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DH
06-22-2008, 05:13 PM
How many of the Aikidoka seminar attendees, or those who have gone beyond to regularly train internal skills- now possibly numbering somewhere in the low hundreds- have reconsidered their view of what aiki is and what they used to think it was in their aikido ™ V Aiki…do?

There was at one point in time, no end of contention, disbelief, and even anger discussing internals as aiki. The discussion were sent off to the NON aikido related wonderland. Something which I found as accurate as saying gravity is unrelated to the discusions of Physics.

I recently read this reply by Kevin Leavitt and it seems to address some of my recent thoughts regarding Aikido™ and Aiki…do.
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 (Mike, Ark, Dan) view "internal" is not that at all. It is a very definitive and measurable feel.

I found Kevins comments (an Aikidoka) echoing some of my own expressed here:

Most aikido shown on all manner of videos and in demonstrations has nothing to do with aiki either. I guess you have to consider just how many folks it takes -all walking in the wrong direction- to validate that choice and make thence make the wrong direction seem right. In that sense I would say there is a great divide between "Aikido" (tm) and Aiki...do. They are not the same.

The good news is you may be able to find Aiki...do, in "Aikido"(tm) but you're probably going to have to look around for quite a while, since most everyone in Aikido(tm) is convinced they are doing Aiki...do - when all along they are just doing aikido (tm) movement. Thus, my point about percentages and direction of travel.

There is a very common and completely mistaken view that turning your whole body to move someone out from their center is aiki. Or leading a cooperative uke out off their feet by having to move yourself all over the place is aiki. This sort of blending-‘called" aiki-has nothing to do with aiki. Its jujutsu, low level jujutsu. So many have done it, for so long, that everyone now thinks it's true aiki. It falls in with the whole "giving in to get your way" idea. It is not needed, is wholly unnecessary, and a tremendous waste of energy. As I said, levering their arm against your hip as you pivot is just jujutsu-and not where you probably would want to be headed were you to feel real Aiki...do instead of Aikido(tm). IMV that type of movement is "full speed… in the wrong direction."

If your re-train your own body, you can arrive at a point where your grip or touch is very controlling to their center. Touching you, or making contact reveals their center with that contact. So much so, that you really don't need to move around to get their center under your control. It just is. You stand there and if they attack you- you take their body for a ride through their contact point. While I am not a fan of this either, (its' still all aiki games-maybe allot of fun but its games none-the-less) it is of a much higher order that what you are talking about.

I most certainly do not and have not ever considered Aikido™ as expressing aiki in any meaningful way, with much or most of what I have seen being either completely wrong in its approach, or just marginally in the right direction.
It reminds me of wondering how you set off from N.Y. trying to get to England and ended up in west Africa.
Time and distance.
All you need do, is give someone a compass just a few degrees off and have them set sail.

If Kevin, Mark, Rob, and others can now more or less say the same things I and others have been saying for years-where do others in Aikido ™ now stand on the issue?
Is the community which has been traveling in large numbers in the wrong direction still behind relegating these discussions to Non-Aikido Martial Traditions Discussions of all non-aikido-specific martial traditions
Or is it finally realizing- by the witness of an ever increasing number of ranked Aikido™ teachers- that this is and was in fact Aiki…do all along and just that many people in Aikido™ missed it.

John Matsushima
06-22-2008, 07:31 PM
Most of the posts which I have read concerning the "internal skills" which you speak of, I have not been able to understand. There are often so many references to chinese arts and language, which I, and I assume many other cannot understand, which is why it may be written off as "non-aikido". As Aikido is a Japanese art, the concepts and terminology used are most commonly Japanese and English. Even so, there it is sometimes difficult to define certain aspects as it is due to language and culture barriers. Take Aiki, for instance. Ki itself is so difficult to define, even for the Japanese because, in part, that it does not point to one concrete idea, so that makes it all the more difficult for people to understand exactly what Aiki is. My understanding of Aiki refers to the unification of mind, body, and spirit with the universe, which I have gotten from my study of the works of Tohei, Kisshomaru, Morihei, and others. In my own experience, my views have changed not because of some revelation by experiencing someone's super-power, but rather because of the change in my own focus and seriousness of my study. Before I came to my current understanding of Aiki, which I described above, I used to think of it as what you might describe as simple ju-jutsu technique; the concept of opening and turning when pushed, and entering when pulled. But, while it may not be Aiki, it is a valid concept which is used it Aikido technique. In addition to what I have found to be Aiki, it has also been used as a reference to the harmony, spirit, and attitude used by Aikido practitioners. For example someone who is sarcastic, has a combative attitude, or seeks to win at all costs, might be referred to someone who is not "Aiki". Finally, anything which uses Aikido principles, can be referred to as Aiki. I find that in your words, you seem to have redefined Aiki into something else, that only a few understand and them condeming others for not doing so.

So, to me, all the references to the dantien, qi-gong power, etc. are just as confusing as those who attempt to use complicated physics to describe basic concepts. Furthermore, I find all the talk about internal skills to be mystifying, just hinting at concepts describing the effects without explaining in detail as to how they actually work. Take, for example this quote by Dan Harden, to which you referred;

"There is a very common and completely mistaken view that turning your whole body to move someone out from their center is aiki. Or leading a cooperative uke out off their feet by having to move yourself all over the place is aiki. This sort of blending-'called" aiki-has nothing to do with aiki. Its jujutsu, low level jujutsu."

Does this mean the one of the most basic of Aikido basics, tenkan, is not Aiki?

There are many reasons for people's misdirection in Aikido. Some of the reasons are, I think, is because of their attempt to find the "secrets" by inventing new concepts, applying similar, but different concepts instead of the one that should be used, or by applying valid (or perhaps invalid), but again different concepts from outside arts to Aikido, which I think is done with the subject of Internal Arts.

This is why I consider most of the discussion of internal power to be outside of the realm of Aikido.

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-22-2008, 08:20 PM
It is probably a bit tricky to ask people who know about certain aspects of internal skills (meaning they agree on the essentials which are not even worth discussing, and then have some exposure to and expertise is specific ways of development and usage of such skills) but do not do Aikido for detailed comments on the direction of Aikido. However, such people are far far higher up on a credibility scale than lay people in aikido who know nothing of such skills, so certainly some weight should be given as far as training goals go, even if the arts they know are radically different in culture (going back to the underlying similarities between Asian arts). I am also a supporter of those authority figures in aikido who do not possess any (or any advanced) such skills but who know and acknowledge this fact and are willing and eager to bring about their incorporation into training.

Aikido is (unfortunately for some, fortunately for others) a lot more than (and a lot different from) merely a dedicated solo and/or group method of training internal skills and applying them in techniques, as all of us who are/have been part of a large martial arts organization know.

It is important I think instead to have people with bona fide internal skills (even if not particularly high-level in development) scattered throughout the international aikido community worldwide, and their consensus (or what semblance thereof can be had with such a disparate set of cultures and societies) might reflect some underlying direction of the whole of aikido outside of Japan.

Other than that, one could rely on the traditional model; namely, taking leadership from the Honbu dojo, and from that wonderful counterweight and mediating organ, the IAF. Since obviously Honbu has lost some credibility (else this whole discussion would not even be happening) it might bear thinking that the IAF, through the mechanism above (scattered knowledgable people throughout the IAF's associated bodies), would exert some unofficial pressure through the mere existence of such people, on the Honbu dojo. After all, we do all take our mental cue from the originating body of Aikido and if there is real authority there in the form of skills then it makes sense to continue to take one's cue from there. I guess we are at the crossroads where an awakening is coming that aikido should be more about the development of bona fide skills than about social training, which is what I believe martial arts is most famous for in Japan since the Meiji period. However, I am sure many people will disagree on this point.

I am sure this thread will become a very interesting "layman's" thread parallel to Professor Goldsbury's scholarly column.

Regards, Gernot Hassenpflug

DH
06-22-2008, 08:29 PM
Hi John
I wasn't really interested in trying to convince anyone or enter into a debate with those who haven't felt these skills. Rather I was hoping for interesting feedback regarding the preponderance of evidence via personal witness by the hundred plus who have felt these things, and whether or not that "witness" has been excepted by the community of readers, considered as a curiosity, or dismissed alltogether.
I was also asking for feedback from those who have begun to research on how it has impacted their view of Aiki in the larger sense, and how it has affected their view of Aikido™. Verses their growing understanding of aiki and the way of training aiki and using aiki in their own Aiki…do.
The larger debate of whether or not this is real and is in fact aiki as perceived in the Japanese sense was not my intent. IMO that’s old news. Your mention of the Chinese terminology frequently mentioned in the discussion (though I believe to be accurate none-the-less) has never come from me. All I have ever discussed was Japanese origins and usages in the Japanese arts. I’m guessing you just haven’t read much from me-not that I talk about how to’s on the net anyway, but I think you see my point.
Perhaps you care to revisit your comments in light of the purpose of the thread?.

John Matsushima
06-22-2008, 09:18 PM
"Rather I was hoping for interesting feedback regarding the preponderance of evidence via personal witness by the hundred plus who have felt these things...."

Sorry, I missed that one. But how do I know if I'm one of the lucky few that you speak of? How do you know? Is this just a thread for people who think the same way to get together and polish each other's apples and talk about how ignorant everyone else is?


....and whether or not that "witness" has been accepted by the community of readers, considered as a curiosity, or dismissed alltogether....

Well, I thought my response was, in short, to say that I, as a member of the community of readers that you speak of, have not accepted it, and have dismissed it due to the reasons stated.


I was also asking for feedback from those who have begun to research on how it has impacted their view of Aiki in the larger sense, and how it has affected their view of Aikido™.

Wait a minute...what is this "it" that you speak of, having an impact on the view of Aiki. I responded in my last post addressing the concept of Aiki itself, as that is what you asked for in your OP; my view of Aiki now, and what it used to be. I thought that you were basically attempting to discuss how "everyone" doesn't understand what Aiki is. By the way, I have begun research on every concept that I'm aware of in Aikido, as I think any serious student has.

"How many of the Aikidoka seminar attendees, or those who have gone beyond to regularly train internal skills- now possibly numbering somewhere in the low hundreds- have reconsidered their view of what aiki is and what they used to think it was in their aikido ™ V Aiki…do?"

If what the "it" refers to internal skills, then could you please tell me what is the Japanese terminology/origins of these skills that you speak of?

And you seem to be speaking of Aiki again here;

"I most certainly do not and have not ever considered Aikido™ as expressing aiki in any meaningful way, with much or most of what I have seen being either completely wrong in its approach, or just marginally in the right direction."

and here...

"Or is it finally realizing- by the witness of an ever increasing number of ranked Aikido™ teachers- that this is and was in fact Aiki…do all along and just that many people in Aikido™ missed it."

Well, perhaps I am one of the people who are missing it. You say you don't do "how-to's" on the net, but perhaps you could enlighten me with what exactly "it" is, and how it is different from what the majority of misguided souls that you claim are doing. What are we missing??? Please tell me! Onegaishimaaaaas.....

Upyu
06-22-2008, 09:34 PM
Does this mean the one of the most basic of Aikido basics, tenkan, is not Aiki?


Basically, yes, if it's done only copying the rote form.
Tenkan done "inside" the body would be a different thing.


There are many reasons for people's misdirection in Aikido. Some of the reasons are, I think, is because of their attempt to find the "secrets" by inventing new concepts, applying similar, but different concepts instead of the one that should be used, or by applying valid (or perhaps invalid), but again different concepts from outside arts to Aikido, which I think is done with the subject of Internal Arts.

This is why I consider most of the discussion of internal power to be outside of the realm of Aikido.

Then why would Ikeda Sensei invite a karate-ka like Ushiro to give a seminar on Ki and Kokyu power, with Ushiro going so far to say "No Kokyu, No Aikido"

Point in fact,
Most of my background originally was in Chinese arts before I joined the Aunkai, where skills aren't really described in terms of "Ki"/"Qi" etc. But when I visited Abe Sensei's dojo in Kyoto, his description of how to send power, the lines connecting the body etc, were all things I immediately recognized and could do to a certain extent ;)

John, it's just obvious you haven't felt anyone with these physical skills. If you've felt them before you'd know immediately what was being discussed.

Qi-qong = Ki-kou
Dantien = Tanden
Flow of Qi = Flow of Ki

Nothing differs really from a theoretical sense. You'd have to be able to perform the physical skills first before you understand why they say "be one with the universe" and all sorts of other ganja smoking hippy smack :)

I'm going to steal a quote from Kevin Leavitt since it illustrates this very point that's been covered over and over again

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.




If you're in Tokyo I suggest you drop by and get a feel of Akuzawa Minoru. He doesn't explain anything in terms of Aiki, but I'm sure it would give you an idea of what everyone has been talking about in the various threads.

Erick Mead
06-22-2008, 09:38 PM
I wasn't really interested in trying to convince anyone or enter into a debate with those who haven't felt these skills. ... I was also asking for feedback from those who have begun to research on how it has impacted their view of Aiki in the larger sense, and how it has affected their view of Aikido™. So to clarify the thread topic ... in other words, instead of working to establish the points of legitimate contention with those who may disagree with you, you are asking those who already do, or are disposed to agree with you -- if they agree with you.

Daring choice, really.

pace John -- Physics has the benefit that it can be checked up on for the validity of a concept asserted, and then observed in practice for the validity of the concept as practiced. As to "basics" well, -- physics can be surprisingly complex for seemingly trivially simple things -- a hanging chain is child's play to demonstrate but analyzing it requires a grasp of hyperbolic functions and the natural logarithm -- definitely NOT child's play -- but worth the effort to understand how richly things are really connected.

I think much of what aikido teaches is in that category -- the simplicity is inherently deceptive -- but not intentionally so -- it just is what it is.

That frustrates some people, and entices others.

rob_liberti
06-22-2008, 09:41 PM
The point of aiki is that it represents depth of understanding. Finding a much more direct approach to access that depth has been wonderful. I am not so much re-evaluating what "aiki" is - but rather how much depth I can attain personally in my lifetime and what I might be able to do with it.

People will have all sorts of ideas about what is best to learn/teach this stuff based on their own personal experiences. (Aiki...do is a VERY RARE experience.) Also people will tend to be ego-attached to those methods. Let's face it people are generally willing to fight when something violates their personal belief system.

When I used to read Mike Sigman discussing jin/kokyu and it matched my image of sandan in aikido - because it was about mind/body unification. Since training internals a bit, I believe it is probably much more in line with what my opinion of yondan in aikido SHOULD BE - that your mind and body do different things at the same time (separated) to accomplish things (where sandan is mind/body unified). I got my yondan and was completely intimidated by how much work - and how much time it was going to take - that I was going to have to do to be able to really manifest this. Now I am studying internal skills directly - I am still intimidated by how much work and time it will take - but it is CLEARLY going to get me further faster. (It already has, and I haven't really got started yet..) And I'll take any help I can get.

As far as the form "aikido" vrs. "aiki...do" I'm just not really attached. Whatever is best I'll do. My plan was to continue to teach aikido in the normal way and let those who are interested in aiki...do approach me for before/after class instruction in what I'm doing for myself. I'm not sure if I'll continue that plan in the future. The reason is that a bit of delusion sells to beginners. I think there should be a happy medium where you have enough "beginner's program" to keep paying the rent and insurance, so that the serious folks have a place to train.

I was given quite a lot by aikido itself, and I feel obligated to give back. I'll just decide what is the best way of doing that for myself as I progress. It's just valuable to have a practice. What is practiced and how it is practiced doesn't much matter to me. I just want it to be darn difficult (if I could do it easily I'd quit) and fun (I don't like the emotionally constipated approach to trying to prove how serious of a student you are thing).

The thing to consider is that IF this approach does take off in popularity I expect the following:

1 - it will shake up the system for who gets the money for dan grading. I don't do martial arts to make money - not my thing. (I'm not against breaking even - that's typically my goal.) But I can see how it would make some people very nervous. But well, things change - that's the nature of things...

2 - the aiki bunny dance method will be in serious trouble. People will show up to those dojos and completely invalidate the approach within seconds. Only the religious zealots will refuse to believe what they are seeing and feeling for themselves from people with 20 fewer years of training.

3 - the rift between some of the organizations may HEAL - because the nonsense that divides us will be mostly irrelevant (it already is - but it will be obvious to everyone).

Rob

DH
06-22-2008, 09:53 PM
Hi John

To remain on point. I was asking for feedback from those who have trained in these skills and then reported back and are now training in aikido, or of the community who have read those reports, and if it impacted their view. I think I am reading from you that you have dismissed all of these people out of hand because you still don't understand what is being discussed, so their many posts are irrelevant and to be dismissed. Do you dismiss skills of Ueshiba and Takeda then? We only know about them from reports as well, and you certainly didn't understand them either.
What has meaning to you as an aikidoka?
These posters here are all your fellow aikidoka, were all naysayers or doubters, and have come back with reports?
a) Are you answering my question by stating you do not believe them and dismiss them out of hand?
b) You do believe them, but don't care?
c) You think they have no ability to judge the difference?

Again, I didn't ask for yet another discussion whether or not someone thinks these skills are real. If someone wants to discuss that there are dozens of threads in the Non Aikido forums to discuss that -please do so there. I had asked for feedback of another kind
a) From Aikidoka who have experienced them and how it is impacting their aikido,
b) From those who have read their reports and whether all these many reports have impacted their opinions, second hand as it were?

Mike Sigman
06-22-2008, 09:56 PM
When I used to read Mike Sigman discussing jin/kokyu and it matched my image of sandan in aikido - because it was about mind/body unification. Since training internals a bit, I believe it is probably much more in line with what my opinion of yondan in aikido SHOULD BE - that your mind and body do different things at the same time (separated) to accomplish things (where sandan is mind/body unified). I got my yondan and was completely intimidated by how much work - and how much time it was going to take - that I was going to have to do to be able to really manifest this. Now I am studying internal skills directly - I am still intimidated by how much work and time it will take - but it is CLEARLY going to get me further faster. (It already has, and I haven't really got started yet..) And I'll take any help I can get.
I don't think it matters much what I said/say, to be honest. I think that it's all like a fox-hunt... once you spot the fox (or think you have), you're on your own trying to catch that sucker! ;) Good luck.

Mike Sigman

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 10:05 PM
Rob wrote:

My plan was to continue to teach aikido in the normal way and let those who are interested in aiki...do approach me for before/after class instruction in what I'm doing for myself I'm not sure if I'll continue that plan in the future. The reason is that a bit of delusion sells to beginners. I think there should be a happy medium where you have enough "beginner's program" to keep paying the rent and insurance, so that the serious folks have a place to train.

Funny you should mention this. I have discussed this issue with a number of people over the past year. Knowing what I know now about martial arts, proper training, and all....

(I will be the first one to say it that knowledge is a reflection of my own identified shortcomings!...you know...those that do, do...those that can't but can talk about it...teach....)

Anyway...

I think that if we were totally honest and had someone come to the dojo to learn aikido and they said that they were interested in learning it, we'd send them to something akin to a yoga class full of developmental exercises like Mike and Ark taught us. We'd have them show up doing suburi every night...then after a year we'd start putting them through Ki test to see if what they have developed gave them a good enough base....

Anyway you get the picture...

Well I think they would say...well that is great and all...but I want to learn Aikido..you know...how to redirect someone's energy, put them in a joint lock, etc.

We'd not have many students either! nor would we be able to pay the bills!

The fact is that the pareto principle is alive and well in aikido as it is in anything else. 80% of the people are there for reasons other than what the serious 20% are their for. Out of that 20% ....probably less actually will figure out a few other things.

Our culture is different than Japan when Aikido was started. Thus, the point of entry into the arts must also be very different. I can only imagine since I have never been to Japanese or experienced it pre and post war in Japan.

So, I think we bring people in however we get them in, and alot of them will leave, some will stay and dabble, fewer are willing to put in the time to really develop skill.

I know I am training differently today than I did a few years ago. I feel I have been fortunate to have been exposed to some very good martial artist both in MMA and in the "Aiki" world in the last few years. They have taught me alot about what is really important and that boils down to developing a good base.

I went to a yoga class with my wife tonight. It is humbling and embarrassing that I cannot do some very basic things that as a aikido practicioner I should be able to do if I had good core or internal development.

If I cannot demonstrate these things in a simple yoga class, how could I ever expect to do well at MMA, Aikido, or any other martial art?

So, at what point do we become honest with people and tell them, "you are wasting your time...you are not putting in the work necessary to improve".?

At what point to we stop teaching them?

How do we change the focus of the dojo to focus on core skill development?

Do we risk on changing how we do business and conduct classes at the risk of a mass exodus of unhappy people because we are doing "Aiki yoga" when they came there to learn a martial art or "blend and harmonize"?

I think Rob Liberti has the right approach personally.

Change slowly and those that want to go this way will gravitate together. Maybe the rest will follow if they start seeing the advantages gained!

Good discussion.

Erick Mead
06-22-2008, 10:07 PM
Then why would Ikeda Sensei invite a karate-ka like Ushiro to give a seminar on Ki and Kokyu power, with Ushiro going so far to say "No Kokyu, No Aikido"Ikeda said why. Go look it up. http://www.bujindesign.com/seminar_reviews/2005_9_article_1.html Audio here: http://www.aikidojournal.com/download_media.php?media=radio&id=7.

As was once said about another thing -- Aikido has not been tried and found wanting -- it has been found difficult and not tried.

As to Ushiro, he said this in response to Stan Pranin : "when Mr. Pranin asked Ushiro Sensei what suggestions he might have that might help the students improve their aikido, he replied: "Things will change if you learn how to attack better. And that's pretty much it."

But when I visited Abe Sensei's dojo in Kyoto, his description of how to send power, the lines connecting the body etc, were all things I immediately recognized and could do to a certain extent ;)"Saotome Sensei made the light-hearted observation that he had been teaching karate and Ushiro Sensei had been teaching aikido." See link above

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 10:16 PM
Erick,

Also in the article it was written:

"Ushiro Sensei taught how he harmonizes with his opponent, which, on the surface at least, seemed quite different from how harmonization is thought of in aikido. "

Erick Mead
06-22-2008, 10:17 PM
... people will tend to be ego-attached to those methods. ... I think that says all that need be said on this topic, frankly.

And I'll ask the rhetorical question, if only because Ikeda has already been brought up -- where are he and Saotome pointing their organization? -- toward a preferred, proprietary tutelary method or toward valid applications of objective principles that can be found by proper attention and study of what we do and why we do it when we do it properly?

Mike Sigman
06-22-2008, 10:21 PM
The fact is that the pareto principle is alive and well in aikido as it is in anything else. 80% of the people are there for reasons other than what the serious 20% are their for. Out of that 20% ....probably less actually will figure out a few other things.

Our culture is different than Japan when Aikido was started. Thus, the point of entry into the arts must also be very different. I can only imagine since I have never been to Japanese or experienced it pre and post war in Japan.

So, I think we bring people in however we get them in, and alot of them will leave, some will stay and dabble, fewer are willing to put in the time to really develop skill.Just to throw in my two-cents worth, I think the real mistake is in trying to package the "internal" skills (I'd debate what that means, FWIW) as a martial phenomenon. I don't think these skills were martial to start with (another good discussion) and I'd note that both Ueshiba and Shioda indicated that these skills were more or less an investment for old age. I agree with that idea. Are they martially important? Sure. But they're much more important for daily life and usage... uh oh.... Tohei beat me to the punch on that one, didn't he?

As I see it, the baselines skills of the ki/kokyu things are fine in a dojo atmosphere, but some way has to be found to teach/convey them as daily movement, etc., skills. Will you get more powerful doing difficult standing/moving exercises? Sure. But the baseline skills can be (IMO) taught more easily than that. Once someone understands the baseline skill-parameters, then they should be able to invest as much time as they want in order to become as powerful as they want.

Certainly we're quite different from the earlier, more martially-oriented cultures. My comment is that everyone in Aikido (and other arts) has seen how easy it is to lose these skills in general, so it's worthwhile to find an accomodating level as a baseline and quit worrying so much about martial effectiveness. Martial effectiveness is good, but general usage should be more of a consideration, IMO. Oh... and I don't mean having babies with it. ;)


FWIW

Mike Sigman

DH
06-22-2008, 10:21 PM
My edit time ran out

I had thought that there would be some questions -as yet unanswered- to be asked of those who came to test it and experience it. Not to be asked of Me, Ark or Mike, but rather of your fellow aikidoka. Why did you go? What did it feel like? How do you see it impacting the art. What happens next in your training or school?
Or, as Gernot said,
A sort of laymens thread or response from those IN aikido to those FROM aikido who went to find out and are training.
I thought it might be more interesting to talk to them.

I'd imagine at some point in time it would start to seem silly to just sit there and keep doubting and or debating what is becoming ever increasingly more obvious.
Most missed it.
I was hoping to move the conversation forward to what's next. How to remain doing Aikido™ while trying to finally learn Aiki...do. Or to separate the training. Doing Aikido™ on opposite nights from getting together to practice Aiki...do. Or do you train it everyday on your own? With a group from within the dojo. Rob is already thinking ahead on how it may effect everything in the art -in time. Kevin has interesting ideas, Mark M. just stopped Aikido™ alltogether to focus, etc. etc.
It seems that many are really going for it and truly want it, having felt it. Which is what I thought would happen.

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 10:25 PM
You know, being a part of Saotome's organization, from my limited experiences with him...he seems to simply put it out there and it is up to you to figure it out. To be honest, most of us are so removed from him in the hierarchy that he and Ikeda simply provide leadership at this point of the organization, as it should be.

What I read in the article is that both of them are open to new ideas and outside influences, and encourage us to look for different perspectives and paradigms.

I don't get the feeling that they want us to simply follow what they do, but figure it out for ourselves.

I think the fact that they bring Ushiro in is a direct sign that we need to consider other paradigms.

Erick Mead
06-22-2008, 10:28 PM
Erick,

Also in the article it was written:

"Ushiro Sensei taught how he harmonizes with his opponent, which, on the surface at least, seemed quite different from how harmonization is thought of in aikido. "Interesting choice of words (underlined). What one might discern as different methods of instruction, but equally suitable for unhealthy ego-attachment. My teacher swore once he only ever knew two techniques in aikido -- irimi and tenkan. I've whittlin' mine down ever since.

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 10:36 PM
Dan wrote:

I was hoping to move the conversation forward to what's next. How to remain doing Aikido™ while trying to finally learn Aiki...do. Or to separate the training. Doing Aikido™ on opposite nights from getting together to practice Aiki...do. Or do you train it everyday on your own? With s group from within the dojo etc.
It seems that many are really going for it and truly want it, having felt it. Which is what I thought would happen.


good question actually Dan. One a few of us our struggling with in our geographic area.

In the aikido institution or dojo, it is challenging to implement I think as a full scale thing as it requires a shift that I believe the masses are not willing to do. AND one that the few of us that have gone to a couple of workshops are not comfortable with as we are struggling with this on a personal level.

I think that Mike's post above is a good one to consider too.

What I have done is found a partner that is willing to spend sometime training with me as we fumble through this stuff. I am spending time doing solo training as well.

In addtion I am trying to move differently when I do things daily such as openning doors, walking up and down stairs...in Aikido class, when I grapple, stand up out of a chair etc.

Some training occurs in the dojo and we try and do it, but it is more on a personal level. I think it will take time and most of us realize that at this point it is about personal development and not about the dojo.

Erick Mead
06-22-2008, 10:39 PM
You know, being a part of Saotome's organization, from my limited experiences with him...he seems to simply put it out there and it is up to you to figure it out. ... I don't get the feeling that they want us to simply follow what they do, but figure it out for ourselves.

I think the fact that they bring Ushiro in is a direct sign that we need to consider other paradigms.Well we share that. I think you are right. But I don't think it is pointing us toward anyone's paradigm but our own. To challenge ourselves as we are challenged, not to simply adopt someone else's challenges. From my perspective, you are doing a bang-up job of YOUR OWN paradigm -- and with some interesting flavor on the Army side. Go with what you know. If there is truth in it, it will be useful and worthwhile, and if not, it will be seen soon enough. I try to do likewise. I just find that -- like the over-enthusiastic promoters of old standby flavors (which are all good in their own right) -- the salespeople for the new flavor on the block keep many people from realizing that to get ice cream on a hot day -- all you need is cream, your own choice of flavor (for variety's sake) -- plus ice, salt, and a whooollle lotta grindin'.

Keep grindin'

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 10:55 PM
Thanks Erick...I am hard headed mainly.

I personally think that there is nothing really that I have not been exposed to in aikido. Frankly just about everything that Mike showed us I have done at least ONCE in aikido as a warm up or exercise.

Same with irimi/tenkan...it is basic....move off the line and turn.

Irimi/Tenkan is the basis for ground fighting, and you see it in the UFC as well.

however, application of it, timing, and how you do it can be tremendously different.

Again, Mike didn't really show us nothing new..just told us alot of stuff about "HOW" to do it a little more correctly, and WHY you want to do it. and emphasized that you need to do it ALOT.

irimi/tenkan I have learned over the last few years is not just about moving off line, but more about energy you focus in and on your opponent. Today I try and move ever so slightly off line, but also try and have myself positioned with potential energy.

So, superficially, it may look the same or different. We communicate move off the line and turn....that is open for a HUGE discussoin about what it really means to do that. What I thought it meant has changed dramatically over the past couple of years.

So to me it is not so much the fact that I have been taught the wrong things, or the wrong methodology...it is simply a communication issue, or that emphasis was put in different areas than maybe where it should have been.

Who is responsible for it? Teacher or Student? Both I think. At some point the student has to start thinking for himself.

John Matsushima
06-22-2008, 11:30 PM
Hello again Dan,

I don't dismiss people, I dismiss ideas and concepts. I dismiss the idea of reinventing the wheel. I don't agree that your skills are anything special that hasn't already been taught in mainstream Aikido. Perhaps your training methods are different, but it seems to me that it has always been an important principle of Aikido NOT to use muscle power. I think that perhaps what you and others describe as "aiki/internal/kokyu" skills are taught to many from day 1. I know it was to me. Perhaps I've never had this revelation because I remember in the very beginning of my training, it was stressed to me to relax, don't use muscle power, and to harmonize. Because of the thickness of my skull, it took many years of me trying to do Aikido, then I finally realized, oh, its that simple. Are you saying that the majority of Aikido practioners don't know this as well?

I also dismiss your idea of elitism, the whole idea that only members of the "100PLUS Club™" have these "skillz". I think its that kind of thinking that hinders learning. If you realize that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there with very high Aikido skills, then you will see how much higher you can go. I don't do hero worshiping and I do disagree with some of the things that Ueshiba said and did. I disagree with some of the ways that Ikeda sensei does his waza too. But so what. I also believe that many Aikido practitioners today have built and created even higher levels than what Ueshiba ever achieved. So, I don't think that most people missed "it". But rather, that the concept of not using muscle power is what they felt and saw in the very beginning from their sempai and sensei,and is what impresses so many people and causes intrigue and a want to train in Aikido. At least it was for me.

On a side note regarding training, I don't think that Aiki/Internal/Kokyu skills should be kept a secret and saved only for the "serious" students. I think that this will hinder the progress of Aikido.

