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Mike Sigman
02-28-2008, 10:28 PM
I'm trying to frame a simplistic debate in response to something George Ledyard wrote, if for no other reason that it's an interesting discussion.

The question is whether an *Aikido* technique called "kokyu nage" is a kokyu nage even if you don't use kokyu-power to do it with. That should be a fairly straightforward "yes" or "no" question. Sure, someone could argue that "when you're learning to do it, of course you don't have it down correctly, yet", but the question still devolves to a reasonably straightforward yes or no on that part.

The second part of the question is this: Let's say that you don't have any kokyu power (or you have erroneous or incomplete power that is somewhat aimed at kokyu, but not really kokyu)... does doing the kokyu nage with all sorts of subtleties and "advanced understanding", etc., then make it a kokyu nage? Even though you don't do it with kokyu power.

Again, it's going to be an opinion-driven discussion, but there's a part of it that is worth thinking about. Particularly if you're concerned with spiritual purity! ;)

By the way... please read my tone as good-humoured bantering, not as hectoring.

Best.

Mike Sigman

JAMJTX
02-28-2008, 11:27 PM
I would say no.

Now, if it were just a poorly executed kokyu nage by a student who said "let me show you my kokyu nage" and there was no real "kokyu", I wouldn't say to him "that was no koky nage". I might try to offer some pointers.

On the other hand, is some karate teacher says "I'm an Aikido master too" and came up with some lame excuse for kokyu nage, I would then say that was not Kokyu Nage. Then of course his response would likely be that I was just being political.

I had a similar situation when a Tae Kwon Do teacher told me they do "Aikido techniques" as part of thier self defense program, then showed me some very crude, poorly performed half karate half jujutsu technique. He had his "uke" step into a front stance and hang out his fist as if punching his face. He did a hard "rising block", punched him back and twisted his wrist as he fell to the ground.

My question was "what makes that an Aikido technique?". He said it was Kote Gaeshi and that is found in all Aikido.

So the next question again was "where's the Aiki that would make it Aikido?".

You can also find the same situation with people who teach Jujutsu and call it Aikido. Sure it looks like Aikido to some, but it certainly doesn't feel like Aikido to someone who has experienced Aikido.

The same would go for a kokyu-less kokyu nage. It just is not kokyu nage.

raul rodrigo
02-28-2008, 11:35 PM
I would say no. Its just as the same an irimi nage without any true "irimi" to speak of.

Stefan Stenudd
02-29-2008, 04:20 AM
Well, do you make shihonage in four directions? And do you make tenchinage all the way from heaven to earth?
Kokyu means breathing out and in, and I guess everybody is doing that...

About breath power, kokyu ryoku, I don't think you can think of it as an on/off switch. It will increase by time, through training.

And it is not necessarily so that kokyunage should be done as an expression of kokyu ryoku. To me, it is mainly an exercise in blending with the partner, and leading the attack on.
Breathing in corresponds to accepting the attack (joining with it), and breathing out is leading it on.
If I hasten to use kokyu ryoku power to throw the attacker away, I am not sure that I am doing aikido.

SeiserL
02-29-2008, 06:04 AM
IMHO, yes.
It is kokyu-nage in its initial physical form while learning.
It is kokyu-nage when you learn and apply kokyu-power.
And they are different.

I often kid that unless its otherwise specified, its kokyu-nage.

Dazzler
02-29-2008, 06:12 AM
I would say yes too.

For me the technique is a tool to develop the skill.

For 99% of us we may perform the technique but it does not contain full kokyu.

Depending on skill / experience there may be some measure present of course.

So I think its still kokyu Nage ...maybe not good kokyu nage.

Cheers

D

Beard of Chuck Norris
02-29-2008, 07:26 AM
...
My question was "what makes that an Aikido technique?". He said it was Kote Gaeshi and that is found in all Aikido.


I liken the techniques used in aikido to the mathematics used in physics. Physics is not a bunch of mathematical models; it is a set of principals based on fundamental concepts and expanded on. It is the same with aikido. People using "kote gaishi" and saying it's aikido is like someone using "Pythagoras' theorem" and saying it is physics. It only becomes physics when it is representing something physical (i.e. from the universe) likewise "kote gaishi" only becomes aikido if there is 'harmony'.

My 2 bits.

And kokyu nage without kokyu power is still kokyu nage because otherwise we would need a load of more names for the moves and that would be even more confusing than differentiating between a kokyu nage that is light on the kokyu or a kokyu nage "proper".
:D:D

Peace and love budoka

Jo

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 08:46 AM
IMHO, yes.
It is kokyu-nage in its initial physical form while learning.
It is kokyu-nage when you learn and apply kokyu-power.
And they are different. Well, I tried to intercept that argument in my original post. If you follow that line of reasoning, there is absolutely no reason to name the application "kokyunage" since you don't need kokyu-power to do it.

I think what really happens is that many westerners learn some Japanese words as names for things. A rei is a bow. A hakama is a black, cool-looking samurai pants. A front-punch is a Tsuki. And so on. Just names. A "kokyu" throw is really just a general name to the vast number of westerners who practice Aikido.

If you push enough, you'll get people who define kokyu, in the sense of kokyu-ryoku , as breath. "Watching the breath". The in-out of breath (that's actually not bad, but it's not complete). Or just "breathing".

The breath and breathing have a lot to do with the power of kokyu, but it's more in the sense that the breathing practice, for instance like Tohei's breathing exercises, develop a kind of power in the body. That's why the power is called "breath" power... it's developed from breath practice. But it's not the core power and you can develop kokyu power, to a certain extent, without spending so much time doing the complementary breathing exercises (although you'll need them if you plan to go very far).

Some people say Kokyu is about "timing". Well, but what "power" isn't about timing? Sure kokyu is dependent upon timing. But that doesn't define kokyu power in itself.

What I'm getting at is that "kokyu" is not just a name applied vaguely to some sort of techniques. It's a defining criterion of those techniques. If, as some people suggest, the defining criterion is not really necessary, then it's pointless calling it a "kokyunage". Call it what you want. It seems that many people in Aikido simply define things like they want to anyway and claim that it's "just as valid" because they "feel it" so strongly. ;)

But at some point in time the question arises about the people who claim to love and cherish Aikido as Ueshiba's art. If they care so much, why do they just shrug when others of the community treat Aikido like a New Age plaything? :straightf I often kid that unless its otherwise specified, its kokyu-nage.

Exactly the point I was making. What throw in Aikido is NOT a kokyu throw? Except for some of the "ki throw" category, of course, but they're a special case of "aiki", regardless.

So if a real kokyunage has to have real kokyu in it, how dependent is Aikido on having ki/kokyu skills? It's the basic building block from all things stem.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
02-29-2008, 08:56 AM
The question is whether an *Aikido* technique called "kokyu nage" is a kokyu nage even if you don't use kokyu-power to do it with.

Whats in a name? kokyu is kokyu and labels are labels, the two have little to do with one another in reality.

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 09:09 AM
Whats in a name? kokyu is kokyu and labels are labels, the two have little to do with one another in reality.
I think your personal perspective is dealt with in the first two paragraphs of my previous post.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 10:14 AM
I hesitate to step in here, but against my better judgement...

I think what really happens is that many westerners learn some Japanese words as names for things. A rei is a bow. A hakama is a black, cool-looking samurai pants. A front-punch is a Tsuki. And so on. Just names. A "kokyu" throw is really just a general name to the vast number of westerners who practice Aikido.

I would offer that sometimes "big" terms like "kokyu" can indeed take on specific "smaller" meaning. Putting aside any value judgment on that, I'll offer an example from my sword ryu-ha. In almost every kata, after the final cut, we have a small movement before the chiburi where the sword is pushed forward a few inches. This is a very specific movement, the tip cannot raise or lower even though the act of extending the arms will raise the tsuka slightly. The movement also has to be slow like you're stretching through something. This movement is called "zanshin". Now in the general world of budo, "zanshin" has a much bigger meaning than simply extending your sword forward after finishing an (imagined) opponent. Even in our sword line, "zanshin" carries that larger more primary meaning. But it is entirely possible to do "zanshin" (pushing the sword forward) correctly without any "zanshin" (larger remaining mind). Conversely, one could do "zanshin" (pushing the sword forward) incorrectly while maintaining amazing "zanshin" (remaining mind).

What I'm getting at is that "kokyu" is not just a name applied vaguely to some sort of techniques. It's a defining criterion of those techniques. If, as some people suggest, the defining criterion is not really necessary, then it's pointless calling it a "kokyunage". Call it what you want. It seems that many people in Aikido simply define things like they want to anyway and claim that it's "just as valid" because they "feel it" so strongly. ;)

Well, that's actually how the naming came about in the first place, different students of Ueshiba just started calling things by different names to remember them, so it's very difficult to associate name with (Ueshiba's) intended lesson. By all accounts, OSensei didn't really name them. The effects of this can be seen in all of the different names that different lineages call things. Many of the "kokyunage" throws that we did at my last Aikido dojo had different more specific names at my first Aikido dojo (zemponage, sayonage...). At my first Aikido dojo, kokyunage referred almost exclusively to a single specific throw. There was not a very big movement from nage to finish the throw, and nage was expected to exhale forcefully at the same time as the throw. But as you and Lynn pointed out, it's become a rather catch all term, generally for non-kansetsu waza throws.

