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Bill Danosky
06-13-2008, 06:26 PM
I'm at an interesting juncture in my Aikido training path. The philosophy of the dojo I belong to is something like "power through perfect technique". I feel like I have a decent possession of the kyu waza and I'm even pretty happy with my jiyu waza. But lately I'm wondering how much there is beyond the mere techniques.

Yoshinkan Aikido is not known for emphasizing Ki. Chida Sensei famously held up his car keys once and said, "Ki? This is Ki."

I'm not so sure. There's a big part of me that says ALL martial arts are about war BUT I think my progress is leveling off because I'm still fighting instead of harmonizing. The Force is not strong with this one and whether it's "Jedi or Sith" I'm going to get to the next level.

I know what I should be doing but I'm just not buying into the "budo is love" thing like I need to.

crbateman
06-13-2008, 06:32 PM
So explore... The more you experience, the more you will know. How can you make decisions about your own path without having as much information as possible? In a nutshell, ki is for some people, but for others, it isn't.

Keith Larman
06-13-2008, 06:43 PM
As a guy who has been jokingly referred to as Anakin on occasion, I say explore. I've gotten out on the mat with folk doing daito-ryu as well as various other styles. For myself I hope to understand aikido better by better understanding its roots and influences. So I look to the weapons, I look to the originating arts, and I try to understand how what we do today came from those things. People like O-sensei did not develop his skills in one day from nothing. And many of his first generation of deshi themselves have considerable backgrounds prior to devoting themselves to aikido. So I see no reason why one shouldn't expand horizons in order to better understand what we do now.

YMMV, but I say explore and keep an open mind.

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-13-2008, 07:57 PM
Aikido is more philosophical than physical. Nope, you're not turning to the dark side you're probably just succumbing to reality...

Iking

SeiserL
06-13-2008, 08:24 PM
IMHO, some will consider this turn as towards the dark side because it is not the direction they are going. Others will consider it turning towards the light because that the direction they are going. Turning to the dark or the light is a matter of perspective.

Of course, I am one of those mat rats who are constantly respecting what I have while staying open to what I don't have yet.

Dathan Camacho
06-13-2008, 09:37 PM
I know what I should be doing but I'm just not buying into the "budo is love" thing like I need to.

Alright, I'm throwing this out there with my usual "I'm a young person new to aikido" caveat.

The shihan at my previous dojo used to joke with us sometimes and say "with all my love" as he completed a technique with a pin. We'd kind of laugh, because that statement always led directly to temporary pain and a tap out, which was ironic and funny.

But - if you put that in the context of a bar fight or something, where that pin, albeit temporarily painful, might prevent someone from doing something stupid and maybe going to jail, you could construe the pin, and the pain that accompanied it, as an act of love. Maybe it's a more enlightened, more evolved interpretation of the "take 1 life to save 100" philosophy.

I'd like to hear other's thoughts on this. I personally don't think you're at the point of "going over to the dark side." Love doesn't have to be a group hug.

Stefan Stenudd
06-14-2008, 03:13 AM
But - if you put that in the context of a bar fight or something, where that pin, albeit temporarily painful, might prevent someone from doing something stupid and maybe going to jail, you could construe the pin, and the pain that accompanied it, as an act of love.
Nishio sensei regarded every irimi entrance as giving the attacker a chance to stop the attack and retreat. This way, he saw aikido as a forgiving budo. His way of doing the aikido techniques usually contained not just one, but several moments where the attacker had a chance to halt and step back.

Where there is a winner, there will be a loser. I think that Osensei was aiming at a budo with neither, to do away with fighting completely.
It is an ideal, difficult to realize - but I think it should be strived for.
And oddly enough, this attitude leads to the most superior techniques.

Lauren Walsh
06-14-2008, 04:54 AM
One of my instructors once said that when he was training overseas a sensei told him "You are fighting; you will never learn anything!" I often remind myself of this when I find I'm resorting to strength and forcefulness.

As for the "love", I think it is something that can be contemplated on many different levels. It is said that "Budo is love". When one takes it upon themselves to learn a Budo form, they automatically assume a certain responsibilty associated with this. That is to protect the weak, uphold justice, promote peace, etc. I personally do not believe that learning a martial art should be purely a selfish endevour, but rather as a means to benefit others.

Then there is the philosphy of Aikido relating to Universal love and harmony, which is in turn embodied within the physical martial aspect of Aikido. But then I think these ideas stem straight from Budo itself, therefore itsn't strictly confined to Aikido.