I completely agree with your quote from Ushiro sensei, "no kokyu, no aikido". But then again, without breath, you can't do much of anything.

"I was hoping to move the conversation forward to what's next. How to remain doing Aikido™ while trying to finally learn Aiki...do. Or to separate the training. Doing Aikido™ on opposite nights from getting together to practice Aiki...do. It seems that many are really going for it and truly want it, having felt it. Which is what I thought would happen. You'd have to be a real dunderhead to have felt Aiki...do andnot want it.
I couldn't say the same for Aikido™"

Dan, Aikido and practicing Aiki are one and the same. Aikido is the practice of Aiki. But if what you are talking about are training methods, then I agree with Mr. Leavitt, it can be real boring stuff sometimes. I have trained in dojos where we didn't do a single technique for a month. The methods are already out there. Man Sei Kan has some great stuff, as well as the KI society.

Mark Jakabcsin
06-22-2008, 11:30 PM
I'd imagine at some point in time it would start to seem silly to just sit there and keep doubting and or debating what is becoming ever increasingly more obvious.


Dan,
No sarcasm intended. 2009 is not far away, perhaps you will get a better response then as more will understand. If not 2010 is only 18 months a about a week away. :)

MJ

Kevin Leavitt
06-22-2008, 11:36 PM
John,

Even though it is all this stuff is "in Aikido". When I went to the two weekend seminars the thought kept running through my head.....

"why didn't anyone wearing a hakama ever explain it so clearly as these guys wearing sweats and tee-shirts?"

it is in there, but I think we as a community have done a very poor job of codifying and communicating it.

Maybe your experiences are different than mine, and myself and a few others are the exception (I think not), but that question keeps running through my mind.

Gernot Hassenpflug
06-23-2008, 12:06 AM
I don't dismiss people, I dismiss ideas and concepts. /../ I don't agree that your skills are anything special that hasn't already been taught in mainstream Aikido. /../ it seems to me that it has always been an important principle of Aikido NOT to use muscle power. I think that perhaps what you and others describe as "aiki/internal/kokyu" skills are taught to many from day 1. I know it was to me. /../ Are you saying that the majority of Aikido practioners don't know this as well?

Just some comments:

Heh, very thorough dismissal there :-) It bears pondering what the details are of that which replaces the muscle power. And incidentally, of course muscles are used, else nothing works. So even the way you have phrased it, it is an indirect telling of the tale. I don't think that can be avoided. In the same vein, it can be said that while a lot of people may be using less muscle than they were before, what they are doing is still not very effective or very efficient. That is, a lot could be improved. In fact, a whole mindset change could be made. So yes, the majority of Aikido practitioners don't know this. Certainly the majority I've met "even" in Japan. I too have been "fortunate" but not as fortunate as I assumed!

I also dismiss your idea of elitism, the whole idea that only members of the "100PLUS Club™" have these "skillz". I think its that kind of thinking that hinders learning. If you realize that there are hundreds of thousands of people out there with very high Aikido skills, then you will see how much higher you can go.

Well, it is only logical to note that there are fewer people with high-level skills than low-level skills. The basics are certainly within the means of anyone. The problem is access to someone who will teach, and access to someone that will teach in an efficient manner. I know my use of the body improved every year I did aikido, but the increment was extremely small compared to what I would have been able to get with the access to teaching I have now.

On a side note regarding training, I don't think that Aiki/Internal/Kokyu skills should be kept a secret and saved only for the "serious" students. I think that this will hinder the progress of Aikido.

I think all of us posting here agree on that point. The basics are so essential to everything that having them in the open is still no threat to those with real developed skills. That is, knowledge is not the same thing as actual experience and training over a long period of time. However, most of the people who have access to this training now can verify that there were many reasons why even the extreme basics were and are guarded jealously like the crown jewels they are: someone who know how you train can tell what you can do in an all-encompassing way, and bye-bye surprise in an encounter.

Chris Li
06-23-2008, 02:13 AM
a) From Aikidoka who have experienced them and how it is impacting their aikido,
b) From those who have read their reports and whether all these many reports have impacted their opinions, second hand as it were?

As a corollary, I would like to ask the same question of any Daito-ryu folks out there.

Sokaku Takeda has (supposedly) some 30,000 students and certified some 30 students as kyoju dairi (the same certification that Morihei Ueshiba got), and yet, according to Sagawa Yukiyoshi there was only one of those students who ever understood Takeda's Aiki - that being Sagawa himself, who kept it more or less to himself until the last years of his life.

Now, I trained with a variety of Daito-ryu folks in Japan, from various schools, but there were only a few that I thought had any kind of a real handle on the kind of internal skills we're talking about here - more or less the same kind of ratio that I've found in Aikido.

Do Daito-ryu folks feel that this "glasnost" is affecting their practice? And if so, is it affecting it in a good way?

Best,

Chris

Upyu
06-23-2008, 02:20 AM
Perhaps I've never had this revelation because I remember in the very beginning of my training, it was stressed to me to relax, don't use muscle power, and to harmonize. Because of the thickness of my skull, it took many years of me trying to do Aikido, then I finally realized, oh, its that simple. Are you saying that the majority of Aikido practioners don't know this as well?

Then maybe you want to enlighten us on "what" is so simple about it.
It is simple, but it isn't at the same time, in fact this stuff gets pretty complex when you get down to it. For someone to say that it's "that simple" smacks of just not having gotten around enough to feel anyone with actual skill ;)

DH
06-23-2008, 07:00 AM
Hi John
Not hearing me huh? I guess I'll give it one last try. I don't know if you are being purposefully dismissive of my request for the thread, or are simply misunderstanding me.
This thread is not about me. It is about two things
a) The people in aikido who have felt these skills from Rob, Ark, Mike or me or in some cases combinations thereof and how it has impacted either there overall view of Aiki, view of aiki in aikido, and how the pursuit of it is impacting their aikido and how they train it within or without.
b) How the various reports here have impacted the community and a chance for that community to address those in aikido who have felt these skills
c) To NOT discuss the validity or doubts of these skills with the typical people. There are many threads available for that.

In response you have not done a or b and continue with c.-you continue to address me. Here's a helping hand John.
Answer Aikidoka's Kevin and Rob and their assertions.
Try addressing their observations by addressing them directly instead of replying to me. They outlined similarities and differences here and in many threads. Do that and you will be on your way to staying on topic. If not please leave the thread.

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 07:33 AM
My impression of aikido LONG AGO was that it was the ultimate martial art available to us in the States. That the inventor took on all challenges and defeated them all easily. I continued with my practice thinking that I was learning something beyond the normal.

When I got into fights - and let me tell you - I got into many fights as a kid, and I tried things I was doing in aikido (not ikkyo, but entering and turning as people are coming at you trying to hurt you) and things didn't match up exactly to my hopes - I just chalked it up to:
1 - I need more training
2 - Some people are like Michael Jordan, and I'm not one of them

I just assume Osensei was a Michael Jordan of martial arts who trained like a nut in an inspired way.

I couldn't will myself to have natural talent, but I could train like a nut and be the best my natural talent level would allow.

As I got older, and I mellowed, I still wanted to excel martially - but my fighting days were clearly over. I wanted the health benefits of the martial training for sure, I wanted the martial (physical) testing/gauge of my emotional/spiritual development, and I wanted to give back to the art itself.

I found bullshido and thought that it might be about martial arts in general and just against people pretending to have credentials. There are many fakers in aikido (3rd kyus pretending to be 6th dans in their own self created independent organization). I read their stuff. I realized just how far aikido's image is generally from what my initial image of what aikido was supposed to be.

I got interested. I wondered if I could learn the aiki I was learning in aikido well enough to apply it to MMA and dominate in that arena. The problem is that I don't learn such skills so quickly, and I was not sure I'd still have a good enough body to do MMA with aiki by the time I extracted enough aiki from aikido to do what I wanted (have a good throwdown with a bunch of bullshido folks). Work gets pretty frustrating, and a good "fight" takes out a lot of stress (even if it is not an all out try to kill the other guy type of street fight). So I started looking for other people who went this direction. And I found some help. We'll see what happens...

I think aikido deserves a better martial reputation. If that's not your thing, FINE, but you might benefit (your dojo numbers for sure) might benefit from SOMEONE - ANYONE in aikido actually helping the martial credibility a bit.

Anyway, something to think about. (or not - that's okay too, I'll think about it myself).

Rob

DH
06-23-2008, 07:46 AM
Rob
So have you seen anything recently in your training aiki outside of aikido™ -where these skills could in fact make aikido™ more martially sound and viable in a more pressing environment? Have you seen at least a "potential" for aiki power that could deliver as promised?

Erick Mead
06-23-2008, 08:05 AM
John,

"why didn't anyone wearing a hakama ever explain it so clearly as these guys wearing sweats and tee-shirts?"

it is in there, but I think we as a community have done a very poor job of codifying and communicating it. I won't answer for John, whom I know. But I think it is because early on we accepted nomenclature for our physical comprehension as a substitute for intellectual comprehension. Ki, Aiki, Kokyu, Musubi Takemusu, all are valid objective concepts, but initially, it is hard to get over the change in manner of moving so that more commonplace concepts like "push" "pull" "stand" and "move" are hard to segregate from the manner of prior experience without a different category of naming. I mean this of any serious fighting art.

One of the first things that I realized when I began to break the nomenclature down (not to destroy it but to reshape in my native terms) and teach for new guys is the change that must occur under threat if one is to fight well. It is quite simply demonstrated -- fight or flight -- for flight the body tenses, the Cg rises and one is prepared to dart away. To FIGHT on the other hand, the body must relax the undercarriage compressing it slightly, and all the body's frame has to pull relaxedly into itself, gathering into the threat within itself, as it were (first action of irimi?), and not away from it.

That's why I am so (annoyingly to many, no doubt) seriously exploring the physics of relaxed, linked structures and the biomechanics that go with it. It is helping to put some Western objective content into the nomenclature. The purpose is not to replace the traditional nomenclature - it captures concepts in a different ordering than we do, and is useful in its own right for that reason. The purpose is to relate it more clearly to our ordering of those essential principles.

The guys in sweats and tee-shirts are not burdened by the nomenclature -- but then, they do not take the benefit of it either. It is rich in its own right, and the baby should be held onto -- whatever one does with the bathwater.

Dazzler
06-23-2008, 08:17 AM
This thread is not about me. It is about two things
a) The people in aikido who have felt these skills from Rob, Ark, Mike or me or in some cases combinations thereof and how it has impacted either there overall view of Aiki, view of aiki in aikido, and how the pursuit of it is impacting their aikido and how they train it within or without.
b) How the various reports here have impacted the community and a chance for that community to address those in aikido who have felt these skills
c) To NOT discuss the validity or doubts of these skills with the typical people. There are many threads available for that.
.

Well – I can’t comment on a. since I have never met any of you guys (although one of my students has met Rob in Paris).

I am well qualified to comment on b though – I feel this thread is hugely important and underpins the biggest problem in Aikido today…and for many years,

Which is simply that many many thousands of us hide behind an easy translation and do not or will not accept what aikido means.

Pretty inflammatory stuff – I don’t mean to be so I’ll offer some thoughts – not really my own but those of my instructors teacher, Pierre Chassang of France.

Similarly to the discussion here there was a discussion between Pierre and Arikawa Sensei in Paris during 1993.

In discussing the differences between much of the ‘Aikido’ practiced at that time which in the opinion of both differed from that originally taught by O’Sensei, Pierre used the expression ‘Modern Aikido’.

This was met by Arikawa with “Chassang, there is only one Aikido, one only; there cannot be two. Aikido is unique…Modern Aikido! It makes no sense”

In order to discuss Arikawa preferred the term “Budo Sportif”

Anyway – for me this equates to Dan’s Aikido(TM) and to others Aikido-lite.

But why so much concern about a name? Its just a label …isn’t it? Or is it?

Where did Aikido the name come from? Was it chosen by O’Sensei or agreed by a group? I’m way to young to know.

However, after 1942 Aikido became the name of O’Senseis art.

Why?

Aiki had existed for many years, as an art, as a name, and as a way for many. So why suddenly should O’Sensei change it?

Cutting very much to the chase – Pierres offering from translations of Japanese kanji / Chinese Hanji is thus;

Ai - unify
Qi - energy
Dao – Tao

If one choses to consider this, then by definition the principles of the Tao become fundamental to Aikido ….because that is what it says on the tin. Its what is name describes.

Furthermore, the concepts outlined specifically by Rob John earlier in this thread become the base of what Aikido is.

Ignore them and you lose what is Aikido.

Having defined Aikido…if anyone is still reading this heresy…then what next ?

How to work towards it?

This is even harder to agree. Who is right? O’Sensei? Tohei? Tamura? And so on.

Probably all right to differing degrees.

Yet they are not all the same.

For some the training methodology differs. Rob and Dan seem to place great store in solo practice (if I read correctly), Pierre Chassange espoused Kotai, Kotai and always Kotai .(For him this solid practice is the square of Aikido..as per other thread).

As long as you work towards Aikido then that is good.

But when the practice is drawn to the flashy, large ukemi and the always compliant uke then Aikido can be lost and Budo Sportif takes over.

Kevin Leavitt points out the difficulty of teaching and working at this core. For most students their expectations of what Aikido is does not match the truth.

So the dilemma is where to pitch a class …assuming you have the choice as you can only teach what you know.

Where that level is …who knows? I know I personally stray towards the more exciting stuff on occasion and I know we teach syllabus mostly which is not really the crux..

I take some sugar with my coffee too to make it a bit more palatable.

But if we don’t compromise we have no student base, and ultimately no dojo unless some benefactor would like to sponsor our hardcore in the pursuit of excellence.

Realistically a trade off is needed …but for me this is part of the long term goal to preserve the training environment on order to work towards Ai-Ki-Dao.

So to answer the question – I’m drawn to this thread like a moth to a flame, and while the major contributors do not have a monopoly on internal skills , (nor claim to), they do have clearly relevant insights into the core of what I believe Aikido is.

So thankyou.

D

“That which people who practice the martial arts call Aiki is fundamentally different to what I call Aiki” -O’Sensei

TAnderson
06-23-2008, 08:25 AM
Ikeda said why. Go look it up. http://www.bujindesign.com/seminar_reviews/2005_9_article_1.html Audio here: http://www.aikidojournal.com/download_media.php?media=radio&id=7.

Not to rehash an old dead (or most likely closed) thread. At that camp during one of Ikeda Sensei's classes he said (paraphrasing here), "because of Ushiro Sensei I am only now understanding how Saotome Sensei is able to do his aikido".

Personally, I think all the tools for internal training are in Aikido its the know-how that is lacking.

Tim Anderson

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 08:31 AM
Rob
So have you seen anything recently in your training aiki outside of aikido™ -where these skills could in fact make aikido™ more martially sound and viable in a more pressing environment? Have you seen at least a "potential" for aiki power that could deliver as promised?

Absolutely.

This is one of those rare cases where I would have preferred to talk (write) less and just let my body do the talking. (I've been dealing with sick wife and being 100% child playmate lately so I'll have to write!)

The person who can out-structure the other person has a clear advantage. Most of the aikido things we learn is basically to that end. The aiki training is incredible for that. Defending takedowns with aiki structure is highly advantageous. There are other aspects I find incredible that I'll only call "soft power" that blows through most people's structure.

Extending that to using the aiki type striking makes one devastating. I saw Tom Holtz (sp?) a person with 1 year of training hitting a heavy bag a LOT harder than I could (and I have a few more years in martial arts - and multiple martial arts - than he does!). I'll get there.

Making center connection on contact is also highly advantageous. If I'm truly going to deal with multiple SKILLED attackers, I'd like to waste a lot less energy in movement.

I still believe in finesse with power. Not sure how, but my belief is that in general I should eventually be skilled enough to not only have a successful throwdown with some bullshido folks - but SO SKILLED that I can actually make my form look like aikido basic waza just to frustrate them and blow their minds. :)

Rob

DH
06-23-2008, 08:41 AM
a) Making center connection on contact is also highly advantageous.

b) I still believe in finesse with power. Not sure how, but my belief is that in general I should eventually be skilled enough to not only have a successful throwdown with some bullshido folks - but SO SKILLED that I can actually make my form look like aikido basic waza just to frustrate them and blow their minds. :)

Rob
a. goes along way in making b happen. In order to do a., very well, allot of other skills come to the fore. It is actually my hope that men stay in aikido and manage to do b. And I'll be right behind you applauding, when you pull it off. If you keep training-you will.
You have already stated that you can see some crossover in what Gleason sensei does (Saotome line) in some of his movements. Has your training aiki...do helped in your aikido™? Can you see a way to help others students?

Erick Mead
06-23-2008, 08:52 AM
Not to rehash an old dead (or most likely closed) thread. At that camp during one of Ikeda Sensei's classes he said (paraphrasing here), "because of Ushiro Sensei I am only now understanding how Saotome Sensei is able to do his aikido".

Personally, I think all the tools for internal training are in Aikido its the know-how that is lacking. Fair enough. The problem is not with the statement but with the improper gloss that critics with an agenda tend to give it (i.e -- that it implies "(until Ikeda met Ushiro) I (Ikeda) did not (understand/was not able to do) aikido"). Nothing could be farther from the truth. That statement was in front of his primary teacher and a (welcome) stranger, and thus to speak well of himself or his ability or understanding in such context would be the height of personal disrespect and arrogance.

Having said that, the essential point goes back to my discussion earlier about breaking out of received nomenclature -- in order to fulfill that nomenclature in both concept and practice. Ushiro does that in the context of his own art, and it is that mode of thinking about the training that seems to me most important aspect of the collaboration they are all engaged in.

But then, I am reading it as in agreement with what I personally already see. Seems to me everyone else that same problem, too, just from a different perspective. That's why intellectual objectivity in the content is the most critical thing to me, right now.

Dennis Hooker
06-23-2008, 09:14 AM
Watching someone do something from a little different perspective sometimes helps us understand better what we already know.

Tom H.
06-23-2008, 09:17 AM
Extending that to using the aiki type striking makes one devastating. I saw Tom Holtz (sp?) a person with 1 year of training hitting a heavy bag a LOT harder than I could (and I have a few more years in martial arts - and multiple martial arts - than he does!). I'll get there.Wow, that's a bizarre thing to hear said, even more so coming from you! (The context, for anyone interested, is that I have no creditable martial arts training, very little athletic background, no muscles from weightlifting, no experience in any fight ever, and I have only been working the internal stuff for about two years.)

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 10:28 AM
You have already stated that you can see some crossover in what Gleason sensei does (Saotome line) in some of his movements. Has your training aiki...do helped in your aikido™? Can you see a way to help others students?

INTENTION:
Training aiki has help my aikido in that I really didn't totally buy into putting my mind on the person in different areas while I moved. It seemed to be easily explained by something like mass hypnosis - or overly wanting to please the teacher or something. Aiki training sold me on the idea and my aikido has dramatically changed for the better.

Some of the things Gleason sensei describes in terms of aikido waza are remarkably clearer now. The basic rules he explained like no pushing (think ikkyo), no pulling (think iriminage), and no lifting (think shihonage) make a lot more sense.

His tenchi nage and kokyu tanden ho is remarkably more accessible now that I have a lot more faith in where to put my intention. Kotegaeshi and the rest of the kansetsu waza are all clearer because I'm doing things much more like the way he does them.

STRUCTURE:
I also notice that Gleason sensei doesn't stand where he dumps his weight down his front like so many in aikido. He stands much more like Dan stands. Aiki training has convinced me to really look at this, explore it, and make it my own.

OTHER STUDENTS:
Well, if anything I ever wrote was going to get me in trouble - this will be it: Gleason sensei has aiki in his aikido much more well defined than most I've encountered. I've seen so many people (no not all but MANY) in aikido get confronted by his aikido and RUN away from it as fast as possible. People do not want to deal with how far away they are from what he's got. George Ledyard sensei has remarked something about this like -if you like your aikido you probably won't like Gleason's sensei's aikido. You get the idea. Basically my impression is that many people in aikido don't even tend to want to be challenged by something beyond them in their OWN art. Kevin was talking about the 80/20 rule and it seems to be more like 95/5.

Anyway, there is little chance that *I* was going to QUICKLY develop aiki from Gleason sensei's aikido because I believe I would need him to be my training partner 8 hours a day for several years. You can certainly get a bit of it through touch. My typical experience is that I'll already have much more stability than my average training partner, so they grow more quickly and I grow MUCH more slowly in those situations.

I don't even know if the Dan Harden approach is "better" for any other reason other than I get a lot more one on one time with a major aiki-sempai working with me and not allowing me to get so much in the way of myself. The rest of the approach MAY be better, but who knows. It is what it is. I take the good with the _possibly_ not as good (maybe better). It has the added bonus of teaching me very direct things I can practice myself, AS WELL AS teach me MMA skills that I'm interested in.

On to the question more directly. I don't see MANY students getting too helped by this UNLESS I can make the personal connection with them such that they do not feel the need to run and hide to protect their "training belief system" that they have an ego investment in. The only way is charismatic power with passionate students open martial truth - with them then YES this training will help them tremendously. I know some - not many.

The main thing is to get it myself and be available as a resource to those people in aikido (or elsewhere).

This is not in the discussion, but I see myself also putting the time into this, into the supporting yoga, into MMA for fun, and also probably on my knees begging Shaun Raven's to share his misogi exercises with me (maybe even a trade when I get better enough to have something worth trading). I think there is something important to that training. I just have to prioritize where I put my time based on my own personal realities.

Very distracted today, sorry if I missed anything.

Rob

Mike Sigman
06-23-2008, 10:34 AM
Again, Mike didn't really show us nothing new..just told us alot of stuff about "HOW" to do it a little more correctly, and WHY you want to do it. and emphasized that you need to do it ALOT.Well, if you're talking about various exercises, I didn't use anything new that no one had seen. However, I'd say that the actual mind-directed skills (and related aspects) were new to most people, because no one showed being already to do them, except for some people that had been exposed before (Kevin Sutter had learned his skills from someone else, but he had some good skills).

The reason I say that is that from experience I've seen people talk themselves into "oh, this is just a variant of stuff I was already doing" and they never go anywhere because that's honestly how they see it. It then becomes a waste of time, because it means they didn't really get it.

FWIW

Mike

oisin bourke
06-23-2008, 10:40 AM
As a corollary, I would like to ask the same question of any Daito-ryu folks out there.

Sokaku Takeda has (supposedly) some 30,000 students and certified some 30 students as kyoju dairi (the same certification that Morihei Ueshiba got), and yet, according to Sagawa Yukiyoshi there was only one of those students who ever understood Takeda's Aiki - that being Sagawa himself, who kept it more or less to himself until the last years of his life.

Now, I trained with a variety of Daito-ryu folks in Japan, from various schools, but there were only a few that I thought had any kind of a real handle on the kind of internal skills we're talking about here - more or less the same kind of ratio that I've found in Aikido.

Do Daito-ryu folks feel that this "glasnost" is affecting their practice? And if so, is it affecting it in a good way?

Best,

Chris


That's a very timely question. I can only speak for my own practice. The best things about these conversations are that they stimulate concepts and approaches that I can bring to practice and try out. Sometimes these approaches elicit very postive responses in the dojo and can lead to more detailed, fruitful conversations from my seniors.

However, Aikido (in general) generally encourages practicioners to "make the art their own" and that includes bringing in influences from other arts relatively freely. Daito Ryu is a lot more traditional (conservative?) so one simply cannot practice too differently from the fundamentals of the art.

Some of the "internal power" talked about here DOES seem to have direct relevance to my practice, however some of the practice methods mentioned seem to build power contradictory to DR "aiki". Also, "aiki" in Daito Ryu seems to have many facets that have not been covered in these posts.

It's worth mentioning that the different schools of DR seem to have very different appoaches to developing aiki. There was a lengthy article by the Kodokai published in HIDEN magazine last year here in Japan, where they quite clearly distinguish between the approaches to training within the main DR schools.

Anyway, I personally find these conversations fascinating. I had planned to meet with Rob John of the Aunkai a few years back but life got in the way. Hopefully, I'll be in Tokyo in the autumn and I'd love to meet up then. Maybe after then I'll have a clearer idea of how these skills and DR aiki fit (or otherwise.)

Oisin Bourke

Aikibu
06-23-2008, 11:05 AM
I most certainly do not and have not ever considered Aikido™ as expressing aiki in any meaningful way, with much or most of what I have seen being either completely wrong in its approach, or just marginally in the right direction.
It reminds me of wondering how you set off from N.Y. trying to get to England and ended up in west Africa.
Time and distance.
All you need do, is give someone a compass just a few degrees off and have them set sail.

And around the mulberry bush you go. I guess unless one practices Aikido in order to learn to express Aiki it is a waste of time as all that happens is you will get "lost" After reading digital reams of you defending this view and attacking the Non Aiki Aikidoka all I can say is whats new?

If Kevin, Mark, Rob, and others can now more or less say the same things I and others have been saying for years-where do others in Aikido ™ now stand on the issue?
Is the community which has been traveling in large numbers in the wrong direction still behind relegating these discussions to Non-Aikido Martial Traditions Discussions of all non-aikido-specific martial traditions
Or is it finally realizing- by the witness of an ever increasing number of ranked Aikido™ teachers- that this is and was in fact Aiki…do all along and just that many people in Aikido™ missed it.

I stand where I have always stood...Centered relaxed and laughing...I have an open mind have been there and done that and am still willing to learn....I know Aiki and it's in Aikido....We can banter back and forth about my knowledge of it and if I really can express it blah blah I can continue to ask you to provide me with information and teachers here on the West Coast for which you contniue to remain silent... and I will still be here.... confident that while I may not be an IMA "master" my 'scant" knowledge of the Aiki in Aikido is good enough to serve me and my fellow Aikidoka...

So tell me something new....LOL

William Hazen

gdandscompserv
06-23-2008, 11:12 AM
teachers here on the West Coast
Now we're talkin'! Anybody???

Erick Mead
06-23-2008, 11:17 AM
Some of the things Gleason sensei describes in terms of aikido waza are remarkably clearer now. The basic rules he explained like no pushing (think ikkyo), no pulling (think iriminage), and no lifting (think shihonage) make a lot more sense. Strangely enough, those rules make perfect sense to me.

... waza are all clearer because I'm doing things much more like the way he does them. ... Anyway, there is little chance that *I* was going to QUICKLY develop aiki from Gleason sensei's aikido because I believe I would need him to be my training partner 8 hours a day for several years. If I may be so bold, what I perceive in what you have said is the reason that I am doing what I am doing. You do not presently have reliable categories in which to fit what you see/feel when you see/feel it. Hence you are somewhat stuck learning it "beyond" category, which is always more difficult, because without category one has trouble replicating situations to study them more closely for various defects that need cleaning up. The training systems that regularize things differently may help you find something that makes sense without having to directly attack those category questions within the physical model of aikido.

I have no brief on a be-all-end-all set of categories, I just want one that seems to be notably missing -- a valid physics model for the action used in aikido. It has to be variant from the familiar and standard linear force-vector model, because the action of aiki, it seems to me, is meant to defeat the linear force-vector model at a fundamental level.

And so I keep working on it. As openly as I know how, warts and all ... http://www.aikiweb.com/blogs/but-why-7854/

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 11:48 AM
Erick,

I'm certainly not saying you don't have it. I have no idea who has it or not and to what depth unless I work out with that person. And people change. I remember when I really disliked Ikeda sensei's ikkyo - now I like it very much. Did he change, did I - probably both.

Those rules makes perfect sense when he does such things to me. But when I go to do them, I was left with other hints like - let your arms drop by their weight alone - the various ki society principles (which are good to test but not so great for getting you there directly), put your mind here (which I wasn't 100% buying into), stand like this, etc.

The whole thing seemed to be a trial and error approach with many metaphores. We would swing kesagiri and he could tell by the sound of the cut on our partner's sword if we were improving or not. I couldn't tell myself. When things started looking good, Gleason sensei will take ukemi to feel it and check it out. He gives great help - but it is in his model where he has expressed that it is best for us to find these things ourselves. I don't think I am physically or mentally talented to do that in any QUICK way.

I like his way. His power and finesse are wonderful. I also like Dan's way and I think I have a chance of learning such things much more quickly because of it.

I'm sure that people like yourself and William Hazen have some good aiki yourselves. I think if you were to meet Dan you'd probably be surpised at the degree of aiki he commands. Maybe not, but I'd bet some money on it. Regardless, if not, aikido needs more people with aiki, and if Dan is helping me, then he's fundamentally on your side (the side of building up more aikido folks with good aiki), right?

Rob

MM
06-23-2008, 11:53 AM
Rather I was hoping for interesting feedback regarding the preponderance of evidence via personal witness by the hundred plus who have felt these things, and whether or not that "witness" has been excepted by the community of readers, considered as a curiosity, or dismissed alltogether.


I don't know. And really, what little I do know of aiki, isn't enough to make any kind of decent demonstration. So, really, the only medium left is talk. And as the old saying goes, talk is cheap. But, I was fortunate in that two people who I talked to jumped right onto the bandwagon. They did so only from my reports.

Nearly a year after that point, one of them was able to attend Sigman's workshop. And that radically changed his perceptions.

So, in an overall sense, I think that for those of us who have gone, we're only going to receive from organizations, at best, a modicum of interest and at worst, dismissal. We have better chances on the one-on-one encounters outside of normal aikido training. And with each other.

Until someone gains a semi-decent skill level to be able to show, rather than tell. After that point, it's going to be interesting to see what organizations do.


I was also asking for feedback from those who have begun to research on how it has impacted their view of Aiki in the larger sense, and how it has affected their view of Aikido™. Verses their growing understanding of aiki and the way of training aiki and using aiki in their own Aiki…do.


As Rob stated ... I'm sure we'll catch flak for some of what we say ...

The aiki that includes all the current definitions, the blending, the harmonizing, the turning, etc is 100% without a doubt, unequivocally, and completely wrong.

I'm sure I lost quite a few readers with that. Let me add something for those that are left. Just because of that paragraph above, it doesn't mean it invalidates one's training. I think that if people reread what those of us who have gone have done ... well, what have we done? Let's see ... Ron is still with Yoshinkan. Rob is still with aikido. Kevin, yep still there. Not one of us really changed our goals, nor have any of us said that our training was a waste of time.

Instead, we acknowledged that there is a much better way of gaining the true skills behind aikido. A way of actually becoming on par with Tohei or Shioda or Tomiki that doesn't take 40+ years. And that there is a different "aiki" and it is what the greats had. Not what most of us have come to define as blending or harmonizing.

But from here is where I believe I am diverging from Rob and Kevin. They both are still trying to incorporate this into teaching and training in current aikido environments. I don't believe it can be done unless the whole class structure is changed. And Kevin touched on that in one of his posts. I think he's right. It's either lose students and lose the lease or pander to the masses.

I made that choice. I'd rather find one or two people who will work with me and work in my garage if I have to. First, there's no way Rob, Kevin, Ron, Budd, or I can in any way provide quality instruction in these things. We're too new and too much of a beginner to do that. Second, the training is tedious, focused, and not very "flashy". Most people want flashy. Third, you need quite a bit of students to pay for overhead of a dojo. This stuff, in the beginning, takes a lot of hands on time. One person teaching a group of twenty isn't going to get much done.

