with very limited knowledge simply by following the recipe that others have done.

I think the same with the sword. The guy cutting with it need not know how to build it, he was only skilled in using it.

Knowledge management works this way with everything. Macrosopically and collectively, we can know a great deal about stuff, but microsopically and in the details, we may know very little and yet, we still go about doing the things we do every day!

Somethings become intuitive.

A laugh a little thinking about the guy that may not get into a car because he hasn't figured it all out, and is a little scared to go that fast until he empirically possesses all knowledge and possibilities about how it might work (or not work!).

At some point we have to simply say "well everyone else seems to be okay doing it." and take a leap of faith based on the experiences of others that we will be okay.

It is interesting that many will get in a car, yet won't fly in a plane that is statistically safer.

I think this is very salient to the topic at hand!

Anyway, "IT" to me is defined differently by everyone. I agree that in order to have a half way intelligent conversation microsopically about "IT" requires a deep understanding of what both are talking about. Many arguments ensue here because both parties simply are talking past each other!

I define "IT" for myself based on my experiences of IT and what I consider to be IT as it relates to Budo and martial arts in general. That interpretation changes daily as I discover a deeper understanding of myself and the physicality of dealing with others.

I don't so much care to know the laws of physics or thermodynamics as related to "IT"...I simply want to be able to "drive the car" a little better than I did the day before!

Good discussion!

gdandscompserv
10-16-2007, 01:03 PM
I simply want to be able to "drive the car" a little better than I did the day before!
http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37984:D

Erick Mead
10-16-2007, 02:03 PM
Driving a car.

There is a certain amount of knowledge one needs to drive or sustain driving a car. When you get down to it, really one really need to know very little to complete the task.

Heck, I can even build a pretty darn good race car with very limited knowledge simply by following the recipe that others have done.

I think the same with the sword. The guy cutting with it need not know how to build it, he was only skilled in using it.

Somethings become intuitive.

I don't so much care to know the laws of physics or thermodynamics as related to "IT"...I simply want to be able to "drive the car" a little better than I did the day before!

Good discussion!Good analogy. Let me extend it for further consideration.

First, your analogy is spot on, but we are not just driving the family sedan to soccer and back, in the intuitive mode we obtain be mere frequency of ordinary action. We are training to be much closer to the high speed, low margin for error end of the racing spectrum, at least that is what budo ought to require.

A racer develops a desire to learn everything that might be relevant in all the technical elements that go into the slim margin of performance differential he is trying to achieve -- from what ever sources that reduction in error or increases in performance may come. That includes, in the racing environment, an objective and analytical as well subjective and synthetic understanding of friction, aerodynamics, combustion chemistry, collision mechanics, applied torque and precession and a host of other disciplines that might bear on that high degree of performance, and low tolerance for error that is required.

All to go in circles on a closed track. (snark :p )

All these arguments are legitimately about better ways or overlooked issues, approaches or disciplines that may push one toward more firmly that end of the spectrum.

Second, we are not just using the sword. Our bodies are the sword. We shape it in the same process that we are routinely using it. You can't just hand it to a sword polisher and tell him to bring it back when it is sharp enough. Like the skilled polisher we have to be knowledgable about the consequences of inconsistent blade geometry, the ways in which it may affect the ultimate performance, and attend to methods and factors involved in shaping that may add or detract from that required degree of precision .

Like understanding the functions of blade geometry (or its metallurgy), we need a consistent reference to principles of action to help us decide what functions to try to train for more intuitive action, That way we can identify and refine training methods or approaches that will make those actions intuitive, or more likely so.

I pointed out that in swordcraft the traditional means are synthetic, with a literally religious intensity driving its attention to both rigor and detail. It does that very effectively. That Way requires a level of inculturation much harder for us to duplicate, and for which we have no ready substitutes.

We do, however, have our own analytic Way. It may allow pursuing "it" according to our own inherent strengths. We can capably apply our own Way to the methods and principles by which we train, if we choose to do so. It can still hew to traditional synthetic understanding, by more clearly setting it forth explicitly in our terms of reference. That is my current effort.

