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Mike Sigman
01-24-2008, 09:48 AM
It may well be that the bona fide uchideshi (pre-war) were the ones who were able to witness the personal training. Same for Ueshiba in the time spent with Takeda Sensei in Hokkaido. I wonder how, without that live in, bath, take care of experience, you would pick those personal training regimes up.Well, the problem with kokyu/ki practice is that you can't see it very well, if at all. Take Fune-Kogi Undo... that's a fairly obvious kokyu-skills drill when done correctly, but how is it done in most dojo's? I'd be very interested to see O-Sensei's training drills and I've also heard they were pretty extensive, in terms of his private solo practice.

However, the one thing to remember is that the core principles of all the kokyu/ki solo practices is going to be the same. For instance, there's a great book called "Ancient Way to Keep Fit" which shows a number of ancient qigongs/neigongs. A confusingly diverse number of them. However, once you understand the core principles, all of those varying exercise routines simply become decipherable offshoots of the core principles.... even the one where a guy lies in a bed in the same position for 12 supposedly different postures. The point being that it's possible to get a keen insight into what areas Ueshiba focused on, if we knew what his private exercises were, but the general principles are sufficient keys to the door, if we don't have his exact exercises.

Another transmission question to ask might be one that focuses on the early exercises that Tohei taught. At initial time around when he was Chief Instructor to when he was starting Shin ShinToitsu Aikido, he would have undoubtedly used a number of Ueshiba's exercises, if he knew them. We already have some indication of him doing this, as a matter of fact. So perhaps a dual line of research by asking Ueshiba Kisshomaru and by asking some of the early Shin Shin Toitsu guys?

Just a thought.

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
01-24-2008, 10:13 AM
Another transmission question to ask might be one that focuses on the early exercises that Tohei taught. At initial time around when he was Chief Instructor to when he was starting Shin ShinToitsu Aikido, he would have undoubtedly used a number of Ueshiba's exercises, if he knew them.

I was under the impression that these exercises were based more on the teachings of Tempu Nakamura than of Osensei. Sort of Tohei's own quest to find some understanding in how OSensei did what he did than a continuation of what he had specifically been taught by him. Anyone?

Mike Sigman
01-24-2008, 10:24 AM
I was under the impression that these exercises were based more on the teachings of Tempu Nakamura than of Osensei. Sort of Tohei's own quest to find some understanding in how OSensei did what he did than a continuation of what he had specifically been taught by him. Anyone?
Well, Tohei got his baseline information from Nakamura, but the exercises for Aikido that Tohei began to teach were based around Aikido practice... and most of those came from Ueshiba because Tohei was Ueshiba's chief Aikido instructor, not a Tempukai instructor.

We know at least one of the Misogi/ki drills that Tohei published was actually a borrow of one of Ueshiba's drills. What I'm suggesting is that Tohei probably used more of Ueshiba's kokyu/ki drills when he first started teaching these things. He could not have been teaching Nakamura stuff in Ueshiba's dojo or to Ueshiba's students. We should try to inventory those early drills.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
01-24-2008, 10:36 AM
He could not have been teaching Nakamura stuff in Ueshiba's dojo or to Ueshiba's students. We should try to inventory those early drills.


Again, that's why I thought he was teaching them outside of normal classes in a sort of kenkyukai format. This format continues in most Ki Society dojos that I've visited, separate Ki classes and Aikido classes. I do realize that Tohei (for whatever reason) seemed to downplay how much of what he was doing came from Ueshiba, but it would seem to me that more lines of the Aikikai would continue these drills if their origin had been OSensei rather than Tohei. Further, the period where Tohei was most influential was after the war when OSensei had retired and left the Chief Instructor responsibilities to Tohei. So it's not like he would have been teaching this stuff while OSensei was watching, he was a long way away in places like Iwama or Shingu.

Erick Mead
01-24-2008, 11:06 AM
I think he exposed a little of his praying routines in a text titled Accord with the totality of the Universe (Aikidojournal aritcle). And Hikitsuchi sensei definitely stated that chinkonkishin no ho (http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~mckellar/aiki/1999/0.html ) was transmitted to him by O Sensei and was a daily practice of his.Great source. It may be interesting to compare among readers here which portions (if any) they do as a part of their practice.

As to the quoted source I will excerpt the synopsis here for that purpose (for more detail go to Ludwig's link, and thanks to the translators, Ward Rafferty and assistants.)

# 1. (not titled) but seems to describe what we have been told to call chi no kokyu and ten no kokyu.
#2. Shinkokyu
#3. Torifune (Left)
#4 Furitama (with what seems to be an intent to focus on TEN no kokyu)
#5 Torifune (Right)
#6 Furitama(with what seems to be an intent to focus on CHI no kokyu)
#7 Torifune (left)
#8 Furitama (we focus on the "center" which happens to = Minakanushi no kami)
#9 repeat #1 (ten/chi no kokyu)

When I began in Aikido in 1984/1985, I recall Dennis Hooker was teaching us the movements of 1-9, in sequences, although I did not remember (or at the time failed to perceive the fact of) them being in a defined sequence. I know we did the basic thigns decribed at various times and in conjunction with one another. That was where I learned them. We often did sequences in smaller parts than that shown nor did single parts in isolation. We did not (and do not) do a lot of the claps and very few kotodama, other than "Eii" and "Sa" (sometimes Eii/Ho if I remember correctly) while doing torifune, though now it ispretty much exclusively "Eii/Sa," at least when we do it.

While I was wandering the world, Frank Calhoun continued the above practice in those variations in the dojo here after Hooker went south, and Calhoun Sensei still does and encourages other instructors under him to do so. And we continue it today as a regular practice, particularly the individual exercises in isolation or as correctives (although not in every practice). In conjunction we also do a number of the other kokyu undo. We think we also did a form of what (for lack of a better word) I'll describe as a ten-chi sort of shikko squat and rise, (which I may have picked up elsewhere than with Hooker Sensei, but I cannot really recall now), but I am the only one who really does that the same way these days and others do something similar but not quite the same as I learned it

We are somewhat provincial geographically, and not large, but we keep it up. We (the regular instructors) do routinely try relate the principles of those movements to the errors we see in practice (as well as our own when we catch them). We often do the the movements to which those errors relate as correctives -- which, not surprisingly, tends to correct most of the errors.

Go figure.

I wonder what the experience of others is in this light.

Fred Little
01-24-2008, 11:21 AM
Again, that's why I thought he was teaching them outside of normal classes in a sort of kenkyukai format. This format continues in most Ki Society dojos that I've visited, separate Ki classes and Aikido classes.

Christian,

My understanding is that the formal division of Tohei's blocks of instruction into "aikido" and "ki development" began when he was Aikikai Hombu Chief Instructor.

If I have this right, a number of Hombu Instructors were concerned that the classes he was teaching (particularly at locations outside the Aikikai) fostered a misimpression of what "aikido training" entailed, precisely because of his emphasis on these exercises.

Packaging them as a discrete block of "ki development training" was (initially at any rate) a way of making the objections moot, because it enabled him to say something to the effect of: "No, how could these classes give anyone a misimpression of what aikido training is when I call them "ki development," teach them as "ki development," and don't call them "aikido?"

Why the exercises were retained and delivered in the particular format used in Ki no Kenkyukai is obviously a much broader question.

Best,

FL

Mike Sigman
01-24-2008, 11:42 AM
Most of the aspects in the recent posts would still be, IMO, just part of the visible ritual fragments which would be more or less "general training". There's obviously a lot of training for Ueshiba, Tohei, and others that went on, on the side. Those unknown things would be the more interesting stuff. Suburi and other weapons practice has been mentioned (yari, jo, bo, etc.). That would be critical.

I can see in a couple of things that Tohei demo's that he obviously did some sort of side exercises to strengthen those aspects... but I've never heard anyone mention Tohei's side-training exercises. Same is true of Ueshiba's "favorite exercises". That would be a valuable part of the "transmission" to know.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Fred Little
01-24-2008, 11:53 AM
Great source. It may be interesting to compare among readers here which portions (if any) they do as a part of their practice.

As to the quoted source I will excerpt the synopsis here for that purpose (for more detail go to Ludwig's link, and thanks to the translators, Ward Rafferty and assistants.)


Erick:

While it is a useful resource, some cautions should be noted with the text itself. Additionally, beyond those you note, there are some other comparisons that should be made as well:

1) With the same set of exercises as taught at Tsubaki Jinja

2) With the instructional photospread with instructions that Hikitsuchi did for a Japanese magazine ( I don't have my copy handy or I'd provide the reference) in the late Seventies or early Eighties.

3) With practice texts from the groups who derive their practice directly from Bonji Katsuwara

4) With Abe Seiseki's teachings on this matter, both published and unpublished.

In the past, I have gone over Rafferty's text with several different individuals who studied with Hikitsuchi in earlier years. Each has noted what they considered significant divergences between his presentation and what they clearly remembered being taught, and their memories matched up with one another much more closely than with his text. It is also clear that significant portions of this "translation" are not direct translations of Hikitsuchi's practice instructions, but are the translator's autocommentary and associations with his own prior religio/spiritual experience, some of which represent clear misunderstandings at best.

This last is a problem that is not unique to this text. When I was studying with Professor Ryuichi Abe, he used Michael Saso's "Tantric Art & Meditation: The Tendai Tradition" as a cautionary example of just this sort of problem, a problem which has been compounded by other authors drawing on Saso's work, in connection with both Tendai Buddhism and aikido.

There are also multiple problems of appropriate introduction to/initiation in/ritual binding of these practices that go to the pragmatic points Mike Sigman references, as well as a host of other key instructions that don't appear in any publicly available text on these practices.

Best,

Fred Little

Erick Mead
01-24-2008, 03:18 PM
While it is a useful resource, some cautions should be noted ... [and] some other comparisons that should be made as well... ... problems of appropriate introduction to/initiation in/ritual binding of these practices that go to the pragmatic points Actually the text was intended to be a jumping off point. I don't think that furitama, ten/chi no kokyu exercises can be usefully written down so as to be comprehensible unless you have already done them.

My point was to elicit discussion of actual practices of or in relation to the things gnerally described, which was why I synopsized the points and specifically the seemingly similar elements to our established practices. (Note: I did not address and have never done much of what is described from item 10 on.)

My question, directed more generally, is what of these, or things like these, are those here actually doing, or not, and why or why not ( i.e. how did you come to do them) and how do they differ from what IS described or what those here who respond may also describe, if they do?

Fred Little
01-25-2008, 09:07 AM
My question, directed more generally, is what of these, or things like these, are those here actually doing, or not, and why or why not ( i.e. how did you come to do them) and how do they differ from what IS described or what those here who respond may also describe, if they do?

That sounds like a good poll question/new thread starter for the front page....

Best,

ChrisMoses
01-25-2008, 09:39 AM
Christian,

My understanding is that the formal division of Tohei's blocks of instruction into "aikido" and "ki development" began when he was Aikikai Hombu Chief Instructor.

If I have this right, a number of Hombu Instructors were concerned that the classes he was teaching (particularly at locations outside the Aikikai) fostered a misimpression of what "aikido training" entailed, precisely because of his emphasis on these exercises.



That's my understanding as well. I find it hard to imagine any exercise that had been initially taught by OSensei would be considered by any other of his uchideshi as outside the realm of "Aikido training". Kurita Minouru (uchideshi to Osensei, who left with Tohei after his death, only to leave that and go independant) said/implied (so hard to tell when what's being translated for you is subtle Japanese) that the Ki exercises were from Tohei's own study and quest for understanding about how OSensei actually could do all the things he could. Now I'm not saying that OSensei didn't do these things, or consider them important, but I don't think he was the source for them WRT Tohei or the Ki Society groups. Much like today it seems that serious students were exploring other paths for understanding. I think that's frankly always been the case, regardless of the art.

DH
01-25-2008, 09:49 AM
Actually the text was intended to be a jumping off point. I don't think that furitama, ten/chi no kokyu exercises can be usefully written down so as to be comprehensible unless you have already done them.

My question, directed more generally, is what of these, or things like these, are those here actually doing, or not, and why or why not ( i.e. how did you come to do them) and how do they differ from what IS described or what those here who respond may also describe, if they do?

Perhaps a better question is not who knows *about* these things or is supposedly doing these things or things like these-but rather who is displaying real skills wrought from them or things like them? Judging from hands-on and from the testimony of students who have themselves compared notes between those in Aikido who have “said” they know and can do- some right here on Aikiweb- and those who actually *can* do -there appears to be a serious difference.

At what point does chronological placement and pedagogy lead to nothing more but misleading intellectual miasma. Some may not be satisfied with an academic search, or knowing *about* them. They may be looking to gain real skills from folks who can readily make use of the knowledge outside of an abstract. I’ve read long descriptive details from folks who had all the pieces just right. And even longer, agonizing, mechanical descriptions from men who it turns out- didn’t have a clue. Then I’ve met others who were disinterested in long discussions but could deliver and hands-on could show you what they were doing on the inside.
Which leads back to the five famous words…”It has to be felt."
Then, it has to be trained and worked on.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-25-2008, 10:26 AM
That's my understanding as well. I find it hard to imagine any exercise that had been initially taught by OSensei would be considered by any other of his uchideshi as outside the realm of "Aikido training". Kurita Minouru (uchideshi to Osensei, who left with Tohei after his death, only to leave that and go independant) said/implied (so hard to tell when what's being translated for you is subtle Japanese) that the Ki exercises were from Tohei's own study and quest for understanding about how OSensei actually could do all the things he could. Now I'm not saying that OSensei didn't do these things, or consider them important, but I don't think he was the source for them WRT Tohei or the Ki Society groups. Much like today it seems that serious students were exploring other paths for understanding. I think that's frankly always been the case, regardless of the art.Tohei did indeed start a lot of the Ki-exercises stuff while he was under the aegis of Hombu Dojo. The fact that O-Sensei didn't stop him or indicate that Tohei was adding something foreign to Aikido should be a telling point. So in terms of "transmission", Tohei was (at least to a reasonable degree) propagating a core aspect of Aikido, even though technically it would appear to be something peripheral, if someone is just focusing on the "transmission of Aikido by Ueshiba Morihei". So too narrow a focus on the exact ritual and exercises is not warranted, seemingly.

The Ki and Kokyu skills can be done at many levels of ability and sophistication and they can be trained in a number of different ways, as long as someone understands how the development and usage is done. So what happens is that there are essentially two things that need to be watched, in terms of "transmission": the historical development and teachings of Aikido in general; the transmission of the core skills of ki and kokyu.

Because of the different viable approaches to ki/kokyu skills, it's easy for someone not conversant in the skills to tend to see many of the Aikido offshoots (Yoshinkan, Ki-Society, etc.) as being side-branches of the main transmission. In fact, someone like Shioda, Tohei, Inaba, Sunadomari, or others, may be fully within the mainstream idea of the initial transmission, even though it appears that they are off the main development/transmission. It is the eye of the beholder that may be fooled, if the understanding of the ki/kokyu skills is not something he has. Note that I'm leaving open the idea/fact that many of the students of all the varying factions are ignorant of these skills; that doesn't mean the founder of their lineage was bereft of those skills, though.

So to point out the previously-styled steps of Misogi in terms of valid transmission is perhaps being unnecessarily focused in adhering to the proscribed rituals. The actual idea of transmission encompasses training like the Misogi steps, but the core ideas of Ueshiba's Aikido can be fulfilled in a number of other ways, as long as the training and practice result in "aiki", IMO.

Shioda's Aikido (for example in this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIowy89IXco&NR=1 ) may look somewhat different from what Ueshiba is doing, but the principles are exactly the same. Tohei's or Sunadomari's Aikido may look widely divergent from each others' or from Shioda's, but the basic principles are the same. Do they adhere to the steps of Misogi as outlined? I doubt it. But it doesn't really matter because the actual "transmission" of Aikido entails certain principles, not rituals.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
01-25-2008, 01:06 PM
Tohei did indeed start a lot of the Ki-exercises stuff while he was under the aegis of Hombu Dojo. The fact that O-Sensei didn't stop him or indicate that Tohei was adding something foreign to Aikido should be a telling point.

Well except for the fact that OSensei wasn't actually at hombu much during that period. You also have to take into account the Japanese tendency to ignore what you don't like rather than smack it down outright. I look at the fact that the head instructor for OSensei's art felt the need to break this stuff out into its own, separate from what was being taught in aikido class. I think that's noteworthy. I'm not saying that OSensei specifically disproved of Tohei's exploration, but I can can imagine that his decision to spin his study off into a separate class time as a way to avoid that conversation ever happening.

So in terms of "transmission", Tohei was (at least to a reasonable degree) propagating a core aspect of Aikido, even though technically it would appear to be something peripheral, if someone is just focusing on the "transmission of Aikido by Ueshiba Morihei". So too narrow a focus on the exact ritual and exercises is not warranted, seemingly.

True. But I think Aikido is defined by its relationship to OSensei. If one is simply trying to become a better martial artist or budoka then the sources or influences do become irrelevant. However, if one is trying to become specifically a better Aikidoka and intends to preserve and maintain that tradition, then it becomes critical to distinguish what OSensei was doing/intended and what was brought in by other teachers along the way. Aikido is quite frankly the transmission of the teachings of Ueshiba Morihei, there is no more general way to describe it.

/hopefully steering things back toward 'transmission' and 'inheritance' and away from the ever entertaining 'baseline skillset' thread.

Blake Holtzen
01-25-2008, 01:09 PM
Perhaps a better question is not who knows *about* these things or is supposedly doing these things or things like these-but rather who is displaying real skills wrought from them or things like them? Judging from hands-on and from the testimony of students who have themselves compared notes between those in Aikido who have "said" they know and can do- some right here on Aikiweb- and those who actually *can* do -there appears to be a serious difference.

At what point does chronological placement and pedagogy lead to nothing more but misleading intellectual miasma. Some may not be satisfied with an academic search, or knowing *about* them. They may be looking to gain real skills from folks who can readily make use of the knowledge outside of an abstract. I've read long descriptive details from folks who had all the pieces just right. And even longer, agonizing, mechanical descriptions from men who it turns out- didn't have a clue. Then I've met others who were disinterested in long discussions but could deliver and hands-on could show you what they were doing on the inside.
Which leads back to the five famous words…"It has to be felt."
Then, it has to be trained and worked on.
Cheers
Dan

I would like to "feel" and experience what you are talking about here Mr Harden. Do you have a specific training methodology to teach these skills to newbies and develop the same real-time characteristics in them?

So, who here does train in body method skills and not just technique??

Take Care

-Blake Holtzen

Erick Mead
01-25-2008, 02:18 PM
Perhaps a better question is not who knows *about* these things or is supposedly doing these things or things like these-but rather who is displaying real skills wrought from them or things like them? Judging ....It was not an invitation to indulge in judgments. It is a request to share respective experiences. One should no more judge from a poor articulation of a topic one's competence in its performance, than one should assume that more involved articulation of it is evidence of incompetence. Both positions are the result of a naked prejudice, and result in an invalid judgment.

Actual experience is useful to exchange, and everyone has something to profit from it.

MM
01-25-2008, 02:37 PM
I would like to "feel" and experience what you are talking about here Mr Harden. Do you have a specific training methodology to teach these skills to newbies and develop the same real-time characteristics in them?

So, who here does train in body method skills and not just technique??

Take Care

-Blake Holtzen

Blake,
Not to sideline you, but just sidetrack you a bit. There are a number of threads under the "Non-Aikido Martial Traditions" forum that will answer your questions.

Or open a new thread in that forum with your questions. As Chris stated, this is getting off-topic. :)

Thanks,
Mark

Erick Mead
01-25-2008, 03:11 PM
So too narrow a focus on the exact ritual and exercises is not warranted, seemingly.

The Ki and Kokyu skills can be done at many levels of ability and sophistication and they can be trained in a number of different ways, as long as someone understands how the development and usage is done. So what happens is that there are essentially two things that need to be watched, in terms of "transmission": the historical development and teachings of Aikido in general; the transmission of the core skills of ki and kokyu.
... Tohei's or Sunadomari's Aikido may look widely divergent from each others' or from Shioda's, but the basic principles are the same. Do they adhere to the steps of Misogi as outlined? I doubt it. But it doesn't really matter because the actual "transmission" of Aikido entails certain principles, not rituals. Proof is in the pudding -- and to my mind explains the way that the waza and the kokyu undo (of which the chinkon kishin sequence is a subset, to my mind) have been mutually reinforcing elements of the whole in the way it was handed down to us.

The kokyu undo are not applied but paradigmatic; the waza are applied, but are not per se constrained by the aiki paradigm. For this reason it is quite easy to have waza that looks and feels almost entirely like good aikido doesn't.

Tohei seems to have taken the distinction in principle and applicaiton and broadened it nearly to he point of separation. I have no basis, nor interest in making judgemtns about the effecitveness of that as pedagogy or its wisdom on other grounds or in seeking other purposes.

The waza performed according to the aiki paradigm -- as schematized in the kokyu undo, and the undo performed with an eye to actually being able to perform technique in that manner, together provided a positive reinforcing feedback for each other. Or so I see it, and do see it functioning well in regular practice improvements in our dojo, operative elements of a whole.

I won't pretend speak for Saotome Shihan or his direct students, but for me, having learned in this mode, the feedback mechanism seems from my perspective to be the way he intended to have it taught. It does not appear to me that Saotome has ever stopped developing jhis aikido, nor that he expects ever to stop. The repeated observation of many even very senior students of Saotome in the constant evolution in the details of his kumitachi can perhaps be understood in this way. Such teaching may approach the seemingly arbitrary, increasingly blurring between the "set" forms of waza, but it is a teaching approach precisely echoing the natural evolutionary interactions between genotype and phenotype. It is, whatever the "inheritance" was intended to be, the part of the inheritance that I "got."

From my experience I will say that through this training more and more action becomes progressively compliant to the paradigm of the principles. "Technique" becomes increasingly natural. By this evolving recursion, the errors are progressively left aside, in both application and principle.

That has been my experience of the transmission and emulation that is under discussion, both in teaching and being taught, and seems to conform to the experience of those I train with.

Mike Sigman
01-25-2008, 04:55 PM
Proof is in the pudding -- and to my mind explains the way that the waza and the kokyu undo (of which the chinkon kishin sequence is a subset, to my mind) have been mutually reinforcing elements of the whole in the way it was handed down to us. Exactly. Proof is in the pudding, particularly as applied to any valid discussion of what is and what is not a "Transmission, Inheritance, or Emulation". And a quick check (I've said this before) would be that any valid recipient of an Aikido transmission should be able to replicate the simple "ki demonstrations" done by Ueshiba, Tohei, and others. They did them.... anyone with a valid transmission, etc., should be able to do them, too. They are not add-ons to Aikido, but the core of its movement and application. Since not so many people can do those things.... the proof of the pudding, in waza and undo, is established. I.e., it's not complete. Ipso facto. Tohei seems to have taken the distinction in principle and applicaton and broadened it nearly to he point of separation. I have no basis, nor interest in making judgements about the effecitveness of that as pedagogy or its wisdom on other grounds or in seeking other purposes. According to Tohei the raison d'etre for Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido was that Aikido was becoming an external art and had lost its core. At the time, he was the chief instructor for Hombu dojo, so I doubt we can just toss his opinion away. ;)
[[snip]]

That has been my experience of the transmission and emulation that is under discussion, both in teaching and being taught, and seems to conform to the experience of those I train with.Well, the proof is in the pudding.

I don't want to sidetrack the thread into another "no kokyu; no Aikido" discussion, though. My point is that an academic development of the branches and relationships in the "transmission" of Aikido is probably going to have to contain a focused treatment of the basic "ki" that makes the "aiki" in Aikido. At least that seems logical to me. I.e., as irritating as the subject can become to some people, it's unavoidably the core of Aikido *and* its transmission... it can't be dispatched or covered with a few simple rituals (or even a 10-point one).

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
01-25-2008, 06:14 PM
My point is that an academic development of the branches and relationships in the "transmission" of Aikido is probably going to have to contain a focused treatment of the basic "ki" that makes the "aiki" in Aikido. At least that seems logical to me. ... it can't be dispatched or covered with a few simple rituals (or even a 10-point one).I tend to agree, but I was not of the opinion that what Hikitsuchi reportedly related as O Sensei's personal practice was merely "ritual." I had thought there was some attribution as to its effectiveness in more than merely spiritual terms. I had thought that was what we might discuss in more concrete exposition of the varieties of related practices now.
... any valid discussion of what is and what is not a "Transmission, Inheritance, or Emulation" ... would be that any valid recipient of an Aikido transmission should be able to replicate the simple "ki demonstrations" done by Ueshiba, Tohei, and others. They did them.... anyone with a valid transmission, etc., should be able to do them, too. And I agree this should not evolve/devolve into another discussion -- the shape of which we too well understand. So. Let me get this straight. Unless and until one duplicates any arbitrary feat of Ueshiba, Tohei etc. -- there is no validity to the transmission of the principles or the practices which are meant to engender it? Do I have the bar you are setting up placed at the height your statement seems to intend? Admirable as that is in terms of achievment, I do not think it can be a measure of the relative integrity of the transmission, which must surely have something greater than merely a binary, all-or-none distribution.

They are not add-ons ... waza and undo, is established. I.e., it's not complete. Ipso facto. Et nihil demonstrandum. "They." The "they" presently under discussion is the Chinkon kishin form of the kokyu undo as (however debatably or not), reportedly related by Hikitsuchi as to O Sensei's "personal practice" It is this to which I had been led to believe that so much stock was held among you who hold that there is endemic "lost knowledge" within all mainstream Aikido. I do not mean to be at all derogatory, but merely to say as I said responding to your Latin, nothing is proved. If you mean some other "they" then please specify what you do mean.

According to Tohei the raison d'etre for Shin Shin Toitsu Aikido was that Aikido was becoming an external art and had lost its core. At the time, he was the chief instructor for Hombu dojo, so I doubt we can just toss his opinion away. "Shihan No-trump" is never a useful exercise. Saotome, you will note, also left; Saito placed himself at a certain remove, in his own way. Those lineages are in my realm of stated experience.

The discussion would be potentially be very fruitful if we related our own actual periods of substantial experience, and extended observation and objective practice rather than incidental or isolated perception, assumption or third hand opinion.

The question is really more about the present state of the inheritance, and the assumptions traveled on are, quite frankly, just way too broad, on far too little a body of evidence, and what evidence there is, is not established as being particularly representative. More evidence, meaning more actual statements of personal experience in their own practice, rather than opinions about the relative place of such experience, is needed. I've given some of mine, any other takers?

Mike Sigman
01-25-2008, 06:36 PM
Let me get this straight. Unless and until one duplicates any arbitrary feat of Ueshiba, Tohei etc. -- there is no validity to the transmission of the principles or the practices which are meant to engender it? What "arbitrary feat"? I was very specific about which basics I was talking about. Don't try to trivialize the point. If you want to go off into some sort of quibble about whether ki skills are "arbitrary" and not related to the transmission of Aikido, I'm not going to go there. The "they" presently under discussion is the Chinkon kishin form of the kokyu undo as (however debatably or not), reportedly related by Hikitsuchi as to O Sensei's "personal practice" It is this to which I had been led to believe that so much stock was held among you who hold that there is endemic "lost knowledge" within all mainstream Aikido. I was pretty clear. Those things are part of the whole set of skills, but they are not the skills. Those procedures are just one approach (which is what I said in my previous post, if you'll read it). I'm not going to go in circles and repeat that that particular approach is fine, but it's not the only way to acquire the core skills... and the core skills are more important than a singular approach to them. The point under discussion is the transmission of Aikido which itself is dependent upon some basic skills. As you said, the proof is in the pudding... and the simplist example of that proof would be exactly what I said: demonstrating basic ki/kokyu skills, just like Ueshiba did. And the transmission we're discussing is unavoidably from the skills of Ueshiba.

So my point is essentially the same point that Dan Harden is making about skills, in that a "transmission" or "inheritance" is more than relationships in any martial art. If not, then anyone can draw lines and tell stories about their "lineage" and claim "transmission". Lineage and transmission are not the same things.... or every poorly-performing student in every art becomes an "inheritor" by default rather than by some minimal performance standard.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

MM
01-25-2008, 10:06 PM
So my point is essentially the same point that Dan Harden is making about skills, in that a "transmission" or "inheritance" is more than relationships in any martial art. If not, then anyone can draw lines and tell stories about their "lineage" and claim "transmission". Lineage and transmission are not the same things.... or every poorly-performing student in every art becomes an "inheritor" by default rather than by some minimal performance standard.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

It's kind of funny that Ueshiba let people push on him from a myriad of ways. And, Tohei emulated Ueshiba in that very same aspect. Although Tohei came to such skill via a different route, he saw something worthwhile in them because, er, well, Ueshiba did it. Tomiki let people push on him. I'm of an understanding that Shioda demonstrated such skill, too.

Seems kind of funny, don't you think. Three top students following their teacher in what he did. Three top students finding value in a sort of exercise to test ... what? What exactly are they testing when these four had people push on them? And why is it that the following generation of students can't replicate these tests?

Why is it that something Ueshiba did *ALL* the time has been relegated to useless trivia? People hang on translated doka like they were gold. Why? Because anyone and his brother can pick up those words and find *some* kind of meaning in them. Doesn't matter who or how long the study. But, no one can survive the push tests unless they know what they're doing. And I mean having judoka, sumo, etc come to push. People who do not believe it can be done. No, instead, it is relegated to useless trivia because somewhere down the line, that body of knowledge never got transmitted completely.

The Inheritance that was of Ueshiba, coming from Takeda, should have had some transmission. And in a way, it did. For Tomiki, Tohei, Shioda, etc had Ueshiba's skills to some degree. And make no mistake about it, if you can't reproduce these skills, then you're only emulating a body of knowledge.

The bell has cracked and the echo does not resound clearly any more in most Aikido. We look to our teachers who look to their teachers who look back to find they can't gain any more answers for those before them have already gone. And I find that this core body of knowledge is *the* basis for Ueshiba's Inheritance. Without them, there is no Inheritance, there is only hollow Emulation.

There is no being the bridge between Heaven and Earth without the knowledge of how to *be* amidst those pushes. That knowledge is within structure and within spirit.

Or did no one ever think about Ueshiba not moving against Tenryu? Did everyone just wait for it to be over and get to the real stuff -- the techniques? You know, the techniques that they kept asking Ueshiba to repeat and he said they were all the same. Does everyone now just blow it off because it's some silly game? Ever think just what was happening for Ueshiba to stop Tenryu? Ueshiba is showing in plain sight. Not only that, he states it openly. I know the secret of aiki. You can't get any more direct than that.

The Transmission isn't lost, just not common knowledge. The Inheritance hasn't been lost, just cracked and not clear to most. And Emulation as being equal or excelling others isn't lost, just a harder road than most want to travel.

Mark

Erick Mead
01-25-2008, 11:48 PM
What "arbitrary feat"? I was very specific about which basics I was talking about. Don't try to trivialize the point. If you want to go off into some sort of quibble about whether ki skills are "arbitrary" and not related to the transmission of Aikido, I'm not going to go there. ... ... and the simplist example of that proof would be exactly what I said: demonstrating basic ki/kokyu skills, just like Ueshiba did. ...that a "transmission" or "inheritance" is more than relationships in any martial art. If not, then anyone can draw lines and tell stories about their "lineage" and claim "transmission". You could not have more thoroughly missed my point. "Arbitrary" as in "picking a feat" on the basis of being impressed by its appearance instead of a principled understanding of what it actually represents, which may be done by something not nearly so theatrical. Genealogy was not the point either.

It was a narrow point of the chinkon kishin and its relation to kokyu undo and the similarities or differences in its evolution/adaptation in various places. As to the rest, we've proved elsewhere we cannot usefully debate that, for three reasons lacking of common framework as to :

1) your premise of a loss as systemic as you maintain,
2) the conclusions you draw from that premise, nor
3) the prescription you maintain is necessary

This is a step to that common basis in fact for that discussion you wish to have. Without it or something like it, no one not already in agreement with you will usefully engage it.

Mike Sigman
01-26-2008, 09:07 AM
It was a narrow point of the chinkon kishin and its relation to kokyu undo and the similarities or differences in its evolution/adaptation in various places. I've mentioned several times before that the general framework of chinkon kishin is not unusual, even in China. I understand what they're doing, but my observation is that (a.) you can do the same things in different ways that are just as effective and (b.) those exercises actually only represent a small part of a complete solo regimen. In other words.... again.... they're not necessary as a fixed milepost in terms of a given "transmission". Some of the other older-generation students could easily accomplish the same types of body training in ways that *look* different, so chinkon kishin is not a great place to hang one's hat.

If you think about it, it can be argued that Ueshiba has his own transmission and lineage because his set of ritual exercises looks quite different from Takeda Sokaku's. My immediate comment would be that regardless of the difference in exercises (let's say, for example, that Takeda did not do Chinkon Kishin), Ueshiba's training regimen would still have to be an effective approach to ki/kokyu development because that's a logical necessity for "aiki". The point being that if you look at the training methodology of Takeda and Ueshiba you might think that it is a different transmission, but it's not since the core ki/kokyu skills are still there, no matter the training methodology.
This is a step to that common basis in fact for that discussion you wish to have. Without it or something like it, no one not already in agreement with you will usefully engage it. I don't wish to have any particular discussion except to point out how ultimately I'd like to know all I could about observed aspects of O-Sensei's private training regimen.

At the same time, I'd note that the question of who got what transmission when is going to be difficult. Take your own case, for instance. Twice in this thread (and in many previous conversations) you've referenced Saotome Sensei and implied that your learning and teaching methodology was part of a full transmission in an acceptable mode (part of the general thrust of Mr. Goldsbury's thesis). Yet, as has been noted before, your implication is open to this question: if Ikeda Sensei is diligently and honestly (openly) researching some of the basics of these skills via Ushiro Sensei, then your implication is that your knowledge is beyond Ikeda Sensei's. I.e., there is a valid question to your claims of transmission because I've never heard anyone say that your ki/kokyu skills are beyond Ikeda Sensei's. See the problem with that line of thought?

It's very tricky to objectively approach the idea of transmission in Aikido (and a number of other arts). Shioda Kancho's stuff appears superficially different. Is it different from the quintessential idea of Ueshiba's Aikido? I don't think so at all. Tohei? Same thing. And many others. In many cases these are just variations on a theme, these different teachers, yet in other cases, there are teachers who simply don't have that core idea/skills, so the idea of "transmission" becomes moot.

Use Seisaki Abe as an example. He publicly states that his Misogi exercises came from a different source than Ueshiba's .... what is the determining factor we can use to say that Abe has a valid "transmission" or not? Maybe that's what should be defined first. I'm positing essentially the same thing Dan is..... before we can say somebody is part of a legitimate line of professional essay-writers, it's necessary for them to have a proficiency in the alphabet, or all bets or off.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

Peter Goldsbury
01-26-2008, 07:03 PM
I think this is a very good and fruitful discussion, and one that I was not expecting when I wrote this particular column.

I purposely used three abstract nouns in the general title of the series, because there is considerable doubt as to what these actually mean, in the context of aikido. They are simply a peg on which to hang the preliminaries of an investigation.

Another general peg on which the series hangs is the thesis that Kisshomaru Ueshiba believed that it was his filial duty to disseminate a distinct art, called aikido.

However, whether Morihei Ueshiba saw things in quite the same terms is moot and a similar question could be asked of Sokaku Takeda, concerning his relationship with Ueshiba. Clearly, Morihei Ueshiba trained in Daito-ryu and the interesting issue at the level of waza is the degree to which these were changed by both Morihei himself and Kisshomaru.

Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. Morihei Ueshiba had been doing this training well before he met Sokaku Takeda at Engaru, but we do not really know how he conceptualized this at the time, even to himself. We know more about the period after he met Deguchi and Kisshomaru somewhere states that his waza became more powerful as a result of meeting Deguchi. After he met Deguchi, Ueshiba began to read works like Reikai Monogatari and thus found a vehicle to express (to himself as much as to others) what he was doing.

The reason why World War II is so important for aikido is that the old Oomoto formulas were swept away and it is highly likely that the training was also sanitized. Not completely done away with, however, but the main question about Kisshomaru and his associates at the postwar Hombu is how much of the baby was thrown out with the bath water.

Best wishes to all,

Erick Mead
01-26-2008, 07:43 PM
I've mentioned several times before that the general framework of chinkon kishin ... my observation is that (a.) you can do the same things in different ways that are just as effective and (b.) those exercises actually only represent a small part of a complete solo regimen. Agreed, which was the point to begin some small catalog of actual varieties of practice in this area.
Take your own case, for instance. Twice .. implied that your learning and teaching methodology was part of a full transmission ... your implication is .. that your knowledge is beyond Ikeda Sensei's. Your strained inference, not my implication. I make clear I view it as a process and a progressive spectrum. You and I disagree in our interpretation of Ikeda's actual statements as to what he is intending in his cooperative enterprise with Ushiro. Unless Ikeda Shihan chooses to offer to elaborate, that's what we are left with.

Ushiro has been rather clear about his sense of what may be mainly lacking -- some aikidokoa just don't learn how to how to strike properly, and if so, I agree a huge heap of necessary skill is lacking there, because whether you choose to actually use striking power in a damaging way or not the principles giving power to strikes are inherent in the concept of aiki, and without which it is not aiki .

Since you brought him up, and I have quoted Ushiro before, his perspective does not seem that far removed from the way I have been taught. Since Saotome, Ikeda and he are seemingly so sympatico in their views and approaches, this is hardly surprising:
How you respond to a serious attack depends on what your body remembers, which depends on what level of training you've reached, or in other words the degree of usability you've achieved.

If, for example, your body is equipped to "catch" all of the information about the opponent at the moment of contact and use this to formulate a correct response on the fly, then I think you can say you have "usability." At that point you can start using bunkai kumite (step-by-step sparring) based on kata as a system for getting feedback about the usability you've achieved. Degrees, progressions, feedback. The latter using of "step-by-step sparring" sounds an awful lot like paired Aikido practice regimen to me. I've no doubt missed far more than my teachers intended for me to get, but what I "got" from my experience from them of Saotome's teaching is at least some sense of his purpose, and a glimmer of his methods in the kokyu undo and the waza as generic and specific complements of one another, in a self-generated learning process, once the rudiments are perceived, and practiced with honest observaiton and intent. I have cause to believe he is consciously trying to continue what he perceived O Sensei to be doing, as other uchi deshi have done with their own perspectives, talents and limitations.
I feel that Saotome sensei is recreating Ueshiba sensei's aikido - aikido that is not about simply defeating opponents. My attempt at following that purpose lies in trying to get people to elaborate a bit on the variations or evolutions of chinkon kishin and related kokyu undo. That process is also tangentially spoken to by Ushiro: ... "shu-ha-ri" is about realizing that what you have become is thanks to your teacher and the fundamentals that he originally taught you. The closer you come to ri, the more you realize the importance of shu, and the more you realize how important your teacher is. That, I think, is how "tradition" can be maintained from one generation to the next. ... It's fine for people to have various different ways of thinking. But it's also important to be able to come together as one instantly if the need or opportunity arises. If you're talking about aikido, then Ueshiba Sensei is the point of origin, and I think it would be very good if people were able to gather around that point, that sense of common origin, with a feeling of unity.

Mike Sigman
01-26-2008, 07:59 PM
....but the main question about Kisshomaru and his associates at the postwar Hombu is how much of the baby was thrown out with the bath water.
I just looked again at John Stevens' tranlation of Aikido Shintei (1986: Kisshomaru Ueshiba). The English version is called "The Art of Aikido". I noticed when I bought this book (relatively recently) that there was a surprising amount of discussion about Ki. The interesting thing was that (in my opinion) Stevens' translations of the passages seem to fairly clearly miss the point. He translates Ki as he understands it, and quite clearly he thinks of Ki as a generality that is not truly defined in a substantive way. What was fascinating to me was to see the words of Kisshomaru being absolutely correct, yet they were skewed into obscurities by Stevens.

So the question is indeed valid whether Kisshomaru threw the baby out with the bathwater.... but the first question in my mind is how much are we missing because our own translations and views are obscuring things?

I can picture a situation that goes like this: The Japanese (and often the Chinese view) view of Ki and its actions is very vague. It's not laid out in discussions of force vectors, breathing exercises, and so on. So if there is a rather vague and traditional view of what Ki is, the descriptions of it are also going to be vague, etc. First a translator has to know that there is a fish hidden in the water (through his own knowledge) in order to piece together the fish's physical reality and dimensions. A translator who doesn't know this fish exists as a real fish is going to run up against the ill-defined descriptions and report the fish as a concept rather than an actual fish.

