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MM
04-23-2008, 08:37 AM
Tohei writes about "ki" and it's well known. But, I'm beginning to find that he didn't have the market cornered on "structure", "ki", or "aiki" as it relates to aikido. Shioda, in his own way, seems to have given everyone as much direction on gaining these skills as Tohei. The difference is that Tohei created a separate system for "ki development" while Shioda kept it within his teachings. I'll go through three key concepts that Shioda emphasized and point to where I see them overlap with core body skills/aiki/whatever you want to call it.

A: Chushin Ryoku.

Most translations give this phrase as "center power". I think I like Steven Miranda's definition better. He writes it as "The power of the center line. Keep your center line straight."

From a post here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=17398&sid=bd2d8c932dda6b6a12fd0fc6e68db5bd

He goes on to quote Shioda


Ki as it is manifested in the performance of techniques is what we have when the components of correct posture, center line, breathing, the explosive power of focused energy, timing, etc., come together so that we reach the highest state of perfect balance. It might be said that "ki" is the "the mastery of balance.

You can talk to quite a few people who are training these body skills and you'll be told that having a "correct" posture is sometimes critical. The body's centerline is very important. But, Miss Manner's Guide to Proper Etiquette and Posture isn't relevant at all. The former has specific training methods while the latter is societal hogwash. :) Anyway, the centerline as divided by the spine is an important concept. This actually will help the body deliver power from the ground through the hara. I have seen, and done, training from Dan, Mike, and Rob in regards to keeping proper alignment/posture. And I've found, even as a beginner, that it makes a world of difference when done correctly.

As Steven Miranda wrote, one must keep the center line straight. When doing any movement, the spine must be kept aligned straight between the feet. The upper body should not sway the spine, twist the spine, or turn the spine from *outside* that alignment. (Okay, I'm sure there are exceptions and such. But, in regards to my training and my experiences, I'm going from a beginner's perspective.) Doesn't mean you can't twist and turn -- just don't do it such that the spine is contorted out of that correct posture/alignment. If I had to describe chushin ryoku, I'd probably say it is the power derived from correct spinal alignment. That seems better than just center power.

B: Shuchu Ryoku.

I think most define this as "focused power".

As noted here:
http://www.sakuramartialarts.com/Martial_Arts_Warrior_Quotes_s/643.htm

SHUCHU RYOKU - Focus all your energy to one point.


But, that really doesn't explain a whole lot. But, other places define this as concentration of all one's power at one point or at one instant. Not really a big help either. At least until other factors are included. Something I think hinders development of aikido is that there is no more frames of reference for most of us. In other words, all the giants are gone and no one can now gain direct physical experience of just how these people felt in their application of aikido. That direct hands-on experience could have provided a very important frame of reference for training. So, we have to make do with what we have now. And for shuchu ryoku, I find that Mike Sigman has a concept that fits very well. Mike talks about bringing the ground out to any point on one's body. So, for instance, if uke grabs katate dori, then the ground should be in the wrist at the point of contact. Although I don't believe that Mike's concept covers all of shuchu ryoku, for us beginner's, I think it is a very good start. There are concepts of bringing power from the ground through the point of contact and into uke. I think this, too, is part and parcel of shuchu ryoku.

I'll add a small part here that I've found shuchu ryoku defined as "energy of intent".
http://books.google.com/books?id=TFphbY5awosC&pg=PA108&lpg=PA108&dq=shuchu+ryoku&source=web&ots=AGrv2dk5zn&sig=dggq4361b58yfh6IZHoWb_r_ldc&hl=en

Given that intent is a very important training concept in structure/core body skills/aiki, then this phrase seems to make more sense. Because as some of us have experienced, when our energy of intent is working correctly, we can stand pushes to the chest, connections to uke's center happen automatically, "techniques" become "effortless", etc.

C: Kokyu Ryoku

"Breath power". Not going to go into this one. I can begin to understand the first two and how my training relates to the concepts. But, I think, that this one is a step or two beyond my current level. I think having a structured body with correct spinal alignment and being able to bring the ground to any point with energy of intent is a prerequisite of being able to do kokyu rokyu. I don't think that kokyu rokyu has much to do with most people's understanding of "breath" or "breathing", though. This isn't just meditative breathing, or zen breathing or deep breathing like most people think. This is a way of breathing that helps the body to store energy in the hara so that it can be released explosively. In other words, if you do reverse breathing (sort of like sucking the stomach in as you breath in) and at the same time, your intent is bringing the perineum upwards, you will get a sort of compressed hara. Once you have that compression, it's like having static energy. Then, you release, or convert that static, compressed energy downward into the ground through the front leg. Doing this while attached to some point with an uke allows all that kinetic energy to transfer to uke as power. Anyway, that's a beginner's view of it. I could be wrong. :)

More research/readings:

Tomoo Yawata wrote a reply (about middle of the page) to Ellis Amdur's article on Aikiweb and I think it provides some very relevant information in regards to Shioda and his training. You can read the reply here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1045

I'll repost part of it:


First I will tackle a problem which plagued me from the beginning of Aikido. Why on earth are we using the word "Kokyu-ryoku(breath power)" without getting instructed how to breath properly ?
On July 29th , I've asked in E-Budo forum creating a new thread which title was ‘about the origin of the word "Kokyuryoku"'.
My question was
"They are several "Key words" in aikido. For example "Kokyuryoku", "Aiki" and since I am a practitioner in Yoshinkan Aikido, I think also "Hiriki"(elbow power).
Does anyone has any clues when these words were introduced to aikido?
I know that there are many discussions about the word "Aiki" recently, I think this would shed some important lights about the relation between DTR and aikido but I am interested when O-sensei began to use the word "Kokyuryoku" in his career.
Having some experience in DTR, I thought always that this word is somewhat original to O-sensei. I had always the impression(maybe I am wrong) that Shioda sensei maybe felt some difficulties with this word, as he tried to explain aspects of "Kokyuryoku" in other words, like "chushinryoku(central power)" and so on."
I was asking the right question ,and all the discussion here and on Aiki-web, Mr.Amdur's thesis, Mike's guess all were a hints for the answer but I couldn't recognize it.
In Yoshinkan there are six basic movements (Kihon-dosa), which are important characteristics and distinctive points of Yoshinkan to other Aikido schools.In fact Takeno sensei, one of the top student of Shioda sensei, said to us in a demonstration that the 6basic movements are the hearts and soul ,the crown and jewel of Yoshinkan Aikido and we should be proud to have this. The purpose of this six movements are written in all Yoshinkan text books as follows,that the aim of these movements are to enhance "KOKYU-RYOKU(BREATH POWER). Kancho sensei and Inoue sensei have stated for various occasions that the origins of these movements were all from training methods from the Kobukan dojo era.
I had a rare occasion to train with an former uchideshi of Yoshinkan who left Yoshinkan in 1960, and continued to teach on his own. The six basic movements were a bit different from today but the interesting thing was that the old movements were all identical with the basics in Iwama-ryu (morote-dori kokyuho, and so on).
Now the six basic movements of Yoshinkan are Hiriki no yosei 1,2 (enhancement of elbow power ,1 is for the "omote", and 2 is for the"ura" in other aikido schools), Tai no Henko 1,2 (step and change of the body,…maybe), Shumatsu-dosa (finishing movements).Well, a beginner will mostly first bother what the meaning of the name of movements and waza's, so I became curious why we do a movement called "Shumatsu-dosa(finishing movement)" with the other basic movements rather at the beginning of our classes, so I asked my instructor. "Back when Kancho sensei was training under Ueshiba sensei at the Kobukan dojo, this movement was done at the end of a training session as a relaxation method. But Kancho sensei found out that this movement has more training value as only a relaxation method and included to the basic movements".Tai no Henko needs no explanation. The name and movement accorded. Not to difficult to found out about the meaning even for a beginner.The next the most important movement in the basics.Hiriki no Yosei(Elbow power). At first, I couldn't even understand the word itself in Japanese but anyway it's meaning was elbow power. Why elbow power, it seems quite absurd to assume that the elbow contained some power. I've asked my instructor about that. "The elbow itself has no power, it means THAT YOU HAVE TO GATHER THE WHOLE POWER OF YOUR BODY UP TO THE FRONT OF ELBOW" That's in other word gather the whole power to the hand, isn't it? "No, if I instruct you to gather the power to the hand you will tense the fingers but that will stop the flow of the power." What is the relation between elbow power and Kokyu power? "Elbow power is an old word which derives from sword art. BUT O'SENSEI LATER CHANGED THE WORD FOR THIS POWER TO KOKYU-RYOKU"
Now after that I searched a bit about "Hiriki" and it was in fact once used quite common in sword art(although it seems to be not widely used today), today it is still commonly used in bow art. No wonder, how to use the elbow would be crucial for bow arts. Hiriki would be rather better understood not as a kind of power but it rather refers to how to use the elbow. Now someone who has the experience of suburi or to cut with the sword or to hit for example the tree with the bokken,would acknowledge that in transmitting power, the use of the elbow would be crucial to transmit the gathered power of the hole body movement, in other word you focus the power with the use of the elbow and transmit it to a point of the sword where you hit, cut the sword.
The basic standing posture (Kamae) in Yoshinkan is the equivalent of Seigan no Kamae of kenjutsu and kendo, without a sword.Now every Yoshikan practitioner knows that from the basic standing posture to Kihondosa to all the basic techniques, that it is designed to enhance this power( power from the ground which you transmit through your body to the sword, good maneuvering of the sword means also how to control this power).This power seems to be first called "elbow power" during the Kobukan era after that renamed by Oosensei to "Kokyu power".
OR DID O'SENSEI MEANT ANOTHER POWER?
So we in Yoshinkan do all the basic movements, waza to enhance this power which derived from sword movements and what we call now "Kokyu power"…..WITHOUT GETTING ANY INSTRUCTION HOW TO BREEZE!!!! That is STRANGE!!!
Such questions come of course in mind to every practitioner. I've asked several shihan what would be the best method to breath, after all we are trying to enhance Kokyu power. The answer was always the same, breezing follows natural movement, we should not engage in an unnatural breezing method and damage our natural body movement.I suspected for a while that Kancho sensei was hiding some breathing methods as secret ,but after hearing his explanation or reading it ,I've felt that Kancho sensei seems to have felt also some difficulties with this word so he tried to explain it in other term"Chushin-ryoku(Central power build by the formation of a strong central axis), "Shuchu-ryoku(Concentrational power or concentrated power through the central axis),and so on.And we were proud of it.In Yoshinkan everything was explained down to earth. I thought for a long time that what I've saw in the demonstration of Kancho sensei, his explosive sharp power with the very high level "Aiki" technique, which amazed some Daito-ryu masters, that combined must be something what Ueshiba sensei was calling "Kokyu-ryoku". Now I see things different. That was an internal power derived from the sword school PLUS "Aiki" skills.
I have never heard other aikido schools which used the term "Hiriki", so that was also what I wanted to discuss in this thread but I've found a Daito-ryu school that used the term, that was Sagawa dojo.
Now I think that there is a possibility that during the Kobukan era the terminology of Ueshiba's arts was in transition from a Daito-ryu based terminology to a another terminology using "Kokyu" and "Ki". Maybe "Aiki" in the term of Daito-ryu came also in disuse during this period. Anyway, there was something going on.
No Japanese martial art before aikido used the word Kokyu-ryoku to express its power, No Japanese martial art used the word "KI" as a kind of energy flowing inside the body. IT WAS AIKIDO AND UESHIBA MORIHEI who used it for the first time.The use of "ki" was common in sword schools but it was always as intention (Go no sen, Sen no sen etc.). There are no koryu schools as far as I know that used breath methods to create their martial power. As Mr.Valadez theory of culture influences suggest all this knowledge of Ki and Kokyu was known but not USED as some method in the martial arts.

guest945984
04-24-2008, 01:30 AM
There are no koryu schools as far as I know that used breath methods to create their martial power.

From watching Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage Ryu, a koryu style of kenjutsu that Takeda Sokaku practiced, in that style at least, breathing methods feature quite prominently in their introductory kata, and at least to an outside eye, seem part an parcel of their approach to power generation.

Chris Covington could add more, I imagine.

--

Mark

Ron Tisdale
04-24-2008, 08:44 AM
Excellent topic, and timely, at that. I'm going to reread it again (especially Tomoo's posts) and comment later.

Best,
Ron

MM
04-24-2008, 09:00 AM
From watching Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage Ryu, a koryu style of kenjutsu that Takeda Sokaku practiced, in that style at least, breathing methods feature quite prominently in their introductory kata, and at least to an outside eye, seem part an parcel of their approach to power generation.

Chris Covington could add more, I imagine.

--

Mark

Hello Mark,
Yeah, I'm not at all sure about the koryu part. My guess is that there are some with "breathing" methods. But, for my interest in this topic, I was only concerned with Shioda's teaching and how it coincided with structure/aiki/whatever.

Thanks,
Mark

MM
04-24-2008, 09:12 AM
Excellent topic, and timely, at that. I'm going to reread it again (especially Tomoo's posts) and comment later.

Best,
Ron

It's amazing what a reread will do. :) Shioda, in his own way, I think, tried to get this stuff out there. Or at least explain it somewhat. As usual, the translation needed to be critically written, but without some knowledge of the subject (aiki), a translator would have a very hard time. I think if we're going to explore the possibilities that the Aikido giants did try to get this theory of aiki across, then we will have to undergo another version of translation -- this time with these core body skills in mind.


six basic movements of Yoshinkan are Hiriki no yosei 1,2 (enhancement of elbow power ,1 is for the "omote", and 2 is for the"ura" in other aikido schools), Tai no Henko 1,2 (step and change of the body,…maybe), Shumatsu-dosa (finishing movements).

Just what was being trained in these six? Tai no Henko is another name for sayo undo. And as we learned at Mike's workshop, there's a world of training in that one exercise. And it was interesting to read that Shumatsu-dosa was done as a relaxation method at the end of training with Ueshiba?