There are only a few choices that make sense.

1. If you have a dojo that you have to pay to keep open, then have the current aikido training going and work on the real aiki separately. Don't try to merge the two. The dojo will suffer for it in the end.

2. Work on it with a few people wherever you find a place. And after a few years, if you want to try to run a dojo, go for it. But, after a few years, I don't think you're going to want to run a dojo. The nature of this training runs contrary to that mind set.

I'm currently not training aikido. I view it as a temporary thing. I'm training aiki so that I can do aiki...do, as Dan calls it. And a nagging, ugly little thought/idea has been percolating in my brain for a little while now. When I stopped the aikido training, my plans were to return in a couple years after I had a better grasp of aiki. But that nagging thought is telling me that it won't happen. And I think it's right.

My view of what aikido means has changed, but that's it. I still train in that vision. But, no, I don't train aikido anymore. I'm training aiki...do and I don't think I'm going to step back into that other world of training. It will be interesting to see what the next 3-5 years bring.

Mark

DH
06-23-2008, 12:00 PM
Hi William
I've no beef with you. I'm glad you have these skills. How about helping out others like Ricky. I've not met anyone in Aikido™ who can truly stand out -though I am quite sure they are there. I'm glad you're stepping up.There is simply no way you can posess these skills and not stand out head and shoulders above those around you. So, I am sure you must be well known in your area for these skills. How about helping out. Can I send some folks your way to test you and have you teach? That would help in California.

Eriik
Can we get some folks over to you in Florida? I am sure there are some people on the boards from Daito ryu and from the Internal Chinese arts and Aikido who woud show up.would like to learn these skills from you. Any takers? Why not help out?

jzimba
06-23-2008, 12:52 PM
Hey Dan,

When I met mike some 8 or 9 years ago, he seemed to believe aikido could be performed using the system of movement he was teaching. While I don't recall aikido technique being taught by him, he did show how to counter aikido technique using ground strength.

On the other hand, I can't help but wonder at anyone who has trained with you and continues to follow aikido. I'd really like to know how that is working for them as well.

I love aikidoka. They're friendly and smart and cuddly and loving and welcoming and they even smell good... sometimes...

I imagine judo executed with the internal power would be more coherent than what aikido would mutate into.

Your teaching has changed so much over the past decade. The bruising remains the same and the pragmatism. I guess they're the same thing.

Joel Zimba

DH
06-23-2008, 12:59 PM
Hey Dan,
Your teaching has changed so much over the past decade. The bruising remains the same and the pragmatism. I guess they're the same thing.

Joel Zimba

Well I can't help but imagine it will continue to morph as I / we grow. I have no teaching syllabus so we sort of go as the wind takes us. It's a relief over having to adhere to a set regimen and someone looking over my shoulder.
What bruising?:D
So how have you seen these skills affect or change your approach?

Dennis Hooker
06-23-2008, 01:04 PM
That is a big part of the problem. Too many people believe Aikido is a set of techniques. There is no Aikido techniques there are techniques used by Aikido and those come from other arts principle Daito Ryu.

I will not be drawn into a continuous dialogue and I hope this tread moves back to constrictive discourse and of course people can come and train with me. The dojo always welcomes folks of a like mind. We may both learn something and that is always good.

Hello Dan

Aikibu
06-23-2008, 01:09 PM
Hi William
I've no beef with you. I'm glad you have these skills. How about helping out others like Ricky. I've not met anyone in Aikido™ who can truly stand out -though I am quite sure they are there. I'm glad you're stepping up.There is simply no way you can posess these skills and not stand out head and shoulders above those around you. So, I am sure you must be well known in your area for these skills. How about helping out. Can I send some folks your way to test you and have you teach? That would help in California.


Well Dan if I sound like I have a beef with you then my apologies...I don't. I respect your skills and the opinions of those who have met you. I would welcome anyone here to come to our class and experiance our interpretation of Shoji Nishio's Aikido...I am sure that compared to yourself and the other IMA Masters here in the Aikido Website that my puny Hara has no comparision However what little skill I have I try to pass on inside the context of Aikido. Also I am much too humble and unskilled to command the respect of the masses....Most just know me as a guy that does good Ukemi and tries to open up folks to thier own pontential...There are thousands of us in Aikido. :)

The rest of your banter is typical and the kind of ribbing I get from my Irish Family in Boston where I was born so no worries there Boyo LOL :)

I hope you know I was being sincere when asking you who you knew out here who could help me and folks like me develop the internal skills you have or at least show me the right "compass heading." You consistently deflect the question or I am met with silence... No answer here or by PM...Well it's cool if you don't know...For me saying "I don't know" is completely ok and I say it often. Kind of liberating actually. :)

For the last few years I have seen you carry the flag on IMA/Aiki on different Budo related websites. I admire your efforts...

Perhaps someday we will meet and if I am not too old by then I would be more than happy to take Ukemi for you and experiance it first hand....

In the mean time I remain in blissfull ignorance I guess... Enjoying what little I do know of Aiki in Aikido... Irimi... Tenken... and those wonderful little spirals connecting my heart with that of my partner. :)

William Hazen

DH
06-23-2008, 01:12 PM
That is a big part of the problem. Too many people believe Aikido is a set of techniques. There is no Aikido techniques there are techniques used by Aikido and those come from other arts principle Daito Ryu.

I will not be drawn into a continuous dialogue and I hope this tread moves back to constrictive discourse and of course people can come and train with me. The dojo always welcomes folks of a like mind. We may both learn something and that is always good.

Hello Dan
Hi Big guy
Good to see ya still around and not too, too fed up with the bantering. Good point about Aikido not being about technique. But minus waza I wonder just how many will have much else to offer.

Dennis Hooker
06-23-2008, 01:14 PM
Hi Big guy
Good to see ya still around and not too, too fed up with the bantering. Good point about Aikido not being about technique. But minus waza I wonder just how many will have much else to offer.

The sad fact from my experience Dan. Not many.

jzimba
06-23-2008, 01:55 PM
I only trained in aikido for about 4 years. Perhaps with greater understanding I could have integrated some of the things you taught me more effectively.

Right now, I have a hard time thinking how to do the "instant on" thing through the 90-degree angles of joint locks and such.

That isn't necessarily really aikido though, as Hooker sensei points out (hi btw)

Things can only be changed so much in an aikido class setting without lecturing happenning.

I do remember breaking down the classic tenchi-nage technique into something I could do without moving uke's arms and hands more than an inch or so out of alignment. I was shocked, though less so than the person I threw.

I also recall a certain god-like feeling to taking someone's balance and doing the flashy tenkans...

I never found anyone in aikido who could "own" me though. I could be over-powered through the gentle jujutsu, but no stunning power which made a mockery of rooting I'd learned through aikido and taichi. so I quit dojo hopping.

I did run into a Yoshinkan guy who got me hunting for one of their schools near me.

As an aside, I think I could maybe reconsile the aiki demonstrated to me by Howard Popkin. He went to great length to show me jujutsu and then jujutsu with a certain devistating flare and then breaking down the how and why of the flare part as technique and then principle.

That experience in itself would have gotten me out of the aikido world.

Perhaps things are different now. I've not hung out with aikido folks for a while.

jz

Pauliina Lievonen
06-23-2008, 02:07 PM
Late to the thread but...I guess I could be in the group of people Dan was thinking of. I've been to two seminars with Akuzawa, meaning I did find it useful enough to go back. And I still do aikido. That said I'm a hobbyist, I train when I feel like it and so I haven't changed as much as I could have if I trained more. Dunno how coherent this will be but some random thoughts...

Oh, first of all, in another thread three different people mentioned carrying groceries. That is one activity where I often think of these things. :D

My teacher can still throw me around, and as long as he can, I don't see any reason to leave aikido.

One thing that has changed is that a couple years ago, I could make a connection to uke but it was very weak. Uke only needed to push a bit to wear me out and push through it. Technically it was maybe correct or at least in the right direction to what my teacher is working towards but I just couldn't maintain it. Nowadays I can make a connection and maintain it easier (well relatively speaking, just read on...).

My work as an Alexander technique teacher also has a profound influence on how I move and use my body. It also influences how I do the Aunkai exercises that I do, so I really don't know if the direction I'm going is at all the direction the rest of you are going. Just to be clear. :) At least I've now found a way that I can keep doing the exercises, for I while I couldn't because the dissonance was too great.

One of the most noticeable results I've had from solo training was after a Christmas holiday when I hadn't been to the dojo for three-four weeks. I had done some solo training every day, but only maybe 15 min. a day. First class after holidays, no sore muscles anywhere, nada. Usually I always really feel it after a break like that. If anything, that time I felt in better shape after the break.

I have showed some of the exercises to my dojomates. As far as I know no one does them outside of class. I sometimes do in the warm ups if I'm teaching.

The focus of the classes I lead (once every two weeks) has for a time now been maintaining structure. We've experimented with different things in the warm ups, like walking forward while someone is pulling you back by your belt (if you try to pull forward with your shoulders you just bend in half), or doing a tenkan while someone is hanging on your shoulders from the back. That second one is fun btw because people who turn with their shoulders will swing violently out of balance. Someone who keeps straight and turns as a whole will fling the"uke" away.

In know those are very crude ways to try and train this stuff but I was just trying to come up with something to give people an idea. Then when we go on to practice techniques we try to see where the moments are where either uke or tori loses structure in the same ways as what we had done in the warm ups. Lately I have an idea that some people are really on board with this and I don't need to keep reminding them so much anymore, so I've also been focusing on other stuff again. There are a couple of guys who really are quite stable on their two feet now that they've got the idea that it's allowed. :)

As for my own training I asked my teacher a while back what I should focus on right now. "You could work on what to do if uke resists more" was received with glee by the rest of the dojo. :p It's been very interesting because a couple of the guys I mentioned above, if they grab me and decide to stand as well as they can, more often than not I've lost it. I have to really try to connect to them as they grab to have a chance. And once we're in the middle of a technique, more often than not I lose them again because I can't move all through a technique and maintain my structure and connection to them at the same time.

Now Mark is going to go "see, you should stop training and just work on solo stuff for x years" :D but thing is, I do this for fun, and I think doing techniques is fun. So there. I don't care if I progress slower because of that.

Actually when I think about it the thing that I find most interesting in aikido is the... emotional, mental something like that, stuff. I could practice the things I'm most interested in quite well without paying so much attention to internal strength(tm). But hobbyist that I am, I feel like a more rounded hobbyist this way.

kvaak
Pauliina

bkedelen
06-23-2008, 02:25 PM
Is the purpose of this thread to disparage the have-nots or to congratulate the have-sos? I can never tell.

Yamazaru
06-23-2008, 02:31 PM
Studying Daito-ryu and using the solo work I learned from the Aunkai have both completely changed my aikido. Right now I'm trying to find a balance in the dojo between doing things in the "classical form" but with internal mechanics and aiki versus giving time for my structure to "free play" in response to incoming force.

The challenge is finding how internal aiki can be maintained during aikido(TM, haha) movements. With my rudimentary understanding of internal movement and DR Aiki it can be fairly difficult...I assume it's not a fruitless endeavor considering the movements themselves were codified by an internally-trained DR man in the first place (Ueshiba-sensei!) :D

Erick Mead
06-23-2008, 02:43 PM
I have no idea who has it or not and to what depth unless I work out with that person. Ditto. This is not the forum for that. A point that seems lost on some people. That does not mean that it does not have its uses ...

Those rules makes perfect sense when he does such things to me. But when I go to do them, I was left with other hints like - let your arms drop by their weight alone - Read this, especially look at the picture series on page 2. http://math.arizona.edu/~ura/031/Taft.Jefferson/Report.pdf. (The whip metaphor is not mine -- its Terry Dobson's originally. I just think it's not a metaphor.) Then consider what can be added to the falling weight of your arm (chain of bones) without the muscular use of it -- by inputting the oscillation of the center of mass to commence it. This is "kinetic linking." (probably familiar to you). Take your belt (pants belt is fine. and take a swing at an open door -- edge on to you (no good reason, it just makes a very satisfying target). If you go slow, its weak -- if you hurry it up too much, it's weak, -- if you modulate the swing to the natural frequency of the unfurling arms,. on the other hand, it hits the edge of the door with your entire weight behind it and is surprisingly powerful.

Ikkyo is like this in terms of shape, interval and energy. Finding the modulation with a dynamic partner vice a door requires much practice.

Structure, in this understanding, is related to kinetically linking, but it is NOT kinetic linking. Extending this dynamic observation, the body forms this shape and interval as a standing wave instead of a propagating wave -- hence the shapes of tegatana, the upper and lower arches, upper cross, hiriki no yosei, etc. are about keeping the correct shape to hold that seemingly stil dynamic contained. Balance is dynamic, always dynamic -- NOT static, and it is disrupted dynamically tied to the fundamental frequency of the body -- seen/felt in tekubi furi, furitama and funetori. The standing wave thus is statically expressed as moment, a potential for rotations, waiting to be released, but is actually an ongoing dynamic of the center of mass oscillating for balance continually -- and largely, reflexively.

There is a reflexive component that I am still fitting in but the rough parameters are becoming more clear. The shape/dynamic of the upper body affects the lower (and vivce versa). As example, hold two arms in properly shaped tegatana at chest level -- fingertips just touching -- shoulders down ,a d chraged with KI if you liek to think of ti that way. Note that the upper cross is engaged Now hook the fingers of one hand with the fingers of the other, and pull them against one another. It should feel the same as the first, and the upper cross should feel engaged.

The latter move is the Jendrassik maneuver. It biomechanically sensitizes and makes stronger the lower limb reflex arcs making them more sensitive in action. It can cause involuntary stepping movements, and so controlling or manipulating this route of dynamic tension correctly, aids in controlling the lower limb reflexes. This is true offensively and defensively. Thus, sankyo properly applied triggers reflexive extensors putting uke on tippy -toe, and the reversed spiral tension of the limb, (kotegaeshi, among others), triggers reflexive flexors and causes knees to buckle.

The art then comes in interacting in the right phase relationship to the structure of the other, phase-locking (0/360 phase) for tight musubi connection at point of contact, and juji (90 deg. phase) for resonant kuzushi, or spatially perpendicular action (ghosting), and avoiding conflict/resistance (180 deg. phase).

The whole thing seemed to be a trial and error approach with many metaphores. --- it is in his model where he has expressed that it is best for us to find these things ourselves.

I'm sure that people like yourself and William Hazen have some good aiki yourselves. I think if you were to meet Dan you'd probably be surpised at the degree of aiki he commands. I don't have anything to promote -- only an interest in developing knowledge and application. I do what I do, and people can judge what they like. If people say he is worthwhile, who am I to say otherwise?

...aikido needs more people with aiki, and if Dan is helping me, then he's fundamentally on your side (the side of building up more aikido folks with good aiki), right? I don't have a side -- and my only concern is where these discussions seem bent on creating them. Not that it seems intended that way -- but it does seem to end up coming off that way. Rhetoric should support an argument -- not lead it.

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 02:56 PM
Is the purpose of this thread to disparage the have-nots or to congratulate the have-sos? I can never tell.

Well I'm a have not, but I have to admit I enjoy a good congratulations as much as a bad disparagement. Seriously, no one in MMA will take aikido seriously unless someone in aikido kicks their ass doing aikido. And we all think - those bastards I hate them, how closed minded! The funny thing is that no one in aikido will take specific aiki training seriously unless someone with specific aiki training comes and kicks their ass.

My feeling is that Dan asked for feedback and that is the least I can do. I don't think I am the typical case. (My mother told me I was special anyway.) But if my experience and my feedback helps someone reevaluate these ideas who previously dismissed these ideas then I made a good investment. Maybe that person will learn such things and help me out someday in training.

If I can learn these skills and go jam the stink out of Gleason sense or Ikeda sensei - maybe they will get interested in Dan's approach and I'll have helped out the entire ASU organization. Or maybe I'll do this stuff and they will continue to plant me firmly on the mat no matter what I do as uke - that's fine too - I'll have much more baseline skill set to pick up what they are doing. Who knows... All I can say for now is that it makes training more interesting and fun.

Rob

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 03:12 PM
I don't have a side -- and my only concern is where these discussions seem bent on creating them. Not that it seems intended that way -- but it does seem to end up coming off that way. Rhetoric should support an argument -- not lead it.

Agreed. I was thinking the same - when I decided we could all rally under something we can all agree about - which is what can we do to help each other improve. If challenging old ideas for new ones (or older ones as it were) is helpful then great. If you could meet Dan and totally own him - or be even steven on skills - or get totally owned, then it would be great to hear you explain some of your his bizzare aiki stuff in physics terminology because that might really speak to some people.

But it probably wouldn't speak to me at this point. I think that is something for AFTER I make some more physical power jumps using simple mental imagery and the duldrums of a lot of difficult practice. I would still read it and I would attempt to work out the free-body diagrams myself and try to see if I could use any conservation laws and differential equations to approach your ideas (but that's because I'm still a nerd who likes math; and I get really bored rocking my son when he is asleep but not deeply enough to transport him from rocking chair to bed. :)

Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-23-2008, 03:46 PM
Love that post Paulina. You keep going what ever way you can.

Best,
Ron

Pauliina Lievonen
06-23-2008, 04:35 PM
Love that post Paulina. You keep going what ever way you can.
Thanks Ron. You too!

kvaak
Pauliina

DH
06-23-2008, 05:01 PM
Is the purpose of this thread to disparage the have-nots or to congratulate the have-sos? I can never tell.

Hi Benjamin
The purpose of the thread was spelled out quite clearly. I didn't want a rehash of who believes it or Mike, me or Rob, or who doesn't believe it. Enough already!:(

Probably due to my profession, I like to move in phases and clear goals. When I see stagnation in a project meeting or presentation, I endeavor to move the conversation forward. To that end, my goals in this thread were to address those prior Aikido™ nay sayers who now have come forward to feel, then continued in their training (not all have) , then to allow THEM to discuss their findings dilemmas, overviews, etc among and in front of the Aikido™ community, not on a separate forum.
So my request was for feedback from just those Aikido™ folks who came to train, and or feedback from those in the Aikido™ community who have now read all the reports, and if they wanted too, state why they believe THOSE folks, or do not believe THOSE folks.
Not whether or not they believe me, or Mike or Rob or Ark. But rather THOSE FOLKS from Aikido™ who now have changed their training to incorporate these skills. And that can be an interesting discussion. I have some opinions about the difficulties in training aiki in an environment that doesn’t welcome it, but I want to save that for later and hear some other opinions and feedback, maybe ask a few questions of my own.
The point being-ask them what they think- not me.

Howard Popkin
06-23-2008, 05:16 PM
Joel,

That was a very long time ago, but thanks for the compliments.

I don't think I knew too much about Aiki then(not that I do know), but my techniques have changed over the years based on Okamoto.

Best of luck in your training.

Howard

Bill Danosky
06-23-2008, 05:21 PM
Maybe it would clear up some of the arguments if someone could define what Internal Power is exactly.

You get the distinct impression that it's something very esoteric, like "The Force". Then sometimes it's described as more of a physical thing, having to do with obscure muscular development. Erick's description in post #58 seems most plausible from my sophomore point of view.

"Hands on" experience with "it" is hard to come by in Central Illinois so in the meantime, how about a little intellectual reinforcement?

What is it and how does it work?

Ketsan
06-23-2008, 05:40 PM
John,

Even though it is all this stuff is "in Aikido". When I went to the two weekend seminars the thought kept running through my head.....

"why didn't anyone wearing a hakama ever explain it so clearly as these guys wearing sweats and tee-shirts?"

it is in there, but I think we as a community have done a very poor job of codifying and communicating it.

Maybe your experiences are different than mine, and myself and a few others are the exception (I think not), but that question keeps running through my mind.

I think some people need to believe that it's complicated or that they must absolutely in all circumstances use a japanese term, I catch myself doing it occasionally. We have this bizzare term "Pure reverse irimi" which translates as "step back."
Thinking on it we have about four different terms to avoid saying "step back."

Kevin Leavitt
06-23-2008, 06:22 PM
Well if I here some one say "just move from your hips" one more time, I think I am going to loose it! It simply dismisses all the mechanics that go into using your body, and it does nothing to actually help the person who has not developed the ability to do it, actually do anything other than be frustrated.

Kevin Leavitt
06-23-2008, 06:25 PM
Pauliina,

Good to hear from you! One thing I noticed is a similarity between language that you used when working with me with Alexander Technique and the language that Ark used to describe the "Frame" or "resting on your structure".

FWIW, as I told you a few months ago, I felt a great benefit out of what you worked with me on.

Aikibu
06-23-2008, 06:33 PM
Not whether or not they believe me, or Mike or Rob or Ark. But rather THOSE FOLKS from Aikido™ who now have changed their training to incorporate these skills. And that can be an interesting discussion. I have some opinions about the difficulties in training aiki in an environment that doesn’t welcome it, but I want to save that for later and hear some other opinions and feedback, maybe ask a few questions of my own.
The point being-ask them what they think- not me.

Well I think the Internal aspect of Aikido works just great! And again.....One moooooooore tiiiiiiime (say it just like the song) I don't know who or what Aikido environment does not welcome IMA... all I know is ours does along with other Waza too.

So drop by anytime and let's have some fun and learn from each other.

Maybe the trademark will disappear the same time the straw uke does. :)

William Hazen

Upyu
06-23-2008, 07:42 PM
What is it and how does it work?

It's not esoteric despite Mike's description of the "mind intention" part of things. It's still very physical.
It's already been covered extensively in the "baseline skillset" thread, with a lot of "how-to's" and simple examples of how it works by Mike Sigman.

You're just going to have to do the leg work on your own dude ;)

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 08:18 PM
If you do, will you put it on a wiki. Seems like that;s been needed for sometime now. -Rob

Aikibu
06-23-2008, 08:36 PM
If you do, will you put it on a wiki. Seems like that;s been needed for sometime now. -Rob

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_martial_arts

I found this faster than the the flicker of the Green Destiny in the hand of Wu Pang!

William Hazen

mathewjgano
06-23-2008, 08:43 PM
Well, speaking as one of the "readers" I think it's compelling what some folks have been describing...and it's refreshing to hear so much applause for internal methodology. If ever this dialogue changes into something more tangible for me, I'll do what i can to experience it. Until then it's mostly useless (for me) beyond an exercise in communication and discussion of possibilities. I find that stuff interesting though so I'll be around more than I probably should be.
That said I'm not surprised at the contention that has riddled this discussion. The nature of internet communication almost requires it, but the tone of this conversation has taken on a life of its own. I get the sense a lot of folks are trying to read between the lines and the conversations have taken on a lot of innuendo...I could be reading too much into it though.

Mark Gibbons
06-23-2008, 08:53 PM
I attended a seminar with Akuzawa Sensei in November of 2007. I wondered how anyone would go about learning the things talked about, and where it would be practical to train in them. My impression of the seminar was similar to my impression of the posts about the topic on the internet. The words are the same as those I hear in daily practice at the dojo. I have fairly modest martial skills and a limited background. I couldn't tell a major difference in feel of the participants, Ark, Rob from the folks I think understand this stuff at my regular dojo. The people I expected to be good felt solid to varying degrees, just like at my home dojo. Please note, I'm not saying something different isn't there, I just don't know what to look for. One thing that commonly is brought up is to go to see someone and get enlightened as to IMA's. I don't think it's that easy.:uch:

I got to see Ark do some cool tricks. I got some hands on with him. We did Aki age(sp?) and I went flying. But, I'm a trained aikido uke. I felt two hard knife edges coming up under my sternum. I move in that situation. I'll grant Ark is strong, but please, the man has some serious technique as well. The tricks look much more like technique then some mysterious power generation to me.

The effect on me of doing the exercises and the seminar was noticed by a lot of people. After a couple months people were saying I had gotten much softer. Technique started working on people that I'd never been able to do anything with before. What I had done, I think, was actually figure out how to not lean on people. I suspect I filtered what was taught into familiar categories and may have missed the whole point. But my mental imagery sure has more crosses and connections into the ground. I keep trying.

Regards and thanks,
Mark

HL1978
06-23-2008, 10:06 PM
Hi Mark,

I assume you attended the Seattle seminar? There were so many people there, so I can't recall if we met for sure or not.


I have fairly modest martial skills and a limited background. I couldn't tell a major difference in feel of the participants, Ark, Rob from the folks I think understand this stuff at my regular dojo. The people I expected to be good felt solid to varying degrees, just like at my home dojo. Please note, I'm not saying something different isn't there, I just don't know what to look for. One thing that commonly is brought up is to go to see someone and get enlightened as to IMA's. I don't think it's that easy.:uch:

For clarification, did you feel any difference between Ark/Rob and the participants? What sensations did you feel when you had the opportunity to touch any of the attendees or Ark/Rob? What exactly do you mean by solid?

I got to see Ark do some cool tricks. I got some hands on with him. We did Aki age(sp?) and I went flying. But, I'm a trained aikido uke. I felt two hard knife edges coming up under my sternum. I move in that situation. I'll grant Ark is strong, but please, the man has some serious technique as well. The tricks look much more like technique then some mysterious power generation to me.

Ark isn't exactly a huge guy. He weighs about 140lbs soaking wet!
Sure, technique is involved to a small extent, no one said zero technique happens, but it's more a result of a a trained skill in the body. So clearly when he does some of the demos with people who are coming up on double his weight, for example shiko (think sumo squat/stomps) with someone double his weight on his back something other than musculature or leverage must be going on.

A couple years back he invited me to try and break his pinky finger. I tried my best to really break his finger, at one point I was hanging off his pinky finger with just his finger holding me up. He later tossed me halfway across the room just by flicking the finger, not the whole arm. I stood there in amazement trying to figure out how he tossed someone who outweighs him by 40lbs who is in a position of superior leverage. At that point, I knew that something else other than superior technique or musculature had to be going on.


The effect on me of doing the exercises and the seminar was noticed by a lot of people. After a couple months people were saying I had gotten much softer. Technique started working on people that I'd never been able to do anything with before. What I had done, I think, was actually figure out how to not lean on people. I suspect I filtered what was taught into familiar categories and may have missed the whole point. But my mental imagery sure has more crosses and connections into the ground. I keep trying.


Superficially at least, many of the exercises and the vocabulary should sound very familiar to most martial artists. Indeed one needs to only look on the Aunkai web page and many of the pictures at first glance look identical to many exercises many of us have done. Assuming one can feel how Akuzawa, Mike, and Dan feel different, the vocabulary should start to make sense as to why Ueshiba and others have used the phrases they did.

Keep up with the exercises and more an more things should start to make sense. If others are starting to notice that you have changed, or feel different then you are on the right track.

rob_liberti
06-23-2008, 10:17 PM
Mark,

Over the years people have asked me - who is stronger - sensei A or sensei B. Id have to say I had no idea.

If there were 2 barbells that looked the same but had different densities. 1 weighs 1000 lbs. The other weighed 1 million lbs. and they are unmarked. If you ask me which one is heavier, I have no idea because I can't lift either of them.

I'm now yondan in aikido. I have some sense of what 1000lb sensei power is (I can budge it) and I still can't budge million pound sensei power.

I suspect that many people who can't tell the difference in Aukusawa's power compared to other aikido sensei may be facing the 1000lb - million lb problem.

I think it is telling that Ikeda sensei at 7th dan is looking into alternate sources for learning internal power. He certainly can tell- and is fairly well aware of who is heavy weight and who is a light weight in aikido.

Rob

Upyu
06-23-2008, 10:57 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_martial_arts

I found this faster than the the flicker of the Green Destiny in the hand of Wu Pang!

William Hazen
That's a sucky wiki article if you ask me
Doesn't even begin to cover anything really germane on the subject.

Remember, most guys in the chinese arts are just as clueless. They just have more vocabulary to work with so they sound prettier when they BS :D

Mike Sigman
06-23-2008, 11:12 PM
That's a sucky wiki article if you ask me
Doesn't even begin to cover anything really germane on the subject.

Remember, most guys in the chinese arts are just as clueless. They just have more vocabulary to work with so they sound prettier when they BS :DActually, whoever wrote the article tried pretty hard (compared to some attempts I've seen in the past 25 years), but what he didn't know sorta jumps out at you.

I'm not a real big fan of the internal/external debate because the qi/ki/jin/kokyu skills are in both the internal and external martial arts. There are so many more variations than just those two of how they're developed and used that a simple dichotomy doesn't really work. On the other hand, there are a lot of distinctions between how they are developed and used, so often it looks pretty absurd when somone uses his White Crane-trained skills and tries to pass them of as Taiji, Xingyi, etc.

Same thing with Aikido, BTW.... if someone learns hard kokyu skills, that's fine, but Ueshiba and Tohei obviously used the softer approach to skills. But it's a good thing to see the level of discussion reach this far. ;)

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Upyu
06-23-2008, 11:25 PM
Maybe it would clear up some of the arguments if someone could define what Internal Power is exactly.

You get the distinct impression that it's something very esoteric, like "The Force". Then sometimes it's described as more of a physical thing, having to do with obscure muscular development. Erick's description in post #58 seems most plausible from my sophomore point of view.

"Hands on" experience with "it" is hard to come by in Central Illinois so in the meantime, how about a little intellectual reinforcement?

What is it and how does it work?

I'm going to be nice, and sum it up real quick, nice n' dirty, just the way girls at the 109 in Tokyo like it :D

The subject can be roughly split into two subject Ki/Kokyu or Qi/Jin, although they're intertwined

(roughly speaking) Kokyu power = Jin power (Always differentiated from overt muscular power)

This is, for lack of a better term, a "weight" path that you direct out of the ground. (Ki soceity refers to it as weight underside).
It is a skill where you can direct the weight of the lower body, through the hands (and this is oh so general, no one shoot me please), without actually committing the weight of your body.
In other words, when you use "Jin" or "Kokyu" skill on someone and push them, if they were to suddenly remove themselves, you wouldn't fall over, in fact you wouldn't move at all.
This is achieved through something called 6 directional forces, where you basically create 6 opposing tensions within the body, keeping yourself in equilibrium at all times. There's another two, for a grand total of 8, but we won't get into that.
(I'd lay good money on the fact that this is what Ueshiba meant when he referred to Ki of Heaven Ki of Earth etc)

In short this "weight" path can be "willed" by the mind (nothing freaky, the body simply reorganizes itself to create a path to a different outlet, be it the hand, shoulder, top of the head etc)
But Kokyu power can be largely affected by leg strength, hence all the emphasis on training the legs in the beginning, not to mention the middle.

Ki = Qi/Prana etc
This encompasses several different uses of the body to train the same thing.
The character for Ki/Qi originally refers to Air, or pressure.
Hence the relation to breathing.
If you do breathing in a certain way, and are taught "what" to focus on, you condition a bunch of tissue under your body, the latest theory to all of this is that its the fascia, but who really knows.
Mike S. already posted a brief descrip of basic exercises and how-to's in the Baseline skillset thread.