So at the moment, as much as I'd like to grab the handy explanation that Kisshomaru may have neglected some important aspect of Aikido, I'm stymied by the evidence of how much he speaks about Ki and how near-accurate the translations are. Granted, Kisshomaru may only know to parrot the old words and phrases, but he does it well enough (and devotes so much space to the topic) that I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the problem is simply (I'm just making mouth noises, now) that since Kisshomaru is not as skilled as his father was, it only appears that his knowledge of ki/kokyu things is not so overpowering.

Another possibility is that U. Morihei and U. Kisshomaru disapprove of being so open with the ancient secrets and rituals that are the core of the art. They don't object publicly to that upstart Tohei ( ;) ) showing a few things, but they're not going to give away the lifeblood of the art... the next generation of the family might be negatively affected.

Incidentally, there was another book by Kisshomaru back in the 1970's (I recently gave it to someone, so I can't give the annotations). It didn't mean much to me back in the 70's, but when I looked at it again in the 90's, I could see clearly that Kisshomaru was including the Ki discussion in what he had to say. But the translation obscured it and my earlier lack of knowledge had obscured it.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Now, there was an earlier book that I had back in the 1970's by Kisshomaru and when I

DH
01-26-2008, 08:36 PM
I think this is a very good and fruitful discussion, and one that I was not expecting when I wrote this particular column.

Another general peg on which the series hangs is the thesis that Kisshomaru Ueshiba believed that it was his filial duty to disseminate a distinct art, called aikido.

However, whether Morihei Ueshiba saw things in quite the same terms is moot and a similar question could be asked of Sokaku Takeda, concerning his relationship with Ueshiba. Clearly, Morihei Ueshiba trained in Daito-ryu and the interesting issue at the level of waza is the degree to which these were changed by both Morihei himself and Kisshomaru.

Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. Morihei Ueshiba had been doing this training well before he met Sokaku Takeda at Engaru, but we do not really know how he conceptualized this at the time, even to himself. We know more about the period after he met Deguchi and Kisshomaru somewhere states that his waza became more powerful as a result of meeting Deguchi. After he met Deguchi, Ueshiba began to read works like Reikai Monogatari and thus found a vehicle to express (to himself as much as to others) what he was doing.

Best wishes to all,

Hi Peter
I am erroneously categorized as a Daito ryu trumpeter when nothing could be farther from the truth. I could care less who is right-rather WHAT is right. In fact I applaud Ueshiba's vision and if I may be so bold, I think I have an understanding of both how and why he changed what he was doing.
I continually bring up DR as I see flaws in logic, and the occasional investigatory *stretch* to fit some theory, and the dismissal of a rather obvious answer.
I think it is a critical error, both historically and in logistics to dismiss both Takeda and Ueshiba’s only known peers; Sagawa, Kodo and Hisa. How ironic that in that place and time there was no one, simply no one, who stood as giants in Budo next to these men. And equally curious, they shared one, single, common entity. The internal methods of Daito ryu.

How perfectly odd to then see Ueshiba separated out *from his peers* as a stand alone or superior figure, when no one who knew them all, considered him to be superior. No one, not a single one. Not even his own students. They just LIKED him better.

So how do we move forward with any credibility here?

Internal skills
Were we to be discussing internal skills and solo tanren and when Ueshiba “improved?” Why would anyone consider with any seriousness- Kissomarus responses to this topic? That you're choosing to look to Kissomaru’s statements about what happened with Deguchi is interesting- I suspect many a reader might seriously question his opinions having much weight or neutrality. Case in point: isn’t this the same fellow who at every, single, turn either reduced, obscured, and/or diminished Takeda’s involvement? Even right up to the current web page with erroneous dates and blatantly false statements of fact about his fathers training. One might be wise to question a mans use as a source of information or impartial conjecture when he repeatedly has trouble getting well proved, documented facts, right. Isn’t this also the same fellow who denied his fathers training history up until the moment he was faced with Takeda’s eimoroku and letters?

A flip side
Here is another take from the Deguchi period and Ueshiba’s increase on power.
1. Takeda showed up stayed with Deguchi and Ueshiba for almost 6 months or so and trained daily. Ueshiba was ready to learn “aiki.”
2. It was after this period that Ueshiba was allowed to teach.
3. Deguchi was so impressed by what he saw -and presumably felt- that that he urged Takeda to change the name of his art to AIKI jujutsu.
4. What is the source of aiki?
What is it Peter?
Internal training.
Does it come to anyone’s surprise that Kissomaru -true to form- finds anyone else as a source? It must be Deguchi right?
1. Deguchi’s influence and internal skills gave Ueshiba power.
Ok
As a plausible and credible argument-I have Takeda, who made Ueshiba, Sagawa, Kodo, and Hisa.

Deguchi made who? ___________________________
He had nothing, and gave nothing, to anyone by way of power.

How do we move the conversation forward?

One cannot escape that in reading articles such as these- that the end is never definitive. They are mostly fashioned from interviews that reveal very little information. By their nature they all too often lead to conjecture, speculation and assertions-and we are left with a mystery. I am fine with that. I think we are all fine with that. But at certain points one should consider following credible, or at least neutral, source materials and consider a mans stunningly obvious, contemporaries in the only art he ever studied in depth to at least…at the very least, consider if there were others doing similar, equal or superior work.

Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
01-26-2008, 10:27 PM
I think it is a critical error, both historically and in logistics to dismiss both Takeda and Ueshiba's only known peers; Sagawa, Kodo and Hisa. ... Like O Sensei's uchi deshi, and even O Sensei himself, these also were bound by their perspectives, talents and limitations. The last one is only the easiest to overcome. Few want to overcome what they have gotten good at. Even fewer will overcome their point of view. The spiritual aspects of O Sensei's training were his ways of finding the will to do the second, and a way to do the first.

One cannot escape that in reading articles such as these -- that the end is never definitive.... By their nature they all too often lead to conjecture, speculation and assertions-and we are left with a mystery. I am fine with that. I think we are all fine with that That's not enough. Mysteries are specifically for wrestling with -- not boxing up for easy storage.

I've read Sagawa's "Clear Power". In his years of training, Terry Dobson recounted asking O Sensei only one question: the meaning of circle-triangle-square. O Sensei's deliberate and considered answer was, "Find out for yourself." :
You become stronger through your own training and innovation. If you lose and die in a fight, then it can't be helped. You must take responsibility for your own actions. Do not rely on others. ... Indeed, most important is that you keep on thinking. If you don't you cease to have any <good> thoughts. If you continue to think, then a new thought will pop into your head! And then you must write this thought down immediately so that you may try it out, otherwise you will forget it later. Writing this down is key.
You (the Author) are always thinking about math, so you should be able to do even better work <as you go one>. The secret is in always thinking about it. The reason no one progresses or gets any better, stronger is because no one thinks. They forget about what they do in between practices. It has to become a part of your life.

DH
01-26-2008, 11:16 PM
Eric
I think I find these quotes from Sagawa more relevant to your comments-about finding out for yourself-and on how Dairo ryu's internal methods may have been the overwhelming majority of Ueshiba's methods.

You can't get good at something simply by repetition….Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so. The reason practitioners from some styles are weak and no good is because they do not train (Tanren) their bodies. The true execution of Aiki requires an enormous amount of solo training to condition the body (Tanren). Only amateurs think that techniques are enough and that training the body is unnecessary. They understand nothing…
It is not easy to attain. I didn’t teach this myself until a little while ago. I waited for my students to discover this for themselves. Sagawa Yukioshi

I can't find it right now, but of equal worth is Sagawa stating that Takeda told-him- never to reveal it. Maybe in the end, Sagawa, on his way out the door, flipped the bird to the whole "keep it secret idea" and was the most honest of all. Even if it were only to further point the finger at himself and make yet another mark, it at least revealed the core training and the hold back method. FWIW I had someone tell me of another DR Shihan who has an extensive regimen of internal training from.....er, one the guys who trained with Takeda.
I suppose it's just so American to say "We've been had." But...I've watched it happen to students with my own eyes.

Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
01-27-2008, 08:51 AM
You can't get good at something simply by repetition….Many people would say back in the day that all you had to do is practice, and more practice! But after I became able to think for myself I found that this wasn't so.I think I find these quotes from Sagawa more relevant to your comments-about finding out for yourself-and on how Dairo ryu's internal methods ... But you see, Sagawa is actually quite clear -- there is no Method to be imparted. There is only a process for discovering the actual methods on your own. That is what is imparted. And the process can only be guided tangentially by a teacher.

Nor is the waza aspect merely repetition of ritual forms, nor would doing them that way be very useful. Waza have a definite place in training -- based on Sagawa's own comments, as I will explain in my own view of the matter.
See! This is why you are no good. You don't do something simply because so and so said so. If you simply go through life by simply thinking you can copy people you'll never get anywhere. The only person that can do this is you. You must create your own understanding for yourself.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. Even if I could point at something that is Aiki I can't put it into words. You simply think you can learn everything from me, so you don't develop the habit to think for yourself. ... In the end its about accumulating your thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts. ...<If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong. ...
This next passage goes to "feel" and "hints" as in Mike Sigman's comment about the vagueness of Japanese and Chinese usage when it comes to ki and kokyu. They seem "vague" when approached from analytic perspective, because these concepts were developed as synthetic forms of knowledge.
... You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas. ... No matter how much you learn something, if it is simply taught to you, you will forget it. However you will never forget something you acquire for yourself. It becomes you. In other words, teaching is simply a matter of giving the right hints. You must acquire that thing for yourself. Especially in the case of Aiki, it is an internal feeling which must be grasped.
It's not simply a matter of questioning everything either. You mustn't simply think that it's enough to be taught. Everyone's body type is different, so there is no guarantee that things will work out exactly the same way.
... I don't teach everything, and I can't teach everything. What I can teach is the foundation of how the skeletal system works. How your muscles and organs work upon that frame is for you to ponder and discover on your own. But those who are analytic in their received manner of thought, will have a very hard time on a solely synthetic basis "developing the habit of thinking for themselves ... accumulating thoughts and having them act as the foundation for other thoughts." Nearly all European cultures are analytic. This is an obvious problem.

So there are two options in working with the concepts intellectually, as Sagawa suggests we also need to do. We could steep the learner in the synthetic tradition, but this is a culturally difficult thing to reliably do. Or we could find a way to unbundle the synthetic understanding into more analytically available terms. Then an appropriate analytic process can be used to digest new information and to build up those kinds of thoughts from that foundation. That way a person of an analytic culture will be able to develop their own ideas -- in their own manner, as Sagawa says it is critical to do -- and as my reading of what O Sensei and following him, Saotome, intended to occur.

The unbundling into more purely mechnical terms has been my project as an intellectual challenge, (explicilty NOT in the training hall) only because not many others seem interested in trying. I have made some progress. The criticisms of many have contributed to that task, since criticism and defense of terms and conclusions is very much part of the analytic way of thought.

The process for others need not be overly technical in terms of physics, although physical mechanics is a rigorous approach. There is value in doing that, but it can only be done outside the dojo, and only the result of what it provides returns into the training, not that process in itself.

An equally valid analytic approach is case-reasoning, whereby a basic principle is grasped, and that principle is then extended to another similar but modified contexts to be partially confirmed or negated, and then another following from that, etc.. These can be thought-experiments or what-ifs later tested in the training hall. This is the process of the common law, and it is a process exceedingly concrete in its thinking, vastly preferring to work from real circumstances rather than constructed hypotheticals.

This is basically, in physical terms, how I teach: Starting with a known engagement and application, then extending that principle in operation into fresh territory to explore in a "step-by step" engagement to see how it changes or evolves according to the flow of action in the manner illustrated in the kokyu undo. The waza form an armature from which to articulate those explorations, physically, with a common basis for reference. The kokyu undo provide the "feel" of the action as it should be in operation in all phases of those explorations to confirm or negate, in whole or in part, in the case being examined.

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 08:54 AM
Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. I think this is an important point and it relates to the problem of transimission of so-called "internal" training.

In the first section of the multi-part interview with Koichi Tohei posted on Aikido Journal, Tohei tells an anecdote about how he demonstrated being "unliftable" while Ueshiba was standing there encouraging the Uke's to do it because Tohei had been out drinking all night and of course no kami's would enter a drunk to give him the powers. In other words, Ueshiba's views of "internal" power still had to do with the Shinto version of possession by kami's, not with the simple mechanical explanations of "sink your center" that Tohei was using.

In looking at the transmission of the internal skills in Aikido, this Tantric Buddhist-derived view of internal powers being a religious aspect in the perspective of Ueshiba presents a real problem. Whatever Ueshiba learned functionally from Takeda (or extrapolated), he seems to have fulfilled a lot of his knowledge through Deguchi and wound up with the Tantric/Shinto concept of possession as an explanation of powers. Later in years, in terms of transmitting the internal skills to uchideshi, the possession idea presents a real problem, in comparison to simply transmitting techniques. So perhaps the erratic record of transmission has a lot to do with Ueshiba's perception of what internal skills actually were.

The idea of "possession" is not really far-fetched if someone understands the full range of the "ki" skills and their relationship to the subconscious mind. As a quick example, goose-bumps, shivers, etc., are part of ki. But so are the autonomous movements of "automatic writing" and using a pendulum for prediction, etc. It's easiest to get a feel for the "possession" aspect of the old Ki beliefs if you focus on the example of automatic-writing (which many people can do quite easily). The same micro-muscular/fascia relationship in automatic-writing is also a relationship that participates in the conveyance of jin/kokyu. In other words, viewing ki skills as something to do with possession is not that far-fetched, when you think about it. The fact that there are bona fide strength, etc., skills involved in this Ki of possession makes it tricky to treat as a purely mechanical matter in the martial arts that have religious relationships, as the extensive Buddhist roots in martial arts tend to illustrate.

So to stay on point.... what was Ueshiba to do? He obviously must have learned *some* internal skills from Takeda, but clearly he learned more through Deguchi. Deguchi was to Ueshiba as Tempu Nakamura was to Tohei, apparently. Maybe my chafing over Tohei's lack of clarity in his Ki transmission is slightly overdone... maybe his transmission of ki skills is also, to a degree, stymied by the vague, quasi-religious way that he learned it.

YMMV

Mike Sigman

DH
01-27-2008, 11:19 AM
Ueshiba was undoubtedly taught in a physical manner and one would imagine (after Takeda's stay with him and Deguchi, and Deguchi being so impressed) that he would be astute enough to recognize when Deguchi and everyone else noticed the power increase in him, just where his best training should be. That it continued to grow and lead to an individualized use in him- as it did with the equally unusual and individualized pursuits of Kodo, Takeda, Sagawa, and Hisa does nothing but further add weight to my assertion. None of them looked alike either. Nor did their arts.
You don't have -A- single Daito ryu anymore either. Why? What happened? Why are THEY so different as well? Because they and Aikido are inexorably intertwined. They are all-a common source. The Aiki of Daito ryu
You have five men who learned internal training from one man,Takeda. Training which empowered men to do anything with it. Ironically many of these men stated they themselves moved on in their personal search for Aiki- from Takeda.
Gee sound familiar to anyone?
Who else said the exact same thing?
Morihei Ueshiba did.
So you have five men who were smart, inventive, and like anyone who really learns these skills, can build on them. What were the results? Takeda arrives, we get
Sagawa- individual style and syllabus
Kodo - Kodokai-individual style and syllabus
Ueshiba - Aiki-do-individual style and syllabus
Hisa - Takumakai individual style and syllabus

Five powerful and highly individual expressions of that led to whole groups of men training to find -it. These became arts-joined together by one binding commonality the internal methods of Daito ryu.

With such diverse expressions among his peers, with not one of *them* looking like the other, it remains that there is no credible reason to examine Ueshiba and arrive at a conclusion that he was superior, or had some significant divergence that was supperior to his peers. Indeed I continue to look for anything to prove otherwise. As any case study it would be considered extremely flawed to do so. It was just such a flaw that led Stanley off on this pursuit when no one knew about these connections. 18 years later I would be dismayed to see it happen all over again
When folks go into a subject to research it they can be blinded by their own ignorance and preconceptions
Again with all this "talk"- were Deguchi to have been such a physical impact- where are Ueshiba's peers in that pursuit?
1. Who are Deguchi's other amazing adepts? ___________________
2. Where are they?______________________
3. Where is this "Shinto method" that led to exceptional and recognized power in anyone?________________________
I would love to read it or hear about it. I would be overjoyed. Of course there aren't any. Tthat- line of reasoning is a dead end. Deguchi and Ueshiba's Shinto methods offered little, created nothing significant over what he had and made no one else of power

Takeda made Sagawa, Kodo, Ueshiba, and Hisa
Occam's razor is inconvenient- only to those who are "on a mission." To others it prevents tripping over the obvious- just to wonder and wander.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 12:29 PM
Hmmmmmmm. Dan, you seem to be wandering off the topic and back into another one of your insistent trivializations of Ueshiba.

DH
01-27-2008, 02:05 PM
Whhaat? Trivializing how?
Ueshiba was a giant. Which I have stated repeatedly.
Actually I am directly addressing the topic in a more complete manner than what I have seen, and placing him in an appropriate light- instead agrandizing or trivializing, or looking for things that make little sense.
Try answering some of the questions. Not the least of which is:

1. Where are those other greats who took place in Deguchi's Shinto
training and had amazing results?___________________________
2. How is it his power was noted-curiously AFTER his being trained daily by Takeda and being granted teaching priviledges and Deguchi noting this amazing power called aiki?
3. Explain how his contemporaries in the only art he ever studied- that being Daito ryu... exhibited power as well?

Were smart people to be looking for just what he had and where he got it they might look at the obvious before wondering down dusty roads, that lead off track into the mist.

Form there the topic can move forward to why he did not teach- it- and at least two of his men; Tohei and Shioda going elsewhere to get -it.
Cheers
Dan

stan baker
01-27-2008, 02:35 PM
Deguchi was not a martial arts expert, Ueshiba was. Did he improve his aiki from his religious and meditative training, maybe. He learned aiki from Takeda, that we know for sure.

stan

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 02:42 PM
1. Where are those other greats who took place in Deguchi's Shinto
training and had amazing results?___________________________
Takeda had skills, but really all we have are stories, pro and con about what level those skills were. Depends on who writes the book.

I could posit (as an example) that Ueshiba took what he learned from Takeda and melded it with some form of Chinkon Kishin training to take what Takeda had to the real heights. If all you've read is interviews/books that trivialize Ueshiba's position, you might want to argue some other position... but that gets into the waste of time about Ueshiba and Daito Ryu again, the topic that seems to draw you like a magnet for some reason.

Chinkon Kishin training by itself is not the only way to achieve the proper goals of that kind of training (it's actually pretty much a qigong/neigong when you analyse it)... I made that comment to Erick Mead.... but if you have some ki/kokyu skills which are not rounded out by the breath and movement training, then the Chinkon Kishin training is a definite plus. It's quite additive. For all we know, that *may* have been the scenario with Ueshiba Sensei.

The point under discussion, though, isn't how Ueshiba stacked up in everyone's favorite view of Daito Ryu, it's about the transmission of things within Aikido. I agree with you that the "internal training" is a charateristic and critical part of Aikido's transmission, but I don't see any need to go once again into the Ueshiba/Daito-Ryu discussion. Ueshiba had roots in DR... everyone acknowledges that. It's a predecessor to Aikido, but it's not Aikido.

The "internal" component of Aikido is critical as a basis for movement in Aikido and for Aiki itself, but it is not all of Aikido. It's probably worthwhile, now that the point has been made about the "internal" components, to let the ball bounce back into Mr. Goldsbury's court.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
01-27-2008, 04:20 PM
Gentlemen,

First, let me thank Prof. Goldsbury for beginning this thoughtful conversation and for being an example of willing openness for the benefit of all.

The mention of Tantric Buddhism made my ears perk. Being personally involved, I would hasten to point out that, becoming “spiritually possessed” in thought, word and action is the Tantric aspect, identifying “who, what, where, when and why this can and does take place is the Buddhist aspect. In other words, once one achieves “spirit possession” of even the highest order, the question remains, “Who is it that is possessed?” This inherent self-nullification of practice and practitioner keeps the practice in the real of Buddhism.

Thread drift aside, here is a thought for you all to put through the gristmill: One aspect that all individuals mentioned so far may share in-common to one degree or another is Shinto in general and Shinto ritual practice in particular. Takeda learned ‘something’ from his Shinto-Priest relative (whether or not that ‘something’ has anything to do with Aiki, I wouldn’t know.), Ueshiba, Kodo, Takuma, Sagawa learned something from Takeda. Deguchi was versed in Shinto practice and he recognized something unique in Ueshiba while Ueshiba recognized something unique in Deguchi beyond what he got from Taked. They interfaced on the level of Shinto.

Each individual that “got it” did develop uniquely as individuals. However, one common possible core commonality between the Budoka (Takeda, Ueshiba, Takuma, Kodo) and the Religionist (Deguchi) is the Shinto ritual. Now, I’m not arguing for the ritual alone otherwise the power of “aiki” wouldn’t be so unique and deserving of extended conversation. What MAY be true is that the “aiki” may have been taught by those “in the know” within the context of Shinto ritual. (Which BTW is virtually identical with Tantric Buddhist practice with the vocabulary being changed.)
It would seemingly make sense that one enamored with the mystical aspects of Shinto ritual and practice would understand his practice and the results of his practice in this manner and thereby seek to communicate them in the way in which he understands.
It would also seemingly make sense that those more focused on the more (perhaps) expediently/practically developed and applied aspects might consciously or unconsciously dump the more (seemingly) irrelevant esoteric aspects.

This seems to me not so terribly unlikely given many other art’s streams giving “the goods” in the context of some for of esoteric practice or another. Also, in common is the phenomena of these “streams” running dry after a while. While the past stream bed remains identifiable and a future stream bed body can be continued the “living water” is gone.

In either case, Budoka or Religionist, the ability to do and ability/willingness to teach, are not necessarily assured.
I had some other thoughts but they are gone now. A sick two year old and a healthy three year old that both need attention will do that to you!

Best,
Allen Beebe :hypno:

DH
01-27-2008, 04:26 PM
Takeda had skills, but really all we have are stories, pro and con about what level those skills were. Depends on who writes the book.
Hmmm why trivialize Takeda?
I think Stanley did his job VERY well when he looked at the evidence and recognized you cannot talk about one without the other. An the later work seems to support this as well. Now here discussing internal aspects and trasnimssion- Stans research proves its worth again.
Well first up it isn't true that all we have are stories. We much factual evidence of his comings and goings 35 volumes of people he met and trained with, interviews and ackowledgements from mayn high levesl people and fmaous artists and even from American sources. Certain schools have some rather surprising material that few will ever see. Along with that we have many, many interviews about his power, even with it compared to Ueshiba. What these various DR schools also *had* were their own very own Ueshibas-well actually some would state Sagawa and Kodo were better. But even as equals it demonstrates the *possibility* that on a physical level -Ueshiba had all he needed from Takeda.

It's probably worthwhile, now that the point has been made about the "internal" components, to let the ball bounce back into Mr. Goldsbury's court.
Regards,
Mike Sigman
What I was drawn to (like a magnet) were specific points Peter raised-well in keeping within the topic. Which by the way I was previously not replying to.

Lurking behind the waza is the much more shadowy world of personal training and especially 'internal' training. It is clear that Takeda did this, as did his deshi including Ueshiba, but it is less clear to what extent we can talk of transmission and inheritance here. Morihei Ueshiba had been doing this training well before he met Sokaku Takeda at Engaru, but we do not really know how he conceptualized this at the time, even to himself. We know more about the period after he met Deguchi and Kisshomaru somewhere states that his waza became more powerful as a result of meeting Deguchi.
There is much conjeture in what Peter wrote-directly addressed by me in my posts. Case in point was his noted power increase. There are reasons why and how this is true beyond the transmission being put forth by his son. There is no plausible evidence or reason to suspect that Deguchi had anything to do with Ueshibas physical skill level.

After he met Deguchi, Ueshiba began to read works like Reikai Monogatari and thus found a vehicle to express (to himself as much as to others) what he was doing.
Which I contend was a spiritual change not a physical change.

The reason why World War II is so important for aikido is that the old Oomoto formulas were swept away and it is highly likely that the training was also sanitized. Not completely done away with, however, but the main question about Kisshomaru and his associates at the postwar Hombu is how much of the baby was thrown out with the bath water.
Or, as I outlined maybe the bath was empty, and the baby was Takeda who was long gone.
I have no trouble with looking at Chinkon Kishin or any other methods he may or may not have used-in particularly those who claim it came from Deguchi.Great! Where is anyone else with these skills of the hundreds -HE- would have trained______________________________?

Emulation
Ueshiba used the internal skills of DR and changed the approach to cast off and project instead of draw in and pin. This use of more of a projecting force of Aiki-in-yo ho instead if the more magnetic draw in and pin which is the inverse of the cycle remained one of the criticisms he received from his peers for only doing -part- of the art.

IMO the large circular movements were an expression by choice not a lack of understanding or ability. His art was to realize true power, that no longer needed to draw in and cut or pin but rather to let them go.His power as noted by everyone was fearful so men avoided it and took ukemi. THus the downward sprial there as well. Unfortunately, how many folks copy the outer form and miss the positive aspects of aiki-in-yo ho to project/? How much is empty waza, and doesn't *need* to be avoided in the first place?.

Transmission
At any rate I applaud the way Ueshiba found a method to join his skill with his vision of peace. Were aikidoka to get it-they would have a far more effective and even dangerous potential in their art, then many have now. The question is who is going to make it happen and is it going to arrive center stage from the bottom up and from the outside in. Or will the head office finally wake up and realize they are taking a secondary role. What wil happen when a Japanese shihan arrives to meet American 3rd and 4th dans and cannot do anything with them because of the juniors Aiki?

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 04:31 PM
What MAY be true is that the "aiki" may have been taught by those "in the know" within the context of Shinto ritual. (Which BTW is virtually identical with Tantric Buddhist practice with the vocabulary being changed.) Good point, Allen. This would tie the "transmission" of Aikido and Daito Ryu both somewhat to Shinto/Tantric-Buddhism (Even the hand postures in the "Shinto" Chinkon Keshin are from Tantric Buddhism). Maybe it makes the transmission itself (of Aikido) into a more manageable package to do it that way?
It would seemingly make sense that one enamored with the mystical aspects of Shinto ritual and practice would understand his practice and the results of his practice in this manner and thereby seek to communicate them in the way in which he understands.
It would also seemingly make sense that those more focused on the more (perhaps) expediently/practically developed and applied aspects might consciously or unconsciously dump the more (seemingly) irrelevant esoteric aspects. Exactly. "Where's the Beef?" ;)

Best.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 04:39 PM
Case in point was his noted power increase. There are reasons why and how this is true beyond the transmission being put forth by his son. There is no plausible evidence or reason to suspect that Deguchi had anything to do with Ueshibas physical skill level. What??? Do you understand what Chinkon Kishin does? I can see an extremely valid argument that the Chinkon Kishin training would boost Ueshiba's power, frankly. But what it all boils down to is that we don't know. So one story is as good as the next. All we can go by is results and Ueshiba had some.

You'd like to lay it all at Takeda's feet, but, as has been noted before, there are other possibilities. The more pertinent analysis in this discussion, though, is not the transmission to Ueshiba, but the transmission to the students of Aikido from Ueshiba.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
01-27-2008, 04:54 PM
You'd like to lay it all at Takeda's feet, but, as has been noted before, there are other possibilities.
Regards,
Mike Sigman
I see why you think that way, but actually no, I don't. I am wide open to possibilites as they make sense and have concurrent evidentiary support. So far I see...nothing. No case worth the having. Present something. I want it to be true. To see what, who, where, and when. It would be great to see someting new that Stan missed after a decade of research. What do I care. It's more to learn about -so we all win.

In that time period we had these giants. They were contemporaries, joined by a common method. It has support.
What else we got?
Theory, guess work, and no real human beings that appear from any other source with any known, documented power. Its all smioke and mirrors.
Deguchi made a real difference in physical power?
Where are the other guys he trained___________________?
No one? Then I contend the real power was what Ueshiba had already, maybe with some personal augmentations that they all had done.

As you said to Alan. Wheres the beef?


We agree about the discussion being the transmission to his students, Mike. I stepped in when people started making erroneous conjecture about where he might have gotten it. Particularly using Kissomaru or the Aikikai as as any type of factual source. They remain highly protective and insular in their views. No ill intent meant
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 05:02 PM
Deguchi made a real difference in physical power?
Where are the other guys he trained___________________?
I'm not sure why you keep bringing this up, Dan, because it misses the point entirely. Think of it like this: Deguchi was the source of essentially a qigong that strengthens the body... the Chinkon Kishin. A martial artist, Ueshiba, takes that form of strengthening and adds it into his martial art. Deguchi's training has nothing to do with martial arts itself. See the point?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
01-27-2008, 05:42 PM
It is interesting to note that many direct students of Ueshiba continued the Chikonkishin practices or Chikonkishin–LIKE practices. Also, many of them continued these practices devoid of Omoto Kyo religious influence. Even Tohei who criticized Ueshiba’s often baffling means of communication kept, and transmitted, practices contained within Chikonkishin ritual. Ueshiba didn’t push his religious views on his students and still these folks obviously thought that there was something there, in the ritual at least, to be had.

What is equally obvious is, that without some sort of toehold, the ritual is very reluctant to reveal the totality of its contents. If this weren’t the case things would be a lot different today (assuming that "Aiki" can be taught via Shinto Ritual.) The outer form is still here (although I don’t think that this is the ONLY outer form that Ueshiba left us. Tomiki, Shirata and Shioda also taught very similar “outer forms” that I think prepare one for practices such as Chikonkishin but also serve to interface between Chikonkishin practice and waza.), the question to my mind in relation to transmission and inheritance is “what happened to the toe hold?”

BTW, I suspect that the in and down vs up and out dichotomy isn't necessarily solely a result of Ueshiba's choice of emphasis. Rather, based on personal experience, I suspect it may be more of a symptomatic result of transmission, inheritance issues.

Allen Beebe
01-27-2008, 06:00 PM
Or what about this Mike?

Ueshiba learns a Shinto "exercise" from Takeda who learned it from a family member. Ueshiba visits Deguchi and recognizes a common practice. Deguchi thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" "Ueshiba thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" They are both impressed by different derivatives of the same practice.

Takeda comes takes a gander at Deguchi and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ushiba keep doing X,Y, and Z!" Deguchi takes a look at Takeda and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ueshiba keep doing X',Y', and Z'!" Ueshiba says, "OK." Does both and eventually leaves both to do his own thing . . . mutually rooted in both sources.

It is a good story, which is all it is, but perhaps it explains a commonality of approach and a commonality of miss-transmission.

Take Tantric Buddhist practices for example. The truth (religious and secular) can be contained in one practice and either transmitted or omitted due to a misappropriation of the antecedents of causality.

I find it both interesting and entertaining.

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 06:02 PM
It is interesting to note that many direct students of Ueshiba continued the Chikonkishin practices or Chikonkishin–LIKE practices. Also, many of them continued these practices devoid of Omoto Kyo religious influence. Even Tohei who criticized Ueshiba’s often baffling means of communication kept, and transmitted, practices contained within Chikonkishin ritual. Ueshiba didn’t push his religious views on his students and still these folks obviously thought that there was something there, in the ritual at least, to be had. Well, in terms of "transmission", that's an extremely good point, Allen. (assuming that "Aiki" can be taught via Shinto Ritual.) No, "Aiki" wouldn't be part of the strength training. It's more of a "how to use". You're hitting at the heart of the reason why I tend to separate kokyu/jin from ki/qi. It's also the reason why I object to Tohei's demonstration where he pushed over the sitting monks. They may well have had very strong ki/qi, but they would not necessarily have had the jin/kokyu-strength at all. "Aiki" is a method of blending your kokyu-strength/jin automatically (ki no musubi) with the incoming force of an opponent so that opponent's own force renders him harmless (force goes to zero)... then a technique is employed immediately. the question to my mind in relation to transmission and inheritance is “what happened to the toe hold?” From this particular discussion about "transmission", I'm beginning to think that the bottleneck may have been the ritual-religious way that O-Sensei understood his own powers.

Good discussion.

Best.

Mike Sigman

DH
01-27-2008, 06:11 PM
I'm not sure why you keep bringing this up, Dan, because it misses the point entirely. Think of it like this: Deguchi was the source of essentially a qigong that strengthens the body... the Chinkon Kishin. A martial artist, Ueshiba, takes that form of strengthening and adds it into his martial art. Deguchi's training has nothing to do with martial arts itself. See the point?

Regards,

Mike Sigman
I swear we would need an interpreter just to say hello.
I don't have an issue with that. That is why I stated *several* times that all those guys claimed to have added to Takeda's work as well. How could I have said that repeatedly and applied it to Ueshiba as well and you missed it?

Once again, I have no doubts as to Ueshiba pursuing power building methods on his own-they all did. I was speaking to specific claims of what happened in certain time periods. I was also addressing the possible *comparative* values to his overall power of aynthing gained from Deguchi over what he had-then. Again though, particularly at certain places and times. The time periods that were mentioned are too coincidental to Takeda making a major shift in Ueshibas training to give credence elsewhere, thats all.
The power building methods and training of all of them were substantial and one can argue that none of them would have been albe to move forward at all without the background training they had firmly in place through Takeda. In other words none of them were adding or starting from anywhere close to zero. They were all accomplished on their own and highly motivated to train and research.
I have no doubt, issues, opinions, or feelings that in the fullness of time Ueshiba-like all his peers in Daio ryu- came into his own with personal pursuits and research.

Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 06:20 PM
Or what about this Mike?

Ueshiba learns a Shinto "exercise" from Takeda who learned it from a family member. Ueshiba visits Deguchi and recognizes a common practice. Deguchi thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" "Ueshiba thinks, "Wow! Look at what that guy can do!" They are both impressed by different derivatives of the same practice.

Takeda comes takes a gander at Deguchi and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ushiba keep doing X,Y, and Z!" Deguchi takes a look at Takeda and says, "Yeah, OK, whatever. Ueshiba keep doing X',Y', and Z'!" Ueshiba says, "OK." Does both and eventually leaves both to do his own thing . . . mutually rooted in both sources.

It is a good story, which is all it is, but perhaps it explains a commonality of approach and a commonality of miss-transmission. I think it's a plausible scenario, but the point I made about how you can have ki but not much jin can work the other way, too.... you can have fairly powerful jin, but not have the other half of the equation. Yet the two are intertwined if you want to do the Full Monty. How about the scenario that Takeda had pretty power jin/kokyu, but his ki skills were limited; Deguchi's training has a certain amount of jin/kokyu skills but is mainly ki oriented. So by doing the Chinkon Kishin practices, particularly the breathing parts, Ueshiba's power gets a very noticeable boost, even though his initial exposure to jin/kokyu skills was through Takeda? Again, we're all just making mouth noises, but my attention is still focused on this one bottleneck of the religious practices being intertwined with the skills and how that probably affected the transmission further down the line in Aikido.

One thing I've been watching for a while is how religion (particularly Buddhism, but I suspect it was previously/still in Hinduism, also, to some degree) was an important part of the transmission of these skills from way, way back. In the ancient days these skills were practiced and kept alive by the Buddhists, for China-Korea-Japan.

So what I've learned to do is suspect a practical basis behind a lot of seemingly ritual beliefs/practices. Take for instance the idea of Tanden/Dantien. Westerners tend to interpret it as a "center of gravity" or a ritualistic "field of change" or some obscure belief by Asians that reduces to some primitive belief or magical piece of esoterica. In reality, the tanden/dantien is a nexus of bodily power... in a very functional and demonstrable sense. So is the dantien located at the perineum. So is the dantien in the middle of the chest. And so on. But it takes work to find these things out. The point is that a lot of the things that we hear spoken in a religious or ritual sense are, in reality, discussions about very practical occurences. This was my comment yesterday about what I was reading in the John Stevens translation... like most of us westerners, he heard the ritual/religious things and missed that in reality the discussions were about practical issues. But how is he going to know that when the belief-structure of a Ueshiba (or his son) is about kami doing something, not practical kinesiology?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
01-27-2008, 06:30 PM
No, "Aiki" wouldn't be part of the strength training. It's more of a "how to use". You're hitting at the heart of the reason why I tend to separate kokyu/jin from ki/qi. It's also the reason why I object to Tohei's demonstration where he pushed over the sitting monks. They may well have had very strong ki/qi, but they would not necessarily have had the jin/kokyu-strength at all. "Aiki" is a method of blending your kokyu-strength/jin automatically (ki no musubi) with the incoming force of an opponent so that opponent's own force renders him harmless (force goes to zero)... then a technique is employed immediately.

Agreed. (I think.) My present understanding is that Kokyu undo builds Kokyu Ryoku which in turn can be used to Aiki, with the resultant phenomena being those demonstrated by Ueshiba and others. (And BTW if it doesn't result in the aformentioned phenomena, one probably isn't developing Kokyu Ryoku and/or Aiki.) However, do you believe Chikonkishin's sole purpose was to develop Kokyu Ryoku? (I doubt that you do.) Wasn't its original intent also to develop the ability to "AIKI" with Kamisama "X?" Hence the inhearant tendency to obscure the practical causes for the development Kokyu Ryoku and the ability to develop the capacity to Aiki on the more mundane level?

I apologize if my words were misleading.

From this particular discussion about "transmission", I'm beginning to think that the bottleneck may have been the ritual-religious way that O-Sensei understood his own powers.

This seems very possible considering the transparency with which he transferred knowledge to his primary students.

My wife is about transfer her foot to my backside if I don't help out with the family. :uch: Talk to you all later!

Mike Sigman
01-27-2008, 06:42 PM
Agreed. (I think.) My present understanding is that Kokyu undo builds Kokyu Ryoku which in turn can be used to Aiki, with the resultant phenomena being those demonstrated by Ueshiba and others. (And BTW if it doesn't result in the aformentioned phenomena, one probably isn't developing Kokyu Ryoku and/or Aiki.) However, do you believe Chikonkishin's sole purpose was to develop Kokyu Ryoku? (I doubt that you do.) Wasn't its original intent also to develop the ability to "AIKI" with Kamisama "X?" Hence the inhearant tendency to obscure the practical causes for the development Kokyu Ryoku and the ability to develop the capacity to Aiki on the more mundane level?Hi Allen:

I'm beginning to see the problem. And I see where Dan's perspective is more kokyu/jin focused, missing what I really mean, too. Cutting to the chase, Chinkon Kishin's purpose is not purely to develop kokyu-ryoku in the strict sense. It embodies both ki and kokyu practices. It's very easy to learn a little bit of kokyu and practice a lot of solo exercises to further it (to a reasonable extent), but ultimately you're going to limit yourself if that's all you know and do. And this gets into the soul of the discussion about the "hard external arts" and the "soft internal arts" (although there are some soft external arts, too) that is so common. Chinkon Kishin was undoubtedly more of a complete-spectrum exercise than just kokyu/jin exercises. Again, I'd caution that we're *way* off into the speculation-zone of what went on in terms of Ueshiba, Deguchi, Takeda, and a number of others.

Best.

Mike

G DiPierro
01-27-2008, 11:26 PM
Were aikidoka to get it-they would have a far more effective and even dangerous potential in their art, then many have now. The question is who is going to make it happen and is it going to arrive center stage from the bottom up and from the outside in. Or will the head office finally wake up and realize they are taking a secondary role. What wil happen when a Japanese shihan arrives to meet American 3rd and 4th dans and cannot do anything with them because of the juniors Aiki?My answer is that it is very unlikely that this will happen. I guess you haven't trained in the aikikai much lately but the standard policy is that you do not (successfully) resist senior teachers, especially if they are Japanese. Check some of the threads I have been involved with recently and you'll see the kind of reactions that gets. Aikido lacks a culture of resistance training and there's no way that's going to be introduced from the bottom (or middle). I do not have any reason to believe that it will be introduced from the top, either.

The type of person you are describing basically has two choices. One is to take the nice ukemi and make the senior people look good so they can save face. That way, he can keep everyone happy and keep moving up the ladder, even if he is living a lie to do it. The other is to leave the organization and go out on his own and do what he wants. Either way, the "head office" and other senior organization people have too much power at this point and no reason to risk losing that, so I cannot imagine them letting anyone do what you suggest within their organizations.

If the people you describe want to stay in the organizations, I would suggest they should expect to be marginalized (to the extent that they are tolerated at all) for trying to "jump the ladder" rather than rewarded for their exceptional progress. The aikikai is not a meritocracy, and unless you are the son of the guy in charge (or able to convince him to put you in charge instead of his own son), you probably aren't going to have very much power to change the way that organization works. While I'd love to see someone prove me wrong and demonstrate that these skills can be reintroduced to the aikikai on a wide scale, at this point I think it is such a long shot that I've personally given up any hope of it ever happening.