I don't think the problem is in finding information. I think the problem is sifting through the large piles of information out there and putting the pieces together. :)

Mark

Mike Sigman
04-24-2008, 10:58 AM
Shioda wrote:
Ki as it is manifested in the performance of techniques is what we have when the components of correct posture, center line, breathing, the explosive power of focused energy, timing, etc., come together so that we reach the highest state of perfect balance. It might be said that "ki" is the "the mastery of balance.Just to throw in my 2 cents and opinions. I don't trust the Shioda books as being truly, accurately representative of Shioda's thoughts. His books were, as I understand it, compiled by his students using their notes and remembrances and their takes on what they thought he said. If that's true, that would explain to me why Shioda's physical performances appeared to be on one level of movement/skills and why the books are so murky and full of people moving like robots (just a joke, folks).

Tohei's approach to ki/kokyu power is pretty good and logical, although I don't think he's as clear/explicative as he should be if he's going to start a whole style based on "ki". Shioda's use of those same basic skills shows a variation that is more practically aimed at the kokyu and aiki development side. They're just facets of the same basic jewel.

I haven't seen as much Yoshinkan as I've seen Ki-Society, but it would be interesting to watch the Yosh guys get a little less rigid and a little more ki. ;)

Best.

Mike

gdandscompserv
04-24-2008, 11:50 AM
When doing any movement, the spine must be kept aligned straight between the feet. The upper body should not sway the spine, twist the spine, or turn the spine from *outside* that alignment. (Okay, I'm sure there are exceptions and such. But, in regards to my training and my experiences, I'm going from a beginner's perspective.) Doesn't mean you can't twist and turn -- just don't do it such that the spine is contorted out of that correct posture/alignment. If I had to describe chushin ryoku, I'd probably say it is the power derived from correct spinal alignment. That seems better than just center power.
Mark,
Could you please explain proper spinal alignment in regards to shiko (sumo stomps)?

David Yap
04-29-2010, 12:18 PM
What happen to this thread? It vapourised and conveniently forgotten:confused:

Rabih Shanshiry
04-29-2010, 12:44 PM
I recently came across this clip of a prominent Yoshinkan Shihan (Ando Sensei) demonstrating one of the six basic movements that are core to the Yoshinkan training method. I was wondering if there are any internal skills being displayed here or not:

http://www.onlinedojo.jp/eng/private/video.aspx?vno=872
Notice uke's reaction at 0:29, 1:00, and especially 1:30.

Perhaps someone with a trained eye could share their opinion?

JW
04-29-2010, 11:54 PM
Thanks for the thread resurrection, David.

Some folks seem sure (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=248995&postcount=22) that Shioda wrote his books.. but since it is internet post vs internet post, I still wonder.

Regarding terminology and concepts and different aikido styles.. this book (http://www.amazon.com/Center-Power-Aikido-Ron-Meyer/dp/158394012X), from Ikeda students, seems to refer to Chushin ryoku from a non-yoshinkan source (I'm talking about the title and kanji on cover).

Mark M, it would be interesting to hear how your outlook may have changed in the time since you started this thread. Still think A and B are a prereq for C? I'm starting to wonder if it is the other way around sometimes. Probably they all depend on each other rather than being true prereqs.

AllanF
04-30-2010, 12:48 AM
Interesting read. Mark M I would also be interested in knowing how your perspective has changed or not as the case maybe since your original post. Elbow power is also something that is used in ICMA. As for the elbow having no power as in the article i would have to say that i find the opposite is true, it is an easy place to concentrate power.

AllanF
04-30-2010, 01:17 AM
It must be noted of course that the shoulder must be relaxed and dropped for the elbow power to be effective. And that the shoulder in turn must be connected to the opposite waist.

David Yap
04-30-2010, 01:41 AM
...I haven't seen as much Yoshinkan as I've seen Ki-Society, but it would be interesting to watch the Yosh guys get a little less rigid and a little more ki.

I have seen Inoue hanshi and Chida shihan in action without the standard Yoshinkan kamae. Static in shizendai (natural posture), they could throw the uke effortlessly with a flip of the hand. They could have been easily mistaken for being Aikikai shihans.

David Y

Ron Tisdale
04-30-2010, 07:15 AM
Agreed David.

Best,
Ron

MM
04-30-2010, 07:18 AM
Mark M, it would be interesting to hear how your outlook may have changed in the time since you started this thread. Still think A and B are a prereq for C? I'm starting to wonder if it is the other way around sometimes. Probably they all depend on each other rather than being true prereqs.

Interesting read. Mark M I would also be interested in knowing how your perspective has changed or not as the case maybe since your original post. Elbow power is also something that is used in ICMA. As for the elbow having no power as in the article i would have to say that i find the opposite is true, it is an easy place to concentrate power.

Hello,

I'll start with a quick answer. Are A and B prereqs to C? Considering that to have A and B, one must have a structured body, then yes. What good is breath power if the body's structure has slack, can't properly receive energy, and can't deliver power through A or B? If you can't physically keep a structured body to deliver center line power, how are you going to do that with breath?

As for Chushin-ryoku and Shuchu-ryoku ...


"Chushin-ryoku(Central power build by the formation of a strong central axis), "Shuchu-ryoku(Concentrational power or concentrated power through the central axis)

So, Chushin-ryoku is concerned with a central axis (spine) and power somehow generated from or around that.

Seems someone else mentioned "central axis" with regards to internal training. Note, though, that there is an added "pivoting" to it.


You got the points of working on intent; paired and solo. Initial opposing force; up/down/ in /out. Central axis pivoting, and winding, then felt its use in spiraling and support.
Cheers
Dan

Then, we find that Hisa also noted about training in a central axis pivot while walking. Dan coined the term, Central Pivot, to define some of this action. The upper body (from shoulders all the way down to the "V" of the crotch) rotating freely around the spine while the hips are kept forward.


Hisa who trained with Takeda and Ueshiba
"I practiced all the time, even walking through the crowded street learning to turn the shoulders"
Hint-he was learning to keep the hips aligned and pivoting from the waist while maintaining an upper / lower body connection (something which involves a central pivot, which I have never seen done well in any modern aikidoka I know)

Cheers
Dan

And then, we come to a great example of how to imagine the power that can be derived from this kind of training ...


An explanation I gave a long time ago
Imagine there is a thick pole in the ground rising vertically, with a peg stuck through it at chest height.
Imagine I told you to hold on to the arms of the peg.
Imagine the pole is a drive shaft stuck into an engine below the floor you couldn't have seen.
Imagine me turning it on
Imagine you in the hospital with two broken arms and a concussion from where you landed on your head.
Imagine me asking you to do it again
Imagine the peg now has two arms welded to it with boxing gloves.
Imagine the drive shaft through the floor is now a 300 horsepower washing machine agitator
Imagine me turning it on
Imagine you in the hospital with a broken -everything.
Since the agitator destroyed your bones with power, do you think it lost its balance and had to take Ukemi? Do you think it lost a degree of force delivery and bounced back?

People are usually a "mess in motion," loose sacks of grain that in various ways bleed out energy all over the place. With so much slack, or worse so much tension in movement that they loose or dissipate the greater portion of their power before it is delivered.

Now
Imagine a door with a pivot in the middle
If you push on the left you get slammed from the right as you fell into the negative "hole" from the door freely spinning.
Imagine pushing very hard and fast.
Imagine getting out of the hospital and me asking you to do it again
This time the door has a big silver ball bearing in the middle supported at a 45 degree angle off the floor from the back
Imagine pushing on any part of the freewheeling door and getting slammed from the others corner or side.

Imagine getting out of the hospital and me asking you to do it again
Now
Imagine the door...with a free will and mind of its own, vectoring and moving with you and coming after you.

The only thing left to do is ask whether or not you know someone who knows a way to make your body capable of absorbing and delivering power in that manner.

Everything up to this point is pretty much covering Chushin-ryoku. Something that takes a lot of training to build within the body.

I've been dedicated to Internal Training for 2.5 years out of a total of 3 (I tried to blend "regular" aikido training and internal training for 1/2 year -- it didn't work for me) and I still have major trouble with Chushin-ryoku.

So, keeping all the above in mind, especially the last example given by Dan about the power generated by this principle and then read the below quote.

http://books.google.com/books?id=1jofOYKrMM8C&pg=PA15&lpg=PA15&dq=SHUCHU+RYOKU&source=bl&ots=58vbQKqelK&sig=zAHfVHjkJ8_XTxIkz8NpIXUmpZc&hl=en&ei=D7naS8GjLcH-8Ab6k6VS&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CA0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=SHUCHU%20RYOKU&f=false


If the whole body is integrated as it moves, its power will be the power of the focused center line concentrated into one point. To put it another way, shuchu-ryoku is chushin-ryoku at its extreme.


Imagine the power of Chushin-ryoku focused and concentrated into one point -- say an atemi. :) Very, very powerful.

AllanF
04-30-2010, 10:46 PM
Great post Mark much appreciated. I'll have to reread my copy of Total aikido.

Hong Junsheng also states as much in his book on Chen taiji. (I believe you have a copy of the English version) I like and agree with the examples given by Dan though i also feel that rather than a single pivot there is actual a second one so that the body can respond vertically as well. I mean that the body becomes a ball so that if you push down you are hit from above if you push up you are hit from below etc.

DH
05-01-2010, 10:28 AM
Central pivot is just part of "first step" model allowing people to identify and retrain their bodies. I expand on that with exercises to free up the waist from the hips. These are part of a series of martial movement rewiring drills that we do along side of IP training. As the mind / body connection grows, it leads to more advanced training later on. When the internal and external match and move together it becomes a very potent mix.
As far as pivoting goes; producing dual supported spiral paths through your center makes any idea of pivoting axiomatic. They exist everywhere, instantly and reverse at will.
Dan

Michael Varin
05-01-2010, 12:46 PM
Oh, no. . .

Not the "Driveshaft" post again. ;)

Lorel Latorilla
05-01-2010, 03:59 PM
Oh, no. . .

Not the "Driveshaft" post again. ;)

Michael, what's wrong with the "driveshaft" post?

AllanF
05-01-2010, 09:17 PM
Central pivot is just part of "first step" model allowing people to identify and retrain their bodies. I expand on that with exercises to free up the waist from the hips. These are part of a series of martial movement rewiring drills that we do along side of IP training. As the mind / body connection grows, it leads to more advanced training later on. When the internal and external match and move together it becomes a very potent mix.
As far as pivoting goes; producing dual supported spiral paths through your center makes any idea of pivoting axiomatic. They exist everywhere, instantly and reverse at will.
Dan

I had thought that's what would happen, i am at the moment trying to "free up the waist from the hips" but thus far having some difficulties, though it is a work in progress. My problem is that my bloody hips keep wanting to move with the waist. Should the hips remain stationary? Or should they have some movement?

I had a thought which may or may not be relate to this topic, in regard to the hara/dan tian (please forgive any wrong use of Japanese terms as i am not 100% how they correspond to the Chinese). I had started a thread at another forum in regard to generating power from this area, in trying to create a loop going down from the front of the chest to the dantian then up the spine and out through the hands.

http://www.rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8843

phitruong
05-03-2010, 07:33 AM
Central pivot is just part of "first step" model allowing people to identify and retrain their bodies. I expand on that with exercises to free up the waist from the hips. These are part of a series of martial movement rewiring drills that we do along side of IP training. As the mind / body connection grows, it leads to more advanced training later on. When the internal and external match and move together it becomes a very potent mix.
As far as pivoting goes; producing dual supported spiral paths through your center makes any idea of pivoting axiomatic. They exist everywhere, instantly and reverse at will.
Dan

questions. according to chinese IP lore(s), one should keep shoulders and hips aligned when one moves, to free the waist from the hips, wouldn't that put shoulders and hips out of alignment? or am i missing something? or are you saying, at advance level, the shoulders and hips alignment isn't necessary? still sloshing through this IP mud, because i was thinking, if you free the waist from the hips, wouldn't that put a tremendous torque through the lower spine? where lots of your energy spent on lateral stabilization and force neutralization?

dual spirals, one up one down? or somewhere else?

DH
05-04-2010, 09:34 AM
questions. according to chinese IP lore(s), one should keep shoulders and hips aligned when one moves, to free the waist from the hips, wouldn't that put shoulders and hips out of alignment? or am i missing something? or are you saying, at advance level, the shoulders and hips alignment isn't necessary? still sloshing through this IP mud, because i was thinking, if you free the waist from the hips, wouldn't that put a tremendous torque through the lower spine? where lots of your energy spent on lateral stabilization and force neutralization?

dual spirals, one up one down? or somewhere else?

I've met men with power who move with hips and shoulder aligned, and those who move like I do with movement driven from opposing sides. I think you can guess which ones are more stable. IME, too many people get impressed with various power displays because they don't fully understand real time issues between trying to fight with IP/Aiki, V playtime in the park or dojo. Training I.P. is one thing; what it does to your body, and how you chose to MOVE with it and then to fight with it.......is a study of it's own.

Martial movement is NOT all the same. There are ways to move the body with weapons and without that are seamless and remain cogent, where adopting some other training I have seen would be a mistake.
Cheers
Dan

DH
05-04-2010, 10:07 AM
I had thought that's what would happen, i am at the moment trying to "free up the waist from the hips" but thus far having some difficulties, though it is a work in progress. My problem is that my bloody hips keep wanting to move with the waist. Should the hips remain stationary? Or should they have some movement?

I had a thought which may or may not be relate to this topic, in regard to the hara/dan tian (please forgive any wrong use of Japanese terms as i am not 100% how they correspond to the Chinese). I had started a thread at another forum in regard to generating power from this area, in trying to create a loop going down from the front of the chest to the dantian then up the spine and out through the hands.

http://www.rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8843

Hi Allen
I would say that " freeing the waist form the hips" is loaded comment that in and of itself..can be an entirely external endeavour that may not produce quite the end results you are looking for.
I m writing from my phone while fishing in S. C....more later
Dan

ChrisHein
05-04-2010, 11:17 AM
From reading Shioda, he calls what I said was Aiki, Kokyu-ryoku. And what the IP/IS crowd is calling Aiki, Shioda calls Shuchu-ryoku.