Aran Bright
10-16-2007, 02:29 PM
If you are looking for a more objective approach to what the "it" in this discussion is, you might start here (http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/Qi_Press/TaiChi%20Stanford.pdf). While the Japanese sword has already been studied in depth from by Western metallurgy, this form of movement seems to be still something new to researchers. So while I would agree with you that more scientific knowledge of "it" would be useful, I think it is going to have to come from laboratory research in the form of peer-reviewed studies of the those who have "it", not from posts on discussion forums from people with no qualifications, either scientific or martial, speculating about what they think "it" is.

I don't how you would ever form a review panel when there is such a disagreement over what "it" is and who has "it" and therefore who can recognise "it". ;)

HL1978
10-16-2007, 04:31 PM
Good analogy. Let me extend it for further consideration.

First, your analogy is spot on, but we are not just driving the family sedan to soccer and back, in the intuitive mode we obtain be mere frequency of ordinary action. We are training to be much closer to the high speed, low margin for error end of the racing spectrum, at least that is what budo ought to require.

A racer develops a desire to learn everything that might be relevant in all the technical elements that go into the slim margin of performance differential he is trying to achieve -- from what ever sources that reduction in error or increases in performance may come. That includes, in the racing environment, an objective and analytical as well subjective and synthetic understanding of friction, aerodynamics, combustion chemistry, collision mechanics, applied torque and precession and a host of other disciplines that might bear on that high degree of performance, and low tolerance for error that is required.

All to go in circles on a closed track. (snark :p )



Actually as a track enthusiast who has more hours of high speed training than your average police officer, I find this analogy quite amusing.

Understanding the physical mechanism behind oversteer, understeer, brake fade, aerodynamics, fuel ratios, etc, may in fact help one understand the phenomina conceptually, it does not in fact help the skill development in and of itself. Every high performance driving school I have been to has talked about the physics behind these skills, but in fact it is seat time (the analog to hands on training with a teacher when talking about internal skills) which develops these skills.

Developing high performance driving skills require developing feel. How do I know what it feels like when I am about to loose grip? How can I tell by feel when I am understeering/oversteering? How do I use these mechanisms to rotate the car around the corner at higher speed than utilzing total grip (the answer it requires hands on expereince and feel)? How do I know how to do threshold breaking without kicking in the ABS, or for a non-ABS car without locking up my wheels? When I am in car, with an instructor, we aren't talking about the physical mechanics of why I just spun out, rather we are talking about how it felt right before I spun out.

When you first start, feel in a driving context is misleading of crouse, as what we all think of as fast (sudden abrubt movements) isn't really fast. The same applies in terms of IMA power generation. Racer's don't necessarily report what the guages are reading back to the pit crew, thats what telematics are for, rather they report back how the car feels to the pit crew, though that knowledge may be aided by technical knowledge.

Now, talking about your average driver, they simply drive with no consideration at all of the physics, conceptual or not (which is why you simply hear, I lost control of the car in a wreck). They have no need to either, the car simply works.

G DiPierro
10-16-2007, 05:23 PM
I don't how you would ever form a review panel when there is such a disagreement over what "it" is and who has "it" and therefore who can recognise "it". ;)That's not quite how peer review (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review) works. Science is done by creating a falsifiable hypothesis and then designing an experiment to test that hypothesis. Peer review just makes sure the experiment is designed correctly, the conclusions follow from the data, and the findings are meaningful enough to publish. Over the course of several such published experiments a scientific discourse evolves on a particular subject.

The internet is great for a lot of things, but speculating on how something works on an internet discussion forum is not a valid form of scientific research.

eyrie
10-16-2007, 05:58 PM
Aran,

The jujitsu peeps in Oz have been doing this for decades. For them, it is no longer about "style" but about preserving the "art". There are 2 jujitsu organizations (politics!) to which all jujitsu-ryu will be members of one or the other. There are specific technical requirements common to all jujitsu styles. To conduct a grading, one merely requires a panel of higher level jujitsu-ka. So, in terms of peer review, everyone knows what the basic standards are and what's in the common technical syllabus. The principles of Ju are immutable - anyone purporting to teach jujitsu ought to know what these are, and what the basic technical requirements are.

I had the opportunity to sit on a jujitsu shodan grading panel last year, and even signed the candidate's certificate - right below a Shihan's (from a different ryu) signature - and I'm not even a jujitsu anything, much less an aikido anything. How's that for peer review? ;)

Kevin Leavitt
10-16-2007, 06:20 PM
Erick/Ricky/Hunter

Good stuff.

Summing it up you "train as you fight, fight as you train." that is what we say in the Army.