But at some point in time the question arises about the people who claim to love and cherish Aikido as Ueshiba's art. If they care so much, why do they just shrug when others of the community treat Aikido like a New Age plaything? :straightf

Well the problem is that Aikido had taken on a life of its own long before OSensei had even died. One could actually make the argument that OSensei's Aikido (even his vision of Aikido) began and ended with him. I believe Aikido today is more a representation of his student's (and very significantly his son's) vision of Aikido than it ever was his. A lot of folks don't really like to even hear that though.

To go back and answer your initial question however, "can kokyu-nage be done without kokyu?" I would have to ask, how do you define kokyu? Please don't reply that you've been perfectly clear about that in the past and that it's been well covered, or that we should all understand that already or we're not worth talking to. You seem to be making the assertion that "kokyu" is a well understood and specific concept in Asian martial arts. If so, please do me the favor of offering your definition (or your paraphrased version of a definition) so that we can speak more clearly to each other. You spent some time in your post discussing how many people (seemingly incorrectly or incompletely) understand/define kokyu, but I don't really see your version. Until I know what you mean by kokyu, I don't know how I could respond.

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 10:26 AM
To go back and answer your initial question however, "can kokyu-nage be done without kokyu?" I would have to ask, how do you define kokyu? That's fine, Chris, that you "have to ask" that question, but that's not the original question. In the post of mine that you're actually quoting from, I define the "breath" and "timing" issues that are a part of kokyu, but not the core power. The core power is going to be the trained skill of jin, or more generally "ki", as is shown very repeatedly in Tohei's "ki tests". That should be enough of a definition for you to go on and make your point. If you don't think the core power being shown by Tohei is a necessity for a throw to be a kokyu throw, you have the option of saying it publicly.

Mike Sigman

Ecosamurai
02-29-2008, 10:37 AM
I think your personal perspective is dealt with in the first two paragraphs of my previous post.
Well I can certainly understand why you'd think that based on my post, but you're wrong I think.

I'll elaborate and explain why I think that (boredom warning, sorry can't be helped). I spent a year studying biological classification at the Natural History Museum in London. There is probably nothing more convoluted, complicated or blurry in its essence than a species, there are hybrids, there are sub-species, convergent forms, out-groups, physiological classifications, genetic classifications, cladistics versus phylogentic points of view. All to be considered when deciding what the official name of a species should be. As an example to show you how befuddling it all is, consider that the Orang Utan has two recognised sub-species (Bornean and Sumatran) these two sub-species are genetically more distinct from one another than Humans and Chimps, and humans and chimps aren't even in the same genus, let alone the same species. I still don't know what that's all about except to say that an illogical exception seems to have been made for great apes and chimps should probably be considered to be very primitive humans (and therefore be bestowed with all legal human rights).

In the course of my MSc studies I came to the conclusion that there simply is no such thing as a species, it is an invention of the human mind (I'm by no means the first to argue this point, Darwin refused to define a species in his famous work for some of the reasons I've already mentioned) for us to use and communicate with. The human mind has a nasty habit of pigeon holing and classifying parts of things which are actually continuously varying phenomenon. It just seems to be how our brains work.

Taxonomic names also take after a defining criteria. Ever see a name like Lutra lutra or Meles meles? These are examples of the genus being named after its defining species (in this case otters and badgers respectively), in other words someone said that all animals that look like a badger belong in the badger group. Just as someone said all throws that look like this belong in a kokyu group. Now maybe they were defining it by what it looks like on the outside or maybe they were defining it by what it is on the inside, either way is valid depending only on the importance placed on various characteristics. So, just as one taxonomist may argue that a specific feature of a claw is a more important characteristic than something else, you can argue that Mike Sigman's interpretation of kokyu is a more defining aspect than something else. Ultimately though, there is never any right or wrong, there is only opinion and more learned opinion, and its up to you to decide who you think is the wiser when talking about these things.

I think kokyunage and other terms are similar issues. Just replace the word species above with the word technique. All aikido requires the use of kokyu as you said yourself, so in a sense all aikido is kokyunage. It only depends on how you choose to label things. You can call it kokyunage even if it has no kokyu in it as it is in the end only a label. Just as if I felt like it, I could call you Susan instead of Mike and it wouldn't change who you are. If however you wanted to learn kokyu, well that is a different story, and you'd probably find your use of language changing to accommodate your newer understanding. But even then it still wouldn't be any more than a convenient label. If you want to communicate kokyu as an idea then language becomes more important, but that's not a function of the label, it's a function of the context in which the communication is taking place. Talking about kokyu in one of your workshops would be more meaningful than talking about it elsewhere, but there is no reason you can't use the same label elsewhere, just depends on what you understand by the word kokyu. If you know more about it it'll mean more to you. If you don't then its just a bit of Japanese that means throw the guy like this.

Labels are labels alone, they are not the essence of the thing they represent, just a convenient tag for enabling communication between people. The sky is blue because we've chosen to call it blue, no other reason.

Apologies for the waffling on. Its an interesting question just not sure exactly how to answer it effectively at present :)

Best

Mike

afwen
02-29-2008, 10:49 AM
I would say no. Its just as the same an irimi nage without any true "irimi" to speak of.

Irimi nage without irimi is called "kokyu nage" :D

(Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 10:49 AM
Ultimately though, there is never any right or wrong, there is only opinion and more learned opinion, and its up to you to decide who you think is the wiser when talking about these things. In that case, everything is Aikido and there is no right way to do it. That's the problem with your relativism... you don't stop and think what the full implications of it are. In fact, there is no such thing as "Aikido", it's simply Daito Ryu, if you want to go by the trendy idea of relativism.

I think kokyunage and other terms are similar issues. Just replace the word species above with the word technique. All aikido requires the use of kokyu as you said yourself, so in a sense all aikido is kokyunage. It only depends on how you choose to label things. You can call it kokyunage even if it has no kokyu in it as it is in the end only a label. Just as if I felt like it, I could call you Susan instead of Mike and it wouldn't change who you are. If however you wanted to learn kokyu, well that is a different story, and you'd probably find your use of language changing to accommodate your newer understanding. But even then it still wouldn't be any more than a convenient label. If you want to communicate kokyu as an idea then language becomes more important, but that's not a function of the label, it's a function of the context in which the communication is taking place. Talking about kokyu in one of your workshops would be more meaningful than talking about it elsewhere, but there is no reason you can't use the same label elsewhere, just depends on what you understand by the word kokyu. If you know more about it it'll mean more to you. If you don't then its just a bit of Japanese that means throw the guy like this.

Labels are labels alone, they are not the essence of the thing they represent, just a convenient tag for enabling communication between people. The sky is blue because we've chosen to call it blue, no other reason.

Apologies for the waffling on. Its an interesting question just not sure exactly how to answer it effectively at present :) It's pretty simple, despite all the attempts to say "everything is kokyu; it means what you want it to mean", etc. Either you know what kokyu is or you don't. Tohei's "ki tests" are classic examples of the core of kokyu-ryoku... that's why he teaches them and why they are considered the essential of Aikido technique. But hey, I'm quite well aware that a lot of people don't understand that fairly simple point and are going to argue without a care to what the argument does for them in the public arena. I think that's as it should be, TBH.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-29-2008, 11:01 AM
Mike,
Please define kokyu-power.

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 11:05 AM
That's fine, Chris, that you "have to ask" that question, but that's not the original question.

I'm afraid I'm missing the distinction, you asked:
The question is whether an *Aikido* technique called "kokyu nage" is a kokyu nage even if you don't use kokyu-power to do it with.

and I paraphrased:
To go back and answer your initial question however, "can kokyu-nage be done without kokyu?"

Those seem to roughly equivalent to me, perhaps I made a mistake by using the quotes, I was simply trying to isolate the question at hand, not put words in your mouth. Or is there a distinction that you feel need to be made between your initial inquiry and my paraphrase?

You seem to be making the point that there is a general confusion in Aikido circles about what "kokyu" actually is, but then expecting us to all answer your simple (and legitimate) question without offering a standard definition of "kokyu" that we can all refer to. I would really appreciate it if you could offer that. I understand that you have talked about this a lot, but if the concept is as clear and universal as you seem to be implying then it should be fairly simple for you to offer that. If I read you correctly, you seem to be saying that kokyu is a combination of timing, breath and jin is that correct?

Ecosamurai
02-29-2008, 11:08 AM
In that case, everything is Aikido and there is no right way to do it. That's the problem with your relativism... you don't stop and think what the full implications of it are. In fact, there is no such thing as "Aikido", it's simply Daito Ryu, if you want to go by the trendy idea of relativism.

Not really. I'll give another example. Before the advent of cladistics Linnean taxonomy was the primary method of classification of living things, i.e. Kingdom, class, order, family, genus species. all things had to fit into those boxes and were boxed acording to physical characteristics alone. Along came cladistics and swept that away by ignoring the boxes and insisting that naming reflected evolutionary pathways. Until that time the taxonomic question of what is kokyunage was decided by the guys who had the greatest scientific reputation. Cladistics levelled the playing field and is a more scientific way of doing things. I don't think you've got the cladistics of aikido going for your argument at present IMO (apologies again for the nerdy biological stuff, but its something I know a lot about and so I tend to think in those terms).