DH
01-28-2008, 12:02 AM
I was talking about respectfully and in a more private venue. Never embarrassing someone in public or challenging. There are enough relationships going where, as someone gains these skills, they can be discussed and demonstrated with teachers.
Dan

DH
01-28-2008, 12:11 AM
Hi Allen:

I see where Dan's perspective is
1. more kokyu/jin focused,
2. missing what I really mean, too.

Mike

1. No, it isn't.
2. No, I don't.
You undermine your own efforts when you reduce yourself to presumptuous public statements about individuals. Stick to what you know and stick to the subject.

Dan

G DiPierro
01-28-2008, 12:35 AM
I was talking about respectfully and in a more private venue. Never embarrassing someone in public or challenging. There are enough relationships going where, as someone gains these skills, they can be discussed and demonstrated with teachers.I wasn't aware that any Japanese shihan were arriving to meet American 3- and 4-dans for private training sessions. But even if they are, and even if these 3- and 4-dans are able to discuss and demonstrate these skills with these shihan in these sessions, I will still be impressed and frankly shocked to see them have any significant impact in the aikikai (especially, although the same thing would also apply to other organizations). My experience is that Japanese-style martial arts organizations work primarily top-down and very rarely bottom-up, and the notion that a change as fundamental as this could be introduced from the bottom or outside is one that I find very unlikely.

My prediction, for the reasons I gave, is that the aikikai will not change, but even if I am right about this I will take no great pleasure in it. In this case, I would rather find that I am wrong, but my experience time and again is that this is simply not realistic. However, there is no point in debating it since it will not have any effect on the outcome, and the issue cannot be settled until the outcome is known anyway. So I'll just say again that I hope you are right, but I'm not holding my breath (so to speak).

Mike Sigman
01-28-2008, 07:52 AM
1. No, it isn't.
2. No, I don't.
You undermine your own efforts when you reduce yourself to presumptuous public statements about individuals. Stick to what you know and stick to the subject.Hi Dan:

Before this gets too far off topic (although I think it's been a fruitful thought-starter, already), let's think about this. The discussion had to do with transmission, inheritance, and emulation in regard to Ueshiba.

You basically began your standard tirade about how Ueshiba owed everything to Takeda and Ueshiba wasn't all that good, etc. I pointed out that it might be a valid presumption that Ueshiba got some very important training concepts via Deguchi. You denied it and asked what important martial artists Deguchi had produced. I pointed out twice that Deguchi's contribution would more like have been a form of training procedures. Now you indicate that you already know all that. Once more.

Could you explain what I mean about the training procedures from Deguchi, how they work, and how that would affect the transmission then?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ellis Amdur
01-28-2008, 01:27 PM
Christianity came from Judaism
Chemistry comes from alchemy
Water comes from snow
Word processors came from typewriters
Ballet comes from fencing
Katana come from straight swords
Momotaro came from a peach
Internal training is a good thing
Lots of people don't know about it, know about it but can't do it, know about it but discount it, or can do it. Many who say they can do it can't, or so others say who can or can't do it.
There are many internal training methods, but they are basically the same, but they are in fact, rather different.
Some internal training makes some people much better fighters than they were before. Other training makes some people healthier. Other training makes you crazy, garrulous, perseverating, obsessive-compulsive or simply very odd. In my observations, the latter is more likely.
Oh, maybe you didn't hear me - Christianity comes from Judaism
From Judaism, I tell you!!!!!!! And Paul was a better Christian than Peter, although some say Thomas was the one who really got the goods. There was a conspiracy of silence to suppress the truth about Christianity's roots in Judaism, but luckily someone noticed the "old testament" was the same as the Tanakh. Whew. Those dastardly conspirators.

Blake Holtzen
01-28-2008, 02:04 PM
Hi Dan:

Before this gets too far off topic (although I think it's been a fruitful thought-starter, already), let's think about this. The discussion had to do with transmission, inheritance, and emulation in regard to Ueshiba.

You basically began your standard tirade about how Ueshiba owed everything to Takeda and Ueshiba wasn't all that good, etc. I pointed out that it might be a valid presumption that Ueshiba got some very important training concepts via Deguchi. You denied it and asked what important martial artists Deguchi had produced. I pointed out twice that Deguchi's contribution would more like have been a form of training procedures. Now you indicate that you already know all that. Once more.

Could you explain what I mean about the training procedures from Deguchi, how they work, and how that would affect the transmission then?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Hi Mr. Sigman,

I do think that Mr. Harden has made an important point that Deguchi never seemed to pass this training on to any other martial artists, or at least, didn't imbue them with the same skills as Ueshiba. Therefore it seems quite logiclal to assume that Ueshiba received MOST, not neccisarily all, his internal traiing from Takeda.

Sooo, as per this discussion, did Ueshiba pass any of this particular internal training on to any of his students? Me thinks that Ueshiba's earlier students would be more likely to have trained in this than his later students, who probably got exercises that are more religiously-significant than martially-significant. Comments?

Take Care

-Blake

Ron Tisdale
01-28-2008, 02:19 PM
My meager understanding of the topic tells me that

a) Internal Training can be done in many ways
b) some are more successfull than others
c) You might learn in one framework, then move to another frame work with the same or even better results, as long as the new framework doesn't physically contradict the old.

More interesting is learning about the the different frameworks, who can teach them, who can help you improve.

As usual, Ellis's post was a hoot! :D

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
01-28-2008, 02:22 PM
I do think that Mr. Harden has made an important point that Deguchi never seemed to pass this training on to any other martial artists, or at least, didn't imbue them with the same skills as Ueshiba. Therefore it seems quite logiclal to assume that Ueshiba received MOST, not neccisarily all, his internal traiing from Takeda. Hi Blake:

I don't follow the logic of that premise. The quick answer would be to ask what other already-accomplished martial artists studied with Deguchi's organization other than Ueshiba. If you can point to a few who were also in Omoto Kyo and who also learned the Chinkon Kishin training, we could perhaps analyse whether the CK training was effective or not. I suspect that not many other dedicated martial artists studied with Deguchi's *religious organization* though, so to treat Omoto Kyo as a martial training facility is pretty far off reality. IMO.

I think one of the problems in the discussion is that many people aren't aware of what approaches can be taken to strengthen the body; i.e., how many different approaches there can be. I happen to know from experience that there are a number of different approaches and a number of different levels of accomplishment, and so on, so I don't look at it as "there's this one way to do it and Takeda had it so Ueshiba MUST have gotten it from him". I have not doubt that Ueshiba learned at least some of the stuff from Takeda, but if Takeda's stuff had been complete, I really don't think that Ueshiba would have begun utilizing the Chinkon Kishin; Omoto Kyo would simply have been a religious thing for Ueshiba.
Sooo, as per this discussion, did Ueshiba pass any of this particular internal training on to any of his students? Me thinks that Ueshiba's earlier students would be more likely to have trained in this than his later students, who probably got exercises that are more religiously-significant than martially-significant. Comments? I don't know. The one fairly interesting thing that I've found out over the last few years is that westerner Aikido students tend to know almost nothing about these sorts of training, but the more I look, the more older Japanese shihans, etc., I turn up who have a fair amount of these skills. My previous opinion that almost none of the Japanese knew these things turns out to be simply wrong (although there are a fair number that seem to only have rudimentary skills and that's part of what misled me).

Best.

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
01-28-2008, 02:33 PM
I suspect that not many other dedicated martial artists studied with Deguchi *religious organization* though, so to treat Omoto Kyo as a martial training facility is pretty far off reality. IMO.

I don't know about **famous** martial artists, but a network of dojo was setup for Omoto *adherents* anyway, and Ueshiba spent some time going around to them, and sending his students to teach at them. I tend to think though that this is not a very important point in the discussion.

...Takeda had it so Ueshiba MUST have gotten it from him". I have not doubt that Ueshiba learned at least some of the stuff from Takeda, but if Takeda's stuff had been complete, I really don't think that Ueshiba would have begun utilizing the Chinkon Kishin; Omoto Kyo would simply have been a religious thing for Ueshiba.

But as you yourself have mentioned, it's not so easy with Ueshiba to seperate the two...it would seem he thought of them as one and the same. That's why I have no issues with what Dan says, and at the same time few if any issues with what you say. It really doesn't matter (in terms of Ueshiba) because he thought about both sides of the issues from an overall religeous point of view.

I also think that Sagawa's quotes dovetail nicely here. No matter how much someone else **shows** you, you have to do the work yourself. So if I learn the possibilities in one fashion, find something else that fits with my temperment and utilize that in a similar fashion, who get's the credit? In the end, who cares??

It still comes down to the work **I** do (or don't do, or don't do enough of).

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
01-28-2008, 02:43 PM
I don't disagree, Ron. One factor that needs to placed in plain view during these discussions on "transmission" is that a lot of the "internal training" stuff is hidden, gokui, etc. In other words, just because someone trained with Takeda or Ueshiba (or many other expert teachers) doesn't mean that they were going to be shown how to do these things. The textbook case is Tohei having to go outside in order to get information... I think Ueshiba's stuff from Deguchi may well have been a similar "go outside to get the goods to add to the techniques". So yes, you have to work, but you have to be shown, too. And you're right, different people can show you different things. But you know what?... it's fun. ;)

Best.

Mike

G DiPierro
01-28-2008, 03:08 PM
Oh, maybe you didn't hear me - Christianity comes from Judaism
From Judaism, I tell you!!!!!!! And Paul was a better Christian than Peter, although some say Thomas was the one who really got the goods. There was a conspiracy of silence to suppress the truth about Christianity's roots in Judaism, but luckily someone noticed the "old testament" was the same as the Tanakh. Whew. Those dastardly conspirators.In all seriousness, a subject that is occasionally discussed in private but rarely in public is the similarity in development between aikido and Christianity, particularly in the sense of an organization developing over time that maintains vague and often inconsistent allusions to the message of a charismatic founder, but as time goes on becomes more based on conventional ego-politics rather than the psychologically radical message of that founder. Already the parallels between the aikikai and the Catholic church are quite apparent, and I expect the former to continue to go in the direction of the latter, becoming very politically powerful but losing most of its spiritual substance and replacing it with extensive formal but empty rituals.

ChrisMoses
01-28-2008, 03:10 PM
The quick answer would be to ask what other already-accomplished martial artists studied with Deguchi's organization other than Ueshiba. If you can point to a few who were also in Omoto Kyo and who also learned the Chinkon Kishin training, we could perhaps analyse whether the CK training was effective or not. I suspect that not many other dedicated martial artists studied with Deguchi's *religious organization* though, so to treat Omoto Kyo as a martial training facility is pretty far off reality. IMO.

While not exactly what you're looking for above, the interview(s) with Inoue Noriaki (translated in Aikido Masters) offer some interesting insight. So far as I can tell, his aikido was considered to be most like that of Ueshiba Morihei's. I don't have the book with me right now, but if memory serves, one of the reasons he distanced himself from Aikido and OSensei was his perception that he (meaning OSensei) had stayed too far (or perhaps not been faithful enough) to the teachings of Deguchi Sensei. I felt that it was fairly clear that he considered Deguchi Sensei to be both of his and OSensei's true teacher, rather than Takeda Sensei. I certainly take his devotion to Omoto Kyo into account however with all of his statements.

Again, dragging back toward transmission and inheritance ( ;) ), I think he's a singularly interesting figure in the evolution of Aikido. In many ways, I think of him as the "Ghost of Aikido as it Could Have Been" should OSensei had decided to settle down, teach at a small private dojo and not make any concessions to internationalizing Aikido/Aikibudo training. He was in a unique position to witness it all, and even his decision to retreat into obscurity I find telling. I'm hoping Peter has some thoughts on him in a future article. :) Pretty please!

Allen Beebe
01-28-2008, 03:34 PM
Other training makes some people healthier. Other training makes you crazy, garrulous, perseverating, obsessive-compulsive or simply very odd. In my observations, the latter is more likely.

Takes one to know one!!

:p

Mike Sigman
01-28-2008, 03:48 PM
Takes one to know one!!

:pHeh. Actually, there are traditional stages of development and hopefully a person develops in all areas, not just the physical.

Take a look at the table on this page with the 3 general steps of development in internal skills for martial arts; notice the mental as well as physical development that is part of progress:

http://www.chinafrominside.com/ma/xyxy/diguoyongBIS.html

Regards,

Mike

jss
01-28-2008, 04:15 PM
I do think that Mr. Harden has made an important point that Deguchi never seemed to pass this training on to any other martial artists, or at least, didn't imbue them with the same skills as Ueshiba. Therefore it seems quite logiclal to assume that Ueshiba received MOST, not neccisarily all, his internal training from Takeda.
Since something very important is hidden in this argument, I'll translate it to show you why it is not valid.
What if Takeda taught Ueshiba swimming and weight lifting. And Deguchi taught him how to train endurance through interval training. As a result of Deguchi's training method, Ueshiba starts to swim significantly faster. However, Deguchi never teaches his method to any other swimmers, or at least not with the same results. (The others didn't ddo regular interval training, so didn't get the results.)
Does this imply that what Deguchi taught to Ueshiba is meaningless?

ps.: And the interesting part with internal training is that the skill and the conditioning are more interrelated than they are for swimming.

Allen Beebe
01-28-2008, 04:53 PM
Heh. Actually, there are traditional stages of development and hopefully a person develops in all areas, not just the physical.

Take a look at the table on this page with the 3 general steps of development in internal skills for martial arts; notice the mental as well as physical development that is part of progress:

http://www.chinafrominside.com/ma/xyxy/diguoyongBIS.html

Regards,

Mike

Gee thanks Mike . . . now I'm a THREE TIME looser! :rolleyes:

Erick Mead
01-28-2008, 05:35 PM
Already the parallels between the aikikai and the Catholic church are quite apparent, and I expect the former to continue to go in the direction of the latter, becoming very politically powerful but losing most of its spiritual substance and replacing it with extensive formal but empty rituals. Ah.

A heretic.

Erick Mead
01-28-2008, 05:44 PM
... What if Takeda taught Ueshiba swimming and weight lifting. And Deguchi taught him how to train endurance through interval training. As a result of Deguchi's training method, Ueshiba starts to swim significantly faster. Endurance swimming is not measured in speed -- but in hours of time making progress in water while not drowning. The non sequitur you made, without really thinking about it, is, I think, similar to the disconnect between some participants that frequently happens in discussions on this topic in budo.

DH
01-28-2008, 07:06 PM
Hi Dan:
You basically began your standard tirade about how Ueshiba owed everything to Takeda and Ueshiba wasn't all that good, etc.
Tirade? I don’t feel strongly enough about it to go on a tirade.
I gave pointed, specific, commentary as to what he MAY have owed and WHEN he may have started building off of it. Further I stated he most likely did as the other students of Takeda added to their extensive solo regimens as well
The rest is your continued misunderstanding and inner dialogue of what you think I meant.
"Ueshiba wasn't good?" Site where I said anything like that. Then look at the sum of my replies.
We go round and round because you...do NOT read what I write, you hear an inner dialogue that colors everything I say. You always have. People who like us both have noticed it. It’s why I said "Were we to meet we would need a translator to say hello." :)
I pointed out that it might be a valid presumption that Ueshiba got some very important training concepts via Deguchi. You denied it and asked what important martial artists Deguchi had produced.
I did not deny it! Never did. While you accuse me of being too strong on the one hand-Daito ryu-you are too strong on the other side and too dismissive of a subject –Daito ryu’s internal training-you know little about. So again that is NOT what I said, and tried to clarify if for you-repeatedly. Again, You...do NOT read what I write. you hear an inner dialogue.


I pointed out twice that Deguchi's contribution would more like have been a form of training procedures. .
I pointed out several times I have no problem with that. Only just what may prove to have been of *little* additional worth or of *significant* worth. You-don’t have those answers.
Other than that (for the third time) I only addressed certain time-frame issues Peter raised that could be inaccurately misread. Such as Kissomaru stating it was after Deguchi that Ueshiba gained power. I offered a counter point. Which was, this is curiously right after Takeda trained with him daily for 6 months and for the first time allowed him to teach. Curious again that it was at this time that Deguchi was so impressed with Aiki that he suggested to Takeda to change the name of the art.
What do you think impressed Deguchi so much?
Some stupid joint lock?

Are you at least trying to hear me?
I offered other plausible explanations. Were you remotely honest about trying to research...scratch that.. using honest sounds negative when I am not intending to be. If you were -seriously neutral- about all this you would want/desire/obsess, over all possible avenues. I just don't see that.
I stated it was as equally logical, perhaps more logical, that during this period it was Takeda that gave him Aiki through a series of solo training exercises and Ueshiba improved dramatically over time.
Explain the impossibility of that assertion?

Worthy of note is that Takeda somehow magically performed this same feat with five other men.
Ueshiba...did not.
Deguchi did not.
The top men in the higher level schools of Daito ryu have extensive regimens of solo training that have real world results.
Aikido does not.

Could you explain what I mean about the training procedures from Deguchi, how they work, and how that would affect the transmission then?
Regards,
Mike Sigman
Could you explain what I mean by the training procedures of Daito ryu? How they work? How they would affect the transmission of the art …they… created-Aikido? They are complex and increase from basic kokyu/jin onward-or should I say...inward

1. Equating what Takeda's teachings are, were or were not and or the effect it had on Ueshibas skills is to imply a deep knowledge of them.
2. Stating the effect that later training may or may not have added, modified, been very similar or entirely different is to imply a knowledge of both to the extent one can make a comparative analysis.

Any takers?______________________

Nowhere that I can see has anyone explored all the possibilities that are in evidence enough to give any serious credibility to the discussion.

1. Evidence of the effect of Takeda’s teaching are known and tied with a timeline of Ueshiba demonstrable skills
2. Evidence of the providence of these skills are known and exist in a time line preceding Ueshiba- in Takeda, Sagawa and Kodo.
3. Evidence exists that these skills are attained by extensive solo training.
4. Evidence of the providence of these skills in a time line- concurrent- to Ueshiba are evident in the words of many of his students. Who stated that Takedas skills were magnificant, and mysterious and inexplicable as to how he did what he did.

If as Peter contends Ueshiba was "doing these things before he met Takeda." Then I contend Ueshiba literally crying in the corner in front of witnesses bears testament to Takeda's superior understanding of...these things.
That Ueshiba was not walking in real power was curiously already known. That there was a difference AFTER Takeda's arrival and training that culminated in him being given the tools for power coincided with him being allowed to teach for the first time-leads to to more probable explanations for his power increase during that period.

OK, where he went from there, and what he added later, is quite worthwhile. As I pointed out among the top students of Takeda- THEY ALL DID. That said, anyone stating definitively what he had here, then what he had over there, and what he gained and from whom, and when- has been fraught with lies- open, outright, lies, and shadowy innuendo, fortunately countered by much documentation and corroboration
I’d hate to see a more informed but none-the-less flawed repeat of the 1980 myths and wild goose chases.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
01-28-2008, 07:27 PM
–Daito ryu’s internal training-you know little about. ....[[snipsky]]...The top men in the higher level schools of Daito ryu have extensive regimens of solo training that have real world results.
Aikido does not. Well, before we go down that road, Dan.... how is it that you are privy to Daito-ryu's internal training? Who have you studied with long enough to become a receiver of the supposedly secret inner trainings????? Could you explain what I mean by the training procedures of Daito ryu? How they work? How they would affect the transmission of the art …they… created-Aikido? They are complex and increase from basic kokyu/jin onward-or should I say...inward So how do you know this, Dan? Whom did you study with? Essentially, you're presenting yourself as knowledgeable about Daito Ryu's secretive training techniques, yet you never answer any questions publicly about the how's and why's. I at least try to post cogent analyses. It's very difficult to debate your purported knowledge and assertions about Daito Ryu and Aikido, in terms of "internal" skills, when you offer nothing but assertions and select quotes from books.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
01-28-2008, 08:19 PM
Try addressing the topic directly instead of me. It really speaks poorly of your internet presence. As it is, my post addresses some interesting ideas and things you simply do not know.
As for me? I got what I got by training with the right people and practicing. It wasn’t long ago you told everyone I didn’t know anything about internal skills in two public forums. A bunch of folks felt some real serious pros as well as Ark, -you- and me, some several times over, and writing in publicly about the experiences- It is apparent you have no cause for your attitude. Nor, should you be writing such claptrap about me as you did here. And I see where Dan's perspective is more kokyu/jin focused, missing what I really mean, too.
You have some good skills, Mike. Good for you. I applaud the effort. Stop undermining a good effort here. Maybe you should take your own advice before assuming so much.
My previous opinion ….turns out to be simply wrong.
Instead of continually telling us about how many times you have –been-wrong, why not slow down and get it right. Obviously... there is much right here in this discussion that you still don't know.

Dan

Mike Sigman
01-28-2008, 08:42 PM
Try addressing the topic directly instead of me. I have, Dan. You make definitive assertions about Ueshiba and what he knew, what he learned from Takeda, what people in Daito Ryu practice, etc... unless you can support them, no one can debate you because you simply fall back on more assertions.

How can you say what Ueshiba, Takeda, experts in D.R. do, etc., if you can't show any bona fides in Daito Ryu to support your claims? Should we just take your word on things, then? I asked a simple question about assertions you've made and you then attempt to divert the conversation to me personally.

Can you answer the question about how you know what is contained in supposedly secretive Daito Ryu training, or not? If you didn't study much in Daito Ryu and yet you were given this information, then the logic of not revealing DR secrets seems groundless. If you did study comprehensively under a known DR teacher, then giving his name should be easy to do.

The points you're making about Ueshiba and his knowledge and the transmission of Aikido should be supportable in the above respect... or you need to preface your comments with the fact that you're only speculating from a distance.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
01-28-2008, 08:53 PM
I have, Dan. You make definitive assertions about Ueshiba and what he knew, what he learned from Takeda, what people in Daito Ryu practice, etc... unless you can support them, no one can debate you because you simply fall back on more assertions.

Can you answer the question about how you know what is contained in supposedly secretive Daito Ryu training, or not? If you didn't study much in Daito Ryu and yet you were given this information, then the logic of not revealing DR secrets seems groundless. If you did study comprehensively under a known DR teacher, then giving his name should be easy to do.

The points you're making about Ueshiba and his knowledge and the transmission of Aikido should be supportable in the above respect... or you need to preface your comments with the fact that you're only speculating from a distance.

Regards,

Mike Sigman
Are you actually writing this? You?
I'm glad you have kept your sense of humor intact. I certainly enjoyed that.
Dan

Blake Holtzen
01-29-2008, 12:19 PM
Fight!, Fight!, Fight!

In all seriousness though, perhaps we could quit the (polite) mudslinging and discuss Chinkon Kishin and related trainings.

My question, as an aikido noob, is what makes Chinkon Kishin special? My background is in CMA and I have been exposed to several different qigongs, which makes me wonder, is Chinkon Kishin any different or any better?

My inexperienced eyes tell me that Chinkon Kishin has more religious significance than martial significance. Is this what some people think led to Osensei's internal power? Some rowing exercises, balance shifting, and deep breathing? Would it be a faux pas to say that Osensei's appears to have poor structural alignment when he performs this?

Regardless, What are other people's experiences with Chinkon Kishin or any other type of qigong/jibengong?

Take Care all

-Blake

Jeremy Hulley
01-29-2008, 12:49 PM
I'm not srue that anything makes it special...Its one way that folks doing aikido can get an introduction to developing the skills that Ueshiba S had.
I agree with the more religious significance part..

jss
01-29-2008, 01:16 PM
Endurance swimming is not measured in speed -- but in hours of time making progress in water while not drowning. The non sequitur you made, without really thinking about it, is, I think, similar to the disconnect between some participants that frequently happens in discussions on this topic in budo.
I never mentioned endurance swimming, only interval training to enhance endurance. The lack of reading skills that you displayed, without really thinking about it, is, I think, quite common among some participants that frequently participate in discussions on this topic in budo.

Erick Mead
01-29-2008, 10:07 PM
I never mentioned endurance swimming, only interval training to enhance endurance. Oh, really?
[What if Takeda taught Ueshiba swimming and weight lifting. And Deguchi taught him how to train endurance through interval training. As a result of Deguchi's training method, Ueshiba starts to swim significantly faster.

Perhaps the words in bold were meant to be read in, say, Turkish? Or did you mean the competitive sport of "endurance weightlifting ?" Or did you mean to say that interval training improves endurance weightlifting?

The lack of reading skills that you displayed, without really thinking about it, is, I think, quite common among some participants that frequently participate in discussions on this topic in budo."Not really thinking about it" is not my kind of error; the overthinking errors are more my style.

It was a simple, and easily overlooked fallacy in your argument, which reveals an interesting observation of a part of the recurrent conflict, not a moral flaw or criticism. Get over it.

Upyu
01-29-2008, 11:19 PM
Fight!, Fight!, Fight!

In all seriousness though, perhaps we could quit the (polite) mudslinging and discuss Chinkon Kishin and related trainings.

My question, as an aikido noob, is what makes Chinkon Kishin special? My background is in CMA and I have been exposed to several different qigongs, which makes me wonder, is Chinkon Kishin any different or any better?

My inexperienced eyes tell me that Chinkon Kishin has more religious significance than martial significance. Is this what some people think led to Osensei's internal power? Some rowing exercises, balance shifting, and deep breathing? Would it be a faux pas to say that Osensei's appears to have poor structural alignment when he performs this?

Regardless, What are other people's experiences with Chinkon Kishin or any other type of qigong/jibengong?

Take Care all

-Blake

Structural alignment is only a stage I think.
Once you develop a certain amount of conditioning you can transmit power even with poor "structural alignment."
Anyways, its pretty easy to see Ueshiba's power releases in some of the flicks out there on the web. That being said, don't discount that he may have been doing things sloppy for the camera

gdandscompserv
01-30-2008, 09:44 AM
That being said, don't discount that he may have been doing things sloppy for the camera
Why do you think that?

jss
01-30-2008, 10:58 AM
Oh, really?
Really. I mentioned "swimming" and "endurance", but not "endurance swimming".

Perhaps the words in bold were meant to be read in, say, Turkish? Or did you mean the competitive sport of "endurance weightlifting ?" Or did you mean to say that interval training improves endurance weightlifting?
I'm Dutch, not Turkish, thank you.
And I still don't get how the only conclusion you manage to draw from me mentioning "swimming", "endurance training" and "swimming faster" is that I was referring to endurance swimming. Perhaps I was referring to speed swimming? That's not too unlikely if I state "swimming significantly faster" as the goal, now is it? And if you disagree with me about the benefits of endurance training for speed swimming, the fallacy you attribute to me would be one of fact, not of logic.
You might have a point if you said I could have expressed my thoughts more clearly, but for now you're just someone who's trying too hard to disagree. The fact that you're disagreeing with the example I used and not with my actual point, only supports this.

It was a simple, and easily overlooked fallacy in your argument, which reveals an interesting observation of a part of the recurrent conflict, not a moral flaw or criticism. Get over it.
I thought you had a sense of humor. Lighten up. :p

Erick Mead
01-30-2008, 11:50 AM
And I still don't get how the only conclusion you manage to draw from me mentioning "swimming", "endurance training" and "swimming faster" is that I was referring to endurance swimming. "Swimming" was the only subject as to which the predicates of both "endurance" and "interval training" and the resultant "faster" could reasonably refer, confirmed by your stating "swimming" faster.

Competing arguments on these topics while superficially seeming engaged, are as often fundamentally disconnected from one another as your two statements are, because endurance does not equal speed, while both aspects have separate importance. I was just trying to point out one source and a pattern of a type of disagreement on this range of topics, which, you have now helpfully illustrated, in further detail...

I thought you had a sense of humor. Lighten up. :p Internal art. I laugh on the inside. :D

Ron Tisdale
01-30-2008, 12:04 PM
Ok, you guys cut it out, or I'll start calling you Dan and Mike... :D

Oops, I'm probably going to pay for that one, rather shortly... :eek:

Best,
Ron ;)

Blake Holtzen
01-30-2008, 12:31 PM
Structural alignment is only a stage I think.
Once you develop a certain amount of conditioning you can transmit power even with poor "structural alignment."
Anyways, its pretty easy to see Ueshiba's power releases in some of the flicks out there on the web. That being said, don't discount that he may have been doing things sloppy for the camera

Hello Mr. John

Would you say that structural alignment is stage one, then working with the intrinsic (chi/ki) energy through various pathways is the next stage? Could you say what you have noticed as far as "stages" in development at Aunkai beginning with newbie day one all the way up to Ark?

You make a valid point that Ueshiba obviously had the goods. I don't dispute that, but the discussion is whether Chinkon Kishin is the mechanism responsible for or in some way increasing Ueshiba's considerable internal power.

Great points Mr John, I look forward to your reply.

-Blake

jss
01-30-2008, 12:58 PM
Competing arguments on these topics while superficially seeming engaged, are as often fundamentally disconnected from one another as your two statements are, because endurance does not equal speed, while both aspects have separate importance. I was just trying to point out one source and a pattern of a type of disagreement on this range of topics, which, you have now helpfully illustrated, in further detail...
My further illustrating of your point resulted in you further explaining your point, so that now I get your point. There still are several ways I could continue this discussion, but none of them will prove (imho) to be interesting to either of us, let alone all the other people on this forum.

Edit: To Ron, couldn't you have posted like an hour later? ;)

ChrisMoses
01-30-2008, 01:05 PM
Just a couple comments.

I've done Chinkon Kishin (with a focus on shin kokyu) with Anno Sensei on several occasions, granted it was always in a seminar format (as opposed to one on one). We started pretty much every class with it. He was obviously working something when he was doing it. However, it was not until I was exposed to the Aunkai basics that I could really find much useful information in the series of movements. So while it's possible that this *could* be one of the places that the good stuff is hidden in plain sight, it was not taught (at least to me) in a way that really made that stuff approachable. It felt much more like a spiritual/cleansing exercise and less of a way to teach internal skills. I know I just went through the motions, but there was also no attempt to offer the kinds of specifics that *I* needed to actually approach any kind of deeper physical lessons. I suppose it's possible that if I had stood under a waterfall for 20 years doing the shin kokyu practice that I would have found these Truths, or perhaps changed by body sufficiently to embody these skills. I dunno. I'm kinda busy, so didn't have time to find out.

What gets difficult for me to distinguish is how much meaning I'm laying over these kinds of exercises *knowing what I do now*. Even with the rudimentary understanding I now have, I see opportunities to practice/study internal dynamics in basically everything I do, not just in the Aunkai exercises, qigong or shin kokyu. Once you really start playing with This Stuff (tm) it starts to become just how you are, so everything becomes an opportunity for study. The first time I met Rob, we talked about opening doors. Not metaphorically, but how every time you learn a new system of movement or structural principle, you start opening doors differently. It's both a reflection of how you as a physical being change, and an opportunity to continue your study. (Right now I'm favoring a similar mechanic to the forearm-grinder Aunkai exercise for most of my door opening needs, I'm kind of combining it with a closed to open power generation thingy, just in case anyone was wondering :p )

So, am I actually seeing deeper teachings in these exercises or am I inserting my own study into them (just as I am with opening the bathroom door)? I don't know. Clint George was just in town and I only got to stop by for a couple hours of his seminar. I had hoped to pick his brain at the party on Sat about this very subject, but alas, my daughter was not having it. Maybe next time.

Allen Beebe
01-30-2008, 03:01 PM
Just a couple comments.

I've done Chinkon Kishin (with a focus on shin kokyu) with Anno Sensei on several occasions, granted it was always in a seminar format (as opposed to one on one). We started pretty much every class with it. He was obviously working something when he was doing it. However, it was not until I was exposed to the Aunkai basics that I could really find much useful information in the series of movements. So while it's possible that this *could* be one of the places that the good stuff is hidden in plain sight, it was not taught (at least to me) in a way that really made that stuff approachable. It felt much more like a spiritual/cleansing exercise and less of a way to teach internal skills. I know I just went through the motions, but there was also no attempt to offer the kinds of specifics that *I* needed to actually approach any kind of deeper physical lessons. I suppose it's possible that if I had stood under a waterfall for 20 years doing the shin kokyu practice that I would have found these Truths, or perhaps changed by body sufficiently to embody these skills. I dunno. I'm kinda busy, so didn't have time to find out.

What gets difficult for me to distinguish is how much meaning I'm laying over these kinds of exercises *knowing what I do now*. Even with the rudimentary understanding I now have, I see opportunities to practice/study internal dynamics in basically everything I do, not just in the Aunkai exercises, qigong or shin kokyu. Once you really start playing with This Stuff (tm) it starts to become just how you are, so everything becomes an opportunity for study. The first time I met Rob, we talked about opening doors. Not metaphorically, but how every time you learn a new system of movement or structural principle, you start opening doors differently. It's both a reflection of how you as a physical being change, and an opportunity to continue your study. (Right now I'm favoring a similar mechanic to the forearm-grinder Aunkai exercise for most of my door opening needs, I'm kind of combining it with a closed to open power generation thingy, just in case anyone was wondering :p )

So, am I actually seeing deeper teachings in these exercises or am I inserting my own study into them (just as I am with opening the bathroom door)? I don't know. Clint George was just in town and I only got to stop by for a couple hours of his seminar. I had hoped to pick his brain at the party on Sat about this very subject, but alas, my daughter was not having it. Maybe next time.

I didn't share personal experiences earlier because when this was existing on the Transmission/Inheritance thread it didn't seem appropriate . . .

I think Chris makes some good points. Once one starts to get "IT" the external forms increasingly can be seen as a means rather than an end and one begins to see how other's, and all, external forms can be a means to "IT." Obviously if one doesn't have "IT" yet this understanding is less likely to take place and one become more inclined to "wed" one form or another while searching for "IT" or believing they have "IT" and it is solely contained within a certain form, practice or teacher. As a consequence, forms can be passed along bereft of any direct experience of "IT" or any understanding leading to "IT."

I think that the subject of Chikonkishin is further clouded by the issue of spiritual development. Within Tantra the physical/Spiritual realms are not seen as mutually exclusive but rather mutually inclusive. One either manifests understanding or non-understanding in all realms simultaneously. Most folks pursue these things as mutually exclusive entities which I don't think is the manner in which Ueshiba sensei pursued them. Consequently, there was a potential for miscommunication, and like the telephone game, it only gets worse with time.

Discovering the physical/spiritual "IT" within the physical forms of Chikonkishin is, in my opinion, a rather difficult thing to do. It seems to pre-suppose some knowledge, instruction, and rudimentary manifestation. I seriously doubt that this was originally taught without some form of preliminary physical/spiritual practice. I also suspect that this is why teachers like Tomiki, Shirata, Shioda, and Tohei appended basic solo body movement forms, and in some cases breath/meditative practices to their teaching curriculums. Like the beginning Aunkai practices it can be much easier to find the beginnings of "IT" (with good explicit instruction) within these forms than within more compounded/complex practices (which I suspect Aunkai teaches too later on.)

Oops. Got interrupted and lost my choo choo of thought. That's all for now!

Allen Beebe
01-30-2008, 04:48 PM
Ah I remember now . . .

One more thing. It is an unfortunate reality that, despite one's best efforts, one's presuppositions, prejudices and mode of perception can effectively blind one from even the most explicit of instruction.

To use a personal example, I was taught Kokyu Dosa (in many forms but the primary one being agete) much in the same way that Ark teaches Agete in the Aunkai. I was also taught many, many waza variations off of this form (Daito Ryu). For a long time I concentrated on developing the mechanical/tactical/mental skills to execute these waza on an actively resisting opponent. I pretty much avoided the "rudimentary" Agete alone practice just as I did with the Shiko that I was taught. I dutifully taught them BUT I didn't work on them too much because I saw them as antiquated progressive resistance training which I could do "better" with weights in the gym. I did (and do) practice the Tandokudosa I was taught by Shirata sensei and my understanding and development improved on these with each decade. Finally (or not), one bright sunny day, I was working with one of my students relating all of the "stuff" one should do with the breath, mind, body and, "Theoretically you should be able to just do agete without reverting to waza out of necessity." Bam! He goes up. I ask him to hold me down with everything he's got. Bam! He goes up. So I let him know what I'm doing and he produces a similar result. So then I wonder . . . and hold him down using the same principles that I would to go up. Clunk! He's stuck. I have him do the same, with more or less the same results. So it seems that there is such a thing as a ratio, or balance, of power no matter the source.

I relate all of this as an example. I wasn't doing anything "new" or "different" from what I had been previously shown by my teacher on the outside or the inside. What was "new" and "different" was that I was finally beginning to understand and do what my teacher had previously shown without interfering presupposition. AND, it changed everything to a degree because I saw (yet again) how this was intended to be taught from the first and fill and sustain everything that came afterward. How would I teach it? Pretty much exactly as it was taught to me. I don't see how it could be made more explicit.

BTW, this was all pre-Aunkai training and experience. My Aunkai experience has served to emphasize that my understanding (such as it is) is on the right track.

Now, if I could just have a deltoid-ectomy I might REALLY get somewhere! :sorry:

Allen Beebe
01-30-2008, 04:59 PM
One more thing, I am not advocating the use of partner practice for the building up of "IT." Presently, I see solo practice as one's best primary source, partner practice as a good secondary builder (when done correctly) and bridge to application of power (and I'm not referring to waza.) With partner practice one must stay in the realm of pushing the envelope without breaking down completely. I would define "breaking down" as reverting to old neuromuscular patterns. One doesn't profit from reinforcing old (inexpedient) habits either mental or physical.

ChrisMoses
01-30-2008, 08:14 PM
Now, if I could just have a deltoid-ectomy I might REALLY get somewhere! :sorry:

Just do the Aunkai walking cross drills for an hour or so before every class, that usually renders mine completely flaccid for at least the remainder of class.

/dang I'm helpful! :D

Upyu
01-30-2008, 09:36 PM
Hello Mr. John
Would you say that structural alignment is stage one, then working with the intrinsic (chi/ki) energy through various pathways is the next stage? Could you say what you have noticed as far as "stages" in development at Aunkai beginning with newbie day one all the way up to Ark?
You make a valid point that Ueshiba obviously had the goods. I don't dispute that, but the discussion is whether Chinkon Kishin is the mechanism responsible for or in some way increasing Ueshiba's considerable internal power.


Hi Blake,

In answer to your first question,
step 1) Understanding and utilizing basic structural alignment, and recognizing the existence of certain physical "pathways" in the body.
step 2) Taking these pathways and structure and strengthening them.

step 1&2 fall into the "Frame" stage.
Conceptually, its like keeping a set of training wheels on. You strengthen things and develop them within the context of a set "frame."
This lasts for a long time (I haven't even begun to scratch the surface really)

step 3) Start to disolve the "Frame"/training wheels. At this point you don't need "good" structure to necessarily execute techniques.
The conditioning of the pathways, and of the body can support loads, and exert force in ways that are unusual to anyone that hasn't trained this before.

That's a really condensed version of what happens.
I'm definitely only at step 2:D

As for whether Chinkon Kinshin was at the heart of Ueshiba's development...can't say for sure. My guess was that it was working his conditioning even further than the other spear/sword work that he used to do.

Erick Mead
01-30-2008, 10:13 PM
step 1) Understanding and utilizing basic structural alignment, and recognizing the existence of certain physical "pathways" in the body.
step 2) Taking these pathways and structure and strengthening them.

step 1&2 fall into the "Frame" stage.
Conceptually, its like keeping a set of training wheels on. You strengthen things and develop them within the context of a set "frame."
This lasts for a long time (I haven't even begun to scratch the surface really)

step 3) Start to disolve the "Frame"/training wheels. At this point you don't need "good" structure to necessarily execute techniques.
The conditioning of the pathways, and of the body can support loads, and exert force in ways that are unusual to anyone that hasn't trained this before. I re read recently your description of Aunkai exercises and the whole cross contradictory tension frame. What struck me as I re-read this is that most of what you are actually doing is exhausting the more typically voluntary postural musculature, which, at the end of a training period, you point out how exhausting it should be and Chris points out reverts "tight" components of strucure into a very loose "structure." Or from most people's perspective, not much structure at all

This is actually NOT the case, but what it changes into is not usually understood by people as "structure". It is converting the mental concept and inherent physical dynamic of the body structure from "trabeated" (a fancy word meaning post-and-beam), to a "funicular" structure (another fancy word meaning formed by cables or chains). There is an engineering principle of supporting structure called the funicular load curve, or sometimes, for point loads, the funicular polygon, whereby whether in compression or tension the loads follow that curve in any stable structure.