It is pretty simple, you see or experience something, you say "hey, I want to do that too!" then you approximate the behaviors and conditions that lead to you being able to do it.

Martial training I think really works that way. You find someone that is doing something, or feels like something, or looks like something you want to be...and you ask them "how do you do that?"

Hopefully they are honest with you and you do what they say, get some assistance, and you are eventually able to do the things that they do.

Too many times I think we get caught up in esoterics, theory, or simulation and training becomes an intellectual, or feel good practice.

We are either afraid to "get behind the wheel" for fear of wasting our time doing something that may not lead to what we want.

We get behind the wheel, think we are really driving, but we are really in a "driving simulator or game" and convice ourselves that we are really driving, or good indeed enter the Indy 500 since we did well in the game! I think much practice is really like that in Martial Arts!

Or we take driving lessons from someone that really isn't qualified to drive, but did stay in the Holiday Inn!

However, it doesn't really matter because most will never know that the guy teaching them doesn't really understand about driving since they are only interested in driving the video game and feeling good about how well they are doing compared to all the other video game players!

Finding someone with real skill, that can replicate it, show you how to train to do it, and set the conditions correctly for you to achieve that same endstate is what is key for me.

I don't really need to understand how, or why he does what he does...only that we agree on what the desired endstate will be, and he can show me the steps, exercises, or share the knowledge to get there.

Even with that...I think it is rare to find those that are still willing to do all that, even with this in place!

If it were common...then diet fads that all these guys get rich on would go away!

Budd
10-17-2007, 06:03 AM
The other part is always assuming that there's lots out there that you don't know. This helps prevent the senior syndrome of "Oh, now I understand, they're doing xyz" . . . then make the following two errors:

1) Presume they now understand xyz.
2) Attempt to teach xyz.

Aran Bright
10-17-2007, 07:36 AM
Aran,

The jujitsu peeps in Oz have been doing this for decades. For them, it is no longer about "style" but about preserving the "art". There are 2 jujitsu organizations (politics!) to which all jujitsu-ryu will be members of one or the other. There are specific technical requirements common to all jujitsu styles. To conduct a grading, one merely requires a panel of higher level jujitsu-ka. So, in terms of peer review, everyone knows what the basic standards are and what's in the common technical syllabus. The principles of Ju are immutable - anyone purporting to teach jujitsu ought to know what these are, and what the basic technical requirements are.

I had the opportunity to sit on a jujitsu shodan grading panel last year, and even signed the candidate's certificate - right below a Shihan's (from a different ryu) signature - and I'm not even a jujitsu anything, much less an aikido anything. How's that for peer review? ;)

Firstly to Mr DiPierro,

Thanks for pointing that out, I am not a scientist. And I am not trying to be too serious about this discussion. Science is wonderful, truly, but if I wait around for science to get to the bottom of 'it', I'll be too old to worry about 'it'.

Ignatius,

Thanks for that bit of insight, I guess nearly all gradings must be 'peer-reviewed', in a sense. But then again, who cares about gradings, right?;)

Wasn't this discussion about an article or something?

Lee Salzman
10-17-2007, 10:11 AM
As has been said: "IT" is a bogeyman.

If you accept the premise that "qi" is the essence of all Eastern martian arts, and that it's the same everywhere, then you can start accepting anything you want. It's reasoning backwards. To take it out of context, one might say they know "animals" or will someday come to understand all animals, if they have just been studying and will only ever study "birds" all their life, but that's pretty much false.

No point in going to the extremes of absolute ignorance of the subject, or also insisting on complete analytical understanding. But you need a description of the goal and it must be practical, functional, and realizable, and one must have a way of verifying they are moving towards the outcome. If that is in place, then the how, or at least how to start working out the method of how, should become apparent. But for all the years of talking about "IT", I haven't seen that.

Once the goal is there, the how I think will take the form of: just practice, practice in circumstances where you can understand where your mistakes are coming from, and work on correcting them. At first, in the simplest possible circumstances, then working up to more demanding situations until the most demanding situation you have practiced meets or exceeds the goal. A to B, in steps, where the steps have the right direction. There might even be multiple sub-goals to get to the outcome.

Some examples (not related to "IT"):


Goal: rapid, extreme power release over short or non-existent distances.

Sub-goals might be: rapidity of release, intensity of activation, completeness of activation, range of motion of release.