This nexus of tissue runs all through the body, connecting the organs as well as limbs etc, and runs thickest through the torso (hence the focus in a lot of arts on conditioning the middle).
If you condition this tissue to a substantial degree, torquing it can produce a significant amount of power which is separate from muscular power. Control over a certain part of the middle, as well as the illial psoas is critical. (Why do you think Tai Chi guys look fat ;) Ueshiba had a substantial middle for his size as well)

Imagine a human shaped balloon filled with air. Twist the extremities, and you'll get a torquing effect that builds up in the body. Now release it, and you get power that is generated without "winding" the muscles necessarily. (Shioda doesn't use this torquing windup, but he uses something similar, it's dead obvious in a couple of his vids, same goes to Ueshiba)

Training the tissue/Qi is achieved by stretching (think shaolin, yogic exercises), breathing (everyone's favorite past time of navel contemplation) etc. But really any exercise should be a practice of the Kokyu Skill and conditioning of the Ki.

Combine it with your ability to "will a weight path" from your legs, along with control of the "Qi" in your body, which is trained through air pressure, stretching in various poses etc, and you get a potent combination of generating power which lasts much longer than sheer muscular power.

Ok, now someone post the quick n' dirty on some wiki so no one has to go looking through posts again.

And shoot me if I missed anything, that should be information overload as it is.

Mike Sigman
06-23-2008, 11:33 PM
Well I think the Internal aspect of Aikido works just great! And again.....One moooooooore tiiiiiiime (say it just like the song) I don't know who or what Aikido environment does not welcome IMA... all I know is ours does along with other Waza too. So Bill, why haven't you been one of the people explaining how all these things work, since it's so commonplace in your dojo?

Mike

Tim Fong
06-23-2008, 11:54 PM
Ok, now someone post the quick n' dirty on some wiki so no one has to go looking through posts again.



Done. For future reference, it's here:
http://www.unleashingfong.com/martialmovement/index.php?title=What_is_Internal_Strength

eyrie
06-24-2008, 12:10 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internal_martial_arts

I found this faster than the the flicker of the Green Destiny in the hand of Wu Pang!
Wow... just wow... your google-fu is strong... now can you please explain in your own words, in Aikido terms that people here understand? :) * says with extra humility and a cherry on top *

Aikibu
06-24-2008, 12:43 AM
So Bill, why haven't you been one of the people explaining how all these things work, since it's so commonplace in your dojo?

Mike

With all due respect....

You are sooooo cute! :) and what a helpful question!

I have....to a very small degree within my limited articulation and knowledge and... with people like you Dan and the Aunkai folks I feel you are far better qualified to articulate the Tao of IMA...Again I have no doubts about the skills or experiance of any of you good folks...

The focus of our Aikido encompasses internal power as a natural result of good practice and indeed there are people in other styles of Aikido who have been mentioned that have it so its not just ours...

My Beef with this whole deal on Aikiweb is...Internal Power means nothing without proper character development in the philosophy of Aikido and that is something a few here miss...That is the purpose of Aikido for me anyway...If along the way I experiance that which is front of my nose why that is just a bonus. Inspired by Nishio Shihan, Joko Beck, and Pema Chodron I also try to follow the Bodhisattva way... Which in simple terms means in order to keep it one must give it away...In most of these discussions that genorosity of spirit is missing frankly... and thus it leads to folks getting bashed over the head by the IMA experts here and that is not in the the Aikido Spirit. The same experts use Aikido as a straw man without citing specific examples of the bias we stupid Aikidoka are ALL accused of having. LOL

Hell Robert John and you say even the Wiki is way off base...So why not do something productive like actually CONTRIBUTE to the Wiki...That is what Wiki's are for...

I never said I was an expert nor am I a neophyte either...So hopefully one of these days I will be blessed with the opportunity to learn exactly what you guys are talking about by experiancing it first hand and you just might be suprised at how good a student I can be. :) The Aunkai Seminars interests me greatly as the Senior Nishio folks in Japan highly respect Akuzawa Sensei.

By the way... I prefer to be addressed as William... Micheal. :)

William Hazen

Upyu
06-24-2008, 02:48 AM
<snip>Bodhisattva way... Which in simple terms means in order to keep it one must give it away...In most of these discussions that genorosity of spirit is missing frankly... and thus it leads to folks getting bashed over the head by the IMA experts here and that is not in the the Aikido Spirit. <snip>

Well, as I recall it, the only time anyone gets "bashed over the head" is when they start making unfounded claims, and stuff that just smaks of being "wrong." Unfortunately, I strongly believe, like some others, its not a subject where you can say "Well this is my take on it."
These are physical concrete skills, and to that end they can be described to a degree. Actually I'd point out that when I first met Mike S. on this board, he had NO idea who I was, but my descriptions of certain mechanics were such that we hit it off (even with my understanding being as elementary as it is), and he didn't jump down my throat ;)

Generosity? Most of the guys here with the skills have actually been pretty "giving" as far as simple how-to's and explanations, and who might be a good start in getting your foot to these things. Most of these suggestions have transcended styles if I recall correctly. ;)

Aikibu
06-24-2008, 03:04 AM
Well, as I recall it, the only time anyone gets "bashed over the head" is when they start making unfounded claims, and stuff that just smaks of being "wrong." Unfortunately, I strongly believe, like some others, its not a subject where you can say "Well this is my take on it."
These are physical concrete skills, and to that end they can be described to a degree. Actually I'd point out that when I first met Mike S. on this board, he had NO idea who I was, but my descriptions of certain mechanics were such that we hit it off (even with my understanding being as elementary as it is), and he didn't jump down my throat ;)

Generosity? Most of the guys here with the skills have actually been pretty "giving" as far as simple how-to's and explanations, and who might be a good start in getting your foot to these things. Most of these suggestions have transcended styles if I recall correctly. ;)

Thanks...:)

I eagerly await your technical contribution to the discussion.

William Hazen

eyrie
06-24-2008, 04:53 AM
I see Rob L. has beaten me to it with his other thread... Whoops... I meant Ron R... see... too completely relaxed.... :p

Upyu
06-24-2008, 07:26 AM
Thanks...:)

I eagerly await your technical contribution to the discussion.

William Hazen

Already did, check the posts I made on "Developing a martial body" thread ;)

Timothy WK
06-24-2008, 08:22 AM
Already did, check the posts I made on "Developing a martial body" thread ;)
Training the Body for Martial Movement (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10763)
Training the Body. Part 2: Exercesis (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10764)

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 08:26 AM
I guess what I'm asking is how do I get good at this Internal Strength™ in Aikido quickly? And how do I get "stronger", faster? Which I presume everyone else contributing and/or lurking would want to know as well.


You go find someone on a faster track and train with them.
Same way you go learn to play a piano. You go find a piano teacher. they probably couldn't explain how to play the piano in a thread online either. Anything they can write would be very low level.

Mike and Aukuzawa are having workshops. Dan teaches for free at his barn. I've read several posts where he has invited some individuals to go work out with him. He even offered to visit some people. Or if you just can't bring yourself out of your hometown - and you live somewhere near something that might be fun for a small child, you can wait a while for me to develop a bit more and I'll go visit your dojo and show you what I know. I love traveling on vacation.

Rob

gdandscompserv
06-24-2008, 08:36 AM
Training the Body for Martial Movement (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10763)
Training the Body. Part 2: Exercesis (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10764)
I have nothing to add. Just wanted to 'bookmark' this post for future reference.
In addition to all of the cool internal skills, there is one thing I want to learn from this thread; How the hell does one do that cool (TM) thingy?:D

gdandscompserv
06-24-2008, 08:39 AM
You go find someone on a faster track and train with them.
Same way you go learn to play a piano. You go find a piano teacher. they probably couldn't explain how to play the piano in a thread online either. Anything they can write would be very low level.

Mike and Aukuzawa are having workshops. Dan teaches for free at his barn. I've read several posts where he has invited some individuals to go work out with him. He even offered to visit some people. Or if you just can't bring yourself out of your hometown - and you live somewhere near something that might be fun for a small child, you can wait a while for me to develop a bit more and I'll go visit your dojo and show you what I know. I love traveling on vacation.

Rob
Rob,
I'm a couple hours from Disney Land.:D

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 08:46 AM
A "keys to the kingdom" trade! you're on! I'll have to practice a lot harder!

Rob

DH
06-24-2008, 08:53 AM
William
I don’t know of anyone in California training this way. I know of one teacher who possesses some real skills, but I watched him “not teach” whole rooms full of people dozens of times. His students clearly express his ‘not teaching” teaching. Most of whom probably are convinced they ‘got it” too.

In keeping within the goals of the thread-why not ask the many who have gone to test those who train this way?
I see no value in giving details-which are usually debated ad nauseum and are just more grist for the mill, when I see dozens of people here already bearing witness to the fact that while they thought they "got it" from aikido-and could do these things or have them in their version of Aikido™, just like you do-they didn't.
With very few exceptions-all I have met have thought they were doing these things too and then had to retract that statement. None, meaning no...one had anything even remotely resembling these levels of skills. Further they have openly stated while they felt things like it from their own teachers they remain convinced their own teachers would never stand a chance against the level of skill tested against the developed skills they felt from us amateurs. So why the debate and rehashing of requests and descriptions? For what purpose? It’s just more of the same to me. Give it a rest.
In light of all the conversations and witness accounts, going back to debating Rob, Mike or me, and asking for more descriptions and details, while also claiming you do them in your dojos is starting to sound rather silly-even desperate.

Now two years out and with hands on instruction and much detailed teaching those who have started to train this way are just starting to see changes in their bodies and practice. Continue monitoring and asking them, as I had hoped you would be doing in this thread. In the near future try to go learn from them. You will be behind and probably kicking yourself for not getting out earlier, but at least start! These people are going to become a new force in the arts.

Eric
Howard is in Florida occasionally. Why not go check him out and see what he does, show him what you can do. Maybe Howard will come back and tell us amazing things about Erik Mead. I find it extremely difficult to believe that someone like you, who claims these skills is in dojos and is not known. That's just too wierd. Something is wrong with that picture.

DH
06-24-2008, 09:06 AM
I have nothing to add. Just wanted to 'bookmark' this post for future reference.
In addition to all of the cool internal skills, there is one thing I want to learn from this thread; How the hell does one do that cool (TM) thingy?:D
Go into word and type this
Aikido(tm) word will change it to Aikido™ cut and past into the Aiki-web post box.

Timothy WK
06-24-2008, 09:21 AM
Erick
Howard is in Florida occasionally. Why not go check him out and see what he does, show him what you can do.
Not to speak for Howard, but he seems pretty open about going out to meet people, if you (Erick) wanted to bring him to your own dojo.

Chen Xiaowang will also be in Miami (http://www.chineseboxing.com/Resources/cxwseminar08.pdf) in October. He may not be what the mainstream considers "aiki", but his internal skill is suppose to be some of the best in the world.

MM
06-24-2008, 09:43 AM
Rob,
I'm a couple hours from Disney Land.:D

To all those in California,

Well, it seems that work might send me to San Diego around Nov 7th-13th-ish this year. If anyone is in the area, would be cool to get together. I'll post something about it when things are for sure, probably September-October timeframe. I don't know California, so I don't know how far anyone is from San Diego. If I go, I'll be very close to the San Diego Convention Center.

Mark

ChrisMoses
06-24-2008, 10:17 AM
Hi Mark, thanks for chiming in. I wanted to make a couple comments since I think I get what you're saying and I think a few people may have missed what you were actually getting at. ;)

My impression of the seminar was similar to my impression of the posts about the topic on the internet. The words are the same as those I hear in daily practice at the dojo. I have fairly modest martial skills and a limited background. I couldn't tell a major difference in feel of the participants, Ark, Rob from the folks I think understand this stuff at my regular dojo. The people I expected to be good felt solid to varying degrees, just like at my home dojo. Please note, I'm not saying something different isn't there, I just don't know what to look for. One thing that commonly is brought up is to go to see someone and get enlightened as to IMA's. I don't think it's that easy.:uch:

So I take your comments here to mean that one of the confusions that carried over from the intarwebs to in-person was the similarity of terms. A further confusion for you was that you already felt many of these qualities in the folks you train with regularly, so whether someone is moving with a skill of 6,7,9, or 10, since you're on 4, it all feels better. That's absolutely true, and one of the things I see a lot in these discussions when folks say, "We do that" or "My teacher does that". It takes a certain level to be able to really appreciate *how* good someone/something is, even in person. I really hope you don't take that as a dig at you, but more of a confirmation of what you were saying.

As an aside, I got a chance to train with most of the folks you're talking about here a few months back at Howard Popkin's (excellent) seminar over at Aikido Eastside. It was one of the first times that I'd really gotten to touch hands with a few of them since I decided to focus my attention elsewhere, and from the numerous strange looks and giggles I got, I would wager that *they* were able to feel a real and qualitative difference in *me*. One (who outranks me by a few dan degrees these days) even asked if I would do private lessons with him. We've met a couple times and plan to get together more as our schedules permit. Again, that's not to diminish you (or him!) or what you're saying here, but if anything, to confirm what you're getting at. :)

I got to see Ark do some cool tricks. I got some hands on with him. We did Aki age(sp?) and I went flying. But, I'm a trained aikido uke. I felt two hard knife edges coming up under my sternum. I move in that situation. I'll grant Ark is strong, but please, the man has some serious technique as well. The tricks look much more like technique then some mysterious power generation to me.

I prefer the term "Feats of Awesomeness!!!" instead of "cool tricks" and look forward to them not only for their cool factor but for the refreshing burst of oxygenated blood that they bring my arms and legs as I join the throng in relaxed appreciation. ;)

I'd also point out that Ark would probably not classify what he's doing as mysterious power generation either, that's why it's so teachable and approachable.

The effect on me of doing the exercises and the seminar was noticed by a lot of people. After a couple months people were saying I had gotten much softer. Technique started working on people that I'd never been able to do anything with before. What I had done, I think, was actually figure out how to not lean on people. I suspect I filtered what was taught into familiar categories and may have missed the whole point. But my mental imagery sure has more crosses and connections into the ground. I keep trying.

Regards and thanks,
Mark

That's awesome! I think it's an important point, that while the specific quality of Ark's abilities may have been hard for you to pinpoint, that after this limited exposure to some exercises and concepts, *what you were already learning* began to work better for you. I think that's the whole point of this discussion.

Keep trying!

In semi-related news, I'm going to be teaching one day a week at Seattle School of Aikido (Thursdays from 6-7pm) starting in July. If you (or anyone else in the Seatopolis) feels like stopping by I'd love to see you (drop-ins are welcome, they love visitors). The concept I'm working on for the class is "budo kihon" and will include about 50/50 Aunkai basic exercises followed by some basic jujutsu/principle based kihon waza (from the TNBBC/Icho Ryu). It's kind of an experiment, if there's enough interest I'll keep it up, and if not, no biggie. :) /shameless plug off :)

gdandscompserv
06-24-2008, 10:35 AM
To all those in California,

Well, it seems that work might send me to San Diego around Nov 7th-13th-ish this year. If anyone is in the area, would be cool to get together. I'll post something about it when things are for sure, probably September-October timeframe. I don't know California, so I don't know how far anyone is from San Diego. If I go, I'll be very close to the San Diego Convention Center.

Mark
Keep me posted Mark.

Howard Popkin
06-24-2008, 10:57 AM
Chris,

Thanks ! It was a great seminar because it was a great group.

As you know, rank has very little to do with ability most cases.

Everyone else !

Roppokai Seminars - Most are welcome

1) Need ukemi
2) Need a good attitude
3) Need to like beer(optional but highly recommended for relaxation waza)

I usually don't focus on the internal stuff in public seminars, but I do show in slow-mo how we use the body aiki to create the technique. They don't work well without the body aiki. If you ask me, I might:)

I prefer not to be in these discussions about who has it and who doesn't. As soon as you grab someone who has a little of it, you will know:

a) Your neck usually snaps in a crazy whiplash-style motion
b) You feel like you fell into a vortex
c) The person doing the aiki can decide if you feel pain or just throw
d) If they decide on the pain, you will probably(very politely) ask them never to do it again :)
e) You balance is swept out from under you in a variety of different directions instantaniously.

If those things aren't happening, its a different type of technique. Not a bad one, just a different one.

Oh, also, the person doing the technique is relaxed, very soft, and not expending energy.

Hope that helps.

Be well,

Howard

DH
06-24-2008, 11:06 AM
Howard
Er...uhm....you just entered into one of those discussions. Welcome;)

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 11:06 AM
Yep that about sums up my experience with Dan.
Is there a website listing your seminars somewhere?
Rob

DH
06-24-2008, 11:13 AM
Yep that about sums up my experience with Dan.

Rob

Similar background-no surprise there!
As you know, I tend to focus more on MMA expressions. Howard may focus more on DR expressions-I don't know- Howard?


We like to drag Howard kicking and screaming into these discussions he hates just to piss him off! It keeps his blood warm between beers.

Howard Popkin
06-24-2008, 11:17 AM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH - Beer.

How was that ? :)

You are correct - focus is DR Roppokai as taught by Okamoto.

We do dabble in other things, but that is 90%.

Thanks for dragging me in.

Tuna season boys, you wont hear from me again for a while.

Howie

MM
06-24-2008, 11:21 AM
I prefer not to be in these discussions about who has it and who doesn't. As soon as you grab someone who has a little of it, you will know:

a) Your neck usually snaps in a crazy whiplash-style motion
b) You feel like you fell into a vortex
c) The person doing the aiki can decide if you feel pain or just throw
d) If they decide on the pain, you will probably(very politely) ask them never to do it again :)
e) You balance is swept out from under you in a variety of different directions instantaniously.

If those things aren't happening, its a different type of technique. Not a bad one, just a different one.

Oh, also, the person doing the technique is relaxed, very soft, and not expending energy.

Be well,

Howard

Hmmm ... well, when you were down here for the seminar, if I remember correctly, you weren't very relaxed, you felt muscular, and you wasted a lot of energy. Er, wait, no, that was me. :eek: LOL! I don't think I had enough beer.

Mark

Aikibu
06-24-2008, 11:26 AM
William
I don’t know of anyone in California training this way. I know of one teacher who possesses some real skills, but I watched him “not teach” whole rooms full of people dozens of times. His students clearly express his ‘not teaching” teaching. Most of whom probably are convinced they ‘got it” too.

Thank you for answering my question in general. It only took a half dozen requests or so. Of course in keeping with your current meme mentioning a teacher by name is not your style. :)

In keeping within the goals of the thread-why not ask the many who have gone to test those who train this way?
I have thank you. :)
I see no value in giving details-which are usually debated ad nauseum and are just more grist for the mill, when I see dozens of people here already bearing witness to the fact that while they thought they "got it" from aikido-and could do these things or have them in their version of Aikido™, just like you do-they didn't.
With very few exceptions-all I have met have thought they were doing these things too and then had to retract that statement. None, meaning no...one had anything even remotely resembling these levels of skills. Further they have openly stated while they felt things like it from their own teachers they remain convinced their own teachers would never stand a chance against the level of skill tested against the developed skills they felt from us amateurs. So why the debate and rehashing of requests and descriptions? For what purpose? It’s just more of the same to me. Give it a rest.
In light of all the conversations and witness accounts, going back to debating Rob, Mike or me, and asking for more descriptions and details, while also claiming you do them in your dojos is starting to sound rather silly-even desperate.

Again (ad infinitum) I don't doubt your skills just your assumptions. Though your skills are rare and the training maybe revolutionary in nature ( by the way is someone getting back to getting back to Chris Li's point about dilution in Daito Ryu?) There are some in Aikido who exhibit that kind of "power" You may think because I have not experianced you personally or those who post here with those skills That I have not experianced them at all. With your habit of not citing facts or naming names regarding your own experiance I will just have to take you at your word and ignore that fact that this is the web and it may require more than just ones opinion however valid that opinion maybe. :)

Now two years out and with hands on instruction and much detailed teaching those who have started to train this way are just starting to see changes in their bodies and practice. Continue monitoring and asking them, as I had hoped you would be doing in this thread. In the near future try to go learn from them. You will be behind and probably kicking yourself for not getting out earlier, but at least start! These people are going to become a new force in the arts.

Thanks..I plan on doing so. Folks like Nathan Scott, Obata Shihan, James Williams and Yoshida Shihan are all availible to me. There are some DR teachers in LA who may be good, and on the Chinese side this being LA I am sure that Mike may know of a few Chinese IMA folks too...

Folks like you just simply need to post names and thier expert opinions on skillsets of these teachers. I have only been asking you directly for over a year now. :)

I have meet quite a few people here and showing up or having visitors teach a class or keeping an open mind is not a problem. Our Aikido encourages 'crossbreeding" and we have experianced quite a bit over the years It also give us a chance to show what our Aikido is all about too.

Namaste'

William Hazen

John Matsushima
06-24-2008, 11:40 AM
Then maybe you want to enlighten us on "what" is so simple about it.
It is simple, but it isn't at the same time, in fact this stuff gets pretty complex when you get down to it. For someone to say that it's "that simple" smacks of just not having gotten around enough to feel anyone with actual skill ;)

Well, I could say it is that simple because you said it is in your post. It is as complicated as you want it to be. What is so simple about it? Well, take tenkan for instance, if one stops trying to defeat uke, trying to move uke, and just turns with the attack, that's all there is to it.

I have been around to a number of people in a number of dojos, probably more than most, I think. I traveled around the U.S. for 3 months visiting many, many dojos. During my time in the Navy, I practiced in dojos in different countries, too. I spent a few years training at a great dojo in the states, and some here in Japan. Actual skill? I would have to be self-centered and self-absorbed to NOT realize that there are so many, many people who train in Aikido so diligently, seriously, thoroughly, and are damn good. What I've learned is that no one is special,including me, that has any special skills that will replace hard work, continuous training, and diligent study.

"Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere." Morihei Ueshiba

"The wall of mystery is only in your head."

Mark Gibbons
06-24-2008, 12:02 PM
[QUOTE=Hunter Lonsberry;209448]Hi Mark,

I assume you attended the Seattle seminar?
For clarification, did you feel any difference between Ark/Rob and the participants? What sensations did you feel when you had the opportunity to touch any of the attendees or Ark/Rob? What exactly do you mean by solid?

Ark isn't exactly a huge guy. He weighs about 140lbs soaking wet!
Sure, technique is involved to a small extent, no one said zero technique happens, but it's more a result of a a trained skill in the body. So clearly when he does some of the demos with people who are coming up on double his weight, for example shiko (think sumo squat/stomps) with someone double his weight on his back something other than musculature or leverage must be going on.
QUOTE]

Yes, Seattle. Yes, Rob and Ark felt different from the participants. I played with Jeremey and Chris a bit and they felt sort of in between Ark and some of the other folks. Sensations and solid - I'm not good at describing this. But if I try to move someone and I either bounce off or it feels like I'm pushing on a wall then something is happening that is different from them redirecting my force or moving out of the way.

I was impressed with many things about the seminar, the least with the "feats of awesomeness". In my opinion many of those were really well done uses of leverage, and no I'm not claiming I can do them. I think I understood enough about some of them to not be awestruck. Impressed, yes, they are good tricks. I left thinking people underestimated how much technique was involved in the tricks.

Regards,
Mark

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 12:06 PM
I assume it is just a different "level" of technique.
It is a technique to hold your mental intentions such that you stabilize pushes and lift up people pushing on you without anything obviously moving.

Rob

DH
06-24-2008, 12:15 PM
What I've learned is that no one is special,including me, that has any special skills that will replace hard work, continuous training, and diligent study.

"Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere." Morihei Ueshiba

"The wall of mystery is only in your head."
I think you're wrong-but you may be content with what your are trying to find. Working hard means nothing, and won't bring you much if it is working in the wrong direction.

You might want to seriously re-read the many posts of others who thought exactly the same as you, and consider setting out a series of questions to ask yourself.
Like
1. Who are all these people?
2. Who have these epople felt and trained under?
3. Have they been all over like me?
4. Did they think like me?
5. Why are they now on the other side of the equation and all traiing this way after some of them only feeling it once or twice?
6. What could have caused so many to change their direction or views?
7. Am I missing something in the direction I am heading in?
8. Should I consider the witness of these experienced men and be searching in that direction?
These are good questions to ask in light of so much positive feedback.

Hey, I don't care. No sweat off my back. It just seems that even a halfwit (no not you) who was interested in learning Aikido™ might think twice when seeing so many twenty to thirty year Aikido™ men stopping and re-thinking their training method from some slight exposure to Aiki...do.
When I first felt it 18 yrs ago, I quit Aikido™ on the spot and pursued the way of Aiki...do ever since. It seems these men writing in here from Aikido™ are hell bent on bringing more Aiki...do, back into their Aikido™. I think that's a good thing.

.

Mark Gibbons
06-24-2008, 12:37 PM
.... It takes a certain level to be able to really appreciate *how* good someone/something is, even in person. I really hope you don't take that as a dig at you, but more of a confirmation of what you were saying.

... We've met a couple times and plan to get together more as our schedules permit. Again, that's not to diminish you (or him!) or what you're saying here, but if anything, to confirm what you're getting at. :)

... /shameless plug off :)

Yes, I think you got what I was trying to say. I'm glad you and him got together. Lots of stuff from Mr. Popkin's seminar came back to our classes. We get a fair amount of push hands and Tai Chi influence also.

I'll try to make it to a couple of your classes, should be fun.

Mark

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2008, 12:48 PM
What I've learned is that no one is special,including me, that has any special skills that will replace hard work, continuous training, and diligent study.

Uh, and who here has said anything about replacing hard work????

Yikes. It's statements like those that make me think people aren't serious.
Best,
Ron

Aikibu
06-24-2008, 01:01 PM
Just to reinforce my point about our Aikido and IMA check out what my Nishio Brothers in Berlin Germany are up to....:)

http://www.tanden-aikido.de/index.php?t=aikido%20berlin&lang=en

Perhaps this is further evidence that there are folks in Aikido who are learning to express Aiki in the spirit of Shoji Nishio Shihan. :)

William Hazen

Erick Mead
06-24-2008, 03:00 PM
Howard
Er...uhm....you just entered into one of those discussions. Welcome;)We'll be gentle , really ... :D

Upyu
06-24-2008, 06:57 PM
I was impressed with many things about the seminar, the least with the "feats of awesomeness". In my opinion many of those were really well done uses of leverage, and no I'm not claiming I can do them. I think I understood enough about some of them to not be awestruck. Impressed, yes, they are good tricks. I left thinking people underestimated how much technique was involved in the tricks.


Hey Mark, at least your honest about your thoughts, and I think it'll get your pretty far really fast ;)
As far as the "well don uses of leverage", in one sense it is, but in another sense it isn't. Give it another two years or constant training and you'll probably understand how it's done. It actually is "pretty awesome" once you can do it yourself. :D

rob_liberti
06-24-2008, 07:25 PM
I'm not an expert but I can touch on this a bit.

When I do rowing, my intention is going opposite of my physical movement.

When I do any of the standing while trunk twisting warm-ups, I keep my spine in the middle and my hips and nose continue to point the same direction while I move my upper trunk around my spine by accessing "windings" from my opposite thighs and/or feet.

When I do undefuri (no idea if that is romanized correctly - the one where your arms are out like a helicopter and you do 180 degree spins). I now work the "upper cross" while I do it (and some of the trunk windings as well). Same for some ushiro tekubitori kokyunages when my grabbed hand starts out below my belt.

I practice "aiki-age" during ushiro tekubitori kokyunages when my grabbed hand starts out above my belt. (Think instant ikkyo effect on the initial grab with no movement that I am aware of on my part.)

When I am grabbed katatetori, I practice "center on contact" using good structure/intentions and the "trunk windings around the spine" (a.k.a"central pivot").

I'm not good enough to go into much useful detail. My opinion is that even Dan and Mike's words will be empty unless you feel it directly yourself.

Rob

Erick Mead
06-25-2008, 12:22 AM
... rowing, ......while trunk twisting warm-ups, ..."windings" from my opposite thighs and/or feet. ...
undefuri ... "upper cross" ... trunk windings as well). yes -- yes -- yes -- and well -- yes.

I practice "aiki-age" during ushiro tekubitori kokyunages ... instant ikkyo effect

When I am grabbed katatetori, I practice "center on contact" using good structure/intentions and the "trunk windings around the spine" (a.k.a"central pivot").We practiced juji tonight with the bokken and then moved into the same with ikkyo, and then sankyo just for some osae work. The opening was with yokote engaged. If the blades remain parallel it is ai-uchi -- and uchitachi has no incentive to stay without the dominant line. But if the line is left slightly open, by letting the tsuka drift one side while the kissaki drifts opposite and musubi is maintained, then uchitachi has what appears to be a dominant line. It is the position that uchitachi would have placed you in to clear the line to enter for tsuki or tegiri. It is, of course -- a lie.

Where is juji, you ask? Simple. The kissaki in chudan is at 12 o'clock relative to the tsuka. If uchitachi did what he wanted -he would reorient my kissaki to the 3 o'clock position (my perspective) opening the line. But if I am already in the 3'oclock position I am in juji -- 90 degrees phase difference -- which creates a resonant relationship between the two dynamics as they are engaged.

Now where is the aiki ? When he moves in (or I move in, same thing: 90 degrees phase difference makes sente essentially irrelevant) I slightly center both the kissaki and the tsuka using the same "winding" projected from my center through the tsuka and out the end of the blade. His blade ends up off my left sleeve and mine is in his throat

Now I can do the same thing with far less gross movement of the blade, and while appearing to remain parallel and in ai-uchi relation. It is "internal" in the sense that the reorientation occurs inside the point of engagement, and transmitting the "winding" is not directly apparent to the opponent, because it is oriented perpendicularly (spatially and temporally). It is adopting the form in initial "static" structure that the "winding" would drive dynamically -- i.e. -- they are really not different at all. The entry and the "winding" happen together, i.e -- it is irimi-tenkan.

Then we examined the same principle substituting the use of tegatana in ikkyo -- centering on contact, and the same reorientation of the arm maintaining tegatana) from 12 to 3 ( or vice versa depending) (closing the waki as is very often the case in techniques demonstrated to ushiro tekubitori.)

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 03:41 AM
Sounds like you and I at least are on the same page Erick. I don't want to mis-represent Dan here. He takes this stuff way beyond where I have tried to tie in to some basic warm ups and waza I would normally otherwise be somewhat "sleeping" through.

I showed Dan how I normally handled ushiro ryotetori, and he very kindly showed me how I didn't need to play wristy-twisty aikido games - and instead showed me this level of a more internally powered/structured approach (I am quite sure he has several levels beyond that). I really liked it because it blew my mind. It broke many of the "rules" I taught my own students in the past - like avoid letting someone grab you on a 90 degree angle (where they can face you and you cannot face them). Things like that stopped mattering (_so much_ for my skill level),

I love things like that that blow my mind and make me totally re-evaluate my "rules". In a mythological sense, Dan represents an aikido "monster" who I have to grow to deal with.

But please remember the source here. I'm a relatively new yondan (so fairly strong sandan) which puts me at generally solid with okay harmonizing skills - and I can only speak to these aiki skills applied to aikido as a total "aiki...do" beginner.