Put it this way, people used to decide that x characteristic was more important that y characteristic and so it was a defining feature. When asked to justify why x was more important the answer was invariably 'cos i said so and I get more research grants than you'. You would have it that the Mike Sigman interpretation of kokyu is more important than other interpretations of kokyu and therefore your ideas behind the name are those which should define the name. Now I happen to agree with you, but you don't have any definitive neutral framework for saying that your interpretation of kokyu is more important than anyone elses (unless you wish to use your lengthy posts upon the subject here and elsewhere, but I wouldn't accept that scientifically and I don't think you would either). So that leaves us in the position that even though I agree with you there is no neutral methodology to allow you to definitively state that the Mike Sigman interpretation of kokyu is more important than anyone elses. Therefore we're back to what I said before, its just a name and a label, more important is how you use it and in what context.

Best

Mike

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 11:10 AM
If I read you correctly, you seem to be saying that kokyu is a combination of timing, breath and jin is that correct?Sure, but the core is the jin. Or the "ki", if you want to be vague about it. What Tohei showed in his Ki Tests. But I've already said that a couple of times in this thread.

Do you think a kokyunage is a kokyunage if it doesn't have the type of power shown in Tohei's "ki tests"?

That should simplify it for you so you can answer with a yes or no.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 11:11 AM
Not really. I'll give another example. Plonk! Back on my ignore list.

ChS_23
02-29-2008, 11:18 AM
But hey, I'm quite well aware that a lot of people don't understand that fairly simple point and are going to argue without a care to what the argument does for them in the public arena.
Oh mike...
...could you imagine that we agree with your definition of kokyu-nage, but still stick to the widely spread meaning it has more or less to the rest of the people?

We have all our little fights against windmills...

One hint: Read the interview with Tissier
http://dublinaikido.com/wp/2008/02/25/interview-with-christian-tissier-shihan-7th-dan-aikikai/
...and maybe you can understand that it might be OK to start training without ki and kokyu...

bkedelen
02-29-2008, 11:21 AM
Now I happen to agree with you, but you don't have any definitive neutral framework for saying that your interpretation of kokyu is more important than anyone elses (unless you wish to use your lengthy posts upon the subject here and elsewhere, but I wouldn't accept that scientifically and I don't think you would either). So that leaves us in the position that even though I agree with you there is no neutral methodology to allow you to definitively state that the Mike Sigman interpretation of kokyu is more important than anyone elses.
I love this post Mike. This illustrates a great point. We often think our perspective is right because the perspective is ours. This fervor makes it hard to see the from other people's perspectives, especially if, historically, we are usually correct. Just because you are the protagonist of your story doesn't mean you are the protagonist of everyone else's. If I spend years working on the form and pattern and external details of kokyu nage without super-double-secret kokyu power, and that work makes me a better person or helps me be a part of a wonderful community, then the work is both valid and valuable, despite being incomplete, weak, or even utterly useless for battle. Is that work "aikido" because koky nage is an aikido technique and I am wearing a hakama in an aikido dojo? I believe so.

Upyu
02-29-2008, 11:22 AM
Oh mike...
...could you imagine that we agree with your definition of kokyu-nage, but still stick to the widely spread meaning it has more or less to the rest of the people?

We have all our little fights against windmills...

One hint: Read the interview with Tissier
http://dublinaikido.com/wp/2008/02/25/interview-with-christian-tissier-shihan-7th-dan-aikikai/
...and maybe you can understand that it might be OK to start training without ki and kokyu...

Erm...the gist of that interview was that Tissier doesn't know or have Ki/Kokyu skills, which is even more troubling if you ask me.

ChS_23
02-29-2008, 11:26 AM
Do you think a kokyunage is a kokyunage if it doesn't have the type of power shown in Tohei's "ki tests"?
Hmmm... if I stick close to the words I would say:
A kokyu-nage which has the type of power shown in Tohei's ki-tests is NOT a kokyu-nage. It is something you should name ki-nage (e.g.)

Ecosamurai
02-29-2008, 11:29 AM
Plonk! Back on my ignore list.

lol, I'll try to contain my disappointment :D

dps
02-29-2008, 11:32 AM
Mike,
Are you saying that we should first develope kokyu- power before we attempt to practice kokyunage? If so, how do we develope kokyu-power?

David

Ecosamurai
02-29-2008, 11:36 AM
Mike,
Are you saying that we should first develope kokyu- power before we attempt to practice kokyunage? If so, how do we develope kokyu-power?

David

I assume you're asking Sigman not me?

Mike

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 11:38 AM
Do you think a kokyunage is a kokyunage if it doesn't have the type of power shown in Tohei's "ki tests"?



I had more written here, but I've seen this movie already...

Yes, in Aikido, it's possible to do "kokyunage" without kokyu as you define or understand it. Please see my first post for at least one way this can happen (analogy to zanshin).

It's not how I do it, it's not how I would approve of my students (if I had any) doing it, but then I've stepped outside of mainstream Aikido, so I don't have to worry so much in my own practice about what Aikido should be or how it should or shouldn't be trained. :) I have a good number of years invested in the art however, and find it fascinating, so here I am.

gdandscompserv
02-29-2008, 11:39 AM
Regarding kokyu-power, here are some things Gozo Shioda said about it:
"Kokyu power is produced when we push ourselves to the limit, making the most efficient use of the capabilities that lie within our own bodies."
"Another important point is that kokyu power is not limited to Aikido alone. Originally, it was certainly a part of all Japanese martial arts."
"As for what Aikido calls "kokyu power," this is something that is inherent in all human beings. It is the manifestation, at will, of power which is derived from the entire body."
"The basis of kokyu power is "center power", which is the power that keeps the body's center line absolutely straight."

Aikido Shugyo: Harmony in Confrontation, Gozo Shioda

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 11:40 AM
Oh mike...
...could you imagine that we agree with your definition of kokyu-nage, but still stick to the widely spread meaning it has more or less to the rest of the people?No, I can't imagine that at all. If some agrees with my definition, I hope it is because they know it to be true logically and functionally, not because of my good looks and smoothe way with words. ;) Assuming that someone is convinced because of overwhelming logic though, what sort of person would "stick to the widely spread" (i.e., "wrong") meaning just to please other people? Sure such a person who would do that has no personal value at all?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChS_23
02-29-2008, 11:41 AM
I assume you're asking Sigman not me?
...you're close to understand the meaning of the word "Mike" ;-)
...what you might have considered as "Mike" in the past is "Haft" in our world ;-)

scnr

bkedelen
02-29-2008, 11:42 AM
Sure such a person who would do that has no personal value at all?


Now that is constructive criticism. Why do I keep forgetting that these "debates" are really just Mike handing his wisdom down to us from his ivory tower?

dps
02-29-2008, 11:42 AM
I assume you're asking Sigman not me?

Mike

Well yea, I thought you were sent to the equivalent of hell in Mike Sigman's world.

David

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 11:43 AM
Hmmm... if I stick close to the words I would say:
A kokyu-nage which has the type of power shown in Tohei's ki-tests is NOT a kokyu-nage. It is something you should name ki-nage (e.g.)But kokyu-power contains the illustrated (by Tohei) "ki power" as its core basis.

Honestly, I think a lot of people understand very clearly what I'm saying, Christian. And I think that a lot of people can not understand what I am saying because they don't have the basic knowledge to do so. This is not a complicated topic, really.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

gdandscompserv
02-29-2008, 11:51 AM
This is not a complicated topic, really.
Didn't Osensei refer to kokyu nage as the 20 year technique?

ChS_23
02-29-2008, 11:54 AM
This is not a complicated topic, really.

Just if you are in a world of black and white...

Honestly, I think a lot of people understand very clearly what I'm saying, Christian. And I think that a lot of people can not understand what I am saying because they don't have the basic knowledge to do so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_inkblot_test
We see the same things... maybe we know the same things...
...but which view is right is defined by who is the psychologists and who is the patient...

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 11:55 AM
Didn't Osensei refer to kokyu nage as the 20 year technique?

That's generally understood to be iriminage. FWIW

gdandscompserv
02-29-2008, 12:01 PM
That's generally understood to be iriminage. FWIW
You know, that's what I was taught. But then I saw this:
http://www.aikido-world.com/highlights/technical%20_tips/kokunage.htm which confused me a little. That's why I questioned it.

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 12:07 PM
You know, that's what I was taught. But then I saw this:
http://www.aikido-world.com/highlights/technical%20_tips/kokunage.htm which confused me a little. That's why I questioned it.

I've never seen that from any other source. I've heard the iriminage = 20 year throw thingy from quite a few sources.

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 12:36 PM
Yes, in Aikido, it's possible to do "kokyunage" without kokyu as you define or understand it. The question was "Is it kokyu-nage if you don't use kokyu-power", but I'll take that as a statement from Chris Moses that kokyu-power is not critical to a technique called a "kokyunage". And BTW... the power/skill that flummoxed you at Akuzawa's would also be "kokyu power", in the general use of the term.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 12:52 PM
but I'll take that as a statement from Chris Moses that kokyu-power is not critical to a technique called a "kokyunage".

I didn't realize I was on trial here, but whatever makes you feel better. I won't move to have that struck from the record.

And BTW... the power/skill that flummoxed you at Akuzawa's would also be "kokyu power", in the general use of the term.