How might be: practice these in the simplest circumstances that can eventually be extended to the final application. Maybe starting at one static position, or maybe its simple isolated movements that are gradually reduced to a static position, practicing activating and deactivating everything, working on how quickly its done, the space over which its done, etc.

Verification might be: video taping speed for comparison, trying against a heavy bag to see movement or have a live target verify to gauge intensity, all manner of new-fangled pressure/timescale measuring equipment, having someone palpate your muscles during practice to ensure all things are assisting.


Or another example might be:

Goal: complete movement of the body against all levels of external resistance and practical motions

Sub-goals might be: completeness of activation in movement, movement against external resistance

How might be: practice moving while verifying activation everywhere, first in simpler movements then in unpatterned movement, then at varying levels of internal resistance and then with a partner who offers gradually increasing levels of unpatterned resistance.

Verification might be: practicing against partners of increasing strength and skill until they can't unsettle you, or using non-live forms of resistance that can be quantified.

Erick Mead
10-17-2007, 12:45 PM
Every high performance driving school I have been to has talked about the physics behind these skills, but in fact it is seat time (the analog to hands on training with a teacher when talking about internal skills) which develops these skills.Good points from Kevin and Hunter. There is no substitute for subjective experience, but there is also no substitute for objective understanding. I won't dwell on implicit presumptive judgments from writings, one way or the other. I also won't clobber the discussion with a rather lengthy summation that Hunter's post prompted me to pull together from my strands of continuing work on these topics from these and some offline discussions I have been having, I think it clarifies the state of my thoughts on physical mechanics, perception and aiki.

If any one is interested, I have posted them here: http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/perception-physical-harmonics-and-aiki-3083/
If not, well God bless, and pass the mustard. If, however, you find the following image resonates at all with your experience of aikido dynamics (the 3d path depicted changes along its length of travel from initially red through purple to blue ), you might waste ten minutes reading it:

Timothy WK
10-19-2007, 08:34 AM
Gawd, the only people who argue or question what "it" is are people who haven't taken the time to seek out someone with "it" and feel "it" for themselves.

The whole thing isn't mysterious. There might be different explanations for why "it" works, or how to achieve "it", but noone who has felt "it" has a problem recognizing "it" in others.
To begin with, there are postural clues. These clues can be imitated, but you won't see someone with "it" without them. These include things like a high head, shoulders pulled back and down, a more or less straight back, and a certain style of movement.
Second, people with "it" have a very coordinated, unified movement. Their feet, hands, and hips move as one. The head/hips/shoulders/ankles don't lead the rest of the body. This is a pretty big clue, at least for me. It took me a little while comparing people with "it" and people who don't before I could see the difference, but now that I can it's really obvious. Do you notice the difference between, say, Kuroda Tetsuzan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLCVBX3iyDk&mode=related&search=) and James Williams (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWcaBRlet-o&mode=related&search=) (both excellent swordsmen)?
If you find someone with a really developed dantien, their abdomen will actually shift left/right/up/down as they move (it's kinda weird when you first notice this).
People with "it" also have a certain relaxed power. This also took me a bit to see, but now it's also really obvious. This can be confusing at first because there are tricks for applying "relaxed" force without "it". Look at [ this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&mode=related&search=) ] of Akuzawa. Can you see the difference between the "wrong" way to do kokyo-ho (0:30) and the "right" way (0:35)?

These things are all very easy to spot, but you need to spend a little time with people who have "it" before you can tell the difference.

...

OK, enough ranting. Mike, I asked my teacher about breathing exercises, because we don't focus on them in my class. His argument was that you don't really need to worry about them. He said if you focused on standing/moving exercises, the breathing stuff will appear naturally along with the manifestation of body connection. (And interestingly enough, a couple days before you wrote this piece, a fellow student of mine described this same phenomenon---the inflating feeling---showing up in his own practice, without doing any special exercises.)

Response?

Mike Sigman
10-19-2007, 08:46 AM
Mike, I asked my teacher about breathing exercises, because we don't focus on them in my class. His argument was that you don't really need to worry about them. He said if you focused on standing/moving exercises, the breathing stuff will appear naturally along with the manifestation of body connection. (And interestingly enough, a couple days before you wrote this piece, a fellow student of mine described this same phenomenon---the inflating feeling---showing up in his own practice, without doing any special exercises.)Well, it's kind of like the argument that the "subtle" part of a good tenkan is blending with an opponent. On one level, that's true, but there's a deeper level than that. The idea that you get all the breathing stuff you need in exercise, forms, applications, etc., is true, but it's only true on a coarser level than you can get into with focused breathing exercises.