Seems that Shioda is saying that both are simply components of Aiki, that both are just parts and neither is the whole enchilada.

phitruong
05-04-2010, 01:08 PM
and those who move like I do with movement driven from opposing sides. I think you can guess which ones are more stable.
Dan

i have not met those (maybe i have but was blind) so i could not say. i don't know what i don't know which is a lot of not knowing of things unknown. i think i'll remain skeptical until i meet them. not the first time i have my point of view changed. those of you who moved like that please raise you hands so i can take note to run into you sometimes in the future. :)

AllanF
05-04-2010, 08:26 PM
Hi Allen
I would say that " freeing the waist form the hips" is loaded comment that in and of itself..can be an entirely external endeavour that may not produce quite the end results you are looking for.
I m writing from my phone while fishing in S. C....more later
Dan

Yeah i think at the moment the movement i'm generating is 90% external though i am trying to figure out ways to internalize it. Needless to say i not satisfied with it, but i will continue to experiment in order to improve.
Look forward to reading what you say.
Allan

Thomas Campbell
05-04-2010, 08:51 PM
Shioda considered from another perspective:

http://systemasweden.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-can-you-fight-when-you-can-barely.html

MM
05-05-2010, 12:49 PM
From reading Shioda, he calls what I said was Aiki, Kokyu-ryoku. And what the IP/IS crowd is calling Aiki, Shioda calls Shuchu-ryoku.


Ah, no. IMO, Chushin Ryoku, Shuchu Ryoku, and Kokyu Ryoku are sub components of aiki. They are specific physical parts that can be trained internally. You'd need all three and more (opposing sides, spirals, etc) to have aiki.

ChrisHein
05-05-2010, 11:07 PM
Heres the part you left off; didn't read?


Seems that Shioda is saying that both are simply components of Aiki, that both are just parts and neither is the whole enchilada.

Shuchu Ryoku, and Kokyu Ryoku are sub components of aiki.

I don't understand how that's opposed to what I said.


They are specific physical parts that can be trained internally.


How are you using the word internal? What do you mean by it?


You'd need all three and more ... to have aiki.

I don't understand how that's opposed to what I said.

Lorel Latorilla
05-06-2010, 03:06 AM
Heres the part you left off; didn't read?

I don't understand how that's opposed to what I said.

How are you using the word internal? What do you mean by it?

I don't understand how that's opposed to what I said.

Chris, the reason that Mark posted what he posted is probably because he believes he is coming from the "IP/IS Crowd" and that he just doesn't identify shuchu ryoku with 'aiki' (you generalized that ip/is peeps identify aiki with shuchu ryoku), but sees 'aiki' as a combination/interaction of chuushin ryoku, kokyu ryoku, and shuchu ryoku. You really need to make your brush-strokes smaller.

L

MM
05-06-2010, 07:13 AM
Pretty much, Lorel, yes. To add further, I don't think those three = aiki. I think those three are parts that help make up aiki, but not the only ones.

And let me make the disclaimer that I'm going by what I know now ...
as a beginner ... :)

It could be that what Shioda meant by chuushin ryoku, kokyu ryoku, and shuchu ryoku included opposing sides, spirals, etc. Hard to tell with the way the books and interviews are written.

MM
05-06-2010, 07:28 AM
Heres the part you left off; didn't read?

Seems that Shioda is saying that both are simply components of Aiki, that both are just parts and neither is the whole enchilada.



Shuchu Ryoku, and Kokyu Ryoku are sub components of aiki.


I don't understand how that's opposed to what I said.


From reading Shioda, he calls what I said was Aiki, Kokyu-ryoku.



Might just be me misreading what you posted... But, you wrote that you thought Shioda's Kokyu-ryoku= your view of aiki. I took your post that your view was
Kokyu-ryoku=aiki
and that Kokyu-ryoku/aiki=Chushin Ryoku + Shuchu Ryoku.

While my view is
aiki = Chushin Ryoku + Shuchu Ryoku + Kokyu Ryoku + opposite body + spirals + etc.

Quite a difference there.


How are you using the word internal? What do you mean by it?


That's where we (Aikiweb Community) have gone round and round about aiki and internal. We (both sides) have even tried to use video. I think at this point, the IHTBF applies. One other option is that if you (Aikiweb Community) can't get hands-on, then perhaps someone you know has done so?


I don't understand how that's opposed to what I said.

Hopefully, I clarified things.

niall
05-06-2010, 08:19 AM
My understanding is that kokyu ryoku is everything. If you can catch it aikido becomes so easy and so simple. Well that's what the top aikikai teachers used to say. So compared to that shuchu ryoku and chushin ryoku are just technical details and you know what they say about the small stuff.

Lift your arm, smile (optional) and throw. That's all.

DH
05-06-2010, 08:30 AM
I wouldn't add those things to my list for aiki, Mark. Shioda was pretty limited to that "one line" idea that (IME) vexes the majority of JMA- but he had "aiki" to a degree. I would never chose to move like him or (its by far, less efficient, and incomplete) but with other training in place...you still get aiki.
As I have said elsewhere- you can have IP/Aiki and still be vulnerable to good fighters with more efficient martial movement and understanding of the needs for combatives. In that regard I remain unimpressed with the martial movement of most people in the TMA- most notably ALL the Aiki based arts.
As it is with weapons...at a certain point I'm happy to leave most JMA people moving like they do - and both Daito Ryu ( mainline) and Aikido's "one line model" is at the top of the list;)
Dan

DH
05-06-2010, 09:37 AM
My understanding is that kokyu ryoku is everything. If you can catch it aikido becomes so easy and so simple. Well that's what the top aikikai teachers used to say. So compared to that shuchu ryoku and chushin ryoku are just technical details and you know what they say about the small stuff.

Lift your arm, smile (optional) and throw. That's all.
Kokyu ryoku does NOT come even close to covering everything enough to afford you the cavalier approach of "Lift your arm and throw." Ueshiba's movement displays a deeper understanding then that.
There are ways to train and then there are ways to train...then there are ways to use the results of that training that you will never learn from breath training alone. Thinking it does will limit your growth. More importantly-meeting someone more fully developed will see you stopped in your tracks. With more fully developed practice and understanding, you can get to a point where you would not be a "push over" -even for an expert. TJMA aiki movement with breath power will not get you there.
Dan

niall
05-06-2010, 10:11 AM
Dan what's your point? Mark mentioned kokyu ryoku and said he wasn't going to get into it. I clarified how some aikikai teachers saw it. O Sensei's aikido was kokyu ryoku. Well that's what he said. I'm not telling you how to do your training. Please do it how you think you will improve fastest and farthest. I didn't mention training or practice. I talked about aikido. If you don't think aikido is kokyu ryoku that's cool. Maybe you will one day.

DH
05-06-2010, 10:33 AM
Dan what's your point? Mark mentioned kokyu ryoku and said he wasn't going to get into it. I clarified how some aikikai teachers saw it. O Sensei's aikido was kokyu ryoku. Well that's what he said. I'm not telling you how to do your training. Please do it how you think you will improve fastest and farthest. I didn't mention training or practice. I talked about aikido. If you don't think aikido is kokyu ryoku that's cool. Maybe you will one day.
Mr. Matthews (I don't believe we have spoken before)
I'm only partially interested in what Ueshiba said. I learned a long time ago not to trust Asian teachers in what they say or do at face value. I am more interested in what they display. In Ueshiba's case-that was more in-depth than Kokyu ryoku alone. Mind you, I did not diminish breath power training. There is just a lot more to aiki than that.
If you, or anyone else, thinks Aikido-is only Kokyu ryoku..that's fine. Your opinion "Lift your arm and throw." will last about as long as your meeting someone who has a deeper understanding of these things -most likely outside of aikido.
I'm not trying to change your mind or argue with you. Enjoy your training. I am talking to others; who either now know better, or are beginning to understand there is more to it than that.
Cheers
Dan

Adam Huss
05-06-2010, 10:34 AM
I'm a pretty young aikidoka and by no means represent official stances of my teachers, but I have trained a little in Yoshinkan and Aikikai (AAA) styles of aikido and have some thoughts on these topics:

It seems that rather than focusing on esoteric concepts that are difficult for the average person to understand, Shioda sensei's focus was to include all the elements of these in specific ways in each kihon waza/dosa. Each kihon, whether dosa or waza, have specific footwork, upper body work, and breathing methods integrated into them in a specific, kata-like, way. Yoshinkan aikido was originally taught to police, military, government personnel...with very few instructors and large gymnasiums full of students. There wasn't enough instructors/time to explain and teach things so they just integrated it into each technique in a step-by-step manner. When one is getting to the 4-3rd kyu level they start working on many partner training exercises, like continuation drills, that help students develop fluidity.

Often my teacher would stop me and ask to point out shu chu ryoku, katameru, chusin ryoku, kyoku ryoku etc, of a technique I was doing. So rather than saying "extend you ki" one might say "keep both feet flat on the ground, push off your big toe, sink your hips, keep your elbows in" etc.

As for Ando Sensei doing hiriki no yosei ni...to oversimplify it, it seems (and I don't speak Japanese so I'm not sure) he was emphasizing the importance of sh'te keeping their elbows in and down...and moving from the hips with a properly aligned body posture, rather than lifting and muscling the arm up (around 25-27 seconds in he shows this muscling).

As for the comment about the uke...I won't comment on someone I don't know, but I've always been taught its disrespectful to be vocal (grunting and such) when uke as its like saying "look at me, I'm the one sensei is using as uke, not you, and his technique is strong!" which distracts the students from what is being taught. But that might be just me...I'm not one of those guys that think someone is wrong because they were taught something different than what I was/is.

Rabih Shanshiry
05-06-2010, 10:51 AM
The question how Shioda Kancho's terminology maps back to IS is an interesting and important one. But I find the question of whether his ability was passed on much more important.

I think most can agree that most Yoshinkan aikido is taught more as a jujutsu than as an "aiki"-do - especially at the lower ranks. Still, I have heard some speculation that the real stuff gets introduced at the higher dan levels. I have no idea whether that is true.

So my question is: does the current generation of Yoshinkan shihan exhibit any of Shioda's soft aiki power?

Would appreciate any insights into whether the following clips of these Yoshinkan Shihan demonstrate IS to any degree:

Chida Sensei
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf8BWdD4ioM
Focusing on 1:25 to 1:50

Ando Sensei
http://www.onlinedojo.jp/eng/private/video.aspx?vno=872
Focusing on 0:29, 1:00, and 1:30.

....rab

Adam Huss
05-06-2010, 10:58 AM
The kneeling techniques around 1:25 are called kokyu ho.

I'm not a master so I can't speak for them...and I don't know anything about the terminology relating to IS as its something I've never seen talked about in a dojo in those terms. Whether the concept is translated I can not speak intelligently about.

Rabih Shanshiry
05-06-2010, 11:04 AM
As for Ando Sensei doing hiriki no yosei ni...to oversimplify it, it seems (and I don't speak Japanese so I'm not sure) he was emphasizing the importance of sh'te keeping their elbows in and down...and moving from the hips with a properly aligned body posture, rather than lifting and muscling the arm up (around 25-27 seconds in he shows this muscling).

Thanks Adam - I agree with your observations. The question is whether there is also something internal going on there that Ando Sensei was demonstrating. One wouldn't normally expect such a small elbow movement to affect uke that much.

...rab

Adam Huss
05-06-2010, 11:24 AM
Oh ok, I think I know what you are talking about now. In reference to the elbow power...uke's physical reaction more has to do with how tight he is holding on. The tight uke hold's on, and the more energy he puts into grab, the more shite's movement will effect uke. I don't mean to speak of things you already know, but that's about the best way I can describe it. I can't speak of IS, but aligning shite's body correctly while doing the technique at the proper angles will seriously compromise uke's balance. That's pretty much how we explain it. Another unique thing about Yoshinkan aikido, that you may not be able to see in the vids, is that uke is almost always either pulling or pushing in grab techniques. Number 1 variations of basic grabbing attacks has uke pulling, while number 2 variations have uke pushing. This makes a pretty big difference in how the technique plays out...which may explain why there is so much movement (on uke's part) vice so little movement on shite's part and the rather static attacks in Yoshinkan aikido (ie we don't step forward in grabs...and only shuffle forward for most strikes).

ChrisHein
05-06-2010, 11:31 AM
Hey Mark,
I understand the confusion now. I also think that there are several components that make up "Aiki". If I had to over simplify it I would simply call it rhythm and timing (as in my video). I think that Shioda would simply call what I was describing "Kokyu Ryoku". I do think that Kokyu Ryoku, as described in Shioda's "Total Aikido" is the most important lesson in Aikido, but I also think that Shioda is saying it's only part of the puzzle.

The "It has to be felt" (IHTBF) argument. What Shioda is describing is very simple and straight forward, I think we can all come to an understanding and agree about what he is saying. I'm sorry if I am painting in broad strokes, but I don't feel we have hashed much out yet. Once we get the broad strokes filled in, we can get to the detail.

Also Mark, I'm sorry if I'm over simplifying your stand point. But the videos you showed, and most of what you and the IP/IS crowd is talking about seems, to me, to be focused on what Shioda is calling "Shuchu-Ryoku". Am I wrong in assuming that this is your main field of interest? And that this is what the majority of the videos you've shown are emphasizing?

DH
05-06-2010, 12:19 PM
Mr. Matthews (I don't believe we have spoken before)
I'm only partially interested in what Ueshiba said. I learned a long time ago not to trust Asian teachers in what they say or do at face value. I am more interested in what they display. In Ueshiba's case-that was more in-depth than Kokyu ryoku alone. Mind you, I did not diminish breath power training. There is just a lot more to aiki than that.
If you, or anyone else, thinks Aikido-is only Kokyu ryoku..that's fine. Your opinion "Lift your arm and throw." will last about as long as your meeting someone who has a deeper understanding of these things -most likely outside of aikido.
I'm not trying to change your mind or argue with you. Enjoy your training. I am talking to others; who either now know better, or are beginning to understand there is more to it than that.
Cheers
Dan
Follow up.
I think the above sounds to condescending. That wasn't my intent at all. Let me try it again

1. What they say versus what they do
I don't think we can ever go by what Asian teachers "say." Too many times their movements and actions do not align with what they say.
In Ueshiba's case his movements are far more revealing than the one liners he is noted for. Perhaps, one liners serve to create a legacy-the famous one liners you can be noted for, but they certainly do not lead to a road map of what to do. In fact often times they leave conflicting information and understanding in your wake.

2. Our own one liners
In the same way "Lift your arm and throw" can be a powerful statement of what happens after you have built a conditioned body or just more inane teaching that we have all been part of. That's why I say some of these comments and one liners are loaded. Does that make better sense?

