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HL1978
04-29-2008, 01:26 PM
So what kind of progress have people made in the past year or so, since attending, one of Mike Sigman's or Akuzawa's seminars?

For those who attended, how many of you are still practicing? Are you practicing on your own, or are your classes including any of the exercises?

For those of you practicing on your own, have others in your schools noticed any changes yet? What sort of things have you noticed that have changed?

Most recently for me, after stabilizing the upper/lower body, I have started to understand how to involve the lower back muscles when striking/throwing.

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2008, 01:36 PM
Hi Hunter! Well, it has been sometime, don't know if it is a year since I met Dan...

Well, it was snowing, so maybe! I'm mostly using the postures Dan and Akuzawa show to the best I can, and doing the breathing exercises I half learned from Mike S., along with trying to bring what little I've learned into the yoshinkan basic movements. I've been told I've made some progress relative to aikidoka in general, but what I think I really need to do is go by a BJJ school and roll with some people in a non-cooperative environment to see how my body holds up in that scene.

Best,
Ron (eh, maybe this summer...life is kind of busy just now)

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2008, 02:15 PM
I should probably give the excuse that I've had a very busy winter / spring...even though there are two people in the area also interested in developing these skills further, I haven't been able to get together with them yet. We were all at Mike's seminar together. I really have to make more time for them.

Unfortunately, health issues in the family come first...

Best,
Ron

MM
04-29-2008, 02:18 PM
Hi Hunter,

My power has increased about tenfold. I'm stopping most techniques from senior level people. I walk through most people as if they weren't there. I have no trouble at all using the internal skills in a very dynamic manner against all martial artists. BJJers just crumple when they grab me. And then I wake up. :D

Seriously. I have noticed a difference. I'm more relaxed and have a bit more power. I was working with someone at the dojo and just sort of did a small palm strike to their shoulder. He said I felt like Howard. :)

It's been just over a year since I first trained at Dan's. And a few months since training with Mike. Since the beginning of April, I quit doing aikido techniques for the most part and am concentrating on doing internal exercises. I still suck. But, every month seems to give me some progress. Doing aikido techniques was just reinforcing bad habits. Trying to work on a technique and having the internal stuff fail (especially in a dynamic environment) just made me use muscle and not in a good way. So, I tossed it all out ... for now. I went back to basics 101 and it's been better since then.

I practice with 2 other people, sometimes 3 depending on attendance. One of them, Chris, was at Mike's seminar. Just to give you an idea of what I have to work with -- Chris is about 250-260 pounds. Brian runs around 270-280, I think. I can't use muscle to move them. My 190 pounds is fairly outclassed. :)

We've sort of come to the conclusion from the last year's training that there are 3 basic training periods.

1. Static. Most of last year was done in relation to static training. Solo exercises, basic pushes without moving, etc. No way we could have handled anything in a dynamic environment. Not well, anyway.

2. Static to moving. This is where we are at now. We have started practicing moving and keeping structure/ground/etc. Nothing involving dynamic techniques at all. Any techniques we work on are strictly used for tori to work on keeping structure while moving and under some load/pressure/resistance. Not focusing on technique or end result. This is what we'll work on this year. Depending on how that goes ...

3. Dynamic. Changing environments of pressure/load/resistance by uke. In other words - techniques, as most aikido knows them. But more so in a randori environment. The end result isn't important - the dynamic ability to keep structure/ground with an ever changing uke is. We're hoping that next year we can start doing this.

Both Dan and Mike have repeated that you have to change the way you train. So far, I've found that to be true. And it isn't some small change. It's major, it's intent-driven, it's physical, and it's definitely something you have to drive yourself to do. Sadly, I don't do that often enough. And it shows in my progress.

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2008, 02:21 PM
Hi Jeff, I see you lurking! :D

PM me with your number!

Best,
Ron

MM
04-29-2008, 02:25 PM
Hey Hunter,

Just noticed the icon! Happy Birthday!

Jeff Scheurer
04-29-2008, 02:30 PM
Hello everyone! It's only been a few months since I attended Mike's seminar. I've been working alone on the stuff he showed us pretty much every day, and we have done exercises and drills in class as well. I feel that there is a definite improvement in my structure, relaxation, and connection with my partner.
It's not very marked and it comes and goes at it's own will. But when there is a flash of something that "feels right" it's kind of exciting! I'm gonna just keep plugging away trying to be as honest with myself as possible.
Hey Ron! Whenever you can work out a time to come and play with us, we'll be here. Looking forward to seeing you again!
Jeff

Mark Jakabcsin
04-29-2008, 02:38 PM
Are you guys noticing a difference in the way you move during your daily life? How you walk, how you reach for objects, how you open doors, walk up stairs, sit down, get up, etc?

