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Mary Eastland
06-21-2008, 09:01 AM
As I was driving this morning it occured to me that maybe some men have a hard time understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training because they have never given birth.

Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus. :)

Just some random thoughts.....what do you think?
Mary

Kevin Leavitt
06-21-2008, 10:06 AM
A question that we can probably not understand as of course men can't give birth. Just as women can't write their name in the snow, which actually takes some internal power to be able to make it legible. :)

(Sorry couldn't resist!) :)

Seriously, I would not even begin to know how to relate to have a discussion on this of the top of my head.

Upyu
06-21-2008, 10:29 AM
Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus. :)


I'm sure bearing a child is a feat that would make most men cry, including myself.

But for anyone that has a modicum of these skills would also know that the statement you made is basically comparing apples and oranges.
Internal skill comes from rewiring how you think and move, but is also dependent on conditioning. Lose one or the other and you'll always lose out on these skills. Anyone with decent internal skills had a tremendous amount of certain physical conditioning, whether it be Ueshiba, Shioda, or Tohei etc.
(All you have to do is take a look at Ueshiba's near nekkid figure when he was doing misogi to see the tell-tale signs of that physical conditioning.)

Who knows, maybe Ueshiba got his stuff from visualizing having birth :D

Kevin Leavitt
06-21-2008, 01:08 PM
Rob wrote:

Anyone with decent internal skills had a tremendous amount of certain physical conditioning

No kidding. I just finished my first 10 days of doing your exercises. I am frickin sore all over. Mainly upper back, lats, back of my legs, and obliques. Good stuff.

It is interesting. Never broke a sweat, everyday felt like I needed to do more when I stopped. by the end of the 10th day though I am pretty sore.

I am doing it at work as well as paired exercises with a partner. We get called all kinds of names and get eye brows raised. :)

Janet Rosen
06-21-2008, 02:20 PM
And I believe that any prolonged, intense and difficult experience, be it illness, childbirth, war, athletic endurance, that a person learns to deal with by integrating his/her physical and emotional responses will have the same affect.
In other words, its how the person goes in looking at it and then experiences it. And I suspect that not all moms experience childbirth as "focused, centered power". How one goes through childbirth depends on so many variables - age, education, culture, support, belief systems, expectations....

Chris Li
06-21-2008, 03:10 PM
As I was driving this morning it occured to me that maybe some men have a hard time understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training because they have never given birth.

Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus. :)

Just some random thoughts.....what do you think?
Mary

I think that your basic assumption (that child bearing women are better at "understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training") has yet to be established.

I've trained plenty of moms who had problems relaxing and moving softly - pretty much the same as anyone else.

Best,

Chris

jennifer paige smith
06-21-2008, 03:11 PM
When life is victorious, there is birth; when it is thwarted, there is death. A warrior is always engaged in a life-and-death struggle for Peace.
Morihei Ueshiba


Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. Just as a lotus flower springs from the mire to bloom splendidly, the interaction of the cosmic breath causes the flower of the spirit to bloom and bear fruit in this world.
Morihei Ueshiba

Mary Eastland
06-21-2008, 05:19 PM
I am not sure if was an assumption or just a reference point for me. Of course when I first started I had no idea about my center. Now that I do,.... I understand what happened when I gave birth in a new way. And I don't understand now and then...some things will always be in sacred mystery and that's all right with me.
Mary

Chris Li
06-21-2008, 05:42 PM
I am not sure if was an assumption or just a reference point for me. Of course when I first started I had no idea about my center. Now that I do,.... I understand what happened when I gave birth in a new way. And I don't understand now and then...some things will always be in sacred mystery and that's all right with me.
Mary

Assumption or reference point - there's no point in wondering about causes if the stated effect isn't valid.

Best,

Chris

Bill Danosky
06-21-2008, 06:10 PM
I know this'll put me in the man-pig hall of fame, but here it goes anyway:

Once you've conceived, and made the decision to go through with the pregnancy, childbirth is inevitable. Whether you're focused and centered, or scared witless and screaming for anesthesia. So I'm sorry, I don't think going through it confers any special wisdom or ability on the bearer. Although women who're inclined that way may find deep inspiration, and great women often do (Janet).

Now, before you get all pissy... I'm not marginalizing any mother's contribution, but IMO, it takes a lot more strength and character to raise a child than it does to have one. Therefore ALL concerned, involved moms and dads deserve credit and derive a benefit from it, regardless of the gender of the individual parent.

BTW, don't believe the way dads are portrayed on the average Windex or cereal commercial. Some of us actually have IQs with three digits!

sunny liberti
06-21-2008, 10:11 PM
OK, I reeeeaaaaally don't want to get sucked in here, but this is a topic I'm passionate about, so I can't help myself.

All I'm going to say is that it's completely impossible to discuss this intelligently without defining the birth experience. Obstetrics model birthing - even so called "natural birth" in a hospital with a midwife, but still OB *model* of care - is the farthest thing from internal power, or an empowering experience.

I can certainly see that real honest orgasmic birthing is probably a real experience of internal power. I hold this opinion based on having met quite a few women who have experienced this. They have had some powerful experiences and been changed fundamentally. Most I know of have had a deepening of their physical practice. (I will add that I have met more of these women in yoga circles than anywhere else.)

I don't know first hand. Unfortunately, mine was born in a hospital.

I just can't stand to see this discussion keep going on a track that doesn't address this total disparity of birthing experience.

Carry on . . .

Upyu
06-21-2008, 11:33 PM
<snip>
All I'm going to say is that it's completely impossible to discuss this intelligently without defining the birth experience.

No it's impossible to discuss unless you can define what governs internal body mechanics, and an understanding of the basic body mechanics involved.

The fact that "friends in the yoga circle" share a similar opinion has no real bearing since I'd bet that 95% or more of those in yoga have the same misconceptions regarding "Internal" as those in the martial arts.

I apologize for coming off a bit harsh, but for anyone that can do these things, and that understands the logic and reasoning behind the conditioning and skills, you'd understand why the whole topic is nothing short of ludicrous.

It's like making an analogy with the throwing of bales of hay, it's both a trained skill and something that the body acquires through conditioning.
But to say that the female body can get a glimpse of what the skill of throwing bales hay is like through child birthing...
well I think you get the idea.

That being said, I'd posit that there is a "facet" of child birthing, especially with regards to breathing, and pressurizing of the body, that overlaps some of these skills. But unless you essentially worked on having a child everyday for several years, it's not something that merits discussion


No kidding. I just finished my first 10 days of doing your exercises. I am frickin sore all over. Mainly upper back, lats, back of my legs, and obliques. Good stuff.

It is interesting. Never broke a sweat, everyday felt like I needed to do more when I stopped. by the end of the 10th day though I am pretty sore.


Hehehe, after a while passes and you start to be able to kick in the contradictory tensions properly, trust me, you'll sweat like a pig even in winter
It'll make you wish that all you had to deal with was sore muscles :D

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 08:10 AM
Couple of observations on Child Birth I think are worth mentioning. This is not meant to trivialize or discount the hardwork and contributions of a mother.

I think philosophically speaking childbirth can speak of the amazing things a women's body can go through and endures. For many women this is a very enlightening and spiritual process. One in which you are joined both physically and mentally with another human being (infant).

From that aspect I can see where you might label this an internal process.

I think many perceptions of aikido are akin to this. I know I went through this, and had expectations of aikido being a very transformative process. That is through the physical practice of aikido that I would form a connection mentally, spiritually, and physical and I would somehow gain a certain amount of enlightment through the process.