3. Leaving people be to train as they will.
For the last part, I don't think it is conducive to the discussion to argue about it on an internet forum and make enemies. As so many have pointed out- it is too difficult to lay out the training, and the effects of IP/Aiki in written terms- when one meeting resolves the debate points, and everyone moves forward in the discussion from there. The difficulties of laying it out in written form is being noted by the very people training this way. It's why so many have said "You have to feel it." I am trying to avoid arguing about it anymore and instead just leaving people to train the way they will until they meet someone training this way. It seems that after that a different type of discussion takes place.
On a personal note, one thing I struggle with (and other Aikido and Daito ryu teachers training this way do as well) is now knowing that this is indeed a superior way to train over just doing waza and struggling through the aiki arts hoping for those nights where things "click."

4. Why Kokyu is not enough
Training without the benefit of both the prerequisite body conditioning to create an aiki body-and then the training in martial movement to allow IP/aiki to express itself more fully can take decades and one may still never really get it.
A case in point is Kokyu Ryoku. Kokyu will indeed connect your body in powerful ways. It is not going to teach most people how to use their hara in some very advantagous ways. It is also not going to resolve; a more full understanding of the effects of intent- on your body and the opponents, one side weighted issues, double weightedness, certain openings or weak moments when power is simply not enough (either absorbing or casting away) the ability to make change (alter what the opponent may be doing in fluid motion) the ability to soften the hips and shoulders and use the body in very potent continuos spiraling that people have one hell of a time getting in on before they themselves are thrown or trapped and hit, learning how to use the upper and lower body to effectively use both large and small weapons and also do unarmed work as a seamless "whole" that is more or less unimpeded or interrupted by an opponents efforts. This works without you continually having to try to do things -to- them. As a systematic way to train the body this can be devestatingly effective in more fluid and stressful martial movement; away from one or two step, katas.
And those are just a sampling of pertinent issues one could face with a broader over arching view of martial arts and martial movement, and Kokyu-ryoku does not begin to cover those problems.

I am stating that Ueshiba knew this and showed it in his own movements irrespective of his famous one liners.
I hope that helps understands my view more clearly.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
05-06-2010, 12:52 PM
. It is also not going to resolve; a more full understanding of the effects of intent- on your body and the opponents, one side weighted issues, double weightedness, ....Chen Xiaowang had a famous saying about this that sorta says "If that's all there was to it, why would we make a big deal out of it? Anyone could do it."

FWIW

Mike Sigman

niall
05-06-2010, 10:03 PM
Thank you for that more gentle response, Dan.

I think there is room for many approaches and none of them is necessarily the only correct one.

My teachers - Kinjo Asoh who was 7th dan when he died and Sadateru Arikawa who was 9th dan when he died - were both direct students of O Sensei. Following his teachings they emphasized kokyu ryoku as being the (not an) essential element of aikido - the thing we have to catch at all costs. There is no short cut - the way to get it is through many years of sincere training. Perhaps in the Yoshinkan tradition kokyu ryoku has a more specialized and limited technical meaning.

aikilouis
05-08-2010, 04:09 AM
Follow up.
I think the above sounds to condescending. That wasn't my intent at all. Let me try it again
It's okay, after a while one gets used to the general tone of your posts.

1. What they say versus what they do
I don't think we can ever go by what Asian teachers "say." Too many times their movements and actions do not align with what they say.
In Ueshiba's case his movements are far more revealing than the one liners he is noted for. Perhaps, one liners serve to create a legacy-the famous one liners you can be noted for, but they certainly do not lead to a road map of what to do. In fact often times they leave conflicting information and understanding in your wake.
I find it unfair to blame the use of pieces of sentences taken out of their context by students of a teacher who was notorious for his long, complex explanations. I don't buy the idea that O Sensei blew smoke in the face of his students for hours for no reason.

I agree that the maxims and douka found in many aikido books are not very helpful (if at all). However, I know of at least one shihan who systematically recorded his conversations with the Founder on tape (then he learned them by heart). How he used the information is another matter, but at least he was provided with the complete message and the context that came with it.

DH
05-08-2010, 08:01 AM
I find it unfair to blame the use of pieces of sentences taken out of their context by students of a teacher who was notorious for his long, complex explanations. I don't buy the idea that O Sensei blew smoke in the face of his students for hours for no reason.
Actually, the internviews state that none of them understood those lectures. I think Stan Pranin and later, Peter Goldsbury covered their lack of understanding of his lectures fairly well. Considering that the majority of the famous prewar students only studied with him for 6 to 8 years, and they were usually young men, it is understandable. The fact that none of them displayed his power throughout their life is further proof that they never captured an understanding of his skill. So we can wonder just what they missed, and if his long explanations would have been any help at all.
Personally, I have found explanations without hands on instruction almost meaningless, but if you consistently see large numbers of students who never captured, equaled or surpassed what the teacher is doing then that is rather telling of a problem or disconnect in the teacher / student model. If a disconnect is consistent among a large number of students from a single source, I would look to that teacher. We have to couple that with the documented fact that post war modern aikido is Tohei / Kissomaru based and not the founder.
Dan

niall
05-08-2010, 11:57 AM
...if you consistently see large numbers of students who never captured, equaled or surpassed what the teacher is doing then that is rather telling of a problem or disconnect in the teacher/student model

Dan and I have disagreed about a couple of points in this thread but in a gentle and harmonious little coincidence before he made this perceptive comment I talked about surpassing our teachers in a blog post earlier today.

I deliberately didn't talk about O Sensei and any of his deshi because I was talking in a general sense about teachers and students. But hey, we don't need to be afraid of it. However much of a genius O Sensei was it is not reasonable or desirable that his aikido should be the end of the story. There's an inscription on a British £2 coin: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. It's a quotation from Isaac Newton: "If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

dps
05-08-2010, 03:04 PM
The fact that none of them displayed his power throughout their life is further proof that they never captured an understanding of his skill.

Really, is this an assumption? How would you prove this?

David

Eric Joyce
05-08-2010, 04:15 PM
Shioda was pretty limited to that "one line" idea that (IME) vexes the majority of JMA- but he had "aiki" to a degree. I would never chose to move like him or (its by far, less efficient, and incomplete) but with other training in place...you still get aiki.

Dan,

Maybe I am misreading your statement here, but in many of your posts on aiki, you have stated that Shioda had aiki. Now, you are saying he had aiki to a degree. How can you say what he had/didn't have when you haven't touched hands with the man? Not trying to be a wise ass, just looking for consistancy. This question is not meant to be hostile, just trying to learn about this stuff by research, examples and of course my own practice with others.

Jeremy Hulley
05-08-2010, 05:35 PM
Hey David,

Who has got it of Ueshibs's students?

Got my fire suit and popcorn..

Mike Sigman
05-08-2010, 05:50 PM
Isn't this getting into sorta "well, as I heard it..." stuff? I know Yamada went out in NYC and tried on some tough guys and has some scars to show for it. Shioda supposedly took on (with another guy) a bunch of Yakuza. Who, doing the sceptical stuff, has got better credentials on (a.) what they've personally done other than with stooges and (b.) has better hands-on information about what Ueshiba's students ever did?

In my time in martial-arts, I've seen few really great fighters attempt to establish their own reputations by tearing others' down. Usually the people who do that sort of stuff are fairly easily marked for what they are. I don't mind good anecdotes in which something useful can be learned (don't get me wrong), but the mark of the lower-level martial-arts is this constant sort of put-down of other people. I.e., let's move on.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
05-08-2010, 07:32 PM
Dan,

Maybe I am misreading your statement here, but in many of your posts on aiki, you have stated that Shioda had aiki. Now, you are saying he had aiki to a degree. How can you say what he had/didn't have when you haven't touched hands with the man? Not trying to be a wise ass, just looking for consistancy. This question is not meant to be hostile, just trying to learn about this stuff by research, examples and of course my own practice with others.
Eric
There is no hostility needed-we can agee or disagree on a body of work without emotion. I'm not goingg to get upset if you disagree with me over a hobby.
I look at all of this like a better way to work. If someone shows up on a job site with a better tool and method to cut wood-the carpenters there would not have an ego or vested interest in their previous method holding them back from working more efficiently and making a better living! I have seen it happen where entire crews change on the spot and/or buy knew equipment.

Budo should be the same way. Movement is movement. There are things you can see in interaction and movement. Shioda had many positive attributes in movement. He was clearly not troubled by many of the issues that plague many in the aiki arts when he was stressed with weight or pulled. All-in-all I think his skills were obvious and set hm apart from others of Ueshiba's students. That he chose the one-line model (many Japanese did) when it was clear he didn't have to was a choice he made. It can be powerful even for those moving externally -as long as they maintain that line- or they can get caught and be off-lined rather easily. For that reason timing and footwork has to take over to avoid the structural openings or weaknesses that type of movement can cause.

Shioda is an interesting study in that he trained in Aikido and Daito ryu. He clearly has aiki and he combines movement prevalent in some schools of Daito ryu yet retains movement seen in Aikido. Interestingly enough Hisa (who trained in both arts) did not retain much of the Aikido model but opted for more of the Daito ryu model. When you look at schools of Daito ryu you will see the same thing with some schools still retaining that one-line model and others moving from center and generating power quite differently.

Koryu is the same way. There are certain arts that move with large weapons and have handled that demand (certain schools more than others) by adopting certain modalities because it was quite simply a more efficient way to get the job done. Not by coincidence those patterns of movements are not typically seen in many of the modern arts-in particular the unarmed ones. Take the weapons out of the hands of certain arts adepts and you will find some very powerful, centered movement. Add some other training into the mix and you would see even more powerful movement...now supported on all sides.

IME, it is mistake to think that all "movement" and all methods are equal and some guys are just more powerful than others. There are more efficient ways to move; externally and internally and fighting with it or not, is a different topic all together.
Cheers
Dan

Rabih Shanshiry
05-08-2010, 09:09 PM
That he chose the one-line model (many Japanese did) when it was clear he didn't have to was a choice he made.

Dan,

Could you explain what the "one-line model" is and provide an example of another model by way of contrast? I'd like to understand this concept better.

Thanks,
...rab

DH
05-08-2010, 09:36 PM
Dan,

Could you explain what the "one-line model" is and provide an example of another model by way of contrast? I'd like to understand this concept better.

Thanks,
...rab
Why not come down and see the newly renovated Barn/ dojo. It'll knock your socks off. Brand new top to bottom; Mahogany, black walnut, cedars and poplars, Aged copper panel, paper and stone and new Swain mats,.
And then I will show you first hand
Dan

niall
05-08-2010, 09:45 PM
Shioda is an interesting study in that he trained in Aikido and Daito ryu. He clearly has aiki...

Now I see what happened, Dan - it looks like our earlier misunderstanding really was about terminology. What you call aiki is what is called kokyu ryoku in Japanese (Chris suggested earlier that that was how Shioda Sensei used the term too). If you substitute aiki for kokyu ryoku in my posts you probably wouldn't feel the need to be so critical. Aiki as something you have isn't normally used in Japanese.

It was used once though as the title of a movie...

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/ff20021204a3.html

This is a good movie in fact. Maybe the only movie that has treated budo at all realistically. The DVD has English subtitles. It's kind of a grittty, dark and realistic story of triumph over adversity. There is some footage of Seigo Okamoto Sensei of Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai over the final credits. This is an interview with the Danish budoka Ole Kingston Jensen whose impressive story was the original model for the movie.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=293

DH
05-08-2010, 10:15 PM
.... What you call aiki is what is called kokyu ryoku in Japanese (Chris suggested earlier that that was how Shioda Sensei used the term too). If you substitute aiki for kokyu ryoku in my posts you probably wouldn't feel the need to be so critical.
It's always a bit difficult talking terms. You can use a term and it has an applied meaning that may or may not be correct in the Yoshinkan. In either case that may be completetly different from what I am referrring to.

1. What does your Kokyu training do to you?
2. What does it do to the person touching you?

Is Kokyu everything? You said your teachers "Told you to pursue it at all costs" or somethig like that.
3. What will kokyu NOT do to your body?
4. What will Kokyu NOT do to the person touching you?

Teaching that breath power is all and aiki is kokyu-ryoku is your training model, not mine. No harm no foul. Breath power is an important componant, but there is much more on the way to creating an aiki body and controlling what people do to you...outside of kata...through the pursuit of a trained mind/body connection and use. And at every step of the way-the more conditioned the body becomes...aiki happens. And even then there are ways to train that and use it that are not all the same or equally efficient.

Aiki as something you have isn't normally used in Japanese.
IMO, aiki.... a joining of energy, begins with the joining of opposing energies held within the body to create a zero balance or central equilibrium in the body, a state of being that creates aiki on contact, instead of always doing things to people- you change you. And as far as that not being normal in the Japanese arts go- I learned that from within...a Japanese art. And there are other Koryu that have similar ideas as well in various forms.

Cheers
Dan

Michael Varin
05-08-2010, 10:26 PM
We have to couple that with the documented fact that post war modern aikido is Tohei / Kissomaru based and not the founder.

Eeeehnt! Wrong.

DH
05-08-2010, 10:28 PM
Eeeehnt! Wrong.
We have Stans research based on interviews with all the big guns and his cross referrencing......and yours.
I think I'll stick with Stan.
Dan

Michael Varin
05-08-2010, 10:28 PM
Aiki as something you have isn't normally used in Japanese.

Thank you for pointing this out.

This has bothered me for the some time now.

It is directly related to the incorrect way they use the term aiki.

Michael Varin
05-08-2010, 10:33 PM
We have Stans research based on interviews with all the big guns and his cross referrencing......and yours.
I think I'll stick with Stan.

Stan Pranin is awesome. I'll go with his research too.

But he wouldn't leave Saito off of that list.

DH
05-08-2010, 10:43 PM
Stan Pranin is awesome. I'll go with his research too.

But he wouldn't leave Saito off of that list.
Percentagewise, Saito did not have near the same influence on disseminating the art and the teaching that was going on from hombu as Tohei and Kissomaru. They were the predominate forces. Even then Tohei was the technical figure- compared to the later Kissomaru.
Dan

DH
05-08-2010, 10:52 PM
Niall Matthews wrote:
Aiki as something you have isn't normally used in Japanese.
Thank you for pointing this out.

This has bothered me for the some time now.