MJ

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2008, 02:41 PM
Yes, especially trying to open heavy doors, trying to stay out of the front of the shoulders, and use the lower back area (same as if you use ki to stand against a pull). The shiko exercise seems to be where I feel the connections the most...but I don't always know what to make of the connections. That's where more guidance would be good, I think.

For stairs, I work on feeling the pull in the middle to lift the legs.

Best,
Ron

HL1978
04-29-2008, 02:48 PM
Are you guys noticing a difference in the way you move during your daily life? How you walk, how you reach for objects, how you open doors, walk up stairs, sit down, get up, etc?

MJ

Some of how you do the above things are going to be the result of a mental effort to preform each action utilizing this skill set. As time goes on it becomes more automatic (I am not there yet), but occasionally I have had to consciously try and turn it off and move in my old manner.

One wierd thing, was that my arms, despite being relaxed, stopped swaying with each step for a couple of months. Rob said he experienced a similar thing at one point.

Hey Hunter,

Just noticed the icon! Happy Birthday!

Thanks, first time I noticed it too!

Mike Sigman
04-29-2008, 03:02 PM
Just to give you an idea of what I have to work with -- Chris is about 250-260 pounds. Brian runs around 270-280, I think. I can't use muscle to move them. My 190 pounds is fairly outclassed. :)Hmmmmm... just to toss in my 2 cents. There is a difference between developing internal strength and using it martially. I often push and pull and downweight heavy things when I'm training, but I'm careful to keep the jin/kokyu-power as pure as I can and not try to overdo it (to keep from triggering normal strength/mechanics).

But pushing a person is a different thing. If you've ever watched me slowly demonstrating how to push someone in some direction, you'll notice that I will immediately object if they try to counter me with their hips. The reason I do that is not because I can't push them if I really want to, but because they're triggering my immediate instinct to snatch them downward as soon as they resist. I.e., my instinct when I feel resistance is to immediately take advantage of it and go the other way. But that would often ruin the point I'm trying to make at a workshop.

Push against your guys again and watch their hips. I'll bet you see them trying to counter by moving the hips forward and/or to the side. That's when you should throw them, not push them. ;) No resistance should be the goal, so when pushing a human, you have to take into account what they're doing with their own forces.

FWIW

Mike

Kevin Leavitt
04-29-2008, 03:09 PM
I am over training with my guys Germany right now for the first time since this fall. I had something interesting happen when we were doing takedowns in grappling...I got my opponents weight uprooted and then blasted him with a palm into the side, knocked him straight up into the air and backwards. did it twice before he caught on and stopped feeding me the energy.

Not knowing that I had been doing this he commented that he had no idea how I did that or where it came from. Tried it again today...couldn't do it at all.

Ron, if you are coming down for Akuwaza, I'd be happy to do some BJJ with you. I can't tell you much about how to combine this stuff too much, but I can show you some of the things that I think are similar in making your body move as one whole unit while you roll which can help generate a fair amount of power.

That said, I think there are other basics that need to be covered with BJJ first before you go there.

don't need to get too "non-cooperative", but we can mix it up a some and I'd be happy to be a test dummy for you to work on something.

I think Rob John is going to do the same with us. Should be fun!

Ron Tisdale
04-29-2008, 03:29 PM
Wish I could make it down...but it's not looking likely at this point. Just got word of a boatload of work coming my way. I don't think it's going to be a fun summer...

:(

R

gdandscompserv
04-29-2008, 03:43 PM
I've been doing regular Systema breathing exercises and shiko for about six months and I like how I feel. One of the things I have noticed is a 'tightening' sensation around my upper abdominal area. A liitle hard to explain but it's definitely noticable. I also have much more stability while doing shiko than when I started. Am not able to leap tall buildings yet; need to learn some of Dan's stuff first.:D

MM
04-29-2008, 04:29 PM
Hmmmmm... just to toss in my 2 cents. There is a difference between developing internal strength and using it martially. I often push and pull and downweight heavy things when I'm training, but I'm careful to keep the jin/kokyu-power as pure as I can and not try to overdo it (to keep from triggering normal strength/mechanics).