At a technical training course I attended a few months ago, "love" was also defined as the respect you have for your opponent. Mostly it related to keeping correct ma-ai and a respectful distance from the very, very beginning so that you are in a somewhat safe and correct position before beginning any movement or technique. We were constantly reminded to "love our enemy" - not in an airy fairy way - but in a practical martial common sense.

You aren't drifting to the darkside!! You have come out and raised these questions for a start which is a fantastic way to start to explore these concepts.

Bill Danosky
06-14-2008, 03:05 PM
Thank you, everyone, for your comments and encouragement. It's closer to the truth to say my intention's been to drift away from the dark side. I spent twenty years or so studying other martial arts and sought out Aikido a few years ago, attempting to soften my mentality.

My nature does tend to reassert itself so I have to stay focused on using my powers for good. So I'm trying to convince myself O Sensei's super powers were found through peace and love, hoping that will help me embrace it. But when you hit those plateaus in your training, the old habits seem very familiar and very alluring.

Dathan Camacho
06-14-2008, 04:52 PM
Nishio sensei regarded every irimi entrance as giving the attacker a chance to stop the attack and retreat. This way, he saw aikido as a forgiving budo. His way of doing the aikido techniques usually contained not just one, but several moments where the attacker had a chance to halt and step back.


And he specifically pointed out these moments when he demonstrated techniques? Could you give an example, maybe a specific technique? I ask not to challenge the concept, but to understand it better.

Aikibu
06-14-2008, 04:57 PM
And he specifically pointed out these moments when he demonstrated techniques? Could you give an example, maybe a specific technique? I ask not to challenge the concept, but to understand it better.

Yes he did. This is the basic philosophy behind his Waza.
I suggest clicking over to the Aikido Journal Website and perhaps purchasing his book or purusing Stan's excellent archive of Nishio Shihan.

William Hazen

giriasis
06-14-2008, 05:51 PM
Or, others might just seeing you going Mando'ade, ner vode. ;)

Reject the jetiise and the darjettii.

mickeygelum
06-14-2008, 06:17 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9PTMSwr1h0

Mr. Camacho...Hope this provides you with your answer. Even though it does not address your question directly, it provides the answer to the question.

Train well,

Mickey

Dathan Camacho
06-14-2008, 09:18 PM
Wow! That's an awesome aikido video, on many levels!

Thanks for posting that. Sensei Gelum, will we see you in Denver next month?

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2008, 08:34 AM
Hi Bill,

I wouldn't worry about the peace and love stuff so much. I think Keith L.'s answer is a great one. Be open enough to get out and look at some different things, especially if they can provide context for aikido and where it comes from.

Some other important points (crucial, I believe) is to look at ***what*** powers your waza. Is your uke off balance the moment they touch you? Can you perform your waza slowly, and still have the same unbalancing affect on uke? Can you maintain your structure under non-cooperative attacks?

I think there are some answers to these questions, but I no longer expect someone to teach me these answers...I think we have to dig deep into our selves for these. Know your own body...and find the truly best ways to use it.

Best,
Ron

mickeygelum
06-16-2008, 12:46 PM
I think there are some answers to these questions, but I no longer expect someone to teach me these answers...I think we have to dig deep into our selves for these. Know your own body...and find the truly best ways to use it.
Ron Tisdale

The essence of self-victory.....:ki:

Mr.Camacho...I am not sure at the moment. I will know in a week or two if I am able to attend Nationals or not. I am going to try, is Mink Sensei going to be there? Give him my regards, please.

Train well,

Mickey

phitruong
06-16-2008, 01:18 PM
I'm not so sure. There's a big part of me that says ALL martial arts are about war BUT I think my progress is leveling off because I'm still fighting instead of harmonizing. The Force is not strong with this one and whether it's "Jedi or Sith" I'm going to get to the next level.

I know what I should be doing but I'm just not buying into the "budo is love" thing like I need to.

"Resistance is futile!" oh wait! wrong sci-fi. wonder if the borg and the sith could join force, the borg of sith or sith of borg.

have not considered budo as love. compassion and mercy, maybe; not love. at least not yet. doesn't one need to know what fighting is before know what harmonizing, or vice versa? yin and yang sort of thing?

I also heard that the dark side threw great parties. :)

Bill Danosky
06-16-2008, 04:09 PM
Some other important points (crucial, I believe) is to look at ***what*** powers your waza. Is your uke off balance the moment they touch you? Can you perform your waza slowly, and still have the same unbalancing affect on uke? Can you maintain your structure under non-cooperative attacks?


Hi, Ron. You are well suited to hear my confession because it looks like you're also at a Yoshinkan school: My waza is more dependent on having good form than good movement. For instance, in Shiho nage I can keep my uke unbalanced, even when I'm working slowly as long as I have a good wristlock.