It is directly related to the incorrect way they use the term aiki.
Or we could say...It is the reason most people in the aiki arts talk so much about not being able to actually do aiki with any serious resistance or in freestyle fighting.

Or I could ask why is it that an ever increasing number of your arts teachers are switching to this older model and way of thinking once they feel it-and not your own? That's their assessment of things and not ours.

I am doing another seminar on aiki with a few shihan and several teachers from; Daito ryu, aikido (several different branches of aikido) Karate and koryu coming. So I could ask you:
Why are these seminars attended by these people repeatedly?
You might want to consider that there is a very strong chance that something is afoot that you are unaware of or know little about, that an ever increasing number of teachers are considering essential to their careers in budo. Just ask them.
Or maybe not, its all good
Good luck in your training
Dan

oisin bourke
05-09-2010, 12:04 AM
Eric

I look at all of this like a better way to work. If someone shows up on a job site with a better tool and method to cut wood-the carpenters there would not have an ego or vested interest in their previous method holding them back from working more efficiently and making a better living! I have seen it happen where entire crews change on the spot and/or buy knew equipment.

Budo should be the same way. Movement is movement. There are things you can see in interaction and movement.

IME, it is mistake to think that all "movement" and all methods are equal and some guys are just more powerful than others. There are more efficient ways to move; externally and internally and fighting with it or not, is a different topic all together.
Cheers
Dan

While it's fine for people to follow this line of thinking, I think it oversimplifies the value of learning the traditional arts. There's so much more going on in these arts than "efficient movement".

I think of a Jazz saxophone player listening to a shakuhachi player and dismissing it on the grounds that it wouldn't "work"
in the Blue Note on a Saturday night. You're judging something based on criteria that it was never meant to be judged on.

A huge number of traditional skills/bodies of knowledge have been wiped out across Europe over the past few centuries because they weren't "efficient"and we're all the poorer for it now.

Dismissing traditional traditional modes of learning/transmission merely because they're inconvenient to our current lifestyles is shortsighted IMO.

niall
05-09-2010, 12:18 AM
1. What does your Kokyu [ryoku] training do to you?
2. What does it do to the person touching you?

Is Kokyu everything? You said your teachers "Told you to pursue it at all costs" or somethig like that.

3. What will kokyu [ryoku] NOT do to your body?
4. What will Kokyu [ryoku] NOT do to the person touching you?

Teaching that breath power is all and aiki is kokyu-ryoku is your training model, not mine.

Dan thanks for that clear and reasoned comment and your interesting questions. I would suggest that you substitute your term aiki for kokyu ryoku and you will have your own answers. Yes I think kokyu ryoku is everything - is aiki everything for you? Looks like we might be saying the same thing.

With regard to training models catching/finding/developing kokyu ryoku (aiki in your vocabulary) is the goal, not the method, of training. There's no easy way to get it. The only way I know is through many years of hard sincere training and shugyo.

Have any of your teachers in Japanese budo used the word aiki? As I said it's not a word normally used in Japanese. I have never heard it used outside that movie! Maybe after O Sensei used the words kokyu ryoku people in other ryuha were reluctant to use the same term?!

But I'm quite happy to give you specific answers to your.questions (I am using the term kokyu ryoku, not kokyu).

1.If you can get kokyu ryoku (aiki...) everything becomes very easy. You don't think about body movement or the attack or what to do. You just do it. As I said in an earlier post - lifting your arm - without consciousness (mushin) - might be all.

2.The person touching you feels a powerful irresistible force and becomes helpless - almost like a marionette - BUT it feels wonderful for them too. It isn't intimidating or harmful. They follow the irresistible energy also because they want to (even if they don't realize that).

3.Sorry I don't understand this question. Kokyu ryoku when you get it is the same as breathing - what can breathing NOT do to your body?

4.Going on from question 2 kokyu ryoku will NOT give the person touching you any feeling of aggression, any pain, any harm or any negative feelings. Following on from that it will not cause destruction or any damage.

Let me ask and answer one final question that perhaps you hadn't considered.

5.What does kokyu ryoku do to the people watching.

The air changes. It seems to get clearer and purer like at the top of a mountain. I was the uke for Sadateru Arikawa Sensei (one of the world's foremost budoka) for more than ten years. At those times there was a sharp tension in the air. The watching students realized that something special - incredible even - was happening.

Here are a couple of links to short biographies of Arikawa Sensei - and he is also mentioned in these forums. The French one is more comprehensive.

http://www.aikicam.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=248&Itemid=56

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=518

I'll go into what kokyu ryoku is in some more detail and as simply as I can in a blog post one of these days. Thank you.

DH
05-09-2010, 12:42 AM
While it's fine for people to follow this line of thinking, I think it oversimplifies the value of learning the traditional arts. There's so much more going on in these arts than "efficient movement".

I think of a Jazz saxophone player listening to a shakuhachi player and dismissing it on the grounds that it wouldn't "work"
in the Blue Note on a Saturday night. You're judging something based on criteria that it was never meant to be judged on.

A huge number of traditional skills/bodies of knowledge have been wiped out across Europe over the past few centuries because they weren't "efficient"and we're all the poorer for it now.

Dismissing traditional traditional modes of learning/transmission merely because they're inconvenient to our current lifestyles is shortsighted IMO.
That's interesting
This has nothing to do with altering the traditional arts. You are offering an opinion about a method. .Do you understand what I and others are discussing?
I have read this type of criticism on another forum. I am guessing, and truly only guessing that this type of critique comes from a presumption that we are teaching newbies and influencing them. This is a false assumption. The majority of people training this way are teachers or people with many years in the arts, all more than capable of making decisions on their own. As I stated above many are senior level teachers, some experts in their own right so some of the fears sound overwrought and generally do not address the realty of the training going on. I would very much enjoy hearing why you think it is harmful to any tradition. Seriously.
Here are a few questions of interest.

1. What does it have to do with learning/altering the traditional arts?
2. How is it harmful? In what way?
3. How is it changing the tradition in your view?
4. Do you suppose that of the hundreds of people now training this way-they want to quit/ alter/ make a fuss in some way? Instead they make positive comments about the effect on their training.

I teach teachers (for the most part)
5. Are you supposing men who have been in the arts for three, four and five decades are not capable of making decisions about their own training and traditions?
6. Have you spoken with them? What have they told you? Who are they?
7. SInce they comprise teachers of Koryu, hundreds of years old, teachers up to Shihan in Aikido, teachers of Daito ryu, teachers of traditional Karate,....what would you say to them about this training effecting their traditions?
FWIW, I am member of koryu myself, hundreds of years old, other members of which who train this way read these pages.
8. What would you say to us about this training and our ability to make decisions affecting our own tradition that we have not considered ourselves?

Thank you for any thoughts
Dan

oisin bourke
05-09-2010, 01:51 AM
That's interesting
This has nothing to do with altering the traditional arts. You are offering an opinion about a method. .Do you understand what I and others are discussing?
I have read this type of criticism on another forum. I am guessing, and truly only guessing that this type of critique comes from a presumption that we are teaching newbies and influencing them. This is a false assumption. The majority of people training this way are teachers or people with many years in the arts, all more than capable of making decisions on their own. As I stated above many are senior level teachers, some experts in their own right so some of the fears sound overwrought and generally do not address the realty of the training going on. I would very much enjoy hearing why you think it is harmful to any tradition. Seriously.
Here are a few questions of interest.

1. What does it have to do with learning/altering the traditional arts?
2. How is it harmful? In what way?
3. How is it changing the tradition in your view?
4. Do you suppose that of the hundreds of people now training this way-they want to quit/ alter/ make a fuss in some way? Instead they make positive comments about the effect on their training.

I teach teachers (for the most part)
5. Are you supposing men who have been in the arts for three, four and five decades are not capable of making decisions about their own training and traditions?
6. Have you spoken with them? What have they told you? Who are they?
7. SInce they comprise teachers of Koryu, hundreds of years old, teachers up to Shihan in Aikido, teachers of Daito ryu, teachers of traditional Karate,....what would you say to them about this training effecting their traditions?
FWIW, I am member of koryu myself, hundreds of years old, other members of which who train this way read these pages.
8. What would you say to us about this training and our ability to make decisions affecting our own tradition that we have not considered ourselves?

Thank you for any thoughts
Dan

I was referring to comments such as this:
“Budo should be the same way. Movement is movement. There are things you can see in interaction and movement.”

My point is that Budo is not merely a “method” of efficient movement. That may be an important component of Budo (or any “way” for that matter) but I often get the impression from these discussions that other aspects are being ignored completely.

I was making a general point based on the your comments along with others on Aikiweb who have trained with you, in particular Mark Murray (who discontinued Aikido I believe). It seems to me from reading here that you DO seem to be influencing people. I may be wrong about this, but I'm only going on the general comments on this site.

If there are senior people in traditional arts who have/are training with you, I’d love read their comments about how they incorporate your training methodology into their arts. From reading most of your comments, you seem to see pretty much all traditional Japanese budo as seriously lacking a methodology in developing high level “Aiki”/efficient movement (perhaps I’m wrong about this?). You’ve also stated that the traditional model of teaching is seriously flawed in terms of withholding information, so I’m having trouble seeing how long term/senior students of the arts can train while maintaining two contradictory positions!

Perhaps the problem isn’t with your comments as such as with the relative lack of public commentary by senior Koryu/Aikido people etc on the connection between what they’ve learned from you and others and how it impacts on their arts.

My comments might not address the reality of such training simply because I don’t know anything about training in your Dojo or who trains with you! I’m restricting my points to comments made by you on this forum.

Ultimately, I rarely get involved in these discussions because of the time involved. Hopefully this reply helps clarify where I am coming from.

AllanF
05-09-2010, 03:43 AM
I would not have thought that there would be much of a problem incorporating another method into your practice, after all it is how these (all) MAs evolve. The mind body connection and pathways within the body are critical to internal martial arts, if you don't spend time developing them then you will always be missing something. In CMAs this is the Qigong and jibengong (basic) practices which should be continued ad infinitum.

Though i have never met or trained with Dan, Mark or anyone associated with than group if i did and found they had something that was more efficient or effective than my own training i would certainly find it a useful addition to my own training. I wouldn't really see the need to discontinue what i was currently doing, just have to work harder.

In the past many others have done the same eg i think Mas Oyama founder of Kyokushin Karate studied with Yoshida Kotaro a long time student of Sokaku Takeda.

Rabih Shanshiry
05-09-2010, 08:40 AM
Why not come down and see the newly renovated Barn/ dojo. It'll knock your socks off. Brand new top to bottom; Mahogany, black walnut, cedars and poplars, Aged copper panel, paper and stone and new Swain mats,.
And then I will show you first hand
Dan

I'll take you up on that at the earliest chance I get. I was already jealous of the dojo space - what you've done to it sounds incredible. Can't wait to see it first hand...

...rab

DH
05-09-2010, 08:43 AM
I was referring to comments such as this:
"Budo should be the same way. Movement is movement. There are things you can see in interaction and movement."

My point is that Budo is not merely a "method" of efficient movement. That may be an important component of Budo (or any "way" for that matter) but I often get the impression from these discussions that other aspects are being ignored completely.

I was making a general point based on the your comments along with others on Aikiweb who have trained with you, in particular Mark Murray (who discontinued Aikido I believe). It seems to me from reading here that you DO seem to be influencing people. I may be wrong about this, but I'm only going on the general comments on this site.

If there are senior people in traditional arts who have/are training with you, I'd love read their comments about how they incorporate your training methodology into their arts. From reading most of your comments, you seem to see pretty much all traditional Japanese budo as seriously lacking a methodology in developing high level "Aiki"/efficient movement (perhaps I'm wrong about this?). You've also stated that the traditional model of teaching is seriously flawed in terms of withholding information, so I'm having trouble seeing how long term/senior students of the arts can train while maintaining two contradictory positions!

Perhaps the problem isn't with your comments as such as with the relative lack of public commentary by senior Koryu/Aikido people etc on the connection between what they've learned from you and others and how it impacts on their arts.

My comments might not address the reality of such training simply because I don't know anything about training in your Dojo or who trains with you! I'm restricting my points to comments made by you on this forum.

Ultimately, I rarely get involved in these discussions because of the time involved. Hopefully this reply helps clarify where I am coming from.
Thank you for your clarification. It would have been better had you answered my queries more directly.
As has happened with several people who set themselves up as defenders of traditional training- it is clear that there is some really strident misunderstanding going on. It appears they take serious offense...to a situation they have only imagined in their own minds..
Imagine if you will, being a shihan or Koryu menkyo and choosing to adopt certain training methods and having some guy fearing FOR you, that you don't know what you're doing in your practice. Further concerns seem to be about the exchange of information / misinformation and what is supposedly what. Other than oath violations-which I have never personally seen take place, the information is out there, and some koryu people (who can talk) are talking here and there but keeping it quiet.

It is interesting to see this type of interaction happening within arts as well and that is a clear precedant for the current debate. Case in point: a shihan from the Takumakia went to Tokimune to improve his aiki.
What did Tokimune teach him?
Solo training to condition the body to make aiki. When he brought it back to the Takumakai they didn't want to do them, they opted for the much slower and chancier way to do it- through kata. When the shihan went back to Tokimune he said "Yes I know, none of my people want to do them either." We can also look at various Koryu which have solo training to condition a bujutsu body. How, why and just where it produces aiki is an interesting study that I will let these teachers be the judges of. They have some VERY strong opinions on what it is doing for them, and for those who want to judge their own abilities to judge the value of it.

Individual cases V corporate cases
Your mentioning of Mark is a single case out of dozens like him. He left aikido because he had no place to train this -within aikido.
Others had the same problem. They went to various seminars and found no place to practice this training back in their home dojo. The teachers didn't get it-and were certainly not as connected as the men they had just trained with at the seminars. I picked up on the problems from reading comments here on aikiweb. My solution was to offer to teach...teachers. This solved the problem by allowing teachers to see the value first hand, and they in turn would set up a venue in their own schools.
This is where the "defenders of tadititonal arts" arguments fail on their own merits. These teachers-seniors by all accounts in Budo- consider this training and what it is doing to their bodies and their aiki to be so important that they are putting time aside from their teaching to pursue it. I have learned quite a bit by listening to their feedback in what it is doing to their teaching and among their student base. Thus it is directly affecting hundreds of people-not only from within traditional arts but in traditional training methods as well.