But pushing a person is a different thing. If you've ever watched me slowly demonstrating how to push someone in some direction, you'll notice that I will immediately object if they try to counter me with their hips. The reason I do that is not because I can't push them if I really want to, but because they're triggering my immediate instinct to snatch them downward as soon as they resist. I.e., my instinct when I feel resistance is to immediately take advantage of it and go the other way. But that would often ruin the point I'm trying to make at a workshop.

Push against your guys again and watch their hips. I'll bet you see them trying to counter by moving the hips forward and/or to the side. That's when you should throw them, not push them. ;) No resistance should be the goal, so when pushing a human, you have to take into account what they're doing with their own forces.

FWIW

Mike

Hmmm ... I'll have to take note of that, then. Thanks!

Mark

Mike Sigman
04-29-2008, 05:19 PM
If you push your opponent and you feel one ounce of resistance, then he is pushing toward you with one ounce and you can turn that into a throw. ;)

Mike

gdandscompserv
04-29-2008, 05:27 PM
I am seriously considering attending Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang's seminar (Standing, Silk Reeling, Laojia Yi Lu) at the Taoist Sanctuary in September. A question for anybody familiar with his seminars; Would the seminar material be too advanced for a rank beginner like myself?

G DiPierro
04-29-2008, 06:36 PM
I am seriously considering attending Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang's seminar (Standing, Silk Reeling, Laojia Yi Lu) at the Taoist Sanctuary in September. A question for anybody familiar with his seminars; Would the seminar material be too advanced for a rank beginner like myself?The standing and silk reeling classes should be fine for a beginner. Laojia is a long sequence and there is no way that will you learn it in a weekend so you will either be confused trying to keep up or else he will just give you a small part to work on. Given the amount of money he charges you would probably be better off skipping the forms class altogether unless you really want to learn the form and don't have any other access to instruction.

Budd
04-29-2008, 07:11 PM
I'm working on completely changing the way I move, every day, all the time . . .

I believe I move differently than I did when I attended the seminar in February.

phitruong
04-30-2008, 06:57 PM
so how do I go about sign up for all these internal stuffs? do I need to join some secret society with special handshakes and decoder ring? I have done enough of the external stuffs but don't have much experience with the internal. I have been working on posture and channeling stuffs based on what I have read in various books and comments that you guys discussing on this subject. don't know if I get it right or wrong. would like to work with the experts to feel it and learn it. I am not above begging.

gdandscompserv
04-30-2008, 07:23 PM
The standing and silk reeling classes should be fine for a beginner. Laojia is a long sequence and there is no way that will you learn it in a weekend so you will either be confused trying to keep up or else he will just give you a small part to work on. Given the amount of money he charges you would probably be better off skipping the forms class altogether unless you really want to learn the form and don't have any other access to instruction.
Thanks for the info G.:D

Upyu
04-30-2008, 07:43 PM
so how do I go about sign up for all these internal stuffs? do I need to join some secret society with special handshakes and decoder ring? I have done enough of the external stuffs but don't have much experience with the internal. I have been working on posture and channeling stuffs based on what I have read in various books and comments that you guys discussing on this subject. don't know if I get it right or wrong. would like to work with the experts to feel it and learn it. I am not above begging.

Shameless plug:
Akuzawa's going to be in DC the end of this month doing a seminar(May 30th and June 1st).
Beyond that, any of the Chen villagers giving a seminar generally have decent skill, or Sam Chin of Iliqchuan.

I'd almost want to recommend Ushiro Kenji, but I've heard he likes to show off his parlor tricks more than actually teach students. :p

MM
04-30-2008, 07:45 PM
so how do I go about sign up for all these internal stuffs? do I need to join some secret society with special handshakes and decoder ring? I have done enough of the external stuffs but don't have much experience with the internal. I have been working on posture and channeling stuffs based on what I have read in various books and comments that you guys discussing on this subject. don't know if I get it right or wrong. would like to work with the experts to feel it and learn it. I am not above begging.

There is a seminar with Akuzawa in the DC area.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13962

I would say get signed up for that if you want to start learning the internal stuff. :)

MM
04-30-2008, 07:46 PM
Geez, Rob. If I knew you were going to post, I wouldn't have. :)

phitruong
05-01-2008, 09:41 AM
damn! I am already committed to a week in DC for a summer camp (aikido) the end of June which blows my budget out of the window. I won't be able to make Akuzawa seminar. Although, since I'll be in DC for a whole week, I am willing to bribe with dinner and drink for you gentlemen and ladies that could show moi the internal ropes (so I can hang myself). :)
Thanks ahead.