This is why I named this thread what I did. When you watch your uke's eyebrows raise, you know you're getting pain compliance, not real kuzushi. At this point in my practice, I feel like I should be getting beyond forcing non-cooperative ukes to receive the technique.

So I'm glad Uke can't do walkaways when I don't want them to. But I'm not having the magic Aiki moments I thought I'd have by now. I don't necessarily like torturing my practice partners but I'll take it over "Aiki-dance class".

Ron Tisdale
06-16-2008, 04:22 PM
Hey Bill,

The 4rth Dans at the Doshinkan only cause me pain when they **want** to... :D I still have trouble keeping the "float" without *any* pain...but I can use much less than I used to!

Best,
Ron (don't look for magic, look for a LOT of sweat equity...)

Bill Danosky
06-16-2008, 04:53 PM
don't look for magic, look for a LOT of sweat equity...

Spoken like someone who has both!

Dathan Camacho
06-16-2008, 05:23 PM
Ron, it sounds like you've reached the point where progress becomes harder to measure, i.e. when Aikido becomes less about memorization (like remembering footwork) and more esoteric, where you start to develop a 6th sense. Does this sound right? I can't really relate because I'm still in the memorization phase, but I'd be interested in hearing other's insight on this. How do you measure progression once you've covered all the basics and the milestones are less obvious?

Upyu
06-17-2008, 03:27 AM
Ron, it sounds like you've reached the point where progress becomes harder to measure, i.e. when Aikido becomes less about memorization (like remembering footwork) and more esoteric, where you start to develop a 6th sense. Does this sound right? I can't really relate because I'm still in the memorization phase, but I'd be interested in hearing other's insight on this. How do you measure progression once you've covered all the basics and the milestones are less obvious?

Skip the memorization,
Cut to the chase find someone that can teach you how to train "what" is "supposed" to be trained in the techniques and you'll find all that rote memorization to have been a major waste of neuron space :D

rob_liberti
06-17-2008, 07:38 AM
well, as far as sith and borg, I think they covered that a to a degree with Darth Vadar.

As far as 6th sense, (first I find the first 5 are hard enough!): When I cut happo giri, I leave my mind with the previous cut all the way until I make the next cut. I do the same in multiple attack. So when I throw someone, I leave mental focus on that person until I deal with the next person. In that way, I develop some sort of 6th sense. I used to think it also had something to do with reading people's attacks a bit - but recently I've met people who move so differently that I'm not so sure that is as much of the same type of sense as I initially thought.

I believe that 7th sense in aikido is about seeing patterns of energy in nature and how it related to what you are doing with your body in martial arts. The Harmony of Nature does a great job demonstrating this type of stuff.

8th sense is probably getting into mysticism and is getting away from what I would consider aikido.

NONE of that has much to do with internal training. That doesn't have to be the dark sde, you can be an aiki jedi if you like.

Rob

Bill Danosky
06-17-2008, 09:53 AM
NONE of that has much to do with internal training. That doesn't have to be the dark side, you can be an aiki jedi if you like.


What if you don't like? Mmwaa ha ha ha ha.

Dathan Camacho
06-17-2008, 05:49 PM
Skip the memorization,
Cut to the chase find someone that can teach you how to train "what" is "supposed" to be trained in the techniques and you'll find all that rote memorization to have been a major waste of neuron space :D

Right, but some of us are still mastering the first five senses - things like not falling down before uke! :D

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 10:13 AM
Skip the memorization,
Cut to the chase find someone that can teach you how to train "what" is "supposed" to be trained in the techniques and you'll find all that rote memorization to have been a major waste of neuron space :D

That may be putting the cart before the horse-

They say Leonardo Da Vinci painted 1,000 hands before he painted The Last Supper. That may not seem related to Aikido, but the point is that you have to master the basics before you can really get down to doing any "art".

Extending that metaphor, you can see how artists spend years studying and working before they can even really say, "I'm an oil painter." As opposed to watercolors, pastels, etc. Then settle on a style, such as impressionism or cubist. Eventually they develop their own way of expressing their subject matter. Van Gough and Monet rendered scenes in completly different ways, and you might personally like one more, but neither is better.

Boy, I really wore out that simile, didn't I?

rob_liberti
06-18-2008, 10:30 AM
I'm not with you on this one Bill. The saying goes "Get off the slow elevator and run up the stairs."

There is power and finesse. I believe Rob J is saying find power - right now. Then learn finesse. Consider that finesse before power seems a lot more like cart before the horse. Feel free to disagree.

