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MM
11-08-2007, 10:01 AM
Who has gone to meet: Rob John, Akuzawa, Mike Sigman, and Dan Harden.

And how do you think what you've seen, felt, learned will apply to the martial art(s) you are studying?

Me:

I met Dan, Mike, and Rob.

Frame of mind. Rather than attempting to actually "do" something to somebody, I can work on my internal structure and not worry about the other person. Sort of. But, working on internal structure removes a lot of the internal resistance. It is an exercise in motion that allows me to focus on my structure and in doing so, I do not focus so much on making a technique happen.

Structure. For those in Tohei's world, those four principles of his, ... These exercises physically create those four principles. For other people, we've all been told to relax, or relax completely. But, it's a phrase with no real solid training paradigm to implement. The internal exercises bridge that gap and can be used to implement relax or relax completely. The same with extend ki. It becomes something that can be understood rather than an esoteric concept about energy and "The Force".

Power. It adds a relaxed power to one's structure.

Tension. Removes tension from movement. Whole body movement becomes an exercise rather than a phrase.

Overall. No shortcuts. These things are a lot of hard work. It's a lot of solo training and conditioning that takes effort. And it by no means invalidates any school's training curriculum. This is stuff that changes internally, not external techniques. So, one can do Yoshinkan Aikido with or without this "aiki".

We work on techniques to find principles. We work on a school's curriculum to understand those principles. Some of the things we work on (not principles, btw) along the way are relaxing, structure, power, movement. But, at times, all we have to work on those things are just techniques. And at times, the "warm up" exercises are used for just that -- stretching and warming up.

These exercises put an emphasis back into the warm up exercises to re-focus them onto internal structure -- onto building aiki. And these exercises employ direct training methodologies, rather than esoteric phrases or instructional phrases. And rather than attempting to "do something" to an uke, I work on having a solid internal structure and using that to have an effect on uke which I can then take advantage of.

So, in Aikido, I get to work on a solid internal structure that utilizes pathways inside to manipulate energy. In other words, I can work on appropriately matching an incoming attack.

Yeah, I can hear some say, but that's what we all work on. So, why is it that all who have gone to train with the above people have all come back saying that it's different and better? Why? Because we haven't really been training in the aiki that Ueshiba used. And the why of that is a very controversial topic that isn't in my area of expertise. :)

IMO,
Mark

HL1978
11-08-2007, 12:15 PM
I predominantly do striking, and weapons work lately, though I have done judo and wrestling in the past, and plan to revisit though again soon.

Here is what I have gotten out of it.

Increased stability. This means more stability when executing a technique leading to more power being exerted into my partner/opponent, more stability when struck so that it effects me less. Also, far far less telegraphing of what I am going to do next. I can't say that I move faster than before, but the body is much more coordinated in moving as one. i also had a guy at kendo complain that when he hit me with his shinai it hurt his shoulders. I can also distribute force a bit better around my body now and too the feet too.

Striking power: I don't use the hip twist anymore, or at least far far less than before. I am able to put much more bodyweight into each technique than ever before. The heavybag goes flying pretty easily now, so much so that I have had to put weights on the stand to keep it from flying into wall. I rarely hit the heavy bag anymore and much prefer air shields now since I don't really get any feedback when hitting the heavy bag. When I hit people, they can feel it much more than before and it unbalances them far more than before. I just need to be able to do it more consistently.

Tension: well my understanding of tension is pretty different now. Akuzawa mentioned to me the first time that he met me that I wasn't super stiff like most karate guys, but I clearly understand the difference in how people typically use tension in something like sanchin (where they tense up the muscles) and the relaxed piano wire like tension (and more importantly a bit more of how to use that, but I have long way to go with that). I can't say that I ever moved extremely stiffly, but I am certainly more relaxed than before when moving. When I do sanchin now, my muscles are relaxed,but I am working on tension within the body.

Taking the opponents center: I can do it much more easily in kendo now, I can read their next move much more easily too. If I still was practicing aikido, I think I would have a much easier time when doing agete when your partner is uprooted.