I point this out only because my epiphany on a related aspect of training came in Saito's training paradigm, after my first deployment when I had done little but weapons suburi and slooooow shadow-boxing kata of various aikido waza, quite intensely, for six months aboard ship since I had no training partner. That kind of structural exhaustion was a powerful component of the feeling at the end of training, where straight limbs became loosely hung, wiggly, and yet suburi became MORE powerful, not less.

As for whether Chinkon Kinshin was at the heart of Ueshiba's development...can't say for sure. My guess was that it was working his conditioning even further than the other spear/sword work that he used to do.The two are directly related, as with the "divine techniques" he used to do with the jo with the center-drive spirals and the "spearing-heaven" jabs

ChrisMoses
01-30-2008, 10:28 PM
What struck me as I re-read this is that most of what you are actually doing is exhausting the more typically voluntary postural musculature, which, at the end of a training period, you point out how exhausting it should be and Chris points out reverts "tight" components of strucure into a very loose "structure." Or from most people's perspective, not much structure at all

This is actually NOT the case, but what it changes into is not usually understood by people as "structure". It is converting the mental concept and inherent physical dynamic of the body structure from "trabeated" (a fancy word meaning post-and-beam), to a "funicular" structure (another fancy word meaning formed by cables or chains).

No, that was not what I was saying at all. The structure does not become loose. It is a dynamic yet rigid stucture. It is selectively rigid and loose, often rigid where most people are loose, and loose where most people are rigid. It's a re-wiring of the way you move.

I have a Physics degree so I understand what you're saying with the fancy words. That's not really what's going on, at least not what I'm doing. I don't speak for the Aunkai, I'm just me.

Do yourself a favor, and get out and actually feel it before you describe what it is.

Erick Mead
01-30-2008, 11:15 PM
No, that was not what I was saying at all. The structure does not become loose. It is a dynamic yet rigid stucture. It is selectively rigid and loose, often rigid where most people are loose, and loose where most people are rigid. It's a re-wiring of the way you move. I get that. I was not ascribing to you the concept that the structure in particular use is necessarily rigid or flaccid -- you just pointed out a result of your training is a flaccidity of (presumably tight to begin with), underlying structures. Whereas compression structures are preferentially rigid in all conditions, the cable in tension is rigid, and if tension is released -- is loose. This has dynamic implications as well as stability effects

It seemed that aspect we have in common from our respective experiences. They both relate to a variant idea from the commonplace understandings about stability structures -- not rigid mass columns, span-beams and cantilevers, rather Euler columns, guyed stability and using buckling gyration as a primary dynamic. Manipulating multiple inverted pendula (as I view the balance system, (respectively the lower body, upper body and head). The Aunkai paradigm (at least as Rob describes it in his earlier and extensive posts), isolates in various ways the lower, middle and upper pendula so that they can be examined and trained independently, and I presume, (although his exposition has not really gone that far yet ) later coordinated more closely.

As I view the Chinkon Kishin and related kokyu undo they train the coordination of these more dynamically and often simultaneously, Being more complex it is not necessarily easier or faster than a reductive method, such as I see in Rob's exposition of the Aunkai training. depending on the student's innate learning style.

Do yourself a favor, and get out and actually feel it before you describe what it is.I am not describing what you do, merely noting an aspect of what you yourself observed about your own training. I am describing my own experience, as I have mentioned before, in things that to me seem related. Whether what you are doing is useful for you is what counts --it does not really speak to me, whereas the chinkon kishin elements do.

Upyu
01-31-2008, 02:10 AM
I re read recently your description of Aunkai exercises and the whole cross contradictory tension frame. What struck me as I re-read this is that most of what you are actually doing is exhausting the more typically voluntary postural musculature, which, at the end of a training period, <snip>


Hi Erick,

Well first off, we'd have to meet to hammer out anything definite, that being said if I were a betting person, I'd wager a lot that you're off the mark.:D

The musculature being exhausted is only a side effect of the training, there's a lot more involved in the exercises than that.
Also, the musculature that's being exhausted tend to be the major muscle groups (not the deeper postural muscles inside the groin, close to the spine, and inside the illial psoas), simply because people tend to flex/use these muscles first out of sheer habit.
If the postural muscles were engaged in a meaningful way that would be a good thing! :) Unfortunately it takes a while to access and develop these parts, although it definitely does eventually work them in a certain manner.


This is actually NOT the case, but what it changes into is not usually understood by people as "structure". It is converting the mental concept and inherent physical dynamic of the body structure from "trabeated" (a fancy word meaning post-and-beam), to a "funicular" structure (another fancy word meaning formed by cables or chains). There is an engineering principle of supporting structure called the funicular load curve, or sometimes, for point loads, the funicular polygon, whereby whether in compression or tension the loads follow that curve in any stable structure.

I disagree,
you are right that it does change the mental concept gradually, but the body physically changes over time because it conditions certain physical aspects that we wouldn't generally associate as being able to be conditioned. But, you have to be aware of these components first, and how they align etc.


I point this out only because my epiphany on a related aspect of training came in Saito's training paradigm, after my first deployment when I had done little but weapons suburi and slooooow shadow-boxing kata of various aikido waza, quite intensely, for six months aboard ship since I had no training partner. That kind of structural exhaustion was a powerful component of the feeling at the end of training, where straight limbs became loosely hung, wiggly, and yet suburi became MORE powerful, not less.

I'll take a stab at this.
I'm not you, so obviously I could be wrong, but it sounds to me you had a breakthrough in relaxing the body. Which is great for what it is, but not necessarily what we're doing.
I had a background in doing CMA-based mantis training, which is basically all striking basics done with arms extended to develop a "feel" for what it means to be loose and not to tense the shoulders.
Again, great stuff, but it's elementary preparation for what comes next. The manipulation of the body on the inside is something completely different.


The Aunkai paradigm (at least as Rob describes it in his earlier and extensive posts), isolates in various ways the lower, middle and upper pendula so that they can be examined and trained independently, and I presume, (although his exposition has not really gone that far yet ) later coordinated more closely.

Ok, so for me, this statement for me pretty much seals it.
The upper is stabilized (but not isolated), nor are the middle and lower isolated.
Plus, if as you've hinted that we "coordinate" the upper, middle, and lower, meaning that you do something similar, then you're definitely way off the mark, at least with regards as to what we do.
The upper, middle and lower are quite literally connected. Meaning if I raise my leg slightly, the conditioned element in my body will quite literally cause movement to happen in my arm (which one is dependent on intent, and which pathway I use), because it passes force through my body in a different manner. Same thing goes with a "through the back" connection. If I, to put it in an extreme way, move my fingers on one hand, you'll see a corresponding movement (slightly weaker) on the fingers of my opposite hand, but not because I "coordinate" them.
There is a HUGE difference between "coordinating" the body and physically "connecting" it.
Anyways, that's my 2c.

We may be dropping by the east coast sometime in May.
I suggest you get up and have a feel for yourself ;)

If I'm wrong, and you were totally on the mark and you do the same/similar things we do, drinks are on me :D
Rob

gdandscompserv
01-31-2008, 07:33 AM
Lest we forget. It is my understanding that Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, and Rob John all have quite different training methods that achieve similar results.

Erick Mead
01-31-2008, 08:58 AM
Well first off, we'd have to meet to hammer out anything definite, that being said if I were a betting person, I'd wager a lot that you're off the mark.:D Seeing as I am not a betting man, no worries. :)

The musculature being exhausted is only a side effect of the training, there's a lot more involved in the exercises than that. ... Also, the musculature that's being exhausted tend to be the major muscle groups (not the deeper postural muscles inside the groin, close to the spine, and inside the illial psoas), simply because people tend to flex/use these muscles first out of sheer habit. I tend to agree in my own perception, with a slightly different take. Removing the "fog" of voluntary muscle stiffness merely reveal what is underneath, so that it can be perceived and more clearly and its mechanisms capable of being used without using the leveraged musculature. Don't get me wrong, I would not contend without having practiced with you that the Chinkon kishin and traditional kokyu undo are doing exactly what you are doing, and I think I can see from what you have described that the methodology is different. For shorthand sake (although it is an overbroad attribution) I am simply going to refer for this discussion to all the kokyu undo variations collectively as chinkon kishin.

I would describe bio-mechanically what you style as "contradictory tension" to be the forming of internal isometric strains in various elements of the body. When that voluntary strain is matained long enoucgh to temporarily deplete the volunatry musculature of that element and is then released, the voluntary muscles do not at that point control the structure for a time, thus providing you the training window to perceive an alternate structural mechanism (which was always there), and which window practice increasingly widens the ability to perceive and use. The progression is from external static to internal dynamic.

From stillness -- motion.

I perceive the methodology of chinkon kishin and various kokyu undo to be the same planet, other pole. Whereas your training isometrically and initially more statically isolates the voluntary muscles, the practice of the kokyu undo places the voluntary musculature into the mode of driving the dynamic form of that alternate structural mechanism. Ideally this also occurs to the point of substantial exhaustion, where the alternate progressively takes over from the voluntary musculature in that form. Suburi, lots of happo undo, lots of funekogi, to the point of as you said in your lengthy practice descriptions: "sweating like a pig." Then furitama, and ten/chi/shin kokyu breathing to feel the dynamic connections that have opened up throughout the body with finer, less gross, but systemic movements.

From motion -- stillness.

What I can see are these functional similarities, as you have described them in your practice. It is is clear to me that their respective approaches to the problems are distinct but not in any fundamental sense aimed at different things -- it is not clear to me that the intended and achieved result is in any way significantly different, apart from the student who is ill-suited to learn one way than the other (and I submit that either one may be ill-suited depending).

.. but the body physically changes over time because it conditions certain physical aspects that we wouldn't generally associate as being able to be conditioned. But, you have to be aware of these components first, and how they align etc. Or else have the form of the exercise align them generically and practice wear the dynamic shape into your body, so it is also available statically.

It is a different approach to the issue of conscious awareness of what is happening I will grant you. From the chinkon kishin perspective you only really become conscisious of what you ahve gained when you have gained it in some measure as a whole. Conversely, in your descritpion of your training progression (and Chris's too), you work on a consciousness of elements making up that that whole. In the practice you describe it seems that you early on are conscious of and moving toward elements of a form that you understand and perceive in each part as you gain it, and then more and more elements of that form in the terms you are given. This too is a distinct difference in learning style that separates the two approaches. Cinkon kishin requires more patience and trust of the process.

I will note that a recurring theme of those who are attracted to your training is a certain lack of trust and marked impatience in their training goals. This is not meant to be derogatory, as healthy skepticism and ambition to progress are good in and of themselves. It only a generic sense of certain personality type I have perceived. One can as easily be too trusting as too distrustful.

I'm not you, so obviously I could be wrong, but it sounds to me you had a breakthrough in relaxing the body. More than that. Much more power, without commensurately greater sense of effort at all. Entry without a sense of hurry. A sense of when to stay, when to go and where to go when going.

Ok, so for me, this statement for me pretty much seals it.
The upper is stabilized (but not isolated), nor are the middle and lower isolated. I may have got you wrong or misspoken, as what I meant in "isolating" elements was the isometric aspect of the contradictory tension you are using to perceive connected structure, as I described above, which is otherwise disguised by voluntary muscular leverage. I do not view the three inverted pendula of the body (hip to ground, hip to neck, and head, respectively) as EVER really disconnected (short of amputation, decapitation or bisection -- Ewww.) They may work together or in counter to one another, the latter of which is the foundation of osae waza.

The way in which I perceive this mechanical relation may be different from the way you perceive it. Thus "isolating" from my perspective means reducing the effective pendulum to one or two from three (reducing degrees of freedom for training purposes -- fewer balls to juggle). In your terminology that may legitimately be viewed as increased connection, and we may be debating verbiage.

The upper, middle and lower are quite literally connected. ... If I, to put it in an extreme way, move my fingers on one hand, you'll see a corresponding movement (slightly weaker) on the fingers of my opposite hand, but not because I "coordinate" them. The connections are what funekogi, tekubifuri, furitama and the three kokyu breathing work on -- everything moving together in a certain, dare I say, "harmony"

These disconnections become easily observed failings in the waza, which is why the waza are useful when training in this mode so as to disclose them. They disclose structure that is not articulated together -- literally disjointed -- if one is looking for it to correct. The best thing in the world for tai-sabaki is a couple hundred suburi, happo undo or other such chinkon kishin exercises beforehand. Then you know if you are connected or disconnected when you move. If connected there is hardly any effort in movement and if disconnected there is hardly any possibility of movement.

Upyu
01-31-2008, 09:45 AM
Lest we forget. It is my understanding that Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, and Rob John all have quite different training methods that achieve similar results.
Rrrm... different but similar.
They still use the same pathways. And practices that one person does can be pretty easily recognized as "sure I can see that working,” "or that's complete BS!".

There's a reason why mike's universal exercise drill can be similar in shape to the "tenchi" drill we do. Ark's never met mike, but the pathways that exist in the body are the same.
I've never met Dan, but I'd bet good money that some of his drills are going to look similar in certain aspects, even if the approach might be different.

ChrisMoses
01-31-2008, 09:55 AM
I am not describing what you do, merely noting an aspect of what you yourself observed about your own training. I am describing my own experience, as I have mentioned before, in things that to me seem related. Whether what you are doing is useful for you is what counts --it does not really speak to me, whereas the chinkon kishin elements do.

Please don't use the, "I'm just quoting you..." defense, you are not. With all due respect, you are attempting to describe things which you do not understand by attempting to wedge them into what you already know. I did the same thing over on e-budo before I met Ark. Granted I didn't do it with the verbosity that you do. That's not a personal attack, that's just math.

I'm genuinely glad that you have a training paradigm that you enjoy and take pleasure in, but don't assume that it's all the same. Without sounding like a late night infomercial dood, there is a simple brilliance to the Aunkai training methods. (And like Ricky pointed out, it would be an assumption to lump all three of the buzz-worthy folks into the same box, all of my comments along these lines are based on my exposure to Ark and the Aunkai and should not be interpreted to be all-inclusive). I'm also not saying that the Aunkai is the only place to get 'the goods' by the way, just keeping my comments in the framework that they were intended.

When I came back from meeting Rob the first time, a number of local Seattle folks looked me up to discuss what I'd experienced. A few of these folks had quite extensive martial arts backgrounds: koryu, Chinese arts, aikido... and had even been corresponding for a decent amount of time (up to a year) directly with Rob in an attempt to learn some of the Aunkai methods. Basically, they had the perfect background to be able to understand the Aunkai methods from a distance. All of them were doing things fairly differently than I had been shown in Japan. Why? Because, like anyone, they brought what they knew to the table in an attempt to understand something new, and a lot of this requires letting go of what you think you know. I went through the same process when I started studying Aikibudo with Neil, everyone comes in thinking, "Oh, we do that too..." and they don't. You can study all the films, videos, photos and Rob's excellent (and generous) exposition online, and it would still fall woefully short of the kind of understanding you would get in an hour of face time. If you're interested, even just so you can proclaim to the world that you already know it, go check it out. Otherwise, please stop attempting to describe that which you do not know.

Tom H.
01-31-2008, 10:51 AM
I've never met Dan, but I'd bet good money that some of his drills are going to look similar in certain aspects, even if the approach might be different.I'm *awfully* hopeful that Ark will be able to meet Dan some day soon so they can feel each other, then work together to advance the state-of-the art, so to speak. What if Ark has a method of using the body that Dan can't stop, and vice versa (I'm not talking about a power differential, but more like different kinds of power). Wouldn't that be great?

MM
01-31-2008, 11:33 AM
Lest we forget. It is my understanding that Mike Sigman, Dan Harden, and Rob John all have quite different training methods that achieve similar results.

Um, not to pick on you. :) But, how did you get to that understanding? I've met all three and I certainly couldn't say that their training methods are quite different. Nor could I say they are quite the same.

Mark

DH
01-31-2008, 11:59 AM
Hi Tom
Well I tried to make it happen this year but couldn’t make it to Japan or even Seattle. It’s going to happen though.

As for who is best?
I don't really think in those terms. I think of -what- is best- not who.
What if
a. beats b.
But along
b. had a superior method of training but just hadn't been doing it long enough or gotten the most out of it?
What if
a. gives his methods of training to b.
b. develops it to a fair-thee-well and beats a?
What does all that mean?
What if a blending of a, and b.'s methods were best for .....c.! A new student?
I think your idea of advancing the "state of the art" is cool but I think that is way beyond two men or two approaches. I'm sure there are guys with far more experience and skill.
While there is most certainly things that simply are not correct, there are different ways to train things that are *all* correct, just a different way to approach it. I'd agree with Rob that you just may find the goals are amazingly similar and the approach-closely related. So, as I said, in the end I am not concerned about -who is better then whom. I am concerned with *what* is the better way to train...me, Also of interest is what is a better way to train a larger section of people in the arts. Isn't that an intersting question? I have trained over 220 people spanning 18 yrs. I am always trying to improve the way I train and the way I train others. I still think I suck at it. Which is why I won't call myself-in the strictest sense of the word- a teacher. It's also why I don't charge money. I like to think of it as "People just keep showing up while I am training... me." The real key for anyone searching this stuff is- can that guy over there -with power and ability-teach it? Then, will he teach- you. Then, go try out other methods as well. The biggest concern when teaching is to be able to feel and see a persons bad habits and identify what -they are failing to identify in their own bodies. Then the tricky part is to both know how to fix it and be able to demonstrate and get them to fix it. That is what too look for in a teacher. I just don’t think it’s common.

You are one of the groups that has met and trained with all three repeatedly and seen the methods. While I don't use Arks methods I'd bet we had the similar goals in the end. I *think* my approach may be softer, very soft, as you know. With it being more the mental challenging the physical. Is it a slower path to power? You judge. I don't know. You have seen and felt what it does to folks starting from zero, to a year out, two years out, seven, ten, twelve and eighteen. Odd that it appears that is the same time line of usable skills in use in the dojo? How'd that happen? Now that you have trained various methods and sticking with one of them for a while has actually gotten you to the point of being able to -do- some thing’s-the next few years will enable you to go back out and keep researching and judge better for yourself.
I think everyone should own their own training. Smile, wave and wink at the one teaching you...but get out there and experiment and find a method that works for you.

And all that brings me back to my opening paragraph. What is best?
Cheers
Dan

gdandscompserv
01-31-2008, 12:02 PM
Um, not to pick on you. :) But, how did you get to that understanding? I've met all three and I certainly couldn't say that their training methods are quite different. Nor could I say they are quite the same.

Mark
Pick away Mark, I don't mind.:D
I came to that conclusion from reading their posts in the various forums. I may be way off base.
Your comment however did make things clear as mud for me though.:D
"I certainly couldn't say that their training methods are quite different. Nor could I say they are quite the same."

MM
01-31-2008, 12:32 PM
Pick away Mark, I don't mind.:D
I came to that conclusion from reading their posts in the various forums. I may be way off base.
Your comment however did make things clear as mud for me though.:D
"I certainly couldn't say that their training methods are quite different. Nor could I say they are quite the same."

Well, everyone who has gone to meet people have all come back saying, it has to be felt. You can't, as in not possible, get an idea of what is going on until then.

And then, when you do go, you find that you're starting over, or nearly so, in a lot of aspects. The comprehension isn't there. Maybe a slight understanding of things, but definitely not enough to compare training methodologies. Not at this level.

And I think Chris stated it well,


When I came back from meeting Rob the first time, a number of local Seattle folks looked me up to discuss what I'd experienced. A few of these folks had quite extensive martial arts backgrounds: koryu, Chinese arts, aikido... and had even been corresponding for a decent amount of time (up to a year) directly with Rob in an attempt to learn some of the Aunkai methods. Basically, they had the perfect background to be able to understand the Aunkai methods from a distance. All of them were doing things fairly differently than I had been shown in Japan.


Ya gotta feel it/experience it. Otherwise, you aren't going to come close. :)

Tom H.
01-31-2008, 01:12 PM
What if
a. beats b.
But along
b. had a superior method of training but just hadn't been doing it long enough or gotten the most out of it?
What if
a. gives his methods of training to b.
b. develops it to a fair-thee-well and beats a?
What does all that mean?
What if a blending of a, and b.'s methods were best for .....c.! A new student? Yes. If you thought I was saying something else, then I wasn't writing clearly. Can't write more because lunch is over.

DH
01-31-2008, 01:40 PM
Yes. If you thought I was saying something else, then I wasn't writing clearly. Can't write more because lunch is over.
Hey Bud
No problem. I was doing a bit of *using your post* and writing past you to a larger crowd. I just don't want anyone to mistakenly limit themselves to a few options. While I liked your "state of the art" idea, it read too close to the model of perfection, IE "state of the art"-see what I mean? I don't want *anyone* to attach my name to anything being "state of the art." :o I betcha Ark wouldn't either. I think its more the "state of the exploration of the potentials of the art!" But in a more definitive way than many folks may know or have been exposed to.
The inverse of all of that is the folks who thought THEY were involved in an art that was more akin to *the state of the art* till they felt what this type of training can do.
Anyway, seems to me that we're all a bunch of weird obsessed researchers,- Ellis has probably been right all along-so I doubt any of us would want to even -consider- we know or are near to actually doing anything...complete. I'm still looking forward to the next several decades, and getting better.

Anyway, sorry for any confusion.

Dan

Erick Mead
01-31-2008, 02:40 PM
Please don't use the, "I'm just quoting you..." defense, you are not. With all due respect, you are attempting to describe things which you do not understand by attempting to wedge them into what you already know.... That's not a personal attack, that's just math. Well, not math anyway. I claim no respect, so none is due me. However, if you don't want your observations compared, contrasted or examined with mine or others, don't make them. I expect mine to be compared, contrasted and challenged, by the very act of making them, and so welcome Rob's or anyone else's substantive comments, even negative ones, in response, as it improves all perspectives, hopefully.

I'm genuinely glad that you have a training paradigm that you enjoy and take pleasure in, but don't assume that it's all the same. ... I did not, and rather explicitly and at some length explored some differences -- and there are, no doubt, others ... Likewise, don't assume that its all different either. I am trying to fairly clear about differences that I do see, so making me out to say, "It's all the same," is neither accurate nor lending any great insight to whatever errors I am sure I have made.

If you're interested, even just so you can proclaim to the world that you already know it, go check it out. Otherwise, please stop attempting to describe that which you do not know.There is no privileged point of observation in the universe. If we can know the temperature of the Sun wihti a reasonable margin without ever touching it -- there are things that can be usefully observed about ways of training the human body (which last I looked -- we all share -- unless you have a REALLY interesting heritage) that do not REQUIRE "face time." I do not begin to pretend that a written forum is remotely equivalent, but it has its uses -- and dismissive assumptions to the contrary should be made sparingly, both ways.

"An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition. It isn't just saying, 'No it isn't' "

"Yes, it is."

"No, it isn't"

Budd
01-31-2008, 03:04 PM
Erick, that's not an argument, that's contradiction . . .

(ooh, you know you want to take the bait ;) )

Seriously, though, I'll keep saying, too, to go out and see what people are doing. I understand why it's good to question testimonials in isolated cases, but I think at some point, to have substantive input on the topic (I know I sure don't), it's gotta be felt in person (between all parties that are debating).

John Connolly
01-31-2008, 03:09 PM
We all know the sun is hot.

I want to train with the sun and get hot too.

Or, I could write about how I am like the sun, and wear a big yellow hat...

:freaky:

ChrisMoses
01-31-2008, 03:22 PM
Erick, I'll be perfectly honest, I dislike a flippant/humorous comment of mine being used as evidence for your exposition of the Aunkai methods. That's silly.

There is no privileged point of observation in the universe. If we can know the temperature of the Sun wihti a reasonable margin without ever touching it -- there are things that can be usefully observed about ways of training the human body (which last I looked -- we all share -- unless you have a REALLY interesting heritage) that do not REQUIRE "face time." I do not begin to pretend that a written forum is remotely equivalent, but it has its uses -- and dismissive assumptions to the contrary should be made sparingly, both ways.

Yes, certainly there are some things we can talk about without direct physical contact. I think Peter Goldsbury's articles on Transmission and Inheritance are excellent examples. I do not think that going into what it is the Aunkai is actually teaching without any hands on experience is one of those things. Measuring the temperature of the sun is simply non sequitur as far as I'm concerned. As an example, I'd been doing ten chi jin for a little over a year when we had Ark out. He moved my hips back about a cm, and rotated my hands (in place) about 15 degrees and it changed the whole practice. That's the kind of understanding that you're never going to get over the internet. You wouldn't even get it just being in class. You need someone to physically move you into the correct position. The difference was night and day in terms of what was going on in/with my body after the adjustment.

Honestly, there are privileged points of observation. The assertion that there isn't is absurd. Why don't you think we have many observatories here in downtown Seattle? Don't confuse frames of reference with points of observation, they are different, and are just as out of place in this discussion as when people bring up the uncertainty principle WRT macroscopic phenomena.

Allen Beebe
01-31-2008, 03:25 PM
Just do the Aunkai walking cross drills for an hour or so before every class, that usually renders mine completely flaccid for at least the remainder of class.

/dang I'm helpful! :D

Sorry Chris but being well into middle age I refuse to do anything that leads to flaccidity! I'll just continue to focus on getting it up in Agete and brag about how hard the Aunkai drills are!

:o

Erick Mead
01-31-2008, 04:18 PM
Erick, I'll be perfectly honest, I dislike a flippant/humorous comment of mine being used as evidence for your exposition of the Aunkai methods. Humor is only funny because it contains truth, and even funnier if the truth seems not intended.

I am not expounding the Aunkai methods, only comparing the exposition of them by others to what I have experienced. Belittle my experience all you want, but why take issue when I have been fairly clear, and please try being constructive, vice combative.

... moved my hips back about a cm, and rotated my hands (in place) about 15 degrees and it changed the whole practice. That's the kind of understanding that you're never going to get over the internet. ... You need someone to physically move you into the correct position. The difference was night and day in terms of what was going on in/with my body after the adjustment. And yet, strangely, just such subtle adjustments are kind of the thing that I seem to notice, point out and successfully correct with some fair regularity -- and which I learned in a way not related to Aunkai. I don't pretend they are the same errors or the same corrections or anything in regard to their relative performance, just that the claim of disproportionate results from subtle alterations is hardly unique or even terribly uncommon across an entire swath of arts.
Honestly, there are privileged points of observation. The assertion that there isn't is absurd. Why don't you think we have many observatories here in downtown Seattle? That's a strawman exaggeration of my point. We are talking about the human body. The human body is not structured different for you than it is for me. The same observations are available to me about my body as are available to you about yours, and within broad limits what is observable about my body is applicable to yours and vice versa, providing a ready frame of common reference, absent gross deformity. Only what we know about it or are careful enough to observe about it may differ. But that is the quality of the observation -- not any privilege in terms of the observational information that is available to one that is unavailable to the other . Hence my focus is typically on mechanics, objective markers, for what is done or the effects of what is done is a fair measure of what is intended to be done.

ChrisMoses
01-31-2008, 05:13 PM
Humor is only funny because it contains truth, and even funnier if the truth seems not intended.

Eh? OK, you probably wouldn't find Charlie the Unicorn funny then. Don't bother looking for it on Youtube. There's no truth in it, so it must not be funny.

I am not expounding the Aunkai methods, only comparing the exposition of them by others to what I have experienced.

Hmm, when you write "what you are actually doing" I can't help but read that you are at least attempting to describe what they are doing. No?

And yet, strangely, just such subtle adjustments are kind of the thing that I seem to notice, point out and successfully correct with some fair regularity -- and which I learned in a way not related to Aunkai. I don't pretend they are the same errors or the same corrections or anything in regard to their relative performance, just that the claim of disproportionate results from subtle alterations is hardly unique or even terribly uncommon across an entire swath of arts.

I'm sorry you missed my point entirely here. I wasn't saying that subtle correction was unique to the Aunkai. What I was attempting to say was that if the exercises require a degree of specificness that requires such subtle corrections to *really* approach the intended lessons, then simply watching videos even with excellent exposition will not get you close enough.

That's a strawman exaggeration of my point. We are talking about the human body. The human body is not structured different for you than it is for me. The same observations are available to me about my body as are available to you about yours, and within broad limits what is observable about my body is applicable to yours and vice versa, providing a ready frame of common reference, absent gross deformity. Only what we know about it or are careful enough to observe about it may differ. But that is the quality of the observation -- not any privilege in terms of the observational information that is available to one that is unavailable to the other . Hence my focus is typically on mechanics, objective markers, for what is done or the effects of what is done is a fair measure of what is intended to be done.

So let me get this straight. It is not a leap of logic for you to imply that because the surface temperature of the sun can be *estimated* (measured wouldn't be the word I would use) from a great distance, you can know with a high degree of certainty what a martial system aims to teach without any direct contact? But my point is somehow a strawman argument? Actually, it wasn't an argument at all, it was an example of how your assertion that there are no privileged points of observation is not a natural law. There are no privileged frames of reference, but that's a different concept and deals mainly with the constant nature of the speed of light. It does however assume that the observer and the thing to be observed are within the same frame of reference. In that context, my comment about observatories in Seattle was extremely relevant to my point, and not a strawman argument at all, but a clear example of where the principle you stated (there are no privileged points of observation) was in fact false or a misunderstanding of an actual natural law (there are no privileged frames of reference).

Mike Sigman
01-31-2008, 06:06 PM
Um, not to pick on you. :) But, how did you get to that understanding? I've met all three and I certainly couldn't say that their training methods are quite different. Nor could I say they are quite the same. Hi Mark:

I actually don't think you could get a great feel for what/how I teach out of that 1.5 hour class, but just for funsies let's say you got sort of an idea. And you've seen Dan and you've seen Ark and Rob. And you're discussing similarities and differences, yada, yada.

There's one thing that this conversation reminded me of and I'd like to amend a previous statement about how you get what you can where you can and then work and think on it. There's another possibility that I've noted occurs too often, in my experience. It goes like this:

I see a guy at a full-blown workshop and one of the first things I do is get a quick read on who knows what. I tend to look for the first level of error in people. For instance, a guy who can maybe utilize jin to some extent is OK as a starter. But if he uses a lot of shoulder instead of dantien, then that's where he needs to start fresh from because everything above that level, he's already polluted with shoulder usage. Many people will balk at that idea because they "already know how to do jin", BTW. OK, so we go through the whole workshop and I see the guy in a year. He hasn't changed. He's gone to workshops by 3 other guys and at each one he "starts doing it the way Joe Blow teaches it", instead of working on the basic stuff. In other words, he's not able to understand what's going on and therefore he's not selective in whose material he adheres to or the reasons *why* he works on certain things. So he never makes any progress.

Find out what these things are and FIRST understand them. Then work on them logically and consistently. The people who "do a little of this" and then "do a little of that" never get anywhere, IME. It's a real danger. There are so many people who "hold this posture" or "do standing practice like they do in Yiquan" or who "do stretches" and yada, yada, yada.... because those are the cool things they think they're supposed to do. But if they don't understand exactly what they're supposed to be doing in those various exercises, it's a waste of time.

Incidentally, when I see people and feel them, I know at what level they truly understand things by the level I can feel in them. Unless they can do something, they don't really understand it very well, even if they have a general academic idea about things.

So back to the original comment about what Akuzawa, Dan, and I do that is different or similar to each other. As far as I can tell from all the conversations, there is *some* commonality around the jin/kokyu level. But heck, that's just the basic entre'. There's so much beyond that, that it's not even funny. ;)

Best.

Mike

Erick Mead
01-31-2008, 09:26 PM
Eh? OK, you probably wouldn't find Charlie the Unicorn funny then. Don't bother looking for it on Youtube. There's no truth in it, so it must not be funny. High marks as a judge of people. To the contrary, "it's a magical leopleurodon, Charlie." More to the point: "Shun! Shun the non-believer! Shuuuuuun!" Nope, no truth there at all. I still have my kidney, though.

Hmm, when you write "what you are actually doing" I can't help but read that you are at least attempting to describe what they are doing. No? No. And to drag this back on topic, what was your experience of the chinkon kishin or related kokyu undo before you sought out Aunkai?

... if the exercises require a degree of specificness that requires such subtle corrections to *really* approach the intended lessons, then simply watching videos even with excellent exposition will not get you close enough. For some perhaps, for others not necessarily -- depending on their prior training. Try tracking in rotor blades as a helo maintenance check pilot. 58 foot diameter rotor turning at 298 rpm and you have to track four blades to less than one inch vertical separation apart. You get quite good at seeing small changes in relative movement for purposes of adjustment. I've analyzed the mechanics operating in a number of videos here and there on this forum. Some have not agreed that I necessarily got everything that was going on, but so far none have rebutted the mechanics of what I did see.

DH
01-31-2008, 09:50 PM
I've analyzed the mechanics operating in a number of videos here and there on this forum. Some have not agreed that I necessarily got everything that was going on, but so far none have rebutted the mechanics of what I did see.

Well I think you may misunderstand the tolerence. Someone brought you up today. You're a pretty nice guy in a debate, but no one who can do these things takes you seriously. Either those more advanced or those starting out.
As for observational mechanics:
As I have put to you before can you stand there with a 6' 3" weght lifter pushing on your chest horizontally and then pushing upward 45 deg and not move and yet be unmoved? How about someone with some real skills trying to push you over? How about Master level guys?

a. Where is there anything observable and definable in the non-movement that you have successfully anylized mechanically?
b. if you can't, then of what vaule is there to anything you have to say in the matter.

I have met any manner and number of guys- who have talked my ears off- who can't do a damn thing. What do I care about a theory from a guy who can't make it work. I look at them sometimes, and I think- as Trace Adkins said to Bill Maher "You need to shut-up."
Cheers
Dan

ChrisMoses
01-31-2008, 10:25 PM
No. And to drag this back on topic, what was your experience of the chinkon kishin or related kokyu undo before you sought out Aunkai?

That's a fair question, I'll try to go into more detail tomorrow, I don't really have the time tonight, plus I'm tired...

You get quite good at seeing small changes in relative movement for purposes of adjustment. I've analyzed the mechanics operating in a number of videos here and there on this forum. Some have not agreed that I necessarily got everything that was going on, but so far none have rebutted the mechanics of what I did see.

You're still missing what we're saying, the difference between "not it" and "it" is very nearly impossible to see, because everyone will look slightly different depending on their bodies and there is NO real discernible difference from the outside. You *need* the physical interaction and feedback of someone more skilled than yourself to really get very far. I would wager money that you would not be able to move Rob, let alone Ark in the 'pushout exercise' even with light resistance, I don't care how much mechanics you claim to understand. So far I have met one person who could move me (*ME* crappy old *ME*) doing the pushout the first time they tried it, and they were a long time student of Don Angier. I was a guest instructor at a local Aikido dojo recently and I did the push-our instead of kokyu ho at the end of class. I went around the room and no one could move me even with what I considered *no* resistance. I'm not bragging, I'm just trying to really hammer home the idea that it's different, and that you have to feel it. You cannot see the difference, you can barely feel it. But then, like Dan says...

Erick Mead
01-31-2008, 11:33 PM
but no one who can do these things takes you seriously. Either those more advanced or those starting out.....I look at them sometimes, and I think- as Trace Adkins said to Bill Maher "You need to shut-up."Really Dan. get this right. I have nothing I need to prove nor any need for yours or any one else's approval. In fact I find it fascinating that my questioning brings forward this dismissive aggression.

All learning is not a matter of throwing down. You work out whatever you have to work out, and I'll do likewise. If you were in Mobile I'd visit sometime; as it is, you are not and I have many other things to do. I have no reputation I wish to burnish and no seminars to schedule or coteries of students to attract. I wish to follow personal knowledge where it leads me, not what any authority tells me about it. You can discuss with me as an equal or talk down to me as you wish, my purpose is served by anything I glean from the discussion and I really could not care less the tone in which it is transmitted. Anything you say derogatory or otherwise can be of use to me.

Rob's criticism of my comments was fair and well-taken and in the spirit of his valuable contributions in describing what he actually trains to do. His view of me may be just as low as yours, but he at least has the gentlemanly manner of addressing his disagreements. You might reciprocate, for his sake, if not mine.

The videos previously offered on things that you suggest, by those who are held out as doing them as you suggest they are done -- have all been mechanically explainable, and they all "moved." Post a video sometime and let us see if your action differs from them in some significant regard. The camera doesn't lie, if you know what to look for; and while by no means complete information, its information is repeatable, quantifiable, and therefore within its bounds -- more reliable.

So. Do I take it you have nothing to add to the discussion on chinkon kishin or related kokyu undo?

Erick Mead
01-31-2008, 11:43 PM
...very nearly impossible to see, = "not impossible." I've seen Ark in a "pushout" video.

I'm just trying to really hammer home the idea that it's different, and that you have to feel it. You cannot see the difference, you can barely feel it. And there are very important dynamic things, deadly ones actually, that you can see but cannot feel -- if you do not know what they are, find a pilot and ask him.

I would wager money that you would not be able to move Rob, let alone Ark in the 'pushout exercise' even with light resistance, I don't care how much mechanics you claim to understand. I addressed the wager with Rob. :) But the point of the discussion is not to count coup but to see what aspects of the experience of these things relates, if at all, to chinkon kishin and the kokyu undo. And I don't feel the need to defend the latter in that context, I just want to know what your experience of them has been -- in comparison or contrast.

DH
02-01-2008, 08:39 AM
Erik
Sorry you took it that way. In retrospect, I should have more clearly delineated the former comments addressing you-which weren't bad- from the later, the culmination of dealing with those who know so much but can do little. Truly that wasn't aimed your way.

As for the tone? There wasn't one. I was trying to point out what Chris was pointing out as well. You took an exercise that you don't know and told them what they are doing. Since they can do them and you can't, its pretty strange to see you correct them about things they do. A couple of years ago when we started talking about this you were telling me and Mike how these things work in the body. I told you, you were way off base. You told me I don't understand the physics behind what I do. So I asked you then and I asked you in the last post-could you do what I described. You openly admitted you couldn't. Doesn't it strike you as a bit odd to be arguing with folks about how -they- are training to do a thing you yourself can't do?
Again, no insult intended. Years of meeting folks who can talk and analyze and deconstruct, and debate but can't do anything substantial lead to one inescapable conclusion. If you can't do, then you don't know, you're only guessing.
Cheers
Dan

ChrisMoses
02-01-2008, 10:12 AM
= "not impossible." I've seen Ark in a "pushout" video.

Wow. Just wow. Of course you can see someone do the pushout, but you cannot simply see what they are doing. If someone can be doing the pushout with me, feeling me, watching me and they can't tell what I'm doing, how on earth do you expect me to believe you can understand how it works by seeing a video. Wow.

And there are very important dynamic things, deadly ones actually, that you can see but cannot feel -- if you do not know what they are, find a pilot and ask him.

non sequitur much?

I addressed the wager with Rob. :) But the point of the discussion is not to count coup but to see what aspects of the experience of these things relates, if at all, to chinkon kishin and the kokyu undo. And I don't feel the need to defend the latter in that context, I just want to know what your experience of them has been -- in comparison or contrast.

So here's the thing, I don't care how much someone can intellectualize budo. If they can't do it, and teach it, I don't think they really get it.

But, as promised, my experience of Chinkon Kishin by Chris Moses age 34.

So I've done this in classes with Anno Sensei, Linda Holiday and Mary Heiny. We did the whole series, exactly as written in the linked article. The article actually goes into more detail than I got from anyone presenting the practice in person. It wasn't pure visual mimicry, there was some exposition, but not much.

So let's look at my frame of reference, at the time I learned these, I had a background in the Ki Society meditations/ki exercises from my time with Seikikai, and I was studying at a Mary Heiny related school.

My experience of CK at the time: It was a nice moving meditation and settling practice. It helps get air through the lungs and helped remove the stresses of the outside world. It was quite focusing. As far as headspace goes, it reminded me a lot of the Ki Society full exhalation/inhalation seated meditation that I used to do. I always seemed to get that slightly light feeling, like someone was turning the contrast down and the brightness up. Physically, it felt like a nice way to loosen the body and get rid of tension. If one was using the 'one point' paradigm, you could easily practice it as a way of using the limbs to amplify the movements of the hara (kokyu undo, stirring the pot...).

How it affected my training or understanding of techniques? None. Zero. It's entirely possible to do the entire series without any of the body dynamics I'm now studying. You felt good afterwards, but it was a similar feeling to doing some of the 70's tense-relax meditations.

Now I would probably treat it as an exercise to see how much structure and connection I could maintain while moving in an externally supple fashion, and I would focus a LOT less on amplifying the movement of the hara through the limbs.