I had the same expectations When I completed Ranger School about 12 years ago. That is, through a shugyo like experience, that I would somehow gain insight to something greater.

In a way I did, I learned that the human is an amazing organism, We can endure much pain, and suffering. We can put ourselves through a great deal and not only survive, but thrive.

I also learned it was alot of hardwork and alot of it just plan sucked!

Anyway, back on subject.

However, for childbirth to be internal in the martial sense that we are talking hear it would need to produce certain skills and enstates. AND those endstates would need to be replicated and repeated over and over again.

I have not observed any correalation between women that have given birth with this martially or in any other manner from yoga, to gymnastics or whatnot.

If did lend significantly to the process, then we would see a distinction between Men, women that have given birth, and Women that have not.

I think you have to be careful about separating the phenomenon and not attributing experiences in other areas to this very real and physical practice of internal martial skills.

Sure childbirth can be a transformative experience spiritually and mentally. That is a big part of the process of growing as a human being. Which when you get down to it is why most of us practice aikido!

However, what most of us at some point and time fail to do is to correctly see the linkage between mental, spiritual, and physical.

I think aikido does a decent job of training this linkage, but I would argue that in many respects we are missing the boat on the physical development area.

Hence we have all these discussions about how aikido works in a real fight. How childbirth experience lends to doing stuff better physically, how Zen meditation makes us more "internal" thus my "aikido" is better.

sunny liberti
06-22-2008, 09:17 AM
First, we need to address the crowbar separation between the birthing models. It's really critical to making anything meaningful out of this ridiculous discussion.

On the one hand, we have the obstetrics model of birthing. In that model, birthing is painful, and people come up with all sorts of inventive ways to manage that - from drugs to fruity things like counting, contrived breathing, etc . . . Still the fundamental idea is that it's pain. And because so many women do experience tremendous pain, it must be fact. Furthermore, many women feel that some form of this is empowering, because they were "tough" and had to dig deep to handle that level of pain. I had a horrific birth experience, full of pain that was considered medically unmanageable. (I'll spare everyone the details.) If people could magically come out of that experience with internal martial skill just for having dealt with pain, I would be one of them. And I ain't got it. What happens there is restriction, contraction, blockage of energy flow that we have to fight against our own bodies [doesn't this seem opposite of internal martial skill?!], struggle, and finally we dig deep to wrestle the baby out with fear and pain. That might be a little extreme to describe some women's experience, but it's some flavor of that, in the OB model.

Now, completely outside that paradigm, there are women who birth with no pain, but instead find that it's the most powerfully ecstatic experience of their lives. That they are in NO pain, the are completely energetically open, and that the child comes into the world cocooned in the mother's incredibly powerful energy. They don't struggle, they don't fight. Instead, they seem to become almost generators of incredible power and energy that seems to put the newborn in a trance with her energy.

Next, it seems there is wild speculation going on here where people on both sides of this discussion are drawing conclusions based on assumptions that over-stretch from their experience. Until I hear from a woman who has actually had a fully realized orgasmic birth - not anything that falls under the obstetrics paradigm (that was my original point) - *AND* has credible internal martial skill (against uncooperative attackers), this conversation can be nothing outside of wild speculation on both sides. And to pretend that anyone really is doing more than that looks a bit silly to me.

No it's impossible to discuss unless you can define what governs internal body mechanics, and an understanding of the basic body mechanics involved.

Robert, I think we are more in agreement than disagreement here. Just because it's my opinion that the discussion is pointless without defining what the hell actually happens in a birth experience (which I don't see as being altogether possible to do in the first place), doesn't mean that I don't also think that internal martial skill requires addition conditioning and training. And that that side of the comparison doesn't also deserve a good healthy dissection. It seems to me in my speculative state, that it's easier to talk about the body mechanics part - and I assume that many here will take that direction. It's darn near impossible to talk meaningfully about birthing alone, much less as it compares to martial arts!! Additionally, I can't go with any theory that a pain-based birth has anything to do with manifesting internal martial power.

Blissful birthing is probably an experience of internal power. An experience of it. It doesn't mean that I think those mothers can then go demonstrate internal martial skill. I'll also address, that while my husband and I are talking about this thread, his concern about where it's going is that we're very doubtfully talking about the same internal power. Just like there are many external powers, there are many forms of internal power. As my husband was saying to me: For instance, regarding the umbrella of external power - burning wood is different that lightning striking, which is different than water flowing . . . For internal power, there is the power to give, grow, and nurture life - and then there is tensegrity, holding multiple mental intention directions, storing power in the spine and releasing power from the spine, reverse breathing, etc.

I also noted that anything I say is speculation, as I have never birthed in that way, and have no internal martial skill. I specifically brought up yoga, so that it was clear exactly where my speculation is coming from. By the way, just as I don't waste my time with that 95% percent you mention in the martial arts world - which I happen to think is a generously low estimate - I also don't bother with fruity yoga either.

How this relates to internal power and birthing, I don't know if there is any overlap in blissful (ecstatic/orgasmic) birthing and developing internal martial skill. I don't know if the former seeds the latter in any way. Is that energy/power the same fundamental power that powers the trained tensegrity, etc . . . ? We can only each offer our observations and experiences. I've stated mine as clearly as I can. Once again - to drive this home - until I hear from a woman who has actually had a fully realized orgasmic birth - not anything that falls under the obstetrics paradigm - *AND* has credible internal martial skill (against uncooperative attackers), this conversation is nothing outside of WILD speculation on both sides. And to pretend that anyone really is doing more than that looks a bit silly to me.

All I really wanted to say about this in the first place was that if all you've ever been or seen a woman birthing in terrible pain, with or without drugs, you can't speak intelligently about how it does or doesn't translate to internal skill. The phenomena are not related. If you've birthed with such passion and joy that it was an energetic experience more than physical, AND you have real internal martial skills, I'd love to hear how you feel they are related or not.

Happy training,

Sunny

rob_liberti
06-22-2008, 09:40 AM
A critical aspect to this that - we CAN compare these events in terms of the internal mechanics as Rob J was describing. To do so, we would need a women - that Sunny described - who could speak both languages - to provide the proper detail of the mechanics for the comparison.

Women who do not have the internal body skill developed to the point of dealing with uncooperative attackers cannot sufficiently describe the internal mechanics to compare these concepts in a meaningful or credible way, regardless of their birthing experience.

I'm typing this from across the room with an 11 foot pole - because I had vowed not to touch this thread with a 10 foot one.

Rob

PS. The male sea horse is the one that gets pregnant. And that is just as relevant to martial arts as the rest of this one.

Upyu
06-22-2008, 10:14 AM
A critical aspect to this that - we CAN compare these events in terms of the internal mechanics as Rob J was describing. To do so, we would need a women - that Sunny described - who could speak both languages - to provide the proper detail of the mechanics for the comparison.

Agreed


I'm typing this from across the room with an 11 foot pole - because I had vowed not to touch this thread with a 10 foot one.

Awww, but see how much fun the 11 foot pole bought you? Maybe you should invest in some 20 foot ones for the real special ones :)


PS. The male sea horse is the one that gets pregnant. And that is just as relevant to martial arts as the rest of this one.
The male sea horse could kick my ass, no doubt :D

Upyu
06-22-2008, 10:24 AM
For internal power, there is the power to give, grow, and nurture life - and then there is tensegrity, holding multiple mental intention directions, storing power in the spine and releasing power from the spine, reverse breathing, etc.