Rob

Stefan Stenudd
06-18-2008, 11:29 AM
They say Leonardo Da Vinci painted 1,000 hands before he painted The Last Supper.
I love the comparison. Aikido is art.
There's nothing as difficult to draw or paint, as hands. I wonder why.

Ron Tisdale
06-18-2008, 01:30 PM
I've seen two different approaches to this...train the generic patterns first, then work training internally. Or, train the body structure first, then either learn "technique", or better yet, your body will manifest technique naturally.

I really have no clue which is best, or even if one truly is best. I think people pick what is available in their area, and go with that approach (most often). Most often, the waza approach is what is available. Are rote patterns a waste of space? I don't know...I kind of like them, they make a pretty dance... ;)

Best,
Ron

crbateman
06-18-2008, 04:08 PM
Two ends of the same sandwich. Doesn't matter which end you start with. You're hungry. Eat.

James Davis
06-18-2008, 04:56 PM
Anakin eventually came back from the dark side. There's hope for you.;)

eyrie
06-18-2008, 07:12 PM
but the point is that you have to master the basics before you can really get down to doing any "art". I believe Rob is saying that understanding the basis of applied power IS "the basics".

IOW, the "what" is "supposed" to be trained in techniques...is the basis of ALL techniques. So you can indeed skip the memorization part and really get down to doing the art. Mastery is simply being able to perform the basics "better".

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 07:14 PM
I'm not with you on this one Bill. The saying goes "Get off the slow elevator and run up the stairs."

There is power and finesse. I believe Rob J is saying find power - right now. Then learn finesse. Consider that finesse before power seems a lot more like cart before the horse. Feel free to disagree.

Rob

Gwan Jang Nim always said, "We only get better at what we practice right."

Kevin Leavitt
06-18-2008, 07:40 PM
Correct. so if you isolated, static, well defined techniques then that is what you will be good at. If you practice core body movements against a flowing, dynamic, and resistant opponent...then this is what you will get good at.

It all depends on what you want to be good at.

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 08:38 PM
Or if you want to be really good, well defined techniques against dynamic, resistant opponents.

Aiki powers, activate!

Upyu
06-18-2008, 08:59 PM
They say Leonardo Da Vinci painted 1,000 hands before he painted The Last Supper. That may not seem related to Aikido, but the point is that you have to master the basics before you can really get down to doing any "art".


Sure, but that's my point, most people don't even realize what "basics" they're supposed to be mastering.

It's like calligraphy.
They have you draw tons of reps of straight lines, both vertical and horizontal before you even touch your first character.
Why? So you can get good at drawing lines?
:o

Incidentally calligraphy (at least asian) has everything to do the body skills being discussed.
It's why they make you do thousands of reps drawing lines. (Not that I understood this when I was 13 in bum"#$ck Nagasaki, I was too busy flipping paint at the girl next to me :D )

Dathan Camacho
06-18-2008, 09:36 PM
I'm not with you on this one Bill. The saying goes "Get off the slow elevator and run up the stairs."

There is power and finesse. I believe Rob J is saying find power - right now. Then learn finesse. Consider that finesse before power seems a lot more like cart before the horse. Feel free to disagree.

Rob

Rob,

I disagree, unless I'm misunderstanding. I'm 6'3", I weigh 235 lbs, and I've only recently switched from power lifting to yoga and circuit training.

If I look for power first, I'll never find finesse, or Aikido! :D :confused:

Gellum Sensei, Mink Sensei will not be joining us on the trip, but I'll be tagging along with one or two of my sempai. If you make it, we'll see you there. Just look for the big clumsy hispanic guy with the big smile on his face! :D

rob_liberti
06-18-2008, 09:41 PM
Dathan, I think we have VERY different ideas about power. There is a power lifter training internal skills with us at Dan Harden's dojo/barn. He could probably squat the building off its foundation. And he is NOWHERE near the level of power Rob John and I are talking about. The poor guy's legs shake to the point he can't stand and pretty quickly because its just not about muscle power. In fact that kind of muscle power works against your learning internal power. (I'm certain that he won't be like this for very long as long as he stays with it.)

As far as shodo is concerned: I tried shodo (maybe shoji) and had no clue. A shihan at the art put her hand and her hara on my hand and did one of the practice lessons with me. A new world opened up to me. It was years ago now. I basically instantly gave up. I realized how deep the practice was and that I wouldn't have time to do both aikido and that (and everything else I was doing). I can recall that feeling vividly. I totally agree that it is all about internal skills. Now that I train them much more directly, I think I may get to go back to that in this life time after all!