Here's a question for folks (not a strawman, a real question): In this text, in what has been related to me by Anno Sensei (and others), and further as I wrote in my 'book report' on "Spirit of Aikido" there is a consistent assertion that the goal of aikido training in general, and CK training in specific, is to allow the body/practitioner to unify with the ki-flow of the universe. It feels as if one is taking the self out of the equation, to allow a divine/spiritual power entry. This concept is echoed in OSensei's comments about masagatsu agatsu katsu hayabi (winning over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven). This *seems* to me a slightly different take on ki/chi and its usefulness to the martial artist from what I have read in Chinese arts, where there *seems* to be the idea that one is developing the skill to manipulate, store, or otherwise interact with (at least partially) ones own ki/qi with *intention*. Does anyone want to comment on that?

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 10:55 AM
Sorry you took it that way....I told you, you were way off base. You told me I don't understand the physics behind what I do. So I asked you then and I asked you in the last post-could you do what I described. You openly admitted you couldn't. You just can't resist tossing gauntlet after gauntlet, can you? I figure you must run out of gloves sooner or later. While taking allowable implications of a statement and laying them out as I did with Chris to prompt further discussion is fair, your representation of what I have actually said is simply false. It is all online -- so if you wish to argue my words back at me, use them -- don't falsely attribute or gloss my statements -- quote me, preferably in context, with a forum link for reference.

I will not be baited into responding to the same strawman you have paraded before. You seem attempting to do the same now. I have been fairly clear before about the reasons why your tests are not adequately stated. I will summarize briefly, again. In the past you have attempted to game the ambiguities in your own statement of such tests in response to my good faith efforts to get you to more clearly define your criteria. You propose an experiment, but your conditions, while making a show of specifics, in fact remain fundamentally unstated.

You've never given a sufficient illustration or demonstration for your "test" of what "not moving" entails so as to duplicate the conditions to see if our experience would be similar or not. Nod and wink allusions to "those who know," while entertaining as rhetorical flourishes, are not substantive persuasive arguments. They are demeaning assertions of presumptive authority. Since as far as I am concerned, you have none I am bound to recognize, I disregard them. These ambiguities you have proved yourself poised to exploit as "gotcha" debate enders -- and are doing so, yet again. It's not even clever argument, much less addressing any substantive merit in the question.

It does not end anything. Truth is not determined in that manner. Ark's videos are available to be seen for things like pushout drills, and others, and do not suffer these ambiguities. They are illuminating to watch and also involve being moved, even if relatively little -- for what it is worth. Rob unambiguously describes his training and its actual process of operation from input movements, process and result. Whether in Rob's or anyone else opinion there is much more that may not be disclosed by either video or written description, may be so. Brag and counter-brag, however, prove nothing -- and only braggarts think otherwise. And of course, I would not wish to believe you one of those.

This is made doubly problematic by the simple fact that every illustration of O Sensei and others offered as mysteriously "not moving" by persons engaged in this recurrent debate all involved actual moving. To make this all more relevant to the topic at hand, they also seem to track rather well, oddly enough, with the chinkon kishin and related kokyu undo under discussion. It is a tradition of training that I have and do practice. So if those are the standards, your criteria leave a lot out in terms of quantifying what you mean to be different. It is not even clear if it is meant to differ from that tradition of training, or what experience of it you have in making that judgment or comparison -- if you are.

But, enough of that. Do you have anything to offer of your own experience or understanding by whatever means regarding the chinkon kishin or kokyu undo.

I think that is the third time I asked this question. I ask it again, in full expectation of nothing but more ad hominem. In this expectation I likely hope in vain to be disappointed. But I do hope.

ChrisMoses
02-01-2008, 11:05 AM
Erick, what lessons have you taken from Chinkon Kishin and how often would you say you practice it? For how long at a time? Thx.

gdandscompserv
02-01-2008, 11:10 AM
there is a consistent assertion that the goal of aikido training in general, and CK training in specific, is to allow the body/practitioner to unify with the ki-flow of the universe. It feels as if one is taking the self out of the equation, to allow a divine/spiritual power entry. This concept is echoed in OSensei's comments about masagatsu agatsu katsu hayabi (winning over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven). This *seems* to me a slightly different take on ki/chi and its usefulness to the martial artist from what I have read in Chinese arts, where there *seems* to be the idea that one is developing the skill to manipulate, store, or otherwise interact with (at least partially) ones own ki/qi with *intention*. Does anyone want to comment on that?
One cannot seperate oneself from the universe. Your ki is the universes' ki and the universes' ki is your ki.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2008, 12:17 PM
This is made doubly problematic by the simple fact that every illustration of O Sensei and others offered as mysteriously "not moving" by persons engaged in this recurrent debate all involved actual moving. I disagree. There have been a number of descriptive analyses involving non-moving demonstrations of the basic force skill. "Not moving" is, of course, a relative idea (as has been caveated a number of times before). The basic kokyu/ki skill in relation to simple forces (which most of these discussions have stayed at.... the simple level of discussion) can be seen in this picuture:
http://www.neijia.com/OneLegPushOriginal.jpg

That's about as "not moving" as you can reasonably get, Erick... even though I fully expect you to counter with something like how in reality nothing is ever still, the universe is in motion, brownian movement, or whatever. Let's assume, for the sake of discussion that the above-pointed illustration is of an action that is "not moving". It is static. That means that the analysis is simple mechanics and does not need to make the unnecessary trip into angular momentum in order to be understood.

Also, that's the same basic force-skill (bear in mind that there are many levels of expertise, even in something this simple) that applies to "the secret of Aikido" in all its various forms. It is also the essence of many/most/all of the things that are practiced in Chinkon Kishin. Everything boils down to the same thing. And remember that we haven't really covered what happens in the breathing training... the other half of the equation. ;)

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 02:57 PM
Wow. Just wow. ... If someone can be doing the pushout with me, feeling me, watching me and they can't tell what I'm doing, how on earth do you expect me to believe you can understand how it works by seeing a video. Wow. Wow, back. I can put you in a plane in IFR (clouds) place that plane in a constant angle bank for a while and then go through two slight movements of the controls and you will swear to God your are leaning or falling forward, left or right depending on the attitude in which I place the aircraft. I can see from the visual representations of attitude the objectively real condition, but you cannot from your felt perceptions. Kinesthetic senses are easily fooled as are certain visual perspectives -- and there are things that can be seen objectively from other perspectives that in felt perception of movement are as objectively false conditions as up=down. This has been known since man took to air, if not before, but pilots continue to die every year from failure to understand the basic truth that their absolutely true sense can also be a lie.

But, as promised, my experience of Chinkon Kishin by Chris Moses age 34. ... We did the whole series, exactly as written in the linked article. ... It wasn't pure visual mimicry, there was some exposition, but not much. ...
... If one was using the 'one point' paradigm, you could easily practice it as a way of using the limbs to amplify the movements of the hara (kokyu undo, stirring the pot...). How it affected my training or understanding of techniques? None. Zero. ... Now I would probably treat it as an exercise to see how much structure and connection I could maintain while moving in an externally supple fashion, and I would focus a LOT less on amplifying the movement of the hara through the limbs. I'll just ask the question: What effect do you think it may have had if, perhaps as you say by lack of exposition, the process of the training was functionally reversed in what you understood vice its intended function?

There is a significant distinction between our experiences. Our exposition of the practice was consistently given as using the hara to drive the limbs -- the limb motions are an effect, not a cause or contribution; even though the form of the limb motion is prescribed, the motion of the center properly generates that form.

Back to my concrete experience, if I had, by analogy, tried to fly a plane with wings mounted in reverse, I would understandably and justifiably take a dim view of the whole idea of purported "flying" machines. It may not be the whole story, however.

Seated kokyu tanden ho is merely a glacial flow of the same eddies of center-driven motion that flows in funekogi/funetori undo and others. The super-critical shape of the standing wave oscillation being shifted around between partners can be better perceived and adjusted in that practice, so as to find its swell (kuzushi), its breakpoint/drop-in (tsukuri) ,and then the ride (kake). The oscillations are part of the human pendular balance system with its constantly cycling momentum keeping you upright.

Ten no kokyu is the action of an inverted pendulum, with the balance system of the body forming the restorative orientation toward the heavens, or viewed as breath expanding above. Chi no kokyu is the action of a suspended pendulum with the earth forming the restorative orientation, or viewed as breath expanding below. Shin no kokyu is the action of both together and/or the action of the middle pendulum independently of the upper or lower ones, with the CENTER as the restorative orientation, or breath expanding the center.

Did I mention that planes are lifted off the ground in thin air by use of eddy vortex energy?

.. In this text, ... there is a consistent assertion that the goal of aikido training in general, and CK training in specific, is to allow the body/practitioner to unify with the ki-flow of the universe. It feels as if one is taking the self out of the equation, to allow a divine/spiritual power entry. This concept is echoed in OSensei's comments about masagatsu agatsu katsu hayabi (winning over everything in accordance with the mission of heaven). ... This *seems* to me a slightly different take on ki/chi and its usefulness to the martial artist from what I have read in Chinese arts, where there *seems* to be the idea that one is developing the skill to manipulate, store, or otherwise interact with (at least partially) ones own ki/qi with *intention*. As Francis Bacon said, "Nature, to be commanded, must first be obeyed." In surfing terms, I do not control the wave, I only control my relationship to the wave. Obey the laws of the universe and the universe will not charge you for violations.

I look to the mechanics for a western interpretation of ki in specific or of the universe. I see Ki in western terms as moments and angular momentum. Moment is potential for rotation, and angular momentum is the angular velocity of mass with respect to a fixed relative point of observation. If you do not impede the angular movement, no moments ever develop. Angular velocity can be reversed in sign without any moment arising, any angular velocity significantly diminishing or any structural strain being produced. Waves of energy are constantly reversing in sign without appreciable loss.

Moments only develop if the the angular velocity is diminished, typically by strains in the structure -- an unresolved potential rotation -- too much strain and it fails. Wave-wise, as the wave eddy depth is constrained, the peak rises commensurately and then eventually breaks.

Thus works kuzushi, creating moment in the opponent's structure compelling rotation, when any slight amount of complementary momentum is then transferred That overlaps in many respects with osae waza as the inverse function -- critically oriented angular momentum creates a moment strain at critical junctures in the opponent's structure, making operative rotation impossible anywhere but the plane compelled by the moment typically blocked by some other structure, the ground or the person applying the pin, or structural failure occurs.

O Sensei surfed people trying to hit him. So did Shioda, so did Tohei, so did Saito, so does Saotome, and many others. That was and is takemusu aiki. O Sensei just followed the shape of the breaking wave in individuals or groups, equally. There was at the point of reaching that perception no need to think, plan or control anything but to learn to see the shape and know where to be on the wave, and there remains even at that level, a broad spectrum of surfing abilities and styles. But if it ain't surfing -- it ain't aiki.

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 03:43 PM
I disagree. There have been a number of descriptive analyses involving non-moving demonstrations of the basic force skill. "Not moving" is, of course, a relative idea (as has been caveated a number of times before). The basic kokyu/ki skill in relation to simple forces (which most of these discussions have stayed at.... the simple level of discussion) can be seen in this picuture:
http://www.neijia.com/OneLegPushOriginal.jpg Now we're getting somewhere. It has been the lack of the relative idea and caveats from Dan's perspective that have troubled me, far less so in your usage, after much discussion. That image is almost exactly how I get my occasionally sloppy uke to close his line in commencing katate menuchi -- by offering and holding in wait a prospective kick for him as his blinking, red-light "Honk honk," "I'm going to hit you" signal. :D Seems not so different, actually. I'll have to try it in static isolation. As I have said, my perception is that we come at it from the other direction. Closer to static, I've done and occasionally demonstrate a variation where you engage katatedori while high up on the balls of both feet, let him try to get his push going -- and then drop him into kuzushi. To me it exemplifies the use of ten no kokyu. It seems like the more on tippy-toe you go all the more enticing it is for uke to try that much harder with the push -- and really sucker himself.

Would that be the kind of thing you mean in "not moving?"

ChrisMoses
02-01-2008, 03:59 PM
Wow, back. I can put you in a plane in IFR (clouds) place that plane in a constant angle bank for a while and then go through two slight movements of the controls and you will swear to God your are leaning or falling forward, left or right depending on the attitude in which I place the aircraft.

Please stop boring me with aircraft crap. I do not think it applies.

O Sensei surfed people trying to hit him. So did Shioda, so did Tohei, so did Saito, so does Saotome, and many others. That was and is takemusu aiki. O Sensei just followed the shape of the breaking wave in individuals or groups, equally. There was at the point of reaching that perception no need to think, plan or control anything but to learn to see the shape and know where to be on the wave, and there remains even at that level, a broad spectrum of surfing abilities and styles. But if it ain't surfing -- it ain't aiki.

OK, here's one fundamental difference with what I'm doing. I am the freakin wave, and I'm going to dash uke on the rocks. Remember, an attacker becomes a partner you control only, hard to control the wave, like you said, try and you'll fail. I surf snow, but it's the same concept. You fight the mountain and the mountain will win, every time.

All I can probably contribute here. Thanks folks, tip the bartender.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2008, 04:10 PM
Now we're getting somewhere. It has been the lack of the relative idea and caveats from Dan's perspective that have troubled me, far less so in your usage, after much discussion. That image is almost exactly how I get my occasionally sloppy uke to close his line in commencing katate menuchi -- by offering and holding in wait a prospective kick for him as his blinking, red-light "Honk honk," "I'm going to hit you" signal. :D Seems not so different, actually. I'll have to try it in static isolation. As I have said, my perception is that we come at it from the other direction. Closer to static, I've done and occasionally demonstrate a variation where you engage katatedori while high up on the balls of both feet, let him try to get his push going -- and then drop him into kuzushi. To me it exemplifies the use of ten no kokyu. It seems like the more on tippy-toe you go all the more enticing it is for uke to try that much harder with the push -- and really sucker himself.

Would that be the kind of thing you mean in "not moving?"It's a simple statics analysis, Erick. It's all right in front of you. "Not moving", in the case of this simple example, means that an equilibrium of forces has been achieved. A simple vector analysis should expose the basic "secret" to the most casual observer. Being able to move with this skill manifest, and manifest in all directions simultaneously, is it. Of course, this example is like plucking and releasing a string in order to make a tone.... it is not the full virtuoso classical-guitar playing, by any means.

However, this is the obvious fruit that has been dangling for a few years right in front of you, while you seemed intent on abstruse solutions. Just do the static-analysis and look at the solution vector that nage needs to generate in order to achieve "not moving". That's the key (pun intended).

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
02-01-2008, 06:59 PM
Erick
Tohei's example was a demonstration of absorbing forces while on one leg. Since you keyed in on the hand and doing a technique for kuzushi, lets move to this.
Look ma no hands!
No motion, no movement to be seen, no waza, the guy tries to push you over
Next, The guy pushes on your head.

Can you do it?
How do you remain standing?

Dan

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 07:42 PM
It's a simple statics analysis, Erick. It's all right in front of you. "Not moving", in the case of this simple example, means that an equilibrium of forces has been achieved. A simple vector analysis should expose the basic "secret" to the most casual observer. ... Just do the static-analysis and look at the solution vector that nage needs to generate in order to achieve "not moving". That's the key (pun intended). It is NOT simply statics. It is more akin to a bike and more complex even than that. There are recurrent, quasiperiodic gyrations of hips and torso involved in normal balance -- which word I know you decry, but thems the facts. It is a dynamic equilibrium, not a static one, therefore both delicate and powerful.

That means that a 'push' can be made eccentric, i.e. -- "not passing through the center" imparting a torque, vice a compressive stress at the support. A torque means that the other side of the body can be made an effective counterweight to that by altering the effective CG (irimi on the off-side) for a counterpoise moment, but it is not a "sprung" resistance against the ground in compressive terms. Nor does it result in a large increase in torque at the ground, because the irimi movement on the offside (being the same direction of rotation as the applied lateral torque of the push -- resolves a large component of the moment of the push.

Neither bipedal (or unipodal) balance can be made static, and because balance is a quasi-periodic function, there is constant interplay between the push moment, gravity moments and the pendular counters of the hips, torso and head. It never stops. But if you have the kokyu right they can with increasing sensitivity approach a standing wave with only minor deviations. That is a matter of developed feel, but it is just the natural balance mechanism applied to other uses.

Mike Sigman
02-01-2008, 07:58 PM
It is NOT simply statics. [[snip chaff]] Heh. Whatever, Erick. The problem is that it doesn't take such a high-tech knife just to cut butter. The basic analysis of the exceedingly simple posture I showed conforms very simply and adequately to statics. If you want to worry about the leg strength in different people, different peoples' balance abilities, the strength of the prevailing winds, the rotation of the earth and factor in the moon's gravity, you are needlessly confounding yourself.

As I've said before, there are too many people reading this stuff and who can do this stuff at this ridiculously elementary level.... your position/argument doesn't say anything at all about these skills. It says something about what you personally know about ki and kokyu, topics which you claim to teach. Nothing more.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 08:07 PM
Can you do it?
How do you remain standing? I try relate what I do and know, or to compare that with what you describe that you do. I try not to guess at what you do, other than from expanding on the implications of what you o anyone else does say.

I could relate to what Mike showed and try to map out our differences of understanding, because I do that or some things very similar. The static push you illustrate is not among things we train in the kokyu undo training I was given, therefore I will not guess much at what you do nor hypothesize at any length about what I might do. I try to stick to my experience or mechanics that have some objective basis.

But taking the matter in principle, why would it differ at all? Taking the push to the body eccentrically with complementary irimi accomplishes the same thing as when the push is more remote, and the key difference is that the CG window for the counterpoise is far narrower. That is exactly what I see in O Sensei's seated "head push" videos. He keeps the pusher from ever achieving a clear line through his center. He is counterpoising his CG moment forward by the complementary motion of his torso with the head motions he is using . which sets up the same kind of canceling moments as when standing, with his window for stability even narrower still.

DH
02-01-2008, 08:37 PM
Quotes
1.I try relate what I do and know, or to compare that with what you describe that you do. I try not to guess at what you do.....
2.... I try to stick to my experience or mechanics that have some objective basis.

3 snip mechanic dissertation...That is exactly what I see in O Sensei's seated "head push" videos. He keeps the pusher from ever achieving a clear line through his center. He is counterpoising his CG moment forward by the complementary motion of his torso with the head motions he is using . which sets up the same kind of canceling moments as when standing, with his window for stability even narrower still.

4. I do not criticize either Dan or Mike for doing their own work in their own ways, in fact I rather admire their tenacity of opinion and engagement. I just come with a different body of knowledge that I know to work and apply to the problems.
Erick
If you review, you have stated you not only know what I do and Ark does but have stated -we- don't even understand what we do. Right here, now... you claim to only discuss what you know- then claim to know what Uehsiba did and describe how its accomplished. So of course you can do it right-you only discuss what you know.

I think this may be great. To find someone else who claims to do these things.and that with such an unusual and complex methods.
You know Erick right now quite a few guys are training and researching this stuff. They are flying to meet and train with Mike, me, Ark, Then are going to train with Kiyama, Goldberg, Okomoto, Popkin, Ikeda, Saotome. etc. They are making some rather surprising judgements and talking amongst themselves. The men and women I have met are motivated researchers without prejudice.
I have a few people who have literally been round the world with master level teachers. They have convinced themselves that
a. men with these skills are not common.
b. Men who are willing to share what they know in an understandable and replicable fashion are rarer still.
May we add you to the list of men with unusual power and sensitivity who can display it? May they come and test you as well since you so fervently advocate as you just did with Mike, that you not only can do but you can explain to everyone how its all done. You must have a significant reputation in your locale already. Surely some will want to meet you, test you in what ever venue you choose and learn of these complex models that will lead to growth for everyone.
Should they come?
Will you demonstrate and teach and help some folks out?

Cheers
Dan

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 08:39 PM
Please stop boring me with aircraft crap. I do not think it applies. Have you flown? It is in my bank of experience of physical stability problems and applied power. Boring or not, it does apply. Read Sagawa again about the limits of the "applicable" in budo. Read him also about moving from art to art and understanding to understanding, rather than building on what you know, that you know to work, instead of what others promise works that you do not know. His point -- they know nothing better than you can know it -- if you do your own steady and self-honest work.

I do not criticize either Dan or Mike for doing their own work in their own ways, in fact I rather admire their tenacity of opinion and engagement. I just come with a different body of knowledge that I know to work and apply to the problems. I don't feel the need to defend what I know to work, and I don't try to adopt or adapt to anyone else's way of working unless and until it is shown to me that what I do does not work, and their way is manifestly better. Needless to say they nor you can do that here very easily, nor have much tried in what can be done here toward that end.

OK, here's one fundamental difference with what I'm doing. I am the freakin wave, and I'm going to dash uke on the rocks. What was it I said about personality types drawn to the form of training you seem to prefer? "Marked impatience in their training goals."? Ambition is admirable, but can you honestly think you learned everything that the chinkon kishin kokyu undo had to teach, given that the way you came to understand it, and then abandoned it in frustration, seems from your description to be just about 180 degrees out from the way it was given to me?

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 08:48 PM
Heh. Whatever, Erick. ...the exceedingly simple posture I showed conforms very simply and adequately to statics. Yes, whatever. If you truly think that bipedal balance is a statics problem, I cannot go very far with you down that road.

your position/argument doesn't say anything at all about these skills. It says something about what you personally know about ki and kokyu, topics which you claim to teach. Nothing more. My position/argument is how I understand what I DO -- I teach the things I was taught and whatever there is of ki or kokyu that I know is in those things -- and it is not my place to do anything else. I am not bound in any way in my attempts to relate and understand that knowledge of what I do in ways that are not limited to the terms of the art.

Erick Mead
02-01-2008, 08:52 PM
Erick ... you have stated ... Dan.

Quote me -- or don't say what I said. Especially when there is no actual point beyond the naked ad hominem attack. Spending so much time belittling me suggests you have nothing with which to belittle the actual points I made.

And please throw away the rest of the gauntlets. I have plenty.

DH
02-01-2008, 09:10 PM
Erick
You have chopped my posts to ribbons and joined disparate lines together just a few posts ago. Belittle you? Come on man. I'm not attacking you. I am pointedly addressing your answers and descriptions of the skills -of others. You are making some very definitive descriptions about what others are doing, and you have most certainly stated they are all explainable and you know how its done. Did you not? Where is that an attack on you?
I am asking you to show it. This a field of interest for many people who are traveling around the world for their knowledge. Since you are so very strong on stating how these things are done why not help out and ...show. I'd bet there are many guys down your way who would head over. Where is that attacking you in any way? Can you show me where I challenged your knowledge of mechanics and physics? No you can't. You're over my head. So, I repeatedly ask if you can ...do. I just don't see the offense.
Lighten up. Words either mean something or they don't. You have created hundreds of pages with exhaustive descriptions. Since you claim a knowledge these guys are sweating and striving for why not help? We have. Maybe they'd want to compare training tips with someone of your knowledge. Hell, maybe I can make it and we can compare notes and training methods. Is that somehow unreasonable in light of the hundreds of posts you have made on the subject? Are there local guys down there who know you posess these skills?
Cheers
Dan

Cady Goldfield
02-01-2008, 09:44 PM
Presenting a diagram of a guy pushing another guy horizonally on the chest, and asking whether "someone" could

1. take such a push without being moved

and

2. explain how it was done

was a pretty straight-forward request, and, in fact, one for which a "yes" or "no" answer would have sufficed. ;)

ChrisMoses
02-01-2008, 10:50 PM
Have you flown? It is in my bank of experience of physical stability problems and applied power. Boring or not, it does apply.

I'm not a pilot, but I have been on a plane. I also have a BS in Physics with a minor in Applied Mathematics and completed all requirements to enter any Physical Therapy program in the country, including almost 400 hours of volunteer time in clinics. I think in mechanics. Your random feats of awesomeness with all things avionic seem completely out of sorts in what *I* am talking about. For example, your description about fooling ones balance through subtle manipulations has to do with physiological phenomena of the vestibular canals and our visual references. It has about as much to do with this discussion as how if you stand in a doorway and press your arms into the door for 30 seconds, then step forward, your arms will 'magically' rise of their own accord. That's completely different from two people standing on stationary ground. It's completely different. Let me put that another way. It's completely different.

Read Sagawa again about the limits of the "applicable" in budo. Read him also about moving from art to art and understanding to understanding, rather than building on what you know, that you know to work, instead of what others promise works that you do not know. His point -- they know nothing better than you can know it -- if you do your own steady and self-honest work.

Hmm, I kind of took Sagawa to be saying that most people were lazy and had no idea what they were actually doing, and that only through intense personal dedication and *impatience with their own training and development* would they amount to anything. That's paraphrasing, but that's how I read him. I certainly did not take him to be saying that everyone's opionion and quality of information/understanding was equal.

What was it I said about personality types drawn to the form of training you seem to prefer? "Marked impatience in their training goals."? Ambition is admirable, but can you honestly think you learned everything that the chinkon kishin kokyu undo had to teach, given that the way you came to understand it, and then abandoned it in frustration, seems from your description to be just about 180 degrees out from the way it was given to me?

I never said I learned everythin that the chinkon kishin had to teach. I specifically said that it probably had more that I could have gotten out of it, but that the *teaching methodology* did not work for me. I did not abandon it out of some melodramatic frustration, it just didn't do anything for me. Could you describe to me what sort of training I prefer? I don't think you have any idea how patient you have to be to train the way I do.

I'm confused, when you say my description is 180 degrees out of phase, what description are you talking about? If you're talking about my wave analogy (that you quoted) I would ask you to comment on how you reconcile your analogy of being a surfer riding a wave with OSensei's description with the archetype for non-confrontation in Aikido (where your attacker becomes a parter who you control only). Who here is out of line with the founder's vision for Aikido?

Mike Sigman
02-01-2008, 11:01 PM
Yes, whatever. If you truly think that bipedal balance is a statics problem, I cannot go very far with you down that road. Strawman. I never said balance itself was a statics problem. Once balance is achieved, the dynamics in the illustration can be assumed as a given and the problem analysed as a simple equilibrium of forces. What's happening is that you simply can't picture these giveaway-simple examples because you don't know how it's done. The recondite explanations you use simply highlight that fact.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

DH
02-01-2008, 11:19 PM
Side bar of interest regarding Ueshiba:

Budo Renshu 1932 authored By Ueshiba M.
For those who don't know, All the waza were hand drawn -clearly Daito ryu waza- which he was actively still teaching and awarding mokuroku in at the time. It was privately published to select students. Later, it was used to raise money as well.
Under the secret teaching of Budo
A poem
The precious
Izu and Mizu in
The "Aiki ju"
Courageously advance
In the voice of Izu

From the translator
The aiki cross were two lines in an X- intersecting vertically at their center.
While the translater believes Ueshiba meant to express Izu and Mizu as in/yo he also makes note of the true definitions as springing forth or gushing water. I find the dual meaning interesting.
Also interesting were Ueshiba describing the yin and yang of opposing hands. However I can find no descriptions of him covering that the same side hand/foot are best treated as opposites as well. Which is of course demonstrable in the cross. FWIW, this is also a path for the way I do Shiko
Cheers
Dan

TomW
02-02-2008, 01:13 AM
It is NOT simply statics. It is more akin to a bike and more complex even than that. There are recurrent, quasiperiodic gyrations of hips and torso involved in normal balance -- which word I know you decry, but thems the facts. It is a dynamic equilibrium, not a static one, therefore both delicate and powerful.

That means that a 'push' can be made eccentric, i.e. -- "not passing through the center" imparting a torque, vice a compressive stress at the support. A torque means that the other side of the body can be made an effective counterweight to that by altering the effective CG (irimi on the off-side) for a counterpoise moment, but it is not a "sprung" resistance against the ground in compressive terms. Nor does it result in a large increase in torque at the ground, because the irimi movement on the offside (being the same direction of rotation as the applied lateral torque of the push -- resolves a large component of the moment of the push.

Neither bipedal (or unipodal) balance can be made static, and because balance is a quasi-periodic function, there is constant interplay between the push moment, gravity moments and the pendular counters of the hips, torso and head. It never stops. But if you have the kokyu right they can with increasing sensitivity approach a standing wave with only minor deviations. That is a matter of developed feel, but it is just the natural balance mechanism applied to other uses.

Erick, it's a model, whether it's simple statics, quasi-periodic functions, or double pendulums, they're all just models, we use them every day in engineering. Heck, simple statics and closed systems don't even exist, but we use them. Why? because we can. We use assumptions to simplify the model and the mathematics. If those assumptions are valid, the model is appropriate, if the assumptions are not valid, things fall down. It's not a function of how complex the mathematics is, it's how valid your assumptions are. Case in point, the urban legend about bumble bee flight. Whether true or not, it's a fitting example. The math wasn't wrong, their assumptions weren't valid. Fortunately, they had the foresight to use the age old scientific tool, observation, and acknowledge that "One shouldn't be surprised that the results of the calculations don't square with reality"

The model that Mike and Dan have presented is grossly simple but under the valid assumptions, useful. I would posit, as assumptions, that 1. the nage is in equilibrium, static or dynamic, which ever you prefer, before and during the applied push and 2. the push is concentric, ie. no torsional compensation allowed.

Before you balk at acknowledging the possibility of this model yielding positive results and retreat to the mathematical high ground, I would again posit that this model, on a basic level (as I understand it), fits the paradigm as I know it (I can yield positive results). If the model doesn't fit your paradigm, it does not evidence an inherent flaw in the model or the math. If any thing, it merely implies our paradigms are different. That we aren't talking about the same thing.

I would address chinkon kishin, as my initial introduction was similar to Chris' and left quite a bit to speculation (and, no, I didn't abandon it in frustration either) but my current lineage is far more specific, but that will have to wait for another time.

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 01:27 AM
Once balance is achieved, the dynamics in the illustration can be assumed as a given and the problem analysed as a simple equilibrium of forces. What's happening is that you simply can't picture these giveaway-simple examples because you don't know how it's done. The recondite explanations you use simply highlight that fact. I know what I can do. While I am happy to share experiences where there is a genuine spirit, I could not care less to prove anything to you. What I am interested in are observations of function, to relate to my own experience, and therefore better understand that, not to learn to do what you do or don't do, or whether I do it or not or the way you do.

I am concerned about understanding the things that exercises such as Chinkon kishin are operating on to improve what I can do. Those exercises have worked consistently and steadily to do that in practice so I build on that. I am interested in anything that produce a closer understanding, regulation of ,and a more extensive and precise direction over the ACTUAL balance system of the human body, offensively and defensively.

Bipedal balance is not a "simple equlibrium of forces." It is in constant cycle of disequilibirum and recovery. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1456055
Abstract It has been widely assumed for nearly a century, that postural muscles operate in a spring-like manner and that muscle length signals joint angle (the mechano-reflex mechanism). Here we employ automated analysis of ultrasound images to resolve calf muscle (soleus and gastrocnemius) length changes as small as 10 μm in standing subjects. Previously, we have used balancing of a real inverted pendulum to make predictions about human standing. Here we test and confirm these predictions on 10 subjects standing quietly. We show that on average the calf muscles are actively adjusted 2.6 times per second and 2.8 times per unidirectional sway of the body centre of mass (CoM). These alternating, small (30--300 µm) movements provide impulsive, ballistic regulation of CoM movement. The timing and pattern of these adjustments are consistent with multisensory integration of all information regarding motion of the CoM, pattern recognition, prediction and planning using internal models and are not consistent with control solely by local reflexes. Because the system is unstable, errors in stabilization provide a perturbation which grows into a sway which has to be reacted to and corrected. Sagittal sway results from this impulsive control of calf muscle activity rather than internal sources (e.g. the heart, breathing). This process is quite unlike the mechano-reflex paradigm. We suggest that standing is a skilled, trial and error activity that improves with experience and is automated (possibly by the cerebellum). These results complement and extend our recent demonstration that paradoxical muscle movements are the norm in human standing.

... if the calf muscles are maintained at constant activation then a person standing with feet side by side will inevitably topple forwards. The implications of this low stiffness, spring-like linkage in series with the muscles and the body were predicted by an experiment in which an inverted pendulum was manually balanced using a range of stiffness of series springs. The muscle and the load were shown to be decoupled: they are not mechanically constrained to do the same thing at the same time....humans cannot maintain bipedal stability in the sagittal plane through unchanging muscular activity in the calf muscles. .. the calf muscles has a stiffness less than the load stiffness of the human inverted pendulum . Thus, without proactive control of the calf muscles , the person would inevitably fall forwards until they have to take a step. .. the adjustment produces an impulse, effectively a change in velocity, given to the CoM. ... there are on average 2.8 bias adjustments for each CoM sway, the velocity change is delivered in approximately one-third of a unidirectional CoM sway. The changes in muscle activation are delivered in a shorter time still (Fig. 6). As the impulsive effect is discharged by the nervous system in a short timescale relative to the effect on CoM position, and before feedback of the result can be received, this process is properly described as ballistic. For example, after a bias action, the nervous system will not know, and will have to wait to find out whether or not the direction of CoM motion will be reversed. Small differences in impulse will result in completely different motion sequences for the CoM. Instants when the CoM is finely balanced and moving at low speed are effectively bifurcation points where alternative small changes in ankle torque could result in opposite motions of the CoM (Loram & Lakie, 2002a). These bifurcation points create unpredictability in the motion of the CoM. The delay between the initiation of a destabilizing rise in velocity and the corrective reaction (Fig. 7) is evidence that these micro falls are not perfectly predicted. The summated effect of these ballistic bias, impulse actions is regulation of position and velocity. This is a study of simple quiet-standing balance. It is found to be a chaotic, non linear process. There is NOTHING that a simplistic vector statics helps explain in that -- much less a larger perturbation such as a push.

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 01:44 AM
Erick, it's a model, ... If those assumptions are valid, the model is appropriate, if the assumptions are not valid, things fall down. ... The model that Mike and Dan have presented is grossly simple but under the valid assumptions, useful. I would posit, as assumptions, that 1. the nage is in equilibrium, static or dynamic, which ever you prefer, before and during the applied push and 2. the push is concentric, ie. no torsional compensation allowed. Thanks, Tom. Please see the link and quote I gave Mike S. Their assumptions are not empirically valid, regardless of their performance, which I have no prejudicial reasons to doubt, the lack of like courtesy notwithstanding.

1) nage is critically not in equilibrium before the push, nor during nor after; and

2) no push can be meaningfully concentric, where the balance system is actively imparting moments and counter moments both laterally and torsionally. i.e. - departing the center and returning again in unpredictable ways.
If the model doesn't fit your paradigm, it does not evidence an inherent flaw in the model or the math. It doesn't fit the evidence, and my paradigm is irrelevant to that.

I would address chinkon kishin, as my initial introduction was similar to Chris' and left quite a bit to speculation (and, no, I didn't abandon it in frustration either) but my current lineage is far more specific, but that will have to wait for another time.Sooner please than later, I would hope, since that was the promise of this discussion, rather than this sidetrack.

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 02:47 AM
I'm not a pilot, but I have been on a plane. .. . I think in mechanics.... That's completely different from two people standing on stationary ground. It's completely different. Let me put that another way. It's completely different. Not so different in control, which your background does not provide you and mine does. Control where the mechanics gets practical. My experience is that the same essential aspects of my stability control system are operating when I meet a person standing on stationary ground, as when I am flying. You fly a plane with the same neuromuscular control kicks and only semiconscious dynamic impulse corrections that keep you upright on a bike or standing erect, or responding to a push or causing kuzushi in an opponent.

Hmm, I kind of took Sagawa to be saying that most people were lazy and had no idea what they were actually doing, Well he did say that ... ... I certainly did not take him to be saying that everyone's opionion and quality of information/understanding was equal. Nor did I.
Take Aiki for example. There is no way to really teach this. ... <If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong.
No matter how accomplished a person is, he is never perfect. Never hold what he says to be gospel. If you do, then it will obstruct your own determination to innovate and find things out for yourself. You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas.

I'm confused, when you say my description is 180 degrees out of phase, what description are you talking about? This.
f one was using the 'one point' paradigm, you could easily practice it as a way of using the limbs to amplify the movements of the hara ... Now I would probably treat it as an exercise to see how much structure and connection I could maintain while moving in an externally supple fashion, and I would focus a LOT less on amplifying the movement of the hara through the limbs. As I said, your description "limbs amplify movements of the hara" is 180 degrees out from the hara amplifying the movements of the limbs.

Who here is out of line with the founder's vision for Aikido?I don't know. I only have my own vision of Aikido 'cause that's what he (and Sagawa) said I had to develop. It will probably turn out badly, and of course, I would have done anyway, but it's nice for the encouragement all the same.

So let me answer your earlier question which I missed.
Erick, what lessons have you taken from Chinkon Kishin and how often would you say you practice it? For how long at a time? Thx. Lessons. The main one is that I realized that the movements were larger amplitude versions of things that are already going on in my body naturally, but without the mobilization and precise direction that makes them capable of being used as a weapon. I realized that to gain a direction over those processes required scaling them up to attune to them and how to manipulate them -- which is what the basic forms of kokyu undo are.

As to my practice with them I stated generally for formal practice in my earlier post. In addition to their use in formal practice, I do elements of them several times a day. I work at a standing desk, so it is fairly simple to do when the odd impulse hits. Rocking from foot to foot or a sketch or pulse of movement of the arms, or shaping a technique movement in my head with the tai-sabaki sketched in a minimal kokyu undo. By the end of the day I may have come up with something I want to show or try in class. Gives my right brain something to do while my left brain earns the walking-around money.

stan baker
02-02-2008, 07:03 AM
Erick.
It sounds like alot of mumbo jumbo, can you do what you are talking about and to what degree. May be you do not realize but Dan is much better then you.

stan

guest945984
02-02-2008, 08:19 AM
Maybe we should posit that people who post every hour for hours on end into the wee hours of the night are probably sitting in front of their computer way too much instead of training, ergo, not internally developed if they are not already known by third parties to be so.

Tell you what, when I was drinking in Paris in 1890 I got into a shoving match with Hamilton and Lagrange. I could push both of them, because I had mastered the (unknown at the time) art of deformation quantization. But then Hamilton did a Legendre transform (which is like tai no henko) and all of a sudden Lagrange was standing in front of me. Now, *that* is aiki! (Legendre was pissed, because that was his trick, but he wasn't there, so tough.)

:straightf

Anyway, regarding the mechanical explanations Erik is making, I think Erik is pushing the bar way too far than what is needed. In a discussion about being pushed from the front, I am not going to start talking about solving the n-body problem or splitting of energy levels due to the magnetic moment of the electron.

If Erik can analyze aiki age or a front push in terms of mechanics, then he should write up a paper starting with an action function for the system and derive the Euler-Lagrange equations and solve them, either in closed form or by numerical simulation, and then explain his results. Or he should speak in plain terms so that the other readers of this forum will understand. Granted, just saying "use peng" or "use aiki" is not helpful either if you don't already have a kinesthetic sense of what those words mean, but I think Erik is throwing a lot of chaff, to borrow an aviation term.

The comment about the micro-structure or micro-action of muscles is probably not relevant because the mini-firings are averaged out on the distance scales we are considering in a front-push -- much as the physics of a gas on classical scales is not measured by the individual properties of each molecule in the gas but in bulk properties of pressure, volume, and temperature. This simplification over scale is actually a very generic property of physical systems -- be they fluids, solids, or gases -- and why we can do classical mechanics at all. Just because the finer grained structure is there, does not mean it is relevant for the particular problem. It might be relevant if we were talking about responding to a change in the angle of a push, once equilibrium has been reached, not how to reach equilibrium in the first place.

(That being said, I think small adjustments, and having a great degree of control over the body's equilibrium, are important parts of martial development. I just don't think the descriptions Erik offers are helpful at all in talking about internal skill.)

In short, Erik, I think you are muddying the issue -- and not being informative or helping anyone. Returning the sentiment of my first paragraph -- it is very noticeable that you did not respond to Dan's put up or shut up remark.

MVR

Mike Sigman
02-02-2008, 08:30 AM
The aiki cross were two lines in an X- intersecting vertically at their centerWhoops. Where does this come from? Source? Speculation? Without going into a lot of details about Ki and it's fairly strict relationship to the body, I'd question this one, Dan. There is indeed a "cross", but it derives from the precursor to the current acupuncture meridians and it doesn't go like that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 10:31 AM
.. into the wee hours of the night... regarding the mechanical explanations Erik is making, I think Erik is pushing the bar way too far than what is needed. ... Sagawa is wrong, then, about how intensely one should dwell on this??

The comment about the micro-structure or micro-action of muscles is probably not relevant because the mini-firings are averaged out on the distance scales we are considering in a front-push -- much as the physics of a gas on classical scales is not measured by the individual properties of each molecule in the gas but in bulk properties of pressure, volume, and temperature. Probably? Not so. They do not "average" -- there is no linear function on which an average would have any statistical meaning.The fact that the system has a dynamic control and a peak attractor does not make the concept of average useful.