That's where I'd disagree, I'd say the first is more an example of a western interpretation of these things, whereas for the most part the skills were more concretely defined having to do with the latter.


All I really wanted to say about this in the first place was that if all you've ever been or seen a woman birthing in terrible pain, with or without drugs, you can't speak intelligently about how it does or doesn't translate to internal skill. The phenomena are not related. If you've birthed with such passion and joy that it was an energetic experience more than physical, AND you have real internal martial skills, I'd love to hear how you feel they are related or not.

No real argument from me on that ;)

What is funny though, I'd add cautiously that the constrictions, retractions you talked about, could overlap with a part of the things used to build internal skills ;)
It's why monks in China do weird things...like hanging weights from their genitalia...(there's a menu for women too, I'll leave that up to people's imaginations to figure out)

But like you said, it'd require someone with experience in both to make any kind of useful contribution on the subject

sunny liberti
06-22-2008, 11:35 AM
That's where I'd disagree, I'd say the first is more an example of a western interpretation of these things, whereas for the most part the skills were more concretely defined having to do with the latter.

You'll have to take this part of the discussion up with Rob (hubby), if he hasn't already thrown out that 11 ft. pole. ;) Or maybe you'll hit on this in a different thread? I know nothing about the latter things as they apply to martial training, and agreed to add that into my post to address his opinions about where the discussion was heading and what I was saying about it. I tried to point out who was saying what, and what part of it was not coming from me, but I don't think I did it very clearly. Apologies.

However, the one thing that strikes me about your comment, is that I don't believe a western view of power is any less valid that an eastern one. Martially - sure, no doubt. But just in general terms of forces acting in the universe . . . those former things are just as much power as anything, IMNSHO. I think that's why he wanted to bring up such diverse examples as eastern and western - to point out that the topic is just that huge in scope. Thus the relation to an "umbrella". :D

I don't know if that's what you're saying or not. But if it is, then yes, we disagree.

About the genitalia training, I should probably let Rob post this himself, as he thinks it's ssooooo funny . . . But when I was pregnant, he used to scare uptight family members when they asked about childbirthing classes and such, by telling them that we weren't bothering with that silliness - he was just kicking me as hard as he could in the crotch 3x a day to get me toughened up enough. :eek: I thought some of his aunts were going to faint! :D :D

lbb
06-22-2008, 11:39 AM
So -- please point me to a FAQ if there is one -- exactly what is "internal skill"? Or "internal power"? Maybe there's a coherent, consensus answer to that, but I expect what I'll hear is more like the blind men describing the elephant. At that point, seems like not only do we not have an adequate definition of the "birth experience", but we lack an adequate definition of "internal skill", which makes discussion of a connection between them much like arguing about the best route between the imaginary towns of East Cupcake and West Horseshoe.

sunny liberti
06-22-2008, 12:00 PM
Mary, your point is well taken. I don't think the blind men describing an elephant is a completely accurate simile though. I see it as more like a small number of people who can see very clearly (or at least enough to distinguish an elephant from, say, a horse) trying to describe the elephant to a bunch of blind men. I think a FAQ would be just about as productive.

My approach, while I'm in the blind man camp, is to work on my vision (meaning my body and my own skills) so that I have a chance of seeing the elephant for myself. Not to try to get others to give ever-better descriptions. I guess I'm lucky in that I have enough somewhat-sighted folks around me that I can see they are really onto something, though I don't know what that elephant looks like myself yet. :)

Mike Sigman
06-22-2008, 12:45 PM
So -- please point me to a FAQ if there is one -- exactly what is "internal skill"? Or "internal power"? Maybe there's a coherent, consensus answer to that, but I expect what I'll hear is more like the blind men describing the elephant. Hi Mary:

I don't know of any accredited "FAQ", but Koichi Tohei's book "This Is Aikido, With Mind and Body Coordinated" was written under the auspices of Hombu Dojo and so Tohei's comments and particularly his (and his students) demonstrations would qualify as a Rosetta Stone from which to derive the basis of something like a FAQ. In other words, Tohei's "Ki Tests" and demonstrations in that book were done at the time when he was still the chief instructor and the book was approved by Ueshiba M.... so the physical demonstrations of "ki" (aka "internal strength", etc.) are pretty concrete starting points. Of course a lot of people are going to offer opinions of what they think ki is, but my comment would be that before someone has the right to claim they know what ki is, they should be able to demonstrate all those simple examples in Tohei's book. ;)

Based on conversations and my own experiences with a few of the regual AikiWeb posters who I consider credible about at least some aspects of internal strength, I don't think that baseline of "be able to do Tohei's ki tests" would be questioned by any of them. So maybe that's a good starting point? I don't know if Tohei ever had a baby, so I'll have to demur on that point of the discussion.

Best.

Mike Sigman

DH
06-22-2008, 01:08 PM
Hi Mary
All due respect. I think your idea of men not understanding internal skills and softness because they have not birthed a child is nonsense. They have not one single thing in common. I will assume you have this misunderstanding because you don’t have the first clue of what internal power truly is. I think you will be rather surpirsed-as most are- at feeling real internal power, probably for the first time in your adult life-if we meet and have some fun training together. I would be more than happy to show you how to get started. I'd be willing to betcha I am both softer and able to move everyone in your dojo at will and with ease. Then share and get you started on how to train some things-and you might laugh and have a grand ol time learning. I know I do.
BTW I'm pretty sure I don't know the little I know because i'm a successful dad- but rather from spending 18 yrs. training internal skills.

rob_liberti
06-22-2008, 01:41 PM
Here is a video of Osensei's wife giving birth to Kisshomaru while doing the jo trick. Notice how at time 3:05-3:15 in the video that she is having some trouble, and how at time 6:45-7:00 how much better she is at it as she gets closer to giving the birth.

Here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=givemeabreak (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wishful_thinking)

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 02:17 PM
Mary,

The only thing I can tell you is that you will go round and round with Mike, Dan, and Rob until you get with them and train.

I have my own definitions, facts, and assumptions...but I think I have a little better understanding of Mike and Rob's position and definition of the collective term "internal" from their perspective now that I have trained with them a little. (I haven't gotten with Dan, but assume he is in the same camp).

What I thought was "internal" that is the whole blending, getting off the line, harmony, being at one with your opponent with "no mind" definition of internal was changed and how they view "internal" is not that at all.

It is a very definitive and measurable feel.

From my understanding of what they are doing...I can't see how you can relate child birth as a method to give you any transferrable physical skill that might be labeled internal as these guys define it.

I will give you the whole mental and spiritual area of "internal" but not the physical.

FWIW, I have witnessed over 100 births as a young Air Force Medic working in Obstetrics many years ago, including the birth of my own son! Some where easy and some where very difficult. I had one lady laughing and smiling the whole time..that was wierd!

Mary Eastland
06-23-2008, 06:27 AM
Good morning:

Thanks for your replies.

My idea of internal strength includes being resposible for my reactions to your reactions to my ideas.

Another idea of internal stregth would be to not use sarcasm to hurt others. I think this is where I have trouble with the development of internal strength without Aikido....the philosophy as I understand it tempers the internal strength with ideas that make us want to be responsible for our words and actions.

Mary

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 08:03 AM
You are valid and we love you. Really.

One of the most important aspects of aikido is makoto. Truth can be the most respectful thing to give someone - especially on an online forum (where you are making a tactic agreement to such things).

Honestly, all DUE respect, after 4 or 5 of these tiresome "please validate me" threads, one might expect a little sarcasm. Also, my impression of this one is that it has the flavor of 'let's bring in pregnancy to wrong foot any opposition from those men'. Much like shaming opposition to your ideas with "to not use sarcasm to hurt others". It's a pattern.