Actually, if just moving and breathing stuff would do it, that's what I would have recommended in my carefully-thought-out series. The recommendation I gave for the breathing is the closest I could come to showing the more subtle path, in a written description. What you're discussing, BTW, is the heart of the old battle between "Shaolin" and "Internal styles".

O-Sensei and Tohei actually use the more subtle and desirable "soft" and "relaxed" approach. Some of the other approaches being discussed tend to be more of the "Shaolin" approach. But at some time, people have to be able to figure these things out for themselves or at least have the motivation to go find out. ;)

Note, BTW, that O-Sensei and Tohei used separate breathing exercises, too.

Best.

Mike

Walker
10-19-2007, 09:40 AM
# Second, people with "it" have a very coordinated, unified movement. Their feet, hands, and hips move as one. The head/hips/shoulders/ankles don't lead the rest of the body. This is a pretty big clue, at least for me. It took me a little while comparing people with "it" and people who don't before I could see the difference, but now that I can it's really obvious. Do you notice the difference between, say, Kuroda Tetsuzan and James Williams (both excellent swordsmen)?
Not to nit pic or anything, but the second clip is not James Williams.

Timothy WK
10-19-2007, 01:42 PM
Not to nit pic or anything, but the second clip is not James Williams.
Crap, you're right, I copied the wrong link. I apologize, [ here's the one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9txp3AAroI&mode=related&search=) ] I meant to link.

Ecosamurai
10-24-2007, 05:15 AM
Look at [ this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snYlMC6gUoM&mode=related&search=) ] of Akuzawa. Can you see the difference between the "wrong" way to do kokyo-ho (0:30) and the "right" way (0:35)?[/list]


Hehe, that's usually what I call ki diarrhea :), in other words at 0.30 he's letting the power spill out of his backside, but at 0.35 his hips and shoulders are in line :) Unless I've missed something, there's no sound so I might be interpreting the vid wrong, kinda have to be there really.

It's really really common to see that happen in aikido when doing tenkan ikkyo, people tend to try to lead uke around with their arse :)

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-24-2007, 07:13 AM
Hehe, that's usually what I call ki diarrhea :), in other words at 0.30 he's letting the power spill out of his backside, but at 0.35 his hips and shoulders are in line :) Unless I've missed something, there's no sound so I might be interpreting the vid wrong, kinda have to be there really.

It's really really common to see that happen in aikido when doing tenkan ikkyo, people tend to try to lead uke around with their arse :)
Hmmmm..... not to take either side, but I don't see Akuzawa doing anything with that bend at .30 other than make the point that he's getting below Uke's force before he uses the ground path to go up Uke's arms. Since he only does it that one time, it's obviously just explicative and not something he commonly does. There's a couple of other things I might nitpick myself, but not when someone is simply trying to discuss and show the various factors that go into an action.

FWIW

Mike

Timothy WK
10-24-2007, 07:38 AM
Maybe I'm reading into the Akuzawa clip---easy to do since you can't hear what he's saying---but he shakes his head, so it seems like a negative example. Maybe Rob can jump in and explain what was going on in the clip. But here's what I think he's doing:

1) He's getting under uke's attack (as Mike said).
2) He's bringing his elbows together. This aligns his forearms with his body, which is a pretty strong position. It also has the added benefit of twisting uke's arms out of alignment.
3) Lastly, with his arms "locked" in place, he's using his legs to lift up uke.

This was the way I was taught to execute kokyo-ho. It works. With a little practice, you can lift uke's arms "without any effort" from your upper body.

But it's not internal movement. When Akuzawa does it the second time, you don't see him doing any of the above. He "simply" raises his arms.

Ecosamurai
10-24-2007, 07:40 AM
Hmmmm..... not to take either side, but I don't see Akuzawa doing anything with that bend at .30 other than make the point that he's getting below Uke's force before he uses the ground path to go up Uke's arms. Since he only does it that one time, it's obviously just explicative and not something he commonly does. There's a couple of other things I might nitpick myself, but not when someone is simply trying to discuss and show the various factors that go into an action.