This simplification over scale is actually a very generic property of physical systems -- be they fluids, solids, or gases -- and why we can do classical mechanics at all. Chaotic systems break scaling laws, especially supercritical ones. Hurricanes and tornados are emergent structures, not "averages" of the system. Classical mechanics cannot trivially predict the path of a three pendulum harmonic system -- which is what we all work with to balance. Simple structure, complex behavior

Just because the finer grained structure is there, does not mean it is relevant for the particular problem. It might be relevant if we were talking about responding to a change in the angle of a push, once equilibrium has been reached, not how to reach equilibrium in the first place. You did not even read what I gave you. Your assumption is not true. You are not in equilibrium, you are never in equilibrium -- you pass from greater to lesser imbalance and back incessantly and the physical locus of the "equilibrium" point also shifts with every adjustment. Literally, bipedal equilibrium is a moving target you approach but NEVER get to, and are always in the process of not falling away from.

Any model that presumes equilibrium of human stability is NOT FACTUAL. It is very limited metaphor, nothing more. The fact that we get good at and have a remarkable illusion of stability by dynamic control does not change the nature of our supercritically, unstable structure, any more than a bike stays upright merely because it is balanced between two wheels.

Chinkon kishin kokyu undo are, in my view, movements that bring that process to scales where we can access its rudiments to alter its use for martial purposes, or so I have learned. I will freely acknowledge that what Ark teaches may do something similar. With a system as complex as it is, I would be surprised if there were not many more ways to access it in addition.

... it is very noticeable that you did not respond to Dan's put up or shut up remark. Yes. Just as noticeable as that he does little else in response. I find it a matter of no small irony that those whose incessant refrain is to say I have to "feel" to understand what they mean, can mysteriously reach through the data packets and feel me. I'm having none of it, one, because it is crass and rude, and more to the point because this is not the forum for it.

Mike Sigman
02-02-2008, 10:56 AM
I find it a matter of no small irony that those whose incessant refrain is to say I have to "feel" to understand what they mean, can mysteriously reach through the data packets and feel me. Ummmmmmm.... that's not an accurate picture, in reality. For instance when Rob John started discussing things on this forum, it was very obvious to me from the way he used terms and described things that he understood the basic idea of jin/kokyu. I went to meet him when he came to Virginia, not to see IF he knew, but to see how much he knew. I've never met Dan, but from his descriptions, etc., I'm very comfortable with the fact that he understands these things to some degree, too (although I wouldn't know his full grasp of things unless I met with him, of course). From the descriptions of what Ushiro Sensei said and did, I also knew that he had a certain grasp of the skills and I went and watched him briefly at a workshop so that I could get an idea of his skills and his approach to things.

On the other hand, it's obvious from your conversations that you don't understand these things. You cavil endlessly about simple concepts because they don't meet your guess. The idea that someone has to "feel" what you can do, when your discussions are clear that you don't know, makes no sense. This isn't a topic where everyone's guess gets to be weighted equally because "nobody knows for sure". A number of people already know the baseline for sure and your conversations obviously miss the baseline.

Don't get me wrong... I think you should do what you want to do. But in the context of making neutral and fair recommendations, I would think that you need to find someone who might still be willing to show you how to do these things. The years are going by.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-02-2008, 12:02 PM
The years are going by.
After which, all of the mysteries shall be made known.
:D

Blake Holtzen
02-02-2008, 01:11 PM
Sagawa is wrong, then, about how intensely one should dwell on this??

Probably? Not so. They do not "average" -- there is no linear function on which an average would have any statistical meaning.The fact that the system has a dynamic control and a peak attractor does not make the concept of average useful.

Chaotic systems break scaling laws, especially supercritical ones. Hurricanes and tornados are emergent structures, not "averages" of the system. Classical mechanics cannot trivially predict the path of a three pendulum harmonic system -- which is what we all work with to balance. Simple structure, complex behavior

You did not even read what I gave you. Your assumption is not true. You are not in equilibrium, you are never in equilibrium -- you pass from greater to lesser imbalance and back incessantly and the physical locus of the "equilibrium" point also shifts with every adjustment. Literally, bipedal equilibrium is a moving target you approach but NEVER get to, and are always in the process of not falling away from.

Any model that presumes equilibrium of human stability is NOT FACTUAL. It is very limited metaphor, nothing more. The fact that we get good at and have a remarkable illusion of stability by dynamic control does not change the nature of our supercritically, unstable structure, any more than a bike stays upright merely because it is balanced between two wheels.

Chinkon kishin kokyu undo are, in my view, movements that bring that process to scales where we can access its rudiments to alter its use for martial purposes, or so I have learned. I will freely acknowledge that what Ark teaches may do something similar. With a system as complex as it is, I would be surprised if there were not many more ways to access it in addition.

Yes. Just as noticeable as that he does little else in response. I find it a matter of no small irony that those whose incessant refrain is to say I have to "feel" to understand what they mean, can mysteriously reach through the data packets and feel me. I'm having none of it, one, because it is crass and rude, and more to the point because this is not the forum for it.

Mr Mead,

Are you a politician? Without fail, only politians spew as many words per minute without any real substance.

So, lets really get down to substance:

Can you demonstrate the push test? Not explain it, but demonstrate it?

Or maybe, Sigman's teacher test?

Tohei's static ki skills?

If yes, then please continue to explain your understanding. If no, then please be quiet and your "understanding".

Sometimes, the empty can rattles the loudest...

Blake Holtzen
02-02-2008, 01:20 PM
Whoops. Where does this come from? Source? Speculation? Without going into a lot of details about Ki and it's fairly strict relationship to the body, I'd question this one, Dan. There is indeed a "cross", but it derives from the precursor to the current acupuncture meridians and it doesn't go like that.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mr. Sigman,

Could you explain more your contention with Dan Harden's pic?

Would not the aiki cross correlate to the general path of chi in Chen style silk-reeling? I would like to hear more.

Thanks

-Blake

Ron Tisdale
02-02-2008, 03:40 PM
I'm with Blake.

B,
R

Tim Fong
02-02-2008, 04:26 PM
Erick,

I've said it before and I'll say it again-- until you collect data and perform instrumented tests, all you have is hypotheticals. Just because you can cite to some papers and make an argument, doesn't really matter. That's not how you use empirical tools to measure/test math models. If you don't understand how to even do a simple vector analysis, and you don't have access (physical access) to someone that can do the things we're talking about, then you're wasting your time and the time of others. Period. You've raised interesting points, but again, without experiments to back it up, there's nothing there.

"It has to be felt," is a short hand way of saying "until you can gather some data and begin to develop your own personal training method, you're wasting your time."

Remember, the tools of textual analysis are not the same tools you need to develop an iterative training methodology. I've noticed that on a lot of internet forums people tend to think they can 'solve' their martial arts training issues through definitional debates. You can't. What you can do is figure out how to improve-- find training partners, compare training notes, and track down potential missed avenues of skills.

You really don't do this-- since you have steadfastly refused to meet with other forum participants to see *if everyone is talking about the same thing*. I'm not talking about some kind of silly challenge match. Just a meetup and exchange. I have a hard time understanding how/why you can devote so much verbiage and time to this debate, without being able to buy a plane ticket and check it out for yourself, or get in touch with some trusted friends and have *them* go check it out.

The funny thing is that I don't particularly like the Chinkon Kishin exercises, for a variety of philosophical reasons. However, I'm certainly interested in the discussion insofar as it illuminates other aspects of my training.. When you post individual responses to everyone who has addressed you (rather than consolidating into one post) you essentially dominate the discussion and drown out the rest of the discourse. That's pretty unfair to the rest of the posters and readers, and I think you should stop for a moment and think about it.

ChrisMoses
02-02-2008, 04:29 PM
I'm with Blake.

B,
R

You mean we have to pick teams??? :eek:

Oh crap, nobody told me that, this is gonna be just like gradeschool when I was the last kid standing for kickball... :(

/I keed, I keed...

Mike and Dan, the text that Dan is citing was essentially mokuroku that Ueshiba was handing out back in the DR days. It was approved by him, but was not illustrated or written by him. My understanding is that it was Tomiki Sensei who wrote much of the text. That's not to say that it isn't how OSensei would have described the techniques, just throwing out some info about the text in question. Unfortunately, there's not an accompanying diagram for what he meant by the cross of Aiki. I noticed that same passage a few months back and thought it was quite interesting.

Erick, to clarify what you are saying (wrt the hara and the limbs).

Are you saying that the lesson was that:

- for small movements of the arms, the hara makes large movements?
or
- for small movements of the hara, the arms make large movements?
or
- the limbs move first and this movement then creates the movement of the hara?
or
- the hara moves first and that movement drives the movement of the limbs?

I couldn't follow you.

Mike Sigman
02-02-2008, 05:10 PM
Would not the aiki cross correlate to the general path of chi in Chen style silk-reeling? I would like to hear more.Hi Blake:

Actually, the silk-reeling stuff is a slightly different play on the basic principles (although the basic principles are the same), so I'd prefer not to clutter up the discussion with silk-reeling (six-harmonies movement).

The Douka Dan cites is fine, IMO, but it's fairly ambiguous. It's one of those "I know the secrets and you can tell by my correctly-worded hints" sort of things that is common in a lot of Asian writings. But then the drawing and the description/translation Dan shows are not correct, so I asked for an explanation.

The theory of the "cross" has to do with actual connections in the body. Those connections are coordinations between certain of the muscle-tendon connections. Without trying to develop the theory and how it works (it's very practical), I'll just say that if you misunderstand how this part of it works, then you're headed down a cul de sac. All of this stuff fits together into one very logical development of body skills. There is no "here's my take on it" to it.

Here's the pertinent diagram:

http://www.neijia.com/FrontConnect.jpg

When you talk about "ki" in the martial arts and "ki" in traditional medicine, it's the same basic "ki/qi". The paths and connections that it works in are set in stone and they represent the way the body is hooked up, both physically and "energetically".

FWIW

Mike

TomW
02-02-2008, 05:36 PM
Thanks, Tom. Please see the link and quote I gave Mike S. Their assumptions are not empirically valid, regardless of their performance, which I have no prejudicial reasons to doubt, the lack of like courtesy notwithstanding.

1) nage is critically not in equilibrium before the push, nor during nor after; and

2) no push can be meaningfully concentric, where the balance system is actively imparting moments and counter moments both laterally and torsionally. i.e. - departing the center and returning again in unpredictable ways.

Wow, it's a wonder we even make it to practice:eek:

Erick, you're being pedantic. Since this phenomena occurs uniformly across the human race (or at least all ten test subjects:rolleyes:), we can, for all intents and purposes, call this equilibrium. We can also assume the that the effects of this phenomena to be uniform on the outcome of the test from person to person and can ignore it. Further, since the paper measured the muscle contractions in micrometers (one millionth of a meter), the eccentricity's created can reasonably be assumed to be less then the width of the average palm in either direction (so better push with both hands), and again, can be ignored.

It doesn't fit the evidence, and my paradigm is irrelevant to that.

It doesn't fit your evidence, Erick, not the evidence.

Mike Sigman
02-02-2008, 06:04 PM
BTW, just to save time (and in response to an offline question), here's a clearer idea of why the "X" idea doesn't work. The "cross" is at the nexus of the chest dantien... it doesn't feed down directly to the main/central dantien in the manner of an "X". And these aren't comments about esoteric "rituals"... it's how the actual connections of the body work.

http://www.neijia.com/FrontConnectDantien.jpg

FWIW

Mike

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 08:34 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again-- until you collect data and perform instrumented tests, all you have is hypotheticals. Peer reviewed physiology just doesn't make your cut, eh? I was going a way down that road for some EMG work with my friendly neighborhood neurologist -- and then that 2005 EMG study came up in the literature review. It kind of ended the need on confirming the basics of the balance process suggested by earlier studies. We've been pondering some other thoughts on aiki-type movement with that study as a foundation instead, but we haven't settled on anything. I am open to suggestions, but they have to be well-defined to be of any use, which is, by the way, one of my issues on the lack of defining "not moving" with the pernicious "Can you do the push, can ya, huh? Huh? Huh?" chest-beating meme.
I have a hard time understanding how/why you can devote so much verbiage and time to this debate, without being able to buy a plane ticket and check it out for yourself --- You do not understand because you fundamentally mistake my purpose and methods. I am fully aware that there is an adversarial view among the usual suspects here. Not only do I have no wish to convert them to my way of thinking, I welcome their adversarial posture. THAT IS WHY I expound -- to see if a known and motivated opposition to my views comes up with something objective to rebut any points I have posited. That is the only test I am interested in here, and it routinely satisfies the need. By saying this plainly, of course, some may likely ignore me completely out of some misguided spite ("Shun! Shun the non-believer! Shuuuuun!) , but I do not take you, Tim, as that kind of adversary.

The funny thing is that I don't particularly like the Chinkon Kishin exercises, for a variety of philosophical reasons. I would hope you would expound on that. It is the actual topic. I am not surprised, though. I had a working hypothesis that most of you who are looking for something "missed" have had no experience or bad experience with it or the related kokyu undo. Most of the negative responses here seem tentative confirmation of that supposition.

When you post individual responses to everyone who has addressed you (rather than consolidating into one post) you essentially dominate the discussion and drown out the rest of the discourse. I respond to points given. Many of my responses the past day or so have been trying to drag the discussion back on topic -- chinkon kishin. Not that the remainder isn't interesting.

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 09:00 PM
Since this phenomena occurs uniformly across the human race (or at least all ten test subjects:rolleyes:), we can, for all intents and purposes, call this equilibrium. We can also call the sea dry, but that doesn't make it so. You mean to say that the small degree of non-equilibirum in normal functions can be discounted. In a nonlinear system we are expressly training to drive outside the "normal" parameters it cannot be discounted without some significant evidence of no effect. Differences in initial conditions far too small for trivial measurement can have hugely disproportionate results.

We can also assume the that the effects of this phenomena to be uniform on the outcome of the test from person to person and can ignore it. Really? Then why train at all?

Further, since the paper measured the muscle contractions in micrometers (one millionth of a meter), the eccentricity's created can reasonably be assumed to be less then the width of the average palm in either direction (so better push with both hands), and again, can be ignored. Micrometers in the soleus and gastrocnemius still allow for hip sways the width of the space between the hip joints or better. The sways are only partially damped by ankle stiffness, and the micrometer movements of the soleus, for example, merely initiates the sagittal sway/countersway, it does not actuate it through the entire range of motion like a hydraulic piston -- never mind the torso core controlling the other major pendulum attached to the top of the hips.

It doesn't fit your evidence, Erick, not the evidence.Not mine. In this case, that would be Loram, Magnaris, et al.

Erick Mead
02-02-2008, 09:11 PM
Erick, to clarify what you are saying (wrt the hara and the limbs) ..
... - for small movements of the hara, the arms make large movements?

- the hara moves first and that movement drives the movement of the limbs?Yes to those as regards your earlier comment. I took your meaning in describing your prior practice to be the other, the limbs adding to or controlling the motion of the hara, vice the hara directing the motion of the limbs. My caveat is that in addition to sequenced motion from the hara to the limbs, I would add that the hara and the limbs can also move together in unit, but the principle by which they do that is the same as when the hara drives the limbs in sequence outward. I would also add that the sequenced motion inward when feeling an opponent is a inverse function of feedback in the same channel.

ChrisMoses
02-02-2008, 10:39 PM
Yes to those as regards your earlier comment. I took your meaning in describing your prior practice to be the other, the limbs adding to or controlling the motion of the hara, vice the hara directing the motion of the limbs. My caveat is that in addition to sequenced motion from the hara to the limbs, I would add that the hara and the limbs can also move together in unit, but the principle by which they do that is the same as when the hara drives the limbs in sequence outward. I would also add that the sequenced motion inward when feeling an opponent is a inverse function of feedback in the same channel.

Speak English... Are you a lawyer or something? :crazy:

By 'arms amplifying the motion of the hara' I meant that movement originates at the hara and propogates out through the limbs, further, small movements of the hara amount to larger movements of the limbs, due to simple geometry really. I think that should have been pretty clear. Small hara movement (by definition the origin of the movement) is amplified (made bigger) by subsequent movements of the arms. Still opposite to your take?

Interestingly, while that was my take away from Chinkon Kishin, it's not really in my current paradigm, at least not quite the same way.

statisticool
02-03-2008, 12:16 PM
If you don't understand how to even do a simple vector analysis, and you don't have access (physical access) to someone that can do the things we're talking about, then you're wasting your time and the time of others. Period.


Is http://www.neijia.com/FrontConnectDantien.jpg

what you'd call a "vector analysis"?

Just wondering what you are looking for when you mention that.

Erick Mead
02-03-2008, 01:04 PM
Are you a lawyer or something? :crazy: As it happens -- yes. I like precision as much as I like the chaos of conflict. It is my trade to resolve conflict using precise meaning. People often misinterpret what we do, but then, people often misinterpret what budoka do as well.

By 'arms amplifying the motion of the hara' I meant that movement originates at the hara and propogates out through the limbs, further, small movements of the hara amount to larger movements of the limbs, due to simple geometry really. I think that should have been pretty clear. From its plain language your statement led to the opposite conclusion. Normally, the subject acts to produce an effect on the object. "Arms - amplify - motion of hara." So my reading of your statement in plain English, is, I hope, understandable.

Small hara movement (by definition the origin of the movement) is amplified (made bigger) by subsequent movements of the arms. Still opposite to your take? Actually yes. Phrased passively that way, the subject receives the action of the object. "Hara movement -- is amplified -- by arms." If instead you intended "motion" to be the subject regardless of its location ("hara movement" makes it, at best, ambiguous), then we are not disagreeing, although your statement is still not clear as it was given. It still implies the arms are acting in their own way -- vice being impelled in a form created by the hara motion. "Motion transmitted from the hara to the arms" would be my description of funekogi.

clwk
02-03-2008, 02:42 PM
As it happens -- yes. I like precision as much as I like the chaos of conflict.

<snip>

From its plain language your statement led to the opposite conclusion. Normally, the subject acts to produce an effect on the object. "Arms - amplify - motion of hara." So my reading of your statement in plain English, is, I hope, understandable.

I'm going to jump in here before this gets out of hand -- not to imply that this will prevent that. I don't have a bias for or against either of you (I've clashed and agreed on occasion with you both), so please just take this as a neutral third-party reading of the plain English in context. I offer it just because this quibble is so off-topic I would hate to see it go much further. If it's going to become the main topic of discussion though, I want in.

Amplify, when used as a transitive verb, has an obvious and normal meaning which implies signal processing. When X amplifies Y, it produces Z, which has the 'shape' of X only with a larger amplitude. For example, if you plug an electric guitar into an amplifier, the result is a stronger signal than what comes in on the wire. The total result is that the speakers emit a sound which is louder than the original vibrating string emits. (Real amplifier/speaker combinations happen to introduce some amount of distortion, which has happened to become a desirable artifact of the amplification. Perhaps consider that throw-away comment the on-topic portion of my post as an oblique reference to koto dama.)

My initial reading of Chris' usage was that the 'signal' correlating to the movement of the hara is amplified by the arms such that a larger but corresponding movement is experienced at the end of the arms. The image which sprung to mind was one of those old-school picture-tracing devices which use a set of linkages to control a drawing instrument in such a way that the movement of the control pen can be made larger or smaller at the drawing site. That's a form of mechanical amplification akin to what I pictured in my mind when I read Chris' sentence.

So I think it's entirely plausible that a normal English speaker could read his sentence as having the meaning he claimed to have for it. Not that this nit-picking side dispute has anything to do with the topic. The meaning of the sentence is relevant. However, the bickering over whether or not the original wording can be construed as meaning what the original author says he meant by it is silly. The burden of proof is on the objector, the more so when he invokes a legalistic precision other participants specifically reject as distracting. I wouldn't jump in otherwise -- since I am certainly not the 'judge' here. However, Erick seems to hold the position that unless his statements are directly challenged no-one objects to them and they therefore carry some kind of *de facto* correctness.

In fact, Erick, many people see the quibbles you introduce (both linguistically and 'mathematically') as bringing an inappropriate level of precision *relative to their accuracy*. It would be one thing if your observations were so dead-on and dialed-in that picking apart how other people construct their own sentences, describe their own practices, etc. were helpful -- but they often are not. Most people (myself included) do not aspire to being or behaving like lawyers, so they let these things go rather than become embroiled in the tar pit of writs, briefs, suits, counter-suits, torts, signing statements, and whatever else might eventually come into a discussion.

I seize on this linguistic example because all readers here can be presumed to speak English and therefore follow it. When you use the same mode of argument in the Math/Physics domain you lose those folk who cannot follow what you are saying and therefore cannot judge whether your quibbles even make sense in their own terms. They often do not in a way which is analogous to the present example. You make mistakes like anyone else, but you often doggedly insist on emerging victorious from them, and as often as others pick on you they also often just let you have the bone of 'the last word'. This is not a criticism of your 'model/paradigm' -- because we all understand it to be a work in prgoress. It is a criticism of your discussion style, which actually detracts from any serious discussion of the ideas involved. This is because you have no problem filing motion after motion to tie up the court on technicalities as a tactic in shutting down your opposition, yet you prove ultimately uninterested in entertaining even the most straightforward and sincere examination of your actual position, choosing instead to defend it come what may. You frequently allude to your experiences as an aviator and attorney as directly relevant to the manner in which you execute and investigate these topics. It is for this reason and no other that I point out that your discussion style is, despite your explicit assertions, incompatible with the scientific ideal you suggest underlies it. The strength of a theory does not lie in its advocates' ability to defend it from challenges. To authentically advocate for a theory you should seek to uncover its actual flaws -- rather than dodge every bullet aimed at real mistakes you may be making (or in some cases undoubtedly are). You say you specifically want challenge, but it seems you want it only to notionally vanquish it. This apparent sincerity actually makes a mockery of the kind of investigation you purport to pursue. This causes potential challengers to prefer to leave you with your ideas rather than participate as 'uke' in the choreographed 'randori' in which you take all comers and toss them deftly -- hoist on the petards of their own incomprehension.

Finally, since the above no doubt comes off as harsh, I mention for the sake of other readers that Erick and I have corresponded privately; we know each other to some small extent. I respect his general approach, his intellect, even the general style of his communication. Nevertheless, there is an aspect of how he pursues his discussions which I find counter-productive. I would be happier if he would stop doing it, so I offer this in response to his explicit request for critique of his investigative method -- in the same way I might critique the laboratory methods of someone reporting a discovery in chemistry. The methods taint the results, whatever those might be. Erick, if you genuinely want to use these discussions to examine the substance of your theories, please stop taking critique personally and wrapping your defensive responses in layers of legalistic conversation-killing. Leave that to me.

Chhi'mèd

Erick Mead
02-03-2008, 04:49 PM
So I think it's entirely plausible that a normal English speaker could read his sentence as having the meaning he claimed to have for it. ... The meaning of the sentence is relevant. Which is why the statement needed to be clarified. While the reading you find plausible is so, if read loosely and in a larger conversation where his referents were clearer, Chris did not seem to making an off-hand comment but rather a considered one, and his referents were not clear. So I ASKED if that was what he meant, and we clarified it. I do not take that as needless argument-mongering, but relevant discussion.

However, Erick seems to hold the position that unless his statements are directly challenged no-one objects to them and they therefore carry some kind of *de facto* correctness. Not so. They are true or false regardless what I think or anyone thinks of them. I could of course remain silent in my own thoughts and avoid the frequent criticism this forum brings. Yet I do not, even knowing that.

I seize on this linguistic example because all readers here can be presumed to speak English and therefore follow it. Churchill that said that Americans and Britons are a people divided by a common language. The same can be said for aikido, and a bit more care in terms and their underlying assumptions should not be amiss, to my mind. While I respect your stylistic criticism as potentially leading to useless discussions, the more useless discussion is one that debates a conflict of assumptions using related or differently understood terms -- the Emily Latella arguments.

Finally, since the above no doubt comes off as harsh, I mention for the sake of other readers that Erick and I have corresponded privately; we know each other to some small extent. ... Erick, if you genuinely want to use these discussions to examine the substance of your theories, please stop taking critique personally and wrapping your defensive responses in layers of legalistic conversation-killing. Leave that to me. And let you have all the fun? If I minded criticisms I'd be in the wrong field. Points taken, but when a statement is fairly read in a way that suggests a key difference of approach, and is offered in that running point of debate, it needs examining to be sure that we don't have the Emily Latella arguments (which I think are very common in this area, actually). In point of fact, the working out of the explanation has suggested other points of difference in approach in what Chris did, or understood he was doing in chinkon kishin -- and the ways in which I understood it, and have come to understand it since.

I could elaborate, but this margin is too small for such a wonderful argument. ;)

ChrisMoses
02-03-2008, 06:21 PM
Thank you Chhi'mèd.

Amplify, when used as a transitive verb, has an obvious and normal meaning which implies signal processing. When X amplifies Y, it produces Z, which has the 'shape' of X only with a larger amplitude. For example, if you plug an electric guitar into an amplifier, the result is a stronger signal than what comes in on the wire. The total result is that the speakers emit a sound which is louder than the original vibrating string emits. (Real amplifier/speaker combinations happen to introduce some amount of distortion, which has happened to become a desirable artifact of the amplification. Perhaps consider that throw-away comment the on-topic portion of my post as an oblique reference to koto dama.)

This is exactly the context I was hoping to convey. I'm also an electric guitarist, so your comments are perfectly in line with how I intended them to be read. I specifically said, amplified, not augmented or any other word. As you point out, any amplified system introduces distortions, some desirable, others less so. I think the analogy of a guitar sting being amplified is quite good for this discussion. Depending on one's skills, the distortion introduced into the amplification of the hara's movements is quite variable.

This kind of 'discussion' reminds me a lot of when I did LD debate. It was called 'flow'. If I state something, and it is not rebutted by my adversary, it 'flows' and is therefore accepted basically as fact. I hated LD debate, and only did it for a few months. Why? Because the dialectic style it advances is in stark contrast to the true nature of a dialectic (to strive through discourse to some greater knowledge) or even scientific dialectic (which I think of as a kind of subset of Aristotelian dialectic.

The difference (as I see it) is that while LD/legal/adversarial debate attempts to use obscure definitions and complicated linguistics to trick the opponent into confusion or erroneous agreement, scientific dialectic puts the emphasis on clear, simple *reproducable* concepts, in the simplest language possible. Certainly sometimes (often/always?) that language becomes very complicated, and often it becomes the language of Mathematics. That is done out of an attempt at clarity, rather than obfuscation.

Interestingly, my Physics professors were almost always better at putting difficult concepts into plain terms than my philosophy or theology teachers.

Anyway, thanks for the post, I hope this doesn't come off to much of a bandwagon jump, I really appreciate your attempt to walk the line.

Budd
02-03-2008, 06:41 PM
So for us dummies following along . . . is the gist that maybe it's more important for some to appear to be right or correct that to actually find out if they are right or correct?

clwk
02-03-2008, 09:38 PM
When X amplifies Y, it produces Z, which has the 'shape' of X only with a larger amplitude.
For the record, I need to quibble with myself here. That should read: "has the 'shape' of Y . . ."

Chhi'mèd

Erick Mead
02-03-2008, 09:41 PM
For the record, I need to quibble with myself here. That should read: "has the 'shape' of Y . . ." I really am a bad influence -- I've got you arguing with yourself. :)

Cady Goldfield
02-03-2008, 09:47 PM
Erick Enablers, the lot of you. ;)

Erick Mead
02-03-2008, 10:14 PM
So for us dummies following along . . . is the gist that maybe it's more important for some to appear to be right or correct that to actually find out if they are right or correct?For me it is important to know not merely what seems a plausible explanation of what works but to explore what is really true about it. If I just wanted to persuade people to agree with me, that's trivial -- you simply play along appealing to their prejudices and vanities. And I can pick any number of good intellectual fights any day of the week -- and I get paid well for the privilege -- win or lose. So you just might consider the possibility that what I am about doing has little to do with how I appear to anyone.

Erick Mead
02-03-2008, 10:29 PM
Interestingly, my Physics professors were almost always better at putting difficult concepts into plain terms than my philosophy or theology teachers.My physics professor was the only one who could explain calculus and diffy-q to me. With a due nod to Chhi'med's intervention, I will simply ask some questions and quit with exposition.

I think the analogy of a guitar sting being amplified is quite good for this discussion. Depending on one's skills, the distortion introduced into the amplification of the hara's movements is quite variable. Would you consider distortion and damping to be analogous between the two cases?

TomW
02-04-2008, 01:26 AM
We can also call the sea dry, but that doesn't make it so. You mean to say that the small degree of non-equilibirum in normal functions can be discounted. In a nonlinear system we are expressly training to drive outside the "normal" parameters it cannot be discounted without some significant evidence of no effect. Differences in initial conditions far too small for trivial measurement can have hugely disproportionate results.

Really? Then why train at all?

Micrometers in the soleus and gastrocnemius still allow for hip sways the width of the space between the hip joints or better. The sways are only partially damped by ankle stiffness, and the micrometer movements of the soleus, for example, merely initiates the sagittal sway/countersway, it does not actuate it through the entire range of motion like a hydraulic piston -- never mind the torso core controlling the other major pendulum attached to the top of the hips.

Not mine. In this case, that would be Loram, Magnaris, et al.

Again pedantic Erick, but as Loram, Magnaris, et al suggest here in their analogy for us laymen:

Here is a simple analogy that illustrates the impulsive ballistic nature of the process. Imagine trying to maintain a heavy ball as still as possible on a hillside. The ball is controlled by striking it with a bat at a relatively fixed rate. The motion of the ball will be caused by the blows themselves. It will move sometimes up the hill (because the effect of the blows are greater than gravity) and sometimes down the hill (effect of blows less than gravity), but not in any regular way. It can be maintained near the top of the hill or near the bottom or at any point in between. To do this, the batter has to judge the size of each blow. We suggest that in essence it is this never ending, trial and error process which has to be carried out in human standing. The process of loss of balance and regaining balance has to be repeatedly solved under the ever changing conditions of balance and we suggest that this is a skilled, trial and error activity that improves with experience rather than a reflex process.

balance is a learned exercise of the subconscious, (teach your children to walk?) and if this is so, (and again is a reasonable assumption, since we subconsciously manage to not topple over on a daily basis) it is not beyond the realm of possibility to further refine the balance process through training to attain results well beyond the norm? Otherwise, why train at all?

And NEVER say never: Literally, bipedal equilibrium is a moving target you approach but NEVER get to, and are always in the process of not falling away from. You can't know this with any amount of credible certainty. It is quite possible that the random perturbations will cause the pendulum to attain equilibrium, if only momentarily.

All this aside, I have been slightly perplexed by your refusal to accept any idea that is outside your ability to comprehend through nonlinear dynamics. Until I read your post here:

You do not understand because you fundamentally mistake my purpose and methods. I am fully aware that there is an adversarial view among the usual suspects here. Not only do I have no wish to convert them to my way of thinking, I welcome their adversarial posture. THAT IS WHY I expound -- to see if a known and motivated opposition to my views comes up with something objective to rebut any points I have posited. That is the only test I am interested in here, and it routinely satisfies the need. By saying this plainly, of course, some may likely ignore me completely out of some misguided spite ("Shun! Shun the non-believer! Shuuuuun!) , but I do not take you, Tim, as that kind of adversary.

I now realize you aren't here looking for a model that explains what we do, (I may be a little slow at times), you're looking for a model that counters what you do. I'm not interested in providing that for you (though I think your angular momentum theory has some holes). If your model is working for you, you should use it. Personally don't care to convert you any more than you me, my posts were merely a disinformed attempt to offer some clarity. Indeed I will ignore you hence, though not out of spite, misguided or otherwise, your discourse is simply not relevant to my training.

Back to sitting on my hands.:)

eyrie
02-04-2008, 05:17 AM
Wow... 176 posts over 7 pages... of nothing remotely related to the topic.

Chinkon kishin is basically a mediumistic method for spirit invocation and divine possession.... something Deguchi Onisaburo learnt from a disciple of Honda Chikaatsu, and had spent a number of years experimenting in a mountain cave before he met Nao Deguchi.

From what I gather, from various sources, it is largely based on various Shinto shamanistic "purification" rituals, with a bit of the occult and Shingon Mikkyo estoerica thrown into the mix.

Whilst some of the ritual movements *can* be used as "exercises", I think that martial application was not a specific goal of the method. Recall... it is a method for invoking the spirits and kamigakari - spirit possesion.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2008, 06:53 AM
Wow... 176 posts over 7 pages... of nothing remotely related to the topic.

Chinkon kishin is basically a mediumistic method for spirit invocation and divine possession.... something Deguchi Onisaburo learnt from a disciple of Honda Chikaatsu, and had spent a number of years experimenting in a mountain cave before he met Nao Deguchi.

From what I gather, from various sources, it is largely based on various Shinto shamanistic "purification" rituals, with a bit of the occult and Shingon Mikkyo estoerica thrown into the mix.

Whilst some of the ritual movements *can* be used as "exercises", I think that martial application was not a specific goal of the method. Recall... it is a method for invoking the spirits and kamigakari - spirit possesion.Hi Ignatius:

I agree that Chinkon Kishin is not martial per se, but I suspect that there is a lot more to this and is a very overlooked part of the Ueshiba story. CK may not have been "martial", but it definitely was more that a "cleansing" or "purification" ritual.

In terms of "possession", I've been introduced to some old Chinese qigongs that also involve "possession", but what they do is establish a relationship between "automatic movement" (as in automatic writing, pendulum swinging, etc.) and the essential part of ki/qi. There are some offshoot groups/cults in China that also go into the same sort of "possession", but without going into it, I can see a possibly strong relationship to O-Sensei's view.

Incidentally, I note again this excerpt from the first "Interview with Koichi Tohei" at Aikido Journal:


Before the war Sensei taught at the Naval Staff College, where he had Prince Takamatsu (a younger brother of the Showa emperor) as one of his students. On one occasion the prince pointed at Ueshiba Sensei and said, “Try to lift up that old man.” Four strong sailors tried their best to lift him but they couldn’t do it.

Sensei said of that time, “All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock.” Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.

For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I’ve never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation.

Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn’t do it, so they didn’t think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, “Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration’s no good!”

You see, I had been out drinking until three o’clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, “Of course the gods aren’t going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they’d all get tipsy!” That’s why he thought they would be able to lift me.

In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It’s just a matter of having a low center of gravity. I know this and it’s what I teach all my students. It wouldn’t mean anything if only certain special people could do it. Things like that have to be accessible to everyone if they’re to have any meaning.
My point is that there is a lot of talk about how these were religious rituals (in the "there, that's settled" way of some westerners), but in reality, the Chinkon Kishin training was the core of the power in Aikido. And of course, the problem seems to be in our getting a clear view of exactly how these strengths were perceived. I'd also like to know how Takeda perceived his use of the strengths, out of curiosity, but I doubt we'll get many clues.

Best.

Mike

ChrisMoses
02-04-2008, 09:38 AM
Which is why the statement needed to be clarified. While the reading you find plausible is so, if read loosely and in a larger conversation where his referents were clearer, Chris did not seem to making an off-hand comment but rather a considered one, and his referents were not clear. So I ASKED if that was what he meant, and we clarified it. I do not take that as needless argument-mongering, but relevant discussion.

Actually, that's not the case. You did not ask for a clarification, you simply said, "There is a significant distinction between our experiences, " and moved on. More avionics if memory serves.

I was the one who requested clarification, in the form of multiple choice in the hopes that the response would be as clear as possible. You did not ASK for clarification, but rather jumped at the seeming chance to demonstrate how I had not understood the exercise. Big difference. But like Tom mentions. Since your motives are not the kind of thing I look for in online discourse, this thread will probably be our last fencing match.

ChrisMoses
02-04-2008, 10:00 AM
My point is that there is a lot of talk about how these were religious rituals (in the "there, that's settled" way of some westerners), but in reality, the Chinkon Kishin training was the core of the power in Aikido. And of course, the problem seems to be in our getting a clear view of exactly how these strengths were perceived. I'd also like to know how Takeda perceived his use of the strengths, out of curiosity, but I doubt we'll get many clues.

Best.

Mike

Hi Mike, good points here. Like you mentioned earlier in this thread (and like I've been saying for years) one of the possible problems with the transmission of the core or Aikido, may very well have been with how Ueshiba interpreted his own training. Like your story with Tohei illustrates, Ueshiba seemed to genuinely think that what he (and his students) were doing was calling the powers/aspects of the kami into their bodies to accomplish amazing feats of awesomeness. When an unclean soul could replicate these feats, he couldn't just say, "Ah, that Tohei, he's gotten really good, he can even do this hung!" but became agitated at the challenge to his world view.

Your discussion of possession reminded me of a story Mary Heiny told at a seminar a number of years ago. I'll relate it, since it also shares a common source (Hikitsuchi Sensei) and may in fact have been Chinkon Kishin, I'm not sure. Appologies in advance for anything I may get wrong in the retelling, I'm sure I'll miss a few details.

So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. They're both freaking out at this point. She said that the blackness thing was headed down the hall towards them when it stopped outside of the door of fellow inn-guest Meik Skoss. Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise. The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. When they told Hikitsuchi about it later, he told them that they were foolish to use the ritual at their inn, because that part of Japan was known for its evil-black kami and that the practice should only be done in a place that was already purified like a dojo. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room. ;)

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you? :D

DH
02-04-2008, 10:09 AM
Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise.
The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room.

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you? :D

The end?
Well, if you know Meik, you might have just explained decades of impish behavior. No need to tell Diane.:D
Dan

ChrisMoses
02-04-2008, 10:32 AM
The end?
Well, if you know Meik, you might have just explained decades of impish behavior. No need to tell Diane.:D
Dan

I assure you, that thought has NEVER crossed my mind... ;)

Erick Mead
02-04-2008, 11:14 AM
I was the one who requested clarification, in the form of multiple choice in the hopes that the response would be as clear as possible. You did not ASK for clarification, but rather jumped at the seeming chance to demonstrate how I had not understood the exercise. Big difference. No one here maintains that what we talk about is commonplace, so it is a source of misunderstanding not to be careful in defining terms, especially when analogies are recurrently stated to be the preferred mode of thought. I have more patience with that than most people -- because I know it controls perceived outcomes, and perceived outcome is of no interest to me. I took the plain SVO statement of what you said as what you meant -- which is the reverse of my understanding of what drives the system (as I took you to mean by "amplify"). I understand now you meant something different by that. Merely trying to nail down the concrete statement intended, on the exact subject of the discussion topic, given your actual words, is neither a personal attack, criticism or gamesmanship.

I understand the manipulation of kinetic energy and mass transfer through the frame -- in terms of both dissipation and concentration -- to use both small movements "amplified" , and large movements "diminished". The flower both opens and closes again, depending, and in a very well-defined form. "Amplify" can refer to the energy of the motion, often inverse to its physical size, and how I would use the term. It can also refer to its physical dimension, which you seemed to mean, which makes it an ambiguous term in this context. Both aspects are present, mechanically speaking, as I view the operation of the chinkon kishin kokyu undo.

Let me ask my earlier question another way, and in line with your analogous experience -- instead of mine:

Are amplifying and distortion, to your way of thinking, similar to, respectively, driving and damping signals in the wave-form?

Blake Holtzen
02-04-2008, 11:58 AM
Hi Blake:

Actually, the silk-reeling stuff is a slightly different play on the basic principles (although the basic principles are the same), so I'd prefer not to clutter up the discussion with silk-reeling (six-harmonies movement).

The Douka Dan cites is fine, IMO, but it's fairly ambiguous. It's one of those "I know the secrets and you can tell by my correctly-worded hints" sort of things that is common in a lot of Asian writings. But then the drawing and the description/translation Dan shows are not correct, so I asked for an explanation.

The theory of the "cross" has to do with actual connections in the body. Those connections are coordinations between certain of the muscle-tendon connections. Without trying to develop the theory and how it works (it's very practical), I'll just say that if you misunderstand how this part of it works, then you're headed down a cul de sac. All of this stuff fits together into one very logical development of body skills. There is no "here's my take on it" to it.

Here's the pertinent diagram:

http://www.neijia.com/FrontConnect.jpg

When you talk about "ki" in the martial arts and "ki" in traditional medicine, it's the same basic "ki/qi". The paths and connections that it works in are set in stone and they represent the way the body is hooked up, both physically and "energetically".

FWIW

Mike

Hello Mr Sigman,

That picture looks familiar...did you steal it from a Mantak Chia book?? ;)

Im curious if the bodycross that Dan Harden wrote is essentially the same as say, chen style's "Lazily tying back coat", as far as weighted/empty "sides" of the cross? The connections (from my limited experiance) are from the right fingerips through the arm, down the torso to the lower dantien; and from the lower dantien through the left leg through the foot and into the ground through the bubbling well point.