Mike, why do you constantly feel the need to bring this up? That was a year and a half ago (granted, not that long really) but it's old news. Does the fact that since then I've "flummoxed" everyone I've worked out with using this stuff mean that I might have some hint of a clue? You think just maybe that's a possibility? Naw, didn't think so.

George S. Ledyard
02-29-2008, 01:00 PM
I'm trying to frame a simplistic debate in response to something George Ledyard wrote, if for no other reason that it's an interesting discussion.

The question is whether an *Aikido* technique called "kokyu nage" is a kokyu nage even if you don't use kokyu-power to do it with. That should be a fairly straightforward "yes" or "no" question. Sure, someone could argue that "when you're learning to do it, of course you don't have it down correctly, yet", but the question still devolves to a reasonably straightforward yes or no on that part.

The second part of the question is this: Let's say that you don't have any kokyu power (or you have erroneous or incomplete power that is somewhat aimed at kokyu, but not really kokyu)... does doing the kokyu nage with all sorts of subtleties and "advanced understanding", etc., then make it a kokyu nage? Even though you don't do it with kokyu power.

Again, it's going to be an opinion-driven discussion, but there's a part of it that is worth thinking about. Particularly if you're concerned with spiritual purity! ;)

By the way... please read my tone as good-humoured bantering, not as hectoring.

Best.

Mike Sigman

Hi Mike,
Aikido has a range of development in its waza. What the beginner starts with and an unfortunate number still do much later is basically what I would call the jiu jutsu level of technique. That would be the aspect of technique which depends on an understanding of the merely physical components balance lines, weak spots on the body, locking of joints, etc.

Ideally, through training, this level of technique should be superseded by the ability to use the internal power we've been discussing. But that is largely not happening in Aikido as it should. So "kokyunage" can be done without much in the way of kokyu simply with the application of body movement power on the weak lines of the partner. But technique done in that manner is fundamentally limited. It's only going to work on someone you can outpower. Aiki is joining with the energy of their attack and giving it a new direction. You can see this in the clips of Mifune on YouTube. These gigantic, buff judo boys can't throw him at all then he turns around and launches them effortlessly. That's aiki. That's what Aikido should be but too often isn't.

I stated that I thought Aikido training needs to be turned upside down. That statement was questioned on the other thread. But you are right to ask the question "can it be kokyu nage without kokyu?". The answer is, I think, no. There may be a jiu jutsu version that has the same outer form but that can't be the true kokyu nage.

The way I was trained in Aikido was just about the worst way I could imagine to develop the kind of skills we are talking about. I walked into the DC dojo back in 1976 and simply joined the class. There was no beginner program. Half of the ten or so students were Shodans who had moved there to help Sensei open the dojo. The rest were total newbies like myself. We just got out there and trained. We did an array of waza that was mind boggling, because that was the way Sensei taught. We trained very hard and with great enthusiasm but we trained stupidly.

When you are brand new you are simply incapable of doing technique properly. So each and every repetition is imprinting a wrong habit into the body. I was just at a seminar with Kevin Choate Sensei. He talked about a book by a man named Eric Kandel called In Search of Memory. I haven't read it yet myself but apparently it has quite a bit on how learning takes place in the body and the brain. The salient point that related to what we were doing in the seminar had to do with just how easy it is to imprint a bad habit into the body and how hard it was to reprogram that later on.

If we are striving for technique that is relaxed, then the training needs to be relaxed. If we striving to rid ourselves of fear, then the training needs to not create fear. If we are striving for waza which utilizes internal power, then the training should start with that. Whether it is doing the solo exercises which develop the structure of internal power right from day one or doing paired practice which is designed to imprint certain body / mind skills, it needs to be done right from the start.

We had a bit of discussion a few weeks ago about training with Angier Sensei. We talked about how he would take one simple movement and have you do it for weeks until you really had it in your body. He wouldn't let you do it wrong. He had a whole series of these paired exercises that you had to master before you ever got to do something you might see as a throw.

For most people, spending months, if not years on just the exercises without being allowed to do anything that even remotely looked practical would be unthinkable. I'm not sure that one could operate a dojo at which the rent had to be paid each month by doing that. You simply wouldn't have enough students.

But I understand why he did that. The Systema folks do much the same thing. Their practice is designed to imprint exactly what skills they are trying to teach, whether it's relaxation in the body, psychic connection with the partner, whatever. They don't just jump in and do knife takeaways... they start with a partner exercise in which you simply touch each other with the point of a knife and start to develop sensitivity to the incoming energy. Then they start moving as the knife comes in, just ahead of the tip. Eventually you get to the point at which you start to be able to feel the path of the knife and the intention of the knife wielder. If, at any part of this training it starts to bring up tension, either physical or mental, then they don't move to the next stage but rather back off a little until you have been able to move that tension out of your body. They do not do anything which imprints the wrong lessons into the mind and body.

The way I was taught and the way most people learn their Aikido is to take an outer form, as demonstrated by the instructor, and proceed to manipulate and force your partner into that form, regardless of whether the energy he gave you had anything in common with the energy the instructor's uke gave him. If you deviate from the form the teacher demonstrated, you are corrected.

So, in a school where folks are trying to be very "martial" the partner sees his role as resisting the technique and you learn, right from the very start, to force the technique using precisely the wrong energy in the body and the wrong energy in the mind. In a school which doesn't train that way, what happens is that, since the beginner can't yet do the technique demonstrated by the instructor, it becomes the job of the partner to shape himself or herself into the proper form of the technique. Neither one of these training methods will result in any significant number of students figuring out what the top level folks are doing. The ones who do, either went outside to get some help figuring things out, or they are the intuitive genius types like Saotome Sensei. The rest of the folks are left out in the dark.

If you were local, or I knew someone here who has what you have, I'd invite you to do a class at my dojo weekly. I would incorporate that material into my program at all levels, especially the beginners. Fortunately, since I have a Systema school right on the other side of the wall from my dojo, we get exposure to some of the best people in North America. I can see my instructors incorporating very things they have gotten training with these folks into their classes.

We completely reworked our beginner program. The techniques that they now do for their first kyu test are all static and and all start from the same kosa dori attack. No strikes at all. The entire emphasis is on mental connection and proper relaxation of the body and the mind. We make it as user friendly as possible to avoid all that fear based tension that occurs when people are thrown in over their heads too quickly. Every attempt is made to avoid imprinting the wrong thing because it is far more difficult to un-program later.

I teach all over the country and I see hundreds of Aikido folks at all levels. The vast majority are not training in such a way that they will ever get the skills that their Shihan level teachers have. Much of the training is imprinting, over and over, precisely the opposite of what should be happening. That's why the input you guys are giving is so important. As you stated, you don't really do the waza we do. So when you teach, it gives folks the chance to disconnect from the bad habits because what you are doing is unfamiliar. If you can get them to feel what you are doing and then get that same feel in their own bodies, then there is a good chance that they can run with that and start putting that "feel" into their own waza. That's what happened to me at the Expo after training with Kuroda Sensei. I got the feel of what he was doing and came back and reworked everything I did to make it feel like that.

These discussions tend to end up with folks "taking sides" when there aren't any sides. I have no disagreement with you on the issue of skills at all. You are obviously correct that kokyunage without kokyu isn't REALLY a kokyunage. Aikido with no understanding of "aiki" isn't really Aikido.

In my own case I am pretty angry about it. I spent 25 years training wrong. How good could I have been if I had trained smart right from the start? But it's no ones fault... my teachers taught me the same way they had been taught. I marvel that they got as good as they did training as they did. But it's also the case that very few get to that level and that's why. Most folks simply don't get there because they don't have that innate talent to figure it out without some help. This "steal the technique" attitude is BS as far as I am concerned, it has resulted in thousands and tens of thousands of folks "stealing" the wrong thing. They missed the masterpiece and stole a not very good reproduction.

It's going to take a while to correct this situation on any wide scale. First, there have to be some instructors who are honest enough about their training to be willing to change and go through a retooling of what they have been doing. Then they need to get out there widely and pass on these skills.

Who is going to do that? Well, it has to be us. There is no one else. It's not like the folks back in Japan are training that way and we can rely on them to send folks over here to help us out. Sure there are teachers in Japan who do have these skills to one extent or another. Maybe they come over once or even twice a year for a seminar or two. But the kind of broad exposure to teachers who have the skills we are talking about that will be required to move the art as a whole in a better direction, that will take folks who are here getting out, and getting out frequently, and passing on what they know to the mass of instructors out there running dojos all over the hinterlands. This is a very long term project I think.

So the goal is kokyunage with kokyu, the real masterpiece rather than the fake. It will be interesting to see who's interested in that and who's content with the fake because it was cheaper.