Resistance to take downs. For single/double leg take downs I am much harder to take down. I just cant figure out what to follow up with when my partner is trying to pick me up and I'mjust standing there. At this point, I just choose a time and sprawl when I feel like it.

Carrying stuff around: This applies to just about everything, I am able to carry luggage/my girlfriend on my back and I don't get all that tired. The skin might hurt from the straps rubbing on it, but I can go much further as I am not relying on the muscle to hold up the weight.

Awareness of opponent: just like I mentioned in taking the center, I can feel much more where my partner/opponent is weak and move them to that hole. Most of the time though I am more concerned with what is going on within my body as when I move and they offer resistance, and I move properly, it just feels like they aren't there at all.

MM
11-08-2007, 12:31 PM
Thanks Hunter!

I'm really going to have to come to DC and visit. Sounds like you're having some fun. :)

HL1978
11-08-2007, 02:56 PM
I don't want anyone to get the idea that I am any sort of superman or can move anywhere near the level of Akuzawa, Mike or Rob, but I would say I am "stronger" than I was in early 2006 when I got more serious about learning this stuff.

MM
11-08-2007, 03:11 PM
I don't want anyone to get the idea that I am any sort of superman or can move anywhere near the level of Akuzawa, Mike or Rob, but I would say I am "stronger" than I was in early 2006 when I got more serious about learning this stuff.

No, I didn't take it that way. :) I'd have to echo your post, too. I'm just a beginner at this stuff.

ChrisMoses
11-08-2007, 04:59 PM
I don't want anyone to get the idea that I am any sort of superman or can move anywhere near the level of Akuzawa, Mike or Rob, but I would say I am "stronger" than I was in early 2006 when I got more serious about learning this stuff.

I was wondering about the cape at the seminar, but didn't want to say anything... :cool:

Jeremy Hulley
11-08-2007, 05:25 PM
Soem folks I work out with have said that my upper body has beome softer. Other folks have commented on how much better I move.

I don't struggle so much anymore with feeling as if I am locked up..

I feel quicker, more responsive and able to move.

I'm stronger and more flexible than I was a year ago.

This past summer it seemed as if we could all hit harder with the jo with the same or less effort.

just a few things that cometo mind..

HL1978
11-08-2007, 06:41 PM
I was wondering about the cape at the seminar, but didn't want to say anything... :cool:

Come on, capes are in season! :D

more seriously however, Im still learning this stuff, but you can start to tell that things must be working when others who dont do this stuff start to comment that you feel different.

Like you said elsewhere, if they don't comment, thats pretty good feedback too.

I just dont want Mike, Ark, Rob etc, to think I have an overinflated sense of skill and beat me down to my proper level next time around.

Mark, if you are ever in the area, there is a group of us who are practicing this stuff on a fairly regular basis, so feel free to stop on by.

Mark Jakabcsin
11-08-2007, 09:16 PM
Mark, if you are ever in the area, there is a group of us who are practicing this stuff on a fairly regular basis, so feel free to stop on by.

Hunter,
While I am not the Mark you are commenting too, I will pretend that I am. I visit your area once or twice a year and will give you a shout when I am headed that direction. Probably early 2008.

Take care,

Mark J.

Timothy WK
11-13-2007, 03:51 PM
I haven't met the aforementioned individuals, but several months ago I sought someone out in my own area. I'm guessing that counts.

I certainly feel that things are changing within my body, but honestly, I doubt much is noticeable to others. I've noticed two subtle things in particular:

1) In the past, when I was yanked around, I felt my limbs were very disconnected to my body. My wrist would twist my arm, which would pull my torso, would would cause my body to fall or whatever. When I get yanked around now---and my fellow students can still yank me around fairly easily---I feel more like they are pulling my entire body, rather than wrist->arm->torso->etc. My body gets pulled at the same time as my wrist or whatever.

2) When I get put in a lock, particularly elbow locks (which I hate), I feel the strain more throughout the arm, rather than just in the joint. With elbow locks, the strain has noticeably shifted from my joint to my forearm and upper arm. I also seem to have a slightly better ability to resist the pain when locked up, though it's still easy to subdue me.

Oh, and I do move a bit more relaxedly, but I think that's a more mental thing than physical.