MM
05-01-2008, 10:08 AM
damn! I am already committed to a week in DC for a summer camp (aikido) the end of June which blows my budget out of the window. I won't be able to make Akuzawa seminar. Although, since I'll be in DC for a whole week, I am willing to bribe with dinner and drink for you gentlemen and ladies that could show moi the internal ropes (so I can hang myself). :)
Thanks ahead.

I'll probably get blasted for this, but ... my suggestion would be to cancel, if at all possible, the DC summer camp in favor of making Akuzawa's seminar. Why?

1. If it's a summer camp, I'm betting that attendance will be large. And I've yet to see a large seminar teach much of anything relevant that stays with you.

2. Akuzawa's seminar will be small. Rob will be there. So you have two quality instructors for about 40 people (my guess). It's hard to beat that.

3. Akuzawa isn't known to do many seminars. I think this is his first on the whole East side of the Mississippi. Summer Camps are just that ... each summer.

4. The experience of hands on with Rob and Akuzawa is priceless. I haven't had hands on with Akuzawa, but with Rob. If you want opinions on Akuzawa specifically, ask the attendees from the previous West Coast seminars.

5. Attending a Summer Camp seems to be more "organizational", more "social", and more "political" than anything else. Attending Akuzawa's is geared more towards developing structure and internal strength which is the basis for DR, Aikido, Tai Chi, etc. This will get you started so that you can then visit others and keep somewhat on track.

6. Akuzawa's training methodology is far better than most Aikido schools. I don't need to train with Akuzawa to know this. I see how Rob has progressed in three years as opposed to some people spending 10 or more. (Same goes for Dan. I see his students and their progression. Can't say that for Mike because I haven't really met any of his students. I don't know that he has any, except us semi-ignorant aikido people. :) ).

All IMO,
Mark

George S. Ledyard
05-01-2008, 10:49 AM
damn! I am already committed to a week in DC for a summer camp (aikido) the end of June which blows my budget out of the window. I won't be able to make Akuzawa seminar. Although, since I'll be in DC for a whole week, I am willing to bribe with dinner and drink for you gentlemen and ladies that could show moi the internal ropes (so I can hang myself). :)
Thanks ahead.

Find the money... it's worth it. The great thing about what Akuzawa is teaching is that you can take it with you and work on it on your own. It's all about doing the work. It's hard work but completely comprehensible. I agree with Mark that you shouldn't miss this.

On the other hand I am teaching at DC Camp and I think that Mark's comments about camps don't reflect the proper way to get the most out of events like that. There will be some very senior folks at the camp teaching, some of whom are quite excellent at instructing. The best training is obtained by working with these folks as partners. Grab them and ask to do a class or half a class. If you can't get on their dance card, grab them after class and ask questions. You can get virtually private instruction doing this. Ask if they could work with you during the lunch break on whatever you want to get help on... That's the way to really come away from the large events with something tangible. Go after the knowledge you want, don't just sit there and do the standard group thing... I can't think of any instructor who would say no to working with you at some point. The "hungry" folks get fed.

But do train with Akuzawa Sensei and grab Rob as frequently as you can as a partner. These guys have a VERY clear and sequential training methodology. Seminars like this are why God created plastic! Remember, you are not broke as long as you have balance available!

Kevin Leavitt
05-01-2008, 12:18 PM
Ledyard Sensei,

So you will be at summer Camp at Catholic?

I will try and make it up there, if nothing else, i'd simply like to meet you and say hi and shake your hand!

I will try and make at least a day of training if I can. I hope I can maybe work with you even if just a little.

Thanks!

Kevin

MM
05-01-2008, 01:05 PM
On the other hand I am teaching at DC Camp and I think that Mark's comments about camps don't reflect the proper way to get the most out of events like that. There will be some very senior folks at the camp teaching, some of whom are quite excellent at instructing. The best training is obtained by working with these folks as partners. Grab them and ask to do a class or half a class. If you can't get on their dance card, grab them after class and ask questions. You can get virtually private instruction doing this. Ask if they could work with you during the lunch break on whatever you want to get help on... That's the way to really come away from the large events with something tangible. Go after the knowledge you want, don't just sit there and do the standard group thing... I can't think of any instructor who would say no to working with you at some point. The "hungry" folks get fed.



Well, putting it that way, I don't think I can disagree. :) A very good strategy for making the most out of a crowded seminar.

Mark