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 01:23 PM
Mike, why do you constantly feel the need to bring this up? That was a year and a half ago (granted, not that long really) but it's old news. Does the fact that since then I've "flummoxed" everyone I've worked out with using this stuff mean that I might have some hint of a clue? You think just maybe that's a possibility? Naw, didn't think so.Chris, please don't think I'm trying to dissuade you of your opinion of things, but in my admittedly different opinion, no one who has been working at this stuff sporadically for a whole year and a half has any business "teaching" it already. They're just starting out. But maybe your upper-end goal is not the same as mine.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 01:32 PM
What the beginner starts with and an unfortunate number still do much later is basically what I would call the jiu jutsu level of technique. I understand what you're saying, George, and I would respond that there is in almost every dojo some superficial, token practice of Aiki Taiso... exercises which were *meant* to get beginners started on the correct movement. The fact that people missed it does not mean that Aikido has the failing, IMO. But you are right to ask the question "can it be kokyu nage without kokyu?". The answer is, I think, no. There may be a jiu jutsu version that has the same outer form but that can't be the true kokyu nage. OK. That pretty much satisfies the previous discussion of whether "No Kokyu, No Aikido" is true, then. That was the point I was trying to make. You are obviously correct that kokyunage without kokyu isn't REALLY a kokyunage. Aikido with no understanding of "aiki" isn't really Aikido. "Aiki", kokyu, ki, etc., are all so interrelated that for the purposes of this conversation, Ushiro's comments about kokyu are pretty much true. Now could Ushiro, with his knowledge of ki/kokyu things understand the "finer points" of Aikido in the way that, say, Sunadomari does? Absolutely not. But could Ushiro and Sunadomari agree on the essentials and the "finer points" of developing ki/kokyu.... I have no doubt of it. In my own case I am pretty angry about it. I spent 25 years training wrong. How good could I have been if I had trained smart right from the start? Exactly. That's what I've been trying to say, George. I could also piss and moan about how frustrated I was, but I instead think that there's another guy out there, just like me but younger and still capable of playing the game, and I try to feed him the info that I couldn't get. It's not about me anymore because I'm past it. So I do the best I can. What the hey. ;)

Best.

Mike

ChrisMoses
02-29-2008, 01:46 PM
Chris, please don't think I'm trying to dissuade you of your opinion of things, but in my admittedly different opinion, no one who has been working at this stuff sporadically for a whole year and a half has any business "teaching" it already. They're just starting out. But maybe your upper-end goal is not the same as mine.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

That would be why I don't teach it. I just train. As for being "sporadic", I've consistently spent 4-8 hours a week doing what I've learned in that year and a half. Again, I don't claim that's a massive amount of time, but I don't think it's fair to call it sporadic. I've never claimed mastery, or deep understanding. You seem to miss that I almost always qualify my comments with Aunkai *basics* when I talk about what I've been doing. I'm not on the seminar circuit. Ark was supposedly pleased with what our group had been able to do out here on our own. Of course he didn't come in and say, "Ah, you have all mastered this!" But according to Rob he at least appreciated the obvious effort and improvement that we showed. That's not a huge statement. If I'm lying or even overstating this, I would expect Rob to bring that to our attention. At Ark's seminar at George's I got the same thing over and over again when I worked with new folks, "Hmm, you don't feel like everyone else... You're really hard to move..." All I'm saying is that I don't know *nothing*.

You asked a question, and I answered it as clearly as I could. I'm really tired of your tone. You have never met me or had any interaction with me, yet you make huge leaps of logic about me. I don't appreciate that and it does little to encourage me to enter into the kind of honest and open discourse you claim to be seeking on these forums. Perhaps you need to realize that folks on these forums aren't reacting against the idea of internal skill building or improving themselves or their art, but rather to your patronizing tone and general rudeness.

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 02:09 PM
Well, another Chris Moses post that goes unavoidably back to the personal. Good luck in your searches, Chris.

Mike Sigman

bkedelen
02-29-2008, 02:26 PM
I could also piss and moan about how frustrated I was, but I instead think that there's another guy out there, just like me but younger and still capable of playing the game, and I try to feed him the info that I couldn't get.

Now imagine if you were feeding us training insights, stories of your own experiences, and youtube videos of you and your students demonstrating drills we could try out in our dojos, instead of just telling us over and over that we are terrible at these skills.

Perhaps you need to realize that folks on these forums aren't reacting against the idea of internal skill building or improving themselves or their art, but rather to your patronizing tone and general rudeness.

Yup. Many of us accepted the invitation thinking the buffet was to follow. Still waiting on that.

ramenboy
02-29-2008, 02:28 PM
i was taught that kokyu nage is breath throw. so as we are learning it, and later on, as we're doing it, we're learning to breath 'naturally' and not hold our breath during the movement.

or maybe i wasnn't taught that, that's just what i got out of the lesson :P

i think kokyu nage as the name of a set of techniques, not a literal translation of the japanese word.

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 02:43 PM
[[snip gratuitous remarks]] I guess in a few cases I'm known by my enemies. Benjamin, you post amazingly like Justin Smith.

Regards.

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
02-29-2008, 02:56 PM
Sheesh, another good thread down the drain.

Ron

bkedelen
02-29-2008, 02:58 PM
Conceded. Now hook us up with some youtube videos!

Timothy WK
02-29-2008, 03:17 PM
Conceded. Now hook us up with some youtube videos!
Here you go... (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-490520230360622262)

RonRagusa
02-29-2008, 03:58 PM
The question is whether an *Aikido* technique called "kokyu nage" is a kokyu nage even if you don't use kokyu-power to do it with.

No.

Without the requisite Ki skills it's all just mechanics and muscle.

Ron

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 04:33 PM
Here you go... (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-490520230360622262) What's funny for Benjamin is that the kind person assisting me is from Benjamin's dojo and has been intrumental in maintaining Benjamin's good health and outlook on life.

FWIW

Mike

gdandscompserv
02-29-2008, 05:39 PM
You asked a question, and I answered it as clearly as I could. I'm really tired of your tone. You have never met me or had any interaction with me, yet you make huge leaps of logic about me. I don't appreciate that and it does little to encourage me to enter into the kind of honest and open discourse you claim to be seeking on these forums. Perhaps you need to realize that folks on these forums aren't reacting against the idea of internal skill building or improving themselves or their art, but rather to your patronizing tone and general rudeness.
Chris,
You may find this idea usefull:
"When you are correctly seated in the ideal position, even the rudest person cannot disturb you".
:D

SeiserL
02-29-2008, 06:52 PM
there is absolutely no reason to name the application "kokyunage" since you don't need kokyu-power to do it.
Sorry, while I may agree in principle, I didn't know it was up to us to rename what was already there.

Erick Mead
02-29-2008, 10:22 PM
Now I happen to agree with you, but you don't have any definitive neutral framework for saying that your interpretation of kokyu is more important than anyone elses (unless you wish to use your lengthy posts upon the subject here and elsewhere, but I wouldn't accept that scientifically and I don't think you would either).I love this post Mike. This illustrates a great point. We often think our perspective is right because the perspective is ours. ... Is that work "aikido" because koky nage is an aikido technique and I am wearing a hakama in an aikido dojo? I believe so.There is a neutral ground. Kokyu is the cyclic aspect of Ki -- Ki is simply the synthetic understanding of angular momentum (actual rotation) composed with its potential quantity, moment (potential rotation) -- i.e -- motion in stillness.

If one cares to look into it, these can be used to accurately describe (as the tradition of Ki is intended to describe) the substance and action of everything physical from the quantum level to the cosmological and everything in between. While other analytic conventions are more often used used in various physical contexts in Western terms, as a synthetic concept Ki/kokyu tracks with the decomposed physics of angular momentum/moment perfectly well.

"Unbendable arm" is simply the example of using a principle of action that does not involve bending in the technical sense, which it is to say tension and compression strains coupled in shear. To contrast, pure tensions, rotations and potentials for rotation involve no shear storage of dynamic potential energy (typical of muscular or torsional stress) . The most vulnerable aspect of any structure is in shear (muscle tension v. bone compression) and especially in torsional shear.

While lot of kokyu action involves the apparent spiralling form of the body's structures, in fact, it is not loading the structure in torsion or shear -- it is in the adaptive adoption of these spiral lines (harmonizing) that eliminates the shear or torsional stresses. The same essential shape is involved, but with different process and a very different effect. Applying it one way to cause rotations (angular momentum) can create kokyunage -- applying it in another way to manipulate moments (potential for rotations) is osae waza. If I feel torsion or shear (most call it "muscle") then it is not kokyu.

As to the nominalist controversy, I'll simply say that some kokyunage are more equal than others.

Upyu
02-29-2008, 10:29 PM
<snip>

Erick just get out and meet someone out there that has these skills.
(Ushiro, Ark, Dan, Mike, Sam Chin, Chen Xiao Wang (or any of the famous Chen guys))
Then come back and tell us whether it can still be explained in the manner you keep on bringing up.

One thing I'll point out is that I haven't seen anyone that's met one of these guys ever agree with your point of view after having been shown how to do it themselves ;)

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 10:39 PM
Erick just get out and meet someone out there that has these skills.
(Ushiro, Ark, Dan, Mike, Sam Chin, Chen Xiao Wang (or any of the famous Chen guys))
Then come back and tell us whether it can still be explained in the manner you keep on bringing up.

Well, Rob, I think you're a generous person to offer to work with Erick after his many comments on the internet. Frankly, I've missed it if anyone has seen Erick and can attest to the fact that he's not just theorizing. Probably it would good if everyone got out there and showed their stuff as widely as possible and opened the discussions even further. I think it would be good for the community as a whole.

Best.

Mike

Erick Mead
02-29-2008, 10:56 PM
Erick just get out ... I haven't seen anyone that's met one of these guys ever agree with your point of view after having been shown how to do it themselves ;)Always with the kind invitation, Rob. And of course they don't because the fact that they have sought those who view the matter as you do so means that they are predisposed to see things as you do. I don't.