As far as this thread is concerned, the possible is hard enough, why waste time practicing the impossible so much? I like waza too; it gets all of the stress I had been aware of out. I LOVE that. But, the internal skills applied to waza gets stress I had been unaware I had out. YMMV

Rob

eyrie
06-18-2008, 10:12 PM
Nah... forget waza... ;)

It's a whole different way of moving and being.... you don't need waza...

Bill Danosky
06-18-2008, 10:45 PM
There is a power lifter training internal skills with us at Dan Harden's dojo/barn. He could probably squat the building off its foundation. And he is NOWHERE near the level of power Rob John and I are talking about.

No, I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that if you power lift it makes all your techniques more powerful. Who was it that said that?:confused:

rob_liberti
06-18-2008, 11:22 PM
No, I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere that if you power lift it makes all your techniques more powerful. Who was it that said that?:confused:

I don't know. It wasn't me. I was responding to Dathan in post 37. No idea where you are going with this. -Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-19-2008, 09:03 AM
Nah... forget waza... ;)

It's a whole different way of moving and being.... you don't need waza...

To be perfectly frank, I do agree with this statement ***IF*** you are really training the higher levels of internal work with someone directly.

But that is NOT the situation most of us are in. So we do the best we can.

I also LIKE the formality, the structure, the organization, and the physical and emotional contact in aikido waza. So I personally wouldn't give any of that up, even though the utility of that in a modern combative setting is questionable WITHOUT the internal engine we are currently discussing (in my opinion).

Best,
Ron

Bill Danosky
06-19-2008, 10:19 AM
I don't know. It wasn't me. I was responding to Dathan in post 37. No idea where you are going with this. -Rob

Yes, I know it wasn't you, so no accusation there. It was Dan A. responding to my statement of belief that power comes from perfected technique and nothing else.

If you are into the Internal Power training, can you say what the best demonstration of it's existence is? I'm actually open to the idea but I've never seen anybody prove there's more to it than talk. They say Koichi Tohei could make it pretty apparent, and of course there's O Sensei.

Probably I just have to go to the Emerald City and see if there really is a Great and Powerful Oz or just a man behind a curtain. Who comes to Central Illinois?

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 11:27 AM
I'm not sure what the best proof there is, but I'll be happy to show you what I can do these days. Just one touch is pretty much all it takes. There is nothing magical about it - just uncommon body skills. What proved it to me? Well I'll tell you the whole story as I recall it.

- Gleason sensei touchs my arm, his hands go in an entirely different direction from where I feel "pressure" (for lack of a better word) on my body. For years I thought he must thrust then slice between my head and attacking arm for shomenuchi because that is where I felt him. However, it is abundantly clear to me that he is not do that physically at all. His mind is there (eventually) for sure but his arms are not doing anything near that area of my body, in fact one is generally leading me out in a spiral, and the other is just resting on top of my elbow. Still that wasn't clear enough for me.

- Then he would say things like when you do kotegaeshi do this, but cut them with your mind. I felt it, but it seemed plausable that the ukes were just prone to the power of suggestion, so being a doubting thomas myself, I still couldn't whole-heartedly believe it - so I never truly embraced (until recently) making that part of my own practice.

- When Gleason sensei did tenchi nage, I noticed that once I grabbed him I could not let go. I STILL just assumed that I had allowed myself to be part of the whole power of suggestion business and instead of thinking about how he was doing that, I tried literally for years to work out to to screw him up in some way. (I haven't been able to do it yet - but I still have some new ideas! :) )

- During these almost 20 years I've been trying to understand Gleason sensei, I spoke online often with Mike Signman many times (off and on for at least 10 of them anyway) - intially about the jo trick - which is an impressive demonstration even if with only 1 person pushing on the jo. I read his words and they all seemed to map to potential explanations for some of the bizzare things that Gleason sensei (and some of his students to a lesser degreee) can do - but I wasn't convinced they were neccessarily the same thing (and neither was Mike) so we talked past each other a lot (before we started getting annoyed with each other's online personalites - which certainly didn't help in believeing or understanding).

- It should be also noted that Saotome sensei has aiki power too, BUT his ability to wrong foot ukes almost made me dismiss his internal power/skills since if I could get people that wrong footed I wouldn't need anything but normal technique from there for 99.99% of the potential attackers.

- As I mentioned with Mike and my personalities clashing there was little chance of being persuaded into his way of thinking. I never argued with him about his internal skill explanations - just maybe how important they were to aikido (given my impression of what Saotome sensei could do in aikido with just wrong-footing movement). We argued too much about nonsense that had nothing to do with internal skills and/or aikido and unfortunately, it just got me ego-driven to dismiss him. But I recognized too much truth in what he had been saying so I looked for other sources.