To address your issue with my post, I truly had no intention to HURT anyone with my sarcasm. I assumed anyone posting such things had enough internal strength to let such things roll off their back. It's the same internal strength I used for the critical self-honestly to eliminate my need to hide behind being tedious and pretentious.

Peace and truth - Rob

lbb
06-23-2008, 08:06 AM
Hi Mary:

I don't know of any accredited "FAQ", but Koichi Tohei's book "This Is Aikido, With Mind and Body Coordinated" was written under the auspices of Hombu Dojo and so Tohei's comments and particularly his (and his students) demonstrations would qualify as a Rosetta Stone from which to derive the basis of something like a FAQ.
Mike, thanks, you're a pal -- I'll stroll by Silky Way and pick up a copy this week. Sounds like a good place to start.

Mary Eastland
06-23-2008, 08:46 AM
If they are so tiresome why don't you ignore them and let someone who might relate post. I think a lot of people who might be interested in talking about things other than what the few of you speak of don't post because it isn't a safe place to do so.

Blaming me for your sarcasm shows you have no internal skills...better head back to Dan's so he can tell you more of how to think and what to say.
best Mary

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 08:48 AM
Mike, thanks, you're a pal -- I'll stroll by Silky Way and pick up a copy this week. Sounds like a good place to start.

Total aside but ...Some dude puled a knife on me and my friend (LEO) when walked to our car from the Silky Way. (I know it is not a terrible section of town, but my friend verbally provoked the street beggar and things escalated). I had just bought an iaito and had it in my hand. So it was a crocodile dundee moment. He puled his knife, I drew my sword and yelled "AWESOME!". My friend drew his gun, while the guy was running away, and had to re-holster it. I really wish I had said something better, but it's still a pretty good story.

Back to the thread. I support Mike's position in this topic - it's much more well thought out than mine which was - just visit people and you'll instantly know if they have it or not.

Rob

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 09:03 AM
If they are so tiresome why don't you ignore them and let someone who might relate post. I think a lot of people who might be interested in talking about things other than what the few of you speak of don't post because it isn't a safe place to do so.

Blaming me for your sarcasm shows you have no internal skills...better head back to Dan's so he can tell you more of how to think and what to say.
best Mary

My position is that internal power is an umbrella term. I have some, not ALL. I can't make a baby. And I cant always appease a baby either...

If you want to be ignored that's up to you. If you want to discuss internal skills you are going to draw attention to yourself by posting on an online forum about them - and about how some men can't understand that your soft cooperative approach is so great because we can't have a baby.

Why isn't it safe for posters? No one punches through the monitor. Why can't the strength of your argument and position be the safety you rely on? There were MANY non-sarcastic points made against your position that you failed to address. Opting to shame yourself some insulation isn't going to draw out the many posters too intimidated by my post to rally to support your position.

As far as Dan and I are concerned, we argue and often. And if it gets heated it could really turn into a real fight --- and I'd lose. But that's martial arts for you. The interesting thing is that some of his women students are VERY good at aiki (relative to me for sure). I think women DO have an edge in developing soft power - I keep wanting to engage muscles that many women have given up on long ago.

Rob

DH
06-23-2008, 09:05 AM
Good morning:

Thanks for your replies.

My idea of internal strength includes being resposible for my reactions to your reactions to my ideas.

Another idea of internal stregth would be to not use sarcasm to hurt others. I think this is where I have trouble with the development of internal strength without Aikido....the philosophy as I understand it tempers the internal strength with ideas that make us want to be responsible for our words and actions.

Mary
I hope you don't include me in that. I firmly disagree with you Kiddo. Big time-but, I'm doing so with sincere respect, not pretending to be nice. I would rather have you leave the door open so you can at least feel it, yak it over, debate over some fine wine and a good meal and maybe make a friend from unexpected places. :cool:
BTW I don't control Rob- I wouldn't even try. I don't think Sunny can control Rob...oh hell I don't think Rob controls Rob.
I prefer not to take these things too seriously. I have fun. Life's too short.

sunny liberti
06-23-2008, 09:23 AM
Dan!! Shutup, man!!! Don't let Rob know I can't control him!!!!! Sheesh!

:p



OK, seriously though, why do you think I send him off to take a beating from you as much as I can? ;) I know it's good for him. And I sure as hell can't do it! :D

Upyu
06-23-2008, 09:46 AM
Good morning:

Thanks for your replies.

My idea of internal strength includes being resposible for my reactions to your reactions to my ideas.

Another idea of internal stregth would be to not use sarcasm to hurt others. I think this is where I have trouble with the development of internal strength without Aikido....the philosophy as I understand it tempers the internal strength with ideas that make us want to be responsible for our words and actions.

Mary

I could bring up the story about how one Chinese tai chi master at the turn of the century would run amock in brothels, and laid claim to fame as being able to tire out all the girls without him breaking a sweat...er you know in what way,
Or how about Ueshiba saying you had to have enough vitality in you to open a hole in Shouji paper :D

Morals and skills are separate Mary.
Much like being a master brick layer has no bearing on whether the guy is the town "#$#"$#"le ;)

Mary Eastland
06-23-2008, 10:25 AM
I could bring up the story about how one Chinese tai chi master at the turn of the century would run amock in brothels, and laid claim to fame as being able to tire out all the girls without him breaking a sweat...er you know in what way,
Or how about Ueshiba saying you had to have enough vitality in you to open a hole in Shouji paper :D

Morals and skills are separate Mary.
Much like being a master brick layer has no bearing on whether the guy is the town "#$#"$#"le ;)

Are they though?...maybe the difference is what makes Aikido (the way I practice it..I am not trying to define it for others)different?
To look at my responses and take responsibility ....like when I was just not so nice to Rob. I would like to blame him for my response but I can't because I did it ...not him.

And Dan, I get it.... that you disagree with me and you are not nasty. Invite is still open....:)
best Mary

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 10:52 AM
Mary,

I'm only attacking some of the ideas expressed as one might expect when such an idea is put before an online forum. And Dan is right, sometimes I can't control myself.

I didn't realize you were seriously not bing nice to me. I thought you were making a self deprecating joke - since you were being sarcastic yourself about me going back to Dan for him to tell me what to think and what to say - after saying how my sarcasm was so bad of me and all.

As far as irresponsible behavior goes, I just see a difference with "blame" and expected consequences. I don't blame a ball for dropping if I throw it up in the air.

If you are really mad at me, you can always chose to harness your internal power and lighten up. If not then I'm apparently too dumb to understand the depth of your light hearted internally powered responses.

Rob

MM
06-23-2008, 10:58 AM
And Dan, I get it.... that you disagree with me and you are not nasty. Invite is still open....:)
best Mary

No, Mary, don't go! Don't take the open invite! Step away from the invite. :D

I don't think my ego could handle *yet another* woman tossing me around like a rag doll. :eek: :crazy: :yuck:

(Yes, done as humor. Or for those across the pond, humour.)

lbb
06-23-2008, 11:29 AM
Total aside but ...Some dude puled a knife on me and my friend (LEO) when walked to our car from the Silky Way. (I know it is not a terrible section of town, but my friend verbally provoked the street beggar and things escalated). I had just bought an iaito and had it in my hand. So it was a crocodile dundee moment. He puled his knife, I drew my sword and yelled "AWESOME!". My friend drew his gun, while the guy was running away, and had to re-holster it. I really wish I had said something better, but it's still a pretty good story.
Actually, I think that's a great line -- certainly better than "that's not a knife". I have this mental image of a guy who suddenly gets a look on his face like Santa Claus just handed him an extra set of presents, yelling, "AWESOME!" -- and the panhandler having the presence of mind to determine that a)this is not the reaction you expect to get when you pull a knife on someone and b)it's time to go now. I really wish I could have seen it.