FWIW

Mike

I see what you mean. Like I said it's easy to misinterpret video (especially with no sound to help). But what I was referring to is something I see all the time in aikido, especially beginners but also in people who have come to aikido from another physical activity that relies on 'conventional strength/power' (it needn't be a martial art). Namely: the tendency to leave your backside behind when moving forwards. Amusingly you also see it when moving backwards, a good example of which would be practicing okuriashi in kendo where people have the same tendency except it appears that they are increasing the gap between their hands and their navel as they move backwards. But it's the same thing. It's most commonly/obviously seen in aikido IME with tenkan ikkyo.

Mike

Upyu
10-24-2007, 05:16 PM
Maybe I'm reading into the Akuzawa clip---easy to do since you can't hear what he's saying---but he shakes his head, so it seems like a negative example. Maybe Rob can jump in and explain what was going on in the clip. But here's what I think he's doing:

1) He's getting under uke's attack (as Mike said).
2) He's bringing his elbows together. This aligns his forearms with his body, which is a pretty strong position. It also has the added benefit of twisting uke's arms out of alignment.
3) Lastly, with his arms "locked" in place, he's using his legs to lift up uke.

This was the way I was taught to execute kokyo-ho. It works. With a little practice, you can lift uke's arms "without any effort" from your upper body.

But it's not internal movement. When Akuzawa does it the second time, you don't see him doing any of the above. He "simply" raises his arms.

Thought I'd clarify this a bit.
Wow...that's an old vid, plus I caught a lot of flak for it cuz of what he said in the vid, lol.

Anyone that understands Japanese and is interested can subscribe to my youtube where it still has the audio in it.
That being said, a quick summary of what he said:

"And when you raise the arms, you don't "haru" or "tense" the fingers like you see some people do in Aikido. Its simply too slow if you do this."

The second example

"You simply raise the arms, everything goes on inside, but especially the backside is important, energy must pass through the back"

He's pretty particular about never "lifting" the Uke using the feet by pushing against the ground with the feet, that implies bracing. Rather you should have your opponent at the moment of contact. You don't have to be physically under them at all to do this, since all the movement/adjustment happens mostly inside the body.

Ecosamurai
10-25-2007, 03:44 AM
"You simply raise the arms, everything goes on inside, but especially the backside is important, energy must pass through the back"

I assume he meant through the back from the feet? Which would be kinda what I was talking about, sticking your backside out tends to stop that happening.

Mike

Upyu
10-25-2007, 06:31 AM
I assume he meant through the back from the feet? Which would be kinda what I was talking about, sticking your backside out tends to stop that happening.

Mike

Yup :D
And you're on the money about the backside. He was trying to emphasize the exaggeration of the spreading of the fingers though. Saying that unnecessary localized tension is a nono.

Funny thing is, there's a lot of ...Shihan out there (I won't say what style) in magazines like Hiden showing them tensing the small of the back and spreading the fingers as an example of "extending ki"
Of course, everything is open to debate, but I'd forward that this kind of bodymechanic would only slow down transmission...even though it might feel strong initially.

Ben Joiner
10-25-2007, 06:43 AM
Just to chip in here, I have felt this from Rob when I was in Paris and it is significantly different to how I was taught to do that Kokyo ho exercise within my aikido lineage. As described above: no unecessary wrist movement, no added breath element, 'just relax and move' fantastic and eye opening.

Trying to fit in two hours a day every day of solo exercises, in order to set off down that road: Hard, especially with no feed back available. But no-one said it was gonna be easy.

Ben

Budd
10-25-2007, 07:13 AM
Is it possible that somewhere along the line, with certain people, the natural spreading/extension/curve of the fingers that happened with "spreading the ki" was replaced by "look how hard I am spreading the ki by extending my fingers!" . . . . ? ;)

Mike Sigman
10-25-2007, 07:49 AM
Is it possible that somewhere along the line, with certain people, the natural spreading/extension/curve of the fingers that happened with "spreading the ki" was replaced by "look how hard I am spreading the ki by extending my fingers!" . . . . ? ;)Yeah, I've seen that. It became some sort of postural ritual (and something stiff!!) because the understanding was lost, to some extent. OshinkanYay.:p But there are a number of martial arts that have developed weird procedures because the original idea got fumbled by one of the leaders. This stuff has centuries of opportunities to get morphed into something else. The classic case I like to think about is how Uechi Ryu karate morphed in a couple of generations from the stuff Uechi learned on mainland and became much harder. Oh well.