Allen's comments to you are from a Chinese art perspective on this type of training. That model -understanding solo training to build a bujutsu body- predates the Japanese model by many generations.
Various training practices-to include breath-power training predate Japan and are universal to many cultures.

Last and to end it on topic
Shioda rose to fame doing what? Stock in trade Kodokai aiki displays. After he did what? Went to train in Daito ryu to learn aiki.

Please note my response was not some cheap commentary like "Gee, thank you for your concerns about our welfare, but we can take care of ourselves." rather, I am attempting to clarify, in order to reach some level of understanding that is more informed. At least then people can judge and disagree, but from a more informed position then what I keep reading on different forums.
All in all, I think this is improving the aiki arts, re-focusing them back on bujutsu; the anticendents or roots, if you will. It is already making improvement in the power and sensitivity of teachers and practiioners alike. If the rumors prove to be true-several organization heads are aware, and some are soon to be impacted by it on a broader scale as the teachers are making it mandatory training.
Cheers
Dan
P.S. Since your concerns were for traditional modes of teaching, I didn't cover various MMA people I have trained with and their own view on the value of this training being used in MMA type of training. I think it speaks even futher of the universality of the method, that it can creat aiki connection in freestyle fighting. Again not your concern, but at least for me, it makes a connection to our past when the men were truly capable- using traditional methodologies many modern practioners can only dream of.

chillzATL
05-09-2010, 08:53 AM
I would not have thought that there would be much of a problem incorporating another method into your practice, after all it is how these (all) MAs evolve. The mind body connection and pathways within the body are critical to internal martial arts, if you don't spend time developing them then you will always be missing something. In CMAs this is the Qigong and jibengong (basic) practices which should be continued ad infinitum.

Though i have never met or trained with Dan, Mark or anyone associated with than group if i did and found they had something that was more efficient or effective than my own training i would certainly find it a useful addition to my own training. I wouldn't really see the need to discontinue what i was currently doing, just have to work harder.

In the past many others have done the same eg i think Mas Oyama founder of Kyokushin Karate studied with Yoshida Kotaro a long time student of Sokaku Takeda.

It's not that it can't be done. Ueshiba did it successfully, but he also had the luxury of being able to train all day, every day, doing whatever he wanted for his entire life.

Think of it like you're a tennis player. You've been playing for years and you're very good. One day you come across someone who just blows you away and they do it in a manner unlike anyone else you've played or seen. They move differently, hit the ball different, etc. They offer to show you what they're doing and you take those exercises back and work on them a fwe hours a week, all the while playing 20 hours of tennis every week "the old way". You might eventually get to where you're striking the ball "kinda" like that person did, and you can see the benefits on the court, but that's about all you got.

Now contrast that with a situation where you stopped playing at all for a while and did nothing but focus on burning what that person showed you into your body so that you no longer move "the old way" anymore. You're going to get results faster and more likely, results with fewer impurities brought on by the bad habits of that old method.

DH
05-09-2010, 09:03 AM
I would not have thought that there would be much of a problem incorporating another method into your practice, after all it is how these (all) MAs evolve. The mind body connection and pathways within the body are critical to internal martial arts, if you don't spend time developing them then you will always be missing something. In CMAs this is the Qigong and jibengong (basic) practices which should be continued ad infinitum.

Though i have never met or trained with Dan, Mark or anyone associated with than group if i did and found they had something that was more efficient or effective than my own training i would certainly find it a useful addition to my own training. I wouldn't really see the need to discontinue what i was currently doing, just have to work harder..
Hi Allen
I have to get used to seeing you here now eh?
I don't think many in the JMA see that connection and how it adds, not detracts. Also the ability to discern; good or bad, correct or incorrect, what is more useful and martial and what is not, is always a concern-you could spend years chasing a dead end.

In the past many others have done the same eg i think Mas Oyama founder of Kyokushin Karate studied with Yoshida Kotaro a long time student of Sokaku Takeda
Ah yes, I forgot about him and Richard Kim as well.
What did Mas say in his book about his Daito ryu teacher Something like "To my most valued teacher...."

Cheers
Dan

oisin bourke
05-09-2010, 10:05 AM
“1. What does it have to do with learning/altering the traditional arts?
2. How is it harmful? In what way?
3. How is it changing the tradition in your view?
4. Do you suppose that of the hundreds of people now training this way-they want to quit/ alter/ make a fuss in some way? Instead they make positive comments about the effect on their training....

"Thank you for your clarification. It would have been better had you answered my queries more directly.
As has happened with several people who set themselves up as defenders of traditional training- it is clear that there is some really strident misunderstanding going on. It appears they take serious offense...to a situation they have only imagined in their own minds..
Imagine if you will, being a shihan or Koryu menkyo and choosing to adopt certain training methods and having some guy fearing FOR you, that you don't know what you're doing in your practice. Further concerns seem to be about the exchange of information / misinformation and what is supposedly what. Other than oath violations-which I have never personally seen take place, the information is out there, and some koryu people (who can talk) are talking here and there but keeping it quiet.”

I’m not speaking on behalf of people I don’t know. I’m basing my opinons on my own experience. There are approaches/techinques and training methods that, had I abandoned them in exchange for short term more practical/immediate gains, I wouldn’t have begun to understand their depth. Please note. I am not dismissing solo training whatsoever, but there are levels of knowledge involved in other components of the arts, such as Kata, rei ukemi training in Daito Ryu/Aikido etc that are vital to these arts transmissions. From what I read of your comments here you downplay all these other elements.

“It is interesting to see this type of interaction happening within arts as well and that is a clear precedant for the current debate. Case in point: a shihan from the Takumakia went to Tokimune to improve his aiki.
What did Tokimune teach him?
Solo training to condition the body to make aiki. When he brought it back to the Takumakai they didn't want to do them, they opted for the much slower and chancier way to do it- through kata. When the shihan went back to Tokimune he said "Yes I know, none of my people want to do them either." We can also look at various Koryu which have solo training to condition a bujutsu body. How, why and just where it produces aiki is an interesting study that I will let these teachers be the judges of. They have some VERY strong opinions on what it is doing for them, and for those who want to judge their own abilities to judge the value of it.”


With respect, I think you’re simplifying things. There are a number of Takumakai people with very high level aiki who to the best of my knowledge didn’t get it from Tokimune.

Equally, at least one of Tokimune’s shihan practiced and taught solo training.

“Individual cases V corporate cases
Your mentioning of Mark is a single case out of dozens like him. He left aikido because he had no place to train this -within aikido.
Others had the same problem. They went to various seminars and found no place to practice this training back in their home dojo. The teachers didn't get it-and were certainly not as connected as the men they had just trained with at the seminars. I picked up on the problems from reading comments here on aikiweb. My solution was to offer to teach...teachers. This solved the problem by allowing teachers to see the value first hand, and they in turn would set up a venue in their own schools.
This is where the "defenders of tadititonal arts" arguments fail on their own merits. These teachers-seniors by all accounts in Budo- consider this training and what it is doing to their bodies and their aiki to be so important that they are putting time aside from their teaching to pursue it. I have learned quite a bit by listening to their feedback in what it is doing to their teaching and among their student base. Thus it is directly affecting hundreds of people-not only from within traditional arts but in traditional training methods as well.”

That’s great, and I don’t doubt that you’re teaching something very valuable. I’m simply doubting that it’s the whole story when it comes to traditional arts. Of course, I may be wrong...

“Allen's comments to you are from a Chinese art perspective on this type of training. That model -understanding solo training to build a bujutsu body- predates the Japanese model by many generations.
Various training practices-to include breath-power training predate Japan and are universal to many cultures.”

I understand solo/breath training is vital, but I don’t see how Alan’s comments contradict what I said. I’m not knocking training that makes one BETTER. I’m questioning training that takes one away from learning within the perameters of one’s art, especially at the beginning levels.

It’s a fine line between innovation and conservation for sure.

My main point is that, before people dismiss models of practice that seem antiquated/inefficient, we should be aware that these practices may hold vital teachings that only reveal themselves over time,

If people know what they’re doing, good luck to them.

“Last and to end it on topic
Shioda rose to fame doing what? Stock in trade Kodokai aiki displays. After he did what? Went to train in Daito ryu to learn aiki.”

I know :)

“Please note my response was not some cheap commentary like "Gee, thank you for your concerns about our welfare, but we can take care of ourselves." rather, I am attempting to clarify, in order to reach some level of understanding that is more informed. At least then people can judge and disagree, but from a more informed position then what I keep reading on different forums.”

I appreciate that. Hence I've taken a lot of time to reply.

“All in all, I think this is improving the aiki arts, re-focusing them back on bujutsu; the anticendents or roots, if you will. It is already making improvement in the power and sensitivity of teachers and practiioners alike. If the rumors prove to be true-several organization heads are aware, and some are soon to be impacted by it on a broader scale as the teachers are making it mandatory training.”

That’s great. I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of such work on a wider scale.

This is incredibly time consuming for me.

I’m going to bow out of this discussion now.

Regards

David Orange
05-09-2010, 10:24 AM
Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote:
Aiki as something you have isn't normally used in Japanese.

Thank you for pointing this out.

This has bothered me for the some time now.

It is directly related to the incorrect way they use the term aiki.

Maybe it's incorrect in the usual aikido way of explaining aiki, but aikido comes from daito ryu and here is a little of how it was explained there--not as a dynamic of moving around an attacker's movement, but of a force emanating from the aiki man:

From Stan Pranin's "Conversations with Daito Ryu Masters" (p. 95)

""MRS. HORIKAWA:
During practice (Kodo) Horikawa would apply aiki and keep it applied for minutes on end while he was speaking, so it was pretty rough on his partner!

MORISHITA:
Yes, because you weren't able to move at all. And gradually, it would become difficult to breathe.""

They're not talking about "applying aiki" by doing tenkan or getting the opponent in an armlock. This is where the opponent grabs or just touches Horikawa and he "emits" aiki force into their bodies as you see on page 97 of the same book. Also, same page of the same book:

""MRS. HORIKAWA:
He even had aiki in the soles of his feet.""

He had aiki.

And on p. 96:

""MRS. HORIKAWA:
He would send aiki through his fingers...""

So in daito ryu, aiki is something you "have".

It was in aikido that it became something you "do".

David

niall
05-09-2010, 10:36 AM
Thanks David, that's interesting. I haven't trained in Daito Ryu and I had never heard aiki used like that and noone I asked had either.

David Orange
05-09-2010, 10:40 AM
I understand solo/breath training is vital, but I don't see how Alan's comments contradict what I said. I'm not knocking training that makes one BETTER. I'm questioning training that takes one away from learning within the perameters of one's art, especially at the beginning levels.

That's the problem, Oisin: the parameters of one's art.

It's a fine line between innovation and conservation for sure.

That's the thing: modern aikido is the innovation. IS is the root. It's what Morihei had that Kisshomaru didn't. It's what daito ryu has (in some places) and aikido doesn't (usually).

My main point is that, before people dismiss models of practice that seem antiquated/inefficient, we should be aware that these practices may hold vital teachings that only reveal themselves over time,

Yeah. The big point on the IS side is not to reject the antiquated: that's where the real stuff is. The modern practices have abandoned that for a group kind of practice that omits the kind of power Ueshiba (Morihei) and Takeda Sokaku both had in spades.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
05-09-2010, 10:47 AM
Thanks David, that's interesting. I haven't trained in Daito Ryu and I had never heard aiki used like that and noone I asked had either.

Conversations with Daito Ryu Masters (Aikido Journal publication) is a fantastically interesting book that looks back to before aikido existed. It gets to the roots of what Ueshiba was doing and shows how other men developed great power from those roots.

And I think it's especially important to recognize that the Tohei/Kisshomaru (especially Kisshomaru) aikido went off in a very different direction, essentially snipping off the roots entirely. Stan Pranin once showed me a photograph of Morihei Ueshiba seated in front of a scroll that read "Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu" along with an aikikai publication with the very same photograph that read "Aikijujutsu". Someone had very skillfully deleted the words "daito ryu" from the scroll.

So did modern aikido delete anything else from the art?

Research indicates that it did.

And while we're on the topic of books, you should really look at "Hidden in Plain Sight" to see how deeply IS practices are really rooted in TMA. It's the modern form of "TMA" that's really not so traditional at all.

David

Mike Sigman
05-09-2010, 11:09 AM
Quote:
Niall Matthews wrote:
Aiki as something you have isn't normally used in Japanese.

Maybe it's incorrect in the usual aikido way of explaining aiki, but aikido comes from daito ryu and here is a little of how it was explained there--not as a dynamic of moving around an attacker's movement, but of a force emanating from the aiki man:

From Stan Pranin's "Conversations with Daito Ryu Masters" (p. 95)

""MRS. HORIKAWA:
During practice (Kodo) Horikawa would apply aiki and keep it applied for minutes on end while he was speaking, so it was pretty rough on his partner!

MORISHITA:
Yes, because you weren't able to move at all. And gradually, it would become difficult to breathe.""

They're not talking about "applying aiki" by doing tenkan or getting the opponent in an armlock. This is where the opponent grabs or just touches Horikawa and he "emits" aiki force into their bodies as you see on page 97 of the same book. Also, same page of the same book:

""MRS. HORIKAWA:
He even had aiki in the soles of his feet.""

He had aiki.

And on p. 96:

""MRS. HORIKAWA:
He would send aiki through his fingers...""

So in daito ryu, aiki is something you "have".

It was in aikido that it became something you "do".

DavidSo is Mrs. Horikawa the defining authority on the correct usage of the term "aiki"? It simply doesn't make a lot of sense, given the antecedents of the term for a couple of thousand years. Maybe it's a vernacular within Daito Ryu (who knows?), but technically the forces are aspects of ki, not of "aiki". Heck, I can even see it as an idiomatic use and I know what someone is trying to say... but technically "aiki" is something that you do with ki, it's not force by itself. And as grandiose as it sounds, "aiki", it's still going to use the same basic forces that are a kokyu power. Any amount of money you want to bet.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

David Orange
05-09-2010, 01:03 PM
So is Mrs. Horikawa the defining authority on the correct usage of the term "aiki"?

Well, first, she's talking from many decades of experience with Horikawa and his students. Second, there were at least two of Horikawa's students involved in the conversation and they said similar things. What about the comment that he would apply aiki and "hold" it on them for some lengthy time?