But, plainly, you do not understand my point of view. For which I find no fault -- hardly anyone else is looking at these issues in this way. Whether that is "better" or worse" depends on what works to bring improvement to the person concerned. One person posting here periodically has attempted to engage these points with me in private dicussion. While we might not entirely agree, and I have modified some of my thinking on some marginal issues in that discussion, he has not, in a friendly but rigorous discussion of these issues, demonstrated that my essential points in the observation I made is wrong or impractical in use for observation, correction and application.

Your way is no doubt pragmatic, satisfying and effective for you. I find mine likewise, and it results in progress for me. I ask no more. The kokyu I express is the same kokyu I have felt in the three lineages in which I have substantially trained. I need to feel nothing more to know what is wrong when I do it wrong, what "right" feels like, and how to correct the one and improve the other.

Erick Mead
02-29-2008, 11:05 PM
Probably it would good if everyone got out there and showed their stuff as widely as possible and opened the discussions even further. I think it would be good for the community as a whole.I like 'Sandro.

Mike Sigman
02-29-2008, 11:26 PM
he has not, in a friendly but rigorous discussion of these issues, demonstrated that my essential points in the observation I made is wrong So your argument here is that since no one has proved you wrong, you're right? And you're a skilled debater?

Heck, no one has proved that all life on earth didn't originate on Mars, either. It must be so, then. ;)

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
03-01-2008, 05:25 AM
Erick Wrote:

Always with the kind invitation, Rob. And of course they don't because the fact that they have sought those who view the matter as you do so means that they are predisposed to see things as you do. I don't.


Not entirely true. It is possible to have met with these guys, not have "drank the kool aid", and still walk away saying "interesting".

I am not going to get into the discussion of what it is or isn't scientificially or not. Personally I think there are good "simple" explainations for all this.

That is not the point, IMO.

From everything I have seen here, you are applying reductionist theory in attempt to decode or understand this or explain it. That method does not work, and I think you are missing the point to be honest, which is probably why those that have experienced this to any degree don't see your point of view or have a hard time explaining it.

If it where simply this or simply that...we would not be having this conversation over and over again....we would use reductionism, isolate, identify, and fix. We could then put the pieces back together and we would be whole in a whole new way.

Heck even Matt Thornton from SBG agrees with us there and if you really listen to what he preaches...THIS is what is wrong with the so-called TMA and especially internal arts...it is approached this way in it's methodology!

What is missing the point is continuing to do the same things over and over....AND expecting a different result!

Anyway, I am starting to digress.

I do not care what is the scientific or logical explanation of what is going on...or that it is the same or different. If it were simple...then we would not be having this conversation.

What these guys offer is methodology that is apparently working where as the methodology that many are using in aikido is not.

So, who cares about reducing or decoding...you are missing the point if you don't see what is going on with the methodology they present!

Erick Mead
03-01-2008, 09:41 AM
Not entirely true. It is possible to have met with these guys, not have "drank the kool aid", and still walk away saying "interesting". I have no doubt it is interesting. But I have never yet run out of interesting things in study and training in the art. When I do, I will consider the matter more seriously.

I am not going to get into the discussion of what it is or isn't scientifically or not. ... That is not the point, IMO. Perhaps. It is among my several points of view on the art, however. I have several others that are quite plainly NOT reductionist at all. Nor even explicitly mechanical. I don't ask anybody to agree with me. That IS beside the point. It is not necessary for me to agree with anyone else for the forum to be productive.

I'll simply ask a rhetorical question. Who in these discussions, yourself presently excepted, is more routinely interested in expecting explicit agreement to their perspectives as a precondition for discussion?

From everything I have seen here, you are applying reductionist theory in attempt to decode or understand this or explain it. That method does not work, ... ... to accomplish what, exactly? To judge my physical art from what, among those here, is an idiosyncratic perspective on its physical action (if not so in the wider universe of discussion), is a meaningless exercise. To do that you have to show that my perspective does not result in useful improvement. I have no need ot prove otherwise. I train routinely, examine what I have done in these and in other terms, plan what I may work on and correct what does not work as well as I know it does when I do it well.
If it where simply this or simply that...we would not be having this conversation over and over again....we would use reductionism, isolate, identify, and fix. "Simply." Simply? I made the (admittedly expansive) statement that the features of the observable physical universe may be explained by the use of one composite or synthetic concept Angular momentum||moment -- which may be used as a substitute for the Chinese synthetic concept of qi / ki. Who said that using that singular concept as the basis for description make it the most simple or convenient in any given situation? I did say, in many settings, other analytic concepts like force, inertia, heat etc. are more convenient for pragmatic purposes in that setting. What they lack is an inherent connection between some actions that are defined differently for the purposes of analytic convenience. An example, all motion is referrable in terms of angular momentum. We call the energy transfer of bodies in contact "friction" which generates "heat," when in fact the same action can be described as the transfer of the angular momentum of gross motion at the point of contact, slowing the gross motion, by increasing the vibration (angular momentum) of the molecules at the point of contact. Synthetically, one action|potential -- angular momentum|moment. Analytically, three things, motion, friction (a force) and heat.

I do not care what is the scientific or logical explanation of what is going on...or that it is the same or different. If it were simple...then we would not be having this conversation. If it is not simple, then foreclosing perspectives essentially on a matter of personal taste in the framework of description, is hardly productive.

What these guys offer is methodology that is apparently working where as the methodology that many are using in aikido is not. I don't conduct surveys of what other people are doing to know what I am doing, what I may do wrong, and knowing how to correct it because of the way I learned it.

So, who cares about reducing or decoding...you are missing the point if you don't see what is going on with the methodology they present!I have some idea of what they are doing, but the methodology is directed at acertian problem set. One cannot judge from a self-selected body of people who have gravitated to the same methodology because (as expressed here many times) they perceive the same problem set. It is also not indicative that their problem set (and everybody has problems to resolve) is representative of people who do not share their perspective.

You wanted a different perspective, which is why you sought out this the line of training that Dan, Mike, Rob, Akuzawa etc. seem to provide. I simply suggest to you, that theirs is not the only one out there, not even within the traditional understandings of aikido. For all my work in trying to relate the Western and Eastern conceptual frameworks, I explicitly defend the traditional understanding as an intact body of knowledge, since it is a rich and organically connected source. It is not, however, accessible to most Westerners. So my efforts or others like it remain necessary. I don't pretend that my effort is yet accessible in those terms, although it is useful to me. But to make something more useful than mere simplistic analogy I have to make it first more elaborated to understand the shape by which it may ultimately be folded up more compactly and become succinct.

Aikibu
03-01-2008, 10:10 AM
Wow Eric great post! My head aches as I should have had my cup o joe first but you illustrate a fundimental flaw within a certain groups line of thinking here...

Having a Fallacious Argument* as a thread topic doesn't help anyone's case either.

Suffice to say I chuckle at the idea of some here that they have a corner on the "Aiki" or "Kokyu" market. :)

Hopefull all of you will take a step back and realize Harmony is a better guiding principle for the framework of this discussion as opposed to Conflict. :)

William Hazen

*For those of you that wish to know. "Begging the Question."

Mike Sigman
03-01-2008, 10:46 AM
Well, it's an interesting discussion and probably a necessary and expected one that will pop up continually. The real problem is that to grasp these skills academically and with a foot-in-the-door isn't that hard. Of course it takes a lot of work to go upward from there, but once someone has these skills as their own, a lot of the conversations and arguments are very obviously superfluous. Besides, it's also obvious that if someone really knows these things, the terms aren't that hard to grasp and there is no need for a fallback to incremental linear analysis, angular momentum, Brownian movement, and so on.

And of course it's pretty easy to spot who has a handle on these things "already" and who is simply trying to get rid of any "upstarts" because they rock the status quo, to mix a metaphor.

I've suggested a number of times that someone who really is already an expert on this stuff should be able to clear the deck with his knowledge and explication. That would end all of this fuss easily. William, perhaps you could be the one to do this? Erick has had a number of chances to do it, but so far it hasn't gelled.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Aikibu
03-01-2008, 01:11 PM
Well, it's an interesting discussion and probably a necessary and expected one that will pop up continually. The real problem is that to grasp these skills academically and with a foot-in-the-door isn't that hard. Of course it takes a lot of work to go upward from there, but once someone has these skills as their own, a lot of the conversations and arguments are very obviously superfluous. Besides, it's also obvious that if someone really knows these things, the terms aren't that hard to grasp and there is no need for a fallback to incremental linear analysis, angular momentum, Brownian movement, and so on.

And of course it's pretty easy to spot who has a handle on these things "already" and who is simply trying to get rid of any "upstarts" because they rock the status quo, to mix a metaphor.

I've suggested a number of times that someone who really is already an expert on this stuff should be able to clear the deck with his knowledge and explication. That would end all of this fuss easily. William, perhaps you could be the one to do this? Erick has had a number of chances to do it, but so far it hasn't gelled.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

My solution is simple brother Mike.... All of us are students even the Founder... His discovery of where Aikido could personally lead him only stopped the day he died. He implored others like my "founder" Shoji Nishio to continue...and so I do with that spirit in mind

I have had a good learning curve with this here internet posting thingy....I used to be a rude obnoxious crashing bore certain to ruin any thread with my over the top ham handedness.