- Rob John came on the scene and I was literally planning to go to Japan and meet Aukusawa (who Rob John) trains with - thinking that I want to investigate these skills from someone different. However, I met Dan Harden through various friends. He showed me internal skills and power in such a direct way and related it to fighting that I was a believer. I wasn't convinced that I could learn from him yet (since I was having so much trouble learning aiki power from Gleason sensei - I just assumed I may not have been wired to pick up such things).

What did Dan show me that started proving internal skills?
- he showed me his trendous stability
- his students had trendous stability to a certain degree (way past mine)
- he demonstrated heavy hands, rediculous power - and it was free - fast and loose power
- I pushed into him and felt myself being lifted up ,and then he switched his intention and all of a sudden without him moving in any perceptable way I was being crushed down by my own pushing into him - that was pretty convincing
- I had him hit me (not to destroy me but powerfully without breaking me - I learn that way for some reason) and it was real power from no wind up.
- I wrestled with him, and he hit me from the ground with the same no wind up and it literally threw me up and off him and I ended up having to get my ribs reset a bit - not too bad. (and he was _clearly_ holding back power trying not to hurt me)
- he did nikkyo and held me down with just touch in such a way I could not let go (I kept relating these experiences to the feelings I was familiar with with Gleason sensei doing such things to me in different situations)
- and most importantly - he showed me how I could do these things - not as well as him yet, but I could do them to a degree as long as he was guiding me through holding the right structure and setting my mind in all of the various intentions

As I started to make some progress in this method - I started to notice how much this mental intention jived with everything Gleason sensei has been showing me and telling me all this time. I started being able to do his aikido a LOT better. I'm on the cusp of really getting it now. I think I need another year or so.

- Fortunately, I grew up a bit, I was able to appreciate what Mike Sigman was trying to tell us. I was never going to agree with him on many of his non-internal skills posts but those seemed to have stopped to a great degree and I just decided to let go and just apologize for my side of the online fighting. (It helped me for some reason to get the impression that he was a Vet) He was gratious enough to bury the hatchet and welcome me to any of his seminars provided I was truly inline with his desire to work out how to best teach/learn these skills. I am truly grateful for this.

I haven't yet attended one of his seminars but I will. I bring it up becuase his words jive with my direct experince with Dan, Gleason sensei, Rob John's, and Saotome sensei.

Then I learned that Ikeda sensei got interested in Ushiro sensei's karate because of his internal skills training. I heard that Ledyard sensei was interested in Systema and other similar practices for the same reason(s). These are all people for which I have a lot of respect in terms of their training and dedication to aikido.

At a certain point, it becomes the only reasonable explanation. It's not a mathematical proof by any means, but that is what best proved it to me.

Sorry for the long post. I hope this helps convince you to investigate such things for yourself. - Rob

rob_liberti
06-19-2008, 11:44 AM
I ran out of editing time, but I would like to change:

I haven't yet attended one of his seminars but I will. I bring it up becuase his words jive with my direct experince with Dan, Gleason sensei, Rob John's, and Saotome sensei.

to be:

I haven't yet attended one of his seminars but I will. I bring it up becuase his words (and Rob John's) jive with my direct experince with Dan, Gleason sensei, and Saotome sensei.

Bill Danosky
06-19-2008, 12:20 PM
Having Kevin Leavitt and William Hazen endorse it gives me the inclination to look into it. I think Kit Leblanc has even mentioned that it's more than possible and he's a realist. So the next step is to get some hands on proof before I take it too seriously.

I think if I want a one stop shop for the truth I probably need to go see Mike Sigman. After all that's been said, I think if he doesn't have the goods nobody does. I dunno how soon I'll be getting out to Colorado, but maybe he's coming around here someday soon.

Kevin Leavitt
06-19-2008, 06:00 PM
I endorse it, but I caution you, because of the way I seem to read your perception or paradigm of tactical application, you might be disappointed if you go in there expecting to come out with any new skill at all.

At best I walked out of Mike's seminar with a better understanding of many of the exercises that we do in aikido and why it is important to do them, and a better concept of how to do them right.

I walked out with an appreciation for what Mike and all have been talking about for years.

I walked out with a new perspective on what internal training is about.

I walked out with some exercises that Mike told us needed to be done to improve.

I walked out understanding that it was doing it everyday a little that was important.

I did not walk out with any better skills, or an understanding of applicability martially.

Just make sure you go in with the right mind set or you may miss the whole reason of why it is important.