It simply doesn't make a lot of sense, given the antecedents of the term for a couple of thousand years.

Of course, in the earliest usage, it means to be in a sword situation in which neither person can get an advantage.

Maybe it's a vernacular within Daito Ryu (who knows?), but technically the forces are aspects of ki, not of "aiki".

I see aiki as an aspect of ki. And we (and the Chinese and Japanese) say we "have" ki...so...I don't see it as out of place and of course, all modern uses of "aiki" are from Sokaku Takeda anyway. Whatever it meant 1000 years ago, within daito ryu, it means what Sokaku and his top people say, I would think.

Heck, I can even see it as an idiomatic use and I know what someone is trying to say... but technically "aiki" is something that you do with ki, it's not force by itself.

I think it means to have a body that "naturally" uses its ki in an aiki fashion when touched. Which won't happen if you don't have that kind of body...so you have to "have" it to use it.

Anyway, my point is that it's wrong to say that the Japanese don't refer to "having" aiki because some of them certainly do.

And as grandiose as it sounds, "aiki", it's still going to use the same basic forces that are a kokyu power. Any amount of money you want to bet.

Not arguing that, but then we could say you "have" kokyu or you don't....meaning that you have developed it to the point where it is part of your being instead of something you try to do without having developed it far enough to say you "have" it.

Thanks.

David

Mike Sigman
05-09-2010, 01:38 PM
What about the comment that he would apply aiki and "hold" it on them for some lengthy time?

I'm not sure what the question is. If I, say, hold someone with "aiki", I'm essentially using my 'jin' (I prefer that over kokyu because kokyu implies a bit more than just jin and it's unnecessary for this conversation) in accord with Uke's forces to effect the "aiki". The point though is that the "aiki" application is still based on the essential intent-directed jin/kokyu force. I.e, the basis of "aiki" is still going to be the ki forces or the kokyu forces (same thing for all practical purposes). "There are many jins but there is only one jin".

Incidentally, Shioda was kind of an "aiki" (in the technical sense of "ai ki") fanatic and there's one video of his that has him doing about every "aiki" trick you can think of, while teaching a class. I'm reluctant to go literally by everything in his books since his books tend to represent compilations of his views as remembered by various students... and then those books are translated into English by people who may or may not have any real kokyu/ki skills.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

David Orange
05-09-2010, 02:09 PM
If I, say, hold someone with "aiki", I'm essentially using my 'jin' (I prefer that over kokyu because kokyu implies a bit more than just jin and it's unnecessary for this conversation) in accord with Uke's forces to effect the "aiki". The point though is that the "aiki" application is still based on the essential intent-directed jin/kokyu force. I.e, the basis of "aiki" is still going to be the ki forces or the kokyu forces (same thing for all practical purposes). "There are many jins but there is only one jin".

No argument there, but don't the Chinese say that someone "has" jin or doesn't "have" it? Since I've read that jin = li (muscular force) + qi (ki), it seems to me that it's something one has to create within oneself. Those who haven't done that work (or who don't even know of it) don't "have" jin, wouldn't you say? And since you pretty much equate jin with aiki, it seems reasonable to say someone "has" or "does not have" aiki.

What I'd really like is your comments on the tai chi ruler thread.

Thanks.

David

Mike Sigman
05-09-2010, 02:56 PM
No argument there, but don't the Chinese say that someone "has" jin or doesn't "have" it? Since I've read that jin = li (muscular force) + qi (ki), it seems to me that it's something one has to create within oneself. Those who haven't done that work (or who don't even know of it) don't "have" jin, wouldn't you say? And since you pretty much equate jin with aiki, it seems reasonable to say someone "has" or "does not have" aiki. Well, I understand what you're saying and I've understood it from the start. But you can't have 'aiki' without the basic jin force manifested via intention. Jin is a "specialized strength skill", not really li + qi in every case. There are a number of ways to manifest jin and some of them are pretty interesting; "aiki" is just one of those subsets.
What I'd really like is your comments on the tai chi ruler thread.

Thanks.It's just an exercise, mainly for jin/qi. There are many exercises that will do the same thing. If someone has "done Tai Chi Chih for years" and done it correctly, you should be able to feel their jin/qi immediately. I.e., any exercise done correctly, particularly 'internal' exercises, should have demonstrable results. For instance, once I pushed hands with a guy in a park in London and I knew immediately that he had no jin/qi skills because they were absent. Later he asked me to watch his form and to offer some corrections for the postures. I declined. It was obvious that he'd been doing his forms wrong for years or I would have felt his jin/qi skills if he'd been doing them correctly, right? So everything he was practicing was simply wrong, but I didn't want to say such a thing to him since I'd only just met him.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Rabih Shanshiry
05-09-2010, 03:12 PM
Incidentally, Shioda was kind of an "aiki" (in the technical sense of "ai ki") fanatic and there's one video of his that has him doing about every "aiki" trick you can think of, while teaching a class.

Mike,

By any chance do you remember what video this was? I'd like to check it out.

...rab

Mike Sigman
05-09-2010, 03:23 PM
Mike,

By any chance do you remember what video this was? I'd like to check it out.

...rabIt's this one, Rabih:

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

David Orange
05-09-2010, 04:08 PM
Well, I understand what you're saying and I've understood it from the start. But you can't have 'aiki' without the basic jin force manifested via intention. Jin is a "specialized strength skill", not really li + qi in every case. There are a number of ways to manifest jin and some of them are pretty interesting; "aiki" is just one of those subsets.

Sounds like Horikawa had it and now that I've seen lots of clips of people hanging helpless off Gozo Shioda's obi, I can see that what he's doing is not normally known in aikido circles. Mochizuki Sensei didn't do that kind of thing, but he did some eerie things while I was around and Kenmotsu Sensei, his student, sometimes held my wrists with puzzling strength that I couldn't affect at all. Also, I once saw Tezuka Sensei shear a makiwara post off at the floor with a low front kick...But I always thought those strengths were incidental or something, just by-products of the regular training and that I would develop that kind of thing if I just kept training. For instance, a 5th dan was riding a scooter and a car hit him head-on and he flipped over the top of the car and landed on his feet behind it. He didn't try to do that. It just happened by reflex and he credited it to normal training. But I know now that Kenmotsu, at least, was holding "with jin" as you describe it. I know now that IS is a separate or inner thing apart from the outer techniques and that you can develop it especially.

(Tai chi ruler is...) just an exercise, mainly for jin/qi. There are many exercises that will do the same thing. If someone has "done Tai Chi Chih for years" and done it correctly, you should be able to feel their jin/qi immediately. I.e., any exercise done correctly, particularly 'internal' exercises, should have demonstrable results. For instance, once I pushed hands with a guy in a park in London and I knew immediately that he had no jin/qi skills because they were absent. Later he asked me to watch his form and to offer some corrections for the postures. I declined. It was obvious that he'd been doing his forms wrong for years or I would have felt his jin/qi skills if he'd been doing them correctly, right? So everything he was practicing was simply wrong, but I didn't want to say such a thing to him since I'd only just met him.

And I have long felt that way about most aikido people I've met. The clubs tend to be more like standing discussion groups, the techniques being only symbolically "martial" and the practice pretty much lacking any "life"--just forms of techniques repeated endlessly...and the insipid smile that this engenders is...unpleasant to me.

But I see now that it can go a lot deeper than just having martial technique and resistance in training (tori never resisting uke in any way, but uke resisting tori at any point where he can feel something to resist). What Shioda shows repeatedly is that there is an inner aiki that needs no particular technique at all to completely overcome the opponent at a touch.

Thanks.

David

Rabih Shanshiry
05-09-2010, 08:46 PM
It's this one, Rabih:

Thanks Mike - just ordered it from budovideos...

...rab

AllanF
05-10-2010, 02:09 AM
Hi Allen
I have to get used to seeing you here now eh?
I don't think many in the JMA see that connection and how it adds, not detracts. Also the ability to discern; good or bad, correct or incorrect, what is more useful and martial and what is not, is always a concern-you could spend years chasing a dead end.

Ah yes, I forgot about him and Richard Kim as well.
What did Mas say in his book about his Daito ryu teacher Something like "To my most valued teacher...."

Cheers
Dan

what is it they say about a bad penny or a bad smell?:)
Actually i have been lurking here for a while but i rarely post here as my knowledge of JMA is rudimentary. I mostly read some of the interesting discussions here, it is all internal training to my mind (one way or another).

AllanF
05-10-2010, 02:16 AM
No argument there, but don't the Chinese say that someone "has" jin or doesn't "have" it? Since I've read that jin = li (muscular force) + qi (ki), it seems to me that it's something one has to create within oneself. Those who haven't done that work (or who don't even know of it) don't "have" jin, wouldn't you say? And since you pretty much equate jin with aiki, it seems reasonable to say someone "has" or "does not have" aiki.

What I'd really like is your comments on the tai chi ruler thread.

Thanks.

David

Hi David

I would just add that there is wai (external) jin and nei (internal) jin. they are not the same externally i would agree with what you have said "jin = li (muscular force) + qi (ki)" internally muscular force should not be used. li (muscular force) can be broken (like a stiff piece of wood) true jin is unbreakable (like a fast flowing river).

Allan

David Orange
05-10-2010, 06:59 AM
Hi David

I would just add that there is wai (external) jin and nei (internal) jin. they are not the same externally i would agree with what you have said "jin = li (muscular force) + qi (ki)" internally muscular force should not be used. li (muscular force) can be broken (like a stiff piece of wood) true jin is unbreakable (like a fast flowing river).

Allan

That's in line with some of what I've felt from some high-level people. I know the few times I've been able to do anything, I didn't feel like I was doing anything at all. But the li + qi is the only definition I'd read.

Thanks.

David

DH
05-12-2010, 10:37 AM
I'm not speaking on behalf of people I don't know. I'm basing my opinons on my own experience. There are approaches/techinques and training methods that, had I abandoned them in exchange for short term more practical/immediate gains, I wouldn't have begun to understand their depth. Please note. I am not dismissing solo training whatsoever, but there are levels of knowledge involved in other components of the arts, such as Kata, rei, ukemi training in Daito Ryu/Aikido etc that are vital to these arts transmissions. From what I read of your comments here you downplay all these other elements.
I feel like I am repeating myself and you're not hearing me. I have great respect for the traditonal arts, and strongly insist that those training with me remain in them. Most don't need any of my advice, they would never consider leaving or dropping their training. This is why I consider the concerns and fears of the "Traditional art defender's club" a figment of their own imaginations not based on any reality I know.
I would call your view of my opinions a massive misunderstanding. It is more accurate for you to say that I simply do not discuss them, so you do not know what my opinions really are. Lack of discussion is not downplaying anything.
Case in point: Do you know my opinions on classical traditions, like Koryu, they might surprise you? On weapons maai, and empty hand, as a study and the benefits one can bring to the other? On Judo/ Jujutsu with all that entials? On the areas where classical kata seemlessly join with freestyle and where they don't? And not least, how an understanding of traditional weapons work (and only traditional work) could have led to Takeda's understanding of aiki? What and how that could be so? No. I don't suspect you do. I share those observations and opinions with highly qualified company on a regular basis.
All due respect, maybe it's a mistake to sum up the entirety of my experiences and opinions based on what you have read of my views on one topic- IP/aiki.


On the Takumakia adopting solo work:
With respect, I think you're simplifying things. There are a number of Takumakai people with very high level aiki who to the best of my knowledge didn't get it from Tokimune.
I suspected you would consider the teachers in DR to have "high level aiki." With respect, I would advise you to consider that there are men capable of stopping any one of them in their tracks and reversing it on them....using aiki at a level they have never considered and do not know.

Equally, at least one of Tokimune's shihan practiced and taught solo training.
I felt one of his highest ranked people. It is my opinion that he was stiff as a board, as were his two students. His power is not of the type being discussed here with IP/aiki. He showed solo training, and neither the exercises or his explanations of them displayed a level of understanding of that topic. He is a jujutsu guy

That's great, and I don't doubt that you're teaching something very valuable. I'm simply doubting that it's the whole story when it comes to traditional arts. Of course, I may be wrong...
There is really no point in arguing the topic until you get a handle on it. The previous discussions with those who consider themselves "traditional training defenders" do not end well and typically turn adversarial. So why make enemies?
In counterpoint, I am no longer surprised to find out that once we meet, encounters with both fellow Koryu adepts, Daito ryu teachers and students and other traditional artists, as well as the meetings with MMA people not only turn out well, we are in fact of like mind and become friends.
For that reason, I reserve more of myself for those encounters, rather then these narrow topic discussions.

I understand solo/breath training is vital, but I don't see how Alan's comments contradict what I said. I'm not knocking training that makes one BETTER. I'm questioning training that takes one away from learning within the perameters of one's art, especially at the beginning levels.
It's a fine line between innovation and conservation for sure.
The discussion or topic is far more in depth than simple solo training. My point is that you would need to know the topic first, and were you- to know it- there would no longer be a debate about it's relevancy in tradtional training, or this notion you have that it would take away from traditional training. That is simply not the case here.
You might want to consider that your opinion is not shared by any one man I personally know or know of. And to my knowledge they are more advanced in the tradtional arts than yourself. You don't have to take that into consideration, as you don't know the players I am referring to, but were I a budo guy who was unfamilair-I would sure be looking at the this influx of very old information and the impact it is having on traditional budo teachers with some serious interest. But that's just me and how I look at budo.

My main point is that, before people dismiss models of practice that seem antiquated/inefficient, we should be aware that these practices may hold vital teachings that only reveal themselves over time,
For a discussion point I would offer that it works both ways, doesn't it? The difference may be what I outlined above in the opinions of some master class teachers and other mid-level teachers and students alike in the traditonal arts who are now embracing this training. They both know and understand tradtional training and simply do not see issues that you see. I certanly don't.

"[I]Last and to end it on topic
Shioda rose to fame doing what? Stock in trade Kodokai aiki displays. After he did what? Went to train in Daito ryu to learn aiki."

I know :)
I understand where you are training.