That area has been my stompin' grounds since I first came to Boston. It's civilized enough in most ways, but for some reason it's always had the testiest panhandlers I've encountered anywhere in the city. After years of working in the 'burbs, I'm once again working downtown, and once again Silky Way is only a few blocks from my workplace. The only thing that keeps this from being a bank-buster is my inability to pick a book from the selection on their shelves. Mike's got me started, though!

Back to the thread. I support Mike's position in this topic - it's much more well thought out than mine which was - just visit people and you'll instantly know if they have it or not.

Rob
He's one clueful fella, is Mike. I have no idea if I would recognize it if I encountered it, but I do know enough to not spend too many cycles trying to define it in the abstract. My question was more like 10% Socrates and 90% wiseguy: as in, "Do you know what this 'internal skill' thing, whose presence you assert or deny, is?" (for no particular value of "you"). I'm perfectly fine with "know if when I see it" as an answer.

John A Butz
06-23-2008, 11:35 AM
Re: Skills and morality, I have to strongly disagree with you Mary. While an individuals personal practice may be informed by his or her personal morality, the acquisition of physical skill does not inherently improve the quality of a person.

As an example, look at professional athletes, individuals who train at a level that most of us never will, aiming for performance that only a very few can achieve. If disciplined practice somehow made us better people, then we would never have news reports about professional athletes and their various brushes with the law/drugs/whatever.

Of course, pro athletes are not training in internal skills, as defined by Mike/Rob/Dan, but a skillset, any skillset, has NO inherent morality. In fact, if we are referring here to a martial skillset, the whole point of such skills originally was to wage war, on one scale or another. Warriors did not practice internal skills, sword work, or grappling to improve themselves morally. They practiced so that they would have a slightly better chance of coming out of a life or death encounter on the alive side of the equation.

My sensei has said that in over 25 years of training, the total of his moral education derived from martial arts was that 1) in a fight you will probably get hurt, so don't fight and 2) Don't hurt uke, because he will be throwing you next.

This is not to say that the pursuit of budo has no positive side effects. One can become more fit, more self-confident, more sure of oneself, more powerful, and have a large group of like-minded individuals to share a common interest with. But none of these things imply an inherent morality.

In many ways expecting martial arts to make you a more moral person is simply as ridiculous as expecting any other advanced skill set which requires dedicated practice to make you a more moral person. We don't hold engineers, computer programmers, concert pianists or any other profession or discipline to a higher set of morality simply because of the skills they pursue. Why should we do that with martial practice?

I would posit that the acquisition of moral strength is a seperate practice in and of itself, one that requires as much time and discipline as the acquiring of physical skills.

Sincerely,
--John A Butz

sunny liberti
06-23-2008, 11:52 AM
When I started aikido in my early 20s, I had a few conflicting notions going on. I'm quite sure I still have some remaining . . . Of course, one doesn't know they are conflicting when we have them, but in any case this is a little bit about what I've learned along the way.

One of my stated reasons for decided to train aikido is to deal with people better. More gracefully, in any case. Not a strong suit of mine, and I thought aikido would help me a lot with that. Very well.

I also had the idea that aikido would be something that would only attract people who were aware and kind and all those lofty ideals about it. The brutes would go to whatever other MA they did, but that people who were looking for something deeper came to aikido dojo.

So, I experienced about 5 years of frustration, and I didn't really understand why. I was indignant that people were being . . . people. Regular old people, with all our jerkiness and foibles. But this was aikido! (I don't know how I was expecting to get all that practice at dealing with people more gracefully, in the perfect haven I imagined aikido was . . . but what can I say? These things are not always logical.)

Then I started going to Zen Mountain the Gleason Sensei. I thought, well, buddhists who do aikido - that must be where it's at! They must be really peaceful!!

They were just like everyone else. People. Just folks.

On the drive home of one of the seminars, Gleason Sensei asked me what was going on - he always knows when his students are spinning things in our minds. So I told him how disappointed I was. In his usual way, with one perfect stroke, he said: Hmmm, yes. Those who find the path are the ones who most need it.

And that completely unstuck me from that weird dichotomy I was in. I got it. We're all just folks being folks.

The best we can ever hope for is awareness. And ever-deeper, or increasing awareness is great. Morality is in many ways an illusion. I'll see if I can find a quote I like about awareness vs morality . . . back in a bit . . .

lbb
06-23-2008, 12:03 PM
Are they though?...maybe the difference is what makes Aikido (the way I practice it..I am not trying to define it for others)different?

But you're trying to have a conversation with others, at which point it makes some sense to try and work from consensus definitions. Morals and skills are separate, as evidenced by the many people who are very skilled at something but have the morals of a gutter rat (or, conversely, the many people who are quite moral but not particularly skilled at anything). It's a matter of objective fact that morals and skills are not necessarily correlated in human beings. Now...you may feel that it's incumbent on you to develop a level of morality that's commensurate with your skill, but that's a choice: if you fail to do so, your head's not going to explode.

Ramble mode on: the aikido community has something that I've not observed in any other martial art, and it still makes me scratch my head: this seeming need or desire to create final and authoritative definitions for things that are nebulous by nature and not easily defined -- or at least, not easy to arrive at a consensus definition for. In karate, you don't get these endless debates about what is karate, what is karate for, am I/are you doing Funakoshi's karate, etc. You don't get people looking at someone else's gedan barai and saying, "THAT IS NOT FUNAKOSHI'S KARATE!" although they might critique your technical execution. So, where consensus definitions are hard to derive, karateka seem more inclined to not get too terribly knotted about it, while in the aikido community, there are those who seem to use that fact to their advantage, to assert a kind of authority -- to lay claim to a term, and assert that those that don't fit their definition of it are a bunch of fakers. I've tried to understand this...thing...in the aikido community in more charitable terms, and I still fail to see the good in it. John Ralston Saul, in The Doubter's Companion, talked about how there's a certain mindset that seeks to gain the authority to define terms, because by defining the terms, they can control the dialogue (and ultimately, the truth). I see people accusing others of "not doing aikido", and it strikes me that it's often used like an Orwellian accusation of thoughtcrime: it doesn't need to have any substance, it's just a bully club.

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 08:33 PM
I was under the impression that there were 5 off-shoots from Funakoshi sensei all claiming to have gotten it right (and the other 4 got it wrong). Maybe I misunderstood what I was told. -Rob

Buck
06-23-2008, 10:21 PM
Okie Dokie, what in the world does giving birth and Aikido's internal power even get in the same sentence? Hopefully not sounding harsh or belittling but consider the following:

1. Aikido is a martial art and not lamaze class. It was started my a male and it's roots are all male dominate systems of killing people.

2. Aikido being a Japanese art in origin and birth was started in a male dominate society. The Japanese I think up until what the 1970's had women walk 3 feet behind the men! For all those living or lived in Japan isn't still a male dominate society. Aikido has a sexist past, I am sure some women think of O'Sensei as being a male chauvinist sexist pig.

3. O'Sensei didn't write down anything I know of about giving birth, how to, techniques that use ki etc. O'Sensei audience when he wrote was to men, and not women giving birth.