Best.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
10-25-2007, 07:54 AM
I plead guilty... :D

Best,
Ron

Budd
10-25-2007, 07:58 AM
Wow. That's a scary demonstration of ElepathyTay, Mike ;)

Ecosamurai
10-25-2007, 11:26 AM
Yup :D
And you're on the money about the backside. He was trying to emphasize the exaggeration of the spreading of the fingers though. Saying that unnecessary localized tension is a nono.

Funny thing is, there's a lot of ...Shihan out there (I won't say what style) in magazines like Hiden showing them tensing the small of the back and spreading the fingers as an example of "extending ki"
Of course, everything is open to debate, but I'd forward that this kind of bodymechanic would only slow down transmission...even though it might feel strong initially.

One of the levels of Tohei's unbendable arm has the tester placing pressure on the fingertips specifically for this point also. Any tension in your fingertips and you'll either fumble the test or your fingers collapse when the test is applied.

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-25-2007, 11:56 AM
One of the levels of Tohei's unbendable arm has the tester placing pressure on the fingertips specifically for this point also. Any tension in your fingertips and you'll either fumble the test or your fingers collapse when the test is applied. Why is that? Can you explain it?

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
10-25-2007, 03:35 PM
Why is that? Can you explain it?

Mike Sigman

I think I can, depends on why you're asking really and I suspect even if I answered it just fine you'd say I hadn't. Tell you what, describe the first 5 levels of the unbendable arm test in detail and I'll answer your question ;) Shouldn't be a problem for you seeing as how you're experienced in all this ki soc stuff.... :D

Mike

Mike Sigman
10-25-2007, 03:43 PM
I think I can, depends on why you're asking really and I suspect even if I answered it just fine you'd say I hadn't. Fortunately, I don't have the sort of ethics you're attributing to me. And if you check my record, I can usually answer why and how something is done, without playing games, deleting my posts, going into silence, and so on. This question was for you to answer, not for a question in response as some sort of evasion.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
10-25-2007, 03:51 PM
not for a question in response as some sort of evasion.

Nicely evaded :)

Timothy WK
10-26-2007, 07:23 AM
"And when you raise the arms, you don't "haru" or "tense" the fingers like you see some people do in Aikido. Its simply too slow if you do this."
Well, I guess I read my own thoughts into the Akuzawa clip. (Rob, thanks for clarifying things!) But I believe my comments still hold true for the way many people execute kokyo-ho.

Michael Douglas
10-29-2007, 12:04 PM
One of the levels of Tohei's unbendable arm has the tester placing pressure on the fingertips specifically for this point also. Any tension in your fingertips and you'll either fumble the test or your fingers collapse when the test is applied.

Why is that? Can you explain it?

I think I can, depends on why you're asking really and I suspect even if I answered it just fine you'd say I hadn't. Tell you what, describe the first 5 levels of the unbendable arm test in detail and I'll answer your question ;) Shouldn't be a problem for you seeing as how you're experienced in all this ki soc stuff.... :D

Fortunately, I don't have the sort of ethics you're attributing to me. And if you check my record, I can usually answer why and how something is done, without playing games, deleting my posts, going into silence, and so on. This question was for you to answer, not for a question in response as some sort of evasion.

Nicely evaded :)

Hey, pack it in.:mad: :cool: :straightf

Michael Douglas
10-29-2007, 12:17 PM
...I had the opportunity to sit on a jujitsu shodan grading panel last year, and even signed the candidate's certificate - right below a Shihan's (from a different ryu) signature - and I'm not even a jujitsu anything, much less an aikido anything. How's that for peer review? ;)
Yeah, but they were like ,"there's a bloke here, his name's Ignatius"
"Yer pullin' me plonker, Ignatius?"
"Yeah, really ,,, Ignatius Teo"
"Blimey that's cool, let's get him to sign the thingummyjig!"

;)

eyrie
10-29-2007, 05:29 PM
Unlike you, I'm nobody. At least I don't have to share my name with a famous Hollywood namesake. But IIRC, he isn't a comedian, and you shouldn't give up your day job just yet. ;)

FYI, I was personally and formally invited by the jujitsu sensei to sit on the panel. Have you? How about being invited to stand at the head of a jujitsu class (as someone coming from another art altogether), next to two other jujitsu sensei and bow the class in? And have you ever had a jujitsu 7th dan come up to you after a grading and initiate a bow first, and personally thank you for participating on the grading panel?