What can I say I am Irish. :)

Now as in the spirit of what I have learned these last 20 years both in and out of Aikido...Aiki is just one Uke and one Nage helping each other to achieve harmony...Or as we say one drunk helping another. :) Or another fave of mine...In order to keep it you must give it away. :)

Or... as Pema is apt to say "No gets out of here alive"* so why get hung up one aspect of anything if it causes you to forget why we all do this in the first place? :)

And finally...When playing in the sandbox with the other kids be the first to share your toys...:)

So you want me to write about my experiance with Aiki? Great! However, I would much rather do it in person (it's easier to explain for me) and on that note hopefully someday we'll meet and share our mutual joy of practice together.

Namaste Brother Mike. :)

William Hazen

Edit: *Oh I forget another fave quote of mine from my mentor The Infamous George C Conrad...Aint No Hearses Pulling U-Hauls Son!!!...So give it all you got right fooking now Ranger!

Roger that Sarn't!!! Rangers Lead the Way!!!

Kevin Leavitt
03-01-2008, 06:26 PM
All I can say is that if you are doing what you are doing and your feel it is working for you, then what is the problem?

Why would you care to discuss and debate this stuff? It would seem very pointless I would think.

That is, unless you felt that those that are choosing a certain methodology are wrong or selling snake oil of some sort!

All I can say is that, while my aikido training is very good and I am fortunate to have some very, very good teachers and exposure to many more....what I was offered to further develop my skills on an individual basis was lacking.

How can you argue with the fact that guys like Mike and Rob have provided an avenue for many of us that felt that what we were doing could be done in a better way?

It's not that they just talk about it on the internet...they travel around the world showing it and teaching it!

George S. Ledyard
03-01-2008, 06:50 PM
What's funny for Benjamin is that the kind person assisting me is from Benjamin's dojo and has been intrumental in maintaining Benjamin's good health and outlook on life.

FWIW

Mike

That kind person assisting you happens to be one of the best Aikido people in the US.
- George

George S. Ledyard
03-01-2008, 07:26 PM
There is a neutral ground. Kokyu is the cyclic aspect of Ki -- Ki is simply the synthetic understanding of angular momentum (actual rotation) composed with its potential quantity, moment (potential rotation) -- i.e -- motion in stillness.

If one cares to look into it, these can be used to accurately describe (as the tradition of Ki is intended to describe) the substance and action of everything physical from the quantum level to the cosmological and everything in between. While other analytic conventions are more often used used in various physical contexts in Western terms, as a synthetic concept Ki/kokyu tracks with the decomposed physics of angular momentum/moment perfectly well.

"Unbendable arm" is simply the example of using a principle of action that does not involve bending in the technical sense, which it is to say tension and compression strains coupled in shear. To contrast, pure tensions, rotations and potentials for rotation involve no shear storage of dynamic potential energy (typical of muscular or torsional stress) . The most vulnerable aspect of any structure is in shear (muscle tension v. bone compression) and especially in torsional shear.

While lot of kokyu action involves the apparent spiralling form of the body's structures, in fact, it is not loading the structure in torsion or shear -- it is in the adaptive adoption of these spiral lines (harmonizing) that eliminates the shear or torsional stresses. The same essential shape is involved, but with different process and a very different effect. Applying it one way to cause rotations (angular momentum) can create kokyunage -- applying it in another way to manipulate moments (potential for rotations) is osae waza. If I feel torsion or shear (most call it "muscle") then it is not kokyu.

As to the nominalist controversy, I'll simply say that some kokyunage are more equal than others.

Erick,
I have to say that I am reminded of a concept that states that when two explanations can be used to delineate a process, take the one that is simplest as the one closest to the truth.

I've trained with both Mike S and Rob John (and Akuzawa). There is absolutely nothing about their explanations which is complex. You get direct, body centered feedback. They can feel what you do and tell you exactly what you are doing with your body and how you might change that so as to get more from your movement with less effort. They are quite straight forward about what they do and can show you exactly how to go about training your body's structure to do it even better.

If you look at the clip with Mike and Mark, it's straight forward. clear, body centered and is immediately comprehensible to anyone doing Aikido. What isn't apparent via the video clip is what it feels like when Mike shoots that energy back at you. That's when you realize that there is some body conditioning aspect that is important. he simply doesn't feel like anything we're used to.

My problem with your explanation of what is happening in kokyu power is that I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I read it and re-read it and I can't see how it explains anything that I know how to do or what I know these guys to be doing.

I'll concede that you may know what you mean and that it may describe something you are doing quite nicely. But it might as well be Urdu for all it explains anything to me. I get not one iota of an idea how I might improve my technique or develop my kokyu power from this explanation.

So I think I come down on the side of clear, unambiguous instruction. It makes perfect sense to me that some of what we are discussing relies on a certain amount of conditioning the body to be able to run the energy in that manner with real power. But both Mike and Rob (and I assume Dan as well) can explain what is happening and what needs to be done to make it better in a way that is comprehensible and not at all obscure. In fact much of it is a "follow these simple steps and this will happen" kind of thing. Explanation that leads a person who doesn't understand towards understanding is useful. Explanation which you have to totally comprehend what is being described before you can understand the explanation isn't useful at all.

I've got a lot more time in on the mat than most of the folks here. An explanation that seems to be so obscure to me can't be very helpful to the vast majority of folks. When Rob says that you are wrong, I can't comment on that at all because I have no idea what you are saying. But I have trained with Rob and he can explain quite nicely what he is doing and I could feel that he could do it, and I could feel myself being better able to do it after his instructions.

I think it is possible to be way too much up in your head on stuff and lose the actual body centered connection to reality. Maybe you can demonstrate exactly what you are describing... I don't know. But I am going with the simple body centered explanations every time because they are helpful rather than making my head hurt trying to understand them.

Erick Mead
03-01-2008, 08:23 PM
So your argument here is that since no one has proved you wrong, you're right? And you're a skilled debater?Whether I am right or wrong, rhetorical questions prove nothing, especially on arguments I have not made. Among the things that I do not understand -- is the compulsion to argue in this manner.

So, if you don't like my rubric -- find one that maps onto both systems as well or better, or show how my observation fails in some important way. It shouldn't be that hard.

So let me give you a more substantive question, since I made my proposition: What, in purely western terms, is the ki no kokyu that must exist in kokyunage?

Upyu
03-01-2008, 08:34 PM
Whether I am right or wrong, rhetorical questions prove nothing, especially on arguments I have not made. Among the things that I do not understand -- is the compulsion to argue in this manner.

So, if you don't like my rubric -- find one that maps onto both systems as well or better, or show how my observation fails in some important way. It shouldn't be that hard.

So let me give you a more substantive question, since I made my proposition: What, in purely western terms, is the ki no kokyu that must exist in kokyunage?

Erm... I could be wrong, but "ki no kokyu" doesn't make any sense in Japanese.
You could have "ki no kokyu-ho", or "breath-method of ki" implying breathing that trains Ki etc, or "Ki no nagare", "Flow of ki" etc. But "Breath of ki" doesn't make any sense.

Mike Sigman
03-01-2008, 09:04 PM
What, in purely western terms, is the ki no kokyu that must exist in kokyunage?I think you're still trying to frame the debate in terms of what you think you know and perceive. "Ki no kokyu"? You certainly don't mean what Tohei means by "ki no kokyu ho"... you're trying to go back into a discussion of techniques/waza in order to get out of the uncomfortable discussion about basics that you don't understand.

I'm not sure you understand, Erick, but I told you a long time ago that this subject of the ki/kokyu skills is only a "everyone's take on it is equally valid" thing to people who still don't know and who can't conceive that there might be something they don't know.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

ChS_23
03-01-2008, 09:29 PM
You certainly don't mean what Tohei means by "ki no kokyu ho"...
you're trying to go back into a discussion of techniques/waza in order to get out of the uncomfortable discussion about basics that you don't understand.
this subject of the ki/kokyu skills
Are we talking about "who didn't adapt the ideas of Tohei is not qualified for this discussion"?
Kokyu in kokyu-nage can not be discussed in technical terms?
Kokyu and Ki is something more than physics?
Ki and jutsu are terms which don't fit together?

bkedelen
03-01-2008, 09:34 PM
What's funny for Benjamin is that the kind person assisting me is from Benjamin's dojo and has been intrumental in maintaining Benjamin's good health and outlook on life.

FWIW

Mike

Yea, Mark is the guy who first got me turned on to this stuff. That video is good, but has been around a while. Mark and I have been working on the stuff in that video for a while now and I would really like to see more.

Mike Sigman
03-01-2008, 09:44 PM
Are we talking about "who didn't adapt the ideas of Tohei is not qualified for this discussion"?
Kokyu in kokyu-nage can not be discussed in technical terms?
Kokyu and Ki is something more than physics?
Ki and jutsu are terms which don't fit together?Christian:

Would you mind formulating whatever it is that you're trying to say in a more cogent manner? Thanks.

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
03-01-2008, 09:45 PM
Erick,
I have to say that I am reminded of a concept that states that when two explanations can be used to delineate a process, take the one that is simplest as the one closest to the truth. As I was trying to lay out in an earlier response -- simplicity is a relative concept; it depends on what one intends to accomplish. While a hammer is a very simple tool, it would be a rather complex and relatively ineffective thing to get a hammer to drive a screw. Or cut wood. Or if you do manage to do it the result is contrary to the nature of the tool, and the problem, i.e. -- not aiki.