4. There are no techniques in Aikido that teach giving birth or internal power and child birth.

5. Not all women think giving birth is equated with a magical experience to a Ben and Jerrys.

6. Or do all women think child birth is a one upmanship on men. Believe you me.

Aikido's internal power shouldn't be related, equated, or otherwise to child birth. Child birth isn't about defeating your enemy. To relate the two is making Aikido into something it isn't, a lamaze class. There is no way you can tell me anything in Aikido will help with child birth that Lamaze already hasn't done better, more complete, or more effective, and unlike Aikido you don't need to take ukemi for 20 years trying to learn it. Lamaze teaching methods to help women internally resist that "OH GOD GIVE ME THAT [ choice cuss word ]SHOT NOW! moment during child birth for so many women. The concept of internal power is not about that moment or the long hours of labor.

That was my noodles thrown in the pot.

Buck
06-23-2008, 10:56 PM
You also have to look at the anatomy of birth and women. All women are different. I have seen women come into give birth in spandex aerobic outfits, Lamaze ready, in super physical condition and abandon by any attempts at Lamaze collapsing from exhaustion only after several hours in the first stage of labor.

I have seen women deliver will little pain and effort. It as if they skipped the first two stages of labor.

Then there is the ever popular express birth of a C-section. Women really requiring it are not included.

I don't marginalize women because they are able to give birth, I just glad they can do it and I can't. But to credit them for having some greater internal power then men is not accurate. It really is female sexist thinking.

My point is no two women or births are the same. How can internal power be equated with a natural biological process women have no control over (unless they get an Epidural or decide a C-section). Women are pretty much at the mercy of nature while suffering until the uncontrollable moment of birth arrives. There is nothing of Aikido or any other internal power about it. Every woman's bodies ,pregancy, Labor: pain threshold, endurance, and delivery is handled by each women differently. Each woman has a different birthing experience.

Buck
06-23-2008, 11:33 PM
Finally,

We can say that internal power is aiki, which is applied to the enemy to defeat them. How is this to translate to a women in labor, is a women with great internal power defeat her own child, or shoot the baby with ease out the birth channel like a spit wad?

Internal power has to do with generating more power that can be transferred through the body, in our case as Aikidokas, to throw the enemy to the ground with ease. Striking the enemy with internal power at the right instance- most alluding to Aikido weapons for victory. What does that have to do with giving birth.

Women don't like pain and women on the whole if they could wouldn't ever go through labor if they didn't have to as we know.

I personally feel in most instances child birth depletes the mother's energy, and doesn't produce it. It depletes her mind and body like nothing else. It takes the life out of them. Internal power is being confused with those women that have a better endurance then others. These women with better endurance that are held up over others as unrealistic models of internal power. When speaking of internal power of women it is providing women with a false image of childbirth thus, misleading women. Allowing women to think they have some great internal super power when they really don't. The only internal power women have is the ability to carry and deliver another human. That has nothing to do with the internal power of martial arts.

Mary Eastland
06-24-2008, 06:31 AM
I could I had prefaced this thread with parameters like Dan did with another thread.
It would have been to any women who have had a good experience with natural child birth and who have trained in Aikido for at least ten years...;o)
My question would be: have you had any connection in these experiences and if you don't want to post publicly could you PM me?

Mary

lbb
06-24-2008, 07:11 AM
I was under the impression that there were 5 off-shoots from Funakoshi sensei all claiming to have gotten it right (and the other 4 got it wrong). Maybe I misunderstood what I was told. -Rob

Oh, sure, you can find it if you look for it. It's just not constantly in your face everywhere that karateka are found.

sunny liberti
06-24-2008, 07:37 AM
I could I had prefaced this thread with parameters like Dan did with another thread.
It would have been to any women who have had a good experience with natural child birth and who have trained in Aikido for at least ten years...;o)

I'm in agreement that parameters are very much needed. But As I laid out upthread in that post that I'm sure most of the men here stopped reading at the first sentence . . . ;) I think the parameters need way more limitation to something that has even a remote chance of linking these things, and then a woman who is accomplished in BOTH to talk about it.

IOW, I don't think that 10 years of aikido and "natural" birthing - as I distinguished as meaning drug-free but still an obstetrics model birth (that's not really natural, strictly speaking) - has the remotest chance of drawing any sort of legitimate correlations to each other.

10 years of aikido training does not magically bestow any knowledge of internal martial skill, and birthing without drugs does not mean that the mother experienced the generation of energy that I described upthread, that may have some relationship to the eventual developing of internal martial skills.

So my parameters, as I said in that really graphic post, would be a women who have credible internal martial skill against uncooperative attackers, *AND* who have had orgasmic birthing experiences, in which they generated power and energy throughout the birth process.

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 08:16 AM
Buck,

Here is the best way I can relate these concepts for you.

internal - just means inside - as opposed to outside
power - is the ability to do, act, or produce

If you can produce a baby inside your body - that's well within the definition of internal power.
Doing that takes human energy. I'm assume that it is the same human energy that powers internal martial arts, sneezing, and everything else humans do.

Can some birth experience help a women access such human energy that it can be channeled into internal martial skills? It's a valid question. I don't know that answer.

In terms of physics:
power is work per time in units of watts or horsepower (or in this case humanpower)
work is energy transfered on an object (force times displacement) in terms of joules (newton meters)

So basically, the amount of "internal power" can be thought of as humanpower within the body
which means it is work done within the human body per time
which means it is force generated within the human body multiplied by how much displacement we can move things/people per time

and conversely - it must also be the stabilizing force.

I have found that I can generate more of that force by improving my structure and my mental intentions. It is soft power, and I can test it against some degree of uncooperative attackers.

Can a powerful birth experience help with some mental intention tie ins with stabilization and pushing an object out to internal martial skills? Maybe...

Does it mean a man cannot understand internal martial skills devoid of those birthing experiences - nope.

Rob

lbb
06-24-2008, 12:01 PM
Buck,

Here is the best way I can relate these concepts for you.

internal - just means inside - as opposed to outside
power - is the ability to do, act, or produce


By that definition, though, what power produced by human beings isn't internal power? Isn't that just another way of saying "the power we produce"?

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 12:08 PM
Fair enough. It was the only way I could tie these things together. :)
Rob

lbb
06-24-2008, 02:33 PM
Fair enough. It was the only way I could tie these things together. :)
Rob

Hey, I'm not saying that's not it. I'm asking because I don't know -- it's why I'm so at sea in these discussions. How do you determine if someone's got internal power, or ki, or Big Mojo, or whatever you want to call it, if you don't know what it is? So, I'm asking, because I'm trying to figure it out.

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2008, 02:48 PM
look at some of the Aunkai and Dan's pushout exercises. That seemed to be one good measurement tool to me.

Best,
Ron

DH
06-24-2008, 03:07 PM
Hey, I'm not saying that's not it. I'm asking because I don't know -- it's why I'm so at sea in these discussions. How do you determine if someone's got internal power, or ki, or Big Mojo, or whatever you want to call it, if you don't know what it is? So, I'm asking, because I'm trying to figure it out.

Oh hell, Mary come out and see me or I'll see if I can come there. I mean what is it a couple hours drive? I'm just West of Worcester. I'm sure you will want to know this as it is the foundation of Aikido. You can most certainly learn it, and incorporate it into your training. I think you guys run your own show right? If so you can even tailor some training time in your dojo to practice it. I'll betcha dinner you'll want to incorporate this into your aikido and have fun doing so.