Bill Danosky
06-19-2008, 11:47 PM
Nah, I just want to finally know if it's B.S. or not. Robert Mustard and Jim Jeannette can do the same stuff that Mike, Dan and Rob are describing but they say ki is not really Internal Power- just thorough knowlege of applicable physiology, timing, balance, etc. and years of practice. No magic, just skill.

It probably doesn't even matter which it is. If the endstate is that you can do these tricks I'm just as well off learning it from Chida Sensei and company. Everybody says Aikido is weak against MMA but I've never heard the Internal crowd make any claims that they're taking on all comers (like Koichi Tohei did). Just that there is this energy that helps them do some powerful things. That seems honest enough to believe.

Aikibu
06-20-2008, 12:53 AM
Nah, I just want to finally know if it's B.S. or not. Robert Mustard and Jim Jeannette can do the same stuff that Mike, Dan and Rob are describing but they say ki is not really Internal Power- just thorough knowlege of applicable physiology, timing, balance, etc. and years of practice. No magic, just skill.

I don't think these folks are saying anything different one must tender to the garden if one expects thier efforts to bear fruit. :)

It probably doesn't even matter which it is. If the endstate is that you can do these tricks I'm just as well off learning it from Chida Sensei and company. Everybody says Aikido is weak against MMA but I've never heard the Internal crowd make any claims that they're taking on all comers (like Koichi Tohei did). Just that there is this energy that helps them do some powerful things. That seems honest enough to believe.

Some aspects of Aikido need to change perhaps like the way it is taught However our Martial "System" of Aikido (and a few others) can be effective against MMA at least in my experiance. I think the fault lies in the fact that your basic MMA Student learns to fight a heck of allot of faster than your basic Aikido student.

Folks (including me at one time) love to around the mulberry bush about Aikido not being about fighting and that IME is the reason some Aikido has a bad rap and for good reasons...It's been dumbed down to the point in some Aikido circles that it is no longer Martially Effective using the "excuse" that "aikido is not about fighting" aka putting the cart before the horse...

William Hazen

rob_liberti
06-20-2008, 05:55 AM
A word of caution about having the "same skills". The difference from my perspective is:
a- the time involved to acquire such skills. Dan's approach is very direct.
b- due to the direct nature of that approach, - and this is my opinion - I would say that if Tohei sensei himself or Moriyama sensei were to come into contact with Dan Harden that they wouldn't know whether to sh*t or go blind (as the saying goes).

The other difference is that Dan is all about MMA which is great - but that's not aikido proper per se. I have to take what he shows me and apply it to the other things I'm interested in. My opinion is that this is fantastic because I wanted to know aikido and MMA. Others might not like this approach. To each his own. YMMV

Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-20-2008, 08:52 AM
No magic, just skill.

Uh, no one said anything about magic except for you. The people you mention are people that I respect greatly, however, I have not seen the level of ability in this ONE particular area that some others have shown me. Or the ability to CONCRETELY teach it.

Just my experience...

Best,
Ron

Bill Danosky
06-20-2008, 09:54 AM
The...difference is that Dan is all about MMA which is great - but that's not aikido proper per se. I have to take what he shows me and apply it to the other things I'm interested in. My opinion is that this is fantastic because I wanted to know aikido and MMA.

That's about where I'm at, too. Kevin L. has convinced me that I need to get some good ground skills even if I'm sticking with Aikido for the rest of it.

Uh, no one said anything about magic except for you. The people you mention are people that I respect greatly, however, I have not seen the level of ability in this ONE particular area that some others have shown me.

Yes, that was me that was talking about "magic powers" in the intro to this thread. Within the context of taking my practice to the next level, whether it's really magic or not.

I do know- and have said- I need to get with Mike, Dan or Rob to see if it's the same thing as what the shihans are doing. But I hope it helps my case to say I've taken enough ukemi from Jeannette and Mustard Senseis to have felt some very "weird stuff". Like irresistible weight on my back and shoulders from two finger nikkyos and hands free throws from kata mochi. I've heard Amos Parker Shihan can make you feel like two tons of sand just got dumped over you, and everybody has seen Chida Sensei's wicked Aiki parlor tricks.


Some aspects of Aikido need to change perhaps like the way it is taught However our Martial "System" of Aikido (and a few others) can be effective against MMA at least in my experience. I think the fault lies in the fact that your basic MMA Student learns to fight a heck of allot of faster than your basic Aikido student.

Folks (including me at one time) love to around the mulberry bush about Aikido not being about fighting and that IME is the reason some Aikido has a bad rap and for good reasons...It's been dumbed down to the point in some Aikido circles that it is no longer Martially Effective using the "excuse" that "aikido is not about fighting" aka putting the cart before the horse...