This is not a place for what I do in the dojo, one of the reasons I avoid rising to the bait of meaningless online physical "tests." This is abstract, where the dojo is concrete. We should use it in line with its nature. It has uses that are as necessary as the dojo is. For this Sagawa, who has been spoken of in these discussions, was quite "clear" (pun intended) that people have to think hard about these things. I'm doing my bit of that, in my way. No one ever seems to get that distinction with me in these discussions, even though I have said it numerous times in various ways. Sagawa says it better than I can, so maybe people will understand when he says it: 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 on. 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.

I've trained with both Mike S and Rob John (and Akuzawa). There is absolutely nothing about their explanations which is complex. You get direct, body centered feedback. They can feel what you do and tell you exactly what you are doing with your body and how you might change that so as to get more from your movement with less effort. I am glad to hear it, and have I ever said I doubted them or anyone? Here I address physical understandings, I do not contest practical actions.

My problem with your explanation of what is happening in kokyu power is that I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.... I get not one iota of an idea how I might improve my technique or develop my kokyu power from this explanation. ... Explanation which you have to totally comprehend what is being described before you can understand the explanation isn't useful at all.... But I am going with the simple body centered explanations every time because they are helpful rather than making my head hurt trying to understand them. Heck, they make my head hurt - so I relieve the pressure here, more often that not. But that is sort of the point of training, is it not, to exceed prior boundaries of capability, comprehension and connection. Koans are useful only insofar as we continue to fail to understand them. I actually train in much more the manner you suggest: "not here - there," "this shape, not that shape" feel this, don't feel that" "do this, not that" etc. I agree.

You, of all people, have been in the forefront of identifying the aiki-bunny disease, confronting it honestly, and thus affiliation with folks in this mode of training. But, this was my question. Like the title of my blog: "But why?" Ask yourself that. Why is there this problem? Why did it happen? Why in some places and not in others?

It is all well and good to do medieval medicine, [we did this and the patient survived.] Of course, it may be that the patient recovered on his own, so the post hoc fallacy lingers. Sagawa speaks to this implied impatience to get to the desired result also: "You must train the body, think and have the techniques 'seep out' from the body itself. Even if you train everyday all the while innovating yourself, it will take at least 20 years. Ten years or so isn't nearly enough time."

The bottom line is unless you understand the cause, you do not have a treatable diagnosis -- you have palliative care in the hope that patient can recover on his own. Which may be all that is required, or at least, we have no way of knowing why it gets better, if we do not know why it occurred.

I think at least one part of the cause is a lack of native understanding of the things we are doing, in terms that our society has at least a passing understanding of. Why? Because we think in our native culture. Mike actually tries this, describing things in analogies like springs and vectors. These have serious problems if meant to be applied as rigorous physical models in the context of aiki. But, within situational limits they are commonplace enough to provoke useful images for a moment of training.

But how much better if we had an actual physical system of knowledge in our Western terms of what is meant by the concept of ki no kokyu. Then we do not have analogy but physically real information. That would make it not situationally practical but applicable in any framework, and extendable into other areas of training we have not encountered before.

Mike Sigman
03-01-2008, 09:47 PM
Yea, Mark is the guy who first got me turned on to this stuff. That video is good, but has been around a while. Mark and I have been working on the stuff in that video for a while now and I would really like to see more. Benjamin, why don't you try, as an experiment, going and insulting Ikeda Sensei and then trying to get him to teach you more. :straightf Let me know if it works. I've never tried it before because I thought it might close some doors for me.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
03-01-2008, 09:56 PM
I think you're still trying to frame the debate in terms of what you think you know and perceive. ... I told you a long time ago that this subject of the ki/kokyu skills is only a "everyone's take on it is equally valid" thing to people who still don't know and who can't conceive that there might be something they don't know.I think, Mike, that you spend far too much time telling me what I think, conceive, perceive, think and know. And to little purpose, since you do not even accurately represent what I have stated openly.

ChS_23
03-01-2008, 09:57 PM
Would you mind formulating whatever it is that you're trying to say in a more cogent manner?
I'm questioning...not saying...
...I doubt that I got your and Georgs points right...
...but I want to understand...

Erick Mead
03-01-2008, 10:12 PM
Erm... I could be wrong, but "ki no kokyu" doesn't make any sense in Japanese.So Tohei's book "Ki no kokyu ho" was a method (ho) of doing something that makes no sense? Got it. Thanks. Is this a running theme? ;) Or is it the point to prove that statements in Japanese can be read in one an only one way? Onegaishimasu, ne?

Upyu
03-01-2008, 10:21 PM
So Tohei's book "Ki no kokyu ho" was a method (ho) of doing something that makes no sense? Got it. Thanks. Is this a running theme? ;) Or is it the point to prove that statements in Japanese can be read in one an only one way? Onegaishimasu, ne?

Uh no dude...
I quoted your "ki no kokyu" as making no sense.
"Ki no kokyu ho" makes perfect sense.
(From a purely Japanese-language" standpoint)

Trust me when I say you don't want to get in the japanese-language debate with me, unless you're fluent, and have experience translating a wide range of subjects ;)

bkedelen
03-01-2008, 10:25 PM
My intention recently has not been to insult you, I just disagree with the way you have brought your message to this forum. Initially I disagreed with your message, but was decisively won over by the people who have trained with you. Nevertheless this forum is not a positive place where we build each other up in part because much of your message is formulated in a way that is very discouraging to the people you have labeled as have-nots. It is my personal opinion that a "if anyone is interested, check out what I am working on here" would have been much more elegant than a "aikido in its present form is almost universally being practiced incorrectly". If you are too insulted by my criticism of your persona here to ever discuss your methods with me then I accept that and will not continue to bother you. If on the other hand you can at least agree to disagree with me about the way you present your message here, we can probably be friends, which I see as a rather aikido-esque outcome.

Mike Sigman
03-03-2008, 12:57 PM
My intention recently has not been to insult you, I just disagree with the way you have brought your message to this forum. Initially I disagreed with your message, but was decisively won over by the people who have trained with you. I suspect there is a lot of resentment, among a few individuals, that has to do with the fact that a blunt statement of facts appeared to have been "unhierarchical and not proper Aiki-speak". But now that it appears that I may have been speaking the truth, you're willing to be friends as long as I admit first that I was wrong to barge into your turf without the proper grovelling? I appreciate that, Benjamin. :)
If you are too insulted by my criticism of your persona here to ever discuss your methods with me then I accept that and will not continue to bother you. Benjamin, I'm a pragmatist, more than anything else. Ask Mark Reeder. The last thing I'd want to do is get involved with your concerns which mostly seem to be about you and very little about how these things work. No offense. And I mean that seriously.

Mike Sigman

Erick Mead
03-03-2008, 07:55 PM
Uh no dude...
I quoted your "ki no kokyu" as making no sense.
"Ki no kokyu ho" makes perfect sense.
(From a purely Japanese-language" standpoint)

Trust me when I say you don't want to get in the japanese-language debate with me, unless you're fluent, and have experience translating a wide range of sujects ;)Not. Not going to be either. Chinese is my ideographic language. I only do that to rile up one of the Josh's (can't remember which one) who was poking at Pranin's translations.

But the point is we are not in a "purely Japanese-language standpoint." We speak English, with terms of art loosely drawn from a foreign tongue, like the Royal Navy speaks a loose Dutch in sailing terms, or a loose French in cooking. We feel free to steal words from any self-respecting language to mean what we damn well say they mean.

Beauty of the language, really.

My point, made elsewhere, is that the basic problem you all are complaining about is in many respects caused by a disconnect in language. The "accurate" exposition of concepts from the Japanese do not come across as balanced in English as they are in native dress. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=200684&postcount=149 We hear the expression of complex matters such as Ki, kokyu and aiki as imprecise, and therefore fuzzy, soft -- i.e. -- far too much toward the yin. They are not expressed in our yang terms of hard science and so many people without the background in the culture take them in largely yin terms, resulting in diminishment of the concept and its practice, and the loss of balance that makes up the in-yo ho.

Upyu
03-03-2008, 10:13 PM
The "accurate" exposition of concepts from the Japanese do not come across as balanced in English as they are in native dress. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=200684&postcount=149

Erm... "Ki no Kokyu-ho" isn't vague at all. If you know what "ki" is.
Anyways it still doesn't change the fact that you can't say "ki no kokyu", just like you can't say "ki no ten" or "ki no chi". You can say "Ten no Ki" or "Chi no Ki" etc, but again, there's a logic that runs through it. Do a search, you won't find anyone Japanese that would just arbitrarily say "Ki no ten" or "Ki no chi" etc.

Japanese is vague, sure, but only for people that don't have the skills Erick ;)
It's just not really something that's open to debate, or like Mike says "here's my <xxxx something or another > take on it."

So Erick, if everyone is different and all things are not equal...(and everyone's opinion is valid) how come even though I had never met Mike, it turned out (when we met) that I was still using some of the same physical skills, even though I learned them under a teacher that had a completely different background etc in learning this stuff.

Oh wait I know...
"but your perceptions are false, you can't assume that they are accurate/dependable etc etc, you only assume they are the same because you want to believe"

Maybe one of these days you'll enlighten us with your advanced understanding by posting vids of yourself ;)