Cady Goldfield
06-24-2008, 08:59 PM
Hi Mary Eastland --
Birthing has nothing to do with internal power as some here are describing it. Labor and birth are about oxytocin and processes that are automatic and hormonally induced, not about something we females train for (Lamaze and breathing exercises aside ;) ). And furthermore, I think that there are women out there who are learning internal skills and "softness" without ever having given birth. Now cramps... that might be another issue. :D

BTW, this thread has two (count 'em!) Marys.
Mary Eastland (the OP) is the one out in the Berkshires in her independent dojo. Mary Malmros (hiya Mary -- remember the ol' days at Jae Kim's?) is eastward of W'ster if I recall correctly.

Mike Sigman
06-24-2008, 09:24 PM
BTW, this thread has two (count 'em!) Marys.
Mary Eastland (the OP) is the one out in the Berkshires in her independent dojo. Mary Malmros (hiya Mary -- remember the ol' days at Jae Kim's?) is eastward of W'ster if I recall correctly.Yeah, and everyone should know that in the early days of rec.martial-arts, nobody messed with Mary Malmros for fear of getting skewered by her wit. If I say, "Hey, I saw Mary Malmros on AikiWeb" the old crowd will ask what she said. She paid her dues in the coin of common sense.

Mike

Buck
06-24-2008, 11:30 PM
By that definition, though, what power produced by human beings isn't internal power? Isn't that just another way of saying "the power we produce"?

We can do the philosophy 101 argument exercise, do we really produce anything?

Human beings don't have power, thinking so is an illusion. Having power is a human ego trip of thinking you are in control. We are all controlled by nature and it's laws. We work nature's biding. If we truely had power our world and the natural world would be vastly different. We would be vastly different.

Buck
06-24-2008, 11:50 PM
IMary,

Internal power, or what ever other label you give it, is a result of the laws of science studying the nature of things applied to martial arts. "Internal power" is a word, is a term, is a label used by ancient martial artists to describe the use of the laws of nature as a way to defeat the unwitting enemy more effectively. Without the enemy figuring it out- see it coming. And the idea of internal power is over-rated, hyped and used as a marketing tool. That is what has become a large part of today's martial arts is to attract students to the dojo, so you say you got something the other guys don't. What ever internal power is, it is linked to the laws of physics, the laws of nature. It is using physics to the fullest, applying it to fighting. Internal power is associated by so many people to be something magical or supernatural which it isn't, but makes for good story telling.

Internal power is physics that was discovered and applied to fighting by those who in the modern world would be today's nerds. It was the edge over those who didn't get it. Today, there are those like O'Sensei who mastered internal power better then most. He understood how to use physics to his advantage. Understanding how to use physics in terms of martial arts is internal power. That is why O'Sensei was so skilled at his waza, the reason why he was heads and tails above the rest. He figured it out, and figuring it out is internal power. That is why we all don't understand it, cause we haven't figured it out.

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 04:15 AM
Buck,

Controlling nature and other people is an illusion for the most part.
Controlling ourselves is not - that seems to be your delusion if I'm reading your expressed thoughts correctly.
Aiki skills are about the latter primarily not so much about the former. The confusion is that for example if someone pushes into you stupidly going against the nature of things to try to control you - then in truly controlling yourself they get controlled. Once that is established, they become part of you and then of course you can control them. If you do that with tricks, and movement muscles primarily then your control will not be nearly as profound as compared to using uncommon body structure developed as "aiki" - which can be thought of internal physical harmony that extends into and encompasses others who are attacking you. That be can trained much more directly than we typically do in aikido or more and more indirectly. ( If you don't believe me gab my wrist. :) ) If giving birth helps women mentally touch some internal harmony image - I can see it aiding and helping to some degree. (I'm working hard here to tie these things together. It's like a lateral thinking exercise.)

I don't see how physics describes the effect of mental intentions so well. I sincerely doubt that Osensei (please drop the O' thing because he wasn't Irish) thought in those terms. Nothing about his or his DR teachers histories or reputations sends me the message "nerd". We use math and physics to try to approximate, predict, and prepare for reality. Not everyone works that way. I doubt gymnasts are working out the physics of their events. The best ones are learning imagery. Nerds may study them, but I doubt any of them would be more successful if they worked out some equations regarding their Olympic performances.

That was the thing about getting those Russian Olympic coaches over here so we could start winning. The big secret was that they used imagery in their training/coaching.

My feeling about aiki is that you need imagery AND you need to feel someone who already has this developed AND direct solo exercises for fastest results. You have to put in the work.

Rob

Mary Eastland
06-25-2008, 04:55 AM
It is a feeling.....a connection to that feeling.

Birthing = total mind body co-ordination (for me...no drugs).
It happened years ago...my youngest in 24...the feeling of total mind + body co-ordination remains even though I had no idea about it at the time. I had not started training yet.

The feeling of being centered like that ( in a different, deep way) came back to me the other day.

Maybe in training we are giving birth to oursleves.

Mary

lbb
06-25-2008, 04:29 PM
Oh hell, Mary come out and see me or I'll see if I can come there. I mean what is it a couple hours drive? I'm just West of Worcester. I'm sure you will want to know this as it is the foundation of Aikido. You can most certainly learn it, and incorporate it into your training. I think you guys run your own show right? If so you can even tailor some training time in your dojo to practice it. I'll betcha dinner you'll want to incorporate this into your aikido and have fun doing so.

Hey, thanks Dan -- I'd love to take you up on that. Sometime next month, maybe?

lbb
06-25-2008, 04:31 PM
BTW, this thread has two (count 'em!) Marys.
Mary Eastland (the OP) is the one out in the Berkshires in her independent dojo. Mary Malmros (hiya Mary -- remember the ol' days at Jae Kim's?) is eastward of W'ster if I recall correctly.

Oh lord, the penny finally drops...Cady!!!!! How are you??? I'm not exactly eastward of Woostah any more...well, I am three days a week, when I'm in Boston, but I live way out in the western part of the state (northern Berkshires, thankyouverymuch). What's up with you these days?

lbb
06-25-2008, 04:32 PM
Yeah, and everyone should know that in the early days of rec.martial-arts, nobody messed with Mary Malmros for fear of getting skewered by her wit. If I say, "Hey, I saw Mary Malmros on AikiWeb" the old crowd will ask what she said. She paid her dues in the coin of common sense.

You mean the old crowd still exists, in some coherent form? I bailed from r.ma when it got totally silly. Anyway, you can tell the old crowd that I've been borged, heh.

DH
06-25-2008, 05:05 PM
Hey, thanks Dan -- I'd love to take you up on that. Sometime next month, maybe?
Any time kiddo P.M. me and well set it up.

Keith Larman
06-25-2008, 05:56 PM
Hi Mary Eastland --
Birthing has nothing to do with internal power as some here are describing it. Labor and birth are about oxytocin and processes that are automatic and hormonally induced

yeah, I stayed out of this thread, but lots of what has been discussed my wife said about her one experience of childbirth. But one rather major difference was that her birthing experience involved a C-section and lots of morphine due to premature loss of amniotic fluid... So I'm just reading along thinking those naturally occurring painkillers our bodies make sure do make for some interesting altered states of consciousness... ;)

Hmmm, makes me want to rent Altered States again... Or else go read some Huxley... ;)

Keith Larman
06-25-2008, 05:58 PM
Hey, Dan, next time I'm out that way I'm gonna have to look you up. Gotta see some of those famous swords and feel some of this stuff too.