Kudos to you, William. I think that's one of the truest things I've ever read about Aikido's effectiveness. MMA students do have a much higher learning curve (necessity being the mother of invention and all) but fortunately we all have a ton of time in already.

Aikido is beautiful, mysterious and elegant, which is not exclusive of effectiveness. You have to be really, really good at it to use it effectively but IMO, that's the big payoff for all the labor you put into it.

Thanks, everyone, for sticking with me as I work my way through this. Just think of it this way: It's like watching a character develop in a good movie- it's rewarding in the end, but first you have to hate them for a little while. :)

Bill Danosky
06-20-2008, 04:36 PM
Martial application or not, here's 7 minutes of Kancho torturing ukes for everyone's amusement::eek: :crazy: :uch: :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXoMyD50MG0

Tim Fong
06-21-2008, 11:13 AM
Rob,

I disagree, unless I'm misunderstanding. I'm 6'3", I weigh 235 lbs, and I've only recently switched from power lifting to yoga and circuit training.

If I look for power first, I'll never find finesse, or Aikido! :D :confused:

Gellum Sensei, Mink Sensei will not be joining us on the trip, but I'll be tagging along with one or two of my sempai. If you make it, we'll see you there. Just look for the big clumsy hispanic guy with the big smile on his face! :D

Hi Dathan,

I guess, I wouldn't think about it as power. I'd think about it more like, gaining balance. Balance under all circumstances, no matter how hard the opponent bears down on you.

I'm not talking about balance by leaning one way or the other either. I'm talking about redirecting the forces (opponent's forces/force of gravity on your frame) inside your body, without much apparent outside movement.

That's (and I'm still very much working on the basics for this) my view of what the solo conditioning that Rob and Dan are talking about, is for. To build that balance, no matter what.

Best,
Tim

Mike Sigman
06-21-2008, 07:14 PM
I think if I want a one stop shop for the truth I probably need to go see Mike Sigman. After all that's been said, I think if he doesn't have the goods nobody does. Actually, I *don't* have the goods. And that's no false modesty, either. I know people that really have the goods and I ain't one of 'em. At best I'm a western guy who has been "researching how to do these things" for about 25 years and I've got some modest skills. And yeah, I'm a big strong boy that weighs in at 225 pounds and I'm athletic.... but my real knowledge of these skills is limited. I don't know of a single westerner who can claim truly expert level in these skills, although I know a few who'd silently take the plaudits. Let's be honest... these skills are just getting off the ground in the West. Everyone can get on the front of the wave with just a little bit of effort and some training and thought. Let's don't screw it up this time by starting the game-playing and king-making again. ;)

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-21-2008, 08:25 PM
Bill wrote,

That's about where I'm at, too. Kevin L. has convinced me that I need to get some good ground skills even if I'm sticking with Aikido for the rest of it.

Obviously I highly recommend ground skills...you will learn alot about alot of things! At first it will be very frustrating and you will be all thumbs.

Here is my experiences. For about the first year I got my ass hammered, then I started doing okay with the other white belts, then at about 2 years into it, I started getting it on with the blue belts and feeling good about myself. That lasted for a while. Then I got my purple belt, and hooked up with some black belts and then started getting hammered again. I am still getting hammered by browns and purples. Figured out that I was not getting any better until I developed my core a little better.

So that is where I am now. So, I am now spending more time developing my core. Doing the exercises that Mike and Ark showed me are the base of this right now. I have hope that this will give me the edge I need to move on from there. I do those along with a bunch of stability ball exercises as well. No weights for a while.

Aikido practice affords me the opportunity to work on other things that are important in the process as well.

Bill Danosky
06-22-2008, 09:34 AM
How's your progress on takedown defense and escapes? I know I'm taking a very narrow approach to this, but sticking with the, "sinking to the level of your training" concept, it seems best for me.

I'm not much on pins in my aikido practice either- too much time out of action. I've gotten away with it before, but I chalk that up to, "The Lord looks out for children and fools" because I was not watching my back at all.

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 04:21 PM
Bill,

It is all relative to the skill level of the people you are studying with and the situations in which you train. I am happy with my level of progress actually, but I always can learn more.

I just started taking judo with my son. I am all thumbs working takedowns and throws in the judo methodology, I simply move different than they do, and I have much I can learn from them as I get away with stuff. So I look like a rote beginner doing waza.

However go to randori, and I can hold my own. It is not clean judo, but I do get the takedown and win.

It is all relative.

Yes, sinking to the level of your training. that is what we do when it gets real. This is why we have a saying in the Army, "train as you fight, fight as you train".