My opinion is you get a much better feel for this stuff when you apply it outside of aikido waza (where I'm less "comfortable").
Rob

MM
06-25-2008, 07:27 AM
You might want to seriously re-read the many posts of others who thought exactly the same as you, and consider setting out a series of questions to ask yourself.

Like
1. Who are all these people?
2. Who have these epople felt and trained under?
3. Have they been all over like me?
4. Did they think like me?
5. Why are they now on the other side of the equation and all traiing this way after some of them only feeling it once or twice?
6. What could have caused so many to change their direction or views?
7. Am I missing something in the direction I am heading in?
8. Should I consider the witness of these experienced men and be searching in that direction?
These are good questions to ask in light of so much positive feedback.


Just thought these were great questions and wanted to repost them. :)

Erick Mead
06-25-2008, 10:13 AM
Sounds like you and I at least are on the same page Erick.... I showed Dan how I normally handled ushiro ryotetori, and he very kindly showed me how I didn't need to play wristy-twisty aikido games ... broke many of the "rules" I taught my own students in the past - like avoid letting someone grab you on a 90 degree angle (where they can face you and you cannot face them). I gathered the last from what you wrote, which was why, as it happened, I thought I would mention what we had just practiced -- where and how juji (90 degree orientation) can come up in ways that one doesn't necessarily see unless you are looking for it.

It is spatial (of which the sword exercise I described is one example) -- but also temporal, maai understood as interval -- a sine wave (spiral actually, but the same math applies). It applies to orientation in time as well as distance, but not merely who is first or last, closest or farthest away. If the spiral action is viewed as seeing that the opponent is screwed ;) juji represents a quarter turn of the screw, (and this is the important part -- or any odd number multiple thereof. -- i.e.- 270 works as well, but not zero and definitely not 180). When Ikeda twitch-drops Joe Linebacker this is what he does -- really low amplitude -- REALLY HIGH angular velocity (m/2 *v^2), but that precise an interval at that short, fast period is (obviously) the product of much refinement, and he can do another multiple of the resonance interval in quick succession (like the whoop-de-do progressive sumi-otoshi, in miniature. Crack -- then shatter. (There is also a frequency issue here, but that is still only suggestive on my part) But I know where I am headed, in any event, with some idea how to get there.

As Chesterton said about falling (in a different context) -- there is only one angle at which we stand upright -- and every other angle is falling away. The same is true of dealing with the antagonistic force of gravity as with the antagonistic force of an opponent. With respect to gravity, 180 phase would be resisting gravity with counter-thrust thereby lifting into the air. I don't know about you but I have no rockets in my heels, and when I jump I fall back again. So this is not an option, "pushing back" or "pushing away" accomplishes net of zero and is doomed to failure by simple exhaustion if nothing else. 0/360 phase would be surrendering completely to the fall. The orientation to the attack must be similar, neither pushing back nor running away.

If I stay upright, keep juji, spatially, temporally, with respect to gravity AND the attack, because there is only one set of angles available with that quality (three space planes and one of time), and I occupy them with respect to both gravity and the attack, by definition he cannot -- and he is therefore "falling away." Conversely, if I do not occupy it he has little he needs to to do as I am already "falling away."

Seeing what juji is in any given interaction is a fascinating exercise.
Most people looking at attacks are looking at positive versus negative, 0 phase and 180 phase, in versus yo and therefore the largest input or the earliest input "wins" or dominates the interaction. But if looked at and worked on from sideways, it doesn't work out that way. Phase difference really does work, and ahead or behind, a resonance interval (90 degrees offset, in time or space) royally screws up the input signal (attack). In military terms, the same principle operates in flanking action.

It leads to his attack momentum departing the stability limit of the structure that directs it, causing a buckling gyration in that structure (the mass of structure "trying" or "dragged" to follow the momentum path to recover it within the structural stability path, but consequently destroying the stability path progressively throughout the structure. (The head "snap" thing is this in action, and is actually very dangerous for an unprepared uke, because it can induce a whiplash injury very easily if done with too much energy.)

It also causes a discontinuity in the momentum (structure suddenly lagging instead of locked to momentum) which reverses the attack phase from the 0 to 180 or vice versa (and therefore the shifts the center of rotation -- or "statically," it shifts the center of the perceived moment).

The bio-mechanical aspect on involuntary reflexive action that may occur when this happens, (or when it happens in a proper way) is not trivial, in my opinion, but that is an area I am still exploring.

My opinion is you get a much better feel for this stuff when you apply it outside of aikido waza (where I'm less "comfortable"). I generally end class with a waza that I had in mind to begin it, after we have explored various elements of the interaction in "that" waza in isolation (which of course in a contingent real encounter -- "that" element of interaction may not lead to "that" waza at all. I usually do not do them in the order of progression of the waza. It is distinctly not linear.

We explore branch points that flow from each element, that do not lead to the waza I had in mind to begin with. The implicit atemi can be made explicit. The danger roads to kaeshi-waza can be noted to avoid (or exploit). The focus is on the reality of each immediate interaction -- not some pre-defined endpoint so it keeps both uke and nage honest in the immediate interaction. I typically do not mention for the class what the waza is that I am constructing with them and we just end up there at the end. It is a way to stay true to the received set of waza as valid "captured" studies in the principles (like a 4d recording), (and for their testing), without being them becoming bound to a given progression of interactions or events, so as to get caught in the kata trap.

Erick Mead
06-25-2008, 10:48 AM
Just thought these were great questions and wanted to repost them. :) Great questions -- they are called "rhetorical questions" for a reason. -- they are great examples of a rhetorical trick and the logical fallacy called "ad populum." Rhetoric is not argument.

Dan seems to persuade people he meets, whether he does so with real points of substantive difference from the aiki in aikido training that we know, a gifted insight into that training that many have simply missed, or merely with charisma, charm and a talent with magician's arts, none of it is proved by that.

The fact that he has persuaded others should not persuade you, as it is not objective evidence, but a logical fallacy to believe that because other people believe it -- it must therefore be true. I was taught that the earth goes round the sun, but I believe it -- not because those who taught me believed it -- but because it conforms in all points to the objective reality of its effects, which I can see for myself.

People are believing the earth is overheating -- when it hasn't warmed for 11 years and the oceans haven't warmed at all. Yet people believe it because other people believe it -- and for no other reason.

We are entering a new age of superstition -- perversely, a technological age of superstition, so I cannot idly let things like that pass by without comment.

Which is not meant to offend Dan in the least. I have reason no doubt that he is talented, just that one should not accept THAT rhetoric being offered as valid argument for any points of his program -- because it isn't.

MM
06-25-2008, 10:51 AM
Not in any order or comprehensive, but Erick, William, Ignatius, etc. Well, you're getting kind of off topic. Can we go back to topic? There are countless threads discussing how to, definition, etc in other places.

OP:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209308&postcount=1

Thanks,
Mark

Aikibu
06-25-2008, 11:11 AM
Not in any order or comprehensive, but Erick, William, Ignatius, etc. Well, you're getting kind of off topic. Can we go back to topic? There are countless threads discussing how to, definition, etc in other places.

OP:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209308&postcount=1

Thanks,
Mark

Sorry Mark for my part....

William Hazen

MM
06-25-2008, 11:31 AM
Sorry Mark for my part....

William Hazen

Don't see any reason for apologies, William. Threads drift. We all are culprits at some point in time. :) If we said sorry every time, I think that's all we'd get time to say. It'd be gomen and sumimasen everywhere and then we'd get confused and think we're in Japan. :eek: Ooops, sorry, I got off topic. :D

I just thought Dan's post and idea for this thread is interesting, so I'd like to keep it going. (As an aside, I think Ron's thread of long vs short road is interesting, too.)

Mark

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 11:43 AM
I am interested in what would persuade you Erick? For me I have to go visit the person myself. One touch and I know whether I need to stay for the rest of the class and explore further. If he were selling snake oil I would have posted that because I LOVE aikido and I REALLY HATE people who sell snake oil in aikido's name because I had a bit of my life energy (almost completely) wasted when I was much younger.

If someone I find reasonably informed and has a credible background has been persuaded of something I'm willing to re-consider my views and open myself up to the possibilities. I believe that was what Dan was looking to find out - have other people re-considered their ideas at all given the spread of "trust" / "witness" growing in this aikiweb community.

As an aside, that has been the majority of what Gleason sensei teaches. Never to get too comfortable with what you think yo know. That's not going to make him extremely popular but so be it. He'll sweep the rug out from underneath me as often as I can handle. (Got to love that.) Obviously, not a lot of people are trained that way - and many run screaming from such things, so my expectations are a bit low unless people start getting hands on.

Rob

DH
06-25-2008, 11:58 AM
Dan seems to persuade people he meets, whether he does so with real points of substantive difference from the aiki in aikido training that we know, a gifted insight into that training that many have simply missed, or merely with charisma, charm and a talent with magician's arts, none of it is proved by that.

Erik
Over the years your arguments have been all over the map. From Mike, Ark and I being wrong to you knwoing what we do and that you could explain it to later admitting you could not do many of the tests we described but you know what it is in physical terms.
Now you are stating once again that I am doing "aiki from outside aikido training that you all know.
er...whhaat?

Then, you go on to to take those to task who have all stated their own training experiences and are doubting their own ability to judge!!
That's astounding.
Asking everyone to doubt the witness of yudansha, up to 6th dan and many teachers in aikido and telling us to write their experiences off as charisma, charm and magicians arts.

Be that as it may, this is some of the input I was asking for. Being that it is so transparent- I thank you for putting it in writing.

DH
06-25-2008, 12:05 PM
Come on Rob. I saw right off you were going to be testy and difficult so I hypnotized you before every class.:cool:

I can't explain all the other people who have come, and who have trained and tested my regulars and found what they could do. Maybe all my regulars are magicians and have been hypnotizing me;)

I also don't know how I faked out the various MMA, BJJ and Judo guys over the years. Maybe I am as charming as my Mom thought:D

Howard Popkin
06-25-2008, 12:22 PM
Dan,

Why do you think the beer is so important?

I'm not really throwing anyone, they are falling because I get them drunk :)

Howie

PS I guess I entered the discussion on my own this time

Ron Tisdale
06-25-2008, 12:25 PM
Now Dan, you are a charming SOXXX aren't you? ;)

Dude, this stuff is a waste of time. The folks that understand, understand completely. The ones of those who understand and do the work will get it. The rest will flounder. I'm trying to move from floundering to getting it. So are others. Post the thread again in 5 years...then we'll see. Or not. :D It doesn't matter. The levels you are talking about are only for the 5% anyway.

Best,
Ron

DH
06-25-2008, 12:30 PM
Howard

Well the Florida guys told me there was always something "fishy" about you. :D

Howard Popkin
06-25-2008, 12:32 PM
Touche :)

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 12:38 PM
Well, seriously, there is a group hypnosis effect that happens in aikido a bit. We do it to ourselves. The sensei bows in, and the entire class bows back (generally) giving up a lot of their personal power to that teacher.

Dan showing me (a doubting thomas by nature) something usually goes like this:

(1) I am the uke - and he does something seemingly impossible.
I think, is what is happening what he is saying is happening or is there some alternative explanation. Am I being suckered into not really pushing as hard or as focused where I am trying to push (for instance)? I experiment the entire time looking to challenge what is being shown. (I even managed to disturb what I thought was _really_ going on once and then I found out that Dan was just experimenting with me. An instant admiration was born.)

(2) Then - he switches roles, helps me correct my structure if needed (yeah that's still needed a LOT but it used to take a few hours, now it takes several long minutes - I'll get to instantly - it's just a matter of time :) ) When I am corrected, it works with Dan pushing on me.

(3) Then he lets me try it with one of his regulars. Sometimes I fall apart - and I sincerely wondered is Dan just taking ukemi in that way because he convinced himself that this is what is supposed to happen - and are the regulars a bit more honest? But I wondered the same about Gleason sensei many times, and I have years of experience to know to look critically while keeping my mind open.

(4) Dan comes back, fixes my structure/intentions and everything goes a little better.

I noticed over a year or so that some of the new regulars could also do things to me that Dan can (and they couldn't when I first met them). That was a big selling point to me.

I also noticed that what he was showing me was jiving with what I'd previously been too dense to understand about what Gleason sensei has been telling me and showing me for a long time. That was also very convincing.

Now, sometimes I get to work with the regulars a bit more often, and I can feel the power canges when he corrects them (as I am their uke). That is also very convincing.

I suppose until I can do these things myself (with no correction) on another doubting thomas I'll remain a bit skeptical - simply because that is my nature.

As an aside, if someone else came on the scene and just demolished Dan with their abilities and showed him how THEY were training, Dan would be totally open to trying it (and so would I). And we'd both probably approach it the same way - optimistically with skepticism... But we'd approach it... ;)

Rob

MM
06-25-2008, 12:38 PM
To summarize and help get back on topic:


This thread is not about me. It is about two things
a) The people in aikido who have felt these skills from Rob, Ark, Mike or me or in some cases combinations thereof and how it has impacted either there overall view of Aiki, view of aiki in aikido, and how the pursuit of it is impacting their aikido and how they train it within or without.
b) How the various reports here have impacted the community and a chance for that community to address those in aikido who have felt these skills
c) To NOT discuss the validity or doubts of these skills with the typical people. There are many threads available for that.


Dan posted two sets of questions in later posts:

For those that went:
1. Why did you go?
2. What did it feel like?
3. How do you see it impacting the art.
4. What happens next in your training or school?
5. How to remain doing Aikido™ while trying to finally learn Aiki...do. Or to separate the training.
6. Doing Aikido™ on opposite nights from getting together to practice Aiki...do. Or do you train it everyday on your own? With a group from within the dojo?

For those that haven't gone:
1. Who are all these people?
2. Who have these people felt and trained under?
3. Have they been all over like me?
4. Did they think like me?
5. Why are they now on the other side of the equation and all training this way after some of them only feeling it once or twice?
6. What could have caused so many to change their direction or views?
7. Am I missing something in the direction I am heading in?
8. Should I consider the witness of these experienced men and be searching in that direction?

I think some of us have asked and/or answered many of those questions. I reread the thread and there are some very good posts in there. But, the people participating are still a small subset of the larger aikido community. Where is everyone else? :)

Mark

gregstec
06-25-2008, 12:48 PM
How many of the Aikidoka seminar attendees, or those who have gone beyond to regularly train internal skills- now possibly numbering somewhere in the low hundreds- have reconsidered their view of what aiki is and what they used to think it was in their aikido ™ V Aiki…do?

As background, my initial Aikido training was during the mid seventies with a Ki Society group in Guam. Our primary teachers were David H, Kalama and Koretoshi Maruyama, who was the Chief Instructor of the Ki Society at that time. As early Ki Society, Ki and Aiki were primary topics and both these instructors had "IT" and taught "IT"

Upon returning to the states, I drifted in an out of Aikido, but I was always looking for teachers who could give me the same feeling and instruction I got from these teachers in Guam - unfortunately, that just was not readily available. There are a handful of high ranking instructors (Saotome, Ikeda, Gleason, Bill Witt, Sato) I had the opportunity to feel "IT" from - however, they may have had "IT" but they certainly were not teaching "IT" -- except Gleason is the only high ranking gaijin instructor (outside of the Ki Society of course) I have heard that will actually talk about Ki in his seminars.

Subsequently, I ended up with a small independent group whose main focus is the exploration of internal energies and how they are manifested in external techniques; mostly mainstream aikido techniques with a handful of Daito-ryu stuff thrown in on occasion.

I have not trained with Dan, Mike, or the Anukai, but our small group recently had the opportunity to train with Howard Popkin of the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai. As mentioned elsewhere, Howard certainly has "IT" and Howard will teach "IT" Therefore, our group has joined the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai, New York Shibu, and are currently applying for Study Group status. I know every one wants to know how all this stuff works, but I am afraid I cannot answer that for two reasons: 1) we just started and are really not sure ourselves, and 2) Howard threatened to hunt us down and kill us if he saw any of his stuff up on the web; of course that statement was made tongue-in-cheek, but I felt a modicum of truth in it :-)

So to answer one of Dan's questions, I do not think we are a group of aikido folks that have made a shift due to our exposure to internal energies - I think we are a group of Aiki folks that just found a better source for the knowledge we were already looking for.

Greg Steckel

Ron Tisdale
06-25-2008, 12:57 PM
Where is everyone else?

I'm sorry Mark, but I am really beginning to think it doesn't matter!

You are where you are...after all.

Best,
Ron

Aikibu
06-25-2008, 01:05 PM
So to answer one of Dan's questions, I do not think we are a group of aikido folks that have made a shift due to our exposure to internal energies - I think we are a group of Aiki folks that just found a better source for the knowledge we were already looking for.

Greg Steckel

Jumping Joehoseaphat!!! This sums it up perfectly for me too.

Which is the reason I am still "looking for it."

William Hazen

DH
06-25-2008, 01:06 PM
So to answer one of Dan's questions, I do not think we are a group of aikido folks that have made a shift due to our exposure to internal energies - I think we are a group of Aiki folks that just found a better source for the knowledge we were already looking for.

Greg Steckel

Greg
Daito ryu is where I found it and trained it. Howard may tell you privately, that there are just as many in DR who don't have "it" either. Then he may threaten to kill you if you say that in public. Or maybe not. Howard?;)
He can't kill me...Cause I don't drink his beer.:D

I do love dragging him into these little discussions of ours and getting him all cranked up though.
You found a good man.

gregstec
06-25-2008, 01:21 PM
Greg
Daito ryu is where I found it and trained it. Howard may tell you privately, that there are just as many in DR who don't have "it" either. Then he may threaten to kill you if you say that in public. Or maybe not. Howard?;)
He can't kill me...Cause I don't drink his beer.:D

I do love dragging him into these little discussions of ours and getting him all cranked up though.
You found a good man.

Well, I have been around a lot of mats and I know a good man when I feel one ! damn, did I just say that in an international forum http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/smilies/freaks.gif
:freaky: well, you guys all know what I mean, right?
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
:D
Greg

DH
06-25-2008, 01:35 PM
Hi Ron
Actually when Ellis finally shamed me into opening my door-you were one of the first ones allowed in.:cool: His sentiments were simple but profound (I hate that about him)
"Instead of criticizing and pointing out their failings- how about making a difference and helping. You just may find another you; sincere, hard working, and doggedly determined to get it."
I decided, if was going to do it, I would at least do it as best as I can manage with my life as it is.
So even though you are right that maybe only 5% will get it in the end, There are obviously many who are looking.
Just a few short years ago, here on this board, few believed we knew something that could be taught "outside' of aikido that was, all along, the power at the very heart of making aiki exist. Further that it could be gotten much faster than, doing kata for twenty years hoping to get there.
So, and here's where I nail you...don't bail on me now. I opened the door and decided to help. There is now and going to be more in the near future more in aikido who want to work on aiki. They need to hear from you, then may want to train with you. There are (pretend I'm Ellis, I can neither talk or write like him) "more sincere, hard working, and doggedly determined...Ron Tisdales out trying to get it."
I remember a certain guy asking me to come train and being turned away something like a dozen times over ten years. until Ellis got me drunk and started all this trouble. ;)
When the time comes-give back.

dbotari
06-25-2008, 01:45 PM
I remember a certain guy asking me to come train and being turned away something like a dozen times over ten years. until Ellis got me drunk and started all this trouble.

So there is hope for me yet??? :D

MM
06-25-2008, 01:48 PM
until Ellis got me drunk and started all this trouble. ;)
When the time comes-give back.

So, um, you're trying to tell us to get Ellis drunk and start trouble? So, is that trouble with Ellis or against Ellis? There's a big difference there. :eek: :crazy:

Howard Popkin
06-25-2008, 01:53 PM
Dan,

You are welcome to my beer anytime.

As for Greg...Good answer :)

Dan tells you that the information is available , but the answer is still training.

From all accounts, Dan is a training animal. That is the true secret.

But if you are training like an animal in the wrong direction, then you will become very good at something else, not Aiki.

Be well,

Shark tournament this weekend. Wish me luck !

Howard

gregstec
06-25-2008, 02:17 PM
Dan,

You are welcome to my beer anytime.

As for Greg...Good answer :)

Dan tells you that the information is available , but the answer is still training.

From all accounts, Dan is a training animal. That is the true secret.

But if you are training like an animal in the wrong direction, then you will become very good at something else, not Aiki.

Be well,

Shark tournament this weekend. Wish me luck !

Howard

Howard,

As you get older you realize there truly are no shortcuts and there is no substitute for training. However, I believe in training smarter and not just harder - I think we just got a whole lot smarter when we turned out attention to Roppokai for Aiki...

I understand you are a 'fishing' animal - therefore, I believe the sharks are the ones who need the luck :)

Talk to you later and we will see you in August.

Best

Greg

Ron Tisdale
06-25-2008, 02:28 PM
When the time comes-give back.

IF the time comes, don't worry, I will! I've got too many good examples. ;) It's just the hard work between now and then that's kicking me in the butt!
Best Always,
Ron

DH
06-25-2008, 02:31 PM
From all accounts, Dan is a training animal. That is the true secret.
But if you are training like an animal in the wrong direction, then you will become very good at something else, not Aiki.

Howard

A very good point, Howard!
My favorite Expression. "Hi, how often did you train this week?"

So, there's another question for all those who are now training this way.
"How often did you train this week?"

Budd
06-25-2008, 02:33 PM
To summarize and help get back on topic:

For those that went:
1. Why did you go?
2. What did it feel like?
3. How do you see it impacting the art.
4. What happens next in your training or school?
5. How to remain doing Aikido™ while trying to finally learn Aiki...do. Or to separate the training.
6. Doing Aikido™ on opposite nights from getting together to practice Aiki...do. Or do you train it everyday on your own? With a group from within the dojo?

I reread the thread and there are some very good posts in there. But, the people participating are still a small subset of the larger aikido community. Where is everyone else? :)

Mark

1. I was invited and it looked interesting. I invited someone else and he came to visit. I'd been hearing things from reasonable sources, both online and offline, and it looked like something I should investigate for myself.

2. Based on exposure to more than one person -- It felt "different". It was something I couldn't easily replicate and wasn't based on any "technique" that I had known or learned, rather it was a way of holding yourself and moving to receive and generate forces. It wasn't magic, but you could see that it would require training and conditioning in order to achieve it. It was also explained in such a way that you could see that there was a logical progression to what you should be able to demonstrate and repeat. Training your own body to do that is then up to you and is by no means an easy thing.

3. It's like anything else - how do you define "the art"? Will it impact my practice? It already has - it's not like a technique, you can't just do it a little bit, then do something else - it's about completely changing the way you move - conditioning the body to feel connections and paths inside you, thereby allowing you to receive and generate forces in a manner which is much less visible to the eye, while also enabling you to "listen" to what someone else is doing with a lot more sensitivity. Again, it's a skill that requires training, not magic (though some of the things people with a modicum of skill can do with it might *seem* magical), but, yeah - if you have any genuine curiosity about it - you really need to go feel someone that's doing it.

4. I practice. We practice. I don't really talk much specifics about what we do at our dojo anyway, these days, at least not online. People that really want to know eventually turn up here, one way or another :). Of course, what they get out of it, at that point, is up to them.

5. Practice by making sure that your Aikido tm is driven by Aiki . . do.

6. I make everything part of training (opening and closing doors is a biggie) to change the way my body moves. Lifting a coffee cup, standing up from a chair, on a break pushing a rolling chair around around the room, doing suburi, jo and spear exercises, pushing against a wall, hitting a punching bag. So, yeah, when I'm officially in Aikido tm class, that's also part of training Aiki . . .do. I train everyday on my own and some days with the group at Itten Dojo.

Look, I understand that nobody wants to be told that what they're doing is wrong. Everyone wants to feel validated in offering their own "take" and to some degree . . .yeah, we're all people with valid viewpoints . . .but taken in the context of measureable performance, there's just no question in my mind that training this way is critical in one's martial development. Believe me - there's still people that now feel part of "the club" that say they are working on these things that I'm reasonably sure are just spinning their wheels and doing more talking than training (and will have the results, or lack of, to show for it).

So to that end, getting exposed to it is ony part of it, which is why only a percentage are ever going to get anywhere with it. You have to put in the work, effort and time to understand it, make it part of you - or you may not get anywhere further than anyone else in the "Me, too" or "If I just do this everyday, someday I will understand" clubs.

To that end, I'll be just as curious as anyone to see how this gets passed or spread more evidently back into the mainstream aikido world.

Thomas Campbell
06-25-2008, 02:49 PM
[snip]I remember a certain guy asking me to come train and being turned away something like a dozen times over ten years. until Ellis got me drunk and started all this trouble. ;)
When the time comes-give back.

Gentlemen:

I have it on good information that the Ki to unlocking Mr. Harden's treasure chest of training tips is a strong, tasty mojito--several, in fact.

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 03:18 PM
from discovering some of the body paths etc via Aunkai and Roppokai training, that I had only the vaguest idea of what the misogi were supposed to be burning in....so it was of very little benefit to me at the time despite doing thousands of reps. Approaching the same movements now, even with my limited understanding makes them seem much richer in terms of internal training.

This is inline with my intuition, and has become my plan as well. -Rob

Ron Tisdale
06-25-2008, 03:42 PM
Open is good, just taste that fresh air!

We need your perspectives, same as all the others. Please join more often!
Best,
Ron

Erick Mead
06-25-2008, 05:29 PM
Erik
Over the years your arguments ... ... have developed as I find better ways to articulate a fundamental thought. For who is this not true? The thought and the thing it refers to have not changed -- it is too big to adequately get in a linear pass to describing it thoroughly. I note that you have not tried to articulate it in physical terms -- which I don't fault. So don't be knocking on those of us who are -- until you have more to offer on THAT front, regardless the value of your goods on other fronts.

Asking everyone to doubt the witness of yudansha, up to 6th dan and many teachers in aikido and telling us to write their experiences off as charisma, charm and magicians arts. YOU are asking people to doubt the same -- the other way. Read what I wrote, I don't doubt you, people speak well of you -- I just don't think people should be persuaded by that kind of argument, -- too many people are, and whatever you have of value, which I will freely concede you very well do -- I don't think YOU have the whole picture of what the situation is elsewhere -- and people should be more cautious signing onto the unknown when it may be no better for them, or get the anyplace sooner or better, depending on their goals, their needs and their situation. That is all.

Be that as it may, this is some of the input I was asking for. Being that it is so transparent- I thank you for putting it in writing. You are welcome.

Erick Mead
06-25-2008, 05:48 PM
I am interested in what would persuade you Erick? Short answer -- I don't persuade. I explore and come to my own conclusions. I don't discard anything that ahs been said or presented, but I don't just accept it either, unless it is simply irrational not to. On every thing else I keep an open and critical mind.

For me I have to go visit the person myself. One touch and I know whether I need to stay for the rest of the class and explore further. ..
If someone I find reasonably informed and has a credible background has been persuaded of something I'm willing to re-consider my views and open myself up to the possibilities.

I believe that was what Dan was looking to find out - have other people re-considered their ideas at all given the spread of "trust" / "witness" growing in this aikiweb community. That was kind of my point in the criticism about the rhetorical questions. Trust is not the point, at least as I (skeptical bastard that I am) approach matters. Relying on trust in matters of adversarial conflict ( the presumed nature of the aiki community, not withstanding) is NOT my first choice -- even if I do not think that Dan is my adversary (and I don't). I have been in adversary work for my adult life in various guises. I try to remain professional even ( and especially) in adversarial settings, and there is truth that comes from being adversarial in itself. I am critical and seek to winnow down to objective statements, not just vouchers.

As an aside, that has been the majority of what Gleason sensei teaches. Never to get too comfortable with what you think yo know. Sound advice. I try to follow that myself. As mistrusting and critical of my own perceptions as I have learned to be (try flying on instruments sometime) I am no more accepting with what other people think they know, either, just cause they say so, even if I believe what he reportedly does (and I do) that doesn't answer my question. And my question is not Dan's question, and probably not yours either ... though I hope you may understand it better form our discussion.-

Good discussion all around, however, so ...

Thanks, Dan.

dmclean
06-25-2008, 06:24 PM
Hi Ron
There are obviously many who are looking.
Just a few short years ago, here on this board, few believed we knew something that could be taught "outside' of aikido that was, all along, the power at the very heart of making aiki exist. Further that it could be gotten much faster than, doing kata for twenty years hoping to get there.

Anyone is Toronto area training/teaching "it"?

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 08:00 PM
My opinion is that if people have other avenues for this sort of training I would like to know about them.

Dan trained smarter than I did. Maybe I can train smarter than he does someday and go beyond what he can do. Who knows. I think some of the yoga exercises I do and some of the misogi exercises I will eventually do may get me training even smarter than Dan. Who knows. This is the great thing about America! It's a melting pot.

Rob

eyrie
06-25-2008, 08:02 PM
Not in any order or comprehensive, but Erick, William, Ignatius, etc. Well, you're getting kind of off topic. Can we go back to topic? If I may, it is on topic because it directly relates to points 3 & 4 on Dan's question list:
3. How do you see it impacting the art.
4. What happens next in your training or school?

At the outset, let me just say that I don't fundamentally disagree with anything William has said. So the issue, for me, is not whether Aiki..do is in Aikido™ or not. The issue and how it relates to points 3 & 4 is highlighted by Mike's post here (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209662&postcount=167)

As much as I enjoy the odd Zen parable, and can grasp the intent of fingers pointing at astral bodies, I think the vagaries and nebulous descriptions do little to help further bringing Aiki..do (back?) to the forefront of Aikido™ training - which I believe is what Dan rhetorical finger is fundamentally pointing at. Not everyone has the requisite Martial IQ threshold™ (no slight intended on Rob L or his teacher) to comprehend obtuse Zen whacking sticks... which I think has its place... but it's like a good joke - the punch-line delivery and timing is important, and unless it connects with your audience, it means nothing. If you're lucky, they might get the joke 5mins later, but it would have lost its initial impact.

So, despite the convoluted manner in which William has played a very sporting and unwitting part in my argument, I submit to you that knowing what "it" is, what it "feels" like is one thing. Being able to do it is quite another, but the crux of points 3 & 4 is being able to then transmit it to others so that it is replicable (on whatever level).

To which I point you to Mike's post #167. ;)

rob_liberti
06-25-2008, 08:32 PM
No worries. I'm not offended by the idea that I am dumber than my aikido teacher. He's probably got me by 40 IQ points... It is what it is. As far as martial IQ, well, I'm not in special ed - but until I found a tutor recently, compared to him I might as well haven been considered "martially challenged".

I got a tutor in college too for some complex Math. That's what you do when you really want to understand something and there is a disconnect in the transmission from current teacher to student for whatever reason. I'm not ashamed. I would be be ashamed if I knew there was good help and I was too stubborn to go after it - and it hurt my progress and therefore the progress of everyone under me. If you are going to teach, I think you have a responsibility to actively and continually research the subject.

Rob

DH
06-25-2008, 09:21 PM
No worries. I'm not offended by the idea that I am dumber than my aikido teacher. He's probably got me by 40 IQ points... It is what it is. As far as martial IQ, well, I'm not in special ed - but until I found a tutor recently, compared to him I might as well haven been considered "martially challenged".