DH
06-25-2008, 06:57 PM
Hey, Dan, next time I'm out that way I'm gonna have to look you up. Gotta see some of those famous swords and feel some of this stuff too.
Blek,
I've two swords and and naginata blade and several tanto all unmounted sitting up against the wall. we still use them for test cutting on trees though. Care to mount some blades?? Other than opening up the shop for my sons school project I haven't forged in years. Everyone is buggin me to start up again though. I stopped because I got a major repetitive motion, tennis elbow thing for two years that just got worse. I'm gettin the bug again though.
Anytime your in the hood give me some notice and we can play.

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 07:54 PM
If you are having body trouble in your area I recommend this person:

http://worcester.citysearch.com/profile/map/43792088/auburn_ma/maykel_william_dc.html

He doesn't take insurance, but he is where elite athletes go.

Rob

Cady Goldfield
06-25-2008, 08:09 PM
Yeah, and everyone should know that in the early days of rec.martial-arts, nobody messed with Mary Malmros for fear of getting skewered by her wit. If I say, "Hey, I saw Mary Malmros on AikiWeb" the old crowd will ask what she said. She paid her dues in the coin of common sense.

Mike

Mary's wit is just one of the things you could get skewered by. The other was her reverse punch. :)

Cady Goldfield
06-25-2008, 08:13 PM
Oh lord, the penny finally drops...Cady!!!!! How are you??? I'm not exactly eastward of Woostah any more...well, I am three days a week, when I'm in Boston, but I live way out in the western part of the state (northern Berkshires, thankyouverymuch). What's up with you these days?

That's quite a schlep to Boston. Whew. But I can appreciate what life in the hills must be like, to make it worth that commute.
Happy training!

lbb
06-26-2008, 08:09 AM
That's quite a schlep to Boston. Whew. But I can appreciate what life in the hills must be like, to make it worth that commute.

It's paradise, pretty much -- and with a good (albeit small) dojo to boot. Any of y'all would be most welcome to come by, Sensei loves visitors!

lbb
06-26-2008, 08:12 AM
Everyone is buggin me to start up again though. I stopped because I got a major repetitive motion, tennis elbow thing for two years that just got worse. I'm gettin the bug again though.

I had tennis elbow in both elbows at the same time -- got mine from whitewater kayaking, aggravated it with yardwork. Not a fun injury, for sure! What it took to heal it...basically wearing tennis elbow straps on both arms, every waking minute, for months (and not paddling). I'm still prone to it, and I always carry a strap in my dojo bag in case it starts acting up.

DH
06-26-2008, 09:14 AM
I had tennis elbow in both elbows at the same time -- got mine from whitewater kayaking, aggravated it with yardwork. Not a fun injury, for sure! What it took to heal it...basically wearing tennis elbow straps on both arms, every waking minute, for months (and not paddling). I'm still prone to it, and I always carry a strap in my dojo bag in case it starts acting up.

Hi Mary
The strap pretty much were useless when I started hammering again.I still remember picking up a milk jug and dropping it from the pain!! I knew the answer but couldn't face it-I had to stop forging.

The good news is that when I did that school porject with my son, I forged up some damascus and my arm was fine. So now I am sorely tempted to go back. Even my wife is Ok with it so I think it's only a matter of time.

On a side note, who is your sensei out there in shangri la?

Mike Sigman
06-26-2008, 12:27 PM
No question about "earned respect" in this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SqJz0NgnnE

;)

MM
06-26-2008, 12:38 PM
No question about "earned respect" in this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SqJz0NgnnE

;)

That was a media sponsored ad. They had wires hooked up to the girl. Wasn't real. :)

Mike Sigman
06-26-2008, 12:39 PM
That was a media sponsored ad. They had wires hooked up to the girl. Wasn't real. :)Well, pooh. I thought I was in love. ;)

Ron Tisdale
06-26-2008, 01:30 PM
Lol! :d

B,
R

Buck
06-26-2008, 06:42 PM
As I was driving this morning it occured to me that maybe some men have a hard time understanding that strong internal skills can come from softness and co-operative training because they have never given birth.

Now before you get all pissy about this....think about the focused, centered power of bearing a child...it is incredible...never having felt this I can see where some men and some women who have not had children can doubt the power of softness, determination, nature and focus. :)

Just some random thoughts.....what do you think?
Mary

Ok, I want to respond directly to Mary,instead of those others who responded. I don't know of any men who have had children! :eek:Just some good natured rubbing. I respect your incredible experience of childbirth, and I see how you are relating that to "the power of softness, determination, nature and focus." That is yours. Kudos to you for that exprience. Though don't you think it maybe a bit unfair to women Aikidoka who don't want or can't have children (and men who can't give birth) that they will never have the understanding internal skills? Isn't there other ways of gaining these internal skills by the doubting men and women you mentioned, are they doomed to never have internal skills?

No offense, but I am not sure what your saying. I feel out of respect to ask you. :)

rob_liberti
06-26-2008, 10:06 PM
Ok, I want to respond directly to Mary,instead of those others who responded.

Okay, but the P in PM doesn't stand for "public". :)

Buck
06-27-2008, 09:39 PM
I want to appologize to Mary E. I am afraid I could have toned down my comments, and be more supportive of her topic. I could have been more respectful. That is the type of person am, I don't want to lower myself to petty childlish responseswhich I came close to in my opinion . I should have worded my thoughts better and more carefully.

Mary E. I hope you accept my appology.

lbb
06-29-2008, 07:40 AM
Hi Mary
The strap pretty much were useless when I started hammering again.I still remember picking up a milk jug and dropping it from the pain!! I knew the answer but couldn't face it-I had to stop forging.

Yeah, I needed a lay-off period too. It was still bad doing just activities of daily living. The straps helped me to get through that period of no paddling, no heavy lifting, etc. I really was at the point where just typing would have made it flare up if I hadn't worn the straps.

On a side note, who is your sensei out there in shangri la?

Dave Stier, Green River Aikido (http://www.greenriveraikido.org/).

DH
06-29-2008, 09:55 AM
Hi Mary
I had a friend with the same thing for two years. She tried acupuncture-which handled the pain but not the injury, and the straps. Her Doc told her he almost wishes he could get away with putting a cast on people with it. He said "For most, the injury is nagging more than debilitating so they don't protect it adequately and as a result set up a cycle of re-injury and inflammation. I can’t get it through their heads that it requires rest." I thought that a great explanation for the years long-yet totally unnecessary healing process, that fit me to a tee.

Looks likes a busy dojo, thanks for the link. Do you know what style or history it has? It isn't mentioned on the site.

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2008, 04:57 PM
Hi Mary
I had a friend with the same thing for two years. She tried acupuncture-which handled the pain but not the injury, and the straps. Her Doc told her he almost wishes he could get away with putting a cast on people with it. He said "For most, the injury is nagging more than debilitating so they don't protect it adequately and as a result set up a cycle of re-injury and inflammation. I canít get it through their heads that it requires rest." I thought that a great explanation for the years long-yet totally unnecessary healing process, that fit me to a tee.

Looks likes a busy dojo, thanks for the link. Do you know what style or history it has? It isn't mentioned on the site.

This is a bit off topic, neh? And I guess I'm noticing because of how vigilant you're being in protecting the propriety of the thread you started in General Topics. A similar respect would be appreciated here. Thanks.

DH
06-29-2008, 09:02 PM
Sorry about that Jenn.

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2008, 10:01 AM
Sorry about that Jenn.

Good bloke, no offense. Thanks for the good discussions.
I'll watch my p's and q's, too.