Maybe Dan Harden could expand a bit on the illustration he provided... Also, is "shiko" the sumo foot stamp thing? My japanese is terrible...

Thanks

-Blake

ChrisMoses
02-04-2008, 12:21 PM
As you point out, any amplified system introduces distortions, some desirable, others less so. I think the analogy of a guitar sting being amplified is quite good for this discussion. Depending on one's skills, the distortion introduced into the amplification of the hara's movements is quite variable.

That's what I said already. I don't know why you want more, or what you're after. I already said that as a movement paradigm, it's not what I'm really working on anymore. Aikido is not a sine curve. You can calculate the exact trajectory that a basketball needs to follow to go into the net. If you can't actually get your body to throw it along that path, you still lose the game. :straightf We put men on the moon using a Physics model that we knew was wrong. It was close enough.

Finally though, since you keep on bringing up how completely ambiguous my initial statement was, let's all just look back at what I said...

If one was using the 'one point' paradigm, you could easily practice it as a way of using the limbs to amplify the movements of the hara (kokyu undo, stirring the pot...).

So, here I specifically linked my take away with the idea of the 'one point', a fairly common thread in aikido circles, where movement and concentration is focused on (a version of) the dantien/hara. Then I talked about "using the limbs to amplify movements of the hara". This implies that the hara moves first, since there needs to be an initial signal in order for any amplification to occur. Then I gave two specific examples (one common to almost all aikido) and one specifically from the chinkon kishin, where the hara moves and then that movement is extended/continued/AMPLIFIED by the arms or limbs. Stirring the pot is a better example of this, because the arms have a fairly large and complex motion relative to the very small circular movement of the one point.

I can concede that there may have been some ambiguity in my choice of terms, but I also insist that I made every effort to be clear. You are looking for holes to exploit in language rather than understanding. Now that you understand what I meant, please move on, it's kind of tiring.

ChrisMoses
02-04-2008, 12:49 PM
Also, is "shiko" the sumo foot stamp thing? My japanese is terrible...

Thanks

-Blake

Shiko is sumo stompy thingy. :)

Erick Mead
02-04-2008, 12:54 PM
CK may not have been "martial", but it definitely was more that a "cleansing" or "purification" ritual.

In terms of "possession", I've been introduced to some old Chinese qigongs that also involve "possession", but what they do is establish a relationship between "automatic movement" (as in automatic writing, pendulum swinging, etc.) and the essential part of ki/qi. ... in reality, the Chinkon Kishin training was the core of the power in Aikido. And of course, the problem seems to be in our getting a clear view of exactly how these strengths were perceived. Lord help me, I agree with Mike. If you trained and trained and found your body increasingly responding to martial cues without your conscious direction, in the same way your steps catch you from falling without thinking when you stub your toe walking, a traditional mind might very well ascribe the action to some outside "divine " direction. The reason for ascribing them to "divine" causes is in what was not perceived. "Spooky" things (or divine, take your pick) seem to violate causation -- almost the definition of nonlinear systems. It is very much about ascribing causes to action that we can know in result but not directly in operation.

We take so much for granted that we should really examine and appreciate more deeply. You have absolutely no doubt when it is missing, as in this sad and extreme example of a Turkish family with a genetic flaw or developmental problems that has removed the ability to stand or move upright. The PBS program, Nova, examined their situation and I saw it recently :

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/allfours/about.html

The reason why I am examining the balance system so closely is that it is just that "spooky" in terms of how much exceedingly complex work is done that we do not think about much, if at all. The study I cited and those leading up to it showed that a hundred year old assumption about passive ankle stiffness or lower leg muscles as linear "springs" causing bipedal stability is unsupported (pun intended). We cannot consciously react in real-time to accomplish anything equivalent knowingly, and have very great difficulty even acknowledging how much is occurring almost literally right under our feet at every moment we remain upright -- only because we don't have to think about it. So we assume stability is trivial and true because it is our normally perceived condition, but in fact it is not trivial or true, but only the limit of what we perceive of an incessant motion below our level of ordinary direct perception.

You can believe me or disbelieve me, but I tell you the shapes of those little circuits of our shifting balance are at a larger scale the same pattern of shapes in the kokyu undo. It took someone a great deal of careful observation "of the divine" to scale up the physical dimensions of those workings that we see sketched in the kokyu undo.

To me that gives another meaning to the concept of "harmonic" in this area -- finding correct low frequency, "long" shapes of the same type that are consciously trainable. Those can thus harmonically key to the imperceptible high frequency short shapes, and by this sympathetic modification slowly alter those that actually do the unseen work -- and perhaps make them responsive and accessible to different cues -- martially important cues. Self-similarity of pattern across scales is a known characteristic of nonlinear systems, so it is an approach with some reason for confidence in applicability. The kokyu undo have no monopoly on that, surely, but they do have a pedigree with proven performance resulting, and a common reference system.

If sensitivity is developed to see correct shapes "propagating" in an ever narrower band toward the higher frequency ranges as training progresses, there is a degree of confidence that the training is working. Mike's "teacher test" seems, to me, one example of that, actually.

TomW
02-04-2008, 04:30 PM
Your discussion of possession reminded me of a story Mary Heiny told at a seminar a number of years ago. I'll relate it, since it also shares a common source (Hikitsuchi Sensei) and may in fact have been Chinkon Kishin, I'm not sure. Appologies in advance for anything I may get wrong in the retelling, I'm sure I'll miss a few details.

So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. They're both freaking out at this point. She said that the blackness thing was headed down the hall towards them when it stopped outside of the door of fellow inn-guest Meik Skoss. Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise. The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. When they told Hikitsuchi about it later, he told them that they were foolish to use the ritual at their inn, because that part of Japan was known for its evil-black kami and that the practice should only be done in a place that was already purified like a dojo. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room. ;)

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you? :D

Chris,

If I recall correctly, the ritual in question was the kotodama portion of CK. SU-O-A-E-I.;)

ChrisMoses
02-04-2008, 04:51 PM
Chris,

If I recall correctly, the ritual in question was the kotodama portion of CK. SU-O-A-E-I.;)

And I thought that was how you called hogs... :cool:

/ba dum chick! Thanks folks, I'm here all week.
//glad someone else had heard that story though and had a better memory than myself.

Peter Goldsbury
02-04-2008, 08:11 PM
Hi Mike, good points here. Like you mentioned earlier in this thread (and like I've been saying for years) one of the possible problems with the transmission of the core or Aikido, may very well have been with how Ueshiba interpreted his own training. Like your story with Tohei illustrates, Ueshiba seemed to genuinely think that what he (and his students) were doing was calling the powers/aspects of the kami into their bodies to accomplish amazing feats of awesomeness. When an unclean soul could replicate these feats, he couldn't just say, "Ah, that Tohei, he's gotten really good, he can even do this hung!" but became agitated at the challenge to his world view.

Your discussion of possession reminded me of a story Mary Heiny told at a seminar a number of years ago. I'll relate it, since it also shares a common source (Hikitsuchi Sensei) and may in fact have been Chinkon Kishin, I'm not sure. Appologies in advance for anything I may get wrong in the retelling, I'm sure I'll miss a few details.

So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. They're both freaking out at this point. She said that the blackness thing was headed down the hall towards them when it stopped outside of the door of fellow inn-guest Meik Skoss. Suddenly Meik opens his door and oblivious to their urges to stay in his room, walks out into the hall into the space where the blackness thing is. At which point (from Mary's view) it dissipates and Meik asks them why they're making so much noise. The end. Nothing bad happened to Meik or Mary or Jack. When they told Hikitsuchi about it later, he told them that they were foolish to use the ritual at their inn, because that part of Japan was known for its evil-black kami and that the practice should only be done in a place that was already purified like a dojo. Meik was apparently quite unimpressed that he had walked through an evil kami and went back to his room. ;)

Moral of the story? Maybe, ignore the kami and they can't hurt you? :D

Interesting. I read this post yesterday and mentioned chinkon kishin to the doctor who gives me kanpou yaku treatment. His wife immediately gave me a lengthy explanation of the dangers of chinkon kishin. She stressed that it was absolutely crucial to do misogi first and that chinkon kishin needed to be done with a teacher. Why? Because the ritual was an invitation to a kami to take possession of the person and it was essential to have the right kami, in particular not an oni (devil), which could have devastating consequences.

I was fascinated by all this, and can imagine Meik's robust reaction. However, I have been arguing in my columns that we have to take O Sensei and what he created in its cultural context. From reading his writings I am certain he carried the same theological baggage as my doctor's wife, who is an 'ordinary' Japanese with no martial arts training at all. O Sensei's world was full of kami and oni and so one can perhaps see why O Sensei placed so much trust in Onisaburo Deguchi, and also why he never taught the exercise, since it was so private.

By the way, Carmen Blacker's The Catapla Bow is essential reading here.

Regards to all,

Erick Mead
02-04-2008, 09:54 PM
.. mentioned chinkon kishin to the doctor ... His wife immediately gave me a lengthy explanation of the dangers of chinkon kishin. ... and it was essential to have the right kami, in particular not an oni (devil), which could have devastating consequences.

... I am certain he carried the same theological baggage .. so one can perhaps see why O Sensei placed so much trust in Onisaburo Deguchi, and also why he never taught the exercise, since it was so private. Most important traditions have bases in fact, whether their traditional understanding is necessarily empirical or not.

If, indulging my supposition, chinkon kishin is a way to directly affect the body's balance and coordination system, then her caution from the tradition is well-taken. Poorly done, it could just as easily disrupt ordinary coordination as it could broaden or deepen it. That disruption could lead to all sorts of clumsiness and greater likelihood of injury, which would naturally be ascribed to evil kami let in by a poorly advised practice.

Mike Sigman
02-04-2008, 09:59 PM
Lord help me, I agree with Mike. If you trained and trained and found your body increasingly responding to martial cues without your conscious direction, in the same way your steps catch you from falling without thinking when you stub your toe walking, a traditional mind might very well ascribe the action to some outside "divine " direction. The reason for ascribing them to "divine" causes is in what was not perceived. "Spooky" things (or divine, take your pick) seem to violate causation -- almost the definition of nonlinear systems. It is very much about ascribing causes to action that we can know in result but not directly in operation. Just to be clear, I'm not quite talking along that line. In the wider Asian view, things like a pendulum swinging in your fingers when you ask it a question, automatic writing, "intuition", a woman lifting a car off of a child in a wreck, etc., are a valid part of ki/qi and also can be construed as "possession". In the same vein, the ferocious strength needed in an emergency, in great anger, etc., can be ki or it can be a form of possession. It's hard to delineate, sometimes.

Some groups, cults, etc., tend to try to develop these "powers" and the question is "which is ki/qi and which is 'possession'?". There is an attendant discussion about ghosts, 'evil spirits', ancient warriors, good spirits, and so on. All of this is part of a known set of phenomena in Asian cultures, both in the past and in recent history.

We in the West have various overlapping ideas in sympathetic magic, pendulums/oracles/automatic-behavior and so on. There is a peripheral discussion of some of these things in Julian Jaynes' book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind:

http://www.bizcharts.com/stoa_del_sol/conscious/conscious3.html

Now what was this bicameral mind? Jaynes briefly discusses brain biology--in that there are three speech areas, for most located in the left hemisphere. They are: (1) the supplemental motor cortex; (2) Broca's area; and (3) Wernicke's area. Jaynes focuses on Wernicke's area, which is chiefly the posterior part of the left temporal lobe. It is Wernicke's area that is crucial for human speech.

Pursuing the bicameral mind, Jaynes focuses on the corpus callosum, the major inter-connector between the brain's hemispheres. In human brains the corpus callosum can be likened to a small bridge, a band of transverse fibers, only slightly more than one-eighth of an inch in diameter. This bridge "collects from most of the temporal lobe cortex but particularly the middle gyrus of the temporal lobe in Wernicke's area." And it was this bridge that served as the means by which the "gods" who dwelled in one hemisphere of the human brain were able to give "directions" to the other hemisphere. It is like thinking of the "two hemispheres of the brain almost as two individuals." Hence the bicameral mind! [Ibid, p. 117]

Archaic humans were ordered and moved by the gods through both auditory hallucinations and visual hallucinations. The gods mainly "talked" to them--but sometimes "appeared," such as Athene appeared to Achilles. And "when visual hallucinations occur with voices, they are merely shining light or cloudy fog, as Thetis came to Achilles or Yahwey to Moses." [Ibid, p. 93]

Jaynes believes in the mentality of the early Mycenean that volition, planning and initiative were literally organized with no consciousness whatsoever. Rather such volition was "told" to the individual--"sometimes with the visual aura of a familiar friend or authority figure or 'god,' or sometimes as a voice alone." [Ibid, p. 75]

Now Jaynes thinks the great agricultural civilizations that spread over much of the Near East by 5000 b.c.e. reflected the bicameral mind. These civilizations were rigid theocracies! They were reminiscent of the Queen Bee and the bee-hive. These bicameral societies reflected "hierarchies of officials, soldiers, or works, inventory of goods, statements of goods owed to the ruler, and particular to gods." [Ibid, p. 80]

Jaynes contests that such theocracies were the only means for a bicameral civilization to survive. Circumventing chaos, these rigid hierarchies allowed for "lesser men hallucinating the voices of authorities over them, and those authorities hallucinating yet higher ones, and so" to kings and gods. [Ibid, p. 79]

But in relation to ki/kokyu skills, I can see a probable connection and pathway to the way the skills would have been perceived by some people as quasi-religious "possession", kami, and so on. It's an interesting thought. On the other hand, Tohei's description of unliftable body, in that AJ interview, was simply sinking the center... very pragmatic. So not everyone in Japan looked at these skills as metaphysical.

It's an interesting topic.

Mike Sigman

eyrie
02-04-2008, 10:15 PM
CK may not have been "martial", but it definitely was more that a "cleansing" or "purification" ritual. Probably... but without some sort of context or reference, cultural or otherwise, we're just guessing. If I am correct, the chinkon rite of purification is essentially a funeral rite in which the departed souls are "pacified". It is closely associated with tama furi (shaking the spirits) - which is used to invocate the departed soul of the dead or to energize a weakened spirit (as in someone on death's bed - I think). As for there being more to it than meets the eye.... probably... BUT unless one has been initiated, immersed in or and is an indigene of the culture, one is merely engaging in "external and meaningless" ritual movements.

In terms of "possession", I've been introduced to some old Chinese qigongs that also involve "possession", but what they do is establish a relationship between "automatic movement" (as in automatic writing, pendulum swinging, etc.) and the essential part of ki/qi. There are some offshoot groups/cults in China that also go into the same sort of "possession", but without going into it, I can see a possibly strong relationship to O-Sensei's view. Granted, but for most westerners brought up in a Christian world view, the blend of Shinto, Buddhist, and Neo-Confucianist beliefs of Japanese society is largely a culturally foreign concept. My understanding is that this philosophical/belief system forms the basis of many koryu doctrinal teachings.

I recall some bersilat practitioners engaged in similar practices involving spirits, demons and trances...

Speaking of possession... reminds me of my Confirmation... here I was, a young lad of 14, watching the priest perform the "scared ritual" and half expecting his invocation of the Holy Spirit to suddenly enter my body. How disappointed I was, as I slowly watched the priest mumble some incoherent latin as he walked past me.... and.... I felt... nothing. Absolutely... Nothing. Either the priest was bogus or I didn't believe enough. I'm leaning towards bogus... :p

But all this talk of mind-bending, head twisting, demonic possession and green ki projectile vomiting makes me think of that poor little girl Carrie... :p

Mike Sigman
02-04-2008, 10:21 PM
So Mary and Jack Wada were visiting Shingu to study with Hikitsuchi Sensei. Apparently they had been working on some ritual/practice (chinkon kishin?) that was designed to draw the kami down to the practitioner. Apparently, back at their hotel (outside of Shingu, I'm afraid that I forgot which town) Jack decided to head up to the roof and do some homework with this new practice. A little while later Jack comes running into Mary's room, completely white and terrified looking. He claims that he's drawn some horrible 'black' creature/kami thing down and it's after him. Mary looks outside the room and claims to have seen/sensed this malicious blackness down the hall. Jack Wada? The Barrish guy? The one who used to go on and on about Yoda and "energy work"? I think I'll pass on this one and just catalogue it away under "the Wada/Heiny Story". ;)

Mike

MM
02-05-2008, 12:29 PM
Just a theory ...

What if Ueshiba empowered the Chinkon Kishin rather than the other way around. What if there were spiritual exercises in Oomoto kyo, but they were practiced as normal, spiritual exercises. In other words, not very martial at all. So, here comes Ueshiba who has a martial background and is learning solo exercises from Takeda. Ueshiba is working on building this "secret of aiki" as he put it. And then, some time after meeting Deguchi, Ueshiba realizes that he can incorporate the very basis/foundation that these solo exercises work on in his body -- in effect, he can incorporate them into the Chinkon Kishin. And thus, Ueshiba the spiritual martial artist is born.

It would explain how Ueshiba went off on his own tangent with researching these skills (as other students of Takeda did). It would explain why Deguchi's followers never attained mastery in these skills as Takeda's students did. And it would explain Ueshiba's views on kami, uniting with the universe, etc, all the while explaining why he was so powerful.

Mark

Mike Sigman
02-05-2008, 12:40 PM
Just a theory ...

What if Ueshiba empowered the Chinkon Kishin rather than the other way around. What if there were spiritual exercises in Oomoto kyo, but they were practiced as normal, spiritual exercises. In other words, not very martial at all. So, here comes Ueshiba who has a martial background and is learning solo exercises from Takeda. Ueshiba is working on building this "secret of aiki" as he put it. And then, some time after meeting Deguchi, Ueshiba realizes that he can incorporate the very basis/foundation that these solo exercises work on in his body -- in effect, he can incorporate them into the Chinkon Kishin. And thus, Ueshiba the spiritual martial artist is born.

It would explain how Ueshiba went off on his own tangent with researching these skills (as other students of Takeda did). It would explain why Deguchi's followers never attained mastery in these skills as Takeda's students did. And it would explain Ueshiba's views on kami, uniting with the universe, etc, all the while explaining why he was so powerful.
I *generally* agree with a theory somewhat along those lines, although I wouldn't put anything down as set in stone. The Chinkon Kishin stuff, any way you cut it, is a form of qigong. Insofar as "ritual purification", most decent qigongs start with some form of "out with the old/bad qi, in with the new/good qi". I.e., there is always a "ritual purification"... just depends on how much emphasis you want to put on it. And more often than not it is done in concert with the Heaven breathing and earth breathing. There's really nothing unusual about Misogi and Chinkon Kishin except the heavy emphasis on the aspect of "religion". The core part, the strengthening parts, are the important parts, or there wouldn't be any such exercise with the various movements, sounds, etc.

FWIW

Mike

Allen Beebe
02-05-2008, 02:47 PM
I *generally* agree with a theory somewhat along those lines, although I wouldn't put anything down as set in stone. The Chinkon Kishin stuff, any way you cut it, is a form of qigong. Insofar as "ritual purification", most decent qigongs start with some form of "out with the old/bad qi, in with the new/good qi". I.e., there is always a "ritual purification"... just depends on how much emphasis you want to put on it. And more often than not it is done in concert with the Heaven breathing and earth breathing. There's really nothing unusual about Misogi and Chinkon Kishin except the heavy emphasis on the aspect of "religion". The core part, the strengthening parts, are the important parts, or there wouldn't be any such exercise with the various movements, sounds, etc.

FWIW

Mike

Along those same lines, I think it is important to remember that the general outline of the Chikon Kishin practice is not Aikido specific, Omoto specific, or even Shinto specific. Within Japan one can find many variations of this practice with slight variations in order, verbiage, object(s) of concentration, etc. The practice, while remaining virtually identical is known by different names as well.

So, it already is a vehicle being used by diverse groups with diverse understandings to serve their diverse purposes. One more extrapolation wouldn't be unique, and a martial connection wouldn't be unprecedented.

The fact of Chikon Kishin's movements being used for secular martial/kiko ends is already established when one considers Tohei (probably one of the widest known non-religion based Aikido instructor) using chosen Chikon Kishin components for that very purpose.

So one sees Chikon Kishin and Chikon Kishin-like movements being used in an Aikido context both in a religious way and in a secular way. I guess a question that could be legitimately (outside of the inheritance/transmission context) asked is, "Is it working?" Are the religious and/or secular goals being achieved via this practice? And if not, why not?

Another interesting question comes to mind as well. If Ueshiba wasn't pushing his religious beliefs onto his students and Aikido is supposed to be religiously inclusive rather than exclusive, why were these practices continued by non-Omoto students of Aikido? Or more to the point, why did Tohei extract components of Chikon Kishin practice and interject them into Aikido (assuming that Tohei did this and not Ueshiba himself) and why did Ueshiba LET him do so? What possibly could have been the point or purpose? If it was pointless or purposeless wouldn't this be seen as a kind of mockery? Wouldn't as pious of a religious personage as Ueshiba have been highly offended?

Just some random thoughts.

Mike Sigman
02-05-2008, 03:12 PM
Along those same lines, I think it is important to remember that the general outline of the Chikon Kishin practice is not Aikido specific, Omoto specific, or even Shinto specific. Within Japan one can find many variations of this practice with slight variations in order, verbiage, object(s) of concentration, etc. The practice, while remaining virtually identical is known by different names as well.

So, it already is a vehicle being used by diverse groups with diverse understandings to serve their diverse purposes. One more extrapolation wouldn't be unique, and a martial connection wouldn't be unprecedented. The fact of Chikon Kishin's movements being used for secular martial/kiko ends is already established when one considers Tohei (probably one of the widest known non-religion based Aikido instructor) using chosen Chikon Kishin components for that very purpose. Well, the exact relationship in the precursor Buddhism is probably something to look at. Take a look at the Kongourikishi statues (the A-Un gods, aka "Buddha's Warrior Attendants"). These are the Yin-Yang powers that appear to have originated in India, but were commonly seen in China and Japan, too:

http://www.koumatsuba.zansu.com/kongourikishi_as2.JPG
http://www.sendai-biyori.com/news/image/20050722083747.jpg

"A" and "Un", like in "Aunkai". ;) The point is, how do you differentiate these obviously warlike statues of Buddhism into "secular" and "religious"? I doubt that the differentiation is all that clear, so for Ueshiba to use Chinkon Kishin training and say that he adopted "religious" practices is not a definition we could do easily. Another interesting question comes to mind as well. If Ueshiba wasn't pushing his religious beliefs onto his students and Aikido is supposed to be religiously inclusive rather than exclusive, why were these practices continued by non-Omoto students of Aikido? Or more to the point, why did Tohei extract components of Chikon Kishin practice and interject them into Aikido (assuming that Tohei did this and not Ueshiba himself) and why did Ueshiba LET him do so? What possibly could have been the point or purpose? If it was pointless or purposeless wouldn't this be seen as a kind of mockery? Wouldn't as pious of a religious personage as Ueshiba have been highly offended?Well, it's pretty clear that these are body-training exercises and that's what Ueshiba used and so to teach "Aikido", that's what Tohei had to use.

YMMV

Mike

Allen Beebe
02-05-2008, 03:35 PM
Well, the exact relationship in the precursor Buddhism is probably something to look at. Take a look at the Kongourikishi statues (the A-Un gods, aka "Buddha's Warrior Attendants"). These are the Yin-Yang powers that appear to have originated in India, but were commonly seen in China and Japan, too:

http://www.koumatsuba.zansu.com/kongourikishi_as2.JPG
http://www.sendai-biyori.com/news/image/20050722083747.jpg

"A" and "Un", like in "Aunkai". ;) The point is, how do you differentiate these obviously warlike statues of Buddhism into "secular" and "religious"? I doubt that the differentiation is all that clear, so for Ueshiba to use Chinkon Kishin training and say that he adopted "religious" practices is not a definition we could do easily. Well, it's pretty clear that these are body-training exercises and that's what Ueshiba used and so to teach "Aikido", that's what Tohei had to use.

YMMV

Mike

Uh huh. Off hand, it seems like the preponderance of the evidence seems to point in that direction (at least as far as Chikon Kishin goes.)

BTW, your Sendai-biyori link brings back nice memories of that pretty city.

Mike Sigman
02-05-2008, 04:38 PM
I should have mentioned that the statue with the mouth open is the exhale/release/unwind of "A" ("Ha" for the Chinese) and the one with the closed mouth is "Un" ("Heng" for the Chinese), which is the inhale/store/wind-up. This is still part of the core "breath power" conditioning of the body.

FWIW

Mike

Alfonso
02-05-2008, 05:03 PM
IIRC , this was an interesting read regarding CK and timing of introudction into Omoto / Ueshiba, and mentioned that Omoto followers stopped practicing..

That’s why Onisaburo eventually prohibited it.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=256

Interesting timing anyway.

Mike Sigman
02-05-2008, 06:10 PM
I should have mentioned that the statue with the mouth open is the exhale/release/unwind of "A" ("Ha" for the Chinese) and the one with the closed mouth is "Un" ("Heng" for the Chinese), which is the inhale/store/wind-up. This is still part of the core "breath power" conditioning of the body.
Hmmmmmm..... wouldn't that be the same as "Ko-Kyu"? ;)

ChrisMoses
02-05-2008, 07:07 PM
Replying to your own posts Mike? If you start disagreeing with yourself I'm calling your doctor... :p

Allen Beebe
02-05-2008, 07:17 PM
Take a look at the Kongourikishi statues (the A-Un gods, aka "Buddha's Warrior Attendants"). These are the Yin-Yang powers that appear to have originated in India, but were commonly seen in China and Japan, too:

http://www.koumatsuba.zansu.com/kongourikishi_as2.JPG
http://www.sendai-biyori.com/news/image/20050722083747.jpg

"A" and "Un", like in "Aunkai". ;)

Since this thread is related to Shinto one should might also mention Koma Inu and Kara Shishi.

(BTW Mike those Kongo Rikishi sure are buff . . . Are you sure they don't lift weights? Come on! They must be working out with a heavy duty kuwa or SOMETHING!)

Mike Sigman
02-05-2008, 07:24 PM
Since this thread is related to Shinto one should might also mention Koma Inu and Kara Shishi.

(BTW Mike those Kongo Rikishi sure are buff . . . Are you sure they don't lift weights? Come on! They must be working out with a heavy duty kuwa or SOMETHING!)But they're buff in a proper way! Not body-builder buff, if you'll notice.

Speaking of buff. There was a portrait done of O-Sensei as a Kami and in the painting he is shown with a large and developed belly... the sort of development that comes from someone developing their hara strength, not the beer-belly kind. A lot of Buddha statues show the same thing and many people think it's supposed to be a fat belly, but it's not supposed to be that at all (or wasn't, back in the old days). I've often thought about the warrior kind of buff, like in the kongourishiki, as opposed to the Buddha-buff (which made its way into Shinto things, as so many things from Buddhism did).

FWIW

Mike

Walker
02-05-2008, 09:58 PM
BTW - Those are my favorite pair of Kongo Rikishi. I think they belong to the Kofukuji in Nara.

[edit] I just noticed the kanji for rikishi -- 力士 -- pretty cool.

Allen Beebe
02-05-2008, 10:48 PM
BTW - Those are my favorite pair of Kongo Rikishi. I think they belong to the Kofukuji in Nara.

[edit] I just noticed the kanji for rikishi -- 力士 -- pretty cool.

Yeah. They are a pretty cool dynamic duo: Ungyo and Agyo (Ah and Hum). Their names are filled with implication upon implication in Mikkyo. They are manifestations of Dainichi Nyorai (of course).

I also like the the Kongo part of their names which implies an adamantine/diamond like nature that represents absolute wisdom, which is balanced by a lotus like compassion.

So, once again one has the Go/Ju, thing.

These are all manifestations of Dainichi Nyorai or Ame no Minakanushi no O-Kami depending upon your respective orientation.

One implies the other and if you want to have a balanced whole you have to have both . . . etc, etc.

OK, time to walk my koma-inu, he needs to go "shi shi." "Wu Wei! Don't step in that dog's Peng Path!

Upyu
02-06-2008, 12:06 AM
BTW - Those are my favorite pair of Kongo Rikishi. I think they belong to the Kofukuji in Nara.

[edit] I just noticed the kanji for rikishi -- 力士 -- pretty cool.

Heh, yeah, its no coincidence that Sumo guys are technicially known as, dum dum duuuum, "rikishi." :D

Mike Sigman
02-06-2008, 08:13 AM
Yeah. They are a pretty cool dynamic duo: Ungyo and Agyo (Ah and Hum). Their names are filled with implication upon implication in Mikkyo. They are manifestations of Dainichi Nyorai (of course).

I also like the the Kongo part of their names which implies an adamantine/diamond like nature that represents absolute wisdom, which is balanced by a lotus like compassion.

So, once again one has the Go/Ju, thing.
From my notes (I'm no expert, so I use notes):
"Kongourikishi" being the Japanese pronunciation for the Chinese characters "Jin Gang Li Shi". "Buddha's Warrior Attendants". Tantric Buddhism (Vajrayana Buddhism) is called Jin Gang Sheng in Chinese. "Jin Gang" (Vajra) is the so-called "third major vehicle" ("vehicle"='yana') of Buddhism. Yada, yada. But the point is that Vajrayana is supposed to be an extension of Mahayana Buddhism consisting not necessarily of philosophical differences, but of the adoption of additional techniques...."upaya".... or skilful means. I wonder what the extent of those skilfull means is? Undoubtedly this brings us back to Chinkon Kishin.

Incidentally, the reference to the Jin Gang is found in a few Chinese martial arts. One posture of Chen's taiji is "Jin Gang Dao Dui", "Buddha's warrior attendant pounds mortar" (the massive foot stomp that occurs a number of times in the old frame, etc.).

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
02-06-2008, 12:12 PM
From my notes (I'm no expert, so I use notes):
"Kongourikishi" being the Japanese pronunciation for the Chinese characters "Jin Gang Li Shi". "Buddha's Warrior Attendants".

I'm no expert either and I was too lazy to use notes but I do deal with some regularity . . .

FWIW Kongou = 金剛 [こんごう] (n) ( 1) vajra (indestructible substance) diamond adamantine (2) thunderbolt Indra's weapon Buddhist symbol of the indestructible truth

and just for kicks

Kongouriki = 金剛力 [こんごうりき] (n) superhuman (Herculean) strength

shi = 士 (士) シ, N: お, ま, N: さむらい gentleman, samurai

I'd have to see the characters for Jin Gang Li Shi but if they are the same as the above "Buddha's warrior attendants" is more of a loose description than a translation.

Tantric Buddhism (Vajrayana Buddhism) is called Jin Gang Sheng in Chinese. "Jin Gang" (Vajra) is the so-called "third major vehicle" ("vehicle"='yana') of Buddhism. Yada, yada.

My understanding is that due to the fact that Mikkyo came to Japan before "Vajrayana" was a commonly used appellation. Mikkyo is still conventionally considered a part of Mahayana and when referred to exclusively (in Japan) it is usually known as Mikkyo rather than "Vajrayana" the latter usually being a referent for Tibetan Buddhism. I'm not looking at my notes or books again though! (BTW, as was typical of the time, when Kukai "introduced" Mikkyo to Japan he clearly delineated how it was superior to all other schools. As I said, this approach was typical though.)

But the point is that Vajrayana is supposed to be an extension of Mahayana Buddhism consisting not necessarily of philosophical differences, but of the adoption of additional techniques...."upaya".... or skilful means. I wonder what the extent of those skilfull means is? Undoubtedly this brings us back to Chinkon Kishin.

Upaya (skillful means or expedient means) is basically doing what it takes to lead one to awakening. A famous example is the father (Buddha or Bodhisattva) offering his children (Suffering Beings) toys he doesn't have in order to get them to escape a burning house (The World of Suffering.) Upaya have historically included medical/psychological practices (enter qigong/chinkon kishin) attract practitioners and remove obstacles of practice (poor mental/physical health, danger, etc.)

Incidentally, the reference to the Jin Gang is found in a few Chinese martial arts. One posture of Chen's taiji is "Jin Gang Dao Dui", "Buddha's warrior attendant pounds mortar" (the massive foot stomp that occurs a number of times in the old frame, etc.).

Cool! I bet you didn't look in your notes for THAT info!

Mike Sigman
02-06-2008, 01:29 PM
I'm no expert either and I was too lazy to use notes but I do deal with some regularity . . .

FWIW Kongou = 金剛 [こんごう] (n) ( 1) vajra (indestructible substance) diamond adamantine (2) thunderbolt Indra's weapon Buddhist symbol of the indestructible truth

and just for kicks

Kongouriki = 金剛力 [こんごうりき] (n) superhuman (Herculean) strength

shi = 士 (士) シ, N: お, ま, N: さむらい gentleman, samurai

I'd have to see the characters for Jin Gang Li Shi but if they are the same as the above "Buddha's warrior attendants" is more of a loose description than a translation. Good point. However, I suspect that the gentlemen in question were once considered "Buddha's Warrior Attendants" in actuality. [/quote]Upaya (skillful means or expedient means) is basically doing what it takes to lead one to awakening. A famous example is the father (Buddha or Bodhisattva) offering his children (Suffering Beings) toys he doesn't have in order to get them to escape a burning house (The World of Suffering.) Upaya have historically included medical/psychological practices (enter qigong/chinkon kishin) attract practitioners and remove obstacles of practice (poor mental/physical health, danger, etc.)[/QUOTE]I think that you're going to find that the basic practices for "awakening" and "enlightenment" will cut across the various religions of Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism and will contain the core skills of the body we're talking about with the ki things (not necessarily the kokyu ones). Essentially, the idea of moving the jing to the shen is there in all of them.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Allen Beebe
02-06-2008, 02:08 PM
I suspect that the gentlemen in question were once considered "Buddha's Warrior Attendants" in actuality.

Well, that is interesting, and cool, and not terribly surprising I suppose, if it is indeed true. Where do you find this referenced?

I think that you're going to find that the basic practices for "awakening" and "enlightenment" will cut across the various religions of Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism and will contain the core skills of the body we're talking about with the ki things (not necessarily the kokyu ones). Essentially, the idea of moving the jing to the shen is there in all of them.

Certainly this should be true especially when one considers a) Buddhism, Shinto, and Taoism coexisted and intermingled for millennia (along with other practices as well) before being artificially separated into supposedly pure/distinct entities by the Meiji Government; and b) "real" results should be independently reproducible given that the pertinent conditions are met for that reproduction of results to occur.

Allen Beebe
02-06-2008, 02:39 PM
. . . and will contain the core skills of the body we're talking about with the ki things (not necessarily the kokyu ones). Essentially, the idea of moving the jing to the shen is there in all of them.

I suppose that it should be mentioned that, while it might be argued that this SHOULD be the case universally, experience points to the fact that this isn't necessarily the case. (There are plenty of beautiful empty gourds out there.) And while kokyu skills aren't NECESSARILY a required aspect of this pursuit, as you have pointed out, historically kokyu skills HAVE been part of this pursuit in many traditions.

The punch line is: Just because practices (Ki and/or Kokyu) and results SHOULD be there or HAVE been there doesn't necessarily guarantee that they ARE there now.

Real results are demonstrable.

Mike Sigman
02-06-2008, 02:48 PM
Well, that is interesting, and cool, and not terribly surprising I suppose, if it is indeed true. Where do you find this referenced? There are a number of references in Chinese martial arts to the (martial) references for "Jin Gang", as I said. Here's an instructional film, and I spotted a few more by Googling "Jin Gang" + "Buddha". Some of them just say "Buddha disciple", so that might be something else to look for:
http://www.cgcmall.com/Jin_Gang_Quan_p/vc00shaolj.htm

Certainly this should be true especially when one considers a) Buddhism, Shinto, and Taoism coexisted and intermingled for millennia (along with other practices as well) before being artificially separated into supposedly pure/distinct entities by the Meiji Government; and b) "real" results should be independently reproducible given that the pertinent conditions are met for that reproduction of results to occur. I agree. My point is that these esoteric "skills" which a lot of people are even questioning the validity of, are actually core to a *large* part of Asia's ancient culture. Much more so than just the superficial meeting in Chinkon Kishin. This is or was pretty big stuff. All those ancient pictures of "meditation", the Daoyin exercise paintings, the Yellow Emperor Classics, Confucian edicts, Taoist longevity and martial skills, acupuncture theory, the mythical (often absurdly so) great powers in kung-fu flicks, Shaolin warriors, etc., etc... all these things revolve around the same core concepts, the ones also in Chinkon Kishin.

FWIW

Mike

Allen Beebe
02-06-2008, 03:12 PM
There are a number of references in Chinese martial arts to the (martial) references for "Jin Gang", as I said. Here's an instructional film, and I spotted a few more by Googling "Jin Gang" + "Buddha". Some of them just say "Buddha disciple", so that might be something else to look for:
http://www.cgcmall.com/Jin_Gang_Quan_p/vc00shaolj.htm

Ah. Perhaps I misunderstood you. I thought that you were saying that you had evidence that there were two really strong M.A. dudes that protected the historical Buddha "back in the day."

I agree. My point is that these esoteric "skills" which a lot of people are even questioning the validity of, are actually core to a *large* part of Asia's ancient culture. Much more so than just the superficial meeting in Chinkon Kishin. This is or was pretty big stuff. All those ancient pictures of "meditation", the Daoyin exercise paintings, the Yellow Emperor Classics, Confucian edicts, Taoist longevity and martial skills, acupuncture theory, the mythical (often absurdly so) great powers in kung-fu flicks, Shaolin warriors, etc., etc... all these things revolve around the same core concepts, the ones also in Chinkon Kishin.

Well then we both agree. Our primary difference (I assume not having felt you ;) ) is the degree to which we can demonstrate our understanding.

Mike Sigman
02-06-2008, 04:26 PM
Ah. Perhaps I misunderstood you. I thought that you were saying that you had evidence that there were two really strong M.A. dudes that protected the historical Buddha "back in the day."No, I just meant that despite the literal translation of kongourishiki, the idiomatic usage points to some legend. Sort of like "Dapeng" refers to a mythical bird that protected Buddha, regardless of its literal translation.

Best.

Mike

Allen Beebe
02-06-2008, 04:42 PM
No, I just meant that despite the literal translation of kongourishiki, the idiomatic usage points to some legend. Sort of like "Dapeng" refers to a mythical bird that protected Buddha, regardless of its literal translation.

Best.

Mike

Oh darn! That would have SO played into my Budo/Buddhist fantasies! :D

(To my students and friends: NO! Not THOSE kind of fantasies! Sheesh!! :rolleyes: )

Ron Tisdale
02-06-2008, 04:45 PM
LOL...you guys rock!

Thanks for the great discussion!

Ron

TomW
02-06-2008, 04:50 PM
Oh darn! That would have SO played into my Budo/Buddhist fantasies! :D

(To my students and friends: NO! Not THOSE kind of fantasies! Sheesh!! :rolleyes: )

Uh-huh, sure Al.......:freaky:

Walker
02-06-2008, 07:58 PM
:hypno: So Al, if you meet the Buddha on the road, what exactly do you want to do to him? :eek:

Mike Sigman
02-06-2008, 09:54 PM
:hypno: So Al, if you meet the Buddha on the road, what exactly do you want to do to him? :eek:I hope he doesn't tell him "it has to be felt"!!!!

Reminds me of the qigong where weights are hung from the genitals (there is actually a sound "internal strength" reason for doing this, but I'm not a practitioner). I was talking to one guy who did this and suddenly he blurted out, "Do you want to feel my balls?". I demurred with a "some other time, thanks".

Another fairly well-known guy I ran into in a hotel bar while I was waiting for the rest of my group to meet in the lobby. This guy had had a few scotches and it was the first time I'd met him, though we were both familiar with who the other one was. He shook my hand beaming at me and said, "You know I hang weights from my balls?". All I could think of to say was, "How nice for you!".

Gosh knows what Allen would say to the Buddha, but I'm apprehensive that it might be somewhat along the above lines. :D

Mike

Allen Beebe
02-06-2008, 10:09 PM
Finally, and at long last, public acknowledgment that I am well hung! :o

Rev.K. Barrish
02-07-2008, 03:40 PM
Re: CHINKON KISHIN / CHINKON GYO-HO and CHINKON- SAHO and information of Shrine/Aikido Intern Program Opening

Chinkon is the "active Shinto Meditation" capable of healing the disconnect between mind/ body / spirit and self and nature......the true meaning of Chinkon (Kanji is same as Mitama Shizume—to quiet/pacify [reintegrate] restless soul) is to tune ourselves as living Himorogi (antennae for divine/kami Ki) so we can come closer to receive the "heartbeat and breath" of Okami.