I got a tutor in college too for some complex Math. That's what you do when you really want to understand something and there is a disconnect in the transmission from current teacher to student for whatever reason. I'm not ashamed. I would be be ashamed if I knew there was good help and I was too stubborn to go after it - and it hurt my progress and therefore the progress of everyone under me. If you are going to teach, I think you have a responsibility to actively and continually research the subject.

Rob

I have to say that the last two posts by Ignatius and Rob are some of the best I have seen on where folks need to go.
Rob, the attitude expressed in that last post is great. It's a different kind of humilty and honest evaluation that has an edginess that goes right along with responsibilty to your own training and to those below you. The lack of shame or ego is refreshing.

One of my own stories is that I would come back from training and stand in a room full of guys -as their teacher- and tell them "We're gonna work on stuff tonight that I can't do" then proceed to stink up the place, and get thrown while I was training this stuff and failing. This went on for years with Judo guys and MMer's and wrestlers making fun of my efforts. "Heres your aiki for ya...." Till years later, I turned the tables on them. I could join in and fight-and did many times. but I kept opting for aiki as well. Many left, and I embarrassed myself more than a few times working on this stuff. Like you, I was never ashamed. I left all of that for the barn in the woods so I could improve on what was happening in my body. You've met a few of the guys from back then who stayed.
My point was that I think being willing to walk away from waza and walk headlong into this type of training training sometimes...costs.
I'd be willing to bet it always has.

I hope you never stop searching, digging and innovating.

Erick Mead
06-26-2008, 09:26 AM
We seem to have once again successfully gone beyond debating the reality of "it," So, instead of debating each other can we stick to the thread and talk about how folks are training it and how they are trying to incorporate it into their aikido.... why not just skip to technical discussion instead of teacher / student relationships; who got what and when and so forth, and instead lets focus the discussion on:
What 'it" was, and if it was worth the having. In that light, let me suggest some categories and open it to everyone for comment, critique, (blast) etc.,

There are many, many valid ways of expressing the concept of an irreducible concrete reality. I don;t think any one here is contending there is any different concrete reality we are talking about -- and the resort to ad-hom assumptions about people's bonafides of understanding (vice levels of skill in performance, which are not at issue here, given Dan's framing of the topic) doesn't change that.

Some ways of approach are mythopoetic and more ritualized (Abe, for example, and Shaun follwoing himon that particular theme of O Sensei). Some adopt the mythic elements lose the ritualized components (losing a significant functional component of that scheme, IMO, and enter a slippery slope to aiki-bunnydom).

Some are relentlessly pragmatic (Dan) to the near exclusion of conceptualized expression. Some are able, but self-critical open ended inquirers (Rob L.). Some are knowledgeable of a body of non-western empirical systematic understanding, (Mike S.) That is so comprehensive in its own terms, it does not easily make room for alien concepts, like physics.

Some (like me) find that there is valuable empirical and sense-guidance information in the expressions of myth, (e.g. -- http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080623175435.htm) and in the systems of empirical understanding familiar to Mike. But that (as with misogi ritual) it needs pairing with set of physical understandings in our common terms if it is to function as a useful guide to actual practice.

That last is now lacking: a rigorous Western physical model for the same thing that Abe and related approaches accomplish with misogi in wholly traditional terms. O Sensei actually points that direction in Budo Renshu (notably before the War) toward a more scientific understanding or guidance of the elements or principles found in that tradition,. Saotome, IMO has taken that road, and tellingly, came West to do it.

There is a reason that I think O Sensei abandoned that approach for himself, pointedly -- after the War. That same reason that he abandoned it is exactly why we Westerners ought to take it up. I think he came to the conclusion that Western science divorced from Western spirituality was dangerous -- evidenced by Japan's experience (and a theme I heartily agree with). He sought to reinvigorate his native spiritual grounding as part of the conceptual understanding giving rise to the physical expression of the art -- in Japanese terms.

We would suffer the same type danger (with different consequence) if we took the half-a loaf approach on our side, adopting a spiritual grounding that is at odds with our means of conceptualizing and then expressing the physical aspects of the art. I think this has happened in many places and is the root cause for many complaints on this subject. Conversely, what Shaun is doing -- following Abe and the misogi approach doesn't have that problem --they are adopting the whole package, and to the extent they internalize it, there is no reason it would suffer from the disconnect problem I just noted.

The pragmatic approach suffices (when has it not?) , but not necessarily with great efficiency and only through sheer force of will (not lacking in Dan, apparently) -- because it has little or no map. Dan may be an intrepid explorer, but this ground is not unexplored. We have a couple different versions of the map: on the one hand, in a drawing convention and language we can learn, if we choose, or, on the other hand we can re-draw it according to our own conventions and a translation of the legend made into our terms.

There is only one terrain and it does not differ. With the right map, we can see where else there is to go, what might be there to find, and different ways to go to get there that suit both our interest and resources.

gdandscompserv
06-26-2008, 09:34 AM
This has become one of my favorite threads.:cool:

DH
06-26-2008, 10:03 AM
Eric
As a relentlessly pragmatic guy-let me ask you a theoretical question. How do you arrive at telling me I am "exploring areas that have no map?"
I didn't invent anything-I followed.

If we are discussing models. I think you suffer for lack of skill and understanding. I know of no one who will vet you, or state your Aiki skills are of a high level or extraordinary in any way. This is, of course coupled with your self professed inability to do many of the things we and others state we can do. In light of that and in context of the thread, what value is there in anything you have to say?
Further, you have stated plainly that you think the yudansha; including 5th and 6th dans and Menkyos who have felt these things are incompetent or incapable to judge or have been hood winked by personal charm or charisma.
Your dismissal of your fellow Aikidoka-many of whom appear to be your seniors in experience and ability- was noted. Again, thank you. We see where you stand.
a)You can't do these things.
b)You don't believe anyone who has felt it.
They will continue to work and imbue their Aikido™ with Aiki...do all the same.
Next?

rob_liberti
06-26-2008, 10:37 AM
kokyu in space seems to have some inherent problems...

I have a fairly good idea of what Dan is talking about.
I've read Mike for years and based on that I'm certain they are on the same playing field with these "core skills".
Ignatius, I took a while off from reading aikiweb and I would love to read your descriptions now. Would you be willing to post a few links or PM. I'm not challenging you on this, I would just love to read another perspective.

I have no problem with people thinking their teacher is the best. I kind of wonder more about people who think their teacher is terrible. And lets face it, we pour so much of our life energy into a training methodology that when someone challenges that methodology they are also saying in essence "you have wasted a lot of your life's work". Who the heck wants to hear that? I _guess_ I am fortunate in a sense that I've been there, done that, got MANY tee-shirts (literally). No one "told" me directly, I just kept taking Gleason sensei's ukemi and after about 5 years I realized how far off track I had been before I met him. I actually trained with some good aikido teachers prior to Gleason sensei in my quest but I was already too mentally set in my ways to "see" what was good about those other teachers.

Here is my opinion: There is an amount of "finesse" in aikido-proper that I sincerely doubt I COULD learn from Dan or Mike or any of the more-direct-aiki-"power" guys.
1) Dan and maybe some of the other guys can help me with more direct aiki "power" training.
-If my other training (yoga/active isolated stretching and various aikido-proper approaches) enables me to pass them OR if not, if anything I'm doing proves helpful, I'll be able to "give back" to some degree.
-Otherwise, I will endeavor to become a better training partner and hopefully give back in that way in and in maybe helping out juniors to off load some of their teaching/coaching time.

2) Gleason sensei can/will help me translate what I am learning about more-direct-aiki-"power" into aikido-proper (which has a "finesse" I believe is helpful and useful - and if I'm wrong about that then it's still just plain cool and still want to study it).
-I'll have much more physical manifestation of principles with which I can study the kotodama, and go a bit more spiritual with this (which I'm positive would honor his vision).
-I am 100% certain that it would make him extremely pleased if I can pass him out in ability.
-If I can't but what I'm doing inspires him to grow in a different way then that it fine too. It's my job to give back if I can.

3) Shaun can help me with Misogi practices (when I can make time in my life to approach this - which I think will be sooner than later).
-If he has "it" then he can help me extremly quickly.
-If not, then there is a good potential for us to help each other.

4) Maybe there is some finesse things or aikido-proper strategy things I can learn from the Nishio "camp" or anyone else's approach like maybe Erick's for instance - and there is probably some trading that can go on there to various degrees.

The point here is we have the opportunity to come together in a way that we haven't EVER been. That's where my focus for the future is.

And if no one is interested, there are plently of other martial arts I like - and I can swtich focus a bit if it comes to it.

Rob

Erick Mead
06-26-2008, 11:32 AM
Eric
As a relentlessly pragmatic guy-let me ask you a theoretical question. How do you arrive at telling me I am "exploring areas that have no map?"
I didn't invent anything-I followed. From your DTR background -- Sagawa, whom you quote, is quite "clear" that the only "map" he gave was rudimentary at best. In the system as he taught it -- either people get it on their own by observing its action in the process of the system per se -- or they don't -- and he seems not really too concerned about that one way or the other ... Nor was Takeda for that matter.

I don't teach everything, and I can't teach everything. What I can teach is the foundation of how the skeletal system works. How your muscles and organs work upon that frame is for you to ponder and discover on your own. You can't simply fight using your bones alone.
This is why you can't simply do things as you are told. You must add the "meat" to this frame and widen your view. It's a funny thing, you can learn all there is to learn, but unless you grasp it for yourself you will never be able to actually "do" it.

If we are discussing models. I think you suffer for lack of skill and understanding. I know of no one who will vet you, or state your Aiki skills are of a high level or extraordinary in any way. This is, of course coupled with your self professed inability to do many of the things we and others state we can do. Non sequitur. You can discuss models or you make your ad hominem lacking any evidence for it -- but they are not the same thing - nor remotely related. And repeatedly misrepresenting my statements is neither germane -- nor particularly nice.

In light of that and in context of the thread, what value is there in anything you have to say? Why don't you take apart what I have ACTUALLY said (instead of recasting it for mere rhetorical effect , which was the reason, you will recall, for my criticism) and see for yourself? I am only interested in properly framing the concept of Aiki for a western understanding:

However, if you train too much before you grasp the concept of Aiki, then this is no good. Dan. Articulate the concept of Aiki.

I do not pretend this is the same as someone grasping what you or I mean by it, but, if it is to be useful tot he analytic Western mind , IT MUST BE ARTICULATED even if in succinct terms -- to aid its ultimate grasp in practice -- otherwise people are just being led in the darkness. A flash of lighting does not get one to the shelter at the top of the hill but it reveals the lay of the land to the observant.

Further, you have stated plainly that you think the yudansha; including 5th and 6th dans and Menkyos who have felt these things are incompetent or incapable to judge or have been hood winked by personal charm or charisma. Horse hockey. There you go again -- specifically misrepresenting my statement -- in this very thread. http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209610&postcount=130 Rhetoric is not argument.

Dan seems to persuade people he meets, whether he does so with real points of substantive difference from the aiki in aikido training that we know, a gifted insight into that training that many have simply missed, or merely with charisma, charm and a talent with magician's arts, none of it is proved by that.
In my part of the world, we are taught to treat people we do not know as hospitably as we can under the circumstances. I hesitate to doubt your upbringing and cast your ancestors into disrepute, so I will assume it is a unfortunately frequent lapse. I give you the benefit of any doubt, and you on the other hand, proceed with your doubt as a firm conviction.

You need to read the situation before you respond to it, my friend. Some people might take it the wrong way. That's bad budo, and in that respect it doesn't matter who you are or what you can do -- it is suki and you need to correct it -- whether in this forum or any other. As ot the merits of my criticism, well let someone else say it ...

<If you decide because> others tell you so, or influence you, then it's no good. You must hold your own counsel. Decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong.
No matter how accomplished a person is, he is never perfect. Never hold what he says to be gospel. If you do, then it will obstruct your own determination to innovate and find things out for yourself. You must take what you learn, and then innovate it based on your own ideas.
...
No matter how much you learn something, if it is simply taught to you, you will forget it. However you will never forget something you acquire for yourself. It becomes you.

One reason I take no offense, is that I am continually fascinated with this recurring response by you, as I am 1) not attacking what you are doing , nor 2) doubting your bona fides in doing what you say, but simply examining a physical model of things, and suggesting that the model exists within the tradition as it stands, if properly seen. That is no threat to you or what you propose so why the animosity?

There are many things in this world that people still do not understand, so you must not have any pre-conceptions about things. This applies to Aiki as well. This is why I can continue to innovate and change my Aiki.

Aikibu
06-26-2008, 11:42 AM
Sagawa wrote:
There are many things in this world that people still do not understand, so you must not have any pre-conceptions about things. This applies to Aiki as well. This is why I can continue to innovate and change my Aiki.

Thank you for this Eric...It was an easy quote to find and in tune with what folks like O'Sensei, Tohei, Abe, and Shoji Nishio have said about Aikido...

We are all on the same path and there is no need to carry any rocks we "find" along the way any further than we have to. :)

William Hazen

Aikibu
06-26-2008, 11:49 AM
The point here is we have the opportunity to come together in a way that we haven't EVER been. That's where my focus for the future is.

And if no one is interested, there are plently of other martial arts I like - and I can swtich focus a bit if it comes to it.

Rob

Amen Rob! Great Post and count me in! I would love to learn and share! :)

William Hazen

akiy
06-26-2008, 12:29 PM
Hi folks,

Please direct your discussions of a personal nature to private means. I don't think this thread nor the AikiWeb Forums is the venue for such.

-- Jun

DH
06-26-2008, 12:43 PM
Hi Erik
I'm sorry you took it so personal. You continue to bring me up, speak about what I do or how I think. I didn't take it personal. We've all asked you over the years if you could duplicate the things we do, and you were very honest about your limits in other threads.
As Mike said you continue to badger, asking for evidence;
Our explanations have all been discredited by you because they do not fit your equations
So now you have dozens and dozens of testimony that you also now discredit as being no evidence at all. you even started alluding to the fact that folks were somehow hoodwinked or brought into a cult of personality. Come on man.
Yet in the midst of persistent and very strong calls for evidence by you-to date you have produced none demonstrating that you even know what we are talking about
Since you also offer no explanations, I was looking for your personal abilities to be vetted by someone
There is no personal attack or agenda. As I said I am happy to come down, shoot the breeze, train, and show you just what you're missing. And I'll buy dinner.
I disagree strongly with ya, but don't take things personal.
Overall I'd be happiest hearing from those with experience in training these skills. You made a clear statement where you donlt agree. Why not go to another thread to discuss your ideas.
I've thanked you for stating your views already. Why contaminate the thread and rehash old news.
Thanks again

phitruong
06-26-2008, 01:20 PM
Hi Erik

. As I said I am happy to come down, shoot the breeze, train, and show you just what you're missing.


:( that's so unfair! Erik gave you grief and you are willing to show up at his place, train, and buy him dinner. How do I get on that wagon? Can I put in my bid? I'd put you up at my place, you teach me your stuffs, and I'll make you dinners (buy too if you want). you can skip Erik and all the aggravations. Besides, Florida is just too hot and humid this time of year. :)

Howard Popkin
06-26-2008, 01:33 PM
Yeah PHI,
Because everytime I have been in Charlotte its been snowing :)

Howie

Aikibu
06-26-2008, 01:36 PM
Hi folks,

Please direct your discussions of a personal nature to private means. I don't think this thread nor the AikiWeb Forums is the venue for such.

-- Jun

I understand Jun and my apologies for my part. I have taken this "discussion" to PM with the relevent people.

William Hazen

DH
06-26-2008, 02:14 PM
:( that's so unfair! Erik gave you grief and you are willing to show up at his place, train, and buy him dinner. How do I get on that wagon? Can I put in my bid? I'd put you up at my place, you teach me your stuffs, and I'll make you dinners (buy too if you want). you can skip Erik and all the aggravations. Besides, Florida is just too hot and humid this time of year. :)
Well Erik really isn’t giving me grief-we're just debating. I don't think he's a bad egg. We disagree is all. And its only martial arts.
I'm trying to figure out a Florida trip and I think if I showed Erik what I do he’d want to do it and train it. I am equally convinced that (my apologies Erik) he doesn't have a clue about this stuff, and that he takes his training seriously so he will want it,

As for training hey, I'm only one guy. There's Mike, Ark, Rob maybe some ICMA people, Howard, he's got similar training to me. So there are others out there to get this from. I ain't no big deal
And I don't teach, I just practice....allot...with people who happen to keep showing up all the time.:cool:

Erick Mead
06-26-2008, 03:56 PM
You continue to bring me up, speak about what I do or how I think. Well, it is your thread...
[??] persistent and very strong calls for evidence by you-to date you have produced none demonstrating that you even know what we are talking about ...
Since you also offer no explanations, I was looking for your personal abilities to be vetted by someone. Gee, where is my film crew? Why? "Shoot, who let this guy past the bouncers?" Heck, they must be on break.

"Where are we at?" Your question. I asked you to articulate the Aiki that is the subject of the thread. I don't doubt you do what you say, or that you do it better than me or any one. That wasn't my question. I am doing what Sagawa, your exemplar, said, which is to frame the concept of Aiki , in my own terms. Is not the exposure, to us, of you and your ideas part of what you hope to accomplish here -- to see what may have changed from this engagement with you and your approach? Is that not the topic of the thread?

I have engaged you. And Mike. That you do not care for the manner or subject on which I have engaged , or have responded differently than I may have preferred, is beside the point .

Granted, my attempts at engagement with you and Mike seem to regularly end up like playing tennis against a concrete wall, but -- hey -- that is even good training in tennis. I am not sure how the wall feels about it, though. I used to get about the same in discussion with street preachers in the summer in my high school years -- but that did not make it any less worthwhile. Similar degree of intransigence, too. - Again, I am entranced that when I lay some points of physics into the discussion -- the ad hominem drops as regular as a 3:00 p.m. thunderstorm in a Florida summer.

People can judge the ideas on their own merits, and who I am matters -- not at all.

I may not articulate what the physical model is as well as it could or should be be done -- but YOU (as I am trying to point out) -- haven't -- even -- tried.

Try. It's not a demand -- its a request. You don't have to, but I'm asking. Nicely. Not because I am not satisfied with mine, but because IT IS THE TOPIC OF YOUR THREAD. I've told you what I've been working on with you playing mere backstop, at your election. Keiko is EQUALLY the mind/heart as in the body, and you haven't read Sagawa carefully enough if you do not understand that. All the skill in the world can be defeated by the most simplistic strategy. A superior knowledge of the means and ground of the fight will invariably defeat objectively superior means and methods. Sharpening Knowledge of the body and its mechanics is EXACTLY what Sagawa said you should be doing, not merely honing your received mechanical actions -- regardless of their effectiveness.

A physical model ain't math or equations nor even diffy-q, it is merely a physical model of the action. It doesn't require the first equal sign, unless you are inclined that way. Build up your own physical model or deconstruct mine, or ignore it all together-

DH
06-26-2008, 04:43 PM
Hi Erik
Where is the film crew? I thought that and a calculator was your line for me.;)
Thanks for the post.

Again, if you go back and read- my intent with the thread-it was
a) To talk to those who went out to train.with us and find out how it's going?
b) How are they training?
c) How are they incorporating it into their aikido?
d) How is it affecting their aikido?
And then
e) Ask the larger community what they thought of the testimony that came back
f) Did it chang their reminds since it was at one time so controversial a topic.

You answered E and F you aren't qualified to answer any other.
Thank you for responding though...again.
I then asked that the thread no degenerate into yet another debate over whether or not these skills exist or to engage me in a debate about it.
Which you keep doing. Please stay on topic and address those who came and their ability or interests in incorporating these skills onto their Aikido.
thanks again, I appreciate the effort.

rob_liberti
06-26-2008, 07:03 PM
I have one more comment to make about "it's all the same path".

Most styles/approaches of aikido have some aiki power and a lot of finesse to protect the structurally weaker positions. Here is the thing. Not all paths go to the same place BECAUSE what happens is that many of the "finesse" movements we burn in to avoid structural weaknesses GET IN THE WAY of the body training needed to develop aiki "power".

I think that's the main issue with "All paths lead to Rome". They really don't all go to aiki power - in fact few do.

I don't mean any disrespect to anyone. It is an important thing to consider. What we need to do is come together and share both aiki power and finesse secrets. As soon as I'm able, I intend to do just that.

But I have to admit, I would be interested in setting up some sempai compassion rating system website where people's juniors get a say in how kind and supportive a person is who wants to learn aiki power. We really don't need MORE people with more power than compassion.

Rob

eyrie
06-26-2008, 08:01 PM
Hi Rob,

I have a fairly good idea of what Dan is talking about. I've read Mike for years and based on that I'm certain they are on the same playing field with these "core skills"... I have no problem with people thinking their teacher is the best. I kind of wonder more about people who think their teacher is terrible. I think teachers can only show the student where the door is... you've actually got to step over the "threshold" and walk thru the door yourself. I'm pretty sure there's a reason why Mike keeps repeating certain things to "get your foot in the door"... ;)

I took a while off from reading aikiweb and I would love to read your descriptions now. Would you be willing to post a few links or PM. I'm not challenging you on this, I would just love to read another perspective. Not sure if I have anything more to add than you already know, or the people you have access to, I'm here for the same reasons you are. ;) But check your PM soon anyway... we have more in common than you may possibly be aware of.... but FIRST... you'd have to clear your mailbox, dude.

Here is my opinion: There is an amount of "finesse" in aikido-proper that I sincerely doubt I COULD learn from Dan or Mike or any of the more-direct-aiki-"power" guys.
"Power" and "finesse" are 2 separate things... one relates to "ability" and the other to "refined control". I'm guessing you'd want to get (a) first and then (b).... although I would think that there's nothing wrong with trying to get (b) first and slowly working on (a) or both at the same time. Is one way quicker or better than another, or is it purely a preference thing? Quicker for what? Better for what? Or would one way benefit another more so than someone else, based on where they're at? Or, perhaps you need both at the same time... and with one comes the other?

I dunno... but it would be far more interesting to discuss something like that. :D

rob_liberti
06-28-2008, 09:13 AM
You can further sub-divide what I am calling "power" into smaller classifications of "internal harmony" and the finesse(s) of just that.

Or I suppose I can qualify what was classifying as "finesse" as something more accurate like "finesse not powered by internal harmony" and "finesse powered by a very SMALL DEGREE of internal harmony".

But It seemed like breaking things apart at such gross levels was the best place to "start".

Rob

Fred Little
06-28-2008, 02:33 PM
You can further sub-divide what I am calling "power" into smaller classifications of "internal harmony" and the finesse(s) of just that.

Or I suppose I can qualify what was classifying as "finesse" as something more accurate like "finesse not powered by internal harmony" and "finesse powered by a very SMALL DEGREE of internal harmony".

But It seemed like breaking things apart at such gross levels was the best place to "start".

Rob

Hi Rob,

So I'm sitting on the sofa this morning and my wife walks over and hands me a flexible ice cube tray that is full and frozen hard and asks me if I can pop some ice loose for her.

I start to twist it with my forearms and realize that there's absolutely no way that I can pop the ice loose that way without popping ice fragments all over my laptop, the floor, the dog hair on the sofa, etcetera.

I backed off, and then twisted in two opposite directions internally -- in the hara-- while using my hands and forearms only to transmit the force. Nice clean break, no scatter, and my wife is happy to have ice cubes for a glass of iced tea on a hot summer morning.

My point? We often think of finesse as a matter of subtlety in the hands. In this case, in order to get finesse, I had no choice but to establish internal harmony, and use my hands only to align the ice tray with that harmony.

Maybe I could line up a hundred ice trays and train to a point where I could "finesse" the break with no internal harmony, doing it solely with my hands. But I'm not yet sure if I would want to do that, or if I did, why I would.

On the other hand, if I hadn't spent a bunch of years trying to get some subtlety and "finesse" into my hands, I don't know if I could have found the right hand shape to transmit the internal twist as quickly as I did.

So basically, I don't have a clue, but at least I'm not in trouble with my wife for making a mess while getting her ice cubes.

Best,

Fred

rob_liberti
06-28-2008, 04:53 PM
Well, first off - I'm not a subject matter expert here - I think I'm a "subject matter novice" at this point. From that POV, I would say you described in yo ho fairly well in some of the 6 directions. I think you have to work out the others to be standing/sitting with perfect internal harmony which is not yet "aiki" - just "internal power".

Once someone dares push into you with a tray of ice cubes, you can transmit that internal harmony through the tray of cubes into them, and chose to pop all of the ice out of the tray or not. That would be aiki (thought of as finesse as internal power) although with the ice tray I suppose it would be "silly aiki".

When I'm talking about the "gross level of finesse" - I mean those motions people train to avoid anyone pressing into their structural weaknesses. If that is supposed to only mean something done with hands then I suppose I need a better word/phrase for describing the idea I was trying to put forth.

I'm thinking that I could probably rig a trick ice tray and make a funny youtube video for this but I'm too lazy to actually do that. :)

Rob

Mark Mueller
06-29-2008, 11:19 AM
and if you were a "master" you would be able to pop the cubes right into the glass......cross thread points! :)

Gary David
06-29-2008, 11:59 AM
Just to throw something in here that just came up for me while my wife and I talked over the once in a great while bacon, eggs, and popovers. I am an only child, while my wife is the second of six children. The recent passage of my wife's mother has brought a lot of stuff up for all of the kids with both parents now gone. My wife is the 2nd and what we talked about is the difference in the raising and the expectations of the first 3 and how the younger three were raised. The older three got more attention from the parents and the expectations were greater on them. At some point my wife's parents just got worn out and essentially left the raising of the younger three to the older children. The older three don't see the world in the same way the younger three do. Something was missing in the training, the training had changed, and the older kids while capable in themselves had a hard time passing along what they had gotten to the younger brother and sisters. I see something similar when viewing Aikido. Strong father, strict with his students while having high expectations. Things happen, things change.... the father goes off for years while the younger of the ist generation students run the show. The father re-appears after years away and adds to the mix, but he has changed again from what was his approach prior to leaving. The 2nd and 3rd generation is not seeing what the 1st generation saw....time and culture being what it is the window to see through is small and opaque.

So what do we do about it.....what we are doing here.... we act like brothers and sisters in large family often do. In the end tho' we need to allow the differences and allow for those who will never agree while giving respect where respect is given and returned.....while finding so common ground were possible.

As for me....i've been training in Aikido since 1974. Through the 70's & 80's I had a chance to cross wrists with just about every Aikido instructor who came through the West Coast, including Tohei Sensei and the 2nd Doshu. Lately I have had the chance to meet with Mike Sigman for a short time, finding him to be what he sez he is. I still have contact with Mike and have found him to be thoughtful and gracious. Dan Harden I have never met and unless he comes to the West Coast I am not likely to, but he raises issues that need to be looked at. Eric I don't know either, tho' I have friends who talk with him and have respect for him and his approach. I guess what I am saying is that this is all good........everyone will come away with something, maybe not even know what it is now. Let me leave with some lines from a Edie Brickell song:

What I am is what I am.
Are you what you are - or what?
I'm not aware of too many things,
but I know what I know if you know what I mean.
Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks.

Maybe we need to have a giant block party and see what else we can become aware of...... thanks for listening
Gary

DH
06-29-2008, 12:31 PM
Hi Gary
I see you are addressing Mike, Erik and me and the veracity of the debate. The discussions here aren't really debates to me. I know that many who read them think they are though. I have been having these “discussions” a good long while now. From the days of the aikido list and jujutsu list 14 years ago to now. Those who argued were wrong then, they are wrong now. There really is no debate about the value or validity of this method of training. It seems harsh to hear it, but there are better ways to train then others, that create better results. And those methods are in the Asian arts. You either train this way, or you don’t.
As for Edie's song?
I'd say all of us only know -in part- but its how well we know things we know, and then how much of the whole picture we may know. No one is claming expertise. So I can echo Miss Brickell and say.
I know what I know, if you know what I mean.

Block parties
Excellent idea you had there. You might have missed the point that your "block parties" have been going on for three years now. Snd after hundreds have met-seems there is still...no debate among those who attended.
They all want to train this way nad are exploring the methods to get there.

I've never been a big fan of multiple truths. There is a danger in that it makes everyone feel comfortable with what they know and that everything is on an equal path and will arrive at the same place. That is simply not true.
So I try to remain as nice as I can and keep meeting folks. I let my meager skills, better or worse- speak for themselves.
Again to Miss Brickell.
Philosophy may be a walk on the slippery rocks, but after all these block parties we haven’t been the ones slipping.
The skills speak for themselves, there are better way to train..

DH
06-29-2008, 01:03 PM
Deleted for editing

DH
06-29-2008, 01:35 PM
One other thing.
I read your comment about allowing for differences. I don't see that as an issue. While there are many, no one is telling someone to go train a certain way. The differences will stand and bear witness to the method trained to get there. It is why the show and tells were so successfull. It was "in your face" that some ways to train were in fact simply the hands-down supperior way to get there. Standing there in a room, there really just wasn't much you could say. For many it was a 'WOW!!" What the hell have I been doing?" moment

In the past here, we were pointing out what may have been missing and why it was to be considered "missing." In that sense some of us brought up the idea of training for aiki, what it is and that it is, that it used to be there and now is by and large missing in most of Aikido™.
That didn't go over well.
Be that as it may, that is more or less old news and done.
Why?
Your block party idea was a huge success.
We have moved forward into Aikido™ people coming out to meet and train and those that did embracing this training and incorporating into their Aikido™ to make it more Aiki...do, hence the thread title. Or they were already training that way to begin with and even some of those have changed.
Those hangers-on, who stuck their head in the sand over the last three years, are not even part of the discussion. Erik and others who want to keep the debate alive have no place in the thread. I have asked them to address their fellow aikidoka who came, felt, and started doing aiki...do after encountering real aiki. Not bring up old arguments that many just are not interested in anymore.

Last dying gasp
The cat is out of the bag, and people want this type of training in their art-for themselves. IMO, those who haven't been trained this way already, or those who don't believe it and are hanging on to Aikido™ instead of adopting methods to train the way of aiki (my Aiki...do reference) are going to go the way of the dodo bird.

Aikido™ as having a reputation as an effective fighting art, has taken up the rear of the bus and been a mockery for too many, too long. It is my hope that the way that Aikido™ has been practiced as an art- eviscerated by so many- dies, and that Aiki...do rises out of the ashes as one of the finest and more potent arts in the world. A new Aikido™ that makes any and every one think twice about making a comment like that, after feeling its power.

Back to the barbeque.

Gary David
06-29-2008, 02:05 PM
Dan
I feel that you, Mike, Akazawa & Rob and many others are doing a service for us all. I think I was getting at the notion that we don't all get it at the same time. While getting hit by the 2x4 wakes some of us up, some are more adjusted to the trickle down affect. For me it is about knowing what I know until I realize it is not enough or all that could be known. I have said before that all of this is like a building with many floors......while we should start in the basement with "foundations" most tool around on the 1st floor picking up on what is there. Most of us find it hard to believe there are more floors above as we never find those doors, in some ways what you, Mike and others are doing is showing everyone the door to the basement from where you can actually go from the 1st to the 2nd and the floors above.......a path much harder to find if you only started on the 1st floor.

keep at it.....
Gary

Kevin Leavitt
06-29-2008, 02:58 PM
Mark, it would be aiki if you only popped out one center cube, leaving the others intact, and it landed in the glass.