I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of such work on a wider scale.
It's all ready happening. I am hearing very good things from different groups. I think some of this training is better than others for fitting into the traditional Japanese arts and still having universal applicability in MMA as well. Some try to argue it's all the same, we'll just have to see who trains what and where it goes. I am looking forward to it as well.
If people know what they're doing, good luck to them.
And good luck to you as well. I hope this clarifies things a bit better.
Cheers
Dan

bernardkwan
05-13-2010, 09:22 AM
Hi Mike and Dan

I just received the Shioda DVD today (ordered from Amazon Japan) and I noticed that Shioda does something similar to fajing when using Aiki (i.e. a short sharp issuing movement). However the odd thing is that he quite often ends up on his tip toes when he finishes his breaking the uke's balance or throwing him. Sometimes he ends up in a jump in Randori and is kind of hopping around the room.

Is this just because he is short or because of momentum? Or is there something else happening? In push hands I have been taught to anchor the back foot when doing fajing, to use the ground and not overcommit by leaning too far forward, thus my feet end up firmly on the floor. This seems to be a very unstable way to do it.

I have to caveat I am still very much a beginner at this and although I can uproot a lot of my peers who are rooted when my hands are on their chest and pin them against the wall, I can't do standing aikiage well (opponent holding both hands) nor break them in other directions down, sideways or otherwise with any degree of consitency.

Appreciate any insight you guys may have. Many thanks.

Thomas Campbell
05-13-2010, 11:08 AM
I noticed that Shioda does something similar to fajing when using Aiki (i.e. a short sharp issuing movement). However the odd thing is that he quite often ends up on his tip toes when he finishes his breaking the uke's balance or throwing him.


from a Yoshinkan website (http://www.yoshinkan-aikido.com/soke.htm):

"Chu Shin Ryoku", the 'centre power', refers to the strength required to maintain your body's centre line straight. If you don't develop this you cannot achieve "Shu Chu Ryoku", Concentrated Power or "Kokyu Ryoku", Breath Power.

If you don't develop 'centre power' you are just going through the motions of Aikido techniques without achieving true power. If you want strong 'centre power' you have to be able to develop correct "Kamae", Posture. You can feel your 'centre power' when you practice correct Kamae. So, at the same time as you practice Kamae, you learn how to strengthen your 'centre power'.

It is not easy to develop strong 'centre power'; it depends on how much you try. The key lies in the big toe of the back foot. The power comes up from the big toe of the back foot and is transmitted into the hips and the lower back. You have to develop strong big toes through practicing "suwari waza", kneeling techniques. You have to develop strong hips through practicing "Kihon Dosa", the basic movements. The techniques of Yoshinkan Aikido are those achieved by training yourself and making yourself correct.

[bold added for emphasis]

Eric Joyce
05-13-2010, 01:33 PM
from a Yoshinkan website (http://www.yoshinkan-aikido.com/soke.htm):

"Chu Shin Ryoku", the 'centre power', refers to the strength required to maintain your body's centre line straight. If you don't develop this you cannot achieve "Shu Chu Ryoku", Concentrated Power or "Kokyu Ryoku", Breath Power.

If you don't develop 'centre power' you are just going through the motions of Aikido techniques without achieving true power. If you want strong 'centre power' you have to be able to develop correct "Kamae", Posture. You can feel your 'centre power' when you practice correct Kamae. So, at the same time as you practice Kamae, you learn how to strengthen your 'centre power'.

It is not easy to develop strong 'centre power'; it depends on how much you try. The key lies in the big toe of the back foot. The power comes up from the big toe of the back foot and is transmitted into the hips and the lower back. You have to develop strong big toes through practicing "suwari waza", kneeling techniques. You have to develop strong hips through practicing "Kihon Dosa", the basic movements. The techniques of Yoshinkan Aikido are those achieved by training yourself and making yourself correct.

[bold added for emphasis]

Maybe I am being rather naive, but Shioda really does break it down in somewhat easy to understand terms.

When talking about center power, is this the same thing as developing haragei? Just need clarification.

David Orange
05-13-2010, 04:02 PM
When talking about center power, is this the same thing as developing haragei? Just need clarification.

No. Haragei is a way of silent communication. It's not related to martial arts. It's more, really, a sort of "good old boys'" nod and wink kind of thing: when people are from the same background and have very closely related interests (particularly political interests), they don't need to say much. Or else they can say one thing, but the people who count will understand that they really think the opposite.

David

Thomas Campbell
05-13-2010, 04:06 PM
No. Haragei is a way of silent communication. It's not related to martial arts. It's more, really, a sort of "good old boys'" nod and wink kind of thing: when people are from the same background and have very closely related interests (particularly political interests), they don't need to say much. Or else they can say one thing, but the people who count will understand that they really think the opposite.

David

Interesting. There seems to be some of that on this forum. ;)

Eric Joyce
05-13-2010, 04:11 PM
No. Haragei is a way of silent communication. It's not related to martial arts. It's more, really, a sort of "good old boys'" nod and wink kind of thing: when people are from the same background and have very closely related interests (particularly political interests), they don't need to say much. Or else they can say one thing, but the people who count will understand that they really think the opposite.

David

Haragei (Japanese: 腹芸, literally: belly art, or belly performance) is a Japanese word referring to the art of exuding one's personal energy, ki (Chinese qi) primarily from the hara, at base of the abdomen, three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel.

I don't understand your terminology, unless you were trying to be silly. I never heard of haragei defined as you put it.

Demetrio Cereijo
05-13-2010, 06:12 PM
I don't understand your terminology, unless you were trying to be silly.
He's not.

bernardkwan
05-13-2010, 09:20 PM
Thomas

Thanks for the quote - it's very insightful - I had read about the emphasis on the big toe in Yoshinkan (but I had mistakenly taken it for the big toe in the front foot for stability.) I will have to experiment a little with this.

Bernard

Mike Sigman
05-13-2010, 09:30 PM
Thomas

Thanks for the quote - it's very insightful - I had read about the emphasis on the big toe in Yoshinkan (but I had mistakenly taken it for the big toe in the front foot for stability.) I will have to experiment a little with this. Bernard, this is a complex issue. Let me offer some advice that the big-toe thing is somewhat valid, but it's hard to fully understand until you get there. I.e., my best well-meant suggestion is to just drop it and do more basic things.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

dps
05-14-2010, 04:38 AM
Thomas

Thanks for the quote - it's very insightful - I had read about the emphasis on the big toe in Yoshinkan (but I had mistakenly taken it for the big toe in the front foot for stability.) I will have to experiment a little with this.

Bernard

The big toe is extremely important for balance and movement in the human anatomy.
It is well worth trying to understand how it is used in Yoshinkan Aikido.

David

David Orange
05-14-2010, 08:11 AM
Haragei (Japanese: 腹芸, literally: belly art, or belly performance) is a Japanese word referring to the art of exuding one's personal energy, ki (Chinese qi) primarily from the hara, at base of the abdomen, three finger widths below and two finger widths behind the navel.

I don't understand your terminology, unless you were trying to be silly. I never heard of haragei defined as you put it.

Eric, I am often silly and pretty often wrong, but in this case, I'm not kidding and my ideas come from long study of Japanese culture. I don't think haragei is used at all as a martial arts term. I know of it only as a cultural mechanism.

The Japanese believe that all people are connected through the hara to all other people. The group and maintaining the group is far more important than any individual within the group and disagreements within a group are far more worrisome than any belief that the group's direction might be "wrong". What's "true" or "false," or "right" or "wrong" is often less important to that culture than how everyone in the group feels about an issue. So every individual in a group can say "yes," but in the end the entire group can say "no."

Therefore, whatever any one person says may or may not be true: tatemae is what they say in public, for the group, to keep harmony and preserve everyone's feelings of belonging and loyalty to the group. Honne is what they really believe. So they don't just have "true" and "false": they have a sort of "truly false," "falsely true" and "truly true," the latter being extremely difficult to discern for anyone not intimately connected to the group. And the way to really connect with the group is through one's own hara. So haragei (belly art) refers to the art of perceiving through the hara what people's (the group's) real meaning is. Someone who ignores the surface "right" and "wrong" and understands through the hara is called a "man of hara." He can listen to the various factions in a disagreement, "stomach" them, and come up with a solution that will satisfy the greatest majority of the group. Those who still disagree can either "stomach" their feelings about it and go along, or else leave the group.

Haragei is subtle attention to people's very subtle cues about what they really think or want. One example was a politician who, during the lead-up to WWII got up and spoke fervently in favor of going to war, but because he repeatedly blinked his eyes as he spoke, other politicians were able to understand that his real belief was exactly opposite what he said. Still, the group decided to go to war.

This kind of thing was much more effective before the war because of the relative lack of distractions. So many people were packed into such small space and spent most of their time interacting directly with people, all of whom were more frightened of disharmony among the closely-packed people than they were of not being "right".

Now, with computers, cars, movies, TV, and all that, haragei is a vanishing concept in Japan. The younger generation is far more apt to speak their true mind, but in a closely-bound group such as the monjin of a dojo, it can still play an important role.

FWIW

David

Eric Joyce
05-14-2010, 09:24 AM
Eric, I am often silly and pretty often wrong, but in this case, I'm not kidding and my ideas come from long study of Japanese culture. I don't think haragei is used at all as a martial arts term. I know of it only as a cultural mechanism.

The Japanese believe that all people are connected through the hara to all other people. The group and maintaining the group is far more important than any individual within the group and disagreements within a group are far more worrisome than any belief that the group's direction might be "wrong". What's "true" or "false," or "right" or "wrong" is often less important to that culture than how everyone in the group feels about an issue. So every individual in a group can say "yes," but in the end the entire group can say "no."

Therefore, whatever any one person says may or may not be true: tatemae is what they say in public, for the group, to keep harmony and preserve everyone's feelings of belonging and loyalty to the group. Honne is what they really believe. So they don't just have "true" and "false": they have a sort of "truly false," "falsely true" and "truly true," the latter being extremely difficult to discern for anyone not intimately connected to the group. And the way to really connect with the group is through one's own hara. So haragei (belly art) refers to the art of perceiving through the hara what people's (the group's) real meaning is. Someone who ignores the surface "right" and "wrong" and understands through the hara is called a "man of hara." He can listen to the various factions in a disagreement, "stomach" them, and come up with a solution that will satisfy the greatest majority of the group. Those who still disagree can either "stomach" their feelings about it and go along, or else leave the group.

Haragei is subtle attention to people's very subtle cues about what they really think or want. One example was a politician who, during the lead-up to WWII got up and spoke fervently in favor of going to war, but because he repeatedly blinked his eyes as he spoke, other politicians were able to understand that his real belief was exactly opposite what he said. Still, the group decided to go to war.

This kind of thing was much more effective before the war because of the relative lack of distractions. So many people were packed into such small space and spent most of their time interacting directly with people, all of whom were more frightened of disharmony among the closely-packed people than they were of not being "right".

Now, with computers, cars, movies, TV, and all that, haragei is a vanishing concept in Japan. The younger generation is far more apt to speak their true mind, but in a closely-bound group such as the monjin of a dojo, it can still play an important role.

FWIW

David

Wow, thanks David. You learn something new everyday. I appreciate your response.

Eric Joyce
05-14-2010, 09:50 AM
Thomas

Thanks for the quote - it's very insightful - I had read about the emphasis on the big toe in Yoshinkan (but I had mistakenly taken it for the big toe in the front foot for stability.) I will have to experiment a little with this.

Bernard

Hi Benard,

When I first started Yoshinkan Aikido, I thought the same thing. I was concentrating too much on the big toe of the front foot. My sensei corrected me and it made a big difference not only in my balance, but rooting with the back leg using the big toe and movement back and forth, especially in the hiriki no yosei ichi and ni.

I actually worked on the Yoshinkan kihon dosa last night and made a real conscious effort to understand what was going on inside my body (muscles being worked, balance and the use of the big toe). Just experimenting and trying to understand this stuff. I also tried one of the Aunkai Ten Chi Jin exercises just to try it out. It was tough but interesting enough to continue exploring. Self study and exploration can be challenging at times, but it can also be very rewarding.

dps
05-14-2010, 11:53 AM
Eric, I am often silly and pretty often wrong, but in this case, I'm not kidding and my ideas come from long study of Japanese culture. I don't think haragei is used at all as a martial arts term. I know of it only as a cultural mechanism.

The Japanese believe that all people are connected through the hara to all other people. The group and maintaining the group is far more important than any individual within the group and disagreements within a group are far more worrisome than any belief that the group's direction might be "wrong". What's "true" or "false," or "right" or "wrong" is often less important to that culture than how everyone in the group feels about an issue. So every individual in a group can say "yes," but in the end the entire group can say "no."

Therefore, whatever any one person says may or may not be true: tatemae is what they say in public, for the group, to keep harmony and preserve everyone's feelings of belonging and loyalty to the group. Honne is what they really believe. So they don't just have "true" and "false": they have a sort of "truly false," "falsely true" and "truly true," the latter being extremely difficult to discern for anyone not intimately connected to the group. And the way to really connect with the group is through one's own hara. So haragei (belly art) refers to the art of perceiving through the hara what people's (the group's) real meaning is. Someone who ignores the surface "right" and "wrong" and understands through the hara is called a "man of hara." He can listen to the various factions in a disagreement, "stomach" them, and come up with a solution that will satisfy the greatest majority of the group. Those who still disagree can either "stomach" their feelings about it and go along, or else leave the group.

Haragei is subtle attention to people's very subtle cues about what they really think or want. One example was a politician who, during the lead-up to WWII got up and spoke fervently in favor of going to war, but because he repeatedly blinked his eyes as he spoke, other politicians were able to understand that his real belief was exactly opposite what he said. Still, the group decided to go to war.

This kind of thing was much more effective before the war because of the relative lack of distractions. So many people were packed into such small space and spent most of their time interacting directly with people, all of whom were more frightened of disharmony among the closely-packed people than they were of not being "right".

Now, with computers, cars, movies, TV, and all that, haragei is a vanishing concept in Japan. The younger generation is far more apt to speak their true mind, but in a closely-bound group such as the monjin of a dojo, it can still play an important role.

FWIW

David

So you could say haragei means " gut feeling"?

David

David Orange
05-14-2010, 01:59 PM
So you could say haragei means " gut feeling"?


It involves gut feelings, but elevated to an "art," haragei being "belly art," more or less. It also involves "broadcasting" one's own feelings to others and using your own hara to influence others, as Eric pointed out.

David