Chinkon saho (movement) contains furitama (lit: soul shaking) which is from Jumbi Taiso (preparatory exercise ) of Misogi Shu-ho (purification in moving water) and along with Ame-noTorifune no Gyo and Ibuki-Undo common in Aikido Jumbi Taiso.

Here at Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America we practice formal Chinkon-Gyo-Ho regularly …(Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Japan and US enshrines SARUTAHIKONOOKAMI Aikido’s Ancestor Kami and AMENOUZUMENOMIKOTO who is Kami of Chinkon).

Although we practice the complete formal Chinkon Gyoho regularly we alo practice a shortened form as Yuuhai (evening ceremony) at the close of Aikido Keiko….. here are some notes of Ryaku (shortened) Chinkon practice…anyone interested in the more complete form please contact the Jinja…

RYAKU CHINKON GYOHO
Short Chinkon practice (done before Kamiza or Yorishiro [temporary resting place of Okami- picture of O’Sensei etc] or outside focus on sun , mountain etc)

Shin yu (= 45 degree bow , duration 2 seconds) then furitama while saying very softly:SARUTAHIKONOOKAMI, SARUTAHIKONOOKAMI, SARUTAHIKONOOKAMI

Nirei (2 bows—deep 90 degree bow-duration 3 seconds)

MISOGI-NO-OHARAI-NO-KOTOBA

TAKAMA-NO-HARA NI KAMUZUMARIMASU*
*when recited in a group this line is read only by the saishyu, the leader of the ritual

KAMUROGI KAMUROMI NO MIKOTO MOCHITE
SUME MI OYA KAMU IZANAGI NO MIKOTO

TSUKUSHI NO HIMUKA NO TACHIBANA NO ODO NO AHAGIHARA NI

MISOGI HARAE TAMAISHI TOKI NI ARE MASERU
HARAEDO NO O KAMITACHI

MOROMORO NO MAGAGOTO TSUMI KEGARE O
HARAI TAMAE KIYOME TAMAE TO

MOSU KOTO NO YOSHI O
AMATSU KAMI KUNITSU KAMI

YAOYOROZU NO KAMITACHI TOMO NI
KIKOSHIMESE TO
KASHIKOMI KASHIKOMI MO MAOSU

Translation of MISOGI-NO-O-HARAI:

Upon the will of the Great Spirit, by which the Universe is initiated in the cosmic force of creation by the Kamis (Divine Spirit) of birth and growth, and through which the solar system is united in the force of harmony by the Kamis of Yin and Yang, the Kamis of purification came to exist from the impurities which Izanagi-no-Mikoto (Divine creator of the solar system) cleansed from his body in the divine river of heaven.
We will be able to recognize (see) the Kami (truth), only after we purify ourselves of all negativity, impurities, faults and restore ourselves to what we are meant to be (natural brightness).

HI-FU-MI-NORITO (please pray slowly, 1, 3 or 5 times)

HI-FU-MI-YO-I-MU-NA-YA-KO-TO-MO-CHI-RO-RA-NE-SHI-KI-RU-YU-I-TSU-WA-NU-SO-O-TA-HA-KU-ME-KA-U-O-E-NI-SA-RI-HE-TE-NO-MA-SU-A-SE-HE-HO-RE-KE

HI FU MI YO I MU NA YA KO TO

I = 2nd I from Mi-itsu (virtue when referring to absolute). Added to the worlds vital forces it is divine will and action of that will. Kojiki: emergence of Sangen-no-Hosoku/ 3 element rule

MU= from Musubi. Also in kokemusu, meaning moss-that which grows from the earth, linking with natural force..Kojiki: cosolidation of Kunitsu Kami

NA = from Naru (to become) and Naosu (to do) implies both

YA = related to Ya Masu Masu (more and more) indicates development Kojiki: Na and Ya and aspects of growth in the world Ototama = flying power

KO = last syllable of Myako (to congeal, centripetalize, solidify form a block) Kojiki: unification of the powers of heaven and earth

TO = as in togeru (to accomplish) Tomaru (to stop) completion connecting vertical and horizontal musubi.. Kojiki: accomplished Universe

MO CHI RO air gas ether
RA NE SHI KI gathering prayer
RU YU ITSU HA NU SO Musubi (generative combining life giving forces)
O TA HA KU U O EE NI Ame-no-Uzume-no-Mikoto
SA RE HE TO the large sound of KI returning to source
NO MA SU Naoru (to pray w/ respect)
A SE HE HO RE KE.......... Shinjin Goitsu (spriritual coalescence)

that information is from my note taken when I 1st learned the Chinkon method from Rev Kawashima Toshitaka who is a very Senior Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine and also Guji of his own shrine.

the furube-no-kamu-waza of Chinkon practice is meant to activate the energy body and also tie the golden thread ..maybe best way to think about it is activate (raise the vibrational level) and tune the body to be sensitive to Okami's heartbeat and breath. The 2nd set of movements is higher (more refined) frequency...the 1 st set stirs up the body and reorganizes, the 2nd set if communication with Kami

MIKUSA NO O HARAE (please pray slowly, 1, 3 or 5 times)

TOUKAMI
EMI TAME
KAN-GON-SHIN-SON-RI-KON-DA-KEN
HARAE TAMAE KIYOME DE TAMAOU

Switch to anza (sit with soles of feet touching each other and hands together)

FURUBE-NO-KAMU-WAZA

In with index finger extended…vertical movement between height of hara and eyebrow while saying HI-FU-MI-YO-I-MU-NA-YA-KO-TO 10 times

IBUKI UNDO (deep breathing to hara—in through nose out through mouth)
re: Breathing direction...

for men: on inhalation please spiral the breath in a downward leftward spiral from heaven to earth (Kamuromi- heaven's descending KI) and on exhalation please spiral in a rightward ascending manner (Kamurogi- earths ascending KI)

for women: on inhalation please spiral the breath in an ascending rightward spiral from earth to heaven (Kamurogi-earths ascending KI) and on exhalation please entrain with the descending leftward spiral (Kamuromi- heavens descending KI)

re: Breath..the O-HARAHI-NO-KOTOBA (Great words of purification) teach us that "Life is full of energy and cheerfullness and is filled w/ living KI..." Breath connect human beings to Uchiki and Sotoki.........to breath in and out is evidence of life...breathing is a simple thing for the living, yet so important as it decides on the fate of the living. A child grows to be a healthy adult by breathing..this is kiketsu. Not only physical growth is facilitated be breath but spiritual growth as well--this is called shouketsu. The circulation of the atmosphere and the Kiketsu/shouketsu of sotoki and uchiki in the Universe make the Breath of life.

Return to seiza

RYAKU NIPPAISHI

Sarutahiko no Ō Kami shines up to the Expanse of High Heaven,
Casting illumination across the great Earthly realm of the Ancient Land.
Kami wa Takama no Hara o terashi
Shimo wa Ashihara no Nakatsu Kuni o
Kagayakashi tamō

Divine winds envelop Tsubaki Grand Shrine, the first shrine of Ise,
Where dwells the great, bright deity Sarutahiko no Ō Kami.
Kamikaze no Ise no kuni ichi no miya
Tsubaki Dai Myo Jin Sarutahiko no Ō Kami

Sweep the impurities from my being and purify my spirit;
Grant me protection; grant me happiness;
Restore brightness to my soul and give me guidance.
Harae tamae kiyome tamae mamori tamae
Sakiwae tamae terashi tamae michibiki tamae

Each day and each night,
Grant me good health and spiritual renewal;
Humbly, reverently, I speak these words.
Sugasugashiku sukoyaka ni higoto yogoto o
Arashime tamae to
Kashikomi kashikomi mo maosu

NI REI NI HAKKUSHI IPPAI (please bow 2 times, clap 2 times, bow 1 time)

SHRINE/AIKIDO INTERN POSITION AT
TSUBAKI GRAND SHRINE OF AMERICA

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is accepting applications for the SHINTO/AIKIDO INTERN. This full time position can be approached as a 3 month to 2 year commitment. The position includes all training, private quarters in shrine guest house and a stipend. Please contact Rev. Barrish (Shrine Priest)

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America
17720 Crooked Mile
Granite Falls, WA 98252
USA
www.TsubakiShrine.org
Kannushi@TsubakiShrine.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tsubakiko
(360) 691-6389

Mike Sigman
02-08-2008, 10:53 AM
MU= from Musubi. Also in kokemusu, meaning moss-that which grows from the earth, linking with natural force..Kojiki: cosolidation of Kunitsu Kami

NA = from Naru (to become) and Naosu (to do) implies both

YA = related to Ya Masu Masu (more and more) indicates development Kojiki: Na and Ya and aspects of growth in the world Ototama = flying power

KO = last syllable of Myako (to congeal, centripetalize, solidify form a block) Kojiki: unification of the powers of heaven and earth

TO = as in togeru (to accomplish) Tomaru (to stop) completion connecting vertical and horizontal musubi.. Kojiki: accomplished Universe

Wonderful! I just tried them and they're a sequential exercise. Very clever. Many thanks.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

aikilouis
02-08-2008, 11:29 AM
Hikitsuchi Sensei performing Norito in opening of Paris seminar, 1995 :
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=D__Y8-d_1b0

Allen Beebe
02-08-2008, 01:50 PM
Wonderful! I just tried them and they're a sequential exercise. Very clever. Many thanks.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike the sounds are actually normal sequential ordinal referents (in Japanese rather than borrowed and modified Chinese) besides holding the kotodama derived meanings. Not to put a damper on your point of they're being a sequential exercise. BTW, this sequence of recitation is very popular (don't know what else to call it) in Shinto meditative practice and Shinto derived Shinkoshukyo.

Hmmm now that I think about it . . . it progresses sequentially and then increases exponentially . . . logarithmic spiral? (I'm visualizing tama, shimenawa, komo(?), etc.)

Anyway, I'm talking/thinking beyond my pay grade which is always dangerous!

Demetrio Cereijo
02-08-2008, 05:55 PM
IIRC , this was an interesting read regarding CK and timing of introudction into Omoto / Ueshiba, and mentioned that Omoto followers stopped practicing..

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=256

Interesting timing anyway.

This seems interesting too, but i'm not sure about the veracity of what is said.

http://anne987.blogspot.com/2007/06/mahikari-in-context-3-imperialism-and.html

Mike Sigman
02-08-2008, 06:08 PM
Mike the sounds are actually normal sequential ordinal referents (in Japanese rather than borrowed and modified Chinese) besides holding the kotodama derived meanings. Not to put a damper on your point of they're being a sequential exercise. BTW, this sequence of recitation is very popular (don't know what else to call it) in Shinto meditative practice and Shinto derived Shinkoshukyo.

Hmmm now that I think about it . . . it progresses sequentially and then increases exponentially . . . logarithmic spiral? (I'm visualizing tama, shimenawa, komo(?), etc.)

Anyway, I'm talking/thinking beyond my pay grade which is always dangerous!I could be wrong, Allen, but when I tried them to watch how they affect the dantien/tanden, it seemed fairly sequential. Bearing in mind that I could have screwed up, it seemed fairly straightforward to me. One of the things that I've found over the years is that if something didn't do some functional work, many of the "ritual" things simply faded with time. For instance the "acupuncture" meridians, the "sounds", etc., have a basis in fact. Once again, I could be wrong... let me try it for a few days and I'll comment on QiJin.

Best.

Mike

Allen Beebe
02-08-2008, 06:51 PM
I could be wrong, Allen, but when I tried them to watch how they affect the dantien/tanden, it seemed fairly sequential. Bearing in mind that I could have screwed up, it seemed fairly straightforward to me. One of the things that I've found over the years is that if something didn't do some functional work, many of the "ritual" things simply faded with time. For instance the "acupuncture" meridians, the "sounds", etc., have a basis in fact. Once again, I could be wrong... let me try it for a few days and I'll comment on QiJin.

Best.

Mike

Alright, I'll look forward to it!

Rev.K. Barrish
02-08-2008, 06:56 PM
Mr. Sigman wrote,

“Wonderful! I just tried them and they're a sequential exercise. Very clever. Many thanks”

thank you…basically the CHINKON-NO-GYO is practiced to calm the mind, condition/ tune the soul and raise spirituality as you intone: HI FU MI YO I MU NA YA KO TO (lit: 1 thru 10)…the thinking is that to practice repeatedly with FURUBE-NO-KAMU-WAZA (body motion) you can purify and invigorate you body/mind/spirit towards purity and brightness and become more “straightforward”. (cultivate spirituality).

If you ever find yourself in the Pacific Northwest please visit Tsubaki Shrine and experience the Chinkon Gyo-Ho in the Jinja Shinto atmosphere…

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu
Koichi Barrish
Senior Shinto Priest
Tsubaki America Shrine

Upyu
02-08-2008, 07:03 PM
thank you…basically the CHINKON-NO-GYO is practiced to calm the mind, condition/ tune the soul and raise spirituality as you intone: HI FU MI YO I MU NA YA KO TO (lit: 1 thru 10)…the

Mr Barrish,

Any thoughts on how the sounds affect the dantien physically, how they condition it etc? :)

Rob

Josh Lerner
02-08-2008, 07:16 PM
I could be wrong, Allen, but when I tried them to watch how they affect the dantien/tanden, it seemed fairly sequential. Bearing in mind that I could have screwed up, it seemed fairly straightforward to me. One of the things that I've found over the years is that if something didn't do some functional work, many of the "ritual" things simply faded with time. For instance the "acupuncture" meridians, the "sounds", etc., have a basis in fact. Once again, I could be wrong... let me try it for a few days and I'll comment on QiJin.

Best.

Mike

All of which proves that internal training originally comes from Judaism -

Joseph Eidelberg, a Jew who once came to Japan and remained for years at a Japanese Shinto shrine, wrote a book entitled "The Japanese and the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel." He wrote that many Japanese words originated from ancient Hebrew. . . .

When we Japanese count, "One, two, three... ten," we sometimes say:

"Hi, fu, mi, yo, itsu, mu, nana, ya, kokono, towo."

This is a traditional expression, but its meaning is unknown it is thought of as being Japanese.
It has been said that this expression originates from an ancient Japanese Shinto myth. In the myth, the female god, called "Amaterasu," who manages the world's sunlight, once hid herself in a heavenly cave, and the world became dark. Then, according to the oldest book of Japanese history, the priest called "Koyane" prayed with words before the cave and in front of the other gods to have "Amaterasu" come out. Although the words said in the prayer are not written, a legend says that these words were, "Hi, fu, mi...."

"Amaterasu" is hiding in a heavenly cave; "Koyane" is praying and "Uzume" is dancing.

Joseph Eidelberg stated that this is a beautiful Hebrew expression, if it is supposed that there were some pronunciation changes throughout history. These words are spelled:
"Hifa mi yotsia ma na'ne ykakhena tavo."

This means: "The beautiful (Goddess). Who will bring her out? What should we call out (in chorus) to entice her to come?" This surprisingly fits the situation of the myth.
Moreover, we Japanese not only say, "Hi, hu, mi...," but also say with the same meaning:

"Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu, itsutsu, muttsu, nanatsu, yattsu, kokonotsu, towo."

Here, "totsu" or "tsu" is put to each of "Hi, hu, mi..." as the last part of the words. But the last "towo" (which means ten) remains the same. "Totsu" could be the Hebrew word "tetse," which means, "She comes out. " And "tsu" may be the Hebrew word "tse" which means "Come out."
Eidelberg believed that these words were said by the gods who surrounded the priest, "Koyane." That is, when "Koyane" first says, "Hi," the surrounding gods add, "totsu" (She comes out) in reply, and secondly, when "Koyane" says, "Fu," the gods add "totsu" (tatsu), and so on. In this way, it became "Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu...."
However, the last word, "towo," the priest, "Koyane," and the surrounding gods said together. If this is the Hebrew word "tavo," it means, "(She) shall come." When they say this, the female god, "Amaterasu," came out.

"Hi, fu, mi..." and "Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu..." later were used as the words to count numbers.


- from http://www5.ocn.ne.jp/~magi9/isracame.htm

It must be true; it's on the internet. ;)

Josh

Cady Goldfield
02-08-2008, 07:40 PM
Too funny. But kind of a stretch.

Rev.K. Barrish
02-09-2008, 09:39 AM
Mr. Robert John wrote:

“Any thoughts on how the sounds affect the dantien physically, how they condition it etc?

arigatou desu….my thinking is that hara is physically centripetalized (made more dense) and also receives correction in alignment…the furube no kamu waza (Chinkon movement) begins as largish movements that really “stir” up the physical and energy body…then move on to smaller movements with higher (more refined) vibration that fine tune the alignment of hara in respect to its position supported by earth and receiving Ki of heaven…micro shifts in alignment become very important in entraining with different Ki…..the Hi-Fu-Mi norito is actually an integral part of Senyusai -- the process of transferring the mitma from the body to the Mitamashiro (memorial plaque) during the Shinsosai (Shinto Funeral) …it is really a profound practice…..I must close now, my shrine is very busy today…

yoroshiku onegaishimasu
Koichi Barrish
Senior Shinto Priest
Tsubaki America Grand Shrine
www.TsubakiShrine.org
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Tsubakiko/

Allen Beebe
02-09-2008, 11:00 AM
For those that want to go there:

The Lost Tribes Where Are They Today?
For the week ending 28 August 2004 / 11 Elul 5764
by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman - www.rabbiullman.com
(http://ohr.edu/yhiy/article.php/1817)
". . . The last group that lives in areas mentioned in our sources is the Chiang-Min, on the border between Tibet and China in the mountainous area of Sichuan. They appear more Semitic than Oriental, and have a tradition of having migrated from the West after a journey of 3 years and 3 months. They claim to descend from Abraham, and their ancestor had 12 sons. They believe in one all-powerful god called the "Father of Heaven" who they refer to in times of trouble by the tetragrammaton. He watches over the world, judges fairly, rewards the righteous, punishes the wicked, accepts repentance, and gives atonement. In the past, they had written scrolls of parchment and books, but they were lost. It is forbidden to worship foreign gods or idols upon punishment of death. They also have priestly and sacrificial services reminiscent of those of the Torah, using an earthen altar that must not be fashioned by metal tools, where the priest places his hand on the head of the sacrifice.

Thus far, we have located peoples that may be remnants of the Lost Tribes, living in places mentioned in our sources such as Ethiopia, Iran/Afghanistan, India and China. In the next installment, well explore the possibility of the Lost Tribes reaching a place not mentioned in our sources, namely Japan, and well conclude with a discussion of whether the Lost Tribes will ever be re-united with the Jewish people.

Sources:

North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry Arimasa Kubo, The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Myanmar, and China
Rabbi Eliyahu Avichail, Amishav Organization"

and

THE LOST TRIBES – PART 3 :
Will they Return?

by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman
(http://www.torahlearningcenter.com/jhq/question292.html)

". . . In the first installment we saw that according to our sources, the Lost Tribes were exiled south to Ethiopia, and East through Syria, Iraq, Iran, India and China. In the second installment we located peoples that may be remnants of the Lost Tribes living in those places and explored whether they or their customs are Jewish. In this final installment, we'll explore the possibility of the Lost Tribes reaching Japan and conclude with a discussion of whether the Lost Tribes will ever be re-united with the Jewish people.

While there is no explicit mention in our sources of the Tribes reaching Japan, the Japanese/Shinto tradition seems to have some remarkable similarities with Judaism.

For one, a certain Japanese mythology closely resembles the Biblical chronology: The Patriarch of the Japanese nation comes down from heaven, in place of “the other” while he is preparing. [Jacob received the birthright instead of Esau, and the blessing while Esau was preparing.] The Patriarch falls in love with a beautiful woman but her father refuses unless he marries her older, less desirable sister. [Lavan prevented Jacob from marrying Rachel until he married Leah first.] The Patriarch and his desired wife have a son who is bullied by his older brother and forced to the country of a sea god. [Jacob and Rachel had Joseph who is sold by his older brothers to Egypt on the Nile.] There, he attains power with which he troubles his older brother concerning famine, but eventually forgives him. [Joseph rose to power and tried his brothers regarding the famine until he forgave them.] In the meantime, the Patriarch marries the daughter of the sea god, having a son whose 4 th son conquers Japan. [Joseph married Osnat, daughter of Potifar, and had Ephraim, whose 4 th son Joshua conquered Israel.]

Also, the Shinto festival of Ontohsai resembles the Sacrifice of Isaac. In the Biblical event, Abraham leads his son up Mount Moria and binds him as a sacrifice on a wooden altar. While the knife is in Abraham's hand, an angel intervenes and instructs him to offer a ram in Isaac's stead. Similarly, in the Shinto festival, a boy is led to the top of a mountain called “Moriya-san”. He is tied to a wooden beam on a bamboo carpet as a priest symbolically approaches with a knife. Then a messenger appears, the boy is released and a sacrifice provided by the “god of moriya” is offered in his stead.

Furthermore, a Shinto shrine resembles the ancient Jewish Temple. The entrance to the shrine is in the East while the shrine is in the West. There is a laver near the entrance for washing hands and feet. The shrine is comprised of a courtyard, an inner holy section, and an innermost holy of holies. The holy of holies is elevated above the holy section by stairs. Worshipers pray in front of the inner holy section, but only the priest can enter the holy of holies, and only at special times.

A Japanese Omikoshi, resembles the Ark of Covenant. It is similar in size, overlain with gold, with gold winged figures on top. It is carried on the shoulders with poles, while accompanied with song and dance. The carriers must immerse themselves beforehand, and a special ceremony whereby the bearers carry the ark through a river is reminiscent of the Biblical description of the Jews carrying the ark through the Jordan river on their way into Israel.

There are other similarities as well. The Japanese Shinto priest's robe often has cords hanging from its corners, resembling Jewish tzitzit. Also, a certain type of Shinto priest called a yamabushi wears what's called a token, a small black box on the forehead between the eyes, tied with a black cord behind the head. This closely resembles Jewish tefillin. Interestingly, a Shinto legend tells of a ninja who sought a certain yamabushi named Tengu in order to receive supernatural powers. Tengu gave him a “tora-no-maki”, a scroll of the torah, which gave him special powers. Also, mizura, an old Samurai hairstyle resembles Jewish side locks. A statue of a Japanese Samurai dating from the 5th century shows long, curly locks of hair in front of the ears.

After we've observed all these disparate peoples, most of whom don't even consider themselves to be Jewish, it's natural to ask whether the Lost Tribes will ever be re-united with the Jewish people. Consider the words of three of the greatest prophets:

Isaiah 11: “And it shall come to pass...that G-d...will recover the remnant of His people, that shall remain, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.” Jeremiah 23: “The day comes...that they shall no longer say: 'As G-d lives, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt'; but...'that brought up...the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all the countries where I had driven them'; and they shall dwell in their own land.” Ezekiel 37: “Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph...and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick...I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, where they are gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land...and they shall be no longer two nations, nor shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more.”

That the Lost Tribes will be redeemed is echoed in Talmudic sources as well: “To those who were exiled to the Sambatyon, G-d will say, “Return!” To those exiled beyond the Sambatyon, He will say, “Become revealed!” Regarding those who were exiled to Rivlata, G-d will make underground passageways through which they will come to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem (Midrash Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah 49). The Mishna in Sanhedrin brings differing opinions, though: “Rabbi Akiva says, the Ten Tribes will not return as it states, 'and He threw them into foreign lands like this day' [meaning] just as the day goes and does not return, they will also go and not return. Rabbi Eliezer argues, 'and He threw them into foreign lands like this day' [means] just as the day first becomes dark and then becomes light, so too the Ten Tribes who are now in darkness will in the future come to light.”

The opinion of Rabbi Akiva is difficult to understand. How can he contradict the Prophets? And how is it possible that the Tribes, so integral to the Jewish people, will not be part of the redemption? The answer is based on the statement of the Sages that individuals of each of the Lost Tribes later joined the Jews who were exiled to Babylon (Megilla 14a). Accordingly, these prophecies reveal that the Tribes will be reconstituted from within the Jews who later returned to Israel. However, those who remained among the non-Jews will not return. Rabbi Eliezer, however, is of the opinion that even those who remained in exile will ultimately convert back to Judaism and rejoin the Jewish people.

So explains Tiferet Israel (Sanhedrin 10:3), “It seems to me that Jeremiah returned many of them [to Judah] as we see in Megilla and Erechin, only that many remained mixed among the Gentiles. We know that many of them are in India, China and Ethiopia. They know only that they are Jews and they circumcise themselves and keep a few commandments. However, their worship of G-d is mixed with idol worship. On this point Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer disagree: whether in the future those who remained inter-mixed will return in strength under the wings of the Divine Presence. Because some of them are absolute idol worshippers, and have forgotten the name of Israel, yet some Jewish customs remain from their ancestors, as in the case of the people in Afghan, who some wise geographers see as forgotten Jews. [Rabbi Akiva is of the opinion that such people will not return to Israel, while Rabbi Eliezer argues that] also in Egypt all were idol-worshippers (Sanhedrin 103b), nevertheless G-d in his mercy opened their eyes by force and redeemed them [so here, such peoples will be returned to Israel].

May we merit seeing the Final Redemption speedily in our days!

Sources:

Arimasa Kubo, The Israelites Came To Ancient Japan
Marvin Tokayer, The Ten Lost Tribes of Israel"

Allen Beebe
02-09-2008, 11:09 AM
As a further aside Rev. Paul Kikamoto of Seicho no Ie (Former head of the English Branch of Seicho no Ie if I'm not mistaken) personally related to me (before his passing) of his personal interest in this Judaism/Shinto connection theory and provided more circumstantial evidence for his interest.

Seicho no Ie is an off-shoot of Omoto Kyo (Taniguchi Masaharu, the founder of Seicho no Ie was an editor for Omoto Kyo [which is saying something by the way!] leaving Omoto after the first or second crack down . . . I can't remember and am too lazy to look.

I believe Seicho no Ie members had some involvement in bringing Aikido to Hawaii.

Omoto Kyo and it's off-shoot groups are quite intermingled with Aikido due to personal relationships with Ueshiba Morihei.

(FWIW, Taniguchi Masaharu was quite "hawkish" in his writings during WWII BTW. This (not too surprisingly) isn't evident in his works translated into English.)

Allen Beebe
02-09-2008, 11:16 AM
One more connection: It is my understanding that Goi Masahisa was a Seicho no Ie teacher before forming his own group.

So one can see the interconnectedness of these folks.

Peter Goldsbury
02-09-2008, 04:26 PM
One more connection: It is my understanding that Goi Masahisa was a Seicho no Ie teacher before forming his own group.

So one can see the interconnectedness of these folks.

Hello Allen,

Goi Masahisa was born on the same day and month in the year as Masaharu Taniguchi--events thought bound to be of some significance. He was initially influenced by Mokichi Okada, also a member of Oomoto, but who left to form his own group called Sekai Kyuuseikyou. After spending some years in Seichou no Ie, Goi left because they did not deal with 'bad thoughts' effectively enough.

Have you come across the writings of Nobutaka Inoue, especially his massive Shin Shuukyou Jiten? On p.75 there is a chart of all the offshoots of Oomoto, about 25 in all.

Best wishes,

PAG

Erick Mead
02-09-2008, 05:58 PM
As a further aside Rev. Paul Kikamoto of Seicho no Ie ... of his personal interest in this Judaism/Shinto connection theory and provided more circumstantial evidence for his interest.One doesn't have to ascribe a specific historical continuity to ideas of this type for the many valid comparisons to be useful or relevant. It may in fact be much harder to prove any specific connections because the connections are more likely to be quite broad in both time and content.

After all, the whole idea of kotodama is Tantric in origin through Kukai and the kana, from that into later Shinto revival and the renewed philological approach of Norinaga. The tantric mantra teachings were deeply affected by Greek ideas of the Logos (and related ideas about modes of music and chant). These are a common heritage of classical paganism, Diaspora Judaism, Medieval Islam and Christianity from its inception. Tantra even has the curious aspect of a type of "baptism" initiation, a common aspect of Christianity, and in other guises -- it remains in more conservative Judaism today in the mikva, and obviously in the water purification misogi in Shinto.

At least three nonexclusive reasons exist for the correspondences:

1) Human nature, despite varying cultures, is not really that different and we tend to look to similar universal symbols for similar purposes without having to posit direct influence in suggestive particulars for even fairly specific correspondences to be seen as natural.

2) This schema of ideas (and others) actually did wash back and forth along what later became the silk road routes. We now know these cultural (and genetic) connections along this corridor go back continuously for more than three thousand years from the Taklamakan mummies. When Lao Tsu mysteriously "went West" he actually had some fairly interesting places to be going to. The same would have equally true of Jesus if he happened to wander East between ages thirteen to thirty.

3) There is an underlying reality to all of these experiences which, shared or not in its discovery or further transmission between cultures, is expressed in terms that are similar because they relate to the observations of that same reality; the Catholic Church has held this for millennia from its own perspective in its teachings on "semina verbi" (Seeds of the Word) -- again touching the Logos doctrine that predated (and in Christian eyes, anticipated) Christian theology.

I personally do not think that it matters much which of the above one holds to. There is good reason for one to accept the evidence suggesting that all of them are a part of the truth, regardless how one's cultural or religious leanings cause one to interpret the further meaning of the particulars.

Allen Beebe
02-09-2008, 08:00 PM
Hello Allen,

Goi Masahisa was born on the same day and month in the year as Masaharu Taniguchi--events thought bound to be of some significance. He was initially influenced by Mokichi Okada, also a member of Oomoto, but who left to form his own group called Sekai Kyuuseikyou. After spending some years in Seichou no Ie, Goi left because they did not deal with 'bad thoughts' effectively enough.

Have you come across the writings of Nobutaka Inoue, especially his massive Shin Shuukyou Jiten? On p.75 there is a chart of all the offshoots of Oomoto, about 25 in all.

Best wishes,

PAG

Hi Peter,

Very interesting. No, I don't recall reading Nobutaka Inoue but his Shin Shuukyou Jiten certainly sounds interesting. To be honest, I can only read about that sort of thing so long before I kind of get nauseated :yuck: , just isn't my cup of tea. But Aikido history is so immersed in the stuff one can hardly avoid a certain amount research in the area.

Very nice to hear from you!,
Allen

Peter Goldsbury
02-12-2008, 03:25 AM
Hi Peter,

Very interesting. No, I don't recall reading Nobutaka Inoue but his Shin Shuukyou Jiten certainly sounds interesting. To be honest, I can only read about that sort of thing so long before I kind of get nauseated :yuck: , just isn't my cup of tea. But Aikido history is so immersed in the stuff one can hardly avoid a certain amount research in the area.

Very nice to hear from you!,
Allen

Hello Allen,

My interest in Inoue parallels my interest in Bakumatsu / Meiji / Taishou / Early Showa history, for the columns I am writing. The Shinko Shuukyou appeared in succession at a crossroads in Japanese history and many have similar features. Inoue's work considers them all together and the common features are very striking. I am occasionally visited at home by members of new religions who want to convert me, immediately, if possible. In this context the Aum Shinrikyou phenomenon was something of a replay of the Oomoto Incidents. The most unlikely people became ardent members of Aum Shinri-kyou.

Morihei Ueshiba has been sanitized postwar, to appear eminently sensible, just like all of us who read Aikiweb. This is a great pity and I think we need to make the effort to realize just how otherworldly he really was. From where we are, at Aikiweb, we can wonder quite what he found attractive in someone like Deguchi, who combines acute intelligence with, well, an oddness verging on lunacy. The writings of Daikichi Irokawa are worth reading in this respect, for they show just how much there was a popular revolution in the Meiji Period. None of O Sensei’s writings to date give any indication as to how much he was a part of this popular revolution.

Best,

PAG

DH
02-12-2008, 05:42 AM
Interview with Abe sensei, in which he relates Ueshiba stating he trained chinkon in Hokkaido (this would be during the period he trained with Takeda) before ever meeting Deguchi.

Sensei told me about the misogi he did during his stay in Hokkaido as one of the pioneer settlers of Shirataki Village.

"Up there in the winter, in the middle of all that snow, even when there were 20 or 30 centimeters of ice on the river, I did misogi. I did "chinkon" in the snow, too. Every morning I went to the river and scooped up water with a large dipper and so even though the ice was this deep everywhere else, it was thin at my misogi spot."

Just listening to him gave me the chills.

So, O-Sensei practiced misogi even before he entered the Omoto religion. I wonder when it was that Ueshiba Sensei actually began this practice.
Well, I have never heard exactly,

Chronologically
1. Here we see Ueshiba practicing chinkon in Hokkaido but never being noted for his power during this period, while training with some serious heavyweights. In fact it was noted he was all but crushed by Takeda.
2. Years later during Takeda's long stay in Ayabe with Ueshiba training with him daily; he is given aiki and allowed to teach. Omoto followers train with Takeda as well, including Deguchi's daughter.
3. Just after this period Ueshiba is starting to be noticed for his power.

So, Chinkon before Takeda, and before Deguchi. Chinkon after no difference
Takeda arrives to train his pupil..power happens. Deguchi is so imressed he suggests Takeda change the name of his art. Interestingly, were Daito ryu in fact an old koryu, would Deguchi had been so casual about suggesting a name change? Would Takeda have listened?
Anyway, to the point who impressed whom, with what?
Oddly enough Takeda was noted for admiring power and skill and spoke favorably of those who had it-note his recognition of some Okinawan Karateka's power-yet he makes no mention whatsoever of any power among those in Ayabe.
Also of interest are Takeda's other eimeiroku entries of the Omoto believers in Ayabe who trained with him during his stay there. Among whom were Army colonels, lieutenant commanders, two captains, a Doctor, a Taniguchi Masaharu-founder of the seicho-no-ie (a religious movement developed in 1930) a Kendo master and… Deguchi's daughter Asano. I guess this gives further credence to Deguchi calling Takeda's art wonderful, and he suggesting the "aiki" of Daito ryu should be part of the name not just in the syllabus. What did he see, take part in or witness to engender this historic event?
Again, just who impressed whom, with what?

Mike Sigman
02-12-2008, 07:26 AM
Did I ever mention the story of the college professor who spent forty years of his life trying to prove that "The Illiad" was not written by Homer, but by another Greek with the same name? ;)

phitruong
02-12-2008, 07:47 AM
Rev. Barrish,

Is there a reason (maybe more than one) that the man and woman breathing go opposite?

Thanks

DH
02-12-2008, 09:48 AM
Did I ever mention the story of the college professor who spent forty years of his life trying to prove that "The Illiad" was not written by Homer, but by another Greek with the same name? ;)

Yup. You should reread it and take it to heart. ;) This constant search for *other* sources of his power, and attributing it to things that were nothing more than additives to his DR regimen is about as sad. Looking to those things as his *source material* fifty years out is about as hopeless an endevour

I'm a fan too. But Ueshiba's power points to Takeda. The mystery and real research is in him Ueshiba is but one player in a small cast of giants. And not even the best according to those who knew them both.

Everyone is speculating on time frames and training methods.This is more grist for the mill.

Ellis Amdur
02-12-2008, 01:27 PM
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Massimo. He heard Caruso on the gramaphone and wanted to be an opera singer. He sang Caruso's arias over and over, imitating everything down to the scratches on the records. He had talent, but did not make a lovely sound. Oh, those scratches! Once day he met Pavarotti. "Ai, bellisimmo!" he exclaimed. "My eyes are opened to the essence of true opera!" He studied and studied and soon could raise a joyful noise. He learned the secret breath techniques of bel canto, and how to project the voice. But eventually, he was repelled. Pavarotti was a glutton, and demanded whole ducks, dripping in fat, and bottles of fine wine, one after another, as he bawled corrections on the young man's legato passages. Finally the young man struck out on his own.
At the same time, there were other young men, for Pavarotti had a number of them under his aegis (not for any tawdry reasons, he liked to teach and he also liked roast duck and wine, and young men were a great way to get all he lived for). One of them, Salvatore, at a young age, penetrated into the essence of Pavarotti's phenomenal sound, and then left, isolating himself for 20+ years, singing alone - eventually getting a small group of fanatic disciples who were forbidden to ever make foreign tours. EVER! EVER! EVER!
A third, Alessandro, stayed home - sang in the kitchen and in the shower - and had local students.
The first young man became a star. As he did so, he decided that, in order to please a public where there were no microphones, he had to increase his vocal power and he acquired new methods that Pavarotti never taught. NEVER NEVER NEVER! Now he could sing in stadiums with his phenomenal breath power. Some said he corrupted the techniques of his master, others that he went beyond, and Massimo - he didn't care. He wore velvet morning jackets in the afternoon and drank one flute of fine champagne in the evening.
The second young man, Salvatore alone in his room, could hear all the praise, and cursed Massimo, furious that he would waste time on breathing exercises to increase the power of the voice as stage presence and purity of sound was ALL. Not that he ever appeared on the stage. Critics mentioned Salvatore in quiet tones, recalling patches of musics they heard through the cracks in the windows of his home. Some asserted that he was the purest musician of the age, who had developed his own methods to make music that caused angels to fall from the sky and housewives to leave their husbands and children and throw themselves in the nearest pond to bathe, nude but for bustiers, in the summer heat. But all this was rumor, really. Few knew how Salvatore could sing, and only fewer learned his secrets to pure tone. Furthermore, reports indicated that most of his students' singing was insipid in the extreme, that only the utterly obsessed could break through fatuity into sonic ecstasy.
And all the while, Massimo whipped up the crowds - he was compared to Bocelli, the darling of public television fundraisers. No longer purely classical, unable to sing a complete opera, Massimo dueted with Barbara Streisand at the Hollywood bowl. When asked how he developed his phenomenal pipes, he clearly, repeatedly, openly said that Pavarotti was his teacher, but that he, tired of lurking in dank water to secure one more duck for his teacher's gluttonous maw, struck out on his own, found new teachers and methods to augment what he'd learned, breath control in particular, and thus, he stands today at the Grammy's - little Massimo - tears streaming down his cheeks, no longer a peasant, but royalty of a new age.
All the while, Alessandro watches on TV, happily singing along with Massimo on the screen, the very archetype of his master, Pavarotti, without the grease on his chin and wine stains on his pants. His children and neighbors exclaim, "It should have been you, 'Sandro! Your sound isn't so big, but it's gold to his silver." He laughs and simply says, "I like it here. Massimo always wanted the bright lights and abrasive, politically left lounge singers."
At the same time, Salvatore lurked outside the theater, snarling, "It should have been me, it should have been me." He was waiting for a chance, to jump in Massimo's face and suddenly sing a perfect high C, hold it so long that Massimo was shrivel in shame. Sadly Massimo left by another exit.
Recently, a bootleg copy of Salvatore's music has appeared on e-bay. It was taped on a cassette recorder, pressed against the wall of his home, half a century old. It is an eerie tape - amidst the hiss of the tape, and the snarling of neighborhood dogs, you can hear tones to make you weep. This tape is restricted to buyers over the age of 30 years of age - those younger do not have the maturity to appreciate what, sadly, was withheld from the world.

MM
02-12-2008, 01:40 PM
Once upon a time there was a little boy named Massimo. He heard Caruso on the gramaphone and wanted to be an opera singer. He sang Caruso's arias over and over, imitating everything down to the scratches on the records. He had talent, but did not make a lovely sound. Oh, those scratches! Once day he met Pavarotti. "Ai, bellisimmo!" he exclaimed. "My eyes are opened to the essence of true opera!" He studied and studied and soon could raise a joyful noise. He learned the secret breath techniques of bel canto, and how to project the voice. But eventually, he was repelled. Pavarotti was a glutton, and demanded whole ducks, dripping in fat, and bottles of fine wine, one after another, as he bawled corrections on the young man's legato passages. Finally the young man struck out on his own.


ROTFL! What a grand ole Opry we have.

Peter Goldsbury
02-12-2008, 06:03 PM
Hello Ellis,

What about Massimo's pupils, especially his son?:D

Best,

PAG

DH
02-12-2008, 08:26 PM
Hello Ellis,

What about Massimo's pupils, especially his son?:D

Best,

PAG
I've heard it said, that the word on the street has it, that he and Pavarotti's son both wound up starting the Juilliard and Berkeley schools of music, in an attempt to discover the "essence of true opera for themselves! " In the end neither were known for producing unique virtuosity, but rather solid, work-a-day musicians.

Ellis...as always:cool:

I think I hear something in the distance something out of the ether...virtuosity reduced to four chord progressions. It's very catchy though...wha..what...

"They caught the last train for the coast. The day, the music died.
They were singing...Bye- bye...

dbotari
02-13-2008, 08:48 AM
Once upon a time ...

Amdur Sensei,

Its little gems like this that make wading through the mass of traffic (and often drivel) on this site worthwhile. I thank you for bringing a smile to my face and lightness to my heart.

Sincerely,

Dan