And I'm nobody... ;)

gdandscompserv
10-29-2007, 05:55 PM
Have you ever seen yourself on TV
Well, I have
Have you ever been more famous than me
Well, I have
Have you ever been stung by a bee
Well, I have
Have you ever met Muhammad Ali
I have, I have

Have you ever had a case of the flu
Well, I have
Have you ever had to escape from a zoo
I have
Have you ever met the guys in The Who
Well, I have
I'm in Who's Who, are you
I am

Have you ever stood in line at the bank
Had an uncle named Frank
Have you ever rode around in a tank
I have

But I've never been to Fairbanks Alaska
That's the only place I've never been
Have you ever been everywhere else
I have, I have

Have you ever locked your keys in your car
Well, I have
Have you ever been thrown out of a bar
I have

But I've never shot eighteen under par
And I still don't know where all those balls are
Except the one that went in some doctor's car
One time in Lincoln Nebraska

And some day I'm going to Fairbanks Alaska
If it's the last thing I ever do
Have you ever done everything else
I have too, I have

-Joe Walsh
Fairbanks Alaska

Gernot Hassenpflug
10-30-2007, 01:48 AM
Unlike you, I'm nobody. At least I don't have to share my name with a famous Hollywood namesake. But IIRC, he isn't a comedian, and you shouldn't give up your day job just yet. ;)Heh! You sound like you're making passes at another great movie though...which does have its fair share of genuine comedians :-)

FYI, I was personally and formally invited by the jujitsu sensei to sit on the panel. Have you? How about being invited to stand at the head of a jujitsu class (as someone coming from another art altogether), next to two other jujitsu sensei and bow the class in? And have you ever had a jujitsu 7th dan come up to you after a grading and initiate a bow first, and personally thank you for participating on the grading panel? And I'm nobody... ;)
Let's look on the bright side---despite their high level of perception, they mistook you for someone else LOL
Or, it's heart-warming that such humility is shown by such reputable representatives of the martial arts community, the most likely pass on that great humility along with great knowledge to their students. What more could society ask for?

eyrie
10-30-2007, 04:22 AM
Let's look on the bright side---despite their high level of perception, they mistook you for someone else LOL
Or, it's heart-warming that such humility is shown by such reputable representatives of the martial arts community, the most likely pass on that great humility along with great knowledge to their students. What more could society ask for? Gernot, I like to think it's more about mutual respect and recognition of skill and ability, rather than what art/style, the color or degree of one's belt, or what organization one is affiliated with. And of course, being a nobody in anything, A LOT of humility on my part. ;)

Ron Tisdale
10-30-2007, 07:52 AM
I'm definitely a nobody...especially in the Aikikai, but somehow I ended up at the head table at the all Japan Aikido event in the Budokan...go figure (thanks Peter! I'll never forget that...). :cool:

And on the testing panel at 2 Aikikai dojo...in one I got to do a lot of throws (it was supposed to be 50, but I lost count! :eek: ) and at the other, I took a LOT of ukemi...both great gobs of fun! :D

Best,
Ron (in light of this topic, I really am a nobody...I thanked Mike on AJ, but neglected to do so here, so in the interest of being on topic, THANKS MIKE!)

Mike Sigman
10-30-2007, 08:42 AM
Ron (in light of this topic, I really am a nobody...I thanked Mike on AJ, but neglected to do so here, so in the interest of being on topic, THANKS MIKE!)Don't thank me, Ron..... show me. That's the ticket! ;)

Best.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
10-31-2007, 07:08 AM
Working on it! Will you be in Seatle?

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
10-31-2007, 08:17 AM
Working on it! Will you be in Seatle?
No, I met up with Rob John in DC and I'm travelled out for this year. If I have to go through one more security line in an airport, I think I'll scream. Last month I got in a secruity line in the Atlanta airport that was *at least* 3/4 mile long and took me more than an hour to get through. I'm staying home and drinking brews for a while until I recover. ;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
11-05-2007, 10:31 AM
Sea-Tac Security was a breeze...now Philly...well, not so bad. :D

Missed ya,

Best,
Ron