Mark Mueller
06-29-2008, 03:03 PM
Kevin,

What is the sound of one ice cube popping?

:)

BTW, I checked out the Army combatitives champonships on PPV.....Pretty good stuff you guys are doing.

mark

jennifer paige smith
06-29-2008, 04:41 PM
This is a kind invitation to anyone who would like to come and train with me.
I love aikido, no matter how ya spell it. I love learning new things and I love to share.
I hope that what comes from all this 'non-debate" is a time when we train with each other, in our own paradigms and then others, so we can all benefit from the good learning and training that has been done; both poetry and prose.

rob_liberti
06-29-2008, 08:21 PM
Hi Jennifer, count me "eventually" in. I'm not ready yet, but my family and I love to travel on vacation. I have to stay focused here for a while longer, but I'll be up for many away games as soon as I have something I can reliably deliver without needing Dan or his students to get me out of my own way for some start up time.

Also, to correct something I misrepresented earlier - I spoke of in yo ho and I thought of that concept too much using my denotation ideas - just thinking of them a "opposite directions" (and I mis-applyed that concept to "intention" in multiple opposite directions). Apparently, there is a connotation to that concept that is really is meant to describe a "breath" method. (As I straighten out my mis-understandings I'll try to clean up the mess I left behind.)

I strongly believe that many paths begin to approach the same place but few will really get you there because of inherent misunderstandings about the approach which gets in the way. But this brings to light 2 truths (to me anyway):
1) all paths do NOT go to the same place,
2) many, many people on the path of aikido WANT to be going where I want to go -at least initially - (and as an aikidoka I think I can relate to THAT in like-minded aikidoka who also happen to LOVE aikido like I do and so I feel I can help bridge a few gaps)

Bottom lines - Direct aiki training is coming to aikido-proper sooner than later. I'll help as much as I can becuase frankly its the right thing to do for aikido.

Rob

eyrie
06-29-2008, 10:30 PM
Sure, there are *some* paths which approach the same general vicinity... which could be miles apart, but that's not the purpose of this discussion... I think.

Perhaps we could all get back on topic... for those who have felt "it" (from whomever), and sorta understand what "it" is that needs to be worked on, or can now reasonably do "it" to some degree... what is the way forward to now bring "it" (back?) into *their* aikido. Or would some, like Mark M, have to leave Aikido™ to continue working at "it"?

rob_liberti
06-29-2008, 10:33 PM
Fair point. What do you do?

DH
06-29-2008, 11:40 PM
Dan
I feel that you, Mike, Akazawa & Rob and many others are doing a service for us all. I think I was getting at the notion that we don't all get it at the same time.....
..... Most of us find it hard to believe there are more floors above as we never find those doors, in some ways what you, Mike and others are doing is showing everyone the door to the basement from where you can actually go from the 1st to the 2nd and the floors above.......a path much harder to find if you only started on the 1st floor.

keep at it.....
Gary
Well you'll have to talk to Mike, Rob, or Ark, but I hope people get out to meet and feel a LOT of people either doing or claiming to do this stuff, make judgments, comparisons, and find out who some real experts are. Then see who can or can't teach it, see if they will teach you, and then just keep at it themselves. I aint much, but I'll try and help if I can. No one can do the work for you though. Being shown a door out of the basement is one thing, but only you can climb the stairs,
I still maintain, its good to find someone with real skill. Next, look past them at their students-you just may be seeing you. If they don't have it-find out why or leave. Everyone only goes round once. So we need to make the best of it.

eyrie
06-30-2008, 01:46 AM
Fair point. What do you do? It's not so much "what", it's more like "how"...

See Kevin L's post here (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209339&postcount=21):
Again, Mike didn't really show us nothing new..just told us alot of stuff about "HOW" to do it a little more correctly, and WHY you want to do it. and emphasized that you need to do it ALOT.

And Rob J's post here (http://aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=209456&postcount=79).

The Aiki Taiso of Ki-Society is a good start to the "what"... BUT if that was all there was to it - simply doing those particular exercises - then why are we even having this discussion? Why do some feel they already do "it", but have no idea what some of "us" are talking about?

FWIW, if you know what "it" is you're supposed to be training, then technically speaking, it doesn't matter "what" exercises you do, coz the way you rewire your body is how you move and therefore all movement becomes an expression of "it". You could be doing a "standing" posture or some qigong/misogi variant... as long as "it" is what you're training and not something else.

To answer the question, what do I do... a lot more solo training - shovelling mulch, digging heavy clay, lifting bags of chaff or chicken feed, pushing on horses and having them push me back, tug of war with the dog, sweeping the floor, hanging out the washing, even lifting a coffee cup - it's all training.

DH
06-30-2008, 05:56 AM
It's not so much "what", it's more like "how"...
If that were all of it, why then do you suppose, some are seeing a difficulty in "doing" aiki...do while doing Aikido™? Some to the point that they felt it necessary to leave for a while?

I find this intriguing on a couple of levels and have some opinions of my own since 18 years ago I was one of you, and felt I had to leave to develop before I could come back. Rather state my experiences and opinions just yet I'd love to hear others opinions about what is happening in their bodies, and how it is affecting both them and their training partners..
Do you suppose, that as your body changes, you will continue to do waza the same?
Have you considered the effect your training may have in your body in later stages in regards to just how you an uke will interact?

rob_liberti
06-30-2008, 07:06 AM
Well, I can apply what I have learned directly to ikkyo, nikyo, kotegaeshi, and sankyo in aikido-proper.

Yonkyo - the way it has typically been taught - has to be commpletely let go. It is fine as an example of something that works on people who haven't trained structure and intention. I suppose it could still show up as a potential finishing move for sankyo if you just want to describe the energy cycle(s).

Taking ukemi changes a bit and I still have a lot of work to do in thinking about how to apply what I am learning in aiki...do to aikido-proper (no MS word available on this PC).

Rob

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2008, 09:57 AM
Hi Jennifer, count me "eventually" in. I'm not ready yet, but my family and I love to travel on vacation. I have to stay focused here for a while longer, but I'll be up for many away games as soon as I have something I can reliably deliver without needing Dan or his students to get me out of my own way for some start up time.

Also, to correct something I misrepresented earlier - I spoke of in yo ho and I thought of that concept too much using my denotation ideas - just thinking of them a "opposite directions" (and I mis-applyed that concept to "intention" in multiple opposite directions). Apparently, there is a connotation to that concept that is really is meant to describe a "breath" method. (As I straighten out my mis-understandings I'll try to clean up the mess I left behind.)

I strongly believe that many paths begin to approach the same place but few will really get you there because of inherent misunderstandings about the approach which gets in the way. But this brings to light 2 truths (to me anyway):
1) all paths do NOT go to the same place,
2) many, many people on the path of aikido WANT to be going where I want to go -at least initially - (and as an aikidoka I think I can relate to THAT in like-minded aikidoka who also happen to LOVE aikido like I do and so I feel I can help bridge a few gaps)

Bottom lines - Direct aiki training is coming to aikido-proper sooner than later. I'll help as much as I can becuase frankly its the right thing to do for aikido.

Rob

You and your family are welcome anytime. In that space it would be lovely to talk of the aiki of nature and how it finds its way to one through solid, structured training. This is the language of internal skills(small i) that I often speak of, it goes hand in hand with the aiki of which you speak as best as I can tell. Best way to discover is to be in the same place at the same time & I'm available. Thanks.
An addition of my own to your bottom line is that nature is coming to aikido proper because frankly it is the right thing to do;) .
Again, thanks for the chat.

DH
06-30-2008, 10:09 AM
...it would be lovely to talk of the aiki of nature and how it finds its way to one through solid, structured training. This is the language of internal skills(small i) that I often speak of, it goes hand in hand with the aiki of which you speak as best as I can tell. .
How? It would be interesting to hear where you find similarites in your training, Jenn?

Counsel
06-30-2008, 02:17 PM
I didn't know Aikido was trademarked...

As to technique vs. mindset, you may or may not find both in almost any art. While the instructor/sensei has much to do with whether one learns anything, the student/deshi will, after a time, realize whether they are learning what they are seeking.

I guess the question is, Does Aikido, the Way of Harmoney, require one (internal philosophy), the other (technique), or both? My thought is that it requires both. Why? Being able to defend oneself brings a certain peace (even if that defense is perceived) for a person that allows them to remain centered when faced with "opposition." While not required, it helps.

Imagine if everyone could respond in a fight as if they were just moving their angle of approach when walking in a mall in order to avoid an oncoming shopper. The "panic," which leads to bad decisions, would be avoided.

Of course, if you want one or the other and you find it in Aikido, kudos to you! :D

rob_liberti
06-30-2008, 06:45 PM
Imagine if everyone could respond in a fight as if they were just moving their angle of approach when walking in a mall in order to avoid an oncoming shopper. The "panic," which leads to bad decisions, would be avoided.

In my experience, I find that this "angle of approach" business is what you have to do when you don't have better structure/ internal intentions than your attacker. And (IME) practicing that stuff tends to get you moving your hips all around taking away from your chances of developing your internal power.

Rob

DH
06-30-2008, 07:26 PM
I tend to look at Aikido movement like Iai movement. The opening of the hips and chest and turning from the hips just bleeds away power and stability. Even when they draw with the hips its weakness not a strength. While they talk about unified body movement, I have (almost without exception) felt stiff-frame, one-side-open, movement that is both easy to take, and can be read like a book in weight transfer.which is also easy to see via video. The most frustrating people are sometimes aikido people in that their hanmi is wrong, movement wrong, tenkan wrong, Irimi wrong, and the use of the shoulders (everyone say "We don't use our shoulders in our school"...er...okay) is so ingrained that it is sometimes very daunting to rewire movement. Grapplers usually are easier for me to train this way. As I said, it's far easier to take the center of someone moving Aikido™ style than a grappler.
I'll leave it at that, since everyone who has gone to feel the guys advocating internal aiki training have felt what I am talking about. The trick is -and I hope to start discussing it here in the days to come- how do you train the body to move in a centrally held balance while still doing Aikido™. After rewiring and spending countless hours to graina more connected body and wanting to take full advantage of what that brings to an encounter, how would you train a waza designed by its very architecture, to give away so much. Suhc as doing the very things mentioned in the above quote and in Rob's reply.
Quite frankly I suspect that as these men continue to train they will not only change their movement, their bodies (maybe even before their brains will be willing to wrap around it) will start to see more clearly and demand a change in approach. As a teacher, maybe it's not a problem, as a student? Hmm..

Kevin Leavitt
06-30-2008, 08:01 PM
Rob wrote:

In my experience, I find that this "angle of approach" business is what you have to do when you don't have better structure/ internal intentions than your attacker. And (IME) practicing that stuff tends to get you moving your hips all around taking away from your chances of developing your internal power.


I disagree with this in a way. I find it always better to move out of the way of an attack than deal with it directly. If at anytime you can do this, I think it is better. Caveat, as long as it puts you in a position that allows you to control the situation. Create distance, use your weapon, run...strike...whatever...

that said, the problem with this is that we assume that we can do actually do this in our scenarios, when in fact I don't think it happens all that much.

From a "combatives" perspective, there is a reason why we are dealing with an attack empty handed, and it is usually because the guy we are fighting has acheived some short of tactical advantage.

So, how to you make out? If you have good integrity and power, well then you are in a position to do something, if not, then he just keeps on coming.

This is why I am interested in this stuff. Couple that with the Harmony, (AI) which comes from taking a bad situaiton and skillfully dealing with it with Power (KI) then you have something to make a choice with. Without it, you don't have much at all.

So, while I disagree with your base logic about moving off line and off the angle of attack...I also agree as I see the real issue is that we assume we have choices that in reality we probably don't in a conflict.

Probably why Dan finds grapplers easier to work with is that we/they work this timing and "point of failure" over and over again.

Grappling provides you a different feel for proprioception and timing and you must develop some very keen reflexes, and you must maintain integrity or you lose.

Dan Wrote:

how would you train a waza designed by its very architecture, to give away so much.

Me personally?

I am working on re-wiring my core and developing strength ala Mike and Ark. I also spend a fair amount of time on the BJJ mat dealing with guys that are pushing hard on you in a way that you do not have the option but to deal with their "force"/"power". I am also spending time in aikido practice trying to change how I approach things...trying to make a better connection with my core to theirs and transmitting power very efficiently. trying to leave out the upper, body and shoulders so their is no "read" from uke of where I am in the process.

As you know Dan, a big part of grappling success relies on your ability to "hide" what you are doing from you opponent. If you are using strength and power from your arms, then they can feel the second you move and counter it. Using your core and the ground more efficiently, I think, allows you to "hide" this and explode into him before he can "transmit" and process what is going on.

...or something like that.

Kevin Leavitt
06-30-2008, 08:05 PM
To add to my above post....I approach my Aikido waza practice no differently than I do my BJJ or Judo...I approach it exactly the same. What I like about aikido is that is allows me to work slower, more dilberately and concentrate on the "re-wiring" practice.

yes, some uke are hard to work with if they give up or bail out...but overall, I find no issues and can always find something to work on with just about any uke.

Aikibu
06-30-2008, 08:06 PM
I tend to look at Aikido movement like Iai movement. The opening of the hips and chest and turning from the hips just bleeds away power and stability. Even when they draw with the hips its weakness not a strength. While they talk about unified body movement, I have (almost without exception) felt stiff-frame, one-side-open, movement that is both easy to take, and can be read like a book in weight transfer.which is also easy to see via video. The most frustrating people are sometimes aikido people in that their hanmi is wrong, movement wrong, tenkan wrong, Irimi wrong, and the use of the shoulders (everyone say "We don't use our shoulders in our school"...er...okay) is so ingrained that it is sometimes very daunting to rewire movement. Grapplers usually are easier for me to train this way. As I said, it's far easier to take the center of someone moving Aikido™ style than a grappler.
I'll leave it at that, since everyone who has gone to feel the guys advocating internal aiki training have felt what I am talking about. The trick is -and I hope to start discussing it here in the days to come- how do you train the body to move in a centrally held balance while still doing Aikido™. After rewiring and spending countless hours to graina more connected body and wanting to take full advantage of what that brings to an encounter, how would you train a waza designed by its very architecture, to give away so much. Suhc as doing the very things mentioned in the above quote and in Rob's reply.
Quite frankly I suspect that as these men continue to train they will not only change their movement, their bodies (maybe even before their brains will be willing to wrap around it) will start to see more clearly and demand a change in approach. As a teacher, maybe it's not a problem, as a student? Hmm..

Thanks for your insights into regular Aikido Waza Dan. It gives me a basis to ask you your thoughts on ours...

1. Our Hanmi has both feet pointed forward in a manner similar to Kendo or some Koryu Waza. Our toes remain pointed/centered on Uke and we are light on our feet moving through our body.

2.Most movement are done "half step" IOW the footwork is smaller in circumferance... more circular... and helps to keep your back straight centered in your hips and relaxed.

3. Our movement Tenkan, Irimi is done half step whole body by relaxing turning your hips and body in a small circle to "compress/gather" your center/energy with Uke and then at a certain point releasing that energy by reversing the movement. I guess its kind of like twisting and untwisting a rubber band. The compression and uncompression moevments are done in rythem with the breath... gather breath in release breath out

In discussing this with some folks who are very familiar with your training they just did not see how it could compare with yours/ On a scale of one to ten... You being a ten we both agreed that perhaps our style of Aikido is at a two....Three at best....The question is is there enough of a base of physical understanding in order for us to make a start at learning yours?

William Hazen

eyrie
06-30-2008, 08:12 PM
Good questions Dan....
If that were all of it, why then do you suppose, some are seeing a difficulty in "doing" aiki...do while doing Aikido™? Some to the point that they felt it necessary to leave for a while? I'm not going to speculate as to why, but it's a good question to consider... My personal feeling is that uke and nage both have a role to play and waza is simply a framework in which uke is helping nage find "it" and work "it", rather than some specified response of doing something to someone.

I'd love to hear others opinions about what is happening in their bodies, and how it is affecting both them and their training partners...Do you suppose, that as your body changes, you will continue to do waza the same? Have you considered the effect your training may have in your body in later stages in regards to just how you an uke will interact? Same as what? :D Generally, I'd have to say "no"... firstly, there wouldn't be the need to take so many steps and pivots to effect "technique". "Waza" would no longer look like the set, structured movement as evidenced by the countless videos on YouTube.

Technique would be more freeform and less rigid. Ikkyo would no longer look like the wide arc arm sweeps and yank that so many do - uke will simply bounce and/or roll off into ikkyo with you just "turning" on your vertical axis. The countless opportunities for atemi will present themselves as uke finds themselves immediately off-balanced on contact.

Uke will bounce off when they grab your wrist or arm as you "irimi" without moving your feet. When you "tenkan", uke will feel as if they're being sucked into a blackhole.

Generally, there would be little need for "precise and beautiful technique" with big expansive movements resulting in spectacular breakfalls on uke's part. Uke will fall at your feet and not know how they got there.

On the flip side, as uke you will become "heavier" and harder to move. You will feel like a "log" to them and any attempt to throw you with pure muscular strength would yield little result for all that effort... despite the fact that you might be standing on one foot in a seemingly precarious position. If nage breaks structure, you as uke will find it easy to simply walk thru them as you enter to attack.

Of course, I am no where near being able to do any of this to any real or consistent degree... if Mike's only an amateur, then I'm at best, a rank hobbyist. :D

Just by playing tug-o-war with a puppy who is a mere fraction of my size and at least 3-4x stronger than I am, I realize how much more connected, and less in the shoulders, I could be. But it's a long, slow process getting there.

Counsel
06-30-2008, 08:31 PM
I am just starting Aikido having spent some time with ju-jitsu. This topic of "it" has interested me, but I want to make sure I understand some of the topics better. So, I ask for some clarification:

John Matsushima wrote:
Does this mean the one of the most basic of Aikido basics, tenkan, is not Aiki?

Robert John wrote:
Basically, yes, if it's done only copying the rote form.
Tenkan done "inside" the body would be a different thing.

If the movement is the same (and I mean exactly the same), what is the difference? Is it different physically? Or is it mental? Is it implied that the movement done "inside" provides more power or is more effective? Or is it that the person doing it "inside" is more ...... (something)? :confused:

Thanks, and I'll wait for an answer

jennifer paige smith
06-30-2008, 08:32 PM
How? It would be interesting to hear where you find similarites in your training, Jenn?
I think the quote of the day covers it pretty good, as it happens.

But I sure wish you'd come to my dojo and teach some eager students in the future,please.

Perhaps then you can watch me teach, feel what it feels to be near me ,and then you can know what I mean and I can do the same. It is my experience in this forum and others that words sometimes don't cut it.I could try, I spose, and then it will go :circle: :circle: :circle: :circle: :circle: :circle:. But I'll give it some contemplation and see what arises.

For me it's like music, I can tell you all about it, send you some reviews, but you gotta see it/hear it/ feel it to know what it feels/sounds like. And then, it's a band for you or not. Either way, I love to share.

My invitation is sincere and I hope you find yourself in this area where I will gladly put you up. Especially because you have been so courteous.
Thanks,
Jen

rob_liberti
06-30-2008, 08:41 PM
Kevin and William, et al.

Sorry for being unclear. (I'm fully engaged with a 4 year old and I can only spare a few moments at a time to post - so it's not as well thought out as when I might be killing time listening to someone blather on - on a work phone conference. Anyhoo...)

I DO believe that undertsanding angle of attack is a good thing to work. It's just that it is not a good thing to work PRIOR to working the internal structure stuff. Once you got that down, I certainly see the advantage of adding that (which was my point about adding those kind of finesse movements on top of the internal "power" and aiki training). I've gone down the road of depending on this angle of attack movement before developing the power and given both options, I would only recommend that way to someone I really disliked.

Rob

Kevin Leavitt
06-30-2008, 08:49 PM
Understand Rob...I agree, moving out of the way, IMO really requires not much skill. It is the reason, I believe why I studied aikido for years...you know the whole move off the line, irimi, tenkan, and THEN do something...and FAILED against a grappler.

I missed the whole point of the engagement.

It looks cool and all that...but is not really much skill.

Counsel
06-30-2008, 08:54 PM
Rob:

Thanks for clearing that up! I feel enlightened now :)

Jennifer;

I like your use of "music," and I think I will use it as well. :p

Dan:

Can one feel "it" only at times? There are techniques I can perform and see the music.

However, there are times when, especially when learning something new, where the music is not present even though I know the notes.

Make any sense?

eyrie
06-30-2008, 09:01 PM
John Matsushima wrote:
Does this mean the one of the most basic of Aikido basics, tenkan, is not Aiki?

Robert John wrote:
Basically, yes, if it's done only copying the rote form.
Tenkan done "inside" the body would be a different thing.

If the movement is the same (and I mean exactly the same), what is the difference? Is it different physically? Or is it mental? Is it implied that the movement done "inside" provides more power or is more effective? Or is it that the person doing it "inside" is more ...... (something)? :confused: It's not the same... no... yes... partly... not necessarily... yeah, something.

Although I don't know Rob, never met him, I do get (surprise, surprise) what he means by "tenkan inside the body". Firstly, it's not the same thing as the basic aikido tenkan. Where aikido tenkan (an external movement) involves pivoting on your lead foot and drawing the other one back in an arc, a tenkan done *inside* the body is just that - INSIDE the body.

Without giving too much away... your spine is the central axis upon which your upper body is slung over the arch of your inside legs. Imagine your spine as a vertical axle that can turn (left and right) on its axis. In fact it can and does. So, any force acting upon your upper body can be deflected tangentially by your vertical axis turning inside your body - WITHOUT moving your feet or upper body - more precisely, without pivoting your foot, or twisting your hips, or turning your chest/shoulders.

Let's use suwari waza ikkyo as an example... it's the classic idea of the circle in the square... so without moving your knees or arm, and just manipulating uke's press against your extended tegatana... how would you "turn" on the inside to get them to roll off to the side into ikkyo?

Upyu
06-30-2008, 09:10 PM
<snip>
Can one feel "it" only at times? There are techniques I can perform and see the music.

However, there are times when, especially when learning something new, where the music is not present even though I know the notes.


Err James, don't take it quite so literal.
We're talking about a trained and conditioned skill. You should be able to manifest it at all times. So long as some part of your body is touching the ground, you should be able to do "it" ;)

My advice, go and see some people reputed to be skillful in these things and go feel for yourself. You'll leave the others that are waiting for these skills to come to them, in the dust.

On an off hand note, I find the increasing interest in internal skills entertaining, in a good way. Over here in Japan, it's almost impossible to find Japanese students that are willing to learn this stuff, even after they get their asses handed to them. Most of them, either mope after they get tooled, or just can't hack the exercises (physically and mentally) and just fade away. They realize the amount of work that needs to be done and just...give up.
The ones that haven't tried are content to wait on the sidelines, seeing if xxxx teacher will really get popular enough to certify their "ability."
Funny thing is, I think the outcome out of all this is that in 10 years time or so, we may see a larger spread of these skills in the foreign community as opposed to within the Japanese.

Erick Mead
06-30-2008, 11:58 PM
I do get (surprise, surprise) what he means by "tenkan inside the body". Firstly, it's not the same thing as the basic aikido tenkan.... a tenkan done *inside* the body is just that - INSIDE the body. ... So, any force acting upon your upper body can be deflected tangentially by your vertical axis turning inside your body - WITHOUT moving your feet or upper body - more precisely, without pivoting your foot, or twisting your hips, or turning your chest/shoulders.
Spiral winding juji (90 degrees) shear stress in simultaneous tension/compression This forms a standing torsion wave (Horizontal vice vertical, but you get the idea):
505

The intercostal internus with the ribs and transversus follow these bias shear ply lines taking those crossing spiral lines around the the body.

These allow a spiral moment (tendency to rotate/standing wave) or a spiral movement (a dynamic spiral wave). Limbs just follow in the same manner (asagao). Tension can be potentiated in either of the spirals by -- surprise -- breath control. Structure and dynamic are the same.

Counsel
07-01-2008, 12:12 AM
It's not the same... no... yes... partly... not necessarily... yeah, something.

Without giving too much away... your spine is the central axis upon which your upper body is slung over the arch of your inside legs. Imagine your spine as a vertical axle that can turn (left and right) on its axis. In fact it can and does. So, any force acting upon your upper body can be deflected tangentially by your vertical axis turning inside your body - WITHOUT moving your feet or upper body - more precisely, without pivoting your foot, or twisting your hips, or turning your chest/shoulders.



I have a science background, so I understand some of what we call body mechanics. The movement of muscles on the inside generally moves muscles/tissue visible on the outside--even if only in small amounts/distances. I can understand tightening different muscle groups to shift your ability to react. However, this, to me, is still a physical act. If this is what you describe, then describing which muscles you tighten/use is something we should be able to do as teachers and practice as students. I would have thought, unless everyone is teaching tenkan wrong, that I, as a student, am learning tenkan correctly. If I am or not (or most of us are not), then, imho, aikido needs to review what it is teaching because unlearning a "wrong" after years of practice is .. not efficient for the student, the teacher, or the art.

So, does this "internal" action shift my center of gravity, tighten specific muscles inside by body (affecting my ability to react to a push), or something you could better describe with another example...?

However, if you mean by "internal" what many have called "by the power of Ki..." :eek:

Aikibu
07-01-2008, 12:14 AM
Spiral winding juji (90 degrees) shear stress in simultaneous tension/compression This forms a standing torsion wave (Horizontal vice vertical, but you get the idea):
505

The intercostal internus with the ribs and transversus follow these bias shear ply lines taking those crossing spiral lines around the the body.

These allow a spiral moment (tendency to rotate/standing wave) or a spiral movement (a dynamic spiral wave). Limbs just follow in the same manner (asagao). Tension can be potentiated in either of the spirals by -- surprise -- breath control. Structure and dynamic are the same.

I can barely wrap my head around this but I'll bet I have expressed tenkan this way. :)

Thanks Eric ( I think? LOL :) )

William Hazen

Upyu
07-01-2008, 12:38 AM
I have a science background, so I understand some of what we call body mechanics. <snip> I can understand tightening different muscle groups to shift your ability to react. However, this, to me, is still a physical act.
<snip> it is teaching because unlearning a "wrong" after years of practice is .. not efficient for the student, the teacher, or the art.


So now you're getting to the heart of the matter

Here's a quick sum-up of the skills being discussed:
http://www.unleashingfong.com/martialmovement/index.php?title=What_is_Internal_Strength

Knowing "which" muscles to move, is about as useful as myself trying to teach a 5 year old how to ride a bike by telling him exactly which muscles to use.

It's a learned skill, plus it takes a certain conditioning of the body in order to pull off, as mentioned in the link I posted. The skills get deeper and more complex the more you condition the body.
Ever see the kokyu-ho demo that Ueshiba does with single fingers?
That's child's play once you've been working on these things for about 2 years. :D (Assuming your demo dummy isn't as skilled as you are ;) )

eyrie
07-01-2008, 01:27 AM
I can understand tightening different muscle groups to shift your ability to react....So, does this "internal" action shift my center of gravity, tighten specific muscles inside by body (affecting my ability to react to a push), or something you could better describe with another example...? I wouldn't say "tightening"...perhaps "tension" might be a better word, in the sense of a bow/guitar string, rather than "tensing" which is what "tightening" seems to connotate.

But I'm no science major and what Erick said just went over the top of my head... :p

Sure there is *some* muscle involved, but not in the way you're thinking... and the aikido tenkan you're talking about is purely an "external" form...

Maybe this might be a better way to approach it. OK, assuming you can do an external tenkan movement... which most people should be able to. Now, what if, you are stuck in thick mud up to your shoulders and you cannot move? How would you tenkan? What "moves"? Assume your feet are still in contact with the floor...

Where would you initiate the turning from? Where does it get conveyed to? How would you translate a directional force into a tangential force?

rob_liberti
07-01-2008, 06:55 AM
William,

I cannot answer for Dan, but from my own perspective a lot of the movement you described is going to get re-worked. You just don't half-step tenkan in the same way (by moving hips) at least initially.

But your training passion will certainly prepare you for the hard work of making big changes to train smarter. Also, some of the time you had put in to other MMA will probably need to take a back seat for small window while you change over a bit, and then I would say you'll be able to get more bang for your buck when you do ground fighting or other types of MMA skills that may interest you.

In my opinion, the main thing to prepare for new body movements is getting rid of tightness as much as possible. Do yoga, get some deep tissue massages, do some fasting, whatever it takes so that when you learn new things with your body it's not any more difficult than it has to be.

Rob

Haowen Chan
07-01-2008, 08:15 AM
I have a science background, so I understand some of what we call body mechanics. The movement of muscles on the inside generally moves muscles/tissue visible on the outside--even if only in small amounts/distances. I can understand tightening different muscle groups to shift your ability to react. However, this, to me, is still a physical act. If this is what you describe, then describing which muscles you tighten/use is something we should be able to do as teachers and practice as students.

The skill set involves physical action in a different mode from conventional muscle recruitment. Now the problem with trying to sharply define a certain set of muscles to activate and then saying to a student, "ok now do it with those muscles", is that the student would quite naturally use conventional muscle recruitment to activate the specified muscle sets and get nowhere in their training.

The early part of training involves certain visualizations to "trick" your own body into forgetting its original conventional muscular mode of movement, and using instead the new patterns of coordination that you are trying to burn in.

Timothy WK
07-01-2008, 08:21 AM
1. Our Hanmi has both feet pointed forward in a manner similar to Kendo or some Koryu Waza. Our toes remain pointed/centered on Uke and we are light on our feet moving through our body.

2.Most movement are done "half step" IOW the footwork is smaller in circumferance... more circular... and helps to keep your back straight centered in your hips and relaxed.

I don't really have answers, but here are some thoughts:

1. While there are certainly reasons and ways to move in a "square" fashion, I'm skeptical of what you suggest. Many (kenjutsu) koryu members bemoan the influence of kendo on modern movement. Colin Watkins, of Kage-ryu & Niten Ichi-ryu & whatever else fame, has said that he sees kendo's square footwork bleeding into, and (by implication) corrupting, otherwise traditional sword forms (look up his posts over at E-Budo).

(BTW, without getting too off-track, which koryu actually suggest square footwork? I'm just curious, 'cause it's not that way in Itto-ryu, one of kendo's biggest influences.)

It is my argument that (efficient) diagonal and sideways movement (hito-e-mi) is predicated on manipulating the pelvic girdle/crease. So at the very least, this type of movement---common among koryu kenjutsu---serves certain internal training needs... And I know Dan wants to jump in, so I'll cut him off now: Yes(!), if this type of movement is executed as an external form only, without internal connection, it can actually weaken your balance. But if done with cross-body connection the way it's suppose to be, it's just as strong as anything.

2. I don't see how circular steps do anything that can't be done with straight steps. So it's probably just different, not better or worse... And there is potential that it's "worse". Sometimes twisting/turning/circular movement is actually a sign that you're bleeding internal connection... But without seeing what exactly you're doing, I would guess that your movement is simply "different". It all depends on what you're doing exactly.

DH
07-01-2008, 11:11 AM
Power in motion- tenkan and Irimi

It bears repeating that all of these discussions were had, and then those who would came and met those who were arguing a different way to move, and then went...”Oh. Never mind.”
In context of the thread, I had asked where peoples current understanding was after feeling some of these things and training it. I think some people have a ways to go in grasping its full potential. They are still thinking in external terms.

There is a way to maintain a central balance with the body turning on the inside that will affect you in unexpected ways, in grappling on the ground, or standing, in getting hit with it etc. You can move without giving ground and wreak havoc on the structure of someone engaging you. It can be done in motion, in vectoring, or moving forward through them or in retreat. Its still the same body connection regardless. No…it is NOT having to stand still.
An explanation I gave a long time ago
Imagine there is a thick pole in the ground rising vertically, with a peg stuck through it at chest height.
Imagine I told you to hold on to the arms of the peg.
Imagine the pole is a drive shaft stuck into an engine below the floor you couldn't have seen.
Imagine me turning it on
Imagine you in the hospital with two broken arms and a concussion from where you landed on your head.
Imagine me asking you to do it again
Imagine the peg now has two arms welded to it with boxing gloves.
Imagine the drive shaft through the floor is now a 300 horsepower washing machine agitator
Imagine me turning it on
Imagine you in the hospital with a broken -everything.
Since the agitator destroyed your bones with power, do you think it lost its balance and had to take Ukemi? Do you think it lost a degree of force delivery and bounced back?
People are usually a “mess in motion,” loose sacks of grain that in various ways bleed out energy all over the place. With so much slack, or worse so much tension in movement that they loose or dissipate the greater portion of their power before it is delivered.
Add to that most of them missing the center. I cannot tell you how many DR and Aikido guys I have asked to take my center and they haven’t a freakin clue how to find it. Center on touch was an embarrassing joke in their hands.
Now
Imagine a door with a pivot in the middle
If you push on the left you get slammed from the right as you fell into the negative "hole" from the door freely spinning.
Imagine pushing very hard and fast.
Imagine getting out of the hospital and me asking you to do it again
This time the door has a big silver ball bearing in the middle supported at a 45 degree angle off the floor from the back
Imagine pushing on any part of the freewheeling door and getting slammed from the others corner or side.

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

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

Aikibu
07-01-2008, 11:18 AM
William,

I cannot answer for Dan, but from my own perspective a lot of the movement you described is going to get re-worked. You just don't half-step tenkan in the same way (by moving hips) at least initially.

But your training passion will certainly prepare you for the hard work of making big changes to train smarter. Also, some of the time you had put in to other MMA will probably need to take a back seat for small window while you change over a bit, and then I would say you'll be able to get more bang for your buck when you do ground fighting or other types of MMA skills that may interest you.

In my opinion, the main thing to prepare for new body movements is getting rid of tightness as much as possible. Do yoga, get some deep tissue massages, do some fasting, whatever it takes so that when you learn new things with your body it's not any more difficult than it has to be.

Rob

Thanks for the kind reply Rob...I practice Bikram Yoga a few times a week and Kundilini Yoga the rest of the time. that and Surfing along with years of Judo have blessed me with a good 'beginner" center hopefully basic enough to begin to understand Dan's and your curriculum. We are are excitied about the future prospect of learning real internal technique to improve our Aikido.:)

William Hazen

DH
07-01-2008, 11:22 AM
Tim
Much of my critique in same-side motion has to do with where the weight is. Any time the weight gets transfered to one side it is vulnerable. What receives / feeds. Absorption and delivery needs to be all crossline. It is the best way to resist throws, it is the best way to deliver strikes and kicks. Guys who would attempt to throw you would be standing there wondering "what the.....?" when they cannot take your weight or center, and you dumped them on their ass, or sent a power delivery right through them. It also greatly enhances center on contact in free movement as the wieght is much harder to capture.
I'll wait till we meet and feel each others weight to decide if we are talking about the same thing..

John Ruhl
07-01-2008, 11:24 AM
Here's a quick sum-up of the skills being discussed:
http://www.unleashingfong.com/martialmovement/index.php?title=What_is_Internal_Strength



Robert -

Thanks very much for putting together that wiki and posting the link to it. I have been wishing for something like that for a while, and it's great to know about it. Much appreciated.

-John

clwk
07-01-2008, 11:49 AM
Hi Dan,
[u]
Imagine there is a thick pole in the ground rising vertically, with a peg stuck through it at chest height.
Imagine I told you to hold on to the arms of the peg.
Imagine the pole is a drive shaft stuck into an engine below the floor you couldn't have seen.
Imagine me turning it on
Imagine you in the hospital with two broken arms and a concussion from where you landed on your head.
Imagine me asking you to do it again
Imagine the peg now has two arms welded to it with boxing gloves.
Imagine the drive shaft through the floor is now a 300 horsepower washing machine agitator
Imagine me turning it on
Imagine you in the hospital with a broken -everything.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

. . . with a broken everything.

-ck

Pauliina Lievonen
07-01-2008, 11:52 AM
I tend to look at Aikido movement like Iai movement. The opening of the hips and chest and turning from the hips just bleeds away power and stability. Even when they draw with the hips its weakness not a strength.Hi Dan, can you say a bit more about "opening of the hips and chest"? The image that comes to my mind is of someone who in hamni pushes their belly button forward, making space in front but compressing the back. But you might mean something completely different?

kvaak
Pauliina

Aikibu
07-01-2008, 11:55 AM
I don't really have answers, but here are some thoughts:

1. While there are certainly reasons and ways to move in a "square" fashion, I'm skeptical of what you suggest. Many (kenjutsu) koryu members bemoan the influence of kendo on modern movement. Colin Watkins, of Kage-ryu & Niten Ichi-ryu & whatever else fame, has said that he sees kendo's square footwork bleeding into, and (by implication) corrupting, otherwise traditional sword forms (look up his posts over at E-Budo).

(BTW, without getting too off-track, which koryu actually suggest square footwork? I'm just curious, 'cause it's not that way in Itto-ryu, one of kendo's biggest influences.)

It is my argument that (efficient) diagonal and sideways movement (hito-e-mi) is predicated on manipulating the pelvic girdle/crease. So at the very least, this type of movement---common among koryu kenjutsu---serves certain internal training needs... And I know Dan wants to jump in, so I'll cut him off now: Yes(!), if this type of movement is executed as an external form only, without internal connection, it can actually weaken your balance. But if done with cross-body connection the way it's suppose to be, it's just as strong as anything.

2. I don't see how circular steps do anything that can't be done with straight steps. So it's probably just different, not better or worse... And there is potential that it's "worse". Sometimes twisting/turning/circular movement is actually a sign that you're bleeding internal connection... But without seeing what exactly you're doing, I would guess that your movement is simply "different". It all depends on what you're doing exactly.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the post. Hopefully by answering your question I'll clear up a few things. :)

Shoji Nishio's Aikido was heavily influanced by his practice in Nihon Zendoku Iaido, Shintō Musō-ryū jōjutsu, Hōzōin-ryū sōjutsu along with Karate Shindō jinen-ryū and Judo Kodokan Judo... He held middle to high Dan ranks in each.

So perhaps my description of our Hanmi is a bit off because we really don't not have a stance in the sense that Nishio believed that having a stance was too agressive and not Aikido. So we stand centered on Uke and (using Rob's great description) use finesse and small natural movements. Nishio felt the old Iwama and Hombu Hanmi were too dangerous because as you imply and I grasp you're not centered on Uke's center and you're bleeding half your power away by focusing your back foot away "from the center circle of Uke"

Our basic foot work is

Tai No Tenkan- Applied at 45 and 90 degrees towards Uke's Center
in both Ai Hanmi and Gyaku Hanmi

Irimi Tenkan- Entering joining with Uke using...

Suri Ashi- A single half or full slide in towards Ukes front Center or Rear with or without Tai No Tenkan and/or Irimi Tenkan.

At all times our Aikido works best when Nage is relaxed and centered using the "half step" description I have given. The same with our Atemi.

The footwork and handwork of our Aikido is all weapons related in the sense that we remain relaxed "bait" or allow Uke to enter then join with Uke and cut...The hand work in our Aikido is also quite different in most cases.

I am hoping that our relaxed martial approach to Aikido will provide a good base for buliding on the Internal aspects that Dan promotes...

Hopefully Tim this post gives you a better set of facts and clears up any misconceptions I may have conveyed. :)

William Hazen

DH
07-01-2008, 11:57 AM
Hi Dan,

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

. . . with a broken everything.

-ck
Ah..but there needn't be damage-just control.
Even though Osensei stated everything begins with atemi and that his atemi had the power to kill.
The type of movement quality is very controlling-even fun. Waddya think we wreck each other and throw away the pieces. :)
I'll be willing to betcha over which methods offers the greater potential for control over another humans violent actions without causing harm.;)

Aikibu
07-01-2008, 12:02 PM
Thanks Dan Tim and Rob for taking the time to break things down. I am now understanding "it" a bit better. :)

William Hazen

DH
07-01-2008, 12:33 PM
Hi Dan, can you say a bit more about "opening of the hips and chest"? The image that comes to my mind is of someone who in hamni pushes their belly button forward, making space in front but compressing the back. But you might mean something completely different?

kvaak
Pauliina

Hi Paulina
Hanmi offers most the opportunity to bleed energy-usually at a about a 30 to 45 deg angle in the direction of whichever hip is the rear hip. Left leg back bleed left, right-bleed right. Push on them and they you feel it almost immediately. If you let go suddenly, they spring-up in whatever direction they are commpensating for.

The belly, back and chest thing
A common Aikido form is to see the deep hanmi with the foot forward in line with the rear sometimes with a space,
sometimes almost directly in line,like the Yoshin kan stances with their bellly deep and forward and the back just loving the feel of the Koshiita. Various pressurizing on them often sees the chest open and rise with the resultant shoulder loading up or scapular separation. There is no way to sink energy effectively like that, or disperse through the back and frame.
Again with weapons in many Koryu you will not see the body move that way. As I noted in Iai- in many of the tapes you can see them cut left, the hips go left, cut right, the hips go right. Worse as they draw the sword and do sayabiki the chest opens wide. There is a way to do sayabiki in the body without opening the chest.
but the hip stuff makes slack and gaps in motion, if you consider bujutsu movement and the very practical need to be mobile and stepping forward -then that way of moving is obviously not the way to go. Yet cutting -with the cut powered by the waist-with the hips in-line is not something often seen in Iai or Aikido. Actually I have never seen it, even with certain schools with Kashima influence.

It's hard to describe movement. There is plenty of old and newer video to watch. I have had people say "we do that too" but I haven't met one yet, not one, from Iai, or Aikido who actually could demonstrate power that way. even when they er...artificially tried to convince me they were.and always had been. The body method takes practice and can be tested, and bodies generally speak volumes and reveal much about what their "occupant" really knows.;)

DH
07-01-2008, 12:54 PM
Thanks Dan Tim and Rob for taking the time to break things down. I am now understanding "it" a bit better. :)

William Hazen
But wait, Erik will be by shortly with some long mathmetical something or other to explain things we do and get you totally confused.:D

gdandscompserv
07-01-2008, 12:58 PM
Push on them and they you feel it almost immediately. If you let go suddenly, they spring-up in whatever direction they are commpensating for.
My son and I are diligintly working on this.

Aikibu
07-01-2008, 01:20 PM
But wait, Erik will be by shortly with some long mathmetical something or other to explain things we do and get you totally confused.:D

Don't worry! I failed algebra 3 times...:D

William Hazen

gregstec
07-01-2008, 01:22 PM
Robert -

Thanks very much for putting together that wiki and posting the link to it. I have been wishing for something like that for a while, and it's great to know about it. Much appreciated.

-John

Yes, a very good summary indeed - a few pictures of the body positions in the exercises would make it outstanding :)

Greg S

clwk
07-01-2008, 01:26 PM
Ah..but there needn't be damage-just control.
No worries. I was just making a joke about your anaphoric use of the word 'imagine'. It so reminded me of John Lennon's song I assumed it was intentional. As such, I thought it was provided a humorous exposition of the distinctions between various interpretations of the Concept Formerly Known as Aiki. I assumed that was intentional too.

The type of movement quality is very controlling-even fun. Waddya think we wreck each other and throw away the pieces. :)
My life insurance policy won't be active for another week or so, but in principle it sounds fun . . . as long as it's fun.


I'll be willing to betcha over which methods offers the greater potential for control over another humans violent actions without causing harm.;)
What are my options, and what's the spread? Everybody knows you kick butt with a smile, though -- and I'm not about to argue.

-ck

Counsel
07-01-2008, 03:14 PM
Spiral winding juji (90 degrees) shear stress in simultaneous tension/compression This forms a standing torsion wave (Horizontal vice vertical, but you get the idea):
505

The intercostal internus with the ribs and transversus follow these bias shear ply lines taking those crossing spiral lines around the the body.

These allow a spiral moment (tendency to rotate/standing wave) or a spiral movement (a dynamic spiral wave). Limbs just follow in the same manner (asagao). Tension can be potentiated in either of the spirals by -- surprise -- breath control. Structure and dynamic are the same.

:D

Movement of muscles, tension on opposing muscles, etc. is technique--movement or the preparation of movement (however you want to describe this action/preparation).

You describe technique--a physical response. Understanding that technique might take time, but it is a physical reaction/movement/tightening/etc.

That many might not be there or know what "that" is? I accept that. Many of us might never get there, and I don't think that is "failure." Many of us might not get our head wrapped around relativity or ballet. Either way, our journey through life is not in vain or worthless. Are we "missing" something? Maybe. If I am here to only learn the movements as effective as I can, then sure--I might not be able to stop the door from knocking me senseless. Yet, I have yet to be attacked by a door. :cool: If I am here for more--not for learning to attack an enemy, then maybe not. Relativity is found everywhere isn't it? So, if

"O Sensei created Aikido as a martial way for students to develop a strong body and a mind that is calm, free from contentious thoughts, and whose natural reaction is defense rather than offense, protection rather than counter-destruction."

All I have to do is not hold the door and avoid the door. At least not listen to the door walk me into being hit by it, and I might be fine.

Back to bike riding. You may understand the issues riding a bmx bike, but riding downhill takes more than you might know from bmx experience. While you may have the movement down, the "music" would not be there since the experience with that movement was lacking.

Why could you not "have it" in some techniques and not in others--obviously asked from someone who does not have it when it comes to Aikido movements :)

Either way, I think it is different than telling a 5-year old which muscles to use when riding the bike--he doesn't know any muscles while we have Gray's anatomy and experience with body movement--just my opinion. At the very least, we have ways to "get there" better than simply saying "inside." Don't we?

jennifer paige smith
07-01-2008, 03:20 PM
But wait, Erik will be by shortly with some long mathmetical something or other to explain things we do and get you totally confused.:D

What you said is funny.

And for me Erik posts are often a wonderful mixture of science and spirit and he does no more to obfuscate the world of aiki ( or ai-chi ) than anyhting else I've read. I'm interested in his writing, training, and slant, and I hope he comes back and talks with all of us again in this thread and in others.

Thanks,
Jen

Upyu
07-01-2008, 07:39 PM
Why could you not "have it" in some techniques and not in others--obviously asked from someone who does not have it when it comes to Aikido movements :)


Assuming you know what you need to do to pull off the skill, you should be able to manifest it in virtually all techniques. And if you can't it's cuz you suck, or aren't thinking hard enough about it ;)

It's another reason I don't really care for the technique paradigm too much.

Besides which, if I told you you need to drop the intercostal muscles, while using a ball of muscle 3 inches below the belly button, to push it back against the lower back, inflate the illial psoas, then push the pressure up through the upper back...in order to perform a strike, would it help you at all?

The reason why a lot of the exercises are formulated the way they are, is because most people don't have any control over the parts that are needed in order to pull off these skills. So you have to develop awareness of these parts, condition them, then you can start to talk about "pull here, use this" etc. Otherwise it's all just Greek. ;)

Kevin Leavitt
07-01-2008, 08:01 PM
Rob wrote:

Besides which, if I told you you need to drop the intercostal muscles, while using a ball of muscle 3 inches below the belly button, to push it back against the lower back, inflate the illial psoas, then push the pressure up through the upper back...in order to perform a strike, would it help you at all?

No...let me think about this a second....ummmm...NO It doesn't help.

The reason why a lot of the exercises are formulated the way they are, is because most people don't have any control over the parts that are needed in order to pull off these skills. So you have to develop awareness of these parts, condition them, then you can start to talk about "pull here, use this" etc. Otherwise it's all just Greek.

Yes.

I also agree with the whole technique thing.

Counsel
07-02-2008, 12:11 AM
Rob wrote:

No...let me think about this a second....ummmm...NO It doesn't help


Me either. Yet, I would hope that after 2 years of practice, I would have it. If so many of us do not (and I can admit that I am not there yet) have it, what are we (as students) and/or you (as sempai) doing so wrong?

Or is it that most of us (as I see you seem to be saying it) just won't or can't get it?:sorry:

I ask this now in order to avoid "missing" it later (or at least to try and obtain direction now...).

Upyu
07-02-2008, 01:00 AM
Me either. Yet, I would hope that after 2 years of practice, I would have it. If so many of us do not (and I can admit that I am not there yet) have it, what are we (as students) and/or you (as sempai) doing so wrong?

Or is it that most of us (as I see you seem to be saying it) just won't or can't get it?:sorry:

I ask this now in order to avoid "missing" it later (or at least to try and obtain direction now...).

Err...in case you missed the last couple of years worth of threads let me sum it up.

The skills are out there, but not everyone teaches them.
There are some with the skill, and will show, but won't teach.
There are fewer with the skill, and will show and teach.
And even fewer that will show, and teach, and CAN teach ;)

List off the top of my head of guys you'd probably want to get hands on with:
Any of the Chen Village Tai Chi guys that do seminars in the states, Sam Chin of Iliquchan, Ushiro Kenji, I'd list some Aikido guys, but I haven't felt any in the states, so I'll leave that up to Rob Liberti and others to give any recommendations.

If I were in your position, and didn't have immediate access to recommended instruction, it sucks, but I'd lay down the $$$ to get at least a first hand feel of what someone with the skills actually feels like. At least that way you know whether people you train with have the same feel or not, and you can determine for yourself whether its a waste of time ;)

Pauliina Lievonen
07-02-2008, 04:32 AM
Hi Paulina
Hanmi offers most the opportunity to bleed energy-usually at a about a 30 to 45 deg angle in the direction of whichever hip is the rear hip. Left leg back bleed left, right-bleed right. Push on them and they you feel it almost immediately. If you let go suddenly, they spring-up in whatever direction they are commpensating for.
....snip....
It's hard to describe movement. ..Thanks for trying. :)

Hey, I can say "I do that , too" about the above! ;) I just asked my husband (weighs less than me, no martial arts experience or interest for that matter) to push me in hamni, and then stop pushing. Ummm...:blush:

Back to work...
kvaak
Pauliina

jzimba
07-02-2008, 12:12 PM
Hey Dan, et al--

Until recently, I didn't get that the big ball, on which the door is placed, is not part of the boney structure of the pelvis. I'd always thought some motion of the sacrum had to do with the 3 axis of rotation of the ball.

Am I correct in assuming that if the bones of my ppelvis were in a clamp I could ummm inflate myself a bit and use that springy structure to exhibit the rotation posibilities?

Part of learning this stuff gets mixed up in balance and movement and standing IMO. Some of that is because I'm trained in a movement education system, where we change the orientation to gravity in order to learn new things...

That way there isn't all this mess about standing and dealing with balance and weight.

Example, I can do tons of reasonably grounded stuff with pushes, etc, but my kua does a fair amount of the work. Would seiza be a good compromise to create a constrained environment in which other parts would be called upon to address dealing with incoming forces and issuing force?

Also, in other posts, someone mentions not moving the shoulders and arms. In the analogies of rods and cam chafts, etc, the upper bar is definitely moving, as are the edges of the door.

I have felt, and can actually exhibit to some degree the moving of bones without moving the external flesh and v/v is that what we're talking about here?

Joel

eyrie
07-02-2008, 07:40 PM
Also, in other posts, someone mentions not moving the shoulders and arms. In the analogies of rods and cam chafts, etc, the upper bar is definitely moving, as are the edges of the door. Of course it does... the question is where is movement initiated from and transferred to... not what is moving. And since I don't have a 300HP washing machine agitator buried in the ground where I'm standing, where is the power to drive the vertical rod coming from?

rob_liberti
07-02-2008, 08:05 PM
And even fewer that will show, and teach, and CAN teach ;)

List off the top of my head of guys you'd probably want to get hands on with:
Any of the Chen Village Tai Chi guys that do seminars in the states, Sam Chin of Iliquchan, Ushiro Kenji, I'd list some Aikido guys, but I haven't felt any in the states, so I'll leave that up to Rob Liberti and others to give any recommendations.

I don't know how to spell it, but Wang Hai June has "it" and can teach it but....

I I think WHJ, Sam Chin, and probably Ushiro sensei are all in the 25-30 year plan. Wouldn't you agree?

It's the folks that are fast tracking to what THEY call basic skills (that most would call mastery level body awareness) that are most interesting to me. There are some aikido sensei in the 25-35 year plan category, but no one in aikido is in the fast track category - YET.

Several aikido sensei are looking into systema and some of the better DR (or former DR) guys.

My only real experience with someone who can fast track you is with Dan Harden who is awesome. I plan to meet Howard Popkin, and I have high hopes that he is in the same category. I believe that Mike Sigman says that teaching this stuff in the most effective way is his goal (correct me if I'm wrong) - but I do not believe he is actively teaching students on a regular basis (again correct me if I'm wrong). I'd recommend his workshops based on all accounts so far for sure.

I think in the future - if I have anything to say about it - we may see a converted Gleason sensei to this training methodology. We'll see. I suspect we will see more and more of this in George Ledyard sensei for sure. I have a LOT of respect for Josh Drachman in Florida who's been taking some good steps to this end for a while now.

There are a few of us in the MA and CT area who are training as regularly as possible with Dan Harden. You may see something from us in the "relatively" near future. I can be the contact for that area if needed, but Dan posts here (this being his thread and all) so no real need unless he is looking for me to be a secretary (which would be fine too).

There is a group of folks serious in the Virginia area as well, and I assume they are in a similar -up and coming- state. Look to Timothy WK who posts in this thread for that area.

There is a group of folks in Washington state area who are probably ahead of most of us up and coming folks. I think Chris Moses is a good contact for that group.

Ikeda sensei is approaching this from the Ushiro sensei view point but he's a training animal so I assume we'll see interesting changes from him and his school in the near futrue if not directly from him, then from the trading we'll all eventually do with his students.

I'd say read the threads mentioned in this thread and you'll know who the players are and where they are geographically as well as in ability.

Rob

rob_liberti
07-02-2008, 08:23 PM
Here are some recent picture of Gleason sensei.

http://albums.phanfare.com/5069352/2237881_2415754#imageID=33668808

Look at his posture. Notice how he IS NOT standing like most of the people aikido stand. His weight is not dumping out of his front 100% of the time. I wouldn't say never, but I'd go so far as extremely rarely. I'd say that might be the best way to tell who has developed some degree of uncommon body integrity.

Now look at the pictures right here on aiki web. I'll not name names. Look for yourself. See who dumps their weight out their front all the time. That's a dead give away for at least who cannot possibly "fast track" you (at the time of their photos anyway).

Rob

Upyu
07-02-2008, 10:23 PM
I I think WHJ, Sam Chin, and probably Ushiro sensei are all in the 25-30 year plan. Wouldn't you agree?



Actually Sam Chin is more in the span of 3-4 years, but it depends on the person. You'd have to have constant instruction from the guy for a good year at the very least. Problem is that most people lack faith with regards to the solo exercises, and don't do them. Something I remember Sam used to bitch about a lot :)
His top student Dave started to get pretty skilled (relative to others) in about 3 years. I think at around the 5 year mark is when the conditioning started to make a big difference.

John Connolly
07-03-2008, 01:05 AM
Rob L.,

Most of us in the TNBBC have felt reasonably good results in power delivery/reception and balance maintenance mindfully practicing Aunkai and various IMA tanren over the last 2 or so years, and I imagine it can only get better... and I don't think we need to be in retirement age to reap the rewards.

For the pics of Gleason, note how he appears to move within his frame, not extending beyond his kuzushi point, and completely shifting his weight from one foot to the next: even without the various tanren exercises, if you can attempt to make this your goal in training, I believe that you will make significant progress. This is what I see from the stills, but I cannot tell if that's what's actually happening.

Rob J.,

Wussup? Good to see you, and I am hoping, since I am now out of skool (for at least a while) I may be able to visit Japan sometime in the near-ish future (I have in-laws there now). Thanks for your helpful posts and replies. :)

rob_liberti
07-03-2008, 07:19 AM
Most of us in the TNBBC have felt reasonably good results in power delivery/reception and balance maintenance mindfully practicing Aunkai and various IMA tanren over the last 2 or so years, and I imagine it can only get better... and I don't think we need to be in retirement age to reap the rewards.

Okay. I am certainly not an expert myself and I can't speak for who knows what. I had attempted to start that post explaining who was on the 25-35 year plan (which is still respectable if you ask me ) and who was on the faster track to those skills. All of the groups I was aware of that I mentioned I considered faster track groups unless I specified otherwise. I could have been more clear.

So is Christian Moses not part of the TNBBC in the Washington state area?

It was good to know I was wrong about Sam Chin's methodology where it turns out he is teaching on the fast track after all.

Then of course there will be further divisions. Is Aukuzawa as internal as Dan or Mike? That is not clear. Is Dan's training not as robust as what Mike teaches? Is what Mike teaches that Dan doesn't as necessary for learning this stuff initially? Please no one try to answer these questions in this thread. I'm not looking to start an internal power/aiki holy war. I'm just pointing out that people interested in this stuff will probably start cross training and asking these questions internally to start making their own decisions about where they think continuing to put their focus will help them the most.

Rob

Dan Austin
07-03-2008, 09:14 AM
Several aikido sensei are looking into systema and some of the better DR (or former DR) guys.

They're wasting their time looking into Systema. I realize there are a fair number of Aikidoka who feel some sort of draw to Systema because it seems to have similar cooperative training and whatnot, but you won't gain the skills Dan or Mike talk about. This is not to say that you can't learn anything in Systema, but that's exactly what suckers people. Vasiliev and Ryabo have backgrounds in sambo and therefore have real skill they can draw on when they need to, which is what allows them to sell the other nonsense.

If anyone wants to read the story of a student of Vasiliev's, it can be found here:

http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=52259

Such discussions invariably rankle Systema fans because they may feel they learned something useful from it (which is not impossible, but is much more reliably done elsewhere), and people can do whatever they like. But if you want to gain the internal skills discussed here you can be assured it won't happen in Systema. Just a word to the wise.

akiy
07-03-2008, 09:31 AM
Hi folks,

Can I remind people that the topic of this thread is how internal training methods from non-aikido training methods have impacted your aikido.

If you wish to discuss specifically the training methods employed in non-aikido martial traditions, please do so in the Non-Aikido Martial Traditions (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=78) forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Howard Popkin
07-03-2008, 09:48 AM
Mr. Austin,

While there is no system of martial arts that I think is perfect, some of those Systema guys have real skills. Like ANY system, some people train, some talk. Some learn, some don't. You can't measure a system from one bad experience.

I have not trained with them enough personally to know if they posses all the same types of movements found in Daitoryu, Tai chi, or the like, but they do possess:

1) Lots of softness in a variety of methods
2) They hit like tanks
3) They possess energy dispersion techniques

I personally hit Kaizen Taki, one of the instructors of the Seattle group with a few aiki punches in a row that would have dropped large animals like cows, horses, or tuna :) I weight 235 and Kaizen is about 120 wearing a hakama and judogi(he also did aikido).

I estimate that I sent him back about 6 or 7 feet, over and over he asked me to do it again. I then added movement to the punches - spirals internally, aiki age, sage, etc... He was able to feel all the movement and energy that I put in and he was able to tell me the direction I added to it. His body was soft the entire time.

Kaizen had no problem absorbing the power and explained that they train this method all the time. He also then hit me with a few strikes that were VERY interesting. One radiated. One was deep. His attack was soft but had great, well directed power.

I do not speak for them, only my experiences, but I do know that Ikeda Sensei locked up Mr. Vasiliev and Mr. Vasilev softened himself right out of all the locks. If you don't think they have real ability, I recommend the guys in Seattle or go to Vladimir himself, he is in Toronto. Not too far.

So while this person on bullshido may have had a bad experience, Many people write about me on there as well.

My answer to all of them is the same.

Howard Popkin
Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai
686 Dogwood Avenue
Franklin Square, NY 11010
516-489-1278

Hope that helps.

Howard

ChrisMoses
07-03-2008, 09:48 AM
Okay. I am certainly not an expert myself and I can't speak for who knows what. I had attempted to start that post explaining who was on the 25-35 year plan (which is still respectable if you ask me ) and who was on the faster track to those skills. All of the groups I was aware of that I mentioned I considered faster track groups unless I specified otherwise. I could have been more clear.

So is Christian Moses not part of the TNBBC in the Washington state area?

I think John was agreeing with and expanding what you said, and yes I'm with John, Jeremy, Neil (and other lurkers) here in the TNBBC. :)

Those were some good pix of Gleason Sensei. I've never had the pleasure of training with him, but I have gotten to train with Takeda Yoshinobu a few times now, and can see how his students and those who were at least heavily influenced by him (it's my understanding, correct me if I'm wrong, that when Gleason attempted to train with Yamaguchi Sensei, he was first directed to Takeda Sensei first) would be in a fairly good position to either pick This Stuff™ up along the way or if getting it from other sources apply it more readily and with less crinkled brows in their dojos than some other lines/lineages of Aikido. How to actually do a lot of the stuff I've felt from Takeda Sensei seems a lot clearer (and much easier) after a few years of the Aunkai bodywork stuff.

Dennis Hooker
07-03-2008, 09:51 AM
But wait, Erik will be by shortly with some long mathmetical something or other to explain things we do and get you totally confused.:D

Iij = f (Ri, Aj)
-----------
f (Dij)

Interaction (I) between i and j is a function of repulsive forces (R) at i and attractive forces (A) at j, and an inverse function of the friction/distance (D) between i and j

Iij The interaction volume from i to j
Ri a parameter representing (repulsive) factors which are associated with "leaving" i (such as outmigration)
Aj a parameter representing (attractive) factors related to going to j (such as inmigration)
Dij the distance between i and j
:D

Gernot Hassenpflug
07-03-2008, 10:43 AM
Dennis, there is also a factor "alpha-omega" which those who don't know call "The hand of God"; but for others it can be quantified quite well: for example, one can use a spear (or a bo or a jo) to measure it LOL